« ForrigeFortsæt »
they were (m) dispers'd and loft: and those who were sent to inhabit Samaria in their stead, and had foon the name of Samaritans, appear (12) not for a long while to have had the Pentateuch among them. For they were all () Heathens, and continui'd so for many ages, as the bible informs us ; which represents them as idolaters at first, and as being like what they were in the beginning, at the time when the second book of Kings was publish'd : and the Jerusalem Jews constantly gave them the name of Cutheans, as coming from Cuthah in Alyria; thereby signifying them to be idolaters and heathens, as well as originally heathens. Had the Samaritans, says (P) PRIDEAUX, receiv'd the law of Moses from the first (that is, from the time of the israelitish priest being fent (g) by ESER HADDON among them, as is suppos'd by many) and made that the rule of worship, which they paid the God of Israel, they could not have continuid in that grofs idolatry, which on all hands it is agreed they did, till the building the
(m) Simon Hift. Crit. du V. T. p. 66.
temple on, mount Gerizim in the time of ALEXANDER the great.
2. There is a corrupted passage of great importance in the Samaritan Pentateuch; which enjoins, an altar to be built, and sacrifices to be offer'd, (not at (r) mount Ebal, as all our hebrew and greek copies have it, but) at mount Gerizim; where is) SANBALLAT, above a thousand years after the times of Moses, did, at the instigation and with the assistance of MANASSEH, son of JOIADA the high priest of the Jews, and other disoblig'd Refugee-Jews, first, build a temple in opposition to the temple at 7erusalem ; where Refugee-Jews, from the time the temple was built, continu'd 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 callid Samaritains, from Samaria, the name of the district, wherein mount Gerizim lyes. And this corruption affects the autority of the Samaritan Pentateuch the more, in that, it was a design d corruption, in order to justify and autorize 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)
(r) Deut. 27. 4.
foot-steps in our hebrew and greek copies. In both these cases, indeed, Mr W. (u) declares, he fees no reasoy to accuse the Samaritans, but the Jews of corruption. And he endeavours to support the Samaritan readings by several (2) reasons in his book, and by (x) one added since, which he thinks determines the point in favour of the Samaritans ; which therefore, tho' equally precarious with the rest, I shall here examine.*
There was, it seems, a contest (9) between the Jews and Samaritans at Alexandria in Egypt, “ Whether the temple at « mount Gerizim, or that at Jerusalem, was « warranted and autorized by the Mofaick «c law ?" The caufe was, by way of appeal, brought before PTOLEMY PHILOMETOR, king of Egypt; who, upon hearing the pleas on both fides, (of which Josephus feems to give but a very general and imperfect ac. count) gave judgment in favour of the Jews against the Samaritans. But yet Mr.TV.thinks it appears from Josephus's relation, that the Jews copies had those passages then in them, and did not disagree from the Samaritan; and, by consequence, that the Jews have since corrupted their copies.
(w) Whiston's Effay, St. p. 169..
But the consideration of JOSEPHUS's relation (which the reader is desir'd to have before 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 Josephus's relation, that the two Samaritan advocates did insist before king PTOLEMY on those pasfages before-mention'd of their Pentateuch, for the autority of their temple at Gerizim, tho' it is not any where said to, or that their Pentateuch had then any such passages in it. For there seems no other foundation in the Mosaick law, from whence they are suppos'd to argue, for making mount Gerizim the place appointed for a temple in opposition to Jerusalem, and for the great confidence they had of being able to prove their point ; all traditional pretences in favour of the antiquity of the temple at Gerizim before the temple at Jeruscilem, being not only undoubtedly falfe, but capable of being easily prov'd so, as they could not but know themfelves; for their temple had been built but
hereas the temple at 7erul len had been built long before, in the days of SOLOMON
It may also be fuppos’d 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 urg'd their two present 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, before this contest, in the hands of the heathens, and particularly in the library of PTOLEMY, who would never have given judgment against the Samaritans, and condemn’d their advocates to dye, if the jewish copies had favour'd the autority of their temple at Gerizim.
All therefore that can be suppos’d in favour of the Samaritan Pentaterich 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 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 forts of people, who at different times have inhabited Samaria, and been callid Samar ritans, and were different religious Sects.