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THE SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY OF BIBLICAL 
PHILOLOGY 

By Max L. Margous, Dropsie College 

The present paper is intended as the forerunner of a 
larger work planned after the manner of Boeckh's "En- 
cyklopadie und Methodologie der philologischen IVissen- 
schaft" 1 and S. Reinach's "Manuel de philologie classique'". 
What has been done so successfully and on so comprehen- 
sive a scale for classical philology, has to the knowledge 
of the writer not been attempted for the wide field of bib- 
lical philology; and while a work of this character consti- 
tutes a pressing need to instructor and student alike, a 
shorter sketch, though it must necessarily fall short 
of the ideal requirements, will at least indicate the nature 
of the want. It has not been deemed advisable to encum- 
ber this tentative effort with anything like an exhaustive 
bibliographical apparatus which must be reserved for the 
larger work; in the main the footnotes serve the purpose 
of relieving the body of the text from unwieldy parentheses. 
The choice of one concrete example for the illustration of 
the various philological operations to which the Scriptures 
may be subjected will no doubt commend itself to the 
judicious reader; if the name of one modern commentator 
occurs in this connection quite frequently, it is because he 
is rightly considered the representative of a certain class 
of exegetes. 

i. In English, three distinct sciences appear to be 

5 



6 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

thrown together under the one name "philology" : (a) the 
(general) science of language, also called 
Definition of linguistic science, or linguistics, and some- 
"Philology" times designated, since it must have a Greek 

name, as glottology', — a science which has 
for its object a study of the origin and development of 
language in general, dealing, whether in a philosophical or 
historical manner, not so much with this or that particular 
language, but with all languages, exemplifying amidst the 
variety of types the universal laws governing articulate 
speech as a vehicle of thought, the phonetic decay of words, 
their semantic development, etc.; (b) the comparative 
grammar* of a group of cognate languages, illustrating the 
dialectal variations of a real or supposed parent language 
as they develop into separate languages, and pointing out 
their common laws of structure; such, of course, is the 
subject only of "comparative" philology; accordingly, 
"philology" minus the qualifying adjective is identified 
with the grammatical and lexicographical study of a lan- 
guage, and in the popular mind the philologist is solely 
and simply a grammarian or dictionary writer; (c) philol- 
ogy proper, which has been denned by its master-builders 
as nothing short of that science which has for its aim the 
knowledge of human thought as far as it has been ex- 
pressed'. 

2. Now the modes of expressing thought are diverse: 

it may be by means of a statue or painting or structure, — 

thought carved in stone, or painted on can- 
Relation of 

Philology to vass, or embodied in a cathedral, — or by 

Cognate means of gesture, the mimicry of language', 

or finally by means of articulate speech, the 

word spoken (or written). Psychology and logic are equally 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 7 

concerned with human thought, but their province is the 
formal side of thought, the laws governing the origin or 
possibility or sequences of thought. Philology deals with 
the matter of thought: back of the word it would divine 
the thought, recover it in its original lucidity and make it 
throb again with the warmth that suffused it when it was 
first ushered into the world. Philology's twin sister is His- 
tory : according to some' the two are identical ; others con- 
ceive of philology as the handmaiden of history, both cover- 
ing the same range of subjects, except that the method 
which is always apparent in the philological operation re- 
mains latent in the historical presentation 8 . Over against 
those sciences whose scope consists in discovering universal 
laws under which particular phenomena may be subsumed, 
the historico-philological sciences are pre-eminently con- 
cerned with the particular, with Personality, whether it be 
that of an individual or that of a collective aggregate of 
humanity 9 . 

3. Philology is a science to be sure, but also an art 
( r ^'/: jr l ) J and philological instruction means largely the 
teaching of a sum of technical devices". 
The student must be taught early to sur- Philology also 
vey his field and possess himself of the an Art 
tools. For if philology aims at reproducing 
thought, the actual matter of thought that passed through 
a human brain and thrilled a human soul, interpretation be- 
comes the chief philological operation; and if interpreta- 
tion is to lead to understanding as lucid and immediate as 
when a man speaks to us face to face, it must be mediated 
by as complete an array of data as we can gather, con- 
fronted as we often are by a foreign idiom or by a literary 



8 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

document composed in by-gone days. Mediated under- 
Philological In- standing — that is what philological interpre- 
terpretation is tation amounts to". While immediate un- 
Mediated Un- derstanding is in itself a complex process, 
derstanding y et ma< j e simple and instantaneous through 

long practice, the mediated philological understanding is 
necessarily a still more laborious one requiring long study 
and stedf ast perseverance ; in the end, it is true, the expert 
gains a certain tact which sometimes works immediately 
and as it were by divination. 

4. The business of the philologist thus seems to be the 

faithful, lifelike, portraiture of thought in all its individual 

content and coloring. There was a constel- 
Philology both lation of events tnat was unique; and in 

that unique constellation there lived a 
Constructive 

unique man; and that man gave utterance 

to a unique thought which the philologist would recover 
from beneath the rubbish of the past. But there is also 
a constructive side to philology. The philologist, if pos- 
sessed of an imitative faculty that is perfect, will see with 
the author's eyes and re-think his thoughts, be he epic bard 
or dramatist or prophet or psalmist; but he can 
do more: he can bring to bear upon the single 
utterance or a piece of literature all the known 
facts backward and forward that stand in relation 
thereto and view it synthetically. It has been said 
that the philologist understands the orator and poet better 
than they understood themselves or were understood by 
their contemporaries ; for what to them was immediate and 
matter-of-fact, is turned by the philologist into conscious 
cognition". 

5. Since human culture which is the object of philolo- 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS O, 

gical investigation is national in character, and since of all 

the corporate cultural achievements of a 

nation it is in language that the na- Biblical Philol- 

tional genius primarily manifests itself, ° a * a * a " pa " 

it follows that the divisions of philology ment of Study 

must follow the boundaries of linguistic Justified by the 

Formation of 
areas. There will naturally be found on the canon 

the philological chart vast territories, like 
the Indo-European or Semitic, and smaller domains like 
the Greek or Hebrew. Whatever may be the heritage which 
the Hebrews received from their Semitic forefathers, the 
individuality of the sons of Eber stands off clearly by it- 
self over against the sum total of culture possessed by all 
the children of Shem alike. But even in the culture of 
Israel, or of the Jewish people, which can justly be made 
the subject of encyclopaedic treatment, the Biblical literature 
may be properly placed apart and given over to a specific 
department of study. The justification of a Biblical philol- 
ogy is not merely to be found in the vastness of the 
philological labor that is requisite for the interpretation of 
the thought deposited therein, but rather in the unique 
character of the Scriptures of which the formation of the 
canon by the Jews themselves was the first conscious ap- 
preciation. In the following pages a survey of the scope 
of Biblical philology is attempted. 

6. First in order naturally comes the interpretatio ver- 
borum, mbon ems . It is rooted in grammar 

. Interpretatio 

and lexicon. A concrete example may help verborum- 
define both. Job 3, 3 reads: 'ia i^N DV 12ft Grammatical 

:"Oi rnn n»x rWirn. Our first business is reading (de- 



IO THg JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

cipherment, pronunciation). We recognize a number of 

symbols (letters," nvniK). They are nat- 
Decipherment. 

urally treated at the very threshold of 
Phonology 

grammar: the script, more specifically 

the square script (nyaio mvo) which we learn to under- 
stand as the Aramaic development of the older Hebrew" 
(nay ) with the ligatures broken through 15 . We learn 
about the traditional order of the alphabet 18 and the 
names of the letters". Their consonantal function 
we likewise learn from tradition; their grouping ac- 
cording to the organs of speech is equally old. 1 ' 
That belongs already to that division of grammar 
which treats of sounds (phonetics). Next we observe 
the points" ( nvipa ). As symbols they are treated again 
in the chapter concerning the script where we learn their 
traditional names and their history 20 , also the fact that the 
manuscripts present another system of notation". In the 
phonology we are made acquainted with the vowels of 
which they are symbols; we also find that the parallel sys- 
tem has a bearing upon pronunciation. 22 The point which 
we find (three times) within a letter is treated again under 
script as well as under phonetics 22 . A third set of symbols 24 
indicating the accents" ( dvdvd ) is equally elucidated under 
script and phonetics 2 ", though their exact function can be 
mastered only at the end of the grammar 21 . In the script 
we shall also find the vowel-letters 28 1, ' discussed; and in 
the phonology the absorption 28 of the X in na^ will be 
accounted for. In the phonetic part of the grammar we 
shall also learn to distinguish the first — as originating in 
a primitive 20 a, the second as the resultant of a contracted 
diphthong aw, the third as due to a similar contraction over 
the slurred laryngal h which was really the all-important 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS II 

element of the pronominal suffix; the grammatical deter- 
mination of the fourth is bound up with a lexicographical 
(exegetical) question which will come up subsequently. 
Similarly we shall learn in the same part of grammar to 
treat separately the first and the third, the second, the 
fourth, and the fifth - ; in the same manner to hold apart 
the first and last — . All these distinctions will be found to 
be an aid to sense. The inseparable prefixes 3 and 1 are 
again a subject for the chapter concerning the script". On 
the other hand, we shall expect to find elucidated in the pho- 
nology the recession of the accent with which we meet three 
times in our verse. 

7. The first two parts of grammar have taught us to 
read (pronounce accurately). We read of course according 
to tradition, the living tradition which is 
multifarious; but sporadic allusions in early Traditional 
grammatical literature 32 bring us nearer to Pronunciation 
the pronunciation current in the schools of 

the authors of the punctuation (o'Jtpa). Latin and Greek- 
transliterations 83 on the whole substantiate tradition, though 
pointing to a less fixed pronunciation which here and there 
is more archaic. A traditional chanting exists also which 
is equally diverse 3 *. 

8. We proceed now to the Word which is a combination 
of sounds expressive of sense. The third part of grammar, 
the morphology, disengages the stem from 

its formative accretions and classifies forms 
according to their inner inflection (charac- Morpholoay 

teristic of the Semitic languages). Forma- 
tive elements, forms, and words are also classified accord- 
ing to their function in the sentence (in a preliminary way 
at least). Thus T3K'' is determined as "as + \ the < indicat- 



12 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

ing the third person singular masculine of the pre-form 35 and 
the remainder being the simple stem of the root 13N ; simi- 
larly "6ik as Y?i + J + K , the s indicating the first person 
singular of the pre-form, the i 3S a formative stem-accretion 
belonging to the N-stem, and what follows being the root 
-6" 3 '. av and -QJ 3S are placed under one type (bpco) 39 . 
The identification of types, in our present knowledge (or 
ignorance) of Hebrew (Semitic) grammar, here and there 
leads to a hint concerning the function (category) of the 
noun 40 , but just as often leaves us in the dark". And so on. 
9. Morphology helps us in the main to consult the lexi- 
con for the meaning of the root. The lexicon contains 

more than that. For, although the stem- 
The Lexicon. 
The Sources differentiation along with modal distinctions 

of the Lexi- is dealt with in the grammar", there are 
""*' manifold nuances which the grammar is 

powerless to reduce to law beyond the vaguest outline and 
which therefore are conscientiously noted in the lexicon. 
We may lay our unfinished grammar aside for a moment, 
and turn to the lexicon, lax means perish; ib' bear; Di' 
day; -03 man. We select in each case of course the most 
general meaning. What are the lexicographer's sources? 
Tradition, primarily; supported or supplemented by the 
consonance of the traditional meaning with the context in 
the greatest number of places, by the ancient versions 43 , by 
later Hebrew", by the cognate languages. In the case of 
rarer words* 5 and especially of hapax legomena (nmn nibo ) 
the rabbis already found themselves in perplexity 46 and very 
likely at an earlier date the ancient versions 4 '; Saadya helped 
himself by reference to later Hebrew, others like himself 
either tacitly or avowedly compared Aramaic" or Arabic 4 '; 
a process repeated on a larger scale since the days of 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 13 

Schultens and Ludolf, with Ethiopic, Assyrian, Phoenician, 
Southern Arabic to swell the apparatus ; and in the case 
of words apparently borrowed or foreign we consult Sans- 
krit and Iranian and Armenian and Egyptian, and possibly 
even Greek" . The meaning of rare words, particularly 
when other means fail, must be determined from the con- 
text (lDipD ȣ& , ir:y 'sb) ; but the context cannot give cer- 
tainty or absolute definiteness ; it often represents a circle 
which to be sure shuts out all sorts of possible meanings, 
but within which there is still ample variety to choose 
from. The honest lexicographer will add a sign of query 
to many a meaning thus ascertained, or, with Rashi, admit 
his ignorance ("rtyT vb). 

10. The Word has thus far been treated in isolation, but 
human speech does not consist of detached words. The 
Sentence is the unit of speech. Within 
the sentence each word has its function and Syntax. Func- 
more or less its fixed position. Function tional Part 
goes in the developed state of the language 
with form"; and conversely formative elements with func- 
tional force are lost through phonetic decay 52 . The theory 
of functions within the sentence as a unit belongs to the 
first part of syntax 53 , where also the various kinds of sen- 
tences are described". Thus DV nis' 1 is a verbal clause, 
an optative sentence; ov is subject, 13N> is predicate. 
Perish the day! The next sentence may at first be treated 
without reference to the preceding clause, in artificial isola- 
tion. What is the function of the pre-form 55 ? The parallel 
passage, Jerem 20, 14 has : u <ni^" . The English Ver- 
sion renders both passages alike : .... / ivas born. Is it 
beyond the power of the English language to express the 
particular nuance which belongs to "6iN over against Tn^ ? 



14 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

or are the two really identical? According to Kautzsch 
we ought to render: / zvas to be born. He compares II 
Kings 3, 27 : his eldest son "i^D' "icn that was to reign. 
On the other hand, Ewald and Driver interpret : nascendus 
eram, I was being born, the event being represented as nas- 
cent, and so, the speaker "seizing upon it while in move- 
ment rather than while at rest, pictured with peculiar vivid- 
ness to the mental eye" ; the usage is said to be peculiar of 
the language of poetry, though traces of it are found also 
in prose. 6 * But there is another view quite as plausible: 
ibltt, to speak the language of Greek grammar, is aorist 
minus augment." As in Greek, such forms are archaic, 
hence confined to poetry. And it is part of the interpreter's 
business to distinguish between prose and poetry. 

1 1. The concluding part of grammar is the syntax proper 
which deals with co-ordination and subordination of sen- 
tences. The first half of our verse consists 

of two sentences combined in a syntactical 
Syntax proper J 

relation. In the prose parallel icn inter- 
venes to indicate the relation. In Arabic, 
the omission of the corresponding relative is conditioned by 
the indeterminateness of the antecedent. In Hebrew no 
such conditions seem to have been considered requisite." 
But the omission of -\b>n is peculiar of poetry, dv is in the 
construct state.™ 

12. In the present instance, the verbal interpretation is 
almost tantamount to the contextual interpretation, eria 

pyn. The context being rhetorical and 
Contextual poetic, the interpreter must add stylistic ob- 

Interpretation servations. Thus the parallelismus mem- 

brorum obtrudes itself immediately upon 
his attention. What is the subject of "ibk? AV. : and the 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 15 

night in which it was said; hence "lOfcn is subject." 1 RV., 
on the other hand, takes nS^n as subject: and the night 
zvhich said. Either is grammatically correct; according to 
the former interpretation supply: ia". When we consult 
tradition, we find that AV. has the support of the Septua- 
gint, Syriac, Vulgate, Saadya, Ibn Janah, Rashi, Ibn Ezra, 
Ralbag ; on the side of RV. we find among the ancients the 
Targum with its paraphrase : and the angel that is set over 
conception at night, who said- The source of the Targumic 
paraphrase is the rabbinic saying: the angel that is set over 
conception, Lailah (= Night) is his name." This is ap- 
parently haggadic; but v proves that the rabbis took rt^n 
as subject; the introduction of the angel sets aside the 
poetic personification of an inanimate object which to them 
was an objectionable feature. That such scruples existed, 
can be proved from numerous passages in the Targum." 
But an important observation is here in place. Back of 
the haggadic there always lies a certain conceptien of the 
simple, unsophisticated, sense, which conception may be er- 
roneous or true, but it constitutes the rabbinic interpreta- 
tion which it is our duty to record. The discovery of the 
bb>d behind the ma , be the latter cmo 
mjrt or robrt tmD , would furnish ample The b»b be- 
material for a monograph." In the present hind the trno 
passage, the rabbinic interpretation coin- 
cides with that of RV. and of most moderns, Fried. 
Delitzsch alone, so far as I can see, going with AV. Budde 
even adds that the night is conceived by the poet as 
" geheimnisvolles Geisterivescn", a mysterious ghostly being ; 



1 6 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

this certainly comes close to the rabbis ! A few remarks on 
the subject of traditional exegesis will also 
Traditional b e i n place. That the (lexical) meaning 

Exegesis f words is based mainly on tradition has 

been mentioned above. But what I have 
in mind now is contextual interpretation. The meanings of 
nb"b and idx by themselves were indeed fixed by tradi- 
tion. But the meaning of the clause idk nW>m may and 
may not have been a matter of tradition. We cannot say 
with certainty whether a given rabbinic interpretation, even 
when it is reported anonymously, was the commonly ac- 
cepted one at that time. Place, time, and the idiosyncrasies 
of individual minds must have occasioned differences. 
Saadya, in the present case and elsewhere, apparently does 
not consider himself bound by rabbinic interpretation. 
There is no unanimity among the ancient versions or among 
the mediaevel Jewish commentators. Here and there we 
find a TijttiB' 13 or TW¥» 13 hinting at some sort of tradi- 
tion ; but when traced to its source, it may have represented 
but an individual's reasoning unsupported by further tradi- 
tion. In Rashi's days, discoveries were being made daily 
in the simple sense' 5 ; and the motto apparently was, Dies 
diem docet. It was known that the true sense must be 
simple, but that the simple sense was not necessarily the 
common ; that the DCS must not be labored, but that it is not 
gotten without labor; that the simple sense was as deep 
( DB'Bn poiy ) as the homiletical, but that, when discovered, 
it seemed obvious. Of course, the interpretation of authori- 
tative minds tends to become traditional ; but then it is not a 
question of what it came to be, but what it was originally. 
For if originally based on reasoning, it must pass once more 
before the bar of reason. Moreover, reason itself represents 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS IJ 

a growth; and what is reasonable at one time, may not be 
so at other times, and vice versa; a rational interpretation is 
one thing, and a rationalistic quite another. It would be a 

meritorious piece of work to determine with 

.. , , • , Exegetical 

accuracy the degree of unanimity among 

Unanimity 
Bible commentators of repute, ancient and 

modern. For, though Biblical exegesis has been the play- 
ground of genius and mediocrity, and individual guesses 
have been well nigh countless, nevertheless in the exegeti- 
cal struggle for existence there has been at work natural 
selection, the fittest interpretation surviving, while the 
ephemeral was consigned to well-merited oblivion. It is 
for the purpose of illustrating my point that I resurrect 
here the following gem of absurdity perpetrated by the 
Biurist Landau: "die Nacht, die dcm Mann verkundete: 
Sie hat empfangcn" (the night, which brought tidings to 
the husband, She hath conceived). 66 

13. "Q3 mft , of course, is not easy. As for the verb, 
it would seem on the basis of the parallelistic construction 
of the two halves of the verse, that it 
might be determined by the equation mrv. Exegetical 

-|ViN = x : zvas bom. The nearest par- Difficulties 

allel is Cant. 3, 4: rva Sk vriK^nc ~\y 
'min Tin Stti 'DK, with which compare further ibid. 
6, 9 : nm W ton ma novb kti nn« ; hence rnin (participle) 
is a synonym of ri"6v (DX). Synonymity, of course, need 
not be identity. The common element is merely: mother- 
hood. Tnbv is my mother as she that bare me. That 
mn indicates a stage anterior to "6\ is shown by the 
frequently recurring phrase ibm "inm, then by a passage 
like nn ir6< 103 nbn iJ'in Isa. 26, 18, where, though 
the whole is said figuratively of anxious and disappointed 



l8 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

waiting, the three verbs denote the three stages : conception, 
the approach of parturition, and parturition itself; compare 
also Hosea 9, 11 a climax of calamities : there shall be no 
birth ( mb ), and none with child ( [03 ), and no conception 
(fvin) . Leaving on the side I Chron. 4, 17, we find mn 
with an object in the metaphorical sense of planning evil, 
etc., but also in the physical sense, as in Moses' question: 
urn-ib' 'ajN on nrn nj/n bs n$< win ojxn Num. 11, 12. 
Accordingly -dj mft , in agreement with Symmachus, 
Vulgate, Syriac, Targum, means : conceptus est homo, 
there is conceived a man. We are then to interpret the 
first half of the verse as referring to the day of birth, and 
the second as treating of the night of conception. Saadya, 
Ibn Ezra, and Fried. Delitzsch simplify the matter by tak- 
ing the two synonyms, mn and "6\ as identical; Saadya 
and Ibn Ezra support their rendering by adducing I Chron. 
4, 17, — a methodological error, obscurum per obscurius, — 
and Fried. Delitzsch refers to Cant. 3, 4, — but even there 
the parallelism need not be one of identity, for vrvin means: 
she that conceived me, hence : my mother. Duhm argues 
strenuously against the supposition that the poet alludes to 
two different occasions, on aesthetic grounds". Aesthetic 
judgments are necessarily of a subjective character; in this 
particular instance the aesthetic argument is contradicted 
by verse 10, where the reference to conception is unmistak- 
able. A second difficulty is felt by many commentators 
with regard to -oj , which, they say, means : vir adultus, 
the grown man. Hence it is that Rashi took mft in a causa- 
tive sense : A man hath caused to conceive". It it not easy 
to defend this view grammatically. As a causative, mh 
could only come from the root nT , and, at least in its or- 
dinary sense : point out, direct, teach, it is unsuitable Yet, 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS IQ 

a defense could be bolstered up, and the meaning fructify 
vindicated for nT M . Accordingly the — would have origi- 
nated in aw, whereas, according to the current interpreta- 
tion, it is the equivalent of u n . 

14. Some moderns resort to emendation. Here we are 
introduced to another philological operation: textual criti- 
cism (the lower criticism). Criticism is an -r extua | criti- 
offshoot of the inter ■pretatio. It means, clsm an Off- 
when our exegetical skill is taxed to the shoot of the 
utmost and we are (actually or seemingly) tnierpretatio 
confronted by non-sense", a regress from the present form 
of the text to an earlier, better, the original perchance, from 
tradition vitiated to tradition restored. For the stretch of 
time intervening between the original" and the earliest 
manuscript extant is a long one; alterations ensue, some 
intentional", others of an irrational character". Parallel 
texts' 5 and the versions prove at least the existence of vari- 
ants. The marginal readings of the received text repre- 
sent emendations ; but often just parallel readings, which 
were mistaken in aftertimes for corrections. A treatise 
on the pip is still to be written. Another monograph 
should be devoted to ( 1 ) the — ipn bs ; (2) p<3D ", pVBn: 
(3) conjectural emendations in the guise of grammatical 
or rhetorical rules" in the works of the mediaeval Jewish 
exegetes, notably Ibn Janah and Tanhum. Here is also 
the place for a proper definition of the 

Masoretic Text. It is apparently nothing 

,, , , . the Masoretic 

more than the text found in manuscripts 

Text 
and early prints substantiated by that sys- 
tem of annotations which we call Masorah". It is true, 
the Synagogue has its textus receptus which is sufficient for 
practical purposes. So it has its textus receptus of the Tal- 



20 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

mud. But the real text of the Talmud is at present buried 
in manuscripts, and indirectly in quotations"; and the far- 
ther we ascend* , the more the text is found to diverge, the 
greater the number of variants. For in the history of every 
text there is such a thing as a leveling process; the more 
a book is read, the more it will tend to uniformity." The 
genuine text of the Talmud, as far as we can get at it, 
despite some good preliminary work that has been done," 
awaits reconstruction; and the reconstruction of a text is 
a philological operation which has its rules that must be 
mastered". Equally the reconstruction of the Biblical text, 
not yet the original, but the Masoretic form thereof", awaits 
consummation at the hands of a master trained in the 
school of philology. And much even will remain doubtful. 
For, in the first place, the Masoretic system of annotations, 
gigantic though it be, is necessarily incomplete, and we fall 
back upon the manuscripts themselves which are not uni- 
form. Then examples abound of divergent masorahs 
( niB^nno nniDO )." The Talmud has been found to be 
at variance with our Masorah. The masoretic vigilance 
certainly antedates the written Masorah ; we must therefore 
seek to attain to the oral Masorah. In the case of conflicts, 
Norzi considers the Targum as an arbiter. We know to- 
day that the Targum is based on the Oriental ( 'snno) re- 
cension of the text; we further know, what Norzi did not 
know, that the Targum of Proverbs is bodily (with slight 
changes) taken over from the Syriac Version, which fre- 
quently incorporates Septuagintal readings. Norzi, on one 
occasion, even quotes a reading from the Seventy; he sig- 
nificantly adds that we must not deviate from the tradition 
of our fathers ( irni3N lib nDee> mono ntS ub ps uki ) m . 
That is on the whole a safe principle for reasons which will 
become apparent later. But we know that the Masoretic 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 21 

text is in the main presupposed by Vulgate, Aquila, Sym- 
machus, Theodotion, some further anonymous Greek ver- 
sions, and the Hexaplaric texts of the Septuagint. The 
artificial boundary-line between masoretic and pre-maso- 
retic, at least for strictly scientific purposes, thus falls to 
the ground. It will be the business of the future editor 
of the Masoretic text to adduce all the corrobation of the re- 
constructed text wheresoever he will find 

How the Maso- 
it, be it manuscript evidence, or a masoretic 

retic Text is to 
note, or a quotation from a lost codex, or 

be reconstructed 
the Targum, or Aquila, or a Hexaplar man- 
uscript. He will naturally also be in duty bound to register 
variants, be it from the margin, or from the Talmud, or 
from the Targum, or from the Greek evidence. Many will 
be the difficulties that must beset his path, and many the 
problems raised. But scientific work is never finished ; and 
the sum of knowledge often represents but a bundle of 
questions. When he comes to use the evidence of the ver- 
sions, be it the Targum only, he will be 
confronted by such texts as are themselves Tne Use of 
in need of philological reconstruction; and the Versions 
even with a clean text before him, he will 
at every step face the query: Variant or paraphrase? The 
problems of retroversion become manifold, when the evi- 
dence of the oldest version, the Septuagint, is approached". 
The supreme test is again the ability to distinguish be- 
tween actual variant (in the "Vorlage") and free transla- 
tion. Freedom may be due to general motives (religious 
scruples and the like) or to individual idiosyncracies. Also 
the degree of freedom need not be the same: contrast the 
Pentateuch with Proverbs or Job. But before we are con- 
fronted by the dilemma : Freedom or variant, we must be 
sure of our Greek text which simply teems with variants. 



22 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

Holmes-Parsons and now the larger Cambridge edition con- 
tain but the readings; these await judicious sifting. For 
some are utterly worthless and eliminable as inner-Greek 
corruptions or wilful (Christian for instance) alterations; 
others represent parallel renderings of the same Hebrew 
word or phrase. The Septuagint student must consult not 
only manuscripts (uncial, cursive) and early prints (Com- 
plutensian, Aldine, Sixtine), but also the daughter-versions 
(Latin, Syriac, Arabic, Sahidic, Bohairic, Armenian) and 
quotations (church- fathers, New Testament, Josephus, 
Philo). The apparatus is a complex one; to ignore it is 
to forego the claim to scientific accuracy. 

15. A good example is afforded by the passage in Job. 
For ~OJ nnh the Septuagint has: 'ls»b apaw, Lo, a male! 
. _ . The omission of ISob in one manuscript 

afforded by nee d not detain us. Nor need the Sahidic 
the Present paraphrase: It is a male child" cause 
Passage comment. The Bohairic and Syriac 

literally reproduce the Greek. The Latin (based on 
the Hexapla) has : Conceptus est homo, which means 
simply a reversion on the part of Origen to the 
"Hebraica Veritas", substantiating at least the Hebrew text 
for those "pre-masoretic" days. It is tolerably certain, 
however, that the Greek translator wrote: 'ISob apazv, 
Lo, a male ! What did he read in his Hebrew text ? Duhm 
answers: "Of nan ( which of course does away with all the 
difficulties, real or supposed 80 , at a bound. He adds : 
"Unser mn konnte von einem Abschreiber herriihren, der 
versehentlich das nachbiblische nin, siehe, fur n:n schrieb." 
This bit of wisdom comes from Geiger who, however, 
ascribes this confusion to the translator who had a scruple 
to translate delicate matters literally. Geiger is really 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY MARGOLIS 23 

guilty of a contradiction; for if the translator had that 
scruple, the adventitious aid of a misread (mispointed) nin 
becomes unnecessary. As for Duhm's identification of 
apcev with "at , he is of course thinking of the graphic 

similarity of 3 and 3. But Gen. 7, 2 (twice) ine>Kl tS"K 
is rendered apvtv ko.1 OrjXv • so do our English versions 
render: the male and his female; yet, I am sure, no one 
will pretend that the Greek translator (let alone the English) 
read . rapn "Dr. The translator simply ignored a bit 
of Pentateuchal criticism and with the least of concern as- 
similated a J to a P phrase! Similarly &paev is employed 
for |a and "6?. "°. All that &pae» need point to, is a mas- 
culine noun, denoting a human being whether grown or in 
childhood. Thus 133 might be rendered Apaev with im- 
punity; and there is no warrant that something else was 
read. As for mn , the translator may perchance have been 
misled by the late Hebrew mn . There was, however, a psy- 
chologic motive for his error : not so much the scruple about 
translating delicate matters literally, but because his literary 
taste (which he shared with Duhm) shrank from ascribing 
to the poet a double reference to the day of birth and to 
the night of conception. Job curses the wxOrjpepov of his 
birth; voila tout. That the translator was quite capable 
of mispointing his text shall not be gainsaid. To mention 
one example among many: nioVi dreams for niD^n ox- 
tongue 6, 6! Nor is it to be denied that the translator 
found in his "Vorlage" many a variant; thus, for example, 
I'ljnri will ye weary for \vift will ye vex 19, 2. Were I to edit 
the Masoretic text critically, I should print in the text rr\h 
133 and in the argument um the following sources: UJ ('b, 
i. e. the form is a hapax legomenon) Heb. S(ixv^0rj avOpuxos) 



24 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

ft(K"i33 J 031 ™" 1 ) "Biconceptus est homo) ©(-qj toariN ; 
"was created" more decorous than "was conceived") also 
(£(i8ob apoev freedom)". 

16. Back of Duhm's dual objection to the received text 

there really lurks a subtler motive which affords an example 

_. „, . of the influence of the higher criticism on 

The Higher y 

Criticism textual (on interpretation). Duhm is con- 

Determination vinced that the poet imitates Jerem. 20, 14- 
of Date jg « j_rj s pronouncement is of course based 

on highly subjective grounds; but it furnishes a handle 
for determining the date of our poem. "The poet, in 3, 
3 ft'., is dependent upon Jerem. 20, 14 ff.", thus runs the 
categorical statement in the Introduction. The poem was 
therefore composed some time after Jeremiah. This, of 
course, is a vague date; to render it more definite, further 
observations are requisite. Duhm supplies them. He is 
not quite sure that 12, 20-25 may not belong to an inter- 
polator. But then repetitions are a peculiar feature of our 
poem. Be that as it may, verses 14-25 mirror the "Seelen- 
zustand" of post-exilic Jewry. "All things are come to 
nought, nations and empires, the aristocracy and priesthood 
— such was the impression made on them by external history 
by virtue of the continued national catastrophes everywhere." 
Hence, at the time when our poet wrote, the successive 
wars of Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Persians, as well as the 
downfall of the Jewish state, were a matter of the past. 
When the poet bitterly complains (9, 24) : When a land 
is given into the hand of a zvicked man, He covereth the 
face of the rulers therof, Duhm sees therein an allusion 
to conditions such as prevailed in the Persian period. "If 
we were better acquainted with the history of the first 
centuries following the exile, we would be in a position to 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 25 

fix the date of the author of the poem still more accu- 
rately." Duhm proceeds to find in Job, in the passages 
wherein the greatness of God is glorified, reminiscences 
from Deutero-Isaiah. As for the terminus ad quern, the 
points of contact between the poem and the Priests' Code 
go to show that the latter is dependent upon the former; 
thus the cosmological conceptions of the first chapter of 
Genesis are farther advanced than the corresponding notions 
in Job 38. Accordingly, the date of the poem is placed 
in the first half of the fifth century B. C. While thus the 
priority of the curse in Jeremiah is to Duhm (and others) 
an assured fact, certain critics look upon Job 3 as the 
original, some even going to the length of pronouncing 
Jerem. 20, 14-18 an interpolation on the basis of Job. 
Whatever be the answer, the query is certainly a justifiable 
one; of course, the two passages may be both dependent 
upon a common source, in which case the question would 
have no bearing whatsoever on the date of Job. An ex- 
ample has at any rate been afforded for the manner in 
which the date of a work may be ascertained under favor- 
able conditions from internal evidence. 

17. The intcrprctatio verborum is incomplete without 
the inter fretatio rerutn. Thus, in the present instance, the 
former simply reveals the fact that Job 
cursed the day of his birth and the night The 

of his conception; the latter, however, deals " erre °'° 

with the ideas underlying the curse. Curs- 
ing is a species of magic; the curse is a "spell", and it 
operates mechanically. Instances from the Scriptures and 
from the rest of the "Semitic world" may be easily ad- 
duced. The subject is justly treated in manuals of biblical 



26 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

archaeology. The aim of the science of archaeology is to 

The Auxiliary recover for us of a latter day a vision of 

Sciences of the life of an tiquity (specifically of a cer- 

Archaeology, 

History, and tain people of antiquity) both in its external 

Geography forms and in its inward interests. With 

the adjunct sciences of geography and history, each on a 
comprehensive scale, it transcends the mere verbal inter- 
pretation by placing a literary production in its proper 
milieu, the latter constituting the total complex of condi- 
tions by which an author is surrounded and which must 
be known as fully as possible if the words he spoke and 
the thoughts he thought are to be adequately understood. 
We must know the soil he trod on, with its fields and 
meadows and forests, with its hills and valleys and streams 
and the sky above them; the country of which he was a 
citizen, with its constitution and government, its laws and 
institutions, its courts and parliaments ; the nation whose 
son he was, with all its inherited habits of life and manners 
of thought, its traditions and beliefs and hopes ; the political, 
social, and cultural atmosphere, which he shared in common 
with his people at that particular period, — if we wish truly 
to understand him. For words are abbreviated thoughts, 
and thought is but an element, become conscious, of the 
inner life with all its manifold stirrings; as we exchange 
communications with our fellow-men, we speak as it were 
in riddles, in hints and allusions, which are at once under- 
stood because the entire situation is mentally present to 
speaker and addressed alike, and the full intent and import 
are thus supplied above the verbal meaning of the utter- 
ance — from the context, the context of pulsating life. This 
context it is the business of the philologist to reconstruct 
in its entirety in order that the word snatched therefrom 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 27 

may be organically co-ordinated with all its parts. Over 

against the atomistic interpretation of The Contextual 

Scriptures, with the arithmetic mean of the Interpretation 

of Scriptures 
total sum of fragments operating as a versus the 

generic sacred logic, the contextual elucida- Atomistic 
tion must be emphasized, which is indeed truly individual. 
A mere verbal exposition of a passage like Isaiah 22, 1-14 
will at best mean a general and vague reference to a battle 
and a war (Rashi). Once we know, or imagine that we 
know, the exact situation admirably summed up in the con- 
cise heading: "Arraignment of the impenitent Jerusalemites 
during Sennacherib's siege of the capital" (Luzzatto), every 
word becomes significant, every phrase forceful, and the 
whole one vivid scene, with the prophet in the center thun- 
dering amidst the noisy carousals of his compatriots the 
message of "a day of trouble, and of trampling, and of 
perplexity". 

18. Individual as a situation always is, the word spoken 
therein is supremely so. Though we must know all the 
cultural forces that go to make an environ- 
ment, of which naturally the person of the Individualistic 
speaker or writer is a part, there must al- Interpretation 
ways remain a residuum which baffles 
analysis and which constitutes the core of human person- 
ality 94 . As philologists, we deal with the heroes of man- 
kind, with Goethe and Shakespeare and Dante and Plato 
and Isaiah. It behooves us to remember that the genius, 
in employing the native speech of his people, enriches it 
constantly not only by new coinages, but in particular by 
endowing old words with new potencies and pouring new 
wine into old bottles. "Le style est I'homme meme." The 
grammar of the language spoken by Isaiah was forged in 
the dim past by some Bedouin ancestor; and it is but 



28 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

proper that we ascend to the source and there discern the 
mechanism in all its parts. But it is equally important, and 
in the last analysis of the utmost importance, that we seek 
to ascertain the prophet's own grammar and lexicon, the 
particular nuance given by him to a word or phrase, the 
thought that underlies a favored expression. 95 The indi- 
viduo-psychological moment in philological interpretation 
plays as important a part at least as the grammatical, lexical, 
and contextual factors previously considered. Even the 
rabbis set off the verbose Ezekiel against the concise 
Isaiah; 96 and no two prophets, we are told, spoke in the 
same style ( inx jijjm )". 

19. The simple sense with the elucidation of which the 
philologist is charged is often and rightly contrasted with 
the allegorical. Allegory is of course a 
Allegorical legitimate form of rhetoric. The prophets 

Interpretation frequently speak in d'Se'D and nnTi of which 
the solution (b&ft}) is sometimes appended, 
but more often left to the imagination of the hearer 
or reader. When a writer veils his thoughts in allegorical 
form, the allegorical method of interpretation is naturally 
the only admissible one. But where we are reasonably 
certain that an allegorical meaning was farthest from the 
mind of the author, the allegorical interpretation may fitly 
interest the student of the history of exegesis; but for the 
purpose of understanding the writer it is clearly out of 
place. For, while the Zohar pronounces a woe upon him 
who says that there are in Scriptures secular stories and 
ordinary sayings 98 , the Talmud gives expression to the 
opinion : "No Scriptural verse may be divested of its simple 
sense". 99 Well may the church-fathers point with ridicule 
to the "carnal" 190 exegesis of the Jews and their adherence 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 20. 

to the "bare letter" ; 101 the rational, i. e., philological, inter- 
pretation of the Scriptures, which modern Christian com- 
mentators are fond of contrasting with the rabbinic whims 
and fancies, is rooted in the "mos Iudaicus" 102 , that habit 
of the Jewish mind which, though indulging in the by-ways 
of homily and mysticism, never lost sight of the one royal 
road to the understanding of Holy Writ, the sober, simple 
sense. 

20. That verse in the third chapter of Job which has 
introduced us to so many and important philological 
operations, will reveal one more. We per- The Higher 

ceive that Job curses his day. How are Criticism 

again, 
we to reconcile that with the character "Job unity of 

the patient" that we have met with in the Authorship 

preceding two chapters, the Prologue ? The discrepancy may, 

of course, be only a seeming one ; that is to say, on deeper 

insight into the general plan of the work it may be found 

to have been designed. Or again the difficulty may be real, 

provided we apply our standards of unity of composition 

to a Hebraic literary production. It is true that there is 

such a thing as a universal standard against which no poet, 

be he ever so ancient or "Oriental", may sin with impunity. 

But it is equally true that within wide limits standards of 

literary composition have changed with the times. Or the 

difficulty may be solved by cutting the Gordian knot: a 

frequent operation of criticism (higher, literary). Thus, 

according to Duhm, the poem beginning at chapter 3 and 

concluding with 42, 6 was worked by the post-exilic author 

into the older framework, the ancient "Volksbuch" of which 

the first two chapters and the epilogue (42, 7-17) are at 

present all that remains, the poem having displaced the 

intermediate part in which Job defended God's justice 

against the onslaughts of the three friends and which con- 



30 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

eluded with a speech of the Lord commending Job. The 
figure of Satan, which other scholars regard as unmistak- 
able evidence of post-exilic origin 103 , and the late ^ap"* not- 
withstanding, the "Volksbuch" is placed by Duhm in pre- 
deuteronomic times. We may realize from this example 
how ill-informed we are about the succession of religious 
ideas that what one regards as late is pronounced by another 
to be old. The same holds good of linguistic observations ; 
for it is quite true that, though a word or a phrase meets 
us elsewhere in late writings, it may have commenced to 
be used at a much earlier period. Suffice it to say that 
the interpreter's task is not complete until he adjusts the 
single thought to the general scheme of the work, to its 
central thought. The whole and the parts — 
The Central each receives its full meaning when co-or- 
... work dinated with the other. It is indeed neces- 

sary to know the general purport of a book 
before we can adequately understand the specific chapters 
and verses. The method of procedure involves a more or 
less hasty perusal of the parts and a provisional sum- 
ming up ; then from the point of view of the summary, or 
the questions concerning the general plan, a more painstak- 
ing study of the points of detail as they relate to the plan 
of the whole. For the supreme question is, What is the 
content of the entire work and what its object? Some may 
use the scalpel of criticism too freely; but all of us must 
seek to penetrate into the innermost thought of the author, 
the whole thought, the larger meaning. If we proceed in 
our criticism sanely and with a conservative bias, we shall 
establish unity of thought by subtle psychologic processes, 
and show that the unity was original, despite seeming in- 



BIBUCAI, PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 3 1 

congruities; or if we be chary of harmonistic devices, we 

shall with the radicals pronounce the unity 

to be the work of an "editor", and several '^' na 

Editorial 
unities will result; in our case, the unity „ .. 

of the "Volksbuch", and the unity of the 
poem dovetailed into the framework. From the point of 
view of criticism, whether we agree with its results or not, 
a chapter like the first of Genesis assumes The Multiple 
a variety of aspects, the sense varying ac- Sense of 
cording as we interpret the creation hymn chronological * 
in its early mythical form, then the story Basis 
as it was told at the Israelitish sanctuaries, then the narra- 
tive as it first assumed literary form, and lastly the semi- 
rationalistic, semi-theological account as we read it now at 
the opening of the Pentateuch. This, it is true, is vastly 
more than the ordinary "literary" criticism connotes. Very 
important is the sense of an omission, of that which with 
the progress of ideas was cut out, eliminated. The philolo- 
gist thus would read behind the lines and view Scripture 
in a chronological perspective with its parts located in su- 
perimposed planes. Important, however, as the critical re- 
gress to beginning is, the student cannot be too earnestly 
warned against a sin of omission which is quite frequent 
in critical works, the forgetting of the converse process of 
progression towards the form assumed under the hands of 
the final "redactor". And the very last 
redactor was the instinct of the Jewish peo- Tne Goal of 
pie that made the canon ; and it made the ' ica 
canon by exclusion no less than by inclusion. 
For in constituting the canon the Jewish people with no 
mean effort of exegetical skill, — and there is really none 
higher, — summed up the content of Scriptural thought, of 



32 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

the Scriptural Weltanschauung, the presentation of which 
must forever mark the goal of Biblical philology. 

21. A question quite pertinent is how far the philologist 
must identify himeslf with his subject. If "Nachempfind- 
Assent to the ung" be the essence of philology, it would 
Scriptural seem impossible without a full measure of 

Weltanschauung 

a Prerequisite identification of interests. Yet this identi- 

of Exegetical . . 

Success fication may be merely fictitious: we may 

for the time being feel with the ancient author and think 
his thoughts and share his beliefs and hopes, but all this 
may be a part we play after the fashion of the actor who 
beneath the assumed personality retains his own 105 . Is this 
dual personality an exegetical possibility? A possibility 
it is to be sure, but it cannot minister to success. For 
objectivity is just as much endangered by a hostile as by 
a friendly attitude. Tertium non datur. The impartial mind 
is, as a rule, the indifferent one, and indifference is a species 
of hostility. I take it that assent to the Scriptural 
Weltanschauung is a prerequisite of exegetical success in 
the highest sense of the word 106 . And if I may be per- 
mitted to express the same thought in different words, only 
a Jew who knows himself at one with the Biblical religion 
can adequately interpret the Scriptures. Surely a poet is 
the poet's best interpreter, and a philosopher the philoso- 
pher's. In the same manner it requires a religious mind 
to understand psalmist and prophet, and only he that is nur- 
tured by Jewish thought, itself rooted in the Scriptures, 
may hope to master the Scriptural Word in its fullest and 
deepest import. Only a Jew can say on approaching Holy 
Writ : This is flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bones. He 
must possess himself, it is true, of the philological method 
and of the completest apparatus; but he alone can add 
thereto that which ensures fullest comprehension: the love 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 33 

for his own, for the thought that makes his innermost soul 
to throb, which still lives in him albeit faintly, so that his 
understanding of the Scriptures, mediated though it be by 
philological effort, becomes to a considerable extent indeed 
immediate, just as the language of Scriptures is to him in 
a large measure a living tongue. 

22. A word concerning the art of constructing a com- 
mentary and concerning translations. A commentary may 

either choose to present the entire appara- 

r . How to Write 

tus, or else give only results. Even in pre- a commentary 

senting the entire apparatus, it is not neces- or a Trans- 
sary to carry the reader into the workshop 
with all its chaos of open books. A principle of selection 
will become imperative. It is certainly a weariness of the 
flesh to wade through bulky commentaries with their in- 
terminable parentheses and with all the history of the in- 
terpretation of a single verse unrolled in a manner so 
baffling, so perplexing. Not everything that has been 
printed is relevant ; and this applies to ancients and moderns 
alike. VUoXoyia is not necessarily mtkuXoyia. . A few rep- 
resentatives judiciously selected will more than balance an 
army of would-be exegetes and critics. When again a com- 
mentary is written for a wider circle, it need not be shal- 
low. It may quite as much represent endless toil which, 
however, should be wisely kept in the background. It must 
above all refrain from forcing the passage to be interpreted. 
An honest statement of the difficulties is worth more than 
abortive attempts at explanation. We must be ashamed of 
individual ignorance; but it is our plain duty to share in 
the general ignorance. Translations are, of course, intended 
for the widest circles. The translator must guard against 
the pitfalls of literalism 10 ' and paraphrase 108 alike. The 
most perfect translation, of course, is that which imitates 



34 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

all the ambiguities of the original without introducing fresh 
ones; a truly delicate task. There are obviously cases in 
which such endeavor would baffle the most expert skill. 
Translation then becomes an abbreviated commentary; a 
commentary, moreover, which registers mere results. The 
translator should therefore resist the temptation of brilliancy 
at the expense of truth. As a rule, he will acquiesce in 
the probable rather than risk novelties. There is much in 
the history of Biblical interpretation that is ephemeral; a 
translation destined for the people must seek to embody that 
which is most universally acknowledged ; nay, it should be 
a good deal behind the times. Whereas a translation for 
the use of the scholar may indulge in all the signs of the 
critical apparatus and indicate lacunae where the translator 
must, according to strict rules of science, refrain from 
translating, a popular translation clearly must be consecu- 
tive. The Bible, moreover, must be translated as a unit, 
as it left the hands of the last redactor, as it was gathered 
into a canon; for surely in a translation one cannot super- 
impose one stratum upon another. It may be even question- 
able whether a margin with alternate renderings, or with 
references to the versions or other "ancient authorities", 
or with the more literal rendering for the free one in the 
text, after the fashion of the two historical English Ver- 
sions, is desirable; for in none of the classes mentioned 
can there be any attempt at exhaustive treatment. The 
case, of course, is different when the translation is accom- 
panied by a commentary; then such matter may conve- 
niently be located in the latter. The diction of the transla- 
tion should accomodate itself to the original; poetry should 
be rendered in an elevated style, and uncommon Hebrew 
words by corresponding uncommon English words. In 
this respect the English Versions are capable of improve- 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 35 

ment, much as the general style and manner of the Author- 
ized Version must remain forever the starting-point of 
any new attempt. For, the more we study the English 
of our Bible, the more we realize the existence of a dis- 
tinct sacred language which stands quite apart and is still 
understood in all its niceties by the educated. The sacred- 
ness of the original has communicated itself to its ver- 
sions; the English Bible of 1611 is a classic in English liter- 
ature quite as much as the original is in Jewish literature. 

NOTES 

1 Edited by Bratuscheck, Leipzig, 1877. 

3 Second edition, Paris, 1907. 

•Whitney, The Life and Growth of 'Language, 1899, 315. 

* Compare the title of Mr. Giles' work, "Manual of Comparative Philology 
for Classical Students'* (first edition, 1895); in its German translation it was 
made to read "Vergleichende Grammatik der Klassischen Sprachen" (Leipzig, 
1896). Compare also Max Muller, passim; Whitney, /. c. 

* The birth of philology in the modern sense of the word, it has been said, 
dates from April 8, 1777, when F. A. Wolf registered in the University of 
Gottingen as studiosus phtlologiae. From 1783 to 1790, Wolf delivered in 
Halle a series of lectures on the Encyclopaedia and Methodology of Classical 
Studies, the first of which was announced as "Encyclopaedia philologica, in 
qua, orbe universo earum rerum, quibus Htterae antiquitatis continentur, 
peragrato, singularum doctrinarum ambitus, argumenta, coniunctiones, utiU- 
fates, subsidia, denique recte et cunt fructu tractandae cuiusque rationed 
illustrabuntur" . In an essay printed in the first volume of the "Museum der 
Alterthumswissenschaft" (1807; reprinted in his "Kleine Schriften," II, 1869, 
808 ff.)» he defines "Alterthumswissenschaft," i. e. (classical) philology, as 
the "Inbegriff der Kenntnisse und Nachrichten, die uns mit den Handlungen 
und Schicksalen, 1 mit dem politischen, gelehrten und hauslichen Zustande der 
Griechen und Romer, mit ihrer Cultur, ihren Sprachen, Riinsten und Wissen- 
schaften, Sitten, Religionen, National-Charakteren und Denkarten bekannt 
machen, dergestalt dass wir geschickt werden die von ihnen auf uns gekom- 
menen Werke griindlich zu verstehen und mit Einsicht in ihren Inhalt und 
Geist, mit Vergegenwartigung des alterthumlichen Lebens und Vergleichung 
des spatern und des heutigen, zu geniessen". The goal of all such study, 
"das letzte Ziel," is "kein anderes als die Kennthiss der alterthumlichen 
Menschheit selbst, welche Kenntniss aus der durch das Studium der alten 
Ueberreste bedingten Beobachtung einer organisch entwickelten bedeutungs- 
vollen Nationalbildung hervorgeht". As Prof. Oertel (Lectures on the Study 



36 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

of Language, 1902, 10) aptly remarks, "Wolf conceived of Philology as the 
Biography of a Nation". The Wolfian definition was somewhat modified by 
the great philologist Boeckh; to him philology is neither archeology, nor 
linguistic study, nor criticism, nor history of literature, but its sole task 
consists in the cognition of that which the human mind has produced, ("das 
Erkennen des vom menschlichen Geist Producirten"). Boeckh's definition 
has become the common property of philologists, though here and there it 
has undergone a slight rephrasing. Thus, in the opening pages of Iwan 
M tiller's "Handbuch der Klassischen Altertums-wissenschaft", I, we read: 
"Die Philologie hat die wissenschaftliche Erkenntnis des fremden Geistes 
zum Ziel, wie er sich unter bestimmten Verhaltnissen einzeln und in Gemein- 
schaft verkorpert und in bleibenden Denkmalern ausgepragt hat: sie ist also 
wesentlich Wiedererkenntnis und Aneignung". Similarly Reinach (/. c, 1): 
"La philologie embrasse l'etude de toutes les manifestations de 1'esprit humain 
dans l'espace et dans le temps". 

6 On the subject of gesture-language comp. Darwin, The Expression of 
the Emotions in Man and Animals, 1899, 60 ff. ; Wundt, Volkerpsychologie 
I — Die Sprache I (1900), 131 ff- 

7 So Boeckh (/. c, 11): "Sieht man auf das Wesen der philologischen 
Thatigkeit selbst, indem man alle willkiirlich und empirisch gesetzten Schran- 
ken wegnimmt und der Betrachtung die hochste Allgemeinheit giebt, so ist 
die Philologie — oder, was dasselbe sagt, die Geschichte, Erkenntniss des Er- 
kannten". 

8 "La methode de recherche de l'histoire, c'est la philologie." "La linguis- 
tique, la numismatique, l'archeologie, la critique verbale, l'histoire des arts, 
des religions, des usages populaires, des faits economiques, des faits politiques, 
tout cela est tout entier dans l'histoire; done tout cela est tout entier dans la 
philologie" (L- Havet in: Revue politique et litteraire, 16 Mai 1885, 633 ff.). 
In history, the same scholar continues, "la methode ici existe, mais elle se 
dissimule". 

9 Comp. Windelband, Geschichte und Naturwissenschaft, Strassburg 1894: 
"die eine (= Naturforschung) sucht Gesetze, die andere (=: Geschichte) Ge- 
stalten". 

10 "Kunstgriffe," as Windelband (/. c.) expresses himself. 

11 ''Verstehen schlechthin ist allgemeim menschlich, wie sprechen und 

mittheilen Von diesem gemeinen Verstehen unterscheidet sich das 

philologische vor allem durch die kiinstliche Herbeifuhrung aller der Bedingun- 
gen, unter denen allein das Verstandniss moglich ist" (H. Steinthal, Die 
Arten und Formen der Interpretation, in: Verhandlungen der 32. Philolo- 
genversammlung, 1878, 25 ff.). 

12 "Der Philologe versteht den Redner und Dichter besser als dieser sich 
selbst und besser als ihn die Zeitgenossen schlechthin verstanden haben: denn 
er macht klar bewusst, was in jenem nur unmittelbar und thatsachlich vorlag" 
(Steinthal, /. c, 29). 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 3/ 

33 * (three times), x (three times), T (twice), l (four times), Q (once), 
S (three times), ft (four times), fc (once), -\ (three times), J (once). 

14 Mesha' and Siloam inscriptions, coins, Phoenician, Samaritan. 

15 Hence the finals v n t ". 

36 Acrostics in the Psalms and elsewhere; also in Nahum i? 

11 Talmud, Septuagint. Hence the Greek names Alpha, Beta, etc. 

19 Above and below the line: — (four times), _ (three times), — (once), 

— (five times), — (twice), — (twice). 
t v : 

20 Jerome and the Talmud know of no points. 

21 Superlinear, Babylonian, t*ilt?N 1133 . 

22 The Tiberian — segol and its Babylonian counterpart. 

23 Gemination , compensation ; explosive sound, the opposite whereof — the 
spirant — is sometimes marked by a horizontal stroke above the letter: ~. 

24 t — -* ~ -^ T with their Babylonian counterparts, 

25 Word and sentence-accent. 

26 Syllabication: open or closed syllable, accented or unaccented. 

27 A knowledge of syntax is a prerequisite. The same holds good of the 
metrical systems which should be discussed in an appendix. 

28 At first used sparsely; particularly frequent in late writings. 

29 Loss of sound, quiescence. 

30 Pre-Hebrew, Semitic. 

31 Division of words. 

32 Comp. Hayyuj on the pronunciation of — and Ben Asher's minute 
directions concerning the — , See the writer's "The Pronunciation of the 
Kit? according to New Hexaplaric Material", AJSL., XXVI (1909). 62 ff. 

33 Jerome, Hexapla, Septuagint. 

34 Sephardic, Ashkenazic. 

35 Vulgo: imperfect. See 11. 55. 

36 Implied in the geminated 1 ; compare the phonology. 

37 Primitively *fy\ , comp. the noun "foi ; see the phonology. 

TT 

38 Pausal for ^aj , comp. Aramaic x*l35 . 

38 fa'l; an advance on the mediaeval grammarians; aid from the cognate 
languages, with which is to be compared the Hexaplaric transliteration of seg- 
olates. 

40 Nomen actionis, nomen agentis, etc. 

41 Convergence of forms through phonetic modification (improper fa'l nouns 
originating in fa'il, for example), semantic development which leads to con- 
crete out of abstract nouns and the like, 

42 The formal side in the morphology, the functional in the following part. 

43 When they agree with our text and are not guessing. 

44 The canon artificially marks the boundary line; there is Mishnic Hebrew 
in the canon and Biblical Hebrew outside the canon, compare Bar Sira, but 



38 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

also Mishna and Baraita sporadically. Care must be had, however, lest the 
Mishnic use is itself derived from the Biblical phrase. 

45 E. g., the names of precious stones, zoological and botanical names, or 
the catalogue of articles of finery in the third chapter of Isaiah on which a 
theologian has written a work consisting of three volumes. 

M Recourse was had to certain persons (the maidservant in the house of 
Rabbi) with whom Hebrew was still a living language; or to a Bedouin. 

47 Witness the disagreement. Very often they probably acquiesced in a 
quid pro quo or an approximate rendering after the manner of the Authorized 
Version; compare, for example, the word gourd. 

48 So Ibn Koreish. 

49 Principally Ibri Janah. 

G0 Jerome found Latin words in the Scriptures. 

G1 But not necessarily so in primitive stages: the feminine suffix -a in the 
Indo-European languages is said to have come about in imitation of the word 
for wife, woman, whose root happened to end in -a; see Brugmann, Grundriss 
der Vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen, II x (1899), 
100 f. 

43 So the case-endings which primitive Hebrew possessed are absent in his- 
torical Hebrew; the same has happened, for instance, also in English. 

M At any rate conventionally; properly it should form a grammatical divi- 
sion by itself, and the syntax should be made to begin with the combination 
of sentences into a period. 

64 Nominal and verbal clauses; asseverative, negative, interrogative, etc. 

45 Pre — , after the manner of Sweet, is with me an abbreviation for: the 
form of the verb made with formative prefixes. Konig calls it the Yaktul 
form. The ordinary name "imperfect" labels it after one of its functions, 
and moreover has no place in the morphology wherfe, forms should be classified 
as forms, and not according to their function. 

** 1W DIB, Vtt" TK . 

5T The Assyrian so-called preterite (iksad, iksud) is identical in form with 
the Hebrew imperfect ( "J7D* for instance) . Apparently in the primitive 
Semitic language the pre-form was indifferent as to the time; in the historical 
languages it was, therefore, free to develop into a preterite (as in Assyrian) 
or into a subjunctive (as in Ethiopic). Hebrew itself leads to the same con- 
clusion. Simple preterital traces have been preserved in fjJipi TK which is 

■•':- t 

in no wise different from 7 fi p * 1 ; that is to say, the aoristic force does 
not lie in the verbal form, but in the accompanying adverb of time fN and 

T 

its equivalent 1 . The Greek aorist itself, we are told, originated in the 

same manner. The preterital force belongs to the augment ( £ ) which 
originally was an adverb of time, = then, to which the verbal form was 
joined enclitically. With augmentless forms the temporal force likewise came 
from the context and was not inherent in the verbal from (see Brugmann, 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY — MARGOLIS 39 

/. c, II 2 (1892), 859 f., 866 ff.; Griechische Grammatik, 3d ed., 1900, 262-267. 
Even the accentual conditions of the Greek compound which we call aorist 
seem to have prevailed in primitive Hebrew: wa yakhil (hence the loss of the 
final vowel and the shortening of the stem-vowel in the ensuing closed syl- 
lable ; hence in the case of an open penult, the accent rests there even in his- 
torical times: wa-yya-kem. See the writer's "Notes on Semitic Grammar III", 
AJSL., XIX (1902), 46, n. 4. 

68 Comp. "iex n^m in the second half of the verse. 

59 See Noldeke, Mandaische Grammatik, 451, n. 1. 

60 Comp. Menahem Ibn Saruk. s. v. IT; Ibn Ezra and Rashi, passim. 

61 This complement may be omitted in prose, and certainly in poetry. 
82 Niddah 16 b. 

63 See Cornill, Bsechiel, 123. But also in the other versions; comp. the 
writer's "Character of the Anonymous Greek Version of Habakkuk, chapter 
3" in: Old Testament and Semitic Studies in Memory of W. R. Harper, I 
(1908), 135 f. 

64 Material may be found in the works of Malbim and Ehrlich; to be used 
with caution. 

65 D1> _C ?32 D>BnnriD rVJDtPB . Comp. Rashbam, ed. Rosin, 1881, 49 (on Gen. 
37, 2). 

66 As if "ION could be construed over HIH with 12J and as if 13J "IOK 
were tantamount to lajS 10K I 

6T "Man sollte dem Dichter, trotz seiner unleugbaren Neigung fur das tJber- 
ladene, nicht den Verstoss gegen das einfachste asthetische Empfinden zu~ 
schreiben, zwei so ganz verselriedene Objekte mit einander zu verbinden." 

68 i»K-n« >zx nay . 

69 The meaning: point may itself be secondary, derived from the primary 
signification: throw, shoot, in which sense we find both the simple stem and 
the causative (I Sam. 20, 36). Of course, we are treading on unsafe ground; 
the etymology of ITllfl is involved, about which there have been many 
guesses (Assyrian aru "lead, guide", and tertu "law" is compared by 
some scholars). But ITV, miH apparently has also the meaning: 
throw water, rain; hence fHlD the early rain, zz mi'i which is a nominal 

form of the type yaf'al. Others again distinguish three different roots H*V: 
(1) throw, comp. Ethiopic warawa, modern Arabic warm; (2) causative— 
moisten, a by-form of nil > comp. for the transposition i*j;t and ply for 

example; (3) causative — teach. From the sense moisten we would obtain: 
fructify. 

70 With the -i properly geminated, compensative production. 

71 It has been said that "there is no manuscript so old as common sense". 

72 Autograph or immediate transcript, sometimes prepared by an amanu- 
ensis at dictation, compare Baruch and Jeremiah. 

73 Compare the D'TBID 'Slpl"! for example. 



4-0 THE JEWISH QUARTERLY REVIEW 

74 Scribal errors, graphic or auricular ; change of script from the Old 
Hebrew to the square; dittography; haplography; aberration of the eye to 
a line above or below; lacunae; illegibility of the "Vorlage"; etc. 

75 E. g. Chronicles compared with the sources (Pentateuch, Samuel, Kings); 
deutero graphs; n*3tWl WlDSPI • as ^bn Janah expresses himself. 

76 J. Reach, Die Sebirin der Massoreten von Tiberias, 1895. 
7T Ellipsis, pleonasm, etc. 

78 Marginal (masora parva, masora magna) or systematic (masora Unalis, 

79 'Aruk, Rashi and others. Thus, for example, Pesahim 113 a the editions 
and the two Munich MSS. read BitPB > whereas 'Aruk has Q103 (comp. 
Syriac) which reading is also found in the Columbia College MS. described 
by the writer in his "The Columbia College MS. of Meghilla", 1892, 1. 

80 Gaonic Responsa; so Sanhedrin 106 a we find in the Tesubot ha-ge~ 
onim, ed. Harkavy, the reading TMVK which is explicitly interpreted as 
a Persian feminine proper name for fpf*)N of the editions and the Munich 
(cod. 95) and Karlsruhe MSS., an impossible grammatical form. 

81 The comparatively small number of variants in the Pentateuch, for ex- 
ample, need not be taken as a proof of originality. 

83 Rabbinovicz; but see the writer's remarks in TLZ., 1908, 610 f., and in the 
Preface to his Manual of the Aramaic Language of the Babylonian Talmud, 
1910. 

83 See the writer's "Commentarius Isaacidis, etc.", 1891, 1 ff. 

84 The efforts of Baer and Cinsburg (not to mention their predecessors) 
notwithstanding. 

85 Comp. Norzi, passim. 
m See on Zechar. 14, 5. 

87 See a series of articles by the writer in ZAW., XXV (1905), 311-319; 
XXVI (1906), 85-89; XXVII (1907), 212-270; AJSL., XXII (1906), 110-119; 
XXV (1909), 33-61. 

88 Male child as in Hebrew -of t^ Jerem. 20, 15. 

TT 

89 The reference to the conception; *\2$ vir adultus. 

90 Comp. the Concordance. 

91 IB — Masoretic note; Heb. r= the Hebrew text in adequate trans- 
lation; £— Symmachus; £ = Syriac Version; H — Vulgate; gJurTargum; 
<3& — Septuagint. 

52 "Man findet gewohnlich in Hi 3 ff., eine grossere poetische Kraft als 
in Jer 20, 14 ff.; auf mich. machen die schmuckloseren, naiveren Schmerzens- 
ausbruche Jeremias einen ergreifenderen Eindruck, als die kunstvollere 
Nachahmung, die iiberlegter, aber etwas uberladen und kalt ist." 

98 Duhm's rendering. 

94 See Steinthal, L c, 31 f. 

95 For instance, the Holy One of Israel. 

99 Hagigah 13 b. 



BIBLICAL PHILOLOGY— MARGOLIS 4 1 

97 Sanhedrin 89 a. 

98 )»Sdi koSj?3 piD>D rwmvh wn« »nm» «m lam wi 13 KinnS n 

'BVim (Zohar on Num. 9, 1). 

99 ItSI^E H'D KSV tnptt P« (Shabbat 63 a). 

100 Justin Martyr, Dial. c. Tryph., c. 14: if/aets irdvra vapKiKus vevo^Kare. 

101 Origen, De principiis, liber iv; \f/t\bv ypd/J.fJa. 

102 Jerome, Ijpist. 64, c. 9: "antequam mysticam scruter intelligentiam, 
more ludaico quae scripta sunt simpliciter exponam." 

103 It occurs for the first time in Zechariah! 

104 2, 10. 10; elsewhere Prov. 19, 20; Ezra 8, 30; Esther 4, 4; 9, 23.27; I 
Chron. 12, 19; II Chron. 29, 16. 22; comp. Abot 1, 1 and elsewhere frequently. 

105 Littre has said somewhere: "II faut que le coeur devienne ancien parmi 
les anciennes choses, et la plenitude de Fhistoire ne se devoile qu'a celui qui 
descend, ainsi dispose, dans le passe. Mais il faut que l'esprit demeure 
moderne, et n'oublie jamais qu'il n'y a pour lui d'autre foi que la foi scien- 
tifique." 

106 Comp. Luzzatto's Introduction to his Commentary on Isaiah. 

107 After the manner of Aquila. 

108 In the style of the Targum.