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but this is the precise position in which every student is placed who commences the study of Hebrew. This will appear on consulting any Hebrew Grammar. The order of the verb, as we have commonly observed in Hebrew Grammars, is this: Participle. Infinitive. Imperative. Future. Preterite.
? The first object of these remarks will be to prove, that what are here called the past and future tenses are the indicative and potential moods. They are far more deserving of the name of moods than the imperative and infinitive, as the latter contain within themselves separately but one tense ; whereas the indicative and potential contain three—the present, past, and future. The following is therefore contended for as the true theory of the Hebrew verb:
Participle. Infinitive. Imperative. Potential. Indicative.
If it can be proved, that the indicative and potential contain within them three tenses, the present, past, and future, then it is conceived, that all will agree in denominating them moods, and not tenses. An attempt will therefore be made to shew from the established English version of the Scriptures that each of these has a present, past, and future signification ; to lay down some definite rules by which it may be determined when each ought to be rendered present, past, or future ; and lastly, to point out the errors into which grammarians and translators of the Scriptures have fallen, through not uniformly, regarding these rules.
The first object is, to show from the authorised version, that the principle contended for is acknowledged by the translators, in their having rendered numerous passages in which the indicative and potential moods occur, sometimes in the present, sometimes in the past, and sometimes in the future. It will remain as a subject for future inquiry, why they have not acted up uniformly to this acknowledged principle.
In prosecuting the inquiry, it will be necessary to commence with the indicative mood, and to adduce from the English version passages which are correctly rendered, to prove that it contains in it a present, past, and future signification. Take for proof of a present signification in the indicative, or preterite as it is called, the first Psalm.
• Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinqers, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.' Here the three verbs 27 hay and 30° are all in what is called the preterite or past tense ; so that according to the Hebrew Grammar, the passage would read,
* Blessed was the man that walked not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful.' But the good sense of our translators enabled them in this, and in many other instances, to break the shackles of prejudice, and render these verbs, not as preterites, but as the indicative mood, present tense. For further satisfactory evidence, let the reader consult the Book of Proverbs and the Book of Lamentations, and he will find innumerable instances in which what has been denominated the preterite or past tense is used in the present. Speaking of the virtuous woman, the wise man says, “The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, she will do (or rather, like the rest, she doeth) him good, and not evil, all the days of his life ; she seeketh wool and fax, and worketh willingly with her hands ; she is like the merchant's ships, and bringeth her food from far; she considereth a field, and buyeth it ; with the fruit of her hand, she planteth a vineyard ; she girdeth her loins with strength ; she perceiveth that her merchandize is good; she layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands lay hold on the distaff'; she stretcheth out her hand to the poor, &c.” Proverbs, xxxi. 10, &c.
Jeremiah, speaking of the miseries of his people, exclaims, • The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, how are they esteemed, as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter! Even the sea-monsters draw out the breast : they give suck to their young ones ; the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness; the tongue of the sucking child cleaveth to the roof of his mouth for thirst: the young children ask bread, and no man breaketh it unto them ; they that fed delicately are desolate in the streets : they that were brought up in scarlet embrace the dunghill,' &c. Lamentations, iv. 2, &c. If these renderings are correct, and we hope by rule to prove that they are, then it follows that this preterite, as it is called, is certainly also a present tense.
To shew that the same form of the verb is used with a past signification appears almost unnecessary, as this is agreed by all grammarians : In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.' Gen. i. 1. • There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God and eschewed evil ?" Job, i. 1. In all such cases as these, we should say, that the verb was in the indicative mood,
The following passages will prove that the same form of the verb is also used with a future signification : And the Lord said unto Moses, Fear him not, for I have delivered (or rather will deliver) him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land : and thou shalt do to him as thou didst to Sihon, king of the Amorites.' Deut.
+ which is sufficient' עָשִׂיתָ and נָתַתִּי by what is called the preterite
ii. 2. Here the two acts to be performed, one by Jehovah, and the other by Moses, were both future, and yet they are described
+ to shew that that form, whatever it may be denominated, contains in it a future signification.
Again God, speaking to Abraham, says, 'Behold my covenant shall be with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. 3,+ con Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham : for a father of many nations have I made my (rather, will I make) thee. # And I will make thee exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between thee and thy seed after thee in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan for an everlasting possession : and I will be their God.' Gen. xvii. 4, &c. And for still more abundant proofs, the reader has only to consult the prophecies, where events which did not take place for hundreds of years afterwards are described by this form of the verb. Having shewn then concerning this first form, that it is fairly rendered by our translators in the present, past, and future tense, it follows that it must be a mood, and not a tense, because moods
have tenses within them, but one tense cannot contain two others of an entirely opposite nature. /...' out, omers or
It is necessary, in the second place, to establish, upon the same authority, that what is called the future tense has also a present, past, and future signification. It differs from the former chiefly as the potential mood differs from the indicative in English; it applies to all times, but in a modified form, and this is regarded as the real distinction of one mood from another.
The following quotations will shew, that what is denominated the future tense is translated as the potential mood, present tense ; • And Pharoah said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is ; a man in whom the Spirit of God is ?' Gen. xli. 38. • And Barzillai said unto the king, I am this day fourscore years old, can I discern between good and evil? Can thy servant taste what I eat (or may eat) and what I drink (or may drink)? Can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? Wherefore then should thy servant be yet as a burden to my lord the king?' 2 Sam. xix. 35. Of all meats which may be eaten, that on which such water cometh (or may come) shall be unclean ; and all drink, that may be drunk in every such vessel, shall be unclean?' Lev. xi. 34.
That the same form is used also in the past tense, the following passages will demonstrate :
• And God said, Let there be light,
and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good, and Lowellcir God divided the light from the darkness,* &c. Gen. i. 3.° O that
it(were with me as in months past, as in the days when God preme served me. When his candle shined on my head, and by his light
I walked through darkness.' Job, xxix. 2.' It may be said that in Curlemany, these instances, it is on account of 5 vaw conversive prefixed to
the verb, that it is in the past tense; but the scholar is requested to keep this rule entirely out of his mind, till he has weighed the objections against it, which will be stated in the third number.
That this form of the verb is most commonly employed in a future sense is agreed by all; we shall nevertheless quote two examples for the purpose of explaining how it is used, sometimes when the indicative, and sometimes when the potential future would be used in English.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.' Psalm xci. “O that I knew where I might find him! I would come unto his seat; I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments. I would know the words he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.' Job. xxiii. 3.
Upon the same authority it can be shewn, that the participle, which is said to supply the present tense in Hebrew, is also used in a present, past, and future sense, and is subject for its interpretation in either of these, to the same rules as the indicative and potential moods, as : Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son; but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.' Prov. xxviii. 7. Here the participles 73i3, keeping, and Tyi, keeping company with, are in the present tense. • The thing thou art doing is not good.” Ex. xviii. 17. Here toy, is present definite. “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud. Ex. xiii. 21. In this place 751, is past. “And the Egyptians fled against it.' Ex. xiv. 27. Here D'o), is past. And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters.' Gen. i. 2. Here nennp, is the past
definite. Else if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to-morrow u will I bring the locusts into thy coast.' Ex. x. 4. " And Moses
said, Thus saith the Lord, about midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt.' Ex. xi. 4. In these two last passages the participles
.are future ,יוצא and מביא
Could all the above quotations have been made in the original Hebrew, the theory contended for would have appeared clearer to the scholar; but the want of a sufficient quantity of Hebrew type with the points has rendered it necessary to omit the text. By taking the Hebrew Bible however, and comparing the words in italics with the Hebrew verbs, he will be able to satisfy himself that the quotations are all correctly made; and consequently that it is proved upon the authority of the translators of the English Bible, that those two forms of the Hebrew verb called the preterite and future have each of them a present, past, and future signification; that they are therefore very improperly called past and future tenses, and ought to be denominated indicative and potential- moods. It may be said, that it is of little consequence how they are named,—it amounts only to a name; but so will not the philosopher argue, who knows the connection between words and ideas; and so will not the Christian reason, when he comes to understand that a mistake in the name has caused important mistakes in the sense of many passages of holy writ.
In the next number, the writer proposes to shew how the above moods are made to supply the tenses in Hebrew, not by inflexions, as in most other languages, but by rules, simple in their nature and easy in their application.
VI.-Proofs of the Divinity of Christ, the Son of God. Considering the degree of predominance which is given in Scripture to the person and character of the Saviour, and the absolute necessity of correct views respecting them, in order to our enjoying the comfort and safety that flow from faith in his name ; it cannot reasonably form matter of wonder, that the question, whether He be truly and properly God, a superangelic created being, or a mere man, should have largely occupied the attention of the Christian Church. The last of these opinions is held by the Socinians, who, in the present day, are fond of declaring themselves believers in the simple humanity of Christ. On this account, they have been called Humanitarians, a designation certainly as improper as that of Unitarians, which they more commonly apply to themselves—the two points of the true humanity of Christ and the unity of the Godhead, being received by Tri-Unitarians, as well as by them. The Arians maintain it to be perfectly obvious, from the declarations made in various parts of the Bible, that Christ existed previous to his conception in the womb of the Virgin; but then they limit this pre-existence to that of a mere creature, exalted indeed, highly exalted, in the scale of being, but still a created being. The first dogma, viz. that the Son is strictly and properly divine, is that which has in all ages of the Ch rally received as the doctrine of Seripture, and forms a primary article in
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