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between earlier and later Hebrew or between classical and provincial dialect. Other changes are paraphrastic, the writer of B. not feeling himself absolutely tied to follow the letter of A. Lastly, there are what we may call textual corruptions ; and it is noticeable that B. sometimes retains a better reading than we have in our present copies of A.
In the present work the relationship between the common matter and the distinctive materials in A. and B. is exhibited partly by the use of brackets and partly by the short headings which indicate insertions between section and section. Some sections exhibit far greater closeness of relationship than others, and a few can hardly be said to present identical texts at all.
The problem of compilation is thus brought clearly before the eye, and it becomes a basis for investigations into the classes of material which the compiler of B. had before him, whilst it suggests considerations with respect to the planning of other historical books. It also affords some illustration of the method possibly adopted by the synoptists in the New Testament-for A. and B. are practically to a large extent synoptists.
It would be confusing, if not impossible, to exhibit all the verbal and grammatical variations which are brought to light in the collation of the parallel Hebrew texts, though none of them are without interest. Only those have been marked and commented on which are most suggestive of dialectal differences or of textual readings. These last have been illustrated from the LXX, which sometimes (probably through the possession of a better text) harmonizes the variations.
The R. V. has been generally followed, but it has occasionally been altered so as to introduce greater verbal uniformity between the renderings of parallel texts. The long paragraphs of the R. V. have been broken up and harmonized to aid in the comparison between section and section. The 8vo Hebrew Bible of the British and Foreign Bible Society has been followed throughout as presenting the standard Masoretic text.
English readers may be reminded that the Hebrew language is much more condensed than the English. Thus, the words
like' or 'as' stand for one Hebrew letter, the children of' for three letters, therefore' sometimes stands for a single letter, 'I beseech thee' for two; in fact, the change of a single
letter in Hebrew may frequently involve the alteration of two or three words in English.
While the sections as printed exhibit all the matter belonging to Samuel and Kings which is reproduced in the Chronicles, there have been added for purposes of comparison the eighteenth Psalm, certain passages from Isaiah and Jeremiah, and an extract from Ezra which is reproduced in Nehemiah. In these cases attention is called rather to early textual corruption than to dialectal changes, as these could hardly be expected in the case of works of so nearly the same date.
In order to exhibit the state of the two texts to the greatest advantage additions in one text as compared with the other are indicated by square brackets; omissions by dots; and variations by italics. The verses referred to in the notes follow the numbers in A., unless B. is specially named. The text in the body of each section is continuous unless the contrary is stated.
A few remarks may now be offered on the results obtained by the present collation, first in their bearing on the state of our present text, and secondly in the illustrations which they afford of the way in which ancient historical books were compiled.
§ 2. State of our Present Hebrew Text. The first thing that strikes the student of these parallel texts is the startling amount of variation which exists between text and text, where not only the subject matter but also the literary material is manifestly the same. So far as we can judge from the Hebrew books which we possess, it seems to have been practically impossible for one writer to copy out a long extract from another without introducing variations. Before attempting any theory on the subject it is well to look the facts steadily in the face.
(a) There are changes in letters which are similar in appearance or in sound. Thus 7 and 7 were easily mistaken, as in Hadad and Hadar; so were and , as in Toi and Tou or Hiram and Huram”; so apparently were 3 and 2, which in the case of prepositions makes the difference between 'in' and 'from ’ (see
i The Phoenician or Old Hebrew letters answering to these could not easily be mistaken for one another, so that the variations (if accidental) have sprung up since the days when square Hebrew' was used for writing on vellum.
.מן־איבי for מאיבי other
2 Sam. 7. 6 and 1 Chron. 17. 5); also 3 and 2, as in Shobach and Shophach; similarly, 5 and 2, and 2, 7 and 5 are substituted for each other.
(6) Sometimes a new reading took its starting point from one of these literal variations that grew up in the course of copying. Thus 078 (2 Sam. 8. 13) may become 078 and then 0178, so that Edom is substituted for Aram, i.e. Syria. For other instances see 2 Sam. 7. 11, and 23. II.
(c) Transpositions are frequent, being sometimes deliberate, perhaps for the sake of euphony, and at other times accidental. Thus we have Hasra and Harhas, Araunah and Ornan, almug and algum, Betah and Tibhath, Tiglath and Tilgath.
(d) There are contractions, some of which were probably provincial and colloquial, like our English ‘t'other' for 'the
(e). There is the well-known variation between the 'full' and defective' vocalization. This is very frequently to be found, the 'full' being usually in the later record, but not always. The most interesting variation under this head is to be seen in the name of David, which is with hardly an exception spelt with four letters in B. (797), but with only three letters in
(f) Certain prepositions resembled one another both in sound and sense, though not absolutely identical ; notably there are the three, ?, 5x, and by. These are sometimes prefixed to other local and temporal expressions, as in the words 'before,' after,' 'around,' about;' and it is not easy to trace the law of variation. Some instances will be noticed in the body of the book.
(9) The name 717" (Jehovah) appears sometimes to have been written in a shorter form, either as ior as ", and this accounts for such a variation as is to be seen in 2 Chron. 36. 23 compared with Ezra 1. 3. (But see p. 136, note c.)
(h) In names compounded with Jehovah there are two terminations used variably in the Hebrew, jahu and jah, as Elijahu and Elijah; there are also two initial forms, as Jehoram and Joram ; again, there was a tendency to compress or contract still further, as in the case of lica fo sicaiah ; and occasionally we find inversions, as Jehoahaz for Ahaziah ; and omissions, as Abi for Abijah and Zabad (Zachar ?) for Jozachar.
.מרט for מרוק ,דבר for אמר ,ישב for יסב ,באר for בור
.פשט and נטש .wherever it was legitimate
(j') A copyist would sometimes unwittingly insert a similar word or a synonym for the word which he ought to write, e.g.
, , , . These synonyms are sometimes deliberately embodied in proper names; thus we have the names Uzz-iah and Azar-iah for the same person. Occasionally the sense of two alternative names is contrasted rather than synonymous, as in the case of Zephaniah and Uriel.
(k) There are other changes, owing to the tendency of the Hebrew mind to play upon words or to make variations
. Proper names were sometimes peculiarly affected by these tendencies ; thus we have the substitution of Bosheth for Baal, or vice versa, in the name Mephibosheth. Perhaps this would account for the form Abed-nego. See also Beeliada for Eliada.
(1) Later forms are substituted for earlier in many instances. Thus the final o in proper names tends to become * (or 1, as in Necho), though the rule is not absolute. Darmesek seems certainly later than Dammesek as the Hebrew spelling of Damascus. The change in the spelling of David's name has already been adverted to. B. tends to a final th in a certain class of names, putting Shimrith for Shimer, Tikvath for Tikvah, and Jehoshabeath for Jehosheba. It is not easy to say why B. substitutes Pilnezer for Pilezer. Sanherib was simply a contraction for Sennacherib. Aramaic pronunciation sometimes asserted itself, as when Samuel (lit. Shamuel) became Shemuel, and Joshua Jeshua; but Joshua reappears in the Book of Zechariah.
(m) New words were substituted where the old had gone out of use, or where they were not familiar to the writer. Thus B. puts 170 for 1970 (2 Sam. 21. 20). The word "x for 'navy' does not seem to have accommodated itself to the Hebrew mind, perhaps being a foreign form, or possibly because it was in such constant use for another purpose, and so B. reverted to the word "x, the ordinary name for a ship. Similarly, the words used in 2 Sam. 6. 16 for ‘leaping and dancing' occur nowhere else, and B. adopts ordinary words in their place. The case of the word 'cake’ in the same chapter is interesting. A.'s word is only used elsewhere in the Pentateuch (Exod., Lev., Num.), and B. substitutes a word in common
.and B אנכי .Variations bearing on forms of pronouns
Compare the names of the musical instruments in an earlier part of the chapter.
(n) Writers have their own fashions, their own idioms, and their own predilections for certain theological words. By far the most noteworthy and interesting is the tendency of B. to substitute the name God for Jehovah. This tendency is to be seen all through the body of the work, and it deserves serious attention. Other tendencies may be named. Thus, whilst A. is inclined to write “the House of Israel,' B. writes 'Israel ; ' A. prefers Ark, B. Ark of the Covenant ; A. gives prepositions, whilst B. tends to insert nx as the mark of an accusative (see e.g. 2 Chron. 18. 26). The Hebrew student will notice other
), and on the number of the verb after collective nouns (A. preferring the sing. verb and B. the plural). But whilst there are these tendencies there is not absolute consistency in either A. or B. in spelling, grammar, or idiom. A list of the most instructive variations of this class is appended to the introduction.
(o) The variations in numbers are well known and very perplexing. B. tends to turn hundreds into thousands, and sometimes the LXX does the same. Amongst B.'s departures from the numbers contained in the present text of A. we find 3 for 8, 6 for 3, 5 for 2, 50 for 20, 40 for 20, 8 for 18, 5 for 3, 7 for 5, 5 for 7. No theory of expressing numerals by letters fully explains these cases, yet we cannot detect anything deliberate or systematic about them. The LXX sometimes harmonizes A. and B., either of set purpose or through the possession of a different text; the latter seems most probable.
(P) B. evidently felt at liberty to condense, expand, paraphrase, omit, and comment. He sometimes substituted the 'oblique’ for the direct’ narration. He also transposed, e.g. the cities of their land for the land of their cities' (2 Chron. 6. 28).
(9) Many omissions are simply copyists' slips, especially in the lists of proper names, or where the eye has gone on from one word to a similar one further along. Considering the care which is now bestowed on the text of the Hebrew Scriptures is strange and sad to discover the lack of accuracy with which the ancient scribes did their work. A tendency to variation