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Migdal-El, a fenced

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Rephaims. Smote by Chedorlaomer 32 30 36 0

Rephidim. At this place the Israelites
defeated the Amalekites

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35 26 the Israelites

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Riblah, c. n. Emesa, or Riblatha,
Homs

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or fortified city. 32 57

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Riphath, a colony of Gomer

Rissah, c. n. Rhinocorura, El-Arish,
an encampment of the Israelites

Rithmah, or Kadesh, an encampment
of the Israelites

Rogelim, Adjeloon. Barzillai, the
Gileadite, came down from this place,
and went over the Jordan with David .
Rumah, c. n. Abuma, the birth-place
of Zebudah, the mother of Jehoiakim
Sabtah, a colony of Cush.
Sabtechah

Salamis, c. n. Constantia, Famagusta.

35 24 Here St. Paul preached in the synagogues

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Nahaliel, a station of the Israelites. 31 36
Nahor, City of, or Haran, Harran.
To this place Abraham sent a servant to
get a wife for his son Isaac

Naim, or Nain, c. n. Naim, Naori.
Near the gate of this city Christ raised
the widow's son to life

Naioth, in Ramah

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Sarid

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of Magog

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Scythians, c. n. Scythia, descendants

Secarah

Secher, Well of

Seirath. Ehud escaped to this place

5 after killing Eglon, king of Moab.
Selah, or Joktheel, c. n. Petra, Wady-
Mousa .
Sela-Hammah-Lekoth

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Seleucia, c.m. Seleucia Pieria, Soua-

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IV.

TABLES OF WEIGHTS, MEASURES, AND MONEY MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE.

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4.

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96000 240 48 24 8 A day's journey

33 172 4

SCRIPTURE MEASURES OF CAPACITY FOR LIQuids, reduced TO ENGLISH Wine Measure.

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960 720 180 60 30 | 10 A kor or coros, chomer or homer

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5. SCRIPTURE MEASURES OF CAPACITY FOR DRY THINGS, REDUCED TO ENGLISH CORN MEASURE.

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ROMAN AND GREEK MONEY, MENTIONED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT, REDUCED TO THE ENGLISH STANDARD.

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V.

HISTORICAL OUTLINE

OF

THE PROGRESS OF BIBLICAL CRITICISM, AND SUCCESSION OF
SACRED LITERATURE.

As the Mosaic Law was the foundation not only of the Theology but of the Jurisprudence of the Hebrews, a body of authorized interpreters and administrators, distinct from the priesthood, must have been formed at a very early period, for nothing but the superintendence of sacrifices and other religious ceremonies was exclusively entrusted to the tribe of Levi. The earlier prophets appear to have been for the most part authorized expounders or interpreters of the Law; they founded schools and academies in which their disciples went through a course of legal instruction, and by these institutions they protected the Mosaic code from the encroachments of royalty after the establishment of monarchy. After the destruction of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and the leading away of the Jews into captivity, the schools of the prophets fell into oblivion, nor was any attempt made to revive them when the Jews were again restored to their native land. In their stead a kind of legal colleges was established, attended by professional lawyers, who took the name of Scribes, or Doctors of the Law, and who early began to claim the honorary title of Rabbi, or Master, not merely from their immediate followers, but from the nation at large. They undertook to decide by analogy the various cases and points which had been left unsettled by the Mosaic code, and soon began to claim for their decisions, an authority equal to that of the written word itself. In very many instances, they referred and explained away the simplest injunctions of the Pentateuch, so that Our Lord Jesus Christ justly reproached them with making void the commandments of God. by their traditions.

During the captivity the pure Hebrew language had been corrupted by a large admixture of words from the Chaldee and other cognate tongues, so that it was necessary to employ interpreters when the Scripture was read to the people. But the reading itself was a work of some difficulty: like the Semitic family of languages to which it belongs, the Hebrew has a very imperfect alphabet; every letter is in fact a consonant, and must consequently have been used as a syllable, in order to supply the deficiency of vowels. So long as the language continued to be spoken, the proper vowel sounds to be supplied were rendered so familiar to the ear by constant practice as to present little difficulty; but when it ceased to be popularly used, the knowledge of the sounds to be supplied could only be obtained by tradition. This tradition was named by the Jews Massorah, from masar, "to deliver," and those who professed acquaintance with it were denominated Masorites. They engaged not only to preserve the correct pronunciation, but also to guard the purity of the sacred text; they accurately counted the number of letters in the different books, and founded strange speculations on any accidental varieties in their shape. It is now impossible to determine when, or by whom, the canon of the Old Testament was formed, but as it has been universally recognised by the Jewish and Christian churches, its authority may be said to be established by universal consent. The labours of the Masorites could not have begun until that canon had been established, and we may therefore date the formation of their school somewhere about the time of the first translation of the Old Testament into Greek, previous to which the Jewish canon must unquestionably have. been settled.

The vocalization of the Hebrew text became more and more perplexing as the language fell into desuetude, and there is evidence to prove that the Masorites tried various expedients to remedy the deficiency of vowels before they devised the present cumbrous system of points. The Reverend Dr. Wall, of Trinity College, Dublin, one of the first Hebraists and Biblical scholars of the age, contends that their first attempt was to use the letters mnemonically, called Ehevi, that is & and ▾ as vowels, in imitation of the Greeks, who, on receiving letters from the Phoenicians, gave vocal Fowers to the corresponding letters, A, H, Y, and I, adding O instead of the guttural y. The learned doctor has collected convincing evidence that this attempt was made, but it must have been soon abandoned, for the introduction of these vocalizing letters would have subverted the whole of the grammatical analogies of the Hebrew language, and in fact, those traces of the attempt which

still remain in the text, are declared by Dr. Wall to be the chief sources of the discrepancies between the standard Hebrew text and the Septuagint version.

The translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek by the Jews of Alexandria, opened its treasures of ancient literature to the philosophers and learned men who had collected at the court of the Ptolemies, and among other labours of the Alexandrian school, we find traces of early efforts to harmonize the Scriptural narratives with the records of profane antiquity. Attention was thus directed to the important subject of Biblical Chronology, but it was not reduced into a definite system until it engaged the attention of Eusebius and other Fathers of the Christian church. The Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, both nearly cotemporary with Our Saviour's advent, were translations, or rather paraphrases of the Bible in Chaldee, and, being made exclusively for the use of Jews, belong rather to the history of Biblical interpretation than of Biblical criticism.

The city of Alexandria contained the most motley miscellany of nations, religions, and sects that had ever been assembled in one city;-the various schools of philosophy in Greece, the speculations of the Oriental sages,—the traditions of the ancient Egyptian priesthood, the classic mythology of the Hellenic poets, the Dualism of Persia,-the Pantheism of Central Asia,—and the revealed religion of the Jews, had each their representatives and partisans in this great market-place of the world, where not only goods, but also opinions and doctrines, were often changed and mixed together during the course of several centuries. The sublime investigations of Plato, clothed in language of unrivalled eloquence, won a common homage from all these diversities of creed and race; each endeavoured to harmonize more or less of the Platonic doctrines with his own peculiar system, and had recourse to mysticism and allegorical interpretation for the purpose of reconciling differences Manifest traces of this spirit of Eclecticism, or, as it is sometimes called, Neo-Platonism, may be found in the writings of Philo, a learned Jew of the Pharisaic sect, who flourished at Alexandria about the time when Christianity first began to be generally promulgated. He was a Hellenistic Jew, most probably ignorant of the Hebrew language, and therefore acquainted with the Old Testament only through the medium of the Septuagint version; he was an ardent admirer of Plato's philosophy, and was strongly opposed to the spirit of exclusiveness which characterized the Jewish people. His liberal sentiments, expressed in eloquent language, rendered him a great favourite with the Fathers of the Christian church, and his sentiments concerning the LOGOs, or WORD, bear so close a resemblance to those of the Evangelist St. John, as to have given rise to the erroneous opinion entertained by some eminent men that he was really a Christian.

Flavius Josephus, the eminent historian of the Jewish Wars, deserves honourable mention in the annals of Biblical criticism, for his spirited vindication of the antiquity of the Jewish people, against some obscure calumniator named Apion. His candour and fairness as a historian have rendered his writings acceptable and valuable to Christian readers, but for the same reason he is unpopular amongst the Jews, notwithstanding his strong attachment to Pharisaical principles.

The rapid progress of Christianity after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jewish nation, induced the Rabbis to consult on the best means for preventing the total extirpation of Judaism, which was sure to follow from the oblivion into which their traditions or oral laws were beginning to fall. The essential principle of Judaism then, and now, was that the oral law was co-equal in antiquity and authority to the written law of the Pentateuch. But now, when the central authority at Jerusalem was destroyed, the dispersed synagogues and individual Jews had no recognised body for determining the authenticity and obligation of these traditions, or choosing between the contradictory decisions of different Rabbis. The task of collecting these traditions was undertaken by Rabbi Judah, the Holy, about the commencement of the second century after Christ. As Moses had given to the Jews the Mikra, or "written law, designed to be read," so Rabbi Judah undertook to supply them with the Mishna, or "traditional law to be orally repeated." The great object of the Mishna was to keep the Jews a distinct and separate people, by prescribing to them an infinite number of minute ordinances regulating every action of private and public life, and fixing rules of conduct in almost every possible contingency which could occur between the cradle and the grave. In process of time a number of additional traditional observances arising from rabbinical decisions on disputed cases were superadded to the different sections of the Mishna, and these being collected in a later age were called Gemaras, or "supplements," the most celebrated of which were the Gemaras of Jerusalem and of Babylon. The Mishna and Gemara together received the name of Talmud (q. v.) or "general body of instruction for the Jewish people."

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