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REVIEWS AND MISCELLANIES.

MR, CULLIMORE ON SCRIPTURE CHRONOLOGY.

PART II.

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Of Criteria for determining in which Version of the Holy Scrip

tures the original Hebrew Computation of Time is contained. In my former papers under this head*, I endeavoured, by means of the Newtonian astronomical argument, to develop principles for the solution of an important question, the soundness of which, like that of the Newtonian hypothesis of gravitation, seemed to depend upon the accuracy of their results. Accordingly, these results came out historically true in every instance, by producing the recorded epochs of the respective versions and systems, being in all cases favourable to the authorised Hebrew account of time; and, making full allowance for possible error on the part of the writer, whether from undue multiplication of instances or his method of calculation, enough remained, in the cases of the Septuagint and modern Jewish epochs alone, to prove the adequacy of the principles advanced to the end proposed, according to all the admitted laws of argument.

My attempt being intended as a contribution, however humble, to the means of searching out the truth, rather than with a view to the establishment of a new and favourite theory, I remarked in an early part of the treatise, that, conclusive as these results appear, “ they ought not to be insisted on, unless it can be proved from internal Scriptural evidence that the present Hebrew numbers are the original, and unless every alleged objection, whether on historical or physical grounds, can be answered.” To meet these self-imposed conditions I had collected a mass of criteria of various descriptions, to be brought forward as opportunity might offer, with the view to a full vindication of the Hebrew chronological integrity, or rather to enable the reader to judge between the sacred Hebrew and the elongated systems of time, by a variety of independent and coinciding tests.

The publication of these materials having been suspended, chiefly through want of health; and a learned writer, Mr. Cuninghamet, having in the mean time not only attacked the soundness of the principles and results contained in my former papers, but converted these results in favour of the integrity of the Hebrew Chronology into a charge against the church of God (“of having wilfully corrupted and wickedly altered the oracles of God; or, to say the very least, of having most criminally and negligently permitted that alteration by some of her sons, and having afterwards connived at and participated in it by the reception and universal use of the version-i.e. that of the Seventy-so corrupted”); I propose now to incorporate so much of the additional matter as may enable the reader to decide between Mr. Cuninghame and myself, and whether the interests of God's church are best upheld by the adoption of the inconsistent and utterly uncertain Septuagint account of time, or by adherence to the original and uniform Hebrew numbers.

* Vol. II. p. 898; Vol. III. p. 161.

+ Vol. III. p. 416.

I do not pretend to be a match for so able and practised a controversialist as Mr. Cuninghame, in arguing the question ; and therefore solicit the reader's attention to the facts stated rather than the manner in which they are put, as well as to the relative consistency of both parties.

In limine, I would remark, that Mr. Cuninghame can doubtless explain his reason for suppressing (perhaps I should rather say, for overlooking) the self-imposed clause above quoted, which every impartial reader will allow should at least have exonerated the writer from the grave charge brought against him, even though his principles of inquiry were proved unsound. My learned antagonist can likewise no doubt explain why he has singled out the unlucky writer of a single treatise to bear the onus of a charge which, if valid, is in force against Scaliger, Petavius, Ussher, Marsham, the compilers of our authorized Biblical chronology, and every other great man in whose path the writer has trodden as a defender of the Hebrew chronological integrity; the suppression of whose names would lead the unlearned reader to infer that the author of the impugned treatise alone had committed the sin of vindicating the sacred Hebrew numbers, and of exposing the corruptions of the Greek.

The internal criteria being by far the most important, I will commence with that department of the subject; hoping to develop facts that may try the temper of Mr. Cuninghame's celestial weapons, and prove that the Hebrew chronological integrity is far from depending on reasonings derived from human science, or from any extrinsic source.

Mr. Cuninghame having confined his chronological strictures to post-diluvian times, I have assigned the like limits to the accompanying Patriarchal Table; extending it, however, to the descent of the house of Israel into Egypt, as required by the mode in which I have found it necessary to state the deaths of the patriarchs.

The first column of numbers exhibits the times according to the uniform and unvarying Hebrew text, the Chaldee paraphrastof Onkelos, the ancient Syriac version, the Hebrew copy of Eusebius, the

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Vulgate, and the Arabic version*. The second column the same, according to the Samaritan text and the Samaritan copy of Eusebiust. The third column contains the protracted computation adopted by Josephus. The fourth, that of the Eusebian copy of the Seventył, the most ancient, authoritative, and systematic statement of the Septuagint computation, and there is reason to suppose that of the Hexaplar copy of Origen. It is the same that was used by Africanus, the contemporary of Origen, so far as regards the generations, although Africanus's account of the residues has not been preserved. The strict agreement of the Hebrew and Samaritan copies of Eusebius with the existing texts, renders his account of the Greek computation invaluable. The fifth column exhibits the times according to the Codex Vaticanus, which, as a manuscript authority, stands next in chronological order to the copy of Eusebius, and in the residues from' Arphaxad to Eber displays a collation with the Samaritan text. The sixth contains the same according to the Codex Alexandrinus, of nearly the same age with the preceding, and, so far as regards the generations, certainly containing the original numbers of the Seventy interpreters, as is proved by the chronology of the Jewish history of Demetrius Phaleræus, the librarian of Ptolemy Philadelphusg. The seventh and last column sets forth the Septuagint reckoning according to the copy of Syncellus, which was probably the edition of Basil Bishop of Cæsarea, compiled at the close of the fourth century, but now lost||. This copy agrees with the Codex Alexandrinus, as regards the generations; and both were in that respect followed by the author of the Alexandrine Chronicle, and other chronographers of the Byzantine school. These (contained in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh columns) are the four most authoritative versions of the Greek numbers. The table might, however, begreatly extended, by the insertion of the manifestly spurious statements of the Greek generation by Theophilus, Nicephorus, and a hostof otherchronographers:

Onkelos has Arphaxad's residue 430, with the Alexandr. Cod. of the Septuagint, in place of 403, with the Hebrew : while Jerome in the Vulgate, has 303, with the Samaritan. The Syriac has Terah's generation 75, in place of 70. These are the only various readings.

† Eusebius has Reu's residue 209 years, instead of 109, as in the text; a mistake palpably arising from having had the Hebrew and Septuagint before him.

| Eusebius has Salah's residue 406 years, in place of 403; but he refers Salah's death to the seventh year of Serug, which corrects the error.

§ Demetrius computed 3624 from the first of Adam to the descent of Jacob into Egypt, and 1360 from the Deluge to the same epoch (Eus. Pr. Ev. 1. ix.); both which numbers agree with the Alex. Codex, allowing for an omission of the two years between the Deluge and the birth of Arphaxad, in the period last mentioned.

|| Syncel. Ed. Par. p. 115. In p. 203 it appears that Syncellus set a high value on the edition of Basil, and partially, if not wholly, adopted its chronology.

but the foregoing are enough to afford the reader an idea of the variable nature of the Septuagint chronology, and are preferred as giving the best authorized as well as the most favourable view of that system.

I should observe, that the sixth column, from the Codex Alexandrinus, corresponds with the statement of the Seventy given in Mr. Cuninghame's Table, the residues of Arphaxad, Salah, and Eber excepted, which he has 403, 303, and 270 years, on the authority of Dr. Hales, which Mr. Cuninghame states to be in agreement with the Aldine edition; of which edition, however, the manuscript authorities are unknown, so that no statement from it can stand as an original one.

Having thus far described the Table, I will next proceed to detail its uses.

In the first place: It is evident, that if we adhere to the original Hebrew text, confirmed as it is by the agreement of all the manuscripts, the ancient translations, and the copyists of the numbers, we possess a uniform and invariable guide to the Patriarchal ages,

from which no second chronological statement can be elicited : whereas a glance at the table will satisfy the reader, that, if we diverge from this original guide and prefer the protracted system, we are utterly without a standard of time; that our choice must first be directed to select between the Samaritan, the copy of Josephus, and the account of the Seventy interpreters; and if the latter be preferred, as is usually the case, that we are still lost in a sea of variations, scarcely any two copies or any two copyists of the Seventy being in harmony throughout the Patriarchal ages.

. Secondly: It will be seen that the whole times of the lives of the patriarchs, which are set forth in the antediluvian history of every version, in addition to the generations and residues, are to be found in the postdiluvian record of the Samaritan alone, as regards the eight generations between Noah and Terah ;-an interpolation of eight complete verses into the eleventh chapter of Genesis ; which, combined with the shortening of the lives of Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech, in that version, to bring their deaths within the limits of its curtailed antediluvian period*, and with the shortening of Terah’s life to accommodate it to the sum of his generation, seventy years (Gen. xi. 26), and the seventyfive years of Abraham (Gen. xii. 4), destroys the credibility of that system altogether.

Thirdly: It will be observed that the excess of the protracted computation above the Hebrew, is a century in each generation between Shem and Nahor, in whose generation the excess stands fifty years in the Samaritan, the Eusebian, the Alexandrine, and

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* All three died in the year of the Flood, according to the Samaritan system.

the Syncelline accounts ; a century in that of Josephus, and one hundred and fifty years in that of the Vatican copy of the Seventy; that these differences, as they occur between the Hebrew and Samaritan texts, have either been subducted from the generations by the compilers of the former, and added to the residues of the lives, or added to the generations and subducted from the residues, by the compilers of the latter, so that in both cases the whole time of the lives remains the same ;—that, on the other hand, as between the Hebrew and Greek texts, a like subtraction or addition has taken place in regard to the generations, while the residues have been suffered to remain unaltered : the consequence is, that, the residues being in both cases the same, the lives of the patriarchs are each a century longer in the Greek than in the Hebrew, as will be seen by consulting the most ancient Eusebian numbers of the Seventy (column 4), in which the identity of residues with the Hebrew is uniform ; this uniformity commencing with Peleg in the more recent copies, which have the previous residues sometimes as long as the Hebrew and the Eusebian copy of the Seventy, and sometimes in nearer agreement with the Samaritan, as may be seen in the fifth, sixth, and seventh columns*. All the copies are, however, opposed to the principle of centenary transferences observable between the Hebrew and Samaritan; and the Eusebian copy, being the only uniform one, besides being the most ancient, probably exhibits the true system of the Seventy interpreters, which, it cannot be questioned, was to leave the residues as they found them, granting their generations to be corrupted ; and the

; same holds good as regards the Hebrew compilers, if the corruption was on their part.

Here it should be remarked, that Mr. Cuninghame, in common with the other advocates of the Seventy, speaks of systematic centenary tranferences as occurring between the Hebrew and the Seventy in the postdiluvian times; an oversight arising, no doubt, from such a system having been acted upon by the corrupters throughout the antediluvian generations. The distinction is of vital importance to the subject of this inquiry, as will presently appear. It speaks very clearly for the absence of the total period's of the postdiluvian lives in the original text, and demonstrates the Samaritan interpolation in this respect; because the centenary transferences could have no other object than to leave the lives

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* It is remarkable, that the Alexandrine Codex exhibits the Hebrew residue of Arphaxad (or rather as Onkelos has it), four hundred and thirty years, while the Syncelline has the same for Cainan; and that of Georgius Hamardt exhibits the true Hebrew residue of Salah, ascribing four hundred years residue to Arphaxad. Again, the Alexandrine exceeds the Vatican and Syncelline by a century in the residue of Eber. Hence it may be inferred that the Eusebian copy, which exhibits all these readings together corrected to the Hebrew standard, is the right one, independently of its superior antiquity. VOL. IV.NO. 11.

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