Formation and History of the Hebrew Canon.
1. The Greek word canon (originally a straight rod or pole, measuring-rod, then rule) denotes that collection of books which the churches receive as given by inspiration of God, and therefore as constituting for them a divine rule of faith and practice. To the books included in it the term canonical is applied. The Canon of the Old Testament, considered in reference to its constituent parts, was formed gradually; formed under divine superintendence by a process of growth extending through many centuries. The history of its formation may be conveniently considered under the following divisions: (1,) the Pentateuch; (2,) the historical books; (3,) the prophetical books in the stricter sense of the term; (4,) a somewhat miscellaneous collection of books which may be designated in a general way as poetical.


2. In the name applied to the Pentateuch -- "the book of the law," and more fully, "the book of the law of Moses," "the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded to Israel" -- we have from the beginning the general idea of the canon. A canonical writing is one that contains a communication from God to men, and has therefore the impress of divine authority. In its outward form it may be preceptive, historical, or meditative. But in all these different modes it still reveals to men God's character, and the duties which he requires of them. The Hebrews never admitted to the number of their sacred books a writing that was secular in its character. Even those who deny the canonical authority of certain parts of the Old Testament acknowledge that the Jews received these parts because they believed them to be of a sacred character.

3. In Deut.31:9-13, 24-26; 17:18, 19, we read: "And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and unto all the elders of Israel. And Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles, when all Israel is come to appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men, and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the Lord your God, and observe to do all the words of this law: and that their children which have not known anything, may hear, and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over Jordan to possess it:" "and it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, that Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side" (that is, not within, but by the side. Compare Josh.12:9; Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam.20:25; Psa.91:7; where the same word is used in the original) "of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee;" "and it shall be when he" -- the king whom the Israelites in some future age shall set over themselves -- "sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: and it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life; that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and the statutes, to do them." These passages are of the weightiest import; for they teach us how the nucleus of the canon of the Old Testament was formed, and give us all the particulars that enter into the idea of a canonical writing. It is given by God as an authoritative rule of faith and practice; it is committed to the custody of his people through their recognized officers, and that for all future time; it is to be published to the people at large, and diligently studied by the rulers, that they and the people together may know and do the will of God. It is not necessary to decide the question how much is included in the words "this book of the law," Deut.31:26, whether the whole Pentateuch, or only the book of Deuteronomy. The arguments to show that the four preceding books came, in all essential respects, from the pen of Moses have been already given (Ch.9, Nos.7-9), and need not be here repeated. We only add that even if the reference is to Deuteronomy alone, as some suppose, the rule for this book would naturally be the rule for all the previous writings. They also would be laid up by the side of the ark; for it is plain that the priests and Levites, who had charge of the sanctuary, were made the keepers of the sacred writings generally.

As a matter of simple convenience the book of Deuteronomy was written on a separate roll ("in a book," Deut.31:24). But if this book, when finished, was laid up with the earlier portions of the law at the side of the ark, so as to constitute with them a single collection, and if, as we may reasonably suppose, Moses, in writing the book of Deuteronomy, contemplated such a collection of all the parts of the law into one whole; then, when the law is mentioned, whether in Deuteronomy or in the later books, we are to understand the whole law, unless there be something in the context to limit its meaning, as there is, for example, in Joshua 8:32 compared with Deut.27:1-8. The command to "read this law before all Israel in their hearing," "at the end of every seven years, in the solemnity of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles," was understood in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah of the whole law, and not of Deuteronomy alone (Ch.9, No.4); and so Josephus plainly understood it: "But when the multitude is assembled in the holy city at the septennial sacrifices on the occasion of the feast of tabernacles, let the high priest, standing on a lofty stage whence he can be plainly heard, read the laws to all." Antiq.4.8, 12. "The laws," in the usage of Josephus, naturally mean the whole collection of laws.


4. The history of these is involved in obscurity. In respect to most of them we know not the authors, nor the exact date of their composition. There are, however, two notices that shed much light on the general history of the earlier historical books. In the last chapter of the book of Joshua, after an account of the renewal of the covenant at Shechem, it is added: "And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord." Josh.24:26. Again, upon the occasion of the establishment of the kingdom under Saul, we are told that "Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord." 1 Sam.10:25. From the first of these passages we learn that a theocratic man after Moses, who had the spirit of prophecy, connected his writings (or at least one portion of them) with the law. This addition by Joshua, though never formally regarded as a part of the law, virtually belonged to it, since it contained a renewal of the covenant between God and his people. From the second passage we learn that the place for other important documents pertaining to the theocracy was "before the Lord," where the law was deposited. Hence we infer with much probability that, besides the addition made to "the book of the law of God," important historical writings, proceeding from prophetical men, like Joshua and Samuel, were in process of collection at the sanctuary all the time from Moses to Samuel.

5. If now we examine the books of Joshua and Judges, we must be satisfied that the men who compiled them made use of such materials. In the book of Joshua is recorded, with much detail, the allotment of the land of Canaan among the several tribes. A document of this nature must have been written at the time, and by Joshua himself, or under his immediate direction. The same may be reasonably supposed of other portions of the book. If then it was put into its present form after the death of Joshua, as some suppose, the materials must still have been furnished by him to a great extent. The book of Judges covers a period of more than three centuries. Who composed it we do not know, but the materials employed by him must have existed, in part at least, in a written form. The book of Ruth may be regarded as an appendix to that of the Judges.

6. The two books of Samuel (which originally constituted one whole) bring down the history of the Theocracy from the birth of Samuel to the close of David's reign -- a period of about a century and a half. The author, therefore, can have been, upon any supposition, only in part contemporary with the events which he records. Yet if we examine the biographical sketches of Saul, Samuel, and David contained in these books, the conviction forces itself upon us that they must have been written by contemporaries. Their freshness, minute accuracy of detail, and graphic vividness of style mark them as coming from eye-witnesses, or from writers who had received their accounts from eye-witnesses. Who were authors of these original documents we cannot determine. It is certain that Samuel was one of them.1 Chron.29:29. Who composed the books, again, is a question that we are unable to answer. It was probably a prophet living not very long after the separation of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. From the days of Samuel and onward there was a flourishing school of the prophets at hand which could furnish, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, both the writers of the original materials and the author of the books in their present form.

The attempt has been made to set aside the evidence that the writer of the books of Samuel made use of earlier documents, from the example of such men as Swift and Defoe, who composed works of fiction with all the simplicity and circumstantial detail of those who write authentic history as eye-witnesses. But, unless the design be to class the books of Samuel with "Gulliver's Travels" and "Robinson Crusoe," the argument is wholly irrelevant. With Swift and Defoe simplicity and minuteness of detail were a matter of conscious effort -- a work of art, for which they naturally chose the region of fiction; and here they, and other men of genius, have been eminently successful. Shakespeare has portrayed ideal scenes in the life of Julius Caesar with more vividness and circumstantiality than any authentic historian of Caesar's age. But real history, written simply in the interest of truth, never has the graphic character, artless simplicity, and circumstantiality of detail which belong to these inimitable narratives, unless the writer be either an eye-witness, or draw his materials from eye-witnesses.

7. We come next to the books of Kings and Chronicles, the writers of which confessedly employed previously existing materials. In the two books of Kings (which, like the two of Samuel and of Chronicles, originally constituted one work) reference is made to the following sources: For the reign of Solomon, "the book of the acts of Solomon" (1 Kings 11:41); for the kingdom of Judah after the revolt of the twelve tribes from Rehoboam to Jehoiakim, "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah;" for the kingdom of Israel, "the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel." In the books of Chronicles we have: For the reign of David, "the book" (history) "of Samuel the seer, the book of Nathan the prophet, and the book of Gad the seer" (1 Chron.29:29); for the reign of Solomon, "the book of Nathan the prophet, the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite," and "the vision of Iddo the seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat" (2 Chron.9:29); for the reign of Rehoboam, "the book of Shemaiah the prophet," and "of Iddo the seer concerning genealogies," that is, in the manner of a genealogical record (2 Chron.12:15); for the reign of Abijah, "the story" (commentary) "of the prophet Iddo" (2 Chron.13:22); for the reign of Jehoshaphat, "the book of Jehu the son of Hanani," who is mentioned (rather, who is inserted, i.e., as an author) in the book of the kings of Israel (2 Chron.20:34); for the reign of Uzziah, "the prophet Isaiah" (2 Chron.26:22); for the reign of Hezekiah in part, "the vision of Isaiah the prophet" (2 Chron.32:32); for the reign of Manasseh in part, "the sayings of the seers," or, as many prefer to render, "the words of Hosai" (2 Chron.33:18). Besides the above, reference is made to "the book of the kings of Judah and Israel," "the book of the kings of Israel and Judah," "the story of the book of the kings;" "the book of the kings of Israel." These last are probably only different titles of the same collection of annals, embracing in its contents the history of both kingdoms; since the references to the book of the kings of Israel are for the affairs of the kingdom of Judah (2 Chron.20:34; 33:18).

8. With regard to the above original sources, it should be carefully noticed that the references in the books of Kings are not to our present books of Chronicles, which did not exist when the books of Kings were written. Chap.20, No.21. Neither can the allusions in the books of Chronicles be restricted to our present books of Kings; for (1) they refer to matters not recorded in those books -- for example, to the wars of Jotham, 2 Chron.27:7; (2) they refer to the book of the kings of Judah and Israel for a full account of the acts of a given monarch "first and last," while the history of the same monarch in our present books of Kings refers for further information to the book of the Chronicles of the kings of Judah. It is plain that both writers had access to a larger collection of original documents, which were in great part the same. The chief difference in outward form is that, when the books of Chronicles were written, the annals of the two kingdoms of Judah and Israel seem to have constituted a single collection, whereas in the books of Kings they are always mentioned as two separate works. In making his selections from these annals, each writer proceeded independently. Hence the remarkable agreements, where both used the same materials; and the remarkable differences, where one employed documents, or parts of documents, which the other omitted to use.

9. As to the character of these original documents, it is plain that a portion of them were written by prophets. By some the books of the kings of Israel and Judah so often referred to, have been regarded as simply the public annals of the two kingdoms written by the official annalists, the "scribes" or "recorders" so often spoken of. No doubt such annals existed, and entered largely into the documents in question. But the right interpretation of 2 Chron.20:34, shows that, in some cases at least, the writings of prophets were incorporated into these annals. The extended history of Elijah and Elisha cannot have been the work of the public scribes of the kingdom of Israel, but of prophets, writing from the prophetic point of view. The question, however, is not one of practical importance, since, whatever may have been the source or character of the materials employed, the writers of the books now under consideration, used them at their discretion under the guidance of the Spirit of God. To us, therefore, they come with the weight of prophetic authority. The further consideration of the relation between the books of Kings and Chronicles is reserved for the special introductions to these books. It may be added here that the probable date of the former is the first half of the Babylonish captivity; of the latter, the time of Ezra under the Persian rule.

10. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah constitute a continuation of the books of Chronicles, and need not be particularly noticed in the present connection. For their authorship and date, as also for the book of Esther, see the particular introductions to these books.


11. Under the prophetical books, in the stricter sense of the word, may be included the three Greater prophets -- Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel -- Daniel (though largely historical), and the twelve Minor prophets. These will all come up hereafter for separate consideration. At present we view them simply with reference to the growth of the Old Testament Canon. From the settlement of the Israelities in the land of Canaan to the time of Samuel, a period of several centuries (according to the chronology followed by the apostle Paul, Acts 13:20, four hundred and fifty years), we read of several appearances of the "angel of the Lord." Judges 2:1; 6:11; 13:3. The notices of prophets during the same period are only three in number. Judges 4:4; 6:8; 1 Sam.2:27. But with Samuel began a new era. He was himself one of the greatest of the prophets, and he established a school of the prophets over which he himself presided.1 Sam.10:5, 10; 19:20. From his day onward such schools seem to have flourished as a theocratic institution throughout the whole period of the kings, though more vigorously at certain times.1 Kings 18:4; 20:35; 2 Kings 2:3, 5; 4:1, 38, 43; 5:22; 6:1; 9:1. So far as we have notices of these schools, they were under the instruction of eminent prophets; and "the sons of the prophets" assembled in them received such a training as fitted them, so far as human instrumentality is concerned, for the exercise of the prophetical office, as well as for being, in a more general sense, the religious instructors of the people. From these schools came, apparently, most of those whom God called to be his messengers to the rulers and people, though with exceptions according to his sovereign wisdom. Amos 1:1; 7:14. We find, accordingly, that from the days of Samuel and onward the prophets were recognized as a distinct order of men in the Jewish theocracy, who derived their authority immediately from God, and spoke by direct inspiration of his Spirit, as they themselves indicate by the standing formula: "Thus saith the Lord."

12. It is a remarkable fact, however, that from Samuel to about the reign of Uzziah, a period of some three centuries, we have no books of prophecy written by these men, if we except, perhaps, the book of Jonah. Their writings seem to have been mainly historical (like the historical notices incorporated into the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel); and what remains to us of them is preserved in the historical books of the Old Testament. See above, Nos.6 and 7. But about the time of Uzziah begins a new era, that of written prophecy. During his reign appeared Hosea, Amos, Isaiah, and probably Jonah, Joel, and Obadiah. Micah followed immediately afterwards, being contemporary in part with Isaiah; and then, in succession, the rest of the prophets whose writings have come down to us. When the theocracy was now on its decline, waxing old and destined to pass away for ever, they felt themselves called to put on record, for the instruction of all coming ages, their words of warning and encouragement. Thus arose gradually our present collection of prophetical books; that of Lamentations included, which is but an appendix to the writings of Jeremiah.


13. These are a precious outgrowth of the theocratic spirit, in which the elements of meditation and reflection predominate. Concerning the date and authorship of the book of Job, which stands first in order in our arrangement, we have no certain information. Learned men vary between the ante-Mosaic age and that of Solomon. Its theme is divine providence, as viewed from the position of the Old Testament. See further in the introduction to this book.

14. With the call of David to the throne of Israel began a new and glorious era in the history of public worship, that of "the service of song in the house of the Lord." 1 Chron.6:31. As when Moses smote the rock in the wilderness the water gushed forth in refreshing streams, so the soul of David, touched by the spirit of inspiration, poured forth a rich and copious flood of divine song, which has in all ages refreshed and strengthened God's people in their journey heavenward "through this dark vale of tears." Nor was the fountain of sacred poetry confined to him alone. God opened it also in the souls of such men as Asaph, Ethan, Heman, and the sons of Korah; nor did its flow wholly cease till after the captivity. The Psalms of David and his coadjutors were from the first dedicated to the service of the sanctuary; and thus arose our canonical book of Psalms, although (as will be hereafter shown) it did not receive its present form and arrangement till the time of Ezra and Nehemiah.

15. After David came Solomon in the sphere of practical wisdom. This, according to the divine record, he received as a special endowment from God, though doubtless he had in a peculiar measure a natural capacity for such an endowment. In Gibeon the Lord appeared to him in a dream by night, and said: "Ask what I shall give thee." Passing by wealth, long life, and the death of his enemies, the youthful monarch besought God to give him "an understanding heart," that he might be qualified to judge the great people committed to his care. The answer was: "Behold, I have done according to thy word: lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee." 1 Kings 3:5-12. Thus divinely qualified, he embodied, in a vast collection of proverbs, his observations on human life, and the course of human affairs. Our canonical book of Proverbs is a selection from these, with some additions at the end from other sources. For notices respecting the arrangement of these proverbs in their present form, as well as respecting the books of Ecclesiastes and Canticles, which are also ascribed to Solomon, the reader may consult the introductions to these books.


The subject thus far before us has been the growth of the materials which constitute our canonical books. The question of their preservation and final embodiment in their present form remains to be considered.

16. Respecting the preservation of the sacred books till the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, our information is very scanty. Each king was required to have at hand for his own personal use a transcript of the law of Moses (Deut.17:18), the original writing being carefully laid up in the inner sanctuary, where Hilkiah, the high priest, found it in the reign of Josiah.2 Kings 22:8. We cannot doubt that such kings as David, Solomon, Asa, and Hezekiah complied with this law: though after the disorders connected with the reign of Manasseh and his captivity, the good king Josiah neglected it. Jehoshaphat, we are expressly told, sent men to teach in the cities of Judah, who had "the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about throughout all the cities of Judah, and taught the people." 2 Chron.17:7-9. Of course it was a copy, and not the original autograph, which might not be removed from the sanctuary. It is a natural supposition that other transcripts of the law were made under the direction of the high priest, for the use of pious men, especially pious prophets, princes, and Levites, who needed its directions for the right discharge of their official duties, though on this point we can affirm nothing positively. As to the prophetical books, we know that Jeremiah had access to the writings of Isaiah, for in repeated instances he borrowed his language. We know again that Daniel had at hand the prophecies of Jeremiah; for he understood "by books" (literally "by the books," which may be well understood to mean that collection of sacred books of which the prophecies of Jeremiah formed a part) "the number of the years whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." Dan.9:2. The consecration of the Psalms of David and his coadjutors to the public service of the sanctuary must have insured their careful preservation by the Levites who had charge of the temple music; and, in general, the deep reverence of the Jews for their sacred writings is to us a reasonable evidence that they preserved them from loss and mutilation to the captivity, and through that calamitous period.

17. To Ezra and his coadjutors, the men of the Great Synagogue, the Jews ascribe the completion of the canon of the Old Testament. Their traditions concerning him are embellished with extravagant fictions; yet we cannot reasonably deny that they are underlaid by a basis of truth. All the scriptural notices of Ezra attest both his zeal and his ability as "a scribe of the words of the commandments of the Lord, and of his statutes to Israel," a man who "had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." Ezra 7:10, 11. The work in which he and his associates were engaged was the reestablishment of the Theocracy on its old foundation, the law of Moses, with the ordinances pertaining to the sanctuary-service afterwards added by David; and that too in the vivid consciousness of the fact that disobedience to the divine law had brought upon the nation the calamities of the captivity. In such circumstances their first solicitude must have been that the people might have the inspired oracles given to their fathers, and be thoroughly instructed in them. The work, therefore, which Jewish tradition ascribes to Ezra and the men of the Great Synagogue was altogether appropriate to their situation, nor do we know of any man or body of men afterwards so well qualified for its performance, or upon whom it would so naturally have devolved.

That they arranged the inspired volume in substantially its present form, we have no good reason for doubting. But we should not, perhaps, be warranted in saying that they brought the canon of the Old Testament absolutely and formally to a close. Josephus (against Apion 1.8) affirms that no book belongs to the sacred writings of his nation "which are justly believed to be divine," that had its origin after the reign of Artaxerxes, Xerxes' son (Artaxerxes Longimanus, under whom Ezra led forth his colony, Ezra, chap.7); and that on the ground that from this time onward "the exact succession of the prophets" was wanting. This declaration of the Jewish historian is in all essential respects worthy of full credence. We cannot, however, affirm with confidence that all the later historical books were put by Ezra and his contemporaries into the exact form in which we now have them. The book of Nehemiah, for example, contains some genealogical notices (chap.12:11, 22) which, according to any fair interpretation, are of a later date. We are at liberty to suppose that these were afterwards added officially and in good faith, as matters of public interest; or, as some think, that the book itself is an arrangement by a later hand of writings left by Nehemiah, perhaps also by Ezra; so that while its contents belong, in every essential respect, to them, it received its present form after their death. Respecting the question when the canon of the Old Testament received its finishing stroke, a question which the wisdom of God has left in obscurity, we must speak with diffidence. We know with certainty that our present Hebrew canon is identical with that collection of sacred writings to which our Saviour and his apostles constantly appealed as invested throughout with divine authority, and this is a firm basis for our faith.

The attempt has been made, but without success, to show that a portion of the Psalms belongs to the Maccabean age. The words of the Psalmist (Psa.74:8) rendered in our version: "They have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land," have no reference to the synagogues of a later age, as is now generally admitted. The Hebrew word denotes places of assembly, and was never applied by the later Jews to their synagogues. The Psalmist wrote, moreover, in immediate connection with the burning of the temple -- "they have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling-place of thy name to the ground" -- and this fixes the date of the Psalm to the Chaldean invasion (2 Kings 25:9); for the temple was not burned, but only profaned, in the days of the Maccabees. By "the assemblies of God," we are probably to understand the ancient sacred places, such as Ramah, Bethel, and Gilgal, where the people were accustomed to meet, though in a somewhat irregular way, for the worship of God. But whether this interpretation be correct or not, the words have no reference to the buildings of a later age called synagogues.

Some of the apocryphal writings, as, for example, the book of Wisdom, the book of Ecclesiasticus, the first book of Maccabees, were highly valued by the ancient Jews. But they were never received into the Hebrew canon, because their authors lived after "the exact succession of the prophets," which ended with Malachi. They knew how to make the just distinction between books of human wisdom and books written "by inspiration of God."

18. The earliest notice of the contents of the Hebrew Canon is that contained in the prologue to the Greek translation of Ecclesiasticus, where it is described as "the law, the prophets, and the other national books," "the law, and the prophecies, and the rest of the books," according to the three-fold division already considered. Chap.18, No.4. Josephus, in the passage already referred to (against Apion, 1.8), says: "We have not among us innumerable books discordant and contrary to each other, but only two-and-twenty, containing the history of all time, which are justly believed to be divine. And of these five belong to Moses, which contain the laws and the transmission of human genealogy to the time of his death. This period of time wants but little of three thousand years" (the longer chronology followed by him). "But from the death of Moses to the reign of Artaxerxes, who was king of the Persians after Xerxes, the prophets after Moses wrote the history of their times in thirteen books. The remaining four contain hymns to God and precepts for human life. From Artaxerxes to our time various books have been written; but they have not been esteemed worthy of credence like that given to the books before them, because the exact succession of the prophets has been wanting." In this list the books of the Old Testament are artificially arranged to agree with the number two-and-twenty, that of the Hebrew alphabet. The four that contain "hymns to God and precepts for human life" are, in all probability: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles; and the thirteen prophetical books (see below) are: (1) Joshua, (2) Judges and Ruth, (3) the two books of Samuel, (4) the two books of Kings, (5) the two books of Chronicles, (6) Ezra and Nehemiah, (7) Esther, (8) Isaiah, (9) Jeremiah and Lamentations, (10) Ezekiel, (11) Daniel, (12) the book of the twelve Minor Prophets, (13) Job. See Oehler in Hertzog's Encyclopaedia, Art. Canon of the Old Testament. Origen, as quoted by Eusebius (Hist. Eccl.6.25), and Jerome (both of whom drew their information concerning the Hebrew Canon immediately from Jewish scholars, and may, therefore, be regarded as in a certain sense the expositors of the above list of Josephus) make mention of the same number, twenty-two. Origen's list unites Ruth with Judges, puts together the first and second of Samuel, the first and second of Kings, the first and second of Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah (under the names of the first and second of Ezra), and Jeremiah and Lamentations (with the addition of the apocryphal Epistle of Jeremiah -- an inconsistency, or rather oversight, to be explained from his constant habit of using the Septuagint version). In the present text of Eusebius, the book of the twelve Minor Prophets is wanting. But this is simply an old error of the scribe, since it is necessary to complete the number of twenty-two. Jerome's list (Prologus galeatus) is the same, only that he gives the contents of the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa in accordance with the Hebrew arrangement, placing Daniel in the last class, and adding that whatever is without the number of these must be placed among the Apocryphal writings. Smith's Dict. of the Bible, Art. Canon. The catalogue of these two distinguished Christian scholars -- Origen of the Eastern church, and Jerome of the Western, both of whom drew their information immediately from Hebrew scholars -- is decisive, and we need add nothing further.

19. The Apocryphal books of the Old Testament were incorporated into the Alexandrine version called the Septuagint; but they were never received by the Jews of Palestine as a part of the sacred volume. Concerning them and their history, see further in the Appendix to this part.

chapter xiv the original text
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