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Dissertation Ninth.

THE MAN IN THE LINEN GARMENT.

Ezekiel 9:2

Calvin (Ezekiel 9:2) does not altogether reject the idea that this person prefigured Messiah. Theodoret’s view seems judicious. “The dress of the seventh person was that of a priest: for he did not belong to those who punished, but to those who redeemed those worthy of preservation.” In Jerome’s day it was thought to represent the Savior, “who is a priest,” says he, and quotes Psalm 110:4, very appropriately. C. D. Michaelis has remarked the customary method of carrying the inkhorn in the East in the present day. Syl. Com. Theol. Edit. Pott., volume 2, page 75. The fourth verse explains the reason why it was carried. Calvin’s allusion to the use of the mark תו, tho, (Ezekiel 9:3, 4,) is fully explained by Origen, as quoted by Montfaucon in his notes to the Hexapla. The invention which Calvin calls “puerile” is recorded by Jerome, who made good use of Origen, and added other conjectures. Rosenmuller has quoted in full the passages to which Calvin merely alludes. Pradus and Vitringa have also amply illustrated the point.

On Ezekiel 9:9, Calvin translates correctly “fined with bloods.” (Ezekiel 9:9,) Although this is the common reading, it is not without exception., חמס, chemes, “violence,” has been found instead of דמים, demim, “bloods.” A Jewish critic of some note, R. Sal. Norzi, published a critical commentary in 1742, at Mantua, and states that the reading “violence” is found in one accurate and ancient MS., and in one ancient edition. Kimchi attests the same thing; but neither De Rossi nor Kennicott were able to verify the statement. This destruction was to begin at the sanctuary, or, as the Septuagint and Theodoret understand it, with the holy ones, (ἀπο τῶν ἁγίων αὐτοῦ,) meaning the priests, who were the leaders in the desecration of the temple worship. Pradus agrees with Calvin in the reason given for the slaughter of the priests and elders first. (Ezekiel 9:6.) Although the person mentioned in Ezekiel 9:11 is clothed as before, yet the Septuagint omits the word “linen,” using simply ποδὴρη: Theodotion is satisfied with the Hebrew word Baddein, and Aquila has stola. There is a marginal reading, too, suggested by the Masoretes; but most of the codexes of Kennicott and Be Rossi support the received text, as well as the Soncine and Complutensian editions, and the Babylonian Talmud. Calvin’s translation and interpretation of this chapter is in accordance with the researches of modern critics. Maldonatus may be consulted for the opinions of Jewish writers on important words and phrases.

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