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Revised Old Testament 





10 AND 12 Dey Strekt 44 Fleet Street 

All Rights Reserved 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1885, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. a 


The design of this book is expressed in the title. 
It is intended to furnish a convenient manual to 
those readers of the Revised Old Testament who 
wish to inform themselves of its origin and aim, and 
of the principles upon which it has been made. 

It was no part of the author's purpose to defend 
or advocate the work of the revisers. Even if such 
a thing were required, he is not the person to under- 
take it. But it is not required. A revision of the 
English Bible for popular use must stand or fall by 
its own merits, and no efforts, whether of friends or 
foes, can prevent this result. If the book is worthy 
— that is, if it accomplish the object for which it was 
undertaken, no amount of opposition can overthrow 
it. However learned or skilful or acute its assailants 
may be, they will only beat the air. The Christian 
public will slowly but surely find out the truth, and 
act accordingly. They will accept and adopt that 
form of the Bible which best answers the purposes 
for which the Bible was given. If, on the other 
hand, the work is a failure, if it is no advance upon 
its predecessor, if its gains in one direction are out- 
weighed by shortcomings in another, it will pass into 


cumstance will keep the book from being overlooked 
or forgotten. It cannot possibly be shelved. If 
therefore the book be v^hat it is claimed to be, it will 
gradually work its way to general acceptance, just as 
its predecessor did in the first half of the seventeeth 
century. That book at first was received with cold 
indifference by some and with violent opposition by 
others, yet it survived both. Although universally 
known as ^' the Authorized Version," no trace of 
such authorization has ever been found in any records 
of the time, whether civil or ecclesiastical. I^either 
the crown nor Parliament nor the privy council nor 
the convocation appear to have given it any public 
sanction. Yet without the aid of legal enactments, 
and entirely upon its own merits, it quietly supersed- 
ed all its jDredecessors and rivals. It is therefore not 
unreasonable to expect that the present revision will 
in time noiselessly accomplish the same result, and 
at length come to be generally recognized as the 
Bible of English-speaking peoples. 

In the mean time, while the verdict of the people 
is forming, there is need of such works as the pres- 
ent. For it is a fact that, notwithstanding all that 
has been said on the subject during the last ten or 
fifteen years, there are multitudes of persons, well- 
informed in other respects, who do not know why 
the revision has been attempted, or how it has been 
carried on, or what it was expected to accomplish. 
There are others who, while aware of the leading 
facts in the case, yet would be embarrassed in judg- 
ing particular instances. An example may be taken 

PREFACE. "fll 

from the experience of the Revised New Testament. 
Soon after that volume appeared, two clergymen 
took it lip from a bookseller's table, and casually 
opened it at the close of the fifteenth chapter of 
Mark. Here they observed that the 43d verse spoke 
of the hody of Jesus, while the 45th called it the 
corjpse, the Authorized Yersion having hody in both 
places. Desirous to see the reason of the change, 
they turned to the nearest Greek Testament, where 
they were surprised to find that the original had the 
same word in both verses. The case then seemed 
inexplicable, and was so until one of the two con- 
sulted a critical edition, where it appeared that the 
correct text had one word {soina) in the 43d verse 
and another {ptdma) in the 45th. Consequently 
the revision reproduced exactly the form as well as 
the meaning of the original. 

It is with the design of meeting cases like tliis 
that the present volume has been prepared — not in- 
deed by any means with the view of explaining all 
the points wherein alteration has been made, but 
simply to state the circumstances that led to the work, 
and the means and method used to accomplish it. 
After a brief statement concerning the text of the 
Old Testament, a series of chapters takes up instances 
of the various changes made, and suggests in a short 
and general way the reasons for these changes. This 
is only a selection of passages, and possibly not the 
most judicious that could have been made. Yet 
these examples, however ill-chosen, will doubtless 
illustrate all or nearly all the principles involved, 


and represent witli sufficient accuracy tlie general 
character of the book. Of course in a work no 
larger than this there cannot be anything like a 
complete statement of the grounds upon which the 
committee acted ; often only a hint is given. But 
it is supposed that persons who have no acquaintance 
with the original languages of Scripture would be 
glad to learn, in a general way, the objects of the 
revisers and their method of reaching them. The 
book is not written for scholars, to whom it would 
be of little or no use, but for ordinary English read- 
ers, who may find even such light as is given in these 
pages helpful in enabling them to form a candid 
judgment of the merits of the revision. This ques- 
tion is not one of theoretical importance merely, but 
touches vital issues. The Word of God is the great 
means for the building up of the religious character 
and life. The sacred writings of the Old Testament 
are expressly declared by the Apostle Paul (II. Tim. 
iii. 16, 17) to be "profitable for teaching, for re- 
proof, for correction, for instruction which is in 
righteousness : that the man of God may be com- 
plete, furnished completely to eveiy good work." 
It is therefore not only the privilege but the duty of 
every man to become as fully acquainted as possible 
with these writings in their exact sense and meaning. 
He is not at liberty to indulge likes and dislikes in 
a matter of this kind. It is not the revision that 
most pleases aesthetic taste, or which is most fluent 
and rhythmical, or which has about it the richest 
archaic flavor that he is to choose, but that one wliich 


he has i-eason to think best conveys the meaning of 
its divine author. 

The author of this book having been a member of 
the American Old Testament Company for the last 
ten years can speak with some degree of authority 
on the subjects here treated. But it is to be dis- 
tinctly understood that he alone is responsible for 
what is said. His colleagues in the company ap- 
proved of his undertaking, and all have kindly lent 
him more or less assistance in prosecuting it ; but 
whatever errors or shortcomings may be found are to 
be attributed only to himself. It may not be amiss 
to make a remark concerning the interior workings 
of this branch of the Committee. The writer was 
the only pastor in the company. All the others 
were professors in theological seminaries, and they 
represented seven different denominations and nine 
different institutions. The meetings were held 
monthly, save in midsummer, and extended over two 
and sometimes three days. The discussions were 
earnest and animated, and there was the freest ex- 
pression of opinion. Yet never even once did the 
odium theologicum appear. Nothing was said at any 
time that required retraction or apology. And so 
far from there being any clashing among those con- 
nected with institutions which are in a sense rival 
competitors for public favor, courtesy, kindness, 
and the heartiest Christian fellowship prevailed from 
beginning to end. Whatever becomes of the re- 
vision, each of those who took part in it on this side 


of tlie water feels Immble gratitude to God for the 
blessed communion of devout scholars into which it 
introduced liim, and the nianj, many happy days 
that were S23ent in accomplishing it. Each of them 
can adopt for himself the words in which the good 
Bishop Home, a century ago, spoke of his labors upon 
the psalms : " Happier hours than those which have 
been spent in these meditations he never expects to 
see in this world. Very pleasantly did they pass, 
and moved smoothly and swiftly along ; for when 
thus engaged, he counted no time. They are gone, 
but have left a relish and a fragrance upon the mind, 
and the remembrance of them is sweet." 




The Need of a Revision 13 

The Method of the Revision 37 

The Text of the Old Testament 61 

Changes in the Pentateuch 78 

Changes in the Histoeic.^x Books 97 

Changes in the PoETicAii Books 110 

Changes in the Prophetical Books 135 


The Ameeican Appendix 168 

The Importance of the Old Testament , 217 


The Names oe the Re^tisees, British and American 245 




No testimony to the inexhaustible interest of the 
Bible is more striking than that which is furnished 
bj the prevalent desire and effort to secure better 
versions of its contents in modern tongues. The 
book is continually attacked by all sorts of foes and 
upon all sorts of grounds, and not infrequently is 
contemptuously shelved as if its claims had been 
utterly exploded. And yet in no less than seven 
countries of Europe serious endeavors are, or recently 
have been, made to amend the popular versions of 
the Scriptures. 

In Holland a revised translation of the New Tes- 
tament was issued in 1868 by direction of the Gen- 
eral Synod, a large company of scholars having been 
engaged on the work since the date of their appoint- 
ment in 1854. In Denmark the New Testament 
having been revised in the year 1819, the revision of 
the Old was undertaken by such scholars as Xolkar 
and Rothe, with whom Bishop Martensen acted as 


an adviser, and the resnlt of their labors appeared in 
1871. In Norway a laborious revision of the Old 
Testament is nov7 in progress, and is understood to 
hav^e reached completion save as to the prophetical 
books. In Sweden the work has been in hand for 
a century. Last May the Kew Testament was issued. 
Its authors accepted no variation from the Textus 
Keceptus, unless it was sustained by at least two of 
the most ancient authorities. The use of this re- 
vision is allowed in the schools, but not yet in the 
churches. It has met with considerable opposition 
from some Swedish scholars because of its too close 
adherence to the Eeceived Text.* The Bible in 
common use in France is that knoM'n as Ostervald's 
(issued in Amsterdam in 1Y24), wdiich was based 
upon that issued in 1588 by certain Geneva pastors, 
among whom was Beza, which itself was a revision 
of the translation made by Olivetan in 1535, and 
corrected by Calvin, his cousin. A revision of 
Ostervald's version was completed by M. Frossard 
in 1869, and w^as approved by a conference of 
pastors in Paris, who recommended the Societe Bi- 
hliqite cle France to publish it. In 1868 a revision 
of the Old Testament was undertaken by a commit- 
tee of four, afterward increased to thirteen, who 
completed their work and gave it to the press in 1879. 
It is understood that the British and Foreign Bible 
Society, and likewise the American Bible Society, 

* For this authentic information in respect to Scandinavian 
conntries, the author is indebted to the Rev. Prof. G. E. Day, 
D.D., who visited Denmark and Sweden last year. 


have adopted this revision of both Testaments as 
the French Bible which they will circulate. In 
ISTtt the Eev. Dr. Louis Segond publislied at Ge- 
neva a new translation of the Old Testament (2d ed., 
1877, at Nancy ; 3d ed., 1879, at Geneva), and 1879 
a new translation of the New Testament. His work 
has been accepted by the University Press, Oxford, 
and has met with great favor from professors and 
other scholars in Switzerland. In Germany a com- 
pany of learned men have been for years engaged in 
a revision of Luther's version. Tentative copies 
(Probe-Bibel) of their work have been widely circu- 
lated with the view of eliciting criticism before a final 
determination. The auspices under which the enter- 
prise has been carried on are such as to give good 
hope of success. It is understood that attention has 
been paid rather to the matter of improving and mod- 
ernizing the language used than to the making of a 
new version. But even in this latter point of view 
the work is a significant indication of the general 
movement in Christian lands in favor of making the 
vernacular version of the Scriptures an adequate rep- 
resentation of the original, or at least such as to put 
the rank and file of the people in possession of the 
mind and will of God as revealed for human salva- 
tion. As for Britain and America, the present year 
will see the conclusion of a work of revision carried 
on ever since 1870. 

It remains for those who condemn the Bible 
as obsolete or effete to explain the reason of this 
earnest and widespread interest in the matter oi 


securing a faithful rendering of its words into tlie 
living languages of our day. No such explanation 
is possible, and the facts must be taken as evidence 
that the system of religion taught in the Scriptures, 
so far from having relaxed its hold upon tlie reason, 
the conscience, and the heart of men, has increased 
its power. Among English-speaking peoples these 
facts are strengthened by the amazing sales made of 
the Revised New Testament issued in England and 
America in May, ISSl. The demand for the book 
was something wholly unprecedented in the entire 
history of the trade. A deeper feeling than mere 
curiosity is recpired to account for this fact. 

In setting forth the grounds upon which the work 
of revision in England was commenced and carried 
on, it is requisite to set aside some mistaken appre- 
hensions on the subject. No disparagement of the 
general merits of the Authorized Version was in- 
tended. That version is one of very great excellence. 
It is better than any of the ancient versions, and is 
surpassed by only one of the modern — the Staaten- 
Byhel of Holland. The reason of the latter's superi- 
ority is that it was made a score of years after King 
James's translators had finished their labors, and of 
course had the benefit of their experience. The 
friends and advocates of the Revision can in all good 
conscience join in circulating the common English 
Bible, while yet they think it capable of improve- 
ment. Nor is it true, as has sometimes been said, 
that these parties are insensible to the charms of the 
old Bible as '' a well of English undefyled," and 


have no regard for its exquisite rhytlim and melody. 
Tliey feel these things as much as anybody, and if 
the Scriptures were simpjy a great English classic, 
they would as soon think of amending Chaucer or 
ShakesjDeare as of touching the book which is such a 
noble expression of our language in its best estate. 
But the literary claims of the Bible are and must be 
subordinate to its character as a record of the revela- 
tion which God has been pleased to make of Himself. 
Taste must yield to conscience. Every reader is 
entitled to the most exact and faithful expression of 
the divine word that is attainable. An incorrect or 
inadequate version is poorly compensated by grace of 
utterance. Pure water out of an earthen vessel is 
better than water not so pure out of a golden cup 
rimmed with jewels. Nor is it love of change for 
its own sake that induced the j)lan of revision. Of 
course there may be among the friends of that plan 
some justly liable to this charge, but if so, these are 
exceptions. The revisers have felt the power of old 
association in endearing to them the common ver- 
sion with all its shortcomings, and they therefore put 
their hands to any alteration with great reluctance, 
and only under an imperative sense of duty. Faith- 
fulness is the first law of translation, and no ques- 
tions, whether of taste, or of long use, or of sacred 
memories, can be allowed to stand in the way of a 
correct representation of '' the mind of the Spirit," 
as recorded in the Scriptures. But of course so 
long as substantial correctness is secured minor in- 
felicities or inadequate renderings may be left un- 


touched. And this has been the constant aim of the 
revisers — viz., not to make a new version, but to 
revise the oki one where such revision was called for. 
How far they have accomplished their aim it is not 
for them to saj. But it is their right to insist upon 
the earnestness and sincerity of their endeavors in 
this direction. 

The reasons for the work may be assigned as fol- 
lows : 

1. The Progress of tlie Language. — Dead lan- 
guages do not change, and it is their fixed and invari- 
able character which renders the study of them such 
a valuable aid in sharpening and disciplining the 
faculties. But living languages are always subject 
to change with the changes in the numbers, manners, 
laws, institutions, and social develoj^ment of the 
peoples who speak them. All that a reasonable con- 
servative can ask is that variations shall not be vio- 
lent, or precipitate, or against analogy, or in general 
for the worse. In this respect the Authorized Version 
has been a great blessing as a standard of speech. 
Its intrinsic excellence as well as its sacred origin 
gave it an acceptance among the people such as no 
other book ever secured. Hence it brought all 
classes of men into familiar acquaintance with its 
idioms and its vocabulary, and so proved a constant 
breakwater against rash and needless innovations. 
Still, while this is true and gratefully acknowledged 
by every lover of his mother tongue, it is also true 
that the end was not perfectly gained. There are 
some grammatical forms which have become wholly 



antiquated, and there is a considerable number of 
words wliicli are now obsolete and therefore unintel- 
ligible to the great body of readers. Other words 
have undergone an entire change of meaning so as 
seriously to mislead the unlearned. There are more 
of these than persons who have not had their atten- 
tion called to the subject are apt to suppose. Some 
specimens are here given, all taken from the Old 

Ancient, (Is. xlvii. 6), 
Artillery, (I. Sam. xx. 40), 
Assay, (Deut. iv. 34), 

Bakemeats, (Gen. xl. 17), 
Besom, (Is. xiv. 32), 
Bewray, (Is. xvi. 3), 
Bonnet, (Ex. xxviii. 40), 
Boss, (Job XV. 26), 
Botch, (Deut. xxviii. 27), 
Bravery, (Is. iii. 18), 
Brigandine, (Jer. xlvi. 4), 
Bunches, (Is. xxx. 6), 

Cabins, (Jer. xxxvii. 18), 
Cankerworm, (Ps. cv. 34), 
Carriage, (Judges xviii. 21). 
Champaign, (Deut. xi.30), 
Chapiter, (Ex. xxxvi. 38), 
Chapman, (I. Kings x. 15), 
Charger, (Num. vii. 13), 
Coast, (Ex. X. 4), 
Comely, (Ps. xxxiii. 1), 
Cracknel, (I. Kings xiv. 3), 
Conversation, (Ps. xxxvii. 
Cunning, (Gen. xxv. 27), 

Elder or aged. 
Missile weapons. 
Attempt, try. 

Some kind of bread. 






Splendor, finery. 

Scale armor. 

Humps (of camels). . 

Cellars, vaults. 



Manner of life. - 
Knowing, skilful (not implying 



Daysman, (Job ix. 33), 
Despite, (Ezek. xxv. 6), 
Discipline, (Job xxxvi. 10), 
Discover, (Ps. xxix. 9), 

Ear, (Deut. xxi. 4), 
Ensue, (Ps. xxxiv. 14), 
Entreat, (Gen. xii. 16), 
Eschew, (Job i. 1, 8), 

Fats, (Joel ii. 24), 
Fenced, (Num. xxxii. 17), 
Fine, (Job xxviii. 1), 
Flag, (Ex. ii. 3, 5), 
Fray, (Deut. xxviii. 26), 
Fretting, (Lev. xiv. 44), 

Gallant, (Is. xxxiii. 21), 
Goodman, (Prov. vii. 19), 
Gracious, (Prov. xi. 16), 

Habergeon, (Ex. xxviii. 32), 

Harness, (I. Kings xxii. 34), 
Handywork, (Ps. xix. 1), 

Knop, (Ex. xxv. 31), 

Kerchief, (Ezek. xiii. 18, 21), 

Lace, (Ex. xxviii, 28), 
Leasing, (Ps. iv. 2), 
Let, (Ex. V. 4), 
Lover, (Ps. xxxviii. 11), 

Man of war, (Ex. xv. 3), 
Manner, with the, (Num. v. 13), 
Mean, (Is. ii. 9), 
Meat, (Gen. i. 29, 30), 
Minish, (Ex. v. 19), 
Mount, (Jer. vi. 6), 

Umpire or arbiter. 
Eeproachf 111 contempt. 
Uncover or lay bare. 


Follow after and overtake. 


Flee from, avoid. 


Fortified, defended. 




Devouring, corroding. 

Splendid, stately. 
Master of the house. 
Filled with grace. 

Coat of mail for the head and 


Bud or bud-shaped protuber- 
Covering for the head. 


Lying, falsehood. 

Intimate friend, not necessarily 
of the ojDposite sex. 


In the act. 

Common, lowly (not base). 

Food in general. 





Neesing, (Job xli. 18), 
Nephews, (Judges xii. 14), 
Noisome, (Ps, xci. 3), 

Occupy, (Ez. xxvii. 16), 
Ointment, (Cant. i. 3), 
Offend, (Ps. cxix. 165), 
Ouches,"-' (Ex. xxviii, 11), 




Use, trade with, trade. 
Unguent, perfume. 
Make to stumble. 
Sockets for setting precious 

Paddle, (Deut. xxiii. 13), 

Small spade. 

Palestina, (Ex. xv. 14), 


Painful, (Ps. Ixxiii. 16), 


Poll, (Num. i. 2), 


Prevent, (Ps. xviii. 5), 

Meet, anticipate. 

Purtenance, (Ex. xii. 9), 

Intestines or inwards. 

Quick, (Lev. xiii. 10), 


Eereward, (I. Sam. xxix. 2), 


Road, (I. Sam. xxvii. 10), 


Saving health, (Ps. Ixvii. 2), 


Scall, (Lev. xiii. 30), 

Eruption of the skin, tetter. 

Scrabble, (I. Sam. xxi. 13), 


Scrip, (I. Sam. xvii. 40), 

Wallet or small bag. 

Seethe, (Ex. xvi. 23), 


Several, (II. Kings xv. 5), 


Sherd, (Is. xxx. 14), 

Shred or fragment. 

Shroud, (Ezek. xxxi. 3), 

Cover, shelter. 

Silverling, (Is. vii. 23), 

Piece of silver. 

Slime, (Gen. xi. 3), 


Stay upon, (Is, x. 20), 

Lean upon. 

Spoil, (Gen. xxxiv. 27), 


Straitly, (Gen. xliii. 7), 


* This word is retained iu the Revision, doubtless because socket was used 
to denote the openings made in the silver bases or pediments in which were 
inserted the two tenons of each of the boards used to make the sides and end 
of the Tent of Meeting. It seemed belter to preserve an obsolete word thaa 
to use the same term to denote the se' ting of a precious gem and the recep- 
tacle of a board ten cubits hish. 


Tabernacle, (Num. xxiv. 5), 


Table, (Is. xxx. 8), 


Tablet, (Ex. xxxv. 22), 

Armlet, locket. 

Tache, (Ex. xxvi. 6), 


Thought, (I. Sam. ix. 5), 


Tired, (II. Kings ix. 30), 


Turtle, (Cant. ii. 12), 


Undersetters, (I. Kings vii. 30), 


Vagabond, (Gen. iv. 12), 


Vex, (Ex. xxii. 21), 

Harass, oppress. 

Wench, (II. Sam. xvii. 17), 


Well, (Cant. iv. 15), 


Wimple, (Is. iii. 22), 

Neck-covering, shawl, 

Witty, (Prov. viii. 12), 

Ingenious, clever. 

2. Infelicities in the Form of the Comonon Ver- 
sion. — The most obvious of these is the division of 
the whole book into chapters and verses. While this 
is a great convenience for the purposes of a concord- 
ance, enabling one to turn in a moment to any de- 
sired passage, it must be confessed that the conven- 
ience is dearly bought. The chapter division is not 
always made with proper regard to the connection, 
frequently uniting v^^hat ought to be separated and 
separating what ought to be united. The first chap- 
ter of Genesis should have included the first three 
verses of the second chapter, which evidently belong 
to the general account of the creation, as distinguished 
by the phrase, " These are the generations of the 
heavens and the earth, ' ' from the following narrative 
of man's trial in Eden. In Isaiah no one doubts that 
the extraordinary prediction of the servant of the 


Lord as a vicarious sufferer contained in the well- 
known 53d chapter really begins at the thirteenth 
verse of the 5 2d, and the rude dislocation is a 
serious injury to the sense. The third chapter of 
the same prophet should have included the first 
verse of the one tliat follows as completing the pict- 
ure of Judea's distress, after which a new strain 
begins. So in the Book of Job the close of Chap- 
ter xxxvi. announces a storm the further prog- 
ress of which is given in the next chapter, and 
the needless division makes a disturbing break in 
the midst of a sublime and thrilling description. 
The versicular division is still more annoying. It 
turns the Scripture into what looks like a book of 
apothegms. It forms or at least fosters the habit 
in the unlearned, and sometimes even in others, of 
taking a single clause apart from its connection and 
thus attaching to it an unjustifiable sense. It leads 
the ignorant to think that this is an essential part of 
the literary form of the original, and not a mere 
printer's device. The degree to which itahc letters 
are used is unfortunate and misleading. They are 
intended to mark such words as are supplied by the 
translators, but oftentimes they are inserted need- 
lessly, as, for example, in the use of the copula where 
this, although not expressed in the original, is con- 
fessedly implied in it. Thus in the first, second, 
and fourth verses of the first Psalm the italic letters 
are wholly superfiiious. So, again, poetry and prose 
are printed in one uniform way. This is unfortu- 
nate, not only in that many readers fail to see that 


the Scriptures are in part poetical, but also in that 
tlie parallelisms, which are so important a part of 
Hebrew verse and which often do so much to fa- 
cilitate the understanding of difficult passages, are 
greatly obscured. It is true that there are not un- 
frequentlj divided opinions as to the precise deter- 
mination of hemistichs, but even an unhappy metrical 
division is better than none at all, for the reader, 
having his attention called to the subject, may of 
himself make the necessary correction. An eminent 
scholar of our own country once objected to the 
metrical arrangement on the ground that it led the 
reader to expect rhyme and rhythm, and not finding 
these, he was disappointed and confused. But this 
would be only a temporary embarrassment, vrhile the 
gain from a knowledge of the parallelism is real and 

3. The Progress of Sacred Learning. — The men 
who made the Authorized Version were beyond doubt 
learned men, quite abreast of their time and fully 
equal to any scholars in Europe. But having their 
work as a basis, their successors, though inferior, 
may yet improve it, just as, according to the old say- 
ing, a dwarf perched upon the shoulders of a giant 
sees further than the giant. But apart from this 
consideration, real advances have been made in every 
department of Biblical Literature during the last two 
centuries and a half. Helps of all kinds have been 
multiplied in an astonishing degree. Take, for ex- 
ample, the matter of versions. King James's trans- 
lators had only a single text of the Septuagint, the 


earliest and most valuable of tlie ancient transla- 
tions, and that an imperfect one, whereas the mod- 
ern scholar has also that of the Alexandrian MS. 
in tlie British Museum, and that of the Sinaitic 
discovered by Tischendorf, and these aided by the 
critical labors of a number of eminent scholars. The 
fra£2:ments remainino: of other Greek versions, made 
by individuals (Aquila, Theodotion, Symmachus, and 
others), have also been brought forth and put at 
the service of students since 1611. J^ext in im- 
portance after the Greek comes the Latin version. 
Here, too, the superiority of the later period is ob- 
vious. The earlier scholars had only the ordinary 
edition of the Yulgate, disfigured by many changes 
and corruptions, which had in the course of time 
crept in, whereas now access is easy to the Codex 
Amiatinus (a.d. 511), which represents Jerome's 
final and matured judgment. The next most impor- 
tant early version, the Syriac, was unknown to the 
authors of the common Bible, for it was not printed 
until the Paris Polyglot of Le Jay, in 1615. This 
Peshitto Codex is of great value, as being made in a 
cognate dialect and with marked fidelity. In like 
manner the Samaritan Pentateuch, the later Syriac 
versions, the Ethiopic, the Persian and the Gothic, 
were not published until years after the appearance 
of the issue of the English Bible of 1611, and could 
therefore have rendered no aid to its authors. 

The same thing may be said as to philological 
helps. The larger Hebrew grammar of Buxtorf ap- 
peared in 1609 ; but though its merits were great for 


its day, it bears no comparison witli the elaborate 
treatises of this century in point of fulness, acute- 
ness, and accuracy. Gesenius and Ewald and their 
successors have wrought a complete revolution in the 
treatment of the forms and accidence of the lan- 
guage. This is true also of the lexicons. Buxtorf 's 
was at command in 1611, giving students the help to 
be derived from the Rabbins and the Yulgate. But 
the great development of comparative pliilology 
took place afterward. The eminent scholars who 
made Walton's Polyglot did not come forward till 
the following generation, and it was in the next cen- 
tury that Schultens brought out the benefits to be 
derived from seeking the roots of Hebrew in the 
Arabic. The success of the great HoUandish scholar 
gave a lasting impulse to the study of all the cognate 
Semitic languages, and thus largely increased the re- 
sources of the lexicographers, emancipating them 
from the dominion of Rabbinic tradition and giving 
them the choice of varied interpretations. But the 
modern dictionaries surpass Buxtorf not only in 
materials but in methods. They have assumed a 
form rigidly scientific, and beginning with the root 
meaning, trace all subsequent modifications and ap- 
plications in a way which vastly facilitates the efforts 
of the student, giving him in a convenient form the 
results of the labors of all Hebrew scholars for two 
centuries and a half. Similar is the case with com- 
mentaries. All the aid of this kind enjoyed by 
King James's translators was limited to the church 
fathers, few of whom were acquainted with Hebrew, 


and to tlie writers of the Eeformation period. The 
latter in some cases were men of keen insight, of 
exegetical tact and of large views of truth, and are 
tlierefore of vahie even to day. But in the nature 
of things they could not construct a critical commen- 
tary of the kind which abounds in our time. They 
did not have the necessary materials or training for 
minute analysis of the text and thorough discussion 
of its possible meanings, whereas now the press 
teems from year to year w^ith the results of the labors 
of specialists by whom every new source of knowl- 
edge is carefully explored. Their efforts are greatly 
aided by the progress made in archaeology, geog- 
raphy, natural history, and monumental theology. 
The old cartography of Palestine was mainly mere 
conjecture, and often ludicrously wrong, while to-day 
the whole area of Bible lands has been triangulated, 
so that the maps made are more accurate than many 
of those of our own country. The manners and cus- 
toms have been accurately recorded, and as Oriental 
life suffers no change in these respects, a flood of 
light is thrown upon numerous points which before 
were involved in deep obscurity. Natural science 
has also contributed to the better understanding of 
the nature of the animals, plants, minerals, and 
heavenly bodies mentioned in the Bible, while all 
articles of food, domestic utensils, military appli- 
ances, etc., are clearly explained by the books of an- 
tiquities. In addition to this are the contributions 
made by the discoveries of the present century in the 
language, history, religion, and habits of the ancient 


Egyptians, and also by the decipliering of cuneiform 
cliaracters, and tlie consequent revelation of the early 
history of Assyria and Babylon. It is hardly pos- 
sible to exaggerate the aid to the interpretation of 
the Scriptures to be derived from Egyptology and 
Assyriology, whose treasures were not even dreamed 
of in the days of James I. The question, then, is 
whether the benefit to be derived from these varied 
sources of knowledge shall be confined to the learned 
or shall be made the common property of the people 
by being incorporated in the version of the Script- 
ures which they have in daily use. 

4. The Correction of Acknoidedged Erroi'S. — 
There are numerous renderings which are declared 
to be incorrect by all lexicons and commentaries of a 
critical character. Some of these are cases in which 
the word occurs singly or in only a few instances, 
but others are often repeated. For example, the 
word hypocrite is found eight times in the Book of 
Job, yet in not one of them does the original term 
have that meaning, and the reader therefore is mis- 
led. So one of the oblations mentioned over and 
over in the Pentateuch and elsewhere is styled a 
^' meat offering," which inevitably leads the reader 
to suppose that it is an animal sacrifice, whereas the 
Hebrew really means an unbloody oblation, and is 
appropriately rendered ''meal offering." In the 
following list the incorrect word is placed first, Avitli 
a reference to one of the places where it occurs, and 
then the true meaning as generally acce]3ted among 
scholars : 



Apothecary, (Ex. xxx. 25), 
Avenging, (Judges v. 2), 

Bittern, (Is. xiv. 23), 
Borrow, (Ex. xi. 2), 
Breaches, (Judges v. 17), 

Candle, (Job xviii. 6), 
Caldron, (Jer. Hi. 18), 
College, (II. Kings xxii. 14), 
Coast, (Jer. xxv. 32), 
Crooked, (Job xxvi. 13), 

Dead things, (Job xxvi. 5), 
Diet, (Jer. Hi. 34), 
Dragons, (Ps. Ixxiv. 13), 
(Job xxx. 29), 
Dregs, (Is. H. 17), 

Flagons of wine, (Hos. iii. 1), 
Fires, (Is. xxiv. 15), 
F] ood, (Joshua xxiv. 14), 
Foxes, (Judges xv. 4), 

Groves, (Ex. xxxiv. 13), 
Galleries, (Cant. vii. 5), 
Grow up, (Mai. iv. 2), 

Hats, (Dan. iii. 2), 

Hearth, (Jer. xxxvi. 22), 

Hen, (Ps. xvi. 10), 

House of God, (Judges xx. 18), 

Hypocrite, (Job viii. 13), 

Island of the innocent, (Job xxii. 

Images, (Lev. xxvi. 30), 
*' (Gen. xxxi. 19), 

Jasher, (II. Sam i. 18), 
Jaw, (Judges xv. 19), 




Creeks or harbors 



Second ward. 

Uttermost part. 

Fleet, or fleeing. 

The shades. 





Pressed grapes. 
The East. 
The river. 

Curls of hair. 



Sheol, Hades, the underworld. 



The not innocent. 


Teraphim, household gods. 

The upright. 

Lehi (a proper name). 


Kid of the goats, (Gen. xxxvii. 31), He-goat. 

Lamps, (Ezek. i. 13), Torches. 

Linen yarn, (I. Kings x. 28), Droves of horses. 

Mount Ephraim, (Josh, xxiv. 23), Hill country of Ephraim. 
Multitude of No, (Jer. xlvi. 25), Amon of No. 
Mules, (Gen. xxxvi. 24), Warm springs. 

Nitre, (Jer. ii. 22), Lye. 

Owl, (Lev. xi. 16), Ostrich. 

Plain of Mamre, (Gen. xviii. 1), Oaks of Mamre. 

People, (Gen. xxv. 23), Peoples (nations). 

Paper reeds, (Is. xix. 7), Meadows. 

Populous No, (Nah. iii. 8), No Amon. 

Pots, (Jer. XXXV. 5), Bowls. 

River of Egypt, (Num. xxxiv. 5), Brook of Egj^ot (not the Nile). 
Eeward, (Jer. xl. 5), Present. 

Satyrs, (Is. xiii. 2), Goats. 

Scapegoat, (Lev. xvi. 8), Eemoval. 

Screech owl, (Is. xxxiv. 14), Night monster. 

Scum, (Ezek. xxiv. 6), Eust. 

Shameful spewing, (Hab. ii. 16), Ignomin3\ 

South, (Gen. xii. 9), The South, a definite region 

Spider, (Prov. xxxviii. 31), Lizard. 

Sweet influences, (Job xxxviii. 31), Cluster, or chain. 

Thick clay, (Hab. ii. 6), 


Table, (Is. xxx. 8), 


Tablet, (Is. iii. 20), 

Perfume box. 

Torches, (Nah. ii. 3), 


Troop, (Amos ix. 6), 


Valley, (Josh. xi. 16), 


Veil, (Ruth iii. 15), 


Unicorn, (Num. xxiii. 22), 

Wild ox. 

Wounds, (Prov. xviii. 8), 

Dainty morsels. 


But besides mistakes as to the meaning of particu- 
lar words, there are numerous inaccuracies of render- 
ing, as wlien in Ps. xvi. 2 " My goodness extendeth 
not to thee" is given instead of the far richer as well 
as more correct version, ^'I have no good beyond 
thee ;" or when the sublime theophany in Hab. iii. 
has the grotesque utterance, ""he had horns coming 
out of his hand,' ' the true sense being," Rays stream 
forth from his liand ;" or when in Job xxvi. 5 we 
read, '' Dead things are formed from under the 
waters," a senseless statement, whereas the true sense 
is, " The dead tremble beneath the waters ;" or 
when the conjectural clause '^ all that make sluices 
and ponds for fish," stands in Isa. xix. 10 for the 
pertinent utterance, " All that work for hire are sad 
at heart." Misapprehension of the tense forms of 
the Hebrew verb occurs very frequently. This re- 
mark does not refer to the modern theory that the 
so-called tenses in Hebrew do not, as in other lan- 
guages, express relations of time, but are rather moods 
— ?.6., express the character of an action as incipient 
or continuous or completed. Quite apart from this 
view, which seems now to have won general accept- 
ance, there are many instances in which the Author- 
ized Version conceals or misstates the order of events as 
stated in the original. Psalm Ixvii. 6 we read, '^Then 
shall the earth yield her increase," whereas the poet 
really says, "The land hath yielded her increase, " 
referring doubtless to a recent harvest, the theme of 
the praise' given before, and of the confident hope 
expressed afterward. In Habakkuk iii. 3 it is said, 


'^ God came from Teman," as if the splendid tlie- 
opliany tliat follows were something in the past, 
whereas the prophet is foretelling what is to come, 
and the true rendering is either ^' cometh " or '' will 
come." So the definite article is sometimes omitted 
where it occurs in the original, and again is inserted 
where it does not. Thus the divine announcement 
of Samson's birth (Judges xiii. 3) was made not by 
tlie^ but by an^ angel of the Lord, whose character is 
left to be seen from what followed. The statement 
(Judges XV. 19), " God clave an hollow place that was 
in the jaw," should be, " God dave the hollow place 
that was in Lehi." 

Hebraisms which mislead the common reader are 
not resolved into English idiom. Thus, '' God of 
my righteousness " (Ps. iv. 1) ought, to express 
the sense, to be ''my righteous God," and "the 
throne of His holiness" in Fs. xlvii. 8 should be 
" His holy throne." In Is. xiii. 3 "them that re- 
joice in my highness," which is unmeaning in the 
connection, should be " my proudly exulting ones." 
In the same book (vii. 16) " the land that thou ab- 
horrest shall be forsaken of both her kings," properly 
rendered is, " the land shall be forsaken of whose 
two kings thou art sore afraid." A similar miscon- 
struction of the relative pronoun is found in Ps. Iv. 
19, " God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that 
abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no 
changes, therefore they fear not God." The true 
sense is, " God shall hear and afflict them, . . . 
who have no changes and who fear not God " — l.e.^ 


as Dr. H. ^Y. Green expounds, as God lieard the 
Psalmist in mercy {v. 17), so He will hear these in 
wrath, answering not their prayers, for they do not 
pray, but the voice of their malignant slanders. In 
Ps. xix. 3 the insertion of the italic word where en- 
tirely deranges the relation of the verse to what pre- 
cedes, and introduces a thought quite different from 
that which David intended. The translators make 
the passage assert the universality of God's self- 
revelation in nature, whereas the true sense is that 
all nature has a voice, though it is not addressed to 
man's outward ear : 

There is no speech nor language ; 

Their voice is not heard. 

Their line is gone out through all the earth, etc. 

An equally striking instance is found in Ps. x. 4, 
*^ God is not in all his thoughts." Instead of this 
tame and commonplace utterance, the correct render- 
ing gives the fine and piercing conception, ''All 
his thoughts are, There is no God." All his plans 
and schemes are a practical denial of the divine 

It would seem, then, that the need of a revision of 
the Old Testament has been made plain. It is not a 
mere fancy of men hunting for novelties, but a cer- 
tain and solid reality. The English Bible should 
conform to the present state of the language and rep- 
resent the present stage of critical and exegetical 
investigation. The ordinary reader should be placed 
as far as possible on a level with the scholar in con- 
Bulting its pages, at least so far as that end can be 


reached bj accurate and idiomatic translation. He 
has a right to claim that no pains be spared to gi^e 
him access to the whole counsel of God as contained 
in [lis blessed Word, so that he may be furnished 
completely unto every good work, and this the more, 
since in regard to very many cases there is a sub- 
stantial agreement among the learned, both as to the 
incorrectness of the common version and as to the 
way in which the proper correction should be made. 
Nor is there any force in the objection frequently 
raised that any attempt at revision, however carefully 
pursued, must inevitably do harm by unsettling peo- 
ple's minds, and weakening if not destroying their 
confidence in what they have always been taught to 
regard as the Word of God. For the evil, if it be 
sucli, has already been wrought. The Christian 
public is familiar with the fact that the English Bible 
is only a human translation of the living oracles, and 
that its correctness has at times and in places been 
severely questioned. And a tranquillity which rests 
upon a false or inadequate basis ought to be dis- 
turbed. We repudiate the maxim that ignorance is 
the mother of devotion, and maintain that real wor- 
shippers should " worship the Father in spirit and in 
truth, for the Father seeketh such to worship Him." 
True believers are acceptable and useful, generally, 
in proportion to their knowledge of divine revela- 
tion. The simplest elements of the Gospel, such as 
are found in even the most imperfect versions, are 
indeed enough for the salvation of the soul. But 
something more is needed if the disciple is to grow 


in cliaracrer, in strength and in completeness. 
There must be a hirger and better acquaintance with 
the riclies of the divine word, and the more accu- 
rately this is understood and ap]3reciated the more 
thoroughlj is the Christian fitted to serve and enjoy 
his Lord. The Word is the sword of the Spirit, and 
just so far as that Word is imperfectly rendered in 
any language, the sword is veiled or its edge dulled. 
A correct rendering strips off the veil and restores 
the sharpness and point. Such an advantage is 
cheaply gained at the cost of disturbing an unreason- 
ing and slothful acquiescence in the terms of a tra- 
ditional version. One who recognizes the fact that 
even the best translation is, after all, only an approxi- 
mation to the original, and yet sees in that approx- 
imation the traces of a divine hand, the utterances 
of a wisdom that cometh from above, is for that 
reason more firmly grounded in the truth and more 
stable in his adherence to the record of God's re- 
vealed will. 

It is not to be supposed, however, that the work 
of revision will remove all obscurities from the Script- 
ure. Sometimes unwarrantable anticipations have 
been cherished in this respect. 'Not to speak of the 
sea captain impatient of the restraints of the Lord's 
day, who said that of course the revisers would leave 
the Fourth Commandment out of the Decalogue, 
there are not a few more reverent and thoughtful 
persons who have overestimated what is possible in 
the matter. There are some terms "used in describ- 
ing Solomon's temple which were not understood by 


the Greek translators of the third century before onr 
era, and of course cannot be understood by scholars 
of this day, however profound or acute. The same 
is true of many of the words found in the superscrip- 
tions of the Psalms. No one can pretend to do more 
than conjecture the precise meaning. So again there 
are passages where it seems necessary to suppose that 
some corruption of the text has in the course of time 
crept in. And there are places in several of the 
prophets where the utterance is so brief and con- 
densed, and the connection so obscure, that candid 
students must content themselves with an approxima- 
tion to the sense ; and only rash and hasty expositors 
are willing to assert that they have certainly ascer- 
tained the prophet's meaning. There will therefore 
be hard places in the revision just as there were in 
the authorized. They will be such, however, not 
from lack of pains and care on the part of the re- 
visers, but because of the inherent difficulties of the 



It is one thing to detect a fault, but quite another 
to amend it. The imperfections of the English Bible 
have been distinctly seen for more than a century, 
and there have been numerous attempts at removing 
them both in Great Britain and in this country. In 
some cases the attempt was confined to a single book, 
in others it extended to the whole volume. Some- 
times the translators or revisers were elegant and pro- 
found scholars, at others they were mere sciolists 
destitute of every qualification for the work. As an 
illustration of the latter may be cited a verse from a 
translation of the Book of Job issued ten years ago 
by a layman (O. S. Halstead, of 'New Jersey), who 
had acquired eminence at the bar of his own State. 
He rendered the first verse of the first chapter thus : 
'' Man was in land Uz, Job name of him, and was 
that man which be upright and just, and feared God, 
and turned aside from evil." Such wretched abor- 
tions of course only provoked laughter and ridicule. 
But even when scholarly men, like Bishop Lowth, 
Archbishop Newcome, or the American professor. 
Dr. George R. Noyes, took the matter in hand, they 
never reached more than partial or temporary sue- 


cess. Students of Scripture were glad to have these 
versions for comparison, but no serious thouglit of 
substituting them for the authorized was ever enter' 
tained. The faihire of so many varied enterprises 
led to a general conviction that the object in view 
was siraplj unattainable, that nothing could ever 
displace the common Bible, and that the agitation of 
the subject could work only injury, in unsettling 
people's minds in respect to the authority of Script- 
ure. But about thirty years ago the matter was 
taken up, not by mere surface students, or foolish 
fanatics, or acknowledged errorists, but by men both 
learned and devout, who had no private ends to seek 
and nopecuhar or pet notions to establish, and whose 
position in the community entitled them to a hear- 
ing. Among the earliest of these were Bishop Elli- 
cott. Archbishop Trench, and Dean Alford. Their 
arguments and some tentative efforts put forth under 
their direction produced a considerable effect among 
men of liberal culture, and there began to be a wide- 
spread conviction that the time was ripe for a re- 
vision. Yet there were voices in the opposite direc- 
tion, among which were those of the learned Dr. 
Scrivener, Dr. McCaul, and the Rev. S. C. Malan. 
To these must be added the high authority of one of 
our own most eminent scholars, the Hon. George P. 
Marsh, late Minister to Italy, who, in a valuable 
chapter of his '^ Lectures on the Enghsh Language, '^ 
deprecated a revision as ''not merely unnecessary 
but wholly premature." It was well that such op- 
position existed. It led to e^^treme caution both in 


the work tliat was attempted and the way in whicli 
it was set about. It induced men to seek not a new 
translation of the Scriptures, but a revision of the ex- 
isting one, and to do this under such auspices as 
would give it a catholic or undenominational char- 
acter. To this end the matter was brought before 
the Lower House of Convocation of the province of 
Canterbury ; but though it was urged with much elo- 
quence and ability no success was attained. Corre- 
sponding efforts were made from time to time in the 
House of Commons to get a royal commission ap- 
pointed on the subject, but these were all fruitless. 
At last, in the year 1870, the Upper House of the 
Canterbury Convocation, on motion of Bishop Wil- 
berforce, took the subject in hand, and instituted the 
proceedings which finally secured the accomplish- 
ment of the work. It is not necessary here to cite 
the text of its resolutions or gi\^e the details of its 
action, except so far as they will appear in stating 
the general characteristics of the revision which is 
now completed. 

1. The Auspices of the Work. — It is not a private 
enterprise undertaken for the sake of either fame or 
gain. It is not a publisher's job, nor is it the work 
of a self-appointed scholar or set of scholars, but 
owes its existence to the deliberate action of a body 
which challenges, not to say commands, universal 
respect. This is the larger of the two provinces of 
the Church of England, the eldest daughter of the 
Anglican Reformation and the lineal descendant of 
the devout and learned scholars who came together 


at the call of King James. No one supposes tliat all 
wisdom on this subject is confined to the Convoca- 
tion of Canterbury. But it is undeniable that of all 
religious bodies in English-speaking Christendom this 
one was best fitted to set on foot a work of so much 
difiicultj, delicacy, and importance. Its position, its 
relation to the English crown and people, its history, 
its long line of illustrious scholars and divines, its 
wealth of ancestral traditions, gave it the right to 
take the lead.* Every suggestion of local, petty, 
selfish aims is at once precluded, and assurance is 
given to all men that whatever comes forth under 
such direction must be of such a nature as to merit 
the most candid and careful consideration. And 
whenever the revisers, whether British or American, 
are asked by what authority they assumed the duty 
they have taken upon themselves, they are able to 
give a very prompt and satisfactory answer. It was 
the authority of a grave, dignified, and representative 
body, acting not in haste but at leisure, not rashly 
but in the exercise of great deliberation. Nothing 
like this has been seen in any other attempt at re- 
vision during the two centuries and three quarters 
which have elapsed since the Authorized Version 
was issued. 

* " The Church of England still represents the largest member- 
ship, the strongest institutions, the richest literature, among 
those ecclesiastical organizations which have sprung from the 
Anglo-Saxon stock. ... No royal decree, no act of Parliament, 
could nowadays inaugurate such a work of Christian scholar- 
ship." — Bev. Dr. Schaff. 


2. Its CatkoliG Character. — But while tlie re- 
vision owes its existence to the Chiircli of Enghmd, 
it was not made solely by members of that body. 
The committee appointed by the convocation was ex- 
pressly authorized to '' invite the co-operation of any 
eminent for scholarship, to whatever nation or re- 
ligious body they may belong." Accordingly some 
of the ablest and best-known Biblical scholars, not 
only from all schools and parties of the English 
Church, but also from the other religious bodies of 
Britain, were invited to join in the work, and the 
invitation was accepted. In the American Commit- 
tee a yet wider range was taken in constituting its 
membership, and in consequence members of all the 
leading denominations of Protestant Christendom 
were found cordially and actively engaged in the 
work. Prelatist and Presbyterian, Independent and 
Methodist, Baptist and Psedobaptist, the Lutheran 
and the Reformed, and the Friends ; they who em- 
phasize divine sovereignty and they who put the 
stress on human freedom ; they who see only unity 
in the Godhead and they who recognize plurahty as 
well as unity, appear alike in the lists of the re- 
visers. However widely differing in other matters, 
they agreed in regarding the Bible as God's most 
holy word, the one rule of religious faith, the one 
norm of human duty ; and they could conscien- 
tiously -unite in the endeavor to make the version the 
most exact reflection possible of the thought, the 
spirit, and the expression of the original. Their 
work, therefore, cannot bear the stamp of a sect or a 


party, nor is it colored by the views of any particular 
school. In its freedom from scholastic or denomina- 
tional prejudices it resembles, or even excels, the 
noble simplicity of the Authorized Version. I say, 
excels, for even that great work was tinged, no doubt 
unconsciously on their part, by the famiharity of its 
authors with the Latin Yulgate, which was constantly 
in their hands for all purposes, much as the common 
Bible is with men of our day."^ In the present case 
the concurrent action of so many revisers of different 
names is a security that even accidental error of this 
kind has been guarded against, and that whatever 
other faults may be found there will be none due to 
sectarian bias. The book retains what has long been 
the glory of the Authorized Yersion — that it was an 
acknowledged bond of union among all ProtestaLit 
Christians and the common standard of their faith. 
It is quite true that there will be some disappoint- 
ment. Corrections of the text or of the rendering 
will occasionally be found to deprive a controver- 
sialist of some passages to which he has been accus- 
tomed to appeal in support of his particular views, 
and he will feel like a man whose sujDporting staff 
has been suddenly wrenched from his hand. But it 
is likely that what is lost in one direction will be 
regained in another ; or ev^en if this be not so, the 
evil will not be confined to any one class, but ex- 

* The false rendering of a plirase in Acts ii. 47, " such as 
should be saved," has been ascribed to a predestinarian bias in 
the translators, yet it was derived from Tjndale, who no doubt 
got it from the Vulgate qui salvifierent. 


tended to all ; so that in tlie general result each reader 
will find himself as well able to establish his own 
views from the revision as he was from the Author- 
ized Version. In any event it is certain that what- 
ever disadvantage he may suffer, it is not due to any 
intentional obliquity on the part of the revisers. 
Their work is as nearly a colorless medium for the 
div^ine light to shine through as is possible. Nothing 
is refracted or distorted. 

3. Its International Feature. — The enterprise was 
begun beyond sea in 1870, but in the next year an 
American committee of co-operation was organized ; 
and from 1872 onward the two committees were at 
work in constant correspondence with each other, 
having the same principles and pursuing the same 
objects. The advantage of this arrangement is ob • 
vious. It gives the American people a direct partici- 
pation in the authorship, so that the work does not 
come burdened with any prejudice as the product 
solely of a foreign land, but may be welcomed as 
one in which cis- Atlantic scholars have borne an 
honorable and useful part. For it cannot be in vain 
that from twenty to thirty additional laborers have 
been engaged, and the less so, as the joint conclu- 
sions of one committee have been constantly com- 
pared with those of the other. In this way the 
workings of different minds and repeated revisions of 
the results obtained have greatly diminished the 
chances of error. Indeed, the larger the number of 
persons employed, provided they have opportunity 
to meet and compare their results, the less likely is 


their work to be disfigured bv one-sided views or in- 
disidual caprice. It is true tliat this advantage of 
personal conference lias been purchased on our side 
of tlie water at the cost of limiting the selection of 
revisers to those persons whose residence was with- 
in easy reach of New York, where the sessions of the 
conimittee were held, thus excluding not a few 
Fcholars whose co-operation would have been very 
desirable. Still the gaiu has been worth its cost. 
The international character of the work has had its 
effect upon the language employed. There are found 
in Britain and America certain differences of usage 
which obtain among all classes, even the most culti- 
vated. For example, the word corn here always de- 
notes maize, but in Great Britain it is used as pre- 
cisely equivalent to what we call grain. In all such 
cases it was the duty of the American committee to 
bring forward the fact of the variant usage so that 
ambiguities might be avoided, and a version secured 
which would express the same thing to the British 
reader and the American. The solution of the ques- 
tion was difficult, for on one hand the interests of 
more than fifty millions on this side of the Atlantic 
were not to be liglitly disregarded, and on the other 
the heirlooms of the language as preserved in the 
country of its birth were not to be surrendered with- 
out reason. The reader will find that in most cases 
the English usage as enshrined in the Authorized 
Version was retained in the text, and the American 
noted in the margin or given in the appendix. 

4. Freedom from, Restrictions. — King James's 


translators were restricted by Lis authority in res^ard 
to certain terms which had been consecrated by lung 
usage. No such restriction was laid upon the authors 
of the present work, the only rules of this kind 
being that the Authorized Version should be altered 
only as required by faithfulness, and that as decided 
by a two-thirds v^ote, and that the expressions of such 
alteration should be limited as far as possible to the 
language of the authorized and earlier versions. 
These rules are so clearly wise and proper that they 
doubtless would have been observed even if there 
had been no injunction to that effect. In all else the 
revisers were left to the exercise of their own judg- 
ment, alike as to the text, the division of the parts 
and the marginal readings. They were expected to 
study, and they did study, the versions, ancient and 
modern, and especially the various English transla- 
tions, but ultimately the inspired original was the 
guide. The revisers felt themselves responsible to 
God, and not to any man or set of men, nor had they 
any concern as to the way in which the changes pro- 
posed to be made might affect any church or party. 
Their duty was to put the reader in possession of the 
truest, fairest, most idiomatic expression of the living 
oracles. Thus they worked in no fetters of any 
kind, and were dependent only on that good Spirit 
without whose influence no permanent service can 
be rendered to the cause of truth. This fact entitles 
the revised Bible to the attention of any thoughtful 
person, since it represents the conclusion of various 
minds working independently on the same great 


theme, and at last by free conference coming to a 
harmonious agreement. This indeed is no guarantee 
against the occurrence of error, but it does cut off 
what in all previous translations and revisions has 
been a fruitful source of imperfection, and some- 
times an impassable barrier against any improvement. 
The two restrictions that have been mentioned were, 
as has been intimated, eminently judicious. An en- 
tirely new translation was not called for, and if 
made, would have had no chance of success. The 
old book is so dear to the hearts of the jjeople, so 
enshrined in precious memories, so associated with 
all that men cherish or revere, that it never can be 
displaced. As Faber has well said, " The memory 
of the dead passes into it. The potent traditions of 
childhood are stereotyped in its verses. The power 
of all the griefs and trials of a man are hid beneath 
its words. It is the representative of his best mo- 
ments, and all that there has been about him of soft 
and gentle and pure and penitent and good, speaks 
to him forever out of his Protestant Bible. It is his 
sacred thing, which doubt has never dimmed and 
controversy never soiled." No folly could be equal 
to that of undertaking to supplant such a book. It 
must be retained, and whatever emendations are in- 
troduced require to be couched as far as possible in 
the language of the period when the book was first 
made, for that language represents English at its 
best. The common Bible has long been a standard 
of grave and reverend speech, compelling the admi- 
ration even of those who have no sympathy with its 


contents or aim. Mr. Huxley, surely no prejudiced 
critic, said of the book : "It is written in. tlie no- 
blest and purest English, and abounds in exquisite 
beauties of mere literary form." The revisers will 
hardly maintain that they have always succeeded in 
preserving the simplicity and strength, the union of 
Saxon force and Latin dignity, the idiomatic ease and 
rhythmic flow of the pages under their hands, but cer- 
tain it is that this has always been their endeavor. 

4. Uniformity. — In this respect the authorized is 
sadly deficient. In many cases the same Hebrew 
word is variously rendered when there is no reason, 
rhetorical or logical, for the variation, and sometimes 
w'len the force or elegance of the passage dej)ends 
upon the preserving of uniformity. For example, 
in Numb. xxxv. the same Hebrew word is translated 
in V. 11, the slayer, in v. 12, the 7)ian-slayer, and 
in V. 16, the imvrderer. So in Gen. i. 20 the Author- 
ized Version reads, "Ye thought evil against me, 
but God meant it unto good," but in the orig- 
inal it is the same verb in both clauses, and it should 
have been rendered by the same English word, so as 
to bring out the strong contrast between God's thought 
and man's thought in reference to the matter. Vari- 
ations of this kind are owing partly to tlie fact 
that King James's revision was executed by a 
number of different companies sitting in different 
places, whose results were not carefully co-ordinated ; 
partly to the feeling of the translators that identity 
of words would " savor more of curiosity than of 
wisdom ;" and somewhat also to their habit of fol- 


lowing the preceding versions from Tyndale and 
Coverdale down to tlie authors of the Bishop's Bible, 
in regard to certain phrases and ecclesiastical terms. 
All this is changed in the present work. The aim 
of its authors was so to conduct their proceedings as 
neither to confound thins^s that differ nor to create 
differences where they do not exist in the original. 
They therefore sought in all cases where anything 
depended upon the matter, to render a Hebrew word 
by the same Englisli teriu, and, if possible, not to 
employ one English word to render two different 
words of the original. They have been more likely 
to accomplish this end because, instead of being 
divided into three companies, as was the case with 
King James's translators of the Old Testament, they 
all constituted one company. Thus the same men 
critically examined the entire Hebrew text, and were 
enabled continually to watch the progress of the 
work and see that uniformity of phrasing was main- 
tained unless in cases where there was good reason 
for a contrary course. And as they had before them 
the Authorized Version and the long train of criti- 
cisms to which it has been subjected on this ground, 
they were the better able to guard against a similar 
error in their own work. And w^hile they have 
hardly attained perfect exactness, they have beyond 
doubt made a near approach to it, and thus have 
greatly facilitated the efforts of the mere English 
reader in ascertaining the mind of the Spirit. Any 
concordance of the revision will be far more trust- 
worthy than one of the old concordances could be, for 


it will enable the nnlearned to trace the history and 
use of a word with a great degree of certainty. 

5. Mature Deliberation. — King James's Bible 
occupied between six and seven years in its prepara- 
tion. For the revision ten years were originally 
allowed, and this sufficed for the JN'ew Testament, 
which was issued from the press in May, 1881. But 
the Old Testament being of much larger bulk re- 
quired an extension of the time, and has actually 
taken live years more. Some have complained of 
the delay, and consider it a great trial of public 
patience ; but reflecting people will hardly join in 
this opinion. In a matter of so great importance, so 
far-reaching in its influence, not only in English- 
speaking Christendom, but beyond it,* the least ex- 
cusable of all faults would be hasty and superficial 
treatment. There must be large research, thorough 
study, patient thought and careful comparisor of 
views. The work must not only be based i.pon 
sound principles and governed- by judicious rules, 
but also be carried out with conscientious diligence 
and painstaking care. Less than this could not be 
endured for a moment. To supplant a book which 
has been venerated by high and low for nearly three 
centuries, and has entered into the heart and life of 
the people as no other volume has ever done, is not 

* To the author's personal knowledge missionaries in differ- 
ent parts of the heathen world, engaged in translating the Bible, 
have looked with great solicitude for the appearance of this 
revision, which they thought would be a great help to them in 
their labors. 


a tiling to be effected on short notice or by a sudden 
burst of enthusiasm. So grave a procedure requires 
the utmost caution that no source of information be 
neglected, that no error fail to be guarded against, 
and that in every case the best rendering be adopted. 
Things which in the translation of another book 
would be of small importance here assume very great 
magnitude, because the matter in hand is the Word 
of God — that word tli 'ough which we are saved and 
by which we are to be judged. The great artist 
laboring for immortality, excused himself on that 
ground for giving attention to what to others seemed 
trifles. Much more must they who are engaged on 
what is the revelation of the Infinite I AM, spare no 
pains to give to their rendering of its words the ut- 
most possible accuracy. 

This has been the case with the present work. No 
other revision has had anything like the amount of 
time and labor expended upon it which has been lav- 
ished upon this one on either side of the Atlantic, 
both in the private studies of its authors and in their 
joint meetings for conference. The method pursued 
was this : The English company made a first re- 
vision of a given portion, which was printed and sent 
to the American company, who, after taking time for 
study and consultation, transmitted their criticisms. 
Thereupon a second revision was made in England, 
printed copies of which were, as before, sent across the 
sea, and the revisers on this side again transmitted 
such criticisms as occurred to them. After due con- 
sideration of these a conclusion was reached and the 


present text substantially adopted. I say substan- 
tially, because after tlie work on tlie separate portions 
had been finished there was a third revision of the 
work as a whole, touching various suggestions, both 
new and old, as to particular portions of difficulty or 
importance. This being submitted to the American 
company, they proceeded to draw up a list of the 
passages in which they preferred a text or margin 
different from what had been adopted by the Eng- 
lish brethren. This list by no means includes all the 
points of difference between the two companies, but 
is limited to those which were deemed of sufficient 
magnitude to be included in an Appendix, for the 
American revisers were anxious to make this Appen- 
dix as small as possible. Its existence is no mean tes- 
timony^ to the earnestness and care with which the 
revision has been carried on. ]S'othing was neg- 
lected, nothing slighted. 

This fact disposes of the suggestion which has 
sometimes been made of a re-revision by the same 
parties. E^othing of value could be anticipated from 
such an effort, for no criticisms could be brought 
before the committees, if reassembled, which had not 
been previously considered by them. This is proven 
by experience in relation to the Revised 'New Testa- 
ment. It is the unanimous testimony of the com- 
panies who made this revision that amid all the nu- 
merous and searchins: investimitions of its contents, 
whether by friendly or unfriendly critics, not a single 
point has been brought forward which was not pre- 
viously under consideration by the revisers. Thej 


weighed all the matters with great deliberation and 
care, and reached a conclusion which for thera is per- 
manent and final. There is no likelihood that another 
consideration would lead to any different result. 
The book is a finality for this generation, and no 
doubt for a century to come. At least that period 
must elapse before any similar body of men under 
similar auspices conld be gathered together to under- 
take a fresh revision. It is true exegetical theology 
may make vast advances in the future, and Christian 
scholarship may add very largely to the materials 
now in hand for the exact understanding and trans- 
lation of the Bible, and when that occurs there will 
be a call for some means of putting the people at 
large in possession of the additional knowledge thus 
accpired in God's providence and grace. But until 
that period arrives, the present work will maintain its 
position and character as a satisfactory exponent of 
the learriing, judgment and faith of our own day, 
and a fair expression of God's revelation of Himself 
as recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures. 

6. Reverence. — It has long been a recognized canon 
of criticism that in order properly to expound any 
book, a man must be in sympathy with its design and 
spirit ; for if not, he will go hopelessly astray, how- 
ever well qualified he may be in other respects. ^ And 

* The Rev. Dr. A. P. Peabody, of Cambridge, Mass., in speak- 
ing of the late Ezra Abbot's qualifications for a Biblical critic, 
used this just and incisive language : " In the preparation for 
the work, I include not merely' the scholarly aptitude, the linguis- 
tic training, the conversance "with the Hebrew lancruage and 


this is equally true in the matter of translation. The 
cold or indifferent translator will insensibly transfuse 
his own feelings into his work, while, on the contrary, 
he who is profoundly impressed with the dignity and 
preciousness of his task, and whose soul is responsive 
to the matter with which he deals, becomes alive 
even to its minutest peculiarities, catches almost 
without effort its dominant tone, and reproduces the 
foreign original in a faithful counterpart. It is this 
more than any other one trait that gave to Luther 
and Tyndale their matchless skill and enduring pre- 
eminence as translators of the Bible. They toiled 
not for fame or pelf or any party interest, but for 
God's glory and the souls of men. The book upon 
which they wrought was to them the living oracle 
of God, the guide of their lives, the arbiter of their 
differences, the charter of their hope for eternity. 
They prized it with reverence, they loved it with 
passion. Their grave purpose, their intense con- 
victions, lifted them above all puerilities and affecta- 

Scriptures, and with cognate dialects, the lack of which wonld, 
of course, denote titter and absolute unfitness, but equally a 
profound sense of the transcendent worth of these sacred rec- 
ords as the world's manual of truth and duty. This last 
requisite has its intellectual no less than its spiritual signifi- 
cance. No man is a fit critic of that with which he is not in 
full sympathy. Bentley was the most learned man of his time ; 
but he made a fool of himself by his attempted emendations of 
the 'Paradise Lost,' simply because he had no poetry in his soul, 
and no knowledge of words or metres could bring his mind 
into relation with Milton's. A great deal of (so-called) Biblical 
criticism has been, for like reason, equally learned and 


tions, and every page bears the impress of tlieir ear- 
nestness and reverence. It may be meekly yet justly 
claimed for the present revisers that they share 
largely in this important qualification. They have 
no fellowship with the disposition which of late years 
has appeared among some who profess and call 
themselves Christians, to speak lightly of the Script- 
ures as a partial of imperfect record of revelation, and 
to lessen the force with which the book lays hold of 
man's mind and conscience. On the contrary they 
addressed themselves to their work with humiUty 
and awe, as having to do with that which is of all 
things most sacred. They had diiferent theories of 
inspiration, and varied very much in theological opin- 
ion ; but to them the Bible, the whole Bible, while it 
was the word of man, was also the Word of God, 
and as such separated by an immeasurable interval 
from every other book. They could cordially adopt 
the language of Dr. Temple, the present Bishop of 
London, at the anniversary of the British and Foreign 
Bible Society in May, 1883. After saying of the 
Bible that it speaks with the authority of its Maker, 
he adds : " I have read many books which do much 
for the human intellect and the human spirit. I 
have read many books which teach and enlighten — 
wdiich sometimes seem, as it were, to be the medium 
of new revelations to the soul ; 1 have read the writ- 
ings of good men and of great men ; I have read the 
writings of great philosoj)hers of old — of men who 
saw far deeper into the truth by the power of won- 
derful intellects, guided, no doubt, by God's provi- 


dence, tlian it was i^ossible for ordinary men to see. 
I have read many books which set before the soul 
the loftiest motives of action, and the most heavenly 
principles to guide the conduct ; and still, wherever 
we turn, as we read them all, we feel that they are 
referred to our own consciences to judge ; that we 
still are called to discriminate, and to say, ' Here I 
accept, and there I reject ; ' and though the man be 
a greater man than 1, still my judgment remains re- 
sponsible for its own decision, and I cannot shift the 
responsibility on any other shoulders than my own. 
And I have read many such books, and have felt 
that 1 have learned much ; and still, for all that, 
there remains the sense that these books, though they 
are my teachers, are not my rulers, and though they 
instruct me they cannot command me. But when I 
turn to the Word of God, it takes me straight, as it 
were, into God's very presence, and gives its mes- 
sage there, by an authority which is His and His 

In view, then, of this singular authority of the 
book, its constituent parts were handled w^ith tender- 
ness and solicitude. There was no temptation to en- 
gage in hazardous speculations or seek after startling 
novelties. The one thing set before them was to 
render the meaning of Holy Writ accessible to the 
humblest reader in a form not inconsistent with its 
divine origin and transcendent importance. The 
whole treatment has been reverential, and the changes 
introduced are in exact consistency with this feeling. 
The revisers, recognizing the simplicity and majesty 


of the old version, sought to perpetuate the same in 
their work, and thus to liave the book in form and 
tone suited to tlie high and holy character of Him by 
whom it was given to men. If they have succeeded 
in this endeavor no reader will find himself needlessly 
shocked in turning its pages. On the contrary he 
w^ill see and feel that it is the same blessed volume 
with which he has long been familiar, out of which 
he was taught in his childhood and from which he 
drew the nutriment of his riper years. Its old con- 
tents and character are all here. It still retains its 
ineffaceable stamp of truth, holiness and majesty, 
rightly representing Him from whom it has come 
and appealing to whatever is deepest and most imi- 
versal in our nature. It is the voice of God in the 
language of men. 

Y. Simplicity of Style. — The interest of the gen- 
eral body of English readers has been kept in view 
from the beginning, and has controlled the decision 
of many a vexed question. It is said of the returned 
exiles in the days of Nehemiah (Neh. viii. 8) that 
the Levites met the assembled people in Jerusalem, 
and they " read in the book, in the law of God, dis- 
tinctly ; and they gave the sense so that they under- 
stood the reading. " This seems to imply an exposi- 
tion of the sacred words on the part of Ezra and his 
associates, and so far as that is concerned the revisers 
were careful not to imitate them. They drew the 
line as accurately as possible between interpretation 
and translation. The former made no part of their 
work, while the latter was their fixed aim. And so 
far as the business of Ezra was to make the people 


who had become more familiar with Aramaic tlian 
with Hebrew, understand what the hving oracles 
said, it furnishes the model followed bj the authors 
of the revision. Thej did not seek to please the 
learned or cultivated classes, but to meet the wants 
of plain people of average intelligence and education, 
by making the version such that its meaning would 
b^ obvious to any attentive reader. They had before 
them an admirable standard in the work of the schol- 
ars whom King James called together, excepting so 
far as the progress of the language has modified the 
signification of many words ; and the constant en- 
deavor was to assimilate new renderino^s to those 
already in existence. They wished to make the book 
smooth, flowing and rhythmical, but, above all, per- 
spicuous and plain. This is the first requisite of a 
translation, that for the lack of which there is and can 
be no compensation. Obscure, ambiguous renderings, 
or such as are couched in words not in ordinary use, 
are utter failures. The ordinary reader might just 
as well be left to the original Hebrew, for it would 
teach him as much as a version clothed in words and 
phrases and idioms not in familiar use. 

Yet the other extreme of adopting a phraseology 
inconsistent with the dignity of the divine oracles is 
to be and for the most part has been carefully avoided. 
A signal instance of the neglect of this caution is to 
be found in a recent translation of the Psalter ex- 
ecuted by an eminent British scholar. And it is 
found just where one would least expect it, in the 
23d Psalm, an ode which for beauty of sentiment 
and felicity of illustration is not to be matched in all 


literature. For thousands of years it has gone to the 
depths of the hnman heart, gladdening the house of 
bereavement and sorrow and whispering hope and 
jov to the downcast and forsaken. In our common 
Enorlish version it has fallen upon the ears of men 
like a strain of exquisite music, and proved a precious 
cordial amid the shadows of the dark valley. Many 
vears ago one of the most distinguished statesmen of 
this country, as he lay npon the bed from which he 
knew that he could never arise, asked again and again 
that this soothing ntterance might be repeated in liis 
hearing. At the same time in another State a poor 
uneducated negro lad, who was told that he was draw- 
ing near to the gates of the grave, heard from the 
lips of the only relative that was near him the same 
old Psalm. ^' Oh, sister, read that again," was his 
repeated request, as liis ear caught the simple, touch- 
ing words. These two persons, representing the re- 
motest extremes that can be imagined, in age, posi- 
tion, cultme and ability, yet found an equally satis- 
fying and uplifting solace in the same blessed words. 
One may well doubt if there is any portion of the 
Old Testament or the Xew that is so endeared to 
millions of devout hearts as this. Yet the learned 
scholar referred to translates the second and third 
verses thus : 

He refreshes my soul ; 

He leads me in the right tracks for His name's sake. 

Yea, thcugh I walk through the valley of deadly shade, 

I will fear no evil, for thou art with me ; 

Thv club and thv staff they comfort me. 


Of course the thought of the original is all here, 
but how unspeakably has it been debased and vulgar- 
ized by the change of '' paths " into *' tracks," of 
*^ the shadow of death " into '^ deadly shade,*' and, 
worse than all, of ^^ rod " into '' club." The music 
of the song lias evaporated, its suggestiveness is mar- 
red, and the ill-chosen substitutes jar upon sense and 
feeling. The revisers have industriously sought to 
avoid any such gross error as this, and have often 
preferred to leave untouched a slightly inadequate 
rendering rather than run the risk of offending sacred 
associations or introducing nnseemly words or phrases. 
Upon the whole, if they have succeeded in making 
an approximation to the end they had in view, there 
is reason to anticipate some very good results from 
their labors. It cannot be denied that a consider- 
able portion of the Old Testament has been a sealed 
book to a multitude of readers, including many who 
are in full sympathy with the revelation of which it 
forms a part. They say that notwithstanding the 
clearness and brilliancy of certain passages of the 
latter half of the volume, yet they find that, as a 
whole, it is obscure. The connection is not obvious, 
the progress of thought is hardly to be traced, and 
they often fail to catch the full sense of the writer. 
The splendor of the luminous portions only makes 
the darkness of the rest more dense and depressing. 
Isow, it is true that much of this evil is due to the 
circumstances of the case. Prophetical utterances 
are occasional in character and yet often separated 
from the occasions which called them forth ; when 


tliej are strictly predictive, tliej are necessarily some- 
what veiled ; and not nnfrequently there is need of 
considerable information from other sources in order 
to see their precise scope and bearing. These diffi- 
culties are insuperable to the translator however able 
or accomplished. It is not conceivable that any 
amount of effort or skill can make the prophecies of 
the Old Testament as easily and quickly understood 
by all readers as the Gospels of the New. Still 
much may be done by removing all difficulties not 
inherent in the writings themselves, by making the 
paragraph divisions correspond to the sense of the 
author, by correcting gross errors of translation, by 
carefully observing the tense forms of the verbs, by 
distinguishing proper names when they occur, and, 
in general, by making prominent such notes of con- 
nection or hints of transition as present themselves. 
All this has been kept steadily in view, and it is rea- 
sonable to anticipate that careful English readers will 
find the Revised Version from Isaiah to JVlalachi 
freed from many obscurities and much more readily 
comprehensible than the common version. What 
seemed to be disjecta memhra will take their place 
as living parts of an organic whole, and the acknowl- 
edged gems of prophecy will shine the brighter from 
being displayed in their appropriate setting. 



The text of the Old Testament is in a very differ- 
ent condition from tliat of the New. The latter is 
to be obtained from a great variety of documentary 
sources, manuscripts, versions and patristic quota- 
tions, the collation and arrangement of which has 
gradually grown into the science of textual criti- 
cism. The number of these documents is very great. 
As Tischendorf justly said, "In all classical htera- 
ture there is nothing which may even distantly be 
compared in riches with the textual sources of the 
[New Testament." In consequence of this fact there 
are found to be various readings in vast numbers, a 
circumstance which once occasioned great alarm 
among the iinlearned. But now that fear has been 
dispelled. The variations of text do not affect any- 
thing essential in our common Christianity. They 
are rather a pledge of the general integrity of the 
text, so that Westcott and Hort say with entire 
truth, '^ In the variety and fulness of the evidence 
on which it rests, the text of the New Testament 
stands absolutely and unapproachably alone among 
ancient prose writings." These readings furnish an 
aid which would be gladly welcomed by the editor of 


any of the ancient Greek classics. But wlille this Is 
true, it Is also certain that the variations largely In- 
crease the labor of the translators or revisers of the 
Kew Testament. Before they begin the work of 
rendering they must first ascertain what it is that 
they are to render. And this is a very laborious 
task, one the performance of which requires very 
great learning, patience, acumen and tact. And 
we may well suppose that the authors of the recent 
revision spent as much time in settling the dlificult 
questions of the text upon which they labored as they 
did In determining its meaning, and fixing upon the 
best method of conveying that meaning In racy, idio- 
matic English. 

The case was far otherwise with the company 
charged with the revision of the Old Testament, l^o 
such wealth of resources for ascertaining the original 
form of the Hebrew text exists. The main reliance of 
the critic and expositor is upon the Massorah, the 
technical name given to a collection of grammatlco- 
crltical notes on the Hebrew text with the design of 
determining its divisions, grammatical forms, letters, 
vowel-marks and accents. Such a work as this was 
rendered necessary by the fact that originally the He- 
brew, like the other Semitic languages, was written 
with the consonants alone and without separation be- 
tween the words. Hence It was a delicate and diffi- 
cult task to determine what vowels should be em- 
ployed In any particular case, and where the stops 
and accents should be inserted. This, however, was 
accomplished, although the authors of the work and 


tlie time of their action are shrouded in obscurity. 
There can hardlj be a doubt that the Massorah was 
the work not of one century but of many centuries. 
The old Eabbins were inclined to attribute it to Ezra 
and the Men of the Great Synagogue, but the more 
usual opinion assigns its commencement to the schools 
that were established at Tiberias and Babylon and 
elsewhere in the second century of our era. It ex- 
isted only in the form of oral tradition until at some 
period between the sixth century and the ninth it 
Tvas committed to writing. It first took the shape 
of marginal notes on the copies of the sacred books. 
These gradually expanded into a very minute and 
comprehensive system. A full record of these an- 
notations and glosses was given in the '^ Great Mas- 
sorah," which appeared about the eleventh century, 
and is so called to distinguish it from another collec- 
tion of notes, known as the '' Small Massorah." 
AYhile much of what is contained in the Massorah is 
nothing but laborious trifling, yet quite apart from 
this there is much that is of very great use to the 
critical student. The authors have sometimes been 
cliarged with corruj)ting the sacred text, but for this 
there seems to be no solid foundation. They do not 
appear to have introduced anything of their own, 
but rather to have made a careful distinction between 
what they found in the manuscripts and wdiat they 
proposed to substitute. There can be no doubt that 
they have thus preserved to us much traditional in- 
formation of the highest value. In the w^ords of 
the learned professor, E. C. Bissell, D.D., '^ There 


ouoflit to be no doubt that in the text which we in- 


herit from the Massoretes, and they from the Tahnud- 
ists, and they in turn from a period w^ien versions 
and paraphrases of the Scriptures in other lano^iiages 
now accessible to us were in common use — the same 
text being transmitted to this period from the time 
of Ezra under the pecuharly sacred seal of the Jew- 
ish canon — we have a substantially correct copy of 
the original documents, and one worthy of all con- 

The chief portion of the results reached by the 
Massoretes is given in the foot-notes of the ordinary 
Hebrew Bibles. What is found in the text is called 
Kethib (written), what is added as a various reading 
is called Keri (read). The number of these various 
readings has been variously estimated. The gr t 
Jewish scholar, Elias Levita (1471-15^9), said that, 
after repeated countings, he found them to be 848, 
but the eminent Hebraist of our own day, Dr. Gins- 
burg, makes the number to be 1353. Yery many of 
them are merely orthographical, and have no bear- 
ing upon the sense of the original. Of others, how- 
ever, the reverse is true, a conspicuous example of 
which is seen in Isaiah ix. 3, *' Thou hast multiplied 
the nation, and not increased the joy." Here the 
word in the Kethib, justly rendered 7iot, disturbs the 
sense and the connection. The Keri by the change 
of a single letter transforms the negative particle into 
a personal pronoun, and then the verse runs thus : 
''Thou hast multiplied the nation, thou hast in- 
creased their joy : they joy before thee according to 


the joy of the har\rest," etc. The same verse shows 
by contrast the care and scrupulousness of the Mas- 
soretes, for in the first clause certain modern critics 
without any authority change the word rendered 
nation into one that means gladness^ in order that 
thus the parallelism may be made symmetrical ; and 
a recent English expositor of Isaiah adopts the sug- 
gestion. But this is pure conjecture and wholly 
without warrant. There is no evidence that the old 
Jewish transcribers of the text ever allowed them- 
selves any snch license. The word MassoraJt means 
*' tradition," and exactly describes the work done. 
All the traditional marks and divisions of the sacred 
text, all the recognized though unwritten helps to its 
understanding, and the pronunciation which had been 
handed down, were recorded by the Massoretes in a 
fixed and official form. They depended upon the 
existent materials and built upon them. That they 
dealt honestly with the word is unquestionable. We 
know that from a very early period the strictest rules 
were enjoined upon copyists, and it was easy to secure 
compliance with them, for the Talmudists made an 
exact enumeration of the verses, words and letters 
of each book, and designated the middle verse, word 
and letter of the book. And even in cases where 
there was an evident and trivial mistake — a letter 
slightly out of place, or upside down, or too small, 
or too large, or a variation in the writing of a word — 
the fact was noted, but no change was made in the 
text. That was handed down just as it had been 
received. Jerome (ob. 420) in his Latin translation 


corrects renderings of the Septuagint, and gives a 
faithful representation of the Hebrew as it was then 
received in Palestine, jet a faithful comparison of 
his work with the text now in use shows no mate- 
rial differences either in addition or omission. It 
would seem then that the modern Israelite might re- 
peat the boast of Josephus in regard to the sacred 
books of his nation that " during so many ages as 
have already passed no one has been so bold as either 
to add anything to them, to take any tiling from 
them, or to make any change in them." For fifteen 
centuries at least the Jews regarded it as a religious 
duty to preserve with all exactness the sacred records 
of their faith and history. " When the Hebrew 
language was unknown by Christians," as Professor 
Osgood justly says, '' w^hen the Jew was under the 
harrow of unresting persecution and his name a by- 
word, he was w^ith patient fidelity keeping watch 
over the text, unknown to all but himself, and pre- 
serving a priceless inheritance for the coming cen- 

It is not to the credit of Christian scholarship that 
so little has been done during the last three hundred 
years toward reproducing the Massorah in its com- 
pleteness. But the reproach has been in measure 
rolled away by the work of Dr. Ginsburg, issued in 
London within a few years. This is entitled, " The 
Massorah : Compiled from Manuscripts Alphabeti- 
cally and Lexically Arranged," and is in two folio 
volumes, the first of which (pp. 758) appeared in 
1880, and the second (pp. 830) in 1883. These con- 


tain tlie entire Hebrew text. A third volume will 
furnish an English translation of the terms employed, 
and an essay on the rise and history of the Massorah. 
This great work cannot fail to be of immense service 
in stimulating the studj of what has been accom- 
plished by the okl Jewish critics and scholars. 

The present Hebrew text, as now found in the 
best editions of the Old Testament, is a reprint, with 
few and slight exceptions, of the text edited by Jew- 
ish scholars and published by Eomberg, at Venice, 
in 1525, and afterward, with corrections, in 15i7. 
This Bible was accompanied by Rabbinic commen- 
taries and was designed for the use of the Jews, since 
few Christians at that day w^ere acquainted with 
classic Hebrew, and still fewer with Rabbinic. This 
text enjoys the great advantage of being acknowl- 
edged by Jews and Christians alike. That it is 
worthy of great confidence is the united testimony of 
critics, and especially of the latest and most learned 
of them, Prof. H. L. Strack, of Berlin. It is not 
known what manuscripts or how many of them 
were used by the editors, but they were all doubtless 
of a late date, written under the strict rule of the 
Talmud and accompanied with the various readings 
of the Massoretes. The principal editor, Jacob ben 
Chayim, is known to have been thoroughly skilled 
in all that pertained to the text, and as reverent as 
he was learned. That there are passages where the 
text has suffered from wrong transcription, where 
there are insuperable difficulties or slight mistakes, 
where manuscripts difl'er, and versions give a render- 


ing at variance with the Hebrew, is well known to 
every scholar. Indeed, it could not be otherwise. 
Notwithstanding we have the printing-press, and 
numerous Bible societies and multitudes of critical 
readers, the Authorized Version has bj no means 
preserved one and the same text in all the editions, 
but has again and again required the most thorough 
revision. Much more was such a thing to be looked 
for in manuscripts written, as these were, centuries 
apart. But the places where error has crept in are 
by no means so numerous as has sometimes been 
asserted. Dr. Samuel Davidson, in his '' Revision 
of the Hebrew Text," cites between seven and eight 
thousand places where there are variations either in 
the manuscripts or the versions. These changes, for 
the most part, refer to the different modes of writing 
or accentuating the same word, and they include all 
the marginal notes of the Jewish mediaeval scholars. 
But the number compares very favorably with those 
of the Greek Scriptures. The Old Testament con- 
tains more than three times as much matter as the 
New, yet even if we rate the various readings of the 
Hebrew at ten thousand, this is only one fifteenth of 
the number found in the manuscripts of the New 
Testament. But the same abatement for all practical 
purposes has to be made in both. The one hundred 
and fifty thousand variations of the Greek text 
dwindle down to a very small number when one 
eliminates all that do not affect the sense, and the 
same thing is true iu regard to the Hebrew text. 
All the extant MSS. perpetuate the Massoretic 


text. Tliey are divided into two classes, tlie public 
or holj, and the private or common. The former 
are synagogue rolls which have been prepared so 
carefully that the possibility of error has been re- 
duced to a minimum. But they contain only the 
Pentateuch, or also the five Megilloth (Canticles, 
Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther) and the 
Ilaphtaroth (lessons from the Prophets), and they 
give only the text of the Massoretes without their mar- 
ginal additionp. They are, for the most part, of re- 
cent origin, though antique in form. The latter class 
contain the entire Scripture, together with the Mas- 
soretic emendations. Dillman says, that, as a general 
thing, the consonantal text, the points, the Keris^ and 
other additions, frequently including translations and 
Pabbinical commentary, are written by different 
hands. Hence it is often difficult, and indeed im- 
possible, to determine the date and nationality of a 
codex, but it seems certain that none of the manu- 
scripts now known are really very old. The oldest 
authentic date is a.d. 916 for a codex of the Proph- 
ets, and A.D. 1009 for an entire Hebrew Bible. 
Both of these are preserved in the Imperial Library 
at St. Petersburg. The collation of existing codices 
has been carried on with great industry for a long 
time. The labors of Kennicott and De Possi in the 
last century were herculean, yet they did not suc- 
ceed in establishing beyond controversy among critics 
any material change in the old text. They added 
little to what was known before. In this century 
Frankel, Frensdorf, Pinsker, Strack, and others have 


broiiglit out a greater number of tlie diversities 
marked by the early Jewish scholars, yet in the main 
their efforts have resulted only in a negative conclu- 
sion — viz., that we are not to expect much additional 
light from any further collation of MSS. We may 
indeed anticipate some help in the reconstruction of 
passages which seem to have experienced corruption, 
but there is no reason to think that any sweeping 
changes will be found necessary. 

There is another source of correction which by 
some has been used and commended as trustworthy 
and as promising important advantages. This is the 
early versions. The oldest of these are the Tar- 
gums, which are supposed to owe their origin to the 
disuse of the Hebrew tongue by the exiles in Baby- 
lon (Nell. viii. 8). They were at first, and for many 
years, oral. As might be expected, they are usually 
paraphrases, in which the ideas of the translator are 
more followed than those of the original writer. No 
one of those now existing extends over the whole 
Old Testament, although together they do, with the 
exception of Ezra and Nehemiah. The two oldest 
of these are that of Onkelos on the Pentateuch and 
that of Jonathan ben Uziel on the Earlier Prophets 
and the Later. The former, whose author was a 
friend of Gamaliel and lived about a.d. 70, is gener- 
ally correct, and follows the text closely, being free 
from the fabulous additions that mar other Targums. 
The latter proceeded from a man who, according to 
tradition, was a discij^le of the famous HilleL He 
was a century later than Onkelos, and his work is 


more paraphrastic and less simple. There are two 
other Tar«i-nuis on tlie Pentateuch (Psendo-Jonatlian 
and Jenisliahni), but they are decidedly later than 
the foregoing and much less valual)le. On the 
Hagiographa there exist what are called the Tar- 
gums of Joseph the Blind. Tradition assigned these 
to a person so named who lived in the fourth cen- 
tury, but critical study has put their date in the 
eleventh century. They are various in origin, and, 
excepting in the Book of Proverbs, are extremely 
paraphrastic and fanciful. 

The oldest Greek version of the Ileln-ew Scriptures 
is the one known as the Septuagint, a name derived 
from the worthless tradition that it was made by a 
company of seventy Jews at the request of Ptolemy 
Philadelphus, who was gathering a library. The 
truth about its origin is that Alexandria became after 
the Dispersion a centre of Jewish population and 
afterward of religion ; but as time went on the Jews 
lost command of their own language and therefore 
required a translation of their sacred books into 
Greek. The men who met this want differed very 
much in knowledge and skill, were of an indetermi- 
nate number, and of different periods, beginning with 
the time of Ptolemy Philadelphus (b.c. 280) and 
terminating with b.c. 150. The translators were 
chiefly of Egyptian, and particularly Alexandrian, 
birth and training, and therefore strongly Hellen- 
istic. Their work is quite unequal, the Pentateuch 
being very literal and faitliful, while the Prophets 
and the Hagiographa are handled in a somewhat 


arbitrary manner. The study of it is indispensable 
to the expositor, because its idiom became the idiom 
of the New Testament in a more fully developed 
form, and no one can thoroughly understand Hellen- 
istic Greek without carefully studying its original 
model. Besides the Septuagint there were three other 
Greek versions, of which only fragments remain. (1) 
The chief of these is the one bearing the name of 
Aquila, a Jewish proselyte of Pontus, a contemporary 
of Hadrian (about a.d. 130), who prepared a literal 
translation for the benefit of Jews in controversy with 
Christians. It was so successful that it came to be 
used, by both Jews and Christians. It was slavishly 
literal, and the author, in his endeavor to present a 
word-for-word rendering of the Hebrew into the 
Greek, goes to the extent of the boldest word-coin- 
ing and grammatical absurdities. (2) Theodotion, a 
Jewish proselyte of Ephesns, revised (before a.d. 
160) the translation of the LXX. instead of making a 
new one. His alterations were derived partly from 
Aquila and partly from the original text. But his 
own knowledge of Hebrew was limited, for words 
and parts of sentences were left untranslated, the 
Hebrew being merely written with Greek letters. 
There seems to be no doubt that this version was 
much used by the early Christians, and its rendering 
of the Book of Daniel was substituted for that of 
the Septuagint as early as the third century. The 
same substitution is found in most of the editions of 
the LXX. (3) Symmachus, a Samaritan Ebionite, 
who lived under the Emperor Severus (a.d. 193-211), 


made a version intended to slum tlie unintelligible 
boldness of Aquila and the ignorant transliterations 
of Theodotion. He succeeded so far as to produce 
a work better than the others as to sense and general 
phraseology. His translation is distinguished for 
clearness and elegance, but is paraphrastic and occa- 
sionally arbitrary. There were three other Greek 
versions, of unknown date and authorship, discov^- 
eredby Origen, in the course of his travels, in connec- 
tion with his great work of Biblical Criticism, but 
the few fragments of them that remain are of little 
or no value. 

The only other early version of importance is the 
Syriac, commonly called the Peshitto (the correct or 
simple)^ because confined to tlie text, in contrast to 
the allegorical or mystical paraphrases. The first 
trustworthy reference to its use is found in the com- 
mentaries of Ephrem the Syrian in the fourth cen- 
tury, but even then it was ancient, for Ephrem de- 
fines many of its words which were no longer under- 
stood by his countrymen. Hence it is not improb- 
ably assigned to the second century. It was made 
from the Hebrew probably by Jewish Christians, 
and includes the Old Testament canon without the 
Apocrypha. It is, in general, close and accurate. 

It has been proposed by some scholars to use these 
various versions to determine the Hebrew text in 
cases where the reading is obscure or doubtful. But 
such a course is to be followed with very great cau- 
tion. From all that we know of the origin and his- 
tory of the Hebrew text, the presumption is over- 


wlielming in favor of its accuracy as against any 
version. While we adhere to it we are standing on 
solid ground, but as soon as we leave it the footing 
becomes uncertain and precarious. Besides, not one 
of the versions which have been mentioned has been 
submitted to a thorough critical revision, so that we 
are not sure as to their text in any given case. Even 
of the Septuagint, upon which so many have labored 
for a century past, we have no critical edition, none 
in which all the existing materials for settling the 
text have been applied for that purpose. But before 
an entirely trustworthy edition can be prepared an 
immense work must be done in collating MSS., 
both uncial and cursive, the ancient versions (Old 
Latin, Ethiopic, etc.) made from them, and the quo- 
tations in the writings of the Fathers. And if this 
be true of the Septuagint, much more does it apply 
to the Chaldee and other versions. To correct the 
Hebrew, then, on this basis would be to amend what 
is uncertain by that which is still more uncertain. 
Hence the more sober critics with one consent hold 
fast the Massoretic text. This has been the rule with 
the authors of the present revision. Their work is 
based throughout ujDon the traditional Hebrew. In 
ditficult or doubtful ]3laces, where some corruption 
seems to have crept in or some accident to have be- 
fallen the manuscript, the testimony of the early ver- 
sions is given in the margin, but never incorporated 
with the text. That remains intact. But even this 
reference to secondary sources was unacceptable to 
the American portion of the Old Testament revisers, 


as may be seen by their appendix. Cf. Section YI. 
under the heading- '' Classes of Passages." It 
seemed to them that all these references had in them 
too mnch of the uncertain, conjectural and arbitrary 
to be entitled to a place on the margin, as if they 
had some portion of intrinsic authority. We are 
not sure in any case that the makers of these versions 
did not follow their notion of what the text ought to 
be rather than that which they found in the codices 
before them. And conjectural emendations are of 
no value. Yarious scholars in the last century, such 
as the accomplished Lowth, and some in the present 
age, have expended much labor in suggesting altera- 
tions which in their view reproduced the original 
text, but they convinced almost nobody but them- 
selves. The learned Casaubon once said, in reference 
to a very acute suggestion of a contemporary, " Tor- 
rentius's conjecture is clever ; but I cannot adopt it 
in the teeth of all the manuscripts, from which I 
never depart except when absolutely necessary." To 
the same effect Rltschl in our own day : " There is 
hardly any codex of any classical author so bad that 
it will not occasionally offer a good reading which 
will deserve more credit than a conjectural, even a 
likely one." Both these utterances were made in 
reference to the classics, but they have even greater 
force when applied to the sacred writings. 

Accordingly the reader will find in the Revised 
Old Testament a rendering of the Hebrew manu- 
scripts pure and simple, nothing but the Massoretic 
marginal readings being adopted into the text, and 


even they only when circumstances seemed to justify 
or require it. Undoubtedly the day will come when 
the labor of many earnest students in Europe and 
America will accumulate such materials and lead to 
such a method of handling them as will throw light 
upon many difficult passages and furnish a much nearer 
approach to the true original text than we now have. 
But this is to be the work of years, possibly of gen- 
erations. Meanwhile it is wisest and safest to ad- 
here to the unbroken tradition of the past, notwith- 
standing there are some outspoken dissentients from 
this conservative course. One of the most brilliant 
of American Biblical scholars * said a few months 
ago that '^ we can no more rely with childlike confi- 
dence upon the common Massoretic text for the Old 
Testament than we can upon the so-called received 
text of the New Testament. The New Testament 
revisers abandoned the received text of the New 
Testament for a better text. If the present revisers 
have not sought a better text of the Old Testament, 
in our judgment they have failed in their duty, and 
tlieir work will not be accepted." But surely the 
learned professor has made a mistake here. It is 
very true that the New Testament revisers often de- 
parted from the received text, but never upon the 
authority of ancient versions or quotations only. 
Every alteration which they made rests upon manu- 
script authority, as to which they accepted the testi- 

* Prof. Briggs, in the Preshyterian Review for January, 1885, 
(p. 150). 


mony of the Syriac, tlie Itala and others merely as 
corroborative. And this has been the rule adopted 
by the Old Testament companies. Nor would they 
be justified in taking any other course. No canon 
of criticism which exalts subsidiary sources of knowl- 
edge above that which confessedly is direct and 
primary will ever be accepted either by " Biblical 
scholars " or by the Christian public. 



The first feature that arrests attention here is the 
printing of the poetical portions of the Books of 
Moses in the form of verse. Instances are to be seen 
not only in the proj)hetic blessing of the patriarch 
Jacob (Gen. xhx.), the song of triumph at tlie Red 
Sea (Ex. XV.), the rapt utterances of Balaam (Num. 
xxiii., xxiv.), and the song and the blessing of Moses 
at the end of his life (Deut. xxxii., xxxiii.), but also 
in several much shorter passages— viz., the song of 
Lamech (Gen. iv.), the prophecy of Noah (Gen. ix.), 
the Lord's answer to Rebecca (Gen. xxv.), the bless- 
ings pronounced by Isaac (Gen. xxvi.), the song of 
the well (Num. xxi.) and the abrupt ode on the 
downfall of Moab {ibid.). To persons not familiar 
with the subject this at first sight looks pedantic and 
unmeaning. It is, however, very far from being so. 
The form of these utterances shows that they belong 
to that poetical feeling and habit which pervaded 
the entire life and history of the Hebrews. What- 
ever moved the heart of the people was expressed in 
song, whether it was the discovery of a fountain in 
the desert or joy over some great victory. And it 
is desirable that the reader be reminded of this fact, 


lest he slioiild fall into error by interpreting poetry 
as prose. For the laws of the two kinds of compo- 
sition have essential differences. And though Hebrew 
poetry has neither rhyme nor rhythm, and cannot be 
subjected to the classifications usual in classic and 
modern poetry,^ yet the poetic element is inwrought 
in its very structure. Everywhere and always sym- 
metrical clauses are placed side by side. The sym- 
metry is not external and formal but real, lying in 
the relation of the expression to the thought. The 
same thought is repeated several times synonymously 
in different words, or else antithetically by two op- 
posite sentences. In the more fully developed liter- 
ature of later periods the parallelism often appears 
with elaborate and diversilied refinements, bat the 
brief, rapid utterances of the lyrical spirit here record- 
ed introduce us directly into the manners and habits 
of the early race, and show how artlessly deep feel- 
ing by a sort of necessity expressed itself in poetical 
forms. It is well, therefore, that the correct method 
of printing the parallel clauses should remind the 
reader that he is passing from didactic prose into 
emotional and animated poetry. Some critics, such as 
Herder (" Spirit of Hebrew Poetry"), w^ould extend 
this practice, and print in parallelisms portions of 
the ordinary narrative of the Pentateuch ; but nothing 
seems to be gained by such a course, nor has it com- 

* This is the commonly accepted doctrine on the subject. 
Whoever wishes to see the contrary view set forth with great 
acuteness and vigor may consult Prof. Briggs's interesting 
volume on Biblical Study (New York, 1883), Chapter IX. 


mended itself to general acceptance. The revision, 
therefore, has wisely confined the printing in verse 
form to those passages which bj their origin as well 
as structure compel one to see in them an outburst of 
poetical feeling. 

The following selection of passages which have 
been changed in the revision is intended as a speci- 
men of the work done and of the principles upon 
which it has been carried out. The selection has 
been determined more bj the brevity of the passages 
t[uoted or the facility with which the alterations 
made could be stated and explained than anything 
else. It was desirable to cite enough cases to fur- 
nish a tolerably fair conception of the revisers' work, 
both in amount and character. Yet in such narrow 
limits the whole case could not be set forth, and the 
reader is earnestly requested to bear this in mind. 
The author had for the most part to rely upon 
his memory in stating the general reason for the 
action taken in each particular case, and he thinks 
that what he states is correct, yet of course errors 
may have slipped in. This, however, is not likely, 
because the revision never contemplated novelties, 
but only a summing up of the results of criticism 
durina: the last two centuries. 

Genesis.— In the first chapter the putting of each 
day's work in a separate paragraph aids the common 
reader. In iv. 23 the song of Lamech is made more 
intelligible by making the second couplet read. 

For I have slain a man for wounding me, 
And a young man for bruising me : 


In xiii. 1 '' Abraham went up out of Egypr . . . 
into the South," the printing of the last word with 
a capital letter shows that it refers to a definite region 
(the Negeb), and thus avoids the incongruity of the 
Authorized Version in leading one to think that the 
patriarch reached Palestine by goingsouth from Egypt. 
In V. 18 " the plain of Mamre which is in^Hebron" 
is changed to " the oaks of Mamre which are in 
Hebron," because this is the meaning of the Hebrew, 
and there is no plain in Hebron or its vicinity. (So 
xiv. 13 and xvili. 1.) In xviii. 19, " For I know him 
that he will command his children and his hoasehold 
after him" is changed to,-" For I have known him, 
to the end that he may command," etc. This is ac- 
cording to the Hebrew, which teaches that God's 
reason for telling Abraham of His purpose to destroy 
Sodom and Gomorrah was His previous knowledge 
of him, in the intense sense the word know often has 
in Scripture. (Amos iii. 2 : Galatians iv. 9.) In 
xxiv. 2, " Abraham said to his eldest servant of his 
house" is made to read, " Abraham said to his ser- 
vant, the elder of his house," which is what the He- 
brew means. The change brings to view an official 
designation which runs all through the Scripture, 
and has endured to this day. In xxxiii. 18, " And 
Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem," the 
revision reads, '' came in peace to the city of Shech- 
em," because no such city as Shalem is known, and 
the true rendering shows how God fulfilled Jacob's re- 
quest (xxviii. 21). In the prophecy of Jacob (Gen. 
xlix.) are several manifest improvements. Reuben 


is charged with being not '^ unstable/' but, as the 
original word means, '' boiling over" — that is, im- 
pulsive or excitable, which exactly describes his char- 
acter as shown by his conduct on various occasions. 
In the second member of the fifth verse, ''instru- 
ments of cruelty are in their habitations," the margin 
of the Authorized Version, '' weapons of violence 
are their swords," is inserted in the text, as being 
both more literal and more expressive. In the ninth 
verse, instead of saying that Judah couched '' as an 
old lion," the revision returns to Tyndale's more 
accurate rendering, " as a lioness." In the tenth 
verse the Authorized Yersion is retained, and other 
proposed renderings put in the margin, except that 
'' the gathering of the people " is changed into '' the 
obedience of the j^eoples." The alteration of the 
last word is one which is required scores of times, 
since the authors of the Authorized Yersion never 
recognized the plural of the word " people," save 
in two instances in the Apocalypse (x. 11, xvii. 15), 
and therefore left the meaning ambiguous. In the 
case before us the sense is not merely that his own 
people should be gathered unto Shiloh, but that 
whole nations should obey him. In vv. 14, 15 the 
more accurate rendering of the revision brings out 
more plainly the character of Issachar ('' couching 
down amidst the sheepfolds" instead of " between 
two burdens ") as one who preferred the ease of a 
subject state to a struggle for liberty and independ- 
ence. In V. 19 Gad's history is distinctly brought 
to view as a tribe which, although severely assailed, 


shall resist, and routing the enemy shall harass his 
rear. Thus : 

Gad, a troop shall press upon him : 
But he shall press upon their heel. 

In the prediction about Joseph (vv. 23-25) the ob- 
scurity of the Authorized Version is alleviated, but 
the margin exhibits the smoother rendering of some 
critics who remove the parenthesis and make tlie 
passage an accumulation of phrases (like the 18th 
Psalm) descriptive of the author of Joseph's deliver- 
ance, as the Mighty One of Jacob, the covenant 
shepherd, the stone (or rock-foundation) of Israel, 
etc. In 1. 22 the fine antithesis of the original is 
brought out by rendering the verb which occurs in 
both clauses in the same way ; ' ' y e meant evil against 
me, but God meant it for good." 

Exodus. — In Exodus ii. 22 the awkward tautology, 
*' a stranger in a strange land," is replaced by the 
literal version, " a sojourner in a strange land." In 
the song of triumpli after passing the Red Sea (Ex. 
XV.) the vividness and poetical grandeur of the lyric 
are shown in the revision by the change of the past 
tense into the present in vv. 5-T, and of the future 
into the past in vv. Itt-IG, a change required by the 
original. In the obscure passage (Ex. xvii. 16) the 
text retains the rendering of the Authorized Ver- 
sion, while the margin gives the more literal and 
more generally accepted sense of the Hebrew. " Be- 
cause there is a hand (^.6., the hand of Amalek) 
against the throne of the Lord [therefore] the Lord 


will have war with Amalek from generation to gen- 
eration." In the second commandment (xx. 5) the 
sanction is made more clear by a slight change, thus : 
*' visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the chil- 
dren, upon the third and upon the fourth generation 
of them that hate me." And this is the exact sense 
of the original. The sixth command (v. 13) is, after 
the pattern of the Prayer Book and also of the Author- 
ized Version in Matt. xix. 18, given as " Thou shalt 
do no murder," and the same is done at Deut. v. 17. 
The advantage of this rendering is that it needs no 
limitation or explanation. To hill is often lawful 
and sometimes a duty, but to do murder is wrong 
always and everj^where. 

In the account of the tabernacle (ch. xxv.) shitt'un 
is replaced by acacia ^ crown by cornice^ almonds by 
almond-Mossoms^ and howls by cups j and " badgers' 
skins" has in the margin sealskins — all changes in 
the interest of fidelity and perspicuity. Other alter- 
ations, too numerous to be denoted in detail, contrib- 
ute to make the account of the construction more 
intelhgible to the ordinary reader. In xxvii. 21 the 
phrase " tabernacle of congregation,'^ which occurs 
more than a hundred times afterward, is properly 
changed into ''tent of meeting," for this tent was 
not a place where the people met merely one another, 
but where they met with God (see xxix. 42) ; and 
this fact gave it its name. An acknowledged error 
is corrected in xxxii. 25, when, instead of saying that 
the people were ''naked," which does not suit the 
connection, the text says that they were " broken 


loose," which exactly expresses the unbridled con- 
dition of the sinful multitude. So the divine names 
become more impressive when we read in xxxiv. 6, 
*^ The Lord, The Lord, a God full of compassion," 
etc. In like manner a peculiarity of the original 
is represented in v. 13, " Ye shall break their im- 
ages and cut down their groves," when instead of 
" groves" we read " Asherim" with margin, '^ Prob- 
ably the wooden symbols of the goddess Ashtoreth 
which were set up beside the altars of Baal." This 
word occurs a score of times in the Old Testament, and 
is always mistranslated ; sometimes to the utter ruin 
of the sense. In v. 33, '' And till Moses had done 
speaking with them he put a veil on his face," a 
gross error of the Authorized Version m inserting 
the word till, for which there is no authority in the 
original, is removed. *' And Moses left off speaking 
with them, and he pat a veil on his face." The 
sense is that as long as Moses was uttering the Lord's 
commands he remained unveiled, but when that 
official function ceased he resumed the veil, and took 
it off only when he w^ent in before the Lord to speak 
with Him (v. 31). 

Leviticus. — Ini. 3 (and elsewhere, where the same 
Hebrew phrase occurs), instead of saying that the 
bringer of an oblation offers it ^' of his own voluntary 
will," the revision states correctly that he does it 
*' that he may be accepted before the Lord ;" and 
in V. 16 ''filth" is substituted for "feathers," 
which a bird's crop cannot have. In iv. 21 "con- 
gregation " is changed to " assembly," as often else- 


where, in order to preserve a distinction between two 
Hebrew words which are confounded in the Au- 
thorized Yersion. In v. 7 and elsewhere '' trespass 
offering" is replaced by " guilt offering," as more 
faithful to the sense of the original. A variety of 
minor alterations is found in this book owing to the 
advance in Bibhcal knowledge, which do not require 
special notice. One in the 16th chapter is an ex- 
ception, the substitution of " Azazel'' for '' scape- 
goat." The latter is an impossible translation, and 
is given up by all critics. The former is a trans- 
literation of the Hebrew word, and is inserted be- 
cause there is so much doubt among the most learned 
as to its precise meaning. An alternative rendering 
in the margin, '' dismissal," suggests the thought 
that as the two goats made only one oblation, that 
which was slain expressed the expiation of sins, and 
that which was dismissed to the wilderness the utter 
and final removal of those sins. In xvii. 11 the revision 
reads, '' For it is the blood that maketh atonement 
by reason of the life," which is at once more faith- 
ful and more expressive than the Authorized Yersion, 
which renders the last portion of the clause ^' atone- 
ment for the soul." In xix. 17 the Authorized 
Yersion reads, '^thou shalt in anywise rebuke thy 
neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him." The ob- 
scurity of the last clause is removed in the revision 
by rendering " and not bear sin because of him," 
which teaches the important truth that it is a sin not 
to give rebuke when it is called for. In v. 20 
'^ she shall be scourged " is rej^laced by '' they shall 


be pmiislied," sliowing that both participants in a 
common sin meet retribution. In v. 26 the am- 
biguous phrase "observe times" is changed into 
"practise augury." (So Deut. xviii. 10,14.) In 
xxiv. 11 the Authorized Version says of a man that 
he "blasphemed the name (^Z* the Lord,'' ^ The re- 
vision is more exact, "blasphemed the Name," in 
accordance with the emphasis Scripture puts upon 
the divine name. It is by eminence the Name. 

Numbers. — In the opening chapters of Numbers 
the paragraph division greatly aids the cursory reader 
in perceiving the enumeration of the tribes and their 
order in marching and encamping, and the divisions 
of the Levites. The rigid care with wliich the sanc- 
tuary was secured against desecration appears in the 
change made in iv. 20 where the prohibition of the 
Ivohathites from going in to see the holy things is not 
" when they are covered," as the Authorized Yer- 
sion has it, but as the phrase means — " even for a 
momeut." A single momentary glance is forbidden. 
In vii. 39 " the voice of one speaking " is changed 
to " the Yoice speaking," which is more hteral and 
more vivid. In ch. viii. 3 the unmeaning clause 
" he lighted the lamps thereof over against the 
candlestick" (for the lamps were upon the candela- 
brum) is exchanged for " he lighted the lamps so as 
to give light in iront of the candlestick," which is 
what was needed to be done, and was done. In xi. 
25 is an important change. The Authorized Version 
says of the seventy elders that " they prophesied and 
did not cease," whereas the true sense of the last 


words is that they '^ added not," or, as the revision 
puts it, " did so no more." (The same Hebrew is so 
given by the Authorized Version in Dent. v. 22.) 
They were not to teach, but to rule, and their speak- 
ing by inspiration was a temporary gift to signalize 
their entrance into office. In the eighth verse of the 
next chapter " apparently " is changed to "mani- 
festly," with an obvious gain in lucidity. In xiii. 
IT " mountain " is put by the revision in the plural, 
as in V. 29, for the spies were to visit not a single 
mountain, but the entire hill country of the land. In 
the 33d verse " Nephilim" (which is merely the He- 
brew word in English letters) is substituted for 
''giants," as in Gen. vi. 4, because the meaning of the 
word is uncertain, and the ordinary reader is as well 
able as the scholar to gather it from the connection. 
In this passage it may as well mean mighty in strength 
as miglity in size. In xiv. 34 the unhappy ren- 
dering which ascribes a " breach of promise" to 
the Lord is properly altered to "alienation." In 
xvi. 33 the change of " houses" into " households" 
is plainly required, since the people had no houses in 
the wilderness. (E\^en the Authorized Version so 
renders in Dent. xi. 6.) In xviii. 10 the revision 
retains the odd rendering of the Authorized Version : 
" In the most holy place shalt thou eat thereof," yet 
nothing is more certain than that no food was eaten 
in the innermost sanctuary. Doubtless the first 
clause should be, "As (or among) the most holy 
things." In xxi. 1 "way of the spies" is changed 
into " way of Atharim," it being more likely that 


the original is a proper name than an nnusnal form 
of a common noun. In v. 9 the healing of a man 
bitten by a serpent is said to come, not simply when 
he ^'beheld" (as Authorized Version) the serpent 
of brass, but when he "looked unto" it, implying 
a voluntary and designed turning of the eyes in that 
direction. In cli. xxi. the extract from the book of 
the wars of the Lord, and the song of the well, and 
the ode on the ov^erthrow of Moab are properly 
printed in parallelisms. The same is the case w^itli 
Balaam's prophetic utterances, clis. xxiii., xxi v. 
The change of a " unicorn" into a " wild ox" dis- 
places a mythological creature for a real animal well 
known in the East. The assertion that there is ''no 
enchantment with Jacob" is stronsrer than that of 
the Authorized Version that there is none " against" 
him, inasmuch as it means that such is Jacob's pro- 
tection by his covenant God that he has no need of 
divination or magic arts. The vague, ambiguous 
phrase in xxiii. 23, " according to this time," is 
changed with much effect into the single word 
"Now." The alteration made in xxiv. 2, 3, and 
repeated in vv. 15, 16, representing the seer in the 
first instance with eyes closed and in the second with 
eyes opened, is quite agreeable to the original, 
and at the same time much more poetic and strik- 
ing than the Authorized Version, since it convej^s 
the conception of one whose bodily vision is closed 
against all outward things, while his inner sense, on 
the contrary, is divinely illumined. In xxiv. 17 
" children of Sheth" is very properly changed into 


*' sons of tumult" — i.e.^ tumultuous warriors. In 
the same verse the omission of the initial capital in 
the '^ Star out of Jacob" and the '^ Sceptre out of 
Israel" leaves the reader to decide for himself 
whether these terms refer to a divine or to a human 
personage. The brief, obscure closing prophecies of 
Balaam respecting Amalek, the Kenite and Kittim, 
are given with as much clearness as a close version 
admits. In ch. xxix. there occurs several times, 
as often before, the phrase " after the ordinance," 
which is correct and much less ambiguous than 
the wording of the Authorized Version " after the 
manner." In the description of Canaan's boun« 
daries (ch. xxxiv.) is a number of minor correc- 
tions of the Authorized Version, chief of which is 
the change of " river of Egypt," which most read- 
ers would suppose to be the Nile, into '' brook of 
Egypt,' ' a very different stream, the modern Wady- 
el-Arish, which reaches the sea about forty miles 
south of Gaza. In the account of the cities of refuge 
(xxxv. 11-31) the same Hebrew word is rendered in 
the Authorized Version several times bj ^^ man- 
slayer," and again by " slayer," and again by '^mur- 
derer ;" in the revision the first-mentioned term 
is carried through uniformly. In the last verse but 
one the ambiguous phrase, '' the land cannot be 
cleansed of the blood that is shed therein," is re- 
placed by the clear and accurate statement, " no ex- 
piation can be made for the land for the blood," etc. 
Deuteronomy. — In i. 1, instead of " the plain over 
against the Red sea,^^ the revision has " the Arabah 


over against Supli." The margin explains the 
Arahah as tlie deep valley running north and south 
of the Dead Sea. It is the most conspicuous topo- 
graphical feature of Palestine, and as such should be 
noted when it occurs in the text of the Scripture. 
" Supli" is probably the pass es Sufeh, near Ain-el- 
AYeibeh. E"o one who has ascended that pass will 
wonder at its being used in a geographical descrip- 
tion. In V. 7 the revision makes distinct the 
various portions of the country — viz., the Arabah, 
the hill country, the lowland (or Shephelah=the low 
tract south of Carmel), the South or ^egeb, and the 
sea- shore (the entire coast up to Tyre). These well- 
marked divisions reappear in Joshua (ix. 1, x. 40, 
etc.). In V. 40 there is a gain in clearness by 
changing '' way of the Ked sea " into '' way to the 
Red sea," which is beyond question the meaning. 
In iii. 17 the first word of the compound '' Ashdoth 
Pisgah ' ' is translated (as in the Authorized Version 
at iv. 49), and appears as " the slopes of Pisgah." 
In \v. 19 '' shouldest be driven" is changed into 
^' be drawn away." It was enticement to idolatry, 
not compulsion, against which Moses warns the 
people. Yerse 41, '^ Then Moses severed three cities 
beyond Jordan," severed is changed to separated^ 
the w^ord used in the corresponding passage (xix. 2). 
The transposition of "desire" and "covet" in v. 
21 is justified by the wish to show that the first verb 
here represents the same Hebrew word that occurs 
in Ex. XX. 17. In vii. 26 the substitution of " de- 
voted " for " cursed " brings out the full meaning 


of tlie Hebrew herein as something given over to de- 
struction by divine command. An unwelcome change 
to many will be found in xi. 21, "as the days of 
heaven upon the earth," where the revision reads 
the clause " as the days of the heavens above the 
earth ;" but the original words, the parallel passage, 
Ps. Ixxxix. 29, and Hebrew usage, all require us to 
hold the comparison as relating not to character but 
to duration, and the meaning to be that Israel should 
retain the land as long as the heavens cover the 
earth. In v. 30 the geographical distinctions of 
the passage are made much more intelligible in the 
revision. Inxii. 31, " even their sons and daughters 
they have burnt in the fire to their gods," the change 
from the past tense to the present (according to the 
Hebrew) is important as showing that human sacri- 
fices were in use in Canaan at the time of the con- 
quest. In xiii. 13 the revision follows the Author- 
ized Version in the phrase " sons of Behal," but 
adds in the margin what is the accepted meaning of 
the noun " worthlessness." Many scholars insist 
that this phrase is simply a common instance of per- 
sonification (like sons of affliction = the afflicted, 
Prov. xxxi. 5), and should always be resolved into 
base, or worthless, men. But the Apostle in II. 
Cor. vi. 15 uses Belial (or Beliar) as the name of a 
person, and for this reason, if for no other, it is well 
to retain the picturesque combination. 

The change in xv. 4, '' Howbeit there shall be no 
poor with thee," etc., regards the words as a promise 
of exemption from abject poverty so long as the 


people were obedient, and therefore as conditional. 
The Authorized Version rendering, added here in 
the margin, '' save when there shall be," etc., means 
that a loan could be called in when the debtor was 
not a poor man and would not be distressed by the 
exaction. And this was not an improbable contin- 
gency, since the Lord was to bless the people so 
largely. The assurance in v. 11 seems to oppose 
the view taken in the revision. In xviii. 10 the term 
*' witch" is replaced by '' sorcerer," and justly, for 
the Hebrew noun is masculine. (In Ex. xxii. 18 it 
is feminine.) In the close of xx. 19, a very obscure 
and difficult passage, the revision gives a rendering 
which is certainly better than that of the Authorized 
Version. (It is that of the LXX. , Ewald, Knobel and 
Keil.) For " thou shalt not cut them down (for the 
tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the 
siege" is substituted '' Thou shalt not cut them 
down ; for is the tree of the field man, that it should 
be besieged of thee ?" In xxi. 18 '^ a rough valley" 
is changed into '' a valley with running water," in 
accordance with the opinion of most critics. Verse 
8 is rendered more accurately and smoothly than in 
the Authorized Version, and in v. 1-1 the phrase 
^' make merchandise of her" is wisely exchanged 
for " deal with her as a slave." (So in xxiv. 7.) In 
xxiii. 20 (and xxix. 22) '' stranger" is well replaced 
by the stronger word ^'foreigner." In xxv. 5 the 
change of "child" into "son" is important, for it 
was the failure of male children only that required 
the application of the Levirate law. In xxviii. 4, 5 


and 17, 18 ^^ flocks of thy sheep" is made '^ young 
of thy flock," and ''store" becomes "kneading 
trough," both changes being due to fidehty. For 
the same reason " removed into" in v. 25 becomes 
'' tossed to and fro among," a phrase often used 
in reference to Israel's sufferings in captivity. But 
it admits of a doubt whether in v. 68, "ye shall 
be sold unto your enemies," it was necessary to 
change "be sold" into "sell yourselves," since 
the reflexive conjugation sometimes is a simple 
passive. In xxix. 19 " stubbornness" is more cor- 
rect than the "imagination" of the Authorized 
Version ; and the change in tlie last clause of "to 
add drunkenness to thirst" to "to destroy the moist 
with the dry" is more literal, and does something 
to relieve the obscurity which overhangs the clause 
(cf. Luke xxiii. 31). In xxxi. 26 is the small but 
significant change of the preposition "in" into 
" by," for the book of the law was put, not " in the 
side of the ark," but by the side of it. In xxxii. 5 
there is a great change. The second member, as 
given in the Authorized Version (" their spot is not 
the spot of his children"), is an impossible transla- 
tion. The extreme compression of the Hebrew 
makes it hard to render at once literally and intelli- 
gibly. The revision reads " they are not his children, 
it is their blemish," meaning that these corrupt 
dealers, so far from being God's children, are their 
blot — ^.6., a blemish to the name. In v. 1 the fine 
comparison of the eagle is brought out more dis- 
tinctly than in the Authorized Version. In v. 17 


^^ demons" is much better than " devils," which is 
misleading. In v. 27, " lest their adversaries should 
behave themselves strangely," the last three words 
are correctly changed to ''misdeem." Many will 
regret to lose out of v. 35 the familiar utterance, 
" Their foot shall slide in due time," but true 
as that sentiment is, it cannot be fairly gotten out 
of the Hebrew, which simply means " At the time 
when their foot shall slide." An obscurity is re- 
moved in V. 36, "and there is none shut up or 
left," by adding "at large" to the word "left," 
this indicating the contrast implied in the clause. 
The prefix of " As" in v. 40 to "Hive forever" 
makes the whole passage plainer ; and the new ren- 
dering of the last clause of v. 42, " From the head 
of the leaders of the enemy," is at once clearer and 
more suitable than " From the beginning of re- 
venges upon the enemy." The song of Moses in 
ch. xxxiii. is given more plainly than in the Au- 
thorized Yersion, as well as more correctly. The 
declaration about Reuben is rendered literally, " And 
let his men be few," and the other version put in the 
margin. The same is true respecting the third mem- 
ber of Judah's blessing. In v. 17 " unicorns" is 
changed into "wild ox," and "people together" 
into "peoples all of them." In v. 21 "because 
there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated " 
becomes " For there was the lawgiver's portion 
reserved" — i.e., in due time he secured his allot- 
ment. In V. 25 the " shoes" of Asher's portion 
are, in accordance with most modern critics, given 


as '^bars." In v. 28 a different view of the con- 
nection from that taken by the Authorized Version 
preserves the parallelism, and the order and mean- 
ing of the original, thus : 

And Israel dwelleth in safety, 
The fountain of Jacob alone, 
In a land of corn and wine. 

Israel is safe, yet separate from all other peoples, 
and, moreover, in a rich and fertile region. 



In the historical books of the Old Testament the 
need of amendment is much less than in other por- 
tions of the Scripture. Unusual forms, rare combi- 
nations, elHptical phrases, difficult constructions, are 
not nearly so frequent as in the prophetic or poetic 
writings. For the most part the narrative runs on in 
an even tenor, according to the accepted usages of 
the language. 

Joshua. — In this book the partition of Canaan 
among the tribes is rendered more intelligible owing 
to modern progress in sacred geography. But occa- 
sionally there is an infelicity of another kind that re- 
quires removal. In iii. 13 at the crossing of the 
Jordan it is said in the Authorized Version that '^ the 
water of Jordan shall be cut o^from the waters that 
come down from above," but the subsequent verses 
show tliat the italicized word from is needless and 
disturbing, and should be replaced by *' even," for 
it was the descending waters that were to be cut off. 
So in V, 21, the place where the waters stood in a 
heap was, not " very far from the city of Adam," but 
'' a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside," 
etc. The revision here rightly adheres to the Ket- 


hib, which furnishes a reason for the mention of 
Adam. In viii. 33 the Authorized Yersion is altered 
so as to read, " as Moses . . . had commanded that 
they should bless the people of Israel first of all." 
This is more literal than the old version, more con- 
formed to the order of the original, and besides gives 
a reason why this solemn ceremony was performed 
before the conquest of the land was completed. In 
ix. 4, 13, instead of " wine bottles," we read ^' wine- 
skins," of which alone it could be said that they 
were *'rent and bound up." In x. 12, 13 the ex- 
traordinary command of Joshua and its fulfilment are 
printed in verse form, in accordance with its mani- 
fest intention and character. 

Sun, stand tlioii still npon Gibeon ; 

And thou, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon. 

And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, 

Until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. 

The advantage of this is that thus there is a distinc- 
tion between the sublime, rhythmical, poetical utter- 
ance that is quoted, and the cool, prosaic statement of 
the author which follows it, reasserting the miracle. 
One is an extract from the Book of Jasher, the other 
the historian's narrative. In xi. 2 the revision states 
clearly the different regions summoned by Jabin to his 
help. In V. 13 " the cities that stood in their strength" 
is changed to "on their mounds," the sense being 
that the cities in the plain were burned, but the for- 
tified upland cities (save Hazor) were only sacked. 
An important correction is made in xxii. 11, where 
the true rendering " in front of the land of Canaan," 


instead of ^' over against the land," etc., shows that 
the altar of the trans-Jordanic tribes was erected not 
on the eastern side of the river, but on the western, 
as indeed it required to be in order to contirm the 
claim of these tribes to a common interest in the 
Sanctuary of Israel. In xxiv. 15 the change of 
^' flood " into " River" {i.e., the Euphrates) removes 
a needless obscurity, and shows that the reference is 
to the ancestors of Abraham in Ur of the Chaldees. 

Judges. — The song of Deborah (ch. v.) is amend- 
ed according to the demands of modern scholarship. 
Yerses 10, 11 are rendered so as to show the call on 
those now in safety and comfort to give due honor to 
the author of their deliverance. 

Tell of if, ye that ride on white asses, 

Ye that sit on rich carpets, 

And ye that walk by the way. 

Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water, 

There shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord. 

The verses that follow are still somewhat obscure 
owing to the brevity of the phrases, but many clauses 
are helped, as in the substitution of '' the mar- 
shal's staff" for "the pen of the writer," and of 
'^ they rushed forth at his feet" instead of " he was 
sent on foot," and in the striking antithesis about the 
" water-courses of Eeuben." " Creeks" in place of 
*' breaches," v. 17, turns darkness into light. 

In vii. 11, 19 '' outside" is changed into " outer- 
most" with propriety and advantage, and in the 
same connection " lamps" into ''torches." In x. 
63 the misleading archaism " all to brake his skull '^ 


is changed to ''brake liis skull." In xv. 19 the 
change of '' the jaw" into the proper name " Lehi" 
shows that the fountain that refreshed Samson burst 
forth not from the jawbone but from a depression in 
the earth. So in xx. 18, 26, 31 and xxi. 2 '' the 
house of God" becomes ''Bethel," because it is 
certain that it was the city so called, and not the 
sanctuary that the writer meant. 

I. Samuel. — In i. 28 the change of " lent" into 
'' granted " expresses the exact sense of the original. 
In iii. 13 Eli's sons "made themselves vile" be- 
comes " did bring a curse upon themselves," which 
is the usual meaning of the word used here. In vi. 
18 " even unto the great sto7ie of Abel whereon they 
set down the ark" becomes "even unto the great 
stone wdiereon they set," etc. — one of the few in- 
stances in which tlie existing Hebrew text is corrected 
on the authority of the early versions, the internal 
evidence in their favor being overwhelming. In ix. 
20 Samuel asks Saul, " On whom is all the desire of 
Israel ?" but the revision gives the true sense, " For 
whom is all that is desirable in Israel ?" At this 
time the young Saul was not widely known. In 
xxiv. 3 " sides" of the cave is properly made "inner- 
most j^arts," and in xxvii. 10 " Whither have ye 
made a road to-day" the change of a single letter 
converts the archaic "road" into the modern 

II. Samuel. — In i. 18 the Authorized Version says 
Pavid " bade them teach the children of Judah the 
use of the bow," which is most improbable, and the 


revision puts tlie last words, ^^ the song of the bow" 
— viz., the one which immediately follows, it taking 
this name from the mention of Jonathan's bow in 
V. 22. This is in accordance with Oriental usage. 
The second chapter of the Koran is very long, yet 
because of the brief mention of a red cow in a por- 
tion of it, it bears the title, ''The Cow." In 
ii. 23 (iii. 2^ et al.) " Abner smote him under the 
iifth rib," the last four words are, in agreement 
with modern lexicons, changed to "in the belly." 
In V. 10 we read " David went on and grew great ;" 
the revision resolves this Hebrew idiom by rendering 
" David waxed greater and greater," which is the 
exact English equivalent. In vi. 19, instead of " a 
flagon of wine," the revision properly reads, " a cake 
of raisins." In xvi. 7 the words, "Begone, be- 
gone, thou bloody man," are surely a more spirited 
rendering of Shimei's address to David than the 
" Come out, come out " of the Authorized Yersion. 
It is hard to understand the reason assigned by Joab 
in xvii. 22 for declining to allow Ahimaaz to run as 
messenger to the king, because it asserts what cer- 
tainly was not the fact. Therefore the assertion, 
" Seeing thou hast no tidings ready," is well replaced 
by " Seeing thou wilt hacve no reward for the tid- 
ings," which is intehigible. The last words of 
David in xx. 1-7, though not wholly relieved of ob- 
scurity, are yet made much plainer in the revision. 
In accordance with the solemn formality with which 
these words are introduced, it makes the third verse 
describe not what must be, as in the case of an earthly 


ruler, but rather what shall be, with at least a hint 
of Messianic reference. 

One that riileth over men righteously, 

That ruleth in the fear of God ; 

He shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth, 

A morning without clouds ; 

When the tender grass springeth out of the earth, 

Through clear shining after rain. 

In xxiv. 23 the version, " all this, O king, doth 
Araunah give unto the king," is quite as faithful as 
that of the Authorized Yersi on, " all these things did 
Araunah, as a king, give unto the king," and much 
more natural. 

1. Kings. — In v. 18, instead of ^' stone-squarers," 
the revision adopts the rendering given in the mar- 
gin of the A. Y., " Giblites," now universally ad- 
mitted to be correct. (It means the people of Gebal, 
a Phoenician city.) The same remark is true of the 
change in x. 28 (II. Chron. i. 16), where " linen 
yarn" is certainly a mistranslation. The correction 
made in xii. 31, 33, '^ made priests from among all the 
people," instead of "of the lowest of the people," 
relieves Jeroboam of the superfluous folly of making 
the worst men priests. What he really did was to 
disregard the priestly tribe. The change in xv. 13 re- 
veals more clearly the extraordinary ^vickedness of 
Maachah, who did not make simply " an idol in a 
grove," but " an abominable image for an Asherah," 
probably an infamous phallas-statue. In xviii. 45 it 
is a gain to read that the rain came not " in the mean 
while," but ''in a little while." So in xx. 27, instead 


of the statement that the people ^^ were numbered and 
were all present," it is said that they were " mustered 
and were victualled." In xxii. 38, instead of the 
meaningless utterance '^ and they w^ashed his armor," 
the revision reads correctly, '' now tlie harlots washed 
themselves there," which teaches that Ahab's blood 
came in contact not only with dogs, but with impure 
and shameful persons. 

II. Kings. — ^The interrogation in i. 3 as to Aha- 
ziah's folly in consulting the god of Ekron when he 
was sick, gains much in force and vividness by being 
put, as the Hebrew demands, in a positive form — 
'^ Is it because there is no God in Israel that ye go 
to inquire of Baal-zebub ?" The addition of the 
margin to ii. forbids the common mistake of sup- 
posing that Elisha asked to have twice as much of 
the Spirit as Elijah had. He asked a first-born's 
portion in his master's spirit. In viii. 11 the addi- 
tion of the words in italics, '^ Mi^on A^m," to the state- 
ment, " and he settled his countenance steadfastly," 
removes an ambiguity by showing that it was the 
steady gaze of Elisha that put Hazael to shame. In 
ix. 8, and elsewhere, the term ''man child" ex- 
presses the full sense, and does away with a disagree- 
able form of speech. (A similar euphemism is intro- 
duced in xv^iii. 27.) In xii. 4 the phrase " current 
money," which exactly renders the Hebrew, dis- 
places the obscure statement, '^ even the money of 
everyone that passeth the account.'^'' Many readers 
have stumbled at the statement (xxii. 14) that Hul- 
dah dwelt at Jerusalem "in the college," but the 


word means, as the revision has it, " the second 
quarter" of the citj, probably an addition recently 
made to its enclosure. 

I. Chronicles. — Inx. 3 '' and the archers hit him, 
and he was wounded of the archers," a repetition is 
avoided by changing '^ and hit him" to " and over- 
took him," a rendering just as faithful as the other. 
In xii. 14 the excellence of the Gadites becomes more 
conspicuous by the better rendering that is adopted 
in the revision. !Not '' one of the least was over an 
hundred, and the greatest over a thousand," but "he 
that was least was equal to a hundred, and the great- 
est to a thousand." In the 40th verse an obvious 
error is corrected by changing " meat, meal " into 
the marginal rendering of the Authorized Version, 
'^ victual of meal." In xiv. 15 the signal for David 
to attack the Philistines is not the obscure " a sound 
of going" in the tops of the mulberry trees, but " the 
sound of marching," which is much more intelligible. 
In the close of ch. xvii., the whole tone of the 
passage is lifted up by rendering v. 24, " and 
the house of David is established," instead of " let it 
be established," and v. 27, ''and now it hath 
pleased thee to bless the house of thy servant," in- 
stead of " let it please thee to bless," etc. For the 
words express not merely a request, but a calm and 
assured conviction that God has done and will do 
what He promised. This the revision states in 
conformity to the original. In ch. xxix. " glis- 
tering stones" (v. 3) is happily exchanged for 
" stones for inlaid work," and (v. 7) the mislead- 


ing term " dram," which suggests inevitably onr 
Engh'sh weight so called, for " daric," the name of 
a Persian coin. 

II. Chronicles. — In the Authorized Version, at 
iv. 3, we read of oxen that compassed the molten sea 
*' ten in a cubit," which is simply impossible. Few 
who study the case can doubt that there has been an 
error of early date in transcription, substituting the 
word here given (bekharim) for the word (pekhahim), 
which is found in the corresponding passage in 
I. Kings (vii. 24). The revision meets the difficulty 
by translating '^ for ten cubits," which is intelligible, 
but rather a strain upon the Hebrew. The word 
^' devils" in xi. 15 is misleading as well as incorrect, 
and is therefore rendered literally '' he goats." The 
last words of this chapter, ' ' And he desired many 
wives," which in the Authorized Yersion only re- 
peat what has been already said, are made in the 
revision to have a sense which is legithnate and in 
entire harmony with the connection. " And he 
sought for them [the sons just mentioned] many 

The change of ^' images" into '^ sun-images" in 
xiv. 5 relieves the narrative of repetition (see v. 
3), and brings to view what seems to have been a 
very seductive form of idol worship in ancient Israel. 
In viii. 22 and xxiv. 27, for the word "story" of 
the Authorized Yersion, the revision adopts its 
marginal rendering, "commentary." The Hebrew 
term is the same (Mid rash) afterward employed by 
the Rabbins to denote their interpretations of the 


Scripture. In xxviii. 19 tlie obscure plirase "he 
made Judali naked " is liappily exchanged for " he 
dealt wantonly (or margin, cast away restraint) in 
Judah." In xxxiii. 11 it is said that the captains of 
the host of Assyria "took Manasseh among the 
thorns," which it is not easy to understand. The 
revision, in accordance with the Hebrew, puts it, 
" took Manasseh in chains," and adds a margin, 
" Or, with hooks,^'' either of which is intelligible. 
In V. 19 the statement that certain things are 
written " among the sayings of the seers," is made 
" in the history of Hozai," in accordance with most 
of the moderns, who think that the word rendered 
" seers" is really a proper name. In xxxiv. 6, after 
saying that Josiah burned the bones of the priests 
and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem, the writer adds, 
" So did he in the cities of Manasseh . . . even 
unto Naphtali, with their mattocks round about." 
As it is hard to see how either burning or cleansing 
could be done with mattocks, the revision reads the 
last clause, " in their ruins round about," a phrase 
which would apply very well to the dismantled and 
forsaken cities of northern Israel. 


These books, like Chronicles and Daniel, have a 
considerable mixture of Chaldee with the Hebrew, 
and also have a number of words known or supposed 
to be of Persian origin, as was to be expected from the 
circumstances of the time. These, however, add but 
little to the difficulties of the interpreter or translator. 


Ezra. — In iv. 11 a letter is represented as begin- 
ning, " Thy servants, tlie men on this side the river, 
and at such a time," where the last clause (found 
also in vv. 10 and 17) seems to be wholly unmeaning. 
The revision renders, " and so forth," the combina- 
tion apparently being equiv^alent to our et coetera. 
The same phrase is found again in vii. 12, where 
the letter of Artaxerxes begins with the words, 
" Unto Ezra, the priest, a scribe of the law of the 
God of heaven, perfect peace and at such a time," 
which the revision renders more faithfully, '^ unto 
Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of 
heaven, perfect and so forth," which is exactly in 
the style of formal address to a person of dignity. 
In V. 22, instead of " measures" of wheat the re- 
vision has "cors." And very properly, for surely 
it is as reasonable to transliterate a Hebrew dry 
measure as it is the liquid one, w^hich occurs in the 
same verse (" baths"), and often elsewhere. '^ Cor" 
occurs once (Ezek. xlv. 14) in the Authorized Ver- 
sion. In viii. 36 "lieutenants" is replaced by 
" satraps," which, being an anglicized Persian word, 
is rightly used to denote a Persian officer. In ix. 
6, 7, 13, 15 and x. 19 " trespass" is supplanted by 
" guilt" and " guiltiness," the stronger term being 
required to bring out the full meaning of the original. 

Nehemiah. — Inii. 8, instead of '^ the palace which 
appertained to the house,' ' the revision reads more 
sensibly " the castle w^hich appertaineth to the 
house." In iv. 6 tlie Authorized Version says, " and 
all tlie wall was joined together unto the half thereof," 


which is a very enigmatic utterance. The revision 
relieves the difficulty by rendering ''unto half ih^ 
height thereof," which is doubtless the true sense. 
In V. 8 certain persons are said to conspire to light 
against Jerusalem, and " to hinder it." The revision 
is at the same time more literal and more intelligible 
in rendering the phrase, '' to cause confusion there- 
in." In the last verse of the chapter, Nehemiah 
says, " none of us put off our clothes saving that 
every one put them off for washing." This is so flat 
and feeble that most critics agree that something has 
dropped out of the text. The revision greatly less- 
ens the difficulty by rendering, " Every one loent 
loith his weapon to the water." In v. 10 the 
Authorized Version represents IS^ehemiah as saying, 
after his rebuke of others for their exactions, " I 
likewise, and my brethren and my servants, might 
exact of them money and corn." But this is not the 
meaning of the Hebrew, which states not a possibility 
but a fact. Hence the revision renders fairly, " And 
I likewise ... do lend them money and corn on 
usury." Nehemiah through his family was impli- 
cated in the wrongdoing, and hence his confession, 
and his saying, "let 1^5 leave off this usury." In 
ix. 22 the Authorized Version reads, "Moreover, 
thou gavest them kingdoms and peoples ; and didst 
divide them into corners." The last clause the re- 
vision renders, " which thou didst allot after their 
portions," which at least has some meaning. The 
eleventh chapter closes with the verse, " And of the 
Levites ivere divisions in Judah and in Benjamin," 


a very unimportant statement. The revision gets a 
much better sense by rendering, "And of the Levites 
certain courses in Judah %oere joined unto Ben- 

Esther. — In i. 22 the last clause reads, "and that 
it should be published according to the language of 
every people." The revision is more accurate in 
rendering, " and should speak of it according to the 
language of his people," which doubtless refers to 
tiie diversities of languages in the households of the 
polygamous Persians. In iv. 6 " street of the city" 
is changed to "broad place {i.e.^ open square) of the 
city," in front of the palace. In viii. 10 it is said 
of the king's decree that letters were sent " by posts 
on horseback, and riders on mules, camels and young 
dromedaries." This is altered to read " by posts on 
horseback, riding on swift steeds that were used in. 
the king's service, bred of the stud," which is more 
faithful, and better suggests the pains and care for 
rapid communication. In ix. 19 it is said of the Jews 
that they " made the fourteenth day of Adar a day of 
feasting and gladness," as if this was done only that 
year. But the true sense is that this became a per- 
manent custom. Hence the revision, following the 

Hebrew, translates, " Therefore do the Jews make. 





The Book of Joe. — Poetry is found , as we Lave 
seen, in the liistorical books, and also occurs in tlje 
prophets, but there are several books of which it 
makes the warp and the woof. This fact renders the 
work of the translator more difficult, because a close 
rendering of words sometimes causes both form and 
spirit to evaporate. The difficulty is increased where 
the writer is profound and sublime as well as impas- 
sioned. Hence it is acknowledged that King James's 
translators were less successful in the Book of Job 
than anywhere else. Sometimes the course of the 
argument was mistaken, at others the meaning of 
particular words or the connection of the clauses. 
Xor can revisers in our o^vn day be sure of having 
the universal suffrage of scholars in favor of the 
emendatiorLS they introduce, for often there is only a 
choice of difficulties, ^"ords are met with that occur 
but once, and so offer no facility of comparison with 
other passages, and there are references or allusions 
to customs that have long been obsolete. And while 
the analogy of the other Semitic tongues offers some 
help, it is not always such as can be rehed upon. 
The rhythm and beauty of the English of the common 


version have rendered it attractive to many cultivated 
men, who regard Job only as a wonderfully lino 
ancient poem, but w^ithout any definite divine author- 
ity ; and their praise of it is unstinted. So much 
the more reason is there for such a revision of the 
version as will make it represent the present state of 
Hebrew scholarship. Needless obscurities may be 
removed, not only in single Avords and clauses, but 
also in the connection of the thought and the aim of 
the difiPerent speakers. And so far as this has been 
effected in the revision a boon of no common magni- 
tude has been conferred on ordinary readers, in 
enabling them to get a better comprehension and a 
fuller enjoyment of the noblest poem and loftiest 
discussion the w^orld has ever seen, one too which, 
notwithstanding its grandeur and pathos and fire, its 
boundless range of figure and illustration, yet deals 
with a moral question of perpetual recurrence in 
every land and every age. This question, the ap- 
parent contradiction between God's promise and His 
providence, is often glanced at in the prophetic writ- 
ings, such as Malachi iii. 13-18, and is lyrically set 
forth in several of the Psalms, such as the 73d, but 
only here is it formally debated by a number of 
speakers and finally brought to an issue by the voice 
of Jehovah Himself. 

In i. 5 (also v. 11 and ii. 5, 9) the phrase '^ cursed 
God" is replaced by "renounced God," which in 
the judgment of most critics is more suitable and 
natural. In iii. 8 the change of '^ mourning" into 
*^ Leviathan" (the marginal reading of the Author- 


izecl Yersion) is demanded by fidelity, however dif- 
ficult it is to explain the word. In v. 7, 8 the rea- 
soning of Eliphaz is sadly perplexed in the Authorized 
Yersion by making him say that '' Although afflic- 
tion Cometh not, etc., yet man is born to trouble, 
etc. ;" whereas what he says is really, as the revision 
gives it : 

For affliction cometli not forth of the dust, 
Neither doth trouble spring out of the ground ; 
But man is born unto trouble, 
As the sisarlis fl}'' ui^ward. 

Sorrow does not come from natural causes, but from 
man's sinful nature. In viii. 13, as in seven other 
places, "hypocrite" is changed to ''godless man," 
which is the true meaning of the word. In ix. 29 
"7)^1 be wicked" is justly, and with great advan- 
tage to the sense, made to read, "I shall be con- 
demned." In the very difficult verse, xi. 12, the 
revision renders 

But a vain man would be wise, 
Though man is born as a wild ass's colt, 

and puts in the margin one of the most probable of 
the many other renderings, some of which show that 
if the charge in the text is not true of the race, it 
certainly is of some members of it. In xii. 5 the 
obscure comparison of a man ready to fall to " a 
lam.p despised" disappears in the revision, which 
renders faithfully and clearly. 

In the thought of him that is at ease there is contempt for mis- 
fortune ; 
It is ready for them whose foot slippeth. 


So in xiii. 12 tlie dark and unmeaning comparison of 
remembrances to aslies, and of " bodies" to " bodies 
of claj" becomes lucid in tlie version, 

Yonr memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, 
Your defences are defences of clay. 

Many readers will be glad to see that tlie common 
version of xiii. 15, ^' Though He slay me, yet will 1 
trust in Him," is substantially retained, although 
most critics, following a different reading of the text, 
explain the passage as meaning that Job, though he 
knows that God will slay him and he has no hope of 
another issue, yet will maintain his right before Him. 
In V. 27 the obscure ^' settest a print upon the heels 
of my feet" becomes '^ d rawest a line about the 
soles of my feet" — i.e.,keepes>t me as a prisoner. 
The revision renders xvii. 11 " Are the consolations 
of God," etc., more accurately and with a great in- 
crease of force. Thus : 

Are the consolations of God too small for thee, 
And the word that deaieih gently with thee ? 

So in xvi. 21 it makes Job express the wish that his 
witness, God, would see right done him both with 
God and with men. The touching passage xvii. 15, 
16, ^' where is now ray hope 'i They shall go 
down," etc., is so altered as to show Job's con- 
viction that the hope held before him by his 
friends, instead of being realized, will go down 
with him to Sheol when once he finds rest in the 
grave. Thus : 


Where then is my hope ? 
And as for my hope, who shall see it ? 
It shall go down to the bars of Sheol, 
When once there is rest in the dust. 

In xviii. 15 the meaningless words '^ It shall dwell 
in his tabernacle because it is none of his " become, 
'^ There shall dwell in his tent that which is none 
of his" — viz., strangers. 

The notable passage xix. 25-27 is greatly clarified. 
The offensive and needless mention of " worms," to 
which there is nothing answering in the Hebrew, is 
dropped. Job had just expressed a wish for a per- 
petual record of his words that coming generations 
might know his chiim to rectitude. This, however, 
was not enough. Hence he adds, " But I know " — 
whatever their opinion may be; '^I know" — that 
my Redeemer liveth. This vindicator will stand up 
upon the earth in a future day, and Job will see him. 
That vision of God will be all that he needs, as it is 
an assurance of peace and reconciliation. It will be 
from his flesh, and as his body is said to have been de- 
stroyed, it must be from a new body, which implies 
a resurrection. In the margin are stated the other 
and more generally accepted views, which consider 
the vision as made ^' without the flesh" — i.e., in a 
disembodied state, and that Job sees God '' on my 
side" — i.e., favorable, and "not a stranger" — i.e., 
not hostile or estranged. The last clause, " My reins 
are consumed within me," is an expression of intense 

Chapter xxi. is Job's reply to the assertion that 


the wicked are punished in this life, but the argu- 
ment is embarrassed in the Authorized Version by 
the rendering of vv. 17-21, wliich tends in the oppo- 
site direction. The evil is corrected in the revision, 
which states the question, 

How oft is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? 
That their caUimity cometh upon them ? 

so as to imply that it is rare, and presents the state- 
ment, " Ye say, God layeth up His iniquity for His 
children," as an objection v/hicli the speaker pro- 
ceeds to answer and refate. A similar correction of 
the argument is found in the next chapter, vv. 19, 
20, where the senseless contrast between " our sub- 
stance is not cut down" and '' the remnant of them 
the lire consumeth" is done away by making v. 20 
the utterance of the righteous, in accordance with 
the argument of Eliphaz, thus : 

Saying, Surely they that did rise up against us are cut off, 
And the remnant of them the fire hath consumed. 

In the last verse of the chapter a curious and unin- 
telligible misrendering '' island of the innocent" is 
set right. In ch. xxiv. the alteration of v. 1, " Why, 
seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, 
do they that know Him not see His days ?" so 
as to make it ask. 

Why are times not laid up by the Almight3% 

And why do not they which know Him see His days ? 

That is, why does He not appoint a period of assize, 
is sustained by the rest of the chapter which, prop- 


erlj speaking, brings out the fact that the sufferings 
of the poor and the wrong-doing of the wicked re- 
quire such a day of judgment, which, however, does 
not come. In ch. xxvi. the senseless rendering of 
V. 5, " Dead tilings are formed from under the 
waters," etc., is replaced by a vivid reference to 
God's control over departed spirits ; the obscurity of 
V. 10, '^ until the day and night come to an end," 
gives way to a poetical view of the arch of heaven as 
marking the horizon ; and in the last verse the revi- 
sion finely expresses the thought that what is seen of 
God in nature's most striking works is merely the 
outskirts of His ways, and bears the same relation to 
His intrinsic majesty that a faint whisper does to the 
rolling thunder. Chapter xxviii., in vv. 3, 4, which 
to the ordinary reader are simply darkness visible, 
the revision shows that the reference is to man's 
boldness and success in mining, and in v. 11 his skill 
in hindering the percolation of water into a mine. 

He breaketh open a shaft away from where men sojourn ; 
They are forgotten of the foot ihat passeth by ; 
They hang afar from men, they swing to and fro. 

And again : 

He bindeth the streams that they trickle not. 

In ch. xxx. many obscurities are removed. In v. 
20 ''thou regardest me not^^ is properly changed 
to ''thou lookest at me" — i.e., in silent indiffer- 
ence, as the sense requires. In xxxi. 31 an obvious 
error that disturbs the sense and the connection is 


amended ; and in 35, instead of the prosaic and in- 
correct, " Oh that one would hear me ! Behold, my 
desire is that the Almighty would answer me," the 
revision reproduces the vigor of the original, 

Oh that I had one to hear me ! 

(Lo, here is my signature, let the Almighty answer me ;) 

And that / had the indictment which my adversary hath written ! 

Job offers to affix his sign manual to the protesta- 
tions of innocence already made, and prays to see the 
charge against him, which is very different from the 
A. y.'s absurd renderhig, " Oh that mine adversary 
had written a book !" In xxxiii. 23, " If there be a 
messenger ... to show unto man his uprightness," 
the ambiguous ^' his uprightness " is made " what is 
right for him," which it is assumed the sufferer fol- 
lows, whereupon God becomes gracious to him. The 
result is shown in vv. 25, 26, where the i-evision justly 
puts the tenses in the present. In. v. 27 a consider- 
able alteration is made, to the great improvement of 
the sense. Instead of the incoherent, " He looketh 
upon men ; and if any say, I have sinned," etc., we 
have the verse rendered as an expression of the re- 
stored sinner's thankfulness, 

He singeth before men, and saith, 
I have sinned, etc. 

And the next verse states not a prediction, '^ He will 
deliver his soul," but a fact. He hath delivered my 
soul from going into the pit. In xxxiv. 6, 23, 31, 
33, 34, 36 are important changes, which render the 
course of thought m.uch clearer. The same is true 


of XXXV. 1-3 and 12-16, where tlie original is ob- 
scure, Ttud often there is only a choice of difficul- 
ties. In xxxvi. 18 the well-known rendering of the 
Authorized Version, " heivare\estIiQ take thee away 
with Uls stroke" is perforce abandoned, and a quite 
dijBFerent turn given to the passage. Thus : 

Because there is wrath, beware lest thou be led away by thy 

sufficiency ; 
Neither let the greatness of the ransom turn thee aside. 

The last two verses, ''With clouds He covereth the 
light, and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud 
that Cometh betwixt. The noise thereof sheweth 
concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapor," 
which are so dark, are made intelligible in the revi- 
Bion, which represents God as covering His hands 
with lightning and sending it in the right direction, 
so that thunder announces the fact, and even the cat- 
tle are apprized of the coming storm. In xxxviii. 
14:, instead of the clay turning to the seal, the revi- 
sion reads, "It is changed as clay under the seal ;" 
— that is, nnder the light of the dawn the earth takes 
shape as clay does when impressed by the seal, and 
all things stand forth as a many-colored garment. 
In xxxix. 13 the words are not, as in the Authorized 
Version, a challenge concerning the creator of the 
peacock and the ostrich, " Gavest thou the goodly 
wings to the peacocks?" etc., but between the latter 
bird's strength and pride of wing and her disposition 
as shown in the following verses : 

The wing of the ostrich rejoiceth, 

Bat are her pinions and feathers kindly? 


In xl. 23 the Autliorized Yersion quite mistakes the 
sense in rendering, ^' he drinketh up a river and 
hasteth not : he trnsteth that he can draw up Jordan 
into his mouth," the true sense being 

Behold, if a river overflow, he trembleth not : 

He is confident though Jordan swell up to his mouth. 

No outbreak of water, not even the madly rushing 
Jordan, can affright him. In xh. 25 '' By reason of 
breakings they purify themselves" becomes, in ac- 
cordance with the original, the more forcible, 
By reason of consternation they are beside themselves. 

Such is the terror leviathan inspires even among the 

The Psalms. — The revision of this book was at- 
tended with peculiar difficulty. The Psalter does not, 
like Job, have its most obvious interest on the literary 
side, althougli it has a great charm even as a collec- 
tion of ancient Hebrew lyrics. But for generations 
it has been endeared to multitudes as the vehicle of 
their devotional feelings, the companion of their 
worship, their solace in sickness, their resource in 
every time of trial or peril. This has rendered its 
words and phrases inexpressibly dear ; and the least 
alteration seems like the touch of a desecrating hand. 
It is fortunate that alteration is not nearly so much 
called for here as in some other books, particularly 
in Job. The early English translators generally 
seized the sense of the original, and expressed it with 
force and beauty, yet of course, for the reasons that 
have been elsewhere specified, there are cases in 


wliicli faitlifulness requires a new rendering. It is 
believed that in tlie main the revisers have been 
wisely conservative. 

The Psahns, in pursuance of an old custom, are 
divided into five books, a division which if not of in- 
disputable authority is at least a matter of conven- 
ience. The superscriptions being a part of the Mas- 
soretic text are retained, but the endeavor is made to 
represent them as accurately in English as our knowl- 
edge of ancient musical terms will allow. 

In the second Psalm the natural division of this 
perfect lyric into four equal parts is suggested by the 
spaces after vv. 3, 6 and 9. The slight altera- 
tion in the last verse, " For His wrath will soon be 
kindled," in place of "When His wrath is kindled 
but a little," is in accordance with the weight of 
critical, authority. In Ps. viii. 5 man is said '^ to 
have been made a little lower than God," which ex- 
actly conforms to the Hebrew. The Authorized 
Version's '* lower than the angels " was taken from 
the LXX. (who were copied by the Yulgate), whose 
words are quoted in the Epistle to the Hebrews (ii. 
T), where they fully answer the needs of the writer's 
argument. But the quotation in the N^ew Testa- 
ment affords no reason for overlooking the strength 
of the Hebrew original. The introduction of the 
divinfe name Jehovah (in place of Lord) in the first 
verse and the last adds greatly to the force and 
beauty of the psalm. In Ps. ix. the confusion and 
obscurity of v. 6 are admirably removed by a ver- 
sion which brings God's overthrow of the wicked 


into marked contrast with the fact tliat He sits as 
king forever. In Ps. x. every verse except the tirst 
is more or less changed with the effect on the whole 
of greatly increasing the vividness of the character- 
ization. In xi. 2 the snbstitution of '' in darkness" 
for ''privily" is one of many instances in which a 
literal version is more expressive than any para- 
phrase. The 16th Psalm is greatly improved. Its 
general theme is that God is all in all to the believer, 
and this is well given in the new rendering of v. 2, 

I have said unto the Lokd, Thou art my Lord ; 
I have no good beyond Thee. 

In V. 10 the revision substitutes for the misleading 
" in hell," the literal rendering " to Sheol," which 
means that the sins^er's soul is not to be abandoned 
to the state of the dead. The change of the same 
word in xviii. 5 shows that the writer there was 
not complaining of hellish sorrows, but of the net- 
work of the unseen world closing around him. 
The cords of Sheol were round about me. 

In this psalm, " prevent," used in its obsolete sense, 
is twice (5, 18) exchanged for "came upon." In 
Ps. XX. the omission of where supplied by the 
Authorized Version in v. 3 shows the true sense of 
the original — viz., that the heavens without articu- 
late language declare the divine glory. The omis- 
sion of the article before " great " in v. 18 brings out 
the true sense, that the suppliant will escape, not one 
pre-eminent sin, but "much transgression." In 
xxii. 29, 30 the changes made indicate that both the 


prosperous and tlie poor, even those ready to perish, 
shall join in the feast held in honor of the great sah 
vation, and that it shall be related to coming genera- 

All the fat ones of the earth shall eat and -worship : 

All they that go down to the dust shall bow before Him, 

Even he that cannot keep his soul alive. 

A seed shall serve him ; 

It shall be told of the Lord unto the next generation. 

The space at v. 21 indicates the transition from suf- 
fering and outcry to praise and triumph. In xxvii. 
13, instead of supplying words to make out the sense, 
the revision resolves the construction into an aposi- 

Oh, had I not believed to see the goodness of the Lord 
In the land of the living — 

leaving the imagination to suggest the consequence 
of a different course. In xxviii. 8 " the saving 
strength of His anointed " becomes '^ a stronghold of 
salvation to His anointed." With an equal increase 
of vigor the 9th verse of the next psalm is made to 
read, " And in His temple everything saith. Glory," 
instead of ''every one doth speak of Ills glory." 
In xxxii. 8 the incomprehensible " 1 will guide thee 
with mine eye' ' becomes ' ' I will counsel thee with 
mine eye upon thee," as the Hebrew requires. In 
xxxvii. 3 the impossible rendering of the Authorized 
"Version, '' verily thou shalt be fed," is replaced by 
"" Follow after faithfulness," and in v. 37 the true 
translation is given in the margin, " there is a latter 
end to the man of peace." 


Book II. — In xliv. 2 tlie cliange is intended to 
bring out wheat all admit to be the meaning of tlie 
Hebrew, that God drove out the nations, but planted 
His own followers in their place, and afflicted other 
peoples, but spread abroad His own. In xlv. 13 the 
king's daughter is all glorious not ^' within," as the 
Authorized Version ambiguously says, but '^ within 
the palace." The changes in xlix. are of great im- 
portance in exhibiting the meaning of this interest- 
ing and important lyric. They show that the " in- 
iquity" mentioned in v. 5 is not the speaker's, but 
his foes' ; that the ''redemption" of v. 8 is not 
atonement, but deliverance from temporal death ; and 
(vv. 14, 15) that death rules over the rich and hon- 
ored, while God "receives" the believer. The 
poetical vigor of the original is well set forth in the 
rendering proposed for v. 14 : 

They are appointed as a flock for Sheol ; 
Death shall be their shepherd. 

In 1. 8 the Authorized Version implies that though 
the Jews neglected burnt offerings, this was of no 
account, whereas the true sense is that they did not 
neglect this duty, but gave to it an optcs operatum 
efficacy. In Ivi. 19 the utterance, true enough in 
itself, " Because they have no changes they fear not 
God," is replaced by the stricter rendering, " The 
men who have no changes and who fear not God." 
The first verse of Ixii., " Truly my soulwaiteth upon 
God," is made to read, "My soul waiteth only upon 
God." The change of truly to 6>nZy gives to the 


original Hebrew word tlie same sense the Authorized 
Version gives it in vv. 2, 5, 6, and thus preserves 
a characteristic feature of the psahn. Tlie self- 
consistency of Ps. Ixvii. as a harvest song is preserved 
by changing, " Then shall the earth yield her in- 
crease " (v. 6) into the more faithful, "The earth 
hath yielded," etc. The sublime but difficult 68th 
Psalm is much improved. Yerses 15, 16, dark in 
the Authorized Version, " The hill of God is as the 
hill of Bashan ; an high hill, as the hill of Bashan. 
Why leap ye, ye high hills ? this is the hill," etc., 
are so rendered as to show that so exalted is the hill 
where God dwells that even lofty mountains like 
Bashan " look askance" at it. 

A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan ; 

An high mountain is the mountain of Bashan. 

Why look ye askance, ye high mountains, 

At the mountain which God hath desired for His abode ? 

In Ixix. 22 the cumbersome list of supplied words, 
" that which should have heen for their welfare," is 
neatly supplanted by " when they are in peace." In 
Ixxi. 16 the fine utterance, " I will go in the strength 
of the Lord God," gi^es way to the more exact sen- 
timent, " I will come with the mighty acts of the 
Lord Jehovah." 

Book TIL — In Ixxii. 15 the obscure ^' he shall live" 
of the Authorized Version is changed into " they 
shall live," and the clause is so connected with what 
precedes as to show that the words refer not to the 
king, but to His subjects. Their blood is so precious 
in His sight that so far from suffering it to be shed. 


He will cause tliem to live on. In v. 16 the striking 
contrast between a handful of seed corn and a har- 
vest waving like Lebanon disappears, because it is 
not found in the original. In vv. 17-19 the word 
'' blessed " occurs in the Authorized Version four 
times ; in one case the revision puts it '' happy," 
because a different word occurs in the Hebrew. The 
famihar phrase (Ixxvi. 10), '' The remainder of WTath 
thou wilt restrain," is supplanted by this stronger 
utterance, " slialt thou gird upon thee" — i.e., as a 
sword belt or weapon, because the Hebrew means 
this. So for the same reason, in the 2d verse of the 
next psalm, "my sore ran in the night" becomes 
" vny hand was stretched out in the night." In Ps. 
Ixxxiv: the obscurities of vv. 5, 6, " in whose heart 
are the ways of them ; who passing through the 
valley of Baca," etc., are removed, and we learn in- 
stead the happiness of those 

In whose heart are the highways to Zion. 

Passing through the valley of weeping they make it a place of 

sjDrings ; 
Yea, the early rain covereth it with blessings. 

In the fine missionary psalm Ixxxv. 4 a slight 
change of the prepositions shows that' Rahab and 
Babylon not merely receive communications from 
God, but are actually counted among His people — 
which accords with the whole tenor of the song. 

Book \Y. — In xc. 11 the enigmatical "according 
to thy fear, so is thy wrath " is resolved into a con- 
tinuation of the question preceding, and so becomes 


Who knoweth the power of Thine anger, 

And thy wrath according to the fear that is due Tinto Thee ? 

So in the next verse " to get a heart of wisdom" is 
stronger as well as more exact than ' ' to apply our 
hearts nnto wisdom." In xcii. 14 the trees of the 
Lord instead of being "fat and flourishing," as in 
the Authorized Version, are " full of sap and green," 
which is at once appropriate and faithful. In c. 3, 
instead of " He hath made us and not we ourselves," 
the revision reads, '' He that hath made us and we 
are His," following the Keri, and getting a more 
emphatic and suitable sense. In civ. 4 the clause 
''who maketh His angels spirits," which conveys 
little or no meaning to the reader, becomes "who 
maketh winds His messengers." The rudest blasts 
are ouly agents that do His will. 

Book Y. — In ex. 3 the grammatically impossible 
rendering " Thy people shall he wilHng in the day of 
thy power" gives place to " Thy peo]>le offer them- 
selves willingly" — i.e., are cheerful recruits when 
the host is mustered. In cxvi. 10, instead of the 
Authorized Version "I believed, therefore have I 
spoken," which violates the tense forms, the revision 
renders literally " I believed, for I will speak," 
which has much the same meaning — viz., that His 
speech implies antecedent faith. A more important 
change is in the next verse, where all men are declared 
to be not "hars," which here must mean morally 
false, but " a lie"— that is, an uncertain dependence, 
upon which no one can count. In cxix. 61 " The 
bands of the wicked have robbed me" becomes " The 


cords of the wicked have wrapped me around," as 
the Hebrew demands. In v. 113, for the same rea- 
son, ^^ they that are of a double mind " rather than 
** vain thoughts" are made the objects of the writer's 
hatred. In cxxxix. 15, 16 the reference to the for- 
mation of man before birth is made much plainer. 
'' Mj substance w^as not hidden from thee" becomes 
*' mj frame was not hidden from thee." And in- 
stead of the dark, ^' [members] which in continuance 
were fashioned," we read, '^ which day by day w^ere 
fashioned," referring to the gradual growth of the 
embryo. In cxliv. 14 a few changes made in ac- 
cordance with the Hebrew render the description of 
prosperity stronger. 

That our oxen may be well laden ; 

That there be no breaking in nor going forth 

And no outcry in our streets. 

The Book of Peoverbs. — This is the longest speci- 
men of the gnomic poetry of the Hebrews. In it 
the didactic rather than the emotional element pre- 
vails, and the chief design is to give instruction by 
means of maxims of wisdom conveyed in a condensed 
and often antithetical form. And although on some 
accounts this facilitates the work of the translator, 
yet in other respects it makes it harder. For occa- 
sionally condensation is pushed to the extreme, and 
there are allusions and references which are remote, 
and therefore obscure. 

In V. 16 the Authorized Version reads, '^ Let thy 
fountains be dispersed abroad," etc., which is in 
direct contradiction to the direction in v. 15. Some 


remove the difficulty by inserting a 7iot before ^' dis- 
persed," bnt the revision secures the same end by 
throwing the verse into the form of a question, 
^' Should thy springs be dispersed," etc. The bed 
covering, called in the Authorized Version, viii. 16, 
^' carved works, fine linen of Egypt," the revision 
correctly renders " striped cloths of the yarn of 
Egypt." In X. 23 ''It is as sport to a fool to do 
mischief ; but a man of understanding hath wisdom," 
the revision reads the second clause, " And so is wis- 
dom to a man of understanding," bringing out the 
fine contrast that as a fool delights in mischief, so a 
wise man does in understanding. In xiii. 15 the 
familiar sentiment, " the way of transgressors is 
Lard," which certainly in itself is a just and weighty 
sentiment, becomes " the way of the treacherous is 
rugged," which fairly represents the original. In 
xvi. 1 " The preparations of the heart in man, and 
the answ^er of the tongue, is from the Lord" falls 
far short of the true sense, which is " The prepara- 
tions of the heart belong to man, but the answer of 
the tongue is from the Lord." What is said in xviii. 
23, "A man that hath friends must show himself 
friendly," is true enough, but the meaning of the 
Hebrew is, " He that maketh many friends doeth it 
to his own destruction.'^ Indiscriminate friendship 
is ruinous. It is not easy to understand the Author- 
ized Version in xx. 30, " The biueness of a wound 
cleanseth away evil," but the revision makes the 
sense plain, " Stripes that wound cleanse away evil" 
— i.e., severe discipline is effectual. In xxiv. 34 (as 


in vi, 11) it is said to the slothful, '' So shall thy pov- 
erty come as one that travelleth,- ' which is not very 
clear. The revision renders the concluding phrase, 
'' as a robber," which gives a good sense and com- 
pletes the parallelism. The -well-known comparison 
of a word fitly spoken to ^' apples of gold in pictures 
of silver" is made vivid by changing " pictures" 
to " baskets," w^ith margin '' filigree work." The 
golden fruit gleams through the meshes of the net- 
work. It is true, as the Authorized Yersion says in 
xxviii. 25, " lie that is of a proud heart stirreth up 
strife," but the more exact rendering of the first 
words is " He that is of a greedy spirit." In xxxi. 
11 the Authorized Version says of the virtuous 
woman that her husband trusteth in her, *' so that 
he shall have no need of spoil," but the revision, fol- 
lowing the Hebrew, says, "And he shall have no 
lack of gain." 

EccLEsiASTES. — Tliis book, although classed among 
the poetical writings, and though it has proverbial 
utterances (as in viii. l-l-I), and at least in one place 
a passage of lofty poetical feeling (xi. 9 — xii. 8), still 
in the main belongs rather to prose, and accordingly 
is printed as such. It is one of the most difficult 
books of the Old Testament, and its age and author- 
ship are still stoutly contested. Many of its utter- 
ances are obscure in wdiatever w\ay they are trans- 
lated, and in tliese the pains taken by the revisers 
show little fruit. But there are others in which a 
slight change adds greatly to the case of compre- 


In i. 11 ^' There is no remembrance of former 
things,^^ the revision puts generations as the supphed 
word, which agrees better with the Hebrew and the 
connection, making the whole verse a declaration of 
the emptiness of all earthly fame ; a fitting conclu- 
sion to the prologue of this melancholy book. In v. 
Itt occurs an utterance, often repeated afterward, 
'' All is vanity and vexation of spirit. " The revision, 
in conformity with most critics, renders, "All is 
vanity and a striving after wind." In ii. 25 " For 
who can eat, or who else can hasten hereunto, more 
than I ?" the revision removes an obscurity by ren- 
dering the second clause, '^ who can have enjoy- 
ment V There is a very great gain in the new ren- 
dering of vii. 11, '^"Wisdom is good with an in- 
heritance, and hy it there is profit to them that see 
the sun." The revision renders more accurately, 
'' wisdom is as good as an inheritance ; yea, more 
excellent is it for them that see the sun." In xi. 
10 it is said, "childhood and youth are vanity." 
The sense is more plain in the revision, " youth and 
the prime of life are vanity." In the fine descrip- 
tion of old age in the last chapter of the book, in- 
stead of " desire shall fail" (v. 5), the new render- 
ing is " the caper-berry (a restorative and stimulating 
article of food) shall fail" — i.e.^ lose its power to 
rouse and revive. In v. 11, instead of " nails fastened 
by the masters of assemblies," it is the words of 
these masters that are compared to nails well fast- 
ened. In the last verse but one the revision retains 
the words by which the Authorized Version en- 


forces the charge to fear God and keep His com- 
mandments, " For tliis is the whole dutf/ of man," 
but iu the margin gives what many consider the only 
possible rendering of the Hebrew, " this is the duty 
of all men." 

The Song of Solomon. — The pious instinct of 
believers in every age and land, aided by the general 
analogy of Scripture — an analogy r mining all the way 
through from the Pentateuch to the Apocalypse — has 
discerned the figurative meaning of this Song of 
songs, as it is justly entitled, and has joyfully used 
it for the purposes for which it was made a part of 
divine revelation. But its exquisite literary beauty 
as a Hebrew pastoral, and one exceeding all other 
poems of the kind, has in large measure escaped the 
common apprehension, because its peculiar form as a 
dramatic song, implying two chief interlocutors and 
a sort of refrain or chorus, has not been recognized. 
It is desirable that this should be expressed in some 
way, and if not by attaching names {e.g., Solomon 
and the Shulamite) to the mutual responses, at least 
by putting a space between them, to indicate that 
there is a dialogue. The poem turns upon the ex- 
pression of the strongest passion of our nature, and is 
marked with Oriental abandon, yet, unlike all other 
pastorals, Latin, Greek or Eastern, it has not the 
vestige of a putrid stain, and nowhere needs to be 
apologized for or to have omissions marked with 
stars. An unseen but irresistible hand warded off 
the touch of pollution, and kept the emotion which 
glows like a very flame of Jehovah from overleaping 


decorum or modest}^ 'No part of tlie poetical books 
more required the hand of revision, since in the 
common version the connection of the paragraphs 
was not exhibited, and the force of not a few terms 
was misunderstood. It would be claiming too mucli 
to assert that all infelicities have been removed in 
the present revision, but it is certain that a very 
great improvement has been made. The dramatic 
element is brought out, the poetry is made clearer, 
the descriptions are rendered intelligible, and the 
general effect of the entire song is made obvious to 
the careful reader. It should be added that the dis- 
tribution into paragraphs is not arbitrary or a matter 
of mere taste, but determined by the changes of 
gender in the Hebrew, which clearly show whether 
it is the Shulamite or the object of her affection that 
is speaking. Thus it is the bride who calls herself 
*^ a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys,' ' and accord- 
ingly it is a male voice that resj^onds, "As a hly 
among thorns, so is my love among the daughters." 

In i. 15 the Authorized Version has '' thou hast 
doves' eyes," but the true sense is "'thine eyes are 
as doves" — i.e., resemble their jDlumage. In ii. 5 
" flafyons" is chano-ed to "raisins," meanino: the 
pressed cakes of that fruit. In v. 7 the adjuration 
to the daughters of Jerusalem, " stir not up nor 
awake my love till he please " is made to read, " nor 
awake love until it please" — i.e., till love awakes 
of itself. (And so in iii. 5 and viii. 4.) Genuine 
love is a shy and gentle affection which dreads intru- 
sion and delights in spontaneity. 


The loth verse has its point and poetry well 
brought out by the accurate rendering : 

The fig-tree ripeneth her green figs, 
And the vines are in blossom, 
They give forth their fragrance. 

The obscure clause in the next verse, '^ secret places 
of the stairs," is made plain by the literal version, 
^' the covert of the steep place." That iii. Y gives 
the answer to the question in the verse preceding 
'^ who is this that cometh out of the wilderness," 
etc., is shown by the rendering, ^^ Behold, it is the 
litter of Solomon." This litter is spoken of again 
(v. 9) not as '' a chariot" (Authorized Yersion), but 
as "a palanquin," a portable seat or couch, the costly 
structure of which is then recounted. In iv. 3 (and 
vi. 7) the temples of the bride are compared to a 
piece of pomegranate, not '' within thy locks," as the 
Authorized Yersion, but '' behind thy vail." The 
pleasing combination of white and red shines through 
the diaphanous material. In vi. 12 the clause, ''my 
soul made me like the chariots of Ammi-nadib," is 
changed to " %Qi\\\Q among \X\q chariots of my willing 
people," which suggests some meaning congruous to 
the connection, while the former is hopelessly blind. 
The same may be said of the change in v. 13. " The 
company of two armies " is far less suggestive than 
"the dance of two comj^anies." In the seventh 
chapter the Oriental coloring of the poem is pre- 
served by changing " shoes" of the Authorized Yer- 
sion into "sandals," and adding to "the joints of 
thy thighs," the margin, " Thy rounded thighs," 


wliicli is beyond doubt the true sense. For v. 9, 
*' The roof of thy moutli hke the best wine for my 
beloved, that goeth down sweetly," etc., there is the 
better as well as more exact rendering, 

And thy mouth like the best wine, 

That goeth down smoothly for my beloved, 

Gliding through the lij)s of those that are asleep. 

In the animated description of love (viii. 6, 7) the 
comparison in the words " the coals thereof are 
coals of lire, which hath a most vehement flame" is 
made much more vivid by the literal rendering, 

The flashes thereof are flashes of fire, 
A very flame of Jehovah. 

In V. 12 the saying '^ thou, O Solomon, must 
have a thousand " is very obscure in itself and in the 
connection. A part of the obscurity at least is re- 
moved by the literal rendering, " thou, O Solomon, 
shalt have the thousand," which refers back to the 
preceding verse, where a thousand pieces of silver 
was mentioned as the ample product of Solomon's 
vinejard at Baal-Ham on. Here the Shulamite de- 
clares that to him shall be the whole result of the 
allegorical vineyard — viz., herself. 



The writings of tlie prophets are framed largely 
on the model of tlie poetry of the Hebrews, and 
abound in the use of parallelisms, so that by some 
editors they are printed in couplets just as the 
Psalms and the Song of Solomon. But as the 
writers frequently give up this peculiarity, and for 
the most part utter what they have to say in ordinary 
prose, the revision here adheres to the usage of the 
Authorized Yersion, making an exception only in 
those cases where the poetic form and spirit plainly 
contrast with that which precedes and follows, e.g.^ 
the prayer of Jonah and the sublime ode in the 3d 
chapter of Habakkuk, and the whole of the Lamen- 
tations of Jeremiah, which are evidently of a lyric 
character. The division into paragraphs is suggested 
either by the short titles given in the text, as in Isaiah 
xxi, 11, 13, where "The burden of Dumah" and 
"The burden upon Arabia" obviously imply the 
transition to a new theme, or by the internal structure 
of other parts wdiere the prophet passes from one sub- 
ject to another. 

Isaiah. — In i. 31 the Authorized Version renders, 
" The strong shall be as tow and the maker of it a 


spark," wliicli is very obsenre. The revision re- 
moves the difficulty by rendering the second clause, 
''and his work as a spark," which means that the 
idol the strono; man makes shall kindle a devourino^ 
flame to the destruction of both. The well-known 
passage in iii. 18-2^, which describes the punisiiment 
of female luxury by the removal of all ornaments of 
dress, is rendered much more intelligible by attach- 
ing to the terms used the meaning now generally 
accepted among archaeologists. It is not worth 
while here to mention the items in detail, except to 
say that the change in the second clause of v. 24, " in- 
stead of a girdle a rope," suggests the contrast be- 
tween a richly ornamented belt and the common rope 
used by the poorest classes. In the fourth chapter 
the revision, putting the new paragraph at the sec- 
ond verse, makes the connection much more clear, 
since the first verse evidently belongs to what pre- 
cedes. In V. 17, "Then shall the lambs feed after 
their manner, and the waste places of the fat ones 
shall strangers eat," the changes of "after their 
manner" to ''as in their pasture," and of " strang- 
ers " into "wanderers," bring out the sense that 
the lands of the Jews are to become a mere pasture 
ground for the flocks of wandering shepherds. The 
comparison of Israel with a teil tree casting its 
leaves, in vi. 13, is dark in the Authorized Version, 
but becomes clear when the land is said to be com- 
pared to a terebinth or an oak Vvdiose stock (or sub- 
stance) remaineth even when they are felled, and can 
again put forth shoots. So with Israel : after repeated 


desolations, still there is a holy seed, a remnant accord- 
ing to the election of grace (Ivom. xi. 5), to be the 
stock thereof. In vii. 15, " Butter and honey shall he 
eat that he may know to refuse the evil and choose the 
good," the change of " that he may know" to '^ when 
Jie knoweth," shows that even when the child to be 
born comes to the ao'e when he discerns between 
good and evil, he is to eat '' butter (curds) and 
honey," the diet of a sparse population and a neg- 
lected tillage ; a token that God's judgments have 
come. So in the next verse we are not to read, 
**the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of 
both her kings," which is not what Isaiah means to 
say, but '' the land whose two kings thou abhorrest 
shall be forsaken." The alterations in v. 25 make 
plain its meaning that even the hills which once had 
been carefully cultivated should become mere hunt- 
ing grounds and pastures. In viii. 12 a " confeder- 
acy" is properly changed into ^'conspiracy," since 
the Hebrew word means a treasonable combination. 
The dark clause that ends v. 19, '' for the living to 
the dead," becomes luminous by supplying what is 
implied. '' For (or, in behalf of) the living shoidd 
they seek unto the dead V ' a pungent rebuke of 
all necromancy, modern as well as ancient. The 
ninth chapter has its true force and beauty brought 
out by a number of changes. In v. 1 Isaiah does 
not foretell affliction to the land of Zebulon, etc., 
but says that as before it was abased now it should 
be glorious. So in v. 3, instead of the conundrum 
of tlie Authorized Version, '' multiplying the nation 


and not increasing tlie joy," the revision takes tiie 
reading of the Keri^ and renders " Thou hast multi- 
ph'ed the nation, thou hast increased their joy," 
whicii just suits the context. In v. 5 tlie Author- 
ized Version, " Every battle of the warrior is with 
confused noise, and garments rolled in blood ; but 
this shall be with burning and fuel of lire," is hope- 
less, for the connection has no reference to two 
sorts of battles. The revision says, '' For all tlie 
armor of the armed man in the tumult, and the gar- 
ments rolled in blood, shall be for burning, for fuel 
of fire." So complete shall be the reign of peace 
that all the means and appurtenances of warfare 
shall be utterly consumed. It was a felicitous illus- 
tration of the terms of this prophecy when, at the 
close of the Sepoy rebellion, large bodies of the 
natives were disarmed, and it took a week or more 
to consume by fire the immense number of varied 
weapons that were surrendered.''^ 

"This verse is one of those quoted by Mr. Matthew Arnold 
in his " Isaiah of Jerusalem" as illustrating his views of the 
method to be adopted by revisers of the English Bible. He 
quotes the amended version of Prof. Kobertson Smith and also 
that of Mr. Cheyne, and condemns both as lacking the excel- 
lence of the old version. "The charm has vanished never to 
return." What now is this charm? He confesses the incor- 
rectness of the verse as it stands, saying I'ranklj^ "No one of 
us understands clearly what this means, and, indeed, a clear 
meaning is not to be got out of the words, which are a mis- 
translation." But then to balance this evil, "they have a 
magnificent glow and movement," "they delight the ear and 
move us." Could there be a more conspicuous instance of 
dilettanteism ? Men are moved not by sense, but by sound. 


In xili. 22 we read, ^' Tlie wild beasts of the 
islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons 
in their pleasant palaces," hut the revision is more 
correct, as well as clearer and more forcible, in read- 

They hea,r or read something. They do not know what it 
means. It conveys no distinct idea to the mind. Yet somehow 
the pomp of words tickles the ear and awakens agreeable sen- 
sations. And therefore the unintelligible version is to be i>re- 
ferred to one which, without being particularly smooth, is cer- 
tainly correct ! I submit that this is true neither in literature 
nor in religion. In the case of any ordinary work of letters no 
sensible person would accept a beautiful but senseless transla- 
tion in place of one that gave the meaning of the original, and 
he would deem it an insult to his understanding to be asked to 
do such a thing. Much more is this the case when the work in 
question is a sacred one — nay, even claims to be a divine mes- 
sage. Here it is not the words, but the meaning that is in the 
■words, that is intended for human instruction and guidance. 
God is "a God of knowledge," and He requires knowledge in 
acceptable worshippers. Truth is His great means for turning 
men from sin to holiness, and after they have made that turn, 
for building them up into the complete likeness of their Saviour. 
Nothing can be done without this. Impressions made by an}'- 
thing else, no matter how deep or thrilling, are as evanescent 
as the dew that goeth early away. The servant of God is strong 
and stable just in proportion to the amount of divine truth 
he has understood and appropriated and made absolutely his 
own. It is impossible that words that are not understood can 
have this effect. Whatever influence they exert " upon soul 
and spirit" is superficial and temporary. Take the case of this 
very verse. Is there any comparison between a vague impres- 
sion of power and grandeur made by confused noise and garments 
rolled in blood as features of a battle, and the weighty truth 
taught by a correct version, that so mighty is the power of the 
coming Prince of Peace that even all the weapons of war, offen- 
sive or defensive, shall be utterly destroyed ? 


ing — "wolves shall cry in tlieir castles, and jackals 
in tlieir pleasant palaces," a vivid picture of desola- 
tion. In xiv. 29, 31 the misleading " Palestina" 
is rightly changed to " Philistia ;" for what is meant 
is not the entire holy land, but the southwest coast- 
plain from Ekron to Gaza, as in Ps. Ix. S. In xvi. 1 
the change of the to a in the phrase " in the night" 
expresses what is the fact, that the ruin of Moab 
came in a single night. The change of the futures 
into presents in vv. 2-5 is according to the original, 
and makes the picture much more vivid. In xvii. 9 
the Authorized Version says of the strong cities that 
they " shall be as a forsaken bough or an uttermost 
branch, which they left because of the children of 
Israel." The revision renders more intelligently and 
accurately " shall be as the forsaken places in the 
wood paid on the mountain top, which were forsaken 
from before the children of Israel." Even fortified 
cities shall become as desolate as the forests and hill- 
tojjs which were forsaken at the time of the Con- 
quest. In the remainder of the chapter the altera- 
tions are too many to be noticed in detail, but all are 
sustained by authority, and add exceedingly to the 
force of the passage. In xviii. 1, 2 the enigmatical 
description of Ethiopia is made clear by changing 
" Woe to the land shadowing with wings" into " Ah 
the land of the rustling of wings,' ' and the direction, 
"to a nation scattered and peeled, ... a nation 
meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers 
have spoiled," so as to read " to a nation tall and 
smooth, ... a nation that meteth out and treadeth 


down, whose land the rivers divide " — a very lively 
description of a land occupied by a great and power- 
ful people, here understood by most critics to be 
Ethiopia. In xix. 10 the Authorized Yersion, 
" And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, 
all that make sluices and ponds for fish," being con- 
fessedly a mistranslation, the revision reads, ''And 
her pillars shall be broken in pieces, all that work for 
hire shall be grieved in soul." 

In xxi. 8 "And he cried, a lion," which makes 
no sense, is turned into '' he cried as a lion " — i.e.^ 
as when a lion roareth (Rev. x. 3). In xxii. 17, in- 
stead of threatening "a mighty captivity," which 
scarcely ap2:)lies to a single person, the revision says 
that "the Lord will hurl thee away violently as a 
strong man, yea, He will wrap thee up closely," the 
purpose of which is shown in the next verse, " will 
toss thee like a ball into a large country." In xxiii. 
4, 14, the abstract " strength" is j)roperly changed 
to the concrete " stronghold," and in v. 10 " Pass 
through thy land as a river" is made " Overflow thy 
land as the Mle." The familiar direction (xxi v. 
15) " Glorify the Lord in tlie fires" is necessarily 
changed to " Glorify the Lord in the East," which 
most critics agree to be the meaning. The old ver- 
sion made a good motto for the afflicted believer, 
but there is a plenty of others as excellent in the Old 
Testament as well as in the New. In xxvi. 19, instead 
of " Thy dead men shall live, together icith my dead 
body shall they arise," we have the briefer and 
clearer figure of a resurrection, " Thy dead shall 


live ; my dead bodies shall arise." A beautiful an- 
ticipation of the later revelation that Christ's people 
even in the grave are still united to Him and are 
His. In eh. xxvii. are numerous changes, among j' 
them one which obliterates the familiar utterance : 
' ' He stayeth His rough wind in the day of the ' 
east wind" (v. 8), because faithfulness requires that 
the first part of it should be rendered, ''He hath 
removed her with His rough blast," reciting not a 
promise but a judgment. In xxviii. 7 the omission 
of the supplied words in the Authorized Version 
" must be," shows that the statement '' it is precept 
upon precept, line upon line," simply continues the 
charge in the preceding verse that the prophet speaks 
to the people as to children. In xxx. 7 another 
familiar saying, " Your strength is to sit still," dis- 
appears, because the Hebrew is simply a conclusion 
from the previous assertion of Egypt's inability to 
help, and means, '' therefore have 1 called her 
Kahab (or arrogance) that sitteth still." In xxxi. 9, 
instead of ' ' he shall pass over to his stronghold for 
fear, ' ' the true rendering is that the stronghold itself 
shall cease to exist, " his rock shall pass away by 
reason of terror." In xxxiii. 18, instead of '' Thine 
heart shall meditate terror," as if in view of a pres- 
ent or coming calamity, the revision reads, '' Thine 
heart shall muse on the terror" — viz., that which 
has passed away. Hence is added the inquiry, what 
has become of those who caused it but have now 
disappeared. '' Where is he that counted, where is 
he that weighed the tribute f where is he that counted 


the towers ?" In xxxvi. 12 a very desirable euphe- 
mism is introduced. In xH. 2, instead of " who raised 
up the righteous man," etc., the revision reads, 
*' who hath raised up one from the East whom He 
calleth in rioliteousness to His foot ?" thus transfer- 
ring the rigliteousness from Cyrus (the one here in- 
tended) to Him who called him. In xlii. 21 the 
force of the familiar text about magnifying the 
law is enhanced by p)utting the whole verse into 
one sentence, '^ It pleased the Lord for His righteous- 
ness' sake to magnify the law and make it honor- 
able." In xlvi. 1 the obscure archaism, '' your car- 
riages were heavy loaden" is relieved so as to give 
liveliness to the picture of idols captured and re- 
moved — '^ the things that ye carried about are made 
a load, a burden to the weary beast.'''' In xlvii. 1 the 
clauses, " sit on the ground ; there is no throne," 
are, with a manifest improvement, thrown into one, 
"Sit on the ground without a throne," to express 
Babylon's humiliation. In xlix. 5, by using the read- 
ing of the Hebrew Keri, the sense is greatly im- 
proved. Instead of rendering '' And now saith the 
Lord . . . Though Israel be not gathered, yet shall 
I be glorious," etc., the revision reads, " And now 
saith the Lord that formed me to be His servant, to 
bring Jacob again to Him, and that Israel be gathered 
unto Him (for I am honorable in the eyes of the 
Lord, and my God is become my strength) : yea. 
He saith, It is too light a thing," etc. In v. 7, '^ be- 
cause of the Lord that is faithful, and the Holy 
One of Israel, and he shall choose thee," gram- 


mar and sense are both consulted in changing '^ and 
lie shall choose thee" to " who hath chosen thee.'* 
Inl. 11 the Authorized Version reads, " Behold all ye 
that kindle a fire, that compass yourselms about with 
sparks ; walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks 
that ye have kindled." The revision puts it, " Be- 
hold, all ye that kindle a fire, that gird yourselves 
about with firebrands ; get you into the flame of 
your fire, and among the brands ye have kindled." 
This change makes more striking the obvious sense 
of the passage that the fire which God's foes pre- 
pare for His servants shall be the cause and means of 
their own destruction. A more exact rendering of 
li. 14, " The captive exile hasteth tliat He may be 
loosed, and that he should not die," etc., makes it as- 
sert not an effort toward freedom, but its actual ac- 
complishment. '^ The exile shall sjDcedily be loosed, 
and he shall not die, ' ' etc. 

The 53d chapter of the evangelical j)rophet has so 
long been endeared to the hearts of devout believers 
that nearly every word has become sacred, like the 
psalms, and no change can fail to give a shock to 
many readers. Yet the conviction of scholars is uni- 
versal that in not a few instances the common ver- 
sion fails to give the exact sense of the original. 
The revision begins the pericope with lii. 13, as is 
certainly right, and removes the needless and dis- 
turbing confusion of tenses in vv. 2, 3, such as '^ He 
shall grow up;" ''when we shall see him ;" "He 
is despised and rejected. ' ' The correction of these 
makes the description more coherent and impressive, 


as one contiimous picture of lowliness and rejection. 
In V. 3, instead of " we liid as it were otir faces 
from ELim," there is the exactor rendering, " as one 
from whom men hide their face, lie was despised," 
etc. The difficult 8th verse, " lie was taken from 
prison and from judgment ; and who shall declare 
His generation" is made plainer by rendering, " By 
oppression and judgment He w^as taken away ; and 
who considereth His generation ?" Yet it is the 
opinion of not a few of the learned that it would be 
better to substitute for the latter clause v/hat is given 
in the margin, and read thus : " As for His genera- 
tion, who among them considereth that He was cut 
off from the land of the living for the transgression 
of my people to whom the stroke was due T ' In 
liv. 8 '* In a little wrath I hid my face from thee" 
becomes '' In overflowing wrath I hid my face," 
etc., thus making a stronger contrast with the kind- 
ness mentioned in the next clause. In v. 12 the 
promise to Zion is not " windows of agates," but 
'' j)innacles of rubies." "^'^ In Ivi. 10, 11 the compari- 
son of Israel's rulers to diunb, indolent, greedy 
dogs, and to faithless shepherds, is brought out much 
more clearly than in the Authorized Version. The 
indignant question of Jehovah at offerings made to 

* The author, when he was in the East some ten years ago, 
learned of a tradition current among the Mohammedan popula- 
tions, that one of the pinnacles of Solomon's temple terminated 
in a jewel of such transcendent lustre that even in a dark night 
the Bedawin women, thirty miles away beyond the Jordan, were 
able to thread their needles by its light. 

146 OLD testame:n^t kevision". 

idols (Ivii. G), '^ Should 1 receive comfort in these ?" 
is much better expressed by '^ Shall 1 be appeased 
for these things?" In v. 13 a literal rendering 
turns 'S^anitj shall take them^'' into ^' a breath 
shall carry them away." In lix. 19 the oft-cpoted 
text, *' when the enemy shall come in like a flood, 
the Spirit of the Lord shall lift np a standard against 
Ilim," becomes, according to the tenor of modern 
criticism, '' For He shall come as a rushing stream 
which the breath of the Lord driveth." So ren- 
dered, the words are a glowing description of the im- 
petuous jDrogress of the name of the Lord. In Ixii. 
6 the Authorized Yersion reads, ''Ye that make 
mention of the Lord, keep not silence and give Him 
no rest till He establish Jerusalem." But the bold- 
ness and the correspondences of the original are 
finely set forth in the revision, " Ye that are the 
Lord's remembrancers, take ye no rest and give Him 
no rest till He establish," etc. Eest not yourselves, 
neither let him rest. 

The striking passage at the beginning of the next 
chapter, " who is this that cometh from Edom, with 
dyed garments from Bozrah, ' ' etc. , is greatly helped 
by representing the conqueror as "marching" rather 
than "travelling" in the greatness of his strength, 
and by a more vigorous rendering of the last clause 
of V. 6, but especially by preserving the preterite 
tenses of the original. Thus, the version adequately 
represents the whole grand dramatic description of 
Jehovah as a warrior on his triumj)hant return after 
having achieved a triumphant victory. The enig- 


matical close of the clia])ter, '' We are tliine ; thou 
ncA^er barest rule over them : they were not called 
by the name," is made coherent by the change, '' We 
are become as they over whom thou never barest 
rule ; as they that were not called by thy name." 
The similar difficulty in Ixv. 5, " in those is con- 
tinuance, and we shall be saved," which is unmean- 
ing, is removed by rendering "in them [i.e., m 
our sins] have ive been of a long time, and shall 
we be saved?" In Ixv, 11, "ye that prepare a 
table for that troop, and that furnish the drink unto 
that number," the change of "that troop" into 
"Fortune," and of "that number" into "Des- 
tiny," suggests to the reader what otherwise he 
would hardly conjecture, that these are names of 
idol deities. In Ixvi. 2 to say, after Jehovah's asser- 
tion that He made heaven and earth, " and all those 
things have been," is flat, but it becomes significant 
in the revision, " and so all these things came to be," 
thus emphasizing the contrast between a manufact- 
ured universe and the nobler temple of a spiritual 

Jeremiah. The phrase " imagination of their 
heart," which occurs iii. IT and several times else- 
where, is changed to " stubbornness of their heart," 
which is what the word means. In iv. 14, " How 
long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee ?" the 
word vai7i ( = empty) does not express the force of 
the original, and is therefore changed to evil. So in 
V. 30, " thou rentest thy face with paint" becomes 
" thou enlargest thine eyes with paint," because the 


Oriental custom was in this way to produce an ap- 
parent enlargement of the eye. In vi. 29 the fine 
figure of the prophet is obscure. " The bellows 
are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire ; the 
founder melteth in vain." The revision is more 
accurate. ^' The bellows blow fiercely ; the lead is 
consumed of the fire ; in vain do they go on refin- 
ing." That is, no matter how severe the smelting 
process, there is no good result. The wicked re- 
main, and Israel becomes '^ refuse silver." In viii. 
8, to the people's claim, ^^ We are wise, and the law 
of the Lord is with us," the Authorized Version 
says, " Lo, certainly in vain made He it / the pen 
of the scribes is in vain," but the revision gives the 
better and clearer sense, ^' But, behold, the false pen 
of the scribes hath wrought falsely. ' ' You have the 
law, but your scribes have turned it into a lie. In 
X. 21 and elsewhere " pastors" is changed into '' shep- 
herds" to avoid ambiguity. In xi. 19, ^^ I was like a 
lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter," " a 
lamb or an ox" is changed into ^' a gentle lamb," 
w4iich is just as correct, and more suitable. The second 
member of the fine antithesis in xii. 5 is in the Au- 
thorized Yersion ^Sy in the land of peace wherein 
thou trustedst thej/ wearied thee, then how wilt thou 
do in the swelling of Jordan ?" but the revision ren- 
ders more exactly, '' tliough in a land of peace thou 
art secure, yet how wilt thou do in the pride of 
Jordan ?" In xiv. 2 the Authorized Yersion says of 
the gates of Judah that ^' they are black unto the 
ground, ' ' but the revision resolves the pregnant ex- 


pression of the Hebrew into *' tliey sit in black upon 
the ground ;" and in v. 6, instead of saying that the 
wild asses " snuffed up the wind like dragons," says 
they "pant for air like jackals." In xvii. 11 the 
partridge that " sitteth o?i eggs and hatcheth them 
not" becomes " the partridge that gathereth young 
which she hath not brought forth ;" meaning that as 
these young when aware of the fraud forsake the 
false mother, so riches wrongly gotten forsake the 
unlawful owner. In xviii. 14: the enigmatical ques- 
tion, " Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon wliicli 
Cometh . . . field, or shall the cold flowing waters 
. . . be forsaken," is changed to " Shall the snow 
of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field, or shall 
the cold waters that flow down from afar be dried 
up ;" the prophet using the perennial snows on Leb- 
anon and its never-failing streams to set forth the 
hereditary attachment of a nation to its gods. The 
striking passage xx. 7-12 is made clearer and more 
vivid in the revision, but is too long to be given 
here. The unmeaning direction in xxii. 20, " Cry 
from the passages," is changed to '' Cry from Aba- 
rim," which is a mountain summit like Lebanon and 
Bashan mentioned in the preceding clauses. In 
xxxi. 21, " Set thee up waymarks, make thee high 
heaps," the revision gives light by substituting 
" guide-posts "for '^ high heaps." In the account 
of Jeremiah's purchase of land (xxxii. 10), '' I sub- 
scribed the evidence" very properly becomes "I 
Eubscribed the deed." A similar change in vv. 11, 
12, 14 clarifies the narrative. The prophet is said in 


xxxvii. 12 to have gone out of Jerusalem '^ to sepa- 
rate himself thence," which the revision rightly turns 
into *^ to receive a portion there," as required both 
by the Hebrew and the connection, for tlie Anthor- 
ized Version's phrase would seem to justify the 
charge of attempted desertion which his foes urged 
against him. In xxxix. 2 the awkward and dubious 
statement, '' the city was broken up," is replaced by 
*'a breach was made in the city." In xliv. 21 
^^ fatted bullocks" gives way to ^^ calves of the 
stall," the phrase used for the same Hebrew in MaL 
iv. 2. In xlviii. 12 the bold figure of the context 
is preserved by changing '' I will send wanderers 
that cause him to wander" into '^ I will send them 
that pour off and they shall pour him off." Jere- 
miah has compared Moab to wine that has never 
been drawn off into another cask, and therefore re- 
tains its taste and scent unclianged. Now, howev^er, 
shall come those who will tilt u]^ the old casks and 
empty them completely. In li. 12 the direction to 
the besiegers of Babylon is to set up the standard, 
not " upon the wall," as the Authorized Version has 
it, but '^against the wall." In v. 17 the strange 
utterance, '' Every man is brutish by Ms knowledge," 
is changed to "is become brutish, and is without 
knowledge," which is what the Hebrew and the 
connection require. In vv. 31, 32 the Authorized 
Version says that at the capture of Babylon messen- 
gers shewed the king that '^ his city is taken at one 
end, and that the passages are stopped," whereas 
their ]nessage was that the " city is taken on ev^ery 


quarter and tlie passages are surprised, " \Ylncli was 
the fact. So in v. 55, instead of tlie identical prop- 
osition, ^' when her waves do roar like great waters, 
a noise of their voice is uttered," the revision gives 
both sense and poetry, reading, ^' and their billows 
roar like many waters, the noise of their voice is 
uttered. ' ' 

The Lamentations of Jeeemiah. — This book, 
which is not merely poetry but poetry of a very com- 
plicated nature, since three of the five chapters are 
alphabetical and all of very elaborate structure, is 
printed in parallelisms. The sense is made clear by 
a variety of minor changes. I note only a few. In- 
stead of saj^ing (i. 8) that '' Jerusalem is removed," 
the revision is more literal and clear in saying, she is 
'' become as an unclean thing." (The same change 
is made in Ezek. vii. 19, 20.) A similar phrase is em- 
ployed euphemistically and wisely at the close of v. 
17 and also in Ezek. xviii. 6. In ii. 20 ^' children 
of a span long" are changed into " children dandled 
in the hands," as modern criticism demands. The 
triplet in iii. 28-30, ^' He sitteth alone and keepeth 
silence, because he hath borne it upon him. He 
putteth his mouth in the dust ; if so be there may 
be hope. He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth 
him : he is filled with reproach," is made clearer 
by turning the verbs from the present into the 
cohortative, according to the Hebrew, and changing 
*' borne " into '' laid." The passage then is an ad- 
dress concerning the sufferer. 


Let him sit alone and keep silence, because He [i.6. God] hath 

laid it upon him. 
Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope. 
Let him give his cheek to him that smiteth him ; let him be 

filled full with reproach. 

EzEKiEL. — In i. 15 we read, " behold, one wheel 
upon tlie earth by the living creatures, with his four 
faces," as if there was only a single wheel for the 
whole. The true sense is given in the revision, 
*^ behold one wheel ujDon the earth beside the living 
creatures, for each of the four faces thereof," which 
is what the Hebrew means. In iii. 21 the Author- 
ized Yersion represents the j)enitent man as delivered 
''because he is warned." But the impenitent was 
likewise warned, and the revision therefore shows 
the difference by rendering, as the original admits, 
" because he took warning." The curious utterance 
respecting the wheels of the cherubic vision, x. 13, " it 
was cried unto them in my hearing, O wheel !" is 
supplanted by the simpler and more accurate state- 
ment, " they were called in my hearing, the whirl- 
ing wheels^ In xi. 16 the familiar phrase " a little 
sanctuary " disappears in the revision, because the 
promise really is that God will become a sanctuary 
"for a little while"— i.^., during the provisional 
period of exile. Hence the loss is only in expres- 
sion. The substance of the promise in the Author- 
ized Yersion remains. In xvi. 4, "to supple thee" 
is made " to cleanse thee ;" v. 13, "a jewel on thy 
forehead" becomes " a ring upon thy nose ;" v. 14, 
"comeliness" is turned into "majesty;" v. 24, 


'^ high phice " becomes " lofty place," to distinguish 
this term from another "usuallj so rendered ; v. 49, 
*' abundance of idleness" is made "prosperous 
ease' ' — all of which are changes required by modern 
lexicography. In xviii. 24 the Authorized Version 
preserves a Hebraism, "" all his righteousness that 
he hath done shall not be mentioned," which in 
English implies that some of it might be, whereas 
the sense is just the reverse, as given in the revision, 
'']^ one of his righteous deeds . . . shall be remem- 
bered."* In the 20th chapter the word "pol- 
luted" is in seven cases changed to "profaned," 
which is the exact meaning of the original ; but in vv. 
26, 31, 43 it is retained because it translates another 
Hebrew verb. The printing of " South" with a 
capital initial letter indicates that the reference is 
not to a point of the compass, but to a specific 
region kno\rn as the ^N'egeb or South. In ch. xxi. 
8-17 the vivid description of the sword which is to 
overthrow Babylon is freed from obscurities in the 
revision — e.g., the statement, v. 15, "it is made 
bright, it is wrapped up for the slaughter," is thus 
illumined, "it is made as lightning, it is pointed for 
slaughter." So in v. 21, instead of " he made his 
arrows bright, he consulted with images," we read, 
"he shook the arrows to and fro, he consulted the 
teraphim" (household gods), both of these being cus- 
tomary forms of divination. The well-known pas- 

* A similar retention of a misleading Hebrew idiom is found 
in Ps. eiii. 2, ''And forget not all His benefits," where the 
meaning is, " Forget none of His benefits." 


sage, vv. 25-27, '' And tlion, profane wicked prince 
of Israel, wliose day is come when iniquity shcdl have 
an end. Tims saitli the Lord God, Eemove the dia- 
dem, and take off the crown : this shall not he the 
same : exalt him that is low and abase him that is 
high. 1 will overturn, overturn, overtm-n," etc., 
retains its general character as an address to Zedekiah, 
but the change of "diadem" to ''mitre" indicates 
that the revolution predicted was to include the 
priesthood as well as the royalty. " And thou, O 
deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, 
whose day is come, in the time of the iniquity of the 
end, thus saith the Lord God : Kemove the mitre 
and take off the crown : this shall be no more the 
same : exalt that which is low, and abase that w^hich 
is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it : 
this also shall be no more until he come whose right 
it is ; and I will give it him." No overturning, how- 
ever, would be final until He came whose is the right. 
In V. 30 the question, '' Shall I cause it to return into 
his sheath ?" is properly transformed into a command, 
" Cause it to return into its sheath," etc., an impres- 
sive statement of the fact that the sword's work is 
over. In xxiv. 3, ''Set on a pot " becomes " Set 
on the caldron,' ' the one mentioned in xi. 3 ; and in 
V. 12 the revision shows how ineffectual was the 
effort to burn away the filth — " She hath wearied 
herself with toil ; yet her great rust goeth not out 
of her; her rust goeth not forth by fire," a view 
wholly misconceived in the Authorized Version. 
The description of Tyre's wealth and commerce 


(eh. xxviii.) is rendered more intelligible. Instead 
of '^the company of Aslmrites liave made thy 
benches of ivorj-," we read, '' they have made thy 
benches of ivory inlaid with boxwood ;" and in- 
stead of " The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in 
thy market" (v. 25), there is the fine figure that 
these ships '' were thy caravans for thy merchandise. " 
In the last four verses the change of the futures into 
preterites is more literal, and adds greatly to the 
effectiveness of the wail. In the reproof of Tyre's 
claim of divinity, xxviii. 6, the weak dilution of the 
Authorized Yersion, " but thou s/iali he a man" 
gives way to the vigorous, '' but thou art man." In 
vv. 16-19 the change of the futures of the Author- 
ized Yersion into preterites is a gain in accuracy 
and vividness. In xxxii. 2 '' whale" is changed to 
'' dragon," which better represents the crocodile of 
Egypt than an animal whose habitat is the ocean. 
In V. 6 ^' water-courses " is substituted for '^ rivers," 
because in the land referred to, Egypt, there is but 
one river, which, however, has many artificial chan- 
nels. In the description of the valley of dry bones 
(xxxvii.), the change of '^ shaking " (v. 7) into 
'^ earthquake" gives the striking sense of the orig- 
inal, and that of the statement '' we are cut oil for 
our parts" into ''we are clean cut off," converts 
obscurity into lucidness. In xxxviii. 2, 3, " the chief 
prince" is made " prince of Rosh," according to 
the general consent of modern critics. In xliv. 23 
is a change which occurs also elsewhere — viz., that 
of " the holy and profane " into " the holy and the 


common," the last term implying only what is not 

Daniel. — In ii. 30 the Anthorized Yersion makes 
Daniel say that the secret was revealed to him " for 
their sakes that shall make known the interpreta- 
tion," but the revision gives it more accurately " to 
the intent that the interpretation may be made 
known." The difference is considerable. In iii. 
25 the king says, in the Authorized Yersion, that 
the form of the fourth person seen in the furnace 
*^is like the Son of God," which the revision 
changes properly to " a son of the gods," which is 
all that the original means or can mean. In vi. 7, 
8, etc., " decree" becomes "interdict," because the 
original word means a prohibitory decree. In vii. 
9 " the thrones were cast down" is changed to 
" thrones were placed," in accordance with the older 
versions and most moderns, and with the connection. 
In viii. 9 ' ^ the pleasant land ' ' becomes ' ' the glori- 
ous land," in accordance with the rendering of the 
same word in Ezek. xx. 6, 15, and also with the 
Authorized Yersion's usage in Dan. xi. 16, -11. In 
V. 13 " saint" becomes " a holy one," for the same 
reason that a like change was made in Job v. 1 and 
XV. 15 — viz., that '^ saint" is usually understood to 
mean a human being, whereas " a holy one" may 
be either angelic or human. In v. 17 the obscure 
utterance, "at the time of the end shall he the 
vision," gives place to the more literal, " the vision 
belongeth to the time, of the end." A similar 
emendation is found in vv. 19, 26. In the famous 


passage at tlie close of cli. ix. many will be disap- 
pointed to find that " Messiah," which is simply the 
Hebrew word in English letters, has disappeared, 
while instead of it appears the translation of its mean- 
ing — viz., ^' the anointed one." This is the only 
case in Scripture where the word is given in the 
Authorized Version as a proper name, and the re- 
visers thought proper to assimilate it to the numerous 
other passages {e.g.^ Lev. iv. 3; I. Chron. xvi. 22; 
Ps. ii. 2), where it is uniformly rendered '^anoint- 
ed." But whether so late as the time of Daniel, 
the word had not come to have a specific reference 
to the future deliverer who was to exhaust the mean- 
ing of anointing in all its applications, may be a 
question. In favor of the revisers' rendering is the 
fact that in the Hebrew neither this word nor the 
next one has the article, so that a literal rendering 
would be "an anointed one, a prince." But quite 
apart from the matter of translation is the question 
whether the reference is to an earthly deliverer, like 
Cyrus, or to Him of whom Andrew said to his 
brother Peter (John i. 41), " We have found the 
Messiah (which is, being interpreted, Christ)." 

The latter half of the 25th verse conforms as 
closely as possible to the original. In the next verse 
many will be surprised to miss the phrase about 
Messiah's being cut off " but not for himself," but 
it is the general opinion of scholars that this is an 
impossible translation. The words are '' there shall 
not be to him," and we may supply, to complete the 
sense, " a successor," or " a people," or, as the re- 


vision, '' anything." The latter part of the verse 
follows the Hebrew closely ; instead of '' and unto 
the end of the war desolations are determined," the 
revision reads '^ and even unto the end shall be war ; 
desolations are decreed." In the last verse, *^ con- 
firm the covenant," which is hardly a rendering, is 
changed to ''make a firm covenant." The latter 
half of the verse, shunning the obscurity of the 
Authorized Version, takes the form most agreeable 
to current critical opinion : " upon the wing (or pin- 
nacle) of abominations shall come one that maketh 
desolate ; and even unto the consummation, and that 
decreed, shall wrath be poured out upon the desola- 
tor." Of course, in a passage which has been fought 
over for ages by all classes of critics, no one can 
furnish a version which will be universally accepted. 
But any candid judge must admit that the revision 
excels the common version in strictness and clearness 
of rendering, as well as in freedom from dogmatic 

The twelve Minor Prophets constitute the most 
generally neglected j)ortion of the Old Testament, 
partly because they abound in obscure and difficult 
passages, partly because the historic period and rela- 
tions of these writers are not understood, and also 
because they are less frequently made the subject of 
popular comment in the pulpit or the press. Many 
otherwise intelligent believers would be puzzled to 
recite their names in the order of their occurrence or 
otherwise, and much more to indicate their differ- 


ences as to subject, style, purpose, ability or literary 
merit. The evil has been increased by the fact that 
here the authors of the common version were less 
successful than elsewhere, and sometimes by infelici- 
tous renderings made the sacred writers more obscure 
than they naturally are. The revision of course 
does not solve all difficulties and make all rough 
places plain, but if it smooths the path for the Eng- 
lish reader and perceptibly aids him in reaching the 
mind of the Spirit, the benefit will not be small to 
the church of God. 

HosEA. — In ii. 21, 22 the verb '^ hear" is changed 
to ^^ answer," which is the j)roper sense of the 
Hebrew. When the heavens ask to send their rain 
upon the earth, God will answer them, and when 
the earth asks rain the heavens will answer, and so 
throughout the series of bold personifications. In 
iv. 16, '' For Israel slideth back like a blacksliding 
heifer," the revision reverts to the true meaning 
of the original, which is that Israel hath behaved 
himself stubbornly like a stubborn [or refractory] 
heifer. In v. 18, ''her rulers with shsime do love, 
Give ye," which is almost unintelligible, is re- 
placed by ''her rulers dearly love shame" — i.e., 
what is shameful. In v. 10 " the princes of Judah 
are like them that remove the bound," the change 
of "bound" into "landmark" makes the sense 
more obvious. In vi. 3 the fine passage, " Then 
shall W3 know if we follow on to know the Lord ; His 
going forth is prepared as the morning ; and He 
shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and 


former rain imto the eartli," lias its full beauty 
brought out by a stricter rendering — " Let us know, 
let us follow on to know the Lord ; His going forth 
is sure as the morning ; and He shall come unto us 
as the rain, as the latter rain that watereth the 
earth." The sense is both clearer and richer. We 
read in v. 4 concerning Judah's goodness that '^ as 
the early dew it goeth away ;" but all dew is early, 
and the revision amends in accordance with the He- 
brew, and reads, ^' the dew that goeth early away," 
which well represents the evanescent piety of the 
people. The same phrase occurs in xiii. 3, where 
the same emendation is made. The use of ''goeth" 
in one passage and '' passeth" in the other to render 
the same Hebrew verb, is a variation retained from 
the Authorized Version. 

A striking alteration is found in v. 7, where in- 
stead of saying that " they like men have trans- 
gressed the covenant," the revision reads, " they like 
Adam have transgressed," etc., which is certainly a 
possible translation, and to many far more ex- 
pressive than the common version. In ch. vii. are 
many obscurities inherent in the brief elliptical style 
of the prophet. Yerse 4 shows one that belongs to 
the translators. It is hard to see any meaning in the 
words '' who ceaseth from raising after he hath 
kneaded the dough until it be leavened," but the 
revision reads, " he ceaseth to stir the fire from the 
kneading of the dough," etc. — i.e.^ the oven of the 
baker, to which the people burning with lust are 
compared, is so hot that he needs no more to add 


fuel. In viii. 12 the Authorized Version reads, *^ I 
have written to him the great things of m^^ law," 
but the revision (following the Kethih) renders, 
'' Though I write for him my law in ten thousand 
precepts^'*'' etc., referring to the myriads of instruc- 
tions the people had enjoyed. In x. 1 it is said, 
^' Epliraim is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit 
unto himself," certainly a very suggestive sentiment ; 
but modern critics agree to the rendering of the re- 
vision, which manifestly suits the connection better, 
" Israel is a luxuriant vine which putteth forth his 
fruit." But his prosperity only made him more 
devoted to idols. In xii. 3 an obvious contrast is 
obscured in the version, ^^ He took his brother by 
the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had 
power with God." The revision reads, ''In the 
womb he took his brother by the heel, and in his 
manhood he had power with God," thus comparing 
together Jacob's earliest years and his adult vigor. 
In xiii. 9 the Authorized Yersion, '' O Israel, thou 
hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help," 
just and weighty as it is in itself, is not a fair ren- 
dering. The revision gives the true sense : '' It is 
thy destruction, O Israel, that thou art against me, 
against thy help." In xiv. 2, ''So will we render 
the calves of our lips' ' is against Hebrew grammar, 
as -well as obscure. The revision reads, " so will we 
render as bullocks the offering of our lips " — i.e.^ 
thankful praise will take the place of sacrificial offer- 
ings, which is doubtless the meaning hinted at in 
the Authorized Yersion. 


Joel. — The chief changes here are in the tense 
forms. The vividness of the description of the 
locusts' invasion in the second chapter is greatly in- 
creased by putting the verbs in vv. 3-11 in the pres- 
ent. The prophet speaks as if the whole scene were 
passing before his eyes. In v. 8 the mysterious ut- 
terance '' when they fall upon the sword, they shall 
not be wounded " is greatly relieved by the ren- 
dering, '' they burst through the weapons, they break 
not off their course,''^ There is a gain also in chang- 
ing the tenses in vv. 18, 19, for, according to the 
Hebrew, the prophet tells, not what the Lord will do, 
but what He has done. 

Amos. — In this prophet all obscurity is not re- 
moved, but light is given to many passages that per- 
plex the ordinary reader. In ii. 13 the Authorized 
Yersion, " 1 am pressed under you as a cart," etc., is 
exactly reversed, according to the original, " Behold, 
I will press yoio in your place as a cart presseth that is 
full of sheaves.'' And this better suits the connec- 
tion. In iii. 12 the incongruity of describing the 
rescue of Israel from Samaria and at the same time 
from Damascus, is remedied by changing " in Da- 
mascus m a couch" into " on the silken cushions of a 
bed." In v. 9 the description of Jehovah as one 
'' that strength enetli the spoiled against the strong" 
is turned so as to show his punitive majesty, '^ that 
bringeth sudden desti-uction upon the strong so that 
destruction cometh upon the fortress." And this 
better suits the connection. In the symbolic vision, 
vii. 4, the fire is said in the Authorized Yersion to 


" have devoured the great deep and did eat np a 
part." A part of what, the reader asks, but asks in 
vain. The revision solves the riddle by rendering 
the last clause, '^ and would have eaten up the land," 
which makes sense, and probably conveys the true 
meaning. In viii. 8 and ix. 5 the change of " flood " 
into '^ River" brings out the meaning of the figure 
employed — viz. , the land shall rise and fall just as the 
Nile rises, overflows and then subsides. So in ix. 6 
the description of the Lord's work becomes clearer. 
It is His '^ chambers" not " stories" that He builds 
in heaven, and it is not ^^ a troop" but "a vault" 
or arch that He founds upon the earth. 

Obadiaii. — In vv. 11-14 the Authorized Version 
resolves the imperatives of the Hebrew into subjunc- 
tives — " Thou shouldst not have looked," etc., 
" shouldst not have entered," etc. But the revision 
with most critics keeps the form of the Hebrew, 
*' Look not thou on the day of thy brother in the day 
of his disaster, and rejoice not," etc. The words of 
the prophet are addressed to the Edoniitesby way of 
apostrophe, just as if he saw them actually pursuing 
the unbrotherly conduct which he denounces. 

Jonah. — A single change of minor importance is 
noted in this prophet. In i. 11 " the sea wrought 
and was tempestuous " is put into English idiom by 
the phrase '^ became more and more tempestuous," 
which is precisely what the original means. 

MiCAH. — Ini. 15 " I will bring an heir unto thee " 
sounds like a promise in the midst of denunciations, 
but the word for '^heir" is justly in the revision 


rendered ^' liim that shall possess thee," which is a 
menace, and suits the context. And the next clause 
carries out the sentiment by saying, not as the 
Authorized Version, that this new possessor "will 
come unto Adullam," but that the glory of Israel 
shall come even to that cave for refuge. In vi. 11, 
instead of the Authorized Yersion, *' Shall 1 count 
them pure with the wicked balances V ' which does 
violence to the verb, the revision reads, '^ Shall I be 
pure with wicked balances," meaning that the 
offender thus asks his conscience. 

Nahum. — In the vigorous description of the assault 
on Nineveh, the Authorized Version reads (ii. 3), 
*niie chariots shall be with flaming torches," but 
the revision, " the chariots flash with steel." In iii. 
2, 3 the revision does justice to tlie original by repre- 
senting the rapid movement of the assailants and the 
pomp and glow of their onward rush. "" The noise 
of the whip, and the noise of the rattling of wheels ; 
and prancing horses and jumping chariots ; the horse- 
men mounting, and the flashing sword and the glit- 
tering spear ; and a multitude of slain, and a great 
heap of carcases." 

Habakkuk. — The Authorized Yersion renders i. 
11, " Then shall his mind change, and he shall pass 
over and offend, imputing this his jjower unto his 
god," but most critics understand the verse as stating 
the resistless march of the invader and his self-confi- 
dence. '' Then shall he sweep by, as a wind, and 
shall pass over and be guilty, even he whose might 
is his god." In ii. 3 is the familiar utterance about 


tlie vision : '' tliougli it tarry, wait for it ; because 
it will surely come, it will not tarry." The revision 
changes the last word to '' delay," because the He- 
brew has two different words for tarry, one that 
means merely to linger, the other meaning a delay 
that is final or too late to be rectified. The apparent 
contradiction of the Authorized Yersion is thus shown 
not to exist. In ii. 15 the Authorized Yersion says, 
*' Woe unto him that givetli his neighbor drink, that 
puttest thy bottle to him," which the ignorant quote 
as if it were applicable to our own day. But the 
second clause is incorrectly translated, and the true 
rendering is, "that addest thy venom iliereto.'''* 
Thus the revision shows that there is no reference to 
friendly social drinking usages, but rather to a man 
who thrusts an unwelcome drink upon another on pur- 
pose to bring him to shame. In ii. 19 the Authorized 
Yersion has the idol-maker saying " to the dumb 
stone, Arise, it shall teach," but it is far more spir- 
ited to make the last words an indignant question of 
the prophet—'' Shall this teach ?" The brilhant ode 
which occupies the third chapter is made more clear 
in several places. Instead of the senseless '' horns" 
(v. 4), we read, " He had rays coming forth from His 
hand." So in v. 14, instead of '' striking through 
with his staves the head of villages," we read, " Thou 
didst pierce with His own staves the head of His 
warriors." The prosaic version of v. 15, " Thou didst 
walk through the sea with thy horses, through the heap 
of great waters," is exchanged for " Thou didst tread 
the sea with thine horses, the heap of mighty waters. ' ' 


Zephaniah. — In i. 11 ''merchant people" is re- 
placed by '' people of Canaan," whose overthrow is 
mentioned in the next chapter. 

Haggai. — In ii. 7 the well-known promise in ref- 
erence to the second temple, '' the desire of all nations 
shall come," is usually interpreted to mean Messiah 
as the unconscious hope of the Gentiles ; but the true 
rendering makes it refer to things, not persons — 
" The desirable things of all nations shall come, and 
I will fill this house with glory." Of course this is 
a consequence of Messiah' s appearance. 

Zechariah. — In iii. 8 Joshua and his fellows are 
called in the Authorized Yersion '' men wondered 
at." The revision gives the true and comforting 
meaning — ''men that are a sign" — i.e., typical 
men, they who foreshadow the great future priest 
upon his throne. In xii. 2 the unintelligible phrase 
*' the forest of the vintage " is exchanged for " the 
strong forest." In xii. 2 Jerusalem is to be a cup of 
reeling to all the people " when they shaU be in the 
siege both against Judah and Jerusalem," but coun- 
tries are not besieged, and the literal rendering is, 
-' and upon Judah also shall it be in the siege against 

Malachi i. 10. — Instead of the irrelevant question 
of the Authorized Yersion, " Who among you would 
shut the doors /b;' naiiglit V modern critics render, 
as the revision, ' ' Oh that there were one among you 
that would shut the doors, that ye might not kindle 
fire on my altar in vain." Better no sacrifice than 
one improperly offered. The well-known passage, 


iii. 17, ^'tliey shall be mine . . . when I make up 
my jewels," is rendered according to the original 
thus, '^ And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of 
hosts, in the day that I do make, even a peculiar treas- 
ure." The Hebrew offers no suggestion that God 
makes up a casket of jewels, but it does teach how 
dear God's people are to Him, and how carefully 
they are preserved. 



When the co-operation of American scholars in 
the work of revision was invited, nothing was said, 
perhaps nothing was even thought of, in respect to 
the course to be pursued in case of a difference of 
opinion between the two committees as to the pro- 
priety of any proposed changes. As the work went 
on it became apparent that such a difference existed. 
Various methods of composing it were suggested, and 
there was considerable correspondence on the subject. 
Finally it was agreed with great, if not entire, una- 
nimity, that on the one hand the American Commit- 
tee should recognize the moral claim of copyright on 
the part of the English publishers, the Syndics of the 
University presses, and for fourteen years from the 
date of publication should abstain from issuing any 
edition of their own, meanwhile giving the whole 
weight of their influence in favor of the English 
issues ; while, on the other hand, the differences of 
reading or of rendering which in the view of the 
American Committee were of special importance 
should be inserted in an appendix to be attached to 
all the English editions. There were some at least 
of the American Committee to whom the plan of an 


appendix was very distasteful, and wlio would gladly 
have welcomed some other solution of the difficulty ; 
but none such could be found, and accordingly all 
acquiesced in the conclusion just stated. The effort 
of the American Committee, then, was to reduce the 
appendix to the smallest jDossible dimensions ; and 
after receiving the final action of their British 
brethren, they revised and re-revised the exceptions 
they took to their results, often surrendering what 
they deliberately judged to be best because it did not 
seem to be of such importance as to demand distinct 
mention. With these explanations the reader will 
easily understand the precise force of the heading of 
the appendix as given in the authorized editions. 

*' The American Old Testament Company, while 
recognizing the cordial acceptance given to many of 
their suggestions, present the following instances in 
which they differ from the English Company as of 
sufficient importance to be appended to the revision 
in accordance with the original agreement." 

These suggestions are divided into two portions, 
one consisting of emendations to be applied to words 
or phrases of frequent occurrence, or at least occur- 
ring of tener than once, and hence bearing the general 
title of '^ classes of passages," the other of particular 
instances in which a different rendering is preferred. 


I. Of these the first and most important is that 
which refers to the characteristic divine name, Jehovah. 
This name occurs in the Authorized Version of the 


Old Testament in seven places, in three of which it 
is in composition, as Jehovah-Shalom (Judges vi. 24). 
This number has been considerably increased in the 
revision, but the American Committee think that the 
chano^e should be universal. It is well known that 
the Jews cherished a superstitious dread of this name, 
and while preserving its radical letters altered the 
vowels, so that it is not altogether a settled question 
what those vowels were, though 1 believe all admit 
that they were not those represented by our Engh'sh 
word Jehovah. Most modern scholars propose to 
express them by the form Jahveh, which is some- 
times by pedants introduced into popular works. 
Tlie Greek translators did not transfer the word, 
but rendered it uniformly by uvpio^, and tlie English 
translators copied their example by rendering with 
the exceptions noted, Lord ; and where this occurred 
in connection with another Hebrew word signifying 
Lord, they rendered the compound phrase '^Lord 
God," thus completely hiding from the ordinary 
reader the full force of the term. For ''Lord" 
simply conveys the ideas of authority, power and 
majesty, which are abundantly conveyed by other 
terms, such as El Shaddai. As is well known, God 
is tlie ordinary titje given to the Creator as supreme 
and the object of worship, in which sense it is applied 
to the gods of the heathen ; but Jehovah belongs 
alone to the God of Israel who revealed Himself to 
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and it is never applied 
to any other deity. There are Gods many, or many 
that are so called, but there is only one Jehovah. 


This is the incommunicable name. There are differ- 
ences of opinion as to its exact meaning, but there 
is no difference as to its being the chosen and charac- 
teristic apjiellation of the God of the Scriptures, the 
One who revealed Himself to Ilis people and entered 
into covenant with them. Elohim is the God of 
nature, the creator and preserver of men, but Je- 
hovah is the God of revelation and redemption ; and 
this wealth of meaning in the latter term is increased 
if we regard it as involving the ideas of eternal and 
immutable self -existence which its derivation is gen- 
erally considered to imply. Now, why should such 
a peculiar and pervading feature of the living oracles 
be effaced from the English Bible ? Why should a 
habit, originating in nothing but superstition, be re- 
tained ? The only answer is the shock to usage given 
by the change in such a multitude of places in the 
Bible. ^ But this, though it be sore enough, is not 

* Mr. Arnold indeed gives another reason in his "Isaiah of 
Jerusalem" — viz., that Jehovah "has a mythological sound." 
But how can that he, when it has for nearly three centuries 
been in the Authorized Version in seven places ? Most persons 
are accustomed to make a wide distinction between Scripture 
and mythology. Is it possible that Mr. Arnold was influenced 
by an unconscious recalling of the opening stanza of Poj^e's 
••Universal Prayer," fitly so called, as no rational individual 
could thus worship he knows not what ? 

Father of all I in every age, 

In every ciime adored, 
By saint, by savage, and by sage, 
Jehovah, Jove, or Lord ! 

If this be so, I may be permitted to say that where one reader 
of the English Bible has gotten his conception of Jehovah from 


sufficient to justify so great a departure from fidelity 
as is found in the common version, for this departure 
operates to obscure the very thing which the author 
of the Bible intended to make prominent. Words 
are often things, and nowhere so clearly as in the 
names of the divine Being. Witness the emphasis 
laid on this word in the Old Testament and the 'New. 
'' This is my name, and this is my memorial to all 
generations" (Ex. iii. 15). ''His name through 
faith in His name hath made this man strong' ' (Acts 
iii. 16). The sentiment of the passage in Exodus is 
reproduced in Ps. xxx. 4 (xcvii. 12), where, however, 
it is quite obscured in the rendering of the Author- 
ized Version, which is retained in the British re- 
vision, " Give thanks at the remembrance of His 
holiness." The true sense of the passage is : 

Sing praise unto the Lord, O ye saints of His, 
And give thanks to His holy memorial name. 

And so in Hosea xii. 5 we read " Jehovah is His 
memorial," where the whole point of the sentiment 
lies in the divine name. The American Company 
felt that it was due to the English reader that he 
should be able to see in his Bible all the stress which 
the Most High has been pleased to lay upon His 
chosen characteristic name. 

II. The Avord Sheol is rendered in the Authorized 
Version variously as ''the grave," "the pit" or 
' ' hell. ' ' The English revisers in some cases substituted 

Pope, at least fifty have drawn theirs from the occasional use of 
the word in that Bible. 


the transliteration of the Hebrew word, but in others 
allowed the old rendering to remain. The Appendix 
asks that the transliteration should be carried through 
the book without exception. The reasons are that 
this saves the necessity of a periphrasis, since no one 
English word expresses the full sense of the Hebrew, 
and it is not wise to substitute a description for a 
definition. The original term, whatever be its deri- 
vation, simply denotes the state or place of departed 
spirits, considered as the common abode of the right- 
eous (Gen. xxxvii. 35) and the wicked (Ps. ix. 17). 
The Authorized Yersion's renderings of it are there- 
fore misleading. '' Hell" in popular English is the 
place of endless punishment, a sense which Blieol 
never has. The cjrave and \X\q jpU refer primarily to 
the body, and so miss the very point of Sheol, which 
refers to the sj^irit. The only safe way is to trans- 
literate the word throughout, and then the English 
reader, studying all the passages in which it occurs, 
can arrive at his own conclusion as to its meaning. 
It is of course unpleasant and undesirable to intro- 
duce a new and foreign word into a book for the 
people, but in this case no resource is left. Any 
other course would darken the mind of the Spirit. 

Classes HI. , lY. and Y. express simply a prefer- 
ence for modern usage over ancient. Many prefer 
the archaisms as not misleading and as in keeping 
with the venerable age of the Scriptures, but others 
insist that the book which is put into the hands of 
all the young as soon as they are able to read should 
represent the grammatical forms in vogue among all 


good writers of our own day. A very large majority 
of the American Committee sided with the latter, and 
hence tlie substitutions recommended. 

Class YI. respects renderings in the margin that 
have been borrowed from the Septuagint version, the 
Yulgate or other ancient " authorities." The inser- 
tion of these is based on the presumption that the 
variations found in these versions originated in vari- 
ations in the Hebrew codices, which the authors of 
tliose versions had before them. Without denying 
that such matters are well worthy of the scholar's 
careful attention, the American Committee yet felt 
that there was an element of uncertainty about them 
which forbade the notion of presenting them even 
as alternative readings in a book intended for the 
people. The English Bible is a version of the He- 
brew Bible as we have it from the hands of them 
to whom '' were committed the oracles of God." 

Class Yll. contains a variety of details, very many 
of which explain themselves, or at least suggest the 
reasons for their adoption. For example, " adder" 
is substituted for '' basilisk," because the latter word 
conveys to most readers no more meaning than the 
original Hebrew would convey. Other words, such 
as seethe^ sod, chapiter, fenced (in the sense of forti- 
fied), fray, mount (in the sense of mound), ouches^ 
sith, tell (in the sense of number or count), are prac- 
tically obsolete. '^ A lamb of the first year" is an 
ambiguous expression, but the change of the last four 
words into *^ a year old " gives the sense of the 
original clearly and exactly. The phrase '^ son of 


Belial" seems to imply that Belial, which simply 
means worthlessiiess and then wickedness^ is the name 
of an evil spirit, for which there is indeed plenty of 
authority in Milton but none in the Scripture, save 
possibly in 11. Cor. vi. 15, where Belial (true text, 
Beliar) is put in opposition to Christ, and where 
many think it is simply a personification of the evil 
principle. It seemed to the American Company that 
to resolve the phrase into its obvious meaning would 
be a gain to the reader. The phrase " God forbid " 
is removed, because it does not seem reverent to in- 
troduce the divine name in an exclamation where it 
does not appear in the original. ^' Lamp" takes the 
place of '' candle," because the latter never has been 
known in the East, and is not found there now save 
as introduced by foreigners. '' New wine" is in- 
serted whenever it represents the Hebrew word 
usually so translated, in order that the English reader 
may for himself trace the usage. No one would 
guess that "apothecary" and ''confectionery" in 
the Authorized Version simply mean " perfumer ;" 
and since such is unquestionably the fact, it seems 
better to j)ut the correct word in the text. To say 
that God ''sitteth upon the cherubim*' does not 
convey a sense suitable to our concejDtions of the 
divine majesty ; and it is equally correct and far more 
dignified to say that '' Re sitteth {i.e.^ as king = en- 
throned) above the cherubim,' ' these exalted creat- 
ures being considered as bearers of His throne. It is 
worth while to substitute scoffer for scorner^ because 
the latter word now refers mainly to a mental emo- 


tion, whereas the other implies the outward expres- 
sion of such emotion, which is what the original word 
means. It greatly increases the vividness of a pas- 
sage when, instead of the word t7ntsty w^hich represents 
several different Hebrew terms, we find the phrase 
take refuge^ which is the exact sense of the original. 
So the phrase " wait on," which now means to serve 
or minister J entirely falls short of the signification of 
the Hebrew verb = waitfoi\ and therefore a change 
is required if the reader is to know just what the 
book says. Modern usage expresses the loud lamen- 
tation of intelligent beings by the word '' wail" and 
not by 'Miowl," which is usually reserved for irra- 
tional creatures. For euphemistic reasons, '^ harlot" 
is substituted for " whore," and '^ play the harlot" 
for '' go a whoring." To justify these substitutions, 
it is enough to say that while both words and phrases 
have precisely the same meaning, there is a large 
class of persons to whom one seems much more coarse 
and offensive than the other. It cannot be wrong to 
gratify an innocent predilection like this. 


In Genesis xviii. 19 the phrase of the Authorized 
Version "to do justice and judgment" is retained 
in the revision. This is objected to not only because 
it is a tautology, but because it conceals an important 
distinction of the two original words, one of which 
expresses man's duty toward God (righteousness), the 
other his duty toward his fellow (justice). In xlix. 
3 the change of "excellency" into "pre-eminence" 


is both more literal and more effective, since the 
point of Reuben's position as tirst-born. was not 
simply that he liad dignity and power, but that he 
had more of these than any of his brethren — i.e., had 
the pre-eminence. 

In Exodus i. 21 the saying that God made the 
mid wives '' houses" is often misunderstood as if it 
were material structures He built for them, yet there 
seems no doubt that what is meant is ^' households" 
(or families), a meaning which the word has in scores 
of instances, even according to the Authorized Ver- 
sion. It ought, then, for perspicuity to be inserted 
here. In xvii. 14, where the Lord tells Moses to 
write his purpose to destroy Amalek, ^' in a book," 
the proposed addition of the marginal rendering 
*^ Or, the hook ' ' is by no means a trifle, since it gives 
the article of the original, and besides suggests the 
important fact that a regular record was habitually 
kept at that time. In xix. 5 God's promise to Israel, 
*' ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me," has often 
been misconceived as meaning that Israel should be 
a peculiar people in the ordinary sense of that phrase. 
The exact sense of the words is given in the Appen- 
dix, ^' mine own possession" — i.e.^ peculiarly mine — 
mine in a sense in which no other people is. (See 
Appendix on Dent. vii. 6.) 

In Leviticus xvi. 8 the revision puts in the margin 
'' dismissal " as the probable meaning of the translit- 
erated Hebrew Azazel (or scapegoat). The Appen- 
dix prefers the stronger word ^'removal" as more 
faithful and more suitable. The much- vexed pas- 


sage, xviii. 18, is tliiis rendered, '' Thoushalt not take 
a woman to lier sister to be a rival to her . . . beside 
the other in her hfetime." The Appendix reverts 
to the Authorized Version, '^ Thon shalt not take a 
wife to her sister," because this is the obvious mean- 
ing of the prohibition, and because the word in ques- 
tion is again and again in this very chapter rendered 
wife^ and there is no reason for choosing another ren- 
dering here. 

In Numbers v. 21, 22 tlie change proposed in the 
Appendix is simply euphemistic. The reason of it is 
that in a book intended for both sexes and all ages, 
and for public as well as private reading, a euphe- 
mistic expression is always to be preferred when it 
leaves the sense unchanged. In vii. 13 and else- 
where the obsolete word '' charger" is exchanged for 
its exact equivalent, ''platter." ^Yhatever may be 
the state of the case in England, it is certain that in 
this country not one reader in a hundred would 
understand what was meant by " a silver charger." 
In several verses in ch. xix., the purifying water, 
made by infusion of the ashes of a red heifer 
slain and burnt in a peculiar way, is called ''the 
water of separation." The Appendix prefers the 
phrase " water for impurity," both as more faithful 
to the Hebrew, and as better adapted to exj^ress the 
exact purpose for which the red heifer water was 
prepared. It was intended to purify the unclean. 

In Deuteronomy the margin " hill country " pro- 
posed to be added to " mountain" in iii. 25, is 
meant to suggest that here the sense may be made 


plainer bj attaching to tlie word rendered nnountain 
the wider sense which it unquestionahly has very 
often in the Old Testament. It was not one parti c- 
nlar peak or knoll that Moses longed to see, but the 
whole mountainous region of which Palestine mainly 
consists. In iv. 34 the margin '' trials " is justly 
preferred to the text "temptations," since a com- 
parison of the other passages in which the word occurs 
shows that it is not moral enticements that are re- 
ferred to, but the chastisements inflicted upon Pha- 
raoh and other adversaries. The change of "in any 
wise" to " surely" in xvii. 15 and xxii. 7 is made 
in the interest of perspicuity ; and the same is to be 
said of the substitution of " judge amiss ' ' for " mis- 
deem ' ' in xxxii. 27. 


In Joshua v. 10, 11 the phrase "old corn," re- 
tained from the Authorized Version in therevison, is 
misleading, for the original word does not specify 
any kind of cereals, new or old, bnt merely what the 
land is wont to yield, and hence the Appendix prop- 
erly proposes to substitute the term " produce." 
In xvi. 1 the revision reads, " And tlie lot for the 
children of Joseph went out from the Jordan," etc., 
connecting the verb with the locality, whereas the 
meaning is that " the lot came out [from the urn or 
receptacle of the lots] for the children of Joseph," 
etc. So in the second verse of the next chapter 
the revision reads, " And the lot was for the rest of 
Manasseh," as if this was a new statement in addition 


to what preceded, whereas it is a raere resumption of 
what has gone before. The Appendix therefore 
reads, " So the lot was for the rest," etc. In xxii. 
10 we read of ^' a great altar to see to," which is 
certainly obscure if not ambiguous ; hence the Ap- 
pendix renders '' a great altar to look upon" — ^.^., 
its size would impress the spectator. In the 20th 
verse a different rendering of the divine names is a 
manifest improvement. ^' The Lord, the God of 
Gods," is changed into ''The Mighty One, God, 
Jehovah." Tlie first noun is a name signifying 
Power ; the second is tlie ordinary name for Deity ; 
the third is the covenant name of Him who called 
Israel to be His people. The whole together, El^ 
EloMm^ Jehovah, expresses all that to an Israelite 
was commanding and impressive in the Being whom 
he worshipped. The same combination reappears in 
the first verse of the 50th Psalm. 

In Judges iii. 20, instead of " summer parlor," the 
Appendix proposes " cool upper room," for this is 
all that the original words mean. In v. 26, instead 
of " the nail," which Jael is represented as using to 
kill Sisera, the Appendix says " the tent-pin,'' which 
is what the implement is called in the preceding 
chapter (vv. 21, 22). The revision corrects the 
Authorized Version in one chapter, but not in the 
other. It seems plain that the poetical account 
should correspond with the prose narrative. In ix. 
15 the Authorized Yersi on and the revision represent 
the bramble in Jotham's parable as saying to the trees, 
'' Put your trust in my shadow," but it is evident 


that the meaning is the '^ shade" which the bramble 
offers. Hence the Appendix suggests this change 
here, and in many other phaces where it is clearly 
called for. In the same chapter (v. 52) it is said of 
Abimelech that he '' went hard unto the door of the 
tower," which is not clear to ordinary readers, for 
which reason the Appendix substitutes the mod- 
ern phrase ''he drew near." The questions of 
Manoah to the angel in xiii. 12 are given by the 
revision, '' "What shall be the manner of the child, 
and what shall be his work V ' The Appendix bet- 
ter represents the letter and spirit of the original 
by, '' What shall be the ordering of the child, and 
how shall we do unto him ?" A comparison of v. 
8 shows that Manoah wished to learn, not what the 
child was to do, but how his parents were to deal 
with him. In xv. 15 what the Hebrew says of the 
jawbone with which Samson did such execution was 
not that it was '' new," but that it was " fresh." It 
might have been very old, but it was still moist, and 
therefore strong. 

In Kuth ii. 10 the Moabitish maiden tells Boaz, ac- 
cording to the Authorized Version and the revision, 
that she was a " stranger ;" but the Appendix suggests 
what the Hebrew says, that she was '' a foreigner." 
The same change applies well to David's address to 
Ittai the Gittite (II. Sam. xv. 19), "For thou art 
a foreigner." A more important emendation occurs 
in iii. 11, where Euth is called '' a virtuous woman," 
which she certainly was. But the word means more, 
both here and in Prov. xii. 4 and xxxi, 10, and can 


be fairly rendered onl y by some siicb term as ^ ^ ca- 
pable, ' ' or, as the Appendix prefers, ' ' worthy. ' ' Vir- 
tue is the sine qua non of a reputable woman, but 
some may have that and nothing else. Ruth was not 
of that class. 

In I. Samuel ii. 20 Eli appears by the Authorized 
Version to be promising Hannah further oifspring 
instead of '' the loan which was lent to the Lord ;" 
but the Api^endix renders ''for the petition which 
was asked of the Lord." And this is true to the 
fact. Samuel, as his name shows, was asked of the 
Lord, and was therefore not lent but consecrated ir- 
revocably to Him. Eli prays for other children in his 
place. In v. 26 Samuel not only '' was " in favor 
both with the Lord and with man, but " increased " 
in the same, as the Appendix says, for the Hebrew 
expresses an advance equally in years and in favor. 
The expression in iii. 1, " there was no open vision," 
is so obscure as to be almost unintelhgible ; the Ap- 
pendix makes it clear by rendering ''no frequent 
vision." In x. 2 the Authorized Version, followed 
by the revision, makes Samuel say to Saul, " Thy 
father hath left the care of the asses and taketh 
thought for you." To bring this into conformity 
with modern usage, the Appendix puts it, " Thy 
father hath left off caring for the asses, and is anxious 
for you." (Cf. ix. 5.) This corresponds with the 
Revised ']^ev^ Testament in Matt. vi. 25, 31, 34. 
In V. 24 "God save the king" is changed into 
"Long live the king," because this is all that the 
original means, and the needless use of the divine 


name should be avoided. In xiv. 47 '' vexed them" 
is made "put them to the worse," because the 
former rendering is both inadequate and ambiguous. 
In xxiv. 11 it is proposed to substitute "life" for 
"soul," as the object of Saul's pursuit of David, 
since it was plainly David's death which the king 
sought, and it is well to hinder plain readers from 
making a mistake. In xxv. 13 the Appendix substi- 
tutes " baggage " for " stuff " (" two hundred abode 
by the stuff"), making the same change which 
the revision made at xvii. 22, where it is surely no 
more needed than it is here. The omission of the 
margin to xxv. 22, 34 recommends itself. 

In II. Samuel v. 2, instead of " Thou shalt feed 
my people Israel," the Appendix proposes, " Thou 
shalt be the shepherd of my people," etc. This is 
the meaning of the original word, which implies 
much more than is contained in the term. Feed. See 
a fine example in Ps. xlix. 14 (and also in Rev. 
vii. lY), Revised Yersion. " Widow woman" and 
*' widow" in English mean precisely the same thing. 
It is hard to see therefore why, in deference to a 
mere Hebraism, the longer form should be retained 
in our version, as it is in xiv. 5 and elsewhere. So 
in V. 26 the retention of " polled his head," instead 
of " cut the hair of his head," seemed to the Am- 
erican Company the preferring of a misleading 

In I. Kings vi. 6 it is proposed to substitute " off- 
sets" for " rebatements," on the ground that it 
being hard enough to understand the construction of 


the temple any way, no needless difficulties from 
obsolete terms should be left to embarrass the mean- 
ing. The same thing is to be said of the proposed 
substitution of "panels" for "borders" in vii. 28, 
29. In X. 15, 16 the change of " chapmen" into 
" traders" and of " targets" into " bucklers" is sim- 
ply the surrender of obsolete terms or meanings. 
The same is true of the substitution of "cakes" 
for " cracknels" in xiv. 3. " Jar" is proposed for 
"barrel" in xvii. 12, 11, 16, because the original 
does not mean barrel, and that measure is too large, 
for the circumstances. The substitution of "go ye 
halting" for "halt ye," in xviii. 21, is for the 
reason that it better expresses the vacillation, the 
habitually shifting inconsistent course which the 
prophet reproves. The fault rebuked was not their 
taking a middle ground between two parties, but 
their adhering now to one, and again to the other. 

In II. Kings ii. 23 the Appendix asks that the 
margin " young lads" be put in the text in place of 
" little children," because the Hebrew term {na'ar) * 
has the same latitude of meaning as toy used to have 
in our Southern States, where it was applied in the 
case of slaves equally to a babe in arms and to a man 
of seventy. The offenders here were evidently not 
mere children, but half-grown persons, and are 
therefore properly described as young lads^ and again 
as (v. 24) lads. In xvii. 6 the phrase " in Ilabor, on 
the river of Gozan," it is proposed to replace by 

* Compare II. Sam. xvii. 1 and II. Kings iv. 31. 


^^ on the Habor, the river of Gozan," because there 
seems little reason to doubt that the word denotes the 
chief affluent of the Euphrates, known as Khabour. 
In xix. Y the Appendix changes '^ a rumor" into 
''tidings," because the word means not a vague 
report, but a definite communication or message. 
The other change proposed in this chapter — viz., 
V. 35, " these were all dead bodies," is due to an at- 
tempt to escape the tautology (which, it must be 
confessed, exists in the Hebrew), " they were all 
dead corpses." 

In I. Chronicles ix. 19 the Authorized Version 
and the revision m^ention " the gates of the taber- 
nacle," which, in accordance with the Hebrew, the 
Appendix turns into " the thresholds of the tent." 
In the same chapter (v. 28) "tale" is changed to 
*' count," the former word being almost obsolete. 
In the statement, xxviii. 17, that David's pattern of 
the temple which he gave to Solomon came to him 
*' by the Spirit," the revision removes the capital 
letter of the Authorized Yersion, which the Appen- 
dix proposes to restore, as it is hard to conceive what 
else the phrase can mean than the Spirit of the Lord, 
the same Spirit which filled Bezaleel and Aholiab 
of old. 

In II. Chronicles xxxvi. 3 the Authorized Version 
says that the King of Egypt " condemned the land 
in a hundred talents of silver," etc. The revision 
substitutes ' ' amerced " f or " condemned. " For this 
the Appendix proposed to read " fined " as more in- 
telligible to modern readers. In v. 17 the revision 


changes ^' liim that stooped forage" into *^ ancient," 
for which the Appendix proposes '^ hoary headed," 
as being both literal and unambiguons. 

In Esther ii. 17 it is said of Esther that she ob- 
tained '' grace and favor" in the sight of the king. 
The Appendix proposes to substitute '' favor and 
kindness," in accordance with a purpose to render 
the Hebrew words uniformly. 


In Job i. 1, 8 and ii. 3 the revision retains the Au- 
thorized Version's word " eschewed," but the Ap- 
pendix (following the example of the J^ew Testa- 
ment revisers in I. Peter iii. 11) substitutes '^ turned 
away from," as a plainer term. In the last verse of 
the chapter the revision reads '^ nor charged God with 
foolishness," but the xlppendix prefers to retain the 
text of the Authorized Yersion,^' charged God fool- 
ishly," and also its margin, '^ Or, attribiUecl folly to 
God.^^ In iii. 4 the revision retains the Authorized 
Version, ^' Let not God regard it from above," but 
the Appendix renders more exactly the form and 
meaning of the Hebrew, ^' Let not God from above 
seek for it" — i.e.^ Let not Him who is on high 
seek after it that it may duly appear. The change 
proposed in v. 11 is a euphemism which preserves 
the full sense, and is therefore acceptable. In v. 19 
the insertion of the article before ^' great" in the 
sentence, " The small and great are there," is re- 
quired both by euphony and grammar. In v. 21: 
'* my roarings are poured out like waters," the pro- 


posed substitution of " groanings " for '^roarings" 
commends itself as more appropriate to the utter- 
ances of a human being. In iv. 4, ^' Thou hast 
confirmed the feeble knees," the proposed change 
of '' confirmed " to '^ made firm" conforms to mod- 
ern usage, and renders the phrase at once intelli- 
gible. [But the same change is required in Is. xxx\^. 
3.] In V. 6 the transposition suggested by the Ap- 
pendix makes the sense of the question more clear. 
Does not your confidence rest upon your fear of 
God? and your hope upon your integrity ? In vi. 2 
it is hard to see any meaning in the last word of the 
clause, '' Oh that my calamity were laid in the bal- 
ances together !" Hence the Appendix omits it, 
and renders, Oh that all my calamity, etc. — a sense 
which the Hebrew will certainly bear, and which is 
every way appropriate. (A similar instance of the 
same amended rendering of the Hebrew is to be seen 
in xxiv. 4.) In v. 10 the revision reads, 

Then should I yet have comfort ; 

Yea, I would exult in pain that spareth not ; 

For I have not denied the words of the Holy One. 

The Appendix proposes as more literal, and more 
congruous after Job's request for death, to render 
the words as a calm assurance of innocence : 

And be it still my consolation, 

Yea, let me exult in pain that spareth not, 

That I have not denied, etc. 

In V. 25 is the question, ^' What doth your argu- 
ing reprove ?" which is rather blind. The Appen- 


dix renders literally, ^^ Your reproof, wliat doth it 
reprove ?" The kind of reproving that comes from 
yon, what does it amonnt to ? In v. 26, as often 
elsewhere, " imagine" is used where modern usage 
requires " tliink " or '' pnrpose" to be substitnted. 
In vii. 4 the revision reads, 

When I lie down, I say 

"When shall I arise ? but the night is long : etc., 

but the Appendix prefers the old form of the second 
member, which is simpler and quite as true to the origi- 
nal, '^ When shall 1 arise, and the night be gone ?" 
In V. Y, " my life is wind, " the Appendix suggests the 
more emphatic " my life is a breath." In v. 17 
''heart" is changed to "mind," because this is 
what the passage means. The question is, Why 
God should make man of any importance or busy 
Himself at all with him, not why He should bestow 
any affection upon him. In ix. 20 the revision 

If we speak of the strength of the mighty, lo He is ihej^e ! 
But if of judgment, who will ajjpoint me a time? 

The Appendix better preserves the balance of the 
clauses, and makes clearer the sense, by reading, 

If we speak of strength, lo He is mighty ! 

But if of judgment, who, saiih He, will summon me ? 

That is, if the question be one of power, of course 

He will crush me ; but if it be one of right, then God 

asks who can summon Him to adjudge the question ? 

In x. 22 the revision follows for the most part the 


Authorized Yersion. The x\ppendix Avould read it 
thus : 

The land dark as midniglit ; 

The land of the shadow of death, without any order, 

And where the light is as midnight, 

adding as margin to midnight " Or, thich darkness.''^ 
This is quite as literal as what it supplants, and more 
effective. The difficult line in xi. 6, that God would 
show the secrets of wisdom — " That it is manifold in 
effectual working," the Appendix puts thus, ^' For 
He is manifold in understanding," which is simpler, 
more suitable and equally true to the original. The 
similarly obscure passage in v. 12 the revision renders, 

But a vain man would be wise ; 
Though man is born as a wild ass's colt, 

making a contrast between the two members. The 
Appendix considers the second an emphatic repetition 
of the first, thus : 

But rain man is void of understanding : 
Yea, man is born as a wild ass's colt. 

This seems better suited to the connection than the 
other. In xii. 4, instead of "^ ma7i that called," 
the Appendix puts ''I who c'alled," thus bringing 
out Job's full meaning that it was a monstrous thing 
that he, a man who called upon God and received 
an answer, should be made a laughing-stock. In xii. 
23, where the revision reads, " He spreadeth the 
nations abroad and bringeththem in," the Appendix 
makes the sense clearer by rendering, ^' He enlargeth 
the nations, and He leadeth them captive. ' ' And in 


tlie next line, instead of '' He taketli away the heart 
of the chiefs of the people," the Appendix has, 
'' He taketh away understanding from the chiefs," 
etc., which is beyond doubt what the line means. 
In xiii. 8 the Hebraism, '' Will ye accept His per- 
son," retained from the Authorized Version, is re- 
solved by the Appendix into its exact equivalent in 
our idiom, " Will ye show partiality for Him ?" So 
in V. 10. In v. 11 "excellency" becomes '^maj- 
esty," which is the manifestation of excellency. In 
the very familiar passage, v. 13, the revision re- 
tains the first clause of the Authorized Version, and 
renders, '' Though He slay me, yet w^ill I wait for 
Him," but the Appendix is more literal, and gives 
the true sense, " Behold, He will slay me ; I have 
no hope. " It is not pleasant to resign a version which 
expresses such triumphant faith, and has therefore 
become dear to pious hearts in all generations, but it 
must be done. The rendering '' Though He slay" 
is impossible. In v. 16 the revision retains the 
Authorized Version (with a slight change), 

He also shall be my salvation ; 

For a godless man shall not come before him. 

But the Appendix prefers to read, 

This also shall be my salvation, 
That a godless man shall not, etc. 

— i.e., Job's desire to appear before God is evidence 
of innocence, and so an assurance of his safety, for 
no one conscious of wrong- doing would venture this. 
In XV. 12 '^ And why do thine eyes wink?" the 


change of " wink" to ^' flasli" gives the sense, and 
is clear. In v. 27 " made collops of fat on his flanks" 
is obscure, and hence changed to '' gathered fat upon 
his loins." For the same reason the margin of v. 29 
is preferred to the text. In xvii. 2 Job's saying, 
'' mine eye abideth in their provocation," is ambig- 
uous ; to say " it dwelleth upon their provocation " 
— i.e., it must do so — is plain. In v. T '' I am be- 
come an open abhorring " gives way to the more 
literal and vigorous " They spit in my face." In 
xix. 17 is another euphemism, which, however, pre- 
serves all the force of the original. The famous 
passage 25-27 is thus given in the Appendix : 

But as for me, I know that my redeemer liveth. 

And at last he shall stand up upon the earth ; 

And after my skin, even this body, is destroyed, 

Then without my flesh shall I see God ; 

"Whom I, even I, shall see on my side. 

And mine eyes shall behold, and not as a stranger. 

Job expected to die, but even then he will see 
God, see Him on his side, and no more as estranged 
or hostile. The rendering here given is certainly a 
possible one, and the sense quite suitable to the con- 
nection. In V. 28 the margin " And that" is sub- 
stituted for the text ^^ Seeing that," because the 
sense seems to be that if Job's friends continued to 
pursue him and insist that the root of the matter 
(the real cause of his inflictions) was in himself, they 
should suffer. 

In xxi. 32, ^' And shall keep watch over the 
tomb, ' 


the verb watch does away with the apparent absurd- 
ity of a body in the gra\^e keeping watch over the 
tomb. In xxii. 14 to say that " God walketh on 
the vault of heaven" is more clear and vivid than 
to say He walketh "in the circuit of heaven." In 
xxiv. 12 '' God imputeth it not for folly," the Ap- 
pendix prefers " regardeth not the folly " — i.e.^ 
gives no heed to the wrong done, which is the sense 
the connection requires. In xxix. 6 and elsewhere 
" rivers" is turned into '' streams," because the 
latter word better represents the Hebrew, and is 
more suited to the circumstances. In xxxi. 2 '' what 
is the portion of God from above ?" the true sense 
is given by reading " from God above," and by a 
corresponding change in the next line. In v. 31 the 
ambiguous " satisfied with his flesh" is changed into 
" filled with his meat." In xxxii. 19 "breast" is 
introduced emphemistically as a full equivalent to 
the Hebrew. In xxxv. 6 ' ' doest ' ' is changed to 
" effectest," because " doest " occurs in the next 
line, where it renders a different Hebrew verb. In 
xxxvi. 18 the revision reads, " Because there is wrath, 
beware lest thou be led away by thy sufiiciency," but 
it gives a better and clearer sense to render, " For let 
not wrath stir thee up against chastisement," for Job's 
wrath was enticing him to rebellion. (Cf. xxxiv. 37.) 
In xxxvii. 1 the slight change of "At this also" into 
" Yea, at this" makes the connection with the pre- 
ceding chapter closer ; and in v. 2 " Hear, oh hear " 
is immensely more forcible than "Hearken ye 
unto," and represents the Hebrew exactly. In 


xxxviii. 10 '^ prescribed for it my decree," a mental 
act does not suit the connection nearly so well as the 
concrete physical effect, ' ' marked out for it my 
bound" — i.e., fixed a limit to the sea. In v. 30 
the obscure '' the waters are hidden as with stone" 
is well changed into " hide tliemselves and hecome 
like stone," w^hich exactly and poetically represents 
the formation of ice. In xxxix. 5 the term " wild 
ass" occurs in both members, but as the Hebrew 
employs two different words, the Appendix properly 
puts " swift ass" in the second member. In v. 13 
the revision greatly improves the Authorized Ver- 
sion, but the Appendix better preserves the fine 
poetic touch of the original, 

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly ; 

But are they the pinions and plumage of love ? 

In V. IG, instead of ^' She is hardened against her 
young," as the x\utliorized Version and the revision, 
the Appendix gives the true sense, ^' She dealeth 
hardly with." So in v. 28 the form and spirit of tlie 
Hebrew are well given in the spirited rendering of 
the Appendix, 

Upon the cliff she dwelleth and maketli her home, 
Upon the point of the cliff and the strong hold. 

In xl. 15 '^ w^hich I made wnth thee" is made to say 
by the Appendix what all admit that it means — i.e., 
" which I made as well as thee." So in v. 19 the 
lumbering clause " He only that made him can make 
his sword to approach unto Him" is wisely changed 
to ^' He that made himgiveth him his sword." The 


changes in the last chapter of ' ^ comely proportion'' 
into ''goodly frame" and of '' neesings" into 
''sneezings" are in the interest of fidelity and 


Book I. — In ii. 1 and xxxviii. 12 the margin " med- 
itate" is substituted for the text "imagine," be- 
cause the latter word does not sufficiently express the 
force of the original. In v. 7 it is better English 
to say "abundance" of lovingkindness than "mul- 
titude' ' of the same. In ix. 17 to say that the wicked 
shall " return to Sheol " implies that they have been 
there before, wherefore " return" is changed to "be 
turned back unto." In x. 14 the phrase "to re- 
quite it with thy hand ' ' is quite as faithful to the 
obscure Hebrew as "to take it into thy hand," and 
much more lucid. In xii. 2 the Hebrew may mean 
"falsehood " as well as "vanity," and the connec- 
tion here requires the former. (Similar is the change, 
xxvi. 4, xli. 6, cxliv. 8.) In v. 5, " For the oppres- 
sion of the poor, now will I arise," the substitu- 
tion of "because of" in place of " for," prevents 
ambiguity, and makes the meaning plain at once. 
The proposed substitution in xvi. 2 of " (? my soul^ 
thou hast said " for " I have said," is due simply to 
an unwillingness to depart from the Massoretic inter- 
punction. The sense is the same with either read- 
ing. In xvii. 7, " shew thy marvellous lovingkind- 
ness," etc., the Authorized Version is preferred, be- 
cause the version given in the revision, although 
more faithful to the form of the original, is unidio- 


matic and lumbering in aliigli degree. In v. 15 the 
reading of tlie Authorized Yersion, retained in the 
revision, ^^ I shall be satisfied . . . with thy like- 
ness," is rejected as positively misleading. The 
Psalmist does not expect to be like God, but to see 
Ilim (as the parallelism shows), and hence the Ap- 
pendix renders ^^ with heholclmg thy form," which 
is the meaning. In xxi. 3 for obvious reasons 
^' meetest " is substituted for the obsolete (in this 
sense) word '' preventest." In xxii. 8 ''deliver" 
in the second line is changed to " rescue," because 
" deliver" occurs in the first line, where it renders a 
different Hebrew verb. In v. 10 a grateful euphem- 
ism preserves the full sense of the original by render- 
ing ' ' Thou art my God since my mother bare me. ' ' 
In V. 16 the preference for the revision's margin, 
'' Like a lion," over the text, " they pierced," rests 
upon the fact that the Massoretic text requires the 
former, while the latter is derived from the ancient 
versions. The substitution of "Be their shepherd " 
for " Feed them," in xxviii. 4, is made because the 
latter fails far short of the meanins* of the orio^inal. 
Feeding is only one of a good shepherd's offices. In 
XXX. 4: for " Give thanks for a remembrance of His 
hohness" it is proposed to read " Give thanks to His 
holy memorial name^^'^ because a comparison w^ith 
Ex. iii. 15 (where God says of His name Jehovah, 
" This is my memorial unto all generations") shows 
that the latter |)hrase is what the Hebrew means. 
(Cf. cii. 12, cxxxv. 13.) In v. 5 " His favor is for 
a lifetime" is preferred to " In His favor is life, " 


because, while the Hebrew allows either, the former 
is better suited to the form of the original and to the 
parallelism. The change of ^' judgment " into 
''justice" in xxxiii. 5 and often elsewhere, is re- 
quired by the modern difference between the two 
words, which makes the former a very inadequate 
representation of the original. In xxxvii. 3 the 
familiar and blessed promise, '' and verilj thou shalt 
be fed," is rejected, because it is a grammatically- 
impossible version. Of other versions which are 
possible, the Appendix selects that one, '' Feed on 
His faithfulness,' ' which is most poetical, represent- 
ing God's veracity as the very food by which His 
servants are sustained. So in v. 37, '' the latter end 
of that man is peace" cannot fairly be gotten from 
the Hebrew, and hence the Appendix prefers the 
rendering, "there is a happy end to the man of 
peace," which accords with the usage of the word 
end. (Of. Prov. xxiii. 18.) 

Book II. — In xlii. 5, ''the health of His counte- 
nance" (so V. 11 and xliii. 5), the word " health" is 
exchanged for " help," because the latter gives the 
sense of the Hebrew, which the former does not. 
The change proposed in xliv. 2 is important in order 
to prevent misconception. The revision, following 
mainly the Authorized Yersion, renders. 

Thou didst drive out the nations with thy hand, and plantedst 

them in ; 
Thou didst afflict the peoples, and cast them forth. 

The alteration makes more clear what all admit to 
be the sense : 


Thou didst drive out tlie nations witli thy hand, but them 

thou didst plant ; 
Thou didst afflict, the peoples, but them thou didst spread 


God did one thing to tlie heathen , but just the op- 
site to His people. 

In xlix. 8 the substitution of '^ life" for ^^soul" 
is necessary, for most readers would suppose " the 
redemption of the soul " meant propitiation, whereas 
the whole reference is to bodily existence, which the 
writer tells us no wealth can buy. And so in the 
next clause it is said of any proposed ransom, not 
that it ''must be let alone forever," but that "it 
faileth forever" — i.e.^ comes absolutely to an end. 
In V. 12 the Authorized Version ''man being in 
honor abideth not ' ' is preferred, because this is the 
very point of the psahn, that no degree of wealth or 
station can secure permanence in life. " Conversa- 
tion " in 1. 23 is changed to "way," for the same 
reason that the New Testament revisers gave up the 
word when used in the now obsolete sense of " de- 
portment." In li. 11 "spirit" is spelled by the 
Appendix " Spirit," because the reference must cer- 
tainly be to a divine spirit. In v. 12 " willing" is 
put in place of "free," because the latter term in 
this connection is not so easily understood. In lii. 9 
the phrase " I will wait on thy name" is ambiguous. 
The sense is made clear by putting " hope in" for 
"wait on." In Ivi. 4 the obscure utterance, "In 
God I will praise His word : In God have I," etc., 
is greatly relieved by putting the words " I will 


praise His word " in a parentliesis, so that the verse 
runs smoothly. Thus : 

In God (I will praise his word), 
In God have I put my trust. 

The same in v. 10. In lix. 10, instead of '^ The 
God of my mercy shall prevent me," the Appendix 
proposes, in accordance with the Massoretic text, to 

My God with His lovingkindness shall meet me, 

which is richer as well as plainer. In Ixii. , ^ ' my soul 
waiteth in silence for God only" is more faithful and 
more emphatic than the revision '' my soul waiteth 
only upon God." In v. 3 " leaning" is substituted 
for '* bowing," because ^^ a bowing wall " is often 
misunderstood. The substitution of " earnestly" for 
*' early" in the sentence Ixiii. 1, '' early will I seek 
thee," is according to all modern lexicographers. 
In Ixv. iii '' forgive them" takes the place of '^ purge 
them away," because this better expresses the mean- 
ing of the word which relates to a forensic act and 
not to a subjective process. In Ixviii. 13 the re- 
vision makes a question, ^'"Will ye lie among the 
sheepfolds as the wings of a dove covered with 
silver," etc. ; the Appendix prefers to treat the verse 
as an assertion, ^' When ye lie, etc. (are at rest), it is 
as the wings," etc. That is, your prosperity is as 
splendid as the changeable colors of a dove's plu- 
mage. In V. 18 the Hebraism ''led captivity captive" 
is reduced to the English idiom, "led away cap-. 
tives." The meaning of v. 20, " unto the Lord be- 


long the issues from death," is made clearer by read- 
ing '^ belongeth escape from death." So in v. 23, to 
render, '^ That thou majest crush ihe77i, dij)ping thy 
foot in blood " is more exact than to say, '^ That 
thou may est dip the foot," etc. 

Book III. — In Ixxiii. 10 the obscurity of the 
words ' ' waters of a full cup are wrung out by 
them" is removed by changing ^' wrung out" into 
'^ drained." (Cf. Ixxv. 10.) In xc. 9 the revision 
has, ^' We bring our years to an end as a tale that is 
told /" the Appendix displaces the singular and ob- 
scure periphrasis at the end of the line by the word 
^' sigh,' ' which is at least one meaning of the Hebrew 
term. In v. 17, '' the beauty of the Lord be upon 
us," the substitution oi favor iov heauty gives the 
sense, and converts obscurity into lucidity. In xcii. 
13 the revision follows the Authorized Version in 
treating the verse as an identical proposition. 

They that are planted in the house of the Lord 
Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 

The Appendix is faithful to the Hebrew in making 
the verse a continuous description of the righteous, 

They are planted in the house of the Lord, 
They shall flourish in the courts of our God. 

In xciii. 1 it is hard to see any gain in the re- 
visers' change of ^'clothed" into ^'apparelled." 
Hence the Appendix reverses this, and reads the 
second line, 

JehoTah is clothed with strength, He hath girded Himself 


In xcvii. 5 the cliange of " hills'' into ^' mountains" 
is required by fidelity, and by the loftiness of the 
thought. It is mountains that melt like wax before 
Jehovah. In ciii. 5, " who satisiieth thy m6)2^i5A with 
good things," the word rendered " mouth" has long 
been a cross to critics. As it cannot be rendered 
literally, it is better to take a term such as the Ap- 
pendix offers — viz., '^desire," which is of larger 
compass than one like ''mouth," wdiich is confined 
to bodily sustenance. In civ. 4 the revision renders 

Who maketh winds His messengers, 
His ministers a flaming fire, 

which is an improvement upon the Authorized Ver- 
sion ; but the Appendix preserves the parallelism 
and adheres to the form of the original by reading 
the second member " Flames of fire His ministers." 
"Winds and flames are alike His servants. In v. 8, 
''they went up by the mountains, they went down 
by the valleys" is a possible rendering of the original, 
but it is far more poetical to render, as in the mar- 
gin, "The mountains rose, the valleys sank." In 
cv. 34 " caterpillar" is put in place of " canker- 
worm," because since the Hebrew has no exact 
equivalent in English, it is better to use a familiar 
term than one that is obsolete. 

Book Y. — In cvii. 30 the revision changes " their 
desired haven" of the Authorized Version into " the 
haven where they would be." The Appendix re- 
stores the Authorized Version as being both faithful 
and idiomatic. In ex. 3 the revision retains the mis- 


translation of the Autliorlzed Version in the clause 
" beauties of holiness." The Appendix divides the 
verse differently, and brings out a clearer and more 
consistent sense, 

Thy people offer themselves willingly 
In the day of thy power, in holy attire : 

Out of the womb of the morning thou hast the dew of thy 

AYhen God marshals His host, His people freely 
offer themselves in sacerdotal array as servants of a 
priestly king : as the dew is freshly produced every 
morning, so they have perpetual succession by con- 
stant renewal. In cxi. 11 the Authorized Version, 
'' A good understanding have all they that do 
His commandments^''^ \^ better than the proposed 
'^ . . . they that do thereafter," which is awkward 
and harsh. In cxvi. 1, '' I love the Lord, because He 
heareth my voice" is better than " because He hath 
heard," both in point of faithfulness to the original 
and as a representation of present experience. In 
cxix. 38 the revision reads, 

Confirm thy word unto thy servant, 
Which belongeth unto thy fear. 

But the Appendix follows the order of the original, 
and gives its sense better by reading, 

Confirm unto thy servant thy word. 
Which is in order to thy fear, 

i.e.^ make good to him the word which thou didst 
utter in order to be feared. In v. 158, " 1 beheld the 
treacherous dealers," the last word adds nothing to the 


sense, and may properly be omitted. In cxxii. tlie 
obscure statement that the tribes go up to Jerusalem, 
^'a testimony unto Israel," is altered to read, " an 
ordinance for Israel," thus pointing to the well- 
known fact that their visit to the capital was a divine 
requisition. In cxxx. 6, instead of saying ^' my soul 
looheth for the Lord," the Appendix prefers to sup- 
ply the same verb as the Authorized Version — viz., 
waiteth. In cxxxix. 13, for '' thou hast possessed my 
reins" the Appendix reads, ^' thou didst form my 
reins," which is certainly more intelligible. So in 
V. 16, '^ thou didst see mine imperfect substance, " the 
change of ''imperfect" into ''unformed" makes 
the meaning plain. In cxliii. 2 the revision follows 
the Authorized Version in saying " in thy sight shall 
no man living be justified," but the Appendix ren- 
ders more exactly, "in thy sight no man living is 
righteous." Incxllv. 7, 11 occurs the term "strange 
children," which misleads. The Hebrew has no 
reference to age, and means simply " strangers" or 
rather " aliens." 

Proverbs. — In iv. 18, " the path of the righteous 
is as the shining light," the beautiful figure is made 
more vivid by turning " shining" iuto " dawning," 
which the Hebrew admits. In vii. 22 the obscure 
statement that one following false guides goeth " as 
fetters to the correction of the fool ' ' is illumined by 
the change of " fetters" into " one in fetters." In 
ix. 7 "shame" is altered to "reviling," because 
this and not self-reproach is what befalls him that 
corrects a scorner. In x. 7 (and elsewhere) the sub- 


stitntion of ^' rigliteous" for '^ just" rests upon tlie 
fact that the former means more than the hitter, and 
so represents the original. In xxv. 11 the rendering 
^' apples of gold in baskets of silver" misses the 
point that the word for " baskets" evidently means 
something through whose interstices the golden 
fruit shows itself ; hence " network" better ex- 
presses the meaning. In xxvii. 4, '^ wrath is cruel 
and anger is outrageous," the substitution of " over- 
whelming" for the last word is nearer the Hebrew (= a 
flood), and better suits the connection. Respecting 
''virtuously" in xxxi. 29, see on Ruth iii. 11. In 
V. 30 " Grace" is substituted for " Favor," because 
the Hebrew means an inherent personal quality, and 
not something adventitious, dependent u^^on the 
opinion of others. 

EccLEsiASTEs. — In iii. 11 the revision follows the 
Authorized Version in rendering '' also He hath set 
the world in their heart," the objection to which is 
that this gives to the word translated by " world " a 
sense which it never has elsewhere in Biblical 
Hebrew. The Appendix, in accordance with most 
scholars, renders the word "eternity." In vi. 10 
the change of "it is known that it is man" into " it 
is known what man is" rests simply upon the better 
sense thus attained. The Hebrew admits either 
rendering. In vii. 15 the change of " the days of 
my vanity" into "my days of vanity" is merely 
giving up a Hebrew idiom for one that is English. 
The alteration suggested in x. 1 is a euphemism 
which no whit affects the sense. The substitution 


of '^ dawn" for " prime" in the sentence, xi. 10, 
" youth and the prime of life are vanity," is due to 
the fact that this sense of the obscure Hebrew is at 
least as well founded lexically as the other, and better 
suits the context. The changes in xii. 1, 2, 6 are 
made in the interest of perspicuity, as well as a closer 
conformity to the original — '' Kemember also thy 
Creator, etc., while the evil days come not, nor the 
years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, 1 have no 
pleasure in them ; while the sun is not darkened, 
nor the light, nor the moon, nor the stars, and the 
clouds return not after the rain." In v. 6 '' desire" 
is substituted for " caper-berry," because though the 
latter has all lexical authority for it, it would be 
practically without significance to the ordinary reader, 
while the rendering of the Autliorized Version, 
'' desire shall fail," comes very near to what is sup- 
posed to be the meaning — viz., that stimulating food 
shall cease to rouse the flagging appetites of age. 

SoxG OF Solomon. — The adjuration in ii. 7, iii. 
5, and viii. 4 to the daughters of Jerusalem, not to 
stir up ''nor awaken love until it please," which is 
the rendering of the revision, rests upon the view 
that the words refer to the spontaneity of love, which 
must not be aroused but awaken of itself — a doctrine 
neither of Scripture nor of sound ethics. The Ap- 
pendix, with the great body of interpreters, takes 
love as (abstract for concrete) = beloved one, and 
conceives the words as those of the bride who at 
peace in the arms of her beloved prays that He may 
not be aroused by any intrusion, thus — " nor awaken 


my love until He please." It is true the verb is 
feminine, but this is because tlie antecedent is fem- 
inine. In vi. 5 "garment" is read for "coat," 
because tlie latter is not suited to an article of 
woman's dress. In vi. 4 and 10 the cliange proposed 
is intended to remove the incongruity tliat a person 
evidently regarded as attractive should be spoken of 
as " terrible." For this word is substituted " over- 
powering, ' ' in the sense that this person so comely, 
so fair, so bright, is as soul-subduing by her charms 
as a bannered host by its arms. Hence the reading : 

Who is this that looketh forth as the dawn, 

Fair as the moon, clear as the sun. 

And overpowering as an army with banners ? 

The changes in vii. 1, 2 are due to a desire for 
perspicuity. " Thy rounded thighs" is as near the 
Hebrew as "the joints of thy thighs," and much 
more intelligible. The mention of " sandals" in the 
iirst line of the chapter shows that the person de- 
scribed was in full dress, and that being the case, the 
''navel" is well represented by "body," and 
"belly" by "'waist." The English reader has a 
clearer conception of the meaning by means of these 

IsAiAH. — In ii. 4 the revision retains the Author- 
ized Version, " He shall reprove many peoples,' ' but 
no one disputes that the meaning of the verb ren- 
dered " reprove" is really to " decide concerning." 
The conception is not that of a rebiiker, but that of 
an umpire. In vii. 21 "nourish" is changed to 


^' keep alive," because this is the literal meaniiig of 
the word, and expresses the exact sense — viz., that 
in that day a man shall preserve only a young cow and 
two sheep, which, however, as the next verse says, 
would furnish an ample supply for the remnant that 
would be left. In ix. 10 the Authorized Version 
and revision read, " sycamores are cut down, but we 
will change them into cedars ;" but the Appendix is 
more accurate both as to words and sense, in render- 
ing the last clause " will put cedars in their place, '^ 
which is what Isaiah both means and says. In x. 
13 the claim of the king is not merely " I am 23ru- 
dent," but "I have understanding," which the 
Hebrew means. In v. 15 " wield " is substituted 
for "shake," because our usage is not to shake 2^ 
saw or a rod, but to wield it. (So inxi. 15 " shake" 
is replaced by " wave" for a similar reason.) In 
xiii. 8 "troubled" gives way to "dismayed," be- 
cause the former word is too w^eak for the original. 
In V. 21 "satyrs" is exchanged for " wild goats," 
because the prophet means a real existence and not a 
mythical being. In xxiii. 8 to call Tyre " the crown- 
ing c^Y^/" is neither so faithful nor so expressive as 
to say " Tyre that bestoweth crowns. *' In v. 13 the 
change proposed by the Appendix considers the 
prophet as describing the past, while the revision 
views him as setting forth the present and the future. 
The former is more strictly literal. In xxvii. 1 
" dragon" is replaced by " monster," for the reason 
that the former is a fabulous animal. In xxviii. T 
"err" becomes " reel," and " gone astray" becomes 


** stagger," because these are the meanings of the He- 
brew words, and it is a disadvantage to mar the vivid- 
ness of the picture by obliterating the outward physical 
expressions of intoxication. The changes proposed 
in the difficult passage, vv. 24, 25, are all in the in- 
terest of perspicuousness, and are justified by the 
original. In xxix. 24 to ** learn doctrine" is mis- 
leading. Hence the proposed change, to " receive 
instruction." In xxx. 1 '' to cover with a covering" 
is a dubious rendering of the Hebrew, and not very 
suitable. Hence the substitution of ''make a 
league," which is equally justifiable lexically, and 
far better suited to the connection. The other 
changes in this chapter are all for the sake of making 
the meaning plainer. In xxxii. 10 the substitution 
of "ingathering" for '' gathering" shows that it is 
the bringing in of things, not persons, that is in- 
tended. In xxxiii. 4 " shall they leap" is changed 
to " shall men leaj)," because in what precedes there 
is nothing expressed to which " they" can refer. In 
V. 14 " seized " is put for " surprised," because the 
latter conveys a sense which is not in the Hebrew. 
The reading of xxxiv. 8, given in the Appendix, 
*' For Jehovah hath a day of vengeance, a year of 
recompense for the cause of Zion," is simply a more 
exact transfer into English idiom of the sense of the 
original. In xxxviii. 12 the rendering " my dwell- 
ing is departed " has as much authority as '* mine 
age is departed," and is far better suited to the con- 

It is very hard to attach any meaning to the ren- 


dering of xli. 27, copied by the revision from the 
Authorized Version, " The first sliall say unto Zion, 
Behold, behold them." But the Appendix renders 
sensibly, " 1 am the first that saith," etc. — i.e., God 
claims that He before any one else announces the 
bestowment of His promised blessings. In xlii. 15 
the ambiguity of " I will make waste mountains" is 
removed by changing ^^ make" into "lay." So in 
xliii. 23, " 1 have not made thee to serve with offer- 
ings" is not nearly so plain as '^ I have not burdened 
thee with offerings." In xlv. 3 the rendering '^ thou 
mayest know that I am the Lord which call thee" 
does not give the emphasis of the original, which re- 
quires the last clause to be " that it is I, Jehovah, who 
call thee." In xlvi. 3 is another euphemism which 
keeps the meaning while getting rid of an obnoxious 
word. The clause '' will accept no man" in xlvii. 3 
is hardly intelligible. To substitute " spare" for 
"accept," as some good critics do, at least gives a 
good sense. In v. 5 " lady of kingdoms" is neither 
so faithful nor so expressive as " mistress of king- 
doms." In Hi. 2 the direction, " arise, sit thee 
down," sounds like a contradiction. The true sense 
is given in the Appendix, " arise, sit on thy throne,^'^ 
the supplied words being not an arbitrary addition, 
but one suggested by Hebrew usage. In v. 10 the 
sentence " all the ends of the earth shall see the sal- 
vation of our God ' ' turns into a prediction what the 
Hebrew asserts as a fact — " The ends of the earth 
have seen," etc. In liii. 1 the change of " report" 
to " message" gives the exact sense of the original, 


and is more agreeable to our usage than the Author- 
ized Yei-sion. In v. 7 the rendering '* He humbled 
himself and opened not his mouth" is a possible 
one, but it is quite allowable, and much more suit- 
able, to read '' yet when he was afflicted, he opened 
not, ' ' etc. In V. 8 a clearer sense is gotten by ren- 
dering with the Appendix, *' Who considereth that 
he was cut ofE out of the land of the living, for the 
transgression of my people to whom the stroke was 
due." In V. 9, instead of saying he was ^' with the 
rich in his death," the Appendix reads, ^' with a rich 
man," because in the Hebrew the noun is singular 
and without the article. In v. 11 the ambiguous 
*' by his knowledge" is exchanged for ^' by the 
knowledge of himself" shall my righteous servant 
justify many. In liv. 12 ^' precious stones" repre- 
sents the original better than " pleasant stones." In 
Ix. 6 ^' they all shall come from Sheba" does not 
give the exact sense, as does the version — '^ all they 
from Sheba shall come." In Ixi. 2 the familiar 
phrase ' ' the acceptable year of the Lord ' ' is not so 
lucid as the phrase, '* the year of Jehovah's favor." 
In Ixvi. 5 ^' but they shall be ashamed " is weak and 
tame beside the version that gives the emphasis of 
the original, " but it is they that shall be put to 
shame." In v. 16 what the Lord says is not that He 
will '' plead with all flesh," but that He will '' ex- 
ecute judgment upon all flesh." In v. 20 ^^ obla- 
tion" instead of ^' offering" brings out the prophet's 
conception that what was thus presented to the Lord 
was not a mere gift, but a devout ceremonial service. 


Jeremiah. — In ii. 25 ^^ There is no liope" is sup- 
planted by ^' It is in vain," as being clearer to the 
ordinary reader. In the difficult passage, v. 84, the 
Appendix reads, " Thou didst not find them [viz., 
the innocent poor whose blood is in your skirts] break- 
ing in : but it is because of all these things'^ — [viz., 
your manifold wrongdoings which they resisted]. 
They were " innocent poor," for they were not mur- 
dered for crime, but because of their faithfulness. In 
iv. 10 the change of " soul " to " life" is a conformity 
to modern usage. The same is true of the treatment 
of " spoiled " in vv. 13, 20. When it refers to per- 
sons, it is made " despoiled ;" when it refers to 
things, it becomes "laid waste." In v. 29 "the 
w^hole city" is made " every city" (which is the 
rendering of the same Hebrew in the latter part of 
the verse), because the connection requires it. In 
vi. 14 " they healed the hurt . . . lightly," the last 
word is changed to " slightly," to avoid ambiguity. 
In V. 27, "I have made thee a tower among my peo- 
ple," "tower" is changed to "trier," because the 
Hebrew requires this, as does also the last clause, 
" that thou mayest try their way." In x. 24, " cor- 
rect me but with judgment," the last two words are 
changed to "in measure," which is the Authorized 
Yersion's rendering of the same phrase in xxx. 11 
and xlvi. 28, and is correct, for what the prayer asks 
is not just correction, but moderate. In xi. 20, " let 
me see thy vengeance upon them," an imprecation is 
put into the prophet's mouth ; but the verb is a 
simple regular future, and there is no need to give 


Tip tlie ordinary sense as expressed in tlie Appendix, 
'^ I shall see," etc. In xiii. 12, " Do we not know," 
etc., the Appendix restores before " know" the word 
^' certainly," which is in the Authorized Yersion, but 
was dropped in the revision ; it is implied in tlie 
Hebrew, and adds to the emphasis of the question. 
In xiii. 21 the proposed rendering of the Appendix 
is, '' What wilt thou say when He shall set over thee 
as bead those whom thou hast thyself taught to be 
friends to tliee ?" — i.e. , those foreign potentates whose 
favor you once courted, and supposed you bad ob- 
tained. This is simpler and easier than the version 
given in the revision. In xiv. 12 ^' oblation" is 
changed to ''meal offering," because this is tlie 
specific meaning of the word, and it is required here 
by its connection with " burnt offering." In xviii. 
17 " I will look upon their back and not their face" 
is far less clear than the proposed version, " 1 will 
show them the back and not the face." (Cf. xxxii. 
83.) In XX. 7 the revision, like the Authorized 
Yersion, renders, '' O Lord, thou hast deceived me," 
etc.; but as the Hebrew does not require so harsh 
an utterance, the Appendix proposes, '^ Thou hast 
persuaded me"— ^.^., to assume the prophetic office. 
As the same word occurs in v. 10, it is altered there 
also. In xxi. 5 ''wrath" is changed to "indigna- 
tion," because the former word has been substituted 
in the preceding clause for " fury" — a term which, 
in the opinion of the American Committee, should 
not be applied to the Most High. In xxiii. 15 " un- 
godliness" is substituted for " prof aneness, " because 


in modern usage the latter word denotes only one 
form of sin. In xxviii. 13 '' tliou slialt make in 
their stead bars of iron" departs from the Hebrew, 
which puts the verb in the preterite. What the Lord 
says is that Ilananiah has indeed broken the bars of 
w^ood, but in so doing has made bars of iron, as the 
next verse shows. We should render, therefore, 
"thou hast made," etc. In xxxi. 20, "Is he a 
pleasant child V ' is weak, if not ambiguous. Hence 
the change proposed, "Is he a darling child?" 
which is the exact meaning. In the same verse, to 
say that " the bowels yearn [not " are troubled "] for 
him," is to give the true sense. In xxxviii. 11 " cast 
clouts" is unmeaning, while " cast off clouts" at 
least suggests the sense. In xli. 14 " all the people 
. . . cast about and returned " seems to mean that 
they reflected and so returned, whereas all that the 
Hebrew means is that they " turned about and came 
back." In xlvi. 8, " Order ye the buckler and the 
shield," order seems to mean command^ but the 
Hebrew simply says, " Prepare." In xlviii. 28 
Moab is compared to a dove making her nest "in 
the sides of the hole's mouth," to which it is hard to 
attach any meaning. The Appendix proposes to 
read instead, " over the mouth of the abyss," which 
the Hebrew will admit, and which gives a lively con- 
ception of Moab's danger when driven from her 
bulwarks. In 1. 7 " we oifend not" is ambiguous ; 
but " we are not guilty" is clear, and also exact. In 
li. 34 " delicates" would be a puzzle to most readers, 
hence the proposed substitute, "delicacies." In 


Lamentations i. 12 the Authorized Yersion and the 
revision speak ol " sorrow which is done unto me ;" 
the true idiom is given in the Appendix, "sorrow 
which is brought upon me." In ii. 19 and iv. 1 the 
same read '' at the top of every street," but Enghsh 
usage is " at the head of every street." 

EzEKiEL. — In i. 4 " color" is changed to "look," 
and "amber" to "glowing metal," as being more 
erxact representatives of the Hebrew. In v. 18 
*' rings" is changed to " rims," which is more intel- 
ligible. In V. 13, instead of " I will satisfy my fury 
upon them," which is a somewhat unamiable repre- 
sentation of God, the Appendix puts, " I will cause 
my wrath to rest upon them," which adequately ex- 
presses the Hebrew. In xiii. 5 to " build up the 
wall " is both more faithful and more suitable than 
to " make up the fence." In xvi. 7 '^ bud of the 
field " does not fairly represent the Hebrew, which 
means " that which groweth in the field." So in v. 
43 " hast fretted me in all these things," the word 
fretted falls far short of the true meaning, which is 
well expressed in the phrase "raged against." In 
XX. 3 the change of " Are ye come to inquire of 
me ?" into " Is it to inquire of me that ye are come" 
is required in order to show not merely the form, but 
the emphasis of the original. In xxiii. 8, 21 the 
euphemistic change of " bruising the teats" into 
" handling the bosom" speaks for itself. In xxix. 5 
" I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness" is 
changed into ' ' I will cast thee forth into, ' ' etc. , 
because the stronger sense thus given to the verb is 


now admitted, and is nndonbtedlj better suited to 
the context here. In v. 18 " every shoulder is 
peeled," the last word is neither literal nor of ob- 
A^ious meaning, and is therefore changed to '' worn." 
In xxxviii. 22 for " I will plead against Him with 
pestilence," etc., is substituted, "with pestilence 
and with blood will I enter into judgment against 
Him," because this alone adequately represents the 
original. In xliii. 14: 'Medge" is substituted for 
" settle," for the latter term has no meaning, or else 
a misleading one, in this account of the way the altar 
is to be built. 

Daniel. — In the revision the word Messiah disap- 
pears from both the text and the margin of Daniel 
ix. 25, 26, and therefore out of the Old Testament 
entirely. As it is simply a transliteration of the 
Hebrew word used in these verses, the Appendix 
very pro]3erly restores it to the margin, since the 
Hebrew term may have become in Daniel's day, as 
we know it did afterward, a proper name. The 
three other changes in this book proposed by the 
Appendix are simply restorations of the Authorized 
Yersion. To discuss their propriety would require 
more space than can be given. 

HosEA. — The dark passage in viii. 11, '^ Because 
Ephraim hath multiplied altars to sin, altars have 
been to him for sin" is relieved by changing '^ to 
sin" in both clauses to '^ for sinning," referring ap- 
parently to the ^progressive and reproductive power 
of sin. 

MicAH. — In iv. 13 the change of " thou slialt 


devote their gain unto the Lord " into '' I shall 
devote," etc., is ba^ed upon the Massoretic pointing 
of the text. 

]S"ah[jm. — In i. 10 '^ though they be like tangled 
thorns, and be drenched as it were in their drinlv, 
they shall be devoured utterly" is not more faithful, 
and is certainly less simple and fluent, than what is 
proposed in the Appendix — " entangled like thorns, 
and drunken as with their drink they are consumed." 
In ii. 1 ^' munition" is supplanted by " fortress," as 
more specific and |)lainer. In v. 4: the prophet docs 
not say that the chariots '' jostle one against an- 
other," wdiich would hinder their progress, but that 
they " rush to and fro," the exact characteristic of 
an invasion. In v. 7 the inexplicable word " Huz- 
zab," treated as a proper name in the Authorized 
Version and the revision, is regarded by the Ap- 
pendix as a verb, and rendered, '' And it is decreed, 
she is uncovered," etc., which at least is intelligible. 
And so instead of ^'handmaids . . . tabering upon 
their breasts," the Appendix gives ^' beating upon 
their breasts." In v. 9 '^ goodly furniture" repre- 
sents the Hebrew better than " pleasant furniture." 
In iii. 2 '^ bounding chariots" better comports with 
lofty poetry than " jumping chariots." In the last 
verse '' bruit " is changed to '' report," for the sake 
of the reader not versed in old English. 

Zechariah. — In iii. 5 '^ a fair mitre" is made ^' a 
clean mitre," as is demanded by faithfulness, and 
also by the contrast with filthy garments in the pre- 
ceding verses. In iv. 7 '' headstone" is changed 


to ^' topstoiie," to avoid obscurity or ambiguity. In 
V. 14 ''sons of oil" is made "anointed ones" by 
resolving a Hebrew idiom into English. In v. 3 
"purged out" is altered to "cut off," which is 
what the Hebrew means. In xiv. 21 the margin 
proposed to " Canaanite" — viz., " trafficker," is re- 
jected, because it seems impossible that a feature of 
future perfect holiness should be stated so as to imply 
that all trading is necessarily sinful. 

Malachi. — In iii. 3 " purge them as gold and 
silver" is changed into "refine them as gold and 
silver," refine\>Qmgi]iQ proper w^ord to describe such 
a process. In v. 15 " they tempt God and are de- 
livered," the sense is more clearly given by changing 
the last two words so as to read, " They tempt God 
and escape." 



At tlie Reformation the principle that the Script- 
ure is the supreme authority for faith and practice 
was often so apphed as to give the Old Testament 
more than its just due. Men insisted that the whole 
body of truth revealed in the New Testament existed 
in the Old, and that the patriarchs had exactly the 
same knowledge of salvation as the apostles, so that 
proof texts for all points of doctrine could be drawn 
from one as well as the other. This extreme natu- 
rally provoked a reaction, and there arose men who 
asserted that the Jewish religion is a system by itself, 
having no connection beyond that of local origin and 
chronological succession with the Christian. This 
was substantially the view of Schleiermacher. And 
since his day it has often cropped out where least an- 
ticipated. Even in orthodox communions are found 
those who habitually disparage the Hebrew Script- 
ures. Sometimes they assert that the Old Testament 
contains so much that is harsh and repulsive that it is 
a burden to carry. At others they declare that it is 
antiquated and obsolete, and that it is of no more use 
now than is the light of lamps after the sun has 
arisen. Serious objection has been made even to the 


Siinday-scliool lessons of the " International Series," 
because many of its selections have been taken from 
this part of Scripture, just as if our Lord had never 
said, "Salvation is from the Jews," or "If they 
hear not Moses and the prophets neither will they be 
persuaded, if one rise from the dead." 

The issue of the Revised Old Testament naturally 
calls attention to this mischievous error, and it seems 
worth while to set forth the true state of the case. Any 
notion of the kind referred to is a direct reflection 
upon the divine Author of the Bible. It pleased 
Him to reveal His will '' by divers portions and in 
divers manners," so that it should be a gradual de- 
velopment running through along succession of ages. 
Yet this was not done in the way of Mohammed, 
the Mormons and other human jiretenders to inspi- 
ration, with whom the second disclosure was a repeal 
of the lirst. On the contrary, the whole scheme is 
coherent, and hangs together as a progressive state- 
ment of truth and duty, the former part foretelling, 
or prefiguring, or hinting at the latter, and the latter 
implying and building upon the former, so that it 
cannot for a moment be pretended that the posterior 
portion comes as an afterthought, intended to amend 
what went before, or to supply gaps which had been 
inadvertently left. Evidently one presiding mind 
ruled over the construction and the mutual relations 
of both portions. J^for can the two be separated with- 
out violence and damage. Upon this point the lan- 
guage of the learned G. F. Oehler may be properly 
quoted. "We must not allow ourselves to be de- 


ceived. Tlie relation of the New Testament to tlie 
Old is such that both stand or fall together. The 
New Testament assumes the existence of the Old 
T>estament law and prophecy as a positive presup- 
position. We cannot have tlie redeeming God of 
the New Covenant without the Creator and cov- 
enant God preached in the Old ; we cannot discon- 
nect the Redeemer from the predictions He came 
to fulfil. No New Testament idea, indeed, is fully 
set forth in the Old, but the genesis of all the 
ideas of the New Testament relating to salvation lies 
in the Old." ('' Theology of the Old Testament," 
Day's edition, p. 2.) All admit that the New 
Testament is needed to understand the Old, but it is 
equally true, though by no means so generally ac- 
knowledged, that the Old Testament is needed to 
understand the New. So many references are made 
by the Saviour and by the apostles and evangelists to 
the antecedent revelation that any reader would 
stumble unless he had Moses and the prophets in 
hand. The two Testaments are not the same, for if 
they were, why should there be two ? But they are 
not unrelated, much less are they op|)Osed to each 
other. Together they constitute one continuous body 
of revelation, which proceeds step by step from the 
beginning to the end, and is an orderly and consis- 
tent unfolding of the germ first given at the gates of 
Paradise. To discard or overlook the Old Testa- 
ment is to rob the Bible of its completeness, and to 
miss the assurance and comfort which arise from a 
sense of its wondrous unity as animated by a single 


life, altliougli set fortli under sncli varied circiim- 
stances and at such different times. It is to forget 
that it is one and the same Spirit who uses the his- 
tories and psahns and prophecies of the earlier econ- 
omy, and the gospels and epistles of the later, to 
convey the AVord of God to men. It is to despise 
that word of propliecy {i.e., of inspiration) to which 
one of the latest books in the New Testament tells 
us to '' take heed as unto a lamp shining in a dark 
place," clearly implying that it is a revelation of the 
divine will with which we cannot safely or lawfully 
dispense. (II. Peter i. 19.)"^ 

That this opinion is not due merely to doctrinal 
prejudice is apparent from the utterances of the line 
critic Herder a century ago in the preface to his 
^'Vo?n Geist hebrdischer Poesie.'''^ ''The basis of 
theology is the Bible, and that of the New Testament 
is the Old. It is impossible to understand the former 
aright without a previous understanding of the lat- 
ter ; for Christianity proceeded from Judaism, and 
the genius of the language in both books is the 
same. And this genius of the language we can no- 
where study better — that is, with more truth, depth, 
comprehensiveness and satisfaction than in its poetry, 
and indeed, as far as possible, in its most ancient 
poetry. It produces a false impression and misleads 
the young theologian to commend to him the New 

* " What Pliny says of nature, Naturae rerum vis atque majestas 
in omnibus momentis fide caret, si quis modo partes ejus ac non 
totum cornpJedatur animo, is applicable to the kingdom of grace 
in a still stronger degree." (Hengstenberg.) 


Testament to tlie exclusion of tlie Old, for without 
this the other can never be understood in a scholar- 
like and satisfactory manner. In the Old Testament 
we find a rich interchange of history, of figurative 
representation, of characters and of scenery. In it 
we see the many-colored dawn, the beautiful going 
forth of the sun in his milder radiance ; in the l^ew 
Testament he stands in the highest heavens and in 
meridian splendor, and every one knows which period 
of the day is the most refreshing and strengthening to 
the natural eye of sense. Let the scholar, then, study 
the Old Testament, even if it be only as a human book 
full of ancient poetry, with kindred feeling and 
affection, and thus will the 'New come forth to us of 
itself in its purity, its sublime glory, its more than 
earthly beauty. Let a man gather into his own mind 
the abundant riches of the former, and he will never 
become in the latter one of those smatterers who, 
barren and without taste or feeling, desecrate theso 
eacred things."" And this is confirmed by indepen- 
dent testimony gathered in the school of experience. 
Mr. George Borrow, who spent many years in circu- 
lating the Scriptures in foreign lands, makes this in- 
teresting and conclusive statement in his work called 
*'The Bible in Spain," first published in 1843(1 
quote from the end of the 48th chapter) : "1 had by 
this time made the discovery of a fact which it 
would have been well had I been aware of three 

* This quotation is made with some alterations from the ad- 
mirable translation of Herder's work by Dr. James Marsh, pub- 
lished in 1833. 


years before — I mean the inexpediency of printing 
Testaments, and Testaments alone, for [Roman] 
Catholic countries. The reason is plain : the 
[Roman] Catholic, unused to Scripture reading, 
finds a thousand things which he cannot possibly 
understand in the ^ew Testament, the foundation 
of which is the Old. ' Search the Scriptures, for 
they bear witness of me,' may well be applied to 
this point. It may be replied that ]N"ew Testaments 
separate are in great demand and of infinite utility 
in England. But England, thanks be to the Lord, is 
not a papal country ; and though an English laborer 
may read a Testament and derive from it the most 
blessed fruit, it does not follow that a Spanish or 
Italian peasant will enjoy similar success, as he will 
find many dark things with which the other is well 
acquainted, and competent to understand, being 
versed in the Bible history from his childhood. ' ' 

]^or is it without significance that nearly one half 
of the Hebrew Scriptures is composed of historical 
matter. It is not history in the modern sense of 
that term, investigating the causes of events and ex- 
plaining them on philosophical principles, but rather 
a simple series of annals, recording the progress of 
affairs without any attempt to analyze characters, to 
classify results, or to deduce the general laws of 
human development. The narrative portions of the 
Old Testament are usually considered rather as fur- 
nishing the materials of history than history itself. 
Bat it is just this absence of speculative deductions 
and of any endeavor to frame the general laws that 


control particular events tliat gives tlie book its chief 
Yalue. It is in no sense a general history of man- 
kind, and indeed touches upon the world at large 
only in the beginning when speaking of the origin of 
the race, or toward the close when the symbolic 
visions of Daniel set forth the revolutions of em- 
pires that are to introduce the kingdom that shall 
have no end. Kor is it a mere secular or civil his- 
tory of certain nations. The bulk of the narra- 
tive is taken up with the fortunes of the Hebrews as 
a chosen people, the possessors of the only true 
religion, among whom the church of the living 
God was founded, and through a long course of 
ages developed under local and ceremonial restric- 
tions. The chronicle is limited to the record of 
occurrences, and as such is strictly true. This in- 
deed has often been denied, but without reason. For 
the impartial record, telling the faults as well as the 
virtues of the writers and of the race to which they 
belong, excludes the idea of wilful perversion. Men 
do not invent what brings them discredit. But the 
annals are peculiar in that they set forth the dealings 
of God with the people whom He chose to be the de- 
pository of His truth and the means of its preserva- 
tion until the fulness of time came for its world-wide 
diffusion. There is, then, a copious and continuous 
illustration of the principles of the divine govern- 
ment in application to nations. The writers indeed 
hardly seem conscious of this — at least they never stop 
to make any reflections of that kind. But all the 
same they set forth the facts which show God's hand 


in history. Yery many of the themes which occupy 
a large space in the works of modern writers — the 
arts, manners, institutions, social conditions, litera- 
ture and science — are wholly omitted, but the relig- 
ious idea is never absent. For the people were under 
a theocracy ; their real monarch was He wdio sat 
enthroned above the cherubim. And everything 
turned upon their relation to Him and their fidelity 
to that relation. Hence the simple, artless chronicle 
has a value peculiarly its own, as representing in. 
detail and on a very small scale the eternal prin- 
ciples which rule the world, and are sure to work 
themselves out in the course of the largest empires 
in any part of the earth. 

The same thing may be said of biography, the 
charming and instructive literature which treats of 
the lives of particular persons. 'No nation possessed 
of any degree of intellectual culture is without its 
treasures of this kind, but all of them together of 
every age and land would fail to supply the lack of 
the memoirs contained in the Old Testament. One 
reason of this is found in the impartiahty of the 
record. No personal, social, national prejudice ever 
biasses the mind of the writer. He never stops to 
commend the subject of which he treats, or to apol- 
ogize for what certainly needs apology. The treat- 
ment is like colorless glass which transmits the rays it 
receives without imparting to them a shade of any 
kind. It does not make any difference what position 
a man holds, or how much he may have been hon- 
ored either by God or man, or to what extent his 


good name is identified witli that of his people, the 
evil in his life is recorded as faithfully as the good, 
and without any attempt at extenuation. Such abso- 
lute fidelity is, or at least seems to be, an impossibil- 
ity in our day. Indeed, the tendency in the other 
direction has been so strong as to give rise to the 
proverbial expression, the lites hiograjyhica. But in 
the Hebrew memoirs one is brought face to face with 
actual facts, and we see the man as he is, not as his 
kindred or friends or countrymen would wish him to 
appear. Both sides of his career are given with 
equal simplicity and fulness. The same hand which 
tells of the patriarch who was so strong in faith as to 
be ready at God's command to offer up his only son, 
the heir of the promises, tells also how on two separate 
occasions, through a mean fear, he falsely pretended 
that his wife was his sister. The same book which 
describes the generosity of David at the well by the 
gate of Bethlehem when the three heroes broke 
through the garrison and drew the coveted drink for 
him, recites also the hideous story of his dealing with 
Bathsheba and Uriah, the melancholy record of un- 
cleanness and blood-shedding. The more closely the 
pages of these records are studied, the more evident 
it becomes that the reader lias before him the veri- 
table man himself as he would appear to Him who 
searches the heart and tries the reins, l^ot only are 
all the facts that are given true, but they are so 
given as to produce a correct impression, a point in 
which the most impartial and conscientious of merely 
human biographers arc very apt to fail. 


Its numerons and varied illustrations of the doc- 
trine of expiation give a peculiar value to the Old 
Testament. There are those who pronounce the 
whole Levitical economy as inscrutable as the Sphinx, 
a mere trial of faith and patience. Yet its essential 
elements are plain and striking, as is shown by the 
degree in which the language used in describing 
them has entered into the vocabulary of Christians 
and formed the chosen medium for the expression of 
their experiences. The courts of the tabernacle and 
temple streamed incessantly with blood and the air 
was thick with the smoke of incense. The fire never 
went out upon the altar. The herd and the flock 
and the birds of the air contributed to the sacrifices 
which were offered not only every morning and 
evening, but on innumerable other occasions. Con- 
fession of sins was made over the head of the vic- 
tims, and the blood was sprinkled upon the altar. 
The whole ritual was one continuous parable of sub- 
stitution. It exhibited by means of a complica^ted 
system of oblations the way of a sinner's acceptance 
with God. It showed in type and shadow what was 
afterward accomplished in real and abiding efficacy. 
It exhibited on the outward and earthly plane what 
was done in a far higher sphere. The blood of bulls 
and goats was intended to stand in marked and living 
contrast with the blood of Him who was a Lamb 
without spot, tlie Lamb of God who taketli away the 
sins of the world. The wondrous tragedy on Cal- 
vary, which stands in the centre of the world's his- 
tory, finds its best illustration in the Passover sac- 


rifice of the elder economy, or in its twofold offer- 
ing on the great day of atonement. One entire book 
of the New Testament is mainly occupied with the 
comparison of the high -priest after the order of Mel- 
chizedek and his work with the Aaronic priesthood 
and its unceasing repetition of oblations which 
never could purify the conscience or take away sin. 
To understand the terras of this comparison, to feel 
its force and to seize the momentous underlying 
truth, we must have the Old Testament. Its explicit 
statements are of more worth than all the speculations 
ever set forth even by the most acute and brilliant 
of philosophical theorists. Its ^'object teaching" 
as to sin and redemption is a prominent factor in the 
experience of every humble believer. There are 
many questions about the system which he cannot 
answer, but its interior essence, its characteristic 
feature, has become the life blood of his faith. 

Further, the Old Testament contains the liturgy 
of the universal church. The hymns of the New 
Covenant are very few, the need of the believer in 
that respect having been already supplied by the 
Psalter. And while it is true that the service books 
of the ancient church contain many admirable pro- 
ductions, they do not come up to the majesty and the 
wide compass of the Hebrew worship, as shown in 
the Psalms of adoration. Neither Ambrose nor 
Gregory reached or approached this level. They 
tempered the boldness of the originals, but their ad- 
mixtures of what is more Christian-hke and spiritual 
toned down the ardor and lessened the sweep of the 


singers of Israel. "Nor would it be possible — it 
has never yet seemed so — to Christianize the Hebrew 
anthems, retaining their power, their earth-like rich- 
ness and their manifold splendors, which are the very 
splendors, and the true riches and the grandeurs of 
God's world, and withal attempered with expressions 
that touch to the quick the warmest human sympa- 
thies. . . . As to the powers of sacred poetry, 
those powers were expanded to the full, and were 
quite expended too, by the Hebrew bards. What 
are modern hymns but so many laborious attempts 
to put in a new form that which, as it was done in 
the very best manner so many ages ago, can never be 
well done again, otherwise than in the way of a ver- 
bal repetition." So said Isaac Taylor in his '' Spirit 
of Hebrew Poetry" (p. 157), and his words are 
true. Nothing in all literature is more remarkable 
than the adaptation of the Psalms to express the re- 
ligious wants of the human soul in every age and 
place. The lyrics are all products of Hebrew times 
and the Hebrew people, and yet they are found 
even in translation to do what nothing else does for 
any people anywhere. Joy and sorrow, praise and 
prayer, confession and thanksgiving, penitence and 
faith, hope and fear, all kinds, all degrees of human 
experience, are here set forth in a way that leaves 
nothing to be desired. The most acute and learned 
draw inspiration from this fountain, and the young- 
est and feeblest find the same words comforting and 
refreshing. As literature the Psalms repay the most 
patient and prolonged study ; but as records of the 


heart under the impression of the profoundest spirit- 
ual truths they meet a response from multitudes who 
have no ear for melody and no eye for the graces of 
form. As Mr. Carlyle said, " David, a soul inspired 
by divine music, struck tones that were an echo of 
the sphere-harmonies, and are still felt to be such." 
In view of this fact the Old Testament as containing 
the Psalms has an immeasurable importance, and a 
revision of the common version a commensurate in- 
terest. If obscurities are removed, if the sense is 
more faithfully given, if poetical jjeculiarities are 
brought out more distinctly, Avhile the rhythm and 
the music of the old translators are preserved, there 
is a very great gain both literary and devotional. 
The experience of ages shows that the Psalter will 
continue to be the model of prayer and praise for the 
hosts of the redeemed, and whatever helps these 
hosts to use it more intelligently and with richer en- 
joyment can hardly fail to be a lasting blessing. 

In support of what has been said, appeal may be 
made to the usage of the church universal. All 
churches founded upon the New Testament have 
acknowledged the perpetual authority of the Old as 
an integral part of revelation. The erratic views of 
heretical sects, such as the Marcionites of the second 
century and the Socinians of the sixteenth, or of in- 
dividual errorists, have never even in the darkest 
periods obtained general currency, but rather serve 
as foils to set forth in jDrominent relief the signal 
unanimity with which Papists and Protestants, the 


Eastern clmrch and tlie Western, have clung to the 
Old Testament as an essenti'al part of Scripture. 
The same may be said of the experience of Christians 
in all ages, as bearing testimony on this interesting 
and important matter. The moral and spiritual in- 
fluence exerted by the Bible on the characters and 
lives of men has been exerted by it as a whole, and 
not by the New Testament alone. Perhaps it may 
be said with truth that in proportion to the depth 
and power of experimental piety in any age or indi- 
vidual has been the disposition to avoid casting lots 
upon the parts of revelation, and to preserve it like 
the Master's tunic, '' without seam, woven from the 
top throughout." And even the brilliant but erratic 
Ewald said in his last published work {'^ Die Lehre 
der Bible von GoU.,'" I. § 141), '' The truth is, the 
Old Testament contains a multitude of fundamental 
truths in such certainty and completeness that they 
cannot be more deeply grounded or better defended 
in the I^ew Testament, but are everywhere presup- 
posed as standing firm and inviolate since the old 

But against all these claims in behalf of the Old 
Testament it is sometimes urged that its morality is 
defective, that it represents the earlier stages in the 
progress of ethical ideas, and that therefore it has 
been wholly supplanted by the purer and more ele- 
vated statements of the Gospel. In support of this 
objection, appeal is made to the way in which the 
Hebrews obtained possession of Canaan, to certain of 
their social and domestic institutions, and to gross 


instances of wrong-doing recorded of persons recog- 
nized as true believers. In reply, it is proper to 
begin with the assertion that the ethical rule of the 
Old Testament is perfect, absokitelj^ perfect. It is 
contained in the Decalogue, which, after laying a 
firm foundation in the obligations of religion, pro- 
ceeds to build npon that foundation a code of social 
ethics which never has been or can be surpassed, 
providing, as it does, for all relative duties, for life, 
for personal purity, for property, and for reputation, 
closing and riveting the whole by a precept which 
takes in the heart. The 'New Testament, so far 
from disowning or disparaging this rule of life, con- 
firms and sanctions it in the strongest possible man- 
ner. Our Lord said expressly, ^' Think not that I 
came to destroy the law and the prophets : I came 
not to destroy, but to fulfil " (Matt. v. 11)— i.e., as 
His further statements showed, to develop its deeper 
meaning, to guard against misconceptions, to remove 
false glosses, and to enable its subjects to keep it. 
So the great Apostle said, ^' The law is holy, and the 
commandment holy, and righteous, and good " 
(Hom. vii. 12). Throughout the later Scripture 
reference is continually made to the Ten Command- 
ments as the permanent and authoritative standard 
of moral obligation (Matt. xv. 4, xix. 17-19 ; John 
vii. 19 ; Acts vii. 38 ; Eom. xiii. 8-10 ; Gal. iii. 10 ; 
Eph. vi. 2 ; Heb. ii. 2 ; James ii. 8-11 ; iv. 11 ; I. 
John V. 2, 3). Nothing in all history— nothing in 
the flights of human imagination has ever exceeded 
the circumstances of majesty and awe amid which this 


divine code was announced to men. It was, and was 
intended to be, a complete summation of human duty. 
But it is to the conduct of the people under this 
law that the impugners of the Old Testament refer. 
One of the most common objections is based upon 
the way in which Israel became possessed of the land 
of Canaan — viz. , by the literal extermination of its 
former inhabitants, a procedure which is denounced 
as monstrous and inhuman. But it is to be said (1) 
that the wholesale destruction was the same that fell 
upon the cities of the plain and upon the world at the 
general deluge, a destruction which in each case was 
declared to be the punishment of great and manifold 
sins y (2) that it was inflicted by the express com- 
mand of God acting as the moral governor of the 
world ; and (3) that it was necessary in order that 
the chosen people might occupy the chosen land. 
The only alternative was to make slaves of the entire 
population. But this would have been ruinous to 
Israel, first by the habits of sloth and self-indulgence 
which such a condition of things must needs have 
engendered, and then still more by the close and 
continual contact it would involve with a population 
degraded by a grossly corrupt religion and by a 
bestial immorality. "Were the Hebrews to be segre- 
gated from other races in some one particular region, 
it was indispensable that the previous inhabitants of 
that region should be removed. And dreadful as the 
destruction of the Canaanites was, it was not too 
high a price to pay for the preservation of true relig- 
ion in the earth. 


Again, it is affirmed tliat the Old Testament in 
tlie Zex talionis distinctly recognized the right of 
private revenge, and made every man the avenger of 
his own wrongs. ^' Thou shalt give hfe for h'fe, eye 
for eye, tooth for tooth," etc. (Ex. xxi. 20), is inter- 
preted as if it authorized individual retaliation. But 
it did no such thing. It occurs among judicial stat- 
utes, and is to be interpreted in the same manner. 
In fact, it simply declared the penalty of injuries wil- 
fully committed, and annoimced to all that whoever 
wronged another must make suitable reparation for 
the wrong unless he could compound matters with 
the injured party, which w^as allowed in every case 
save tliat of deliberate murder (Num. xxxv. 31). 
The execution of this law — a law which is found 
in the XII. Tables of Rome, and which is approved 
by Montesquieu as founded in reason and drawn 
from the nature of things — was committed to the au- 
thorities. Our Lord's statement in Matt. v. 38, 39 
does not set aside this judicial rule, but reproves the 
errors of those in His time who applied in private 
intercourse and for personal vindictiveness what was 
originally given only for the public administration of 

It is further objected that the Old Testament tol- 
erated polygamy and extra-judicial divorce. In re- 
irard to the latter of these we have a full and satisfac- 
tory explanation from our Lord. He points back to 
the monogamy established in Paradise as the true basis 
of the family constitution, and one that was never 
repealed. But in the case of Jews the statute was 


relaxed, not because it was wrong, but because of the 
'Miardness of tlie people's hearts." Woman being 
the weaker vessel was sure to suffer unless some pro- 
vision was made to temper and restrain the fierceness 
of men of coarse nature and uncivilized habits. Di- 
vorce w^as an evil, yet when made under the forms 
of law it was better than the continuous grinding 
oppression for which the strict seclusion of women in 
the East allowed unlimited range. 

The same thing may be said of polygamy. This 
was never est'ablished, much less praised, as it is 
among the Mormons of our day as a useful and 
blessed institution. On the contrary, it was simply 
tolerated, and the providence of God showed ^ery 
distinctly in the lives of the patriarchs and of the 
parents of Samuel, and in the experience of David 
and Solomon, to what evils it necessarily led. Yet, 
upon the whole, in a country like Palestine and in 
an age when women were cut off from all the social 
life of both sexes, it was doubtless expedient to allow 
a departure from the law laid down at the creation, 
and permit a man to have more wives than one, on 
the ground that this imperfect arrangement was bet- 
ter than general and promiscuous concubinage, and 
that the habit being so deeply rooted, it was wiser 
to regulate and control it than to meet it by an abso- 
lute prohibition in that rudimentary stage of human 

Slavery is another of the features of Old Testa- 
ment life that are severely censured. Involuntary 
servitude belongs to an inferior civilization, and, 


strange as it seems, marks a ste^) in its npward prog- 
ress. There ^vas a time when all captives in war 
were slain in cold blood, but afterward they were 
spared and put in bondage. Hence the name serva- 
tus (preserved) contracted into serviis (slave). As a 
living dog is better than a dead lion, so it was better 
to become a living bondsman than to be a slain cap- 
tive. The institution existed when the Jews became 
a nation. They retained it, but greatly modified its 
severe features. A native slave could not be such 
longer than six years, except by his own consent 
formally given, and in any event his servitude ceased 
at the year of jubilee. A foreign-born heathen slave 
might be kept in perpetual bondage, but a bondage 
unlike any that ever existed in any part of the an- 
cient world. He never was regarded as a tool, a 
chattel, a thing without any rights. Nothing ap- 
proaching to the language, even of such men as Plato 
or Aristotle on this subject^ is to be found anywhere 
in Scripture. The slave had the benefit of the 
weekly day of rest and of all the joyful public and 
private festivals of the Mosaic economy. Express 
mention is made of the ^' manservant and the maid- 
servant" in the Fourth Commandment, and also in 
the directions about the domestic feasts made upon 
the tithes and offerings (Deut. xii. 18). The slave 
was a person, and as such had his rights protected 
under the law. Above all, he was among a people 
who enjoyed the revelation of the being and will of 
the one living and true God, infinite in holiness and 
mercy as well as in wisdom and might. '' Jehovah, 


Jeliovah, a God, merciful and gracious, long-suffer- 
ing, and abundant in kindness and truth." It was 
better to be a serf or bond-servant in Israel than a 
man of wealth and station in heathen darkness, just 
as the devout Psalmist preferred rather to be a door- 
keeper in the house of God than to dwell at ease in 
the tents of wickedness. Slavery was not proliibited, 
because the times were not ripe for such prohibi- 
tion. A wise lawgiver ahvays adapts his legislation 
to the character and circumstances of the people. 
Even Christianity did not direct the immediate over- 
throw of the system, but contented itself with an- 
nouncing the principles and inculcating the duties 
wdiich were sure in the end to break every shackle 
and yet create no social convulsion. The feudal sys- 
tem which once prevailed over Europe was in some 
respects as oppressive as slavery, yet its bonds were 
gradually relaxed in the same way, until now it has 
become a mere name. There seems little reason to 
doubt that the permission and regulation of slavery 
under the Old Economy was not only wiser, but 
humaner than its absolute prohibition would have 
been. It certainly did not proceed from harshness 
or indifference to human welfare. For the Mosaic 
code forbade hatred and revenge (Lev. xix. 17, 18), 
enjoined kindness even to enemies (Ex. xxiii. 4, 5), 
commanded respect toward the deaf, the blind, and 
the aged (Lev. xix. 14, 32), and required tender care 
for the poor, the widow, the fatherless, and the 
stranger (Ex. xxii. 21-27 ; Deut. xxiv. 17, 19). For 
these the corners of the field must remain unreaped, 


and tlie forgotten slieaf must be left where it had 
fallen. Ev^en animals shared in the compassion of 
the Hebrew lawgiver (Dent. xxii. 5, 7 ; xxv. 4). 
Such tender consideration for the weak and helpless, 
incorporated into the legal system of the Old Testa- 
ment, indicates high morality and a very profound 
sentiment. Where is the advance upon these points 
which some tell us is to be found in the New Testa- 
ment ? That Testament contains nothing new either 
in form or in spirit. 

It is further urged that the Old Testament con- 
tains numerous instances of gross wrong-doing, the 
perpetrators of which were yet regarded and treated 
as acceptable with God and made recipients of His 
favor. These are the falsehoods of Abraham, Isaac 
and Jacob, those of Rahab and Jael, the horrible 
sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter, the deplorable mis- 
deeds of Samson, and the crimes of David, the man 
after God's own heart. In regard to all these the 
truth must be held fast that sins are sins, whoever 
commits them. The Old Testament never blurs 
moral distinctions, much less should we. A man's 
eminence or advantages rather enhances than lessens 
the criminality of his evil deeds. Take, for exam- 
ple, the most common of the offences already re- 
ferred to — falsehood. The most of the lies that are 
told come through fear. A lie is the habitual refuge 
of a coward. But who ought to be less of a coward 
than the man who believes in the Living God and 
regards Him as his friend ? The lies of the patri- 
archs are grievous blots upon their good name. But 


they are not condoned in the Scripture, but simply 
recorded as integral parts of the history, and as sol- 
emn admonitions to every reader. In Jacob's case 
Ills subsequent experience indicates a very salutary 
dealing of Providence with him. A long and pain- 
ful exile from home and the suffering of many de- 
ceptions from his father-in-law were a righteous 
retribution for the gross deceit by which he won the 
blessing from the aged Isaac. 

Rahab is quoted and commended both by James 
and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, but it 
is her faith, not her falseliood, that is praised. She 
believed in Jehovah and in Israel as His covenant peo- 
ple, and for their sake was willing to surrender home 
and friends and country. So she welcomed and 
preserved the spies, and sent them home ^^ another 
way" (James ii. 25), and in so far was conspicuous 
for well-doing. But her deliberate falsehood was a 
remnant of her heathen training, for which no jDallia- 
tion is given or is possible. Born and brought up 
in an atmosphere of deceit, it doubtless seemed to 
her a very natural thing to lie in a good cause. The 
same may be said of Jael. It was a good thing in 
her to drive the tent-pin through the temples of the 
sleeping Sisera. In so doing she executed a proper 
retribution upon an enemy of the Lord, she took 
sides with the covenant people, and did what lay in 
her pov/er to render their victory complete and per- 
manent. For this she received the highly-wrought 
encomium of Deborah, and was pronounced " blessed 
above women," or, as some render the phrase, 


" blessed by women." But lier treachery in invit- 
ing Sisera into her tent, and her assurance to him of 
safety, were detestable. These gross violations of 
truth detract much from her character, and yet leave 
the signal service she rendered to Israel unimpaired 
as an act of heroic fidelity to the side of right. She 
took a wrong way to do a right thing, and the sing- 
ers of the triumph overlook her deceit and her breach 
of hospitality in their hatred of the licentious and 
cruel tyrant and their warm sympathy with their 
country rescued from idolatry and degradation. 

The case of Jephthah is different. He is com- 
mended as a hero of faith, and such he was in taking 
command of the people at a perilous period, in his 
wise conduct of the war and in his triumphant vic- 
tory. The one stain upon him is the sacrifice of his 
only child. He vowed to God that in case of victory 
he would '^ offer up for a burnt offering" whatsoever 
came forth from his house to meet him on his return. 
His daughter came forth, and '' he did with her ac- 
cording to his vow." Some have praised him for 
his self-renunciation in keeping his vow. All such 
praise is nearly as odious as Jephthah' s course. His 
deed was an immorality, and denounced as such in 
the law. The vow itself was wrong, for no man has- 
a right to take upon himself such an uncertain obli- 
gation ; but the performance of it was worse, for it 
degraded the offerer of the victim to a level with 
those Canaanites whom his ancestors had driven out 
of existence with fire and sword. Jeplithah had been 
living as a free lance on the frontiers of the country 


amid demoralizing associations, and this fact, while 
it accounts for his crude notion that any circum- 
stances could make it right to do wrong, also sets in 
a hrighter light his wise and determined and success- 
ful leadership of his countrymen against the national 

Samson's case is similar. He was a combination 
of superhuman physical strength with uncommon 
moral weakness. God saw fit to employ him as a 
deliverer of His people, just as centuries afterward 
He commissioned the weak, bigoted, and petulant 
Jonah. In general, the channels of divine energy are 
appropriate to their office, and clean men bear the 
vessels of the Lord ; but there are exceptions for wise 
purposes, one of which may be to vindicate or illus- 
trate the divine sovereignty. But whatever the rea- 
sons, it is certain that God endowed with miraculous 
might a man who never could resist the solicitations 
of a woman, but did in reality the shameful things 
fable records of Hercules with Omphale. His ex- 
ploits in battle when, single-handed, he contended 
with hundreds and thousands, were signal expres- 
sions of his faith in God, and the same is true of his 
death at Gaza. That death was no more suicide than 
that of any soldier who leads or takes part in a for- 
lorn hope. He performed an act of retributive 
vengeance upon the national foes, and the sacrifice of 
his own life, which it required, was freely made, and 
stands evermore as a testimony of his self-renouncing 
fidelity. Much of his life had been wasted, but 
what was left of it he dedicated to God. Having 


been restored once more to his gigantic strength, bj 
one supreme effort lie pulled down the temple and 
carried a host of his oppressors into a common grave, 
lie asked and he received divine help, and justly is 
his feat celebrated as an act of faith, as well as of 

It is to be observed that all these cases belong to 
an early stage in the application of moral principle? 
to practical life. This does not mean rhat tliere was 
a progress in ethical ideas, just as there was a progress 
in doctrine all through the old economy. There was 
no such ethical progress, and no room for it. This 
is shown not only by the Decalogue, which was cer- 
tainly given from Sinai, and the many admirable 
provisions of the enactments acccompanying it, but 
also by the fact that the cardinal principles of morals 
have always and everywhere been the same. False- 
hood, fraud, slander, envy, theft, breach of trust and 
murder, are not more peremptorily forbidden by 
Scripture than they are by the common judgment of 
civilized nations, ancient and modern. No revela- 
tion was needed to tell men that these things were 
wrong. In the last century one of the Moravians 
who labored among the aborigines of our country 
said to a Mohegan chief, ^' You must not lie, nor 
steal, nor get drunk," etc., and received the indig- 
nant answer, ^' Thou fool, dost thou think that we 
do not know that ?" " The superiority of Christian 
ethics lies mainly in the example it furnishes and the 

* Loskiel's "History'' of Moravian Missions in North America." 


motives it offers, and only to a small extent in the 
precepts it enjoins, as, e.g.^ in relation to the obliga- 
tions of tlie sexes. Our Saviour's object in a large 
part of the Sermon on the Monnt is not to correct 
the morality of the law, but to set aside the corrupt 
glosses which the degenerate Jews had fastened 
upon it. Take away these incrustations, and the 
moral code of Sinai shines out as conspicuously pure 
and elevated as the utterances of our Lord. The 
Master did indeed a wonderful thing when He con- 
densed the Ten Commandments into two, the love of 
God as supreme and the love of our neighbor as our- 
selves, but nowhere and at no time did He set aside 
or impeach any one of the ten words uttered from 
the blazing summit of Jebel Mousa. On the con- 
trary, when the young ruler asked the weighty ques- 
tion, '' What shall I do that I may have eternal 
life ?" the answer came promptly, ^' If thou wouldest 
enter into life, keep the commandments" (Matt. 
xix. IT), ^o rational explanation of this utterance 
can be made which will not imply that those com- 
mandments cover the whole sphere of human duty. 

But while all this is true, it is also true that the 
ethical principles lying at the basis of the Mosaic 
economy were not at once taken up into the hearts 
of the people and incorporated with their lives. It 
required time to bring about this result, just as it did 
in some other things. For example, idol worship 
was always condemned among the Hebrews. Yet 
when Jacob left Padan-Aram Hachel stole and car- 
ried off her father's terapliim (household deities) 

THE importa:n"ce of the old testament. 243 

(Gen. xxxi. 34) ; wlicn the patriarch himself went 
from Shechem to Bethel he needed to tell his fam- 
ily, " Put away the strange gods that are among 
you" (Gen. xxxv. 2) ; and as far down as Saul's days 
we find that when Michal wished to deceive her 
father's messengers by pretending that David was 
sick, she used teraphim to represent the appearance 
of his form in the bed, thus show^ing that these idol- 
atrous images had a place even in this good man's 
dw^elling. So in the days of Israel's imperfect civil- 
ization, when there was more or less of the moral 
chaos that always accompanies sudden changes, so- 
cial revolutions, alternations of war and peace, of 
conquest and defeat, the development of character 
was not uniform ; excellencies in one direction were 
overbalanced by deficiencies in another ; and even 
those who in the main were upright according to the 
divine standard, yet occasionally fell short in the 
hour of trial. A capital illustratiou may be drawn 
from the experience of modern Christian missions. 
One of the evangelical denominations of our country 
has in the extreme East two thousand members in 
full communion, and eight thousand persons known 
as "adherents." Recently two of the wisest and 
most experienced of the missionaries laboring there 
were asked how many of these adherents they sup- 
posed to be really converted persons. The answer 
was, " !N"early all of them." Whereupon the ques- 
tion arose why, that being the case, they were not 
received into the fellowshij) of the church and ac- 
knowledged as brethren in the Lord. The reason 


given was, that they retained so much of their old 
heathen habits and tendencies, and their stabihty 
under the 23ressure of temptation was so imperfect, 
that there was reason to fear a relapse into some 
gross immorahtj that would bring great discredit 
upon the Christian name. Hence they were retained 
so long in this inchoate disciplinary status. Pre- 
cisely this was the condition of many of the Old 
Testament worthies. The standard of duty was as 
high as it ever has been ; witness the command given 
as far back as the days of Abraham, ^^ Walk before 
me, and be thou perfect" (Gen. xvii. 1), and often- 
times there was a wondrous exhibition of moral ex- 
cellence ; witness him who walked' with God so 
closely and continuously that he was translated with- 
out seeing death, or Samuel, the early called, who, at 
the close of a long public life, was able to challenge a 
whole people to make good any charge of wrong- 
doing ; but still, as a general fact, true believers had 
not grown up to their privileges, and often fell into 
that which was clearly and sometimes grossly amiss. 



The following list includes all who accepted the 
invitation to become members of the Revision Com- 
mittee, and at any time took part in the work. The 
dignitaries of the Chnrch of England are mentioned 
first, and after them the other members in alphabeti- 
cal order. To this list, which has been drawn from 
Schaff's '^ Companion to the Greek Testament and 
the English Version," the author has appended such 
details of personal history as he has been able to 

The British Company. 

The Bishop of Winchester, Chairman. 
William Aldis Wright, Secretary. 

Right Rev. Edward Harold Browne, D.D., Bish- 
op of Winchester, formerly of Ely, Farnham Castle, 
Surrey. Born at Morton House, Bucks, in 1811. 
He was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Author 
of an '* Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles," 
Sermons on the Atonement, the Pentateuch in reply 
to Colenso, ]^otes on Genesis in the ^'Speaker's 


Commentary," and articles in Smith's Bible Dic- 

Right Rev. Lord Arthur Charles Hervey, D.D., 
Bishop of Bath and Wells, Palace, Wells, Somerset. 
Born August 20, 1808. Educated at Eton and Cam- 
bridge. Author of the Genealogies of our Saviour ; 
the Inspiration of Scripture, Notes on Judges, Ruth 
and Samuel in the '* Speaker's Commentary," besides 
various single sermons and charges, and articles in 
Smith's Bible Dictionary. 

Right Rev. Alfred Ollivant, D.D., Bishop of 
Llandaff, Bishop's Court, Llandaff. Born in Man- 
chester in 1798. Died December 16, 1882. For- 
merly Yice-Principal of St. David's College. Regius 
Professor of Divinity at Cambridge. 

Right Rev. Connop Thirlwall, D.D., Bishop of 
St. David's, Bath. Born February 11, 1797, at 
Stepney, Middlesex. Died July 27, 1875. Edu- 
cated at the Charter House and Trinity College, 
Cambridge. Rector in Yorkshire 1828. Bishop of 
St. David's 1840. Joint translator with Julius Hare 
of Niebuhr's History of Rome. Author of a His- 
tory of Greece, first published in Lardner's Cabinet 
Cyclopaedia, afterward separately. 

Right Rev. Christopher Wordsworth, D.D., 
Bishop of Lincoln. Born in 1807 at Ashby, Nor- 
folk. Died March 20, 1883. Resigned his position 


on tlie Committee of Ee vision in 1870. Educated at 
Winchester and Cambridge. Author of Lectures on 
Inspiration, Memoirs of Wordsworth, Greece, His- 
torical and Descriptive, Greek Testament witli Notes, 
Commentary on the Enghsh Bible, Y vols., new edi- 
tion, 1872, and numerous other w^ritings. 

Yery Rev. John James Stewart Perowne, D.D., 
Dean of Peterborough Deanery, Peterborough. Born 
March 13, 1823, at Burdwan, Bengal. Educated at 
Korwich and Cambridge. Author of an acute and 
learned work on the Psalms, Hulsean Lectures on 
Immortality, Articles in Smith's Bible Dictionary, 
and various other writings. 

Very Eev. Edward Hates Plumptree, D.D., 
Dean of Wells, Wells. Born August 6, 1821. Ee- 
signed from the Committee in 1874. Double first- 
class at Oxford in 1811:. Author of Boyle Lectures 
for 1866, Biblical Studies, Exposition of Epistles to 
the Seven Churches, Notes on Proverbs in '^ Speaker's 
Commentary," Notes on First Three Gospels in Elli- 
cott's Commentary, Exposition of Ecclesiastes, Spirits 
in Prison and other Studies on the Life after Death, 
articles in Smith's Bible Dictionary, etc., etc. 

Yery Eev. Eobert Payne Smith, D.D., Dean of 
Canterbury, Deanery, Canterbury. Born Novem- 
ber, 1818, in Gloucestershire. Educated at Pem- 
broke College, Oxford. Author of Messianic In- 
terpretation of the Prophecies of Isaiah, Bampton 
Lectures for 1869, Notes on Jeremiah in '^ Speaker's 


Commentary," several translations from the Syriac, 
and a Sjriac Lexicon, based upon Castelli, five parts 
of whicli have been published. 

Yen. Benjamin Hakrison, M.A., Archdeacon of 
Maidstone, with Canonry in Canterbury Cathedral 
annexed. Precincts, Canterbury. Born about 1809. 
Educated privately and at Christ Church, Oxford, 
where he obtained Kennicott Hebrew Scholarship in 
1831, and the Pusey and Ellerton Hebrew Scholar- 
ship in 1832. Author of Prophetic Outlines of the 
Christian Church, the Anti-Christian Powers as 
traced in the Visions of Daniel and St. John (War- 
burtonian Lectures), and numerous charges and ser- 
mons. Editor of Bishop Broughton's Sermons on 
the Church of England. 

Yen. Henry John Pose, Archdeacon of Bedford. 
Born in 1801. Died January 1, 1873. Author of 
a History of the Christian Church from 1700 to 
1858. Editor of Encyclopaedia Metropolitana (2d 
ed.), Hulsean Lecturer in 1833, Notes on Daniel in 
the ''Speaker's Commentary," etc. 

Pev. William Lindsay Alexander, D.D., Profes- 
sor of Theology, Congregational Church Hall, Edin- 
burgh. Born at Edinburgh August 21, 1808. Died 
there December 22, 1881. Author of the Connection 
and Harmony of the Old and New Testament, Christ 
and Christianity, St. Paul at Athens, etc. ; contribu- 
tor to the Encylopsedia Britannica, and editor of the 
third edition of Kitto's Biblical Cyclopaedia. 


Egbert Lubbock Bensly, Esq., Follow and Ilobvow 
Lecturer, Gouville and Caius Colleg-e, Cambridge. 
Tjrwliitt's Scholar, 1857. Examiner in Hebrew 
text. Old Testament, and Greek text, New Testa- 
ment, in the University of London, 

Kev. John Birrell, Professor of Oriental Lan- 
guages, St. Andrews, Scotland. 

Frank Chance, Esq., M.D., Burloigh House, Sy- 
denham Hill, London. 

Thomas Chenery, Esq. Born in Barbadoes, 1826. 
Died in London, February 11, 18SL Educated at 
Eton and Cambridge, became the Times correspond- 
ent at Constantinople, an adept in Hebrew, Arabic, 
. Persian and Turkish (said to have known the Hebrew 
Bible and the Koran by heart), translator of " The 
Assemblies of El-Hariri," and editor Naachheroth 
Ithiel. Successor of Mr. Delane as editor of the 
London Tirries^ 1876. 

Pev. Thomas Kelley Cheyne, D.D., Late Fellow 
and Hebrew Lecturer of Balliol College, Oxford, 
Rector of Tendring, Essex. Author of the Book 
of Isaiah Chronologically Arranged, of the Proph- 
ecies of Isaiah, a new translation, with Connnentary 
and Appendices (3d ed., 1881:), and of a new version 
of the Book of Psalms. 

Rev. Andrew Bruce Davidson, D.D., Professor 
of Hebrew, Free Church College, Edinburgh. Au- 


thor of an Introductory Hebrew Grammar, Com- 
mentary on Job, Yol. I., 1862, Hebrews in Hand- 
books for Bible Classes, 1882, Job in Cambridge 
Bible for Schools, 1884. 

Kev. Benjamin Dayies, D.D., LL.D., Baptist 
College, London. Born February 26, 1814, near 
Llanboidy, Pembrokeshire. Died July 19, 1875. 
Educated at Baptist College, Bristol, Univ^ersity of 
Glasgow, Trinity College, Dublin, and in Germany. 
Received degree of Ph.D. from Leipzig. Author 
of a Compendious Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon. 
Translator of Bodiger^s edition of Gesenius's He- 
brew Grammar, Joshua to Malachi in Revised Eng- 
lish Bible, 1877. 

Rev. George C. M. Douglas, D.D., Professor of 
Hebrew and Principal of Free Church College, Glas- 
gow. Author of Why I Still BeHeve that Moses 
Wrote Deuteronomy, the Book of Judges in Hand- 
books for Bible Classes, The Book of Joshua in 
Handbooks for Bible Classes. 

Samuel Rolles Driver, Esq. , Regius Professor of 
Hebrew, Oxford. Author of a valuable work on the 
Hebrew Tenses (2d ed., 1881), and The 63d Chapter 
of Isaiah according to the Jewish Interpreters, 2 vols. 

Rev. Charles John Elliott, Winkfield Yicarage, 
Windsor. B.A. St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, 
1840. Tyrwhitt University Scholar 1842. Joint 
author of Notes on the Psalms in the " Speaker's 


Commentary." Author of a Yisitation Sermon, 
1847, and of other single discourses. 

Kev. Patrick Fairbarn, D.D., Principal of the 
Free Church College, Glasgow. Born January, 1805, 
in Berwickshire, Scotland. Died at Glasgow, Au- 
gust 6, 1874. Author of various works on Typology, 
Prophecy, and Hermeneutics, and of Expositions of 
Ezekiel, and of the Pastoral Epistles, and editor of 
the Imperial Bible Dictionary. 

Rev. Frederick Field, D.D., Carlton Terrace, 
Heigham, Norwich. Born in London in 1801. Edu- 
cated at Christ's Hospital and Cambridge ; Fellow 
of Trinity College ; afterward Rector of Reephani, 
E'orfolk. Edited the Greek text of Chrysostom's 
Commentaries on Matthew, and of his Interpreta- 
tion of the Pauline Epistles, The Septuagint accord- 
ing to the Alexandrian Codex, and also Origen's 
Hexapla. Author of Otium Norvicense. 

Rev. John Dury Geden, Professor of Hebrew, 
"Wesleyan College, Didsbury, Manchester. Born 
May 4, 1822, at Hastings. 

Rev. Christian D. Ginsburg, LL.D., Holmlea, 
Virginia Water, Chertsey. Born in Poland about 
1825. Formerly connected with the Society for the 
Promotion of Christianity among the Jews, and their 
missionary at Paris. Author of Coheleth or Ec- 
clesiastes, the Song of Songs, the Essenes, the Kab- 


balah, Massorath Ha Massoreth, Jacob ben Chajim's 
Introduction to Bomberg's Bible, the Moabite Stone, 
and the Massorah, compiled from manuscripts alpha- 
betically and lexically arranged. 

Rev. Feederick William Gotch, D.D., LL.D., 
Principal of the Baptist College, Bristol. Author of 
the Pentateuch in Revised English Bible, London, 


Rev. John Jebb, Canon of Hereford. Born in 
Dublin in 1805. Educated at Winchester and at Trin- 
ity College, Dublin. Author of " A New Transla- 
tion of the Book of Psalms, with Dissertations," 
*' The Divine Economy of the Church," etc. 

Rev. William Kay, D.D., Great Leghs' Rectory, 
Chelmsford. Late scholar of Lincoln College, Ox- 
ford. First Class, Lit. Hum., 1839. Fellow of Lin- 
coln 1840-66. Principal of Bishop's College, Cal- 
cutta, 1849-55. Author of Essays on the Promise 
of Christianity, Crisis Hupfeldiana, the Psalms Trans- 
lated from the Hebrew, with Kotes, Notes on Isaiah 
and on Hebrews in " Speaker's Commentary," Notes 
on Ezekiel in S. P. C. K.'s Commentary. 

Rev. Stanley Leathes, D.D., Professor of He- 
brew, King's College, London. Born March 21, 1830, 
at Ellesborough, Bucks. Educated at Jesus College, 
Cambridge. Author of '^ The Witness of the Old 
Testament to Christ," a Hebrew Grammar, the Gos- 


pel its own Witness, tlie Keligion of the Christ, 
Studies in Genesis, etc., etc. 

Kev. Joseph Rawson Lumby, Norrisian Professor 
of Div^initj, Cambridge. Born at Stanningley, York- 
shire, about 1830. Educated at Leeds Grammar 
School and Magdalen College, Cambridge. Edited 
several works for the Early Englisli Text Society and 
the Pitt Press. Author of a History of the Creeds, 
and the notes on Phihppians and Philemon in 
Schaffs International Commentary on the Kew 
Testament. A contributor to the Encyclopaedia 
Britannica (9th ed.), the Expositor , and other peri- 

Professor McGill. Died March 16, 1871. 

Rev. Archibald Henry Sayce, Deputy Professor 
of Comparative Philology, Oxford. Born at Shire- 
hampton, near Bristol, September 25, 181:6. Edu- 
cated partly at home and partly at Grosvenor Col- 
lege, Bath. Became scholar of Queen's College, 
Oxford, in 1865, and a Fellow of the same in 1869. 
Author of Outlines of Accadian Grammar, an As- 
syrian Grammar, Babylonian Literature, Introduc- 
tion to the Science of Language, Ancient Empires of 
the East, etc., etc. 

Rev. William Selwyn, D.D., Canon of Ely. 
Born 1806. Died April 21, 1875, Educated at Cam- 
bridge, and Lady Margaret Reader in Theology there. 


Author of Horse Hebraicse, Critical Notes on the 
Septiiagint, Thouglits on Cathedral Reform. 

Rev. "William Robertson Smith, LL.D., Lord Al- 
moner's Professor of Arabic, Cambridge, formerly 
of the Free Church College, Aberdeen. Born at 
Keig, Aberdeenshire, J^ovember 8, 1846. Edu- 
cated privately, and then at Aberdeen University, 
the J^ew College, Edinburgh, and the Universities 
of Bonn and. Gottingen. A brilliant and versatile 
scholar, now associated with Prof. Baynes in editing 
the Encyclopsedia Britannica. Author of the Old 
Testament in the Jewish Church, and the Prophets 
of Israel, and their Place in History to the close of 
the Eighth Century, 

William WriCtHT, LL.D., Professor of Arabic, 
Cambridge. Born in Presidency of Bengal, India, 
January 17, 1830. Educated at St. Andrews, Fife, 
and Halle, Prussia. Author of a Grammar of the 
Arabic Language, and editor of numerous Syriac and 
Arabic texts. He catalogued the Syriac and Ethiopic 
jVlSS. in the British Museum. 

William Aldis Wright, M. A., LL.D., Fellow and 
Senior Bursar of Trinity College, Cambridge. Born 
about 1836. Educated at Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, and made librarian there. Chief contributor 
in biblical geography and biography to Smith's 
Bible Dictionary. Editor of Bacon's Essays and 
Advancement of Learning, with notes and glossarial 


indexes. Co-editor with "W. G. Clark of the Cam- 
bridge Shakespeare (9 vols.) and the Globe Shake- 
speare (1 vol.). Author of the Bible Word-Book 
(2ded., 1884). 

American Company. 

William Henry Green, D.D., LL.D., Chairman. 
George Edward Day, D.D., Secretary. 

Eev. Charles Augustus Aiken, Ph.D., D.D., 
Archibald Alexander Professor of Oriental and Old 
Testament Literature and Christian Ethics in the 
Theological Seminary, Princeton, K. J. Born Octo- 
ber 30, 1827, in Manchester, Yt. Graduated at 
Dartmouth College 1846 ; at Andover Theologi- 
cal Seminary 1849-53, including a year and a half 
at Berlin and Halle. Pastor at Yarmouth, Mass., 
1854. Professor of Latin at Dartmouth 1859 ; same 
at Princeton 1866. President of Union College 
1869. Professor of Apologetics and Christian Ethics, 
Princeton Theological Seminary, 1871 ; of Oriental 
and Old Testament Literature and Christian Ethics 
at same 18S2. Translator and editor of Proverbs in 
Dr. SchafE's edition of Lange's Commentary, and con- 
tributor to many of the theological reviews. 

Rev. Talbot Wilson Chambers, S.T.D., one of the 
ministers of the Collegiate Dutch Church in the city 
of ISTew York. Born in Carlisle, Pa., February 25, 
1819. Graduated at Rutgers College, N. J., in 


1834 ; partial course in Theological seminaries of 
New Brunswick and Princeton. Licensed to preach 
in 1838. Settled over Second Reformed Dutch 
Church, Somerville, N. J., 1839. Removed to New 
York in 1849. Author of Noon Prayer-Meeting, 
Life of Frelinghujsen, The Psalter a Witness for 
the Divine Origin of the Scriptures, Notes on Zecha- 
riah in Schaff's edition of Lange's Commentary. 

Rev. Thomas Jefferson CoNANT, D.D., Brooklyn, 
N. Y. Born in Brandon, Yt., December 13, 1802. 
Graduated at Middlebury College, Yt., in 1823; 
continued there in a post-graduate course two years, 
given to Hebrew, Greek and German. Tutor in 
Columbian College, Washington, D. C, in 1825. 
Professor of Languages in Waterville College (now 
Colby University), Maine, in 1827 ; that year 
ordained as an evangelist. Professor of Languages 
and Biblical Literature in Hamilton Literary and 
Theological Institution (now Madison University and 
Theological Seminary), at Hamilton, Madison Co., 
N. Y., in 1835. Professor of the Hebrew Lan- 
guage and Biblical Exegesis in Rochester Theological 
Seminary, Rochester, N. Y., in 1851. This post 
Dr. Conant resigned in 1857 to accept a commission 
from the '^ American Bible Union" to revise the 
English Yersion of the Bible for that society. After 
long service in this work he made a contract with 
Ebenezer Morgan to continue the revision on Mr. 
Morgan's account. Author of a translation of Ge- 
senius's Hebrew Grammar, Revised Yersion of 


Book of efob, with introduction and notes, and also 
of Proverbs (some editions contain both the He- 
brew and the Enghsh) ; Revised Version of Gen- 
esis, with introduction and notes, and the same of 
the Book of Psahus, each in IvoL, 8vo ; Propliecies 
of Isaiah, i.-x, 4, a revised version, with exphma- 
tions for English readers, and critical notes on the 
Hebrew text, the Gospel of Matthew, Greek text, 
common version and revised version in parallel col- 
umns (1 vol. 4to) ; Revised English Version of the 
Old Testament, in 8v^o, 12mo, and 16mo ; Baptizein, 
its meaning and use philologicallj and historically in- 
vestigated ; Revised Version of the Historical Books 
of the Old Testament, from Joshua to Second Kings, 
with introduction and occasional notes. 

Rev. George Edward Day, D.D., Professor of 
the Hebrew Language and Biblical Theology in the 
Divinity School of Yale College, J^ew Haven, Conn. 
Born at Pittsfield, Mass., March 19, 1815. Was 
graduated at Yale College in 1833, and in the 
Yale Divinity School in 1838, where he was assistant 
instructor in Sacred Literature 1838-40. Pastor of 
First Church in Marlborough, Mass., and the Ed- 
wards Church in Northampton, 1840-51. Professor 
of Biblical Literature in Lane Theological Seminary, 
Cincinnati, O., 1851-66; Professor of the Hebrew 
Language and Biblical Theology in the Divinity 
School of Yale College since 1 866. Translated, with 
additions. Van Oosterzee on Titus for Dr. Schafi's 
edition of Lange's Commentary. Edited, with notes, 


the American issue of Oehler's '^ Biblical The- 

Eev. John De Witt, D.D., Professor of Hellen- 
istic Greek and New Testament Exegesis in the 
Theological Seminary of the Reformed (Dutch) 
Church, I^ew Brunswick. Bom November 29, 1821, 
in New Brunswick, N. J. Graduated at Rutgers Col- 
lege, 1838, and at the Theological Seminary, New 
Brunswick, 1842. Pastor of the Reformed Dutch 
churches at Ridgeway, 1842-44 ; at Ghent, 1845-48 ; 
at Canajoharie, 1848-49 ; at Millstone, N. J., 1850- 
63. Professor of Oriental Literature at New Bnms- 
wick, 1803-84 ; Professor of Hellenistic Greek and 
New Testam.ent Exegesis, 1884. Author of the Sure 
Foundation and How to Build on It, and 'the Praise 
Songs of Israel, a new rendering of the Book of 

Rev. William Heney Green, D.D., LL.D., Pro- 
fessor of Oriental and Old Testament Literature in 
the Theological Seminary, Princeton, N. J. Born 
at Grovevilie, N. J,, January 27, 1825. Graduated 
at La Fayette College, Pa., 1840. Tutor there 
1840-42. Graduated at Princeton Theological Sem- 
inary 1846. Supply of Second Presbyterian Church, 
Princeton, 1847-49. Pastor of Central Presbyterian 
Church, Philadelphia, 1849-51. Professor Biblical 
and Oriental Literature, Princeton Seminary, 1851- 
69, and of Oriental and Old Testament Literature 
1859. Author of Grammar of Hebrew Language, 


Hebrew Chrestomatlij, the Pentateucli Vindicated, 
Elementary Hebrew Grammar, The Argument of 
the Book of Job, Moses and the Prophets. Trans- 
lator and editor of Song of Solomon in Schaffs edi- 
tion of Lange's Commentary. 

Rev. George Emlen Hare, D. D. , Professor of Bib- 
lical Learning in the Divinity School, Philadelphia, 
Pa. Born in Philadelphia, Sej^tember 4, 1808. Grad- 
uated at Union College, N. Y., in 1826. Became 
Rector of St. John's Church, Carlisle, Pa., in 1830 ; 
Rector of Trinity Church, Princeton, ]^. J., in 1834. 
Rector of St. Matthew's Church, Philadelphia, in 
1845 ; finally Professor of Biblical Learning in the 
Philadelphia Divinity School of the Protestant Epis- 
copal Church in 1862. 

Rev. Charles PoRTERriELDKRArTH,D.D.,LL.D., 

Yice-Provost of the University of Pennsylvania, 
Philadelphia, and Professor of Theology and Church 
History in the Evangelical Lutheran Theological 
Seminary in Philadelphia. Born March 17 in Mar- 
tinsburg, Ya. Died January 2, 1883, in Philadel- 
phia. Graduated in 1839 at Pennsylvania College, 
Gettysburg. Studied theology with Drs. Schmucker 
and Schmidt. Ordained and installed pastor of a 
church in Baltimore in 1842. Subsequently held 
the same office in Winchester, Ya., and Pittsburg, 
Pa. In 1859 called to St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 
in Philadelphia. In 1864 became Professor of 
Theology and Church History in the Theological 


Seminary, then newly established in Philadelphia 
by the Lutheran body. In 1868 elected to the 
chair of Moral and Intellectual Philoso]3hy in the 
University of Pennsylvania, and five years later 
made Vice-Provost. Author of the Conserva- 
tive Reformation and its Theology, a Transla- 
tion of Tholuck's Commentary on the Gospel of 
John, an Enlargement of Fleming's Yocabulary 
of Philosophy, a new edition of Berkeley's Phil- 
osophical Writings, and various minor treatises 
touching questions in theology and Church his- 

Taylee Lewis, LL.D., Professor of Greek and 
Oriental Languages in Union College, Schenectady, 
N. Y. Born March 27, 1802, in Northumberland, 
N. Y. Died May 11, 1877, in Schenectady. He 
was prepared for college by Dr. Proudfoot, of Salem. 
Graduated from Union College in 1820. Studied 
law, and commenced practice at Fort Miller in 1824. 
Became Principal of Waterford Academy in 1833. 
Professor of Greek and Latin in the University of 
the City of ^ew York in 1838. Professor of Greek 
in Union College in 1849, and afterward of Oriental 
Languages and Biblical Literature. Author of Plato 
contra Atheos, the Six Days of Creation, the Bible 
and Science, the Divine-Human in the Scriptures, 
Notes on Genesis and Job and Ecclesiastes in Schaif *s 
edition of Lange's Commentary, Yedder Lecture, the 
Light by which we see Light, and innumerable minor 
articles in reviews and periodicals. 


Kev. Charles Marsh Mead, Ph.D. , D.D. , former- 
ly Professor of Hebrew in the Theological Seminary, 
Andover, Mass. Born January 28, 1836, at Corn- 
wall, Yt. Graduated at Middlebury College, Yt., 
1856. Teacher in Phillips Academy 1856-58. Tutor 
at Middlebury 1859-60. Graduated at Andover 
Theological Seminary 1862. Studied at Halle and 
Berlin 1863-66. Made Ph.D. at Tiibingen 1866; 
same year appointed Professor of Hebrew at An- 
dover. Resigned the professorship in 1882. Since 
then a resident of Bonn, of Leipzig, and now of Ber- 
lin. Translator and editor of the Book of Exodus 
in Schaff's edition of Lange's Commentary. Author 
of '' The Soul Here and Hereafter, " and of numer- 
ous articles in the Bibliotheca Sacra and other reviews. 

Pev. Howard Osgood, Professor of Hebrew in the 
Baptist Theological Seminary, at Pochester, N. Y. 
Born January 4, 1831, in the parish of Plaquemines, 
La. Graduated at Harvard College 1850. Ordained 
1856. Pastor at Flushing, L. I., 1856-58, and in 
New York 1860-65. Professor of Hebrew at Crozier 
Theological Seminary, Crozier, Pa., 1868-74, and at 
Rochester Theological Seminary 1875. Author of 
'^ Jesus Christ and the Newer School of Criticism" 
in Baptist Review^ January, 1883, " Prehistoric 
Commerce of Israel," ib., April, 1885. Translator 
of Pierret's Dogma of the Resurrection among the 
Ancient Egyptians, Hebrew Student, February, 1885. 

Rev. Joseph Packard, D.D., Professor of Biblical 


Learning in tlie Protestant Episcopal Seminary of 
the Diocese of Yirginia, Alexandria, Ya. Born De- 
cember 23, 1812, in Wiscasset, Maine. Graduated 
at Bowdoin College in 1831. Two years later entered 
the Andover Theological Seminary. "While there ap- 
pointed a professor in Bristol College, Pa., now ex- 
tinct. Admitted to deacon's orders by Bishop Gris- 
wold in 1836. The same year elected professor in 
the seminary at Alexandria, Ya. Author of the Ex- 
position of Malachi in Dr. Schaff's edition of Lange's 

Kev. Calvin Ellis Stowe,D.D., Hartford, Conn., 
formerly Professor of Hebrew in Andover Theolog- 
ical Seminary. Born April 26, 1802, at l^atick, 
Mass. Graduated at Bowdoin College 1821:, and at 
Andover Seminary 1828. Assistant Professor of 
Sacred Literature at Andover 1828-30. Professor 
of Languages at Dartmouth College 1830-33. Pro- 
fessor of Biblical Literature in Lane Seminary 
1833-50, and of Natural and Kevealed Keligion in 
Bowdoin College 1850-52. Professor of Sacred 
Literature in Andover Seminary 1852-61. Author 
of a translation of Jahn's Hebrew Commonwealth, a 
new edition, with notes, of Lowth's Hebrew Poetry, 
Report on Elementary Education in Europe, Intro- 
duction to the Criticism and Interpretation of the 
Bible, the Origin and History of the Books of the 
Bible, besides many contributions to religious period- 
icals. Dr. Stowe resigned from the Revision Com- 
mittee in 1876. 


James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D., Professor of Ex- 
egetical Theology in the Drew Theological Semi- 
nary, Madison, N". J. Born August 14, 1822, in 
New York. Graduated at Wesleyan University, 
Middletown, Conn., 184-4:. Teacher of Ancient Lan- 
guages in Troy Conference Academy, West Poult- 
ney, Yt., 1 844-46. Professor of Biblical Literature 
and Acting President of Troy University 1858-61. 
Professor of Exegetical Theology in Drew Seminary. 
Author of Epitomes of Greek, Hebrew, and Clialdee 
Grammar ; Analysis of the Epistles to the Romans 
and to the Hebrews, and of the Apocalypse ; Trans- 
lation of the Book of Ecclesiastes ; Exposition of the 
Song of Solomon ; a volume of Lectures, entitled 
Irenics ; portions of the translation and notes on 
Esther and Daniel in Dr. Schaff's edition of Lange's 
Commentary ; joint editor with Dr. John McClin- 
tock, and after his death sole editor, of a Cyclopaedia 
of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature 
(10 vols. 8vo, and 1 supplementary), and a contrib- 
utor to various periodicals. 

Cornelius Y. A. Yan Dyck, M.D., D.D., Profes- 
sor in the American College at Beirut, Syria. Born 
at Kinderhook, E. Y., August IS, 1818. Studied 
the classics at the Kinderhook Academy ; studied 
medicine with his father, H. L. Yan Dyck, M.D., 
and at the University of Pennsylvania, PhiLadelphia. 
Went to Syria as missionary physician 1840. Soon 
became a proficient in Arabic, and took charge of a 
seminary at Abieh, on Mount Lebanon. Ordained 


TO tlie ministry by liis associates, and gave himself to 
missionary work. He was associated with Dr. Eli 
Smith in the preparation of an Arabic version of the 
Scriptures, but the Pentateuch was barely completed 
when Dr. Smith died. Then Dr. Yan Dyck alone 
carried on the enterprise to completion, and the re- 
sult is an accurate and elegant version, equal in style 
to the Koran, and acceptable to cultivated speakers 
of Arabic everywhere. He spent two years in 
New York in superintending the publication of this 
great work. Since its completion he has been mainly 
employed in professorial work in the American Col- 
lege and in the preparation of text-books in Arabic 
for the use of the students. Dr. Yan Dyck could 
not attend the meetings of the company, but was 
often consulted by letter, and the notes he transmit- 
ted on particular portions of the Old Testament were 
highly valued and very useful. 


[The Scriptures referred to do not include those which occur in Biblical 
order in chapters iv.— viii.] 

Abbot, Dr. Ezra, his qualities as a 
critic, 52. 

Abraham, 226, 228, 245. 

Adam, the city, 97; the man, 160. 

Aiken, Dr. C. A., 255. 

Alexander, Dr. William Lindsay, 248. 

American Committee appointment, 
43 ; mode of action, 50, 51 ; har- 
mony, 9 ; their Appendix, 167 sq.; 
list of members, 255 sq. 

Aqnila's Greek version of O. T., 72, 

Archaisms, 172. 

Arnold, Matthew, on translation, 138 
{note) ; on the name Jehovah, 170 

Asherim, 85, 102, 

Assyriology, 28. 

Auspices of the revision, 39, 40. 

Authorized Version, its defects, 19 
sq., 28 sq., 132, 158 ; its excellence, 
16sq., 46, 57, 110. 

" Azazel," 86, 176, 

Amos iii. 2, p. 81. 

Acts ii. 47, p. 42. 


Bath and Wells, Bishop of, 246. 
Belial, 92, 174. 
Bensley, Robert L., 249. 
Bentley, 53. 

Biography in the O. T., 225. 

Birrell, Prof. John, 249. 

Bissell, Prof., on correctness of the 
O. T. text, 63. 

Bomberg's Hebrew Bible, 67. 

Sorrow's Bible in Spain quoted, 222. 

" Boy" applied to slaves, 183. 

Briggs, Prof. C. A., on textual revi- 
sion, 76 ; on Hebrew poetry, 79 

Brooks, Eev. Dr. Phillips, quoted, 4. 

Cardinal ethical precepts, the same 

everywhere, 242 ; perfectly given in 

the O. T., 232. 
Carlyle, T., on David's Psalms, 230. 
Casaubon on conjectural readings, 

Cartography of Palestine, 27. 
Catholic character of the revision, 41. 
Chambers, T. W., 256. 
Chance, Frank, 249. 
Chapter divisions of the A. V., 16, 17. 
Chenery, Thomas, 249. 
Cheyne, Rev, Thomas Kelley, 138, 

Church of England, 39, 40. 
Conjectural readings, 65, 73 sq. 
Convocation of Canterbury, 39. 
''Cor," 107. 



" Corn," British use of the word, 44. 

Cyrus, 143. 

II. Cor. vi. 15, p. 174. 

David, 226, 230, 235, 238, 244. 
Davidson, Prof. Andrew Bruce, 249. 
Davidson, Dr. Samuel, on the various 

readings of the O. T., 68. 
Davies, Rev. Dr. Benjamin, 250. 
Day, Dr. George E., 257 ; quoted, 14, 

Decalogue, perfect, 232 ; upheld by 

our Lord, 232, 243. 
Deliberate action of the revisers, 49. 
Denmark, Bible revision in, 7. 
" Devils," 105. 
De Witt, Prof. John, 258. 
Divorce in the O. T., 234. 
Dillman, Prof., on Hebrew codices, 69. 
Douglas, Principal George C. M., 250. 
Driver, Prof. Samuel R., 250. 
Deut. sii. 18, p. 2;36. 

" xxii. 5, 7, p. 238. 

" xxiv. 17, 19, p. 238. 

" XXV. 4, p. 238. 


Egyptology, 28. 

El Arish, 90. 

El Shaddai, 169. 

Elohim, meaning of, 170, 179. 

Ephrem the Syrian, 73. 

Errors in translation, list of, 29, 30. 


Euphemisms, 103, 143, 151, 175, 177, 
185, 191, 207, 212. 

Ewald on the Old Testament, 231. 

Expiation in the O. T., 228. 

Extermination of the Canaauites, rea- 
sons for, 233. 

Exodus xxi. 20, p. 234. 

xxii. 21-27, p. 237. 
" xxiii. 4, 5, p. 237. 

Faber on the English Bible, 46. 
Fourth Commandment, 35, 236. 
France, Bible revision in, 8. 

Gadites, 104. 

Genesis, division of chapters in, 22. 

Germany, Bible revision in, 9. 

" Giblites," 102. 

Giusburg, Rev. Dr., 64, 66, 251. 

Gotch, Dr. F. W., 250. 

Green, Prof. W. H., 33, 258. 


Halstead's version of Job, 31. 

Harrison, Archdeacon, 248. 

Hare, Prof. G. E., 259. 

Hebraisms, 32, 152, 153, 163, 182, 189, 
197, 202, 217. 

Herder referred to, 79 ; on the O. T., 

Hell not a proper rendering of Sheol, 

Herem, 92. 

Hercules, 241. 

History in the O. T., 223. 

Holland. Bible revision in, 13 ; Staaten 
Bybel of, 16. 

Home, Bishop, quoted, 10. 

Hozai, 106. 

Human sacrifices in Canaan, 92 ; for- 
bidden by Mosaic code, 240. 

Huxley, Prof., on English Bible, 47. 

"Hypocrite," 28, 112. 

Habakkuk iii. 3, 4, p. 31. 

Hebrews ii. 7, p. 120. 


Idol worship among the Hebrews, 

International feature of the revision, 

Isaac Taj^lor on the Psalms, 229. 
Isaiah, division of chapters in, 23. 
" vii. 16, p. 32. 
ix. 3, p. 64. 
" xiii. 3, p. 32. 
" xix. 10, p. 31. 

Jacob, 239, 243. 
Jael, 239. 




Jahveb, 1G9. 
Jebb, Cauon John, 250. 
Jehovah, 120, 1G8 sq. 
Jephthah, 240. 
Jerome, 25, 65. 
Job, division of chapters in, 
Jonathan beu Uzicl, 70. 
Judges xiii. 3, p. 32. 
XV. 19, p. 32. 
Job xxvi. 5, p. 31. 
John i. 41, p. 157. 
James ii. 25, p. 239. 

Kay, Dr. William, 253. 

Kennicott, 69. 

" Kcri," 64, 69, 126, 143. 

" Kethib," 64, 160. 

Kindness of the Mosaic code, 237. 

Koran, The, 101. 

Kraulh,Prof. C. P., 259. 

Llandafi, Bishop of, 246. 
Leathes, Prof. Stanley, 252. 
Lewis, Prof. Tayler, 260. 
Lex talionis, 234, 

Lituro:y of the Old Testament, 228. 
Lincoln, Bishop of, 246. 
Lowth, Bishop, 37, 75. 
Loskiel, History of Moravian mis- 
sions, 242. 
Lumby, Prof. J. R., 253. 
Lying, its evil nature, 238. 
Lev. xix. 14, 17, 18, 32, p. 237. 
Luke, xxiii. 31, p. 94. 


Marsh.Hon. George P., on revision, 32. 
Marsh, Dr. James, translation of 

Herder, 222, 
Massorah, its nature, 62 sq. 
Massoretic text adhered to, 193, 194, 

Meat offering, 28. 
Method of the revision, 50. 

Messiah, 165 ; word excluded from 
the revision, 150 ; restored to the 
margin by the Appendix, 215. 
Mead, Prof. Charles M., 260. 
Michal, her teraphim, 244. 
Midrash, 105. 
Missionaries awaiting the revision, 

Missionary " adhere".ts," their char- 
acter, 244. 
McGill, Prof., 253. 
Montesquieu on Lex folionis, 234. 
Moravian missionary rebuked, 242. 
Malachi iii. 13-18, p. 111. 
Matthew v. 17, p. 232. 

v. 38, 39, p. 234. 
" vi. 25, 31, 34, p. 181. 
•• xix. 17, p. 243. 
" xix. 18, p. 84. 

Name, the, 87, 171. 
Negeb (or South), 81, 153. 
Newcome, Archbishop, 37. 
Nephelim, 88. 

Norway, Bible revision in, 8. 
Noyes, Dr. George R., 37. 
Numbers xxxv. 11, 12, 15, p. 47. 

XXXV. 31, p. 234. 
Nehemiah viii. 8, p. 56, 70. 

Obsolete words, list of, 19 sq., 173, 196. 

Oehler, Bib. Theol. quoted, 219. 

Old Testament unduly exalted, 218; 
reaction concerning, 218, 219 ; need- 
ed to understand the New, 220 sq. ; 
its value recognized by universal 
church, 230. 

Onkelos, Targum of, 70. 

Osgood, Prof. Howard, on the Jews' 
fidelity, 66 ; personal details of, 

Osterwald's French version, 8. 

Packard, Prof. Joseph, 261. 
Parallelisms, 24, 79, 135, 199. 



Parie, Polyglot, 25. 

Peabody, Eev. Dr. A. P., on Ezra Ab- 
bot, 52. 
Perowne, Dean, 247. 
" People " for " peoples," 82. 
Persian words, 105, 106, 107. 
Peshitto version, 19, 73. 
Pliimptre, Dean, 247. 
Pliny on nature, quoted by Hengsten- 

berg, 221 (note). 
Poetry in Hebrew history, 78 sq.; of 
Job., 110; of Canticles, 131; of the 
Prophets, 135. 
Pope's Universal Prayer, 170. 
Psalter, divisions of, 120 ; hard to re- 
vise, 119 ; superscriptions in, 36 ; 
harvest lyric, 124 ; missionary, 125 ; 
adapted to all ages, 229. 
Psalm iv. 1, p. 32. 
ix. 17, p. 172. 
X. 4, p. 33. 
" xvi. 2, p. 31. 
" xix. 3, p. 33. 
" xxiii. 1, 2, p. 58. 
" xlvii. 8, p. 32. 
" Ixvii. 6, p. 31. 
" Ixxiii. p. Ill, 
" ciii. 2, p. 153 (note). 


Rahab, 239. 

Rachel stole the teraphim, 243. 

Re-revision unlikely, 51. 

Revelation, the Bible is such, 34, 50. 

Reverence needed for a translator, 52. 

Resurrection intimated, 114, 142, 

Ritual of the O. T., its use, 227. 

Ritschl on conjectural readings, 75. 

Rose, Archdeacon, 248. 

Rules of Committee on revision, 45. 

Rev. vii. 17, p. 182. 


Samuel, his purity, 245. 
Samson, 241 sq. 
"Satrap," 107. 
Sayce, Prof. A. H., 253. 

Schaff, Dr. Philip, on the church of 
England, 40 (note) ; his Companion 
to the Greek Testament, 246. 

Schleiermacher, 218. 

Schultens, his Arabic scholarship, 26. 

Segond, Prof. Louis, his version of 
the Bible, 9. 

Selvvyn, Canon William, 253. 

Sepoy rebellion, illustration from, 

Sermon on the Mount, 234, 243. 

SheOl, 113, 121, 123, 171 sq. 

Septuagint, 24eq.; its origin, 71; no 
critical edition of, 74, 

Simplicity of style needed for a ver- 
sion, 56, 

Smith, Dean, R. Payne, 247. 

Smith, Prof. W, Robertson, 138, 254. 

Song of Solomon, Purity of, 131. 

Slavery in Hebrew times, 235 sq. 

St, David's, Bishop of, 246. 

Stowe, Dr, C, E., 262. 

Strack, Prof. H. L.,67, 69. 

Symmachus, his version of the O. T., 

Syriac Peshitto, 25, 73. 

Talmudists, 65, 67. 

Targums, 70, 71. 

Temple, Bishop, on the authority Of 

Scripture, 54. 
Tenses in Hebrew, 25. 
Teraphim in Hebrew households, 243, 

Theodotion, his version of the O. T., 

Tischendorf on textual sourcea of 

the N. T., 61. 
Translation must be intelligible, 138. 
Twelve tables of Rome, 234. 
Twenty-third Psalm, its excellence, 

57 ; mistranslation of, 58. 
n. Tim. iii.l6, 17, p. 8. 


Uniformity of rendering, 47. 




Van Dyck, Dr. C. V. A., 263. 
Various readings of Hebrew text, 64, 

67, 68. 
Versicular division of A. V., 17. 
Versions, ancient, their authority, 73 

eq , 173. 
Vulgate, 25, 42, 173. 


Walton's Polyglot, 26. 

Westcott and Hort on text of N. T., 

Wilberforce, Bishop, 39. 
Wright, William, 254. 
Wright, William Aldis, 254. 




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*'Beooklyn Tabeenacle." 

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Hymns ron All Chkistians. 

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Pulpit ajtd Grave. 

A collection of many of the most impressive and approrriate Funeral Sermon'?; 
many themes and texts that have been used on funeral occasions, with 
hundreds of Suggestive Hints. An exhaustive work on this subject. Invalu- 
able to clergymen. 12mo, 360 pp., cloih, $1.50. 

Pulpit Talks, 

On Topics of the Time, including "Religion and Science," "'Religion and 
Social Organization." "Religion and Popular Literature,' "Religion and 
Popular Amusements." By J. H. Rylance, D.D., Rector of St. Mark's Cnurch, 
N. Y. 12mo, 46 pp., paper, 25 cents. 

Prater and its Eemarkable Answers. 

By William W. PATTO>r, D.D. The 20th edition of this remarkable book has 
been exhausted at $.;.00 per volume. 12mo, n-arly 500 pp., cloth, $1.00. 

" Among all the books that have come to our notice, we are free to say, the book 
•which will prove to the general reader, at once the most Interesting and instructive. 
The volume is packed with Interesting and well authenticated f nets. "—Chicago Ad- 

" Many of the statements it contains are as incontrovertible as the doctrine of the 
attraction of gravitation."— ^>'. T. Inde/jendent. 

" The compilation of facts is large, wide in its survey, ■wonderful in its results. "— 
J\'eiv York Observer. 

" Tlie best contribution to the Uterature of prayer. We heartily commend It."— 
Interior, Chicago. 

" The book is adapted to confirm the faith of Christians who have been troubled by 
Infidel sophistries. "—Aa^!07ia/ Baptist, Philadelphia. 

" Dr Patton conducts an argument with such signal abilltv, he reasons so clearly and 
forcibly, running his lines of thought directly and coherently from premises to con- 
clusions, that it is an intellectual pleasure to follow his processes in the exercise of 
logic."— C/iicapo Tribune. 

Praise Songs of Israel. 

a New Rendering of the Book of Psalms. By John De Witt, D.D., of the 
Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, N. J., and Member of the American Old 
Testament Revision Company. Large octavo; Elegant style, with chaste 
adornments. Price, $2.00. 
A work of rare literary ability and artistic beauty, as the testimonials of some of our 
most distinguished scholars and critics declare. 
Puskt's Commentary on the jMinor Prophets. 

The entire work in 2 vols. Cloth, $3.00 each. (In press.) 
Puset's "Daniel the Prophet." 
1 vol., cloth, $3.00. (In preparation.) 
These commentaries have received most extraordinary commendations, 
" His Commentaries are of a rare order in minghng the results of the highest scholar- 
ship with the unction of the deepest spirituality . His ' Daniel ' is far beyond any other 
commentary ever written on that prophet. In the ' Minor Prophets' he has shown the 
Bame careful, scholarly treatment and the same devout spirit. This work is rich In 
spiritual thought, and must prove abundantly suggestive to every thoughtful reader."- 
Moicard Crosby, D.D. 

" I am gratified to learn that you intend to bring out an American reprint of Pusey's 
Minor Proptiets. which is the most learned, able and instructive commentary on that 
portion of Scripture, that has been produced in Great Britain."— Pro/". Henry Green, 
Princeton Seminary. 

" It gives me a heartfelt joy to learn of your design to republish Dr. Pusey's Minor 
Prophets If ever there was profound learning combined with the spirit of ' the little 
child,' enlisted in the task of old Testament exposition, we see It here. I cannot al- 
ways accept the Doctor's solution of knotty points, but I tremble to compare my own 
questionings with his entire self-surrender to what seems to him the mind of the 
Spirit. Such critical skill and such humanity are rarely combined.— .Bii'/io^ A. Cleve- 
land Coxe, Buffalo, X. Y. 

•' I consider Dr. Pusey's Commentary on the Minor Prophets to be a most valuable 
work; I have studied it with great profit and much pleasure and benefit, and I am most 
happy to hear that an American edition is about to be published."— J/orpan Dix, D.D.^ 
JVeiv York. 

" I am glad to hear that you propose to republish on this side of the Atlantic Pusey's 
Commentary on the Minor Prophets It Is the best exposition known to me of that 
section of the Sacred Scriptures. Pusey's Hebrew scholarship was undoubted: his 
learning was extensive; his acquaintance particularly with patristic literature, was 
Yery large, and his heart was especially devout. His well-known church views do not 


obtrude themselves, and alike In his comments on Daniel and the Minor Trophots ho 
seems to nie to be on lils knees as he studies— seeking only t.) know CJud's mcauliiK and 
desiring only to do God's will. I haveyunc tin-miuh his Daniel chapter by cliaincr— 
wondering even more at the reverence r^^-^nat the learning of the expositor."— (I'm. 
M. Taylor, D.D., JS'ew York. 

" Dr. Pusey's 'Commentary on the Minor Prophets' will certainly be an Interesting 
and valuable addition to your list of publications."— P/tj7/i>,< Brooks, U.I)., Boston. 

" The republication of Dr. Pusey's Commentary on the Minor Prophets Is much to 
be desired. A work of such rare scholarship, judgment and devntlonal spirit ought to 
be far more "Widely known In this country. 1 am glad to hear that a New York houso 
has undertaken the repriut."—5tj/to/; i-^ L). numiiujcon, of Central New York. 

Kevised Nkw Testament. (Teacher's Edition.) 

Witii New Index and Concordanco, Harmony of the Gospels, Maps, Parellel 
Passages, and many other Indispensable Helps. Cloth, $1.50. 

Bevisees' English. 

A spicy criticism on the English of the Eevisers of the New Testament. By 
Key. Geo. Washington Moon, England. I'imo, cloth, 75 cents. 


A beautiful gilt book suitable at all seasons. By Rev. John Edgae Johnson. 
8vo. cloth, 75 cents. 


By Justin Fulton, D.D. 12mo, paper, 30 cents; cloth, 75 cents. 
Sabbath for Man, The, 

With special reference to the rights of Workingmen, based on Scripture, and a 

Symposium of Corre.'ipon /ence with more than 250 representative Men of all 

Nations and Denominations. By Rev. Wilbur F. Crafts. Large 12mo, $1.50. 

The author has gathered an immense amount of Information from all parts of the 

world bearing on the present state of Sabbath observance, existing Sabbath laws, the 

views of leading men in reference to the Sabbath, and a full bibliography of Sabbath 

literature. It is a book that ought to find its way into every family circle in the land. 

Schaff-Heezog Encyclopedia of Eeligious Kno^t^edge; 

or, Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal and Practical Theology. Based 

on the Real-Encyklopiidie of Herzog, Pitt and HaucU. Edited by PnitiP 

SCHAFF, D.D., LL.D., Professor in Union Theological Seminary, assisted by 

Rev. t^AMUEL Jackson, M.A., and Rev. D. S. Schaff. Complete in 3 volumes. 

Royal 8vo, 2,5 pp., cloth, each $6.00; sheep, $7.50; half morocco, $0.U0; full 

morocco, gilt, $12.00. 

•' It Is worthy of its name, contains the matter of the great German work In which 

we Americans are interested, with many new contributions from the most, competent 

specialists among ourselves. It will be of great and lasting value to editors, students, 

professors and clergymen, "—./o/ni IJ'^ll, D.D., New York. 

" The articles are concise, yet full. The volume Is a mine of fresh and Interesting 
Information on all Scriptural and ecclesiastical matters in which He pure mu/i/ets ready 
for t'e hand of the seeker. The work furnishes ample proof of laborious carefulness 
and vigilant accuracy."— IF. Onniston, D.D., LL.D., New York. 

" The Schaflf-Herzog is the very best Encyclopedia published In any language. For 
variety, amplitude and exactness of useful information In the branches of knowledge 
covered by it, I am acquainted with no work that equals it."—Frof. Roswell V. Hitch- 
cock, V.I)., New York. 

" It Is certain that this Encyclopaedia will fill a place In our Theological Literature in 
which, for a long time, it will have no rival."— Pro/". A. A. Hodge, V.D., Princeton llieo. 

" Dr. Schaff's ' Religious Encyclopaedia' may well be called the joint product of the 
scholarship of the world. It is the result not solely of any one thinker or one class of 
thinkers, but of scholars and schools widely diversified in their intellectual habits and 

tastes. It not only deserves to form a part of every good library for students of general 
minently valuable as forming In itself a comi)act theological 
library,"— i'7of. Edward A. Park, D.D. 

literature, but it is pre-eminentlv 

"I have long been acquainted with the original work of Herzog, which In scientific 
structure and profound learning has held the first place among works of its kind. 1 he 
present edition, to which Dr. Schaff's accomplished supervision adds so nmch worth, 
Is invaluable. "— Jk/i'wa- /i. Seelye, Amherst College. 

" I am delighted with the • Religious Encyclopaedia ' edited by Dr. Schaff, who has 
certainly enriched our American libraries with a greater store of ripe sacred knowl- 
edge than any other living scholar. This encyclopaedia is Invaluable for scope of sub- 
jects, for richness of knowledge, and for general reUableness of judgment. —Hev. 
Henry Ward Beecher . 


Staes and Constellations. 

By Royal Hill. A v^ry ingenious and simple chart by which any one can 
locate the fixe 1 Stars without Instruments, GHobes or Maps. Super-royal, fine 
paper, Uo, with 2 charts and 14 cuts, price $1.00. 

This work is something wholly new. It will supply a long felt want in every school. 
Academy and College. Every student or scholar will find it a valuable acquisition in 
his libraiy. 

Every constellation in the Zodiac is delineated with remarkable accuracy in white and 
black cuts. These Zodiacal cuts also show the relative size and exact position of each 
star visible to the naked eye ; and the exact oath of the sun is given so that any one 
can instantly give the precise location of the sun for any day in the year with absolute 

This work gives an interesting description of everv conspicious object in the 
heavens, excluding the planets. And a system of indexes affords every facility to 
make the book the more practical and convenient than any work on the stars. 

Stoeies in Khtme for Holiday Teme. 

By Edward Jewitt Wheeler. With 29 illustrations by Walter Satterlee. A 
holiday book for joung readers. $1.75. 

"Quiteabove the average. "—iV. Y. Nation. 

" Keplete with happy hits and situations."— A'. Y. Times. 

" One of the brightest child's books of the year."— ^. S. Times. 

" Bright and rollicking, full of fun, but pure and wholesome."— C/a'ca^o Advance. 

" A really charming hoo'k.."-- Mary Mapes Dodge, Editor St. Nicholas. 

" The ' Boy to the Schoolmaster ' is worthy of Dr. Holmes."— TAe American. 

«• Mr. Wheeler ranks among the flrstof writers of juvenile literature. "—^/ftanj/^ueTi- 
ing Journal. 

Tee Buntling Ball. 

A Gr£eco-American Play. A Keen Satire on New York Society. By one of the 
most brilliant and well-known of living writers. Illustrated by C. D. Weldon. 
12mo, $1.50; gilt edge, $2.00. 

Opinions of the Press: 

" It will be enjoyed immensely by every one."— Globe, Boston. 

" A notable production ; the writer has music in his son\."— Post, Hartford. 

" Capitally illustrated ; one of the most amusing of books."— /'j-es.?, Philadelphia. 

"■ The brochure is clear, the illustrations of marked merit."— Dispatch, Pittsburgh. 

" As asocial satire, it deserves a high place." — Telegram, New York. 

" A pungent, rhythmical burlesque. It author is no novice."— inier Ocean, Chicago. 

" Abounds in audacious puns and merry quips and sly io'kes."— Examiner, New York. 

" It is graphic and X)nngent."— Independent, New York. 

" We read it with no little pleasure."— fleraZd cC- Presbyter, Cincinnati, 

"No book can compare with it for dram.atic brilliancy, biting yet good natured, 
sarcasm and very peculiar, reJined and original wit."— Women's Journal, Boston. 

Theology of the Old Testament. 

By Dk. Gust. Fk. Oehleb, late Professor Ordinarius of Theology in Tubingen, 
Leipzig. This American edition is edited by Prof. Geo. E. Day, D.D., of Yale 
College. It has been introduced as a class-book at Yale and other seminaries. 
Universally praised both in Europe and America. 1 vol., 8vo, cloth, $3.00. 
" Oehler's Theology of the Old Testament has for a generation been considered as at 

the head of all treatises on the subject— a subject which just now has assumed unusual 

prominence, especially to those who are persuaded that the Old Testament and the 

New stand or fall together."— T W. Chambers, D.D. 

The MENroB. 

By Alfred Atees, author of •' The Orthoepist," " The Verbalist," etc. 
Luxuriously bound, cloth, $1.00. 

"In every respect one of the most admirable books on manners and manner. It 
possesses high literary -mevix,."— Evening Journal, Chicago. 

" The Mentor," take it for all in all, is perhaps the best book of its kind that has been 
written ; it is eminently sensible, and is wholly free from the artificialty and priggish- 
ness that usually characterise such books. It is really an admirable volume to put 
into the hands of young people ; but while its lessons are useful to both sexes, they are 
especially so to young men. Its teachings will greatly tend to give them confidence, 
and consequently to make them feel at ease and to appear to advantage in society. '— 
Literary News, New York. 


Through the Peison to the Throne. 

Illustrations of Life from the Biograi-hy of Joseph. By Eev. Joseph S. Vah 
Dyke. 16mo, cloth, 254 pp., $1.0U. 

Thoughts of John Foster. 

Collated, arranged and indexed. By W. W. Everts, D.D. Price, cloth, 12mo. 

The Treasury of David. 

By Chakles H. Spoegeon. 8vo, C vols., strong cloth binding, $12.00; sheep, 
llG.50 per set. 

"Mr. Spurgeon's great "work on the Psalms la without an equal as an exposition of 
that portiun oi Scripture. Euiineatly practical in his own teucfilug. he lias collected in 
these volumes tl;e best thoughts of the be«t niiiidson the Psalter, and especially of that 
great body loosely grouped together as the Puritan divines. 1 heartily welcome thla 
great work."— J o/t/t JJalt, D.D. 

" The most important and practical work of the age on the Psulter Is the • Treasury 
of David,' by Charles II. Spurgeon. It is full of the force and genius of this celebrated 
preacher, and rich in selections from the entire range of literature."— y-'/aVi^/j tScka^', 

" I have used Mr. Spurgeon's 'Treasury of David' for three years, and found It 
worthy of its name. Whoso goeth in there will And 'rich spoils.' "—T. L.fuyler.D.D. 

The Eeaper and his Harvest. 

Giving the results of the labors of Rev. E. P. Hammond (Evangelist', for the 
Conversion of Children. Edited by Rev. P, C. Headley. Large 12mo, $1.50. 

Thirty Thousand Thoughts. 

On all Subjects; From all Sources. Authorized American Edition. Edited by 
the Rtv. Canon Spence, Rev. Joseph S. Exell, Rev. Chaeles Neil, with intro- 
duction by Vekt Rev. Dean Howon, D.D. Complete in seven volumes. One 
every three mo^^ths. Vols. I., II., III. and IV. ready, $3.50 each. 

The Clew of the Maze; 

or. Modern Infidelity and How to Meet It. Toge' her with "The Spare Half 
Hour." By Rev. C. H. Spukgeon. Paper, 15 cents; cloth, 75 cents. 

Talks to Farmers. 

By Rev. Chaules H. Spuegeon. 12mo, 3G0 pp., cloth, $1.00. 

Talks to Boys and Girls about Jesus. 

With lible Links to make a Complete and Chronological Life of Christ for the 
Young. Edited by Rev. W. E. Ckatts. 12mo, 400 pp., cloth, 75 cents: illus- 
trated, $1.50. 

The Holy Bible. 

Translated according to the Letter and Idiom of the Original Languages by 
Robert Young, LL.D., author of "Analytical Concordance of the Bible," etc. 
8vo, 764 pp., cloth, $2.50. 

Traps for the Young. 

A thrilling description of the author's adventures with crime, and in bringing 
the victims to justice. A book for parents divesteil of all improper language 
or representations. By Anthony Comsiock, of the Soc'ety for the Suppression 
of Vice, auth jr of " Frauds Exposed." 12mo, cloth. $1.00. 

Wall Street in History. 

Giving the History of this Street from Colonial Times to the present date. 
By Maktha J Lamb, author of " History of New York." Copiously illustrated; 
4to, cloth, $2.00. 

What our Girls Ought to Know. 

By Mary J. Studlry, M.D. A most practical and valuable book: should be 
placed in the hands of every girl. Intelligently read, it wiU accomplish much 
in the elevation of the human race. Pimo, cloth, $1.00. 

Why Four Gospels ? 

By D. S GregoBy, D.D., President of Lake Forest University. New edition, 
l2mo, $1.50. 
•• This Is a master-work upon Its special theme. It Is the only complete and con- 
clusive exposition of the distinctive characteristics of the Gospel writings and their 
writers."— J. Glentwort/i Butler, D.D., Author " Butler's Bible Work." 


^Ixt J^taucTavtl J^cvles. 

Best Books for a Trifle, printed in readable type, on fair paper, and bound in 

munilla, without abridgment except Nos. ii-7, 9-10. All books with star (*) 

(15 vols.) ari also bound in one volume, cloth, $3.50. >e®="Boak3 with dagger 

(t) are also bound separate y in cloth. 

No. Price. 

*1. John Ploughman's Talk. Spurgeon.. . 1 -p-.y, en io 

Choice OF Books. Carlyle. 4to ^ ±30tn »u i^ 

*2. Manliness OF Chbist. ihoaias Hughes, ito 10 

3. Essays. Lord Macaulay. 4:to 15 

i. LighpofAsia. Edwin Arnold. 4^o. , 15 

»5. Imitation OF Christ. Thomas a Kempis. 4to 15 

*G-7. Life OF Chbist. Canon Farrar. 4to. , 50 

8. Essays. Thomas Carlyle. 4to 20 

*9-10. Life and Work of St. Paul. Canon Farrar. 4to 50 

*11. Self Culture. Prof. J. S. Blackie 4to 10 

tl'2-19. Knight's Popular History OF E.'fiiLAND. 4to 2 80 

•20-21. Letters to Workman AND Laboreeo. Ruskin. 4:to 3J 

22. Idyls OF the King. Alfred Tennyson. 4to .. 20 

23. Life OF Rowland Hill. V. J. Charlesworth. 4to 15 

24. Town Geology. Charles Kingsley. 4to 15 

25. Alfred 1 HE Great. Thos. Hughes. 4to 20 

26. Outdoor Life IN Europe. E P. Thwing. 4to 20 

27. Cal.\mities of Authors I. D'Israeli. 4to 20 

28. Salon of Madame Necker. Parti. 4to 15 

2'.). Ethics OF THE Dl'ST. John Ruskin. 4Jo 15 

30-31. Memories of My Exile. Louis Kossuth. 4to 40 

*32. Mister Horn and His Friends. Illustrated. 4to 15 

3 5-34. c^RATioNs OF Demosthenes. 4to 40 

35. Frondes Agrestes. Joun Ruskin. 4to 15 

3fi. Joan OF Arc. Alphonse de Lamartine. 4to 10 

37. Thoughts of M. Aurklius Antoninus. 4to 15 

38. Salon OF Madame Necke«. Part II, 4to 15 

39. The Hermits Charles Kingsley. 4to 15 

*40. John Ploughman's Pictures. Spurgeon. 4to 15 

*41. PuLPir Table- Talk. Dean Ramsay. 4to 10 

*42. Bible AND Newspaper. C. H. Spurgeon. 4to 15 

43. Lacon. Rev. C.Colton. 4to 20 

44. Goldsmith's Citizen OF the WoHLD. 4to 20 

45. Am RICA Revisited. George Augustus Sala. 4to 20 

46. Life of C. H. Spurgeon. «vo 20 

t47, Jo ^N Calvin. M. Guizot. 4to 15 

t4 -'-49. Dickens' Christmas Book. Illustrated. Bvo 60 

50. Shairp's Culture AND Religion. 8vo 15 

t51-52. Godet s Commentary ON Luke. 8vo 2 00 

+53. Diary of A Minister's Wife. Parti. 8vo 15 

154-57. Van DoRiiN's Commentary ON Luke. 8vo 3 00 

to8. Diary OF A Minister s Wife. Part II. 8vo 15 

59. The XuTrtiTivE Cube. Dr. Robert Walter. Bvo 15 

+60. Sartor Resartus. Thomas Carlyle. 4io 25 

+61-62. Lothair. LordBeacousfield. 8vo 50 

63. The Persian Queen. E. P. Thwing. 8vo 10 

64. Salon OF Mad.^me Necker. Partlll. 4to. 15 

+55-66. History of English B ble Translation. Conant 60 

67. Inge RSOLL Answered. Joseph Paiker, D.D. 8vo 15 

+68-69. Studies IN Mark. D.C.Hughes. Bvo 60 

70. Job s Comforters. A Satire. Dr. Parker. 16mo 10 

+71. Reviser's English. G W. Moon. 12mo 20 

+V2. Conversion OP Children. Hammond. 12mo 30 

73. Kew Testament Helps. Rev. W. F. Crafts. 8vo 20 

74. Opium— England's Policy. Liggins, 8vo 10 

+75. Blood f Je^^us. Rev. Wm. A. Rtid. 12mo 10 

76. Lesson IN the Clos^et. Chas. F. Deems, D.D. 12mo 20 

+77-78. Heroes AND Holidays. Rev. W. F. Crafts. 12mo 60 

79. Reminiscences OF Lyman Beecher, D.D. Bvo...., 10 


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91. Natuce Studies. By Richard A. Proctor. Paper, 25 cts. ; cloth 100 

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96. Jewish Artisan Life n> the Time of Jesus. By Prof. Franz Delitzsch. 
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97. Scientific Sophisms. By Samuel Wainright. Paper, 25 cts. ; clrth... 100 

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103. Our Christmas IN A Palace. By Edward Everett Hale. Paper, 25 cts.; 
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Eevised Veesion op the- Old Testament. 

Oflacial Oxford and Cambridge Edition. Price $1.00. 

Apart from the desirability of replacing the Authorized (King James) Version 
with this, the Revised Version, it is claimed, and not without good reason, that 
the Kevised Version will prove the very best commeutarv upon the old version To 
all clergymen, Sunday school teachers and Bible readers, the revised Bible will bo 
found indispensable to a clear and reliable intcrprotaiion of Scripture. 

Tlie $1.00 edition is compact and clearly printed. The size is 4x5 >2 inches. 

Companion to the Revised Old Testament. 

Showing the leading changes made by the Revisers, and the reasons for 
making them. By T.vlbot W. Chambers, D.D. 12mo, cloth, $1.00, 

Dr. Chambers was a most valued member of the Revision Committee, and is, 
besides, a ripe and accomplished scholar and Biblical critic. Moreover, he is 
thoroughly trustworthy, conscientious and painstaking in all his literary work. 

" The Companion to the Revised Old Testament " discusses tho neei of a re- 
vision, and the method of maaing it; then considers the original text of the Old 
Testament, and follows this with a mention of the changes raa'le, and tiie reas(m8 
for making them, from Genesis to Malachi, and concludes with a Ust of the Old 
Testament Revis-^rs, British and American, aud their Bibliography. 

Tne work will be timely and welcome to all who purchase aud desire to under- 
stand and appreciate the merits of the Old Testament Revision. 

Companion to the Revised New Testament. 

Explaining the reason for the changes made in the Authorized Version. By 
AiiEX. RoBEKTS, D.D., member of the English Revision Committee, with Sup- 
plement by a member of the American Committee. Authorized Edition. 8vo, 
117 pp., paper, 25 cents; Ifimo, 213 pp., cloth, 75 cents. 
The Neiu York Examiner and Chronicle says : " It is very valuable, giving needed 
facts as to the causes of the diiferent readings whicti have sprung ui* in the 
Scriptures, and the grounds upon which the changes in the present Revised Ver- 
sion have been made. 

The Revisehs' English. 

A Series of Criticisms, showing the Revisers' violations of the Laws of the Lan- 
guage. By G, Washington Moon, F. R. S. L., author of " The Dean's Eng- 
lish," etc. 12mo, cloth, 75 cents. 
" There can be no question that Mr. Moon ha8 dealt the heaviest of all blows 
yet given to the English of the Revisers."— T/te Revisionist. 

•'Mr. Moon's criticisms upon the Revisers' English seem to us very searching 
and very just." — The Uomiiist. 

Revised New Testament. (Teacher's Edition.) 

With New Index and Concordance, Harmony of the Gospels, Maps, Parallel 
Passages in full, and many other Indispensable Helps. All most caxefully 
prepared. Price, in cloth, $1.50. Other prices, from $2.50 to $10.00. 

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Eev. Dr. McCosh : " Admirably suited to teachers." 

Analytical Concoedance to 8,000 Changes in the Revised New 
By Robert Young, D.D., LL.D., author of Young's Concordance to the Bible, 
etc. 8vo, 24 pp., price, paper, 40 cents. 12mo.. 72 pp., price, paper, 40 cents. 


HisTOET OF English Bible Teanslation. 

The Popular History of the Translation of the Holy Scriptures into the Eng- 
lish Tongue. With specimens of the Old English Versions. ByMKS, H.C* 
CoNANT and Rev. T. J. Conant, D.D. 8vo, paper, 50 cents; cloth $1.00. 
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The Oldest Chuech Manual, 

Called " Teaching of the Apostles," with illustrations and fac-similes of the 
Jerusalem MS , and cognate documents. Edited by Philip Schatf, D.D. .LL.D- 
12mo, cloth, price, $2.00. 
" This is the latest and fuUest work on this remarkable book recently discov- 
ered by Bryennios, the Metropolitan of Nicomedla. It gives the text of the " Teach, 
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connected with the subject. These chapters give an account of the manuscript 
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i^econd centuries. The questions of the primitive mode of baptism, and the ad- 
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A unique feature of the work is the illustrations and fac-similes of the Jerusa- 
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the discoverer and first editor of the Didache. 

The Peaise Songs of Israel. 

A new rendering of the Book of Psalms. By John De Witt, D.D., of the 
Theological Seminary, New Brunstvick, N, J., and member of the American 
Old Testament Eevision Company. 8vo, cloth, price, $1.50. 
A work of rare literary ability and artistic beauty, as the testimonials of some 

of our most distinguished scholars and critics declare. 

Dr. Howard Crosby says: "Dr. John De Witt has prepared a translation of 
the Psalms, which is the happy result of accurate scholarship and aesthetic taste. 
The signification and poetry are both preserved. His treatment of the Hebrew 
tenses (as they are called) relieves the text from much obscurity, and his rhyth- 
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fused and arranged by a vigorous and independent mind, familiar witli the sub- 
ject and in entire sympathy with its purport and aim."