Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

spirit of the ancient code. Samuel's words to the king are: “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, 'I am punishing (visiting judicially, 'n775) that which Amelek did to Israel. ... Now go and cut off Amalek and utterly destroy all,' that he has" (Sam. xv. 2, 3). And thoroughly as Saul did his work, it did not satisfy the terms of his commission. David dealt the hostile remnant a heavy blow after their capture of Ziklag, and in Hezekiah's time, still a century before the date assigned by some to the Deuteronomic code, so reduced and feeble had they become that five hundred Simeonites are able to complete their overthrow and extinction (I. Chron. iv. 43). After this time the name of Amalek disappears from history.

Our code is brought to a fitting close by a peculiar formula of acknowledgment and thanksgiving. It is professedly given to be used immediately subsequent to the conquest and quiet occupation of the promised land. Critics are not satisfied with this account which the document gives of itself, and see in its strong liturgical cast positive marks of a later day. Kleinert, however, among others, takes exception to this opinion as being unworthy of an age in which the knowledge of the Vedas has ceased to be a monopoly. It may be added that such an objection is unworthy of an age that has brought to light the stores of information contained on Egyptian and Assyrian monuments. This one simple liturgical ceremonial of Deuteronomy we are able, in fact, to match with many far more elaborate ones, in different tongues, that date from even an earlier period.2 The wonder is, indeed, not that we have this one simple, prescribed formula of thanksgiving for the individual Israelite in his periodical visits to the central sanctuary, but that, in all the biblical literature before the Exile, it stands so much alone. We have really nothing of a precisely similar character with which to compare it. And in view of the consideration that prayer, in some form, must date back to the beginnings of human history, it would seem the height of captiousness to characterize the ceremonial before us as an anachronism in the age of Moses.1

1 Das Deuteronomium, p. 104.

2 See especially an inscription from the tomb of Beni-Hassan, of the 12th Egyptian dynasty, in Warrington's When was the Pentateuch Written, p. 18 f.; also, the prayer of Menkaura to Osiris, dating as far back as the 5th dynasty (Wilson's The Egypt of the Past, London, 1881, p. 93), and the philosophical precepts of Ptah-hotep (ibid., p. 107 f.), computed to be five thousand years old; and cf. Rawlinson, The Religions of the Ancient Iorld, p. 60 f., and 24, where he says of the religion of ancient Egypt that its “ worship was conducted chiefly by means of rhythmic litanies or hymns, in which prayer and praise were blended, the latter predominating." For still other specimens of this liturgical worship see Records of the Past, vol. ii., pp. 105, 134; vol. iv., pp. 99–104; vol. vi., pp. 99-101; vol. viii., pp. 131-134.

Such, now, are the independent laws of Deuteronomy, the primary and essential elements, as we may suppose, of this remarkable code. And such are a few of the more patent internal characteristics by which its age as a whole, and in its several parts, might be approximately inferred. That they are demonstrative need not be held ; that, however, they show an overwhelming weight of probability in favor of Mosaic origin throughout cannot well be denied. Such an origin, in fact, is directly or implicitly claimed by the great majority of the statutes brought under review, and especially by those that are of chief importance. If it be denied in the case of the rest, is it too much to demand that adequate reasons be given for wrenching them from the ancient mould in which we find them imbedded ? ?

Mosaic claims, we are well aware, are often summarily dealt with in these days; but sometimes, perhaps, without sufficiently pondering the consequences. The alternative here, at least, does not lack in startling effects. If not Moses, then some one who would be thought to be Moses, or to write in the spirit of Moses. In either case, an antique flavor, Mosaic sanction is wanted. But why? If the critical theories prevailing in many quarters be adopted, there was no Moses who was worthy of such pains. And why, especially, such an excess of Mosaic coloring in a purely legal document, so that it might almost be thought that the laws were a conceit to magnify the half-mythical hero, instead of the name of Moses being used to give weight to the laws.

If not Moses, we ask again, then who? Some king of Judah or

1 The fact that the firstfruits are to be brought in the hands in a basket, forestalls any objection that might arise on the ground that we have here prescribed a different disposition of the firstfruits from that enjoined in another place (xviii. 4; cf. Numb. xviii. 12 f.).

2 So, too, Bleek, in a similar connection (Einleitung in das Alte Testament. Vierte Auflage, bearbeitet von J. Wellhausen, Berlin, 1878, p. 35): "Wir sehen also, wie ein bedeutender Theil der Gesetze und Anordnungen des Pentateuchs, sowohl dem Inhalte als der Form nach, dem Mosaischen Zeitalter angehören

Da wir nun als ein feststehendes sicheres Ergebniss gefunden haben, dass so bedeutende Theile des Gesetzbuches von Moses herrühren, dass also auf jeden Fall das Wesentlichste der darin enthaltenen Gesetzgebung ihm angehört, so sind wir nicht berechtigt, ihm einzelne der sich darin findenden und auf ihn zurückgeführten gesetzlichen Anordnungen abzusprechen, wenn sie nicht bestimmte Spuren eines abweichenden Characters und einer späteren Zeit an sich tragen."

muss,

Israel? The history furnishes no example of a royal legislator; enough, of those who broke and trampled upon the laws of their fathers. Possibly, some prophet then? Which prophet? His modesty in concealing his name and adopting as pseudonym that of the leader of the Exodus is only equalled by the way in which he introduces the subject of prophecy in his work, as incidental to a law regulating magical arts. But why not a priest, possibly Hilkiah himself, who first introduces our code to the attention of his king ? Critics are by no means agreed among themselves whether the code is of priestly or prophetic origin; it is too little pronounced in either direction. Priestly, in any decisive features, it is far enough from being ; quite the reverse, if its uniform point of view be taken account of. The point of view from beginning to end is conspicuously that of a tender father of his people, emphatically Mosaic, in short, and nothing else. And that it is genuine, and not assumed for effect, the latest results of biblical archeology unite with the best results of literary criticism in strongly confirming. 1

1 The reasoning employed in this paper, to show that the independent legislation of Deuteronomy is Mosaic, bears with equal force against the theory that it has undergone any special revision, in a period subsequent to Moses. There is neither in form, spirit, or language, any valid evidence whatever of any such revision in the series of laws we have passed under review.

Recent Discussions of Romans ix. 5.

BY PROF. EZRA ABBOT, D.D., LL.D.

INCE the publication of the articles on Rom. ix. 5, in the Jour

,

of the passage which seem worthy of notice, especially as in some of them those articles have been quoted with approval or criticised. The venerable pastor and Professor of Theology in the University of Geneva, Ilugues Oltramare, has a long and able note upon it in his recent elaborate and valuable Commentaire sur l'Epitre aux Romains (2 vols., Geneva and Paris, 1881-82). He adopts the doxological construction, placing a period after oápka. In England, the marginal note of the Revisers appears to have given great offence in certain quarters. "I must press upon every reader," says Canon Cook, “the duty-I use the word 'duty'emphatically — of reading the admirable note of Dr. Gifford (on this passage] in the 'Speaker's Commentary.' I should scarcely have thought it credible, in face of the unanswered and unanswerable arguments there urged, that English divines would venture to have given their sanction to one of the most pernicious and indefensible innovations of rationalistic criticism.” (The Revised Version of the first three Gospels, Lond., 1882, p. 167, note.) Elsewhere he speaks of "the very painful and offensive note on Romans ix. 5, in the margin of the Revised Version” (ibid., p. 194).

It appears that Canon Cook sent a challenge to Canon Kennedy, Regius Professor of Greek in the University of Cambridge, to meet the arguments of Dr. Gifford, and that this led to the publication of the first pamphlet to be noticed, the title of which is given below. Dr. Gifford replied to Professor Kennedy in a pamphlet of 66 pages,

? The Divinity of Christ. A Sermon preached on Christinas Day, 1882, before the University of Cambridge. With an Appendix on Rom. ix. 5, and Titus ii. 13. By Benjamin Hall Kennedy, D.D. . . . Printed by desire of the Vice-Chancellor. Cambridge, also London, 1883. 8o. pp. vii. 32.

? ... A Letter to the Rev. Benjamin Hall Kennedy, D.D., . . . in reply to Criticisms on the Interpretation of Rom. ix. 5, in “The Speaker's Commentary.” By Edwin Hamilton Gifford, D.D. ... Cambridge, also London, 1883. 8°.

pp. 66.

and Professor Kennedy rejoined in a pamphlet of 72 pages, entitled Pauline Christology, Part I.1 We shall probably have in due time a surrejoinder by Dr. Gifford, and Part II. of Professor Kennedy's Pauline Christology.

Professor Kennedy translates the last part of Rom. ix. 5 as follows: “And of whom is the Christ as concerning flesh. He who is over all is God, worthy to be praised for ever. Amen." (Sermon, etc., p. 19.) As was remarked in our Journal for 1881, pp. 99, 132, there is no grammatical difficulty in this construction. But I cannot adopt the view which Professor Kennedy takes of the passage. He regards the last part of Rom. ix. 5 as added by St. Paul “ to win the ear and gain the confidence of the Jews by declaring his adherence to doctrines which they prized, a Jewish Messiah, and one supreme God worthy to be praised for ever." (Sermon, p. 21; comp. pp. 20, 25, and Pauline Christology, I., p. 61.)

My objections to this view are, (1) that there was no need of Paul's declaring his adherence to doctrines which neither he nor any other Christian of that day was ever charged with questioning, the Jewish origin of the Messiah, and the unity of God; and (2) that the last clause of verse 5, according to Dr. Kennedy's construction, is not a direct affirmation of monotheism in distinction from polytheism, though monotheism is implied in the language.

Were Professor Kennedy's construction of the passage to be adopted, I should rather regard the ó óv énè Trávtw as having reference to God's providential government of the universe, and especially to his providential dealings with the Jews, in the revelations and privileges granted them with a view to the grand consummation of them all in the advent of the Messiah, as the head of a new, spiritual dispensation, embracing all men upon equal terms. The öv, in this connection, may include the past, present, and future ; and we might paraphrase as follows, supplying what may naturally be supposed to have been in the mind of the Apostle : “He who is over all,” He who has presided over the whole history of the Jewish nation, and bestowed upon it its glorious privileges; He whose hand is in all that is now taking place, who brings good out of evil, the conversion of the Gentiles out of the temporary blindness and disobedience of the Jews; He whose promises will not fail, who has not cast off his people, and who will

1 Pauline Christology, Part I. Examination of Romans ix. 5, being a Rejoinder to the Rev. Dr. Gifford's Reply. By Benjamin Hall Kennedy, D.D. Cambridge, etc., 1883. 8o. Pp. 72.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »