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appear in what manner these heads or elders of families were pretended that this was a permanent and supreme court of chosen, when any of them died. The princes of tribes do judicature; but as the sacred writers are totally silent connot seem to have ceased with the commencement, at least, cerning such a tribunal, we are authorized to conclude that of the monarchy: from 1 Chron. xxvii, 16–22. it is evident it was only a temporary institution. After their return from that they subsisted in the time of David; and they must have the Babylonish captivity, it is well known that the Jews did proved a powerful restraint upon the power of the king. appoint a sanhedrin or council of seventy at Jerusalem, in
It will now be readily conceived how the Israelitish state imitation of that which Moses had instituted. In the New might have subsisted not only without a king, but even occa- Testament, very frequent mention is made of this supreme sionally without that magistrate who was called a Judge, tribunal, of which an account will be found in a subsequent although we read of no supreme council of the nation. Every chapter of this volume. tribe had always its own independent chief magistrate, who 4. Among the persons who appear in the Israelitish conmay not inaptly be compared to the lords-lieutenants of our gregation or diet (as Michaelis terms it), in addition to those British counties; subordinate to them, again, were the heads already mentioned, we find the Drum (SHOTERIM) or Scribes. of families, who may be represented as their deputy-lieute- It is evident that they were different from the Jethronian prenants: and, if there were no general ruler of the whole people, fects or judges; for Moses expressly ordained that they should yet there were twelve smaller commonwealths, who in cer- not only appoint judges in every city, but also shoterim or tain cases united together, and whose general convention scribes. What their functions were, it is now difficult to would take measures for their common interest. In many ascertain. Michaelis conjectures, with great probability, that cases particular tribes acted as distinct and independent re- they kept the genealogical tables of the Israelites, with a publics, not only when there was neither king nor judge, but faithful record of births, marriages, and deaths; and that to even during the times of the kings. Instances of wars being them was assigned the duty of apportioning the public burcarried on by one or more particular tribes, both before and thens and services on the people individually. 'Under the after the establishment of the regal government, may be seen regal government, these scribes were generally taken from in Josh. xvii. 15–17. Judg. iv. 10. and xviii—xx. 1 Chron. the tribe of Levi. (1 Chron. xxiii. 4. 2 Chron. xix. 8—11. v. 18–23. 41–43. It appears from 1 Chron. xxiii. 11. that and xxxiv. 13.) In Deut. xxix. 10. xxxi. 28. Josh. viii. 33. a certain number of persons was necessary to constitute a and xxiii. 2. we find them as representatives of the people in family, and to empower such a family to have a representa- the diets, or when they entered into covenant with God. In tive head; for it is there said that the four sons of Shimei time of war they were charged with the duty of conveying had not a numerous progeny, and were therefore reckoned orders to the army (Deut. xx. 5.); and in 2 Chron. xxvi. 11. only as one family. Hence we may explain why, according we meet with a scribe, who appears to have been what is now to Micah v. 2., Bethlehem may have been too small to be termed the muster-master-general.. reckoned among the families of Judah. It is impossible to III. On the death of Moses, the command of the children ascertain, at this distance of time, what number of individuals of Israel was confided to JOSHUA, who had been his minister was requisite to constitute a house or family; but probably (Exod. xxiv. 13. Josh. i. 1.); and under whom the land of the number was not always uniform.
Canaan was subdued, and divided agreeably to the divine in2. The Judges, who were appointed by Moses, had also junctions. On the death of Joshua and of the elders of his a right, by virtue of their office, to be present in the congre- council, it appears that the people did not choose any chief gation, or convention of the state. After the departure of the magistrate or counsellors in their place. The consequence Israelites from Egypt, Moses, for some time, was their sole (as might naturally be expected) was a temporary anarchy, judge. Jethro, his father-in-law, observing that the daily in which we are told that every man did what was right in duties of this office were too heavy for him, suggested to him his own eyes. (Judg. xxi. 25.) This state of things occa(subject to the approbation of Jehovah) the institution of sioned the government of Israel to be committed to certain Judges or rulers, of tens, of fifties, of hundreds, and of thou- supreme magistrates, termed Judges. Their dignity was, in sands, who determined every affair of little importance among some cases, for life, but not always: and their office was not themselves, but brought the hard causes to Moses. (Exod. hereditary, neither was their succession constant. There also xviii. 14—26.). Of the jụdges of tens, therefore, there must were anarchies, or intervals of several years' continuance, have been sixty thousand; of the judges of fifties, twelve during which the Israelites groaned under the tyranny of thousand; of the judges of hundreds, six thousand; and of their oppressors, and had no governors. But though God the judges of thousands, six hundred. These judges, or himself did regularly appoint the judges of the Israelites, the Jethronian prefects (as they have been called), seem to have people nevertheless, on some occasions, elected him who apbeen a sort of justice of the peace in several divisions, pro-peared to them most proper to deliver them from their immebably taken from the military division of an host into thou-diate oppression : thus Jephthah was chosen by the Israelites sands, hundreds, fifties, and tens; this was a model proper beyond Jordan. As, however, it frequently happened that for them as an army marching, and not unsuitable to their the oppression which rendered the assistance of judges necessettlement as tribes or families, in a sort of counties, hun- sary were not felt equally over all Israel, so the power of dreds, and tithings. Perhaps our old Saxon constitution of those judges, who were elected in order to procure their delisheriffs in counties, hundredors or centgraves in hundreds, and verance from such servitudes, did not extend over all the deciners in decennaries, may give some light to this constitu- people, but only over that district which they had delivered. tion of Moses. Some of our legal antiquaries have thought Thus Jephthah did not exercise his authority on this side that those constitutions of the Saxons were taken from these Jordan, neither did Barak exercise his judicial power beyond laws of Moses, introduced by Alfred, or by his direction.2 that river. The authority of the judges was not inferior to It is not probable, that in the public deliberative assemblies that which was afterwards exercised by the kings: it exthe whole sixty thousand judges of tens had seats and voices. tended to peace and war. They decided causes without apMichaelis conjectures thắt only those of hundreds, or even peal; but they had no power to enact new laws, or to impose those only of thousands, are to be understood, when mention new burthens upon the people. They were protectors of the is made of judges in the Israelitish conventions.3
laws, defenders of religion, and avengers of crimes, particnBut, after the establishment of the Hebrews in the land of larly of idolatry, which was high-treason against Jehovah their Canaan, as they no longer dwelt together in round numbers, Sovereign. Further, these judges were without pomp, or Moses ordained that judges should be appointed in every splendour, and destitute of guards, train, or equipage: unless city (Deut. xvi. 18.), and it should seem that they were chosen indeed their own wealth might enable them to make an apby the people. In succeeding ages these judicial offices were pearance suitable to their dignity. Their income or revenue filled by the Levites, most probably because they were the arose solely from presents. This form of administration persons best skilled in the law of the Hebrews. (See 1 Chron. subsisted from Joshua to Saul, during a period of about 339 xxiii. 4. xxvi. 29–32. 2 Chron. xix. 8–11, xxxiv. 13.)" years.?
3. During the sojourning of the Israelites in the wilder- IV. At length the Israelites, weary of having God for their ness, Moses established a council or SENATE of seventy, to sovereign, and provoked by the misconduct of the sons of assist him in the government of the people. The Jewish the judge and prophet Samuel, who in his old age had assorabbinical writers, who have exercised their ingenuity in ciated them with himself for the administration of affairs, deconjecturing why the number was limited to seventy, have sired a King to be set over them, to judge them like all the nations (1 Sam. viii. 5.), thus undesignedly fulfilling the de- (5.) In order to prevent or restrain that royal avarice or signs of the Almighty, who had ordained that in the fulness luxury, for which oriental monarchs have always been disof time the Messiah should be born of a royal house. tinguished, the king was forbidden grratly to multiply to him• 1. Such a change in their government Moses foresaw, and self silver and gold; lest the circulation of money should be accordingly, by divine command; he prescribed the following obstructed, industry discouraged, or his subjects be impovelaws, both concerning their election of a king, and also for rished. the direction of their future sovereigns, which are recorded in (6.) In order that they might not be ignorant of true reliDeut. xvii. 14–20.
1 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 231-234. 244.
» Bacon on English Government, parti. p. 70. Lowman's Civil Govern. ment of the Hebrews, p. 162. Michaelis's
Commentaries, vol. i. p. 245. • Ibid. p. 246.
• Michaclis's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 247—29.
Tappan's Lectures on Jewish Antiquities, p. 77. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 262-264. Dr. Graves's Lectures on the Pentateuch, vol. ii. pp. 95-104
gion, and of the laws of the Israelites, the king was enjoined (1.) The right of choice was left to the people, but with to write out, for his own use, a correct copy of the divine this límitation, that they must always elect a native Israelite, law; which injunction was intended to rivet this law more and not a foreigner. One from among thy brethren shalt thou firmly in his memory, and to hold him in constant subjection set king over thee: thou mayst not set a stranger over thee, to its authority. For the same purpose he was required to which is not thy brother.
read in this copy all the days of his life, that he may learn to This was a wise and patriotic law, well adapted to inspire fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law, ana a just dread of foreign intriguers and invaders, and an united these statutes, to do them. vigilance in repulsing such persons from the government. Thus the power of the Israelitish kings was circumscribed "One who is born and educated in a community, is its natu- by a code of fundamental and equal laws, provided by infiral brother: his habits, attachments, and interests strongly nite wisdom and rectitude. With regard to actual facts, it aplink him to it; while the sentiments, feelings, and interests pears from 1 Sam. x. 25. compared with 2 Sam. v. 3. 1 Kings of a stranger do often as naturally connect him with a foreign xii. 22–24. and 2 Kings xi. 17. that the Israelitish kings country, and alienate him from that in which he resides.” But were by no means possessed of unlimited power, but were this statute did not apply to the case of the nation being at restricted by a solemn stipulation; although they on some any time subjected, by force of arms, to a foreign prince; occasions evinced a disposition leaning towards despotism. though the Pharisees afterwards so explained it.1
(1 Sam. xi. 5—7. and xxii. 17, 18.)3 They had, however, (2.) The Israelites were on no account to appoint any one the right of making war and peace, as well as the power of to be their king, who was not chosen by God. Thou shalt in life and death; and could on particular occasions put criminals any wise set him king over thee whom the LORD thy God shall to death, without the formalities of justice (2 Sam. i. 5–15. choose.
iv. 9–12.); but, in general they administered justice; someAccordingly, he appointed Saul, by lot, to be their first times in a summary way by themselves where the case apking; David, by name, to be their second ; Solomon, his son, peared clear, as David did (see 2 Sam. xii. 1–5. xiv. 4–11. to be his successor; and then made the regal government and 1 Kings ii. 5—9.), or by judges duly constituted to hear and hereditary in David's family. But this law did not extend determine causes in the king's name. (1 Chron. xxiii. 4. xxvi. to their subsequently electing every individual king: for, so 29—32.) Michaelis thinks it probable that there were supelong as the reigning family did not violate the fundamental, rior courts established at Jerusalem, in which David's sons laws of the theocracy, they would continue to possess the presided, and that in Psal. cxxii. 5. there is an allusion to hrone; but if they tyrannized, they would forfest it. them; but no mention is made of a supreme tribunal in that
With regard to the external qualifications which the Jews city earlier than the reign of Jehoshaphat. (2 Chron. xix. 8 appear to have demanded in their kings:-comeliness of per- -11.) Although the kings enjoyed the privilege of grantson and tallness of stature seem to have been the principal ing pardons to offenders at their pleasure, without consulting requisites. Thus, although Saul was constituted King of any person; and in ecclesiastical affairs exercised great power, Israel by the special appointment of God, yet it appears to sometimes deposing or condemning to death even the highhave been no inconsiderable circumstance in the eyes of the priest himself (1 Sam. xxii. 17, 18. 1 Kings ii. 26, 27.), and people that he was choice young man and goodly, and that at other times reforming gross abuses in religion, of which there was not among the children of Israel a gcodlier person we have examples in the zealous conduct of Hezekiah and than he : from the shoulders and upwards he was higher tha Josiah; yet this power was enjoyed by them not as absolute any of the people
. (1 Sam. ix. 2.) And therefore Samuel sovereigns in their own right. They were merely the vicesaid to the people, when he presented Saul to them: See ye roys of Jehovah, who was the sole legislator of Israel: and, him whom the Lord hath chosen, that there is none like him therefore, as the kings could on no occasion, either enact a among all the people. (1 Sam. x. 24.) Hence, also, David is new law or alter or repeal an old one, the government contisaid to have been ruddy, withal of a beautiful countenance, nued to be a theocracy, as well under their permanent adniin. and goodly to look to. (1 Sam. xvi. 12.) The people of the istration, as we have seen that it was under the occasional East seem to have had a regard to these personal qualities in administration of the judges. The only difference that can the election of their kings, in addition to those of strength, be discovered between the two species of government is, that courage, and fortitude of mind; and it was such a king as the conduct of the judges was generally directed by urim, their neighbours had, whom the Israelites desired.
and that of the kings, either by the inspiration of God vouch(3.) The king was not to multiply horses to himself, nor safed to themselves, or by prophets raised up from time to cause the people to return to Egypt to the end that he should time to reclaim them when deviating from their duty, as laid multiply horses 2
down by the law. This prohibition was intended to prevent all commercial (7.) Lastly, the monarch was charged, that his heart be not intercourse with Egypt, and, consequently, to preserve them lifted up above his brethren; in other words, to govern his from being contaminated with idolatry; and also, by restrain- subjects with mildness and beneficence, not as slaves, but as ing the Jews from the use of cavalry in war, to lead them to brothers. So, David styled his subjects his brethren in trust implicitly in the special protection of the Almighty, 1 Chron. xxviii. 2.; and this amiable model was, subsefrom whose pure worship they might be seduced by extending quently, imitated by the first Christian emperors, particularly their dominions among the neighbouring idolatrous nations by Constantine the
Great. by means of cavalry.
Thus the regal government, though originating in the per.(4.) The king was, further, prohibited from multiplying verse impiety and folly of the Israelites, was so regulated wives to himself, that his heart turn not away from the law and and guarded by the divine law, as to promise the greatest worship of the God of Israel, by his being seduced into idol- public benefits. It is to be observed that the preceding atry in consequence of foreign alliances. How grossly this enactments relate to the election of a king, not of a queen. law was violated by Solomon and other monarchs
the history Athaliah, indeed, reigned, but she was an usurper; and, long of the Jews and Israelites abundantly records, together with afterwards, Alexandra, the daughter of Jannæus, also the fatal consequences of such disobedience.
reigned. She, however, reigned as a queen only in name, nate their successors, and sometimes to assume them as 35. 47, 48. 2 Kings xi. 19, 20.) On the inauguration of partners with them in the government during their own life- Saul
being under the influence of the Pharisees. · It was on the ground of this law that the Pharisees and Herodians pro. yosed that insidious question to Jesus Christ, -Is it lauful to give tribute
It was customary for the Jewish kings sometimes to nomi:0 CÆSAR, or No? (Matt. xxii. 17.) for, at that time, they were under the 3 That the Israelitish monarchs, even in the worst times, were considered authority of a foreign power which they detested. Had Christ replied, Yes, not as above law, but as restrained by it, is evident from the history of Ahab, then they would have condemned him by this law. Had he answered, No, a most abandoned prince. Though he earnestly coveted the vineyard of then they would have accused him to Cæsar. (Dr. A. Clarke on Deut. xvii. Naboth, one of his subjects, and offered to purchase it, yet because the law 15. In his Commentary on Matt. xxii. 16–22. he has discussed this import prohibited the alienation of lands from one tribe or family to another, he ant subject in great detail and with equal ability.)
could not obtain it, until, by bribing false witnesses, he had procured the This law was to be a standing trial of prince and people, whether they legal condemnation and death of Naboth, as a traitor and blasphemer. (See had trust and confidence in God their deliverer. See Bp. Sherlock's Dis. 1 Kings xxi, 1–14.) Tappan's Lectures on Jewish Antiquities, pp. 81, 82. courses on Prophecy, Disc. iv. ; where he has excellently explained the The preceding regulations concerning the Hebrew monarchs are also fully reason and effect of the law, and the influence which the observance or considered and illustrated by Michaelis, Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 266–28. neglect of it had in the affairs of the Israelites.
• Tappan's Lectures, p. 83.
, however, when there was neither sceptre, diadem, nor time. Thus David caused Solomon to be anointed (1 Kings throne, these ceremonies were not observed. After the i. 32—40.); -90 that Solomon reigned conjointly with his establishment of royalty among the Jews, it appears to have father during the short remainder of David's life, for it does been a maxim in their law, that the king's person was inviolanot appear that the latter resigned his sceptre till he resigned ble, even though he might be tyrannical and unjust (1 Sam. his breath. In like manner Rehoboam, though a prince of xxiv. 5–8.); a maxim which is necessary not only to the no great merit, appointed his youngest son Abijah to be ruler security of the king, but also to the welfare of the subject. umong his brethren (2 Chron. xi. 22.), designing that he On this principle, the Amalekite, who told David the imshould reign after him; and accordingly Abijah succeeded probable and untrue story of his having put the mortally him on the throne. (2 Chron. xiii. 1.) So, among the sons wounded Saul to death, that he might not fall into the hands of Josiah, Jehoahaz, the younger, was preferred to Jehoia- of the Philistines, was merely on this his own statement kim the elder. (2 Kings xxiii. 31–36.) This practice of the ordered by David to be instantly despatched, because he had Jewish sovereigns serves to elucidate some supposed chrono- laid his hand on the Lord's Anointed. (2 Sam. i. 14.) logical difficulties in Sacred History.
3. The Chief DISTINCTIONS OF MAJESTY mentioned in 2. The INAUGURATION OF Tue Kings was performed with Scripture, were the royal apparel, the crown, the throne, and various ceremonies and with great pomp. The principal of the sceptre. The royal apparel was splendid (Matt. vi. 29.), these was anointing with holy oil (Psal. Ixxxix. 20.), which and the retinue of the sovereigns was both numerous and was sometimes privately performed by a prophet (1 Sam. x. magnificent. (1 Kings iv. 1—24.) That the apparel of the 1. xvi. 1–13. 1 Kings xix. 16. 2 Kings ix. 1-6.), and was Jewish monarchs was different from that of all other persons, a symbolical prediction that the person so anointed would is evident from Ahab's changing his apparel before he enascend the throne ; but after the monarchy was established, gaged in battle, and from Jehoshaphat's retaining his. (1 Kings this unction was performed by a priest (1 Kings i. 39.), at xxii. 30.) It is most probable, after the example of other first in some public place (1 Kings i. 32–31.), and after- oriental sovereigns, that their garments were made of purple wards in the temple, the monarch elect being surrounded by and fine white Tinen (Esth. viii
. 15.): in after-times, it aphis guards. (2 Kings xi. 11. 12. 2 Chron. xxiii.)! It is pears from Luke xvi. 19. that the rich and great were clad probable, also, that he was at the same time girded with a in purple and fine linen: and this circumstance may account sword. (Psalm xlv. 3.) After the king was anointed he for Pilate's soldiers clothing Christ with purple (Mark xv. was proclaimed by the sound of the trumpet. In this man. 17.), and for Herod the tetrarch, with his men of war, arrayner was Solomon proclaimed (1 Kings i. 34. 39.), and (it ing him in a gorgeous, most probably a white robe (Luke should seem) also the rebel Absalom. (2 Sam. xv. 10.) xxiii
. 11.), thereby in derision clothing him as a king. When Jehovah proclaimed his law, and himself to be thé Further, their Crowns or diadems glittered with gold, silver,
of of (. vehemence. (Exod. xix. 16.) The knowledge of this cir- arms were decorated with bracelets (2 Sam. i. 10.) 'as those cumstance will explain the many passages in the Psalms, in of the Persian sovereigns are to this day; and their thrones which God is said to have gone up with a shout; the Lord, were equally magnificent. The throne of Solomon is parwith the sound of a trumpet; and the Israelites are called ticularly described in 1 Kings x. 18—20. Similar to this upon, with trumpets to make a joyful noise before the Lord the was the throne on which the sovereign of Persia was seated King. (Sce Psal. xlvii. 5. xcviii. 6, &c.). From this cere- to receive his late Majesty's ambassador, Sir Gore Ouseley, mony of anointing, kings are in the Scriptures frequently Bart. It was ascended' by steps, on which were painted termed the anvinted of the Lurd and of the God of Jacob. dragons (that of Solomon was decorated with carved lions; (1 Sam. xxiv. 6. 10. xxvi. 9. 11. 16. 23. 2 Sam. xxiii. 1. and was also overlaid with fine gold).3. The royal Sceptre Psal. ii. 2. lxxxix. 38. Habak. iii. 13.) A diadem or crown seems to have been various at different times. That of Saul was also placed upon the sovereign's head and a sceptre put was a javelin or spear (1 Sam. xviii. 10. xxii. 6.), as Justin into his hand (Ezek. xxi. 26. Psal. xlv. 6. 2 Kings xi. 12.), informs us was anciently the practice among the early Greek after which he entered into a solemn covenant with his sub- sovereigns. Sometimes the sceptre was a walking-stick, jects that he would govern according to its conditions and cut from the branches of trees, decorated with gold or studded in the law of Moses. (2 Sam. v. 3. 1°Chron. xi. 3. 2 Kings with golden nails. Such sceptres were carried by judges, xi. 12. 2 Chron. xxiii. 11. compare Deut. xvii. 18.) The and by such a sceptre Homer introduces Achilles as swearnobles in their turn promised obedience, and appear to have ing,; and to a sceptre of this description the prophet Ezekiel confirmed this pledge with a kiss, either of the knees or unquestionably alludes. (xix. 11.) The sceptres of the feet. (Psal. ii. 12.), Loud acclamations accompanied with ancient Persian monarchs were of solid gold. (Esth. v. 2.). music then followed, after which the king entered the city, In time of peace, as well as of war, it was customary to (1 Kings i. 39, 40. 2 Kings xi. 12. 19. 2 Chron. xxiii. 11.) have watchmen set on high places, wherever the king was, To this practice there are numerous allusions both in the Old in order to prevent him from being surprised. Thus David, 'Testament (Psal. xlvii. 1—9. xcvii. 1. xcix. 1, &c.) as at Jerusalem, was informed by the watchmen of the approach well as in the New (Matt. xxi. 9, 10. Mark xi. 9, 10. Luke of the messengers, who brought him tidings of Absalom's xix. 35–38.); in which last-cited passages the Jews, by defeat. (2 Sam. xviii. 24–27.) And Jehoram king of welcoming our Saviour in the same manner as their kings Israel, who had an army lying before Ramoth-Gilead, kept were formerly inaugurated, manifestly acknowledged hint to a watchman on the tower of Jezreel where he was, who be the Messiah whom they expected. Lastly, after entering spied the company of Jehu. as he came, and accordingly anthe city, the kings seated themselves upon the throne, and nounced it to the king. (2 Kings ix. 17. 20.)? received the congratulations of their subjects. (1 Kings i. It is well known that the tables of the modern oriental • Where the kingdom was
hereditary, as that of Judah was, every king sovereigns are characterized by luxurious profusion; and was not anointed, but only the first of the family; who being anointed for vast numbers are fed from the royal kitchen.8 This fact himself and all his successors of the same family, they required no other serves to account for the apparently immense quantity of unction. If, however, any difficulty arose concerning the succession provisions stated in 1 Kings iv. 22, 23. 28. to have been anointed in order to terminate the dispute : after which the title was not consumed by the household of Solomon, whose vessels were to be questioned. This was the case with Solomon, Joash, Jehoahaz, and for the most part of massive gold (1 Kings x. 21), and which others. The kingdom was not made hereditary in the family of Saul; and, were furnished throughout the year from the twelve propower of nominating a successor to Saul was reserved by God to himself
, vinces into which he divided his dominions. A similar cusby whom David (who was no relation to Saul by blood, 1 Sam. xvi. 12.) was tom obtaiñs in Persia to this day., Splendid banquets were appointed king. David, therefore, had no other title but by divine appointinent, first signified by the prophet Samuel's anointing him, and afterwards 9 Morier's Second Journey: p. 173.
3 Ibid p. 174. by the voluntary ratification of this appointment on the part of the people :
3 Iliad. lib. i. v. 234-239. so that the anointing of David was necessary for the confirmation of his 6 Pareau, Antiquitas Hebraica, pp. 277-279. Schulzii Archæologia title. But the kingdon being made hereditary in David's family, his being Hebraica, pp. 45, 46. Jahn, Archæologia Biblica, $$ 223--227. Ackermann, anointed served for him and all his successors, except when the right to Archäologia Biblica, SS 217-220. the throne was disputed. Thus, when Solomon's right to the throne was Home's Scripture History, vol. i. p. 352. contested by his elder brother Adonijah, it was necessary that he should : Not fewer than tiro thousand are said to be employed about the palace be crowned, in order to quash that claim. In like manner, Joash, the of the reigning Emir of the Druses. "We saw," says Mr. Jowett, “many seventh king of Judah, was anointed, because Athaliah had usurped and professions and trades going on in it,-soldiers, horse-breakers, carpen. possessed the throne for six years. (2 Kings xi. 12.). So, Jehoahaz, the iers, blacksmiths, scribes, cooks, tobacconists, &c. There was, in the younger son of Josiah, was anointed king (2 Kings xxiii. 30.), and reigned air of this mingled assemblage, something which forcibly brought to my ihree months; after which, he was succeeded by his elder brother Jehoia- recollection the description of an eastern royal household, as given to the kim, who ought first to have ascended the throne of Judah. Thus it ap- Israelites by Samuel. I Sam. viii. 11-17." Jowett's Christian Researches pears, that in all cases of disputed succession, anointing was deemed io in Syria, p. 84. give a preference. Hoine's Scri ure Histo of the ws, vol. i. p. 343. • Morier's Second Journey, p. 274.
• Hist. lib. xliii. c. 3.
given by the kings (Dan. v. 1. Matt. xxii. 1. Mark vi. 21.); and the same practice continues to this day. Thus Jacob inbut it does not appear that women were admitted to them, structed his sons to carry a present to Joseph, when they except in Persia, when the queen was present, until the men went to buy food of him as governor of Egypt. (Gen. xliii. grew warm with wine. (Dan. v. 2, 3. 23. Esth. i. 11. v. 4. 11. 26.) In like manner the magi, who came from the East 8. vii. 1.)'
to adore Jesus Christ, as king of the Jews, brought him pre4. Numerous are the AlluSIONS IN THE SACRED WRITINGS sents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matt. ii. 11.) AlluTO THE COURTS OF PRINCES, and to the regal state which they sions to this practice occur in Gen. xxxii. 13. 1 Kings x. 2. anciently enjoyed. “The eastern monarchs were ever dis- 10. 25. 2 Kings v. 5.; see also 1 Sam. ix. 7. and 2 Kings tinguished for studiously keeping up the majesty of royalty, viii. 8. The prostrations were made, with every demonstraand thus inspiring their subjecis with the most reverential tion of reverence, to the ground. Thus David stooped with awe. They were difficult of access, very rarely, showing his face to the earth, and boued himself before Saul. (1 Sam. themselves to their perple, and lived in the depth of their xxiv. 8.) The mode of doing reverence to the sovereign, vast palaces, surrounded with every possible luxury, and among the ancient Persians, was little short of absolute idolgratifying every desire as it arose. In these kingdoms atry; and similar prostrations are made by their descendants of slaves it was accounted the summit of human grandeur in the present day. On these occasions, it was usual to adand felicity to be admit ed into that splendid circle which dress them with some compliment, or with wishes for their surrounded the person of their sovereign;"3 whence the long life. Thus the widow of Tekoah, after prostrating herexpression of seeing God (Matt. v. 8.) is to be explained self before David, addressed him with—My lord is wise acof the enjoyment of the highest possible happiness, namely, cording to the wisdom of an angel of Gode (2 Sam. xiv. 20.); his favour and protection, especially in the life to come. and the Chaldæan magi accosted Nebuchadnezzar with–O And as only a select few in the oriental courts were per- king, live for ever! (Dan. ii. 4.)10 The all but idolatrous homitted to behold the face of the monarch, it is in reference mage thus rendered to their monarchs, was exacted by their to this custom that the angel Gabriel replied to Zechariah chief courtiers and favourites of all who approached them ; (who hesitated to believe his annunciation of the Baptist's and such was their pride, that the refusal of this homage birth), that he was Gabriel that stood in the presence of never failed to involve the refractory individual in ruin. God, thus intimating that he stood in a state of high favour Thus Orsinus, a descendant of Cyrus, who had refused to and trust with Jehovah. (Luke i. 19.) To dwell
, or to stand worship the eunuch Bagoas (who had enslaved Alexander by in the presence of a sorereign is an oriental idiom, importing his abominable obsequiousness), fell a victim to the revengethe most eminent and dignified station at court.4
ful minion's wounded pride.11 In like manner, Mordecai's This allusive phraseology beautifully illustrates another refusal to prostrate himself before Haman (Esth. iii. 2.) very striking passage of Scripture. When the disciples, from would have proved fatal not only to himself but also to the their very low conceptions of the nature of Christ's kingdom, Jewish nation, had not the malignant design were contending among themselves who should be the great- but mortified Agagite (Esth. iii. 3—6. v. 13.) been províest, our Saviour, in order to dispel these animosities, took a dentially frustrated. child ; and, placing him before them, in the most solemn Those who rendered personal services to the sovereign had manner assured them that, unless they were converted, and pu- their names inscribed in the public registers (Esth. vi. 1.);!2 rified their minds from all ambition and worldly thoughts, and were rewarded by, distinguished marks of the royal they should not enter the kingdom of heaven, should not be favour. Thus Mordecai was arrayed with the royal vistdeemed proper subjects of the spiritual kingdom of the Mes- ments, and led in state on horseback through the streets of siah. But, continued Jesus Christ, whosoever therefore shall the city, with the royal diadem on his head. (Esth. vi. 8humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the 11.) On such occasions the person raised to dignity was kingdom of heaven ; and, after urging various cautions against invested with a new name or title expressive of his deserts. harshly treating sincere and humble Christians, he added, This was the case with Joseph (Gen. xli. 45.), Solomon Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones ; for I say (2 Sam. xii. 25.), Daniel and his companions (Dan. i. 7.); unto yo?, Trat in heaven their angels do always bEHOLD THE and to this there is an evident allusion in Rev. il. 17. FACE OF MY FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN. (Matt. xviii. 1- The sovereigns of the East, it is well known, are very 10.); referring to the custom of oriental courts, where the fond of displaying their gorgeous splendour. The present great men, those who are highest in office or favour, are sovereign of Persia, and (after his example) his sons, genemost frequently in the prince's palace and presence. (Esth. rally appoint for the reception of ambassadors such an hour i. 14. 1 kings X. 8. xii
. 6. 2 Kings xxv. 19.)5 On another as, according to the season, or the intended room of audience, occasion, after our Lord had promised the apostles that they will best enable them to display the brilliancy of their jewels should sit on twelve thrones to judge the tribes of Israel, still in full sunshine. The title of tright or resplendent was added mistaking the spiritual nature of his kingdom, the mother of to the name of one sovereign, who lived upwards of eight James and John came to Jesus with her sons, and requested centuries ago; because his regal ornaments, glittering in the that he would grant that they might sit, the one on his right solar rays on a solemn festival, so dazzled the eyes of all hand, and the other on his left hand, in his kingdom. (Matt. xx. beholders that they could scarcely bear the effulgence: and 20–23.). This alludes to the custom which in those times some knew not which was the monarch, or which the great obtained in the courts of princes; where two of the noblest luminary of the day. Thus, Theophylact Simocatta's (a and most dignified personages were respectively seated, one Greek historian who flourished in the seventh century of the on each side, next the sovereign himself, thus enjoying the Christian æra) relates that the Persian king, Hormisdas, most eminent places of dignity. (Compare 1 Kings ii. 19. sitting on his throne, astonished all spectators by the blazing Psal. xlv. 9. and Heb. i. 3.) In reply to the request of Salome, our Saviour stated that seats of distinguished eminence length he ran to the river Cyrus, and taking up some water'in both his in his kingdom were not to be given through favour or par- reigns for everton
now pay my respects in the best manner I am able. I tiality, but to those only whom God should deem to be pro- present to thee some of the waters of the river Cyrus: should your perly prepared for them.
Inajesty ever pass by, or near, my house, I hope to vie with the best of The eastern monarchs were never approached but with these in my donatives.” The monarch was highly pleased with the man, presents of some kind or other, according to the ability of the commanded his present to be received into a golden vial, and afterwards individual, who accompanied them with expressions of the ? Quintus Curtius, lib. vi. c. 6. tom. ii. p. 23. (edit. Bipont): lib. viii. c. 5. profoundest reverence, prostrating themselves to the ground ;6 p. 118
8 Morier's Second Journey, p. 172. ; where an engraving is given, illus
trative of the oriental prostrations. This is confirmed by Herodotus, lib. v. c. 18. Jahn, Archæologia 9 This is very similar to the hyperbolical language, which is addressed Biblica, 8227. Ackerinann, Archæologia Biblica, $ 21.
by the Hindoos to an European, when they are desirous of obtaining some2 Among the Persians it was death to enter the royal presence without thing from him. “Saheb, say they, can do every thing. No one can prebeing called for, Esth. iv. 11. Herodotus (book i. c. 99.) states Deioces veni the execution of Saheb's commands. Saheb is God." (Ward's View
of the History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 323.) 3 Harwood's Introduction to the New Testament, vol. ii. pp. 322, 323. 10 A similar salutation is to this day given in India. When a poor man • Ibid. p. 323.
goes into the presence of a king, to solicit a favour, he says, “O Father! 5 Ibid. p. 324, 325. Among the ancient Persians, to sit next the person ihou art the support of the destitute-Mayest thou live to old age !": of the king was the highest possible honour. See 1 Esdras iii. 7. iv. 42. Ibid. p. 333. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xi. c. 3. $2.
11 Quintus Curtius, lib. x. c. 1. vol. ii. pp. 199–201. (edit. Bipont.) • It was (says Ælian) the law of Persia, that, whenever the king went 19 Herodotus, lib. viii. c. 85. Thucydides, lib. i. c. 129. Josephus, Ant. abroad, the people should, according to their abilities and occupations, Jud. lib. xi. c. 6. The same practice continues to obtain at the Ottoinan present him, as he passed along, with some gift, -as an ox, a sheep, a Porte (Baron de Tott's Mem. vol. ii. p. 15.), and also in Abyssinia, and other quantity of corn, or wine, or with some fruit. It happened one day, when parts of the East. Burder's
Oriental Customs, vol. i. p. 311. 5th edit. Artaxerxes was taking the air, that he was met by one Sinætes. The man, 13 Theophylact, lib. iv. c. 3. cited by Sir Wm. Ouseley, to whom we are being at a great distance from home, was in the greatest distress, having indebted for the above remark, in his Travels in various Countries of the nothing to offer, and observing others crowding with their present At East, more particularly Persia, vol. ii. o. 36. (London, 1821. 4to.
the Mede to have been the first who instituted this ordinance.
glories of his jewels. Thus also king Agrippa was almost V. With regard to the REVENUES OF THE KINGS OF ISRAEL, regarded as a god, so powerfully did his ornamented dress as none were appointed by Moses, so he left no ordinances reflect the morning sunbeams; and it was probably the concerning them: we may, however, collect from the Sacred splendour of Solomon “in all his glory,” when seated on Writings, that they were derived from the following sources: the throne, in addition to the magnificence of his establish- 1. Voluntary offerings, or presents, which were made to ment, which so struck the queen of Sheba on beholding them conformably to the oriental custom. (1 Sam. X. 27. them, that "there was no more spirit in her.” (1 Kings xvi. 20.) Michaelis is of opinion that they were confined X. 4, 5.)
to Saul only, as no trace of them is to be found after his Further, whenever the oriental sovereigns go abroad, they time. are uniformly attended by a numerous and splendid retinue : 2. The produce of the royal flocks (1 Sam. xxi. 7. 2 Sam. the Hebrew kings and their sons either rode on asses or xiii. 23. 2Chron. xxxii. 28, 29.); and as both king and submules (2 Sam. xiii. 29. 1 Kings i. 33. 38.), or in chariots jects had a common of pasture in the Arabian deserts, (1 Kings i. 5. 2 Kings ix. 21. x. 15.), preceded or accom- Michaelis thinks that David kept numerous herds there panied by their royal guards (who, in 2 Sam. viii. 18. and (1 Chron. xxvii. 29–31.), which were partly under the care xv. 18., are termed Cherethites and Pelethites); as the of Arabian herdsmen. oriental sovereigns do to this day. For greater state they 3. The produce of the royal demesnes, consisting of arable had footmen to run before them. Thus, the rebel Absalom lands, vineyards, olive and sycamore grounds, &c. which had fifty men to run before him. (2 Sam. xv. 1.) And in had originally been unenclosed and uncultivated, or were this manner, the prophet Elijah, though he detested the the property of state criminals confiscated to the sovereign : crimes of Ahab, was desirous of paying him all that respect these demesnes were cultivated by bondsmen, and, perhaps, which was due to his exalted station; girded up his loins, also by the people of conquered countries (1 Chron. xxvii. and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel. (1 Kings xviii. 26–31. 2 Chron. xxvi. 10.); and it appears from 1 Sam. 46.) In India, when a person wishes to do honour to an viii. 14. xxii. 7. and Ezek. xlvi. 17. that the kings assigned European, he will run before his palanquin for miles.? Fur- part of their domains to their servants in lieu of salary. ther, the approach of a king was often announced by the 4. Another source of the royal revenue was the tenth part sound of trumpets. (1 Kings i. 34. 39.) Hence the presence of all the produce of the fields and vineyards, the collection of God is described in the same manner (Heb. xii. 19. com- and management of which seem to have been confided to pared with Exod. xix. 13.), and also the final advent of the the officers mentioned in 1 Kings iv. 7. and i Chron. xxvii. Messiah. (Matt. xxiv. 31.' 1 Cor. xv. 52. 1 Thess. iv. 15.)3 25. It is also probable from 1 Kings x. 14. that the Israelites
Whenever the Asiatic monarchs entered upon an expedi- likewise paid a tax in money. These imposts Solomon appears tion, or took a journey through desert and untravelled coun- to have increased; and Rehoboam's refusal to lessen them is tries, they sent harbingers before them to prepare all things stated by the sacred historian as the cause of the rebellion for their passage, and pioneers to open the passes, level the of the ten tribes against him., (1 Kings xii
. 14. 18.) There ways, and remove all impediments. The ancient sovereigns is an allusion in Mal. i. 8. and Neh. v. 18. to the custom of of Hindoostan used to send persons to precede them in their paying dues in kind to governors, which obtains to this day journeys, and command the inhabitants to clear the roads; a in Abyssinia.? very necessary step in a country, where there are scarcely 5. Not only did the most precious part of the plunder of any public roads. To this practice the prophet Isaiah mani- the conquered nations flow into the royal treasury (2 Sam. festly alludes (Isa, xl. 3. compared with Mal. iii. 1. and viii.), but the latter also had tributes imposed on them, which Matt. iii. 3.); and we shall obtain a clear notion of the were termed MINCHA, or presents, and were paid partly in preparation of the way for a royal expedition, and the force money, and partly in agricultural produce. (1 Kings iv. 21. and beauty of the prophetic declaration will fully appear, if Psal. Ixxii. 10. compared with 1 Chron. xxvii
. 25—31.) we attend to the following narrative of the marches of Semi- 6. Lastly, the customs paid to Solomon by the foreign ramis in Media, recorded by Diodorus Siculus. “ In her merchants who passed through his dominions (1 Kings x. march to Ecbatane, she came to the Zarcean mountain, 15.) afforded a considerable revenue to that monarch; who, which, extending many furlongs, and being full of craggy as the Mosaic laws did not encourage foreign commerce, precipices and deep hollows, could not be passed without carried on a very extensive and lucrative trade (1 Kings x. making a long circuit. Being desirous, therefore, of leaving 22.), particularly in Egyptian-horses and the byssus or fine an everlasting memorial of herself, as well as to make a linen of Egypt. (1 Kings x. 28, 29.)8 shorter way, she ordered the precipices to be digged down, and VI. On the introduction of the regal government among the hollow places to be filled up; and at a great expense she the Israelites, the princes of the tribes, heads of families, made a shorter and more expeditious road, which to this day scribes or genealogists, and judges, retained the authority is called the road of Semiramis. Afterwards she made a which they had previously exercised, and constituted a progress through Persia, and all her other dominions in senate or legislative assembly for the cities, in or near which Asia; and wherever she came, she commanded the moun- they respectively resided. (1 Kings xii. 1—24. 1 Chron. tuins and craggy precipices to be cut down, and, at a vast xxiii. 4. xxvi. 29, 30. xxviii. and xxix. 6.). The judges expense, made the ways level and plain. On the other hand, and scribes or genealogists were appointed by the sovereign, in low places she raised mounds, on which she erected monu- together with other officers, of whom the following were ments in honour of her deceased generals, and sometimes the principal : whole cities.” The writer of the apocryphal book of Baruch 1. The most important officer was the PRIME MINISTER, (v. 7.) expresses the same subject by the same images, or Second to the King, as he is termed in Scripture. Such either taking them from Isa. xl. 3. (or perhaps from lxii. 10 was Elkanah, who in our version of 2 Chron. xxviii. 7. is -12.), or from the common notions of his countrymen: said to have been next (literally second) to the king Ahaz; “For God," says he, “ hath appointed that every high hill, Joseph was prime minister to Pharaoh, king of Egypt (Gen. and banks of long continuance, should be cast down and val- xli. 40–43.); and Haman, to Ahasuerus. (Esth. iiì. 1.) leys filled up, to make even the ground, that Israel may go Jonathan, speaking to David, says,— Thou shalt be king over safely in the glory of God.” The “ Jewish church was that Israel, and I shall be next unto thee. (1 Sam. xviii. 17.) From desert country to which John the Baptist was sent (Matt. 1 Chron. xviii. 17., it should seem that this office was someiii. 1—4.), to announce the coming of the Messiah. It was times held by one or more of the king's sons. at that time destitute of all religious cultivation, and of the 2. The Royal Counsellors, or Privy Council, as we spirit and practice of piety; and John
was sent to prepare perhaps should term them. (Isa. iii. 3. xix. 11, 12. Jer. xxvi. the way of the Lord by preaching the doctrine of repentance. The desert is therefore to be considered as a proper emblem recorded by the chaplain to Sir Thomas Roe, ambassador to the Mogul of the rude state of the Jewish church, which was the true making a progress with the ambassador and emperor, they
came to a wilderness meant by the prophet, and in which John was to wilderness, "where (by a very great company sent before us, to make
those passages and places fit for us) a WAY WAS CUT OUT AND MADE EVEN, prepare the way of the promised Messiah."
broad enough for our convenient passage. And in the place where we pitched our tents, a great compass of ground was rid and made plain for
them by grubbing a number of trees and bushes : yet there we went as • Acts xii. 21, 22. See p. 79. supra, where Josephus's account of Agrip readily to our tents, as we did when they were set up in the plains." pa's gorgeous array is given in illustration of the sacred historian. Fragments supplemental to Calmet's Dictionary, No. 171. See similar in. 9 Statham's Indian Recollections, pp. 116, 117.
stances in Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. viii. p. 277. 8vo. Mr. Forbes's Oriental 3 Robinson's Lexicon to the Greek Testament, p. 674.
Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 450, and Mr. Ward's View of the History, &c. of the • Ward's View of the History, &c. of the
Hindoos, vol. iii. p. 339. Hindoos, vol. iii. p. 132. • Bibliotheca Historica, lib. il. cc. 13, 14. (vol. ii. pp. 44–46. edit. Bipont.) + Bruce's Travels, vol. I. p. 353. 8vo. * Bishop Lowth on Isaiah xl. vol. ii. pp. 252–354. Dr. Clarke's Com- Jahn, Archæologia Biblica, $ 234. Ackermann, Archæologia Biblica, mentary on Matt. iii. 3. A practice, similar to that above described, is $ 228. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 299–307.