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indeed the hand of the painter is not accusable, but the judg. ment of the common spectator: conceiving he observed this fashion of his hair, because he was a Nazarite; and confounding a Nazarite by vow, with those by birth or education.
The Nazarite by vow is declared, Numbers vi. ; and was to refrain three things, drinking of wine, cutting the hair, and approaching unto the dead; and such an one was Samp
Now that our Saviour was a Nazarite after this kind, we have no reason to determine; for he drank wine, and was therefore called by the Pharisees a wine-bibber; he approached also the dead, as when he raised from death Lazarus, and the daughter of Jairus.
The other Nazarite was a topical appellation, and appliable unto such as were born in Nazareth, a city of Galilee, and in the tribe of Napthali. Neither, if strictly taken, was our Saviour in this sense a Nazarite, for he was born in Bethlehem in the tribe of Judah; but might receive that name because he abode in that city, and was not only conceived therein, but there also passed the silent part of his life after his return from Egypt; as is delivered by Matthew, " And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, he shall be called a Nazarene." Both which kinds of Nazarites, as they are distinguishable by Zain, and Tsade in the Hebrew, so in the Greek, by Alpha and Omega : for, as Jansenius observeth,* where the votary Nazarite is mentioned, it is written, Našapaloc, as Levit. vi. and Lament. iv. Where it is spoken of our Saviour, we read it, Našwpaloc, as in Matthew, Luke, and John; only Mark, who writ his gospel at Rome, did Latinize and wrote it Našapnvós.
* Jans. C'oncordia Evangelica.
if he would not vouchsafe to visit Edessa. The painter made many vain, attempts to draw a correct likeness of our Saviour. But Jesus, being willing to satisfy the desire of King Abgar, took a clean handkerchief and applied it to his countenance. In that same hour, by a miraculous power, his features and likeness were represented on the handkerchief.” The picture thus miraculously produced, is said to have been the means of delivering the city from the siege laid to it by Chosroes, the Persian, 500 years afterwards. Thaddeus went to Edessa after Christ's ascension and healed Abgar.
See also Mr. W. Huttman's Life of Christ, where will be found a copious account of the portrait of Jesus Christ, published in prints, coins, &c. Mr. Huttman spells the name of the king of Edessa, Agbar.
Of the Picture of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. In the picture of the immolation of Isaac, or Abraham sacrificing his son, Isaac is described as a little boy ;' which notwithstanding is not consentaneous unto the authority of expositors, or the circumstance of the text. For therein it is delivered that Isaac carried on his back the wood for the sacrifice, which being an holocaust or burnt-offering to be consumed unto ashes, we cannot well conceive a burthen for a boy; but such a one unto Isaac, as that which it typified was unto Christ, that is, the wood or cross whereon he suffered, which was too heavy a load for his shoulders, and was fain to be relieved therein by Simon of Cyrene.
Again he was so far from a boy, that he was a man grown, and at his full stature, if we believe Josephus, who placeth him in the last of adolescency, and makes him twenty-five years old. And whereas in the vulgar translation he is termed puer, it must not be strictly apprehended (for that
as a little boy.] More absurd representations have been made of this event. Bourgoanne notices a painting in Spain where Abraham is preparing to shoot Isaac with a pistol! Phil. Rohr (Pictor Errans) mentions one in which Abraham's weapon was a sword.
too heavy a load, &c.] Some painters have accordingly represented Christ and Simon of Cyrene as both employed in carrying the cross. Some have supposed, as Lipsius notices, that only a part (probably the transverse portion) of the cross was borne by our Lord.—Lipsii Opera, vol. iii. p. 658.
puer.] In the Greeke the word [nais) is ambiguous and, as wee say, polysemon, signifying diverselye according to the subject to which it relates : as when it relates to a lord and master it signifies a servant, and is to bee soe translated: where itt relates to a father itt signifyes a
The old translation is therefore herein faulty, which takes the word in the prime grammatical sense for a child, which is not always true. In the 4th cap. of the Acts, vers. 25, itt renders Aabiò toù haldós cov, David pueri tui, and in the 27th, Taidá oov ’Inooûv puerum tuum
age properly endeth in puberty, and extendeth but unto fourteen), but respectively unto Abraham, who was at that time above six score. And therefore also herein he was not unlike unto him, who was after led dumb unto the slaughter, and commanded by others, who had legions at command; that is, in meekness and humble submission. For had he resisted, it had not been in the power of his aged parent to have enforced; and many at his years have performed such acts, as few besides at any. David was too strong for a lion and a bear; Pompey had deserved the name of Great ; Alexander of the same cognomination was generalissimo of Greece; and Annibal, but one year after, succeeded Asdrubal in that memorable war against the Romans.
Of the Picture of Moses with Horns. In many pieces, and some of ancient bibles, Moses is described with horns.3 The same description we find in a silver medal; that is, upon one side Moses horned, and on the reverse the commandment against sculptile images. Which is conceived to be a coinage of some Jews, in derision of Christians, who first began that portrait.
The ground of this absurdity was surely a mistake of the Hebrew text, in the history of Moses when he descended from the mount, upon the affinity of kæren and karan, that is, an horn, and to shine, which is one quality of horn. The vulgar translation conforming unto the former; Ignorabat quòd cornuta esset facies ejus.* Qui videbant faciem Mosis esse cornutam. But the Chaldee paraphrase, translated by Paulus Fagius, hath otherwise expressed it: Moses nesciebat quòd multus esset splendor gloriæ vultus ejus. Et viderunt filii Israel quòd multa esset claritas gloriæ faciei Mosis.. The expression of the Septuagint is as large, 0606aoral oli TOŨ Xpájaros TOŨ TPOBútov, Glorificatus est aspectus cutis, seu coloris faciei.
* Exod. xxxiv. 29, 30. Iesum, in both places absurdly: which Beza observed and corrected; rendering the first by the word servant, and the later by the word sonne rightlye and learnedlye.- Wr.
3 In many pieces, &c.] And in Michael Angelo's Statue of Moses in St. Peter's at Rome.
* The same description, dc.] This sentence was first added in 2nd edition.
And this passage of the Old Testament is well explained by another of the New; wherein it is delivered, that they could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses," * did thv občav TOŨ Tpooumov, that is, for the glory of his countenance. And surely the exposition of one text is best performed by another; men vainly interposing their constructions, where the Scripture decideth the controversy. And therefore some have seemed too active in their expositions, who in the story of Rahab the harlot, have given notice that the word also signifieth an hostess ; for in the epistle to the Hebrews, she is plainly termed mópvn;? which signifies not an hostess, but a pecuniary and prostituting harlot, † a term applied unto Lais by the Greeks, and distinguished from éraipa, or amica, as may appear in the thirteenth of Athenæus.
Ånd therefore more allowable is the translation of Tre* 2 Cor. iii. 13. + What kind of harlot she was, read Camar. de Vita Eliæ.
5 But the Chaldee, dc.] First added in 2nd edition. 6 another.] This is a golden rule, as necessary as infallible.---Wr.
? in the epistle, &c.] Dr. Adam Clarke (on Joshua ii. 2), admitting that trópvn generally signifies a prostitute, contends nevertheless that it might not have been used in that sense here: he asks why the derived meaning of the word, from topváw, to sell, may not have reference to goods, as well as to person? In that sense he observes the Chaldee Targum understood the word, and in their translation gave it accordingly the meaning of a tavern keeper. He concludes rather a long article by saying, “ it is most likely that she was a single woman, or widow, who got her bread honestly, by keeping a house of entertainment for strangers." He proceeds however in this criticism, on a principle which he has elsewhere laid down, “ that the writers of the New Testament scarcely ever quote the Old Testament, but from the Septuagint translation ;” thus he contents himself with a rabbinical version of the LXX, and to that interpretation would bind the apostle.
Dr. Gill notices the rabbinical authorities in favour of the interpretation adopted by Dr. Clarke, but remarks that the Jews commonly take Rahab to be a harlot; and that generally speaking, in those times and countries such as kept public houses were prostitutes. He notices the Greek version and decidedly leans to the usual acceptation of the term.
mellius, quod splendida facta esset cutis faciei ejus; or as Estius hath interpreted it, facies ejus erat radiosa, his face was radiant, and dispersing beams like many horns and cones about his head; which is also consonant unto the original signification, and yet observed in the pieces of our Saviour, and the Virgin Mary, who are commonly drawn with scintillations, or radiant halos about their head; which, after the French expression, are usually termed the glory.
Now if, besides this occasional mistake, any man shall contend a propriety in this picture, and that no injury is done unto truth by this description, because an horn is the hieroglyphick of authority, power, and dignity, and in this metaphor is often used in Scripture; the piece I confess in this acception is harmless and agreeable unto Moses; and, under such emblematical constructions, we find that Alexander the Great, and Attila king of the Huns, in ancient medals are described with horns. But if from the common mistake, or any solary consideration, we persist in this description, we vilify the mystery of the irradiation, and authorize a dangerous piece, conformable unto that of Jupiter Ammon; which was the sun, and therefore described with horns, as is delivered by Macrobius; Hammonem quem Deum solem occidentem Libyes existimant, arietinis cornibus fingunt, quibus id animal valet, sicut radiis sol. We herein also imitate the picture of Pan, and pagan emblem of nature. And if (as Macrobius and very good authors concede) Bacchus (who is also described with horns), be the same deity with the sun ; and if (as Vossius well contendeth)* Moses and Bacchus were the same person; their descriptions must be relative, or the tauricornous picture of the one, perhaps the same with the other.8
* De Origine Idololatrice.
any solary consideration.] Solary, relating to the sun.'—The Hebrew word used in this passage signifies to shoot forth, and may be applied perhaps to rays of light, as well as to horns. Bp. Taylor, in his Holy Dying, p. 17, describes the rising sun, as "peeping over the eastern hills, thrusting out his golden horns, &c.”—Jeff.