Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 106:424 (Oct 1949)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

The Holy Scriptures. Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia. $1.50.

Although this new Jewish version of the Old Testament was purchased solely for reference, it soon displaced all my other versions for regular use. The chairman of the committee that made it was my fellow-student at Johns Hopkins University, and I felt sure that the translation would be a good one. It is—its very accuracy sometimes causes it to agree more closely with the New Testament than all the other versions that I have. Furthermore it represents the original Hebrew version exactly in every detail.

It has three divisions: the Law, the Prophets and the Sacred Writings. Naturally that alters the arrangement of most of the books; it removes Daniel from the Prophets and puts it in the third group, where the Chronicles are also located. Chapter divisions and verse numbers differ from other versions in some slight measure, but they fit the text and do not affect the story.

This version does have some blemishes. It continues the mistaken practice of translating Hebrew names with the addition of a definite article. Joshua’s name was Joshua BenNun, i.e., Son-of-Nun, a patronymic, not a record of descent. Shealtiel adopted or requisitioned his nephew, the son of a younger brother, as his son and heir; hence he became Zerubbabel BenShealtiel. But that did not make him, as the law allowed him to be regarded, a begotten son of his new father. The record is clear in 1 Chronicles 3:19.

In that same connection this version, like the Standard, has an unfortunate error. Assir was not Jehoiachin. Jeremiah was bidden to write the latter childless, to have no son to sit on the throne of David (22:30). That did not prohibit daughters. They did not count. Acting in accordance with Hebrew law he could take the son of a younger

brother as his own, which is doubtless what he did, his name being Assir. (Two Levites bore that name.) If Assir died without male issue the levirate law came into the case. That explains Luke’s Neri. He must have been the next of kin; and his first-born, Shealtiel, would be Assir’s son, not his. That fits the record and explains things.

Jehoiakim was also cursed so as to have no posterity to sit on the throne of David (Jer 36:30), and that must be reckoned with also. The curse had to include more than Assir. Tradition includes a levirate marriage somewhere in the line, and this is the place for it. It explains Luke’s genealogy. Incidentally, it explains Matthew’s treatment of Mary. She could not ...

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