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Hebrew Langaare THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG



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Hebrew Langaare THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG 188

But while this book is thus the epitome of a whole millennium out of a nation's best inner life and

external history, and therefore a col 

a. The lection of writings, it is not a loose

Bond of aggregation with no inner bond. The

Union. purpose of each part, is one with that

of all the rest, the exaltation of right­eousness in man as the necessary complement of the holiness of a righteous God. From the Song of Deborah (Judges v.), believed to be the earliest lengthy single composition in the Old Testament to Daniel (perhaps the latest composition), the religion of Yahweh is the motif inspiring the writers. This involved two complementary conceptions: (1) Yah­weh as the national God, whom alone Israel might worship; (2) Israel as Yahweh's chosen people, therefore the most highly favored and sover­eign of all peoples, the mediator of Yahweh's bles­sings upon the nations. This was not indeed al­ways conceived in the same manner a fact implied in what precedes but religion, a particular faith, developing in clearness, intensity, comprehensive­ness, and sublimity, binds the whole into a unity so close that to eliminate a book or a part of a book is as impossible as undesirable. To excise any part would be to limit the book's variety and mar its perfection as the mirror of a nation's thought add feeling. This, of course, does not preclude the book's being the object of the profoundest study from the textual, linguistic, literary, and historical sides, as well as from a religious standpoint. And it is unfortunate that it is neceegary to say that the results of textual, linguistic, literary, and r:storical investigations are no more destructive of the Bible or its components than are the pronouncements of an architectural expert upon the structure of a cathedral which in different periods has been re­stored and extended. The archeologist labels the parts Roman, Byzantine, Norman, Gothic, etc., and his statement neither destroys the cathedral, takes away any of its parts, nor affects the sincerity of the worship performed in the edifice. Similarly the Biblical expert names the period or style of a component of Scripture, but his dictum does not (or should not) affect the religious value, still less does it remove anything from the book. (On the religious bond which connects the books of the Old Testament there is no more illuminating volume than Matthew Arnold's Literature aged Dogma, Lon­don, 1873, and often.)

From some of the books, notably Proverbs and Psalms, where the works of different persons and

periods are brought together, it is at



4. Methods once clear that certain modes of compi­of Com  lation from sources available to the

position. author were in use among the Hebrews.

In other books there is discernible the editing of earlier material. with a view to the em­phasis of certain phases of life, as when the Chron­icler employs often the exact words found in Kings, though at other times he changes the expression to suit his purpose (cf< II Chron. xxxiv. 8 12 with 11 Kings xxii. 3 7). A fine example of this process of editing is found in the Book of Judges, where the stories concerning the saviorsbf the people are used to teach a religious truth, vie., the result of defection

from fidelity to Yahweh. The utilization of mate 

rial already existing begins in Genesis, which takes in

the primitive sword song of Lamech (Gen. iv. 23 24),

the myth concerning the origin of giants (vi. 1 4),

and much other matter derived from various

sources, and continues through Ezra Nehemiah,

which quotes the decrees of the Persian monarchs.

This process is evident even in the prophetical books

(cf. Isa. ii. 2 sqq. with Mic. iv. 1 sqq.). The mate­

rial thus employed may be that afforded by oral

tradition, as in the ease of the rude fqlk songs taken

up into the Hesateuch (cf. the song of the well,

Num. xxi. 17 18); or a cycle of stories nucleated

about some noted personages, such as the prophetic

cycle of Elijah and Elisha (I Kings svii. II Kings

ii.). Duplicate narratives were sometimes woven to­

gether, as in the case of the early life of David

(see SAMUEL). Even more numerous sources were

sometimes intertwined, producing an account more

complete and variegated than any one alone pro­

vided. If critical conclusions are to be trusted,

even material derived from non Hebraic sources

was employed, though in the using it was passed

through the alembic of the national conscience and

purified from its polytheistic taint (e.g., Gen. i. iii.).

The tracing of these sources is claimed as one of

the achievements of modern Biblical Criticism (q.v.),

especially as applied to the Hexa­

g. Use of teuch (q.v.). Here it is believed that

"Strands" four main strands have been detected,

of and some of them traced into the later

Narrative. historical books of Judges, Samuel, and

Kings (qq.v.), the strands being com­

bined byan editor (or editors) or "redactor." These

constituents are known by the symbols J, E, D, P, R,

and it is now considered that such symbols repre­

sent not so much single authors as the completed

produot of a series or school of writers. Thus the J

(Jehovistic, Yahwistic, or Judean) narrative is be­

lieved to have been completed in the ninth century

B.C. in the southern kingdom, and it is prophetic

in genius, anthropomorphic (or primitive) in theol­

ogy, concrete in ethics, picturesque and vivid in

style, flowing in rhetoric, historic in aim, fond of

introducing folk songs into the history, and delight­

ing in plays on words. The E (Elohistic, Ephraim­

itic) narrative, assigned to the eighth century B.C.,

and composed in the northern kingdom, is advanced

in theology, avoiding anthropomorphism (the deity

appears in dreams, not _n person), didactic in genius,

theocratic rather than historical in aim, concise in

rhetoric, in ethics relying upon explicit commands

of the deity rather than upon custom. Some time in

the seventh century B.C. these two narratives were

fused in the JE narrative, since in the combined

representations the historical basis of the nar­

rative text in chronological order is found. This

is D (Deuteronomist), a writer or (better) school

whose labors extend far beyond the work from

which the name is taken, the present form of the

books Judges Kings being a result of this activity.

This school Heed the early narratives available as a

medium by which to convey the pragmatic teach­

ings concerning the theocracy which distinguished

the school. Thus the framework into which are

set in the Book of Judges the lives and exploits of






187 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Hebrew LanaoMe

the heroes of the story is the work of D. The latest of the four narratives is that of P (Priestly writer), believed to be of the fifth to the fourth century, and composed in Babylonia. The principal inter­ests of this school are ritual, genealogy, chronology, the sacerdotal office, and origins of institutions and laws. The portions contributed by P partake there­fore of the tabular or " schedule " style, being " formal, exact, repetitious " (C. F. Kent, ut sup., i. 45). The vocabulary is limited, statistics are frequently furnished, numbers are multiplied, dates and genealogies are given. In theology the tran­scendence of deity is emphasized; in ethics, the patriarchs and early leaders are so idealized that their transgressions are passed with the minimum of notice. To this school is assigned the union of all the sources of the Hexateuch, leaving it nearly in its present form, some time in the fifth (or early in the fourth) century B.C. While the separate narratives have the more salient characteristics thus outlined, marking off each from the other, no less noticeable are the linguistic peculiarities, each nar­rative having its own vocabulary, its own idiosyn­crasies of construction, and its choice of phrases not duplicated by the others (cf. C. F. Kent, ut sup., i. 357 sqq.; Driver, lictrodudion, chap. i., 17). The structure of the first part of the Old Testament, then, presents as a whole the appearance of formation by a rope like intertwining of strands of different periods, possessing variant characteristics and coloring.

In the prophetical books a different method of composition was the order. Not until Ezekiel was it usual to communicate the prophetic

6. Methods teaching to its recipients by writing.

in Pro  Jeremiah indeed dictated to Baruch

phetical " all the words " which up to that time and Yahweh had spoken to him (which, it

Wisdom is clearly implied, he had spoken as

Literature. they came to him) " against Israel and against Judah " from Josiah's time onward. This doubtless represents the custom of the writing prophets until Ezekiel delivery by the living voice, record in writing comes afterwards. This is confirmed by the unmistakable sense of an audience which appears in most of the prophetic deliverances, by the disconnection which is so often evident between the components of a prophetical book, and by the fragmentary nature of much of the material. The last feature is explained further by the fact that some oracles in the form in which they have been transmitted are evidently the mere outlines of fuller discourses. On the other hand, not seldom there are present a polish and literary finish which involve painstaking elaboration. These phenomena, with others, such as difference in view­point, variation in vocabulary and in literary style, have evoked much study on the part of exegetes and students; and the very perplexity thus evinced is in itself a justification of the critical conclusions involving variety of authorship in several of the prophetic books, notably those of Isaiah and Zech­ariah, which have so lightened the burden of the problems of Old Testament study. If it be true that prophetic deliveranaes were primarily oral, that later the prophet committed them to writing, that these records were kept sometimes on fugitive

rolls or leaves, then it is not remarkable that, in the general process of editing, deliverances by an un­known prophet came to be attached to those of one who was known. In this the purpose was not to deceive; the object was doubtless a laudable desire to save fugitive pieces which were in danger of being lost. By this process of editing are explained such phenomena as the attachment of chaps. xl: hzvi., relating to the exile, to chaps. .i. xxxix. of Isaiah (mainly preexilic), and the union of separate prophecies under the name of Zechariah. In the " wisdom literature " (so called from the Hebr. hokhmah, " wisdom "), consisting of Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, perhaps Canticles, and certainly some of the Psalms, all didactic in aim, both the methods of compilation and that of straightforward composi­tion are employed. Thus Proverbs (q.v.) is a colleo­tion of collections, including a treatise as introduc­tion (cf. i. 1, x. 1, xxv. 1, xxxi. 1), and bearing the marks of successive editings. The dialogue of Job (q.v.) is a single composition, unless the speeches of Elihu are an insert subsequently included. Ecclesiastes (q.v.) is a unit, except for the addi­tions in xii. 9 sqq.

In Jer. xviii. 18 is read: "For the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise,

nor the word from the prophet."

q. Author  Jeremiah here brings together the three ship. classes from whom practically all of

Hebrew literature was derived. From " the prophet " (or the prophetical school), as has been indicated, proceeded not only what appears in the English Bible as the prophetical books (Isaiah­Malachi), but also three of the four strands of the Pentateuch (J, E, D) and the historical books from Joshua to Kings (which last, be it remem­bered, were known to rabbinic Judaism as "the former prophets," with the exception of Ruth; see CANON o1P SCRIPTURE, I., 4, § 2). From "the priest" (or those whose interests were priestly) proceeded the fourth strand of the Pen­tateuch (P), Chronicles, Ezra Nehemiah, and most of the Psalms. The contribution of "the wise" was, of course, the wisdom literature. Some students would add to these a fourth class, the writers of apocalyptic literature, such as Daniel and a part of Zechariah; but this is a species of writing which is better classed as a late phase of prophecy. On this ground the inclusion by the versions of Daniel among the prophetical books has its justification, though the arrangement contravenes that of the Hebrew Bible (see CANON OF SCRIPTURE, I., 4, § 2). According to the modern critical school, closer definition of authorship for most of the Old Testament books is impossible. Thus the foregoing statement of the composition of the Pentateuch (see § 4 above) precludes authorship by Moses. The books Joshua Chronicles inclusive are named from their contents, not from the author. Neither Ezra nor Nehemiah purports to be written by the worthy whose name it bears, and the same is true of Esther and Job. Psalms is a collection from various sources, some of which are named. Most modern scholars affirm that neither Ecclesi­astes nor Canticles can be Solomonic, and therefore the title in each (if indeed Ecclesiastes claims




Hebrew Language THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG 188

to be by that king; cf. i. 1, where " son of David, king in Jerusalem " does not necessarily mean Solomon) is pseudonymous. Only the prophetical books remain to which definite authorship can be assigned, and even here only  in part. In other words, the most of Old Testament literature is anonymous.

The story of the development of Hebrew literature as given by the critical school is as follows: From the pre Mosaic period came the folk 

8. Dates songs embodied in the Pentateuch,

of Old such as the sword song of Lamech, and Testament the oral traditions respecting origins of



Literature. the world, of nations, and of tribes such as were common to the Semitic world. From the Mosaic period were transmitted the body of Mosaic precepts and decisions which were later formulated in the earliest'written codes, but were at first handled down orally from the period of wandering, and also such songs as Ex. xv. and Num. xxi. 17 18. From the immediate post Mosaic age (beginning about 1100 B.C.) came the Song. of Deborah and oral traditions respecting the conquest and the period of the Judges which followed hard after. It is regarded as probable that written records began soon after the establishment of the kingdom in the shape of official annals, and, later, temple records. About 1000 B.C. is the date of David's law of booty (I Sam. xxx. 24 25), his elegy on Saul and Jonathan (II Sam. i. 17 sqq.), and that on Abner (II Sam. iii. 33 34), and, soon after, Nathan's parable (II Sam. xii. 1 4), while the date assigned to the blessing of Jacob (Gen. xhx.), Solomon's prayer (I Kings viii. 12 sqq.), to the compiling of the book on the wars of Yahweh (cf. Num. xxi. 14) and of the book of Jasher (cf. Josh. x. 12 13); and to the Balsam discourses (Num. xxiii. xxiv.) is c. 970. The primitive codes (Ex. xiii., xa. 23 xxiii. 19, etc.) were probably first col­lected in the same period (950 900 B.C.). The beginnings of formulated history in the J narrative, and the collection of the life of Saul are placed in the middle of the ninth pre Christian century. Deut. xxxiii. is dated about 800, while to about 750 are assigned the E narrative and the cycle of Elijah and Elisha stories in their earliest form. Between 750 and 760 fall the prophecies of Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, while the latter date is believed to be that of Judges xvii xviii., and the Book of Samuel took nearly its present form about the same time. It is probable that early in the seventh century the nucleus of the Psalter was gathered, about 650 came the blending of the J and E narratives, and the Deuteronomic Code (Dent. v. or xii. xxx.) was written and adopted soon after (621 B.C.). Mean­while Nahum and Zephaniah (650 830) had taken form, Jeremiah had begun his work (625), while Habakkuk delivered his oracles about 605. The first edition of the Books of Kings is believed to have been issued about 600, and soon after Ezekiel began his work of instruction (in 592). The fall of Jerusalem was followed after no long interval by the writing of Lamentations and probably by Baruch's edition of the prophecies of Jeremiah, and the Book of Obadiah is also to be located in the same period. The exile was a time fruitful in literary

production, including the Deuteronomic redaction of Judges Kings except Ruth, the union of the J, E, and Deuteronomic narratives, the issue of Isa. xl. Iv. (or lxii.), possibly the Holiness Code (Lev. xvii~xxvi.), and other beginnings of the Priest Code. Haggai and Zechariah belong to the period follow­ing the return, or 520 518. The early part of the fifth century doubtless saw the practical completion of the Priest Code and its blending with the Holiness Code, and the completion of the second part of Isaiah (chaps. lvi. [or lxii.] lxvi.). Between 460 and 400 the Book of Ruth, the prophecies of Malachi, the documents used in Ezra Nehemiah, and chapters inserted in the first part of Isaiah (such as chap. xxxiv.) were written. The next century (400 300 B.C.) witnessed the completion of the Pentateuch by the interweaving of all the documents, the com­pletion of the books from Genesis to Kings, the issue of the prophecies of Joel, the compilation of Prov­erbs, the writing of Isa. xxiv. xxvii., and of Job, while the nucleus of the Psalter, consisting of Ps. iii. xli., was expanded by the addition of books ii. iii. (Ps. xlii. Ixxxix.), and it may be that Zech. ix. xiv. is to be put in this period. To the latter half of the century Canticles is sometimes assigned. The work of the Chronicler (I II Chronicles, Ezra Nehe­miah) is with great confidence placed about 300 B.C. Ecclesiastes is put late in the next century, Esther is not regarded as earlier than 200 150, while Daniel, considered the latest book in the canon (unless Esther postdates it), is dated 168 165, while the completion of the Psalter is put about 140. Al­though for the later books the dates given are regarded as indicated by facts which are reasonably certain, and on which there is a growing consensus, for the postponement of the beginning of literary work as exemplified in the Pentateuch the critics rely not merely on data supplied by the documents themselves, but on the general principle that ad­vancement in culture and a certain fixity of insti­tutions and life are required before writing may take form. This seems to be the law of literary development. See BIBLICAL IrrmRODUCmION, I., and the articles on the separate books, in which the positions taken above as to the dates will be found to be traversed. It was not thought desirable to have a separate article upon these differences.

GEO. W. GILMORE.

III. Hebrew Poetry: Antiquity throws little light

upon the nature of Hebrew poetry. Josephus and

some of the fathers incidentally spoke

:. Recogni  of metrical form; and medieval rabbis

tion of adduced the " parallelism of mem­

the Nature bers " as characteristic, but viewed the

of Hebrew subject from a rhetorical or exegetical

Poetry. point of view (Ibn Ezra on Ps. ii.

3; Isa. xiv. 11,); for others, however,

Biblical poetry had so little attraction that they,

like Judah ha Levi, considered that Old Testament

poetry excelled all other just because it lacked

artistic form. During and after the Reformation

exegetes were concerned only with the religious

content of the Old Testament, and it was not until

after the reaction against orthodoxy set in that

literary characteristics received attention. In 1753

appeared Bishop Lowth's still authoritative De






189 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Hebrew Languase

sacra poesi Hebrceorum (Eng. transl., Lectures on the Sacred ,Poetry of the Hebrews, 2 vols., London, 1787), in which he treated (1) the meter, (2) "the parabolic style," (3) the different kinds of poetry. Of great importance is the nineteenth lecture on the parallelism of members, which parallelism he divides into synonymous (Pa. cxiv. 1 sqq.) anti­thetic (Prov. xxvii: 6 7), and synthetic (Pa. xix. 8 11). To this work Herder furnished an excellent supplement in Vom Geist der ebrtiischen Poesie (2 vols., Dessau, 1782 83, Engt transl., The Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, Burlington, Vt., 1833). With few exceptions, mainly purely metrical questions, the topics included in this branch of Old Testa­ment study have been avoided by modern exe­getes.

With full justification Kuenen has denied Keil's contention that Hebrew poetry is the fruit of relig­ion, and that therefore the Hebrews never had any secular poetry. Keil overlooked, on the one hand, that it was in the interest of religion that the com­pilers of the Old Testament selected as its contents what seemed most important to them and no doubt also to humanity; and, on the other hand, that the

Old Testament still contains many

z. Employ  traces of non religious poetry. That

meat of song and poem had an important place

Poetry in the life of old Israel is seen from by He  the facts that historians referred to old

brews. songs, and that prophets adopted their

form. It is provable that in all con­

ditions of life the song or the chant was heard at

the wedding (Jer. vii. 34, xxv. 10; I Mace. ix. 39),

even that of a king (Pa. xlv.); lovers broke into song

(Isa. v. 1 2; Ezek. xxxiii. 32). The people sang in

the harvest field (Pa. 'lxv. 13), at the wine press

(Isa. xvi. 10; Jer. xxv. 30), at the discovery of

water (Num. xxi.17 sq.), and at the feast (Isa. v.12;

Ps. lxig. 12). Occasionally at the feast a host im­

provised the song (Amos vi. 5) or the riddle (Judges

xiv. 12), but usually singer and songstress were

engaged to entertain the guests (II Sam. xix. 35;

I Kings x. 12; Eccles. ii. 8; compare also David's

position at Saul's court). Everywhere vocal music

is the expression of joy; so closely are they related

that the bard seems to be out of place in the atmos­

phere of gloom (Amos viii. 10; Job xxi. 12; Prov.

xxv. 20). Nevertheless, death, too, called forth its

own peculiar form of poetry; the " Lament," sung

by trained mourning women (Jer. ix. 17 sqq.; cf.

Amos v. 16) no doubt in a stereotyped form. If the

deceased was a king or a hero, real poets composed

new laments (II Sam. i. 19 sqq., iii. 33 sq.; II

Chron. xxxv. 25). The sacrifice of the virgin

daughter of Jephthah was annually commemorated

in elegies (Judges id. 40); the warriors called to

one another in rhythmic shouts (I . Sam. xviii. 7,

xxi. 11, xxix. 5; Judges v. 29); on his return the

conqueror either himself sang his exploits (Gen. iv.

23; Judges xv. 16), or employed a poet, whose

songs, like that of Deborah, became the sources for

the historian (cf. Num. xxi. 14, t; Josh. x. 12 13

Judges v. 11). Satire, too, was clothed in poetry

(Judges v. 15 17; Hab. ii. 6 sqq.; Jer. vii. 29;

Ezek. xix. 1, xxvi. 17); proverbs and parables were

given in poetic measure (Judges ix. 7 sqq.; II Kings

xiv. 9 sqq.; II Sam. xii. 1 sqq., xiv. 6 sqq.), which was adopted by the prophets (Iaa. v. 1, sqq., xxviii. 23 sqq.; Ezek. xvii. 2 sqq.) and the teacher (Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), and in the practise of it Solomon was considered chief (I Kings v. 12). How valuable the Israelites themselves considered their poetry is evinced by the many collections which were made; thus, one containing dirges is mentioned II Chron. xxxv. 25; there are also the older " Book of the wars of Yahweh " (Num. xxi. 14 15) and the " Book of Jasher " (perhaps " The Book of the Upright," Joshua x. 12 13.).

The Old Testament teaches, however, that poetry found its highest development in the sphere of religion; song, music, and the dance

3. Religious were always the indispensable form of Use of the cult (Ex. xxxii.18; Judges xxi. 21;

Poetry. II Sam. vi. 5, 14); a very old song,

with which the ark was greeted, is

preserved in Num. x. 35 36; at the Ephraimitic

sanctuaries hymns were sung to harp accompani­

ment (Amos v. 23), and in Judah to that of the pipe

and flute (Isa. xxx. 29. After the return there were

temple singers (Ezra ii. 41) who sang such lyrics as

are preserved in the Psalter, a book which contains

also purely individualistic hymns (xii. 1 sqq., xvii.

12 sqg., xviii. 18 sqq., xx. 7 sqq.). From Jer. xlv.

3, which sounds like a citation, and from Lamenta­

tions, especially chap. iii., the conclusion may be

drawn that the religious lyric was well developed

long before the Exile. But religious poetry found

a yet wider field, for the style of the prophets is so

decidedly rhythmical that rhetoric immediately

glides over into poetry. No doubt this was an

inheritance from ancient prophecy, which was

accompanied by music (I Sam. x. 5; II Kings iii.

15; of. Ps. xhx. 4). The teachers of wisdom could

not dispense with poetry, hence the proverb is

expressed in gnomic form with its parables and

rhythm; even Ecclesiastes, though ordinarily col­

orless and devoid of music, now and then glides

into rhythm (Eccles. iii.. 1 8, xii. 1 1), and the

author of the Book of Job has handled a religio­

philosophical problem in such a way that he would

have been one of humanity's greatest poets had not

the theologian in him dominated the poet.

Thus it appears that any presentation of Hebrew poetry is limited to the religious literature of the Old Testament, and the results would have to be mod­ified were secular poetry as plentifully preserved as is the religious. Consequently a definite answer can not be given to the question

4. The Epic whether or not the Hebrews had a

and the drama; only this may be said, that

Drama none has been preserved, for the Song

Lacking. of Solomon, if rightly understood, is

not a drama, and Job is a collection of

monologues and dialogues held together by nar­

rative. Still, from all this the inference is not,

necessary that the Israelites in their secular poetry

had no drama, but the salient characteristic of

Semitic poetry makes the knowledge of the dramatic

art among the Hebrews extremely doubtful. The

same is true of the epic, which is hardly conceivable

in a prophetic atmosphere that as a rule excludes

every mythological element. But since at least one




Hebrew iangwwe THE NEW SCHAFF HERZOG 190

Semitic people, the Babylonians, had the epic, it seems likely that Israel, too, had once epic poetry, and reminiscences or suggestions of such a form are still found, though they are used merely for dec­orative purpose (Job iii. 8, ix. 13; Pa. lxxiv. 13 14). But if one understand by epic only hero stories in poetic form, then the Hebrews had much of such poetry. If, now, with this reservation, one would get a survey of the whole field of Hebrew poetry, he would find a good aid in the Old Testament division of this variety of literature into lyric song and proverb. The lyric ~3ong in the secular field embraces love songs, war songs, and dirges, all of

which are found in the religious area, g. Forms as given in Pa.; Ex. xv.; Deut. xxxii.;

Mentioned I Sam. ii.; Nahum i.; Hab. iii., and

in the Old Lamentations. As special kinds of

Testament. poetry the Old Testament mentions the

prayer hymn (Pa. lxxi.1; Hab. iii. 1, cf. Pa. lxxii. 20) and the song of praise (Ps. cxlv.1). The " proverb " has a far wider range. This is directed rather to the intellect than to the feeling, is com­plex, combines apparently heterogeneous elements, and gives in condensed, often enigmatical, form an experience or a moral truth (cf. I Sam. xxiv. 14; Ezek. xii. 22 23, xviii. 2; Prov. i. 1, x. 1, xxv. 1); it is used by the philosopher (Job xxvii. 1, xxix. 1), the seer (Nun. xxiii. 7, 18), the allegorizer (Ezek. xvii. 2, xxiv. 3), and the mocker (Isa. xiv. 4; Mic. ii. 4; Hab. ii. 6). The following is the range of the use of the proverb: (1) in sentences like those just given, riddles, and dark sayings (Prov. i. 6); (2) it means the riddle proper (Judges xiv. 12 sqq.; I Kings x. 1); (3) it stands for fables (Judges ix. 7 8; Il Kings xiv. 9 10); (4) for parables (II Sam. xii. 1 sqq., xiv. 6 sqq.; Isa. v. 1 sqq., xxviii. 23 sqq.); (5) for allegories (Ezek. xvii. 2, xxiv. 3); (6) for satires and mockeries (Hab. ii. 6); (7) for expressions of wisdom (Pa. xlix.; Prov. i~ix.; Eccles.; Job); (8) for didactic presentation of history (Pa. xcv., lxxviii.); (9) and for prophetic literature (Nun. xii. 8, xxiii. 7, 18; Dan. v. 12). But the line between the lyric and the proverb is not sharply drawn, and the two overlap and interchange.

Absolute certainties about the artistic form of Hebrew poetry are very few; still it may be said that criticism has established the following facts:

(1) Poetry is not satisfied with ordi­6. Charac  nary diction, but searches for sonorous,

teristics of rare, ancient expressions; it often uses Hebrew a different relative, longer pronominal Poetry. suffixes, different nominal endings, and

has a preference for alliteration, asso­nances and word pictures; of a conscious use of rime for metrical purposes there is no trace. (2) Owing to its kinship to music and the dance, poetry demands a form controlled by rhythm. But here is the least known area, for, whereas the Arabs had a developed meter long before they knew how to write, the Old Testament poetry takes such form that many have given up all hope of finding a meter at all, in the place of which they discover merely the " thought rhythm," the so called " parallelism of members." The simplest form of this is the synonymous parallelism, in which the second part of the line or verse repeats in different form the



sense of the first (Pa. ii. 4; Job vi. 8; Isa. v. 7; Song of Sol. viii. 6); at times only a part of the first line is repeated (Job iii. 8), or the picture is followed by the fact (Prov. ii. 22; Job vii. 9); at times the two members bear the same relation to each other as the obverse and the reverse of a coin (Song of Sol. vii. 10). A second form is known as the antithetical, in which the sense of the two mem­bers is opposed (Pa. xviii. 27; Prov. xi. 1). Besides these two varieties, Lowth names a third, the syn­thetic, in which the members merely hang together without being parallel or antithetic (cf. Pa. iii. 2, xi. 3, xxix. 1; Job xiii. 16, xxxiii. 29; Prov. ii. 31; Ex. xv. 16). Ordinarily the parallelism has two members, at times three (Song of Sol. iv. 10; Ps. ii. 2, vi. 6, liv. 3), four (Ps. cxiv. 1 2; Deut. xxxii. 11; Judges v. 4, 14), and even as many as six (Lam. i.1). (3) Altogether different is the problem, however, if the search is for the resolution of Hebrew poetry into a true rhythm and if parallelism is regarded merely as a frequent accompaniment. Merx, for example, sees in parallelism merely a rhetorical law which may accompany, but does not constitute, the poetic form, and Grimme goes so far as to deduce parallelism directly from the rhythm. Here appears the question often affirmatively answered, and as frequently answered in the negative, whether or not a meter can be pointed out in Hebrew poetry. The assertion that the Israelites had a verse measure is old. Josephus says that Moses wrote two poems in hexameter (Ex. xv.; Deut. xxxii.), and David some in trimeters, and others in pentameter. Similar claims are found in Eusebius and Jerome; and the latter discovers in Job the hexameter, in Lam. i., ii., iv., the Sapphic measure, and in Lam. iii. the trimeter. It must be remembered, however, that, on the one hand, these authors were endeavor­ing to remove the prejudice of their readers against the Hebrew, and, on the other, that only by com­paring the Hebrew with the Greek could they make Hebrew poetry intelligible; nevertheless their tes­timony, especially that of Jerome, is of importance. It goes without saying that the discovery of a meter would be a great help to the textual critic and the exegete, consequently a number of scholars have set themselves the task of searching for the key to this mystery. They fall into two groups, the one of which (represented by Merx, Bickell, Gietmami) tries to find the same meter as is found in Syriac poetry, Servian hero tales, and new Romance poetry where the rhythm is produced by a definite number of syllables. Bickell, the ablest champion of this theory, claims that in the verse every other syllable is accented, and that in the foot the accent always falls on the penultimate; consequently, that in verses of even number of syllables the measure would be trochaic, in those of uneven number, iambic; and he has formulated a complete system of rules, in accordance with which different syllables may at times be dropped, the half vowels counted or omitted, the suffixes changed, and so on. The other group (Ley, Neteler, Briggs, Grimme, Duhm, Bertholet, Gunkel) counts only the tone beat, regarding the unaccented and slightly accented syllables between the tone beats as unessential to the meter. Ley has found hexameters, octameters,




191 RELIGIOUS ENCYCLOPEDIA Hebrew language

decameters, and elegiac pentameters, which may be divided into smaller parts and interchange with one another: Grimme, however, has his strophes consist of from two to four verses with from two to five tone beats, but thinks that the verses must have the same measure; consequently verses of four beats and three beats, or of four and five beats, are not interchangeable, while those of four may interchange with verses of two beats, and verses with five beats (2+3) interchange with verses of two and three beats. In general agreement with this scheme are the conclusions of the exhaustive investigation of Sievers, who found, however, a definite rhythm, fitted both for song and recitation, the so called pseudo anapest meter. But too much caution can not be exercised in judgment of these systems, for in all there are admitted difficulties. Every system of metrics rests not only upon laws, but upon incalculable quantities, which no acuteness can discover where every tradition is wanting. But difficulty attends search for the laws of expres­sion, inasmuch as the original pronunciation is no longer certainly known. Moreover, the text is by no means certain; in places it is demonstrably corrupt. Another difficulty is found in the uncertain bound­aries of Hebrew poetry. The Masoretes have fur­nished only Psalms, Proverbs, and Job with poetical accentuation; but this is decidedly erroneous, since other books contain poetry. In different composi­tions different forms may be expected, as, for instance, in the recited speech and the chanted song; and while it is undoubtedly true that most proph­ecy contains true poetry, it is hardly conceivable that the authors felt themselves bound to any par­ticular meter. Bickell is able to remove all of these objections by citing Syriac analogies, but proof is entirely lacking that the Hebrews had the same method of making poetry as the Syrians. Moreover, Bickell is forced to ignore the Masoretic notations, and his system is absolutely irreconcilable with Josephus's and Jerome's statements. More probable is the other system, though Ley and Grimme with their rules go far beyond recognized knowledge. In favor of this system there are strong reasons: in the first place, the Masoretic accentuations can be utilized; in the second place, good results are ob­tainable in spite of a doubtful text; and it is hardly to be denied that double verses of three plus three tone beats occur so frequently that they may be conceived as governing the normal meter of the Israelites; and besides, the system harmonizes with the statements of Josephus and Jerome. To this it must be added that there are remarkable analogies in Babylonian literature Another form of Hebrew poetry, the so called Vinah or dirge meter, has been richly illuminated through the investigations of Budde. This is a common line followed by a shorter broken one, usually three tone beats fol­lowed by two, in which Ley and Grimme see lines of five tone beats (Amos v. 2; Ezek. xix. 2; Isa. i. 21 sqq., xiv. 4 sqq.; Lam. i. iv.); this measure seems most fit to represent the mood of the mourn­ing women. When this meter is found in such poems as Ps. xix. 7, sqq. Ixv. 5 8, lxxxiv. 1 sq., ci.; Isa. xxxii. 9 14, it is to be regarded as merely a poetic device. (5) Finally the Old Testament has

alphabetical (acrostic) poems, Ps. ix. x., xxv., xxxiv.,

xxxvii., oxi., cxii.,cxix.,cxlv.; Lam. i. iv.; Prov. xxxi.

10 sqq., and no doubt Nahum i. 2 ii. 3 (according

to Bickell also Ecclus. li.13 20). Among these are

many. variations, from such Psalms as cad. and cxii.,

in which a new letter begins every half verse, to

Ps. cxix., where every letter is eight times repeated

as an initial. In some the alphabetical order is

barely visible (Ps. ix. sq.; Nahum i), a fact which

can be due only to faulty transmission; indeed, it

seems that Gunkel and Bickell have been able prac­

tically to reconstruct the Nahum passage. These

alphabetical songs tell further that the poets devel­

oped the stanza in its unity, and in complexity

carried it at least as far as to the length of sixteen

lines, as in Pa. cxix.; a further development was the

refrain used in Ps. x&i. 5, 11, xiiii. 5, 11, lit. 9, 17,

lxB%. 3, 7, 19; also in the Prophets, Amos i. 3, 6.

A variation of this is found in the repetition of the

opening verse (Isa. v. 8, 11, 18, 22; Hab. ii. 9, 12,

15). Considering such facts as these, many students

have followed Kc6ster in supposing that all Old

Testament poetry must be composed of stanzas;

but a difference of opinion has arisen upon the ques­

tion whether single lines (so Sommer, Delitzsch)

or the distich or tristich (so Hupfeld) should be

considered the unit of the stanza. This question

has found an elaborate treatment in D. H. Miiller's

Die Propheten in ihrer ursprunglichen Form (Vienna,

1896), but his results appear to be as doubtful as

Bertholet's division of Ezek. xv. and Bickell's and

Duhm's of Job iii. (F. BUHL.)
BrswoaaArey: 1. From the comparative standpoint 0on­suit: W. Gesenius, Geachichte der hebraiachen Sprade and Schrdft, Leipsic, 1815; E. Renan, Hist. p&t&rala des lanpun ainitiques, Paris, 1863; B. 8tade, Ernauta prafunp des swriachen dam ph6nisiachen and hebrdiw5an Verwan& schaftaprades, Leipsic, 1875; F. Hommel, Die senitieden V6iker and Sprachen, Leipsic, 1883; P. de Lagarde, Ueberadt t1ber die im Aramduck Arabiaoh and Hebrdiech 4bliche Bildunp der Nomina, GSttingen, 1889; W. Wright, Lacturroa on the Comparative Grammar of the Semitic Lan­guages, Cambridge, 1890; J. Barth, Die Nominolbildunp in den aemitisehen Sprachan, Leipsic, 1894 ; O. E. Lind­berg. Verpleichende GrammaSk der aemitiachen Sprachen, Gothenberg, 1898; H. Zimmern, Verpuichende Gram 

der umi&ehen SPrarhan, Berlin, 1898; T. N51­deke, Die semitisohen Bprachen, Leipsio, 1899.

On the history of the study of the Hebrew language: H. Ewald and L. Dukes, Beitrape our OewAidue der dlfss­ten Auelepunp and Spraduerkldrunp des A. T., Stuttgart, 1844; H. Hupfeld, De rei gramnwtiea aped judasos inigis antiquissimisqw eaipOribua, Halle. 1846; L. Geiger, Das Studium der hebrdiachen Sprache in Deutsrhland, Breslau, 1870; A. Berliner, Beitrdge sur hebr*iac7wa Gramemetik in Talmud and Midreach, Berlin, 1879; 13. Baer and H. L. Struck, Dikduke ha teamim des Ben Ascher, Leipsie, 1879; W. Basher, Die hebritiache Sprachwiasenaehaft room 10. bi, sum IB. Jahrhundert, Leipsic, 1892; idem, Die An/d»pe der hebrdiachon Grammatik ib. 1895; E. Nestle, Mar­pinalien undMateriakn, TObingen, 1893 Grammars and lexicons are by: W. Gesenius, Hebrdie&e Grammatik, Leipsic, 1813, 26th ed. by E. Kautaacb,1902, Eng. trenel., Edinburgh, 1880; idem, Ausfflhrlidtes prammatiach kriti­srhea Lehr9eb4ude der h0brdisehen Spraauis, ib. 1817; idem, Thesaurus philologiew mitieus lingua hebraxa . .

V. T.,ib. 1835 58; J. Oleheueen, Lebrbueh der hebrdisehen SpraAe, Brunswick, 1861; F. B5tteher, Auef ahrliehea Lehr­buch der hebrdischen Sprarhe, 2 vols., Leipsie, 1866 e8; H. Ewald Lelwburd der habraieclwn Smache, Gottingen, 1870, Eng. trand., Edinburgh, 1879; B. 13tade, Lehrbuch der hebrdiaehen Grammatik Leipsie, 1879; E. Kbnig, Lehr­pebdude der hebrdiaden Sprache, ib. 1881 97; A. Mailer, Outlines of Hebrew Synhx, Edinburgh, 1888; $. R. Driver, Use of fns Tenon in Hebrew, London, 1892; F. Brown,




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