Слике страница

be) that such forms as the shortened relative (for ) ? the chirek compaginis,” or the (so-called) Aramaic pronominal suffix,afford any clue whatever to the date of the composition in which they occur ; and we are glad to see that the Dean of Peterborough speaks of the opinion that 'a tendency to Aramaisms is to be regarded as evidence of a variation merely of dialect, perhaps the dialect of North Palestine,' as ' a supposition which seems not to be wholly without foundation.'4

The third head, that of supposed Anachronisms, requires somewhat fuller treatment. In all these cases the burden of proof lies upon those who maintain the existence of such errors; and when we come to examine the so-called proof, we often find that it resolves itself into mere conjecture and supposition on the part of the critic. In English we should not speak of a tent as a “house' or 'temple,' thercfore, argues the critic, David cannot have done so; therefore, those Psalms wherein the terms “house of God' and 'temple' occur are falsely attributed to him; and therefore, the inscriptions are of no value. Again, the catastrophe of the Babylonish Captivity was so overwhelming that to us it obscures all the previous troubles of the nation, and throws them entirely into the shade. When we speak of the Captivity,' that in Babylon is always understood by the term ; therefore, the critic implies, the Hebrews must have meant the same; therefore, it is impossible that David could have prayed that God would “turn the captivity of Judah'; and therefore, again the inscriptions are of no value. Once more - the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt after the Captivity, and in the Book of Nehemiah we hear a great deal about building the wall of Jerusalem'; therefore, when this expression occurs in the Psalms it must allude to the rebuilding of the wall; and therefore, Ps. li. (or at least the last two verses of it) belongs to the time of Ezra and Nehemiah; and therefore, the inscription assigning it to David is a dim and worthless tradition. In case we should be thought to have exaggerated, we subjoin a few specimens of argument from The Psalms, chronologically arranged by

i On this see the exhaustive and convincing remarks of Dr. Pusey, Minor Prophets, p. 250; and on the subject of Aramaisms generally, ib. 249–251, 401, 402.

2 This occurs in Ps. cx. 4: a Psalm which even Ewald allows to be David's.

3 See Ps. ciii. 3. The forms occur in some other Psalms, generally set down as late ones; but they are also found in 2 Kings iv. 1-7, a fact that is highly perplexing to those who treat them as evidence of date.

4 Vol. ii. p. 431. Cf. Jennings, vol. ii. p. 174.

Four Friends,' who are by far the gravest offenders in this respect. Of Ps. xxvii. we are told that the fourth verse in its present form must have been written after the Temple was built' (p. 68); while in the introduction to Ps. xxiii. we are gravely told that 'the mention of “God's house” in this, as in the twenty-seventh Psalm, requires that both alike, at least in their present shape, should be assigned to a period subsequent to the building of the Temple ? (p. 70). On p. 439 we are informed that “internal criticism has shewn that many of the existing superscriptions are unquestionably erroneous;' and as specimens, it is mentioned that “it is impossible to conceive that David could write in the fourteenth Psalm, “When Jehovah turneth the captivity of His people, then shall Jacob rejoice," or that at any period of his life he could have used the words contained in the last two verses of the fifty-first Psalm.' Still more curious is the information conveyed in the introduction to this fifty-first Psalm (p. 194):* At the time when this Psalın was written, the rites of the ceremonial law, while still suggesting the metaphors of the Psalmist, have fallen into abeyance, for the city and Temple have been overthrown.' One is really inclined to wonder whether the ‘Four Friends' have some secret source of information, some ancient document describing in full the circumstances under which the Psalms were composed ; but nothey refer us to verses 18 and 19 of the Psalm itself, as the source of this remarkable piece of information! We would gently suggest that the verses in question contain no mention whatever of the temple, and that the Psalmist himself must surely have been unaware that 'the rites of the ceremonial law had fallen into abeyance' when he wrote the sixteenth verse, “Thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it Thee.'!

Let us turn from theories to facts. With regard to the expressions 'temple,' and 'house of God, they are, as we are glad to see, noted both by the Dean of Peterborough and by Mr. Jennings, equally applicable to the Tabernacle as to the Temple of Solomon. (1) The word rendered temple (pra) properly means a palace, in which sense it occurs three times in the Psalter (xlv. 9, 16; cxliv. 12), and frequently in other books (e.g. i Kings xxi. I, the palace of Ahab'; 2 Kings xx. 18, 'the palace of the King of Babylon'?). Now the

1 On this verse Dr. Kay aptly quotes from Harnmond :- The truth is .. the Mosaical law allows no reconciliation, no sacrifice, for such wilful sins' (Heb. x.).

? Other instances are Prov. xxx. 28; Is. xiii. 22 ; xxxix. 7; Dan. i. 4; Nahum ii. 7.

Tabernacle in its day, as the seat of Jehovah's presence, was quite as much His palace as was the Temple in later years, and therefore it need excite no surprise that the term should be applied to it, not only in Davidic Psalms, but (as is unquestionably the case) in I Sam. i. 9, and iii. 3. (2) Nor does the expression house of God' by any means necessarily denote a building of solid masonry, as the “Four. Friends' seem to imagine, for the same word house (n!2) is applied to the tent of Abraham (Gen. xvii. 12, 13, 27; cf. xviii.I); to the fir trees, as the home of the stork (Ps. civ. 17); and to the place where Jacob first rested on his flight towards Haran (

Gen. xxviii. 17), “How dreadful is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven’; cf. verse 22 :- This stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house. Further, the term is as a matter of fact applied to the Tabernacle in eleven passages, outside the Psalter, where no one can by any possibility doubt its meaning. The passages are the following: Exod. xxiii. 19; xxxiv. 26; Deut. xxiii. 18; Josh. vi. 24; ix. 23; Judges xviii. 31 ; xix. 18; 1 Sam. i. 7, 20; iii. 15; and 2 Sam. xii. 24. We commend them to the notice of the * Four Friends, in the hope that a careful study of them may induce them to modify their language should another edition of their work ever be called for.

We pass on to consider the expression ‘turn the captivity.' It is found in the Psalter some four times in all-viz., xiv. 7; liii. 7 ; lxxxv. 2; and cxxvi. 4. In the last of these passages there can be no reasonable doubt that it does refer to the Babylonish Captivity, and it may have the same reference in Ps. lxxxv., though the expressions there used would equally well apply to the narrative contained in 2 Chr. xxviii. 5–20.1 But Pss. xiv. and liii. are both attributed to David. What then are we to say of the verse, “When the Lord turneth the captivity of His people : then shall Jacob rejoice, and Israel shall be glad'? Simply this, that the expression is a proverbial one, suited to any period of national depression, for it means no more than restore to prosperity, and has not necessarily the slightest connexion with the Babylonish Captivity. The first passage in our Bibles where it occurs is Deut. xxx. 3, • The Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, but this, we shall perhaps be told, is a passage of late date, and therefore not to be relied on. We pass on, therefore, to the next occurrence


1 Though the actual word captivity (120) does not occur in this passage, yet the kindred word w is found in verse 17, and the verb how is used no less than three times (verses 5, 8, 17).

of the expression, Job xlii. 10, “The Lord turned the captivity of Job. Here there can by no possibility be the remotest allusion to the Babylonish Captivity; and as we never heard of Job's incarceration in a dungeon, we have no hesitation in setting down the expression as a proverbial one, not necessarily to be understood literally; and we are confirmed in our decision by finding that Ezekiel has adopted the same phrase in reference to the cities of the plain, “When I shall bring again the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then I will bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of thee' (Ezek. xvi. 53). We conclude, therefore, that there is nothing in the expression inconsistent with the Davidic authorship of those Psalms in which it occurs.

So far our criticisms on the supposed anachronisms in the Psalms have referred mainly to the work of the 'Four Friends.' In their explanation, however, of the remaining phrase, 'build the walls of Jerusalem,' they have the support of the far abler Commentaries of the Dean of Peterborough and Mr. Jennings : the former of whom believes that the last two verses of Ps. li. 'bear evident marks of having been added at a date subsequent to the exile,' and says that otherwise the whole Psalm must be of that date ;? while the latter expresses himself to the same effect: ‘If these verses be indeed a portion of the original composition, the prayer for the building (i.e. rebuilding), of Jerusalem is conclusive against the Davidic authorship of the Psalm.'? Now, so far as the actual word 72 is concerned, there can be no question that it inay mean rebuild, but on the other side, there can be no question that it may also mean build, and therefore the notes in the Speaker's Commentary, and in Dr. Kay's admirable little book, pointing out that at the time of David's fall the walls of Jerusalem had yet to be built, would serve to show that the prayer in question is not conclusive against the Davidic authorship of the Psalm. But there is another interpretation of the phrase that seems to us never to have had justice done to it. It is, that the terms used are figurative, and that the words are simply a prayer for God's protection, and for the establishment of the city. This interpretation is noticed by the Dean of Peterborough only to be rejected, but there seems to be much that might be urged in its favour. (1) The phrase "to build a house'

i The Psalms, vol. 1. p. 423.

? Ibid. vol. 1. p. 224. 3 «That the walls of Jerusalem had yet to be built, literally, appears from 1 Kings ii. 1; ix. 15, 19.'-Kay, cf. Speaker's Commentary, vol. iv. p. 290.

(na 1727) is a not uncommon one for expressing (a) the foundation of a family, or (6) God's protection and support whether it be of an individual or of a line of men. In the former sense, the words occur in Deut. xxv. 9, and Ruth iv. 11' (cf. the similar use of the verb in Gen. xvi. 2 ; xxx. 3), and with the latter meaning in i Sam. ii. 35, of the faithful priest to be raised up, I will build him a sure house, and i Kings xi. 38, ‘I will be with thee, and build thee a sure house, as I built for David,' cf. Ps. lxxxix. 4, .Thy seed will I establish for ever: and build up (732) thy throne to all generations.' (2) The word 'build’ without the addition of house'is used to express the ideas of prosperity, establishment, and security, e.g. Job xxii. 23, 'If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up (122)’; Ps. xxviii. 5, 'Because they regard not the works of the LORD, nor the operations of His hands, He shall destroy them, and not build them up (1732); ' Mal. iii. 15, ‘They that work wickedness are set up (Heb. 732; A. V. Marg. built).' The word is used metaphorically again and again by the prophet Jeremiah (i. 10; xviii. 9 ; xxiv. 6; xxxi. 4, 28 ; xxxiii. 7), and in the following passages the usage of the term seems to approach very closely to the figurative sense for which we are pleading in Ps. li. Micah iii. 9, 10, ‘Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up (1792) Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. Hab. ii. 12, ‘To him that buildeth a town with blood, and stablisheth a city with iniquity.;'? and the figurative sense suits the context best in Micah vii. 11, ‘In the day that thy walls are to be built, in that day shall the decree be far removed.' 3 (3) Thirdly, we notice that similar figures are employed by the Prophets to denote God's protection of His people, e.g., by Isaiah (xxvi. I), “Salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks,' and by Zechariah (ii. 5), 'For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.' (4) And lastly, we claim the parallelism as being in favour of the figurative sense, the

1 A somewhat different, though still figurative, use of the words may be seen in Prov. ix. I ; xiv. 1.

? In this passage the parallelism should not be overlooked, buildeth in one clause answering to stablisheth in the other.

3 However we may interpret this passage, there can be no question that it was written about a hundred years before the destruction of Jerusalem, and therefore it is sufficient to prove that there is no necessity for Ps. li. 18 to be placed after that event. We should note, however, that the word for walls' is different in the two passages.


In the da

Thirdly, in that day shot

« ПретходнаНастави »