Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

to certain words, in the translation. There can be but one opinion on the propriety of deducing the intention of a writer, ancient or modern, from the accurate grammatical construction of the terms he employs; yet it has often appeared to me extremely favorable to a correct knowledge of the terms, to obtam a satisfactory acquaintance with the general subject; and in the present instance, had it so happened tbat my notion of the inscription had been erroneous, as to its intention, a closer investigation of the words would but have aggravated the error. It is necessary to recall to Sir W.'s recollection the hopeless state in which the learned had left this inscription. Of part of Barthelemy's version Sir W. says it “cannot be read here without destroying the syntax."--Of Bayer, “can this be reconciled to syntax? I have nothing to ofier but conjecture.” “ Most certainly, we must either admit ("a for j2 and "for JV) or give up the inscription as inexplicable. The 12 107 of Barthelemy will not construe at al --Swinton's 12 ia labors under the same disadvantage; and if we supply two jods, we quit the inscription which has them not.” Under circumstances so desperate, which had foiled several professors, men of the greatest learnin::, I had not the vanity to expect complete success at a single effort; and if there should be found in perfections in my version, after all, as I expected, I depend on experiencing the same candor as was exercised toward Barthelemy, Bayer, and Swinton. This dependance I find already happily realized; and I sincerely thank Sir W. D. for his having said, as much as he can " in favor of the hypothesis of E.C.” his kindness commands my further attention.

I shall take Sir W.'s objections in their order.

1. I have, in my time, had a variety of Tyrian medals through my hands, and I have been praised by Barthelemy for my close investigation of letters on medals, generally; yet I never discovered

any traces of such final Aleph as Sir W. supposes :- nor has an instance of it been produced, so far as I know. It would, therefore, I think, be extremely hazardous, to allow the present to be the first acknowledged instance. I admit that the emphatic 1 is sometimes, perhaps frequently, final in the Hebrew; and therefore, that the X might be so in Syriac; but this inscription is not a reading sufficiently clear to be admitted as decisive of the fact.

2. The difference between the mem and the shin being chiefly the length of a stroke, which varies in length in almost every character, I used my best judgment in determining which letter most appropriately suited the place and construction; and supposing those with the shorter (or longer) limb to be fixed to each letter respectively, I did not think myself chargeable with attributing the power of m, and sh, to one letter: I carefully gave to those of one description the power of m; and those of the other description the power of sh.

3. The same principle applies to the distinction of daleih--from resh. Taking the inscription No. 1. p. 54. for the example, I say the two last characters in the first line, more nearly resemble each other, than they do the last character in the second line, which stairds iminediately under them: the first of these being a daleth, by uni

66

versal admission; the second is so likewise, by closeness of resemblance.

4. I beg leave to thank Sir W. for giving me an opportunity of re-considering the interpretation I had given to 108: I have since conjectured that the whole first line should be formed of titles, or attributes, of the deity honored. Amen may mean the stable, unshakeable, constant deity: but, on weighing the general purport of the inscription, a sense including somewhat of affection seems to be desirable. In Esther ii. 7. this noun imports a foster father, guardian, prochain ami, or patron :-and if we take it here as denoting a patron, or conservator, the acceptation will not appear misplaced. Compare also, for this idea, Numb. xi. 12. 2 Kings X. 1--5. Isaiah xlix. 23.

I feel myself called ou to defend the sense I had given to 717. This word is usually supposed to imply a relationship between the persons by whom and of whom it is used; as my love;" his uncle," &c.; but this has exceptions : for instance, Isaiah v. 1. “Now will I sing to my well-belored 17974 a song of my BELOVED 9777 touching his vineyard.” It is clear that the prophet means God; to whom relationship by blood, or affection in reference to sex does not apply:-and there seems to be no reason why this servant of Melkarthus should not direct to his God, in this inscription, similar language with that directed by the Hebrew prophet to his God. Further, we read i Chron. xxvii. 32. of Jonathan, David's father's bro. ther," i. e. uncle 777 777; but, we nowhere read that David's father had

any brother; nor, though the names of Jesse's children are registered, can we trace any family connexions, which may justify this character of uncle; although every one so nearly related to David, a person uncommonly remarkable, in every view, would, we might say must, have been recorded. Read “ Jonathan, David's favorite,or a person whom he loved. It is unlucky for this argument that now the term love is restricted to affection between the sexes : it was not so in Elizabeth's days; and the term in scripture, and in Shakespear, does not always imply that affection. We have another passage, 2 Kings xxiv. 17. in which it may deserve inquiry whether the term dud does necessarily mean uncle ; for the Chronicles say,

Zedekiah was the brother of his predecessor." And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, his father's brother, king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.”-May we read “ The king of Babylon made his favorite,"--a person to whom he had, as we say, taken a liking—"king ?” Certain it is, that Zedekiah's rebellion against the king of Babylon seems to be charged on him as a distinguished crime, 2 Chron. xxxvi. 13; and that Nebuchadnezzar retained so much regard for him after his revolt, as to save his life. On the whole, it appears that Dud may import the object of affection, without regard to sex, and even as addressed to divinity; why not object of love as well as object of veneration, or of fear? I would, therefore, take Baal, in ibis inscription, to import sovereign Lord of the city, or public community, of Tyre; Amen to denote protector, or conservator of persons (analogous to the Jupiter Conservator of the Romans) especially of his votaries; and Dud as a title implying the fit and VOL, VII.

NO. XIII.

N

proper object of affection or affectionate regard. This removes, I think completely, the harshness of construction to which Sir W. D. objects; and of which I had been sensible, though unacquainted with any mode of avoiding it.

5. I come now to Sir W.'s objection to the term otherwise. We have a few, and but few, persons with double wames recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures; but not one man that I recollect, who has two names of the same import. What the Hebrew does not furnish, we may possibly, however, find an approach to in the Greek. In Acts xi. 9. Lauroc dè, Ó KAl llanos, "then Saul, who AND Paul, filled with the Holy Ghost, &c.” A mere English reader might easily be deceived into the fancy that two persons were intended here; but the meaning is ——“ Saul otherwise called Paul," although mal has the usual import of and." These names, it will be observed, are of the same signification, and the original readers of the work could make no mistake.

The most applicable, though imperfect instance, yet not Hebrew, that I know, is that of Nebuchadnezzar, called by the Orientals generally, Bakht-al-NASSAR, (or, Baal-adon-assar ?) each name, though inutable in its first syllable, implies “ the exalted lord of splendor," but one appellation refers to the God Neoo- the other to the God Baal; who equally terminated in the sun, by the idol, or image. Now, I conceive that had this stood in Hebrew Neboch-adon-assar, Baal-adon-assar, it would have expressed the same person under two names of the saine import ; and the 1 might have been rendered “ otherwise called,” accurately enough. This is independent of the proposition that the , in very many passages takes the import of or. We trace in the LXX. several names of places, where it would be very convenient to render the 9 or; implying the early and later name of the same place: they stand in our public translation as two places.

Is it possible that this should be the remains or representative of 897? We have a feminine instance resembling this, in the name of Esther (chap. ii. 7.) 708 819 7D 77 Hadassa who is Esther: these names being of similar intention; one signifying—" the myrtle," from the Hebrew ;-the other, the green myrtle" from the Arabic cons or according to Hiller, the dark-colored, or black, myrtle,

.

But in the case of Daniel, as his two names different significations, they are separated as it were purposely, by ,

“ Daniel whose name was Belteshazzar." Perhaps your learned correspondent may furnish other instances, though they have not occurred to me. if it were ore, is deserving of notice.

It remains that we examine the names of this servant of Melkarthus. 1. O ASSAR, 2. AchiASSAR. Obed is usually translated servant, but rather signifies bondman, and is opposed to 700 which implies a servant who works for wages: this name, then, denotes “ the bondman of Assar;” and precisely the same is denoted by

were of

.اس تيره

The usage,

[merged small][ocr errors]

Achiassar." I know that generally Achi is rendered brother ; but it cannot be so rendered in all cases: as for instance; Achi-noam the wife of Saul, i San. xiv. 50; and another, the wife of David, chap. XXV. 43. xxvii. 3. these, being women, could not possibly be named “ the brother of delight;" but the bond of delight," is expressive of a lovely female, while it is also a true Orientalism. The Arabs use the term in this sense, at this day; so Schultens renders, “ vinxit, vinciendo nexuit.” The Hebrew and the Arabic, then, may justify the Phænician; and the fact that the names Obrdassar and Achiassar are of the same import is convertible into no weak argument that they describe the same person :-add, further, that if they described two persons, we should have had some hint of it in the plural form of some following word, as w, or &c.

6. As the vnu is sometimes omitted, by Sir W's confession, this objection may be passed over.

7. Sir W. objects to my " with," inserted merely to preserve somewhat of an English connexion: omit it; the sense is the same. “ Tire nominatives absolute are rather musual ;” but so are lapidary inscriptions in Hebrew. We all know that lapidary Latin is sometimes teazing enough to construe precisely; though we discern the general information it communicates. Phænician Hebrew, in the present state of our knowledge, demands, at least, equal favor.

8. Sir W. objects to my " who,” inserted to prevent a repetition of ri

Melkarth,as Sir W. and Boyer have done: exclude it; provided Melkurth be the admitted reference of the term used.

I have no objection to give the particle > the sense of it. Thus, or therefore, or inasmuch as; or simply as or any better sciected sense ; for the difficulty is selection. Thus he heard their voice," or then he heard their voice," would suit my purpose admirably.

Mny he continue to bless them!" The sense of "continuing to bless” may possibly demand a few words by way of support. I shall adduce an instance or two from the book of Job. Job i. 5. Job said, “ It may be that my sons have sinned, nor continued to bless God in their hearts." Verse 11. * Put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, will he then, indeed, continue to bless thce?" Verse 21. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; continually blessed be the name of the Lord.” The Alexandrine copy and Aldus add, “ for ever and ever,” zis Tous oiūras. Chap. ii. 9. His wife said, “Dost thou still retain thine integrity ? Continue blessing God; and dying."

In the change of curse into bless, which beyond all doubt is the true import of ya I agree with Mr. Good, whose elaborate version of Job is now in my hands. The sense of continuance he will discern as soon as it is suggested to him.

I fear, Sir, that Sir W. D. must be in some sense answerable for the length of this paper : I shall be happy to find that it gives him any satisfaction; and that it contributes to throw light on a subject so recondite: if but one step be gained, that may lead in time to real learning.

[ocr errors]

The inscription, thus revised, would read in its simplest form,

To our Lord Melkarthus, Sovereign Divinity of Tyre,

Conservator, to whom love is due; i. e. beloved :
his servant Obedassar, also called Achiassar,

safely preserved, a second time;
Benassar, safely preserved, son of Obedassar ;
As He ( Melkarthus) heard their voice,

May he continue to bless them! Whether the conjecture that Obedassar was priest of Melkarthus is strengthened or weakened by this revision, must be left with your readers. The mention of “safe preservation” certainly implies some danger run; it could hardly be a simple voyage from Tyre to Malta ; but if it was from Nialta to any great distance, as Britain, then though these persops had not suffered shipwreck, they might properly enough consecrate this votive memorial-tablet: but, if they had suffered shipwreck, though in a short voyage, they might piously record this inscription in a public place, or in more than one, in proof of their gratitude.

ED. CALM.

Obserrations on Dr. Holmes's Preface, relative to the Syriac

Version.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL JOURNAL. I Trouble you with a few observations on a passage, in the general Preface to Dr. Holmes's celebrated Collation of the Septuagint, relative to the Syriac Version.

The great merit of that elaborate work, which its indefatigable author prosecuted to the very close of bis life with equal talent and assiduity, and which is so ably continued by his learned successor, is universally acknowledged. Apprehensive, however, from the concise style in which the general Preface is drawn up, that erroneous conceptions may be entertained upon the subject of the Syriac Version which has been collated, I take the liberty of correcting upon this particular point, what otherwise appears to me almost unavoidable, public misapprehension.

Having spoken of the Italic and Coptic versions, Dr. Holmes thus proceeds to the consideration of the Syriac: Versionem Syriacam è Græco textu Hexaplari confectam fuisse, nemo, quantum rideo, denegavit ; sed quo auctore, et quo ævo facta fuerit, est controversa res. De hoc argumento consuli possunt Assemanus, Cl. Brunsius in Repertorio, De Rossi in specimine Versionis Hexaplaris, et alii. Bar Hebræus ab Assemano, Bruusio, Bugati ad Danielem, citatus planè testatur; Testamentum rerò retus Septuagintavirale Paulus Episcopus Tele Mauzalet er Graco in Syriacum vertit. Atque hoc testimonium Bugati loco citato in multis illustrat et urget.

« EdellinenJatka »