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PREFACE.

THE general design of the series to which this volume belongs, is the promoting of biblical learning: the particular object of the volume is to present the reader with a specimen of learned, laborious criticism, applied to a small, but important portion of the Hebrew Scrip

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If we reflect upon the distinguishing peculiarities of the Hebrew language, particularly its antiquity and sacred character, we may perceive that it possesses many strong claims on our attention. We may not believe, or at least may think it not capable of proof, that it was the language of paradise ;—the medium of communication betwixt the Divine Being and the parents of mankind ;—the language in which the latter were taught to communicate their thoughts to each other, and to their offspring. But though we may doubt this, we cannot doubt that it was one of the earliest written languages; and we have good grounds for inferring that it was a spoken language at a still earlier period. The genuineness of the books of Moses is satisfactorily established; and there are no other well authenticated writings known to exist, of equal antiquity. Now the language in which Moses wrote

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