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1. The evidence on which the assumed fact rests is both deficient (1) Inconin amount and suspicious in character. Not more than two independent clusive witnesses, if they be independent, have, so far as I know, been produced.
evidence. (i) Chrysostom at the close of the fourth century in his exposition of Chrysothis epistle writes somewhat obscurely; ‘Hagar was the name of the stom. bondmaid; and Mount Sinai is so interpreted in their native tongue (T) δε Σινά όρος ούτω μεθερμηνεύεται τη επιχωρίω αυτών γλώττη);' and afterwards he speaks of the mountain as 'bearing the same name with the bondmaid (ómasvupov rû doúly).' To the same effect writes Theophylact, who is often a mere echo of Chrysostom, as do one or two anonymous commentators in the Ecumenian Catena, without doubt deriving their information from the same source!
(ii) The Bohemian traveller Harant, who visited Sinai in the year Harant. 1598, says: “The Arabian and Mauritanian heathen call Mount Sinai Agar or Tur?' Though, for anything that is found in the context, this might have been written without a thought of the passage of St Paul, yet I think it hardly probable. Luther, following Erasmus, had maintained this inter- Their pretation; and from the enormous popularity of his commentaries on the stateGalatians, it is likely that they were known to Harant, who himself ulti- ments
accounted mately became a protestant. If so, he did not necessarily derive his inform- for. ation from the Arabs on the spot, but may have accepted without question the popular statement, as more recent travellers have done.
In later works of travel I have not found any direct personal testimony to this assumed fact. If there be any, it will from the nature of the case require careful sifting. The word “Hagar' (Chagar) meaning "a rock,' or 'a stone,' must be heard again and again from native lips in this wild regions; and a traveller, once possessed of the idea, might easily elicit the word from his Arab guide by a leading question, and on the strength of an
1 Chrysostom's interpretation of the passage in St Paul may perhaps underlie the account of the word · Hagar' given in Bar Bahlul's Syriac Lexicon,
work was written in Bohemian, but
P. 417: 1106 001 Liss Hjó original, informs me that Weissenberg is
extract, which is taken from the us in the Cambridge University Library, I owe to the kindness of R. L. Bensly, Esq., of Caius College.
* Harant's authority is generally quoted at secondhand through Büsching's Erdbeschr. 1. 1. p. 603 (Hamb. 1792). In Harant's work itself, Der Christliche Ulysses (Nürnb. 1678), the passage runs: 'Den Berg Synai nennen die Arabische und Mauritanische Hey. den Agur oder Tur: Weissenberg, wie auch Tucla, wie Odoardo Barbosa nel summ. del Ind. Orient. bezeuget.' The
& miswriting of the name of a traveller
3 The index to Ritter's Erdkunde,
answer thus obtained unsuspiciously confirm the statement that it was a local name for the mountain.
Thus the independent testimony to this supposed fact is confined to Chrysostom and Harant, or, if my supposition with regard to Harant be correct, to Chrysostom alone. To Chrysostom then, if I mistake not, or to some earlier writer whom he copied, this statement is due. Nor should we be doing any injustice to one who makes St Paul speak of Sinai as contiguous to Jerusalem,' were we to suppose that having heard of some place bearing the name 'Hagar' whether in Arabia Petræa or in some district bordering upon the Sinaitic mountains, (for the name seems to have been not uncommon”,) he compressed the geography of the whole region and assigned this name to Mount Sinai itself, imagining that he had thus found the key to St Paul's meaning. It is at least worthy of notice that no mention whatever of this assumed fact, or the interpretation based on it, is made either by his friend Theodore of Mopsuestia, or by Theodoret the pupil of Theodore, both natives of Antioch, and both acquainted with his work. Probably they were better informed on the subject, and for this reason tacitly abandoned Chrysostom’s explanation.
But supposing it were proved that Sinai were so called by the Arabs, this word 'Chagar' is not written or pronounced in the same way as the proper name 'Hagar,' and etymologically the two are entirely distinct. The proper name 'Hagar,' with the simple aspirate (137, in Arabic slo), signifies 'a wanderer or fugitive,' being connected with the Arabic 'Hegira'
1 Older critics, as Bochart and others the desert on the way to Egypt. In (le Moyne Var. Sacr. p. 834, Pfeiffer Gen. xvi. 7 it occurs in connexion with Op. I. p. 504), assert that Petra itself the flight of Hagar. bears the name Hagar (Chagar) in I venture to conjecture that there Arabio writers, just as in Greek it is was also a place ·Hagar' (whether called Dépa, and in Hebrew uko, words having the same meaning "rock. Ale or 518) in Belka, and that the
appearance of ‘Belka' in the Arabic This atatement however is founded on
version of Gal. i. 17 and iv. 25 (see a twofold error; (1) The vocalisation of
above, p. 87) is to be explained by this the proper name referred to is not
fact. * Chagar,' but Chigr'; and (2) The
9 Wieseler explains Chrysostom's place which bears this name 'El Chigr'
meaning in a different way, insisting on in Arabio writers is not Petra itself,
the strict sense of μεθερμηνεύεται. Αcbut a station several days south of Petra on the pilgrims' route between
cording to Fürst Concord. and Hebr.
Handb. 8. V., ''D signifies 'rocky,' so Damascus and Mecca. See Ewald
that interpreted in Arabic it would be Paulus p. 493 sq, Robinson's Palestine etc. II. p. 522. There is no evidence asb, and to this identity of meaning that Petra itself was so called.
in Sinai' and 'Hagar' he supposes There is a place X70, 'Chagra,' Chrysostom to allude. But even if the mentioned four times in the Targum of account which Fürst gives of the word Onkelos, Gen. xvi. 7, 14, XX. 1, Exod. ''D were altogether satisfactory, it xv. 22. In the second passage it is would still remain in the highest degree substituted for ‘Bered,' in the remain. improbable that Chrysostom should be ing three for 'Shur,' of the original acquainted with an etymology so ab. text. It must therefore have lain struse. somewhere at the south of Palestine in
the familiar term for the light of Mahomet (compare also the Hebrew 792 and 796). Thus it has nothing in common with 'Chagar,' 'a stone' loss), which if it occurred in Hebrew would be written an. It is true that the gutturals are closely allied, and were sometimes confounded? ; and this circumstance would deserve to be considered, if the supposed name for Sinai were supported by sufficient testimony: but where this is wanting, the false etymology throws an additional obstacle, to say the least, in the way of our accepting the explanation in question. Nor will it appear very probable that St Paul should have set aside the true derivation, when it is given and allegorized by his contemporary Philo?.
It seems much more probable indeed, if St Paul is alluding to any local name of Sinai, that he should have regarded the true etymology, and that the name in question was not un rock,' but yn 'wanderer.' This latter name was at least not uncommon among the Arab tribes ; and it is far from unlikely, though direct evidence is wanting, that a settlement of these 'wanderers,' these children of 'Hagar,' occupied the country about Sinai in St Paul's day and gave it their name for the time.
3. But lastly, is it probable, supposing this to have been St Paul's (3) St meaning, that he would have expressed himself as he has done? If in Paul's writing to a half-Greek, half-Celtic people he ventured to argue from an
language. Arabic word at all, he would at all events be careful to make his drift intelligible. But how could his readers be expected to put the right interpretation on the words 'this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia'? How could they
tion of the gutturals to each other, see
Assemani indeed (Bibl. Or. III. 2,
Arabibus Hagiar, hoc est,
,מחר and מהר .the same root
, e.g By their interchange (2) ;צחר and צהר
1 The close alliance between the gutturals is shown, (1) By their inter. change in the same language in different words connected or identical in meaning and obviously derived from
, ; (2) in different languages of the Semitio family, e. g. Heb. jfand Syr. wle (Hoffmann, Gramm. Syr. p. 123), or in different dialects of the same language, e.g. in the Aramaic dialects the Syriac 102 compared with the Chaldee pris (see Gesen. Thes. p. 359, Fürst Aram. Idiome 8 45); (3) By the confusion of sound in the same language or dialect, e.g. a Judæan in the story professes himself unable to distinguish between
,''' ?, ',' and DT, 'an ass,' as pronounced by a Galilean, when the latter wants to make & purchase ; see Fürst, ib. & 15. There was the same confusion also in the Sa. maritan pronunciation of the gutturals; Gesen. Lehrgeb. § 32. I.
On the rela
Petra ; Ptolemaeo Agra, unde Agraei
2 napolanous, Leg. Alleg. I. p. 135 M,
,wine חֲמַר ,wool ,עֲמַר ',alamb' ,אָמַר
possibly understand, knowing nothing of Arabic, that he meant to say, this word Hagar in the Arabic tongue stands for Mount Sinai'? Even if it be granted that his readers were acquainted with the fact which was the key to his meaning, is εν τη 'Αραβία at all a likely expression to be used by any writer for εν τη 'Αραβική γλώσση Or 'Αραβιστί, unless it were made intelligible by the context? Yet this is the meaning generally assigned to év Tŷ 'Apaßią by those commentators, ancient or modern, who adopt the interpretation in question, and indeed seems to be required to justify that interpretation.
In the face of these difficulties, it seems at least improbable that the point of the passage is the identity of 'Hagar' and 'Sinai' as different names of the same mountain, and the reading which retains · Hagar'in the text loses any support which it may seem to draw from this identity, assumed as a fact.
Philo's allegory of Hagar and Sarah'.
In giving an allegorical meaning to this passage of the Old Testament narrative St Paul did not stand alone. It might be inferred indeed from his own language that such applications of the history of Hagar and Sarah were not uncommon in the schools of his day. But, however this may be, it is more than once so applied in the extant works of Philo. I have already pointed out the contrast presented by his treatment of the history of Abraham in general to the lessons which it suggests to the Apostle of the Gentiles. This contrast extends to the application of the allegorical method to this portion of the sacred narrative. Philo's allegory is as
Abraham-the human soul progressing towards the knowledge of God allegory, -unites himself first with Sarah and then with Hagar. These two alliances
stand in direct opposition the one to the others. Sarah, the princess—for such is the interpretation of the word is divine wisdom. To her therefore Abraham is bidden to listen in all that she says. On the other hand Hagar, whose name signifiessojourning' (vapoiknois), and points therefore to something transient and unsatisfying, is a preparatory or intermediate
i For Philo's allegory of Hagar and Sarah, see esp. de Congr. Quaer. Erud. Gr. I. p. 519 sq, esp. pp. 521, 522, 530, 592, and Quaest. in Gen. p. 189 sq, 233 sq (Aucher). Compare also Leg. Alleg. I. p. 135, de Cherub. I. p. 139 sq, de Prof. 1, p. 546, de Abr. II. p. 52, de Somn. I. p. 656.
3 See the notes on OUVOTO.X€î and άλληγορούμενα, .
3 de Abr. 11. p. 15 évartiúraTOL de αλλήλοις εισίν οι λεχθέντες γάμοι.
* In some passages Philo still further refines on the change in her name (Gen. xvii. 15): e.g. de Mut. Nom. I. p. 590, Quaest. in Gen. p. 229 (Aucher), de Cherub. I. p. 139. Her first name Sápa (90) is ápxý mov, her after-name Eáppa (1770) is õpxovo a (see Hieron. Quaest.
Gen., III. p. 331). Thus they are related to each other as the special to the general, as the finite and perishable to the infinite and imperishable.
training—the instruction of the schools—secular learning, as it might be termed in modern phrase? Hence she is fitly described as an Egyptian, as Sarah's handmaid. Abraham's alliance with Sarah is at first premature. He is not sufficiently advanced in his moral and spiritual development to profit thereby. As yet he begets no son by her. She therefore directs him to go in to her handmaid, to apply himself to the learning of the schools. This inferior alliance proves fruitful at once. At a later date and after this preliminary training he again unites himself to Sarah ; and this time his union with divine wisdom is fertile. Not only does Sarah bear him a son, but she is pointed out as the mother of a countless offspringa. Thus is realised the strange paradox that 'the barren woman is most fruitful.' Thus in the progress of the human soul are verified the words of the prophet, spoken in an allegory, that 'the desolate hath many children 8.'
But the allegory does not end here. The contrast between the mothers is reproduced in the contrast between the sons. Isaac represents the wisdom of the wise man, Ishmael the sophistry of the sophist". Sophistry must in the end give place to wisdom. The son of the bondwoman must be cast out and flee before the son of the princess.
Such is the ingenious application of Philo—most like and yet most compared unlike that of St Paul. They both allegorize, and in so doing thoy touch with St
Paul's. upon the same points in the narrative, they use the same text by way of illustration. Yet in their whole tone and method they stand in direct contrast, and their results have nothing in common. Philo is, as usual, wholly unhistorical. With St Paul on the other hand Hagar's career is an allegory, because it is a history. The symbol and the thing symbolized are the same in kind. The simple passage of patriarchal life represents in miniature the workings of God's providence hereafter to be exhibited in grander proportions in the history of the Christian Church. The Christian
1 ή μέση και εγκύκλιος παιδεία 18 Philo's favourite phrase, e.g. de Cherub. I. p. 139.
? de Congr. Quaer. Erud. Gr. I. p. 519 ταύτην Μωϋσής, το παραδοξότατον, και στείραν αποφαίνει και πολυγονωτάτην : : comp. de Mut. Nom. 1. pp. 599, 600, where he adds κατά το αδόμενον άσμα υπό της χάριτος 'Αννης ή φησιν, Στειρα έτεκεν επτά η δε πολλή εν τέκνοις ήσθέ- é. unge (1 Sam. ü. 5).
they are present to his mind.
• de Sobr. 1. p. 394 σοφίαν μεν Ισαάκ, σοφιστείαν δε Ισμαήλ κεκλήρωται : Comp. de Cherub. 1. p. 140, and other passages referred to in p. 198, note i. The names give Philo some trouble. Isaac of course signifies 'laughter,' betoken. ing the joy which comes of divine wigdom; see, besides the passages just referred to, Leg. Alleg. 1. p. 131, Quod Det. Pot. I. pp. 203, 215. Ishmael he contrasts with Israel, the one signifying the hearing God, the other the seeing God (7X 1787 vix, 'vir videns deum'; comp. Hieron. in Gen. III. p. 357). Thus they are opposed to each other, as áron to Opaois, as the fallacious to the infallible, as the coplotis to the copós, de Prof. 1. p. 577, de Mut, Nom. I p. 609.
8 de Esecr. ΙΙ. p. 434 ή γαρ έρημος, ή φησίν ο προφήτης, εύτεκνός τε και πολύπαις, όπερ λόγιον και επί ψυχής αλληyopeitai (Is. liv. 1). The coincidence with St Paul is the more striking inasmuch as Philo very rarely goes beyond the Pentateuch in seeking subjects for allegorical interpretation. There is indeed no mention of Sarah and Hagar here, but it appears, both from the con. text and from parallel passages, that
o de Cherub. 1. p. 140.