I. Transmission of the Text.
1. The Arabic Version.
Ezra Based on the Septuagint (§ 1).
Nehemiah a Revised Syriac (§ 2).
2. The Syriac Version. (§ 1).
3. The Greek Version.
Its Fidelity to the Hebrew (§ 1).
The Corrections Traced to Their Source (§ 2).
4. The Latin Version.
5. The Hebrew Text.
II. Composition of the Books.
Analysis of the Books (§ 1).
The Sources Employed (§ 2).
The Author's Purpose (§ 3).

I. Transmission of the Text. 1. The Arabic Version: In the London Polyglot the two books bear the title "First and Second Books of Ezra the Priest," and there are indications that the two books were translated by different hands. This is substantiated by the fact that Ezra was translated from the Septuagint and Nehe-

1. Ezra miah from the Syriac. AB a result,

Based on the text is untrustworthy. But while the Septna-misunderstanding of the basal text fit' is frequent and mistakes are numerous, it is clear that the Septuagint was by the translator regarded as authoritative, especially the recension represented by the Alexandrine and Vatican codices, particularly by the former.

The text of Nehemiah is much shortened, and that this is not due to gaps in the exemplar before the translator is shown by his especial dislike for the lists of names; e.g., Neh. vii. 6-72 is omitted for the stated reason that it duplicates Ezra ii., and for the names given after Pashhur (Neh. x. 3) to xii. 27 he substitutes "and the remainder of their company," and similar omissions occur in the lists of the builders in chap. iii. as also in chap. xii.

2. Nehe- 33-34, 41. The traces of origin from miah a Re- the Syriac are exceedingly numerous, vised

consisting not merely in the transference of renderings peculiar to that version but in construction and arrangement and in misunderstanding of the original text. To these must be added the fact that the Arabic has errors which can be explained only from a misreading or misunderstanding of the Syriac. Yet it must be remarked that in the passages in Nehemiah which have parallels in Ezra, the Arabic translator of the former was influenced by the Arabic of the latter.

While the principal dependence of the translator of Nehemiah was the Syriac, there are evidences also of other influences. This is shown by the form the name Geshem takes in ii. 13, by the departure from the Syriac text in the corrupt passage iv. 23, by agreement with the Septuagint against the Syriac in vi. 18, by the late form of the word " Siloam " in iii. 15; by the probability that " Bethlehem " in iii. 14 is derived from the Greek Bethacham (for Hebr. BethrHakkarem), and by the fact that in xii. 39"strong-gate" (for Hebr. " fish-gate ") misreads the Greek ischuran "strong" for ichthuran "fish." There appears in a number of cases reference to the original Hebrew, often accompanied by true exegetical insight, correcting the sometimes senseless reading of the Syriac and of the Septuagint. Such a case is presented in the literal rendering of the Hebrew " behind their backs" (ix. 26), and another in iv. 10 in the rendering "The heart of the Jews was bold and the


bearers of rubbish were many, but we could not build." So an attempt is made to improve on the Syriac rendering of xiii. 24 by translating " spake half Hebrew, half Aramaic, according to the language of the heathen." The Arabic translation has therefore a mixed character and varying worth.


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