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thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.” Nor would the time at which this sepulchre might have been purchased by Abraham, forbid the supposition that it was also purchased by Jacob of the same party. The record of the purchase by Jacob is after the record of his return from Padan-Aram, that is, eighty-two years after the death of Abraham, when Jacob was ninety-seven years old. But the purchase itself by Jacob night have been before this time; as the party from whom it was purchased by Abraham might have lived on until Jacob's return from Padan-Aram. Abraham lived to the age of a hundred and seventy-five years, and Jacob lived to the age of one hundred and forty-seven years. If it be asked, Why should Abraham purchase a sepulchre in Sychem, when he had previously purchased a burial-place at Hebron ? the answer would be, There must have been the same reason for its being purchased by Abraham, as there was for its being purchased by Jacob: for the burial-place at Hebron descended to Jacob. That there was some special reason for the purchase, we conclude from the circumstance that Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah, the three great patriarchs and their wives, only are mentioned in Scripture as having been buried in the cave of Machpelah at Hebron. The letter from Jerusalem, as we have noticed, speaks of an ambiguous expression in Josephus, and of a tradition that the body of Joseph, after having been deposited first at Shechem (Joshua xxiv. 32), was subsequently transported to Hebron. The statement in Joshua xxiv. 32 is, “The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem, for a hundred pieces of silver;" and the statement in Josephus (Ant., ii., 8, 2) is, “At length his (Joseph's) brethren died after they had lived happily in Egypt. Now, the posterity and sons of these men after some time carried their bodies and buried them at Hebron : but, as for the bones of Joseph, they carried them into the land of Canaan afterward, when the Hebrews went out of Egypt, for so bad Joseph made them promise upon oath.". This would lead us to suppose that Joseph's brethren were buried at Hebron; but the statement as to Joseph's bones, is quite consistent with the supposition, that though they were carried into Canaan, they were not buried at Hebron, and Dean Stanley in his page 148 says, “ The tomb of Joseph must be near one of the two monuments pointed out as such in the opening of the vale of Shechem.” Nor is the cave of Machpelah at present regarded as the sepulchre of Joseph's brethren. The Dean also says in his page 148, “If the graves of Rameses and Osirei can still be ascertained, there is nothing improbable in the thought that the tombs of the patriarchs may have survived the lapse of twenty or thirty centuries.” But, where is the history that is confirmed by the graves of Rameses and Osirei? The perpetuation and identification of the last earthly resting-place of the three great patriarchs and their wives, from whom Jesus Christ descended, is a singular testimony to the historical truth of the Mosaic narrative, and we may easily suppose that Abraham, who was especially called the friend of God, was made acquainted with the purpose of God in devoting the cave of Machpelah exclusively to him and his two immediate successors and their wives, and so he may have been the first purchaser of the burial-place in Shechem. At all events, the purchase of this sepulchre by Abraham is not the only circumstance mentioned by St. Stephen, of which we find no other record, either in Holy Scripture or in Josephus.
In Acts vii. 23 St. Stephen says, “And when he (Moses) was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.” Of this date we have no record, either in Holy Scripture or Josephus. Nor is this a date of no importance: for, as I have shewn in my Reply to the Bishop of Natal, it assists us in shewing that there was a month between the appearance of the angel at the bush and the infliction of the first plague on Pharaoh, and so there must have been sufficient time for the occurrence of all the events which are recorded by Moses as having occurred between the appearance of the angel and the infliction of the first plague. This would give an air of truth to the Mosaic narrative, and receive in return a similar attestation to its own veracity. Thus, the silence of Holy Scripture would be no evidence that the burial-place at Shechem was not first purchased by Abraham.
But we need not insist that such must be the solution of the difficulty. The text of Acts vii. 16 may have been corrupted in its transmission to us. Hear the extraordinary confession of the very learned and laborious Hebrew scholar, Dr. Kennicott, who devoted ten years to the collation of various copies (MSS. and printed) of the Hebrew text. In the account of his tenth year (1769), page 134, he says :
“When I learnt the Hebrew language, and for some years afterwards, I was of the same opinion with most divines, that every word and letter in the printed Hebrew text was pure and genuine. I therefore concluded, that neither the real obscurities nor the apparent inconsistencies were at all chargeable to the inaccuracy of transcribers, and, of course, that a remedy was not to be sought, or would be sought to no good purpose, in any attempt to correct the present Hebrew text.''
In his Dissertation on 1 Chron. xi., page 397, Dr. Kennicott, speaking of the Hebrew text of Exod. xii. 40, says :
“The stone of stumbling in this and many other instances, is evidently the notion of the integrity of the present Hebrew text, which leads its votaries for ever into inextricable difficulties-puzzled with mazes and perplexed with errors ; while the inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures lose more credit than they gain by such indefensible and unprecedented illustrations. Strange! that good men should permit absurdity or contradiction to be charged upon an inspired writer, rather than allow fallibility or mistake to be imputed to a Rabbinical transcriber.”
In the account of his ninth year (1768), page 130, Dr. Kennicott says:
“I shall close this annual account with an article of intelligence, which I have reserved for the last, because it is the most important. The very first edition of the Hebrew Bible, printed in 1488, and fortunately purchased by my friend Mr. Sanford (as mentioned in the last annual account), has been now completely collated with the edition of Van Hooght, in 1705; and the variations between the editions (the former printed more agreeably to the oldest and best MSS., and the latter to the latest and worst) have been carefully computed. And now, to the great surprise of the learned through Europe-of those who acknowledged some differences and corruptions in the printed copies, as well as of those who insisted on their absolute agreement and integrity,--I say,' to the surprise of the learned universally, I acquaint them, that the words which here vary either in the whole or in some part, amount to above twelve thousand. Now, from this discovery arise the following very interesting questions. How are we to determine between these two editions in these twelve thousand instances ? Are we, without any reason, to prefer either edition universally; or to prefer sometimes the one, sometimes the other? If neither, without a reason; what reason can there be so good, as the concurrence of MSS.? And if the authority of MSS. (together with that of the ancient versions, context, etc.) is to determine, does not this demonstrate -I will not say, the great expediency, but--the absolute necessity of collating such MSS., that so the learned may judge the more safely between these printed editions of a book which is of such vast importance.”
In his page 147 Dr. Kennicott says of these twelve thousand variations, “Very many of which variations greatly affect the sense.” Also in page 22 he says :
“Should it be enquired, whether there be in any other ancient MS. a number of variations at all proportionable in other parts of the Old Testament; it may be answered, that in another MS. (also one of the most ancient and valuable now known) there are, in the evangelical propbet Isaiah, above a thousand readings different from the printed text; and of these several have a considerable influence upon the sense.”
A most important corruption has taken place in Psalm xl. 6. This, as it stands in the Ilebrew text, is, “ Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire: mine ears hast thou opened.” But it is quoted by St. Paul (Heb. x. 5) as, “Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not: but a body hast thou prepared me.” This, as it is quoted by St. Paul, contains a most explicit prophecy of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and not only of His Incarnation, but also of His Atonement for our sius. Happily, this corruption is also proved by the LXX. version, which gives the passage in the identical words which are used by St. Paul, and the words of St. Paul are abundantly supported by the context. But, in the Hebrew texts, these great doctrines are quite kept out of sight.
Another corruption has taken place in Isaiah xlv. 23. This, as it appears in the Hebrew text, is, “I (the Lord Jehovah) have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness and shall not return, That unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” The passage is quoted by St. Paul (Romans xiv. 11) as, “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” In this instance the various reading, shall confess, as given by St. Paul, instead of the reading shall swear, as given by the Hebrew text and some copies of the LXX. version, is supported by the Alexandrian MS. and other copies of the LXX. version, and also by Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom and Theodoret, and by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Philippians, ii. 11. But the variation does not affect the sense materially, and therefore is not of the great importance that the passage itself is, in which it is found. This passage, as used by St. Paul, must be regarded as a singular and unanswerable testimony to the Divinity of Jesus Christ. According to Isaiah, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess to the Lord (Jehovah), and Isaiah represents Jehovah as saying of Himself, « There is no God else beside Me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside Me." But, according to St. Paul (Philip. ii. 9--11), “God hath highly exalted Him (Christ Jesus), and given Him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth.” Could we have a plainer testimony, that, in the mind of St. Paul, Jesus Christ was the Lord, Jehovah, a just God, and a Saviour, and that there was no God else beside Hini, to whom every knee should bow? And so St. Paul goes on and gives an additional reason why God had highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, and the additional reason is, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ was Lord (Jehovah), to the glory of God the Father. The same great doctrine is also plainly involved in the statement of St. Paul to the Romans. St. Paul gives them a reason why they were not to judge their brethren. The reason is, because they would all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. Why ?-to give, as St. Paul says in his verse 12, account of themselves to God; and how does St. Paul prove to the Romans that they were to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, to give account of themselves to God? He says, “It is written, 'As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.'.
Thus, the standing before the judgment-seat of Christ to give account of themselves to God, is plainly used by St. Paul as being equivalent to bowing the knee and confessing with the tongue to God. Thus, as in the Epistle to the Philippians, in the mind of St. Paul, Jesus Christ was God. As in this passage of Isaiah, the Lord (Jehovah) commanded every knee to bow and every tongue to confess to Himself, St. Paul could not have produced it as Scripture, the written Word of God, to prove that every knee should bow and every tongue should confess to Jesus Christ, and especially to confess that Jesus Christ was Lord, to the glory of God the Father, if he had not believed that Jesus Christ was the Lord, Jehovah, the only God, to whom every knee was commanded to bow and every tongue was commanded to confess. St. Paul was too close a reasoner not to perceive that a command from Jehovah for bowing and confession to Himself, could not be regarded as a command for bowing and confession to any other being than the one only God. Nor could St. Paul have said that God had given Jesus Christ a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ was Lord, to the glory of God the Father, if he had not believed that the name which was given was the name of God: for the name of God only, is above every name, and so above every name, that every knee should bow and every tongue should confess to it, to the glory of God the Father.
And in strict accordance with this, we find that the name Jesus, which was given, is the translation of Jehoshua (Numb. xiii. 17), as given by the LXX. version, and Jehoshua, as admitted by the Bishop of Natal, is compounded of Jehovah. Thus, we see that Jesus is the name of God.
Another corruption has taken place in Genesis xlvi. 27; Exod. i. 5; Deut. x. 22; in reference to the number that went down into Egypt with Jacob. According to the Hebrew text, in each of these passages, the number was only seventy: but St. Stephen, in his speech before the council, says (verse 14), “Then sent Joseph, and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls;" and this various read