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“neither,” or “nor,”) is its exact, grammatical, meaning; but is so rendered in English, in almost innumerable passages; as the collation of the Hebrew text with the English version, by the help of a Hebrew Concordance, will shew. Take the following twelve texts as proofs : Genesis, xix. 33, 35; xlix. 10. Exodus, xx. 17, five times. Numbers, xvi. 14. Deut. vii. 25, twice; xxiii. 6. 2 Sam. i. 21. Psalms, xxvi. 9; xxxvii. 25. Prov. vi. 4; xxx. 3; and this very book, 1 Kings, iii. 7. In addition to which alteration, so sanctioned, so legitimate, (this being its very common acceptation,) if we put in a parenthesis the words in the ninth verse, “for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him,” the verse will read thus: “ Now, therefore, hold him not guiltless ; (for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him ;) nor his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood ;” and the whole passage may be paraphrased as follows: “Moreover,” (or, besides him, i.e. Joab,) " thou hast with thee another traitor, one Shimei, the son of Gera, a Benjamite of Bahurim; which cursed me with a grievous curse, in the day when I fled from Absalom, and went to Mahanaim; but he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and humbled himself before me, and I sware to him by the LORD, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword. Now, therefore, my son, considering that he is a suspicious character, and dangerous subject, hold him not altogether guiltless; (nor need I point out to thee how to deal with him; for thou art a wise man; and well knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him;)
nor yet, as my avenger, do thou bring down, at once, his hoary head to the grave with blood, for his past offence which I did not punish; but, keep thine eye and thy hand upon him : confine him to Jerusalem under pain of death : if he obey thy commands and restrictions, let him live and die in peace; but, if not, then let him die the death of a traitor, as one whose sin, though overlooked by me, Providence will find out, if not truly repented of before God; and on whose head God will visit his sin and wickedness, in having cursed the Lord's Anointed, which a man may not do, no, not even in his heart.” Exodus, xxii. 28. Eccles. x. 20. This injunction Solomon both so understood and obeyed. He confined him within the limits of Jerusalem, charging him, at his peril, as he valued his life, not to go beyond its walls; and took both his promise and his oath, that he would conform to these conditions, to which conditions he even thankfully assented, acknowledging Solomon's clemency therein. The sequel is well known : he either forgot his obligations, or presumptuously burst through them; and Solomon, in putting him to death, (not, be it remembered, for his past offence, but for his present disobedience,) considered himself as God's servant, and acted as His instrument, for the punishment of treason and blasphemy; and thereby obtained God's blessing on his person and reign, as he himself had predicted.
By this proposed rendering of the passage, the character of David is redeemed from the charge of insincerity, breach of word and oath, injustice, revenge, and cruelty; and Shimei is made to appear to have been justly punished, both by God and man, for his sins; i. e. for having “blasphemed God and the king, for taking God's name in vain, and for not performing to the Lord his oaths.”
The Hebrew student is referred to the original, compared with the English version, of the following texts:
*ולא ובקומה .33
. xlix לא תחמד ועבדו ואמתו ושורו וחמרו וכל .17.Exo.xx לא הביאתנו ותתן .14
. vi ולא למדתי חכמה ודעת .3
xxx לא אדע צאת ובא .7
אל תנקהו והורדת .9
and to the passage now elucidated,
1 . in every one of which, the Hebrew words, translated “neither-nor;" "not-nor;" “not-or;" are the same as in 1 Kings, ii. 9, where they are misrendered * not-but. Q. E. D.
The Hebrew words, here underlined, justify the criticism above advanced: the dash (), ranging with the tops of the letters, denotes the ellipsis.
II. JESUS THANKING HIS HEAVENLY FATHER,
FOR THE EXERCISE OF HIS SOVEREIGNTY.
St. MATTHEW, ch. xi. vv. 25, 26. “At that time Jesus answered, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
“ 26 Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”
The parallel passage to this is in St. Luke, x. 21:
“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit; and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight."
The marginal references, attached to which, are: Luke, x. 21. Psalm, viii. 2. 1 Cor. i. 19, 27; ii. 8. 2 Cor. iii. 14; and Matt. xvi. 17.
The OBJECTIONS, often made to this awful passage, are :
1. That it makes Jesus, the merciful, compassionate, and loving, Jesus, who “came into the world to save sinners,” rejoice, (Luke, x. 21.) if not in their destruction, yet in salvation being hidden from their eyes. “ In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit; and said,” &c.
2. That it makes Him, who “ willeth not the death of a sinner, but that all should come to repentance," thank God, for having done that, which appears to make "the wise and prudent,” (who are as much his creatures as
others,) rather ill-fated than ill-disposed; unfortunate rather than unbelieving; and objects of pity rather than of wrath : “ I thank thee, O Father," &c.
3. That it makes Him, “ who delighteth in mercy," express a complacency, acquiescence, approbation, and satisfaction, in and of that, at which we should rather have expected him to weep. “Even so, Father,” &c.
The Answers to which objections are these :
1. Eucharistic verbs, or verbs expressive of thanksgiving, when they embrace two or more subjects of thankfulness, often refer, principally if not exclusively, to the last or latter, and only parenthetically to the first or former; which clause also may be used participially: thus, a person, who is really very sorry that his friend fell, (as from a coach,&c.)would yet, (if he heard, that, in consequence of falling on his feet, and not on his head, he escaped material injury,) properly express himself thus: “I am glad that you fell on your feet; or, that, through falling on your feet, you were not hurt:” in which, a child must see, that he was not glad that his friend fell; but that, by alighting on his feet, he broke his fall, i. e. that he did not fall on his head. This will make the Redeemer say, "I thank thee, that, having, in thy sovereignty, hidden these things from the wise and prudent, thou hast, in thy mercy, revealed them unto babes;” or, “ I thank thee, that thou hast revealed, to babes, those things, which the wise and prudent cannot discover;" and which, therefore, are unrevealed to them.
2. Similar phraseology occurs in the New Testament itself, as the following text will shew. I Tim. i. 12,13.