One of the greatest scholars of the seventeenth century, and an illustrious representative of the science and theology of the French Reformed Church; born at Rouen in 1599; died in Caen, May 16, 1667. His parents were persons of note. After a thorough study of theology and the Oriental languages in France, England, and Holland, he was called as pastor to Caen in Normandy, where he died on the day that his only grandson had made a three hours' brilliant defense of certain philosophical theses at the Academy of Caen. He first attracted general admiration by engaging in a nine-days' debate with the Jesuit Véron, who was deputed by the government to travel through France with a view to the conversion of the Huguenots. The report of this debate was printed in 1630 at Saumur. Out of his scholarly preparation for sermons on Genesis came the two monumental works by which Bochart's name is still known: "Geographia Sacra seu Phaleg et Chanaan," 1646, the first part of which, "Phaleg," treats of the names contained in the Table of Nations in Gen. x., while the second part, "Chanaan," is devoted to the colonies and the language of the Phenicians; and "Hierozoicon sive Bipartitum Opus de Animalibus Sacræ Scripturæ," 1663, a marvelously erudite collection of everything contained in Biblical, classical, and Oriental literature on the animals mentioned in the Bible. [Much of the material of these two works is still of value.—
- Herzog-Hauck, Real-Encyklopädie, s.v.:
- Stephanus Morinus, De Clarissimo Bochatvo et Omnibus ejus Scriptis, reprinted in the Leyden edition of Bochart's works.