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exertions. Subsequent biblical critics acceded to the propriety of their arguments, and since the middle of the seventeenth century, the importance and necessity of collating Hebrew manuscripts have been generally acknowledged.1

Hebrew manuscripts are divided into two classes, viz. autographs, or those written by the inspired penmen themselves, which have long since perished; and apographs, or copies made from the originals, and multiplied by repeated transcription. These apographs are also divided into the more antient, which formerly enjoyed the highest authority among the Jews, but have in like manner perished long ago; and into the more modern, which are found dispersed in various public and private libraries. The manuscripts which are still extant, are subdivided into the rolled manuscripts used in the synagogues, and into the square manuscripts which are used by private individuals among the Jews.

II. The Pentateuch was read in the Jewish synagogues from the earliest times; and, though the public reading of it was intermitted during the Babylonish captivity, it was resumed shortly after the return of the Jews. Hence numerous copies were made from time to time; and as they held the books of Moses in the most superstitious veneration, various regulations were made for the guidance of the transcribers, who were obliged to conform to them in copying the rolls destined for the use of the synagogue. The date of these regu lations is not known, but they are long posterior to the Talmud; and though many of them are the most ridiculous and useless that can be well conceived, yet the religious observance of them, which has continued for many centuries, has certainly contributed in a great degree to preserve the purity of the Pentateuch. The following are a few of the principal of these regulations.

The copies of the law must be transcribed from antient manuscripts of approved character only, with pure ink, on parchment prepared from the hide of a clean animal, for this express purpose, by a Jew, and fastened together by the strings of clean animals; every skin must contain a certain number of columns of prescribed length and breadth, each column comprising a given number of lines and words; no word must be written by heart or with points, or without being first orally pronounced by the copyist; the name of God is not to be written but with the utmost devotion and attention, and previously to writing it, he must wash his pen. The want of a single letter, or the redundance of a single letter, the writing of prose as verse, or verse as prose, respectively, vitiates a manuscript and when a copy has been completed, it must be examined and corrected within thirty days after the writing has been finished, in order to determine whether it is to be approved or rejected. These rules, it is said, are observed to the present day by the persons who transcribe the sacred writings for the use of the synagogue.2

1 Bishop Marsh's Lectures, part ii. p. 99.
2 Carpzov, Critica Sacra Vet. Test. pp. 271, 272.

III. The square manuscripts, which are in private use, are written with black ink, either on vellum or on parchment, or on paper, and of various sizes, folio, quarto, octavo, and duodecimo. Those which are copied on paper, are considered as being the most modern; and they frequently have some one of the Targums or Chaldee Paraphrases, either subjoined to the text in alternate verses, or placed in parallel columns with the text, or written in the margin of the manuscript. The characters are, for the most part, those which are called the square Chaldee; though a few manuscripts are written with rabbinical characters, but these are invariably of recent date. Biblical critics, who are conversant with the Hebrew manuscripts, have distinguished three sorts of characters, each differing in the beauty of their form. The Spanish character is perfectly square, simple, and elegant: the types of the quarto Hebrew Bibles, printed by Robert Stephen and by Plantin, approach the nearest to this character. The German, on the contrary, is crooked, intricate, and inelegant, in every respect; and the Italian character holds a middle place between these two. The pages are usually divided into three columns of various lengths; and the initial letters of the manuscripts are frequently illuminated and ornamented with gold. In many manuscripts the Mosora1 is added; what is called the larger Masora, being placed above and below the columns of the text, and the smaller Masora being inserted in the blank spaces between the columns.

IV. In the period between the sixth and the tenth centuries, the Jews had two celebrated academies, one at Babylon in the east, and another at Tiberias in the west; where their literature was cultivated, and the Scriptures were very frequently transcribed. Hence arose two recensions or editions of the Hebrew Scriptures, which were collated in the eighth or ninth century. The differences or various readings observed in them were noted, and have been transmitted to our time under the appellation of the oriental and occidental or eastern and western readings. They are variously computed at 210, 216, and 220, and are printed by Bishop Walton in the Appendix to his splendid edition of the Polyglott Bible. In the early part of the eleventh century, Aaron ben Asher, president of the academy at Tiberias, and Jacob ben Naphtali, president of the academy at Babylon, collated the manuscripts of the oriental and occidental Jews. The discrepancies observed by these eminent Jewish scholars amount to upwards of 864; with one single exception, they relate to the vowel points, and consequently are of little value; they are also printed by Bishop Walton. The western Jews, and our printed editions of the Hebrew Scriptures, almost wholly follow the recension of Aaron ben Asher.

Among the Jews five exemplars have been particularly celebrated for their singular correctness, and from them all their subsequent copies have been made. These standard copies bear the names of the Codex of Hillel, of Ben Asher, which is also called the Palestine

1 See an account of the Masora in Chap. IV. Sect. I. § IV. infra.

or Jerusalem Codex, of Ben Naphtali, or the Babylonian Codex, the Pentateuch of Jericho, and the Codex Sinai.

1. The Codex of Hillel was a celebrated manuscript which Rabbi Kimchi (who lived in the twelfth century) says that he saw at Toledo, though Rabbi Zacuti, who flourished towards the close of the fifteenth century, states that part of it had been sold and sent into Africa. Who this Hillel was, the learned are by no means agreed; some have supposed that he was the very eminent Rabbi Hillel who lived about sixty years before the birth of Christ; others imagine that he was the grandson of the illustrious Rabbi Jehudah Hakkadosh, who wrote the Misna, and that he flourished about the middle of the fourth century. Others, again, suppose that he was a Spanish Jew, named Hillel; but Bauer, with greater probability, supposes the manuscript to have been of more recent date, and written in Spain, because it contains the vowel points, and all the other grammatical minutiæ; and that the feigned name of Hillel was inscribed on its title in order to enhance its value.

2, 3. The Codices of Ben Asher and Ben Naphtali have already been noticed. We may, however, state, on the authority of Maimonides, that the first of these was held in most repute in Egypt, as having been revised and corrected in very many places by Ben Asher himself, and that it was the exemplar which he (Maimonides) followed in copying the law, in conformity with the custom of the Jews.

4. The Codex of Jericho is highly commended by Rabbi Elias Levita, as being the most correct copy of the Law of Moses, and exhibiting the defective and full words.

5. The Codex Sinai was also a very correct manuscript of the Pentateuch, that presented some variation in the accents, in which respect it differed from the former. A sixth codex, called Sanbouki, is mentioned by Père Simon, as having been seen by him; but nothing certain is known respecting its date, or by whom it was written.

V. As the authority of manuscripts depends greatly on their antiquity, it becomes a point of considerable importance to ascertain their age as exactly as possible. Now this may be effected either by external testimony or by internal marks.

1. External testimony is sometimes afforded by the subscriptions annexed by the transcribers, specifying the time when they copied the manuscripts. But this criterion cannot always be depended upon : for instances have occurred, in which modern copyists have added antient and false dates in order to enhance the value of their labours. As however by far the greater number of manuscripts have no subscriptions or other criteria by which to ascertain their date, it becomes necessary to resort to the evidence of

2. Internal Marks. Of these, the following are stated by Dr. Kennicott and M. De Rossi to be the principal: 1. The inelegance. or rudeness of the character (Jablonski lays down the simplicity and elegance of the character as a criterion of antiquity);-2. The yellow colour of the vellum; 3. The total absence, or at least the

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very rare occurrence, of the Masora, and of the Keri and Ketib1; -4. The writing of the Pentateuch throughout in one book, without any greater mark of distinction appearing at the beginning of books than at the beginning of sections; -5. The absence of critical emendations and corrections; 6. The absence of the vowel points; 7. Obliterated letters, being written and re-written with ink; -8. The frequent occurrence of the name Jehovah in lieu of Adonai; 9. The infrequency of capital and little letters; -10. The insertion of points to fill up blank spaces;-11. The non-division of some books and psalms;-12. The poetical books not being distinguished from those in prose by dividing them into hemistichs;-13. Readings frequently differing from the Masoretic copies but agreeing with the Samaritan text, with antient versions, and with the quotations of the fathers. The conjunction of all, or of several, of these internal marks, is said to afford certain criteria of the antiquity of Hebrew manuscripts. But the opinions of the eminent critics above named have been questioned by professors Bauer and Tychsen, who have advanced strong reasons to prove that they are uncertain guides in determining the age of manuscripts.

VI. A twofold order of arrangement of the sacred books is observable in Hebrew manuscripts, viz. the Talmudical and the Masoretic. Originally, the different books of the Old Testament were not joined together according to Rabbi Elias Levita (the most learned Jewish writer on this subject), they were first joined together by the members of the great synagogue, who divided them into three parts, the law, the prophets, and the hagiographa, and who placed the prophets and hagiographa in a different order from that assigned by the Talmudists in the book intitled Baba Bathra.

The following is the Talmudical arrangement of the Old Testament: Of the Prophets, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings (1 and 2), Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve Minor Prophets (in one book). Of the Hagiographa, Ruth, Psalms, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Esther, Chronicles. By the Masorites, the Prophets are placed in the same order, with the exception of Isaiah, who precedes Jeremiah and Ezekiel, because he flourished before them. This arrangement is adopted in the manuscripts of the Spanish Jews, while the Talmudical order is preserved in those of the German and French Jews. In the Hagiographa, the Masorites have departed from the arrangement of the Talmudists, and place the books comprised in that division thus:- Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, the Song of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Esther, Daniel, and Ezra. This mode of arrangement obtains in the Spanish manuscripts. But in the German MSS. they are thus disposed: Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the Five Megilloth (or books) Daniel, Ezra, and Chronicles; and the Five Megilloth (or books) are placed in the order in which they are usually read in their Synagogues, viz. the Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations of Jeremiah, Ecclesiastes, and Esther.

1 For an account of these, see Chap IV. Sect, 1. § IV. infra.

There are, however, several manuscripts extant, which depart both from the Talmudical and from the Masoretical order, and have an arrangement peculiar to themselves. Thus, in the Codex Norimbergensis 1. (No. 198 of Dr. Kennicott's catalogue), which was written A. D. 1291, the books are thus placed: the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve Minor Prophets, Ruth, Esther, Psalms, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Proverbs, Daniel, Ezra, and Nehemiah (in one book), and Chronicles. In the Codex, No. 94, written a. D. 1285 (in the university library, at Cambridge), and also in No. 102, a manuscript in the British Museum, written early in the fourteenth century, the books of Chronicles precede the Psalms; Job is placed before the Proverbs; Ruth before the Song of Solomon; and Ecclesiastes before the Lamentations. In the Codex, No. 130, a manuscript of the same date (in the library of the Royal Society of London), Chronicles and Ruth precede the Psalms; and in the Codex, No. 96, (in the library of St. John's College, Cambridge,) written towards the close of the fourteenth century, and also in many other MSS., Jeremiah takes precedence of Isaiah.

In the Codex Regiomontanus 2. (No. 224), written early in the twelfth century, Jeremiah is placed before Ezekiel, whose book is followed by that of Isaiah: then succeed the Twelve Minor Prophets. The Hagiographa are thus disposed :-Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah (in one book), and the books of Chronicles (also in one book).

The order pursued in the Codex Ebnerianus 2. is altogether different from the preceding. Samuel follows Jeremiah, who is succeeded by the two books of Kings, and by part of the prophecy of Ezekiel : then comes part of Isaiah. The Twelve Minor Prophets are written in one continued discourse; and are followed by Ruth, Psalms, Job, Proverbs with Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles.

Of the various Hebrew manuscripts which have been preserved, few contain the Old Testament entire: the greater part comprise only particular portions of it, as the Pentateuch, five Megilloth, and Haphtaroth, or sections of the prophets which are read on the sabbath-days; the Prophets or the Hagiographa. Some, indeed, are confined to single books, as the Psalms, the book of Esther, the Song of Solomon, and the Haphtaroth. This diversity in the contents of manuscripts is occasioned, partly by the design of the copyist, who transcribed the whole or part of the sacred writings for particular purposes; and partly by the mutilations caused by the consuming hand of time. Several instances of such mutilations are given in the account of the principal Hebrew MSS. now extant, in pp. 41-44. infra.

VII. As the Hebrew manuscripts which have been in use since the eleventh century have all been corrected according to some particular recension or edition, they have from this circumstance been classed into families, according to the country where such recension has ob

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