Emil Schürer.

A history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) online

. (page 20 of 51)
Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 20 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

editioncm LXX. interpretum ex Tetraplis desumtam, ex codice
Syro-Estranghelo Billiothccac Amhrosianae Syriace edidit, etc.,
Caj. Bugatus, MedioL 1788). A photo-lithographic copy of the
whole manuscript has been published by Ceriani {Codex Syro-
Hexaplaris Amlrosianus photolithographice editus, Mediol. 1874,
as vol. vii. of the Monum. sacra et p'fof^. Fritzsche in his
edition of the Apocrypha, gives both the Greek texts (LXX.
and Theodotion) of Susannah, Bel and the Dragon, and the
Septuagint only, with the various readings of Theodotion, of
the Prayer of Azarias, and the Song of the Three Children,
in which Theodotion has made but few alterations, Comp.
on the editions of the Greek text {i.e. of Theodotion), p. 10

Ancient translations. A Vetus Latinv.s, only fragmentary in
Sabatier, Biblior. sacror. Latinae versiones anticpuae, vol. ii. The
Greek original is Theodotion. Jerome has likewise translated
the Greek additions from Theodotion and admitted them,
marked with the obelus, into his translation of Daniel from the
Hebrew. See his remarks, ed. Vallarsi, ix. 1376, 1399. On the
editions of the Syriac common text, see above, p. 11. The
Syriac translation of the Story of Bel and the Dragon, from a
collection of ]\Iidrasbim, is also found in ISTeubauer, The Book of
Tohit, 1878, pp. 39-43.

Tor the exegesis in general, see above, p. 11. Commentary:
Fritzsche, Excget. Handluch zu den Apocryphen, Pt. i. Leipzig
1851. The other literature: Znuz, Die gottesdienstlichen Vortrdge
der Juden (1832), p. 122 sq. Delitzsch, De Halacuei prophetae
vita atque aetate (Lips. 1842),' pp. 23 sqq., 105 sqq. Frankel,
Monatsschr. f. Gesch. und Wissensch. des Judenth. 1868, pp.
440-449 (on Susannah). Wiederholt, Tlicol. Quartalschr. 1869,
pp. 287 sqq, 377 sqq. (History of Susannah); 1871, p. 373 sqq.
(Prayer of Azarias and Song of the Three Children); 1872, p.
554 sqq. (Bel and the Dragon). Ptohling, Das Buch des Prop)heieii
Daniel, 1876. Brlill, "Das apokryphische Susannabuch" {Jahrbb.
filrjud. Gesch. undLiteratur,I't. iii. 1877, pp. 1-69; also separate).
The Introductions of Jahn, Eichhorn, Bertholdt, Welte, Scholz,


Noldeke, De "Wette-Sclirader, Eeuscli, Keil, Kaulen, Kleinert,
Keuss (see above, p. 12).

4. The Prayer of ManasseTi.

In like manner as the prayers of I\Iordecai and Esther
were interpolated as supplements to the Book of Esther, and
the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Children to
that of Daniel, so was a' prayer of Manasseh, in which the
king in his captivity humbly confesses his sin before God
and prays for pardon, composed as a completion of 2 Chron.
xxxiii. 12, 13. There was the more occasion for the com-
position of such a prayer, since it is stated in 2 Chron. xxxiii.
18, 19, that the Prayer of Manasseh is written in the history
of the kings of Israel and in the Chronicle of Hosal The
prayer stands in most manuscripts in the appendix to the
Psalms, where many other similar fragments are collected (so
e.g. in the cod. Alexandrimis).

The Prayer is first quoted in the Constitut. apostol. ii. 22,
where it is given in its literal entirety. For later Christian
testimony to its canonicity, see Fabricius, Biblioth. Grace, ed.
Harles, iii. 732 sq. In the authorized Eomish Vulgate it is in
the appendix to the Bible, after the New Testament (like 3 and
4 Ezra).

The Latin translation, which has passed into the Vulgate, is
" of quite another kind from tlie usual old Latin, and is
certainly of more recent origin" (Fritzsche, i. 159). Sabatier
lias compared three manuscripts for it {Bihlior. sacror. Lat. vers,
ant. iii. 1038 sq.).

The editions and the exegesis are the same as of the other
Apocrypha. Commentary : Fritzsche, Exegct. Handhuch zu den
Apocryphen, Pt. i. Leipzig 1851.

For other legends (Jewish and Christian) with respect to
Manasseh, see Fabricius, Cod. pseudcjngr. i. 1100-1102. Id.
BiUioth. gr. ed. Ilarl. iii. 732 sq. Fritzsche, Handh. i. 158.

5. The Boole of Baruch,

The Greek Book of Baruch properly belongs to the class of
Pseudepigraphic prophets, and is distinguished among them
by its very meritorious contents. AVe place it here as being,


at least according to its second half, of Graeco - Jewish
origin, and as having been admitted into the Greek Bible as a
canonical book.

The whole claims to be the composition of Baruch, the
confidential friend and companion of the prophet Jeremiah.
Its contents are tolerably miscellaneous, and are divided into
two halves, the second of which again comprises two sections.
The first half (chaps, i. 1-iii. 8) begins with a superscription,
in which what follows is described as a Book of Baruch,
which he wrote in the fifth year after the destruction of
Jerusalem by the Chaldeans (i. 1, 2). This book was read by
Baruch before King Jeconiah and all the exiles in Babylon ;
and the reading produced such an iitipression, that it was
resolved to send money to Jerusalem, that sacrifices and
prayers might there be offered for King Nebuchadnezzar and
his son Belshazzar. At the same time the Jews dwelling in
Jerusalem were enjoined to read out in the temple on the
feast days the writing therewith sent (i. 3—14). This writing,
which is next given in full, is evidently identical with that
read by Baruch, and therefore announced in the superscrip-
tion.^^ It is an ample confession of sin on the part of the
exiles, who recognise in the fearful fate which has overtaken
themselves and the holy city, the righteous chastisement of
God for their sins, and entreat Him again to show them
favour. They confess especially that their disobedience to the
King of Babylon was a rebellion against God Himself, because
it was His will that Israel should obey the King of Babylon
(ii. 21-24). The second half of the book (chaps, iii. 9 -v. 9)
contains instruction and consolation for the humbled 'people :
{a) Instruction — Israel is humbled, because they have forsaken

^* The writing announced in the superscription and read by Baruch
cannot, as many critics suppose, be chap. iii. 7 sqq. For the effect of the
reading is, that a sacrifice for Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar is resolved
upon, and this can only refer to chap. ii. 21-24. The superscription
1. 1, 2, too, is by no means in accordance with iii. 9 sqq., this latter section
giving no kind of hint of its having been written by Bai'uch. Comp. Reuss,
G'esch, dir Jteil. Sckrf ten .Alien Testaments, § 510.


the source of wisdom. True wisdom is with God alone. To
it must the people return (iii. 9-iv. 4). (h) Consolation —
Jerusalem is not laid waste for ever, nor are the people to be
always in captivity. They must take courage, for the scat-
tered members shall again be assembled in the Holy Land
(iv. 5-v. 9).

The second half is joined to the first without any inter-
vening matter at chap. iii. 9. An internal connection only
so far exists, that both halves presuppose the same historical
situation, viz. the desolation of Jerusalem and the carrying
away of the people into captivity. In other respects however
they stand in no connection with each otlier, and it is
hardly conceivable that they formed from the first part of
the same whole. To this must be added, that the style and
mode of expression widely differ, being in the first half
Hebraistic, and in the second fluent and rhetorical Greek.
Hence Fritzsche, Hitzig, Kneucker, Hilgenfeld and lleuss have
correctly inferred, that the two halves are the works of
different authors. Nay, one might feel inclined, with Hitzig,
Kneucker and Hilgenfeld, to regard even the first half as no
single work, but to look upon chap. i. 3—14 as a later inter-
polation. Tor it cannot be denied that the narrative of the
reading of the Book of Baruch and of the effect produced
thereby, comes in like an interruption between i. 1, 2 and
i. 15-iii. 8. After the superscription i. 1, 2, the book itself
is expected. A discrepancy of statement also ensues owing
to the inserted narrative, the destruction of the temple
being assumed by the book itself (i. 2, ii. 26), and the
continuance of the sacrificial service by the narrative (i.
10-14). But lastly, all these inconsistencies are possible in
une and the same author; and other matters, such especially
as the like dependence on Daniel in i. 11, 12 and i, 15-
ii. 20 favour identity of authorship.

Most of the older critics adopt the view of a Hebrew
original for the whole ; and Kneucker, in spite of his assump-
tion of three different composers, firmly maintains it, nay.


tries with much care to reconstruct the Hebrew original.
There are however sufficient points of contact for this in the
first half only. The second half is evidently a Greek original.
Hence we are constrained, with Fritzsche, Hilgenfeld and
Eeuss, to admit, concerning the origin of this book, that its
first half was originally composed in Hebrew, then translated
into Greek, and completed by the addition of the second

In determining the date of its composition, its close depend-
ence on the Book of Daniel is decisive. There are in it corre-
spondences with the latter, which make the employment of it
by the author of Baruch indubitable. Especially is there an
almost verbal agreement between Dan.'ix. 7-10 and Baruch
L 15-18. The juxtaposition too of Nebuchadnezzar and
Belshazzar is common to both books (Dan. v. 2 sqq. = Baruch
i. 11, 12). That so thoroughly original and creative a mind
however as the author of the Book of Daniel should have
copied from the Book of Baruch is certainly not to be
admitted. Thus we have already arrived at the Maccabaean
period, and most Protestant critics stop there (so e.g. Fritzsche,
Schrader, Keil). But the situation assumed in the Book of
Baruch by no means agrees with the Maccabaean era. The
Book of Baruch, and especially its first half, with which we are
first of all concerned, pres2cpposes the destruction of Jerusalem
and the leading of the people into captivity (i. 2, ii. 23, 26).
In this catastrophe the people recognise a judgment of God
for their sins, and particularly for their rebellion against the
heathen authority, which God Himself had set over Israel
(ii. 21-24). The penitent people hasten therefore to order
sacrifices and prayers for their heathen rulers (i. 10, 11).
All this — as the destruction by the Chaldeans is out of
question — only suits the time after the destruction of Jerusalem
hy Titus. This very catastrophe was moreover brought about
by the rebellion of the people against the heathen authorities.
And the special act of rebellion was, as Josephus expressly
states, the doing away with the daily sacrifice for the Eoman


emperor {Bell. Jad. ii. 17. 2-4; comp. above, Div. ii. vol. i.
p. 302 sq.). In this political revolution our author saw a
rebellion against the will of God, and therefore in the fearful
catastrophe, the righteous judgment of God upon it. And he
sought, by all he relates of the exiles in the time of Baruch, to
bring this view to bear upon his fellow-countrymen. It must
therefore certainly be admitted, as by Hitzig and Kneucker, that
this book was written after the year a.d. 70. For the quite
non-historical juxtaposition of Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar,
recalling the relation of Vespasian and Titus, also agrees with
that date. The narrative that in the straits of war parents
ate the flesh of their children (ii. 3) frequently recurs indeed
in the description of the horrors of war, but is also found just
in the description of the siege of a.d. 70 by Josephus {Bell.
Jvd. vi. 3. 4).

What has been said applies chiefly to only the first half of
the book. But the second half also essentially assumes the
same situation, viz. the desolation of Jerusalem and the
leading of the people into captivity (iv. 10-16). Its object
is to ffive instruction and consolation in view of these events.
Hence its composition cannot well be placed much later than
that of the first half. At all events this second half is later
than the Salomonian Psalter. For Baruch v. agrees almost
verbally with Psalt. Salom. xi. ; and the dependence must,
by reason of the psalm-like character and the probably
primitive Hebrew of the Salomonian, Psalter, be sought for on
the side of the Book of Baruch.

The fact that it found acceptance in the Christian Church
is not opposed to our conclusion as to the somewhat recent
composition of the book. For exactly the same thing took
place in the case of the Apocalypse of Baruch and the fourth
Book of Ezra.

The existence of a Hebrew text of this book is disputed by
Jerome, see pracf. comment, in Jercm. (Vallarsi, iv. 834) :
Libellum autem Baruch, qui vulgo editioni Septuaginta copu-
latur nee haljetur apud Hebraeos. Idem, ^"'^c/- '^'^ version.


Jercm. (Yallarsi, ix. 783) : Librum autem Baruch notarii ejus,
qui apud Hebraeos nee legitur nee habetur. So too Epiphanius,
De mensuris et ponderibus, § 5: rujv 6pr,mv alrov xal ruv swisroXuv
Bapo-jx, i'>M' ou XiTvrai siTt6To\ai "Kap 'EiSpccloig. But both JeroniB
and Epiphanius for the most part try only to prove that the
book was not in the Hebrew canon. Certainly they seem to
have known of no Hebrew text at all, but that does not prove
that none ever existed. For its existence may be cited the
remark found three times in the Milan manuscript of the Syrus
hexaplaris (on i. 17 and ii. 3), " this is not in the Hebrew "
(see Ceriani's notes to his edition in the Monum. sacra et prof.

i. 1, 1861). . ^ , .

Among the Jews {i.e. among the Hellenistic Jews ?) this
liook, together with the Lamentations of Jeremiah,_ was, accord-
intr to the testimony of the Apostolic Constitutions, read at
public worship ou the 10th Gorpiaios

Online LibraryEmil SchürerA history of the Jewish people in the time of Jesus Christ .. (Volume 2 pt.3) → online text (page 20 of 51)