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Second Epistle to the Corinthians"?, where they translate the word nepoeunxa very properly, I have said before. Every reader of discernment must perceive that it would have been absurd to render it in that place, I have foretold.
But to return to the passage under review in the Epistle to the Romans: it was observed, that the common version of the word nipoeyva, in that passage, labours under a double defect. It is not, in my judgment, barely in translating the preposition that the error lies, but also in the sense assigned to the verb compounded with it. That God knew Israel before, in the ordinary meaning of the word knowing, could never have been suggested as a reason to hinder us from thinking that he would ever cast them off: for, from the beginning, all nations and all things are alike known to God. But the verb yivwoxw, in Hellenistic use, has all the latitude of signification which the verb ymjadang has, being that whereby the Seventy commonly render the Hebrew word. Now the Hebrew word means not only to know, in the common acceptation, but to acknowledge and to approve. Nothing is more common in Scripture than this use. “ The Lord know“ eth, yuvwoxel, the way of the righteous 15," that
γινωσκει, is, approveth. “ Then I will profess unto them, I “ never knew you,” syvwv, acknowledged you for mine 19.
“ If any man love God, the same is known
17 yii. 3.
18 Psalm i. 6.
19 Matth. vii. 23,
“ of him 20,” syvusal, acknowledged. If, therefore, in the passage under examination, we understand in this
way the verb givwoxw, adding the import of the preposition mpo, before, formerly, heretofore, the meaning is both clear and pertinent : “God hath
not cast off his people whom heretofore he acknow·ledged.”
I shall just add a sense of the verb apoyivwoxw as used by the Apostle Peter 21, different from both the former. The verb yiwoxw in classical use often denotes to decree, to ordain, to give sentence as a judge, and therefore repoyivwoxw, to foreordain, &c. It is in this sense only we can understand Προεγνωσμενα προ καταβολης κοσμο, which our interpreters have rightly rendered "foreordained, before the founda“tion of the world.” But they have not so well translated the verbal noun apoyvoois in the second verse of the chapter, foreknowledge, which renders the expression, indefinite and obscure, not to say, improper. It ought, for the same reason, to have been predetermination. The same word, in the same signification, occurs in the acts 22, where it is also improperly rendered foreknowledge.
| 22. It may be thought that, in the composi. tion of substantives, or of an adjective and a substantive, in familiar use, there is hardly a possibili. ty of error, the import of both the simple words being essential to the compound. But this is not
20 1 Cor. viii, 3.
21 1 Peter, i, 20.
22 Acts, ii, 23.
without exception, as βωμολοχος, συκοφαντης, χειροTovia, and many others, evince. It is indeed very probable, that the import of such terms originally was, what the etymology indicates. But, in their application, such variations are insensibly introduced by custom, as sometimes fix them, at last, in a meaning very different from the primary sense, or that to which the component parts would lead us.
I shall bring for an example a term about which translators have been very little divided. It is the word σκληροκαρδια, always rendered in the common version, hardness of heart. Nothing can be more literal, or to appearance, more just. Exanpoxapdia is compounded of σκληρος hard, and καρδια heart. Nor can it be denied that these English words, taken severally, are, in almost every case, expressive of the full sense of the Greek words, also taken seve. rally. Yet there is reason to suspect that the Greek compound does not answer to the meaning constantly affixed by us to hardness of heart, or, in one word, hardheartedness. Let us recur to examples. In Matthew 23 we read thus ; “ Moses, be
cause of the hardness of your hearts, zipos TNV
σκληροκαρδιας υμων, suffered you to put away your “ wives.” Now these terms hardness of heart with us always denote cruelty, inhumanity, barbarity. It does not appear that this is our Lord's meaning in this
passage. And, though the passage might be so paraphrased, as would give a plausibility to this in
terpretation, I do not recollect that this vice of cruelty, as a national vice, was ever imputed to them by Moses ; though he often charges them with incredulity, obstinacy, and rebellion. As there is nothing, however, in the context, that can be called decisive, I recur to the other passages in the New Testament wherein the word is found. These are but two, and both of them in Mark's Gospel. One of them is, where the same occurrence is recorded as in the
passage of Matthew above referred to. In these two parallel places there is so little variation in the words, that the doubt as to the meaning of this term must equally affect them both.
The other passage is , in the account given of our Lord's appearance to his disciples after his resurrection. " Afterwards he “ appeared unto the eleven, as they sat at meat, and
upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of « heart, την απιςιαν αυτων και σκληροκαρδιαν, be.
cause they believed not them which had seen him “ after he was risen.” Nothing can be clearer than that the word here has no relation to inhumanity; as this great event gave no handle for displaying either this vice or the contrary virtue. Some commentators, after Grotius, render it here incredulity, making our Saviour express the same fault by both words ασιςια and oκληροκαρδια.. I do not say that the use of such synonymas is without example in Scripture ; though I would not recur to them where another interpretation were equally natural, and even more
24 Mark 8. 5.
25 xvi. 14,
probable. I think therefore, that by the first of these terms the effect is meant, and by the second the cause; that is, their stiff and untractable temper, their indocility or perverseness. Now this is a fault with which the Jews are frequently upbraided by Moses. Besides, this interpretation perfectly suits the sense of both passages. In that first quoted, as well as in this, the connection is evident. “ because of your untractable disposition, permitted
you to divorce your wives;” lest, by making the marriage tie indissoluble, ye had perversely renounced marriage altogether, saying, as some of the disciples did, “ If the case of the man be so with his “wife, it is not good to marry.” The sense unbelief, which Grotius puts upon it, is rather more forced in that passage than the common acceptation. Castalio renders it very properly pervicacia.
If, for further satisfaction, I recur to the Septuagint, I find invariably a connection with perverseness, never with inhumanity. Where we read in English”, “ Circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be no “ more stiff-necked,” the Seventy have it, IIepiteμεισθε την σκληροκαρδιας υμων, και τον τραχηλον όμων και σκληρυνειτε ετι. Here the opposition of the members in the sentence, which, in the Oriental taste, gives the same command, first in the positive form, and then in the negative, renders the meaning indubitable. The adjective oxanpoxapdios is used in the Book of Proverbs for perverse or untractable. 'Ooxanpo
26 Deut. x. 16.
27 xvii. 20.