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vastness and complexity which has grown keener and yet keener with the progress of research. It was patent at the outset, that a plan would be indeed pretentious, which should propose to treat of all the main principles—to say naught of details not unimportant—which invite examination ; but the end has seemed even to recede and grow yet more distant, as each upward step has widened the horizon of enquiry. And when now at length we pause, it is not as upon a summit gained, or with an ocean fathomed; but rather, as with a quickened appreciation of heights yet unscaled, and of depths which rest yet unexplored.



On the words naby and obina. The renderings of nobyo, Is. vii. 14, may be classed under three heads.

The word being regarded as a derivative of Dby to hide, it is taken to mean a virgin,' on etymological grounds. The case is thus stated by Rosenmüller, who adopts the rendering tapévos, though not for etymological reasons :— Nolumus cum pluribus superioris ætatis interpretibus virginis notionem voci npby vindicare ex ejus etymo, etsi speciosum sit. Observant ne by esse ab oby, cujus forma niphal absconditum, occultum esse, ignorari, desig

Eam vero etymologiam soli convenire virgini, quæ sic appellata sit, vel, quod nescia consuetudinis virilis occulta hactenus et tecta habeat, quæ honestas, alii quam marito, revelari vetat; vel quod, pro more veterum, domi lateat et occultetur, non versata in publico, sed sub oculis matris aut custodis clam aliis servetur, cujusmodi virgines appellarunt kataklelotovs, conclusas (2 Macc. iii. 19; 3 Macc. i. 18), ut contra meretricem Chaldæi 875 hpas, prodeuntem foras, in publico versatam, vocant.'


2. The Jewish interpreters deny that noby means a virgin, In Is. vii. 14, Aquila, Symmachus and Theodotion render it by veâus. Gesenius, referring to the Arabic, makes the root mean

pubes et coeundi cupidus fuit;' and remarks that, 'Etymon a oSy i. q. pli indubitatum est, neque audiendi qui puellam pr. absconditam dictam volunt...vel signatam, obsignatam (ab Arab. plic) i. e. intactam (Schult.).' But a later lexicographer, Fürst, no less strongly opposed to the rendering tapévos, directly contradicts Gesenius as regards the first meaning of the root, and affirms the coeundi cupidus fuit to be only secondary.


,עלם is to be derived from עלמה now rightly agree that the word

עלמה , ;עלמה .II ;בתולה .We proceed to consider the meanings of I

עלומים and בתולים .III

A third class of interpreters agree that by does not mean etymologically a virgin, but think this meaning required by usage, and in Is. vii. 14 by the context. In this class may be numbered Hengstenberg, who thus writes in his Christology : “All parties

, in the signification to grow up. To offer here any arguments in proof would be a work of supererogation, as they are offered by all dictionaries... Being derived from Sy, to grow up, to become marriageable, no by can only mean puella nubilis.'

; . ; . .

I. 'Für die virgo illibata hatten aber die Hebräer und übrigen Semiten einen ganz andern Ausdruck, namlich bin, und die dem entsprechenden Wörter (1 Mos, xxiv. 16).' So Gesenius, who adds, not without plausibility: 'Höchst unwahrscheinlich ist es nun, dass die Hebräer für dieselbe Sache zwey ganz synonyme Ausdrücke gehabt.' But it may be questioned whether obina means rapbevos strictly and etymologically, as is frequently supposed. On the contrary, the derivation from Swa, maturescere, would seem to satisfy the requirements of the case more completely than those which make bina etymologically rapbevos. On the affinity of my and , see Fürst Lex. s. l.. nn, Ex. xxxii. 16, = won] Fürst, in his Concordance, but not in his Lexicon, gives the derivation proposed, which makes byna primarily equivalent to 'matura viro,' and only secondarily to 'nondum corrupta aut viro nupta; nor that, without qualifying additions, and wo es ohne Nachdruck steht.' We proceed to notice some of the usages of the word.

a. The corresponding masculine word is , lit. choice, i. e. one in the prime of life. The two occur together in such passages as: With thee also will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces old and young; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the maid' (Jer, li. 22). Here the contrasts are those of age and sex. Comp. Deut. xxxii. 25; 2 Chron. xxxvi. 17; Is. Ixii. 5; Ezek. ix. 6.

b. 'I made a covenant with mine eyes, why then should I think upon a maid ? Here (Job xxxi. 1) it seems unnecessary, as Bernard remarks, to superadd the notion of virginity to that of maturity. Comp. 2 Sam. xiii. 2 (where bina is again used): “Amnon was so vexed that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin.' In ver. 18, the meaning matura seems more appropriate. It is there said that the king's daughters that were in' wore a certain kind of robe, which was perhaps longior et amplior' (Gesen. s. v. boya). But all the daughters in question would probably be virgins; those that were married and living elsewhere being excluded. If so, then bina must have some other meaning than virgin, for this would imply no distinction, but be applicable to all alike. It would be however quite natural that the grown-up daughters should wear a dress implying a certain dignity; and accordingly it is not improbable that grown-up is the true meaning of aging in this place. Nor does Joel i. 8 (infra) favour the opinion that obina means strictly rapbevos. Lament like a sbena girded with sackcloth for the husband Bya) of her youth.'

In Gen. xxiv. 16 it is said of Rebecca, that she was 'a virgin, neither had any man known her;' where the last words seem to supplement the foregoing, and to express what they alone could at the most have implied. The full phrase rendered virgin' is, abyna ny), i. e. a girl of full age, not a child, as is shewn by the

, ) had stood alone. A like form of expression is used in Jud. xxi. 12; and even in Lev. xxi. 14 it is not certain that obina of itself means strictly map évos. The high-priest is to take a wife in her virginity (ver. 13): not a widow, or a divorced woman, or profane, or an harlot: "but he shall take a obra of his own people to wife.' The force of the words italicized must not be overlooked. The harlot is the strange woman:' (Jud. xi. 2) corresponds to 31: and in Deut. xxiii. 17 it is expressly laid down, that there shall be no whore of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite of the sons of ISRAEL.' The first meaning of in might well be matura, one in the prime of early womanhood; and the meaning tap évos might naturally arise therefrom as secondary.

d. Some have assumed, and that, as it would seem, arbitrarily, that the word abiria when applied to cities implies (1) the state of not being conquered; or (2) religious purity, and faithfulness to the

נערה but which would have been left doubtful if ,בתולה epithet

God of Israel. But Rosenmüller, following the Chaldee, remarks on Amos v. 2, that 'virgo pro cætu hominum, quacunque se ratione habet, per prosopopceiam accipienda erit.' Jerome indeed defends the hypothesis (2), remarking: Virgo autem appellatur populus Israel, non quia in virginitatis permanserit puritate, sed quia quondam instar virginis Deo sit copulata.' But the name virgo is as applicable to the heathen cities Egypt, Babylon, &c. as to the Holy City. Moreover, it is not required by the Hebrew idiom that a city should be represented as a virgin proper; but, as in other languages a city may be a metropolis, so in Hebrew the suburbs of a city are called its daughters (Josh. xv. 45). Again, abına is applied by Isaiah not only to a heathen city, but to one in the prophet's view, already conquered, which seems opposed to the theory (1). Thus:

Come down, and sit in the dust, О virgin, daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, () daughter of the Chaldeans' (Is. xlvii. 1).

In ver. 9 we read: “These two things shall come to thee in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhoodi' while St John styles Babylon the mother of harlots' (Rev. xvii. 5), and thus writes, with plain reference to Is. xlvii : ‘For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her... How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine' (Rev. xviii. 3, 7, 8).

We shall now proceed to consider the meaning of roby.

II. The verb bby is common in Hebrew, and has one welldefined sense, viz. to conceal (opp. to y 7']: it is natural therefore to

as a derivative of this root, before 'having recourse to comparatively modern dialects. If the primary meaning to scal (for which Albert Schultens refers to the Arabic) be assumed, we may explain all the usages of oby in a way which is at least plausible.

(i.) The meanings seal and conceal are intimately connected; the latter being immediately deducible from the former. Hence the prevalent usages of the verb in question may be accounted for.

עלמה attempt an explanation of

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