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3. A third Prophecy, which Mr. W. endeavours rightly to place and regulate in the Old Testament so as to make it pertinently apply'd, is the famous Prophecy cited by St. MATTHEW, “Behold, a Virgin shall be with “ Child, &c.”
He owns, (s) that the Words cited by St. MATTHEW,“ Behold, a Virgin shall be “ with Child, and shall bring forth a Son, " and shall call his Name IMMANUEL,” as they stand in the Hebrew and Septuagint of ISAIAH, do include such an additional Claulē as seems no Way applicable to the MESSIAH ; and fo occasions the Jews to triumph, as if the Prediction were meant not of a Virgin, but only of a young Woman in the Days of Ahaz. For s runs the context, as he says, in the Hebrew; and the present Septuagint, for the Main, agrees to it; (t) “ and the Lord “ added to speak unto Ahaz, saying, ask “ thee a Sign of the Lord thy God. Ask it “ either in the Deep, or in the Height above. “ But Ahaz said, I will not ask ; neither will “ I tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye “ now Ò House of David, is it a small “ Thing for you to weary Men? But will “ ye weary my God allo? Therefore the “ Lord himself shall give you a Sign ; behold, “ a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and “ shall call his Name IMMANUEL. Butter “ and Honey fhail he eat ; that he may
(s) Whiston's Essay, &c. p. 229, &c. Matt. 1, 23. (1) Isaiah 7. 10 - 16.
e know to refuse the Evil, and chuse the i Good. For before the Child shall know to “ to refuse the Evil, and chuse the Good, “ the Land that thou abhorrest shall be forá « faken of both her Kings.”
Upon which Passage Mr. W. (u) thus argues. What has the Birth of the MESSIAS, the true IMMANUEL, of a Virgin to do with the Birth of another Child, before whose coming to Years of Discretion, Resin King of Syria, and Pekah King of Ifrael were to leave the Land of Judah in the Days of King AHAZ? And therefore to make this Quotation of St. MATTHEW pertinent, Mr.W. strikes out, by mere Force of Criticism and Conjecture, and without any Foundation from pretended various Readings, these Words, which he calls an additionat Clause, and which plainly limit the Prophecy to a short Time to come (w) Butter and Honey Mall he eat; that he may know to refuse the Evil and chuse the Good. For before the Child Mall know to refuse the Evil and chuse the Good, the Land that thou abhorrest Mall be forfaken of both her Kings. I say, by the mere Force of Criticism ; for as to his Preteres, that, in the Copies (x) used by JUSTIN MARTYR and TERTULLIAN, the Text of ISAIAH is not wholly in the same Order wherein it now is; and that the Apoftolical Constitutions quote a Part of the Text of ISAIAH, not as it is in the present Copies;
· I answer, 1. That whatever Variations from
the Septuagint there may be in Justin's and TERTULLIAN's Quotations of this Chapter of ISAIAH, the additional Clause, which destroys the literal Application of the Prophecy to jesus, appears in its Place, both in ) Justin and (2) TERTULLIAN; and secondly, I answer, that the (a) Apostolical Conftitutions cite only one Verse of ISAIAH, viz. the 14th, without a Word about what precedes or follows.
Now pursuant to this first Change he reads Virgin, according to the Septuagint, and not young Woman ; tho' the original Hebrew Word (b) signifies, as appears by its Use in other Places and by the present Context, as he allows, a young Woman, who might, or might not be a Virgin.
But what will Mr. W. get by these Changes, except a possible Application of Words, taken by themselves without their Context, to the Event of Mary's Conception of Jesus? Which will never convince a reasonable Man, that the original, obvious, and literal Sense of ISAIAH, was to prophecy of the Conception of JESUS by the Virgin MARY.
Nothing will be obtain'd, even by reading (instead of young Woman's being with Child) Virgin's being with Child; for that Expression asserts no miraculous or extraordinary Concep
(y Justini Opera. p. 262. 290. (z) Tertulliani Ofera.' p. 191 (n) Conft, l. 5. p. 321. (b) Erasmus in Matt. 1. 30. I 2
tion, since it does not neceffarily imply, that a Virgin shall conceive without the Concurrence of a Man ; or, if it does, points not obviously and primarily at the Virgin MARY. Nor will any Thing be obtain'd, by supposing the Clause before-mention’d to be di socated or taken from its proper Place and added to this Prophecy, besides the taking away one Demonstration out of several that appear in Is AIAH, that the Prophet had the Birth of a male Child of a Virgin or young Woman in the Time of Anaz, and not the Birth of Jesus by the Virgin Mary, in his first Thoughts. For the whole Context will still speak against him, and, even in his Opinion, not perfectly serve his Purpose. For after he has corrected ISAIAH as abovemention’d, and after he has divided ISAIAH'S Prophecy into several Prophesies, and made those Prophesies independent of one another, he confeffes, that (c) the prefent Order of the Parts of those Prophesies and their present Coherence and Context will still make them look disorder'd. Mr. W. must therefore, if he will go on to endeavour to make this Quotation pertinent, make farther Alterations ; for what he has done already does not, by his own Confeffion; place iť to full Satisfaction.
(1) Whiston, p. 232.
V. That That the Jews have not corrupted the Old
Testament, in Respect to the Passages cited from thence in the New.
M R . W. endeavours to show, that (d)
N the Jews have greatly corrupted the Old Testament, and more especially as to the Quotations made from thence in the New Testament,
To prove this last Point he (e) produces fome Passages cited by the Apostles, which are not apply'd according to the obvious Meaning, which they signify in the Places where they stand in the Old Testament ; some Passages, which seem not exactly cited by the Apostles; others ( F ) wanting in the Hebrew ; and many (g) Passages, such as He pall be called a Nazarene, &c. which, he fays, are intirely wanting in all Copies of the Old Testament. He also urges the following Passage of Justin Mater to prove his Charge against the Jews.
"I would have you know, says (b) JUSTIN “ to Trypho, that your Rabbins have in“ tirely taken away many Texts of Scripture “ from that Version, which was made by 6c the Elders that were with PTOLEMY,
(d) Whiston, p. 17-112. 220 — 281. p. 87, 88, &c. 129." (e) Ib. p. 87, 806. 103. 129. 229. 321. (f) p. 63. (8) p. 104.-110. (b) p. 140.