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them, might be vers'd in no other character but the Samaritan character. And therefore the Samaritan Pentateuch is of less autority and antiquity for being written in the Samaritan character ;. and must for that very reason have been transcribed from the Pentateuch of the Jews written in the Chaldea an or Assyrian character ; to say nothing more here of the other reasons to prove it was so transcrib'd.
6. Dositheus, a Samaritan, who (2) liv'd after the times of Jesus, is said by la) Photius to have adulterated the Pentateuch (by mistake (6) call'd the O&tateuch) of Moses with many corruptions. This adulterated Pentatcuch our learned USHER takes to be the present Samaritan Pentateuch : and he supposes, that Dositheus compild this new hebrew book out of the hebrew copies of Palestine and Babylon, and the greek version receiv’d by the belo lenist Jewos; adding and taking away some pasages, and changing others, according to his pleasure. And he particularly fupposes him to have corrupted that Pentateuch by inserting therein some of the Septuagint chronology ; which also was a corruption
(2) Origen contra Cell. 1. 1. & in Matt. 27.
first introduc'd in the Septuagint. (By which the reader may easily fee, why the Septuagint is more conformable to the Samaritan than to the hebrew text; and also how (0) improper it is to settle the true reading of the Pentateuch, even as it was in our Saviour's time, by the Sararitan Pentateuch.) But whether or no, Dositheus, the Samaritan, was the compiler of the Samaritan Pentateuch ; it is not improbable, according to (d) Dupin, to suppose, that some modern Samaritan compil'd it chiefly out of the different copies of the Palestinian and Babylonian Jews, and the Septuagint (the sources, from whence USHER fuppofes DosiTHEUS compil'd it); because it fometimes agrees with the hebrew copies of Palestine, fometimes with those of Babylon, and sometimes with the Septua
I would not be thought in this matter of Dositheus, c. which I borrow from the great Usher, and from Dupin, to espouse either of their bypotheses; to which they seem driven by their judgment on the state of things, and by their inclination to solve difficulties pursuant to their religious notions.
(c) Ib. p. 218, 219.
But I use those hypotheses here, as i do the bypothefes of other learned divines in relation to many parts of the dispute between Mr. W. and my felf, merely to oppose Mr. WhisTON ; who every where proceeds on the most precarious bypotheses; because seemingly proper to folve difficulties, in his way. And the fole inferences I would make from such topicks, against Mr.W. are ; that there is no end of hypotheses; that they are so uncertain, that nothing serving to establish an opinion can be justly inferr'd from them; and that by their number and uncertainty, they seem the effects of not understanding rightly the christian religion it felf, and the true grounds and reasons of it.
7. Lastly I observe, that ORIGEN ; who understood hebrezo well, and liv'd and convers'd much with the Jews in Palestine ; who was greatly skill'd in the literature of the Old Testament, and who compleated three most laborious and useful works towards understanding the Old Testament, viz. his Tetrapla, Hexapla, and OEtapla (in the two last whereof he inserted the vulgar hebrew text); wholly omitted the Samaritan Pentateuch, and gave the hebrew text in the vulgar jewish, and not (@) in the Sama
Į (e) Montfaucon, Prælim, ad Origenis Hexapla; p. 21.
ritän character; tho' he thought fit to give the hebrew text over again in greek characters. Nor does he appear to have used the Samaritan Pentateuch in his notes on the Hexapla, towards settling the text in any respect. And consequently ORIGEN must have judg'd the Samaritan Pentateuch of no importance towards settling the reading and sense of that part of the Old Testament.
8. So that I think I may venture to conclude, that Mr. W. has not the least ground to date the Samaritan Pentateuch so high as the times of JerOBOAM, against which three have appear'd leveral demonstrative arguments; and for which he has as little colour, as the Samaritan's themselves have for a manufcript copy of their Pentateuch (f) pretended to be deriv'd to them from the times of PHINEAS, contemporary with MoSES; whereby they are equally absurd with the Jerusalem Jews, and others, who make Moses author of the account of his own death and burial, and of the comparison between himself and the prophets in Israel, who succeeded him ; to say nothing of the absurdity in pretending to have a manufcript of a (g) book, whereof it will be
(f) Simon Hift. Crit: du V: Teft: P: 130.
difficult to find one of above 600 or 700 years
Mr. W. (i) contends, that the apostles álways quoted the Septungint. But, if we