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to the Grammar and Lexicography of the Hebrew language, in opposition to Gesenius and Ewald," are spoken of by Dr Fürst, in the preface to his great work, in the most exalted terms, saving only the author's "piam nervosamque orthodoxiam," to which of course he was no friend. The regard shown for the genuine Hebrew construction and the strict Hebrew sense as determined by usage, and his preference for a Hebrew etymology wherever one is possible, not refusing, however, on proper occasions, the aid of the cognate tongues, are undoubt edly just principles of interpretation. With much that is original and striking, there is little strained or extravagant; he never seems to be seeking for the novel, but only for the true. And whether he has in all cases found it or not, his views certainly commend themselves often by their acuteness and plausibility, and the remarks upon points of grammar and lexicography, with which the book before us is interspersed, betray the hand of a master, and are valuable, to say the least, as suggesting to the scholar topics for examination.

We would next refer to the extensive use made of parallel passages, or in the German phrase Grundstellen. This reaches further than the discovery of casual, perhaps superficial, similarity in expression, to the assumption of a dependence of one writer upon another whether in thought or language. The inspired books, forming at once the literature of his nation and the symbols of his faith, rooted themselves deeply in the memory and the heart of the religiously instructed Hebrew, and were most intimately associated with his whole inward life. He derived from them to a large extent his thoughts and modes of conception, and their familiar language naturally and often involuntarily presented itself to him as the aptest vehicle of his ideas. Add to this, that the prophetic writings must be expected in a very particular manner to betray this influence of a preceding revelation, since the organ and bearer of divine communications must surrender himself entirely to the agency of God upon his mind, partly mediate through the Scriptures already existing, partly immediate, but still connecting itself with the existing word. Each new revelation adopted within itself the old or attached itself upon it, in conformity with the process of gradual development which God was conducting. This unison seals that revelation, which has come through the medium of many different individuals, as nevertheless the work of one and the same divine Spirit. It is not strange then if we find that later writers borrow expressions from those that preceded them, take up their thoughts and enlarge upon or vary them according to their immediate purpose, and often where they make no express citation, yet allude to particular passages in such a man

ner as to show that they had them in their thoughts. Hengstenberg has done an eminent service in showing from the example of the Pentateuch how this dependence on former books of Scripture pervades all that succeed them, and what extensive and valuable use may be made of the fact for purposes of exposition. Delitzsch has laboured very ardently and successfully in this line. He perhaps presses a resemblance sometimes which is not very obvious, or assumes a dependence where none existed; but we would rather have the results of an exploration which discovered too much than of one which discovered too little. We cannot but express our conviction, that this is an important and comparatively untrodden field for Biblical investigation, and one which promises rich results. There has indeed been no lack of so-called collations of parallel passages, and the margins of some of our Bibles have been literally crammed with them; and yet all is to very small purpose, for it has been done with little judgment and with no fixed principles. There is a great work here, which remains to be done, both in the Old Testament and in the New, not only for the elucidation of particular passages, but by a slow and laborious induction to trace the organic connection of Scripture and the relation which each of the inspired writers sustains to every other and to the grand scheme of revelation, and indirectly to shed light upon the nature of inspiration itself.

In his exposition Delitzsch pursues the system of rigid translation, which, since the publication of Winer's Grammar of the New Testament, has been constantly winning favour with the learned. The true plan of eliciting an author's meaning is to render word for word with the utmost possible exactness. We must assume that when he uses the future he intends that, and not the past; when he uses the definite article he does not intend the indefinite; when he says "for," he does not mean "but," when he says "or," he does not mean "and." We must interpret what he says, not what we think he ought to have said. Unless this strict system be adopted, an opening is left to foist in or explain away any thing whatever, and no limit can be set to the abuses which will ensue. As Trench, the recent commentator upon the parables, has somewhere said in sentiment, if not in words, "Give the language of the inspired writers with all strictness, and their theology will take care of itself." In his exposition, too, our author adheres strictly throughout to the text in its present form, and steadfastly opposes all those arbitrary tinkerings and alterations which are so ready a resort to some commentators in every difficulty. What a confidence he reposes even in the points may be seen from the following passage:-"How is the enigma to be

resolved that the punctuator shows (as always elsewhere) the deepest insight into the relation of these words to the preceding, as well as into their meaning, whilst the Targums, Talmud, and Midrash have wholly lost the key, and vent the silliest stuff? The tradition which the Targumist had at his command reaches back certainly beyond the Christian era, and yet we are to believe the punctuation of the text to be a work of the school at Tiberias! One who is acquainted with the expositions of Scripture in the Targum and Talmud will scarcely think possible such a fixing of its sense by written signs at a time when scriptural interpretation had long been converted by the Midrash into the plaything of a capricious fancy."—(P. 202.)

Few data remain to us for settling the date of Habakkuk's prophecy; of his life we have none but apocryphal accounts. From chap. i. 5, it appears that the same generation which heard the prediction of the Chaldee invasion should witness its fulfilment. The corruption complained of (chap. i. 2-4) is described in too general terms to furnish a criterion of the period referred to; indeed, there is nothing further from which a hint can be gathered unless it be that the subscription to chapter iii., in the last clause of verse 19, implies that it was not during a suspension of the temple service. Delitzsch principally relies in the determination of this question upon a combination of Hab. ii. 20 with Zeph. i. 7, entering into an extremely ingenious and well-conducted argument to show that the former is the original passage, and the latter built upon it; whence he concludes that Habakkuk must have preceded Zephaniah, and could not have written later than the reign of Josiah (Zeph. i. 1); that he could not have written before his reign is settled by Hab. i. 5; and from various circumstances it is probable that this prophecy was delivered shortly after the reformation in Josiah's twelfth year. The premises for this last argument are altogether too narrow, however, for any but a German mind to build on them with great confidence. And we are disposed to adopt his conclusion, less because we are carried along by the stringency of the proof, than because we see no sufficient reason for departing from the presumption, furnished by the position of the book in the collection of the minor prophets, that Habakkuk preceded Zephaniah (Zeph. i. 1), and followed Micah and Nahum.—(Mic. i. 1.) We do not look upon this as a point of very great moment, however, or one on which any thing of consequence depends, in whatever way it is settled; and we should not feel much difficulty in conceding to Hitzig and Maurer the date for which they contend, in the sixth year of Jehoiakim, if they had but a better reason for their belief. But we can never sanction such a ground as that

which they urge, viz., that the prediction of the advance of the Chaldees could not have been made before they had commenced their march, and the result was already plain to ordinary foresight, any more than we can follow Hirzel in the assumption of a caticinium post eventum, and date it after all had taken place. These writers should, for consistency's sake, have fixed its composition after the destruction of Babylon, if not after the yet future conversion of the world.-(Chap. ii. 14.)

The form of this whole prophecy is striking from its dramatic character, in which the speakers are alternately the prophet and God, and future events are not so much predicted as pourtrayed. There is first an address to God by the prophet (i. 2-4), then the Lord's reply (ver. 5-11); the prophet again speaks to God (ver. 12-17), to himself (ii. 1); the Lord again replies (ii. 2-20.) This last reply, which sums up in five emphatic woes the fate of Babylon, is the real centre, the marrow of the whole prophecy, the burden from which it takes its name (i. 1), to which what preceded was introductory, as presenting its justification; and it is followed by chap. iii., an impassioned psalm, more nearly approaching in its character to the compositions of the days of David than any thing else to be found in the writings of the prophets, in which we hear the echo from the depths of the prophet's heart, or from the heart of the church, to the revelation now received.

The book opens somewhat abruptly with the prophet's earnest complaint to God respecting the violence, injustice, and oppression, which was prevailing around him, and from which he (either the prophet personally, or the pious portion of the people in whose name he speaks) had long suffered without the prospect of deliverance. This violence is not that of the Chaldean invasion already begun, but is in conformity with the usual course of prophecy, in which a statement of the sin precedes the enunciation of the judgment. That the disorders consequent on the invasion of the Chaldees are subsequently described in similar terms (ver. 9, 13), proves only that in the punishment of Israel there was observed that law of divine recompense which assimilates the penalty to the transgression, a law which should take effect subsequently on the Chaldeans likewise. (Chap. ii.) It is the corruption prevailing in Judah, and described by other prophets of this period in similar terms, which is here intended. In answer to the prophet's complaint, the Lord makes known to him, and not only to him but to the people, the astonishing and incredible judgment which he had decreed, and which should be executed in their days. Already (in prophetic vision) it was appearing in sight, and they are called to look out upon the heathen world and behold breaking forth thence upon them the impetuous and resistless Chaldeans,

in the speed and the ease of their advancement to universal conquest. Transported now to the scene just depicted, it, the ideal present, affects the prophet as deeply as, in verses 2-4, he had been affected by the actual present. And beholding these fierce invaders in the wide havoc they were making, their treachery, their massacres, their proud impiety, with a holy indignation and a wrestling faith he pleads with Israel's everlasting, covenant-keeping, and holy God, whether he will not put a speedy stop to these iniquities and devastations which threaten to engulph his people. His prayer uttered, the prophet stands with silent attention upon his watch-tower to learn what answer God will give; not that we have here any locality to which he outwardly repairs, but as men ascend to some high point that they may see far off in the distance, so he in spirit, to gather the first indication of the divine will, or catch the earliest glimpse of the coming future. He received a vision, which he is commanded to write, and to make it plain upon the tables, viz., those which he would naturally use for the purpose; not tablets standing in some conspicuous position of the city, whereon matters of great consequence might be recorded for public information (Ewald), for of the existence of vacant tablets for the purpose we have no evidence; nor tables of stone, which is a needless supposition, and which the length of the vision to be recorded (not verse 4 simply, which would not require tables, but verses 4-20) renders improbable. The command to write it was not a merely symbolical one, to be performed only in vision, and designed to set forth the great importance of the things communicated (Hengstenberg), but intended to be literally obeyed. It should be written so plainly, that they who read it might run rapidly over it, impeded by no obscurity. The reason why it should be committed to writing was, that the period for its accomplishment, though certain, was remote, that it might meanwhile confirm the faithful in a confident expectation of the event. And thus we come to the main prediction of the book. That in i. 5-11 was one of judgment upon Israel, and was introductory to this, which is one of destruction to their foes, of mercy to them. Its opening verse (ver. 4) condenses in its two clauses this its double aspect, and has in both a backward as well as a forward reference; it introduces the answer to the question in i. 17, and contains already an intimation of what the full answer will be. The Chaldean is not indeed expressly named in the first clause; but the person spoken of in the answer cannot well be any other than the one respecting whom the question was propounded. It is, as it were, the divine assent to the promises (ver. 15, 16), on which the prophet grounded his inquiry, that his easy and resistless victories had led to arro

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