International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
BARUCH, BOOK OF
One of the Apocryphal or Deutero-canonical books, standing between Jeremiah and Lamentations in the Septuagint, but in the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) after these two books.
See under BARUCH for the meaning of the word and for the history of the best-known Biblical. personage bearing the name. Though Jewish traditions link this book with Jeremiah's amanuensis and loyal friend as author, it is quite certain that it was not written or compiled for hundreds of years after the death of this Baruch. According to Jeremiah 45:1 it was in the 4th year (604 B.C.) of the reign of Jehoiakim (608-597 B.C.) that Baruch wrote down Jeremiah's words in a book and read them in the ears of the nobles (English Versions, "princes," but king's sons are not necessarily meant; Jeremiah 36). The Book of Baruch belongs in its present form to the latter half of the 1st century of our era; yet some modern Roman Catholic scholars vigorously maintain that it is the work of Jeremiah's friend and secretary.
This book and also the Epistle of Jeremy have closer affinities with the canonical Book of Jeremiah than any other part of the Apocrypha. It is probably to this fact that they owe their name and also their position in the Septuagint and in the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) The book is apparently made up of four separate parts by independent writers, brought together by an editor, owing it is very likely to a mere accident-each being too small to occupy the space on one roll they were all four written on one and the same roll. The following is a brief analysis of the four portions of the book:
1. Historical Introduction:
Historical Introduction, giving an account of the origin and purpose of the book (Baruch 1:1-14). Baruch 1:1 tell us that Baruch wrote this book at Babylon "in the fifth month (not "year" as the Septuagint) in the seventh day of the month, what time as the Chaldeans took Jerusalem, and burnt it with fire" (see 2 Kings 25:8). Fritzsche and others read: "In the fifth year, in the month Sivan (see 1:8), in the seventh day of the month," etc. Um gives the date of the feast Pentecost, and the supposition is that the party who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem did so in order to observe that feast. According to 1:3-14, Baruch read his book to King Jehoiachin and his court by the (unidentified) river Sud. King and people on hearing the book fell to weeping, fasting and praying. As a result money was collected and sent, together with Baruch's book, to the high priest Jehoiakim, (NOTE: So spelled in the canonical books; but it is Joacim or Joachim in Apocrypha the King James Version, and in the Apocrypha the Revised Version (British and American) it is invariably Joakim.) to the priests and to the people at Jerusalem. The money is to be used in order to make it possible to carry on the services of the temple, and in particular that prayers may be offered in the temple for the king and his family and also for the superior lord King Nebuchadnezzar and his son Baltasar (= the Belshazzar of Daniel 5).
2. Confession and Prayer:
Confession and prayer (Baruch 1:15-3:8) (1) of the Palestinian remnant (Baruch 1:15-2:15). The speakers are resident in Judah not in Babylon (Baruch 1:15; compare 2:4), as J. T. Marshall and R. H. Charles rightly hold. This section follows throughout the arrangement and phraseology of a prayer contained in Daniel 9:7-15. It is quite impossible to think of Daniel as being based on Baruch, for the writer of the former is far more original than the author or authors of Baruch. But in the present section the original passage in Daniel is altered in a very significant way. Thus in Daniel 9:7 the writer describes those for whom he wrote as `the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel(ites): those near and those far off, in all the lands (countries) whither thou hast driven them on account of their unfaithfulness toward thee.' The italicized words are omitted from Baruch 1:15, though the remaining part of Daniel 9:7 is added. Why this difference? It is evident, as Marshall has ably pointed out, that the editor of the section intends to put the confession and prayer of Baruch 1:15-2:5 into the mouths of Jews who had not been removed into exile. Ewald (History, V, 208, 6) holds that Daniel 9:7-9 is dependent on Baruch 1:15-2:17. The section may thus be analyzed:
(a) Baruch 1:15-22: Confession of the sins of the nation from the days of Moses down to the exile. The principle of solidarity (see Century Bible, "Psalms," II, 21, 195, 215) so governed the thoughts of the ancient Israelites that the iniquities of their forefathers were in effect their own.
(b) Baruch 2:1-5: God's righteous judgment on the nation in humbling and scattering them.
Confession and prayer (2) of the exiles in Babylon Baruch 2:16-3:8. That the words in this section are supposed to be uttered by Babylonian exiles appears from 2:13; 3:7 and from the general character of the whole. This portion of the book is almost as dependent on older Scriptures as the foregoing. Three sources seem in particular to have been used.
(a) The Book of Jeremiah has been freely drawn upon.
(b) Deuteronomic phrases occur frequently, especially in the beginning and end. These are perhaps taken second-hand from Jeremiah, a book well known to the author of these verses and deeply loved by him.
(c) Solomon's prayer as recorded in 1 Kings 8 is another quarry from which our author appears to have dug. This section may be thus divided:
(i.) Baruch 2:6-12: Confession, opening as the former (see 1:15) with words extracted from Daniel 9:7.
(ii.) Baruch 2:13-3:8: Prayer for restoration. Baruch 3:1-8 shows more independence than the rest, for the author at this point makes use of language not borrowed from any original known to us. As such these verses are important as a clue to the writer's position, views and character.
In Baruch 3:4 we have the petition: "Hear now the prayer of the dead Israelites," etc., words which as they stand involve the doctrine that the dead (Solomon, Daniel, etc.) are still alive and make intercession to Goal on behalf of the living. But this teaching is in opposition to 2:17 which occurs in the same context. Without making any change in the Hebrew consonants we can and should read for "dead (methe) Israelites" "the men of (methe) Israel." The Septuagint confuses the same words in Isaiah 5:13.
3. The Praise of Wisdom:
The praise of "Wisdom," for neglecting which Israel is now in a strange land. God alone is the author of wisdom, and He bestows it not upon the great and mighty of this world, but upon His own chosen people, who however have spurned the Divine gift and therefore lost it (Baruch 3:9-4:4).
The passage, Baruch 3:10-13 (Israel's rejection of "Wisdom" the cause of her exile), goes badly with the context and looks much like an interpolation. The dominant idea in the section is that God has made Israel superior to all other nations by the gift of "wisdom," which is highly extolled. Besides standing apart from the context these four verses lack the rhythm which characterize the other verses. What is so cordially commended is described in three ways, each showing up a different facet, as do the eight synonyms for the Divine word in each of the 22 strophes in Psalm 119 (see Century Bible, "Psalms," II, 254).
(1) It is called most frequently "Wisdom."
(2) In Baruch 4:1 it is described as the Commandments of God and as the Law or more correctly as authoritative instruction. The Hebrew word for this last (torah) bears in this connection, it is probable, the technical meaning of the Pentateuch, a sense which it never has in the Old Testament. Compare Deuteronomy 4:6, where the keeping of the commandments is said to be "wisdom" and understanding.
4. The Dependence of This Wisdom Section:
(1) The line of thought here resembles closely that pursued in Job 28, which modern scholars rightly regard as a later interpolation. Wisdom, the most valuable of possessions, is beyond the unaided reach of man. God only can give it-that is what is taught in these parts of both Baruch and Job with the question "Where shall wisdom be found?" (Job 28:12; compare Baruch 3:14, where a similar question forms the basis of the greater portion of the section of Job 38). Wisdom is not here as in Proverbs hypostatized, and the same is true of Job 28. This in itself is a sign of early date, for the personifying of "wisdom" is a later development (compare Philo, John 1).
(2) The language in this section is modeled largely on that of Deuteronomy, perhaps however through Jeremiah, which is also especially after chapter 10 Deuteronomic in thought and phraseology. See ante II, 2 (2 1b).
The most original part of this division of the book is where the writer enumerates the various classes of the world's great ones to whom God had not given "wisdom": princes of the heathen, wealthy men, silversmiths, merchants, theologians, philosophers, etc. (Baruch 3:16).
5. Words of Cheer to Israel:
The general thought that pervades the section, Baruch 4:5-5:9, is words of cheer to Israel (i.e. Judah) in exile, but we have here really, according to Rothstein, a compilation edited so skillfully as to give it the appearance of a unity which is not real. Earlier Biblical writings have throughout been largely drawn upon. Rothstein (Kautzsch, Die Apokryphen, etc., 213-15) divides the section in the following manner:
(1) Baruch 4:5-9a: Introductory section, giving the whole its keynote-"Be of good cheer," etc.; 4:7 follows Deuteronomy 32:15-18.
(2) Baruch 4:9b-29: A song, divisible into two parts.
(a) Personified Jerusalem deplores the calamities of Israel in exile (Baruch 4:9b-16).
(b) She urges her unfortunate children to give themselves to hope and prayer, amending their ways so that God may bring about their deliverance (Baruch 4:17-29).
(c) Baruch 4:30-5:9: A second song, beginning as the first with the words, "Be of good cheer," and having the same general aim, to comfort exiled and oppressed Israel.
In all three parts earlier Scriptures have been largely used, and in particular Deutero-Isaiah has had much influence upon the author. But there do not seem to the present writer reasons cogent enough for concluding, with Rothstein, that these three portions are by as many different writers. There is throughout the same recurring thought "Be of good cheer," and there is nothing in the style to suggest divergent authorship.
(3) The Relation between Baruch 4:36-5:9 and Psalter of Solomon 11. It was perhaps Ewald (Geschichte, IV, 498) who first pointed out the similarity of language and viewpoint between Baruch 4:36-5:9 and Psalter of Solomon 11, especially 11:3-8. The only possible explanation is that which makes Baruch 4:36 an imitation of Psalter of Solomon 11. So Ewald (op. cit.); Ryle and James (Psalm 70:2).
Psalms of Solomon were written originally in Hebrew, and references to Pompey (died 48 B.C.) and to the capture of Jerusalem (63 B.C.) show that this pseudepigraphical Psalter must have been written in the first half of the 1st century B.C. Bar, as will be shown, is of much later date than this. Besides it is now almost certain that the part of Baruch under discussion was written in Greek (see below, IV) and that it never had a Hebrew original. Now it is exceedingly unlikely that a writer of a Hebrew psalm would copy a Greek original, though the contrary supposition is a very likely one.
On the other hand A. Geiger (Psalt. Sol., XI, 137-39, 1811), followed by W. B. Stevenson (Temple Bible), and many others argue for the priority of Baruch, using this as a reason for giving Baruch an earlier date than is usually done. It is possible, of course, that the Pseudo-Solomon and the Pseudo-Baruch have been digging in the same quarry; and that the real original used by both is lost.
For our present purpose the book must be divided into two principal parts:
(1) Baruch 1-3:8;
There is general agreement among the best recent scholars from Ewald downward that the first portion of the book at least was written originally in Hebrew.
(1) In the Syro-Hex. text there are margin notes to 1:17 and 2:3 to the effect that these verses are lacking in the Hebrew, i.e. in the original Hebrew text.
(2) There are many linguistic features in this first part which are best explained on the supposition that the Greek text is from a Hebrew original. In Baruch 2:25 the Septuagint English Versions of the Bible apostole at the end of the verse means "a sending of." The English Versions of the Bible ("pestilence") renders a Hebrew word which, without the vowel signs (introduced late) is written alike for both meanings (d-b-r). The mistake can be explained only on the assumption of a Hebrew original. Similarly the reading "dead Israelites" for "men of Israel" (= Israelites) in 3:4 arose through reading wrong vowels with the same consonants, which last were alone written until the 7th and 8th centuries of our era. off, in all the lands (countries) whither thou hast driven them on account of their unfaithfulness toward thee.' The italicized words are omitted from Baruch 1:15, though the remaining part of Daniel 9:7 is added. Why this difference? It is evident, as Marshall has ably pointed out, that the editor of the section intends to put the confession and prayer of Baruch 1:15-2:5 into the mouths of Jews who had not been removed into exile. Ewald (History, V, 208, 6) holds that Daniel 9:7-9 is dependent on Baruch 1:15-2:17. The section may thus be analyzed:
Frequently, as in Hebrew, sentences begin with Greek kai (= "and") which, without somewhat slavish copying of the Hebrew, would not be found. The construction called parataxis characterizes Hebrew; in good Greek we meet with hypotaxis.
The Hebrew way of expressing "where" is put literally into the Greek of this book (Baruch 2:4, 13, 29; 3:8). Many other Hebrew idioms, due, it is probable, to the translator's imitations of his original, occur: in "to speak in the ears of" (Baruch 1:3); the word "man" (anthropos) in the sense "everyone" (Baruch 2:3); "spoken by thy servants the prophets" is in Greek by "the hand of the servants," which is good Hebrew but bad Greek Many other such examples could be added.
There is much less agreement among scholars as to the original language or languages of the second part of the book (Baruch 3:9-5:9). That this part too was written in Hebrew, so that in that case the whole book appeared first in that language, is the position held and defended by Ewald (op. cit.), Kneucker (op. cit.), Konig (Ein), Rothstein (op. cit.) and Bissell (Lange). It is said by these writers that this second part of Baruch equally with the first carries with it marks of being a translation from the Hebrew. But one may safely deny this statement. It must be admitted by anyone who has examined the text of the book that the most striking Hebraisms and the largest number of them occur in the first part of the book. Bissell writes quite fully and warmly in defense of the view that the whole book was at first written in Hebrew, but the Hebraisms which he cites are all with one solitary exception taken from the first part of the book. This one exception is in Baruch 4:15 where the Greek conjunction holi is used for the relative ho, the Hebrew 'asher having the meaning of both. There seems to be a Hebraism in 4:21: "He shall deliver thee from. the hand of your enemies," and there are probably others. But there are Hebraisms in Hellenistic Greek always-the present writer designates them "Hebraisms" or "Semiticisms" notwithstanding what Deismann, Thumb and Moulton say. In the first part of this book it is their overwhelming number and their striking character that tell so powerfully in favor of a Hebrew original.
(3) The following writers maintain that the second part of the book was written first of all in Greek: Fritzsche, Hilgenfeld, Reuss, Schurer, Gifford, Cornill and R. H. Charles, though they agree that the first part had a Hebrew original. This is probably the likeliest view, though much may be written in favor of a Hebrew original for the whole book and there is nothing quite decisively against it. J. Turner Marshall (Hastings Dictionary of the Bible, I, 253) tries to prove that Baruch 3:9-4:4 was written first in Aramaic, the rest of the book (4:5-5:9) in Greek But though he defends his case with great ability he does not appear to the present writer to have proved his thesis. Ewald (op. cit.), Hitzig (Psalmen2, II, 119), Dillmann, Ruetschi, Fritzsche and Bissell were so greatly impressed by the close likeness between the Greek of Baruch and that of the Septuagint of Jeremiah, that they came to the conclusion that both books were translated by the same person. Subsequently Hitzig decided that Baruch was not written until after 70 A.D., and therefore abandoned his earlier opinion in favor of this one-that the translator of Baruch was well acquainted with the Septuagint of Jeremiah and was strongly influenced by it.
IV. Date or Dates.
It is important to distinguish between the date of the completion of the entire book in its present form and the dates of the several parts which in some or all cases may be much older than that of the whole as such.
1. The Historical Introduction:
Baruch 1:1-14 was written after the completion of the book expressly to form a prologue or historical explanation of the circumstances under which the rest of the book came to be written. To superficial readers it could easily appear that the whole book was written by one man, but a careful examination shows that the book is a compilation. One may conclude that the introduction was the last part of the book to be composed and that therefore its date is that of the completion of the book. Reasons will be given (see below) for believing that 4:5-5:9 belongs to a time subsequent to the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 A.D. This is still more true of this introduction intended as a foreword to the whole book.
2. Confession and Prayer:
The following points bear on the date of the section Baruch 1:15-3:8, assuming it to have one date:
(1) The generation of Israelites to which the writer belonged were suffering for the sins of their ancestors; see especially Baruch 3:1-8.
(2) The second temple was in existence in the writer's day. Baruch 2:26 must (with the best scholars) be translated as follows: "And thou hast made the house over which thy name is called as it is this day," i.e. the temple-still in being-is shorn of its former glory. Moreover though Daniel 9:7-14 is largely quoted in Baruch 1:15-2:12, the prayer for the sanctuary and for Jerusalem in Daniel 9:16 is omitted, because the temple is not now in ruins.
(3) Though it is implied (see above II, 2, (1)) that there are Jews in Judah who have never left their land there are a large number in foreign lands, and nothing is said that they were servants of the Babylonian king.
(4) The dependence of Baruch 2:13-3:8 on Deuteronomy, Jeremiah and 1 Kings 8 (Solomon's prayer) shows that this part of the book is later than these writings, i.e. later than say 550 B.C. Compare Baruch 2:13 with Deuteronomy 28:62 and Jeremiah 42:2.
(5) The fact that Daniel 9:7-14 has influenced Baruch 1:15-2:12 proves that a date later than Daniel must be assumed for at least this portion of Baruch. The temple is still standing, so that the book belongs somewhere between 165 B.C., when Daniel was written, and 71 A.D., when the temple was finally destroyed.
Ewald, Gifford and Marshall think that this section belongs to the period following the conquest of Jerusalem by Ptolemy I (320 B.C.). According to Ewald the author of Baruch 1:1-3:8 (regarded as by one hand) was a Jew living in Babylon or Persia. But Daniel had not in 320 B.C. been written. Fritzsche, Schrader, Keil, Toy and Charles assign the section to the Maccabean age-a quite likely date. On the other hand Hitzig, Kneucker and Schurer prefer a date subsequent to 70 A.D. The last writer argues for the unity of this section, though he admits that the middle of chapter 1 comports ill with its context.
3. The Wisdom Section Baruch 3:9-4:4:
It has been pointed out (see above, II, 3) that Baruch 3:10-13 does not belong to this section, being manifestly a later interpolation. The dependence of this Wisdom portion on Job 28 and on Deuteronomy implies a post-exilic date. The identification of Wisdom with the Torah which is evidently a synonym for the Pentateuch, argues a date at any rate not earlier than 300 B.C. But how much later we have no means of ascertaining. The reasons adduced by Kneucker and Marshall for a date immediately before or soon af ter the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. have not convinced the present writer.
4. Words of Cheer Baruch 4:5-5:9:
The situation implied in these words may be thus set forth:
(1) A great calamity has happened to Jerusalem (Baruch 4:9). Nothing is said proving that the whole land has shared the calamity, unless indeed this is implied in Baruch 4:5.
(2) A large number of Jerusalemites have been transported (Baruch 4:10).
(3) The nation that has sacked Jerusalem and carried away many of its inhabitants is "shameless," having "a strange language, neither reverencing old men nor pitying children" (Baruch 4:15).
(4) The present home of the Jerusalemites is a great city (Baruch 4:32-35), not the country. Now the above details do not answer to any dates in the history of the nation except these two:
(a) 586 B.C., when the temple was destroyed by the Babylonians;
(b) 71 A.D., when the temple was finally destroyed by the Romans.
But the date 586 B.C. is out of the question, and no modern scholar pleads for it. We must therefore assume for this portion of the book a date soon after 70 A.D. In the time of Pompey, to which Graetz assigns the book, neither Jerusalem nor the temple was destroyed. Nor was there any destruction of either during the Maccabean war. In favor of this date is the dependence of Baruch 4:36 on Psalter of Solomon 11 (see above, II, 5, (3)).
Rothstein (in Kautzsch) says that in this section there are at least three parts by as many different writers. Marshall argues for four independent parts. But if either of these views is correct the editor has done his work exceedingly well, for the whole harmonizes well together.
Kneucker, author of the fullest Commentary, endeavors to prove that the original book consisted of Baruch 1:1 plus 3a (the heading) plus 3:9-5:9, and that it belongs to the reign of Domitian (81-96 A.D.). The confession and prayer in 1:15-3:8 were written, he says, somewhat earlier and certainly before 71 A.D., and as a separate work, being inserted in the book by the scribe who wrote 1:4-14.
The most important versions are the following. It is assumed in the article that the Greek text of the book up to Baruch 3:8 is itself a translation from a Hebrew text now lost. The same remark may be true of the rest of the book or of a portion of it (see above, III).
There are two versions in this language:
(1) The Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) which is really the Old Latin, since Jerome's revision was confined to the Hebrew Scriptures, the Apocrypha being therefore omitted in this revision. This version is a very literal one based on the Greek It is therefore for that reason the more valuable as a witness to the Greek text.
(2) There is a later Latin translation, apparently a revision of the former, for its Latinity is better; in some cases it adopts different readings and in a general way it has been edited so as to bring it into harmony with the Vatican uncial (B). This Latin version was published in Rome by J. Maria Caro (died circa 1688) and was reprinted by Sabatier in parallel columns with the pre-Jeromian version noticed above (see Bibliotheca Casinensis, I, 1873).
There are also in this language two extant versions:
(1) The Peshitta, a very literal translation, can be seen in the London (Walton's) Polyglot and most conveniently in Lagarde's Libr. Apocrypha. Syriac., the last being a more accurate reproduction.
(2) The Hexapla Syriac translation made by Paul, bishop of Telle, near the beginning of the 7th century A.D. It has been published by Ceriani with critical apparatus in his beautiful photograph-lithographed edition of the Hexapla Syriac Bible.
There is a very literal translation to be found in the London Polyglot, referred to above.
For editions of the Greek text see under APOCRYPHA. Of commentaries the fullest and best is that by Kneucker, Das Buch Baruch (1879), who gives an original German rendering based on a restored Hebrew original. Other valuable commentaries are those by Fritzsche (1851); Ewald, Die Propheten2, etc. (1868), III, 251-82 (Eng. translation); The Prophets of the Old Testament, V, 108-37, by Reusch (1855); Zockler (1891) and Rothstein (op. cit.); and in English, Bissell (in Lange's series edited by D. S. Schaff, 1880); and Gifford (Speaker's Comm., 1888). The S. P. C. K. has a handy and serviceable volume published in the series of popular commentaries on the Old Testament. But this commentary, though published quite recently (my copy belongs to 1894, "nineteenth thousand"), needs strengthening on the side of its scholarship.
Arts. dealing with introduction occur in the various Bible Dictionaries (Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, Westcott and Ryle; Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes), J. T. Marshall, able and original; Encyclopedia Biblica, Bevan, rather slight). To these must be added excellent articles in Jewish Encyclopedia (G. F. Moore), and Encyclopedia Biblica (R. H. Charles).
T. Witton Davies
book (cepher; he biblos):
2. Inward Books
(1) Mechanical Copies
(2) Personal Copies
4. Oral Transmission
6. Printed Books
8. Textual Criticism
9. Higher Criticism
10. Literary Criticism
11. Origin of New Forms
13. Book Collections
14. Early History of Books in Bible Lands
A book is any record of thought in words. It consists of a fixed form of words embodied in some kind of substance.
The form of words is the main factor, but it has no existence without the record. The kind of record is indifferent; it may be carved on stone, stamped on clay, written or printed on vellum, papyrus or paper, or only stamped on the mind of author or hearer, if so be it keeps the words in fixed form. Looked on as a form of words the book is called a work, and looked on as a record it is called a volume, document, inscription, etc., as the case may be; but neither volume nor work has any real existence as book save as united.
The Biblical words for book, both Greek and Hebrew, oscillate in meaning (as they do in all languages) between the two elements, the form of words and the material form. The common words for book in the New Testament, from which too the word "Bible" comes, refer back to the papyrus plant or the material on which the book is written, just as the English word "book" was long supposed to be derived from the beech tree, on whose bark the book was written. The usual word in the Hebrew of the Old Testament (cepher) may possibly refer to the act of writing, just as the Greek word grammata and the English "writings" do, but more likely, as its other meanings of "numbering" and "narration" or even "missive" indicate, it refers neither to the material nor to the writing process but to the literary work itself. It suggests at least the fact that the earliest books were, indeed, books of tallies. The knot-books and various notchbook tallies are true books. In the King James' version the "word" (dabhar) is sometimes translated book, and, although changed in these places in the Revised Version (British and American) to "acts" or "deeds," it was nevertheless quite properly translated a book, just as the "word" in Greek is used for book, and indeed in English when the Bible is called the Word. Besides these terms commonly translated book in the English Versions of the Bible, various book forms are referred to in the Bible as roll or volume (which is the same in origin), tablet, and perhaps rock inscription (Job 19:23, 24).
The fact that the Bible is a book, or indeed a library of many kinds of books, makes necessary that to approach its study one should have some systematic idea of the nature of the book; the origin of new forms and their survival, oral and manuscript transmission, the nature of the inward book and the various kinds of inward books. Apart from the matter of general archaeological use for historical interpretation, the questions of inspiration, the incarnate, creative, and indwelling word and many other doctrines are wholly bound up with this question of the nature of the book, and many phrases, such as the Book of Life, can hardly be understood without knowing with some degree of clearness what a book is.
The archaeology, text criticism and higher criticism of the past few years have revolutionized book history and theory in their respective fields. Above all the young science of experimental psychology has, in its short life, contributed more even than the others to an understanding of the book and The Book, the word of God and the Word of God, the Bible and Jesus Christ.
2. Inward Books:
Modern experimental psychology by its study of inward images, inward speech, inward writings and other kinds of inward book forms has, in particular, thrown on Biblical inspiration, higher criticism and text criticism and the various aspects of the doctrine of the word, an unexpected light. Inward books, it appears, are not only real, but of many kinds, visual and auditory, oral and written, sensory and motor, and these different kinds have perhaps a material basis and local habitation in different parts of the brain. At least they have real existence; they are real records which preserve a fixed form of words, to be brought out of the recesses of the mind from time to time for re-shaping, re-study or utterance. (See Dittrich, Sprachpsychologie, 1903; LeRoy, Le langage, Paris, 1905; Van Ginneken, Principes de linguistique psychol., 1907; A. Marty, Untersuch. Sprachphilosophie, 1908; Macnamara, Human Speech, 1909; the classical work is Wundt, Volkerpsychologie: Die Sprache, Leipzig, 1900.)
Inward books may be originals or copies. Every book is, to begin with, inward. Men sometimes speak of an autograph as the "original," but it is in fact only a first-hand copy of the original, which is inward, and never by any chance becomes or can become outward. Besides these originals there are also inward copies of the books of others. The fact that a book may be memorized is no new thing, but the analysis of the process is. It seems that a book may be inwardly copied through eye or ear or touch or any sense from some outward book; or again it may be copied back and forth within, from sense copy to motor copy, from visual to oral, auditory to inward writing. In reading aloud the visual image is copied over into oral; in taking dictation the auditory image is copied over into inward writing. Many men, even in reading from print, cannot understand unless they translate as they go into oral images or even move their lips. Many others either hearing or reading a French book, e.g. have to translate inwardly into English and have in the end two memory copies, one French and one English, both of which may be recalled. In whatever way they are recorded, these memory impressions are real copies of outward books, and in the case of tribal medicine men, Vedic priests, the ancient minstrels, village gossips, and professional story-tellers of all kinds, the inward collection of books may become a veritable library.
The end for which a book is created is in general to reach another mind. This means the utterance or copying into some outward material and the re-copying by another into memory. The commonest modes of utterance are oral speech and writing; but there are many others, some appealing to eye, some to ear, some to touch: e.g. gesture language of the Indian and the deaf mute, pressure signs for the blind and deaf, signal codes, drum language, the telegraph click, etc. If the persons to be reached are few, a single oral speech or manuscript may be enough to supply all needs of publication, but if there are very many the speech or writing must somehow be multiplied. This may be done by the author himself. Blind Homer, it is alleged, repeated the Iliad in many cities; and the modern political orator may repeat the same speech several times in the same evening to different audiences. So too the author may, as many Latin writers did, copy out several autographs. If the audience is still too great to be reached by authors' utterances, the aid of heralds, minstrels, scribes and the printing-press must be called in to copy from the autographs or other author's utterances; and in case of need more help yet is called in, copies made from these copies, and copies again, and so on to perhaps hundreds of copyings. This process may be represented as x plus x1 plus x2 plus x2 plus x3 plus xn where x = an original, x1 a first-hand copy of author's utterance, x2 a second-hand copy, x3 a third-hand, etc.
Books may thus be divided into originals, first-hand or authors' copies and re-copies. Re-copies in turn whether at second-, third-, fourth- or nth-hand, may be either mechanical or personal, according as the copy is direct from outward material to outward material or from the outward material to a human memory.
(1) Mechanical Copies:
Mechanical copies include photographic copies of manuscripts, or of the lips in speaking, or of gesture, or any other form of utterance which may be photographed. They include also phonographic records, telegraph records, and any other mechanical records of sound or other forms of utterance. Besides photographic and phonographic processes, mechanical copies include founding, stamping by seal or die, stereographic, electrotype, stencil, gelatine pad and printing-press processes, any processes, in short, which do not pass via the human mind, but direct from copy to copy by material means. They do not include composition in movable types or by type-setting machines, typewriting machines and the like, which, like writing, require the interposition of a human mind. These mechanical copies are subject to defects of material, but are free from psychological defects and error, and defect of material is practically negligible.
(2) Personal Copies:
Personal copies include inward copies, or memory books, and the re-uttered copies from these copies, to which latter class belong all copied manuscripts. The memory copy may be by eye from writing, or from the lips of a speaker in the case of the deaf. Or it may be by ear from oral speech, telegraph key, drum or other sound utterances. Or it may be again from touch, as in the case of finger-tip lip-reading or the reading of raised characters by the blind. Each of these kinds may perhaps be located in a different part of the mind or brain, and its molecular substratum may be as different from other kinds of inward record as a wave of light is different from a wave of sound, or a photograph from the wax roll of a phonograph; but whatever the form or nature, it somehow records a certain fixed form of words which is substantially equivalent to the original. This memory copy, unlike the mechanical copy, is liable to substantial error. This may arise from defects of sense or of the inward processes of record and it is nearly always present. Why this need be so is one of the mysteries of human nature, but that it is, is one of the obvious facts; and when memory copies are reuttered there is still another crop of errors, "slips of tongue and pen," equally mysterious but equally inevitable. It comes to pass, therefore, that where oral or manuscript transmission exists, there is sure to be a double crop of errors between the successive outward copies. When thus a form of words is frequently re-copied or reprinted via the human mind the resulting book becomes more and more unlike the original as to its form of words, until in the late manuscript copies of early works there may often be thousands of variations from the original. Even an inspired revelation would thus be subject to at least one and perhaps two or three sets of errors from copying before it reached even the autograph stage.
4. Oral Transmission:
Before the knowledge of handwriting became general, oral publication was usual, and it is still not uncommon. The king's laws and proclamations, the works of poets and historians, and the sacred books were in ancient times published orally by heralds and minstrels and prophets; and these primitive publishers are survived still by town criers, actors, reciters, and Scripture readers.
Up to the point of the first impression on another mind, oral publication has many advantages. The impression is generally more vivid, and the voice conveys many nice shades of feeling through inflection, stress, and the delicate variations in tone quality which cannot be expressed in writing. When it comes to transmission, however, oral tradition tends to rapid deterioration with each re-copy. It is true that such transmission may be quite exact with enough painstaking and repetition; thus the modern stage affords many examples of actors with large and exact repertories, and the Vedas were, it is alleged, handed down for centuries by a rigidly trained body of memorizers. The memorizing of Confucian books by Chinese students and of the Koran by Moslem students is very exact. Nevertheless, exact transmission orally is rare, and exists only under strictly artificial conditions. Ear impressions, to begin with, tend to be less exact than eye impressions, in any event, because they depend on a brief sense impression, while in reading the eye lingers until the matter is understood. Moreover, the memory copy is not fixed and tends to fade away rapidly; unless very rigidly guarded and frequently repeated it soon breaks up its verbal form. This is readily seen by the great variety in the related legends of closely related tribes; and in modern times in the tales of village gossips and after-dinner stories, which soon lose their fixed verbal form, save as to the main point.
There is great difference of opinion as to the part which oral transmission played in the composition of the Old Testament. The prevailing theory of the higher critics of the 19th century made this the prime factor of transmission to at earliest the 8th century B.C., but the recent remarkable revelations of archaeology regarding the use of written documents in Palestine at the time of the Exodus and before has changed the situation somewhat. The still more recent developments as to the Semitic character of Palestine before the invasion of the Israelites, together with the growing evidence of the prevailing use of handwriting all over Palestine by not later than the 9th century, point in the same direction. It is now even asserted (Clay, Amorites) that the Semitic wave was from the north rather than the south, in which case the only possible ground for ascribing illiteracy to the Hebrews at the time of the conquest, and therefore exclusive oral tradition, would be removed.
Whatever may be the facts, it may be said with some definiteness that theory which implies two sets of traditions, handed down for several centuries and retaining a considerable amount of verbal likeness, implies written tradition, not oral, for no popular tradition keeps identical verbal forms for so long a time, and there is little ground for supposing artificial transmission by professional memorizers. The schools of the prophets might, indeed, have served as such, but there is no evidence that they did; and it would have been curious if, writing being within easy reach, this should have been done. As in almost all literatures, it is far more likely that the popular traditions are derived from and refreshed by literary sources, than that literature was compiled from traditions with long oral transmission.
Biblical references to oral publication are found in the references to heralds (see under the word), to Solomon's wisdom as "spoken" (1 Kings 4:32-34), proclamations and edicts, the public reading of the law in the Old Testament, and the reading in the synagogue in the New Testament. All the oracles, "thus saith the Lord" and "the word of Yahweh," to Moses, etc., and all allusions to preaching the word, belong to this class of oral publication and transmission. A direct allusion to oral transmission is found in Psalm 44:1, "We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us."
The distinction of handwriting as against oral utterance lies first in the permanence of the record, but it has also a curious psychological advantage over speech. The latter reaches the mind through hearing one letter at a time as uttered. With writing, on the other hand, the eye grasps three to six letters at a time, and takes in words as wholes instead of spelling them out. The ear always lags, therefore, the eye anticipates, although it may also linger if it needs to. While therefore impressions from hearing may perhaps be deeper, one may gather many more in the same time from reading.
When it comes to transmission, the advantage of handwriting is obvious. In the first place, even the poorest ink hardly fades as rapidly as memory. Then at best few men reach a hundred years, and therefore no memory, copy, while on the other hand the limit to the life of writing has never been reached. We have writings that have lasted 6,000 years, at least; while if the Palermo stone, e.g. had been orally transmitted it must needs have passed through some 200 copyists at least, each producing two sets of errors. The advantage of manuscript transmission over oral tradition in its permanence is thus very great. It is true, of course, that in the case of fragile material like papyrus, paper, or even leather, transmission ordinarily implies many re-copyings and corresponding corruption, but even at worst these will be very much better than the best popular oral tradition.
In the broad sense manuscripts include all kinds of written books without regard to material, form or instruments used. In the narrowest sense they are limited to rolls and codices, i.e. to literary manuscripts. Inscriptions are properly written matter engraved or inscribed on hard material. Documents, whether private letters or official records, are characteristically folded in pliable material. Literary works again are usually rolls or else codices, which latter is the usual form of the printed books as well. These three classes of written books have their corresponding sciences in epigraphy, diplomatics and paleography.
Epigraphy has to do primarily with inscriptions set up for record in public places. These include published laws, inscriptions, biographical memorials like the modern gravestone inscriptions and those on memorial statues, battle monuments and the like. It includes also votive inscriptions, inscriptions on gems, jewels, weights and measures, weapons, utensils, etc. Seals and coins from all points of view belong here and form another division under printing. These have their own sciences in numismatics and sphragistics. The chief Biblical reference is to the "tables of stone" (Exodus 24:12).
See TABLE; ALPHABET; WEIGHT; WRITING; etc.
(See Lidzbarski, Handb. nordsemit. Epigr., 1898-.)
Sphragistics is the science of seals. Scripture references to the seal or signet (Genesis 38:18 Job 38:14 Revelation 5:1; etc.) are many.
See SEAL; SIGNET.
Numismatics has to do with inscriptions on coins and medals, and is becoming one of the greatest sources of our knowledge of ancient history, especially on account of the aid derived from coins in the matter of dating, and because of the vast quantity of them discovered.
Diplomatics, or the science of documents, has to do with contracts of sale and purchase (Jeremiah 3:8; Jeremiah 32:14), bills of divorce (Deuteronomy 24:1) and certificates of all sorts of the nature of those registered in the modern public records. These may be on clay tablets, as in Babylonia and the neighboring regions, or on ostraca as found especially in Egypt, but everywhere in the ancient Mediterranean world, and notably for Biblical history, in Samaria, as discovered by the Harvard expedition. Multitudes of the Egyptian papyri discovered in modern times are of this character as well as the Italian papyri until papyrus was succeeded by vellum. Many are also found on wax, gold, silver, brass, lead tablets, etc.
See LETTERS; OSTRACA; PAPYRUS.
Paleography has to do with volumes or books of considerable bulk, chiefly. It has, therefore, to do mainly with literary works of all sorts, but it shades into diplomatics when official documents, such as collections of laws (e.g. Deuteronomy), treatises, such as the famous treaty between the Hittites and Egypt, and modern leases are of such bulk as to be best transmitted in volume form. It has to do chiefly with the clay tablets, papyrus, leather, vellum and paper volumes. The clay tablet is mentioned in the Old Testament at various points (see TABLET), the roll in both Old Testament and New Testament (see ROLL). The leather roll is the traditional form for the Hebrew Scriptures up to the present day, although the codex or modern volume form had been invented before the conclusion of the New Testament, and the earliest extant copies are in this form. The books of the Old Testament and New Testament were all probably first written on rolls. For the different methods of producing these var ious forms-graving, casting, pressing, pen and ink, etc., see WRITING.
6. Printed Books:
Printing differs from writing chiefly in being executed in two dimensions. In writing, a chisel or brush or pen follows a continuous or interrupted line, while printing stamps, a letter or a part of a letter, a line, a page, or many pages at a stroke. The die, the wedge for clay tablets, seals, molds, xylographic plates, as well as the typewriter, movable type or electrotype plates, etc., belong properly to printing rather than writing. The wedge stamp, or single-letter die, the typewriter, the matrix and movable type form, however, a sort of transition between the pen point and the printing-press in that they follow letter after letter. Coins and seals, on the other hand, differ little from true printing save in the lengths of the writings; Babylonian seals and the rotary press are one in principle. Sphragistics, or the science of seals, and numismatics, or the science of coins, medals, etc., belong thus with printing from this point of view, but are more commonly and conveniently classed with epigrap hy, on the principle that they depend on the light and shade of incision or relief in one color as distinguished from the color contrasts of ink or paint. Printed books include the xylographic process of Chinese and early European printing, page and form printing from movable type, and all electrotype, stencil, gelatine pad, etc., processes.
The advantage of printing over writing is in the more rapid multiplication of copies, and still more in the accuracy of the copies. The first setting in movable type is as liable to error as any written copy, but all impressions from this are wholly without textual variations. For printed editions of the Bible see TEXT AND MANUSCRIPTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT; TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; VERSIONS, etc.
In the natural process of transmission all reprints in movable type, manuscripts or oral repetitions accumulate variations with each re-copying. These are, in general, errors, and the process is one of degeneration. In oral transmission the average error with each generation is very great, and it is only with incredible pains that the best copies are made equal to even the average manuscript, which in turn at its best only equals the first type-set copy. The same expenditure of care on this type-set copy produces thousands of copies in printing where it produces one in manuscript. The phonograph, the typewriter, type-bar composition, photographic and electrotype methods have reduced the average error in modern books to a very low point. But even after incredible pains on the part of the authors and professional proofreaders, the offered reward of a guinea for each detected error in the Oxford revised version of the Bible brought several errors to light. This version is however about as nearly free from textual error as any large book ever made, and millions of copies of it are now printed wholly without textual variation.
But textual errors are not the only variations. It often happens that the author or someone else undertakes to correct the errors and makes substitutions or additions of one sort or another. The result is a revised edition, which is, in general, an improvement, or evolution upward. Variations are thus of two kinds: involuntary and intentional, corresponding pretty well with the words "copies" and "editions" of a work.
Strictly speaking, every book with intentional changes is a new work, but colloquially it is counted the "same work" until the changes become so great that the resemblance of the form of words to the original is hard to recognize. It is a common thing for a work to be edited and reedited under a certain author's name (Herzog), then become known by the joint name of the author and editor (Herzog-Plitt or Schaff-Herzog), and finally become known under the name of the latest editor (Hauck). In this case it is often described for a time on a title-page as "founded" on its predecessor, but generally the original author's name is dropped from the title-page altogether when no great portions retain the original verbal form. All editions of a work are recognized in common use in some sense as new works; and in the bookshop or library a man is careful to specify the latest edition of Smith, or Brown's edition of Smith, to avoid getting the older and outdated original work.
Sometimes the original work and the additions, corrections, explanations, etc., are kept quite separate and distinct-additional matter being given in manuscripts in the margins, or between lines, and in printed books as footnotes or in brackets or parentheses. This is commonly the case with the text-and-comment editions of Biblical books and great writers. Sometimes, as often in ancient manuscripts, it happens in copying that what were marginal and interlinear notes become run in as an undistinguished part of the text and, still more often, what was indicated as quotation in an original work loses its indications and becomes an undistinguished part of the work. In the case of the paraphrase the comment is intentionally run in with the words of the text; and most editors of scientific works likewise make no attempt to distinguish between the original matter and additions by another hand, the whole responsibility being thrown forward on the editor. Sometimes the original work itself to begin with is largely made up of quotation, or is a mere compilation or collection of works in which the "originality" is confined to title-page or preface or even a mere title, as in the case of the Old Testament, the New Testament, and the Bible, and the order of arrangement of parts.
Almost all books are thus composite. Even in a manuscript copy of a manuscript, or an oral repetition of an oral tale, two human minds have contributed to the net result, and the work of each may perhaps be distinguished from that of the other. In the case of a new edition by the same author, the result is still composite-a new work composed of old and new material. With all new editions by other authors the compositeness increases until, e.g. an edition of the Bible with textual variants and select comments from various writers becomes the combined work of thousands of writers, each distinguished as to his work from all the rest by his name or some symbol.
The work proper or work unchanged, save for involuntary error, includes thus copies, translates, abridgments, selections and quotations; the revised work or work with voluntary changes includes editions and paraphrases (which are simply texts with commentary run into the text), digests, redactions, etc., and perhaps compilations.
These two kinds of variations give rise to the two sciences of text-criticism and higher or historical criticism. The former distinguishes all accidental errors of transmission, the latter all the voluntary changes; the former aims to reconstruct the original, the latter to separate in any given book between the work of the original and each editor.
In this connection it must not be forgotten that the original itself may be a composite work-containing long quotations, made up wholly of selections or even made up of whole works bound together by a mere title. In these cases textual criticism restores not the original of each, but the original text of the whole, while higher criticism takes up the task of separating out the elements first of later editions and redactions of this original, then of the original itself.
8. Textual Criticism:
The involuntary variations of manuscripts or oral tradition give rise to the science of text-criticism. The point of the science is to reconstruct exactly the original form of words or text. Formerly the method for this was a mere balancing of probabilities, but since Tregelles it has become a rigid logical process which traces copies to their near ancestors, and these in turn farther back, until a genealogical tree has been formed of actual descent. The law of this is in effect that "like variations point to a common ancestor," the biological law of "homology," and if the groupings reveal as many as three independent lines of copies from the original, the correct text can be constructed with mathematical precision, since the readings of two lines will always be right against the third-granting a very small margin of error in the psychological tendency of habit in a scribe to repeat the same error. The method proceeds
(1) to describe all variations of each manuscript (or equally of each oral or printed copy) from the standard text;
(2) to group the manuscripts which have the most pronounced variations;
(3) to unite these groups on the principle of homology into larger and larger groups until authors' utterances have been reached and through these the inward original. The results are expressed in a text and variants-the text being a corrected copy of the original, and the variants showing the exact contribution of each copyist to the manuscripts which he produced.
It is carefully to be remembered that text-criticism proper has only to do with a particular form of words. Every translation or edition is a separate problem complete in itself when the very words used by translator and the editor have been reconstructed. These may in turn be useful in reconstructing the original, but care must be had not to amend, translate or edition from the original, and the original in turn, when it contains quotations from other writers, must not be amended from the originals of these writers. The task of textual criticism is to set forth each man's words-each original author, each copyist, each translator, each editor, just as his words were-no more and no less.
See TEXT OF THE OLD TESTAMENT; TEXT AND MANUSCRIPTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.
9. Higher Criticism:
Higher criticism has to do with voluntary variations or variations in subject-matter. Like text-criticism it has to do with distinguishing the share of each of several cooperators in a composite work; and like it higher criticism traces the contributions of various authors each to its source. It differs, however, in dealing with original matter. While the variations by officious scribes, or intelligent scribes who correct spelling, grammar, wrong dates and the like, come pretty closely into the region of editing, and on the other hand the redactor is sometimes little more than an officious copyist, still the line of involuntary and voluntary change holds good, whether it be the grafting into an original work by the author of many quotations, or the grafting onto the work by others of the work of themselves or of other authors.
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BOOK OF JUBILEES
See APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE; APOCRYPHA.
BOOK OF LIFE
(cepher chayyim; he biblos tes zoes, "book of life"): The phrase is derived from the custom of the ancients of keeping genealogical records (Nehemiah 7:5, 64; Nehemiah 12:22, 23) and of enrolling citizens for various purposes (Jeremiah 22:30 Ezekiel 13:9). So, God is represented as having a record of all who are under His special care and guardianship. To be blotted out of the Book of Life is to be cut off from God's favor, to suffer an untimely death, as when Moses pleads that he be blotted out of God's book-that he might die, rather than that Israel should be destroyed (Exodus 32:32 Psalm 69:28). In the New Testament it is the record of the righteous who are to inherit eternal life (Philippians 4:3 Revelation 3:5; Revelation 13:8; Revelation 17:8; 21:27). In the apocalyptic writings there is the conception of a book or of books, that are in God's keeping, and upon which the final judgment is to be based (Daniel 7:10; Daniel 12:1 Revelation 20:12, 15; compare Book Jubilees 39:6; 19:9).
See APOCALYPSE; BLOT; BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE; JUDGMENT, LAST.
BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE
re-mem'-brans (cepher zikkdron, "book of record"): Is related in meaning to the "Book of Life." It refers to a list of the righteous, recorded in a book that lies before God (Malachi 3:16; compare Daniel 7:10).
See BOOK OF LIFE.
COVENANT, BOOK OF THE
1. Historical Connection
3. Critical Theories
4. True, or Biblical Conception
5. Nature of the Laws
The name given in Exodus 24:7 to a code or collection of laws found in the preceding chapters, 20-23, as the terms of the covenant made with Yahweh, and given for Israel's guidance until a more complete legislation should be provided. In this covenant between Yahweh and Israel, Moses served as mediator; animals were sacrificed, the blood thus shed being also called "the blood of the covenant" (dam haberith, Exodus 24:8).
1. Historical Connection:
This brief book of laws occupies a fitting and dearly marked place in the Pentateuchal collection. Examination of the historical context shows that it is put where it belongs and belongs where it is put. A few months after the Exodus (Exodus 19:1) Israel arrived at Sinai. Immediately at the command which Moses had received from Yahweh in the Mount, they prepared themselves by a ceremonial of sanctification for entrance into covenant relation with Yahweh. When the great day arrived for making this covenant, Moses in the midst of impressive natural phenomena went again to meet Yahweh in the top of the mountain. On his return (Exodus 19:25), the words of the law, or the terms of the covenant, were declared to the people, and accepted by them. The first part of these covenant-terms, namely, the Decalogue (Exodus 20:2-17), was spoken by the Divine voice, or its declaration was accompanied by awe-inspiring natural convulsions (Exodus 20:18). Therefore in response to the pleadings of the terrified people Moses went up again into the mountain and received from Yahweh for them the rest of the "words" and "ordinances" (Exodus 24:3); and these constitute the so-called Book of the Covenant (Exodus 20:22-23). In this direct and unequivocal manner the narrator connected the book with the nation's consecration at Sinai. The prophets regarded the making of the Sinaitic covenant as the marriage of Israel and Yahweh, and these laws were the terms mutually agreed upon in the marriage contract.
While it is not possible to arrange the materials of this document into hard-and-fast divisions, the following analysis may be suggestive and serviceable:
(1) directions concerning worship, specifying prohibition of images and the form of altar for animal sacrifices (Exodus 20:23-26);
(2) ordinances for protection of Hebrew slaves, including betrothal, for a price, of daughter (Exodus 21:2-11);
(3) laws concerning injuries,
(a) to man by man (Exodus 21:12-27),
(b) to man by beast (Exodus 21:28-32),
(c) to beast by man (Exodus 21:33, 14),
(d) to beast by beast (Exodus 21:35, 36);
(4) concerning theft (Exodus 22:1-4);
(5) concerning damage to a neighbor's property, including violence to his daughter (Exodus 22:5-17);
(6) sundry laws against profaning Yahweh's name, under which are included proper worship, avoidance of oppression and dutiful offering of first-fruits (Exodus 22:18-31);
(7) against various forms of injustice and unbrotherliness (Exodus 23:1-9);
(8) festal occasions, including the Sabbatical year and the three annual feasts: unleavened bread, first-fruits and ingathering (Exodus 23:10-17);
(9) warning against certain wrong practices in their sacrifices (Exodus 23:18, 19);
(10) in conclusion, a promise of God's continual presence with them in the person of His Angel, and the consequent triumph over enemies (Exodus 23:20-33).
3. Critical Theories:
In this legislation are found two forms of laws or deliverances:
(1) the ordinances (mishpaTim), which deal principally with civil and moral matters, are like court decisions, and are introduced by the hypothetical "if";
(2) words, or commands (debharim), which relate chiefly to religious duties, being introduced by the imperative "thou shalt."
The critical analysis and dismemberment of the books of Moses, if accepted, renders the simple historical explanation of the introduction to this body of laws untrue and impossible. The four chapters are assigned to JE, the Decalogue to E, and the Book of the Covenant to the Jahwist (Jahwist) or Elohim (E), the repetition of the Decalogue in Exodus 32-34 being the Jahwist's account. Ordinarily the Book of the Covenant is held to be earlier than the Decalogue, and is indeed the oldest body of Hebrew legislation. However, it could not have been given at one time, nor in the wilderness, since the laws are given for those in agricultural life, and seem to be decisions made at various times and finally gathered together. Furthermore, this more primitive code either contradicts the later legislation of the Deuteronomist (D) and the Priestly Code (P) or reveals an entirely different point of view. The chief contradictions or divergences are: nature and number of altars, absence of an official priestly class, and simpler conception of the annual feasts as agricultural celebrations. Jahwist-Elohim (JE) came into united form in the 9th or 8th century, but this body of laws existed much earlier, embodying the earliest legal developments of Hebrew life in Canaan. It is suggested by some, as Driver, LOT, although he does not attempt the analysis, that this code is itself a composite of various layers and ages.
See CRITICISM (GRAF-WELLHAUSEN HYPOTHESIS).
4. True, or Biblical Conception:
But in favor of the simpler interpretation of these laws as the ethical obligations of the new bond between Yahweh and Israel some statements deserve to be made. If a solemn league and covenant was made at Sinai-and to this all the history, all the prophets and the Psalms give testimony-there must have been some statement of the germinal and fundamental elements of the nation's moral relation to Yahweh. Such statement need not be final nor exhaustive, but rather intended to instruct and guide until later and more detailed directions might be given. This is exactly the position and claim of the Book of the Covenant; and that this was the thought of the editor of the Pentateuch, and that this is the first and reasonable impression made by the unsuspecting and connected reading of the record, can hardly be questioned by candid minds. In answer to the criticism that the agricultural flavor of the laws presupposes settlement in Canaan-a criticism rather remarkable for its bland ignorance-it may be suggested:
(1) Israel had occupied in Egypt an agricultural section, and must have been able either to form or to receive a body of laws dealing with agricultural pursuits.
(2) They were on the march toward a land in which they should have permanent settlement in agricultural life; and not the presence of allusions to such life, but rather their absence, should cause surprise.
(3) However, references to settled farm life are not so obtrusively frequent as those seeking signs would have us think. References to the animal life of the flock and herd of a shepherd people, such as the Israelites were at Sinai, are far more frequent (Exodus 21:28, 33, 15; Exodus 22:1, 10; 23:4, etc.). The laws are quite generic in form and conception, enforcing such duties as would devolve upon both temporary nomad and prospective tillers of the soil. R. B. Taylor therefore (article in one-vol Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes)) accepts this code as originating in the desert wanderings.
In answer to the view, best presented by Wellhausen in Proleg. and W. R. Smith in OTJC, that this code is in conflict with later legislation, it may be said that the Book of the Covenant, as an ethical and civil summary, is in its proper place in the narrative of the sojourn at Sinai, and does not preclude the expectancy of more elaborate organization of both ceremonial and civil order. But the whole question relates more properly to discussion of the later legislation or of the particular topics in dispute (which see). For a thorough treatment of them consult W. H. Green, Hebrew Feasts.
5. Nature of the Laws:
In the Book of the Covenant the moral elements strongly emphasized are: simplicity, directness and spirituality of worship; a high and equitable standard of right; highest consideration for the weak and the poor; humane treatment of dumb animals; purity in the relations of life; the spirit of brotherhood; and the simple and joyful life. Whatever development in details came with later legislation did not nullify the simple but lofty standards of the earlier laws.
Driver, Driver, Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament, under "Exodus"; Wellhausen, Wellhausen, Prolegomena to the History of Israel; Comp. d. Hexateuch; W. R. Smith, Smith, The Old Testament in the Jewish Church; W. H. Green, Hebrew Feasts; Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch; Dillmann, Commentary on Exodus-Leviticus.
DANIEL, BOOK OF
II. PLACE IN THE CANON III. DIVISIONS OF THE BOOK
V. PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
1. The Predictions
2. The Miracles
3. The Text
4. The Language
5. The Historical Statements
Commentaries and Introductions
X. APOCRYPHAL ADDITIONS
The Book of Daniel is rightly so called, whether we consider Daniel as the author of it, or as the principal person mentioned in it.
II. Place in the Canon.
In the English Bible, Daniel is placed among the Major Prophets, immediately after Ezk, thus following the order of the Septuagint and of the Latin Vulgate (Jerome's Bible, 390-405 A.D.) In the Hebrew Bible, however, it is placed in the third division of the Canon, called the Kethuvim or writings, by the Hebrews, and the hagiographa, or holy writings, by the Seventy. It has been claimed, that Daniel was placed by the Jews in the third part of the Canon, either because they thought the inspiration of its author to be of a lower kind than was that of the other prophets, or because the book was written after the second or prophetical part of the Canon had been closed. It is more probable, that the book was placed in this part of the Hebrew Canon, because Daniel is not called a nabhi' ("prophet"), but was rather a chozeh ("seer") and a chakham ("wise man"). None but the works of the nebhi'im were put in the second part of the Jewish Canon, the third being reserved for the heterogeneous works of seers, wise men, and priests, or for those that do not mention the name or work of a prophet, or that are poetical in form. A confusion has arisen, because the Greek word prophet is used to render the two Hebrew words nabhi' and chozeh. In the Scriptures, God is said to speak to the former, whereas the latter see visions and dream dreams. Some have attempted to explain the position of Daniel by assuming that he had the prophetic gift without holding the prophetic office. It must be kept in mind that all reasons given to account for the order and place of many of the books in the Canon are purely conjectural, since we have no historical evidence bearing upon the subject earlier than the time of Jesus ben Sirach, who wrote probably about 180 B.C.
III. Divisions of the Book.
According to its subject-matter, the book falls naturally into two great divisions, each consisting of six chapters, the first portion containing the historical sections, and the second the apocalyptic, or predictive, portions; though the former is not devoid of predictions, nor the latter of historical statements. More specifically, the first chapter is introductory to the whole book; Daniel 2-6 describe some marvelous events in the history of Daniel and his three companions in their relations with the rulers of Babylon; and chapters 7-12 narrate some visions of Daniel concerning the great world-empires, especially in relation to the kingdom of God.
According to the languages in which the book is written, it may be divided into the Aramaic portion, extending from Daniel 2:4 to the end of chapter 7, and a Hebrew portion embracing the rest of the book.
The language of the book is partly Hebrew and partly a dialect of Aramaic, which has been called Chaldee, or Biblical Aramaic This Aramaic is almost exactly the same as that which is found in portions of Ezra. On account of the large number of Babylonian and Persian words characteristic of this Aramaic and of that of the papyri recently found in Egypt, as well as on account of the general similarity of the nominal, verbal and other forms, and of the syntactical construction, the Aramaic of this period might properly be called the Babylonian-Persian Aramaic With the exception of the sign used to denote the sound "dh," and of the use of qoph in a few cases where Daniel has `ayin, the spelling in the papyri is the same in general as that in the Biblical books. Whether the change of spelling was made at a later time in the manuscripts of Daniel, or whether it was a peculiarity of the Babylonian Aramaic as distinguished from the Egyptian or whether it was due to the unifying, scientific genius of Daniel himself, we have no means at present to determine.
In view of the fact that the Elephantine Papyri frequently employ the "d" sign to express the "dh" sound, and that it is always employed in Ezra to express it; in view further of the fact that the "z" sign is found as late as the earliest Nabatean inscription, that of 70 B.C. (see Euting, 349: 1, 2, 4) to express the "dh" sound, it seems fatuous to insist on the ground of the writing of these two sounds in the Book of Daniel, that it cannot have been written in the Persian period. As to the use of qoph and `ayin for the Aramaic sound which corresponds to the Hebrew tsadhe when equivalent to an Arabic dad, any hasty conclusion is debarred by the fact that the Aramaic papyri of the 5th century B.C., the manuscripts of the Samaritan Targum and the Mandaic manuscripts written from 600 to 900 A.D. all employ the two letters to express the one sound. The writing of 'aleph and he without any proper discrimination occurs in the papyri as well as in Daniel.
The only serious objection to the early date of upon the ground of its spelling is that which is based upon the use of a final "n" in the pronominal suffix of the second and third persons masculine plural instead of the margin of the Aramaic papyri and of the Zakir and Sendschirli inscriptions. It is possible that was influenced in this by the corresponding forms of the Babylonian language. The Syriac and Mandaic dialects of the Aramaic agree with the Babylonian in the formation of the pronominal suffixes of the second and third persons masculine plural, as against the Hebrew, Arabic, Minaean, Sabean and Ethiopic. It is possible that the occurrence of "m" in some west Aramaic documents may have arisen through the influence of the Hebrew and Phoenician, and that pure Aramaic always had "n" just as we find it in Assyrian and Babylonian, and in all east Aramaic documents thus far discovered.
The supposition that the use of "y" in Daniel as a preformative of the third person masculine of the imperfect proves a Palestinian provenience has been shown to be untenable by the discovery that the earliest east Syriac also used "y". (See M. Pognon, Inscriptions semitiques, premiere partie, 17.)
This inscription is dated 73 A.D. This proof that in the earlier stages of its history the east Aramaic was in this respect the same as that found in Daniel is confirmed by the fact that the forms of the 3rd person of the imperfect found in the proper names on the Aramaic dockets of the Assyrian inscriptions also have the preformative y. (See Corpus Inscriptionum Semiticarum, II, 47.)
V. Purpose of the Book.
The book is not intended to give an account of the life of Daniel. It gives neither his lineage, nor his age, and recounts but a few of the events of his long career. Nor is it meant to give a record of the history of Israel during the exile, nor even of the captivity in Babylon. Its purpose is to show how by His providential guidance, His miraculous interventions, His foreknowledge and almighty power, the God of heaven controls and directs the forces of Nature and the history of nations, the lives of Hebrew captives and of the mightiest of the kings of the earth, for the accomplishment of His Divine and beneficent plans for His servants and people.
The unity of the book was first denied by Spinoza, who suggested that the first part was taken from the chronological works of the Chaldeans, basing his supposition upon the difference of language between the former and latter parts. Newton followed Spinoza in suggesting two parts, but began his second division with Daniel 7, where the narrative passes over from the 3rd to the 1st person. Kohler follows Newton, claiming, however, that the visions were written by the Daniel of the exile, but that the first 6 chapters were composed by a later writer who also redacted the whole work. Von Orelli holds that certain prophecies of Daniel were enlarged and interpolated by a Jew living in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, in order to show his contemporaries the bearing of the predictions of the book upon those times of oppression. Zockler and Lange hold to the unity of the book in general; but the former thought that Daniel 11:5-45 is an interpolation; and the latter, that 10:1-11:44 and 12:5-13 have been inserted in the original work. Meinhold holds that the Aramaic portions existed as early as the times of Alexander the Great-a view to which Strack also inclines. Eichhorn held that the book consisted of ten different original sections, which are bound together merely by the circumstance that they are all concerned with Daniel and his three friends. Finally, De Lagarde, believing that the fourth kingdom was the Roman, held that Daniel 7 was written about 69 A.D. (For the best discussion of the controversies about the unity of Daniel, see Eichhorn, Einleitung, sections 612-19, and Buhl in See Hauck-Herzog, Realencyklopadie fur protestantische Theologie und Kirche, IV, 449-51.)
With the exception of the neo-Platonist Porphyry, a Greek non-Christian philosopher of the 3rd century A.D., the genuineness of the Book of was denied by no one until the rise of the deistic movement in the 17th century. The attacks upon the genuineness of the book have been based upon:
(1) the predictions,
(2) the miracles,
(3) the text,
(4) the language,
(5) the historical statements.
1. The Predictions:
The assailants of the genuineness of Daniel on the ground of the predictions found therein, may be divided into two classes-those who deny prediction in general, and those who claim that the apocalyptic character of the predictions of Daniel is a sufficient proof of their lack of genuineness. The first of these two classes includes properly those only who deny not merely Christianity, but theism; and the answering of them may safely be left to those who defend the doctrines of theism, and particularly of revelation. The second class of assailants is, however, of a different character, since it consists of those who are sincere believers in Christianity and predictive prophecy.
They claim, however, that certain characteristics of definiteness and detail, distinguishing the predictive portions of the Book of Daniel from other predictions of the Old Testament, bring the genuineness of Daniel into question. The kind of prediction found here, ordinarily called apocalyptic, is said to have arisen first in the 2nd century B.C., when parts of the Book of Enoch and of the Sibylline Oracles were written; and a main characteristic of an apocalypse is said to be that it records past events as if they were still future, throwing the speaker back into some distant past time, for the purpose of producing on the reader the impression that the book contains real predictions, thus gaining credence for the statements of the writer and giving consolation to those who are thus led to believe in the providential foresight of God for those who trust in Him.
Since those who believe that God has spoken unto man by His Son and through the prophets will not be able to set limits to the extent and definiteness of the revelations which He may have seen fit to make through them, nor to prescribe the method, style, time and character of the revelations, this attack on the genuineness of Daniel may safely be left to the defenders of the possibility and the fact of a revelation. One who believes in these may logically believe in the genuineness of Daniel, as far as this objection goes. That there are spurious apocalypses no more proves that all are spurious than that there are spurious gospels or epistles proves that there are no genuine ones.
The spurious epistles of Philaris do not prove that Cicero's Letters are not genuine; nor do the false statements of 2 Maccabees, nor the many spurious Acts of the Apostles, prove that 1 Maccabees or Luke's Acts of the Apostles is not genuine. Nor does the fact that the oldest portions of the spurious apocalypses which have been preserved to our time are thought to have been written in the 2nd century B.C., prove that no apocalypses, either genuine or spurious, were written before that time. There must have been a beginning, a first apocalypse, at some time, if ever. Besides, if we admit that the earliest parts of the Book of Enoch and of the Sibylline Oracles were written about the middle of the 2nd century B.C., whereas the Book of Esdras was written about 300 A.D., 450 years later, we can see no good literary reason wh Daniel may not have antedated Enoch by 350 years. The period between 500 B.C. and 150 B.C. is so almost entirely devoid of all known Hebrew literary productions as to render it exceedingly precarious for anyone to express an opinion as to what works may have characterized that long space of time.
2. The Miracles:
Secondly, as to the objections made against the Book of Daniel on the ground of the number or character of the miracles recorded, we shall only say that they affect the whole Christian system, which is full of the miraculous from beginning to end. If we begin to reject the books of the Bible because miraculous events are recorded in them, where indeed shall we stop?
3. The Text:
Thirdly, a more serious objection, as far as Daniel itself is concerned, is the claim of Eichhorn that the original text of the Aramaic portion has been so thoroughly tampered with and changed, that we can no longer get at the genuine original composition. We ourselves can see no objection to the belief that these Aramaic portions were written first of all in Hebrew, or even, if you will, in Babylonian; nor to the supposition that some Greek translators modified the meaning in their version either intentionally, or through a misunderstanding of the original. We claim, however, that the composite Aramaic of Daniel agrees in almost every particular of orthography, etymology and syntax, with the Aramaic of the North Semitic inscriptions of the 9th, 8th and 7th centuries B.C. and of the Egyptian papyri of the 5th century B.C., and that the vocabulary of Daniel has an admixture of Hebrew, Babylonian and Persian words similar to that of the papyri of the 5th century B.C.; whereas, it differs in composition from the Aramaic of the Nabateans, which is devoid of Persian, Hebrew, and Babylonian words, and is full of Arabisms, and also from that of the Palmyrenes, which is full of Greek words, while having but one or two Persian words, and no Hebrew or Babylonian. As to different recensions, we meet with a similar difficulty in Jeremiah without anyone's impugning on that account the genuineness of the work as a whole. As to interpolations of verses or sections, they are found in the Samaritan recension of the Hebrew text and in the Samaritan and other Targums, as also in certain places in the text of the New Testament, Josephus and many other ancient literary works, without causing us to disbelieve in the genuineness of the rest of their works, or of the works as a whole.
4. The Language:
Fourthly, the objections to the genuineness of Daniel based on the presence in it of three Greek names of musical instruments and of a number of Persian words do not seem nearly as weighty today as they did a hundred years ago. The Greek inscriptions at Abu Simbal in Upper Egypt dating from the time of Psamtek II in the early part of the 6th century B.C., the discovery of the Minoan inscriptions and ruins in Crete, the revelations of the wide commercial relations of the Phoenicians in the early part of the 1st millennium B.C., the lately published inscriptions of Sennacherib about his campaigns in Cilicia against the Greek seafarers to which Alexander Poly-histor and Abydenus had referred, telling about his having carried many Greeks captive to Nineveh about 700 B.C., the confirmation of the wealth and expensive ceremonies of Nebuchadnezzar made by his own building and other inscriptions, all assure us of the possibility of the use of Greek musical instruments at Babylon in the 6th century B.C. This, taken along with the well-known fact that names of articles of commerce and especially of musical instruments go with the thing, leave no room to doubt that a writer of the 6th century B.C. may have known and used borrowed Greek terms. The Arameans being the great commercial middlemen between Egypt and Greece on the one hand and Babylon and the Orient on the other, and being in addition a subject people, would naturally adopt many foreign words into their vocabulary.
As to the presence of the so-called Persian words in Daniel, it must be remembered that many words which were formerly considered to be such have been found to be Babylonian. As to the others, perhaps all of them may be Median rather than Persian; and if so, the children of Israel who were carried captive to the cities of the Medes in the middle of the 8th century B.C., and the, Arameans, many of whom were subject to the Medes, at least from the time of the fall of Nineveh about 607 B.C., may well have adopted many words into their vocabulary from the language of their rulers. Daniel was not writing merely for the Jews who had been carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar, but for all Israelites throughout the world. Hence, he would properly use a language which his scattered readers would understand rather than the purer idiom of Judea. Most of his foreign terms are names of officials, legal terms, and articles of clothing, for which there were no suitable terms existing in the earlier Hebrew or Aramaic There was nothing for a writer to do but to invent new terms, or to transfer the current foreign words into his native language. The latter was the preferable method and the one which he adopted.
5. The Historical Statements:
Fifthly, objections to the genuineness of the Book of Daniel are made on the ground of the historical misstatements which are said to be found in it. These may be classed as:
(2) geographical, and
(1) Chronological Objections.
The first chronological objection is derived from Daniel 1:1, where it is said that Nebuchadnezzar made an expedition against Jerusalem in the 3rd year of Jehoiakim, whereas Jeremiah seems to imply that the expedition was made in the 4th year of that king. As Daniel was writing primarily for the Jews of Babylon, he would naturally use the system of dating that was employed there; and this system differed in its method of denoting the 1st year of a reign from that used by the Egyptians and by the Jews of Jerusalem for whom Jeremiah wrote.
The second objection is derived from the fact that Daniel is said (Daniel 1:21) to have lived unto the 1st year of Cyrus the king, whereas in Daniel 10:1 he is said to have seen a vision in the 3rd year of Cyrus, king of Persia. These statements are easily reconciled by supposing that in the former case it is the 1st year of Cyrus as king of Babylon, and in the second, the 3rd year of Cyrus as king of Persia.
The third chronological objection is based on Daniel 6:28, where it is said that Daniel prospered in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian. This statement is harmonized with the facts revealed by the monuments and with the statements of the book itself by supposing that Darius reigned synchronously with Cyrus, but as sub-king under him.
The fourth objection is based on Daniel 8:1, where Daniel is said to have seen a vision in the third year of Belshazzar the king. If we suppose that Belshazzar was king of the Chaldeans while his father was king of Babylon, just as Cambyses was king of Babylon while his father, Cyrus, was king of the lands, or as Nabonidus II seems to have been king of Harran while his father, Nabonidus I, was king of Babylon, this statement will harmonize with the other statements made with regard to Belshazzar.
(2) Geographical Objections.
As to the geographical objections, three only need be considered as important. The first is, that Shushan seems to be spoken of in Daniel 7:2 as subject to Babylon, whereas it is supposed by some to have been at that time subject to Media. Here we can safely rest upon the opinion of Winckler, that at the division of the Assyrian dominions among the allied Medes and Babylonians, Elam became subject to Babylon rather than to Media. If, however, this opinion could be shown not to be true, we must remember that Daniel is said to have been at ShuShan in a vision. The second geographical objection is based on the supposition that Nebuchadnezzar would not have gone against Jerusalem, leaving an Egyptian garrison at Carchemish in his rear, thus endangering his line of communication and a possible retreat to Babylon. This objection has no weight, now that the position of Carchemish has been shown to be, not at Ciressium, as formerly conjectured, but at Jirabis, 150 miles farther up the Euphrates. Carchemish would have cut off a retreat to Nineveh, but was far removed from the direct line of communication with Babylon. The third geographical objection is derived from the statement that Darius placed 120 satraps in, or over, all his kingdom. The objection rests upon a false conception of the meaning of satrap and of the extent of a satrapy, there being no reason why a sub-king under Darius may not have had as many satraps under him as Sargon of Assyria had governors and deputies under him; and the latter king mentions 117 peoples and countries over which he appointed his deputies to rule in his place.
(3) Other Objections.
Various other objections to the genuineness of Daniel have been made, the principal being those derived from the supposed non-existence of Kings Darius the Mede and Belshazzar the Chaldean, from the use of the word Chaldean to denote the wise men of Babylon, and from the silence of other historical sources as to many of the events recorded in Daniel. The discussion of the existence of Belshazzar and Darius the Mede will be found under BELSHAZZAR and DARIUS. As to the argument from silence in general, it may be said that it reduces itself in fact to the absence of all reference to Daniel on the monuments, in the Book of Ecclus, and in the post-exilic literature. As to the latter books it proves too much; for Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, as well as Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, refer to so few of the older canonical books and earlier historical persons and events, that it is not fair to expect them to refer to Daniel-at least, to use their not referring to him or his book as an argument against the existence of either before the time when they were written.
As to Ecclesiasticus, we might have expected him to mention Daniel or the So of Three Children; but who knows what reasons Ben Sira may have had for not placing them in his list of Hebrew heroes? Perhaps, since he held the views which later characterized the Sadducees, he may have passed Daniel by because of his views on the resurrection and on angels. Perhaps he failed to mention any of the four companions because none of their deeds had been wrought in Palestine; or because their deeds exalted too highly the heathen monarchies to which the Jews were subject. Or, more likely, the book may have been unknown to him, since very few copies at best of the whole Old Testament can have existed in his time, and the Book of Daniel may not have gained general currency in Palestine before it was made so preeminent by the fulfillment of its predictions in the Maccabean times.
It is not satisfactory to say that Ben Sira did not mention Daniel and his companions, because the stories concerning them had not yet been imbedded in a canonical book, inasmuch as he does place Simon, the high priest, among the greatest of Israel's great men, although he is not mentioned in any canonical book. In conclusion, it may be said, that while it is impossible for us to determine why Ben Sira does not mention Daniel and his three companions among his worthies, if their deeds were known to him, it is even more impossible to understand how these stories concerning them cannot merely have arisen but have been accepted as true, between 180 B.C., when Ecclesiasticus is thought to have been written, and 169 B.C., when, according to 1 Maccabees, Matthias, the first of the Asmoneans, exhorted his brethren to follow the example of the fortitude of Ananias and his friends. As to the absence of all mention of Daniel on the contemporary historical documents of Babylon and Persia, such mention is not to be expected, inasmuch as those documents give the names of none who occupied positions such as, or similar to, those which Daniel is said to have filled.
Questions of the interpretation of particular passages may be looked for in the commentaries and special works. As to the general question of the kind of prophecy found in the Book of Daniel, it has already been discussed above under the caption of "Genuineness." As to the interpretation of the world monarchies which precede the monarchy of the Messiah Prince, it may be said, however, that the latest discoveries, ruling out as they do a separate Median empire that included Babylon, support the view that the four monarchies are the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek, and the Roman. According to this view, Darius the Mede was only a sub-king under Cyrus the Persian. Other interpretations have been made by selecting the four empires from those of Assyria, Babylonia, Media, Persia, Medo-Persia, Alexander, the Seleucids, the Romans, and the Mohammedans. The first and the last of these have generally been excluded from serious consideration. The main dispute is as to whether the 4th empire was that of the Seleucids, or that of the Romans, the former view being held commonly by those who hold to the composition of in the 2nd century B.C., and the latter by those who hold to the traditional view that it was written in the 6th century B.C.
It is universally admitted that the teachings of Daniel with regard to angels and the resurrection are more explicit than those found elsewhere in the Old Testament. As to angels, Daniel attributes to them names, ranks, and functions not mentioned by others. It has become common in certain quarters to assert that these peculiarities of Daniel are due to Persian influences. The Babylonian monuments, however, have revealed the fact that the Babylonians believed in both good and evil spirits with names, ranks, and different functions. These spirits correspond in several respects to the Hebrew angels, and may well have afforded Daniel the background for his visions. Yet, in all such matters, it must be remembered that Daniel purports to give us a vision, or revelation; and a revelation cannot be bound by the ordinary laws of time and human influence.
As to the doctrine of the resurrection, it is generally admitted that Daniel adds some new and distinct features to that which is taught in the other canonical books of the Old Testament. But it will be noted that he does not dwell upon this doctrine, since he mentions it only in Daniel 12:2. The materials for his doctrine are to be found in Isaiah 26:14, 21 and 66:24; Ezekiel 37:1-14, and in Job 14:12; Job 19:25 Hosea 6:2 1 Kings 17:4; 2 Kings 4 2 Kings 8:1-5, as well as in the use of the words for sleep and awakening from sleep, or from the dust, for everlasting life or everlasting contempt in Isaiah 26:19 Psalm 76:6; Psalm 13:3; Psalm 127:2 Deuteronomy 31:16 2 Samuel 7:12; 1 Kings 1:21 Job 7:21, and Jeremiah 20:11; Jeremiah 23:40. The essential ideas and phraseology of Daniel's teachings are found in Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The first two parts of the books of Enoch and 2 Maccabees make much of the resurrection; but on the other hand, Ecclesiastes seems to believe not even in the immortality of the soul, and Wisdom and 1 Maccabees do not mention a resurrection of the body. That the post-exilic prophets do not mention a resurrection does not prove that they knew nothing about Daniel any more than it proves that they knew nothing about Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.
There are resemblances, it is true, between the teachings of Daniel with regard to the resurrection and those of the Avesta. But so are there between his doctrines and the ideas of the Egyptians, which had existed for millenniums before his time. Besides there is no proof of any derivation of doctrines from the Persians by the writers of the canonical books of the Jews; and, as we have seen above, both the ideas and verbiage of Daniel are to be found in the generally accepted early Hebrew literature. And finally, this attempt to find a natural origin for all Biblical ideas leaves out of sight the fact that the Scriptures contain revelations from God, which transcend the ordinary course of human development. To a Christian, therefore, there can be no reason for believing that the doctrines of Daniel may not have been promulgated in the 6th century B.C.
Commentaries and Introductions:
The best commentaries on Daniel from a conservative point of view are those by Calvin, Moses Stuart, Keil, Zockler, Strong in Lange's Bibelwerk, Fuller in the Speaker's Commentary, Thomson in the Pulpit Commentary, and Wright, Daniel and His Critics. The best defenses of Daniel's authenticity and genuineness are Hengstenberg, Authenticity of the Book of Daniel, Tregelles, Defense of the Authenticity, Auberlen, The Prophecies of Daniel, Fuller, Essay on the Authenticity of Daniel, Pusey, Daniel the Prophet (still the best of all), C. H. H. Wright, Daniel and His Critics, Kennedy, The Book of Daniel from the Christian Standpoint, Joseph Wilson, Daniel, and Sir Robert Anderson, Daniel in the Critics' Den. One should consult also Pinches, The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records of Assyria and Babylonia, Clay, Light on the Old Testament from Babel, and Orr, The Problem of the Old Testament. For English readers, the radical school is best represented by Driver in his Literature of the Old Testament and in his Daniel; by Bevan, The Book of Daniel; by Prince, Commentary on Daniel, and by Cornill in his Introduction to the Old Testament.
X. Apocryphal Additions.
In the Greek translations of Daniel three or four pieces are added which are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic text as it has come down to us.
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ELDAD AND MODAD, BOOK OF
In the Septuagint they are called Eldad and Modad. In the King James Version the names are given as Eldad and Medad; meaning "God has loved" ("God loves") and "object of love" (?).
They were two of the seventy elders chosen by Moses (Numbers 11:26), and while the others obeyed the summons and went to the tabernacle, these two remained in the camp and prophesied (Numbers 11:26). The nature of their prophecy is not recorded, and this naturally became a good subject for the play of the imagination. It furnished the basis for a lost work which was quoted by Hermas (Vis 2 3): "The Lord is near to them who return unto him, as it is written in Eldad and Modad, who prophesied to the people in the wilderness." The Palestine Targums also filled in the subject of the prophecy of Eldad and Modad, and, as they have it, it related to the coming of Gog and Magog against Israel at the end of the days. One of the Targums has the expression, "The Lord is near to them that are in the hour of tribulation." The authors of the Targums were either dependent upon that work or upon a similar tradition; and the former of these views is the more probable. Lightfoot and Holtzman think the lengthy quotation in 1 Clem 23 and 2 Clem 11 is from the Book of Eldad and Modad. The work is found in the Stichometry of Nicephorus and consists of 400 stichoi, which would make it about twice the length of the Cant.
A. W. Fortune
ESDRAS, THE FIRST BOOK OF
1. Name 2. Contents 3. Relation to Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah 4. Versions 5. Date and Authorship
In some of the Greek uncials (Codex Vaticanus, etc.) of the Septuagint the book is called Esdras, Codex Alexandrinus (or Proton); so in the editions of Fritzsche, Tischendorf, Nestle and Swete. It is absent from Codex Sinaiticus and in Codex Alexandrinus its name is Ho Hiereus = The Priest, i.e. Ezra, who is emphatically the priest. It is also called 1 Esdras in the old Latin and Syriac VSS, as well as in the English, Welsh and other modern translations. In the English and other Protestant Bibles which generally print the Apocrypha apart, this book stands first in the Apocrypha under the influence partly of its name, and in part on account of its contents, as it seemed a suitable link between the canonical and the apocryphal writings. The English 2 Esdras is the apocalyptic Esdras and stands immediately after the English and Greek 1 Esdras. The Vulgate, following Jerome's version, gave the names 1, 2 and 3 Esdras to our Ezra, Nehemiah, and 1 Esdras, respectively, and in editions of the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) down to that of Pope Sixtus (died 1590) these three books appear in that order. The name 3 Esdras is, therefore, that current in the Roman church, and it has the sanction of the 6th article of the Anglican Creed and of Miles Coverdale who in his translation follows the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) in naming the canonical Ezra, Nehemiah and the apocryphal 1 Esdras, 1, 2 and 3 Esdras, respectively. Other reformers adhered to these titles. In Fritzsche's commentary on the Apocrypha 3 Esdras is preferred and he treats this book first. In Kautzsch's German edition of the Apocrypha and in most recent German works the Latin designation 3 is revived. The English commentators Bissell (Lange) and Wace (Speaker's Commentary) follow the custom of the Bible and speak of 1 Esdras, placing the book first in the collection, and this is the prevailing custom among English Protestant theologians. The name 2 Esdras has also been given to this book, the canonical Ezra and Nehemiah being then counted as one-1 Esdras. See Origen quoted by HE, V, 25; Zunz, Der Gottesdienst, Vortrage Berlin, 1832, 15.
With the exception of 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6-the incident of the royal banquet and the contest for a prize of the three young men-the present books agree in everything essential, down to the minutest details, with the canonical Ezra and part of 2 Chronicles and Nehemiah. Before discussing the relation between 1 Esdras and the Biblical books named (see next section), it will be advantageous to give an outline of the book now specially under consideration, with reference to the parallel passages in the corresponding parts of the Canon. It will be seen that practically the whole of Ezra is concerned, and for explanations of the parts common to this book and to Ne reference may be made to the Century Bible Commentary on Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther.
1. 1 Esdras 1 = 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:21 and maybe analyzed thus: 1 Esdras 1:1-20 = 2 Chronicles 35:1-19: Josiah's great Passover. 1 Esdras 1:21 has no exact parallel. 1 Esdras 1:23-31 = 2 Chronicles 35:20-27: The death of Josiah. This took place on the battlefield at Megiddo according to 2 Kings 23:29, but 1 Esdras 1:31 and 2 Chronicles 35:24 say he died at Jerusalem. 1 Esdras 1:32-58 = 2 Chronicles 36:1-21, closing years of the monarchy followed by the exile in Babylon.
2. 1 Esdras 2:1-15 = Ezra 1:1-11: The return from Babylon through the edict of Cyrus.
3. 1 Esdras 2:16-26 = Ezra 4:7-24. Certain Persian officials in Samaria induced King Artaxerxes I (died 424 B.C.) to stop the work of rebuilding the temple, which is not resumed until the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspis (519 B.C.).
4. 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6 has no parallel in any part of the Old Testament. King Darius (Hystaspis?) makes a great feast, after which he returns to his bedchamber but finds sleeping very difficult. Three young men belonging to his bodyguard resolve each to make a sentence to be written down and placed under the king's pillow, so that upon rising from his bed he might hear the three sayings read to him. The question which each one seeks to answer is, What in this world is strongest? The first says it is "wine," the second, that it is "the king." The reply of the third is "woman, though strongest of all is truth" (from this arose the Latin saying Magna dst veritas et prevalebit). The third is declared the best, and as a reward the king offers him whatever he might wish. This young man happened to be Zerubbabel (Zorobabel), and the request that he makes is that King Darius might perform the vow which he made on coming to the throne to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple and to restore the sacred vessels removed to Babylon. This request is at once granted, and there follows an account of the home-coming of Jews exiled in Babylon and the protection accorded them by the Persian government similar to what we read of in 1 Esdras 1 as taking place in the reign of Cyrus. But many things in this narrative are striking and indeed odd. Zerubbabel is called a young man. Among those mentioned in 1 Esdras 5:5 Zerubbabel is not named, though his son Joakim is. In the very next verse (5:6) this Joakim is identified with the young man (Zerubbabel) who won the king's prize for writing the wisest sentence, though the sense is not quite clear; perhaps Zerubbabel is meant in 1 Esdras 5:6. Fritzsche argues that Joakim can alone be meant. This whole episode stands in no organic connection with the rest of 1 Esdras, and if it is omitted the narrative is continuous. Besides this the account given of the return from Babylon contradicts what is said in 1 Esdras 1 and the corresponding part of Ezra. We must regard 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6 as a Jewish haggadah which at an early time was written in the margin as supplying illustrative matter and then got incorporated into the text. Nevertheless, from a literary point of view this part of the book is the gem of the whole.
5. 1 Esdras 5:7-73 = Ezra 2-4:1-5: The names of those who returned with number of animals (horses, etc.) (1 Esdras 5:7-43); altar of burnt offering erected (1 Esdras 5:48); sacrifices offered on it (1 Esdras 5:50). Foundation of the temple laid (1 Esdras 5:56). The Jews refuse the offer of the Samaritan party to help in the rebuilding of the temple, with the result that this party had the work stopped (1 Esdras 5:66-73). Ezra 4:6-24 finds its parallel in 1 Esdras 2:16-30 (see above). 1 Esdras 2:30 and 5:73 are evidently duplicates.
6. 1 Esdras 6:1-7:15 = Ezra 5:1-6:22: Building of the temple resumed through the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah (1 Esdras 6:1). Persian officials unsuccessfully oppose the work (1 Esdras 6:3-34) which is soon completed, the temple being then dedicated (1 Esdras 7:1-11). Observance of the Passover (1 Esdras 7:12-15). Between 1 Esdras 7 and 8 there is an interval of some 60 years, for chapter 8 begins with the arrival of Ezra (458 B.C.).
7. 1 Esdras 8:1-67 = Ezra 7:1-8:36: Journey of Ezra and his party from Babylon to Jerusalem bearing letters of authority from King Artaxerxes I (died 424 B.C.) (1 Esdras 8:1-27); list of those who return (1 Esdras 8:28-40); gathering together of the party by the river Ahava; incidents of the journey; the arrival (1 Esdras 8:41).
8. 1 Esdras 8:68-90 = Ezra 9: Ezra's grief on hearing of the marriage of some Jews with foreign wives (1 Esdras 8:68-73). His confession and prayer (1 Esdras 8:74-90).
9. 1 Esdras 8:91-9:36 = Ezra 10: The means used to end the mixed marriages; lists of the men (priests and others) who had married strange wives.
10. 1 Esdras 9:37-55 = Nehemiah 7:73 b through 8:12: The reforms of Ezra. In the Canonical Scriptures Nehemiah 7:73 b through 10 gives the history of Ezra, not that of Nehemiah-the two never labored or lived together at Jerusalem. (The name Nehemiah in Nehemiah 8:9 and 10:1 is an evident interpolation.) In 1 Esdras Nehemiah is not once mentioned in this section. In 1 Esdras 9:49 (parallel Nehemiah 8:9) "Attharates" is the word used, and as a proper name (see 1 Esdras 5:40, "Nehemiah and Attharates"). The majority of modern scholars assign this section to Ezra, adding it to Ezra 10, or incorporating it into the Ezra narrative. So Ewald, Wellhausen, Schrader, Klostermann, Baudissin, Budde and Ryssel. The present writer defends this view in the Century Bible in Ezra-Nehemiah-Esther, 242. In this case 1 Esdras borrows from Chronicles and Ezra alone and not from Nehemiah. It should be remembered however that Ezra-Nehemiah formed originally but one book. Some will say that Chronicles preceded Ezra-Nehemiah as a single book, but for this there is no evidence (see Century Bible, 4). The last verse of 1 Esdras in all manuscripts ends in the middle of a sentence: "And they assembled." showing that the closing part of the book has been lost. The present writer suggests that the missing part is Nehemiah 8:13-10, which begins, "And on the second day were gathered together (assembled) the heads of fathers' houses," etc., the same verb being used in the Septuagint Greek of both passages with a very slight difference (episunechthesan, and sunechthesan, in Ezra and Esdras respectively).
3. The Relation to Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah:
Since Nehemiah 7:73 b through 8:12 belongs to the Book of Ezra (see above) describing the work of Ezra, not that of Nehemiah, the contents of 1 Esdras are parallel with those of Ezra alone with the exception of chapter 1 which agrees with 2 Chronicles 35:1-36:21. Various explanations have been offered, the following being the principal: (1) that 1 Esdras is a compilation based on the Septuagint of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah: so Keil, Bissell and formerly Schurer (GJV, II, ii, 179; Herzog2, I, 496); the arguments for this opinion are well marshaled by Bissell in his Commentary on the Apocrypha (Lange); (2) that 1 Esdras is an independent Greek translation from a now lost Hebrew (or Aramaic) origin in many respects superior to our Massoretic Text: so Whiston, Pohlmann, Herzfeld, Fritzsche, Ginsburg, Cheyne, Thackeray, Nestle, Howarth, Torrey and Bertholet. Most of these writers hold that the original 1 Esdras included the whole of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah; (3) the bulk of those who support view 2 argue that the original 1 Esdras formed the real Septuagint version of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah, what exists in our present Septuagint being another Greek translation, probably by Theodotion (fl, about 150 A.D.), just as we now know that what up to 1772 (the date of the publication in Rome of the Codex Chisianus) was considered as the Septuagint of Daniel is really Theodotion's version. Howarth (see articles in the Academy, 1893; PSBA, XXIX, etc.), and Torrey (Ezra Studies) stoutly champion this view. The evidence offered is of two kinds, external and internal:
(1) External Evidence.
(a) Josephus uses this version as his source for the period, though for other Old Testament books he follows the Septuagint. (b) In the foreword to the Syriac version of 1 Esdras in Walton's Polyglot it is said that this version follows the Septuagint, which surely counts for nothing since copies of the Septuagint known to us contain both 1 Esdras and the Greek translation reckoned up to recently as the true Septuagint. (c) Howarth maintains, but without proof, that in Origen's Hexapla, 1 Esdras takes the place of our Septuagint version, and that the same is true of the Virus Itala.
(2) Internal Evidence.
(a) It is said by Dr. Gwyn, Thackeray and Howarth that the Greek of the true Septuagint of Daniel and that of 1 Esdras are very similar in character, which however only goes to prove that one man translated both.
(b) Howarth holds that the Greek of Daniel and Ezra in the orthodox Septuagint version is very literal, as was all Theodotion's translation work. But such statements have to be received with very great caution, as in judging of style so much depends on the personal equation. The present writer has compared carefully parts ascribed with confidence to Theodotion and the Septuagint without reaching the above conclusions. At the most the matter has not been set at rest by any facts or reasoning as yet supplied. It must be admitted that 1 Esdras and Josephus preserve the true sequence of the events chronicled in Nehemiah 7:73 b through 10, the Massoretic Text and the Greek version based on it having gone wrong at this point, probably through the mixing of Hebrew skins or leaves. Those who see in 1 Esdra the true Septuagint agree almost to a man that 1 Esdras 3:1-5:6 is a late interpretation, never having had a Hob original. This may account in a large degree for the vigor and elegance of the Greek Howarth, however, parts company with his friends Torrey, Bertholet, etc., by arguing strenuously for this part. (See more fully in Century Bible, Ezra, etc., 27.)
1 Esdras exists in the following ancient versions in addition to the Greek text which may or may not be a translation (see 3 above):
(1) Latin: (a) Jerome. (b) Vulgate.
(2) Syriac: (a) The Peshitta. The Peshitta, given in Walton's Polyglot and with a critically revised text by Lagarde (Libri Veteris Testamenti Apocrypha Syriace, 1861). (b) The Hexaplar Syriac version. For details of manuscripts, etc., see "Literature" below.
5. Date and Authorship:
Nothing is known or can be conjectured as to the author or translator of 1 Esdras, nor can anything be positively affirmed as to the date. If the work be the genuine Septuagint text this would give it an earlier origin than the view which makes it depend on the Septuagint. But this is to say but little. As Josephus (died 95 A.D.) used this book it must have been written some years before he wrote his history (say 67 A.D.). We must assume that it existed some time before the beginning of our era. Ewald, on account of some resemblances to the earliest of the Sibylline Books, dates 1 Esdras about 190 B.C. But admitting dependence in this matter-which is doubtful-it is impossible to say which is dependent and which is independent in such cases.
The most important books have been named at the end of the general article on APOCRYPHA (which see). Recent contributions by Howarth and Torrey have been mentioned in the course of the foregoing article.
T. Witton Davies
ESDRAS, THE SECOND (FOURTH) BOOK OF; APOCALYPTIC ESDRAS
Or The Apocalyptic Esdras:
1. Name 2. Contents 3. Language 4. Versions 5. Origin of the Book 6. Date
This book was not received by the Council of Trent as canonical, nor has it ever been acknowledged as such by the Anglican church.
The book is not found in the Septuagint and no complete copy of the Greek text is known, though at one time it did exist. The oldest extant name is "The Prophet Ezra" (Esdras ho prophetes; see Clement of Alexandria, Strom., iii.16): It has been often called the Latin Esdras because it exists more completely in that language; compare the name Greek Esdras for 1 Esdras.
3 Esdras is the designation in old editions of the Vulgate, 1 Esdras being Ezra and Nehemiah, 2 Esdras denoting what in English is called 1 Esdras. But in editions of the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) later than the Council of Trent, and also in Walton's Polyglot, Ezra is called 1 Esdras, Nehemiah, 2 Esdras, 1 Esdras = 3 Esdras, the present book (the Latin Esdras) being known as 4 Esdras. In authorized copies of the Vulgate, i.e. in those commonly used, this book is lacking. On account of its contents, Westcott, following the example of Anastasius Sinaita (bishop of Antioch from 559 A.D.), called the book the "Apocalypse of Esdras." But as Tischendorf in 1866 edited a later and inferior work with this title the present writer suggests the name "The Apocalyptic Esdras." Of all the Jewish apocalypses this is the sublimest and most pleading.
See APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE, sec. II, 1, 5.
The original work consists of 2 Esdras 3-14, chapters 1 and 15 being late additions. The entire book of 16 chapters exists in the Latin version only, the other versions containing chapters 3-14 only. The real 2nd (apocalyptic) Esdras, consisting of chapters 3-14, is made up of 7 visions given to Ezra in exile 30 years after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The drift of these visions is, How can a just and loving God allow His own people to suffer so much? The problem thus raised is fully and beautifully dealt with. For lack of space the present writer must refer for a fuller analysis to the article APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE, sec. I, 5, and the literature there cited. For 2 Esdras 1 and 15 see under ESDRAS 5 AND 6.
Though no complete text even of 2 Esdras 3-14 has survived, a careful examination of the Latin shows that it has been made from a Greek original.
(1) Some fragments of the Greek can be traced, as 5:35 in Clement of Alexandria and 8:23 in the Apostolical Constitutions.
(2) The order of the twelve prophets in 1:39 follows that in the Septuagint.
(3) The Latin version bears throughout clear traces of Greek idiom.
Thus the gen. is used with the comparative (5:3; 11:29); we have the genitive (not ablative) absolute in 10:9, the double negative and the use of de (Greek apo) and ex (Greek ek) with the genitive in various parts. But there are cogent reasons for concluding that the Greek version implied in the Latin itself implies a Hebrew original, and the proof is similar to that of a Greek version as the basis of the Latin In the Greek there are idioms which are Hebrew, not Greek, not even in their frequency Hellenistic Greek. The participle used to strengthen the finite verb is the regular Hebrew idiom of the absolute with the finite verb: see 4:2 (excedens excessit); 5:30 (odiens odisti). For other examples see Gunkel (in Kautzsch, Die Apokryphen u. Pseud. des Altes Testament, 332); R. H. Charles (Enc Brit, X, 106). Ewald was the first to defend a Hebrew original, but in 1866 he was followed by his distinguished pupil Wellhausen and also by R. H. Charles (Apoc Bar, lxxii).
The Latin version is far the most important and on it the English Versions of the Bible depends. But all published editions of the Latin text (those of Fabricius, Hilgenfeld, Fritzsche, etc.) go back to one and the same MS, the so-called Codex Sangermanensis (date 822), which omits a large part of the text between 2 Esdras 7:36 and 7:37 Any reader of the English text can see the lack of continuity between these verses. In 1875 Bensly published the missing fragment with an Introduction and critical notes. In 1895 Bensly and James published a critical edition of The Fourth Book of Ezra in Latin, restoring the missing fragment and correcting with the aid of the best-known manuscripts.
(2) Other Versions.
There are Syriac (Peshitta), Ethiopic, Arabic, Armenian and yet other VSS, but all depend on the lost Greek except one of the two extant Arabic translations. The number and variety of versions show that 2 Esdras was widely circulated. By the Greek and Latin Fathers it was quoted as a genuine prophetical work. Its importance in the estimation of the medieval Roman church is vouched for by the fact that it has reached us in a number of wellknown manuscripts of the Scriptures, and that it was added to the authorized Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) as an appendix.
5. Origin of the Book:
Two main views may briefly be noted:
(1) That of Kabisch (Das vierte Buch Esra, 1889) who holds that the editor of the book freely used a goodly number of sources, subtracting, adding and altering to suit his purpose. He gives a list of probable sources. R. H. Charles (Enc Brit, X, 107) is inclined to adopt this analysis.
(2) Gunkel (loc. cit.) maintains and tries to prove that the book is the production of a single writer. Yet he admits that the book contains a large number of inconsistencies which he explains by assuming that the editor made free use of oral and written traditions. The two views do not therefore stand very far apart, for both take for granted that several sources have been used. It is simply a question of more or less.
Wellhausen is probably right in saying that the author of 2 (4) Esdras had before him the Apocrypha of Baruch, written under the impression awakened by the destruction of Jerusalem in 71 A.D.
The opinion of the best modern scholars is that the book was written somewhere in the East in the last decade of the 1st century of our era. This conclusion rests mainly on the most likely interpretation of the vision of the Eagle and the Lion in 2 Esdras 11:1-12:51; but also on the fact that Clement of Alexandria (died 217 A.D.) quotes the Greek of 5:35.
Besides the literature referred to above see Schurer, A Hist of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ, II, iii, 93 (Ger. edition 4, III, 315); the articles in HDB (Thackeray) and Encyclopedia Biblica (James); the New Sch-Herz under the word "Pseudepigrapha, Old Testament" (G. Beer), and in the present work under APOCRYPHA and APOCALYPTIC LITERATURE.
T. Witton Davies
ESTHER, BOOK OF
1. The Canonicity of Esther 2. Its Authorship 3. Its Date 4. Its Contents 5. The Greek Additions 6. The Attacks upon the Book 7. Some of the Objections 8. Confirmations of the Book
This book completes the historical books of the Old Testament. The conjunction "w" (waw = and), with which it begins, is significant. It shows that the book was designed for a place in a series, the waw linking it on to a book immediately preceding, and that the present arrangement of the Hebrew Bible differs widely from what must have been the original order. At present Esther follows Ecclesiastes, with which it has no connection whatever; and this tell-tale "and," like a body-mark on a lost child, proves that the book has been wrenched away from its original connection. There is no reason to doubt that the order in the Septuagint follows that of the Hebrew Bible of the 3rd or the 4th century B.C., and this is the order of the Vulgate, of the English Bible, and other VSS: The initial waw is absent from Genesis, Deuteronomy, 1 Chronicles and Nehemiah. The historical books are consequently arranged, by the insertion and the omission of waw, into these four divisions: Genesis to Numbers; Deuteronomy to 2 Kings; 1 Chronicles to Ezra; Nehemiah and Esther.
1. The Canonicity of Esther:
Of the canonicity of the book there is no question. That there was a distinct guardianship of the Canon by the Jewish priesthood has figured less in recent discussions than it should. Josephus shows that there was a Temple copy which was carried among the Temple spoils in the triumph of Vespasian. The peculiarities of the Hebrew text also prove that all our manuscripts are representatives of one standard copy. In the Jewish Canon Esther had not only a recognized, but also a distinguished, place. The statement of Junilius in the 6th century A.D. that the canonicity of Esther was doubted by some in his time has no bearing on the question. The high estimation of the book current among the ancient Jews is evident from its titles. It is usually headed "Megillath Esther" (the volume of Esther), and sometimes "Megillah" (the volume). Maimonides says that the wise men among the Jews affirm that the book was dictated by the Holy Spirit, and adds: "All the books of the Prophets, and all the Hagiographa shall cease in the days of the Messiah, except the volume of Esther; and, lo, that shall be as stable as the Pentateuch, and as the constitutions of the oral law which shall never cease."
2. Its Authorship:
By whom was the book written? This is a point in regard to which no help is afforded us either by the contents of the book or by any reliable tradition. Mordecai, whose claims have been strongly urged by some, is excluded by the closing words (Esther 10:3), which sum up his life work and the blessings of which he had been the recipient. The words imply that when the book was written, that great Israelite had passed away.
3. Its Date:
Light is thrown upon the date of the book by the closing references to Ahasuerus (Esther 10:2): "And all the acts of his power and of his might,. are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia?" The entire history, therefore, of Xerxes was to be found in the state records when the book was written. In other words, Xerxes had passed away before it saw the light. That monarch was assassinated by Artabanus in 465 B.C. This gives us, say 460 B.C., as the highest possible date. The lowest possible date is the overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander in 332 B.C.; for the royal records of the Median and Persian kings are plainly in existence and accessible, which they would not have been had the empire been overthrown. The book must have been written, therefore, some time within this interval of 128 years. There is another fact which narrows that interval. The initial waw shows that Esther was written after Nehemiah, that is, after 430 B.C. The interval is consequently reduced to 98 years; and, seeing that the Persian dominion was plainly in its pristine vigor when Esther was written, we cannot be far wrong if we regard its date as about 400 B.C.
4. Its Contents:
The book is characterized by supreme dramatic power. The scene is "Shushan the palace," that portion of the ancient Elamitic capital which formed the fortified residence of the Persian kings. The book opens with the description of a high festival. All the notabilities of the kingdom are present, together with their retainers, both small and great. To grace the occasion, Vashti is summoned to appear before the king's guests; and, to the dismay of the great assembly, the queen refuses to obey. A council is immediately summoned. Vashti is degraded; and a decree is issued that every man bear rule in his own house (Esther 1). To find a successor to Vashti, the fairest damsels in the empire are brought to Shushan; and Hadassah, the cousin and adopted daughter of Mordecai, is of the number. Esther (2) closes with a notice of two incidents:
(1) the coronation of Hadassah (now and henceforth named "Esther") as queen;
(2) Mordecai's discovery of a palace plot to assassinate the king.
Chapter 3 introduces another leading personage, Haman, the son of Hammedatha, whose seat the king had set "above all the princes that were with him." All the king's servants who are at the king's gates prostrate themselves before the powerful favorite. Mordecai, who is not a trained courtier but a God-fearing Jew, refrains. Though expostulated with, he will not conform. The matter is brought to Haman's notice for whose offended dignity Mordecai is too small a sacrifice. The whole Jewish people must perish. Lots are cast to find a lucky day for their extermination. The king's consent is obtained, and the royal decree is sent into all the provinces fixing the slaughter for the 13th day of the 12th month.
The publication of the decree is followed by universal mourning among the Jews (Esther 4). News of Mordecai's mourning is brought to Esther, who, through the messengers she sends to him, is informed of her own and her people's danger. She is urged to save herself and them. She eventually decides to seek the king s presence at the risk of her life. She presents herself (chapter 5) before the king and is graciously received. Here we breathe atmosphere of the place and time. Everything depends upon the decision of one will-the king's. Esther does not attempt too much at first: she invites the king and Haman to a banquet. Here the king asks Esther what her petition is, assuring her that it shall be granted. In reply she requests his and Haman's presence at a banquet the following day. Haman goes forth in high elation. On his way home he passes Mordecai, who "stood not up nor moved for him." Haman passes on filled with rage, and unbosoms himself to his wife and all his friends. They advise that a stake, fifty cubits high, be prepared for Mordecai's impalement; that on the morrow he obtain the royal permission for Mordecai's execution; and that he then proceed with a merry heart to banquet with the queen. The stake is made ready.
But (Esther 6) that night Xerxes cannot sleep. The chronicles of the kingdom are read before him. The reader has come to Mordecai's discovery of the plot, when the king asks what reward was given him. He is informed that the service had received no acknowledgment. It is now early morn, and Haman is waiting in the court for an audience to request Mordecai's life. He is summoned to the king's presence and asked what should be done to the man whom the king desires to honor. Believing that the king can be thinking only of him, he suggests that royal honors be paid him. He is appalled by the command to do so to Mordecai. Hurrying home from his lowly attendance upon the hated Jew, he has hardly time to tell the mournful story to his wife and friends when he is summoned to Esther's banquet. There, at the king's renewed request to be told her desire, she begs life for herself and for her people (Esther 7). The king asks in astonishment, who he is, and where he is, who dared to injure her and them. The reply is that Haman is the adversary. Xerxes, filled with indignation, rises from the banquet and passes into the palace garden. He returns and discovers that Haman, in the madness of his fear, has thrown himself on the queen's couch, begging for his life. That act seals his doom. He is led away to be impaled upon the very stake he had prepared for the Jew. The seal of the kingdom is transferred to Mordecai (Esther 8). Measures are immediately taken to avert the consequence of Haman's plot (Esther 9-10). The result is deliverance and honor for the Jews. These resolve that the festival of Purim should be instituted and be ever after observed by Jews and proselytes. The decision was confirmed by letters from Esther and Mordecai.
5. The Greek Additions:
The Septuagint, as we now have it, makes large additions to the original text. Jerome, keeping to the Hebrew text in his own translation, has added these at the end. They amount to nearly seven chapters. There is nothing in them to reward perusal. Their age has been assigned to 100 B.C., and their only value consists in the indication they afford of the antiquity of the book. That had been long enough in existence to perplex the Hebrew mind with the absence of the name of God and the omissions of any reference to Divine worship. Full amends are made in the additions.
6. The Attacks upon the Book:
The opponents of the Book of Esther may undoubtedly boast that Martin Luther headed the attack. In his Table-Talk he declared that he was so hostile "to the Book of Esther that I would it did not exist; for it Judaizes too much, and has in it a great deal of heathenish naughtiness." His remark in his reply to Erasmus shows that this was his deliberate judgment. Referring to Esther, he says that, though the Jews have it in their Canon, "it is more worthy than all" the apocryphal books "of being excluded from the Canon." That repudiation was founded, however, on no historical or critical grounds. It rested solely upon an entirely mistaken judgment as to the tone and the intention of the book. Luther's judgment has been carried farther by Ewald, who says: "We fall here as if from heaven to earth; and, looking among the new forms surrounding us, we seem to behold the Jews, or indeed the small men of the present day in general, acting just as they now do." Nothing of all this, however, touches the historicity of Esther.
The modern attack has quite another objective. Semler, who is its real fens et origo, believed Esther to be a work of pure imagination, and as establishing little more than the pride and arrogance of the Jews. DeWette says: "It violates all historical probability, and contains striking difficulties and many errors with regard to Persian manners, as well as just references to them." Dr. Driver modifies that judgment. "The writer," he says, "shows himself well informed on Persian manners and institutions; he does not commit anachronisms such as occur in Tobit or Judith; and the character of Xerxes as drawn by him is in agreement with history." The controversy shows, however, no sign of approaching settlement. Th. Noldeke (Encyclopaedia Biblica) is more violent than De Wette. "The story," he writes, "is in fact a tissue of improbabilities and impossibilities." We shall look first of all at the main objections urged by him and others and then at the recent confirmations of the historicity of Esther.
7. Some of the Objections:
(1) "There is something fantastic, but not altogether unskillful," says Noldeke, "in the touch whereby Mordecai and Haman are made to inherit an ancient feud, the former being a member of the family of King Saul, the latter a descendant of Agag, king of Amalek." It is surely unworthy of a scholar to make the book responsible for a Jewish fable. There is absolutely no mention in it of either King Saul or Agag, king of Amalek, and not the most distant allusion to any inherited feud. "Kish, a Benjamite" is certainly mentioned (Esther 2:5) as the great-grandfather of Mordecai; but if this was also the father of Saul, then the first of the Israelite kings was a sharer in the experiences of the Babylonian captivity, a conception which is certainly fantastic enough. One might ask also how an Amalekite came to be described as an Agagite; and how a childless king, who was cut in pieces, became the founder of a tribe. But any semblance of a foundation which that rabbinic conceit ever had was swept away years ago by Oppert's discovery of "Agag" in one of Sargon's inscriptions as the name of a district in the Persian empire. "Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite" means simply that Haman or his father had come from the district of Agag.
(2) The statement that Esther 2:5, 6 represents Mordecai as having been carried away with Jeconiah from Jerusalem, and as being therefore of an impossible age, is unworthy of notice. The relative "who" (2:6) refers to Kish, his great-grandfather.
(3) "Between the 7th and the 12th years of his reign, Xerxes' queen was Amestris, a superstitious and cruel woman (Herod. vii0.114; ix.112), who cannot be identified with Esther, and who leaves no place for Esther beside her" (Driver). Scaliger long ago identified Esther with Amestris, an identification which Prideaux rejected on account of the cruelty which Herodotus has attributed to that queen. Dr. Driver has failed to take full account of one thing-the striking fact that critics have leveled this very charge of cruelty against the heroine of our book. It is quite possible that Esther, moving in a world of merciless intrigue, may have had to take measures which would form a foundation for the tales recorded by the Greek historian.
(4) The aim of the book is said to be the glorification of the Jews. But, on the contrary, it is merely a record of their being saved from a skillfully planned extirpation.
(5) The description of the Jews (Esther 3:8) as "dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of" the kingdom is said to be inapplicable to the Persian period. That argument is based upon an ignorance of the ancient world which investigation is daily correcting. We now know that before the time of Esther Jews were settled both in Eastern and in Southern Egypt, that is, in the extreme west of the Persian empire. In the troubles at the end of the 7th and of the 6th centuries B.C., multitudes must have been dispersed, and when, at the latter period, the ties of the fatherland were dissolved, Jewish migrations must have vastly increased.
(6) The Hebrew of the book is said to belong to a much later period than that of Xerxes. But it is admitted that it is earlier than the Hebrew of Chronicles; and recent discoveries have shown decisively that the book belongs to the pers period.
(7) The suggestion is made (Driver) "that the danger which threatened the Jews was a local one," and consequently, that the book, though possessed of a historical basis, is a romance. But against that are the facts that the observance of the feast has from the first been universal, and that it has not been observed more fully or more enthusiastically in any one place than in the others.
(8) There is no reference to it, it is urged, by Chronicles, Ezra or Ben Sira (Ecclesiasticus). But Chronicles ends with the proclamation of Cyrus, granting permission to the Jews to return and to rebuild the Temple. There is little to be wondered at that it contains no reference to events which happened 60 years afterward. In Ezra, which certainly covers the period of Esther, reference to the events with which she was connected is excluded by the plan of the work. It gives the history of the return, the first part under Zerubbabel in 536 B.C., the second under Ezra himself, 458 B.C. The events in Esther (which were embraced within a period of a few months) fell in the interval and were connected with neither the first return nor the second. Here again the objector is singularly oblivious of the purpose of the book to which he refers. There is quite as little force in the citation of Ecclesiasticus. In dealing with this time Ben Sira's eye is upon Jerusalem. He magnifies Zerubbabel, "Jesus the son of Josedek," and Nehemiah (49:11-13). Even Ezra, to whom Jerusalem and the new Jewish state owed so much, finds no mention. Why, then, should Esther and Mordecai be named who seem to have had no part whatever in rebuilding the sacred city?
(9) The book is said to display ignorance of the Persian empire in the statement that it was divided into 127 provinces, whereas Herodotus tells us that it was partitioned into 20 satrapies. But there was no such finality in the number, even of these great divisions of the empire. Darius in his Behistun inscriptions gives the number as 21, afterward as 23, and in a third enumeration as 29. Herodotus himself, quoting from a document of the time of Xerxes, shows that there were then about 60 nations under the dominion of Persia. The objector has also omitted to notice that the medhinah ("province") mentioned in Esther (1:1) is not a satrapy but a subdivision of it. Judea is called a medhinah in Ezra 2:1, and that was only a small portion of the 5th satrapy, that, namely, of Syria. But the time is past for objections of this character. Recent discoveries have proved the marvelous accuracy of the book. "We find in the Book of Esther," says Lenormant (Ancient History of the East, II, 113), "a most animated picture of the court of the Persian kings, which enables us, better than anything contained in the classical writers, to penetrate the internal life and the details of the organization of the central government established by Darius."
8. Confirmations of the Book:
These discoveries have removed the discussion to quite another plane-or rather they have ended it. Since Grotefend in 1802 read the name of Xerxes in a Persian inscription and found it to be, letter for letter, the Ahasuerus of Eat, research has heaped up confirmation of the historical character of the book. It has proved, to begin with that the late date suggested for the book cannot be maintained. The language belongs to the time of the Persian dominion. It is marked by the presence of old Persian words, the knowledge of which had passed away by the 2nd century B.C., and has been recovered only through the decipherment of the Persian monuments. The Septuagint translators were unacquainted with them, and consequently made blunders which have been repeated in our own the King James Version and in other translations. We read (Esther 1:5, 6 the King James Version) that "in the court of the garden of the king's palace," "were white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple," etc. As seen in the ruins of Persepolis, a marked feature in the Persian palace of the period was a large space occupied by pillars which were covered with awnings. It may be noted in passing that these were situated, as the book says, in the court of the palace garden. But our knowledge of the recovered Persian compels us now to read: "where was an awning of fine white cotton and violet, fastened with cords of fine white linen and purple." White and blue (or violet) were the royal Persian colors. In accord with this we are told that Mordecai (Esther 8:15) "went forth from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white." The highly organized postal system, the king's scribes, the keeping of the chronicles of the kingdom, the rigid and elaborate court customs, are all characteristic of the Persia of the period. We are told of the decree obtained by Haman that "in the name of King Ahasuerus was it written, and sealed with the king's ring" (or signet). It was not signed but sealed. That was the Persian custom. The seal of Darius, Xerxes' father, has been found, and is now in the British Museum. It bears the figure of the king shooting arrows at a lion, and is accompanied by an inscription in Persian, Susian and Assyrian: "I, Darius, Great King." The identification of Ahasuerus, made by Grotefend and which subsequent discoveries amply confirmed, placed the book in an entirely new light. As soon as that identification was assured, previous objections were changed into confirmations. In the alleged extravagances of the monarch, scholars saw then the Xerxes of history. The gathering of the nobles of the empire in "the third year of his reign" (Esther 1:3) was plainly the historical assembly in which the Grecian campaign was discussed; and "the seventh year," in which Esther was made queen, was that of his return from Greece. The book implies that Susa was the residence of the Persian kings, and this was so. The proper form of the name as shown by the inscriptions was "Shushan"; "Shushan the Palace" indicates that there were two Susas, which was the fact, and birah ("palace") is a Persian word meaning fortress. The surprisingly rigid etiquette of the palace, to which we have referred, and the danger of entering unbidden the presence of the king have been urged as proof that the book is a romance. The contrary, however, is the truth. "The palace among the Persians," says Lenormant, "was quite inaccessible to the multitude. A most rigid etiquette guarded all access to the king, and made it very difficult to approach him.. He who entered the presence of the king, without having previously obtained permission, was punished with death" (Ancient History of the East, II, 113-14; compare Herodotus i.99). But a further, and peculiarly conclusive, testimony to the historical character of the book is afforded by the recovery of the palace of Xerxes and Esther. An inscription of Artaxerxes Mnemon found at Susa tells us that it was destroyed by fire in the days of Artaxerxes Longimanus, the son and successor of Xerxes. Within some 30 years, therefore, from the time of Esther, that palace passed from the knowledge of men. Nevertheless, the references in the book are in perfect accord with the plan of the great structure as laid bare by the recent French excavations. We read (Esther 4) that Mordecai, clad in sackcloth, walked in "the broad palace of the city, which was before the king's gate." The ruins show that the House of the Women was on the East side of the palace next to the city, and that a gate led from it into "the street of the city." In Esther 5:1, we read that Esther "stood in the inner court of the king's house, over against the king's house." "The king," we also read, "sat upon his royal throne in the royal house, over against the entrance of the house," and that from the throne he "saw Esther the queen standing in the court." Every detail is exact. A corridor led from the House of the Women to the inner court; and at the side of the court opposite to the corridor was the hall, or throne-room of the palace. Exactly in the center of the farther wall the throne was placed and from that lofty seat the king, overlooking an intervening screen, saw the queen waiting for an audience. Other details, such as that of the king's passing from the queen's banqueting-house into the garden, show a similarly exact acquaintance with the palace as it then was. That is a confirmation the force of which it is hard to overestimate. It shows that the writer was well informed and that his work is characterized by minute exactitude.
The utter absence of the Divine name in Esther has formed a difficulty even where it has not been urged as an objection. But that is plainly part of some Divine design. The same silence is strictly maintained throughout in regard to prayer, praise and every approach toward God. That silence was an offense to the early Jews; for, in the Septuagint additions to the book, there is profuse acknowledgment of God both in prayer and in praise. But it must have struck the Jews of the time and the official custodians of the canonical books quite as painfully; and we can only explain the admission of Esther by the latter on the ground that there was overwhelming evidence of its Divine origin and authority. Can this rigid suppression be explained? In the original arrangement of the Old Testament canonical books (the present Hebrew arrangement is post-Christian), Esther is joined to Nehemiah. In 1895 I made a suggestion which I still think worthy of consideration: More than 60 years had passed since Cyrus had given the Jews permission to return. The vast majority of the people remained, nevertheless, where they were. Some, like Nehemiah, were restrained by official and other ties. The rest were indifferent or declined to make the necessary sacrifices of property and of rest. With such as these last the history of God's work in the earth can never be associated. In His providence He will watch over and deliver them: but their names and His will not be bound together in the record of the labor and the waiting for the earth's salvation.