Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

átroxeiueva avto, “till there come the things reserved τα αποκείμενα αυτό, for him ;” or according to another but later reading, åtóκειται, “ till he comes for whom it is reserved.” In the same manner Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus translate. So too the Peshito renders, “he to whom it belongs.” Onkelos translates, “the Messiah, whose is the kingdom.” In the Babylonian Talmud o broj is adduced ; and the Jerusalem Targum agrees with Onkelos. In like manner, Saadias Haggaon in his Arabic version renders, he to whom it belongs. Thus most of the ancient versions favour the rendering in question. We cannot however adopt it. The reading 150 is only the defective or

אֲשֶׁר לו for שֶׁלה and the vowel pointing ;שִׁילה thography of

assumes that the prefix w for more occurs in the Pentateuch; whereas with few exceptions it belongs to the later books.

It is often supposed that Ezek. xxi. 32, refers to this passage. “The reference,” says Hengstenberg, “cannot be mistaken.” I But the allusion is not of such a nature as to place it beyond doubt. The similarity between them is not very great. If there be a reference, prin corresponds to boei in our passage, since peace will be established through righteousness; or if it be still

מִשְׁפָּט -of Ezekiel should re עַד בֹּא אֲשֶׁר לוֹ הַמִּשְׁפָּט urged that the אֲשֶׁר לו by שלה the translation of ,שִׁילה gulate the meaning of

should be maintained. It is not consistent to declare the latter sense incorrect, and hold the phrase in Ezekiel to be a guide to the true sense of jibon. When

Hengstenberg affirms that the words

שילה

,שילה which Ezekiel puts in the place of ,אֲשֶׁר לוֹ הַמִּשְׁפָּט

allude to the letters of the latter word (which forms the initials of the words in Ezekiel) w being the main letter inox as shewn by the common abbreviation of it into w, and the in ribor being unessential; we do not clearly perceive his meaning. As far it is perceptible, it represents Ezekiel as an ingenious and fanciful trifler. In the prophet's allusion to Genesis xlix. 10, there is nothing more than a general reference; his developed view of the Messiah being put into it. All the light which Ezekiel has shed upon the words should not be unphilosophically attributed to Jacob, as though the same fulness of Messianic knowledge could be assigned to the patriarch.

Two considerations influence us in rejecting this very old explanation-viz., that it involves an inappropriate contrast between Judah and him to whom the sceptre belongs, because

Christology Translated, vol. i., p. 85.

implying that the sceptre does not rightfully belong to Judah ; and also, that Judah, on whom a remarkable blessing is pronounced, is said to lose the sceptre he once had. That is no blessing, but the reverse. Although therefore this exposition has so great authority in its favour, and is supported by Jahn, Sack, Larsow, etc. in modern times, it must be rejected. Teller and Von Bohlen, while adopting it, refer the coming to some earthly ruler, to Saul, Jeroboam, or Solomon, which is wholly untenable. The Messiah is the only true subject of the verb,

.

.שילה if such be the right explanation of

Others who refer the word to a personal Messiah derive it from the root you to be at rest. It is thus an abstract noun put for a concrete, rest-bringer, peace-bringer, i.e., the Messiah. This interpretation has been very extensively adopted. Vater, Muhlert, Plüschke, Mössler, Justi, Gesenius, Winer, Schumann, Maurer, Rosenmüller, Hengstenberg, Baumgarten-Crusius, Reinke, accept it; though many of these critics suppose the rest-bringer or pacificator, to have been a mere earthly ruler, like Solomon. Forcible objections have been made by Tuch to the derivation of ribunj from home in the appellative sense rest; which have been appropriated by Hengstenberg. In vain do Kurtz and Reinke endeavour to meet them by referring to the analogous

שָׁלָה שִׁילה

none of which come as appellatives ,בִּישׁר בִּידר קִיטר forms

שלני

from verbs 5. Neither can Shiloh, taken as an appellatire, be abbreviated from yobong; the final liquid disappearing and then the i being written as ; (compare bg 2 Sam. xv. 12; phone 1 Kings xi. 29; xii. 15), because this is done only in proper names. By the principles of grammar, an appellative signification of the word as derived from is impossible."

There are other leading objections to the rendering of Shiloh as rest-bringer or man of rest implying a personal Messiah. It is opposed by the fact that the expectation of a personal Messiah was entirely unsuited to the patriarchal period. We will not say that it was unknown when the writer of the fortyninth chapter of Genesis put this poem into the mouth of Jacob; but it is probable that he would not have glaringly violated the proprieties of time. Again, neither the Messiah nor any of the New Testament writers applied this text to him ; which is strange if they looked upon it as Messianic; especially as they employ many other passages

which refer to him in a remoter manner.

1 See Tuch, p. 575, et seqq.

Still farther, the structure of the sentence shews that Shiloh is the object not the subject. In this way the parallelism of members is best preserved. In the translation,"Till Shiloh come and to him the obedience of the nations be,” there is no proper parallelism but rather a development of the same idea. By taking Shiloh as the object and supplying Judah from the preceding context as the subject we have,“ till Judah come to Shiloh and obtain the obedience of the nations." Hengstenberg himself virtually admits the superiority of our version while resisting the argument, for he affirms that the parallelism is “slightly concealed.”I Certainly the parallelism is clearer

and more palpable on the hypothesis that Shiloh is the object. Besides, it is more natural to take Judah in the preceeding context as the subject of the verb come, than to suppose the transition to another subject. The phrase "-ty leads the reader to expect that something should be stated about Judahsome point or condition to which his uninterrupted possession of the chieftainship should come; whereas if the subject be changed, this is wanting. It is indeed possible that there may be a change of subject, and that Shiloh may be the person making it; but it should not be assumed without a necessity. We must therefore hold that ribon cannot be the subject of the verb 2. Again, in pronouncing the blessing upon Judah, it may be asked, how can the patriarch look away from Judah so as to make the culminating point run into a person about whom it is not even hinted that he is a descendant of Judah ? Hengstenberg asserts, that although we are not told of Shiloh’s being descended from Judah, this is supposed to be self-evident; but even granting the correctness of the assertion, the sense of Jacob's prophetic utterance is futile on the supposition of Shiloh's being the personal Messiah and subject of the verb. For what is the meaning on this hypothesis, “Judah shall continue to rule till the ruler sprung from Judah shall become ruler ?” Is it not tantamount to saying, that Judah shall rule till he rule? And if Shiloh be the subject of the second half of the verse, Judah being the subject of the first, how shall we deal with the eleventh, which begins, “Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the strong vine." Exegesis requires that Messiah or Shiloh be the subject of such description ; if Shiloh were the subject of the verb come and of the suffix to him preceding.

The train of thought and tenor of Jacob's whole speech respecting Judah demand that Shiloh be taken as the object. He is

.יָבא

[ocr errors]

Christology Translated, vol. i., p. 71,

spoken of as a conqueror and spoiler of his enemies,attaining to a state of final victory and peace and willingly obeyed by the nations. This description is continued in the eleventh and twelfth verses, where the peaceful condition into which Judah had entered is farther depicted in the luxurious fulness of his rich territory. When Hengstenberg says that “the tenor of the eleventh and twelfth verses is quite different from that which precedes,” he virtually severs their connection from the foregoing, and confesses the violence introduced by his view. It is only by taking Shiloh as object that the just sequence of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth verses is brought out.

If this reasoning be correct, we must reject an interpretation which has been offered by Gesenius, viz., " till rest, i.e., the rest of the Messianic time come, and to him (Judah) shall be the obedience of the nations,” an interpretation which unnaturally assumes the reference of the suffix 95 to Judah, thus returning to the first subject; whereas the subject had been changed to suit

in the intervening clause. Why should it be changed again back to its former self? The only proper subject in this case would be that of a viz., Shiloh, which word would then have to be taken as a concrete. We must also abandon an explanation proposed by an association of gentlemen,”!. viz.,

, till rest come, and unto it shall be the obedience of the nations," where, besides the noun ibanj being subject and not object, the

, suffix is is referred, not to the nearest and therefore most natural antecedent but to the remote one, panạ staff.

Some Jewish expositors, who take Shiloh to mean the anointed King Messiah, separate ' from 7y, and regard the latter as a substantive denoting eternity. The rendering accordingly is, “the staff shall not depart from Judah; for ever. For Shiloh cometh.” So R. Menasseh Ben Israel, followed by De Sola, Lindenthal, and Raphall. We do not think that this simplifies the meaning, as is alleged. It is true that hy as a noun often

7y means eternity ; but we are not aware of its being used for unto eternity, for ever, without the prepositions before it. The Masora and punctuation which, it is said, are violated by taking TY and 'o together, need not be rigidly followed since they are of little authority. Few at the present day take Shiloh to be a proper name of Messiah. Delitzsch himself rejects it, and fixes upon the place Shiloh. As Dr. Lee (Hebrew Lexicon) appo

? sitely says, it “has neither authority nor parallel in the Scriptures ;

1 Bibliotheca Sacra for 1850, p. 171. 2 Commentar ueber die Genesis, p. 593, third edition.

[ocr errors]

and especially it is directly opposed to the whole current of antiquity.”

3. Others who though holding the passage to be Messianic do not find a personal Messiah in it

, take i broj

as a concrete in the sense of resting-place, the place where rest is attained and render " till he (Judah) arrive at the place of rest, and to him (Judah) be the obedience of the peoples.” Such is the opinion of Kurtz. We have already seen that the derivation of Shiloh from 7p is grammatically impossible, as well as its etymology from Shiloni or Shilon, unless it be a proper name.

The critic is reluctant to abandon the Messianic idea, and preserves it thus in a general way. The proper translation of the verse is this :

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the staff of power from between his feet,
Until he come to Shiloh,

And to him the obedience of the peoples be." We translate the word Pinə staff of office or sceptre, because it agrees better with the parallelism w, corresponding to it in the antithetic line. That it has this secondary sense is proved by Num. xxi. 18; Psalm lx. 9. Those who adopt the primary sense of lawgirer, ruler, suppose an euphemism in the word translated from between his feet, meaning posterity. A ruler shall nerer fail. In support of this honesta genitalium description, appeal is made to Deut. xxvii. 57. But there it is used of a woman; so that the sex is not pertinent here. Hence it should be taken literally. The staff of power between the feet is illustrated by an ancient Oriental custom, proof of which exists on antique memorials like the ruins of Persepolis, where princes appear sitting on the throne with the long staff of rule between their feet.

An objection has been made to our translation of Shiloh from the want of a preposition before the accusative after a verb of motion. There is in reality no difference between the construction coming to the city, coming to the gate, and that before us. Yet both those expressions dispense with a preposition, (Jer. xxii. 24; Gen. xxiii. 10, 18; Psalm c. 4).

In placing the fulfilment in the time of Joshua, after the tribes were settled in their respective inheritances, we are aware that Hengstenberg avers in the most positive terms that it cannot be sought for in any period prior to David. But this assertion rests on the false foundation that royal dominion and power alone are designated by the terms sceptre and staff of power.

1 Geschichte des alten Bundes, vol. ii. p. 552, et seqq.

« ZurückWeiter »