Messaggio
  • EU e-Privacy Directive

    Questo sito utilizza Cookies per gestire autenticazione, navigazione e altre funzioni. Cliccando Accetto, usando il sito, cliccando i link o semplicemente scrollando la pagina accettate l'utilizzo dei Cookies durante la navigazione.

    Leggi la nostra privacy policy

    Leggi e-Privacy Directive Documents


To visualize the Hebrew language, written from right to left, it is necessary to have Hebrew font in your pc (bwhebb, see Homepage)





PRELIMINARY DISCOURSE

(Of the Interlinear Translation: word-for-word)

 


This translation, destined to serve as proof of the principles laid down in the Grammar and in the Dictionary, is preceded by a LITERAL VERSION, in French and in English, made upon the Hebrew Text presented in the original with a transcription in modern characters and accompanied by critical and grammatical notes, wherein the interpretation given to each word is proved by its radical analysis and its comparison with the analogous word in Samaritan, Chaldaic, Syriac, Arabic or Greek.

If, instead of Hebrew, I had chosen Chinese or Sanskrit as the basis of my labour, having reached this point of my work I might have mastered the greatest difficulties; for, after having developed the principles of these tongues by explaining their constitutive elements and their radical forms, there would only remain for me to show the attentive and unprejudiced reader, the excellence of these same principles in applying them to the translation of certain chapters from the Kings or the Vedas. But the choice that I have made of Hebrew places me in quite a contrary position. The difficulties increase even where they should be lessened; what might have been a sort of complement, an easy result, becomes the principal object, awakens, fixes the attention, arouses and excites the reader; whereas he would have remained calm, and might have followed me with an interest which, being keen, would have been impartial. This is the effect of the translation which I have felt impelled to make of the Sepher of Moses. I have realized it and have foreseen all the consequences. I was even inclined to make this translation the principal title of my work, naming it simply The Cosmogony of Moses; but then I would have placed the Hebraic tongue in the background and my first plan was that it should occupy the foreground; since it was while seeking the origin of speech that I encountered this tongue and considered it particularly as one of those whose grammatical principles could more safely lead to this unknown origin and unveil its mysteries.

I shall not repeat what I have said in my Dissertation concerning this tongue itself, its culture, its perfection among the ancient Egyptians, and its transplantation, effect of the providential emigration of the Hebrews; neither shall I speak of the rapid degeneration of its expressions, which from metaphorical, intelligible, and universal had become literal, sentient and particular; neither of its utter loss, nor of the insurmountable obstacles which the temporal state of things brought about in its reestablishment: I have taken care to prove these diverse assertions as much as the obscurity of the centuries and the lack of monuments have permitted: I have established my Grammar upon principles whose simplicity exemplifies its veracity and strength. Now it is only a question of applying these principles. The Sepher is presented. But what a host of phantoms move by its side!

Child of the past and teeming with the future, this book, inheritor of all the sciences of the Egyptians bears still the germs of future sciences. Fruit of divine inspiration it contains in few pages the elements of that which was, and the elements of that which shall be. All the secrets of Nature are entrusted to it. All. It assembles in the Beraeshith alone, more things than all the accumulated books in European libraries. Whatever is most profound, most mysterious in Nature, whatever wonders can be conceived in the mind; whatever is most sublime in the understanding, this book possesses it.

The Sepher is the basis of the Christian and Mussulman religions, as well as that of the Judaic, which claims justly the name of their common mother; but this basis is equally unknown to all three, as far as the vulgar teaching is concerned; for I know that among the Israelites there exist certain successors of the Essenes who possess the oral traditions, and among the Christians and Mussulmans certain men more advanced than others in the interpretation of the Sacred Books. The versions which these three religions possess are all made in the spirit of that of the Hellenists which has been their model: that is to say, that they deal with the exterior forms of the work of Moses, with the grossest and most material sense only, the one which this theocrat had destined as a veil for the spiritual sense, the knowledge of which he reserved for the initiates. Now to what point ought one to reveal this basis upon which repose the three dominating cults of the earth? To what point ought one to lighten the mysterious darkness  by which it has with purpose been surrounded?

These are the stumbling blocks that I have long since foreseen and whose principle I have already attacked in my Dissertation; for if it is true, as everything convinces me, that Providence, opening the portals of a New Day, is pushing minds on toward the perfecting of knowledge, is recalling Truth designedly eclipsed, and is hastening the downfall of prejudices which had served it in less happy times; what are these stumbling blocks whose aspect terrifies? Vain phantoms that the breath of Truth ought to dissipate and will dissipate.

Europe, after long darkness and keen agitations, enlightened by the successive efforts of the sages of all nations, and taught by her misfortunes and her own experiences, seems at last to have arrived at the moment of enjoying in peace the fruit of her labours. Escaped from the moral winter whose thick mists had long obscured her horizon she has for several centuries experienced the productive warmth of spring. Already the flowers of thought from all parts have embellished the reigns of Alphonso, of the Medicis and of Louis XIV [1]. Her spiritual summer draws nigh and the fruit is about to succeed the flowers. Minds more advanced demand more solid food.

The ancient religions and particularly that of the Egyptians, were full of mysteries, and composed of numberless pictures and symbols, sacred work of an uninterrupted chain of divine men, who, reading in the book of Nature and in that of the Divinity, translated into human language, the ineffable language. Those whose dull glance,  falling upon these pictures, these symbols, these holy allegories, saw nothing beyond, were sunk, it is true, in ignorance; but their ignorance was voluntary. From the moment that they wished to leave it, they had only to speak. All the sanctuaries were opened to them, and if they had the necessary constancy and virtue, nothing hindered them from passing from knowledge to knowledge, from revelation to revelation to the sublimest discoveries. They might, living and human, according to the force of their will, descend among the dead, rise to the gods and penetrate everything in elementary nature. For religion embraced all these things, and nothing of that which composed religion remained unknown to the sovereign pontiff. The one, for example, at the famous Egyptian Thebes, reached this culminating point of the sacred doctrine only after having passed through all the inferior grades, having exhausted in succession the portion of science allotted to each grade, and having proved himself worthy of attaining to the highest.

The king of Egypt alone was initiated by right, and by the inevitable course of his education, admitted to the most secret mysteries. The priests had the instruction of their order, their knowledge increased as they rose in rank and all knew that their superiors were not only much higher but much more enlightened. So that the sacerdotal hierarchy like a pyramid seated upon its base, offered always in its theocratic organization, knowledge allied with power. As to the people, they were, according to their inclination whatever they wished to be. Knowledge offered to all Egyptians was forced upon none. The dogmas of morality, the laws of politics, the restraint of opinion, the yoke of civil institutions were the same for all; but the religious instruction differed according to the capacity, virtue and will of each individual. They were not prodigal with the mysteries, and did not profane the knowledge of the Divinity; in order to preserve the Truth, it was not given indiscriminately.

This was the condition of things in Egypt, when Moses, obedient to a special impulse from Providence followed the path of sacerdotal initiation, and with such constancy as perhaps only Pythagoras later displayed, passed through all tests, surmounted all obstacles and braving the death threatening each step, attained at Thebes the highest degree of divine knowledge. This knowledge which he modified by a particular inspiration, he enclosed entire in the Berseshith, that is to say, in the first book of his Sepher, reserving as its safe-guard the four books which follow, and which give to the people who should be its trustee, ideas, institutions and laws which would distinguish them essentially from all other peoples, marking them with an indelible character.

I have already related the various revolutions undergone by the Sepher, in order to show that the condition of things in Europe and in all parts of the earth, wherever the Judaic cult and its two derivatives the Christian and Islamic, have extended, is precisely the inverse of what it was in Egypt at the epoch when the germ of this cult was detached from it and entrusted to the Hebrew people. The Beraeshith which contains all the secrets of elementary and divine Nature, offered to peoples, to the heads of peoples, to the priests themselves, under its most material covering, commands their faith in this state, and presents as basis of their religion a sequence of pictures and symbols that human reason, at the point which it has attained can only grasp with great difficulty.

It cannot be said, as in Egypt, that the understanding of these pictures or the revelation of the symbols may be given to whomsoever desires it. Not at all. The Judaic priesthood, destined to guard the Sepher of Moses, has not been generally destined to comprehend it and still less to explain it. Possessor of the profoundest mysteries, this priesthood is to these mysteries as the Egyptian people were to theirs: with this difference, that the position of this priesthood does not allow it to penetrate these mysteries; for in order to do this it would have to recognize superiors and address itself to the Essenes whose doctrine it condemns and whose traditions it does not admit as authentic. Moreover these Essenes, isolated, unknown and often persecuted, no longer offer today a sufficient guarantee. Thus this priesthood, whose devotion to the exterior forms of the Sepher, is in keeping with its fidelity to the purpose of its institution, is further from divine knowledge in the highest of its priests than in its humblest; for its purpose, as I have said, being to preserve and not to comprehend, it had to be limited to transmitting intact the sacred storehouse which had been confided to its keeping, and this obligation it has fulfilled with a force, constancy and rectitude beyond all eulogy.

Has the Christian priesthood in receiving this storehouse from the hands of the Judaic priesthood, contracted the same obligations? That is to say, is it bound to transmit it faithfully from generation to generation without ever being permitted to open it? It is not my purpose to determine this question. But in the state of civilization and enlightenment which Europe has attained since the invention of printing, the Sepher of Moses has not remained a book entirely theological. Spread broadcast in all classes of society, thanks to this admirable invention, it has been examined by all sorts of persons and subjected to the rigorous analysis of savants. All sects have taken possession of it and vying with one another, have sought reasons for defending their belief. The numberless disputes brought forth by the various interpretations of which the text has been believed susceptible, has made this text more and more popular; so that one may say with reason that this book has also become a classic. It is under this last relation that the lay writers consider it in Europe today, and that I myself consider it [2].

I have therefore translated the Cosmogony of Moses as litterateur, after having restored, as grammarian, the tongue in which this Cosmogony was written in its original text.

Therefore it is not for the theologian that I have written, but for the litterateur, for the people of the world, for the savants, for all persons desirous of knowing the ancient mysteries and of seeing to what point, the peoples who have preceded us in the course of life, had penetrated into the sanctuary of nature and into that of knowledge; for I believe I have expressed quite strongly, my opinion concerning the origin of the Sepher: this book is, according to the proofs which I have given in my Introductory Dissertation, one of the genetical books of the Egyptians, issued, as far as its first part called Beraeshith is concerned, from the depths of the temples of Memphis or of Thebes; Moses, who received extracts therefrom in the course of his initiations had only arranged them, and added according to the providential will which guided him, the enlightenment of his own inspiration, so as to confide this storehouse to the people by whom he was recognized as prophet and theocratic lawgiver.

My translation of the Cosmogony of Moses should be considered only as a literary work and by no means as a theological work. I have not intended it to command the faith of anyone and still less to distress anyone. I have carefully put aside from my notes all that which might have any reference to theological disputes; limiting myself to prove grammatically the meaning that I have given to the words and to show the strong connection of this meaning with what followed or with what had preceded. I have purposely omitted any commentary; leaving the reader to make his own comparisons.

However it is not through timidity nor through ignorance of reasons which I might use, that I have evaded theological controversy; it is through respect for the Christian church which must know perfectly to what point she ought or ought not to adopt the new ideas that I present. These ideas, purely literary, as long as they remain in my book, might become theological, and would become irresistibly so, by passing into the books of theologians and being subjected to their interpretations.

Whatever may be the fate of my book, I think that it will not be from the Reformed Christians, Lutherans or Calvinists that I shall find slanderers. For, is there in Germany, in England or elsewhere, a Protestant even slightly instructed in the motives of the Reformation who has not learned early to weigh the authorities and appreciate them at their just value? What disciple of Luther or Calvin does not know that any version whatsoever of the Sepher can never be made a rule in the matter of faith, and in no case should usurp the place of the original text and be followed in preference? If he pretended otherwise, would he not deny the fundamental principle of his sect and would he not repudiate its authors? What have Luther, Zwingli and Calvin said, and before them John Huss, Wycliff and Berenger ; that the Scripture alone was and ought to be the rule of faith; that every man of sane understanding and just mind, became its legitimate interpreter after his studies had given him such power, or when God had deigned to grant him the inspiration? Now of which Scriptures did these promoters of the Reform speak, these proud antagonists of sacerdotal authority? Was it of the Scriptures of the Hellenists or that of Saint Jerome? Assuredly not; but of the original Scriptures: and this is so true that, suspecting these imperfect copies, with just reason, of not being sufficiently confirmed, nearly all of them undertook a new translation of the text. If they did not succeed in the interpretations which they gave of the Sepher, it was because the means and not the will was lacking. The temporal state of things at that time was opposed to their desires. They have attempted it, and that is enough to legitimatize my efforts in the eyes of the Reformers as this is all that I have claimed to do.

If among the Catholic priesthood there are men judicious enough to consider, in this purely literary work, what it has useful to morality and to religion in general, and who, ready to receive the truth if it were shown them, await only a legal authority to sanction an examination; I could give them satisfaction: for it is not for want of proofs that I avoid controversies but for want of inclination. Here are two authorities that cannot be challenged. The first, that of Saint Paul, the wisest of the apostles, proves that already in his time, it was an acknowledged opinion that the Jews no longer understood the text of the Sepher, and had not the power to raise the veil which Moses had spread over his doctrine.

The second, that of Saint Augustine, the most learned of the Fathers of the Church, proves my entire translation in giving to the first two verses of the Beraeshith, exactly the same meaning as I have given; a meaning wholly contrary to the Vulgate.

"But our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit. . . Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: and not as Moses which put a veil over his face, that the children of Israel could not steadfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: but their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same veil untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which veil is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart" [3].

Saint Augustine, examining the question of the creation in his book of Genesis, against the Manichaeans, expresses himself thus: "It is said: in principle, God made heaven and earth; not that this was in effect, but because this was in power of being; for it is written that heaven was made afterward. It is thus, that considering the seed of a tree, we say that it has there the roots, trunk, branches, fruit and leaves; not that all these things are formally there, but virtually, and destined to be brought forth. Just as it is said, in principle God made heaven and earth; that is to say, the seed of heaven and earth; since the matter of heaven and earth was then in a state of confusion. Now, as it is certain that from this matter the heaven and the earth must be brought forth, that is why this matter was already called potentially the heaven and the earth" [4].

It seems to me difficult to add anything more to texts so concise. I refrain from all commentary upon that of Saint Paul; my design moreover not being, as I have said, to enter into discussion with the theologians. But I believe it necessary to say that Saint Augustine, still quite young when he composed his books of Genesis against the Manichaeans, and when he might have been accused of being carried away by flights of his imagination, was so far from repudiating afterward the opinion that I have just quoted, that, recalling it in the confessions of his old age, he still regarded it as a divine inspiration; "Is it not Thou, O Lord, who hast taught me, that before fashioning this unformed matter and distinguishing its parts, it was nothing in particular, no colour, no form, neither body nor spirit? ..."

And further on : "If I confess, O Lord, both by tongue and pen, what Thou hast taught me concerning this matter. . . what Thou hast revealed to me upon this difficult question . . . my heart ceases not to render homage to Thee for this, and to offer up its hymns of praise for the things that it knows not how to express."

But this is sufficient for the judicious men of whom I speak; the others will not be wanting in reasons for perverting the truth of the text of Saint Paul and for invalidating what Saint Augustine said. Let them guard carefully without ever opening the mysterious coffer which has been confided to them; but, since this coffer, through the irresistible progress of things, has become the patrimony of a multitude of persons of every nation and every cult, let them at least permit those among them who, far from the service of altars, devote themselves to the study of the sciences and strive to draw from it new principles and learning which may be used for the advancement of knowledge and the welfare of humanity. The times now are no longer those in which the simplest truths could not be shown without veils. Natural philosophy and mathematics have made such great strides, and have in such a manner, uncovered the secret resources of the Universe, that it is no longer allowable for moral and metaphysical sciences to drag after them the cradle blankets of infancy.

It is necessary that the harmony which has been interrupted between these two principal branches of human understanding be reestablished. This is what the savants, ordained to know nature in its double sanctuary, must endeavour to do with necessary prudence and precaution; for every divulgation has limits that one must know how to respect.

So much for the two difficulties of which I have spoken at the beginning of this Discourse. Both are dispelled before what I have just said: first, because minds long since open to the light of reason, furnish no more food for religious conflagrations; afterward, because the rays of truth purified today by the prism of science, enlighten the souls and burn them no more. Moreover, the form that I have given my work and the scientific staging with which I have been forced to surround it, will hinder its popularity.

This staging is immense. The reader has already seen it in the first part: that is to say, the radical Vocabulary where all the Hebraic roots explain themselves readily; the Grammar whose principles are attached to those of speech, and an Introductory Dissertation wherein I have explained my thought upon the origin of Hebrew, upon that of the Sepher, upon the divers revolutions experienced by this book, and upon the versions which have been made of it, particularly that of the Hellenists, vulgarly called Septuagint.

In the second part is the Cosmogony of Moses. Now what I call the Cosmogony of Moses is included in the first ten chapters of the Beraeshith, the first of the five books of the Sepher. These ten chapters form a kind of sacred decade in which each of the ten chapters bears the character of its number as I shall show. It has been assumed that the divisions of the Sepher, in books, as well as in chapters and verses, were the work of Esdras. I do not think so. These ten chapters which contain the whole, and whose number indicates the summary, prove to me that the Science of Numbers was cultivated long before Pythagoras, and that Moses having learned it from the Egyptians, used it in the division of his work.

The entire Cosmogony, that is to say, the origin of the Universe, that of the beings, from the elementary principle to man, their principal vicissitudes, the general history of the earth and its inhabitants, is contained in these ten chapters. I have not deemed it necessary to translate further; inasmuch as this suffices to prove all that I have advanced and nothing prevents anyone from applying my grammatical principles and continuing the exploration of the Sepher.

The Hebraic text which I quote is that contained in the Polyglot of Paris. I have scrupulously preserved all the characters without altering any under pretext of reforming it. I have likewise preserved of the Chaldaic punctuation, all that has appeared to me necessary for the reading of the text or required by grammatical rules; I have suppressed only the Masoretic minutiae and the musical notes, called improperly accents, of which I have said often in my Grammar, that I regarded its usage as absolutely foreign to the sense, and useful only for the Jews of the synagogue who wish to continue singing psalms in a tongue lost for twenty-five centuries.

I have considered this text as correct, and I have avoided the paradoxical spirit of those who have claimed that the Jews had designedly falsified their Scriptures. I know that among the Fathers who have sustained this paradox, are cited Saint Justin Martyr, Saint Irenus, Tertullian and others: but besides the fact that these Fathers always mean by the Hebrew text which they disparage, the Greek version of Aquila, or that of Symmachus, versions made in opposition to that of the Septuagint, it is unfortunate that they did not know a word of Hebrew. For, how can persons who do not know a tongue say that a book written in this tongue, an original, is not worth the translation which has been made of it? In order to sustain such an assertion, they must quote the falsified passages and prove that its words, that its style, are obviously altered. This is what they were incapable of doing.

When one knows with what religious care, with what scruples, with what excess of attention the Jews copy the sacred text of the Sepher, and preserve it, such ideas cannot be admitted. One can see in Maimonides, what the prescribed rules are in this respect. They are such that it is impossible that the least error, that the least oversight, can ever creep into the manuscripts destined for the use of the synagogues. Those who have not seen these manuscripts can have no idea what patience assisted by religious zeal can accomplish. Father Morin and Vossius, who have adopted the paradox of the Fathers of the Church, prove by that, to what point prejudice can obscure knowledge and render it vain. If the original text offers certain errors, they are slight, and are always anterior to Esdras, or at least to the Septuagint version. It is true that the manuscripts of the synagogues are without any kind of vowel points or accents; but, as I have repeated often enough, the meaning never depends upon these points. The meaning depends upon the root, upon the sign which rules it and upon the place that the word occupies.

It is always necessary, before determining the signification of any Hebrew word whatsoever, to interrogate the primitive meaning of the root, which is easy if it is a simple root; if the word is compound, it is necessary to refrain from any interpretation before having made the grammatical analysis according to the rules that I have given and upon which the use of my notes will shed much light. The primitive meaning of the root being always generic, it must first be modified by the sign, or signs, by which this same root may be accompanied and never particularized, according to the advice of the wise Maimonides, without long meditation upon the subject of which it treats, upon the occasion which brings about the expression, upon the thought of the writer, upon the movement of the style, literal or figurative and upon all the circumstances which, among a great number of significations, incline the word to one rather than to another. The usefulness of the vowel points is limited to giving the vulgar pronunciation of the word and determining its grammatical forms whether as noun, verb or relation.

I have transcribed the original text in English characters to facilitate the reading for persons little familiar with the Hebraic characters; I have tried, as far as possible in this transcription to reconcile the primitive orthography with the Chaldaic punctuation. I have, for that reason, given carefully and in conformity with the comparative Alphabet inserted in my grammar, the value of the consonants; I have indicated the presence of the first four mother vowels  a  ,  A  ,  W  ,  y  by a circumflex accent on the corresponding vowels a, ou, o, i; and those of the other three  h  ,  x  ,  [  by the aspiration h, h and h. When the mother vowels  w  ,  y  ,  [  have appeared to be consonants I have expressed them by w, j and gh, or wh. I have indicated the vague vowel of the Chaldaic punctuation by the corresponding English vowels without accent. When I have found a vague vowel opposing a mother vowel, I have amalgamated them, forming thereby a sort of diphthong oe, ae, ai, ao, etc.

It has seemed to me advisable before giving the correct translation of the Hebraic text, to approach as near as possible by a literal word-for-word, which would make my readers understand the exact value of each term of the original with its grammatical forms, according to the tongue of Moses. This was very difficult because of the signification of the words, which, nearly always metaphorical, and not being found contained in modern tongues in simple and analogous terms, requires a periphrasis. The Asiatic tongues, in general and particularly Hebrew, cannot be paralleled word-for-word with European tongues, and this is easy to conceive; for, in a word-for-word translation it would be necessary that the same literal ideas should be developed, the same ideas represented, or that the same universal ideas should have sprung from the same particular ideas; which is impossible in tongues so opposed, so diverse, spoken by peoples so different, so distant from one another in times and customs.

In order to obviate this difficulty as much as possible, I resolved to compose two literal versions, the one French and the other English; so that the word-for-word of the one, throwing light upon the word-for-word of the other, they are mutually sustained and together lead the reader to the desired end. I have chosen from among all the European tongues, the English tongue, as one of the most simple and the one whose grammar less rigid, allows me more facility in the construction. I believe I have no need of saying that one must not seek for elegance or grammatical purism in these two versions where I have purposely taken the greatest license.

I have supported these two versions with numerous notes, in which, applying the principles developed in my Grammar, I have proved the signification given to each word of the original text, in the strongest manner, taking one by one, each of these words, I have analyzed it by its root, reduced it to its elementary principles, modified it by the sign, decomposed, recomposed and, every time it has been necessary, confronted it with the corresponding word in Samaritan, Chaldaic, Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic even, and Greek.

Thus I have prepared the correct translation of the Cosmogony of Moses with which I terminate this work. I venture to believe that it would be difficult to prepare this result by means more fitting to demonstrate its truth, to establish it upon bases more solid, or to attain this end after efforts more sustained and less subject to illusion.

Therefore, in going back to the principles of Speech, and finding on this path the thought of Moses, I have interpreted and set forth in suitable language, the work of this great man whose energetic influence exerting itself for thirty-four centuries has, under sundry names, directed the destiny of the earth. My intention having been steadfastly sincere I trust that its results will be felicitous.

Through this translation which I give of the Sepher, Moses will no longer be the stumbling-block of reason and the dismay of the natural sciences. Those shocking contradictions, those incoherencies, those ridiculous pictures which furnish weapons so terrible for its enemies shall be no more seen in his Cosmogony. Nor shall one see in him, a limited man attributing to the Being of beings the narrowest views and passions, refusing his immortality to man and speaking only of the soul which passes away with the blood; but a sage, initiated in all the mysteries of Nature, uniting to the positive knowledge which he has imbibed in the sanctuaries of Thebes, the knowledge of his own inspiration. If the naturalist interrogates it, he will find in his work the accumulated observations of a sequence of incalculable centuries, and all the natural philosophy of the Egyptians summed up in a few words: he will be able to compare this imposing natural philosophy with that of the moderns and judge in what the one resembles, surpasses or is inferior to the other. The metaphysician will have nothing to compare with it since real metaphysics does not exist among us. But it is the philosopher especially who will discover in this book analogies worthy of his curiosity. If he desires it, this book will become in his hands a veritable criterion, a touchstone, by means of which he will be able to recognize, in any system of philosophy whatsoever, the truth or error it contains. He will find there finally, what the philosophers have thought most just or most sublime from Thales and Pythagoras, to Newton and Kant. My notes will furnish him with much data in this respect.

Besides I have had constantly before me, during the long composition of these notes, the four original versions: that of the Samaritans, the Chaldaic targums, the Hellenistic version called the Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate of Saint Jerome. I have quoted them when it has been necessary. I have paid little attention to other versions; for it is proved, for example, that the Syriac version, made from that of the Hellenists and which agrees with the Greek whilst the latter differs materially from the Hebrew, has been the text for the Arabic version; so that neither has authority. But it is useless to return incessantly to things that have been sufficiently explained.

 

 Notes

[1] I call the age of Alphonso, that in which the Oscan troubadours appeared. Alphonso X, king of Leon and Castile, through his love for the sciences merits the honour of giving his name to the age which saw them renascent in Europe. In my younger days I consecrated to the memory of the Oscan troubadours, a work in which I tried to do for them what Macpherson had already done for the bards of the North. I was at that time quite far from the ideas which occupy me now.

[2] The study of the Sepher of Moses, very widespread in Germany and in England, and the examination of the divers parts of which it is composed, has brought forth in these countries a new science known by the modern savants under the name of Exegesis.

[3] Epist. Corinth. II. ch. 3.

[4] L. I. c. 3 num. 11.


Cosmogony of Moses

This is only some examples of the Interlinear Translation (word-for-word).