Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges.djvu/17

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vii
PREFACE

may not be unwelcome to students of the Greek as well as of the Hebrew Bible. An edition of the Hebrew text, with critical apparatus, is in preparation, and will shortly appear in "The Sacred Books of the Old Testament," edited by Professor Paul Haupt.

In the philological notes, I have been mindful of the fact that it is the commentator's duty, not to follow the lexicographer and the grammarian, but to precede them; and have investigated afresh, and as far as possible exhaustively, all questions of etymology, usage, and construction which seemed to require it. If, in many cases, I cannot flatter myself that these investigations have added much light, they have often performed at least the negative service of showing that commonly accepted interpretations are unsound. In the hope that the commentary may be used to some extent by students, for whose reading the Book of Judges is peculiarly well suited, some notes of a more elementary character on the forms of words and on grammatical points have been added.

In conformity with the general plan of the series, all matters of textual criticism and Hebrew philology, together with more detailed and technical discussions of points of criticism, antiquities, and topography, have been kept apart from the body of the commentary, and will be found in smaller type at the end of the paragraphs. It is one of the evils of this arrangement that the grounds of an interpretation must often be sought in another place from the interpretation itself, while in other instances some repetition is unavoidable. It is believed, however, that the separation will prove convenient to many who may use the commentary; and I have endeavoured to diminish its disadvantages by cross-references and full indexes.

I have tried to make good use of all that has been done hitherto for the criticism and interpretation of the book. The commentators whom I have chiefly consulted are named in the