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taken possession of their minds. This we have seen strongly confirmed from the previous quotation from Whitby on Rom. ii. Taking all these circumstances into view, we think the following at least a rational conjecture about this. The Jews hated the Gentiles, and to testify this hatred, they declared them to be fit fuel for hell fire. Further than this they could not carry their hatred of them. As they had learned the notion of eternal punishment in Hades from the heathen, and had applied the term Gehenna, as a name to it, by consigning over all the Gentiles to its punishment, and exempting themselves, their hatred of them and also their own self-love was gratified; yea, by this they blinded their own eyes, as to the punishment of Gehenna, threatened them by their own prophets.
But there is one important question on this subject to which we ought to pay some attention. It is this. Is it certain that our Lord, in the New Testament, when he used the term Gehenna or hell, used it in the sense it has in the Targums, and not in the sense in which it is used in the Old Testament? To decide this question is to put the question at rest. It is very evident that Dr. Campbell, Parkhurst and Whitby take it for granted that our Lord did use the term Gehenna as it is used by the writers of the Targums and Apocrypha, to signify a place of eternal punishment for the wicked. They seem to speak about this, as if it could not, and ought not to be questioned; yet all they advance in proof, is bare assertion. They proceed upon the presumption, that this is indisputable, and entirely overlook, what we have proved to be a fact, that the term Gehenna is used in the Old Testament as an emblem of the temporal punishment which God was to bring on the Jewish nation. Had those men turned their attention to this, they would have given us a very dis
ferent account of Gehenna, and not referred us to the Targums and the Apocrypha.
But, we have to ask, if our Lord used the term Gehenna to express a place of endless misery, how are the facts we have adduced to be got over on such a view of the subject? If the Targums can be appealed to, showing how such facts can be reconciled with this view of Gehenna, we hope it will be done. Let any one examine those facts, and then say, if it is possible for any rational being to believe this until those facts are removed out of the way. They form a pha-lanx of difficulties as to any man's believing this doctrine, which is impenetrable. Upon no part of this Inquiry has more labour of thinking been bestowed, than in attempting to reconcile those facts with the idea of Gehenna or hell's being a place of endless misery for all the wicked. We have turned this point round, and viewed it on all sides, and with all the care and attention we could command, but have found the facts and the doctrine utterly irreconcileable. I can sincerely say that I have endeavoured to find something which could fairly controvert the facts, or reconcile them with this doctrine-but in vain. The more I have laboured in this way, the facts have increased. And I doubt not, that, if the labour was continued, they would still increase: for I am not convinced that the subject is yet exhausted.
If I am indeed in an error, in believing that Gehenna or hell in the New Testament has no reference to a place of endless punishment, the first step to be taken to convince me of my error, is to account for the facts. Until these are fairly and honourably removed out of the way, it is useless to endeavour to make me believe this doctrine. The next step to be taken to convince me of my error, if it be one, is to enter into an examination of the passages which speak of Gehenna, and show that I have misinterpreted
them. When these things are done, such persons may save themselves the trouble to quote the Targums, for I will believe the doctrine without any appeal to their authority.
The following is all that is to be found in the Targums, in the places to which Whitby and Parkhurst refer us.
"Ruth ii. 12. The Lord shall abundantly recompense thee in this age, for thy good work, and shall be thy complete reward to the age that shall come, from the presence of the Lord God of Israel; because thou hast come to join thyself to his people and worship, and find protection under the shadow of the majesty of his glory, and for this righteous conduct thou shalt be delivered from the punishment of Gehenna, that thy portion may be with Sarah and Ribhah, and Rachel and Lea."
"Psalm cxl. 10, 11. Let coals of fire fall from heaven upon them; let him cast them into the fire of Gehenna; into miry pits; from which let them not rise to eternal life. Let the angel of death hunt the violent man, and cast him into Gehenna."
"Isaiah xxvi. 15. Thou hast been revealed to us, O! Lord! as about to assemble the dispersed of thy people; it shall also come to pass that thou wilt collect them from their wanderings; that thou mightest appear in thy power, to cast all the wicked into Gehenna."
"Isaiah xxvi. 19. And those who transgress thy word, thou wilt deliver into Gehenna."
"Isaiah xxxiii. 14. Who among us shall dwell in Zion, where the splendor of his majesty is as consuming fire? Who among us shall dwell in Jerusalem, where the wicked are to be judged, and cast into Gehenna, into everlasting burnings?"
Our readers have now before them, all that we can find in the Targums, and we leave them to decide, if
such glosses, on such texts, are a good foundation for the doctrine of eternal punishment in hell or Gehenna.
We have dwelt much longer on the argument drawn from the Apocrypha and Targums than we at first contemplated; and much longer than the importance of the argument merited. Before closing this Section, we must be indulged with a few observations, respecting the Greek version of the Seventy, in regard to the subject under consideration.
1st, At what period of time was this version made? Concerning this, Dr. Kennicott, pages 319, 320. thus writes: "After many voluminous controversies amongst learned writers upon the Greek version of the Old Tes tament, we seem to have three circumstances clearly ascertained that there was no Greek version before that called the SEVENTY-that the version so denominated, was made at the beginning of the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about 280 years before Christ, and that the version, then made, was only of the Pentateuch.
It is not necessary for me to spend a moment in discussing whether this version was made all at once, or at different times; nor even whether it was made at the precise time here specified. A few years, one way or another, does not affect the remarks I am about to make. One thing will be allowed by all, without a single word of controversy, that this version was made sometime between the days of Malachi and the coming of John the Baptist. Keeping this one fact in view I notice
2d, That Dr. Campbell declares the word Gehenna is not found in the Septuagint version. He says, as quoted before, page 93.-" Accordingly the word Gehenna does not occur in the Septuagint. It is not a Greek word, and consequently not to be found in the Grecian classics." That this word is not found in the
Septuagint, being only a translation, need not surprise us, for Dr. Campbell, in the sentence preceding the one just quoted, says concerning Gehenna as a place of future punishment-"In the Old Testament we do not find this place in the same manner mentioned." Keeping these facts and statements in our view, permit me to make a very few remarks on them, relative to the subject of the present inquiry.
1st, Whoever were the authors of the Greek version, or at whatever period it was made, it is a certain case, that in translating the Old Testament, they did not find that it contained any thing about Gehenna being a place of endless misery for the wicked. Had they perceived any thing like this, we should have found some intimation of it in this translation.
Had the Hebrew of the Old Testament warranted such a thing, no doubt but it would have been transfused into this version. We have then the testimony of all the translators of the Greek version, that they did not find that the spirit of God had ever used the term Gehenna in the sense it is commonly used by Christians in the present day. This we think a fact which will not for a moment be disputed. If they did not. find it in the Old Testament, how came it to pass that the writers of the Targums could find it? We have never understood that the Targums are worthy of more regard than the Greek version.
2d, If Gehenna, at the time this version was made, had begun to be used in the sense of a place of future misery, it is evident that this sense received no countenance from them as translators. It was not by them begun nor does their translation in any way tend to transmit such an opinion to posterity. We cannot even learn from it that such a sense was then given to the word Gehenna by any persons, far less that it was founded on divine authority. If Gehenna then had begun to assume this new sense, which Dr.