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viour, which after that time ceased to agitate the Asiatic churches, afford some ground for supposing that their religious or literary intercourse with the rest of the Christian world subsequent to the æra of the Hegira, must have been so small, that we need hardly enquire whether such a book as that the history of which I am now endeavouring to trace, could have been composed in Abyssinia during the interval which elapsed from that period, to the commencement of the sixteenth century. The state of Europe itself will enable us to decide, that such a supposition is altogether improbable. But the language now in use in Ethiopia, is the Amharic, and it has been used from the beginning of the sixteenth century, when on the change of the royal dynasty into the Amharic line, the ancient language, or Geez, became disused, and was gradually less and less acquired, till at length very few of the natives had any ac. quaintance with it, even in the time of Ludolph.

As this book therefore is written in the ancient Ethiopic, the time at which it was composed or translated, must at least have been prior to the period of the Amharic conquest; and therefore, as

regards its origin or preservation, we need trace its history no farther, than to mention the circumstances under which it was found, and brought to this country by Mr. Bruce.

It appears that he was resident in Dembea, at the time during which he was occupied in obtaining copies of all the Ethiopic books which were to be procured, or for which he could obtain a transcriber; and it is unfortunate that he was accidentally prevented from making those enquiries concerning this book, which he was so well qualified to have undertaken, had he been aware of its real contents.

It appears that having in his first examination, read that part of one of the later and spurious books, which relates to the voracity of the ancient giants, he was so struck by its absurdity, that he "had not farther patience," to read what must naturally have appeared to be so entirely apocryphal ; and hence, from his narrative, no information is to be gathered bearing on the subject which I am now about to discuss.

Mr. Bruce appears to have been strongly impressed with an idea, that the Ethiopic was not

only prior in date to the Hebrew character, but that it was the original language in which written characters were first made use of. Had he examined the book of Enoch farther, he would probably have altered his opinion. It seems, at least to me, so far as my limited knowledge of these languages allows me to decide, that there is very satisfactory evidence, that not only the most ancient, but also the more modern of these books was originally written in the Hebrew lan


I forbear to mention several minor proofs of this fact, which are contained in the book which I have endeavoured to restore, because I think that the word to which I will now direct the reader's attention, merits a more detailed examination than I could give to it, if I entered at any length into the discussion of the other derivations.

In a description of the day when "The Lord of "Spirits shall place upon the throne of his glory, "the elect one, who shall judge all the works of "the holy in heaven above," the following words.


"The Cherubim, the Seraphim, and the Ophanin,


"all the angels of power, and all the angels of the

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Lords, namely, of the elect one, and of the other

power, who was upon earth over the water on "that day, shall raise their united voice."

With the Hebrew etymology of Cherubim and Seraphim every reader will already be familiar; but as this is the first occasion on which I have met with the third word, "Ophanin," I regard it as being calculated to afford a test of the original language of this book; since, whatever might be its meaning, it is evidently intended by the author to express the name of the third of those angelic existences, of which the Cherubim and Seraphim occupy the two former places, as "the angels of power and the angels of the elect Lord," while the latter expresses the angel of the Lord last alluded "to, as the other power who was upon earth over the water on that day."

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It appears to me that in the Hebrew, the same name is to be found, in the same juxta-position with the Cherubim, in 1 Kings vii. 30. in Ezekiel i. 15, 16, 19, 20, 21; and chap. x. 2, 6, 9, 10, &c. and that in the two latter of these chapters, much light, is thrown upon a description which is otherwise in

explicable, by reference to the sense which the word Ophanin bears in the book of Enoch.

In the passage of the book of Kings indeed we may observe that the description is that of a sensible and material object, framed in conformity with Scriptural types, but still typically, and not simply representative; and therefore while we recognize the symbols of the oxen and lions, as appropriated to the Cherubim, we may conclude that the symbolic wheels not unaptly represent that power, which is described by Zechariah, as "the eyes of the Lord which run to and fro through the whole earth."

But in the vision of Ezekiel we have a description of the objects before typified in Solomon's Temple; a description, allegorical perhaps, or emblematical, yet applied to those objects themselves. And here again, after the vision of the Cherubim, (verse 15.) "Behold one wheel upon the earth by "the living creatures with his four faces. The appearance of the wheels and their work was “like unto the colour of a Beryl; and they four "had one likeness."

Now the Hebrew word for wheels which is given by Kennicott's Codices, and by every autho

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