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mits readily every variety of poetic measure, while only a master-poet can make English hexameters endurable; and it allows, far more than our tongue, the combination of words and inversion of sentences. This last advantage appears in De Wette's version, in the very beginning of Isaiah. An English translator must place the words in the order of prose: “I have nourished and brought up children.” But De Wette can follow the vigorous order of the Hebrew, and say:
“Kinder hab' ich auferzogen und ernähret." In the same prophet, xl. 9, our common version renders,
“O Zion, that bringest good tidings! get thee up into the high mountain : 0 Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings ! lift up thy voice with strength.” Dr. Noyes translates, –
“ Get thee up on the high mountain,
O thou that bringest glad tidings to Zion! Lift up thy voice with strength, thou that bringest glad tidings to
But De Wette can give the words in the order of the Hebrew, and translate the Hebrew participle by the single term “ Friedensbotin," instead of a periphrasis of six words :
“ Auf hohen Berg steig' hinan, Friedensbotin Zion, erhebe gewaltig deine Stimme, Friedensbotin Jerusalem.”
De Wette, however, has fallen into the same error with our Common Version, in exhorting an immovable city to ascend a mountain ; while Dr. Noyes's good judgment has made his translation the best, notwithstanding all disadvantages, and restored the beauty of the prophet's imagery. We seem to see the messenger standing on the Mount of Olives, and shouting the glad tidings to the chief city of Judah stretched below. Dr. Noyes's construction is permitted, if not required, by the Hebrew, and is sustained by the Septuagint version.
But however the translations of our countryman may compare with those of the great German critic, their pre-emi
nence among English versions appears unquestionable. Their superiority to that in common use will be evident from the comparison of a few passages, taken almost at random.
Amos viii. 2, Common Version :
" And he said, Amos, what seest thou ? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel ; I will not again pass by them any more.”
Here the vision appears meaningless, the resemblance between the words ye, the end, and 72, summer fruit, being lost in English. Dr. Noyes translates thus:
“ And he said, Amos, what seest thou ?
And I said, A basket of ripe fruits. Then said Jehovah to me, The destruction of my people Israel is ripe;
I will not spare them any more.” In the fourteenth verse of the same chapter, the Common Version reads,
“ They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.” Dr. Noyes renders,
“Who swear by the sin of Samaria,
And say, By the life of thy God, O Dan!
They shall fall, and shall rise po more !”
“ It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth.” Dr. Noyes :
“ He that buildeth his upper rooms in the heavens,
And foundeth his arch upon the earth.” Hosea iv. 18, Common Version :
" Her rulers with shame do love, Give ye.” Dr. Noyes understands the word 7, translated “ Give ye,” as a repetition, for the sake of emphasis, of the verb 737N, “ love," which precedes it, and translates simply,
" Their rulers love shame.”
De Wette's Version renders the emphasis by an adverb, “ Eifrig lieben Schande ihre Fürsten;" but an adverb in Eng. lish would weaken, instead of strengthening, the expression.
Hosea x. 1, Common Version :
“ Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself; according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars." Dr. Noyes :
“ Israel is a luxuriant vine,
That bringeth forth fruit; But according to the abundance of his fruit hath he abounded in
There is one passage in this prophet, in which we doubt Dr. Noyes's translation. It is in xii. 7, which he renders,
“ He is a Canaanite ; in his hands are the balances of deceit; he loveth to oppress."
The Common Version translates, “ He is a merchant." The Hebrew word admits either rendering, but the latter agrees best with the “ balances of deceit;' nor does it accord with the preceding verses that the prophet should stigmatize his nation, personified in its ancestor, as a Canaanite.
Isa. ix. 1-3, Common Version :
“ Nevertheless, the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun, and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by
of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light : they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy : they joy before thee according to the joy of harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.” Dr. Noyes:
1 " But the darkness shall not remain where now is distress; of old he brought the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali
into contempt; In future times shall he bring the land of the sea beyond Jordan,
the circle of the gentiles, into honor.
2 The people that walk in darkness behold a great light ;
They who dwell in the land of death-like shade,
Upon them a light shineth. 3 Thou enlargest the nation ;
Thou increasest their joy;
It may seem that Dr. Noyes has taken the liberty of conjectural criticism, in restoring consistency to the third verse. But he has only followed the approved reading of the Hebrew, that of the keri, or marginal correction. The error of the text is a curious one, some transcriber having substituted the word x3,"not,” for the word is, " to it,” of which the sound is similar. Isa. xxi. 5. and following verses, Common Version :
Prepare the table, watch in the watch-tower, eat, drink : arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield. For thus hath the Lord said unto me: Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth. And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed : and he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watch-tower in the daytime, and am set in my ward whole nights. And behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen ; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground.”
Dr. Noyes :" The table is prepared ; the watch is set ; They eat; they drink ; Arise, ye princes ! Anoint the shield !' For thus said the Lord unto me : 'Go, set a watchman, Who shall declare what he seeth.' And he saw a troop, horsemen in pairs, Riders on asses, and riders on camels, And he watched with the utmost heed. Then he cried like My Lord, I stand continually upon the watch-tower in the daytime,
a lion :
And keep my post all the night ;
The passage in Zech. vi. 9-15, where, in the Common Version, the prophet is directed to place “crowns” on the head of the high priest, is rendered more intelligible by translating the word in the singular number. Though plural in form, it is followed by a singular verb in ver. 14. This coronation of the high-priest, if it was actually done, and was not merely a poetical fiction, was an act of no little boldness under the Persian Government. The passage is remarkable, as being a direct prophecy of a Messiah uniting the kingly and priestly offices. It is so regarded by Dr. Noyes. See his note on the passage, vol. ii., page 382.
Our author agrees with most other competent critics, in regarding the Book of Daniel, not as the composition of the prophet whose name it bears, but as written during the struggle for independence under the Maccabees, against Antiochus. The facts that it contains words of Greek origin, and that its supposed prophecies give the history of Alexander's successors as far as Antiochus, and are thence no longer traceable, seem to leave no alternative to this conclusion. As to the purpose of the writer in assuming the person of an ancient prophet, Dr. Noyes remarks :
“It is difficult to say what was the intention of the author of the Book of Daniel, in writing under an assumed name, and clothing history in the language of prediction, because we are not acquainted with the circumstances of its original publication, and do not know whether the contemporaries of the writer were deceived or not. There is reason to believe that apocalyptical writers sometimes assumed a false name with an intention to deceive.' But we cannot agree with some recent writers in maintaining that such a practice was generally regarded as consistent with moral rectitude. Was there ever an age when the public was willing to be imposed upon ? In our desire to avoid the conclusion that the Book of Daniel is a pious forgery, we