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“ In those days Hezekiah was sick to death, and
prayed unto the Lord: and he spake unto him, " and he gave him a sign. But Hezekiah rendered “ not again, according to the benefit done unto him, " for his heart was lifted up *.” But the story is told more at large in the book of Kings :-“In those days
Ilezekiah sick unto death : and the Prophet ? Isaiah, the son of Amos, came to him, and said unto « him, Thus saith the LORD, Set thine house in order, “ for thou shalt die and not live. Then he turned “ his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord. “ And it came to pass afore Isaiah was gone out into “ the middle court, that the word of the LORD came
unto him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah, « Thus saith the Lord, I have heard thy prayer, " I have seen thy tears : Behold I will heal thee; on " the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the “ Lord. And Isaiah said, Take a lump of figs; and " they took and laid it on the boil, and he recoveredt." The following words as plainly refer to the destruction of the first-born in Egypt, and Sennacherib's army ravaying Judea : In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight and pass away, and the mighty shall be taken away without hand † These likewise clearly allude to the Egyptian Darkness,- from the wicked their light is withholden .
No one, I think, can doubt but that the following description of God's dealing with Monarchs and Rulers of the world, is a transcript of, or allusion to, a passage in the second book of Chronicles. Elihu (who is made to pass judgment on the dispute) says, He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous: 2 Chron. xxxii. 24, 25.
+ 2 Kings xx. 1, & seq. Job xxxiv. ver. 20.
$ Chap. xxxviii, ver. 15.
but, with kings are they on the throne, yea he doth establish them for ever and they are exalted. [This seems plainly to refer to the house of David, as we shall see presently.] He proceeds ; And if they be bound in fetters, and be holden in cords of affliction: then he sheweth their work, and their transgressions that they have erceeded. He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity and their years in pleasure; but if they obey not, they shall perish by the sword, &c. * Now hear the sacred Historian:-“God “ had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this “ house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before " all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for
Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed " for your fathers, so that they will take heed to do “ all that I have commanded them.-So Manasseh
made Judah and the Inhabitants of Jerusalem to “ err.--And the Lord spake to Manasseh, and to his
people: but they would not hearken. Wherefore " the Lord brought upon them the captains of the " host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh
amongst the thorns, and bound him with fete “ ters, and carried him to Babylon. And when he
was in affliction, he besought the Lord his God, and ” humbled himself greatly before the God of his “ Fathers, and prayed unto him, and he was entreated " of him, and heard his supplication, and brought hiin
again to Jerusalem into his Kingdom. Then Ma“ nasseh knew that the Lord he was God 13"
But the most extraordinary allusion of all to the Jewish Economy, and the most incontestable, is in the · Clap. xxxvi. ver. 7–12.
+ 2 Chron. xxxii. ver. 7--13.
following following words, wbere speaking of the clouds of rain, our translation has it, He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for HIS LAND, or for mercy, The Septuagint understood the sacred text in the Same manner: Tαύτα συντέτωκαι παρ' αυτό επί της γης, εάν τε εις παιδείαν, εαν εις την γην αυτ8, εαν εις έλεGsupost d'utér. The meaning of which is, he bringeth it at such junctures, and in such excess, as to cause dearth, for correction;] or so timely and moderately, as to cause plenty, [for mercy;] or lastly, so tempered, in a long continued course, as to produce that fertility of soil which was to inake one of the blessings of the promised land, [FOR HIS LAND :) a providence as distinct from the other two, of correction and mercy, as the genus is from the species. This is a sufficient answer to the learned Father Houbigant's criticism on this verse, who corrects the common reading of the Hebrew text, and thinks the words, or for the land, to be a marginal illustration crept into the text. St. Jerom, and the vulgar Latin, instead of, --whether for CORRECTION, or for his land, translate, sive in UNA Tribu, sive in tcrra sua. If this be the truc rendering of the Hebrew, then it plainly appears that the writer of the book of Job alluded to the words of his contemporary prophet, Amos :-“ And also I have ss withholden the rain from you, when there were yet 36 three months to the harvest; and I caused it to rain
upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon “ another city: one piece was rained upon, and the “ piece whereupon it rained not, withered.” Without controversy, however, the Writer speaks of a SPECIAL PROVIDENCE upon God's own Land, the land of Judea ; which plainly shews that the peculiarity of the Jewish Economy was still uppermost in his thoughts. * Chap. xxxvii. 13.
In a word, this Economy is described by Moses * as altogether different froin that of other people. Job's account of God's economy exactly quadrates with it. What are we then to think, but that there is a continued allusion to the Law? in many places indecd so general, as not to be discovered without the assistance of those which are more particular. Besides, (which is the last observation I shall make on this point) in the mapagement of these Allusions, we see, the Author has observed a strict decorum : and, to take off any offensive glare, has thrown over them a sober image of ancient manners. So that here we have the plain marks of former times intermixed with circumstances peculiar to the latter. What are we therefore to conclude, but that the Work is a species of dramatic writing, composed long after the aye. of the subject? . On the whole then it appears that this Objection of no allusions, which, if well grounded, had made nothing against the low date of a poetic Composition, is not indeed supported by fact: and this will be seen yet more fully hereafter.
But had the Objection any real foundation, They who make it, had been still much puzzled to account for the Author's silence concerning the sir duys Creation, and the institution of the Sabbath; as it must reduce them to the necessity of supposing that these things were unknown to Job. And consequently, that the Sabbath was not a moral, but a positive Law only of the Jews; though Moses, to impress tlie greater reverence upon it, seems to make it coeval with the Creation. How they will get over this difficulty I know not. On the other hand, They who, with the low date of this book of Job, hold the Sabbath to be a positive Law, will find no difficulty at all. For, as
• Deut, iv. 39.
they would have put the mention of it, had it been mentioned, on the same footing with that of other things under the Mosaic Economy; so, the silence they will easily account for, on the received opinion of that time, that the Sabbath was a positive Law, instituted to separate and distinguish the Israelites from all others; and that therefore the mention of a thing so well known to be a Rite peculiarly Jewish, would have had an ill offect, in the mouths of men who lived before the Mosaic Law was given.
After such clear evidence that the book of Job was written under the Law, we have little need of Grotius argument, for the support of this point, from the book's containing many passages similar to what we find in the Psalms. And it is well we have not, because I think his argument very equivocal. For if the sacred writers must needs have borrowed trite moral sentences from one another : it may be as fairly said, that the authors of the Psalms borrowed from the book of Job; as that the author of Job borrowed from the book of Psalms. But Mr. Le Clerc would mend this argument, by refining upon it, a way that seldom mends any thing. He says, one may know an original from a copy, by the latter's having less nature and force; and he thinks he sees this in the book of Job*."
Now Grotius croit avec beaucoup plus de vrai-semblance, que cet auteur est posterieur à David & à Salomon, dont il semble qu'il ait imité divers endroits, & remarque fort judicieusement, qu'il y a dans ce livre des manieres de parler, qu'on ne trouve que dans Esdras, duns Daniel, & dans les Paraphrases Caldaïques. Codurc, dans son Commentaire sur Job, a aussi remarqué plusieurs Caldaismes dans ce livre, & quelques personnes savantes soutiennent, que les Arabismes qu'on y croit avoir remarqué ne sont que des maniéres de parler Caldéenes. On y trouve des imitations de divers endroits des Pseaumes.--Mais vous me demanderez peutêtre, comment on peut savoir, que c'est l'auteur du livre de Job qui a imité ces Preaumes, & non pas les auteurs de ces Pseaumes