« EelmineJätka »
continued till the sixteenth century, when Galatinus, reading the letters of the Sacred Name with the vowel points of Adonai, invented the new word Jehovah; which, though thus barbarous in its origin, is now naturalized, and, being useful for distinction's sake, we think it good to retain it.
The Septuagint and Vulgate have formed the basis of nearly all the modern translations; and those who have consulted the Hebrew have felt a bias towards these venerable versions. Our Bishop's Bible follows the LXX. almost every where ; and James, in his instructions to those who prepared our Authorized Version, charged them not to deviate from the Bishop's Bible, unless the Hebrew required it. This accounts for the defect of which we are now complaining; but does not, we think, justify it: and we cannot but regret that our translators, who did so well in most respects, had not taken some effectual method of distinguishing, if not of explaining, these many and important
But Jah, Jehovah, Adonai, and Adoni, are all translated Lord; EI, Eloah, and Elohim, are all translated God; Jehovah Elohim, Jah Elohim, Jehovah Adonai, Adonai Jehovah, Adonai Elohim, are all translated The Lord God; Tzor is sometimes translated Rock, sometimes God; Abir, Adir, and Gibbor, are all translated Mighty, &c. Now we maintain that no two words in the Hebrew are exactly synonymous; and though it may be difficult to find, for every Hebrew word, one perfectly equivalent in another language, yet some one which comes the nearest should be chosen, and that one adhered to throughout. We think it would have been better had they retained all the original words as proper names, and explained them in a table: Jehovah-Sabaoth is understood by every one, and so might all the rest be.
The NAME of God in Scripture signifies every thing which may be known of God, and all that which it pleased God to make known to us concerning Himself, for his own most great glory. That, therefore, comprehends all those things which are known or can be known concerning God by nature, and all those things, beyond our natural knowledge of God, which are revealed to us concerning God in his word. God in his essence we know not: we know him by his works and by his name, in which it has pleased him to make known to us his attributes.” Cocceius.
The history of the creation in Genesis being recorded by Moses, we may suppose that, when speaking in his own person, he would use those names of God by which he was known amongst the children of Israel when Moses wrote; and that, therefore, we need not, on the one hand, conclude that Jehovah Elohim were necessarily known to our first parents ; nor, on the other hand, concede that the name Jehovah was unknown till the angel spake to Moses from the bush (Ex. iii. 15, or vi. 3.) The name bx El, as it is the simplest, so it was probably the most usual name for God in the early times: it occurs very often in the book of Job, the oldest portion of Scripture; and in the history of Abram, Isaac, and Jacob. This name is commonly derived from yox power, or 58° will ; but this we cannot allow, for many reasons. First, This name stands often singly and absolutely for God, and must therefore, so standing, include all the attributes of God; but power, or will, would be but one attribute. Secondly, This name is combined with others, as 970 bg God Almighty, gooby 5x Most High God, &c.; which it would be weak tautology to render, “the Almighty Powerful One,” or “ the Most High Will,” and so on. Such etymologies as these suppose the knowledge of like qualities or attributes existing in the mind of Adam previously to the giving of the name, which would make the word have the nature of an adjective rather than of a substantive, and be both unscriptural and unphilosophical—unscriptural, because God in revealing himself to Moses calls himself Jehovah El Rachom, &c., "the God Merciful,” &c.;'and unphilosophical, inasmuch as God as an object of worship must have been the idea first presented to the mind of Adam : for man, created perfect and the image of God, the moment he became a living soul could not but exert the first act of consciousness in the knowledge and worship of his Creator, who breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and in whose presence he stood. And be it observed, that the planting of Eden and the bringing of the animals to be named by Adam, are all subsequent acts. We therefore consider this most simple of the names of God to be, like the Being it describes, underived, expressing The OBJECT, or The SOURCEthat towards which all other beings turn and tend, as from it they came--the Soul, the Support, and the Law of the Universe. If this be so, the verbs Sox and bees are easily derived from bx; for the ', indicating personality, as the prefix to the future and suffix to the preterite shew; box, the person embodied in the object, would aptly designate power ; while 5ee", the person preceding the object, or realizing in idea a future object, would aptly denote will; and the prepositions Sx and sb in the same way.
The name by is combined with grby in the first notice of the priestly office (Gen. xiv. 18); and as we know that at this time Terah, the father of Abraham, and those who dwelt on the other side of the flood, were idolaters (Josh. xxiv. 2, 14), so it is probable, to distinguish the priest of Jehovah, Melchizedec was called the priest of " the Most High God, the Possessor of heaven and earth.” This name gives supremacy to the true God, in contra. ,חנון gracious ,רחום Ex. xx. 5) ; as merciful) אל קנא God
גדול ונורא Ex. xxxiv. 6) ; mighty and terrible) רב חסד ואמת
distinction to idols; the next, 'Tv 5x the Almighty God (Gen. xvii. 1), represents his constant providential care; and the next, obvy 5x the Everlasting God (Gen. xxi. 33), gives him eternity of being. These are the names by which God revealed himself to the Patriarchs : they only knew him as the Supreme, the All-Sufficient, the Everlasting God; and on these names there are some excellent discourses by Dr. Preston of the Temple, whom Baxter owns for a model and master. To the children of Israel he revealed himself successively, as a jealous
(. . 5); , , long-suffering D'ON 778, abundant" in goodness and truth
(. . ); (Deut. vi. 21); of truth 73138 (Deut. xxxii. 3); the Living God 'n bx (Josh. iii. 10); of knowledge hiyo, great, mighty, and terrible 7100 712.307 59720 (Neh. ix. 32), &c. This word is sometimes used to denote that object which is most dignified or conspicuous in its kind, as great mountains 58 777 (Ps. xxxvi. 6), or goodly cedars 58 718 (Ps. lxxx. 10): instances which forbid the derivation from “power” or “will."
The next name in order appears to have been mix Eloah, which Hutchinson and his followers have supposed to come from a root signifying adjuration or execration-an idea which seems to us little short of blasphemy, and the admission of such an etymology among sober and pious men has been to us a frequent subject of astonishment and grief. We think it is certainly formed from the verb 717 to exist, added to 5x, the first
7 being of course dropped. This name, if thus derived, would add the idea of self-existence and separate existence to all the ideas conveyed by El: it would denote the Unoriginated, Selfsustained, All-sustaining Supreme One; the Object of objects, the Existence of existences. This name occurs, like the preceding, most frequently in Job: it is not found in the Pentateuch, except in Deut. xxxii. 15, 17; only four times in the Psalms, and only eight times in the other Scriptures. In all these places it seems to refer to the ancient, hereditary, continual Object of worship, the Rock of our Salvation. “Jeshurun forsook God (Eloah) which made him.... they sacrificed to devils, not to God (Eloah); to gods whom they knew not, to new gods newly come up" (Deut. xxxii.) “Who is God (Eloah) save the Lord? who is a Rock save our God?” (Ps. xviii. 31). “The God of Jacob ” (Ps. cxiv. 7). “Is there a God (Eloah) besides me? Yea, there is no Rock ; I know not any” (Isai. xliv. 8).El has been sometimes considered as an abbreviation of Eloah; but we think El the earliest name. Eloah has been also de
VOL. 11.-NO. III.
rived from abs juravit ; but this is to invert the order ; for the knowledge and the name of God must precede both the idea and the word for an oath, which signifies calling God to witness. Swearing, too, is not only a complex idea, consequent upon a previous knowledge of God, but seems proper only to creatures under the Fall; either for their assurance to each other, or for God's assurance to them-a condescension on his part to that state of unbelief which sin has superinduced ; to their inability fully and implicitly to rest with confidence on any simple asseveration, even though made by God himself.
Elohim, bibg, is the plural of Eloah, and the most frequent name for God in Scripture. The plural number, in Hebrew, conveys the idea of the greatest degree of that quality which the word denotes ; and applied to God, it denotes universal presence, objectiveness, potentiality, and existence; implying powers, intelligences, and existences of every kind, and consequently regulation, counsel, and judgment. But yet in this plurality there is no loss of unity, or oneness; to mark which it is often joined with verbs and adjectives in the singular: as Gen. i. 1 87); Isai. xxxvii. 17 N; Deut. xxxiii. 27 OTP; Mic. vi. 6 0172: while the plurality is put beyond doubt by such passages as Deut. iv. 7 Dap; Deut. v. 23, 26 OWT; Gen. xx. 13 ynn; and the plural forms, “Let us make man' (Gen. i. 26); "If I be Lords ”.(Mal. i. 5): and both the singular and the plural are put together in Josh. xxiv. 19, “ He is
” , singular, the adjective plural ; or Isai. vi. 8, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"-I, us. And to link Eloah with Elohim it has a plural noun attached in Job xxxv. 10, “Where is God my Makers--a passage " which well urged had grinded Arius to powder” (Practice of Piety). These instances, with many more which might be collected, were understood by the early Jews as revelations of the Trinity, and are so applied in their writings; and though many of the modern Jews endeavour to explain them away, the attempt renders their own learning suspicious ; for such anomalies in the language of Divine revelation cannot be allowed to be accidental, nor unmeaning; and, allowing them to be intentional, they can only be explained by the doctrine of the Trinity.
Before leaving these three names we may remark, that El seldom stands absolutely for God; having usually some adjective attached, expressing the comparative or relative attributes of God, as Most High, Almighty, Merciful, Gracious, Mighty, &c.; or receiving its explanation from the context in which it stands, as Isai. xliv. 10, 15, 17. Eloah and Elohim, on the contrary, generally stand absolutely for the true God, as if these
where the pronoun is ,כי אלהים קדשים הוא ",an holy God
names conveyed the full revelation of all his perfections; as Isai. xliv. 6: “ Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no GOD" (Elohim). Ver. 8: “Is there a God” (Eloah) " besides me? yea, there is no God” (Rock), “I know not any.” This comes in confirmation of what we have already observed, that while men retained the simple worship of God, the simple name El would suffice; but when the corruption of mankind and the temptations of Satan introduced idolatry and false worship, it then became necessary to designate the true God—the self-existent, personal, all-originating and all-sustaining Being, in whom we live and move and have our being—by titles exalting him above, and contradistinguishing him from, all those false gods which the wicked folly of man had put in his place. Another word added to Es did this at first; as, El Helion (Gen. xiv. 18); El Shaddai (Gen. xvii. 1); El Olam (Gen. xxi. 33); El Rachom (Ex. xxxiv. 6); El Kana (Ex. xxxiv. 4); and many more, which we shall point out and explain in order. And all these ideas were at length gathered up in the name “The Lord the God of Israel," “ Jehovah,” “The Elohim of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob: “ This is his name for ever; and this is his memorial throughout all generations ” (Ex. iii. 14).
These names denote God in his generic or official character, as the sovereign Disposer of all things; and we come next to the Personal or Proper Names of the Supreme Being. These are three, Ehejeh, Jah, and Jehovah; translated I Am, The LORD, and The LORD. They all have reference to the selfexistence of God; the two first being derived from the root it, to be; the last from 1717, to exist. We begin with Ehejeh, as its origin is given Ex. iii. 14; and the right understanding of it will assist us in the two other names. W ben Moses was commissioned to deliver Israel from Egypt, recollecting their former rejection of him, when “he supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them ” (Acts vii. 25), he might naturally ask, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex.iii. 11). To this the Lord replies (ver. 12),“ Because I am with thee” (not, as in our text, “ certainly I will be ”). The Lord had just before said to him, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people, and have heard their cry, and I AM come down to deliver them” (ver. 7). His presence was Moses's assurance : Thou shalt bring forth the children of Israel, “because I am with thee.” And when Moses further demanded (ver. 13), “What is His name?” “God said unto Moses, I Am that I AM:” as if he had said, “My presence, which is your assurance and