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184 The Jewish Quarterly Review. 


Commentary on Esther. By Professor Paulus Cassel. Translated by 
the Rev. A. Bernstein. (Edinburgh : T. and T. Clark, pp. xxxv., 400.) 

Professor Cassel, -whose commentary on Esther is thus added to 
Clark's " Foreign Theological Library," employs the Jewish Midrash as 
no other scientific critic with whom we are acquainted. He sympathises- 
with it because he thoroughly understands it. He realizes its full 
importance for Biblical exegesis and he never omits to qaote it when it 
throws light on the text. In fact, Professor Cassel may almost be said 
to be himself possessed of a Midrashic soul, for some of his own brilliant 
suggestions breathe the very spirit of the Midrash. We have rarely read a 
commentary on the Bible with more real pleasure. Professor Cassel 
writes from the orthodox standpoint, his one weakness being a failure to 
appreciate the strength of the case against the authenticity of Esther. 
Therefore, those who turn to the book for a complete answer to the- 
vigorous attacks of Graetz and others will be disappointed. But the 
book is none the less a veritable store-house of information on Persian 
antiquities, Oriental legends, and Jewish Purim lore. The English 
translation of the Targum Sheni presents this curious compilation in an 
English dress for the first time. Of the English translation, as a whole, 
we regret to have to speak unfavourably. Confusions of tenses occur 
on almost every page, and un-English idioms and phrases are rather 
frequent. Besides, there is considerable irregularity in the printing of 
the Hebrew text. The plan of printing it verse by verse as the com- 
mentary proceeds is a peculiarly happy one. It is, therefore, regrettable 
that it was abandoned so early in the volume. These blemishes, how- 
ever, detract very little from the value of the edition, which may be 
commended to the student as a fresh and instructive addition to exegetical 

Inspiration of the Old Testament Inductively Considered. By Alfred 
Cave, B.A. (London : 1888, pp. xii., 468.) 

This book indicates that orthodox advocates of the Mosaic authorship 
of the Pentateuch feel the necessity of meeting the destructive criticism 
of the "Wellbausen school. We cannot say that we find Mr. Cave's 
arguments always convincing, and we fancy that his quotations of scien- 
tific authorities in confirmation of Genesis are not always very dis- 
criminately chosen. Max Miiller is, for instance, cited as though modern 
philologists had not largely refused to assent to the professor's views. 
Mr. Cave nevertheless makes several good points against Wellhausen, 
and shows considerable fairness in admitting the force of, and replying 
to, some of the objections of the " higher criticism " to the Mosaic author- 
ship of the Law. Mr. Cave's book is both clear and original, and may 
be read with considerable profit by all who are acquainted with modern 
Biblical criticism. 

I. A.