Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

the High Priest of the Jews, and other disobliged Refugee-Jews, first, build a Temple in Opposition to the Temple at Yerusalem ; where Refugee-Jews, from the Time the Temple was built, continued frequently to resort ; and where, for the most part from the same Time, a Jewish-Temple-Worship has been kept up by Persons, who have been called Samaritans, from Samaria, the Name of the Diftrict, wherein Mount Gerizim lyes. And this Corruption affects the Authority of the Samaritan Pentateuch the more, in that it was a dengnd Corruption, in Order to justify and authorize their new Place of Worship at Mount Gerizim. The Samaritans have also added a large Passage to the same Effect in their Pentateuch; which has no (t) Foot-steps in our Hebrew and Greek Copies. In both these Cases, indeed, Mr. W. (ú) declares, he sees no Reason to accuse the Samaritans, but the Jews, of Corruption. And he endeavours to support the Samaritan Readings by several (w) Reasons in his Book, and by (x) one added fince, which he thinks determines the point in Favour of the Samaritans; which therefore, though equally precarious with the rest, I shall here examine.

There was, it seems, a Contest (y) between the Yews and Samaritans at Alexandria in Egypt, “Whether the Temple at Mount Gerizim, or That at Yerusalem was warranted

(u) Whiston's Elay. &c. p. 169.' (w) Ib. p. 169–172. (x) Ad Finem Errat. (Ý) Jo eph. Antiq. l. 13.6. 6. (1) Exod. 20. 17.

M 2 . “ and

" and authorized by the Mofaick Law ?" The Cause was, by Way of Appeal, brought before PTOLEMY PHILOMETOR, King of Egypt; who, upon hearing the Pleas on both sides, (of which JOSEPHUS seems to give but a very general and imperfect Account) gave Judgment in favour of the Jews against the Samaritans. But yet Mr. W. thinks it appears from Jose. PHUS's Relation, that the Jews Copies had thofe Passages then in them, and did not difagree from the Samaritan ; and, by Conse, quence, that the Jews have since corrupted their Copies.

But the Confideration of Joseph us's Rea lation (which the Reader is desired to have be, fore him) will, in my Opinion, produce a very different Conclusion, and induce the Reader to believe, that the Samaritan Readings were Corruptions, and that the Jewish Copies stood then as they do now in that Respect ; as the Pleas, which the King heard, induced him to determine for the Jews.

It does seem possible from JOSEPH US's Res lation, that the two Samaritan Advocates did insist before King PTOLEMY on those Passages before-mentioned of their Pentateuch, for the Authority of their Temple at Gerizim, tho' it is not any where faid fo, or that their Pentateuch had then any such Passages in it. For there seems no other Foundation in the Mofaick Law, from whence they are supposed to argue, for making Mount Gerizim the Place appoints ed for a Temple in Oppofition to Jerusalem, and foș the great Confidence they had of being able to prove their Point ; all traditional Press tences in Favour of the Antiquity of the Tem ple at Gerizim before the Temple at YerusaŽem, being not only undoubtedly false, but cam pable of being easily proved so, as they could not but know themselves ; for their Temple had been built but an hundred and fifty Years, whereas the Temple at Yerusalem had been built long before, in the Days of SOLOMON. ·

able

It may also be supposed possible, that the Jewish Advocate might argue against the Samaritans from his Pentateuch, as not having the Samaritan Readings; for nothing appears, from whence it can be concluded he did not. Nay, if the Samaritan Advocates urged their two prefent Readings, we have Reason to believe he did so; since those Readings were certainly wanting in his Copies. For both the Hebrew and Septuagint Copies had been, bet fore this Contest, in the Hands of the Heathens, and particularly in the Library of ProLEMY, who would never have given Judgment against the Samaritans, and condemn'd their Advocates to dye, if the Jewish Copies had favour'd the Authority of their Temple at Gerizim.

All therefore that can be supposed in Favour of the Samaritan Pentateuch from JosEPHUS is, that it, alone, perhaps, then had the two Passages mention'd; there being no Ground in JOSEPHUS (or else where) to suppose that the Jews Pentateuch then had them. But this Supposition, in Favour of the Samaritan

M 3

Pen.

Pentateuch, will not prove the two Readings genuine.

But there are two Considerations, which seem to me to determine the Corruption to be on the part of the Samaritans.

1. First, there have been three different Sorts of People, who at different Times have inhabited Samaria, and been callid Samaritans, and were different religious Sects. 1. Those of the ten (2) Tribes, who under the Conduct of JEROBOAM revolted from the Tribes of

Yudah and Benjamin, and set up a Worship at Dan and Bethel, in Opposition to the Worship establish'd at Jerusalem. 2. The Heathens, who were sent to inhabit Samaria in the Room of the ten Tribes that were carried into Captivity and never return'd, were called Samaritans. 3. The apostate Jews, who with SANBALLAT, first, built a Temple at Mount Gerizim in Opposition to the Temple at Jerusalem, and their Successors were also so call’d; among whom, perhaps, some of the Samaritans last mention’d, at length became embody'd.

Now, neither the Jews, before the Separation of the Tribes into the Kingdoms of ilrael and Judah, nor the first Sort of Samaritans, seem ever to have had the least Thought of worshiping at Mount Gerizim; and the Contest between the Jews and Samaritans, after the Separation, was, whether Worship was to be perform’d at Jerusalem, or at Dan and

. (2) 2 Kings 12. 27---29.

Bethel; Bethel; for the Sacredness of which (zz) two last Places, there was some Pretence in Antiquity. It should seem therefore, that there was no Pretence at that Time in the Pentateuch for making Mount Gerizim a Place ! of Worship. And therefore it seems most probable, that those Samaritans, who consisted chiefly of apostate Jews, and first built a Temple at Gerizim in Opposition to the Temple at Yerusalem, and would be glad of an Authority for fo doing, or their Successors, corrupted the Pentateuch;, and not the Jews, who, at a Time when they had no Interest nor malicious Purpose to serve, acted as if there had been no such Passages in the Pentateuch as the Samaria tans produced..

2. Secondly, our Saviour may not improbably be supposed to determine against the Samaritan Readings in his Conversation with the Woman of Samaria. That Conversation, which is but briefly represented, seems to admit and require the following Interpretation;

“ Since you are a Jew, says the Woman of " Samarić to our Saviour, tell me, why the « Jews contend, that God is to be worship'd at Yerusalem, since our Fore-fathers worihip’d “ in this Mountain of Gerizim. To which “ Jesus answer'd, there is little Reason to " trouble yourself about this Question, in

asmuch as the Occasion will soon be re“ moved; for the Worship of God will not “ much longer be confined to any Place; and “ so the Privilege, about which you contend, (zz) Patrick on the first of Kings, 12. 29.

M 4

o will

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »