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A DISSERTATION ON THE HEBREW LANGUAGE, FROM
JENNINGS'S JEWISH ANTIQUITIES.
LEARNING OF THE JEWS.
SECT. I. Jewish Manner of writing.–Origin of writing. Engraving on
brass, stone tables, on rock. The inscriptions on the mountains of Faran, in
the wilderness of Sinai; in the plain of Mummies in Egypt; at the river Ly.
cus; on the bricks of Babylon. One of these seen by the author. Engraving
on lead. Books written on painted linen, papyrus, parchment, leaves, and
inner bark of trees, plates of wood covered with wax. Their pens or styles :
sometimes iron; sometimes a reed. The ancient form of books in rolls. A
copy of the Veda described, as seen by the author. Rolls commonly written
on one side; but sometimes on both. Writings how preserved. Letters, or
private epistles in the form of rolls : how sealed. Description of an eastern
letter seen by the author
SECT. II. Some Account of their principal Books.-The Old Testament divided
into the Pentateuch, former prophets, latter prophets, and Hagiographa.
Account of the origin of chapters and verses. The Books referred to in
Scripture, but at present lost. The Septuagint: Josephus. Of the Talmu-
dical writings, the following are the most remarkable. 1st. The Midraschim,
or Commentaries. 2d. The Midraschim Rabbot, or Great Commentaries.
3d. The Pirke Abbot, or Sentences of the Fathers. 4th, The Mishna, its
origin, author, and contents described. 5th. The Gemara. 6th. The Talmud.
7. The Targum. 8th. The Commentary on the Old Testament by Aben Ezra.
9th. Maimonides, writings of, described. 10th. Abarbanel's Commentary on
SECT. III. Jewish Notions of Astronomy.-Jewish notions of the figure,
motion, and dissolution of the earth. Objections against the Copernican sys-
tem examined. State of astronomy in Chaldea, Egypt, and Judea. The cases
of Joshua, and the dial of Abaz, Arcturus and Orion described : the Pleiades:
the chambers of the south ; Mazzaroth. Parkhurst's different explanation
of these. The darkness at our Saviour's death considered. An interesting
extract from Ferguson's Tracts