Blayney, Benjamin

, D. D. an eminent Hebrew critic, canon of Christ church, regius professor of Hebrew in the university of Oxford, 1787, and rector of Polshot, was first of Worcester college, where he proceeded M. A. 1753; afterwards fellow of Hertford college, where he took the degree of B. D. 1768, and of D. D. 1787 and was installed Hebrew professor Dec. 7. of that year. He was also some time a Whitehall preacher. He distinguished himself greatly as a scriptural commentator and translator. He published, 1. “A dissertation, by way of enquiry into the true import and application of the Vision related Dan. is. 20 to the end, usually called Daniel’s Prophecy of Seventy Weeks with occasional remarks on Michaelis’s letters to sir John Pringle on the same subject, 1775,” 4to. 2. “Jereiniah and Lamentations, a new translation, with notes critical, philosophical, and explanatory, 1784,” 8vo. 3. “The Sign given to Ahaz, a discourse on Isaiah vii. 14, 15, 16, delivered in the church of St. John, Devizes, at the triennial visitation of Shute, lord bishop of Sarum, July 26, 1786 with a proposed emendation of a passage in his dissertation on Daniel,1786, 4to. 4. “Christ the greater glory of the temple, a sermon, preached before the university of Oxford, at Christ church, Nov. 9, 1788,” 4to. J. “Zechariah, a new translation, with notes critical, philosophical, and explanatory and an Appendix, in reply to Dr. Eveleigh’s Sermon on Zechariah i. S 1 1 (to which is added, a new edition, with alterations, of the dissertation on Daniel), 1797,” 4to. In this dissertation on Daniel the study and criticism of this learned divine produced a translation very different from that in the common English Bible, as well as from that of Michaelis. It . | is less liable to objection, particularly as it has no recourse to that ingenious but uncertain and unsatisfying method of computation by lunar years; it extends also to those verses of the chapter which Dr. Michaelis seemed to give up as inexplicable, almost in despair of ever attaining a probable solution of the difficulty. The translation of Jeremiah and Lamentations is on the plan of Dr. Lowth’s Isaiah, and does credit to its author both as a translator and a critic. The same may be said respecting the translation of Zechariah and it may be added, that the candour and liberality which Dr. Blayney opposes, in this instance, to the intemperance and acrimony of one of his antagonists, do him great honour. The doctor also took uncommon pains in correcting the text of the edition of the common version of the English Bible, which was printed at the Clarendon press in 1769, 4to. He made a great number of additional references in the margin, and produced the most correct Bible in our language; but, unfortunately, a large part of the impression was soon after burned at the Bible warehouse in Paternoster row, and it is now ranked among the most scarce and valuable editions.

Dr. Blayney diet! at Polshot, Sept. 20, 1801, and directed by will, that his critical papers should first be submitted to his much-valued patron and friend, the present bishop of Durham, and then deposited in the library at Lambeth. They consist of, 1. New version of the Psalms, 2 vols. 4to. 2. Critical comment on the Psalms, 3 vols. 4to. 3. Notes on Isaiah, 3 vols. 4to. 4. Remarks on the Minor Prophets, compared with bishop Newcome’s version and commentary, 1 vol. 4to. 5. Remarks on the Song of Moses, Psalin xviii. compared with 2 Sam. xxii and Deborah’s Song and Jacob’s Blessing, Gen. xlix and Moses’s Blessing, Deut. xxxiii; and Moses’s Monitory Song, Deut. xxxii. 6. Further observations on some of the Psalms and on some chapters of Isaiah and on several of the minor Prophets, particularly Zechariah, 1 vol. folio.1


Gent. Mag. 1801—1803.