Page:EB1911 - Volume 25.djvu/382

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366
SOLON

MS. R. Finally in 1895, von Gebhardt published from five MSS. his edition entitled *aX^o£ Zvf^n&vros, Die Psalmen Salomos zum erstenmale mit Benutzung der Athoshandschriften und des Cod. Casanatensis herausgegeben. The five MSS. used by this last editor are C, H, J, L, R, of which C, J, L are exploited for the first time and represent respectively the MSS. Casanatensis, Iberiticus and Laura- Kloster. He represents the affinities of the MSS. in the following table, where Z stands for the archetype : —

Thus H is the only MS. common to this edition and that of Ryle and James; for Gebhardt regards the secondary MSS. V, M, P as not deserving consideration. Notwithstanding there is a much finer critical training for the student in the textual discussions and retroversions in the latter edition than in the former.

Translations. — Wellhausen, Die Pharisder und die Sadducaer (1874), T 3I sqq. This translation is unfortunately based on the editio princeps of De la Cerda published in 1626. Pick's translation which appeared in the Presbytertan Review for October 1883, pp. 775-813, is based on the same text and is imperfect owing to a faulty knowledge of English. Ryle and James {op. cit.). Kittel's translation (Kautzsch, Apokr. u. Pseudep. i. 1900, ii. 127 sqq.) was made from von Gebhardt's text.

The Original Language. — All modern scholars are practically agreed that the Psalms were written in Hebrew. It is unnecessary to enter into this question here, but a point or two might be mentioned which call for such a presupposition, (i.) First we find that, after the manner of the canonical Psalms, the musical symbol SiaxpaKfia, (170) is inserted in xvii. 31 and xviii. 10, a fact which points to their use in the divine worship in the synagogue, (ii ) Next we find that a great number of passages cannot be understood unless by retroversion into, Hebrew, when the source of the error becomes transparent. One such instance occurs in ii. 29, tov elwtiv t^v xnrtp^aviav tov SpaicovTos hi kriyx^. Here tlirtlv, which is utterly meaningless, = if«S a corruption of "i'p^> or TfnH "to change," "turn" (WeUhausen). Thus we arrive at the sense required, " To turn the pride of the dragon into dishonour, (iii.) Finally, there are Several passages where the text exhibits the future tense, when it ought to give the past imperfect. This pheno- menon can easily be explained as a false rendering of the Hebrew imperfect.[1]

Date.— The date can be determined from references to con- temporary events. Thus the book opens with the alarms of war (i. 2, viii. 1), in the midst of a period of great prosperity (i. 3, 4, viii. 7), but the prosperity is merely material, for from the king to the vilest of his subjects they are altogether sinful (xvii. 2i, 22). The king, moreover, is no descendant of David, but has usurped his throne (xvii. 6-8). But judgment is at hand. " A mighty striker " has come from the ends of the earth (viii. 16), who when the princes of the land greeted him with words of welcome (viii. 18), seized the city (viii. 21), cast down its walls (ii. 1), polluted its altar (ii. 2), put its princes and counsellors to the sword (viii. 23), and carried away its sons and daughters captive to the west (viii. 24, xvii. 14). But the dragon who con- quered Jerusalem (ii. 29), and thought himself to be more than man (ii. 32, 33), at last meets with shameful death on the shores of Egypt (ii. 30, 31).

The above allusions are easy to interpret. The usurping kings who are not descended from David are the Maccabeans. The " mighty striker " is Pompey. The princes who welcomed his approach are Aristobulus II. and Hyrcanus II. Pompey carried off princes and people to the west, and finally perished on the coast of Egypt in 48 B.C. Thus Ps. ii. was written soon after 48 B.C., while Ps. i., viii., xvii. fall between 63 and 48 b.c, for they presuppose Pompey's capture of Jerusalem, but show no knowledge of his death. Ps. v., vii., ix., xiii., xv. belong apparently to the same period, but iv. and xii. to an earlier one. On the whole Ryle and James are right in assigning 70-40 B.C. as the limits within which the psalms were written.

Authorship. — The authors were Pharisees. They divide their countrymen into two classes — " the righteous " (ii. 38-39, iii- 3S> 7, 8), and " the sinners " (ii. 38, iii. 13, iv. 9) ; " the saints " (iii. 10) and " the transgressors " (iv. n). The former are the Pharisees; the latter the Sadducees. The authors protest against the Asmonaean (i.e. the Maccabees) for usurping the throne of David and laying violent hands on the high priest- hood (xvii. 5, 6, 8), and proclaim the coming of the Messiah, the true son of David (xvii. 23-25), who is to set all things right and establish the supremacy of Israel. The Messiah is to be pure from sin (xvii. 41), purge Jerusalem from the defilement of sinners and of the Gentiles (xvii. 29, 30, 36), destroy the hostile nations and extend his righteous rule over all the remaining peoples of the earth (xvii. 27, 31, 32, 34, 38).[2]

Ps. xvii., xviii. and i.-xvi. can hardly be assigned to the same authors. The hopes of the Messiah are confined to the former, and a somewhat different eschatology underlies the two works (see Charles, Eschatology: Hebrew, Jewish and Christian, 220-225).

In addition to the literature mentioned above, also in Ryle and James's edition and Schtirer, Gesch. des jiid. Volkes, 3rd ed., iii. 150 sqq, see Ency. Bib. i. 241-245. (R. H. C.)


SOLON (7th and 6th century B.C.), Athenian statesman, the son of Execestides of the family of Codrus, was born about 638 B.C. The prodigality of his father made it necessary for Solon to maintain himself by trade, especially abroad. In his youth he became well known as the author of amatory poems and later of patriotic and didactic verse. Hence his inclusion among the Seven Sages. Solon's first public service was the recovery of Salamis from the Megarians. A law had been passed forbidding any reference to the loss of the island; Solon solved the difficulty by feigning madness, and reciting an inflammatory poem in the agora. It appears that Solon was appointed to recover the " fair island " and that he succeeded in expelling the Megarians. Sparta finally arbitrated in favour of the Athenians (c. 596), who ascribed their success to Solon. About a year later he seems to have moved a decree before the Amphictyons declaring war on Cirrha. At this period the distress in Attica and the accumulating discontent of the poorer classes, for whom Draco's code had proved inadequate, reached its height. Solon was summoned by all classes unanimously to discover a remedy; under the legal title of Archon, he received unlimited powers which he exercised in economic and constitutional reforms (see below). From various sources we learn that these reforms met with considerable opposition, to escape from. which Solon left Athens for ten years. After visiting Egypt, he went to Cyprus, where Philocyprus, king of Aepea, received him with honour. Herodotus (v. 113) says that Philocyprus, on the advice of Solon, built himself a new town called, after his guest, Soli. The story that Solon visited Croesus in Lydia, and made to him the famous remark—" Call no man happy till he is dead "—is unfortunately discredited by the fact that Croesus seems to have become king nearly thirty years after Solon's legislation, whereas the story must be dated within ten years of it. Subsequently Solon returned to Athens, to find civil strife renewed, and shortly afterwards his friend (perhaps his relative) Peisistratus made himself tyrant. About 558 B.C. Solon died, and, according to the story in Diogenes Laertius i. 62 (but see Plutarch's Solon, 32), his ashes were scattered round the island of Salamis. If the story is true, it shows that he was regarded as the oecist of Salamis.

Reforms.—The date of Solon's archonship has been usually fixed at 594 B.C. (Ol. 46. 3), a date given by Diog. Laërt. (i. 62) on the evidence of the Rhodian Sosicrates (fl. 200–128 B.C.; see Clinton, Fast. Hell. ii. 298, and Busolt, 2nd ed., ii. 259). The date 594 is confirmed by statements in the Aristotelian Constitution

of Athens (ch. 14). For various reasons, the dates 592,

  1. In addition to Ryle and James, Introd. pp. lxxvii.-lxxxvii., see Peries, " Die Erklarung der Psalm. Sal." (Oriental. Litteraturzeit., 1902, v. 7-10).
  2. The conception of the Messiah is vigorous, but the influence of such a conception was hurtful; for by connecting the Messianic with the popular aspirations of the nation, the former were secularized and the way prepared for the ultimate destruction of the nation.