Formulae for Old Testament Citations in the New, Part 2

Moreover, with our text the Pauline pericope in Romans 15:9-12 is able to be compared, τὰ δὲ ἔθνη ὑπὲρ ἐλέους δοξάσαι τὸν Θεόν, καθὼς γέγραπται, Διὰ τοῦτο ἐξομολογήσομαί σοι ἐν ἔθνεσι, etc. Καὶ πάλιν λέγει, Εὐφράνθητε, ἔθνη, μετὰ τοῦ λαοῦ αὐτοῦ. Καὶ πάλιν, Αἰνεῖτε τὸν Κύριον πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, etc. Καὶ πάλιν Ἠσαΐας λέγει, etc., and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, etcAnd again He saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, etc. And again, Esaias saith, etc.:  in which, when in the first place is a formula of citation, καθὼς γέγραπται, as it is written, and in the fourth place, καὶ πάλιν Ἠσαΐας λέγει, and again, Isaiah saith; in the intervening place we have, καὶ πάλιν λέγει, and again He saith, which λέγει, He saith, is to be repeated in sense under the following καὶ πάλιν, and again:  now, this λέγει, He saith, posited absolutely after γέγραπται, it is written, is to be supplemented by ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, or is to be expounded by λέγει, He saith, that is, ἐν τῇ γραφῇ, in the Scripture.  Not to repeat the text of Ephesians 4:8, in which we saw that that διὸ λέγει, wherefore he saith, is not able to be supplied from the immediate context; but it ought necessarily to be explained, wherefore the Scripture saith, or wherefore it is said, namely, by the Holy Spirit in Sacred Scripture:  before I turn to other things, the Pauline context of Hebrews 1:6-12 is worthy of notice, ὅταν δὲ πάλιν εἰσαγάγῃ τὸν πρωτότοκον εἰς τὴν οἰκουμένην λέγει, Καὶ προσκυνησάτωσαν αὐτῷ πάντες ἄγγελοι Θεοῦ. Καὶ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀγγέλους λέγει, Ὁ ποιῶν τοὺς ἀγγέλους αὐτοῦ πνεύματα, καὶ τοὺς λειτουργοὺς αὐτοῦ πυρὸς φλόγα· πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν, Ὁ θρόνος σου, ὁ Θεός, εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος· ῥάβδος εὐθύτητος ἡ ῥάβδος τῆς βασιλείας σου. Ἠγάπησας δικαιοσύνην, καὶ ἐμίσησας ἀνομίαν· διὰ τοῦτο ἔχρισέ σε ὁ Θεός, ὁ Θεός σου, ἔλαιον ἀγαλλιάσεως παρὰ τοὺς μετόχους σου. Καί, Σὺ κατ᾽ ἀρχάς, Κύριε, τὴν γῆν ἐθεμελίωσας, καὶ ἔργα τῶν χειρῶν σού εἰσιν οἱ οὐρανοί· αὐτοὶ ἀπολοῦνται, σὺ δὲ διαμένεις· καὶ πάντες ὡς ἱμάτιον παλαιωθήσονται, καὶ ὡσεὶ περιβόλαιον ἑλίξεις αὐτοὺς καὶ ἀλλαγήσονται· σὺ δὲ ὁ αὐτὸς εἶ, καὶ τὰ ἔτη σου οὐκ ἐκλείψουσι, And again, when He bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him. And of the angels He saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire:  But unto the Son, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever:  a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.  Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.  And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:  They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment:  And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed:  but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.  Four diverse passage of the Old Testament are here adduced by that λέγει, He saith, express or understood, namely, Psalm 97:7; 104:4; 45:6, 7; 102:25-27.

 

We do not, as might be expected, devote any attention to Socinus, who denies that the καί/and at the beginning of Hebrews 1:10 is to be more sharply divided from the words that follow, and to be held as an indication of a new testimony concerning Christ the Son of God to be cited out of the Old Testament and to be added to those going before:  to whom BECMANN[1] responds with fullness, Exercitationibus Theologicis, VIII, pages 123-125.

 

If we wish to supplement this λέγει, He saith, out of the antecedent context, it is to be referred to God the Father, unto whom alone squares the expression of those things that occur in verse 5, τίνι γὰρ εἶπέ ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων, Υἱός μου εἶ σύ, ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε; Καὶ πάλιν, Ἐγὼ ἔσομαι αὐτῷ εἰς πατέρα, καὶ αὐτὸς ἔσται μοι εἰς υἱόν, for unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? and again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son?:  but one may not affirm the same concerning those things that are alleged in verses 6-12.  And indeed, if we consider those passages in reverse order, in Psalm 102 God, or a divine person, is most certainly not introduced as speaking, but it is most manifestly, as also the Title has it, a Prayer of the afflicted, or for the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his meditation or complaint before Jehovah.[2]  Unto that Jehovah, by which name Paul in Hebrews 1 teaches us specifically God the Son is indicated, in the words cited by him is directed a speech from a subject of this sort, that in the immediately preceding verse 24 he had prefaced this complaint from himself before Him, or he professes that this prayer was to be poured out by himself before Him, I was saying, or, I shall say, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days; thy years are unto every generation! Which things certainly do not square with God the Father speaking.  In the next place, in Psalm 45 the Prophet is introduced as speaking by the Holy Spirit, if you attend to verse 1, my heart is gushing forth a good word; I am going to speak my poems concerning the King; my tongue is the pen of a swift scribe:  in which context, moreover, the speech in this epithalamium[3] is directed both to the King, verses 2-9, and to the Queen, verses 10 and following.  But, either the Prophet himself, the author of this Song, is believed to extend in this Psalm unto the praises of Messiah and His spiritual bride, as the words of verse 1 most simply and immediately pertain to Him; or he may be thought to represent other persons speaking also; I believe that to accommodate the argument of verse 1 to God the Father is certainly going to please very few.  But, if in verse 1 God the Father is not speaking, it does not appear that He is able to be introduced in verses 6 and 7 either as the person speaking, to which neither does the structure of the oration in verses 6 and 7 urge us in any way:  where Messiah is addressed twice by the Name אֱלֹהִים/Elohim/God; and speech is made in the third person concerning God the Father as His God, anointing Him; and not one single word is added that ought to be believed to proceed from God the Father specifically.  The situation is no different in Psalm 104, in which God the Father does not meet us as speaking; but rather the Prophet, by his own example going before all the pious, rouses his soul to the praises of God, verse 1a, Bless Jehovah, O my soul; then turning from his own soul to God, so that he might bear witness before Him, addressed in the second person, to his own piety most devout veneration, Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty, verse 1b; in which context, moreover, speaking concerning God in the third person, whether in soliloquy, or to all hearers and readers, verses 2-32, he relates in a sublime style Jehovah’s magnificent works, both of Creation and of Providence, on account of which He was to be praised eternally:  returning to himself in verses 33 and 34, and promising that he is going to persist continually in that to which he had roused his soul, and that he had immediately begun to fulfill in verse 1, I will sing to Jehovah in my life; I will sing a Psalm to my God as long as I shall be. My meditation of Him shall be sweet; I will be glad in Jehovah:  even while to the impious, who are not roused by so many stupendous works of Divinity, so many benefits of benign Providence, to proclaim the praises of God in words and works, in holy zeal and by the prophetic Spirit he gravely threatens and predicts eternal destruction, verse 35a, let sinners be consumed, or sinners shall be consumed, from the earth, and let the wicked be, or the wicked shall be, no more; and with a clause filled with emotion he reaches deeply to stir his own soul, just as he had done in the exordium of the Psalm, and at the same time each soul, to extol that Jehovah, who has openly manifested Himself in such wonderful and divine works, verse 35b, Bless thou Jehovah, O my soul; praise ye Jah! From which simple abstract of the argument of this Psalm it is immediately evident that Jehovah the Father is not able to be considered as the person speaking, when for the praise of Jehovah it is related concerning Him in the third person, verse 4, who maketh His angels spirits, His ministers a flaming fire.  In addition, that I might teach this in passing, in Hebrews 1:7, 8, the use of the preposition πρὸς is worthy of consideration, καὶ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀγγέλους λέγει—πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν, and of the angels He saith…but to the Son.  And indeed, the words cited in verses 8 and 9 are directed toward the Messiah, God the Son, by direct address, but what things are repeated out of Psalm 104:4 in verse 7 it is altogether clear are expressed not to the Angels but concerning the Angels.  Hence, so that πρὸς, in these twin expressions so closely connected with each other, might be taken in one and the same sense, since in verse 7 it is not able to have the more common signification of to, the matter is to be set right in one or the other way; for either a comma is to be set before λέγει, He saith, and the sense is to be arrested after these words, καὶ πρὸς μὲν τοὺς ἀγγέλους, πρὸς δὲ τὸν υἱόν: in which case there is an elliptical expression, to be translated, and [with respect to] the Angels, but [with respect to] the Son He says:  which would be fully expressed, καὶ ὅσον μὲν πρὸς τοὺς ἀγγέλους προσήκει, ὅσον δὲ πρὸς τὸν Υἱόν προσήκει, as far as the Angels are concerned, as far as the Son is concerned.  Or πρὸς in this place shall carry the notion of περὶ/concerning, and concerning the angels He saith, but concerning the Son He saith.  Each is able best to be compared with the diction of the Greeks, and also πρὸς does thus occur in the place of περὶ/concerning in the New Testament, Luke 20:19:[4]  see WOLF’S Curas philologicas et criticas on Hebrews 1:7.  BEZA also translates verse 7, And concerning the Angels He saith; and he adds in his notis, “Concerning the Angels, πρὸς ἀγγέλους. Hebrew:  אֶל/to/concerning, עַל/concerning.”  To which things compare what SCHULTENS has on Job 5:8:[5] Nothing is more common than for אֶל/to/concerning to be taken for עַל/ concerning. Let Job 42:7, 8 suffice, לֹא דִבַּרְתֶּם אֵלַי נְכוֹנָה, ye have not spoken concerning me the thing that is right.  Likewise MARCKIUS, in his Exercitationibus textualibus, Part III, Exercise XV, § 12, on Psalm 2:7:[6] …Others expound אֶל/to by עַל/concerning, so that it might be about, or concerning, by comparison with Genesis 20:2;[7] 2 Kings 19:32;[8] Job 42:7; Psalm 69:26;[9] Jeremiah 27:19;[10] 40:16;[11] 51:60;[12] Ezekiel 21:28;[13] etc.: just as also πρὸς/to is sometimes used in Greek, Hebrews 1:7; 4:13;[14] etc.  Similarly the Reverend MARTIN translates it, Car quant aux Anges, il [est] dit. Mais [il est dit] quant au Fils, for as for the Angels, He says [it is said]…but as for the Son, He says [it is said].  As also DE BEAUSOBRE and LENFANT[15] render it:  Mais à l’égard des Anges, voici comme il en parle: Au lieu qu’il dit, en parlant du Fils, But with regard to the Angels, here is how He speaks: Instead He says, speaking of the Son.  But this is ὡς ἐν παρόδῳ, in passing.

From the things just now observed I think that it is now sufficiently evident that, when it is asked concerning the specific person speaking in the passages out of Psalm 104, 45, and 102, cited by Paul, this cannot rightly be said to be God the Father: and so, when that λέγει, He saith, of the Apostle with respect to these three passages shall be supplied from what precedes by Θεὸν/God, who said, Υἱός μου εἶ σύ, etc., Thou art my Son, etc., God the Father is not able to be contemplated as speaking in those passages, except in that most general sense, in which πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος, all Scripture is God-breathed, 2 Timothy 3:16, and πάλαι ὁ Θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις, in time past God spake to the fathers by the prophets; which the Apostle in Hebrews 1:1 does indeed oppose to the speech of God made in these last days ἐν Υἱῷ, through the Son, but understanding the Son ἔνσαρκον/incarnate, Θεάνθρωπον, the God-man, walking about in the earth:  while the speech formerly delivered to the Fathers by the Prophets pertains equally to God the Son and God the Father, 1 Peter 3:18-20, Χριστὸς—θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκί, ζωοποιηθεὶς δὲ τῷ πνεύματι, ἐν ᾧ καὶ τοῖς ἐν φυλακῇ πνεύμασι πορευθεὶς ἐκήρυξεν, ἀπειθήσασί ποτε, ὅτε ἅπαξ ἐξεδέχετο ἡ τοῦ Θεοῦ μακροθυμία ἐν ἡμέραις Νῶε, etc., Christ…being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit, by which also He went and preached unto the spirits in prison, which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, etc:  1 Peter 1:11, ἐρευνῶντες [προφῆται] εἰς τίνα ἢ ποῖον καιρὸν ἐδήλου τὸ ἐν αὐτοῖς Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ, προμαρτυρόμενον τὰ εἰς Χριστὸν παθήματα, καὶ τὰς μετὰ ταῦτα δόξας, [the prophets] searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow:  to which purpose are those things that Paul cites in Hebrews 1 out of Psalm 45, and to which they have regard.  Therefore, when God the Father in the passages before us is said to speak only by means of the inspiration of the Prophets by the Holy Spirit, this does not differ much from the common supplement of the word ἡ γραφὴ, the Scripture, in the verb λέγει, He/it saith, or of the interpretation of λέγει by λέγεται, it is said, which others perhaps will prefer from the similar use of that λέγει, He/it saith, in many passages.

[1] Christian Becmann (1580-1648) was a German Reformed theologian; he served as Professor of Theology at Zerbst (1627-1648).

[2] Psalm 102 (title):  “A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed, and poureth out his complaint before the Lord (תְּ֭פִלָּה לְעָנִ֣י כִֽי־יַעֲטֹ֑ף וְלִפְנֵ֥י יְ֜הוָ֗ה יִשְׁפֹּ֥ךְ שִׂיחֽוֹ׃).”

[3] That is, a poem celebrating marriage.

[4] Luke 20:19:  “And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people:  for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against (πρὸς) them.”

[5] Job 5:8:  “I would seek unto God (אֶל־אֵל), and unto God (וְאֶל־אֱלֹהִים) would I commit my cause…”

[6] Psalm 2:7:  “I will declare the decree:  the Lord hath said unto me (אֵלַי), Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.”

[7] Genesis 20:2:  “And Abraham said of Sarah (אֶל־שָׂרָה) his wife, She is my sister:  and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.”

[8] 2 Kings 19:32a:  “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king (אֶל־מֶלֶךְ) of Assyria, He shall not come into this city…”

[9] Psalm 69:26:  “For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten; and to the grief (וְאֶל־מַכְאוֹב) of those whom thou hast wounded they talked.”

[10] Jeremiah 27:19:  “For thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vesselsאֶל־הָֽעַמֻּדִ֔ים וְעַל־הַיָּ֖ם וְעַל־הַמְּכֹנ֑וֹת וְעַל֙) יֶ֣תֶר הַכֵּלִ֔ים) that remain in this city…”

[11] Jeremiah 40:16:  “But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing:  for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael (אֶל־יִשְׁמָעֵאל).”

[12] Jeremiah 51:60:  “So Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written against Babylon (אֶל־בָּבֶל).”

[13] Ezekiel 21:28a:  “And thou, son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God concerning the Ammonites, and concerning their reproach (אֶל־בְּנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹן וְאֶל־חֶרְפָּתָ֑ם); even say thou, The sword, the sword is drawn…”

[14] Hebrews 4:13:  “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do (πρὸς ὃν ἡμῖν ὁ λόγος).”

[15] Isaac de Beausobre (1659-1738) was a French Protestant Pastor, best known for his Histoire Critique de Manichée et du Manichéisme. Jacques L’enfant (1661-1728) was a French Protestant Theologian and Minister.  They worked together to produce a new French translation of the New Testament, with a large introduction and annotations.

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