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he endeavours to prove from Isa. xix. 18. In that Day skall five Cities in the Land of Egypt Speak the Language (or Lip as it is in the Margin) of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of Hofts. Speaking the Language of Canaan implies (says he) no more than being of the same Religion with the Jews who inhabited the Land of Canaan. But why may it not be interpreted literally as it is in our Version? Does any absurd Sense arise from that Interpretation? Might not those five Cities particularly, to thew the Value and Reverence that they had for the Religion of the Jews, learn their Language, especially since they would be thereby better enabled to understand the Books of Moses and the Prophets, which were writa ten in that Tongue? Do not the Mahometans wherever they are, Turks; Tartars, Perfans, Moguls or Mores, all learn Arabic ; because Mahomet writ the Alcoran in that Language? The Sense to which he would confine the Words of the Prophet, is low and flat in Comparison of this literal one, and any one that reads the whole Chapter must I think conclude so. In that Day Egypt shall be like unto Women, it UNO JON phe ehhad. Consentientes Pseudo-prophetae ore uno bonum pollicentur, i Reg. xxii. 13. Hinc labio alicujus loqui perinde est ac consentire, quod conftat ex loco Efaiae allato: Die illo erunt quinque Urbes in AEgypto loquentes labium Chanaan, & jurantes per Jehovam Deum exercituum ; hoc est, idem sentientes cum Hebraeis, qui Chanaanitidem incolebant. Clericus in Gen. xioso
Jhall be afraid and fear; because of the Making of the Hand of the LORD of Hosts, which be shaketh over it, ♡ 16. And the Land of Yudah shall be a Terror unto Egypt, Ņ 17. And again in the 19th Verse. In that Day Mall there be an Altar to the LORD, in the midst of the Land of Egypt. They shall become Proselytes to the Law of Moses, and that they may not inistake in understanding the Sense of the Law, which they shall then embrace, they will agree to learn that Language in which it is written. This I take to be the true meaning of the Place.
But we read, yosh. ix. 2. That the King's of Canaan gathered themselves together to fight with Joshua, and with Israel with one Accord; what we render with one Accord, in the Hebrew is one Mouth; and so it is noted in the Margin of our Bibles. So also the false Prophets promised Ahab Success, 768 xa phe ehhad with one Mouth, i. e. unanimously, when he went against Ramoth Gilead, 1 Kings xxii.
Phe ebbad has no Preposition affixed to it in yosh. ix. 2. which shews that the two Words fo joined, are to be understood adverbially, and governed by a Verb either express’d, as it is there, or necessarily and plainly understood, as it is in i Kings xxii
. 13. and consequently have no Relation to Shaphah, (Lip) here in Moses. I would not accuse Mr. Le Clerc of Malignity here, as if he brought these Quotations to destroy the Miracle; but I cannot acquit him of
Negligence, when he thought that his Interpretation of Shaphah ebhad, one Lip or Language in this place, could be strengthened by this Phe ehhad, which is always used adverbially, for what in English we call unanimoufly, or with one Accord. For though Shaphah, Lip, is figuratively used for Language in Hebrew, yet it does not follow that Phe, Mouth, should be so too ; and in Fact it is not ; or chat, because one Mouth may in that Tongue be metaphorically and adverbially used for one Accord, therefore one Lip should have the same Sense: I believe he will hardly shew us one single Instance, but this in Isaiah, (which we have no Reason to give up, and by what Mofès says, Gen. xi.
appears ought not to be given up) in which one Lip properly signifies, not a mutual Agreement, or one Mind of many Men who join in the same Undertaking, but one Language which all they spoke, who joyned together in that Design. And this I think is sufficient to destroy his Interpretation, and what I believe he will yield to, especially since he does not in the least dilbelieve the Power of God to work this Miracle, no more than his Power of teaching Adam and Eve to speak at first, or of inspiring the Apostles with the Gift of Languages at the great Pentecost in the second Chapter of the Asts.
This certainly was the Reason why so many of the ancient Interpreters, both Yews and
Christians understood this Confusion of Babel, to be a Confusion of Languages, not Opinions. They saw the Text, if literally understood, required it: They observed a surprizing Variety of Tongues, essentially different from one another. And they knew that this was not in the least inconsistent with the Power of God. They did not question, but that he that made the Tongue, could make it speak what and how he pleased, and they acquiesced as all wise and honest Interpreters ought to do, in the literal Explication, seeing that nothing unworthy of God, or in itself either impossible or trifling, resulted from that Interpretation.
But it is here objected, that we need not recurr to a Miracle, fince a bare Separation of these Workmen, and a subfequent Settlemenţ in very distant Regions, where all mutual Commerce and Intercourse was destroyed, would be fufficient. We fee in a thousand Years what Alterations and Deviations have been made froin the Latin in France, Italy, Spain, and the Subalpine Regions. In France the Gascon, and Provençal Dialects are hardly understood at Paris; and the Language of their Poets still exstant in those Dialects, is more different from the common French, by great odds, Ĉ than Chaucer's Idiom is from Waller's or Prior ș. In Spain, besides the Castillan, there are two large and copious Idioms, the
* See the Recueil des Poetes Gascons, printed at Amfterdam in 1700,
Portugueze and the Catalan, neither of which are readily intelligible, especially the Portugueze, by one that knows only the Third. A Man may know all the rest of the Dialects that are derived from the Latin, and yet be wholly to seek in the Grisons Language. And yet all these Tongues, which have each one their particular Marks, which Marks are plainly different from each other, and some.of them very widely too, owe their Original within twelve hundred Years to the Latin; and besides, there has always been a mutual Commerce and Intercourse between these several Nations, which derive their Languages from the same common Stock. In the Languages which are derived from the Teutonic, there has happen'd full as 'great a Variation in the same compass of Time : How different is the ancient Saxon in AElfred's Time, from the Language
about the Time of Hen. II. And that from the Language of Pierce Plowman or Chaucer? And their Idiom from ours? An Englishman cannot understand a Hollander; nor he a Saxon; nor any of them a Swede or a Dane. The Ipandish (or the old Norns, or Norwegian Language) which is the Mother of the Danish and Swedish Idioms, is not intelligible now without Study, by a Native of Copenhagen or Stockholm. The Fragments of the Gospels, published by Junius, are written in a different Dialect from the Francic of Willeram and Otfrid, and their Tongue differs as much