On this page
- Text (2)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
sirigulaY sense , is so exactly analogous to that of Adonim , that no one could have thought of finding a different explanation for it , except ' under the'i nfluence of a favourite hypothesis . That which our author has devised , however ingenious , will hardly be thought , by any competent judge , sufficiently probable fo answer his purpose . * Dr . S . ' s observations do not materially affect the probability that Tannim , the crocodile , Ezek , xxix . 3 , is a plural form with a singular sense , and
though he readily adopts the opinion of some modern Hebrew scholars that rfiDDTT , ( Chochmoth , ) wisdom is singular , it seems to us that this opinion rests on very slight foundation , and that the generally-received doctrine of its -being a plural form is by far the most probably correct . Behemoth we will lay no stress upon , though the Coptic derivation is not certainly established , but other instances of the use of a plural for a singular noun to give emphasis , or to produce the effect of a sort of superlative degree , all seem to belong to the same idiom . Thus blindnesses for total blindness , Gen . xix . 11 ; 2 Kings
vi . 18 . Salvations for complete salvation , Ps . xlii . 5 , 11 , liii . 6 . . Vanities for much vanity , Eccles . v . 7 , &c . There seems , then , good reason for believing that the use of a plural for a singular was one of the various modes of giving emphasis , or marking eminence resorted to by the Hebrews ; and that though not applied generally to all words expressive of authority or dignified office , but confined by early custom to a small number , selected in a way which appears to us arbitrary , it does occur in cases where the sense is indisputably singular , and might be used by the people to whom the idiom belonged without suggesting any idea of plurality .
In several of the instances of the application of plural names to the Supreme Being , the intention of augmenting the force of the epithet is sufficiently evident , as Prov . ix . 10 , " The beginning of wisdom is the fear of Jehovah , and the knowledge of the holy ones , i . e . most holy , ( as it has been properly rendered by Dathe , ) is understanding . " So in Hos . xii . 1 . Of the same nature seems to be the Chaldee plural yivby ( Elionin ) , Dan . viu 18 . The word in the singular means very hiyh , or might even be rendered most high ; but the plural form increases the force of the epithet .
ft has often been remarked that Jehovah , the peculiar and sacred name of the true God , is singular , whilst the plural name , Elohim , CD » n ^« is one \\ hich is equally applied to idols , and is even given , without impropriety , to human objects of respect , and which , so far as we know or have any means of judging , may be supposed to be a word of human construction ,
signifying an object of adoration . Dr . S . indeed maintains , that when the word Elohim is applied to a single idol , it refers to something plural in its nature , and he reminds us of the multiform appearance of many idols ; but this is a mere hypothesis , and it is more natural and reasonable to suppose that the p lurality in the name had the same cause in all the cases of its occurrence . Dr . S . thinks that when it is sa d to Moses ( Ex . iv . 16 ) , " Thou
* The word does not occur hi the full plural form , but in coustiuctiou with a pronominal suffix , V 7 J 7 H- Dr . S . denies that this is plural at all , and supposes the ' to be introduced in imitation of other names of relationship , UK , a father , "j'DH , illy father , n « a brother , vn « his brother , HDJl a father-in-law , n'On her fatherin-law . But in all these instances the primitive form * , as our author properly states ,
appear to have been » 34 * , » n « , 'on which readily accounts for the insertion of the * before the sqftix , and there } s no reason why they should have been imitated in words of a different form ; at the best the supposition is a mere conjecture , resorted to to suit a purpose , and not being a very plausible one , the more obvious explanation founded on the analogy of'MTK will continue , to be gent * rally received .
• JJr . J . P . Smith ' s Scripture Testimony to the Messiah . 337
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1831, page 337, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2597/page/49/