תמונות בעמוד

book, my first aim has been to settle, as well as I could, the exact sense of the prophet by philological investigation, and then to adduce the testimony of modern travellers in regard to the present condition of the countries so described. Important light has been thrown on these points since the time of Lowth. Modern travellers have contributed much to the confirmation of the truth of the prophetic statements; and if these Noies shall be deemed to have any value above what is found in the common expositions of Isaiah, it will probably be in this respect. In illustration of this, reference may be made to the prophecies respect. ing Babylon, Moab, Damascus, Tyre, and Idumea, in the xiiith, xivth, xvth, xvith, xviith, xxiiid, and xxxivth chapters.

In regard to the translation, I would remark, that it was made not with any desire or expectation of superseding in any degree, the common version, or of diminishing in any sense the high estimate in which that is descrvedly regarded. The general excellence of that version cannot be surpassed ; nor is it supposed that any translation could now be made into the English language which would be on the whole so satisfactory to the Christian public. It is not my wish to attempt to destroy confidence in that version, or to convey the idea that it is desirable to attempt to substitute another in its place. That it may be improved in some places, no one can doubt. The labors of philologists and expositors; the study of the Hebrew and its cognate languages for more than two hundred years since that version was made, cannot have failed to have thrown new light on the meaning of many words and phrases ; and to have demonstrated that, in a few instances, our translators have mistaken the sense. One important fact has resulted from these investigations, which will strike any one who studies atten. tively the Hebrew of the Old Testament. It is, that the " marginal reading,” is often the most correct. At the time when the translation was made, in many of those cases there was not sufficient evidence of the correctness of those readings to place them in the text. But subsequent investigations have shown that they express the true idea of {he Hebrew, and they should be regarded as constituting an indispen. sable part of the translation itself. I have attempted a new translation, because it was desirable that the sense expressed in the Notes should be apparent in the text. I have done it, also, because a literal trans.

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lation often expresses the sense of the writer better than any commentary can do, and saves the necessity of comment. Though I have ventured to call this a new translation, I do not mean to say that it is different from the common version in all respects ; nor that 1 have designedly varied from that, nor that I have not made much use of that and of other versions to which I had access. A very large part of this will be found to be in the words of the common translation ; in some instances I have used the words of Lowth or Noyes ; and in a single place I have made use of the translation by Herder, as rendered by President Marsh. In all cas however, I have examined the He. brew text, and endeavored to express its true sense ; and the phrase new translation' is used only as denoting that it has been made from an examination of the original.

In the preparation of these Notes I have availed myself of all the aids within my reach. The books from which I have derived most assistance are Wolton's POLYGLOTT ; the Critici Sacri ; Pool's Sy. nopsis ; Calmet's Dictionary ; Vitringa ; Rosenmuller; Calvin; Gese. nius; Jerome ; Bochart's Hierozoicon ; Taylor's Heb. Con. ; Lowth's and Noyes' Versions ; Keith on the Prophecies; Newton on the Prophecies : Hengstenberg's Christology; and the writings of oriental travellers to which I have had access. I have also derived considerable aid from the Biblical Repository, and from Prof. Bush's Scripture Illustrations.

This work is committed now to the Christian public with the fervent prayer that it may do good. The public—for whose favorable regards thus far in life I have had abundant reason to be grateful—will receive kindly what is kindly meant. It is not right to deprecate criticism, for every man who makes a book subjects himself, of his own choice, to the free remarks of all who may choose to notice his productions. His works, henceforward, whatever they may be, belong not lo himself alone but to the public at large; and no author has a right to complain that his style, his opinions, his arguments, his illustrations should be freely and fully examined. For such examina. tion, he should be grateful, come from what quarter it may—if it help him to amend his style, to correct his errors, to suggest better illus. trations, to remove obscurity, to advance sounder arguments, and to make his works more worthy the patronage of the public. He has a right to demand only that criticisms should be kind, and in the

спеу right to ask that those who examine his positions should presume that he has bestowed labor and thought on them, and that labor and thought should be reciprocated in judging of them before they are condemned. He has a right to expect that assertion in regard to his opinions should not be deemed sufficient to supply the place of argument; and that the uttering of an opinion ex cathedru should not be allowed to take the place of a candid and prayersul investigation of the meaning of words, and phrasts, and figures of speech ; of a careiul inquiry into whatever in archueology, philology, geography, or travels, may throw light on the meaning of God's word. Argument should meet argument; thought conflict with thought; and truth should be eli. cited by manly, liberal, and candid discussion. The only object is truth ; and every author should be thankful to any man who will sug. gest to him what he had forgotten ; communicate what to him was unknown; correct or refute what was erroneous, and thus relieve his mind from error, and make him more useful to his fellow.


It is not improper, however, as a matter of mere justice to myself, to suggest one other thing to those who may be disposed to examine this work. A man burdened with the cares and toils of a pastoral office, and with only the intervals for studies of this nature which can be redeemed by abridging the usual hours of sleep, has not the advantages of preparing a work for the public which they have who are lavored with the entire command of their time ; who are blessed with learned leisure; or whose professional duties require them to pursue a course of study that shall be in accordance with what they may choose to submit to the press. The pastors of the churches, for whose use more especially this work is intended, will know how to appreciate this remark; and they who know the toils of that office will not judge unkindly or severely of what is designed as a means of enlarging the sphere of us:fulness in which a man is placed; or of contributing in any, the humblest degree, to illustrate the truth of the Bible; to confirm the churches in its inspiration ; to unfold its beauties, and to aid in the exposition of God's eternal truth. Lord Bacon has said, “I HOLD EVERY MAN TO BE A DEBTOR TO HIS PROFESSION;" and they who appreciate the force of this remark will look with kindness.


desires of my heart will be gratified if it is the means, in any degree, of confirming the faith of man in the inspiration of the divine oracles, and of hastening the triumphs of that day when the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blos. som as the rose;" when “ the ransomed of Jenovah shall return and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads.” Isa. XXXV. 1. 10.

ALBERT BARNES. Philadelphia, Nov. 14, 1838.


$ 1. DIVISION OF THE BOOKS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT. The Jews early divided the books of the Old Testament into three parts—the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa, or holy writings. The Law comprised the five books of Moses; and the priority was given to this division because it was the first composed, as well as on account of its importance, or its containing their civil and ecclesiastical constitution and their oldest historical records. The Prophets comprised the second and the largest division of the sacred writings of the Jews. This portion comprehended the books of Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, which were called the former prophets; and Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekirl, and the books from Hosea to Malachi, which were called the laller prophets. Daniel has been excluded from this portion by the later Jews, and assigned to the third division because they regard him not as a prophet, but as a historical writer. Formerly his work was doubtless included in the second division, and he was ranked among the prophets. The third portion, the Hagiographa, comprises the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lainentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah, and the two books of Chronicles. This division of the Old Testament is as old as the time of our Saviour, for he refers to it in Luke xxiv. 44. The Jews attribute the arrangement and division of the canonical books to Ezra. They say that in this work he was assisted by one hundred and twenty men who constituted " a great Synagogue ;" and that Daniel, and his three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were of this number; and that llaggai and Zechariah, together with Simon the Just, also were connected with it. But this statement is known to be erroneous. From the time of Daniel to the time of Simon the Just not less than two hundred and fifty years intervened (Alexander on the Canon, pp. 26, 27); and of course all these persons could not have been present. It is not, however, improbable that Ezra may have been assisted by learned and pious men who aided him in the work. What Ezra did is indeed unknown. It is the general opinion that he collected and urranged the books which now compose the Old Testament; that perhaps he wrole some of the historical books, or compiled them from fragments of history and documents that might have been in the public archives (see the Analysis of Isa. ch. xxxvi.); and that he gave

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