It is a fact that in quotations from the Old Testament the Greek text sometimes differs from the Hebrew.  The difficulties found in connection with this subject arise from our thinking and speaking only of the human agent as the writer, instead of having regard to the fact the the Word of God is the record of the words which He Himself employed when He spoke "at sundry times and in divers manners" (Heb. 1:1, see Ap. 95); and from not remembering (or believing) that "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2Pet. 1:27, and cp. Matt. 15:4.  Mark 12:36.  Acts 1:16; 3:18; 28:25.  Heb. 3:7; 9:8; 10:15).

If we believe that throughout the Scriptures we have the words of God, and not of man, all difficulties vanish.  The difficulties are created by first assuming that we are dealing with merely human documents, and then denying the Divine Speaker and Author the right that is claimed by every human writer for himself. It thus seems that man may take any liberty he chooses in quoting, adapting, or repeating in a varied form his own previously written words; but that he denies the Divine Author of the Holy Scripture the right to deal in the same manner with His own words.  This is the cause of all the so called "discrepancies" and "difficulties" arising from man's ignorance.

The Holy Spirit, in referring to words which He has before caused to be written in connection with the special circumstances of each particular case, frequently refers to them again in relation to different circumstances and other cases.  He could have employed other words had He chosen to do so; but it has pleased Him to repeat His own words, introducing them in different connections, with other applications, and in new senses. All these things are done, and words are even sometimes changed, in order to bring out some new truth for our learning.  This is lost upon us when we charge upon God our own ignorance, and the supposed infirmities of human agencies.

One great source of such difficulties is our failure to note the difference between what is said to be "spoken", and what is said to be "written".  If we introduce the latter assumption when the former is definitely stated, we at once create our own "discrepancy".  True, by a figure of speech we can say that an author has said a certain thing when he has written it; but we may not say that he spoke it when he distinctly says that he wrote it, or vice versa.  Some prophecies were spoken and not written; some were written by not spoken; while others were both spoken and written.

There is surely, all the difference in the world between to rhethen = that which was spoken, and ho gegraptai = that which standeth written.  If we deliberately substitute the one for the other, of course there is a discrepancy; but it is of our own creating.  This at once disposes of two of the greatest and most serious of so called discrepancies, Matt. 2:23 and 27:9 (see Ap. 161).

One other consideration will help us when the quotations are prophecies.  Prophecies are the utterances of Jehovah; and Jehovah is He Who was, and is, and is to come -- the Eternal.  His words therefore partake of His attributes, and may often have a past and present as well as future reference and fulfillment (See Ap. 103); and (1) a prophecy may refer to the then present circumstance under which it is spoken; (2) it may have a further and subsequent reference to some great crises, which does not exhaust it; and (3) it may require a final reference, which shall be the consummation, and which shall fill it full, and thus be said to fulfill it.

Certain prophecies may therefore have a preterite reference, as well as a future fulfillment; but these are too often separated, and the part is put for the whole, one truth being used to upset another truth, to the contempt of Divine utterances, and to the destruction of brotherly love. The principles underlying the New Testament quotations were fully set out by SOLOMON GLASSIUS (A.D. 1623) in his great work (written in Latin) entitled, Philologia Sacra, chapter on "Gnomes"; and, as this has never been improved upon, we follow it here. The notes on the N.T. passages must be consulted for further information, e.g. Luke 4:18 (II. 1, below).

  1. As to their INTERNAL form :  i.e. the sense as distinct from the words :--

    1. Where the sense originally intended by the Holy Spirit is preserved, though the words may vary.

      Matt. 1:23 (Isa. 7:13,14), "spoken", see above.  Matt. 2:6 (Mic. 5:2); 3:3 (Isa. 40:3); 11:10 (*1) (Mal. 3:1); 12:17 (Isa. 42:1-4); 13:14, 15 (*s) (Isa. 6:9, 10); 21:16 (*s) (Ps. 8:2); 21:42 (*s) (Ps. 118:22, 23); 22:44 (*s) (Ps. 110:1); 26:31 (Zech. 13:7); 27:35 (*s) (Ps. 22:18); Mark 15:28 (Isa. 53:12).  Luke 4:18-21 (Isa. 61:1, 2).  John 19:37 (Zech. 12:10); Acts 3:22, 23 (*s) (Deut. 18:15-19); 13:33 (*s) (Ps. 2:7);  15:16, 17 (Amos 9:11, 12).  Rom. 14:11 (Isa. 45:23); 15:3 (*s) (Ps. 69:9); 15:12 (*s) (Isa. 11:1, 10).  Eph. 4:8 (Ps. 68:18).  Heb. 1:8, 9 (*s) (Ps. 45:6, 7); 1:10-13 (*s) (Ps. 102:25); 5:6 and 7:17, 21 (Ps. 110:4); 10:5, 6 (*s) (Ps. 40:6-9.  See below, II. 3. a).  1Pet. 2:6 (*s) (Isa. 28:16).

    2. Where the original sense is modified, and used with a new and different application.

      Matt. 12:40 (Jonah 1:17).  John 3:14, 15 (Num. 21:8, 9); 19:36 (Ex. 12:46).  Eph. 5:31, 32 (Gen.   2:23, 24)

    3. Where the sense is ACCOMMODATED, being different from its first use, and is adapted to quite a different event or circumstance.

      Matt. 2:15 (*h) (Hos. 11:1); 2:17, 18 (Jer. 31:15); 8:17 (*h) (Isa. 53:4); 13:35, "spoken" (Ps. 78:2);  15:8, 9 (Isa. 29:13); 27:9, 10 (*2) Acts 13:40, 41 (*s) (Hab. 1:5).  Rom. 9: 27, 28 (*s*) (Isa. 10:22, 23); 9:29 (*s) (Isa. 1:9); 10:6 (*s), 7, 8 (*s) (Deut. 30:12-14).  1Cor. 1:19, 20 (Isa. 29:14; 33:18); 10:6 (Ex. 32:6-25).  Rev. 1:7 (Zech. 12:10); 1:17 (Isa. 41:4); 11:4 (Zech. 4:3, 11, 14).

  2. As to their EXTERNAL  form :  i.e. the words, as distinct from the sense.

    1. Where the words are from the Hebrew text or Septuagint version.

      Matt. 12:7 (Hos. 6:6); 22:32 (*h) (Ex. 3:6); Mark 12:26 (*h) (Ex. 3:6); 11:17 (*h) (Isa. 56:17)  Jer.   7:11).  Luke 4:18 (Isa. 61:1, 2).

    2. Where the words are varied by omission, addition, or transposition.

      Matt. 4:10 (Deut. 6:13; 10:20); 4:15, 16 (Isa. 9:1, 2); 5:31 (Deut. 24:1); 5:38 (Ex. 21:24.  Lev. 24:20);  12:18-21 (Isa. 42:1-4); 19:5 (*s) (Gen. 2:24); 22:24 (Deut. 25:5, 6). Rom. 11:3, 4 (1Kings 19:10, 14, 18).  1Cor 2:9 (Isa. 64:4); 14:21 (Isa. 28:11, 12)  1Pet. 1:24, 25 (Isa. 40:6-8).

    3. Where the words are changed, by a various reading, or by an inference, or in Number, Person, Mood, or Tense.

      The necessity for this is constantly experienced today in adapting a quotation for any special purpose beyond its original intention.  It is no less authoritative as Scripture, nor does it alter the Word of God.

      1. By a different reading.
        Heb. 10:5  (*s) (Ps. 40:6; see the notes in both passages).

      2. By an inference.
        Matt. 2:6 (Micah 5:2).  See notes.  Acts 7:43 (Amos 5:25-27)
        Rom. 9:27 (*s) (Isa. 10:22); 9:29 (Isa. 1:9); 9:23 (Isa. 28:16);
        Eph. 4:8 (Ps. 68:18).

      3. In Number.
        Matt. 4:7 (Deut. 6:16), Rom. 4:7 (Ps. 32:1); Rom. 10:15 (Isa. 52:7).

    4. Where two or more citations are combined.  Composite quotations.

      This is a common practice in all literature.

      PLATO (429 - 347 B.C.)  Ion, p. 538, connects two lines from HOMER (about 850 B.C.), one from Iliad, xi. 1. 638, and the other from I. 630.

      XENOPHON ( 430 - 357 B.C.)  Memorabilia, Bk. I. ch. 2, § 58, gives as one quotation two passages from Homer (Iliad, ii. 188, &c., and 198, &c.)

      LUCIAN (A.D. 160)  in his Charon, § 22, combines five lines together from HOMER from different passages (Iliad, ix. 319, 320; and Odyssey, x. 521, and xi. 539).

      PLUTARCH (about  A.D. 46) in his Progress in Virtue, combines in one sentence Homer (Odyssey, vi. 187, and xxiv. 402).

      CICERO (106 - 43 B.C.), De Oratore, Bk. II. § 80, combines in two lines parts of Terence's lines (Andria, 115, 116, Parry's Edn.).

      PHILO (20 B.C. - A.D. 40)  in Who is the Heir of Divine Things (§ 5), quotes, as one address of Moses, parts of two others (Num. 11:13 and 22).  In the same treatise (§ 46) he combines parts of Gen 17:19 and 18:14.

      Illustrations could be given from English authors.

      Man may make a mistake in doing this, but not so the Holy Spirit.

          In Matt. 21:5, Isa. 62:11 is combined with Zech. 9:9.
          In Matt. 21:13, Isa. 56:7 is combined with Jer. 7:11.
          In Mark 1:2, 3, Mal. 3:1 is combined with Isa. 40:3.
          In Luke 1:16, 17, Mal. 4:5, 6 is combined with 3:1.
          In Luke 3:4,.5, Mal. 3:1 is combined with Isa. 40:3.
          In Acts 1:20, Ps. 69:25 is combined with 109:8.
          In Rom. 3:10-12, Eccles. 7:20 is combined with Ps. 14:2, 3 and 53:2, 3.
          In Rom. 3:13-18, Ps. 5:9 is combined with Isa. 59:7, 8 and Ps. 36:1.
          In Rom. 9:33, Isa. 28:16 is combined with 8:14.
          In Rom. 11:26, 27 (*s) Isa. 59:20, 21 is combined with 27:9.
          In 1Cor. 15:54-56, Isa. 25:8 is combined with Hos. 13:14.
          In 2Cor. 6:16, Lev. 26:11 is combined with Ezek. 37:27.
          In Gal. 3:8, Gen. 12:3 is combined with 18:18.
          In 1Pet. 2:7, 8, Ps. 118:22 is combined with Isa. 8:14.

    5. Where quotations are made from secular writers.

      See notes on Acts 17:22, 23, and 28.  1Cor. 15:33.  Col. 2:21.  Tit. 1:12.

    (*1)  And the parallel passages in the other Gospels, which can be easily found.
    (*s)  This denotes that it agrees with the Septuagint Version in these cases, and not with the Hebrew.
    (*s*)  It denotes that it is nearly, but not exactly, the same.
    (*h)  This denotes that it agrees with the Hebrew, but not with the Septuagint Version.
    (*2)  This was "spoken", not written, and is therefore not a quotation.  See Ap. 161.

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