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11.). Such were the old men that stood before Solomon while summary justice on state criminals. See 1 Kings ii. 25. 34. he lived, and whom the headstrong Rehoboam consulted in the time of David the royal life-guards were called Che(1 Kings xii. 6.); and such also was Jonathan, David's uncle. rethites and Pelethites, concerning the origin of whose names (1 Chron. xxvii. 32.)
commentators and critics are by no means “agreed. The 3. The PROPHETS, though holding a divine commission as Chaldee Targum, on the second book of Samuel, terms them prophets, may, nevertheless, be noticed among the royal the archers and slingers : and as the Hebrews were expert in officers ; as they were consulted by the pious monarchs of the use of the bow and the sling, it is not improbable that Israel and Judah. Thus Nathan was consulted by David the royal guards were armed with them.! (2 Sam. vii. 2.); Micaiah, by Jehoshaphat (1 Kings xxii. 7, The life-guards of the Maccabæan sovereigns, and subse8.); Isaiah, by Hezekiah (2 Kings xíx. 2.); and the pro- quently of Herod and his sons, were foreigners: they bore phetess Huldah, by Josiah. (2 Kings xxii. 14--20.) But the a lance or long spear, whence they were denominated in idolatrous and profligate kings imitated the heathen monarchs, Greek EXOUAA TOPES. Among the other duties of these guards and summoned to their council soothsayers and false pro- was that of putting to death condemned persons (Mark vi. phets. Ahab, for instance, consulted the pseudo-prophets 27.), in the same manner as the capidgis among the Turks of Baal (1 Kings xviii. 22. and xxii. 6.); as Pharaoh had and other Orientals are the bearers of the sovereign's combefore called in the wise men and the sorcerers or magicians mands for punishing any one, whether by decapitation or (Exod. vii. 11. and viii. 18.); and Nebuchadnezzar after- otherwise ; an office which is very honourable in the East, wards consulted the magicians and astrologers in his realm. though considered degrading among us. (Dan. i. 20.)
VÍ. The women of the king's Harem are to be consi4. The 7:30 (Mazkir) or RECORDER (2 Sam. viii
. 16.), dered as forming part of the royal equipage; as, generally who in the margin of our larger English Bibles is termed a speaking, they were principally destined to augment the remembrancer or writer of chronicles. His office was of no pomp, which was usually attached to his office. Notwithmean estimation in the eastern world, where it was customary standing Moses had prohibited the multiplication of women with kings to keep daily registers of all the transactions of in the character of wives and concubines (Deut. xvii. 17.); their reigns. Whoever discharged this trust with effect, it yet the Hebrew monarchs, especially Solomon, and his son was necessary that he should be acquainted with the true Rehoboam, paid but little regard to his admonitions, and too springs and secrets of action, and consequently be received readily as well as wickedly exposed themselves to the perils into the greatest confidence. Ahilud was David's recorder which Moses had anticipated as the result of forming such or historiographer (2 Sam. viii. 16.), and appears to have improper connections. (1 Kings xi. 1—3. 2 Chron. xi. 21. been succeeded in this office by his son Jehoshaphat (2 Sam. xiii. 21.). The Israelitish and Jewish monarchs spared no xx. 24.), who was retained by Solomon. (1 Kings iv, 3.) expense in decorating the persons of their women, and of Joah, the son of Asaph, was the recorder of the pious king the eunuchs who guarded them: and who, as the Mosaic law Hezekiah. (2 Kings xviii. 18. 37. Isa. xxxvi. 3.) In Esther prohibited castration (Lev. xxii. 24. Deut. xxii. 1.), were vi. 1. and x. 2. mention is made of the records of the chroni- procured from foreign countries at a great expense. In proof cles, written by this officer.
of the employment of eunuchs in the Hebrew court see 5. The Dio (SOPHER) or Scribe (Sept. Ipa pepates), seems 1 Kings xxii. 9. (Heb.) 2 Kings viii. 6. (Heb.) ix. 32, 33. to have been the king's secretary of state, who issued all the xx. 18. xxiii. 11. (Heb.) xxxix. 16. and xli. 16. Black royal commands: he also registered all acts and decrees. eunuchs appear to have been preferred, as they still are in the Seraiah (2 Sam. viii. 17.) and Sheva (2 Sam. xx. 25.) were East; at least, we find one in the court of Zedekiah. (Jer. David's secretaries. This officer is also mentioned in xxxviii
. 7.)2 The maids of the harem, at the king's pleasure, 1 Kings iv. 3, 2 Kings xviii, 18. and Isa. xxxvi. 3. became hís concubines; but the successor to the throne,
6. The HIGH-Priest, as one would naturally expect in a though he came into possession of the harem, was not at theocracy, is likewise to be reckoned among the royal coun- liberty to have any intercourse with the inmates of it. Hence sellors. Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son Adonijah, who in his zeal to obtain Abishag, a concubine of of Abiathar, are particularly mentioned among the principal David's, for his wife, had dropt some intimations of his right officers of David. (2 Sam. viii. 17. 1 Chron. xviii. 16.). to the kingdom, was punished with death, as a seditious per
VII. Mention has already been incidentally made of the son. (1 Kings ii. 13-25.) But though the king had unnumerous retinue that attended the oriental monarchs: the limited power over the harem, yet the queen, or wife who principal officers, who thus composed the domestic establish- was chiefly in favour, and especially the mother of the king, ment of the Israelitish and Jewish kings, were as follow : - enjoyed great political influence. (1 Kings xi. 3. 2 Chron.
1. The Governor Of The Palace, who was over the xxi. 6. and xxii. 3.) Hence it is that we find the mother of household, seems to have answered, as to his employment the king so frequently and particularly mentioned in the and rank, to the stewards whom the rich men engaged to books of Kings and Chronicles. The similar influence of the superintend their affairs. To him was committed the charge reigning sultana, as well as of the mother of the sovereign, of the servants, and indeed of every thing which belonged in modern oriental courts, is attested by almost every travelto the palace. Ahishar held this office under David (1 Kings ler in the East.3 iv. 6.); Obadiah, under Ahab (1 Kings xviii. 3.); and Eli- IX. The PROMULGATION OF THE LAWS was variously made akim, under Hezekiah. (2 Kings xviii. 18.) From Isa. at different times. Those of Moses, as well as the comxxii. 22. it appears that this officer wore, as a mark of his mands or temporary edicts of Joshua, were announced to the office, a robe of a peculiar make, bound with a precious gir- people by the dinin (şIIoterim), who in our authorized Eng: dle, and carried on his shoulder a richly ornamented key. lish version are termed officers. Afterwards, when the regal
2. The Officers, mentioned in 1 Kings iv. 5.7–19. and government was established, the edicts and laws of the kings 1 Chron. xxvii. 25—31., are in 1 Kings xx. 15. called the were publicly proclaimed by criers. (Jer. xxxiv. 8, 9. JoPRINCES OF THE PROVINCES. They supplied the royal table, nah iii. 5—7.) But in the distant provinces, towns, and and must not be confounded with those who collected the cities, they were made known by messengers or couriers, tribute. In 2 Sam. xx. 24. and 1 Kings iv. 6. Adoram, who specially sent for that purpose (1 Sam. xi. 7.), who were is enumerated among David's and Solomon's officers of state, afterwards termed posts. (Esth. viii. 10. 14. 'Jer. li. 31.) is said to be over the tribute : he was probably what we call Cyrus, or, according to Herodotus, Xerxes, was the first chancellor of the exchequer. He received and brought into the who established relays of horses and couriers at certain disroyal treasury all the proceeds of taxes and tributes. tances on all the great roads, in order that the royal messages
3. The King's FRIEND, or COMPANION, was the person and letters might be transmitted with the greatest possible with whom the sovereign conversed most familiarly and con- speed. These Angari, or couriers, had authority to impress fidentially. Thus, Hushai was the friend of David (2 Sam. into their service men, horses, and ships, or any thing that. xv. 37, xvi. 16.); and Zabud the son of Nathan, of Solo- came in their way, and which might serve to accelerate their mon. (1 Kings iv. 5.). In the time of the Maccabees, this journey. From the Persians this custom passed to the Roappellation admitted of a broader meaning, and was applied mans (who, it may be inferred from Matt. v. 41., commonly to any one who was employed to execute the royal commands, or who held a high office in the government. See ss 235, 236.' Ackermann, Archæologia Biblica,' ss 229, 230.
Calmet, Dissertations, tom. ii. pp. 508—512.; Jahn, Archæologia Biblica, 1 Macc. x. 65. xi. 26, 27.
2 As, however, in the East, eunuchs often rose to stations of great power 4. The King's LIFE-GUARD, whose commander was termed and trust, and were even privy counsellors to kings, the term ultimately the Captain of the Guard. This office existed in the court viii. 21. was an officer of great power and influence at the court of Candace, of the Pharaohs (Gen. xxxvii. 36. xxxix. 1.), as well as in queen of Ethiopia. Bloomfield's Annotations on the New Testament, vol that of the Israelitish and Jewish monarchs. The captain of the guard appears to have been employed in executing '$ 237. Ackermann, Archæologia Biblica, 5 231.
s Pareau, Antiquitas Hebraica, pp. 279, 280. Jahn, Archeologia Biblica.
pressed men into their service), and it is still retained in the in the triumphal hymn of Deborah, in which so many others East. These proclamations were made at the gates of the are mentioned; and (what is particularly deserving of attencities, and in Jerusalem at the gate of the temple, where tion) it took no part in the exploits of Gideon, although the there was always a great concourse of people. On this ac- enemies whom he was going to fight had made incursions as count it was that the prophets frequently, delivered their pre- far as Gaza (Judg. vi. 4.), whither they could not have penedictions in the temple (and also in the streets and at the gates) trated without entering on its territory. It was the men of of Jerusalem, as being the edicts of Jehovah, the supreme Judah, also, who were desirous of delivering up Samson, a King of Israel. (Jer. vii. 2, 3. xi. 6. xvii. 19, 20. xxxvi. 10.) Danite, to the Philistines. (xv. 11.) This old grudge subIn later times, both Jesus Christ and his apostles taught in sisted in all its force, when the elevation of Sauf, a Benjamand at the gate of the temple. (Luke ii. 46. Matt. xxvi. 55. ite, to the throne of Israel, still further chagrined the proud Mark xii. 35. Acts iii. 11. v. 12.)2
tribe of Ephraim: it is not improbable that the discontent X. The kingdom which had been founded by Saul, and manifested in the assembly of the Israelites at Mizpeth, carried to its highest pitch of grandeur and power by David which induced Samuel to renew the kingdom at Gilgal and Solomon, subsisted entire for the space of 120 years; (1 Sam. x. 27. xi. 12–14.), was excited by the Ephraimites; until Rehoboam, the son and successor of Solomon, refused and at the very commencement of Saul's reign we observe a to mitigate the burthens of his subjects, when a division of census, in which the troops of Judah are reckoned separately the twelve tribes took place: ten of these (of which Ephraim from those of Israel. (18.) At length, the elevation of David was the principal) adhered to Jeroboam, and formed the completed the mortification of the jealous and envious tribe kingdom of Israel, while the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, of Ephraim, and of the northern tribes which ordinarily folcontinuing faithful in their allegiance to Rehoboam, consti- lowed the fortune of so powerful a neighbour; while Simeon tuted the kingdom of Judah. The causes of this revolution and Benjamin, from necessity as well as choice, were more in the commencement of Rehoboam's reign, may, as in all disposed in favour of Judah. Hence David, during the whole similar commotions, be traced to anterior events: the impo- of his long-continued fight from Saul, never quitted the terlicy of that monarch was only the immediate occasion of it; ritory of Sudah and Benjamin, but when he took refuge in a and in the successive periods of the history of the Hebrews, foreign country; and he sent presents only to the cities of we may discern vestiges of hereditary jealousy, which ter- his own tribe. (1 Sam. xxx. 26.) On the death of Saul, two minated only in the division of the posterity of Abraham into thrones arose in Israel; which gave rise to a civil war, that two distinct nations, one of whom has since disappeared. lasted seven years; and, had it not been for the defection of The limits necessarily assigned to this portion of our work Abner, and the timidity of Ishbosheth, the tribes might never will only allow us to attempt a rapid sketch of this long have been united under one sceptre. (2 Sam. ii. io. iii. 1. series of discord and hatred.
9-12. v. 5.) David himself felt the weakness of his power. From the very beginning of the Israelitish nation, the two (iii. 39.). The choice of Jerusalem for his capital and for the tribes of Judah and Ephraim had disputed for the pre-eminen- centre of worship, to the exclusion of Shiloh, a town of cy. The former, whose glory had been predicted by the dying Ephraim, where the tabernacle and ark had formerly been patriarch Jacob (Gen. xlix. 10.), flourished in the number of kept (Josh. xviii. 1.), could not but displease the maleconits families, as well as by its power and wealth ; being allied tents, whose pride was wounded by hearing that advantage to the blood of the Pharaohs during the residence of the celebrated in one of the sacred hymns. (Psal. lxxviii. 67, 68.) Israelites in Egypt, where the two remarkable establishments During David's reign, the dispute at the passage of the river of Er and of Pokim had been formed, which this tribe car- Jordan showed how a small spark kindled a flame (2 Sam. ried into Palestine. (1 Chron. v. 2. iv. 18.) Judah also xix. 41.), which Sheba, retiring towards the north, was at marched first during the sojourning in the desert (Num.x. 14.), hand to excite. (xx. 1.) and reckoned upon a dominion which had been promised by Finally, the erection of the temple, the immoveable sancso many oracles. The latter, or tribe of Ephraim, depending tuary, which secured the supremacy of the tribe of Judah, on the great name of Joseph, and on the right of primogeni- the taxes levied and personal services required by Solomon, ture which it had acquired in consequence of being adopted who employed them for the most part in the embellishment by Jacob (1 Chron. v. 2. Gen. xlviii. 5. 19:), confided in that of Jerusalem,—the little commercial advantage which numerous posterity whiảh had been predicted to it; became Ephraim could derive during his reign, in comparison of Jupowerful during the residence in Egypt, as is evident from dah, which tribe was more commodiously situated for profitthe buildings erected by Sherah (i Chron. vii. 24.); and ing by the transit of commodities between Egypt, Idumea, afterwards rapidly increased in strength and prosperity. and Arabia,—the intrigues of Jeroboam, who had been im (Josh. xvii. 14. Judg. i. 35.) One very remarkable proof, prudently nominated to the command of the house of Joseph that Ephraim and Judah were the two preponderating tribes, (2 Kings xi. 26. 28.) ;—all these circumstances contributed is, that when the land of Canaan was divided (Josh. xviii. 2.), secretly to mature that revolution, which only awaited his they each received their allotments before the western tribes. death to break forth, and which the folly of Rehoboam renAs the southern part of the Holy Land, which was appor- dered inevitable. tioned to Judah, proved too large for that tribe, the Simeon- The KINGDOM OF ISRAEL subsisted under various soveites were added to them. (Josh. xix. 1.9.) The Ephraimites, reigns during a period of 254 years, according to some on the contrary, and the half tribe of Manasseh, which were chronologers; its metropolis Samaria being captured by sister and neighbouring tribes, pleaded that their allotment Shalmaneser king of Assyria, B. c. 721, after a siege of three was not sufficiently extensive for them; and enlarged it by years. Of the Israelites, whose numbers had been reduced force of arms, and by cutting down the forests which by immense and repeated slaughters, some of the lower sort abounded in the mountainous districts of the land of Canaan. were suffered to remain in their native country; but the (Josh. xvii. 14—18.)
nobles and all the more opulent persons were carried into In this state of things, with such recollections and mutual captivity beyond the Euphrates.3 pretensions, it was impossible that a spirit of rivalry and The KINGDOM OF JUDAH continued 388 years ; Jerusalem jealousy should not break forth. The tribe of Ephraim was its capital being taken, the temple burnt, and its sovereign distinguished for its proud, turbulent, and warlike spirit, as Zedekiah being carried captive io Babylon by Nebuchadnezis evident not only from the remonstrances addressed by them zar; the rest of his subjects (with the exception of the poorer to Joshua, but also by their discontented murmuring against classes who were left in Judæa) were likewise carried into Gideon, notwithstanding he was of the tribe of Manasseh captivity beyond the Euphrates, where they and their pos(Judg. viii. 1.), and in the civil war with Jephthah, in which their envy and hatred were so severely punished. (xii. 1–1.) 3 It was the belief of some of the ancient fathers of the Christian church, The tribe of Judah, on the contrary, more pacific in its tem- that the descendants of the ten tribes did afterwards return into their own per and more sedentary in its pursuits, appears always to either of these opinions is supported by history. In the
New Testament, have cherished a coolness towards the northern tribes. It indeed, we find mention of the twelve tribes (Matt. xix. 28. Luke xxii. 30. never assisted them in their wars; its name does not occur Acts xxvi. 7.); and St. James (i. 1.) directs his epistle to them; but it cannot
be concluded from these passages, that they were at that time gathered Xenoph. Cyr. lib. viii. 6. 17. Herod. viii. 98. Bloomfield's Annotations together; all that can be inferred froin them is, that they were still in on the New Testament, vol. i. p. 66. Robinson's Lexicon, voce Ag ympeuv. being. Perhaps the whole body of the Jewish nation retained the name Among the Turks, these Angari or couriers are called Tatars; and in of the twelve iribes according to the ancient division; as we find the dis. Persia, Chappars. “When a chappar sets out, the master of the horse ciples called the twelve after the death of Judas, and before the election furnishes hiin with a single horse: and when that is weary, he dismounts of Matthias. This conjecture becomes the more probable, as it is certain the first man he meets, and takes his horse. There is no pardon for a tra. from the testimony of ihe sacred writers and of Josephus, that there were veller that should refuse to let a chappar have his horse, nor for any other considerable numbers of Israelites mingled with the Jews, sufficient indeed who should deny him the best horse in his stable." Chardin's Travels, to authorize the former to speak of the twelve tribes as constituting but vol. I. p. 257.
one body with the Jewish nation. Beausobre's Introd. to the New Test. Jahn, Archäologia Biblica, $ 233. Ackermann, Archäoloria Biblica, $ 227. '(Bishop Watson's Tracts, vol. iii. pp. 114-116.)
terity remained seventy years, agreeably to the divine pre- | royal family. For, though some of the Jewish monarchs dictions.
more than once followed strange gods; though Asa, disreXI. The kingdom of Judah subsisted one hundred and garding the counsels of Hanani, called the Syrians to his thirty-three years after the subversion of the Israelitish aid; though Jehoshaphat, by forming an alliance with the monarchy, and for this longer duration various reasons may wicked Ahab, king of Israel, was the cause of the greatest be adduced.
calamities both to his kingdom and to his family; though 1. The geographico-political situation of Judah was more Athaliah destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah, favourable than that of Israel.
Joash alone excepted, who afterwards put to death the inno In point of extent, indeed, Israel far surpassed Judah, the cent high-priest Zechariah, the son of the very man to whom latter kingdom being scarcely equal to the third part of Israel, he was indebted for the preservation of his life and kingdom, which also exceeded Judah both in the fertility of its soil though, finally, Ahaz, disregarding the advice of the prophet and the amount of its population. But the kingdom of Judah Isaiah, voluntarily called to his aid the Assyrians, and shut was more advantageously situated for commerce, and further up the doors of the house of the Lord; yet, notwithstanding possessed greater facilities of defence from hostile attacks, all these circumstances, the Jews never thought of expelling than the kingdom of Israel. The Syrians, being separated the royal family from the throne. Some of the Jewish mo. from the Jews by the intervening kingdom of Israel, once narchs, indeed, came to violent deaths in various ways; but only laid waste the lower regions of Judah ; while, for no civil wars ensued, no ambitious princes ever disturbed the upwards of a century, they made incursions into and devas- state; on the contrary, that kingdom, being always restored tated the kingdom of Israel. The Assyrians, also, being more to the lawful heir, derived advantage, rather than suffered remote from the Jews, could not observe them so narrowly injury, from such changes. Thus the kingdom of Judah as they watched the Israelites, whom they in a manner con- continued in peaceable subjection to its legitimate sovereigns; tinually threatened. Further, the naturally strong situation and all orders in the state consulted its welfare. Many of of Jerusalem (which city the Assyrians vainly attempted to the kings maintained the worship of Jehovah from motives reduce by famine) contributed much to the preservation of of sincere piety, and others from a conviction of the utility the kingdom, as it enabled Hezekiah to hold out successfully of religion to a state; while the priests and prophets, who against the forces of Sennacherib, who besieged it in the vigilantly, watched over the religion of their country, influeighth year after the subversion of the kingdom of Israel. enced their sovereigns to the adoption of sage counsels.
2. The people were more united in the kingdom of Judah To this circumstance we may ascribe the fact that the than in that of Israel.
characters of the kings of Judah were more exemplary than The religious worship, which was solemnized at Jerusa- those of the kings of Israel: for, although there were not lem, the metropolis of Judah, not only united the Jews and wanting wicked and imprudent Jewish sovereigns, yet their Benjaminites more closely together, but also offered a very errors and misconduct were for the most part corrected or powerful attraction to every pious person of the other tribes avoided by their successors, who were instructed by the adto emigrate into Judah. Hence the priests and Levites, as vice and example of wise and virtuous men, and thus were well as many other devout Israelites, enriched the kingdom enabled to repair the injuries which their kingdom had susof Judah with piety, learning, and wealth. In the kingdom tained. The reverse of all this was the case in the kingdom of Israel, on the contrary; in consequence of the expulsion of Israel; in which the royal dignity, polluted by continual of the priests and Levites, by whom its civil affairs had for murders and seditions, gradually fell into decay, and with the most part been administered, tumults and internal dis- the regal power declined all regard for the welfare of the cord necessarily arose, from its very commencement under state. Distracted hy civil wars and by the contests of ambiJeroboam I.; and, with regard to the other Israelites, the tious aspirants to the throne, the Israelites became disunited; history of later ages abundantly attests the very great loss the provinces, which at the commencement of the Israelitish sustained in states and kingdoms by the compulsory emigra- monarchy had been tributary to it, revolted; and almost all tion of virtuous and industrious citizens, in consequence of the kings, who swayed the sceptre of Israel, governed so ill, changes made in religion. Thus, Spain has never recovered as scarcely to deserve the name of sovereigns. While the the expulsion of the Moors; and the unprincipled repeal of sacred historians repeatedly record of various kings of Judah the edíct of Nantes by Louis XIV. against the faith of the that they did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, most solemn treaties, inflicted a loss upon France, from the according to all that their father David had done, the ordieffects of which that country has scarcely yet recovered. In nary character of the kings of Israel is related with this like manner, in ancient times, the kingdom of Israel fell into stigma,—that they departed not from all the sins of Jeroboam decay, in consequence of the oppression of the faithful wor- the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin. shippers of Jehovah after the introduction of the worship of 4. Lastly, and principally, pure and undefiled religion was the calves. But this new idolatrous religion was of no most carefully preserved and cultivated in the kingdom of Judah, advantage to the apostates: on the contrary, it was detri- while the vilest idolatry was practised in the kingdom of Israel. mental to them, for ihe worship of the calves had the effect of This fact is so clearly narrated in the histories of the two disuniting more and more the provinces of Galilee and Sama- kingdoms, that it is needless to adduce any examples. As ria, which naturally were too much separated; and the idol- a necessary consequence of true piety, the Jews far surpassed atrous worship of Baal, established at Samaria, was so the Israelites in the purity of their moral character; and in repugnant to the manners of the Hebrews, as to prove the the implicit confidence with which they left all their affairs chief cause—not of concord, but of civil wars.
to the divine protection; for, at the very time, when abomiTo this union among the Jews is principally to be ascribed nations of every kind were practised in Israel, when scarcely the brilliant victory which in the reign of Abijah gave them a crime was left unattempted, and when the Israelites sought a decided superiority over the Israelites; and the same una- all their safety and protection from foreign aid, in Judah, the nimity and affection for true religion, in the time of Heze - Law of the LORD' was most diligently studied; and the kiah, disposed them all promptly to shake off the yoke of Jews, strengthened by their unshaken trust in Jehovah, vothe Assyrians, and rendered them sufficiently strong to ac- luntarily risked every thing to promote the welfare of their complish their deliverance without any foreign aid. The country. In short, the histories of the two kingdoms of Israelites, on the contrary, being for the most part torn by Judah and Israel furnish a perpetual illustration of the truth factions, and despairing of being able to recover their affairs, of Solomon's declaration, that righteousness exalteth a nation, were irresolute under almost every circumstance.
but sin is a reproach to any people. Prov. xiv. 34. 3. The succession to the throne of Judah was more regular ; XII. STATE OF THE HEBREWS DURING THE BABYLONISH and the character of its sovereigns was more exemplary than in Captivity, the kingdom of Israel,
The condition of the Hebrews, during the captivity, was Although the authority of the kings of Judah was unques- far from being one of abject wretchedness. This is manitionably much lessened in point of extent by the revolt of fest from the circumstance, that a pious Hebrew prophet the ten tribes, yet, if we consider its internal power and sta- held the first office at the court of Babylon; that three devout bility, we shall find that it was rather increased than dimi- friends of this prophet occupied important political stations; nished by that defection. From the very commencement of and that Jehoiachin, the former king of Judah, in the fortythe separation, it is evident that the prophets, in obedience to former oracies (sre 2 Kings viji, 19.), were so attached to xxii. 749.); Athaliah, who guccerded Ahaziah, by the command of Jehoia.
1 Thus, Ahaziah, king of Judah, was slain by Jehu, king of Israel (2 Chron, the family of David, that no wickedness or contempt of the da the priest (2Chron. xxiii
. 14–16.); Joash, by his own servants (2 Chron, laws on the part of individual kings could lessen their fidelity xxiv. 25, 26.); and Amaziah, by some of his subjects wilo conspired against to the royal lineage. Hence no Jew ever thought of seizing
him. (2 Chron. xxv. 27.) the throne of David, no prophet ever foretold the ruin of the Judæ diutius perzisteret quam Regnum Israel, pp. 96—101. 120–122.
2 Bernhardi, Commentatio de Caussis quibus effectum sit, ut Regnum Vol. II.
fourth your or the captivity, was released from an imprison- | prince from their own number. Jehoiachin, and after him ment which had continued for thirty-six years, and was pre- Shealtiel and Zerubbabel, might have been regarded as their ferred in point of rank to all the kings who were then at princes, in the same manner as Jozadak and Joshua were as Babylon, either as hostages, or for the purpose of paying their high-priests. At the same time it cannot be denied homage to the Chaldæan monarch. He was treated as the that their humiliation, as a people punished by their God, first of the kings; he ate at the table of his conqueror, and re- was always extremely painful, and frequently drew on them ceived an annual allowance, corresponding to his royal rank. expressions of contempt. The peculiarities of their religion These circumstances of honour must have reflected a degree afforded many opportunities for the ridicule and scorn of the of dignity on all the exiles, sufficient to prevent their being Babylonians and Chaldæans, a striking example of which is ill-treated or despised. They were probably viewed as given in the profanation of the sacred vessels of the temple. respectable colonists, enjoying the peculiar protection of the Dan. v.) By such insults they were made to feel so much sovereign. In the respect paid to Jehoiachin, his son Sheal the more sensibly the loss of their homes, their gardens, and iel and his grandson Zerubbabel undoubtedly partook. If fruitful fields; the burning of their capital and temple; and that story of the discussion before Darius, in which Zerub- the cessation of the public solemnities of their religion. babel is said to have won the prize, be a mere fiction, still it Under such circumstances, it is not strange that an inspired is at least probable that the young prince, though he held no minstrel breaks out into severe imprecations against the office, had free access to the court; a privilege which must scornful foes of his nation. (Psal. cxxxvii
. 8, 9.) have afforded him many opportunities of alleviating the un
“ If the Israelites were ill-treated in Assyria after the overhappy circumstances of his countrymen. It is therefore not throw of Sennacherib in Judæa, as the book of Tobit intiat all surprising, that, when Cyrus gave the Hebrews, per- mates, this calamity was of short duration ; for Sennacherib mission to return to their own country, many, and perhaps was soon after assassinated. The Israelites of Media appear even a majority of the nation, chose to remain behind, be- to have been in a much better condition, since 'Tobit advised lieving that they were more pleasantly situated where they his son to remove thither. (Tobit xiv. 4. 12, 13.) This is were, than they would be in Judea. "It is not improbable the more probable, as the religion of the Medes was not that the exiles (as is implied in the story of Susanna, and as grossly idolatrous, and bore considerable resemblance to that the tradition of the Jews affirms) had magistrates and al of the Jews.”3
POLITICAL STATE OF THE JEWS, FROM THEIR RETURN FROM THE BABYLONISH CAPTIVITY TO THE
SUBVERSION OF THEIR CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL POLITY.
POLITICAL STATE OF THE JEWS UNDER THE MACCABEES, AND THE SOVEREIGNS OF THE HERODIAN FAMILY.
I. Brief account of the Maccabees.-II. Sovereigns of the Herodian family :-1. Herod the Great.-St. Matthew's narrative
of the murder of the infants at Bethlehem confirmed.—2. Archelaus.—3. Herod Antipas.-4. Philip.-5. Herod Agrippa. –6. Agrippa junior.–7. Bernice and Drusilla,
I. On the subversion of the Babylonian empire by Cyrus tained a religious war for twenty-six years with five successive the founder of the Persian monarchy (B. c. 543), he author- kings of Syria; and after destroying upwards of 200,000 of ized the Jews by an edict to return into their own country, their best troops, the Maccabees finally established the indewith full permission to enjoy their laws and religion, and pendence of their own country and the aggrandizement of caused the city and temple of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. In their family. This illustrious house, whose princes united the following year, part of the Jews returned under Zerub- the regal and pontifical dignity in their own persons, admibabel, and renewed their sacrifices: the theocratic government, nistered the affairs of the Jews during a period of one hunwhich had been in abeyance during the captivity, was re- dred and twenty-six years; until, disputes arising between sumed; but the re-erection of the city and temple being in- Hyrcanus II. and his brother Aristobulus, the latter was deterrupted for several years by the treachery and hostility of feated by the Romans under Pompey, who captured Jerusathe Samaritans or Cutheans, the avowed enemies of the Jews, lem, and reduced Judæa to a tributary province of the republic. the completion and dedication of the temple did not take place (B. c. 59.) until the year 511 B. C., six years after the accession of Cy- II. SOVEREIGNS OF THE HERODIAN FAMILY.– 1. Julius rus. The rebuilding of Jerusalem was accomplished, and Cæsar, having defeated Pompey, continued Hyrcanus in the the reformation of their ecclesiastical and civil polity was ef- high-priesthood, but bestowed the government of Judæa upon fected by the two divinely inspired and pious governors, Ezra Antipater, an Idumean by birth, who was a Jewish proseand Nehemiah. After their death the Jews were governed lyte, and the father of Herod surnamed the Great, who was by their high priests, in subjection however, to the Persian subsequently king of the Jews. Antipater divided Judæa kings, to whom they paid tribute (Ezra iv. 13. vii. 24.), but between his two sons Phasael and Herod, giving to the forwith the full enjoyment of their other magistrates, as well mer the government of Jerusalem, and to the latter the proas their liberties, cívil and religious. Nearly three centuries vince of Galilee; which being at that time greatly infested of uninterrupted prosperity ensued, until the reign of Anti- with robbers, HEROD signalized his courage by dispersing ochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, when they were most cruelly them, and shortly after attacked Antigonus the competitor of oppressed, and compelled to take up arms in their own de- Hyrcanus in the priesthood, who was supported by the Tyfence.
rians. In the mean time, the Parthians having invaded JuUnder the able conduct of Judas, on account of his heroic dæa, and carried into captivity Hyrcanus the high-priest and exploits surnamed Maccabæus, (apo makabi the Hammerer)2 Phasael the brother of Herod; the latter fled to Rome, where the son of Mattathias, surnamed Asmon (from whom is de- Mark Antony, with the consent of the senate, conferred on rived the appellation Asmonæans, borne by the princes de him the title of king of Judæa. By the aid of the Roman scended from him), and his valiant brothers, the Jews main-arms Herod kept possession of his dignity; and after three 1 1 Esdras iii. iv. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xi. c. 3.
years of sanguínary and intestine war with the partisans of 2 He is, however, most generally supposed to have derived this name Antigonus, he was confirmed in his kingdom by Augustus.
This prince is characterized by Josephus as a person of brew Text, Mi Chamoka Baelim Jehovah, i. e. who among the gods is like singular courage and resolution, liberal and even extravagant unto thee, O Jehovah? (Exod. xv. 11.) which letters might have been displayed on his sacred standard, as the letters S. P. Q. R. (Senatus, Populus 3 Jahn's History of the Hebrew Commonwealth, vol. i. pp. 161. 163. Que Romanus), were on the Roman ensigns. Dr. Hales's Analysis ofChro- * Beausobre, Introd. to the New Test. (Bp. Watson's Tracts, vol. iii. p. · nology, vol. i. p 599.
in his expenditure, magnificent in his buildings, especially in
ANTIPAS or ANTIPATER, an Idumæan, the temple of Jerusalem, and apparently disposed to promote
appointed prefect of Judæa and Syria by Julius Cæsar.
I the happiness of every one. But under this specious exterior he concealed the most consummate duplicity, studious only HEROD THE GREAT, king of Judæa, Mariamne how to attain and to secure his own dignity, he regarded no
. 1. Luke'i. 5.),
of whose offspring the following are to be noticed :means, however unjustifiable, which might promote that object of his ambition ; and in order to supply his lavish expenditure, he imposed oppressive burdens on his subjects. Inexorably
ARCHELAUS, PHILIP, HIEROD ANTIPAS, cruel, and a slave to the most furious passions, he imbrued
(Luke iii. 1. his hands in the blood of his wife, his children, and the
(Matt. ii. 22.) (Luke iii. 1.) Matt. xiv, 3. greater part of his family ;' such, indeed, were the restless- his father.
Mark vi. 14.
Luke iii. 19, 20. and ness and jealousy of his temper, that he spared neither his
xxiii. 11.) people, nor the richest and most powerful of his subjects, not even his very friends. It is not at all surprising that such a conduct should procure Herod the hatred of his subjects,
HEROD, HEROD Å GRIPPA, HERODIAS, king of Chalcis.
the elder, married to Herod Philip especially of the Pharisees, who engaged in various plots
(Acts xii.) (Matt. xiv. 3. against him: and so suspicious did these conspiracies render
Mark vi. 17. him, that he put the innocent to the torture, lest the guilty
Luke iii. 19. should escape. These circumstances sufficiently account for Herod and all Jerusalem with him being troubled at the arri
BERNICE, AGRIPPA, junior, DRUSILLA, val of the Magi, to inquire where the Messiah was born.
(Acts xxv. 13.) (Acts xxv. 13. (Acts xxiv. 24.) (Matt. ii. 1-3.): The Jews, who anxiously expected the
xxvi. 1. et seq.) Messiah “the Deliverer," were moved with an anxiety made
HEROD, misnamed the Great, by his will divided his doup of hopes and fears, of uncertainty and expectation, blended minions among his three sons, Archelaus, Herod Antipas, with
a dread of the sanguinary consequences of new tumults; and Herod Philip. and Herod, who was a foreigner and usurper, was apprehen
2. To ARCHELAUS he assigned Judæa, Samaria, and Idusive lest he should lose his crown by the birth of a rightful mæa, with the regal dignity, subject to the approbation of heir. Hence we are furnished with a satisfactory solution Augustus, who ratified his will as it respected the territorial of the motive that led him to command all the male children division, but conferred on Archelaus the title of Ethnarch, or to be put to death, who were under two years of age, in chief of the nation, with a promise of the regal dignity, if Bethlehem and its vicinity. (Matt. ii. 16.)
he should prove himself worthy of it. Archelaus entered No very long time after the perpetration of this crime, upon his new office amid the loud acclamations of his subthe thirty-seventh year of his being declared king of the Jews jects, who considered him as a king; hence the evangelist, by the Romans. The tidings of his decease were received (Matt. ii. 22.). His reign, however, commenced inauspi
in conformity with the Jewish idiom, says that he reigned. by his oppressed subjects with universal joy and satisfac- ciously: for, after the death of Herod, and before Archelaus tion. Herod had a numerous offspring by his different wives, will, the Jews having become very tumultuous at the temple
could go to Rome to obtain the confirmation of his father's although their number was greatly reduced by his unnatural in consequence of his refusing them some demands, Archecruelty in putting many of them to death : but, as few of his laus ordered his soldiers to attack them;
on which occasion descendants are mentioned in the Sacred Volume, we shall upwards of three thousand were slain. 'On Archelaus going notice only those persons of whom it is requisite that some to Rome to solicit the regal dignity (agreeably to the pracaccount should be given for the better understanding of the tice of the tributary kings of that age, who received their New Testament. The annexed table will, perhaps, be found crowns from the Roman emperor), the Jews sent an embassy, useful in distinguishing the particular persons of this family, consisting of fifty of their principal men, with a petition to whose names occur in the evangelical histories.
Augustus that they might be permitted to live according to
their own laws, under a Roman governor. To this circum!,“When Ierod,” says the accurate Lardner, "had gained possession stance our Lord evidently alludes in the parable related by of Jerusalein by the assistance of the Romans, and his riva! Antigonus was Saint Luke. (xix. 12—27.) A certain nobleman (Buyerns, a carried to Mark Antony, Herod, by a large sum of money, persuaded An: man of birth or rank, the son of Herod), went into a far tony to put him to death.
Herod's great fear was, that Antigonus might country (Italy), to receive for himself a kingdom (that of Jutobulus, brother of his wife Mariamne, was murdered by his directions at and sent a message (or embassy) after him (tó Augustus some time revive his pretensions, as being of the Asmonean family: Aris
: dæa) and to return. But his citizens (the Jews) hated him affection for his person. In the seventh year of his reign from the death Cæsar), saying, “We will not have this man to reign over us." of Antigonus, he put to death
Hyrcanus, grandfather of Marianne, then The Jews, however, failed in their request, and Archelaus, cuted by the Sanhedrin; a man who, in his youth and in the vigour of his having received the kingdom (or ethnarchy), on his return life, and in all the revolutions of his fortune, had shown a inild and peaceable inflicted a severe vengeance on those who would not that he disposition. His beloved wife, the beautiful and virtuous Marianne, had a should reign over them. The application of this parable is to der and Aristobulus, his two sons by Mariamne, were strangled in prison by Jesus Christ, who foretells, that, on his ascension, he would his order upon groundless suspicions, as it seems,
when they were at man's go into a distant country, to receive the kingdom from his estate, were married, and had children. I say nothing of the
death of his Father; and that he would return, at the destruction of Jerucreant, and deserved the worst death that could be inflicted ; in his last sicksalem, to take vengeance on those who rejected him. The ness, a little before he died, he sent orders throughout Judæa, requiring subsequent reign of Archelaus was turbulent, and disthe presence of all the chief men of the nation at Jericho, Hisorders were graced by insurrections of the Jews against the Romans, and When these men were come to Jericho, he had them all shut up in the also by banditti and pretenders to the crown: at length, after circus, and caling for his sister Salome, and her husband Alexas, he told repeated complaints against his tyranny, and mal-administrathem, My life is now but short; I know the dispositions of the Jewish tion, made to Augustus
by the principal Jews and Samarimen in your custody; as soon as the breath is out of my body, and before tans, who were joined by his own brothers, Archelaus was my death can be known, do you let in the soldiers upon them and kill them. deposed and banished to Vienne in Gaul, in the tenth year of An Judæa and every family
will then, though unwillingly, mourn at my his reign; and his territories were annexed to the Roman them by their love to him,
fidelity to God, not to fail of doing him province of Syria. this
honour; and they promised they would not fail ;' these orders, indeed, 3. HEROD ANTIPAS (or Antipater), another of Herod's were not executed. But as a modern historian of very good sense observes sons, received from his father the district of Galilee and truth of murdering the innocents, which may be made from the incredi. 3 This circumstance probably deterred the Holy Family from settling in bility of so barbarous and horrid an act. For this thoroughly
shows, that Judæa on their relurn from Egypt; and induced them by the divine admothere can nothing be imagined so cruel, barbarous, and horrid, which this nition to return to their former residence at Nazareth in Galilee. (Matt. ii. man was not capable of doing.' It may also be proper to observe, that almost 22, 23.) Dr. Hales's
Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. p. 717. all the executions I have instanced, were sacrifices to his state jealousy, Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvii. c. 9. $ 3. c. 11. Harwood's Introduction, and love of empire.” Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiv. c. 23. 25, 28. 28. lib! vol. i. p. 294. xvi. c. 7, 8.11, 12. lib. xvii. c. 6. Lardner's Credibility, part i. book ii. c. 6 There is an impressive application of this parable in Mr. Jones's Lec2. & 1.
tures on the figurative Language of Scripture, lect. v. near the beginning ** From Schulz's Archæologia Hebraica, p. 54. Reland has given a gene. (Works, vol. ill
. pp. 35, 36.) alogical table of the entire Herodian family. (Palæstina, tom. I. p. 174.) 6 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvii. c. 11. (al. xii.) $2. c. 13. (al. xiv.)