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Dissertation 11.


Daniel 3:2

Calvin has very judiciously declined to enter into the signification of each of these officers, as there is great difficulty in ascertaining the exact duties to be assigned to each. The best method of determining this point is to follow up the meaning of the corresponding words in the cognate languages of the East, and to bear in mind the officers of state at present in use. We will here state a few results of our researches, referring the reader for fuller information to Castells valuable Lexicon, and Rosenmullers and Wintles comments, and punctuating the words after the best foreign scholars.

אחשדרפניא, achas-dar-penaja, is derived from the Persian by both Castell and Rosenmuller; its meaning is majestatis janitores. Wintle translates correctly satraps.

סגניא signaja, is also Persian; Rosenmuller renders it supremus præfectus, and Wintle, “senators,” implying a viceroy of the first rank.

פחותא, pach-vatha, is clearly equivalent to the Oriental “pasha.”

אדרגזדיא, adar-gaz-raja, the Septuagint translates by “consuls,” and Theodotion and Jerome by “leaders,” and Wintle by “judges.”

גדבריא, gedab-raja, is commonly rendered “treasurers.”

דתבריא, dethab-raja, signifies the superior officers of the law.

תפתיא, tiph-taya, is clearly connected with the Turkish word mufti, who is the chief religious officer of the Mohamedan faith.

שלטני, sil-tonei, a general expression for “governors” Joseph Jacchiades has explained it fully in his Chaldee paraphrase.

Pooles Synopsis may also be consulted with advantage. Oecolampadius departs here from his usual custom, by entering into the criticism of these words, and quoting Rabbi Saadias, the Septuagint, and the Chaldee paraphrasts.

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