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in Cant. vi. 8, but, on the other hand, it is at least quite as likely that the distinction between Dwabo and nipu is merely that of age. (6) In Prov. xxx. 19 it is just conceivable, but highly improbable, that w has the meaning of virgin. If the point of comparison is, as Mr. Bassett maintains, the mystery which underlies all four things, it should by analogy be here also the mystery of some natural law. It cannot reasonably be in the last case only a subjective mystery, or a mystery only to the parties concerned. But a far more probable interpretation is that given in the Speaker's Commentary, in loco. If any argument can be drawn from Ps. xlvi. (title) and 1 Chron. xv. 20, according to their usual interpretation they rather favour the same view. A treble voice is not confined to virgins. To sum up the evidence from usage, out of the six passages where the word occurs (not including Ps. xlvi. [title] and 1 Chron. xv. 20), in oue only is a virgin obviously denoted, in two it is most probably so, in one it is quite uncertain whether virgins or young women generally are referred to; of the remaining two, in the one the sense of a young married woman is probably, and in the other, I venture to think, certainly intended.

As to the derivation of the word now, it is hardly likely that the author of 2 Maccabees is making any allusion to it in the phrase katók.ELTOL T. Tapévov. But even if he were, could we accept his opinion as a safe guide in a matter of etymology, a subject on which ancient writers in all languages are notoriously fanciful and inaccurate? Mr. Bassett is doubtless aware that the derivation most favoured by Semitic scholars is not that from an imaginary Hebrew obu “to hide,” but from a root of which several derivatives exist in Arabic, having the meaning maturus esse. (See Dr. Cheyne's critical note on the passage, who argues very conclusively for this view from the fact that in Arabic the masc. gulām, in the sense of “a boy of ripe age,” is used as well as the fem. gulamat.) The single instance of nhina of “a young married woman,” in Joel i. 8, does not destroy the fact that it is in Hebrew the ordinary word for virgin. The “virgin of Israel" most probably means the city which has never been brought under the yoke of a foreign power, likened to a virgin who has never been under the yoke of a husband. We may add that the related běthulo is the word by which virgo and map évos are invariably, I believe, translated into Syriac. But to admit to the full that ibina is a too ambiguous word for Isaiah to have used would not in the least alter the general force of my argument. Had Isaiah been intending to emphasize the astounding fact of the virginity of the mother of Immanuel, if obına had not been sufficient to express his meaning, he might have easily used some other phrase to signify a virgo intacta. All I am anxious to contend is that he would not have used such an ambiguous word as nose without some additional phrase to make his meaning clear.

II. I certainly think that the sign was meant to be given “ to the house of David as it existed at that time, and most especially to Ahaz himself."

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On the other hand, Mr. Bassett sees a direct contrast intended between Ahaz and the house of David from the fact that 7 is used in ver. 11, ver. 14. But similar changes of pronouns are very common in the Old Testament, and especially in Isaiah, e.g., in Isa. i. 29: "For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen.” Here the pronouns they and ye evidently refer to the same people. That there is not such a contrast intended in Isa. vii. 11-14 seems to me evident from the language by which the house of David is reproached. They were not content to weary men, but they must weary God also. Ahaz and his party not only disgusted Isaiah by their obstinate and reckless policy, but Ahaz at least was contemning God by his irreligious defiance of Him, and, I venture to add, “ his affected piety," for that is to my mind the most natural explanation of the refusal of Abaz to tempt the Lord. If Isaiah had addressed the house of David as those to whom the promise belonged, he surely would have addressed them in a very different tone.

III. As to the grammatical construction, there is some little difference of opinion about the form 1777; of course, it is not 3rd fem. Kal, but it is also as clear that it is not the ordinary form of the fem. part., which is 1771.7, as in Cant. ii. 4; Hosea ii. 5. It should probably be regarded not, as with Kalisch, an irregular form of fem. part., but with Delitzsch and Gesenius as an adjective meaning gravida. This is certainly the meaning where the word occurs. It has the sense of one who has already conceived-e.g., Gen. xvi. 11, which is almost an exact parallel to Isa. vii. 14, and where A.V. and R.V. agree in translating “Behold thou art with child, and shalt bear a son," a meaning absolutely required by the context. I will not, however, dispute that this expression in Isaiah might conceivably be used of a future conception. What I do believe is that the other is the most natural form of the tenses.

IV. I cannot think that there is a very serious difficulty in 72787 being used so as to include two contiguous countries, especially at a time when they were leagued together as one power against Judah. On the other hand, had Judah been intended, more probably the ordinary 1787 would have been used, though, even so, there would have been some ambiguity, as this phrase at the time usually included Israel. In any case the Revisers are almost certainly right in their view of the construction of the verse, and the meaning which they attach to 2. Most Hebrew scholars are satisfied with the analogy of Exod. i. 12 and Numb. xxii. 3; and the testimony of the LXX., the Peshitto, and the Vulgate cannot be fairly quoted on the other side. They are simply attempts to reproduce the Hebrew exactly in its order, e.g., the LXX. render kataleplýcerai η γη ην σύ φοβή από προσώπου των δύο βασιλέων. Clearly here, while ήν is grainmatically the direct object, the logical object, or if you prefer to say the cause, of the fear is the two kings-" the land which thou fearest because of its two kings." This is, after all, far nearer the construction of the R.V. than that of the A.V., which Mr. Bassett's interpretation requires. For the

NO. II.-VOL. II.--THE THINKER.

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versions do not, as he does, make “ both her kings" depend upon the verb “forsaken." The primary meaning of the Kal is to " be disgusted.” It gets, with ?, the signification “to loathe," and with " “ to turn in abhorrence from," so “to be terribly afraid.” The word used in ver. 6 is not the Kal, but the Hiphil or Causative, which by analogy means "to make terribly afraid,” or “ vex," but this does not warrant us in translating the Kal by “ vex.”

V. I have already, I think, justified the application of the sign to Ahaz as not here contrasted with, but included in, the house of David as its most prominent member. But it may be added that Mr. Bassett's interpretation of the rest of the chapter has one very serious objection. He writes, “The closing portion of this section of Scripture fully discloses the destruction that should befall Judah as well as Israel, but the final fall of Judah is after the birth of Immanuel.” We presume that Mr. Bassett is referring to the concluding paragraph of the chapter, vers. 21-25. Of course it is quite true that the house of David in a certain limited sense survived the birth of Christ, but the power by which it was finally destroyed was Rome. It is obvious, however, that the power referred to expressly by Isaiah was not Rome, but Assyria (see vers. 17-20). We cannot have a better example of the difficulties in which a commentator so often becomes involved when he deserts the obvious historical interpretation of a passage in favour of a time-honoured but antiquated method of exegesis,

PROFESSOR CHEYNE'S THEORY OF PSALM CX.

By Rev. C. H. H. WRIGHT, D.D., Ph.D. If any particular Psalm is admittedly of greater importance than the rest, that Psalm must be the 110th. It is the Psalm which is most frequently quoted in the New Testament, and conclusions vitally affecting the principles of the Christian faith are drawn from its statements, both by our Lord, and by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The whole argument in the latter Epistle concerning Christ's priesthood as contrasted with the Levitical rests upon several of the clauses of this very

Psalm. Having been asked to give a short address at the recent Southport Conference on the Psalter as affected by the higher criticism, I confined myself mainly to a criticism of Professor Cheyne's conclusions as to Ps. cx. But as newspaper reporters often fail to comprehend the real drift of theological discussions, and are wont not infrequently to mistate important particulars, it may be useful to give the substance of my argument in a magazine where it may not only come under the eye of the critic whose views have been impugned, but in which he can, if disposed, correct any misapprehensions. I recognize most fully the Christianity and earnestness of my friend the Oriel Professor, at Oxford, although I deeply regret the conclusions he has adopted in his Bampton Lectures with respect to the age and authorship of the Psalter in general, and of Ps. cx. in particular.

One must, indeed, seek to recognize the fact of the various steps and “divers portions" whereby God has revealed the truths of revelation to the sons of men, But Professor Cheyne seems to have been led in many cases astray by certain principles, which he has assumed without proof, as to the “divine education of Israel.” These principles appear to underlie many of his statements. Thus, in speaking of Ps. lxi. and lxiii., he maintains that no psalms of such a highly spiritual character can have been composed in a period prior to the age of Jeremiah. This assumption, however, cannot be granted by those who believe the Psalter to be the product of Divine inspiration. Moreover, the conclusion is at variance with the verdict of the higher criticism on other books of the Old Testament. There is most certainly a deeper tone of spirituality in the poetry ascribed to the “ Deutero-Isaiah” than is to be found in the later books of Esther or Koheleth. But the spirituality of a psalm is no safe criterion as to its age. There are descents as well as ascents. The Church of Israel like the Church of Christ had its days of spiritual advance not infrequently succeeded by others of spiritual decline. And in the midst of the darkest and most cloudy day blessed manifestations of high spiritual illumination were occasionally vouchsafed. The principle laid down in our Lord's statement: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit,” is a principle true not only of the individual spiritual life, but of the life of the Church of God in the ages before, as well as in the ages after Christ.

Professor Cheyne maintains that Psalm cx. is Maccabæan, and probably written in honour of Simon Maccabæus himself. The blessings brought to Israel by the rule of that great chieftain are vividly described in 1 Macc. xiv. 8-16, in language which very probably formed part of a poem of the day, composed in praise of that remarkable hero. It may be useful to quote here a portion thereof :“Then did they till their ground in peace,

And the earth gave her increase,
And the trees of the field their fruit.
The ancient men sat all in the streets, communing together of good things,
And the young men put on glorious and warlike apparel.
He provided victuals for the cities,
And set in thein all manner of munition,
So that his honorable name was renowned unto the end of the world.
He made peace in the land, and Israel rejoiced with great joy :
For every man sat under his vine and his fig-tree,
And there was none to fray them:
Neither was there any left in the land to fight against them ;
Yea, the kings themselves were overthrown in those days.
Moreover he strengthened all those of his people that were brought low:
The Law he searched ; and every contemner of the Law and wicked persons he took away.
He beautified the sanctuary,
And multiplied the vessels of the temple.”
It may fairly be maintained that the writer that could have composed

such a poem, and the historian who uses its language to embellish his narrative, mentioned all the chief points of which they were cognizant with respect to the man whom they delighted to honour. It is, we submit, uncritical to seek to enlarge the record of Simon's great acts by inserting additions based on the merest conjecture.

But this is exactly what Professor Cheyne has done. Having, by the exercise of no little ingenuity, satisfied himself that many of the references to contemporary events in the two last Books of the Psalter (Book iv. includes Psalms xc.-cvi., and Book v. from cvii. to the end) are applicable to the events of the Maccabæan era (writers of the Puritan period of English history have also shown their remarkable applicability to events of that day), Professor Cheyne concludes that they were composed at that era, and then proceeds to demonstrate that the other portions of the Psalter in the main ought likewise to be regarded as post-Exilian.

It is strange that Professor Cheyne did not himself perceive how weak are the reasons assigned for maintaining Simon Maccabæus to have been the editor of the last two books of the Psalter. His argumentation is as follows: He asks what more probable than that Simon, having become the head of the Jewish nation, should desire to follow the steps of the great King David ? But David occupied himself about the temple and its holy vessels. So did Simon Maccabæus, “he made glorious the sanctuary, and multiplied the vessels of the temple.” Did Simon, asks the Professor, go no further ? . According to tradition, David had a large part in the formation of the Psalter; and, therefore, Cheyne further asks, was Simon likely to have thought of the exterior of the temple and not of its spiritual glories? “Not so, that cannot be," is the reply. Though all the chroniclers are silent on the subject, and no tradition has been handed down, yet it is clear that Simon must have put his hand to the work of bringing the Psalter “up to date.” It was, therefore, Simon Maccabæus who added the last two books to the preceding three, and thus made the five books of the Psalter correspond with the five of the Law of Moses.

One must protest against this spinning of cobwebs out of the critic's own brain. A critic that can thus argue is not to be relied on for historical facts. It is strange how all the numerous references in the Psalms to history prior to the Exile are one by one passed over as unworthy of consideration, and that Professor Cheyne, with the 1 Book of Maccabees in hand, can, by means of a fertile imagination (and by the help of a few additions thrown in from conjecture), have thus convinced himself that a large portion of the Psalter must be ascribed to Maccabæan days. When, however, critics like Kaiser could affirm, and not without some show of reason, that the Book of Ecclesiastes contains a summary of the history of the Israelitish kings; when Graetz could maintain that the same book was a pasquinade of the era of Herod the Great, it is necessary to caution young students not to assume too quickly that the conclusions of able critics are necessarily based on a solid substratum of fact.

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