Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

St. Jerome, Commentary on Daniel (1958). Migne Footnotes. pp. 159-189.

Mign Footnotes

P. 491

A.  This interpretation of Daniel, which has been preserved by a single book in a connected series, receives laudatory mention by Cassiodorus in chapter three of the Institutes as a work divided into three sections. We have treated it and revised it according to very ancient manuscript codices noted beforehand, one of which is Vatican no. 333, and the other the Palatine-Vatican no. 175.

B.  The Palatine MS does not recognize the words "prior to these authors."

P. 492

C.  The Vatican MS seems to prefer henikn [a rare word for "single," in the feminine].

D.  The excellent and ancient Corbio MS adds the name of God, for it reads skhisesi theos... .intended for skhisas se, skhisei se Theos ["cleaving thee, God shall cleave thee"].

P. 493

A. Montfaucon feels that Jerome in this passage is inconsistent, because even though he had just said that the churches do not read Daniel according to the Septuagint version but according to Theodotion's, yet he straightway adds that all the churches of Christ, both Greek and Latin, Syrian and Egyptian, use the Vulgate edition (which is understood to be that of the Septuagint), augmented by Origen from the edition of Theodotion and amended by obeli and asterisks. Now this statement, Montfaucon alleges, is very difficult of credence if it is to be understood of the use of the book in public assemblies of the Church, for how could two editions of the same prophet be read indiscriminately in all the churches? Moreover it is certain that Jerome himself in his Commentary, chap. 4, verse 5, mentions the tradition that, "By the judgment of the masters |160 of the Church the Septuagint edition contained in this volume has been rejected, and it is the Theodotion edition which is commonly read, since it agrees both with the Hebrew and the other translators." He thinks that the contradiction is to be resolved in this way, that when the statement is made that the Vulgate edition revised by Origen is read by all the churches of Christ, both of the Greeks and Romans, we are to understand that that edition was commonly current, but read privately rather than in public assemblies, where only Theodo-tion's edition held the field. Such was the case among the Greeks, at any rate, as evidenced by the holy Greek fathers, especially Chrysostom and Theodoret, who cite no other edition (but Theodotion's). But it is my contention that this was not what Jerome meant at all, and that there is no difficulty in this passage. For there is no mention here of a Vulgate edition of Daniel by itself, but rather of a Vulgate which is of Septuagint origin in all the other books but in the case of Daniel alone is drawn from Theodotion's translation. Thus it is that, so far as Daniel is concerned, the Vulgate edition and Theodotion's version are one and the same. I do not suppose that even the illustrious Montfaucon would deny this fact, for it is very clear both from the attestations which Jerome praises and from this entire preface, as well as other things rendered into Latin by Jerome relative to Daniel himself, that the Vulgate edition appropriated all the other books of Scripture from the Septuagint, but only the book of Daniel from Theodotion. Therefore the Vulgate edition is itself Theodotion's edition. Consequently in the passage under discussion, when the holy Doctor asserts that Origen in the Vulgate edition placed asterisks and obeli about Theodotion's work, the statement can by no means be understood as applying to this particular book of Daniel. For how could it have happened, [Latin unclear here owing to some misprint] or at least what a redundant procedure it would have been, for Origen to place obeli and asterisks around Theodotion's edition in the edition of Theodotion (for there was no other Vulgate edition of the book)? It is therefore abundantly evident that his remarks here pertain to the whole work of Scripture, and it is upon his Vulgate edition that Adamantius |161 [a prenomen of Origen] expends this labor. Jerome witnesses to the fact that that edition was the Hexaplar, and no one is any longer ignorant of the fact that it was approved and publicly read by the churches, both Greek and Latin, Syrian and Egyptian, each in their own tongue. Moreover the context further on shows very clearly that it is the Scripture as a whole which is receiving praise, not the book of Daniel alone. To be sure Jerome takes occasion from Theodotion's unbelief to commend his own work to students all the more earnestly, or else to defend it against rivals. For if, as he pointed out, the scholarly industry of that heretic won him such great favor with the churches that in Origen's opinion he might be approved as useful not only in Daniel but in the other books (of the Old Testament), how much more ought Jerome himself, being a Christian, to be favorably received; especially in view of his following the example of Origen in desiring his own countrymen to have "what the Greeks publicly read in the editions of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus."

P. 494

B. Previously read as Suctorius, and incorrectly so; for Sutorius was distinguished from Callinicus as if they were two authors. However this Callinicus is a Syrian or Arabic sophist who flourished in the reign of Gallienus, and who not only wrote other works but also a history of Alexandria in ten books dedicated to Cleopatra, and it is to these that Jerome here refers. The man was surnamed Soutorius, as Suidas observes.

P. 495

A. The Palat. MS has tessarakaidekas (instead of tessaradekas). Victorinus indeed has noted that both Jechonias is called by Matthew "Joachim" (with whom the second group of fourteen ends, at the time of the Babylonian deportation) and also his own son Joachim (with whom after the aforesaid deportation the third [reading tertia for the meaningless tertiae] group begins); and that likewise in IV Reg. xxiii [II Kings 23] both men are called "Joacim" by the Septuagint. Porphyry, not noticing this, as he takes it that Jechonias stands for one and the same person in Matthew, asserted |162 that a generation was missing after Jechonias, or else tried to indict Matthew on the charge of error.

B.  Our MSS continue Jerome's exposition, omitting this short verse.

C.  Victorinus attributes the reading in Dei domum Dei sui ("to the house of the god, his god") by no means to the Vulgate edition alone, but to the three MSS whose accuracy he praises.

P. 496

D.  Our MSS complete the rest of the text of Daniel necessary to the exposition. Moreover the Vatican reads Abeisdri; the Palatine along with the Sangermane MS in Montfaucon's possession reads Abiesdri in Latin letters. Likewise a little further on, the Vatican reads Porthomim, whereas the Palatine with the Sangermane reads Porthommim.

E.  Our MSS ignore the name of "Babylon" here.

F.  Sapharatphaneb is the reading given in the [printed?] editions, incorrect according to the Hebrew; whereas Jerome here put Somtonphanec in accordance with the Septuagint. Mar-tianus says that two MSS read Somtophanes.

P. 497

A.  Vatic. reads: baneraem; Palat.: banarehem [postulating Aramaic, "sons of thunder"].

B.  Palat. inserts "of Ham and" (sapientiam Cham et Aegyptiorum).

C.  Here again our MSS supply the rest of the verse. P. 498

D.  On the basis of the Brescian MSS and older editions Victorinus prefers de signis to de singulis, i.e., "who pursue philosophic enquiry concerning omens."

E.  Compare with this the testimony of St. Hilary, De Trinitate, iv, 37, and also his commentary on Matthew. As to this same Evangelist, see the author of Opus Imperfectum (?) and also the author of Quaestiones ex Novo Testamento, Question 63. In fact there are more of the ancient authors who understand "magi" unconditionally as wicked enchanters.

P. 499

A. In order to follow faithfully the reading of our manuscripts, |163 we have removed to this footnote the following verses of the sacred text [i.e., the rest of v. 4 and the first half of v. 5]: "O king, live forever: Tell [reading Dic for the misprint, Sic] the dream to thy servants, and we will disclose its interpretation to thee. And the king said in reply to the Chaldeans, The subject matter [sermo representing the Aramaic milleth, "the word, the matter talked about" ---- Douay renders simply: "The thing"] has gone from me." These verses were wrongly subjoined (by earlier printed editions) contrary to the holy Doctor's intention, since they were themselves written in Syriac and were therefore to be excluded.

B.  In place of these words, "Therefore made this reply. .. . " our MSS substitute the following variant from the sacred text: "The matter which thou askest, O king, is difficult, and no one could be found to set it forth before the king except the gods themselves, who maintain no intercourse with men.

C.  Our MSS add: "Daniel and his comrades were sought after that they might be killed."

P. 500

D.  The words "Therefore when Arioch had explained the matter to Daniel," belonging to the preceding verse [v. 15]; and followed by the next verse in its entirety, "And he entered his house. ..." ---- all this is not included in our MSS.

P. 501

A.  This is the reading of the Vatican and Palatine MSS, and the one which Victorinus restored, after the model of the Vulgate (LXX) and Chaldee text, on the supposition (whether by valid argument I cannot say) that the reading nostrorum ("our" rather than "my"), retained by Martianaeus in conformity with Erasmus, was derived from Theodotion's version.

B.  Instead of the Greek word ethos ("custom," "habitual reaction"), the Vatican MS has the Latin mos ("custom") and the Palatine has typus ("type" or "character").

P. 502

C.  The older, corrupt reading was thuas [which would mean either a species of juniper, or, if nominative, "frantic"], and this has been amended by our manuscripts, although, to be |164 sure, they are agreed in exhibiting the word under the less correct spelling of thitas instead of thytas [upsilon being pronounced about like iota by Roman times]. Montfaucon had recommended this reading to be restored, in accordance with a scholium on the Septuagint, edited at Rome, contained in chapter 9, verse 4 [of what?] [in Greek]: "The Gazarenoi were the ones who ministered at the offering up of sacrifices, for Theodotion gives the rendering thutai ("sacrificers") instead of Gazarenoi." From Jerome you may understand that the name of Theodotion has been substituted for Symmachus in this last quotation. The Sangerm. MS reads incorrectly EAS [presumably in place of the Greek thytas]. A little further on, we amend, on the strength of those manuscripts, to the reading praedicant ("in order to predict"), since the old reading, praedicent ("in order to proclaim"), was corrupt.

D.  Nevertheless the MSS read: "the image of the statue which is beheld" [imago statuae quae cernitur instead of imago statuaque quae cernitur].

E.  Here Victorinus supplies mala [which would change the translation to: "Why are ye meditating evil. ..?"], on the basis of the Fesulanus MS and the Vulgate (LXX).

P. 503

A.  Victorinus restores non enim for non solum on the basis of four MSS. [This would change the translation to read: "for he does not set forth what the king had beheld. .. ."]

B.  However, our MSS subjoin some other verses of sacred Scripture without breaking them up. Also, in place of andrianti from the noun andrias, the former reading was andriante. The Sangerm. MS reads pro andriante [the last letter being epsilon, an impossible case-ending for the Greek word]; and if this reading be correct, says Montfaucon, it is to be understood that Jerome gave a Latin ending to the Greek word, in order that it might be conformed to the preposition pro. The Palatine MS, which has undergone revision by a later hand in this passage, presents the word as andriante in Roman letters.

C.  The Vatican and Palatine MSS read calcantes [instead of |165 interpretantes.] [This would change the translation to read: "and as we go through Daniel's words. . . ."]

P. 504

D.  Compare Jerome's Preface to Book 11 of his Commentary on Ezechiel.

E.  With greater accuracy the Vatican and Palatine MSS omit the words: "Therefore the king spoke and said to Daniel."

F.  And to be sure the account of his deed is quite worthy of a second reading in Josephus' Antiquities, Book 11, chap. 8, no. 5. Note especially Alexander's reply to Parmenio [The Greek original is here given, followed by a Latin translation]: "It is not this man whom I have worshipped, but the God with whose high priesthood he has been honored.."

P. 505

A.  Our MSS supply the remaining portion of the verse.

B.  The same MSS read "'sojourners from among the Jews" (instead of ". . .the Jews, as. . .sojourners").

C.  Victorinus deleted the usual fit ("was made of," for the word sit ("was"), on the basis of three Florentine MSS.

D.  The earlier reading was Duraum, and this was actually preferred by one of our own MSS. But Montfauconius' opinion seemed convincing, for he believes that the final "-m" arose from the little stroke put above the Durau in the most ancient Sangermane MSS and there indicating the accent rather than "-m." Symmachus probably rendered it as Dorau, Theodotion as Deira; the Vatican MSS note: "Theodotion, Deira; Symmachus, Drm.

E.  The phrase "and all the princes of the various districts" is supplied by the Vatican and Palatine MSS.

P. 507

A.  Our MSS have no knowledge of the words: "as there is in the Septuagint."

P. 508

B.  These words: "and the aspect of his countenance was wholly altered" are supplied by our MSS.

C.  Our MSS have no knowledge of the section of Scripture which |166 follows from this point on, and the explanation which is subjoined thereto does not demand it either.

D.  Our MSS, as well as the Vulgate, read cum braccis ["with their trousers"] instead of braccis ["in their trousers"].

E.  Sarabara is a corrupt reading of the Septuagint, of Pollux, of Hesychius, Photius, and others. The correct reading, sarabala, is given by Aquila, Theodotion, and the Arabic. And there is no reason why we should repeat at greater length the etymology of the term, which many authorities derive from the Persian. Drusius pointed out that the spelling saraballa with the double l was not quite correct in Jerome, since there is but a single l in the Chaldee spelling, sarbela. [My translation here assumes that the impossible m-b-l-' is a misprint for s-r-b-1-'. The printer seems to be unaware even in the text of Jerome that final mem in Hebrew is not the same letter as sarnekh. Note also that for resh he has substituted a maqqeph or hyphen.] Compare these notations of ours with the first epistle to Innocent, number 9. It is from the different spelling of the word that the interpretation itself arose. Isidore in Book 19, chap. 23, reports that to some authorities the word signifies "head-covering," and to others "loose and flowing garments" ---- an interpretation which he personally prefers.

P. 509

A.  Our MSS add the words: "And all Thy works are true and Thy ways are righteous and Thy judgments true. For Thou hast performed true judgments in regard to all that Thou hast brought upon us."

B.  Here also our MSS add the words: ". . .nor burnt offering nor sacrifice nor oblation nor incense nor place for presenting the first-fruits before Thee, so as to find mercy."

P. 510

C.  Plotinus, followed by Bishop Apollinarius, driveled forth a stupid theory of this sort, to the effect that man is composed of three substances, the flesh, the soul, and the spirit. Or, as Nemesius reports in his book on The Nature of Man, chap. 1, he is composed of soul, body, and intellect. But even Didymus was reproved by St. Augustine in his book on Ecclesiastical Dogmas, chap. 20, because he had expressed the view that |167 the spirit constituted a sort of third element in the human substance. Recall to mind Jerome's epistle to Hedibias, Question 12. As to the concession he makes, "apart from the Holy Spirit," Jerome brings in the Catholic teaching, that "in human beings, that is to say righteous human beings, the Holy Spirit resides, as well as the soul itself."

D. Our MSS contain a reading which is, in my opinion, less accurate: napta or naptha. Furthermore, as to Jerome's mention of a passage in Sallust's history concerning this type of tinder, no such reference can be found in any of Sallust's extant writings, not even in his collected fragments. This loss can be made up from other authors, most conspicuously from Ammianus Marcellinus, to whom the work Oleum medicum ("Medical Oil") is ascribed. In Book 23 we read: "It is said that in this region they prepare a medical oil which is smeared on a dart, and if it is shot gently from a rather slack bow (for it will go out in too fast a flight) it will adhere to any object it strikes and consume it with a persistent flame. If anyone tries to wash it away with water, it will flare up all the more fiercely, nor will it yield to any other extinguisher except when it is stifled by casting dirt upon it. Now it is prepared in this fashion: those who are skilled in these matters manufacture the oil from a certain herb of common use which is tinctured by it, and they save it up for a long time. Then as it becomes firmer they harden it by admixture with a natural resinous substance resembling thick oil. This type of preparation is produced amongst the Persians, and as we have stated, they have given it the native name of naphtha." And again in the same book: "Here also naphtha is manufactured, being a kind of sticky pitch and resembling also real bitumen. And even though a bird should light upon it momentarily, its flight would become so impeded that it would be drowned and completely disappear. Once this liquid begins to burn, there is no device which human ingenuity can discover to put it out, except for dust." Pliny also in his Second Book [of Natural History], chap. 195, after speaking of a slimy substance known as maltha, adds: "It is of a nature resembling naphtha, the term for it used in the Babylonian region and among the Austagenians of Parthia, and is a fluid substance |168 like liquid bitumen. It has a great affinity for fire, the flames of which spread across its surface instantly wherever it appears. The story is that [Jason's] concubine was by this means set on fire by Medea, for it was after she had approached the altars to offer sacrifice that she was snatched up by a wreath of fire." You may add to these references a testimony from one of the Greek authors, Strabo, who in his Sixteenth Book reports on the authority of Eratosthenes that there is a variant type of asphalt called naphtha, and he describes its remarkable incendiary power. But also Plutarch in his Alexander, Xiphilinus of Dio, Dioscorides in his First Book, Procopius in Book Five of the Vandal War, Suidas in several places, and other authorities too numerous to name have somthing to say about naphtha.

P. 511

A.  Victorinus inserts "the fourth (Person)," so that it reads: "might announce the fourth Person to them...." But the MSS offer very little support therefor.

B.  Victorinus reads "like a son of God" (similis filio Dei instead of similtudo filii Dei) in conformity with the Vulgate; although the subjoined exposition all but rejects this variant.

P. 513

A.  This is the reading preferred by the MSS we have used and also by Victorinus on the basis of older copies of the common edition. But Martianus concurs with Erasmus in reading, "Let them ask and reply."

P. 514

B.  The Palatine MS leaves out the rest of the verse and follows immediately with the words: "The rest of the authorities similarly omit this, except for the LXX, who for some reason have omitted this whole passage. Consequently by the judgment. ..."

C.  The ancient authorities (to be specific, Chrysostom and Theodoret) read "another man" instead of "associate"; in other words, heteron instead of hetairon. Besides, that rendering, whether it suggests "friend" or "associate" (collega), is not very close to the Chaldee original. For this reason scholars |169 have felt that Jerome utilized defective codices, and therefore he understood "an associate" instead of "another man," that is to say he read hetairon instead of heteron in the Greek. To be sure, Nebuchadnezzar could have intended to refer to him by the term "associate," since he was his right hand man and the second in rank to the king. And indeed there is that well-known saying of Clement of Alexandria: "ho de hetairos heteros eg" ("But one's associate is his other self"). Lastly, Origen in his Homily Eighteen on Numbers had written, "Let us read again those things which are written in Daniel concerning Daniel himself and his three friends" ----the Greek for "friends" being hetairois.

P. 515

A.  The Palatine MS has kyriotes, a word preferably to be restored in the text as kyriotes ["lordship"] rather than kyreia, and therefore less suited and less elegant as a term to express "dominion" than is kyreia.

B.  He speaks as if the word had been written 'r in the Chaldee, with an aleph, instead of 'r with an 'ayin. The ancients rendered the word as "splendor" or "light." Chrysostom says concerning this passage: "hora, phesin eir ---- phos mega kai lampedona": "See, the word ir means a great light and splendor." And Suidas defines: "eir lampedon," that is, "Ir means splendor." And so Nazianzenus also, although he teaches that angels are meant by the word just as Jerome does, nevertheless does not explain it as from the idea of their constant watching, as Jerome does, but rather from the idea of their emitting light. And lastly the LXX in the older Alexandrian copy, at least, renders the same 'r in Job 37:30 as toxon, i.e., "bow," which the translators of this passage everywhere take to be the heavenly bow or Iris. But Origen reads Irin instead of Ir even in this passage of Daniel.

C.  On the authority of the Vatican and Palatine MSS we have deleted the word "the king," an addition which Victorinus has noted to be lacking in the Vulgate, Chaldee [i.e., the Aramaic original], and Greek codices.

P. 517

A. In place of "great," a word not contained in the sacred text, |170 Victorinus has substituted "city" (i.e., "Is this not the city of Babylon...?"). [What the editor means here is unclear. The Aramaic original certainly does contain the word "great"----rabbeta; so also does the Latin Vulgate ---- magna.]

B.  Our MSS contain the words: "just as in heaven, so also on earth" instead of "just as among the powers of heaven [This substituted reading is, however, inaccurate, and the reading in Jerome's text is faithful to the original.]

P. 518

C.  Compare the passage from Berosus quoted in Josephus, Contra Apionem, I, 20. For this last king, whom Berosus calls Nabonidus, is called Balthasar (i.e., Belshazzar) by Jerome, who makes him out to be the son of Labosordach. Berosus asserts that the king in question was a certain man of Babylon and of the same nation [same as what? a Babylonian by extraction or of the same clan as Nebuchadnezzar?]. But further on an even greater discrepancy appears between the two authorities, for the holy Doctor says that this last king "was killed by Darius, king of the Medes, who was also the uncle of Cyrus, king of the Persians." Berosus, on the other hand, says that Cyrus made his attack upon Babylonia in the seventeenth year of Nabonidus's reign and that Nabonidus fled from thence and was besieged in the city of the Busippensians. And being driven out of it, he successfully entreated his conqueror, Cyrus, that he might of his mercy grant him the boon of a humble dwelling in Carmania (oiketerion Karmanian.) And it was there that to loipon tou khronou diagenomenos en ekeine te khor katestrepse ton bion, i.e., he passed the remaining period of his life, and in that province he ended his days.

D.  The Palatine MS consistently gives the name as Laborsedech, and the Vaticanus as Labosardech.

P. 519

A.  In the same MSS (the Vatican and Palatine) we find, "... the gods of gold."

P. 520

B.  On the other hand, one may find instances in Cicero, at least, |171 where the masculine is used; for example in the well-known statement in De Officiis, III, 31, concerning Manlius, ".. .who invented the term 'adorned with a necklace' (Torquatus), deriving it from the word for necklace (torquis)." [The participle modifying torquis is in the masculine: detracto.]

P. 521

A.  So Victorinus restores, on the basis of the Brescian codices. Martianus follows Erasmus in retaining scripta (i.e., "these three words written on the wall") instead of scriptura ("the inscription of these three words").

P. 522

B.  Victorinus reads: "sucklings of the womb" (lactentibus uteri instead of lactantibus uteris). For thus he says, the text speaks of little babies as sucklings of the womb. In the Hebrew it is "fruit of the womb." It is not the mothers who furnish the milk who are being spoken of, but the little ones who suck it up.

C.  The Greek text of Josephus, Antiquities, X, ch. 11 is as follows [translated]: "And when Darius, allied with his relative, Cyrus, had destroyed the rule of the Babylonians, he was sixty-two years of age at the time when he captured Babylon. He was a son of Astyages, and among the Greeks he was called [reading ekaleito for the impossible ekpleito] by another name. And he also took the prophet Daniel and brought him to his own residence in Media, and giving to him a share of all honor, he kept him in his company. Daniel was one of the three chief satraps whom he set up over the three hundred and seventy satrapies."

P. 523

A.  Victorinus prefixes the words: "Wherefore the princes and satraps sought. . .. "

P. 524

B.  The Chaldee as we have it today reads w-sh-h-y-t-h, Ushehhitha, which means, "... and corruption." [Here it should be explained that Jerome is discussing a portion of verse 4 not quoted in his text: "... and they were unable to discover any cause or suspicion, by reason of the fact that he was |172 faithful...."] The authorities read sh-h-y-t-h, ushehhitha in the margin of their edition, not realizing that Jerome did not cite the actual context of the Chaldee, but simply said that the word "suspicion" is called essaitha (i.e., hashshehythh) in the Chaldee tongue, and this really does mean "corruption" or "depravity." And it is only a possibility that Jerome had this reading in his copy of the text. (So Martianus.)

C.  The codices of the manuscripts read menia ("enclosures"); but Erasmus reads meniana ("projecting balconies"). Compare our previous notes in connection with chap. 41 of Ezekiel. Martianus reads menia, suggesting also the variant spelling, maenia ---- which our MSS have also. Nevertheless I should with Victorinus prefer to follow Erasmus in substituting meniana, on the basis of one manuscript from Brescia, and of an earlier printed edition. Consult our earlier observations in connection with Ezekiel 41 and the epistle to Sunnias and Fretella.

D.  Not inappropriately the Palatine MS reads anabata, that is, "places to be ascended to."

P. 525

A. Victorinus reads: "In order that there might be greater cause for indignation, despising him who...." He has derived this restored reading partly from manuscript and partly from a printed edition. That would mean, then, that in order to incite the king to greater indignation by despising the man who had despised the king's commands, they speak of Daniel as being a mere captive or purchased slave.

P. 527

A. The words of the sacred text which follow from this point on are not necessary to the subjoined exposition, and are not contained in our manuscripts. To be sure, if any such cases occur either previously or subsequently, and if it seems of little moment to call them to the reader's attention, we shall everywhere in the citation of the Scripture references tacitly carry through (?exigemus) in accordance with the more appropriate rule of the manuscripts themselves. |173 

P. 528

B.  On the basis of the Greek, Victorinus adds the name "Israel," without which he contends that the sense is doubtful and incomplete.

C.  The earlier reading was incorrectly given as "the impious one" (impio) instead of "empire" (imperio) ---- an error corrected by the manuscript itself.

P. 529

A.  The Palatine MS reads: "they are completely silent as to who they might be."

B.  The Palatine MS reads: "oclavum [a non-existent word in Latin!] alium Xersem" (instead of Xerxem).

C.  On the basis of the Vulgate and the Hebrew, Victorinus inserts the "like unto."

P. 531

A.  In the earlier printed editions the name of Ptolemy Philometor was missing, and also Ptolemy Euergetes was listed as the Sixth instead of the Seventh, but the Palatine and Vatican MSS supply the necessary addition and correction, and on the basis of them we have elicited the words intervening between the names of the two Ptolemies. This textual confusion seemed to have resulted from an ancient error occasioned by the fact that the same word occurs twice. Consequently, as often happens, the eye of the copyist too hastily passed over the words which came in between.

B.  On the basis of the Brescian codices, Victorinus substituted the plural for the singular: "golden crowns."

C.  This reading is rightly preferred by all our manuscripts and those of Victorinus. The earlier reading was "the Aged" (vetus) instead of "the Ancient" (vetustus).

P. 532

D.  Instead of cruciatibus (torments, calamities), the reading retained by the printed editions and manuscripts, some authorities would like to substitute "cities" (civitatibus). St. Thomas Aquinas casts the weight of his authority in favor of this reading of theirs. Nevertheless, seeing that Jerome speaks elsewhere of the angels who watch over cities, he certainly is |174 speaking of another class in this case, that is, the ones who minister unto rewards and punishments. He speaks after the same tenor in the ninth book of the previous commentary on Ezekiel, chapter 30, saying: "It is not the good angels but the wicked who have been put in charge of torments" ---- a statement to be understood as referring to the torments of those in hell. Furthermore St. Ambrose also in Epistle 55 (formerly numbered as 38) queries: "Or do we not believe that those very angels who carry on various duties in the labors of this world, as we read in the Revelation of John, groan within them whenever they are summoned to be ministers of punishment and slaughter? Possessing, as they do, eternal life, they would certainly prefer that it be spent in their former state of personal tranquillity, than that they should be called upon to inflict the punishments for our sins." So also the ancient author of the Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews in the works of Ambrose, the praiseworthy, remarks (chap. 1, v. 7): "It can be said that when they are sent to bear a gracious message, they are angels indeed; but when they are sent on a mission of punishment, they are ministers, that is to say, a flaming fire."

P. 534

A.  Two MSS read: "To such an extent shall he exalt himself in pride, that...." A little further down they contain a better reading: "...above all that is called God or religion, subjecting all things to his own power."

B.  We have supplied the remaining portion to the end of the verse on the basis of our manuscripts, in order that it might be clearly established just how far the Chaldee portion goes. In previous editions the impression was given that it stopped with the word "troubled," contrary to Jerome's intention.

P. 535

A.  This description has been drawn almost word for word from Josephus, as you may see by reference to the last chapter of Antiquities, Book 10.

B.  The Palatine MS reads: "near the gate...."

C.  Two MSS add the words: ".. .without lifting up our eyes." |175 

D. The Vatican reads: "eastward and westward"; the Palatine simply reads "eastward" instead of [adding] "westward."

P. 537

A.  The Palatine MS reads tinpole [A word meaningless in Greek], but a second scribe has corrected it to tinipote. The reading in the earlier editions was tinipote with a circumflex accent over the iota in the first syllable [a manifest error].

B.  The Vatican MSS, in agreement with the Sangermane MS, as quoted by Montfaucon, reads phelmoni in Roman letters [instead of the Greek letters of the text]. Other printed editions read pelmoni or pelimoni (in Roman letters).

C.  Victorinus says that the word "days" is not contained in the Hebrew original nor in the Brescian codices, but it was probably inserted from Theodotion or else inserted here from the margin as a word to be understood.

D.  Two manuscripts and the earlier printed editions have "sons" instead of "brothers." Victorinus long ago corrected this to the true reading, with the aid of the Florentine codices, and under the influence of the actual account in I Maccabees, chap. 2, verse 8. The brothers of Judas Maccabaeus were Simon, Joseph, and Jonathan. Compare also Josephus, Antiquities, X, 9.

P. 538

E.  The Palatine MS transfers to this place the words, "Of course the significance of the name indicates the fact that the only true remedy is to be found in God." This is approximately the reading of the editions of Erasmus and Victorinus, but Martianus assigns them more correctly to the end of the paragraph.

F.  This same sentence according to the early editions reads: "It is necessary that Michael be directed to go, for his name means 'Who is like unto God?' Of course the intention is that it might be understood that no one can bestow a propitiation or expiation except God Himself."

P. 540

A. One Palatine MS reads: "We have acted impiously, and have been defiled with sins. On the ground of his being one of |176 the people...." The Vatican MS reads: "We have done impiously. The sins of the people...." In order to avoid the redundancy, Victorinus has written it in conformity with the Vulgate: "We have done iniquity, we have behaved impiously."

B. Victorinus adds, "... as a mighty man who. .. . " on the basis of the text of the Psalm itself.

P. 541

A.  The Palatine MSS read: " the vision at the beginning...."; the Vatican MS reads only: " the beginning...."

B.  The Vatican MS reads: "And I have come forth from the presence of God, not that I (might depart) from Him. ..." In the Palatine MSS the words, "And I have come forth" are lacking.

P. 542

C.  The following passage of the sacred text is completely missing in our manuscripts.

D.  The words included within parentheses are not found in the Hebrew.

E.   This particular fragment of the work of Africanus is preserved in Greek translation in Eusebius' De Praeparatione Evan-gelica, viii, 1.

F.   In the Vatican MS we read: "...up until the baptism of John."

P. 543

A. Two manuscripts read: "... if we are unwilling to take any other date as the starting point."

P. 545

A. That is, in Book 11, chap. 8, Josephus records the tradition that Alexander came to Jerusalem and sacrificed in the Temple "to God under the guidance of the high priest" [in Greek], but by no means does Josephus specify that Alexandria was founded at that date, or in the lifetime of Jaddua. |177 

P. 546

B. Our MSS lack the word "except." Compare the Greek text itself.

P. 547

A.  The Vatican MS reads: ". . .he does not entirely reject"; the Palatine reads: ". . .part of which is not rejected," and then follow the words: "that more fully a week of years to the sum of seventy. ..."

B.  This quotation is from his Commentary on Daniel, or from his book, The Story of Susanna.

P. 549

A.  In Tertullian himself the words read: ". . .within seventy-two and a half weeks."

B.  The author Pomerius who was commended by Pamelius reads the text as: "Understand the prophesyings of this command." But, says Pamelius, he himself prefers the reading: "From the going forth of the command. ..."

P. 550

C.  Most authorities agree in calling this name Arsen. The Canon Mathematicus calls him Arogus.

D.  In the common editions of Tertullian we read, "twenty-two years."

E.  Our manuscripts and the published codices of Tertullian add the words: ". . .after him." Victorinus deletes these words as being redundant in view of what the words in parentheses have already stated.

F.  The common edition of Tertullian adds another year to this, bringing the figure up to "thirty-nine years"; with this both Pomerius and the gloss on the passage agree. And so, says Pamelius, this figure is to be corrected even in the Blessed Jerome.

G.  Our manuscripts simply give the figure "twenty-seven"; so also Pomerius.

H. Pamelius restores the number as "thirty-eight," and maintains that this emendation should be made even in the text of Jerome and of Pomerius as well, so that the total number of |178 years might come out to 436 ---- especially, he points out, in view of the fact that Eusebius assigns eight years (if the codex reads accurately) to Ptolemy, the son of Cleopatra, and thirty-eight years to Ptolemy Dionysius. Other writers number the two together as if they were one and the same person.

I. On the basis of the usual gloss, Pamelius restores this number as "six," both in this passage and in the later one. Then, on the basis of these three, he makes out the number for Augustus to be "forty-three years" instead of "forty-eight." For thirteen years in coregency with Cleopatra and forty-three after her decease "came to fifty-six years," he says. Then too, according to Tertullian, "Besides, Cleopatra had up to this time shared in the government under Augustus...."

J. Pamelius comments: The fact that the author has the reading, "after the death of Cleopatra" certainly results from a lapse of memory. And yet the genuineness of this reading is evident from the fact that in the computation which follows he arrives at the sum of 437 years, and reckons the years of Cleopatra under Augustus at thirteen, and the subsequent years of Augustus at 4L But actually he should have reckoned the years of Augustus after Cleopatra's time at only 29 (just as Clement of Alexandria does). And Jerome was again confused when he stated that Augustus lived fifteen years after the birth of Christ, and yet elsewhere according to his own earlier reckoning, he could not have lived any more than two years after the thirteen years of Cleopatra and after his own forty-one years. After all he admits that according to the common view of all the writers, Augustus ruled only 56 years in number. And even in this passage the words "in number" are an addition, judging by the reading of Pomerius, of the Blessed Jerome, and of the usual gloss. These too read: "And the remaining periods of years unto the day of Christ's birth and the forty-first year of Augustus after the death of Cleopatra were [reading erant for the inappropriate erunt] 437 years and six months. In my opinion this is more justified than the reading of the standard codices: "...forty-one years to the day of Christ's birth. And this comes to the total of 157 years and five months." Likewise also the reading of Pomerius, "are |179 forgiven" seems preferable to the former reading, "are allowed" [several lines further down], inasmuch as it would be poor usage to speak of the "allowing of sins" instead of the "forgiving of sins." Then also, Pomerius reads [at the bottom of p. 550]: ". . .concerning (Christ) Himself" instead of the former ". . .concerning Him." On the same basis we read [p. 551 near the top]: ". . .He Himself is the seal." And [in the following sentence on p. 551] it is all the same whether you read: "...nor is there any prophet who," or "nor is there a prophecy by which."

P. 551

A.  Pamelius deletes the superfluous "what (is the meaning of)."

B.  The Palatine MS reads: "during which (years) he lived on. ..." Then, further on, we amend "during fifteen years" to "fifteen years (elapsed)" [i.e., nominative case instead of ablative], and correct the punctuation as well. Pamelius says he thinks the right reading is: "First of all (the years) of Augustus...." instead of "Well, after Augustus," since those fifteen years belong to the reign of Augustus himself.

C.  In Tertullian's text we find only "twenty" instead of "twenty-eight." In regard to this passage Pamelius comments that even though the Blessed Jerome, Pomerius, and the usual gloss all read "twenty-eight," nevertheless the common reading of Tertullian is preferable, especially since the author is not concerned particularly [? lit.: "does not compute"] about mere days. For according to the Fasti Consulates [The Registers of the Higher Magistrates] edited by Goltzius, we read: "In the year 789 after the founding of Rome, on the 17th day before the Kalends of April [i.e., March 16th] Tiberius Augustus Caesar, son of the divine Augustus and grandson of the divine Julius, passed away." But between the above-mentioned month of August in the fifth (?) year, 766 A.U.C., and the month of March in the year 789 A.U.C. amounts to only 22 years 7 months [the text not clear here; some typographical errors].

D.  In the Vatican MS we read "was baptized" instead of "suffered," which is in approximate agreement with the usual gloss, leaving out also the clause, "when He suffered" which |180 follows soon after. And actually, when the Palatine MS and the codices of Tertullian are compared together, his reckoning was not "thirty-three" but only "thirty" years. He evidently hints at the testimony of the Gospel record, which states that Christ was baptized in the fifteenth year of Tiberius at about the age of thirty.

E.  Pamelius prefers "six" to "twenty-eight," because, he says, he ruled only seven months and a very few days, that is to say, from the fourth day before the Ides of June [June 10th] to the eighteenth day before the Kalends of February [January 15th].

F.   Here again Pamelius reads "ten" instead of "twenty-eight" in the text of Tertullian, proving it from the fact that Aulus Vitellius ruled from the 12th day before the Kalends of May [April 20th] to the ninth day before the Kalends of January [December 24], the date when he was slain. This is an interval of eight months and some odd days.

P. 552

G.  This is the correction of the Vatican MS; the earlier reading was, "which he thought he would redeem."

H. Perhaps the reading should be, "will vanquish"; but further on the Vaticanus reads "ceased" instead of "will (continue to) cease."

I. Add to this the work of my compatriot, Cardinal Norisius, A Dissertation on the Epochs of the Syro-Macedonians, Book iii, chap. 4; he contributes quite a few examples from the coins to illustrate this passage of Jerome. But a good many ancient inscriptions also survive showing this method of expressing sums.

P. 553

A. So also Epistle 100, that is, the Third Epistle of Theophilus Paschalias, no. 3: "Let us by no means, during the forty days, sigh after the wine-cup, as do the wealthy and luxurious." Also in no. 8: "During a fasting period we must abstain from wine and meat." See our observations upon that passage. A little further on, the Palatine MS reads, ".. .nor anoint ourselves with ointment." |181 

P. 554

B.  Two MSS read: "And during this fast (she sheds tears) which are convincing," omitting the noun sponsa ("betrothed girl").

C.  The whole paragraph beginning, "Therefore those critics ... . " directed against the followers of Origen, is missing in our manuscripts.

D.  In other MSS we read exairetan, or written in Roman letters: "exeretan." But the Palatine MS ascribes this rendering to Aquila, not to Symmachus.

E.  The Palatine and Sangermane MSS agree in reading Opaz in the work of Montfaucon; and instead of the Greek ophax (which follows right afterwards), they read ophaz in Roman letters.

F.  After these words the printed editions add: "Concerning these matters we have given a fuller interpretation in the exposition of Ezechiel, but right now let us make a few remarks about chrysolite." None of the codices of our manuscripts contains this very inexpert discussion, and we also perceive its spurious and suppositions character from the fact that Jerome had not yet written about Ezechiel when he composed his commentary explaining Daniel. (Mart.)

G.  Drusius asserts that the view which Josephus commends is impossible. For in the Ninth Book of his Antiquities, chap. 2, Josephus clearly makes the claim that the prophet intended to sail to the city of Tarsus in Cilicia. But also in Book I, chap. 2, he says: "Tharsis is the same as Tharsus. This was the name the ancients gave to Cilicia. And so even today Tarsus, the most important city in the entire province, retains the ancient name, the theta being altered to t." And so Jerome himself contains this item also, in his discussion of the place in the Book of Jonah, where he says: "Departing thence from the presence of the Lord, Jonah was stirred up and purposed to flee away to Tharsis, which Josephus explains as the city of Tarsus in Cilicia, simply changing the first letter in the name." Accordingly Drusius surmises that this passage is involved in error and offers this as a possible restoration: "Not to Tarsus in Cilicia, as Josephus supposes, |182 substituting one letter for another, but rather to the region of India, as most writers believe."

P. 556

A.  Our MSS read: "O Lord, at the sight of Thee my inward parts are transformed within me."

B.  The Vatican and Palatine MSS read: "... is inside (intrinse-cus)," and leave out the following, "in golden borders." On the basis of the Vulgate and the Greek Victorinus reads: "... of a daughter of a king is within (ab intus)." The word "Psalm," which occurs just previously, was missing, but we have supplied it on the basis of the manuscripts.

P. 557

A.  Our MSS and Victorinus himself, on the basis of the Florentine MSS, have this reading. The earlier reading was, "and (the history) must be considered."

P. 558

B.  Our MSS lack the word "my"; it is also lacking in the Greek text as well.

C.  Those nine would be reckoned as: Artaxerxes Longimanus, Xerxes (II), Sogdianus, Darius Nothus, Artaxerxes Mnemon, Artaxerxes Ochus, Arses, and Darius Codomanus, who was defeated by Alexander. [This, however, totals only eight kings; Jerome seems to have erred in his figure of nine.]

P. 562

A.  This whole account of the temple of Onias was translated from Josephus' Jewish War. To be sure, Josephus describes in greater detail the district which Onias received from Ptolemy, saying (Greek): "He gives to him a tract of land measuring one hundred by eighty stadia, and this district was called the Heliopolite Nome of Memphis. There Onias constructed a fort and built the temple, not that it resembled the Temple in Jerusalem, but was more like a castle in shape." And so one sees that Josephus does not agree with Jerome, who states that the temple was constructed like the Jewish Temple, whereas Josephus informs us that it was dissimilar.

B.  On the other hand Josephus computes the time as three |183 hundred forty-three years (Greek): "The interval which had elapsed between the building of the temple and the time when it was closed up came to three hundred forty-three years." Rufinus translated it as 333 years. To be sure, a recent editor of Josephus says that the proper reading is 233, for that particular temple was closed by order of Vespasian soon after Jerusalem was demolished, about 824 A.U.C. [=71 A.D.]. Compare Seldenus, De Successione in Pontificatu Hebraico, I, viii.

C. Josephus therefore states that the temple was built (Greek): "in the so-called City of Onias."

P. 563

A.  As regards this prediction of Isaiah, the holy Doctor elsewhere, that is, in his commentary upon this same passage in Isaiah, administered a rebuke to Onias himself, on the ground that Isaiah was of course describing the spiritual kingdom of Christ, stating that it would be propagated even as far as Egypt.

B.  Our MSS read: "the son of Aethiolus" or "of Eptolus." See Polybius, Book IV, chap. 26.

C.  On the basis of his intuition (ingenium) or else in accord with the logic of the preceding context, Victorinus corrects "who had been honorably received" (referring to the men) to "having been honorably received" (referring to Antiochus himself). Right afterwards he reads, "persecuted" instead of "pursued."

P. 564

D.  The better reading is apparently that of the Palatine MSS and (according to Montfaucon) the Sangermane MSS, which spell the word in Roman letters, and with an "r": Sabir. Theodoritus says (Greek): "Some of those who have turned the Hebrew language into Greek [literally: Greece] have called it a land of Sabeir." [This translation of Theodoritus is doubtful, because of his obscurity.] Nevertheless it seems that Theodotion used the form (Greek) Sabei or Sabaeim.

P. 566

A. The earlier reading was Suctorius; other printed editions have |184 Suturius. Also there is the variant "at great length" (sermone latissimo) for "with much redundancy" (sermone laciniosissimo). Compare in the Prologue of this Commentary Note B on p. 494.

P. 567

A.  On the basis of the Brescian codices Victorinus reads "be referred to" instead of "refer to"; and then right after it: "whom he is going to overcome" rather than "whom he has overcome."

P. 568

B.  Our MSS read "Pompilius"; but it was a common thing to confuse these two names, and so the Lex Pompilia is also called Lex Popilia, and Pompilius Rufus is also called Popilius Ruf us.

C.  This reading is more elegant than that of the Eatic (?) MS, which uses the Romanorum form of the genitive instead of Romanum. By no means should we accept the poor reading of the Palatine: "by fear of the Romans for his aid." And the earlier reading was unintelligible: "for his help of the Romans."

D.  A representative of this viewpoint, to name one specifically, was Victorinus in his commentary on Revelation; but this opinion is well controverted by Lactantius in his De Mortibus Persecutorum [The Deaths of Persecutors] near the end of chapter 2. But also it was refuted by Augustine in De Civitate Dei [The City of God], XX, 19; by Ambrosiaster in his commentary on I Corinthians, at 4:9; Severus Sulpicius in his History, II, 29, as well as in Dialogue II, last chapter; and lastly, of the Greek Fathers, by Chrysostom, Homily IV, concerning II Thessalonians. Compare Epistle 121, addressed to Algasias, final question. Moreover, some MSS read "Domi-tianus" instead of "Domitius." The Vatican reads "Domi-tianus or Nero."

E.  Instead of "another writer," Victorinus favors "Aquila," a reading preferred by two MSS which he commends.

P. 570

A. The Vatican and Palatine MSS read: "for the Jews mistakenly hope" instead of "imagine." |185 

B.  Victorinus reads the future loquetur (following the example of the Vulgate) instead of the subjunctive loquatur [the latter is better grammar, but there is no difference in meaning]. A little later he reads the future dirigetur instead of the subjunctive dirigatur [the same remark applies].

C.  One critic would very much prefer to have these words rewritten and corrected to "who composed the Bibliothecae (Libraries) of history," arguing from the title of Diodorus's work, and from the passage in Eusebius's Praeparatio Evangelica, I, 6, which states (Greek): "He brought together into one opus his entire Historike Bibliotheke" (Historical Library).

D.  Compare also I Maccabees, vii, and the Syriac of Appianus, who calls it the temple of Venus rather than of Diana; yet Josephus, as well as Polybius and Diodorus, says it was the temple of Diana.

P. 571

A.  Both here and in the place further down where this passage recurs, the Palatine MS offers the reading with a negative particle: "whom he did not acknowledge (or "know")."

B.  We have supplied the word epi ("upon," "with regard to") on the basis of the Vatican MS, for it was left out because of the recurrence of the same letters in the following word (epithymia).

P. 573

A.  Victorinus deletes the word "two," for even though it is presupposed by the accompanying exposition, it nevertheless is not found in any edition of the sacred text.

P. 574

B.  At this point Victorinus, in consistency with the previous context, adds the words "calling it Sabin."

C.  Two MSS read "Gaza" in the singular number. But that the holy Doctor really used the plural appears from the fact that he understands both cities to be included, namely Majuma, and Gaza ---- properly so called, even though it was removed some distance from the sea. Sozomenus in his History, vii, 21, calls the former Gaza by its proper name, saying (in Greek): ".. .in Gaza by the sea, which is also named Maiouma." |186 

D. The Palatine reads: "the tent of his throne between the two seas"; these last words are entirely missing in the Vatican.

P. 575

A.  Our MSS read: Ephadano or Epadno, and with greater correctness omit the preposition "in." The Sangermane MS also reads Epadano [using a Greek delta for "d," so also in the other two spellings]; a second hand has written in Epedno, and a little later in the Aquila quotation: "of his headquarters, Apedno." And a little further on Jerome himself shows spelling with "p" instead of "ph."

B.  Many MSS use the spelling f without any aspirate (ph).

C.  The Palatine reads: "and the league (junctionem) which is joined...."

P. 578

A.  Victorinus restores: "that he will humble three kings," because that is the reading above in chap. 7 and Jerome interpreted it that way. Besides, several MSS support the emendation.

B.  Victorinus adds: "place," so as to read, "... .an idol of Jupiter stood in that place."

C.  Victorinus reads, in conformity with the Vulgate, the word "predetermined" as modifying "time."

P. 579

A.  Two MSS put cultus ("worship") in the dative instead of the accusative, and use interfectionem for "death" instead of inter-necionem [but the translation is not affected],

B.  Victorinus deletes the name "Daniel," which is not found in the sacred text.

P. 580

C.  This last sentence in the paragraph is not found in the Palatine MS, nor is the following verse of the sacred text belonging to chapter 13. But in the Vatican, we find in their place the rubric: "The Beginning of the Story of Susanna according to the Blessed Jerome."

D.  Our MSS have no knowledge of these words, ". . .and one may observe them in the appropriate sections." And besides, Jerome |187 does not seem to have set forth consistently the remarks of Origen in Latin.

E.  Instead of this verse, which is supplied by our MSS, another has been proposed: "And Joakim was exceedingly wealthy and owned an orchard near by his home." But this last has no relevance to the accompanying explanation. On the other hand, approximately the same wording is found in a letter of Origen to Africanus relative to the story of Susanna, Letter Seven: [Here the Greek text is given] "In fact I remember conversing with a scholarly Hebrew, the son of a man reputed among them to be a savant, and on the basis of the fact that the story of Susanna is not rejected by many of the Jews, I was informed also as to the names of the elders, that they were found after this fashion in Jeremiah, 'May the Lord make thee. .. .' " [This is now put into Latin as follows: "Indeed I remember that I conversed with a scholarly Hebrew ---- and he was the son of a man called a savant among them ---- and that I learned from him, on the assumption that Susanna was genuine history, even the names of the elders, just as they occur in Jeremiah, and they are found in this fashion: 'May the Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahiab, whom....'"]

F.   Here again we have, as often before, supplied on the basis of the authority of the manuscripts, inserted the Scriptural text under discussion, for the sake of the ensuing explanation.

P. 582

A. (Origen) comes to a far more justifiable conclusion in the letter (numbers 6 and 7) which was previously commended. There he makes a reply to the objection thus raised, saying that even though it is impossible to show, on the basis of the lost Hebrew text, the etymology of "cleaving" and "severing" from the names of the two trees involved, he nevertheless has no doubt but what this etymology could be true, since wordplays of that kind do occur in the Scriptures. And indeed we should like to indicate a certain portion, at least, of his answer to the objection, translating it into Latin as follows: "Let us see what accusation can be derived from the speech of Daniel itself. First of all, let us start with that consideration which might |188 deter us from conceding the historicity of the passage, namely the fact that prisis ["sawing through"] is derived from prinos ("holm tree") and skhisis ["cleaving"] is derived from skhinos ["mastic tree"). Concerning this thou hast announced thy finding that even though thou hast discovered how this wordplay works out in Greek, the several ideas would be expressed by mutually dissimilar sounds in Hebrew. Well I also have been disturbed by this passage, and since I myself remained in doubt, I consulted a good many Hebrews, inquiring of them what the name of the holm tree was in their language, and how they would express the idea of sawing; and likewise what word they would use to express mastic tree and how they would say "cleave." And they answered that they were unacquainted with the Greek terms, prinos and skhinos, and requested that they might have the trees themselves pointed out to them, in order to know what names to assign to them. To be sure, I did not hesitate (since truth is my friend), to bring before them samples of the wood itself. But one of them stated that they were never named in Scripture, and so he could not be sure what they would be called in Hebrew; although it was an easy expedient, in case of doubt, to use the Syriac word in substitution for the Hebrew. Moreover he said that a good many words sometimes have to be looked up even by the most learned scholars. And so, he remarked, if thou canst show any place in Scripture where the holm is mentioned by name, or a mastic tree either, there we shall certainly discover the data we are looking for, and the derivation of the names, with the roots from which they arise. Yet we are also not aware of whether the trees are nowhere named. Since therefore these statements were made by Hebrews with whom I have had friendly relations and who were not unfamiliar with the story, I am very cautious about making a positive statement as to whether or not a similar derivation of words might be preserved by the Hebrews. But perhaps thou knowest some reason for affirming that the derivation does not exist in Hebrew."

P. 583

A. Jerome urges this difficulty, based on the meaning of the words in Hebrew, in a much more emphatic way in his Commentary |189 on Jeremiah, chap. 29, with reference to the prophet's statement, "May the Lord make thee like Zedekiah and like unto Ahab...." He remarks: "The Hebrews claim that these are the elders who wrought folly in Israel and committed adultery with wives of their fellow-citizens, and to one of whom Daniel said, 'O thou that art grown old in evil days,' and to the other of whom he said, 'Thou seed of Canaan and not of Judah, beauty hath deceived thee, and lust hath perverted thy heart.' But the statement in this present passage, 'Whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire,' seems to contradict the story in Daniel. For the story asserts that they were stoned by the people in accordance with Daniel's sentence, whereas it is written here that the king of Babylon roasted them in the fire. For this reason the story itself is rejected as a mere fable by the majority of the Hebrews, or almost all of them; nor is it read aloud in their synagogues. 'For how,' they object, 'could it have happened that mere captives would have had the authority to stone their own princes and prophets?' They affirm that it is more likely true that the elders were, to be sure, convicted of guilt by Daniel, but the sentence was inflicted upon them by the king of Babylon, who as conqueror and lord possessed the authority over the captives."

P. 584

B. Consider again the Epistle to Africanus, numbers 4 and 5.

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2004.  All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.
Greek text is rendered using the Scholars Press SPIonic font, free from here.

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts