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the last words interrogatively, they have'a negative force and meaning given them, " for shall he be in subjection to thee, and falt thou rule over him?" God, knowing the proud and wrathful temper of Cain, expoftulates with him on the occafion; tells him, that he finned in not selecting the best of his substance, and also in behaving imperiously towards his brother, who was not put under his subjection, and over whom he had no right to rule.'
“ Ver. 5.—When thou shalt till the ground let her not henceforth yield her strength to thee, be thou haunted with continual terrors and remorle upon the earth."
“ Be thou haunted with continual terrors and remorse." • A paraphrase this rather than a literal translation, but èxpresses, I think, the meaning of the words --nā ound-much better than Engl.-—" a fugitive and a vagabond.” Le Clerc observes that the Hebrew words are of the same import, according to the generality of interpreters; but wonders at the Sept. version of them, sevwv xao spouwv: and yet this seems to be the sense of inãou, Exod. xx. 18. Engl. they removed - Sept. OBEYTES--and Le Clerc himself in that place, contremnit: andro all the ancient versions : tā ound then have no respect to Cain's outward condition, as if he was to be a continual wanderer from place to place; but to the disturbed restless ftate of his mind, his being agitated by perpetual fears and remorfe : agree. ably to this we find him lamenting his wretchedness, and full of apprehenfions that every one who met him would look on him as a common enemy, and endeavour to kill him. Sam. ver. cbii outmi—which (according to Caftel) may be rendered, "Taritans et absconditus, -or interdictus, rejectus, abominandus--Syr. zaā ounad-zaâ the same with zuā, just as nad with noud. Now zoua fignifies (see Dr. Taylor's Concord.) to shake through weakness, to harrass, to shake, or disquiet the mind, to be in a commotion through fear, to be harrafled by being toiled about, insulted and distreffed --Sept. have rendered it in some places by ταραχη, εκςασις-'
“ Ver. 7.—Therefore whosoever ! In an exemplary man. Thall Nay Cain, Cain shall be avenged - sevenfold ” and Jehovah ap
? Sensible token to assure pointed to Cain a sign that any to dilpel his fears of being
him of living in safety, and finding him should not kill him.'
assaulted and killed by any who might happen to meet
with him. “ Appointed a sign”-a much better translation of ilin aouth than Engl. " set a mark,” and prevents all idle coceits and conjectures about this suppo ed mark imprinted on Cain; cog. ceits so extravagant and ridiculous, that it is not worth while
to confute or even to enumerate them. I fhall only obferve with respect to that of Le Clerc; it is equally with the rest unsupported and whimsical : viz. that God put on Cain, or ordered him to put on a particular and remarkable garment, by which he might be easily known and distinguished from the creatures around him, that fo no one might kill him defignedly, pretending at the same time ignorance who he was, or, undesignedly, mistaking him for a wild beast. The obvious meaning of the words is, God gave to Cain a fenfible token to allure him of his living in falety, and to remove his apprehensions of his being aflaulted and killed. They are expressive of the mercy and forgiveness of God who was pleased, on Cain's acknowledging his guilt and humbling himself for it, to reverse the dreadful sentence pronounced against him : not, as Bp. Patrick, and Kidder, with many other commentaters, that “Cain the first murderer was preserved alive as a lafting and sad example to the world of the greatness of his crime." The words rightly understood and translated lead to a very different sense. Do we not accordingly read that Cain dwelt in the land of Nod, had a wife and children, built a city, called it after the name of his son Enoch ; and the names of his descendants are they not recorded to the fixth generation ?'
In the 26th verse of this fourth chapter of Genefis, our Eng. Jish version, having mentioned the birth of Enos, immediately adds, Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord, an expression attended with considerable difficulty. Mr. Dawson very properly observes, that to begin to call, or begin to be called, is, as appears from various instances, only another phrase to fignify that persons did call, or were called, and he renders the above paffage, “ this man (meaning Enos) was called by the name of Jehovah ;” fignifying that he arrogated to himself the power and authority of God,--affected superiority and dominion, and tyrannized over his fellow.creatures; or, he adds, it may be rendered, " this man called on the name of Jehovah," hoped in and invoked God- that is, was truly and eminently religious. Nothing can be more perplexing and difagreeable to a serious enquirer after scripture truth than to find, not merely different, but opposite explications of the fame text. However, this writer insists much upon the firft of thefe interpretations, as that to which he himself inclines, and for which he offers very probable reasons; at the same time he mentions the latter as what the words will bear, if any persons should consider it, in other respects, as the most likely sense of them.
It should be observed, that, though the title of this pamphlet mentions only a fourth and fifth chapter of Genesis, che tranNation extends to what, in the common English bible, is the 8th verse of the sixth chapter. I have, says the Author, thought it best to conclude the fourth chapter with the account of Cain's posterity, to begin the fifth with the birth of Seth, and to include the whole of what in English is the fifth chapter in a pa. renthesis : for thus will the connection of the passage relative to Enos, with what we read of the fons of God (ch. vi. of Engl. version) be beft preserved. The historian on the mention of Enos, who was called by the name of God, and was one of those fons of God, whose violence and extreme wickedness in process of time occasioned the deluge, instead of proceeding im. mediately to record this event, hath thought proper to interrupt the thread of his story by inserting an account of the descendents of Seth, together with the years they lived, down to the time of Noah's life when the deluge happened, and then to sesume his subject of the degeneracy and corruption of mankind which brought on them so dreadful a catastrophe.' Drusius, Le Clerc, Jun. and Trem. have connected the passage relative to Enos and his times in the fame manner; though at the same time they have given a meaning, very different from this TranDator's, of the text abovementioned, and also of the phrase, Sons of God. Let us here insert his version of the latter part of the fifth chapter, or according to our bibles the beginning of the fixth : ! Now it came to pass
I These men of might and power, when men were multiplied of a gigantic fature and strength, and on the face of the ground, of an amazing longævity, so that they and daughters were born may be called gods rather than men, unto them, that 'the fops being captivated with the beauty and
allurements of women, abandoned their. of God seeing the daugh- Selves to sensuality, luft, and violence, ters of men to be fair took infomuch that God determined that the unto tbeirselves wives of life which he had given to man Mould all whom they chofe ; fo not be continued to him so long as it that Jehovah said, "“ My had been, but he would reduce it to fpirit Iall not continue in the term of an hundred and cwenty man for ever, forasmuch years, and the size and strength of the as he is altogether fleshly; human body to that which now ordina. but his days shall be rily takes place in the world. (For
men in that first age of the world were an hundred and twenty of a gigantic fature and freogth, and years.” (Giants were on
also, after they were become extreinely the earth in those days, corrupt and degenerate, the children and also after chat the sons born to them were of the same prodi. of God went in unto the gious size and robustness; that race of daughters of men and men continuing unto the deluge, and begat children, the same for fome time after; though gradually were mighty men, who declining with respect to the m-gnitude and strength of their bodies, and con
were of old, men of re- sequently with respect to the length of nown.) For Jehovah faw their lives.) that the wickedness of .
2 The life which I have given to man was great on the
man shall not be continued to him fo earth, and all the purposes long as it hath hitherto been but the and imaginaiions of his days of his life shall be reduced to the
term of an hundred and twenty years. heart were only evil con
3 God was so highly offended with tinually; and 3 Jehovah the wickedness of man, that he deterrepented that he had made mined to destroy the carth with all its man on the earth, and inhabitants. was grieved at his heart, and Jehovah said, “ I will sweep away man, whom I have created, from off the face of the ground; from man unto beaft, unto the creeping thing, and unto the fowls of heaven; for I repent that I have made them." But Noah found favour in the eyes of Jehovah.'
This translation Mr. Dawson endeavours to yindicate and support by several arguments and criticisms; but his notes are too long to admit of a place here, nor can we properly abridge them without extending this article to an undue length, we mult therefore leave our Readers to consult the work itself. They will find several observations upon the longævity of the antediluvians, with the size and strength of their bodies; allo upon chronology, the state of the earth, and various other subjects which may afford entertainment and satisfaction, especially to those who love to enquire critically into these parts of scripture.
It appears, from the above extract, that he considers the phrase, Sons of God, in this place, as only meaning, sons of might, exceeding tall and mighty men, as the mountains of God, are very great or high mountains, &c. he will not allow, with other commentators, that the daughters of men,' here mentioned, refers only to the race of Cain, because he apprehends, with reason, that such a supposition is arbitrary, having no ground from the scripture hiftory for its support. In like manner when he comes to that text (Gen. v. 29.) which relates the words of Lamech upon the birth of Noah, he explains them as expressing nothing more than his joy on the birth of a fon, together with his wishes and hopes that this son might be a support and comfort to him amidst the labours and sorrows
of life: thus he rejects the inferences drawn from this text By. Bifhop Sherlock, who suppoles that Lamech spake by the fpirit of prophecy, and that the prediction bath been verified in the event, viz. that the earth hath been restored from the curfe laid on it at the fall, and now enjoys the blessing bestowed on Noah. Mr. Dawson very properly observes, that we have not the flightest intimation of Lamech’s being a prophet, nor any just reasons for concluding that the earth is in a better state now than it was before the flood. 'Sure I am, says he, that we do not read of thorns and this les before the fall, and after, the fall, when the ground is cursed for man's fake, we are told that thorns and thifles should be its productions, which would occasion to man much laborious and troublelome employment. -Do we not experience that the life of man is still labour and toil, that he still eateth the bread of sorrow and carefulness in the sweat of his face, and that the carth ftill abounds with thorns and thistles ?'
We may add, that this Author uses no ceremony with those commentators and critical writers whom he has occasion to meation , he pays them no compliments, and sometimes is perhaps rather cavalier. Le Clerc, Patrick, Kidder, Shuckford, Sherlock, &c. are in some instances pretty freely censured, and Dr. Robertson, who not long ago published the Clavis Pentateuchi, does not entirely elcape. Mr. Dawfon takes fume notice of this in his preface, but perfuades himself that he shall only be found to have used an honest freedom in examining the criticisms and arguments offered on particular subjects. He also thinks it neceflary, in his preface, to give some reason for his having always expressed the Hebrew. words in Italic characters } we must confess, we are of the same opinion with those of his friends, who intimated a with that he had used the original characers, the principal argument he mentions against which is, the extreme difficulty he should have found in writing thema
He concludes his translation of this part of the Pentateuch with some very pertinent reflections, observing that, he apprehends, all good judges of subjects of this nature, will, from the view here given, consider it at least as a respectable and venerable piece of antiquity, and so far from meriting the feoffs and sneers of witlings, that it.deferves admiration and efteem; and affords a variety of useful inftruction, wholesome admonition, and animating hope. We shall only say farther, that as the Author discovers much ingenuity and learning, we with he, may continue to pursue the subject, and hope he will be more speedy in his next publication.