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546 The Jewish Quarterly Revieic. 


The Ethiopic Version of the Hebrew Booh of Jubilees, edited from four 
Manuscripts, and critically revised through a continuous comparison 
of the Massoretic and Samaritan texts, and the Greek, Syriac, 
Vulgate, and Ethiopic Versions of the Pentateuch, and further 
emended and restored in accordance with the Hebrew, Syriac, Greek, 
and Latin Fragments of this Book, which are here published in full. 
By R. H. Charles, M.A. (Oxford, at the University Press). 

Mr. Charles is to be congratulated on the appearance of his beauti- 
fully printed text of the Book of Jubilees. Readers of the Jewish 
Quarterly Review will be aware that this edition is the outcome of 
long and profound study ; and of this the serried ranks of critical notes 
will convince even those readers who know no Aethiopic, while those 
who are acquainted with that language will gladly testify to the 
excellence of Mr. Charles's scholarship. To the latter class of readers 
it will be a satisfaction to see that, in spite of the strange mortality that 
raged among Aethiopic scholars last year, able writers are still left in 
this somewhat out-of-the-way field of learning. And all into whose 
studies the Book of Jubilees is likely to come, will find it of the greatest 
convenience to have all the materials for the restoration of this 
Apocryphon so carefully collected and so methodically arranged. 

Most readers will regret the depreciatory tone which Mr. Charles has 
adopted towards the work of his predecessor Dillmann. This tone is 
both impolitic and unjust. Impolitic, because there is no name more 
highly reverenced among Orientalists than Dillmann's, and most of 
those who know any Aethiopic owe it to his writings ; and, moreover, 
the world has not yet had a year to lament his loss. Unjust, because 
more cannot be expected from a book than it professes to give. When 
& text of real value is to be published for the first time, the most im- 
portant matter is that it should be done quickly. Dillmann employed 
for this purpose the MSS. that were at his disposal, which he used with 
faithfulness and skill. A later editor is without doubt bound to search 
for an elaborate critical apparatus, which is what Ronsch and, since him, 
Mr. Charles have done. Yet the new editor will probably be thought 
by many to have overrated the improvement which he has been able to 
effect in the text by the use of material which Dillmann either 

Critical Notices. 547 

neglected or had no access to. He has introduced not a few better 
readings, and some quite felicitous emendations ; but the difference 
between the two recensions is not thorough-going. This appears even 
from the fact that the new text is still an eclectic one — it follows no one 
source to the exclusion of any other. It is natural that Mr. Charles 
should overrate the improvement, for the collation of Aethiopic MSS. 
is ordinarily so fruitless in results, that new readings of consequence 
are hailed with very peculiar delight. Moreover, Bishop Earle says 
somewhere that a scholar who has filled up from conjecture a small 
lacuna in a text, thinks the words he has introduced the most important 
in the book. Had the difference, however, been far more to Dillmann's 
disadvantage than it really is, Mr. Charles should still have given a 
complete record of Dillmann's readings in his notes ; the absence of this 
we regard as the most serious defect in his book ; and it is probable that 
those reviewers who have in consequence of it to collate the two texts 
will take vengeance. 

Some controversy will be aroused by his treatment of the materials 
which, as has been already said, every one will be glad to see collected 
in one place. It might be thought to be no part of the editor's duty to 
correct mistakes committed by the original translators ; Mr. Charles, 
however, thinks otherwise, as appears from the treatment of both the 
Latin and Aethiopic texts in xv. 26, where we are told in the note that 
usque in diem is a primitive error for in die, being caused by the con- 
fusion of two Hebrew letters, but find that the editor has inserted in die 
by conjecture in both texts ! In vii. 10, " Noah woke from his sleep," 
of the MSS., is altered to " woke from his wine," on the authority of 
Gen. ix. 24. Happily this form of revision of the text has not been 
carried through consistently. 

How to deal with the Latin and Aethiopic texts where they differ 
(their general agreement is extraordinary) is a problem to which 
different answers may be given. Most scholars would have corrected 
the one from the other only in cases where the difference is obviously 
due to miswriting. Such a case occurs in ii. 2, where qalat (noises) is 
very rightly written for qalayat (abysses), after the Greek (noises). 
Where the cause of the discrepancy is not obvious it should certainly 
be noted, but to alter one text to suit the other is surely rash. This 
charge of rashness Mr. Charles will not in any case escape ; but it is 
strangely varied with timidity. In xvi. 28, he does not venture to 
correct semen elus cum ipso into post ipsum with the Aethiopic, although 
the source of this mistranslation is perfectly clear, but relegates the 
observation to a note ; yet in xix. 3, non indignans is substituted in the 
text for pusillianimus of the MS. ! The curious reader will find many 
similar puzzles, and his ingenuity will be taxed to make out the threefold 
system of brackets with which the Latin text is studded. 

548 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 

Mr. Charles does not differ from his predecessors in thinking that the 
Hebrew text of Genesis may here and there be corrected from the 
Jubilees, but the ore (to use the language of miners) seems to the present 
writer very low grade. In the first place, the Aethiopic MSS. are inter- 
polated from or under the influence of the Aethiopic version or versions 
of the Bible ; it is one of the merits of Mr. Charles's book that he proves 
this in the case especially of the MS. called A. In the second place, the 
old Greek translation of the Jubilees was without doubt influenced by 
the LXX. When, therefore, the Jubilees' text confirms the LXX., how 
can it be regarded as an independent witness ? " We shall now," says 
the editor in section viii. of his preface, " give a list of readings in 
the Massoretic text, which should be corrected into accord with the 
readings attested by such great authorities as the Sam., LXX., Jub., Syr., 
Vulg." The first witness called does not respond ; for in Genesis viii. 
19, Mr. Charles's emendation coupling CWlil with Wn(i"l), is very 
probably right, but it is not the reading of the text of the Jubilees which 
he has published (v. 32, note 29). With regard to the rest, while the 
trouble he has taken in sorting the textual affinities of the book deserves 
recognition, it may be doubted whether the Jubilees has in any case the 
authority of a MS. For only those compilations and versions which are 
painfully literal have any such authority. Now the author of this book 
certainly had no particular scruple about altering, when the fancy took 
him, the text of Genesis which he reproduced or incorporated. 

However, the present writer is tired of finding fault with a work 
which very few scholars, either here or abroad, would have been able to 
produce, and which is certain to be for a long period the standard work 
on the subject with which it deals. He will conclude therefore with the 
hope that unlike most of the Anecdota Oxoniensia, this Anecdoton may 
prove a source of profit to the Clarendon Press, and that its author may 
find leisure and opportunity to do yet further services to the literature 
of Abyssinia. 

D. S. Makgoliouth. 

Via, Veritas, Vita ; Christianity in Us most simple atid intelligible form. 
The Hibbert Lectures, 1894, by James Drummond, D.D. 
(Williams and Norgate.) 

The last of the Hibbert Lectures is in some ways the most character- 
istic of the series. The previous volumes, of an unequal but high 
average of merit, dealt with the rationale of the chief historic religions. 
Dr. Drummond rationalises Christianity, reduces it as it were to its lowest 
terms, in a mathematical sense, and attempts to show how, when thus