Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

Peræa, with the title of Tetrarch. He is described by Jose- | returned to her brother, and became the mistress, first of phus as a crafty and incestuous prince, with which character Vespasian, and then of Titus, who would have married her, the narratives of the evangelists coincide; for, having de- but that he was unwilling to displease the Romans, who serted his wife, the daughter of Aretas king of Arabia, he were averse to such a step. forcibly took away and married Herodias the wife of his (2.) DRUSILLA, her sister, and the youngest daughter of brother Herod Philip, a proud and cruel woman, to gratify Herod Agrippa, was distinguished for her beauty, and was whom he caused John the Baptist to be beheaded (Matt. xiv. equally celebrated with Bernice for her profligacy. She 3. Mark vi. 17. Luke iii. 19.), who had provoked her ven- was first espoused to Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, king geance by his faithful reproof of their incestuous nuptials; of Comagena, on condition of his embracing the Jewish though Josephus ascribes the Baptist's death to Herod's religion ; but as he afterwards refused to be circumcised, she apprehension, lest the latter should by his influence raise an was given in marriage, by her brother, to Azizus king of insurrection among the people. It was this Herod that laid Emessa, who submitted to that rite. When Felix came into snares for our Saviour; who, detecting his insidious inten- Judæa, as procurator or governor of Judæa, he persuaded her tions, termed him a fox (Luke xiii. 32.), and who was sub- to abandon her husband and marry him. Josephus says that sequently ridiculed by him and his soldiers. (Luke xxiii

. 7– she was induced to transgress the laws of her country, and 11.). Some years afterwards, Herod, aspiring to the regal become the wife of Felix, in order to avoid the envy of her dignity in Judæa, was banished together with his wife, first sister Bernice, who was continually doing her ill offices on to Lyons in Gaul, and thence into Spain.2

account of her beauty.9 4. Philip, tetrarch of Trachonitis, Gaulonitis, and Batanæa, is mentioned but once in the New Testament. (Luke iii. 1.) He is represented by Josephus as an amiable prince, beloved by his subjects, whom he governed with mildness

SECTION II. and equity:3 on his decease without issue, after a reign of thirty-seven years, his territories were annexed to the POLITICAL STATE OF THE JEWS UNDER THE ROMAN PROCURAprovince of Syria.

TORS, TO THE SUBVERSION OF THEIR CIVIL AND ECCLESIAS5. Agrippa, or Herod Agrippa I., was the son of Aristo- TICAL POLITY. bulus, and grandson of Herod the Great, and sustained various reverses of fortune previously to his attaining the I. Powers and functions of the Roman procurators.-II. Poroyal dignity. At first he resided at Rome as a private per- litical and civil state of the Jews under their administration. son, and ingratiated himself into the favour of the emperor —III. Account of Pontius Pilate.-IV. And of the procuraTiberius: but being accused of wishing him dead that tors Felix and Festus. Caligula might reign, he was thrown into prison by order of Tiberius. Ôn the accession of Caligula to the empire, in favour of Herod the Great, was of short duration ; expir

I. The Jewish kingdom, which the Romans had created Agrippa was created king of Batanæa and Trachonitis, to which Abilene, Judæa, and Samaria were subsequently added ing on his death, by the division of his territories, and by by the emperor Claudins. Returning home to his dominions, the dominions of Archelaus, which comprised 'Samaria, he governed them much to the satisfaction of his subjects Judæa, and Idumea, being reduced to a Roman province (for whose gratification he put to death the apostle James, annexed to Syria, and governed by the Roman PROCURATORS. and meditated that of St. Peter, who was miraculously

These officers not only had the charge of collecting the delivered, Acts xii. 2--17.); but, being inflated with pride on imperial revenues, but also had the power of life and death

in account of his increasing power and grandeur, he was struck capital causes: and on account of their high dignity they are with a noisome and painful disease, of which he died at sometimes called governors (H7 quoves). They usually had a Cæsarea in the manner related by St. Luke. (Acts xii. 21 council, consisting of their friends and other chief Romans in -23.)5

the province; with whom they conferred on important ques6. HEROD AGRIPPA II., or Junior, was the son of the pre

tions.10 During the continuance of the Roman republic, it ceding Herod Agrippa, and was educated under the auspices their wives with them. Augustusi disapproved of the intro

was very unusual for the governors of provinces to take of the emperor Claudius : being only seventeen years of age, at the time of his father's death, he was judged to be unequal duction of this practice, which, however, was in some to the task of governing the whole of his dominions. These instances permitted by Tiberius. Thus Agrippina accompawere again placed under the direction of a Roman procurator nied Germanicus!2 into Germany and Asia, and Plancina was or governor, and Agrippa was first king of Chalcis, and after- with Piso, whose insolence towards Germanicus she conwards of Batanæa, Trachonitis, and Åbilene, to which other tributed to inflame :13 and though Cæcina Severus afterwards territories were subsequently added, over which he seems to offered a motion to the senate, to prohibit this indulgence have ruled, with the title of king. It was before this on account of the serious inconveniences, not to say Agrippa and his sister Bernice that St. Paul delivered his abuses, that would result from the political influence which masterly defence (Acts xxvi.), where he is expressly terined the wives might exercise over their husbands), his motion a king. He was the last Jewish prince of the Herodian was rejected, 17 and they continued to attend the procurators to family, and for a long time survived the destruction of Jeru- for Pilate's wife' being at Jerusalem. (Matt. xxvii. 19.) The

their respective provinces. This circumstance will account salem.

7. Besides Herodias, who has been mentioned above, procurators of Judæa resided principally at Cæsarea,15 which the two following princesses of the Herodian family are

was reputed to be the metropolis of that country, and occumentioned in the New Testament; viz.

pied the splendid palace which Herod the Great had erected (1.) Bernice, the eldest daughter of king Herod Agrippa! there. On the great festivals, or when any tumults were I. and sister to Agrippa II. (Acts xxv. 13. 23.

xxvi. 30.) was apprehended, they repaired to Jerusalem, that, by their first married to her uncle Herod king of Chalcis; after whose presence and influence, they might restore order. For this death, in order to avoid the merited suspicion of incest with purpose they were accompanied

by cohorts (Errupsi, Acts x. her brother Agrippa, she became the wife of Pólemon, king 1.), or bands of soldiers, not legionary cohorts, but distinct of Cilicia. This connection ' being soon dissolved, she companies of military : each of them was about one thousand

strong, 18 Six of these cohorts were constantly garrisoned in mand the temple, and part in the prætorium or governor's III. Of the various procurators that governed Judæa under palace.

Judæa ; five at Cæsarea, and one at Jerusalem, part of · Concerning the meaning of this term learned men are by no means which was quartered in the tower of Antonia, so as to comagreed. In its primary and original signification it implies a governor of the fourth part of a country; and this seems to have been the first meaning affixed to it. But afterwards it was given to the governors of a province, ii. c. 81. Suetonius in Tito, c. 7. Juvenal, Sat. vi. 155.

+ Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xix. c. 1. $ 1. lib. xx. c. 7. $3. Tacitus, Hist. lib. whether their government was the fourth part of a country or not: for He- 8 Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c.7. $ 1,2. Acts xxiv. 24. rod divided his kingdom only into three parts. The Tetrarchs, however, 9 Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 49–59. Pritii Introd. ad Nov. Test. were regarded as princes, and sometimes were coinplimented with the title pp. 429-414. Dr. Lardner's Credibility, vol. i. book i. ch. I. $$ 1-11 of king (Matt. xiv. 9.) Beausubre's Introd. to the New Test. (Bp. Wat-|(Works, vol. i. pp. 11–30. 8vo. or vol. i. pp. 9–18. 4to.) Carpzovii Antiquison's Tracts, vol. iii. p. 123.) The Romans conferred this title on those tates Hebræ Gentis, pp. 15–19. princes whom they did not choose to elevate to the regal dignity; the 10 Josephus (Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. 4. $ 4. and de Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 16. $ 1. Tetrarch was lower in point of rank than a Roman governor of a province. mentions instances in which the Roman procurators thus took council with Schulzii, Archæol. Hebr. pp. 18, 19. Jahn, Archæol. Bibl. $ 240.

Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xviii.c.7. 3 lbid. lib. xvii. c. 8. $1. lib. xviii. c. 5. $ 4. De Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. 33. $8.

11 Suetonius, in Augusto, c. 2. lib. ii. c. 6. $3.

12 Tacitus, Annal. lib. ii. cc. 54, 55. lib. i. cc. 40, 41. Ibid. Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 4. $6.

14 Ibid. lib. iii. cc. 33, 34.

15 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 3. $ 1. lib. xx. c. 5. $ 4. De Bell. Jud. Ibid. lib. xviij. cc. 5–8.

lib. ii. c. 9. & 2. Tacit. Hist. lib. ii. c. 79. • Ibid. lib. xix. c. 9. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. ec. 12, 13.

16 Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. pp. 330-335.

their assessors.

13 Ibid. lib. i. c. 40.

the Romans, Pontius PILATE is the best known, and most These procurators were Romans, sometimes of the eques- frequently mentioned in the sacred writings. He is supposed trian order, and sometimes freedmen of the emperor: Felix to have been a native of Italy, and was sent to govern Judæa (Acts xxiii. 24-26. xxvi. 3. 22—27.) was a freedman of the about the year A. D. 26 or 27. Pilate is characterized by emperor Claudius,' with whom he was in high favour. Josephus as an unjust and cruel governor, sanguinary, obstiThese governors were sent, not by the senate, but by the nate, and impetuous; who disturbed the tranquillity of Judæa Cæsars themselves, into those provinces which were situated by persisting in carrying into Jerusalem the effigies of Tibeon the confines of the empire, and were placed at the empe- rius Cæsar that were upon the Roman ensigns, and by other ror's own disposal. Their duties consisted in collecting and acts of oppression, which produced tumults among the Jews.5 remitting tribute, in the administration of justice, and the Dreading the extreme jealousy and suspicion of Tiberius, he repression of tumults; some of them held independent juris- delivered up the Redeemer to be crucified, contrary to the dictions, while others were subordinate to the proconsul or conviction of his better judgment; and in the vain hope of governor of the nearest province. Thus Judæa was annexed conciliating the Jews whom he had oppressed. After he had to the province of Syria.

held his office for ten years, having caused a number of inIl. The Jews endured their subjection to the Romans with nocent Samaritans to be put to death, that injured people great reluctance, on account of the tribute which they were sent an embassy to Vitellius, proconsul of Syria; by whom obliged to pay: but in all other respects they enjoyed a large he was ordered to Rome, to give an account of his mal-admimeasure of national liberty. It appears from thre whole tenor nistration to the emperor. But Tiberius being dead before of the New Testament (for the particular passages are too he arrived there, his successor Caligula banished him to numerous to be cited), that they practised their own reli- Gaul, where he is said to have committed suicide about the gious rites, worshipped in the temple and in their synagogues, year of Christ 41.6 followed their own customs, and lived very much according IV. On the death of king Herod Agrippa, Judæa being to their own - laws. Thus they had their high-priests, and again reduced to a Roman province, the government of it council or senate; they inflicted lesser punishments; they was confided to ANTONIUS Felix; who had originally been could apprehend men and bring them before the council; and the slave, then the freedman of Nero, and, through the influif a guard of soldiers was necessary, could be assisted by ence of his brother Pallas, also a freedman of that emperor, them, on requesting them of the governor. Further, they was raised to the dignity of procurator of Judæa. He libecould bind men and keep them in custody; the council could rated that country from banditti and impostors (the very likewise summon witnesses and take examinations; they worthy deeds alluded to by Tertullus, Acts xxiv. 2.); but he could excommunicate persons, and they could inflict scourg- was in other respects a cruel and avaricious governor, inconing in their synagogue (Deut. xxv. 3. Matt. x. 17. Mark tinent, intemperate, and unjust. So oppressive at length did xiii. 9.); they enjoyed the privilege of referring litigated his administration become, that the Jews accused him before questions to arbitrators, whose decisions in reference to them Nero, and it was only through the powerful interposition of the Roman prætor was bound to see put in execution. Pallas that Felix escaped condign punishment. His third 7 Beyond this, however, they were not allowed to go; for, wife, Drusilla, has already been mentioned. It was before when they had any capital offenders, they carried them before these persons that St. Paul, with singular propriety, reasoned the procurator, who usually paid a regard to what they of righteousness, temperance, and a judgment to come. (Acts stated, and, if they brought evidence of the fact, pronounced xxiv. 25.) On the resignation of Felix, A.D. 60, the governsentence according to their laws. He was the proper judge ment of Judæa was committed to Portius Festus, before in all capital causes; for, after the council of the Jews had whom Paul defended himself against the accusations of the taken under their consideration the case of Jesus Christ

, Jews (Acts xxv.),

and appealed from his tribunal to that of which they pretended was of this kind, they went with it Cæsar. Finding his province overrun with robbers and murimmediately to the governor, who re-examined it and pro- derers, Festus strenuously exerted himself in suppressing nounced sentence. That they had not the power of life and their outrages. He died in Judæa about the year 62.8 death is evident from Pilate's granting to them the privilege The situation of the Jews under the two last-mentioned of judging, but not of condemning Jesus Christ, and also procurators was truly deplorable. Distracted by tumults, from their acknowledgment to Pilate- It is not lawful for us excited on various occasions, their country was overrun with to put any man to death (John xviii. 31.); and likewise from robbers that plundered all the villages whose inhabitants the power vested in Pilate of releasing a condemned criminal refused to listen to their persuasions to shake off the Roman to them at the passover (John xviii. 39, 40.), which he could yoke. Justice was sold to the highest bidder; and even the not have done if he had not had the power of life and death, sacred office of high-priest was exposed to sale. But, of all as well as from his own declaration that he had power to the procurators, no one abused his power more than Gessius crucify and power to release Jesus Christ. (John xix. 10.) FLORUS, a cruel and sanguinary governor, and so extremely

avaricious that he shared with the robbers in their booty, and 1 Suetonius in Claudio, c. 28.

allowed them to follow their nefarious practices with impu2 See Dr. Lardner's Credibility, part i. book ii. c. 2. where the various nity. Hence considerable numbers of the wretched Jews, passages are adduced and fully considered.

with their families, abandoned their native country; while 3 Cod. lib. i. tit. 9. 1. 8. de Judæis.-As the Christians were at first regarded as a sect of the Jews, they likewise enjoyed the same privilege. those who remained, being driven to desperation, took up Christians for carrying their causes before the Roman prætor, instead which terminated in the destruction of Judæa, and the taking This circumstance

will account for Saint Paul's blaming the Corinthian arms against the Romans, and thus commenced that war, of leaving them to referees chosen from among their brethren. (1 Cor. vi. 1-7.)

away of their name and nation.co • The celebrated Roman Jurist, Ulpian, states that the governors of the Roman provinces had the right of the sword; which implied the authority even to pronounce him guilty: all which ought to have been done, if the of punishing malefactors; an authority which was personal, and not to be proceedings had been regular. Before Stephen could finish his defence, transferred. (Lib. vi. c. 8. de Officio Proconsulis.) And Josephus states a sudden tumult arose; the people who were present rushed with one (De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 8. $ 1.) that Coponius, who was sent to govern Ju- accord upon him, and casting him out of the city, stoned bim before the dæa as a province after the banishment of Archelaus, was invested by affair could be taken before the Roman procurator. Pritii Introd. ad Nov. Augustus with the power of life and death. (Bp. Gray's Connection of Test. p. 592. Sacred and Profane Literature, vol. i. p. 273. See also Dr. Lardner's Cre- Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 3. $$ 1, 2. dibility, c. 2. $ 6.) The case of the Jews stoning Stephen (Acts vii. 56, 57.) 6 Ibid. lib. xviii. c. 4. Eusebius, Ilist. Eccl. lib. ii. cc. 7, 8. has been urged by some learned men as a proof that the former had the 7 Claudii Commentatio de Felice, pp. 62, 63. power of life and death, but the circumstances of that case do not support 8 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. 8. $$ 9, 10. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. C. this assertion. Stephen, it is true, had been examined before the great 14. $ 1. council, who had heard witnesses against him, but nowhere do we read 9 Ibid. lib. xx. cc. 8. 11. Ibid. lib. ji. cc. 9, 10, that they had collected votes or proceeded to the giving of sentence, or 10 Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 59–66.

CHAPTER III.

COURTS OF JUDICATURE, LEGAL PROCEEDINGS, AND CRIMINAL LAW OF THE JEWS.

SECTION I.

JEWISH COURTS OF JUDICATURE AND LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.1 Seat of Justice.-II. Inferior Tribunals.—III. Appeals.-Constitution of the Sanhedrin or Great Council.-IV. Time of Trials:- Form of legal Proceedings among the Jews.-1. Citation of the Parties.—2, 3. Form of Pleading in civil and criminal Cases.-4. Witnesses.- Oaths.-5. The Lot, in what Cases used judicially.6. Forms of Acquittal.7. Summary Justice, sometimes clamorously demanded.V. Execution of Sentences, by whom and in what manner performed.

I. In the early ages of the world, the Gate of the City was or less honourable place in the synagogue. And the context the Seat oF JUSTICE, where conveyances of titles and estates shows, that judges and judicial causes were the subjects of were made, complaints were heard and justice done, and the apostle's thoughts.3 all public business was transacted. Thus Abraham made II. On the settlement of the Israelites in the land of Cathe acquisition of the sepulchre in the presence of all those naan, Moses commanded them to appoint judges and officers who entered in at the gate of the city of Hebron. (Gen. xxiii. in all their gates, throughout their tribes (Deut. xvi. 18.); 10. 18.) When Hamor and his son Shechem proposed to whose duty it was to exercise judicial authority in the neighmake an alliance with Jacob and his sons, they spoke of it bouring villages; but weighty causes and appeals were carto the people at the gate of the city. (Gen. xxxiv. 24.) In ried before the supreme judge or ruler of the commonwealth. later times Boaz, having declared his intention of marrying (Deut. xvii. 8, 9.) According to Josephus, these inferior Ruth, at the gate of Bethlehem caused her kinsman to resign judges were seven in number, men zealous in the exercise his pretensions, and give him the proper conveyance to the of virtue and righteousness. To each judge (that is, to each estate. (Ruth iv. 1–10.) From the circumstance of the college of judges in every city) two officers were assigned gates of cities being the seat of justice, the judges appear to out of the tribe of Levi. These judges existed in the time have been termed the Elders of the Gate (Deut. xxii. 15. of that historian ;5 and, although the rabbinical writers are xxv. 7.); for, as all the Israelites were husbandmen, who silent concerning them, yet their silence neither does nor went out in the morning to work, and did not return until can outweigh the evidence of an eye-witness and magistrate, night, the city gate was the place of greatest resort. By this who himself appointed such judges. ancient practice, the judges were compelled, by a dread of The Priests and Levites, who, from their being devoted public displeasure, to be most strietly impartial, and most to the study of the law, were, consequently, best Skilled in carefully to investigate the merits of the causes which were its various precepts, and old men, who were eminent for brought before them. The same practice obtained after the their age and virtue, administered justice to the people : in captivity. (Zech. viii. 16.). The Ottoman court, it is well consequence of their age, the name of elders became attached known, derived its appellation of the Porte, from the distri- to them. Many instances of this kind occur in the New Tesbution of justice and the despatch of public business at its tament; they were also called rulers, upXCUTES. (Luke xii. 58. gates. During the Arabian monarchy in Spain, the same where ruler is synonymous with judge.) The law of Moses practice obtained; and the magnificent gate of entrance to the contained the most express prohibitions of bribery (Exod. Moorish palace of Alhamra at Grenada to this day retains the xxii. 8.) and partiality ; enjoining them to administer jusappellation of the Gate of Justice or of Judgment. To the tice without respect of persons, and reminding them, that a practice of dispensing justice at the gates of cities, there are judge sits in the seat of God, and, consequently, that no man numerous allusions in the Sacred Volume. For instance, in ought to have any pre-eminence in his sight, neither ought Job v. 4. the children of the wicked are said to be crushed in he to be afraid of any man in declaring the law. (Exod. xxiii. the gate; that is, they lose their cause, and are condemned in 3. 6, 7. Lev. xix. 15. Deut. i. 17. xvi. 18, 19.) The prothe court of judgment. The Psalmist (cxxvii. 5.), speaking phet Amos (viii. 6.) reproaches the corrupt judges of his of those whom God has blessed with many children, says time, with taking not only silver, but even so trifling an artithat they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the cle of dress as a pair of (wooden) sandals, as a bribe, to enemies in the gate ; that is, those who are thus blessed shall condemn the innocent poor who could not afford to make courageously plead their cause, and need not fear the want them a present of equal value. Turkish officers and their of justice when they meet their adversaries in the court of wives in Asia, to this day, go richly clothed in costly silks judicature. Compare Prov. xxii. 22. and xxxi. 23. Lament. given them by those who have causes depending before v. 14. Amos v. 12., in all which passages the gate, and elders them.? It is probable, at least in the early ages after the setof the land or of the gate, respectively

denote the seat of jus- tlement of the Jews in Canaan, that their judges rode on tice and the judges who presided there. And as the gates of white asses, by way of distinction (Judges v. 10.), as the a city constituted its strength, and as the happiness of a peo- Mollahs or men of the law do to this day in Persia,s and the ple depended much upon the wisdom and integrity of the heads of families returning from their pilgrimage to Mecca.9 judges who sat there, it may be that our Saviour alluded to III. From these inferior tribunals, appeals lay to a higher this circumstance, when he said, The gates of hell shall not court, in cases of importance. (Deut. xvii. 8–12.) In Jeru prevail against his church (Matt. xvi. 18.); that is, neither salem, it is not improbable that there were superior courts, in the strength nor policy of Satan or his instruments shall ever which David's sons presided. Psalm cxxii. 5. seems to be able to overcome it.

allude to them : though we do not find that a supreme triIn the time of Jesus Christ the Jews held courts of judica- bunal was established at Jerusalem earlier than in the reign ture in their synagogues, where they punished offenders by of Jehoshaphat. (2 Chron. xix. 8–11.) It was composed of scourging. (Matt. x. 17. Acts xxii. 19. xxvi. 11.). After

3 Macknight on James ii. 2. their example, Dr. Macknight thinks it probable, that the

4 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iv. c. 14. Schulzii Prolusio de variis Judæo. first Christians held courts for determining civil causes, in rum erroribus in Descriptione Templi ii. $ xv: pp. 27–32.; prefixed to his the places where they assembled

for public worship, called edition of Reland's Treatise De Spoliis Templi Hierosolymitani Trajecti ad your synagogue in the epistle of James. (ii. 2. Gr.) It is Rhenum, 1775. 8vor

5 Josephus, De Bell

. Jud. lib. ii. c. 20. 95. evident, he adds, that the apostle speaks not of their assem- 6 Ernesti Institutio Interpretis Novi Testamenti, part iii. c. 10. $ 73. p. 356. bly, but of the place where their assembly was held, from

- Morier's Second Journey, p. 136.

8 Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. p. 317. his mentioning the litigants as sitting in a more honourable

9 "We met, one day, a procession, consisting of a family returning from 1 Besides the authorities incidentally cited in the course of this section, A white-bearded old man, riding on a white ass, led the way with patri

the pilgrimage to Mecca. Drums and pipes announced the joyfusevent. the following works have been consulted for it, throughout; viz. Schulzii archal grace; and the men who met him, or accompanied him, were conArchäologia Hebraica, pp. 66–81.; Calmet, Dissertation sur la Police des tinually throwing their arms about his neck, and almost dismounting him Hebreux (Dissertations, tom. i. pp. 187–204.); Alber, Hermeneutica Vet. with their salutations. He was followed by his three wives, each riding Test. pp. 234-238.; Pritii Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. 575-594.: Brunings on a high camel; their female acquaintances running on each side, while Antiq. Hebr. pp. 99--107.; Home's Hist. of the Jews, vol. ii. pp. 30-41.; they occasionally stooped down to salute them. The women continually Jahn, Archæol. Biblica, &$ 243-248. ; Ackermann, Archæol. Bibl. 88 237 uttered a remarkably shrill whistle. It was impossible, viewing the old

man who led the way, not to remember the expression in Judges v. 10" - Murphy's Arabian Antir uities of Spain, plates xiv. xv. pp. 8, 9. Jowett's Christian Researches, p. 163.

-243.

priests and heads of families, and had two presidents,—one Jews in our Saviour's time used to denote the place of the in the person of the high-priest, and another who sat in the damned. name of the king. The judicial establishment was reorga- Where there were not one hundred and twenty inhabitants nized after the captivity, and two classes of judges, inferior in a town or village, according to the Talmudist, there was and superfor, were appointed. (Ezra vii. 25.). But the more a tribunal of three judges: and to this tribunal some writers difficult cases and appeals were brought, either before the have erroneously imagined that Joseph of Arimathea beruler of the state, or before the high-priest; until, in the age longed, rather than to the great Sanhedrin. But both the of the Maccabees, a supreme judicial tribunal was instituted, writers of the New Testament and Josephus are silent con which is first mentioned under Hyrcanus II.'

cerning the existence of such a tribunal." Jahn is of opinion This tribunal (which must not be confounded with the that this court was merely a session of three arbitrators, seventy-two counsellors, who were appointed to assist Moses, which the Roman laws permitted to the Jews in civil causes : in the civil administration of the government, but who never as the Talmudists themselves state that one judge was chosen fulfilled the office of judges) is hy the Talmudists denominated by the accuser, another by the party accused, and a third by SANHEDRIN, and is the great Council so often mentioned in both parties. It appears, however, that only petty affairs were the New Testament. It was most probably instituted in the cognizable by this tribunal. The reference to arbitrators, time of the Maccabees, and was composed of seventy or se recommended to Christians by St. Paul in 1 Cor. vi. 1–5., venty-two members, under the chief presidency of the high- has been supposed to be derived from this tribunal. priest, under whom were two vice-presidents; the first of It is essential to the ends of justice, that the proceedings whom, called the Father of the Council, sat on the right, as the of the courts should be committed to writing, and preserved second vice-president, who was called Chakam, or the Wise in archives or registries: Josephus informs us that there was Man, did on the left hand of the president. The other asses- such a repository at Jerusalem, which was burnt by the Rosors, or members of this council, comprised three descriptions mans, and which was furnished with scribes or notaries, for of persons, viz. 1. The ApXtepels, or Chief Priests, who were recording the proceedings. From this place, probably, St. partly such priests as had executed the pontificate, and partly Luke derived his account of the proceedings against the the princes or chiefs of the twenty-four courses or classes of protomartyr Stephen, related in Acts vi. and vii. These tribupriests, who enjoyed this honourable title :-2. The Tips Bu-nals also had inferior ministers or officers (Urugerous, Matt. v. Tapor

, or Elders, perhaps the princes of tribes or heads of fa- 25.), who probably corresponded with our apparitors or mes. milies;—and, 3. The spapepestes, Scribes, or men learned in sengers; and others whose office it was to carry the decrees the law. It does not appear that all the elders and scribes into execution, yiz. 1. The apextopes, or exactors, whose busiwere members of this tribunal: most probably those only ness it was to levy the fines imposed by the court; and,' were assessors, who were either elected to the office, or no- 2. The Barnvisal, or tormentors, those whose office it was to minated to it by royal authority. They are reported to have examine by torture : as this charge was devolved on gaolers, sat in a semi-circular form; and to this manner of their sitting in the time of Christ, the word Betavisus came to signify a in judgment Jesus Christ is supposed to refer in Matt. xix. gaoler. 28., and St. Paul in 1 Cor. vi. 2.

IV. It appears from Jer. xxi. 12., that causes were heard, The Sanhedrin held its daily sittings early in the morning and judgment was executed in the morning. According to (according to the Talmudists) in the Temple ; but they are the Talmud, capital causes were prohibited from being heard contradicted by Josephus, who speaks of a council-house in in the night, as also were the institution of an examination, the immediate vicinity of the Temple, where this council the pronouncing of sentence, and the carrying of it into was in all probability convened; though in extraordinary execution, on one and the same day; and it was enjoined emergencies it was assembled in the high-priest's house, as that at least the execution of a sentence should be deferred was the case in the mock trial of Jesus Christ. The autho- until the following day. How flagrantly this injunction was rity of this tribunal was very extensive. It decided all disregarded in the case of Jesus Christ, it is scarcely necescauses, which were brought before it, by appeal from inferior sary to mention. According to the Talmud, also, no judgcourts; and also took cognizance of the general affairs of ments could be executed on festival days; but this by no the nation. Before Judæa was subject to the Roman power, means agrees with the end and design of capital punishment the Sanhedrin had the right of judging in capital cases, but expressed in Deut. xvii. 13. viz. That all the people might not afterwards ; the stoning of Stephen being (as we have hear and fear. It is evident from Matt. xxvi. 5. that the chief already observed) a tumultuary act, and not in consequence priests and other leading men among the Jews were at first of sentence pronounced by this council.3

afraid to apprehend Jesus, lest there should be a tumult Besides the Sanhedrin, the Talmudical writers assert that among the people: it is not improbable that they feared the there were other smaller councils, each consisting of twenty- Galilæans more than the populace of Jerusalem, because three persons, who heard and determined petty causes: two they were the countrymen of our Lord. Afterwards, howof these were at Jerusalem, and one in every city containing ever, when the traitor Judas presented himself to them, their one hundred and twenty inhabitants. Josephus is silent con- fears vanished away. cerning these tribunals, but they certainly appear to have In the early ages of the Jewish history, judicial procedure existed in the time of Jesus Christ; who, - by images taken must have been summary, as it still is in Asia.8 ‘of advofrom these two courts, in a very striking manner represents cates, such as ours, there is no appearance in any part of the the different degrees of future punishments, to which the Old Testament. Every one pleaded his own cause; of this impenitently wicked will be doomed according to the respec- practice we have a memorable instance in 1 kings iii. 16tive heinousness of their crimes. But I say unto you, that 28. As causes were heard at the city gate, where the people whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in assembled to hear news or to pass away their time, Michaelis danger of the JUDGMENT; and whosever shall say to his brother, thinks that men of experience and wisdom might be asked Raca, shall be in danger of the couNCIL; but whosoever shall for their opinions in difficult cases, and might sometimes say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of HELL FIRE. (Matt. v. 22.) assist with their advice those who seemed embarrassed in That is, whosoever shall indulge causeless and unprovoked their own cause, even when it was a good one. Probably resentment against his Christian brother, shall be punished this is alluded to in Job xxix. 7–17. and Isa. i. 17.9 From with a severity similar to that which is inflicted by the court the Romans, the use of advocates, or patrons who pleaded of judgment. He, who shall suffer his passions to transport the cause of another, might have passed to the Jews. In him to greater extravagances, so as to make his brother the this view the word Tlapkuantos, or advocate, is applied to object of derision and contempt, shall be exposed to a still Christ, our intercessor, who pleads the cause of sinners with his severer punishment, corresponding to that which the council Father. (1 John ii. 1.) The form of proceeding appears to imposes. But he who shall load his fellow-Christian with have been as follows: odious appellations and abusive language, shall incur the 1. Those who were summoned before courts of judicature, severest degree of all punishments,—equal to that of being were said to be apoggpapp.svos eis zepios, because they were cited burnt alive in the valley of Hinnom :"4—which, having by posting up their names in some public place, and to these formerly been the scene of those horrid sacrifices of children to Moloch by causing them to pass through the fire, the s Josephus, De Bell, Jud. lib. vi. c. 3. $ 3.

6 Schleusner's and Parkhurst's Lexicon, in voce.

7 Sanhedrin, IV. 1 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiv. c. 9. $ 3.

8 And also among the Marootzee, a nation inhabiting the interior of - De Bell. Jud. lib. v. c. 4. & 2. lib. vi. c. 6. $ 3.

South Africa. Campbell's Travels in the interior of South Africa, vol. ii. Dr. Lightfoot has given a list of sixteen presidents who directed the p. 236. (London, 1822. 8vo.)

From this, and other coincidences with Jew. sanhedrin from the captivity till its dissolution. (Prospect of the Temple, ish observances, Mr. C. thinks it probable that the Marootzee are of Jewish ch. xxii. $ 1. Works, vol. ix. pp. 342–346. 8vo. edit.)

or Arabian origin • Harwood's Introduction to the New Test. vol. ii. pp. 188, 189.

9 Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. iv. pp. 320. 323.

judgment was published or declared in writing. The Greek | pronounce the formula of the oath, either when it was a judiwriters applied the term apogespa papevcus, to those whom the cial one, or taken on any other

solemn occasion. A formula Romans called proscriptos or proscribed, that is, whose names was read, to which they said Amen. (Lev. v. 1. 1 Kings were posted up in writing in some public place, as persons viii. 31.) Referring to this usage, when Jesus Christ was doomed to die, with a reward offered to whoever would kill abjured or put upon his oath, he immediately made an an them. To this usage there is an allusion in the Epistle of swer. (Matt. xxvi. 63.). All manner of false witness was Jude (verse 4.), where the persons who are said to be toge most severely prohibited. (Exod. xx. 16. xxiii. 1—3.)5 282 pe pievos aus TOUTO TO Upps, fore written to, or before described for, 5. In questions of property, in default of any other means this condemnation, denote those who were long before de- of decision, recourse was had to the lot. In tắis manner, it scribed, in the examples of their wickedness contained in the will be recollected that the land of Canaan was divided by writings of Moses and the prophets, such as the angels that Joshua, to which there are so many allusions in the old sinned, the antediluvians, the people of Sodom, &c. And in Testament, particularly

in the book of Psalms. And it should the condemnation of these sinners, God has shown what he seem, from Prov. xvi. 33. and xviii. 18. that it was used in will do to all others like them. In the sacred writings, all courts of justice, in the time of Solomon, though, probably, false teachers and impure practices have been most openly only with the consent of both parties. In criminal cases, proscribed and condemned, and in the following verses of the recourse was had to the sacred lot, called Urim and Thumsame epistle the apostle distinctly specifies who these per- mim, in order to discover, not to convict the guilty party sons are.

(Josh. vii. 14–18. 1 Sam. xiv. 37–45.); but it appears to 2. He, who entered the action, went to the judges, and have been used only in the case of an oath being transgressed, stated his affair to them; and then they sent officers with which the whole people had taken, or the leader of the host him to seize the party and bring him to justice. To this our in their name.6 Lord alludes, when he says (Matt. v. 25.), Agree with thine A peculiar mode of eliciting the truth was employed in the adversary while thou art in the way with him, before thou art case of a woman suspected of adultery. She was to be brought before the judge, lest thou be condemned. On the brought by her husband to the tabernacle,-afterwards to the day appointed for hearing the cause, the plaintiff and defend- temple; where she took an oath of purgation, imprecating ant presented themselves before the judges; who at first tremendous punishment upon herself. The form of this prosat alone. (Deut. xxv. 1.) In later times, the Jewish writers cess (which was the foundation of the trial by ordeal that so inform us, that there were always two notaries belonging to generally prevailed in the dark ages) is detailed at length in the court, one of whom stood on the right hand of the judge, Num. v. 11–31., to which the rabbinical writers have added who wrote the sentence of acquittal; and the other, on his a variety of frivolous ceremonies. If innocent, the woman left hand, who wrote the sentence of condemnation. To this suffered no inconvenience or injury; but if guilty, the punishcustom, probably, our Saviour referred (Matt. xxv. 33.); ment which she had imprecated on herself immediately overwhen, speaking of the last judgment, he says, that he will took her.? set the sheep on his right hand, in order to be acquitted, and 6. Sentences were only pronounced in the day time; of the goats on his left, in order to be condemned. "It appears which circumstance notice is taken in Saint Luke's narrative that the judicial decrees were (as they still are in the East) of our Saviour's mock trial. (xxii. 66.) It was the custom first written by a notary, and then authenticated or annulled among the Jews to pronounce sentence of condemnation in by the magistrate. To this the prophet Isaiah alludes when this manner :-He is guilty of death. (Matt. xxvi. 66.) In he denounces a woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, other countries, a person's condemnation was announced to and to the writers that write grievousness. (Isa. x. 1. marginal him by giving him a black stone, and his acquittal by giving rendering.) The judges sat, while the defendants stood, him a white stone. Ovid mentions this practice thus :particularly during thế examination of witnesses. Thus,

Mos erat antiquus, niveis atrisque lapillis, Jesus stood before the governor. (Matt. xxvii. 11.)

His damnare reos, illis absolvere culpa. 3. In criminal cases, when the trial came on, the judge's

Nunc quoque sic lata est sententia tristisfirst care was to exhort the criminal to confess his crime, if

MET. lib. xv. 41-43. he really were guilty: thus Joshua exhorted Achan to give

A custom was of old, and still obtains, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him.

Which life or death by suffrages ordains:

White siones and black within an urn are cast; (Josh. vii. 19.) To this custom of the Jews, St. Paul seems

The first absolve, but fate is in the last. to allude, when he says, Happy is he that condemneth not

Dryden. himself in that thing which he alloweth (Rom. xiv. 22.); that In allusion to this custom, some critics have supposed that is, who, being convinced of the truth of a thing, does not our Saviour (Rev. ii. 17,) promises to give the spiritual conreally and effectually condemn himself in the sight of God queror a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, by denying it. After the accusation was laid before the which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it; which may court, the criminal was heard in his defence, and therefore be supposed to signify-Well done, thou good and faithful Nicodemus said to the chief priests and Pharisees, Doth our servant. The white stones of the ancients were inscribed law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doth? with characters; and so is the white stone mentioned in the (John vii. 51.) If, during the trial, the defendant, or sup- Apocalypse. According to Persius, the letter @ was the posed criminal, said any thing that displeased either the judge token of condemnation : or his accuser, it was not unusual for the latter to smite him on the face. This was the case with Saint Paul (Acts xxiii.

Et potis es nigrum vitio prefigere Theta. 2.), and the same brutal conduct prevails in Persia to this

Fixing thy stigma on the brow of vice. day.3

DRUMMOND. 4. In matters of life and death, the evidence of one witness But, as there was a new name inscribed on the white stone was not sufficient: in order to establish a charge, it was given by our Lord, which no man knoweth but he who receivnecessary to have the testimony of two or three credible and eth it, it should rather seem that the allusion in this passage unimpeachable witnesses. (Num. xxxv. 30. Deut. xvii. 6, 7. is to the tessere hospitales, of which the reader will find an xix. 15.) Though the law of Moses is silent concerning the account infra, in the close of chap. vi. of Part IV. of this evidence of women, Josephus says that it was prohibited on volume. account of the levity and boldness of their sex! He also 7. Such were the judicial proceedings in ordinary cases, adds that the testimony of servants was inadmissible, on ac- when the forms of law were observed. On some occasions, count of the probability of their being influenced to speak however, when particular persons were obnoxious to the what was untrue, either from hope of gain or fear of pu- populace, it was usual for them to demand prompt justice nishment. Most likely, this was the exposition of the upon the supposed delinquents. It is well known that in scribes and Pharisees, and the practice of the Jews, in the Asia, to this day, those who demand justice against a crimilast age of their political existence. The party sworn held nal, repair in large bodies to the gate of the royal residence, up his right hand, which explains Psal. cxliv. 8., Whose where they make horrid cries, tearing their garments and mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand throwing dust into the air. This circumstance throws great of falsehood. In general, the witnesses to be sworn did not light upon the conduct of the Jews towards St. Paul, when

1 Parkhurst's and Schleusner's Lexicon to the New Testament, voce 5 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 342 343. Brunings says, that in IIpo y pow. Boothroyd on Jude 4.

cases of idolatry, the Jews assert the admissibility of false witnesses; bu Ilarmer's Observations, vol. ii. pp. 519–521.

he gives no authority for this statement. a Morier's Second Journey, p. 95. Hanway's

Travels, rol. i. p. 299. 6 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 357–359. • Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. iv. p. 325. Schul- Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 79, 80. zii Archæol. Hebr. p. 74. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iv. c. 8. $ 15.

• Wetstein, Doddridge, and Dean Woodhouse on Dev. ii. 17.

Sar. iv. 13.

« ElőzőTovább »