Imatges de pÓgina
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of this book having, upon sufficient authority, been admitted into the list of the canonical Scriptures, its inspiration appears to be sustained by the unequivocal references to its impressive admonitions which occur in the New Testament: as in Heb. xii. 5, 6, compared with Prov. iii, 11, 12; Rom. xii. 20, compared with Prov. xxv. 21, 22 ; and 2 Pet. ii. 22, compared with Prov. xxvi. 11.

The Proverbs, written by Solomon, are usually described as consisting of three parts; though, for what reason they were thus divided, has not become so apparent. The most probable seems to be, that they were collected and published at different periods. The first part, concluding with the ninth chapter, and the second, with the twenty-fourth chapter, by Solomon himself; and the third part, containing the five following chapters, by his royal descendant, King Hezekiah. The titles of the appendix, consisting of two chapters, are “ The words of Agur, the son of Jakeh,” and “ The words of King Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him."

The following version of this book of sacred wisdom occupied, during the most active and vigorous portion of his valuable life, such occasional moments as the lamented Translator could rescue from the absorbing claims of his professional and pastoral duties. The manuscript was subjected to severe and repeated revision; and received, in order to its future publication, his final corrections. The learned critic will,

of course, test its accuracy by reference to the original ; while, to

the more general reader, the acknowledged ability, extreme caution, patient research, and scrupulous fidelity, by which every biblical effort of the author was distinguished, supersede the necessity of attempting any further recommendation. It may, however, be satisfactory to be informed that, from various memoranda, it appears, in producing this translation from the original Hebrew, the following authorities among the ancients were consulted : LXX, Vulgate, Syriac, Arabic, Targum, &c. Nor have those of later times, whose inquiries have particularly related to the part of revelation in question, been neglected : as Duport, Hodgson, Boothroyd, Holden, &c.

To the numerous class of youthful readers to whom, it is earnestly hoped, this version of the Book of Proverbs may especially prove acceptable and beneficial, as “ a lamp unto their feet, and a light unto their paths,” it may not be generally known that its construction proceeds upon a plan of poetic parallelism, which literary and ingenious writers, at different periods, have endeavoured to shew prevails extensively in the composition of the inspired oracles ; and to which, by presenting their readers with many striking examples, they have long since attempted to awaken attention and excite interest.* Dr. Newman's translation, therefore, may be regarded as another successful illustration of the principle, and an additional encouragement to extend its application.

* See Bp. Lowth's Prælectiones,&c.; Boys' “ Tactica Sacra ;" and his “ Key to the Book of Psalms.”

The duty of the Editor in passing the following pages through the press, while it has seemed to renew a brief companionship with their revered Author, to whom memory, encouraged by habitual reference, continues to cling with impressive adherence, has also supplied another occasion to admire and commend those ancient and inspired aphorisms, so replete with pious instruction and practical wisdom, as to comprehend whatever is essential to the attainment of moral excellence in every department of human life. And, should the perusal of this posthumous publication become, to any, “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” let the tribute of praise be rendered to Him alone to whom it is exclusively due.

G. P.

Pentonville,

Nov. 15, 1838.

PROVERB S.

CHAPTER 1.

1 Tue weighty sentences of Solomon, son of David,

King of Israel. 2 To give the knowledge of wise instruction ;*

To give understanding in the words of the intelligent; 3 For receiving the discipline of prudence,

Righteousness, wisdom, and equity; 4 For giving to the inexperienced, sagacity,

To the young man, knowledge and skill. 5 A wise man will listen, and enlarge his acquisitions ; And the intelligent will have treasures of hidden

knowledge; 6 For understanding a parable and its mystery,

The words of the wise, and their riddles.

* 1 Cor. ii. 2.

6

• B

7 The fear of Jehovah is the summit of knowledge :

Wisdom and discipline fools despise. 8 Hear, my son, the counsel of thy father,

And despise not the precepts* of thy mother : 9 For they are a graceful ornament to thy head,

And chains about thy neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice thee,

Consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us,

We will lie in wait for blood—we will hide ourselves

For him that is innocent in vain : 12 We will swallow them up as Sheôl the living ;

And the uprightt as they who descend to the pit: 13 All valuable treasure we shall find,

We shall fill our houses with spoil. 14 Cast in thy lot among us;

One purse shall belong to us all. 15 My son, go not in the road with them ;

Hold back thy foot from their paths : 16 For their feet run into mischief,

And they make haste to shed blood.

* LΧΧ. θεσμους. † The blameless, Syr, and Targ.

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