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rendering is, ' Be it (or let it be) dividing; or causing to divide, between the waters, &c. This is most properly expressed by our translators, Let it divide.' Mr. Bellamy evidently, from sheer ignorance of Hebrew, mistakes bad for a noun substan
Our version rightly .אשר זרעו בו in the expression אשר pronoun
V. 10. "The conflux of the waters.' The rendering of our trans
lators“ the gathering together of the waters,' is much more sim
ple and agreeable to the original. V. 11. The earth shall germinate grass.' To say nothing of
Mr. Bellamy's not knowing a neuter verb from an active, how much more simple is our version, the earth shall • bring forth grass'! * Fruit yielding fruit after his kind, with its seed in it. In the last words is a positive error, for he has wholly omitted the relative
. expresses it, ' Whose seed is in it or in itself.' Mr. Bellamy has
made a similar mistake at v. 12. V. 14. “ Thus they shall endure for signs.' The Hebrew word is
a form of the verb on to be'; which he translates, indeed, in all the contiguous verses, in the sense of “to be”; but which he thinks proper in this place to render' endure.' This, instead of close translation, is more loose than could possibly be approved, even in one who did not make a peculiar boast of giving a close
translation. V. 17. Then God arranged them.' Our translators, far more
elegantly, 'God set them.' .. For the light upon the earth.' Here Mr. Bellamy shews his ut
ter ignorance of the plainest principles of Hebrew. The word which he renders · for the light is 780), which he evidently supposes to be a noun substantive 7's light, with for' and the prefixed. It happens, however, that there is no such substantive as 7'x, signifying light in the Hebrew language. The word, in fact, is a verb, regularly formed in the infinitive in Hiphil, and signifying to give or cause light,' as our translators correctly
render it. V. 20. “The water shall bring forth abundantly the soul of life.?
Had Mr. Bellamy endeavoured to translate the verse into nonsense, he could not have succeeded better than he has done. The words 'n wo), which he renders' the soul of life,' evidently mean 'the living creature,' the creature, or the moving creature that
hạth life,' as our translation gives it. V.31. Thus God provided for all that he had made.' Here is a needless departure from the original; which simply says
God saw all that he had made.' From these examples, all occurring in a single chapter, our reas 2
ders will be sufficiently enabled to appreciate Mr. Bellamy's pre tensions to an improved translation of the Bible. In a former pas sage, we alluded to his assertions respecting the words inserted in italic, as interpolations which obscure the sense, make the Bible speak what it never did speak, &c. As this is a matter of some importance, we will trace these italics through a considerable part of the first chapter of Genesis ; it will then appear that Mr. Bellamy himself has for the most part inserted the very same words which the authorized translators have done, although, far inferior to them in accuracy, he has often omitted to mark them as insertions; and, in some instances, where he has not made them, left the sense in perfect obscurity. Gen. i. 2. Engl. Transl. · Darkness was upon the face of the deep.'
Here Mr. Bellamy inserts the word was as necessary to the
sense, but does not mark it as such by Italics. V. 4. 10. 12. 18. 21.25. 31. E.T. God saw- —that it was good.'
In all these passages, the original stands · God saw and on that good. It was obviously necessary to express this Hebrew idiom by the insertion of the words "it was:' and Mr. Bellamy finds it necessary to make precisely the same insertions. At v. 4, he inserts the word ' was,' ' that the light was good;' and, in all the other verses, he inserts, as the authorized translators have done,
it was:' but, with a carelessness which is quite inconceivable, he has marked only two out of the seven instances in italics. As the expression in all the cases is precisely the same, there is not a particle of reason for this distinction: we attribute it, in fact, to positive carelessness. But, we must again ask, is this the man to tax others with carelessness? and to improve upon
the authorized version ? V. 7. E. T. Waters which were under the firmament-waters
which were above, &c. Here Mr. Bellamy inserts were in each
case, as our translators do, and marks it in italics. V. 29. E. T. • Every herb—which is upon the face. Every tree
in the which is the fruit. The rd in italics is inserted to make the sense clear in both these clauses. Mr. Bellamy makes the
same insertions, but does not mark them in italics. V. 30. E. T. “Wherein there is life.' Mr. Bellamy inserts the
verb in the same 'manner as our translators, and in this case, differing from the last, he does notice it in italics.
There remain two instances in which our translators have made insertions of more importance, and which, as will be seen, are clearly necessary to prevent ambiguity. The first is at v. 16. And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. Here the words he made are obviously inserted to preclude the ambiguity
which would exist without them, since it inight appear that the verb 'to rule' governed the stars, as well as the night;" to rule the night; the stars also.' Now, as the meaning of the original is clear, and it was the purpose of the translators to convey the meaning to the English reader, we consider their insertion of these words as a proof of the judgment with which they proceeded. But, if this could admit of a doubt, Mr. Bellamy's translation will be sufficient to prove the point. It stands thus, ' God made two great lightsthe lesser light, to rule the night; also the stars.' Here that ambiguity is most apparent, which it was the object of our translators
The second instance is of a similar description. v. 29. God says, ' Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, &c. then, after several intervening clauses, at v. 30. I have given every green herb for meat.' Here, in consequence of the distance of the verb I have given,' v. 29. from the words which it governs,
every green herb,' the translators have not left it to be understood, but have most properly supplied it for the sake of clearness. Mr. Bellanıy, on the contrary, has not supplied it, and has left the sense perfectly unintelligible; for he has placed a full stop at the end of v. 29. and rendered 30 as follows —— And to every beast of the earth, also to every bird of the heaven, yea to all moving on the earth, in which is the soul of life; even every herb, for food : and it was so.' So much for Mr. Bellamy's insinuations respecting the insertions in italic !
But Mr. Bellamy particularly plumes himself on his attention to punctuation.
'I have paid,' he says, (Introd. p. xi.) particular attention to the punctuation. In the common version, we frequently find it so neglected that the first proposition is made to run into the second, and the second into the third, by which the true sense is not known. I have therefore closely adhered to the Hebrew punctuation, which will be found to add great light to numbers of passages hitherto obscure.'
We will give a few specimens of his skill in this department. The following passages are pointed exactly as they appear in his book.
'Gen. 1. i. In the beginning God created, the substance of the hea4. And God saw, that the light, was good : thus God divided, the light, from the darkness. 10. And God called, the dry land, earth.
ii. 10. And a river went forth from Eden ; to water the garden : which from thence divided ; and became, four heads.'
These specimens (and similar ones pervade the whole work) are sufficient to shew the valuable fruits of Mr. Bellamy's particular attention to this part of grammar. We know not that, in any book
of any kind, we ever saw a system of punctuation so decidedly absurd. We have been accustomed to suppose that the stops should be so placed as to guide the eye to a clear view of the meaning of a sentence: Mr. Bellamy's rule seems to be quite the reverse,
if he àct by any rule; viz. to place them so as to confuse and obscure the sense in every possible way. Here are nominatives disjoined from the verbs with which they agree, verbs disjoined from the accusatives which follow them, clauses broken in the most portentous manner without the slightest reason. We beg our readers not to believe that he has followed, as he asserts, the Hebrew punctuation. His
system, we can confidently assure them, is entirely his own ; and when he states that he has adhered to that of the Hebrew,' he only shews that his knowledge of Hebrew punctuation is on a par with his knowledge of the meaning of Hebrew words. He imputes neglect on this head to our translators; we can only say that they have succeeded infinitely better by neglecting the subject than he has by paying it particular attention.
We had intended a few remarks on some of Mr. Bellamy's notes, but our decreasing limits warn us to contract our plan. We shall therefore only observe that they are for the most part full of positive assertions without proofs, and written in a style which clearly evinces that the writer holds in sovereign contempt every opinion but his own: he is besides so rambling and desultory that we have not always the advantage of duly appreciating his arguments, because it is impossible to understand them. In his very first note on Gen. i. 1. for instance, he enters into a long discussion to prove that no plurality is implied under the word Elohim.
The manifest error made by those who have pleaded for the plurality of Elohyim, God, is that they have not observed the distinction between polytheism and personality. By polytheism must necessarily be understood a plurality of gods; but by personality, consistently with the obvious meaning of the word, no such an idea as a plurality of gods can be formed in the mind. This error has been confirmed by the very improper understanding and customary application of the Latin word persona.
He then proceeds to state that, when the Latin was a living language, the word persona meant a character or office; but has so far degenerated into tangible materiality, that, instead of its being used as it was anciently, it is applied to mean the material body of man. We hope the reader comprehends it. Mr. Bellamy, however, does not wait for this, but rapidly starts off to a discussion of the antiquity of the Hebrew language and its connexion with the Arabic; which has just as much to do with the immediate subject of the note as a dissertation on the north pole. At Gen. ii. and iii. he considers the scriptural accounts of the temptation and of the fall
as allegorical, an opinion which has been often maintained. It will not be suspected that he produces any new arguments in favour of it, or that he presents those on which he rests in a very striking or intelligible form; at the same time, he takes especial care to place in the foreground the stale objections of infidelity to the received meaning. On a former occasion* we were led to notice these arguments, when they were pursued to a much greater length than they now are. We do not hear that the disciples of this school are on the increase; and therefore we shall not trouble our readers or ourselves by engaging in the discussion. On Abraham's temptation, Mr. Bellamy observes-
appears by the common version that all the nations of the earth were to be blessed, because Abraham had hearkened to the voice of God. But, as this is contrary both to Scripture and reason, it will also appear plain that the translation of this clause is not consistent with the original. We cannot hesitate in concluding that the happiness or blessing of
any nation or individual never depended on the obedience of Abraham; viz. because he had hearkened to the voice of God.'
Now it is well known to every reader of Scripture that the blessing to be conferred on all nations was never understood to depend on Abraham's obedience or disobedience. The promise of a Redeemer had been made in express terms long before ; and it de-, pended on Abraham's obedience, not whether that promise should be fulfilled at all, but whether it should be fulfilled in his line, or in any
other line. This is as clear as words can make it in the received version. Gen. xxii. 16, 17, 18. Because thou hast done this thing, in blessing I will bless thee, &c. and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because thou hast obeyed my voice.' We find it difficult to attribute these gross misrepresentations to mere ignorance or negligence; there seems to be direct malice against the Holy Scriptures.
We now take our leave of Mr. Bellamy with a hope that we shall never have to attend to him again on any similar occasion. We live in an age, in which, in every department of literature, shallow pretenders are endeavouring to impose upon the world a persuasion that they are deeply and profoundly learned. Many deplorable examples have come within our notice, but none more striking than this before us. We never witnessed an instance in which a person has undertaken an important work with loftier claims, but with more slender qualifications. Still we do not think that we should have bestowed so much notice upon Mr. Bellamy, if the subject in which he engaged had been merely literary. We might then have suffered him to enjoy tranquilly a character, if he could have obtained it, for superior erudition. But, since he has thought proper
* Vol. IX. No, XVIII, Art. IV.