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Age of the Book.

down not later than the time mentioned; for, by far the greater number of expressions and words belonging to the Aramaic dialect, which have been discovered and adduced in order to prove a post-exile origin of the book (Bernstein, in the work quoted, p. 49—79), are rather to be considered peculiarities of the poetic language, which employs foreign modes of expression as ornaments of discourse; and not seldom does the parallelism of ideas render it necessary to encroach upon the linguistic territory of the Aramaic dialect; and, there is no doubt, that the foreign linguistic ingredients in Job would not seem so unusually abundant and striking, if other poems of the same extent had been preserved. As actual Aramaisms, not poetical peculiarities, is to be


מאים ; 8 :8 דישון : noticed the manner of writing the following words

31: 7, elsewhere only in Dan. 1: 4; 22: 29, (also by Elihu 33: 17), cp. Dan. 4: 34; : 30: 8; 39: 9; 7 41: 4; moreover, the use of > as a sign of the accusative, 5: 2. 21: 22, by for by 22: 2. 31: 5, 9; also, in 2: 10, the occurrence (in prose) of the expression bp; the form for 24: 9, only again Isa. 60: 16; finally, the peculiar use of the following words: 77 21: 8, in a bad sense as the synonym of

, a use which pertains to a time when men had become accustomed by experience to consider the ideas of prince and sinner as interchangeable; parallel in (later) Isaiah 13: 2. 14: 5; 7 21: 21. 22: 3, in the sense of affair, business, elsewhere only in Ecclesiastes and (later) Isaiah; 122: 28, in the sense of to determine, to resolve, elsewhere only by Daniel and in the Targums; 26: 9, in the sense of the Aramaic to shut, again only in Nehemiah.

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Very different opinions have been entertained respecting the age of this book. For, while some, as Carpzov among the more ancient, and among the moderns Eichhorn, Jahn, Stuhlmann, Bertholdt, assign it to the prae-Mosaic time, transferring erroneously the age of Job to the poet himself (the complete refutation of this view which is now rapidly disappearing, see in De Wette, as quoted), Vatke (Bib. Theol. Berlin, 1835, Vol. I, p. 563), brings its composition down as low as the fifth century before Christ, independent, however, of any reason derived from the language or the historical framework of the book, but only on account of the internal relation to the Proverbs, which with an appeal to Hartmann (Intimate Connection of the Old Testament with the New Testament. Hamburg, 1831. p. 148, and A. K. Z., Theol. Lit. Bl., 1838, No. 89), are referred in the gross to the century above mentioned. The addition (Elihu's discourse) can scarcely be assigned to so low a date; for, although the language of it has a strong Aramaic coloring (cp. obs. at 32: 6. 36: 2, 19, 22. 37: 6), and although the passage 33: 23 shows an advance in the development of the doctrine

respecting angels, yet it ranks in point of literary merit and poetical contents too much above the other writings of the fifth century, with which in particular begins the period of the decline of Hebrew poetry and prose writing. Ewald places the composition of the book in the commencement of the seventh century, Elihu's discourse one or two centuries later. The conjecture expressed above, that the author of the book was a Hebrew carried away under Pharaoh Necho, is confirmed by the fact that the most striking signs point to Egypt as the place of its composition. The author has at command a knowledge of this country which is founded on something more than mere hearsay in Palestine, respecting Egyptian affairs, but pre-supposes a long personal observation. There certainly proceeded from a personal view, the description of the working of mines (28: 1-11), which in connection with the remaining references point first of all to Egypt, of whose gold mines Diodorus Siculus 3, 12, gives an account, cp. also Josephus, Bell. Jud. vi. 9, § 2; the same is to be inferred from the description of the hippopotamus and the crocodile, cp. obs. on 41: 11. The Nile is also known to the author; whence the pictures borrowed from it, 9: 26. 8: 11 s. 7: 12; the poet has seen the mausoleum of the Egyptian kings, 3: 14s; he is acquainted with the Egyptian fable of the phoenix, 29: 18 (cp. Von Bohlen Ancient India, ii. p. 238 ss.); the mode of justice practised in Egypt, 31: 35; finally, the description of the war-horse, 39: 19-25, reminds one in particular of Egypt, renowned above other countries for her cavalry (cp. the interpreters on Isaiah 2: 7. 31: 1, et al.) Hitzig also places the composition of the book in Egypt; see his Prophet Isaiah, Heidelberg, 1833, p. 285.4

[ Hirzel's proofs that the book of Job was written in Egypt do not strike us as very weighty. It would have been perfectly easy for a native of Palestine to have obtained all the knowledge of Egypt, which appears in the book, from commercial intercourse, from the reports of travellers, from a personal visit, etc. Palestine was the centre of a most active traffic between Egypt, Syria, Babylonia, etc. Caravans were in constant motion. The writer's acquaintance with mining, ch. 28, it is thought, presupposes a residence in Egypt, in the upper part of which there were mines. But he could have obtained all his knowledge of the subject by the reports of travellers, and from other countries, where there were mines, e. g, Arabia. In short, there seems no ground to doubt that the book was written by a Hebrew in Palestine. It appears to be genuine in all its parts, complete in itself, forming a beautiful whole. — E.]


Explanation of Difficult Texts.




By an Association of Gentlemen.

I. GENESIS, CH. IV. v. 7.

"If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door: and unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."

THIS passage is so closely connected with the preceding context, that it is necessary to turn our attention to that for a moment, before we proceed to its explanation. Cain and Abel brought an offering to God, in accordance with the their respective employments: the former, "of the fruit of the ground," and the latter, " of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof." But the Lord did not have the same respect for the offering of Cain that he had for that of his brother, on account of which, he was enraged, and, as a natural consequence, appeared downcast. The Lord rebuked him by the significant questions: "Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen ?" and adds, in the verse now under discussion: If thou doest well, instead of this downcast expression of countenance, thou wouldst naturally lift up thy head, and have a cheerful countenance as those do, who are conscious of rectitude of purpose and action. But if thou doest not well, but indulgest hatred on account of this distinction made between thyself and thy brother, sin croucheth at thy door, as a wild beast for his prey. Thou art a sure victim of thy sinful passions. Sin (which is here called a lier-in-wait) desireth to have possession of thee, but thou hast the power to resist and overcome it. The little heed given to this warning of the Most High, as well as its appropriateness, is but too plainly told in the unnatural and bloody tragedy that soon ensued, as a result of which it is said: The voice of thy brother's blood calleth for vengeance from the ground.

It will readily be seen that some change or explanation of the text, as it stands in our English version, is necessary in order to make out the connected idea given above. The clause, shalt thou not be accepted, seems to have been suggested to the translators by referring the phrase, "if thou doest well ( )," directly to the offering of sacrifice; that is, according to this interpretation, it was said to Cain: If thou offerest sacrifice rightly, thine offering shalt be accepted; which,

although undoubtedly true, yet does not appear to be the exact sense here. The Hebrew word, which is rendered shalt thou be accepted, is, a form of the infinitive mode, from N, and signifies: a lifting up, elevation, and with the ellipsis of, or rather here,, a lifting up of the countenance, a cheerful confidence. It is, accordingly, the opposite of the preceding, for which, as indicative of anger and ill will, Cain is rebuked. These words are also used for the same idea in Job 11: 15, where it is said to Job, that if he will put all iniquity far from him, he shall lift up his face (N), and be steadfast and not fear; and in 22: 26, "Thou shalt have delight in the Almighty and shalt lift up thy face (77...) unto God." Ellipsis of a similar kind is so frequent in the Old Testament, that it occasions no difficulty here. Cf. Isa. 42: 2. Job 6: 27 et al saep. Several of the older translators give a different interpretation to this clause, but the one which we have given above, is substantially that of all the modern expositors, as Rosenmüller, Maurer, Tuch, Baumgarten, and others, and eems so apposite to the context, and so much in accordance with the Hebrew idiom, that it is unnecessary to spend much time in confuting them. The Sept. version comes under the same condemnation with our own English, and the inappositeness of the translation of Onkelos and the Vulgate, in which is supplied with, and the meaning is: it [thy fault] shall be forgiven thee, is sufficiently apparent, since it would be difficult to perceive what need there is of pardon for one who does well. Calvin, in his commentary on this passage, says of those who give this interpretation: "Because they imagine a satisfaction which derogates from free pardon, they dissent widely from the meaning of Moses."

The figurative language in the clause: sin lieth at the door, needs some explanation. , sin, is impersonated and called a pa, a lier-in-wait. This word is a participle used as a noun, as the participle frequently is, from the verb 77, to lie down, recline, and specif. to lie in wait, lurk. So the verb is used of a lion in Gen. 49: 9, and in Arabic

from a corresponding root, is used as a designation, باضرابض

of the same animal. And the sinner himself is frequently represented by the simile of a wild beast. It will not escape the notice of the student that 7, in the masculine gender, is joined as predicate with the feminine . For this use of the participle, when it partakes of the nature of a noun, see Stuart's Gesenius's Grammar, § 144, note 2, and Ewald, § 569. b. The language nn, at the door, is accommodated to the person who is laid in wait for, rather than to the lier-in-wait, and the whole phrase vividly represents the danger that will be incurred by the first wrong doing, the indulgence of unjust anger.


Explanation of Gen. 4: 23, 24.


In the following clause, inprn, the suffix pronoun

refers to

, the lier-in-wait, and the preposition designates a direction of the mind towards. The figure then is changed from the preceding clause, and the force of the word in is plain if we refer to ch. 3: 16, where it is used in a different connection. The desire of sin is towards thee, that is, it will strive to obtain the mastery over thee, but (?) thou hast dominion over it; it is in your power to refrain from your unjust anger and escape from the dominion of sin. The interpretation which refers the suffix to Cain, and supposes the last part of the verse to be addressed to Abel, as in our English version, is too harsh and inapposite to need confutation.

In conclusion, two practical truths of great importance lie on the face of this admonition to Cain: 1st. The danger of entering upon a course of wrong doing, which is but too forcibly illustrated in the subsequent history, since the unrestrained anger of Cain led directly to a brother's murder. Secondly, the responsibility of the wrong doer. The evil one lurketh as a lion for his prey, but he has no power over those who are watchful against him. Herder says: "God spake with Cain as with a froward child, and dissuaded him from yielding to that which was sleeping in his heart and lurking at his door like a beast of prey. . . What God did to Cain, he does to every man, if he will but look to his own heart and listen to the voice of God in his conscience." 1

II. GENESIS, CH. IV. vs. 23, 24.

“And Lamech said unto his wives Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech; hearken unto my speech; for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt; if Cain shall be avenged seven fold, truly Lamech seventy and seven fold."

This passage is found in connection with the genealogy of Cain. Lamech was the fifth in descent from him, and his son Jubal was the inventor of musical instruments, and Tubal-Cain was the first to fashion metallic weapons. After this last fact was mentioned, the writer immediately adds, in order to distinguish the Lamech here mentioned, and give some idea of his character, what seems to be a quotation from a triumphal song, addressed by him to his wives, probably after the invention by his son, although it is not certain that it has special reference to that. These verses are plainly poetical, both in the use of words, as with and in the parallelism, so prominent in all Hebrew poetry. They are properly arranged, according to Lowth, (Lectures on

1 Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, Vol. I. p. 197.

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