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than ever they were before their conversion. (Matt. xxiii. 15.) Esteeming temporal happiness and riches as the nighest good, they scrupled not to accumulate wealth by every means, legal or illegál-(Matt. v. 1–12. xxiii. 4. Luke xvi. 14. James ii. 1-8.); vain and ambitious of popular applause, they offered up long prayers1 in public places, but not without a self-sufficiency of their own holiness (Matt. vi. 2-5. Luke xviii. 11.); under a sanctimonious appearance of respect for the memories of the prophets whom their ancestors had slain, they repaired and beautified their sepulchres (Matt. xxiii. 29.); and such was their idea of their own sanctity, that they thought themselves defiled if they but touched or conversed with sinners, that is, with publi cans or tax-gatherers, and persons of loose and irregular lives. (Luke vii. 39. xv. 1. et seq.)
But, above all their other tenets, the Pharisees were conspicuous for their reverential observance of the traditions or decrees of the elders: these traditions, they pretended, had been handed down from Moses through every generation, but were not committed to writing; and they were not merely considered as of equal authority with the divine law, but even preferable to it. "The words of the scribes," said they, "are lovely above the words of the law; for the words of the law are weighty and light, but the words of the scribes are ALL weighty."2 Among the traditions thus sanctimoniously observed by the Pharisees, we may briefly notice the following:-1. The washing of hands up to the wrist before and after meat (Matt. xv. 2. Mark vii. 3.), which they accounted not merely a religious duty, but considered its omission as a crime equal to fornication, and punishable by excommunication. 2. The purification of the cups, vessels, and couches used at their meals by ablutions or washings (Mark vii. 4.); for which purpose the six large waterpots mentioned by St. John (ii. 6.) were destined. But these ablutions are not to be confounded with those symbolical washings mentioned in Psal. xxvi. 6. and Matt. xxvii. 24. 3. Their punctilious payment of tithes (temple-offerings), even of the most trifling thing. (Luke xviii. 12. Matt. xxiii. 23.) 4. Their wearing broader phylacteries and larger fringes to their garments than the rest of the Jews. (Matt. xxiii. 5.) He, who wore his phylactery and his fringe of the largest size, was reputed to be the most devout. 5. Their fusting twice a week with great appearance of austerity (Luke xviii. 12. Matt. vi. 16.); thus converting that exercise into religion which is only a help towards the performance of its hallowed duties. The Jewish days of fasting were the second and fifth days of the week, corresponding with our Mondays and Thursdays: on one of these days they commemorated Moses going up to the mount to receive the law, which, according to their traditions, was on the fifth day or Thursday; and on the other his descent after he had received the two tables, which they supposed to have been on the second day, or Monday.
Very surprising effects are related concerning the mortifications of the Pharisees, and the austerities practised by some of them in order to preserve the purity of the body. Sometimes they imposed these painful exercises for four, eight, or even ten years, before they married. They deprived themselves almost entirely of sleep, lest they should involuntarily become unclean or polluted during sleep. Some of them are said to have slept on narrow planks, not more than twelve fingers broad; in order that, if they should sleep too soundly, they might fall upon the ground and awake to prayer. Others slept on small and sharp-pointed stones, and even on thorns, in order that they might be laid under a kind of necessity to be always awake.3 As, however, none of these austerities were legally commanded, and as the Pharisees were not bound to practise them by any law or other obligation, each seems to have followed his own inclination and the impulse or ardour of his devotion. The Talmuds mention seven sorts of Pharisees, two of whom appear to be alluded to, though not specified by name, in the New Testament, viz.
Bucher, after a very ancient Hebrew manuscript ritual, has given a long and curious specimen of the "vain repetitions" used by the Pharisees. See his Antiquitates Biblicæ ex Novo Testamento selectæ, pp. 240-244. Vitembergæ, 1729. 4to.
Jerusalem Berachoth, fol. 3. 2. as cited by Dr. Lightfoot in his Hore Hebraice on Matt. xv. The whole of his Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations on that chapter is singularly instructive. The collection of these traditions, by which the Jews made the law of God of none effect, is termed the Talmud: of which, and of its use in illustrating the Holy Scriptures, an account has already been given. On the traditions of the modern Jews (which illustrate very many passages of the New Testament), the reader may consult Mr. Allen's Modern Judaism, chap. viii. to xv. pp.
1. The Shechemite Pharisees, or those who entered into the sect only from motives of gain; just as the Shechemites suffered themselves to be circumcised. This order of Pharisees is most probably alluded to in Matt. xxiii. 5. 14.; and, 2. The Pharisees who said, "Let me know what my duty is, and I will do it."—"I have done my duty, that the command may be performed according to it." Of this sort the young man in the Gospel appears to have been, who came to Jesus Christ, saying, "Good master, WHAT GOOD THING SHALL I DO, that I may have eternal life?" and who at length replied,-ALL these have I kept (or observed) from my youth up. (Matt. xix.-16. 20.)
With all their pretensions to piety, the Pharisees entertained the most sovereign contempt for the people; whom, being ignorant of the law, they pronounced to be accursed. (John vii. 49.) It is unquestionable, as Mosheim has well remarked, that the religion of the Pharisees was, for the most part, founded in consummate hypocrisy; and that, in general, they were the slaves of every vicious appetite, proud, arrogant, and avaricious, consulting only the gratification of their lusts, even at the very moment when they professed themselves to be engaged in the service of their Maker. These odious features in the character of the Pharisees caused them to be reprehended by our Saviour with the utmost severity, even more than he rebuked the Sadducees; who, although they had departed widely from the genuine principles of religion, yet did not impose on mankind by pretended sanctity, or devote themselves with insatiable greediness to the acquisition of honours and riches.5 All the Pharisees, however, were not of this description. Nicodemus appears to have been a man of great probity and piety: and the same character is applicable to Gamaliel. If Saul persecuted the church of Christ, he did it out of a blind zeal; but, not to insist on the testimony which he bears of himself, it is evident, from the extraordinary favour of God towards him, that he was not tainted with the other vices common to the sect of the Pharisees. What he says of it, that it was the strictest of all, cannot admit of any other than a favourable construction.6
II. The sect of the SADDUCEES is by some writers considered as the most ancient of the Jewish sects; though others have supposed that the Sadducees and Pharisees gradually grew up together. This sect derives its appellation from Sadok, or Zadok, the disciple and successor of Antigonus Sochæus, who lived above two hundred (Dr. Prideaux says two hun dred and sixty-three) years before Christ; and who taught his pupils to be not as servants, who wait upon their master for the sake of reward, but to be like servants who wait upon their master, not for the sake of reward;" but that they should let the fear of the Lord be in them. Unable to comprehend a doctrine so spiritual, Sadok deduced from it the inference that neither reward nor punishment is to be expected in a future life. The following are the principal tenets of the Sadducees:
1. That there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit (Matt. xxii. 23. Acts xxiii. 8.), and that the soul of man perishes together with the body.8
2. That there is no fate or overruling providence, but that all men enjoy the most ample freedom of action; in other words, the absolute power of doing either good or evil, according to their own choice; hence they were very severe judges.10
3. They paid no regard whatever to any tradition, adhering strictly to the letter of Scripture, but preferring the five
Jerusalem Talmud, Berachoth, fol. 13. 2. Sotah, fol. 20. 3. Babylonish
Talmud, fol. 22. 2. Dr. Lightfoot has translated the entire passages in his
Hora Hebraicæ on Matt. 7.
Mosheim's Commentaries on the Affairs of Christians, vol. i. p. 83. • Beausobre's and L'Enfant's Introd. (Bp. Watson's Tracts) vol. iii. 190. Lightfoot's Horæ Hebraicæ on Matt. iii. 7.
Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. 8. in fine. Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 1. § 4. Some learned men have expressed their surprise, that the Sadducees should deny the existence of angels, since they acknowledged the five books of Moses, in which such frequent and express mention is made of the appearance and ministry of angels. To this it is answered, that they believed not the angels, spoken of in the books of Moses, to be of any dura tion, but looked on them as being created only for the service they per formed, and existing no longer. (Grotius on Matt. xxii. xxiii. &c. Lightfoot's Works, vol. ii. p. 702. Whitby on Acts xxiii. 8. and Matt. xxii. 23.) There seem to have been heretics in the time of Justin Martyr (the second century), who entertained a similar opinion. (Justin-Dial. cum Tryphone, P-358. b.) And it is evident that this notion was entertained by some among the Jews, so lately as the emperor Justinian's time (the sixth century); for there is a law of his extant (Novel. 146. c. 2.) published against those Jews, who should presume either to deny the resurrection and judgment, or that angels, the workmanship and creatures of God, did subsist. Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. p. 99. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. 5. § 9. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 8. § 4. 10 Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 10. § 6.
books of Moses to the rest. It has been conjectured by | intercourse with women, in the hope of acquiring a greater some writers that they rejected all the sacred books but those degree of purity, and becoming the better fitted for the kingof Moses. But this hypothesis is no proof: for, in the first dom of God. St. Paul is generally understood to have place, this sect took its rise at a time when the Jewish referred to them, in Col. ii. 18. 23., where "voluntary humicanon had been closed; and it was just as easy for the Sad- lity," and "neglecting the body," are peculiarly applicable ducees to make their opinions harmonize with the other to the Essenes; who, when they received any persons into books of the Old Testament as with the books of Moses. their number, made them solemnly swear that they would Secondly, how could any of the Sadducees have sustained the keep and observe the books of the sect and the names of the office of high-priest, if they had departed in so important a angels with care. What is also said in the above-cited point from the belief of the nation? Thirdly, although Jose- passage, of "intruding into things not seen," is likewise phus frequently mentions their rejecting the traditions of the agreeable to the character of the Therapeutic Essenes; who, elders, yet he nowhere charges them with rejecting any of placing the excellence of their contemplative life in raising the sacred books; and as he was himself a Pharisee, and their minds to invisible objects, pretended to such a degree their zealous antagonist, he would not have passed over such of elevation and abstraction as to be able to penetrate into a crime in silence. It is further worthy of remark, that our the nature of angels, and assign them proper names, or rightly Saviour, who so severely censured the Sadducees for their interpret those already given them; and also to pry into other corruptions, did not condemn them for such rejection. futurity and predict future events. On these accounts it is In point of numbers, the Sadducees were an inconsiderable highly probable that they were "vainly puffed up by their sect; but their numerical deficiency was amply compensated fleshly mind." Further, the tenets referred to by St. Paul by the dignity and eminence of those who embraced their (Col. ii. 21. "touch not, taste not, handle not") are such as tenets, and who were persons of the first distinction. Several the Essenes held, who would not taste any pleasant food, of them were advanced to the high-priesthood. They do not, but lived on coarse bread and drank nothing but water, and however, appear to have aspired, generally, to public offices. some of whom would not taste any food at all till after sunJosephus affirms that scarcely any business of the state was set: if touched by any that were not of their own sect, they transacted by them: and that, when they were in the magis- would wash themselves, as after some great pollution. It tracy, they generally conformed to the measures of the Phari- has been conjectured that there might be a sodality of Essenes sees, though unwillingly, and out of pure necessity; for other- at Colosse, as there were in many other places out of Judæa; wise they would not have been endured by the multitude.3 and that some of the Christians, being too much inclined to Judaism, might also affect the peculiarities of this sect; which might be the reason of the apostle's so particularly cautioning the Colossians against them.5
III. Concerning the origin of the ESSENES, who were the third principal sect of the Jews, there is a considerable difference of opinion. By some writers of the Jewish antiquities they bave been identified with the fraternity of Assidæans, who are mentioned in 1 Macc. ii. 42. as being zealously devoted to the law; while others trace their descent to the Rechabites. But the latter were a family only, and not a sect. Most probably they derived their origin from Egypt, where the Jewish refugees, who fled for security after the murder of Gedaliah, were compelled, on the captivity of the greater part of their body, to lead a recluse life, out of which the Essene institute might have grown. They were dispersed chiefly through Palestine, Syria, and Egypt, though they were to be met with in other countries. The Essenes differed in many respects from the Pharisees and Sadducees, both in doctrines and in practice. They were divided into two classes:-1. The practical, who lived in society, and some of whom were married, though it appears with much circumspection. These dwelt in cities and their neighbourhoods, and applied themselves to husbandry and other innocent occupations. 2. The contemplative Essenes, who were also called Therapeute or Physicians, from their application principally to the cure of the diseases of the soul, devoted themselves wholly to meditation, and avoided living in great towns as unfavourable to a contemplative life. But both classes were exceedingly abstemious, exemplary in their moral deportment, averse from profane swearing, and most rigid in their observance of the Sabbath. They held, among other tenets, the immortality of the soul (though they denied the resurrection of the body), the existence of angels, and a state of future rewards and punishments. They believed every thing to be ordered by an eternal fatality or chain of causes. Although Jesus Christ censured all the other sects of the Jews for their vices, yet he never spoke of the Essenes; neither are they mentioned by name in any part of the New Testament. The silence of the evangelical historians concerning them is by some accounted for by their eremitic life, which secluded them from places of public resort; so that they did not come in the way of our Saviour, as the Pharisees and Sadducees often did. Others, however, are of opinion, that the Essenes being very honest and sincere, without guile or hypocrisy, gave no room for the reproofs and censures which the other Jews deserved; and, therefore, no mention
is made of them.
But though the Essenes are not expressly named in any of the sacred books, it has been conjectured that they are alluded to in two or three passages. Thus, those whom our Lord terms eunuchs, who have made themselves such for the kingdom of heaven's sake (Matt. xix. 12.), are supposed to be the contemplative Essenes, who abstained from all
1 Schmucker's Biblical Theology, vol. i. p. 264. The reader will find several additional proofs in confirmation of the preceding account of the books received by the Sadducees, in Dr. Jortin's Remarks on Eccl. His Hist. Appendix, No. II. vol. i. pp. 368-374. Edit. 1805.
Acts v. 17. xxiii. 6. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. 10. $$ 6, 7. lib. xviii. c. 1. § 4. a Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. e. 1. § 4.
IV. There is in the Gospels frequent mention of a set of men called SCRIBES, who are often joined with the chiefpriests, elders, and Pharisees. They seem to have been men of learning, and on that account to have had great deference paid to them (Matt. ii. 4. vii. 29.); but, strictly speaking, they did not form any distinct sect. The Scribes generally belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, in whose traditions and explanations of the law they were profoundly skilled; and on the Sabbath-days "they sat in Moses' seat" and instructed the people. Originally, they had their name from their employment, which at first was transcribing the law: but in progress of time they exalted themselves into the public ministry and became teachers of it, authoritatively determining what doctrines were or were not contained in the Scriptures, and teaching the common people in what sense to understand the law and the prophets. In short, they were the oracles which were consulted in all difficult points of doctrine and duty; and it is not improbable that they were, for the most part, Levites, whose peculiar business it was to study and read the law. The Scribes were of different families and tribes, and therefore of different sects: hence we read, that there were Scribes of the sect of the Pharisees and also of the Sadducees. (Acts xxiii. 9.) In the New Testament, the Scribes are frequently identified with the Pharisees, because they held both these titles. They were Scribes by office, and Pharisees by religious profession. This explanation will account for the Pharisees in Matt. xxii. 35. being called Scribes in Mark xii. 28.7
V. The LAWYERS (v) or TEACHERS OF THE LAW and Scribes appear to be synonymous terms, importing one and the same order of men; as St. Matthew (xxii. 35.) calls him a lawyer whom St. Mark (xii. 28.) terms one of the Scribes. Dr. Macknight conjectures the Scribes to have been the public expounders of the law, and that the lawyers studied it in private: perhaps, as Dr. Lardner conjectures, they taught in the schools. But M. Basnage is of opinion that they were a distinct class or sect of men, who adhered closely to the
4 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. S. § 7.
tana, vol. x. p. 592. Michaelis thinks that Saint Paul alludes to the tenets
$ Jennings's Jewish Antiquities, book i. c. 13. Encyclopædia Metropoli
and practices of the Essenes in his Epistle to the Ephesians, and in his first
the translation of this very pleasing and instructive work from the German
text of the law, and totally disregarded all traditions, and that they were the same as the modern Karaites.'
VI. The SAMARITANS, mentioned in the New Testament, are generally considered as a sect of the Jews. This appellation is, in the New Testament, given to a race of people who sprang originally from an intermixture of the ten tribes with Gentile nations. When the inhabitants of Samaria and of the adjacent country were carried into captivity by Shalmaneser king of Assyria, he sent in their places colonies from Babylonia, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and Sepharvaim; with which the Israelites who remained in the land became intermingled, and were ultimately amalgamated into one people. (2 Kings xvii. 24.) An origin like this would, of course, render the nation odious to the Jews; and the Samaritans further augmented this cause of hatred by rejecting all the sacred books of the Jews, except the Pentateuch, which they had received from the Jewish priest who had been sent to them from Assyria to instruct them in the true religion. (2 Kings xvii. 27, 28.) On the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, when they began to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple, the Samaritans requested to be acknowledged as Jewish citizens, and to be permitted to assist in the work; but their application was rejected. (Ezra iv. 1-4.) In consequence of this refusal and the subsequent state of enmity, the Samaritans not only took occasion to calumniate the Jews before the Persian kings (Ezra iv. 5. Neh. iv. 1-7, 8.); but also, recurring to the directions of Moses (Deut. xxvii. 11-13.), that on entering the promised land the He' rews should offer sacrifices on Mount Gerizim, they erected a temple on that mountain, and instituted sacri-gether the feast of the harvest, but they do not agree with the fices according to the prescriptions of the Mosaic law. From all these and other circumstances, the national hatred between the Samaritans and Jews increased to such a height, that the Jews denounced the most bitter anathemas against them (Ecclus. 1. 26.), and for many ages refused them every kind of intercourse. Hence the woman of Samaria was astonished that Jesus Christ, who was a Jew, should ask drink of her. (John iv. 9.) Hence also the Jews, when they would express the utmost aversion to Christ, said to him-Thou art a SAMARITAN, and hast a devil. (John viii. 48.) The temple on Mount Gerizim was destroyed by Hyrcanus, B. c. 129 :3 but the Samaritans, in the time of Jesus, esteemed that mountain sacred, and as the proper place of national worship. (John iv. 20, 21.) At that time, also, in common with the Jews, they expected the advent of a Messiah (John iv. 25.), and many of them afterwards became the followers of Jesus Christ, and embraced the doctrines of his religion. (Acts viii. 1. ix. 31. xv. 3.)1
where their language is taught. The head of this sect is stated to reside at Paris. The Samaritans at Napolose are in possession of a very ancient manuscript Pentateuch, which they assert to be nearly 3500 years old; but they reject the vowel points as a rabbinical invention. In order to complete our notice of this sect, we have subjoined their confession of faith, sent in the sixteenth century by Eleazar their highpriest to the illustrious critic Scaliger, who had applied to them for that purpose; together with a few additional particulars from the baron de Sacy's Memoir on the Samaritans, and the Rev. W. Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria.8 1. The Samaritans observe the Sabbath with all the exactness required in Exodus; for not one of them goes out of the place where he is on the Sabbath-day, except to the synagogue, where they read the law, and sing the praises of God. They do not lie that night with their wives, and neither kindle nor order fire to be kindled: whereas the Jews transgress the Sabbath in all these points; for they go out of town, have fire made, lie with their wives, and even do not wash themselves after it.-2. They hold the passover to be their first festival; they begin at sunset, by the sacrifice enjoined for that purpose in Exodus; but they sacrifice only on Mount Gerizim, where they read the law, and offer prayers to God, after which the priest dismisses the whole congregation with a blessing. [Of late years, however, having been prohibited from ascending Mount Gerizim by their oppressors the Turks, they offer the paschal sacrifice within their city, which they consider to be within the precincts of the sacred place.]-3. They celebrate for seven days toJews concerning the day when it ought to begin; for these reckon the next day after the solemnity of the passover; whereas the Samaritans reckon fifty days, beginning the next day after the Sabbath, which happens in the week of the unleavened bread, and the next day after the seventh Sabbath following, the feast of the harvest begins.-4. They observe the fast of expiation on the tenth of the seventh month: they employ the four-and-twenty hours of the day in prayers to God, and singing his praises, and fasting. All fast, except children at the breast, whereas the Jews except children under seven years of age.-5. On the fifteenth of the same month, they celebrate the feast of tabernacles.-6. They never defer circumcision beyond the eighth day, as it is commanded in Genesis, whereas the Jews defer it sometimes longer.-7. They are obliged to wash themselves in the morning, when they have lain with their wives, or have been sullied in the night by some uncleanness; and all vessels that may become unclean, become defiled when they touch Towards the close of the Jewish políty, the Samaritans them before they have washed.-8. They take away the fat suffered much from the Romans; and though they received from sacrifices, and give the priests the shoulder, the jaws, a little favourable treatment from one or two of the pagan and the belly.-9. They never marry their nieces as the emperors, yet they suffered considerably under some of the Jews do, and have but one wife, whereas the Jews may have professing Christian emperors, particularly Valentinian and many.-10. They believe in God, in Moses, and in Mount Justinian. At present, the Samaritans are very much re- Gerizim. Whereas, say they, the Jews put their trust in duced in point of numbers. Their principal residence is at others, we do nothing but what is expressly commanded in Sichem or Shechem, now called Napolose or Nablous. In the law by the Lord who made use of the ministry of Moses; 1823, there were between twenty and thirty houses, and but the Jews swerve from what the Lord hath commanded about sixty males paid the capitation-tax to the Mohamme- in the law, to observe what their fathers and doctors have dan government. They celebrated divine service every invented.-11. They receive the Torah or Pentateuch, and Saturday. Formerly they went four times a year, in solemn hold it as their only sacred book; they reverence the books procession, to the old synagogue on Mount Gerizim: and on of Joshua and Judges, but do not account them sacred in the these occasions they ascended before sunrise, and read the same manner as the Torah, considering Joshua not to have law till noon; but of late years they have not been allowed been a prophet, but only the disciple of a prophet, that is, of to do this. The Samaritans have one school in Napolose, Moses.-12. They expect a prophet, whom they term Hathab; Basnage's History and Religion of the Jews, book i. ch. 8, 9. pp. 101-but, say they," there is a great mystery in regard to Hathab, 114. The Karaites claim a very remote antiquity, some pretending that who is yet to come. We shall be happy when he comes.' they are descended from the ten tribes who were carried into captivity by When the Rev. Mr. Jowett, in November, 1823, interrogated Shalmaneser, while others glory in their descent from Ezra. This sect was the officiating Samaritan priest concerning their expectation reformed by Rabbi Anun in the eighth century. They are found in diffe of a Messiah, the latter replied that they were all in expectarent parts of Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Austria, the Caucasus, Turkey, Egypt, Abyssinia, India, and the Holy Land; but their numbers are not tion of him;-" that the Messiah would be a man, not the known. The principal point of difierence between them and the rabbi: Son of God, and that this" (Naposloe) "was to be the nists or Pharisaical Jews consists in their rejection of the oral law, and their rigid appeal to the text of Scripture, as the exclusive and only infalli- place which he would make the metropolis of his kingdom: ble source and test of religious truth. On this account they are called this was the place, of which the Lord had promised, he KARAITES (DNP KURAIM) or Scripturists, from p KARA or Scripture. would place his name there." The report of the Samaritans Dr. Henderson's Biblical Researches and Travels in Russia, p. 319. In worshipping a dove is groundless; nor is it true that they pp. 315-339. he has given a very interesting account of the principles, &c. of the Karaites in the Crimea. Carpzov has given an abstract of the deny the resurrection of the dead, or the existence of angels. earlier writers concerning this sect in his Antiquitates Hebrææ Gentis, pp. They admit, however, that they recite hymns and prayers 2 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xi. c. 8. § 4.
3 Ibid. lib. xiii. c. 10. §§ 2, 3.
Robinson's Gr. Lex. voce Exuperys. Tappan's Lectures on Jewish Antiq. pp. 224-227. Kuinöel, on John iv. 9. 25.
Basnage's History of the Jews, pp. 73-77. In pp. 63-96. he has given minute details respecting the history, tenets, and practices of this sect or people.
Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, p. 195.
Visit of the Rev. James Connor, in 1819 and 1820, to Candia, Rhodes, Cyprus, and various parts of Syria and Palestine, annexed to the Rev. W. Jowett's Christian Researches in the Mediterranean, p. 425.
Mémoire sur l'Etat actuel des Samaritains, par M. Silvestre de Sacy. Paris, 1812. 8vo. Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, pp. 196-198. See also Joan. Christoph. Friedrich, Discussionum de Christologia Samaritanorum Liber. Accedit Appendicula de Columba Dea Samaritanorum. Lipsia, 1821. 8vo.
that Jehovah would pardon the dead, and the priest purifies | from the Pharisees, A. D. 12, when Archelaus was banished, them by prayer.
The Samaritans have a catalogue of the succession of their high-priests from Aaron to the present time. They believe themselves to be of the posterity of Joseph by Ephraim, and that all their high-priests descended from Phinehas; whereas the Jews have not one of that family. They boast that they have preserved the Hebrew characters which God made use of to promulgate his law; while the Jews have a way of writing from Ezra, which is cursed for ever. And, indeed, instead of looking upon Ezra as the restorer of the law, they curse him as an impostor, who has laid aside their old characters to use new ones in their room, and authorized several books that were written to support the posterity of David. Several attempts have been made to convert these Samaritans; but they have been oppressed instead of being made Christians, and they are reduced to a small number rather by misery than by the multitude of those who have been converted. Nay, they seem more stubbornly wedded to their sect than the Jews, though these adhere rigorously to the law of Moses. At least Nicon, who lived after the twelfth century, when setting down the formalities used at the reception of heretics, observes, that if a Jew had a mind to be converted, in order to avoid punishment or the payment of what he owed, he was to purify himself, and satisfy his creditors before he was admitted. But the Samaritans were not received before they had been instructed two years, and were required to fast ten or fifteen days before they professed the Christian religion, to attend at morning and evening prayers, and to learn some psalms; others were not used with so much rigour. The term of two years which was enjoined to the Samaritan proselytes is an argument that they were suspected, and the reason why they were so was, that they had often deceived the Christians by their pretended conversion.1
VII. The HERODIANS were rather a political faction than a religious sect of the Jews: they derived their name from Herod the Great, king of Judæa, to whose family they were strongly attached. They were distinguished from the other Jewish sects, first, by their concurring in Herod's plan of subjecting himself and his people to the dominion of the Romans; and, secondly, in complying with the latter in many of their heathen practices, such as erecting temples with images for idolatrous worship, raising statues, and instituting games in honour of Augustus; which symbolizing with idolatry upon views of interest and worldly policy is supposed to have been a part at least of the leaven of Herod, against which Jesus Christ cautioned his disciples (Mark viii. 15.); consequently they were directly opposed to the Pharisees, who, from a misinterpretation of Deut. xvii. 15. maintained that it was not lawful to submit to the Roman emperor, or to pay taxes to him. But Herod and his followers, understanding the text to exclude only a voluntary choice, and not a necessary submission where force had overpowered choice, held an opinion directly contrary, and insisted that in this case it was lawful both to submit to the Roman emperor, and also to pay taxes to him. How keen then must have been the malice of the Pharisees against Christ, when they united with their mortal enemies the Herodians, in proposing to him the ensnaring question, whether it was lawful to give tribute to Cæsar or not? (Matt. xxii. 16.) If our Redeemer had answered in the negative, the Herodians would have accused him to the Roman power as a seditious person; and if in the affirmative, the Pharisees were equally ready to accuse him to the people, and excite their indignation against him, as betraying the civil liberties and privileges of his country, Christ by his prudent reply defeated the malice of both, and at the same time implicitly justified the Herodians in paying tribute to Cæsar. It is further probable that the Herodians, in their doctrinal tenets, were chiefly of the sect of the Sadducees, who were the most indifferent to religion among the whole Jewish nation; since that which is by one evangelist called the leaven of Herod (Mark viii. 15.), is by another termed (Matt. xvi. 6.) the leaven of the Sadducees.2
VIII. The GALILEANS were a political sect that originated
Lewis's Origines Hebrææ, vol. iii. pp. 57-59. In pp. 59-65. he has printed a letter, purporting to have been written by the Samaritans at Shechem in the seventeenth century, and sent by them to their brethren in England, by Dr. Huntington, some time chaplain to the Turkey company at Aleppo, and afterwards Bishop of Raphoe, in Ireland.
Prideaux's Connection, part ii. book v. (vol. ii. pp. 365-368.) Jennings's Jewish Antiquities, book i. ch. xii. Calmet, Dissertations, tom. i. pp. 737 -743. where the different opinions of former writers concerning the Herodians are enumerated; as also in Elsley's Annotations on the Gospels, vol. 1. pp. 342-346. vol. ii. p. 15. Parkhurst's Greek Lexicon, voce; Lardner's Credibility, parti. book i. ch. iv. § 4. (Works. vol. i. pp. 126, 127.) Tappan's Lectures on Jewish Antiq. p. 239.
Judæa reduced into a Roman province, and a census taken by Quirinius or Cyrenius, president of Syria (to which province Judæa was attached). On this occasion, Judas the Galilæan, or Gaulonite, as he is also called, exhorted the people to shake off this yoke, telling them, that tribute was due to God alone, and, consequently, ought not to be paid to the Romans; and that religious liberty and the authority of the divine laws were to be defended by force of arms. In other respects his doctrines appear to have been the same as those of the Pharisees. The tumults raised by these pernicious tenets were indeed suppressed (Acts v. 37.); but his followers, who were called Galilæans, continued secretly to propagate them, and to make proselytes, whom they required to be circumcised. As the same restless disposition and seditious principles continued to exist at the time when the apostles Paul and Peter wrote their Epistles, they took occasion thence to inculcate upon Christians (who were at that time generally confounded with the Jews), the necessity of obedience to civil authority, with singular ability, truth, and persuasion. See Rom. xiii. 1. et seq. 1 Tim. ii. 1. et seq. 1 Pet. ii. 13. et seq.4 IX. The ZEALOTS, so often mentioned in Jewish history, appear to have been the followers of this Judas. Lamy is of opinion that the JUST MEN whom the Pharisees and Heredians sent to entangle Jesus in his conversation were members of this sect, (Matt. xxii. 15, 16. Mark xii. 13, 14. Luke xx. 20.)5 Simon the Canaanite, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ, is called Zelotes (Luke vi. 15.); and in Acts xxi. 20. and xxii. 3. (Gr.) we find that there were certain Christians at Jerusalem, who were denominated ZEALOTS. But these merely insisted on the fulfilment of the Mosaic law, and by no means went so far as those persons, termed Zelotæ or Zealots, of whom we read in Josephus's history of the Jewish war.
X. The SICARII, noticed in Acts xxi. 38. were assassins, who derived their name from their using poniards bent like the Roman sicæ, which they concealed under their garments, and which was the secret instrument of assassination. The Egyptian impostor, also mentioned by the sacred historian, is noticed by Josephus, who says that he was at the head of 30,000 men, though St. Luke notices only 4000; but both accounts are reconciled by supposing that the impostor (who in the second year of Nero pretended to be a prophet) led out 4000 from Jerusalem, who were afterwards joined by others to the amount of 30,000, as related by Josephus. They were attacked and dispersed by the Roman procurator Felix.
§ 2. ON THE EXTREME CORRUPTION OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE,
BOTH IN RELIGION AND MORALS, AT THE TIME OF CHRIST'S BIRTH.
General corruption of the leaders of the Jewish nation—of their chief priests, and other ministers of religion-its deplorable effects on the people.-State of the Jews not resident in Palestine.
THE preceding chapters will have shown that the political state of the Jews was truly deplorable. Although they were oppressed and fleeced by various governors, who exercised the most rigorous authority over them, in many instances with peculiar avarice, cruelty, and extortion, yet they were in some measure governed by their own laws, and were permitted to enjoy their religion. The administration of their sacred rites continued to be committed to the high-priest and the Sanhedrin; to the former the priests and Levites were subordinate as before: and the form of their external wor ship, except in a very few points, had suffered no visible change. But, whatever comforts were left to them by the
3 He was a native of Gamala, in the province of Gaulonitis. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 1. §§ 1. 6. lib. xx. c. 5. § 2. De Bell. Jud, must not be confounded with the Theudas or Judas referred to by Joselib. ii. c. 17. §§ 7-9. lib. vii. c. 8. § I. The Theudas mentioned in Acts v. 36, phus, (Ant. lib. xx. c. 5. § 1.) Theudas was a very common name among the Jews; and the person mentioned by the sacred historian was probably ties, at the time of Cyrenius's enrolment, at least seven, if not ten years one of the many leaders who took up arms in defence of the public liberbefore the speech delivered by Gamaliel. (Acts v. 34-40.) He seems to have been supported by smaller numbers than the second of that name, and (as the second afterwards did) perished in the attempt; but as his fol lowers were dispersed, and not slaughtered, like those of the second Judas, survivors might talk much of him, and Gamaliel might have been particu larly informed of his history, though Josephus only mentions it in general terms. See Dr. Lardner's Credibility, part i. book ii. cn. vii. (Works, vol. i. pp. 405-413.) Dr. Doddridge on Acts v. 36, Apparatus Biblicus, vol. i. p. 239.
5 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. 8. § 10. Ibid. lib. xx. c. 8 § 6. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 13. § 5. Dr. Lardner's Credibility, part i. book ii. ch. viii. (Works, vol. i. pp. 414-419.) See particularly pp. 50-53. of the present volume.
Roman magistrates, they were not allowed to enjoy them by | ii. 24.) And in his Epistle to Titus, he informs us that the their chief priests and popular leaders, whom Josephus cha- Jews in speculation, indeed, acknowledged a God, but in racterizes as profligate wretches, who had purchased their practice they were atheists; for in their lives they were aboplaces by bribes or by acts of iniquity, and maintained their minally immoral and abandoned, and the contemptuous ill-acquired authority by the most flagitious and abominable despisers of every thing that was virtuous. They profess crimes. Nor were the religious creeds of these men more that they know God, but in works they deny him, being abomipure: having espoused the principles of various sects, they nable and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. suffered themselves to be led away by all the prejudice and (Titus i. 16.) This testimony to the religious and moral animosity of party (though, as in the case of our Saviour, character of the Jewish people, by Jesus Christ and his they would sometimes abandon them to promote some fa- apostles, is amply corroborated by Josephus, who has given vourite measure); and were commonly more intent on the us a true estimate of their principles and manners, and is gratification of private enmity, than studious of advancing the also confirmed by other contemporary historians. The circause of religion, or promoting the public welfare. The cumstance of their nation having been favoured with an exsubordinate and inferior members were infected with the cor- plicit revelation from the Deity, instead of enlarging their ruption of the head; the priests, and the other ministers of minds, miserably contracted and soured them with all the religion, were become dissolute and abandoned in the highest bitterness and leaven of theological odium. They regarded undegree; while the common people, instigated by examples circumcised heathens with sovereign contempt, and believed so depraved, rushed headlong into every kind of iniquity, them to be hated by God, merely because they were born and by their incessant seditions, robberies, and extortions, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and lived strangers armed against themselves both the justice of God and the to their covenant of promise. They would not eat with vengeance of men. them (Acts xi. 3.), do the least friendly office for them, or maintain any social correspondence and mutual intercourse with them. The apostle comprises their national character in a few words, and it is a just one: They were contrary to all men. (1 Thess. ii. 15.) The supercilious insolence, with which the mean and selfish notion of their being the only favourites of heaven and enlightened by God inflated them as a people, and the haughty and scornful disdain in which they held the heathens, are in a very striking manner characterized in the following spirited address of St. Paul to them :-Behold! thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God: and knowest his will, and ap provest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law, and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. (Rom. ii. 17-20.) This passage exhibits to us a faithful picture of the national character of this people, and shows us how much they valued themselves upon their wisdom and superior knowledge of religion, arrogating to themselves the character of lights and guides, and instructors of the whole world, and contemptuously regarding all the heathen as blind, as babes, and as fools.
Owing to these various causes, the great mass of the Jewish people were sunk into the most deplorable ignorance of God and of divine things. Hence proceeded that dissoluteness of manners and that profligate wickedness which prevailed among the Jews during Christ's ministry upon earth; in allusion to which the divine Saviour compares the people to a multitude of lost sheep, straying without a shepherd (Matt. x. 6. xv. 24.), and their teachers, or doctors, to blind guides, who professed to instruct others in a way with which they were totally unacquainted themselves. (Matt. xv. 14. John ix. 39, 40.)
More particularly, in the New Testament," the Jews are described as a most superstitious and bigoted people, attached to the Mosaic ritual and to the whimsical traditions of their elders, with a zeal and fanaticism approaching to madness. They are represented as a nation of hypocrites, assuming the most sanctimonious appearance before the world, at the corners of crowded streets uttering loud and fervent strains of rapturous devotion, merely to attract the eyes of a weak and credulous multitude, and to be noticed and venerated by them as mirrors of mortification and heavenly-mindedness; devoured with ostentation and spiritual pride; causing a trumpeter to walk before them in the streets, and make proclamation that such a rabbi was going to distribute his alms; publicly displaying all this showy parade of piety and charity, yet privately guilty of the most unfeeling cruelty and oppression; devouring widows' houses, stripping the helpless widow and friendless orphan of their property, and exposing them to all the rigours of hunger and nakedness; clamouring, The temple of the Lord! The temple of the Lord! making conscience of paying tithe of mint, anise, and cummin, to the support of its splendour and priesthood, but in practical life violating and trampling upon the first duties of morality,-justice, fidelity, and mercy, as being vulgar and heathenish attainments, and infinitely below the regard of exalted saints and spiritual perfectionists. Their great men were to an incredible degree depraved in their morals, many of them Sadducees in principle, and in practice the most profligate sensualists and debauchees their atrocious and abandoned wickedness, as Josephus testifies, transcended all the enormities which the most corrupt age of the world had ever beheld; they compassed sea and land to make proselytes to Judaism from the Pagans, and, when they had gained these converts, soon rendered them, by their immoral lives and scandalous examples, more depraved and profligate than ever they were before their conversion. The apostle tells them, that by reason of their notorious vices their religion was become the object of calumny and satire among the heathen nations. The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you! (Rom.
Another ever memorable instance of the national pride and arrogance of this vain and ostentatious people is, that when our Lord was discoursing to them concerning their pretensions to moral liberty, and representing the ignoble and despicable bondage in which sin detains its votaries, they imagined this to be an indirect allusion to the present condition of their country: their pride was instantly in flames; and they had the effrontery and impudence openly to assert, that they had always been free, and were never in bondage to any man (John viii. 33.); though every child must know the history of their captivities, must know that Judæa was at that very time a conquered province, had been subdued by Pompey, and from that time had paid an annual tribute to Rome. Another characteristic which distinguishes and marks this people, was that kind of evidence which they expected in order to their reception of truth. Except they saw signs and wonders they would not believe! (John iv. 48.) If a doctrine proposed to their acceptance was not confirmed by some visible displays of preternatural power, some striking phenomena, the clear and indubitable evidences of an immediate divine interposition, they would reject it. In an
"I cannot forbear," says Josephus, "declaring my opinion, though the declaration fills me with great emotion and regret, that if the Romans had delayed to come against these wretches, the city would either have been ingulfed by an earthquake, overwhelmed by a deluge, or destroyed by fire from heaven, as Sodom was: for that generation was far more enormously wicked than those who suffered these calamities." Bell. Jud. lib. v. c. 13. p. 1256. These things they suffered," says Origen, "as being the most abandoned of "The Jews are the only people who refuse all friendly intercourse with every other nation, and esteem all mankind as enemies." Diod. Siculus, tom. ii. p. 524. edit. Wesseling, Amstel. 1746. "Let him be to thee as an heathen man and a publican." (Matt. xviii. 17.) Of the extreme detestation and abhorrence which the Jews had for the Gentiles we have a very striking example in that speech which St. Paul addresses to them, telling them in the course of it, that God had commissioned him to go to the Gentiles. The moment he had pronounced the word, the whole assembly was in confusion, tore off their clothes, rent the air with their cries, threw clouds of dust into it, and were transported into the last excesses of rage and madness. "He said unto me, Depart, for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles: they gave him audience," says the sacred historian, hea-"until this word, and then lifted up their voice and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth; for it is not fit that he should live." (Acts xxii. 21.) This character of the Jewish nation is confirined by Tacitus, and expressed almost in the very words of the Apostle, "Adversus omnes alios hostile odium." Tacit. Hist. lib. v. § 5. vol. iii. p. 261. edit. Bipont.
Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. book i. part i. chap. ii., and also his Commentaries on the Affairs of Christians before the time of Constantine the Great, vol. i. Introd. ch. ii. Pritii Introductio ad Lectionem Novi Testamenti, c. 35. De summa Populi Judaici corruptione, tempore Christi, pp. 471-473. 2 For the following picture of the melancholy corruption of the Jewish church and people, the author is indebted to Dr. Harwood's Introduction to the New Testament. (vol. ii. pp. 58. 61.)
Josephus, Bell. Jud. lib. vii. p. 1314. Hudson. Again, says this historian, "They were universally corrupt, both publicly and privately. They vied which should surpass each other in impiety against God and injustice
towards men." Ibid.
The superstitious credulity of a Jew was proverbial among the thens. Credat Judæus Apella. Horat. Epictetus mentions and exposes their greater attachment to their ceremonies than to the duties of morality. Dissertationes, lib. i. p. 115. edit. Upton. See also Josephus contra Apion. p. 480. lavercamp.