Peraa, with the title of Tetrarch. He is described by Josephus as a crafty and incestuous prince, with which character the narratives of the evangelists coincide; for, having deserted his wife, the daughter of Aretas king of Arabia, he forcibly took away and married Herodias the wife of his brother Herod Philip, a proud and cruel woman, to gratify whom he caused John the Baptist to be beheaded (Matt. xiv. 3. Mark vi. 17. Luke iii. 19.), who had provoked her vengeance by his faithful reproof of their incestuous nuptials; though Josephus ascribes the Baptist's death to Herod's apprehension, lest the latter should by his influence raise an insurrection among the people. It was this Herod that laid snares for our Saviour; who, detecting his insidious intentions, termed him a fox (Luke xiii. 32.), and who was subsequently ridiculed by him and his soldiers. (Luke xxiii. 711.) Some years afterwards, Herod, aspiring to the regal dignity in Judæa, was banished together with his wife, first to Lyons in Gaul, and thence into Spain.2

returned to her brother, and became the mistress, first of Vespasian, and then of Titus, who would have married her, but that he was unwilling to displease the Romans, who were averse to such a step.7

(2.) DRUSILLA, her sister, and the youngest daughter of Herod Agrippa, was distinguished for her beauty, and was equally celebrated with Bernice for her profligacy. She was first espoused to Epiphanes, the son of Antiochus, king of Comagena, on condition of his embracing the Jewish religion; but as he afterwards refused to be circumcised, she was given in marriage, by her brother, to Azizus king of Emessa, who submitted to that rite. When Felix came into Judæa, as procurator or governor of Judæa, he persuaded her to abandon her husband and marry him. Josephus says that she was induced to transgress the laws of her country, and become the wife of Felix, in order to avoid the envy of her sister Bernice, who was continually doing her ill offices on 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 and equity 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.4

5. AGRIPPA, or Herod Agrippa I., was the son of Aristobulus, and grandson of Herod the Great, and sustained various reverses of fortune previously to his attaining the royal dignity. At first he resided at Rome as a private person, and ingratiated himself into the favour of the emperor Tiberius: but being accused of wishing him dead that Caligula might reign, he was thrown into prison by order of Tiberius. On the accession of Caligula to the empire, Agrippa was created king of Batana and Trachonitis, to which Abilene, Judæa, and Samaria were subsequently added by the emperor Claudius. Returning home to his dominions, he governed them much to the satisfaction of his subjects (for whose gratification he put to death the apostle James, and meditated that of St. Peter, who was miraculously delivered, Acts xii. 2—17.); but, being inflated with pride on account of his increasing power and grandeur, he was struck with a noisome and painful disease, of which he died at Cæsarea in the manner related by St. Luke. (Acts xii. 21 -23.)5

6. HEROD AGRIPPA II., or Junior, was the son of the preceding Herod Agrippa, and was educated under the auspices of the emperor Claudius: being only seventeen years of age; at the time of his father's death, he was judged to be unequal to the task of governing the whole of his dominions. These were again placed under the direction of a Roman procurator or governor, and Agrippa was first king of Chalcis, and afterwards of Batanæa, Trachonitis, and Abilene, to which other territories were subsequently added, over which he seems to have ruled, with the title of king. It was before this Agrippa and his sister Bernice that St. Paul delivered his masterly defence (Acts xxvi.), where he is expressly termed a king. He was the last Jewish prince of the Herodian family, and for a long time survived the destruction of Jeru


7. Besides Herodias, who has been mentioned above, the two following princesses of the Herodian family are mentioned in the New Testament; viz.

(1.) BERNICE, the eldest daughter of king Herod Agrippa I. and sister to Agrippa II. (Acts xxv. 13. 23. xxvi. 30.) was first married to her uncle Herod king of Chalcis; after whose death, in order to avoid the merited suspicion of incest with her brother Agrippa, she became the wife of Polemon, king of Cilicia. This connection being soon dissolved, she

1 Concerning the meaning of this term learned men are by no means agreed. 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, whether their government was the fourth part of a country or not: for Herod divided his kingdom only into three parts. The Tetrarchs, however, were regarded as princes, and sometimes were complimented with the title of king. (Matt. xiv. 9.) Beausobre's Introd. to the New Test. (Bp. Watson's Tracts, vol. iii. p. 123.) The Romans conferred this title on those princes whom they did not choose to elevate to the regal dignity; the Tetraich was lower in point of rank than a Roman governor of a province. Schulzii, Archæol. Hebr. pp. 18, 19. Jahn, Archæol. Bibl. $240. 2 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. lib. ii. c. 6. §3.

▲ Ibid. Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 4. §6.

Ibid. lib. xviii. cc. 5-8.

Ibid. lib. xix. c. 9. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. ec. 12, 13.



Powers and functions of the Roman procurators.—II. Political and civil state of the Jews under their administration. -III. Account of Pontius Pilate.-IV. And of the procura

tors Felix and Festus.

I. THE Jewish kingdom, which the Romans had created in favour of Herod the Great, was of short duration; expiring on his death, by the division of his territories, and by the dominions of Archelaus, which comprised Samaria, Judæa, and Idumæa, being reduced to a Roman province annexed to Syria, and governed by the ROMAN PROCURATORS. imperial revenues, but also had the power of life and death in These officers not only had the charge of collecting the capital causes: and on account of their high dignity they are sometimes called governors (Hoves). They usually had a council, consisting of their friends and other chief Romans in the province; with whom they conferred on important queswas very unusual for the governors of provinces to take tions.10 During the continuance of the Roman republic, it their wives with them. Augustus disapproved of the introduction of this practice, which, however, was in some instances permitted by Tiberius. Thus Agrippina accompanied Germanicus12 into Germany and Asia, and Plancina was with Piso, whose insolence towards Germanicus she contributed to inflame :13 and though Cæcina Severus afterwards offered a motion to the senate, to prohibit this indulgence (on account of the serious inconveniences, not to say abuses, that would result from the political influence which the wives might exercise over their husbands),, his motion was rejected, and they continued to attend the procurators to their respective provinces. This circumstance will account for Pilate's wife being at Jerusalem. (Matt. xxvii. 19.) The procurators of Judæa resided principally at Cæsarea,15 which was reputed to be the metropolis of that country, and occupied the splendid palace which Herod the Great had erected there. On the great festivals, or when any tumults were apprehended, they repaired to Jerusalem, that, by their presence and influence, they might restore order. For this purpose they were accompanied by cohorts (Erupai, Acts x. 1.), or bands of soldiers, not legionary cohorts, but distinct companies of military: each of them was about one thousand strong. Six of these cohorts were constantly garrisoned in Judæa; five at Cæsarea, and one at Jerusalem, part of which was quartered in the tower of Antonia, so as to com

Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xix. c. 1. § 1. lib. xx. c. 7. §3. Tacitus, Hist. lib. ii. c. 81. Suetonius in Tito, c. 7. Juvenal, Sat. vi. 155. 8 Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. 7. §1, 2. Acts xxiv. 24.

9 Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 49-59. Pritii Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. 429-444. Dr. Lardner's Credibility, vol. i. book i. ch. 1. §§ 1-11 (Works, vol. i. pp. 11-30. 8vo. or vol. i. pp. 9-18. 4to.) Carpzovii Antiquitates Hebræ Gentis, pp. 15-19.

10 Josephus (Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. 4. §4. and de Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 16. § 1. mentions instances in which the Roman procurators thus took council with their assessors.

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mand the temple, and part in the prætorium or governor's palace.

These procurators were Romans, sometimes of the equestrian order, and sometimes freedmen of the emperor: Felix (Acts xxiii. 24-26. xxvi. 3. 22—27.) was a freedman of the emperor Claudius,' with whom he was in high favour. These governors were sent, not by the senate, but by the Cæsars themselves, into those provinces which were situated on the confines of the empire, and were placed at the emperor's own disposal. Their duties consisted in collecting and remitting tribute, in the administration of justice, and the repression of tumults; some of them held independent jurisdictions, while others were subordinate to the proconsul or governor of the nearest province. Thus Judæa was annexed to the province of Syria.

III. Of the various procurators that governed Judæa under the Romans, PONTIUS PILATE is the best known, and most frequently mentioned in the sacred writings. He is supposed to have been a native of Italy, and was sent to govern Judæa about the year A. D. 26 or 27. Pilate is characterized by Josephus as an unjust and cruel governor, sanguinary, obstínate, and impetuous; who disturbed the tranquillity of Judæa by persisting in carrying into Jerusalem the effigies of Tiberius Cæsar that were upon the Roman ensigns, and by other acts of oppression, which produced tumults among the Jews.5 Dreading the extreme jealousy and suspicion of Tiberius, he delivered up the Redeemer to be crucified, contrary to the conviction of his better judgment: and in the vain hope of conciliating the Jews whom he had oppressed. After he had held his office for ten years, having caused a number of innocent Samaritans to be put to death, that injured people sent an embassy to Vitellius, proconsul of Syria; by whom he was ordered to Rome, to give an account of his mal-administration to the emperor. But Tiberius being dead before he arrived there, his successor Caligula banished him to Gaul, where he is said to have committed suicide about the year of Christ 41.6

II. The Jews endured their subjection to the Romans with great reluctance, on account of the tribute which they were obliged to pay but in all other respects they enjoyed a large measure of national liberty. It appears from the whole tenor of the New Testament (for the particular passages are too numerous to be cited), that they practised their own religious rites, worshipped in the temple and in their synagogues, 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 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 judgement 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 of judging, but not of condemning Jesus Christ, and also from their acknowledgment to Pilate-It is not lawful for us to put any man to death (John xviii. 31.); and likewise from the power vested in Pilate of releasing a condemned criminal to them at the passover (John xviii. 39, 40.), which he could not have done if he had not had the power of life and death, as well as from his own declaration that he had power to crucify and power to release Jesus Christ.4 (John xix. 10.)

1 Suetonius in Claudio, c. 28.

2 See Dr. Lardner's Credibility, part i. book ii. c. 2. where the various passages are adduced and fully considered.

3 Cod. lib. i. tit. 9. 1. 8. de Judæis.-As the Christians were at first re

garded as a sect of the Jews, they likewise enjoyed the same privilege. This circumstance will account for Saint Paul's blaming the Corinthian Christians for carrying their causes before the Roman prætor, instead of leaving them to referees chosen from among their brethren. (1 Cor. vi. 1-7.)

The celebrated Roman Jurist, Ulpian, states that the governors of the Roman provinces had the right of the sword; which implied the authority of punishing malefactors; an authority which was personal, and not to be transferred. (Lib. vi. c. 8. de Officio Proconsulis.) And Josephus states (De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 8. § 1.) that Coponius, who was sent to govern Judæa as a province after the banishment of Archelaus, was invested by Augustus with the power of life and death. (Bp. Gray's Connection of Sacred and Profane Literature, vol. i. p. 273. See also Dr. Lardner's Credibility, c. 2. § 6.) The case of the Jews stoning Stephen (Acts vii. 56, 57.) has been urged by some learned men as a proof that the former had the power of life and death, but the circumstances of that case do not support this assertion. Stephen, it is true, had been examined before the great council, who had heard witnesses against him, but nowhere do we read that they had collected votes or proceeded to the giving of sentence, or

The situation of the Jews under the two last-mentioned procurators was truly deplorable. Distracted by tumults, excited on various occasions, their country was overrun with robbers that plundered all the villages whose inhabitants refused to listen to their persuasions to shake off the Roman yoke. Justice was sold to the highest bidder; and even the sacred office of high-priest was exposed to sale. But, of all the procurators, no one abused his power more than GESSIUS FLORUS, a cruel and sanguinary governor, and so extremely avaricious that he shared with the robbers in their booty, and allowed them to follow their nefarious practices with impunity. Hence considerable numbers of the wretched Jews, with their families, abandoned their native country; while those who remained, being driven to desperation, took up arms against the Romans, and thus commenced that war, which terminated in the destruction of Judæa, and the taking away of their name and nation.10

even to pronounce him guilty: all which ought to have been done, if the
proceedings had been regular. Before Stephen could finish his defence,
a sudden tumult arose; the people who were present rushed with one
accord upon him, and casting him out of the city, stoned him before the
affair could be taken before the Roman procurator. Pritii Introd. ad Nov.
Test. p. 592.
s Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xviii. c. 3. §§ 1, 2.


Ibid. lib. xviii. c. 4. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. lib. ii. cc. 7, 8.
Claudii Commentatio de Felice, pp. 62, 63.

Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xx. c. 8. $$ 9, 10. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c.
§ 1.
9 Ibid. lib. xx. cc. 8. 11. Ibid. lib. ii. cc. 9, 10.
10 Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 59–66.





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 the SEAT OF JUSTICE, where conveyances of titles and estates were made, complaints were heard and justice done, and all public business was transacted. Thus Abraham made the acquisition of the sepulchre in the presence of all those who entered in at the gate of the city of Hebron. (Gen. xxiii. 10. 18.) When Hamor and his son Shechem proposed to make an alliance with Jacob and his sons, they spoke of it to the people at the gate of the city. (Gen. xxxiv. 24.) In later times Boaz, having declared his intention of marrying Ruth, at the gate of Bethlehem caused her kinsman to resign his pretensions, and give him the proper conveyance to the estate. (Ruth iv. 1-10.) From the circumstance of the gates of cities being the seat of justice, the judges appear to have been termed the Elders of the Gate (Deut. xxii. 15. xxv. 7.); for, as all the Israelites were husbandmen, who went out in the morning to work, and did not return until night, the city gate was the place of greatest resort. By this ancient practice, the judges were compelled, by a dread of public displeasure, to be most strictly impartial, and most carefully to investigate the merits of the causes which were brought before them. The same practice obtained after the captivity. (Zech. viii. 16.) The Ottoman court, it is well known, derived its appellation of the Porte, from the distribution of justice and the despatch of public business at its gates. During the Arabian monarchy in Spain, the same practice obtained; and the magnificent gate of entrance to the Moorish palace of Alhamra at Grenada to this day retains the appellation of the Gate of Justice or of Judgment. To the practice of dispensing justice at the gates of cities, there are numerous allusions in the Sacred Volume. For instance, in Job v. 4. the children of the wicked are said to be crushed in the gate, that is, they lose their cause, and are condemned in the court of judgment. The Psalmist (exxvii. 5.), speaking of those whom God has blessed with many children, says that they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate; that is, those who are thus blessed shall courageously plead their cause, and need not fear the want of justice when they meet their adversaries in the court of judicature. Compare Prov. xxii. 22. and xxxi. 23. Lament. v. 14. Amos v. 12., in all which passages the gate, and elders of the land or of the gate, respectively denote the seat of justice and the judges who presided there. And as the gates of a city constituted its strength, and as the happiness of a people depended much upon the wisdom and integrity of the judges who sat there, it may be that our Saviour alluded to this circumstance, when he said, The gates of hell shall not prevail against his church (Matt. xvi. 18.); that is, neither the strength nor policy of Satan or his instruments shall ever be able to overcome it.

or less honourable place in the synagogue. And the context shows, that judges and judicial causes were the subjects of the apostle's thoughts."

II. On the settlement of the Israelites in the land of Canaan, Moses commanded them to appoint judges and officers in all their gates, throughout their tribes (Deut. xvi. 18.); whose duty it was to exercise judicial authority in the neighbouring villages; but weighty causes and appeals were carried before the supreme judge or ruler of the commonwealth. (Deut. xvii. 8, 9.) According to Josephus, these inferior judges were seven in number, men zealous in the exercise of virtue and righteousness. To each judge (that is, to each college of judges in every city) two officers were assigned out of the tribe of Levi. These judges existed in the time of that historian ; and, although the rabbinical writers are silent concerning them, yet their silence neither does nor can outweigh the evidence of an eye-witness and magistrate, who himself appointed such judges.

The Priests and Levites, who, from their being devoted to the study of the law, were, consequently, best skilled in its various precepts, and old men, who were eminent for their age and virtue, administered justice to the people: in consequence of their age, the name of elders became attached to them. Many instances of this kind occur in the New Testament; they were also called rulers, aportes. (Luke xii. 58. where ruler is synonymous with judge.) The law of Moses contained the most express prohibitions of bribery (Exod. xxii. 8.) and partiality; enjoining them to administer justice without respect of persons, and reminding them, that a judge sits in the seat of God, and, consequently, that no man ought to have any pre-eminence in his sight, neither ought he to be afraid of any man in declaring the law. (Exod. xxiii. 3. 6, 7. Lev. xix. 15. Deut. i. 17. xvi. 18, 19.) The prophet Amos (viii. 6.) reproaches the corrupt judges of his time, with taking not only silver, but even so trifling an article of dress as a pair of (wooden) sandals, as a bribe, to condemn the innocent poor who could not afford to make them a present of equal value. Turkish officers and their wives in Asia, to this day, go richly clothed in costly silks given them by those who have causes depending before them. It is probable, at least in the early ages after the settlement of the Jews in Canaan, that their judges rode on white asses, by way of distinction (Judges v. 10.), as the Mollahs or men of the law do to this day in Persia, and the heads of families returning from their pilgrimage to Mecca.9

III. From these inferior tribunals, appeals lay to a higher court, in cases of importance. (Deut. xvii. 8-12.) In Jeru salem, it is not improbable that there were superior courts, in which David's sons presided. Psalm cxxii. 5. seems to allude to them: though we do not find that a supreme tri

3 Macknight on James ii. 2.

4 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iv. c. 14. Schulzii Prolusio de variis Judæo

In 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 their example, Dr. Macknight thinks it probable, that the first Christians held courts for determining civil causes, in the places where they assembled for public worship, called your synagogue in the epistle of James. (ii. 2. Gr.) It is evident, he adds, that the apostle speaks not of their assembly, but of the place where their assembly was held, from his mentioning the litigants as sitting in a more honourable

1 Besides the authorities incidentally cited in the course of this section, the following works have been consulted for it, throughout; viz. Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 66-81.; Calmet, Dissertation sur la Police des Hebreux (Dissertations, tom. i. pp. 187-204.); Alber, Hermeneutica Vet. Test. pp. 234-238.; Pritii Introd. ad Nov. Test. pp. 575-594.: Brunings Antiq. Hebr. pp. 99-107.; Home's Hist. of the Jews, vol. ii. pp. 30-41.; Jahn, Archæol. Biblica, §§ 243-248.; Ackermann, Archæol. Bibl. §§ 237 -243.

2 Murphy's Arabian Anti uities of Spain, plates xiv. xv. pp. 8, 9.

rum erroribus in Descriptione Templi ii. § xv. pp. 27-32.; prefixed to his edition of Reland's Treatise De Spoliis Templi Hierosolymitani Trajecti ad

Rhenum, 1775. 8vo.

Josephus, De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 20. § 5.

Ernesti Institutio Interpretis Novi Testamenti, part iii. c. 10. § 73. p. 356.
Morier's Second Journey, p. 136.

8 Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. p. 317.
9"We met, one day, a procession, consisting of a family returning from
A white-bearded old man, riding on a white ass, led the way with patri-
the pilgrimage to Mecca. Drums and pipes announced the joyful event.
archal grace; and the men who met him, or accompanied him, were con-
tinually throwing their arms about his neck, and almost dismounting him
with their salutations. He was followed by his three wives, each riding
on a high camel; their female acquaintances running on each side, while
they occasionally stooped down to salute them. The women continually
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"
Jowett's Christian Researches, p. 163.

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 that this court was merely a session of three arbitrators, which the Roman laws permitted to the Jews in civil causes: as the Talmudists themselves state that one judge was chosen by the accuser, another by the party accused, and a third by both parties. It appears, however, that only petty affairs were cognizable by this tribunal. The reference to arbitrators, recommended to Christians by St. Paul in 1 Cor. vi. 1-5., has been supposed to be derived from this tribunal.

This tribunal (which must not be confounded with the seventy-two counsellors, who were appointed to assist Moses, in the civil administration of the government, but who never fulfilled the office of judges) is by the Talmudists denominated SANHEDRIN, and is the great Council so often mentioned in the New Testament. It was most probably instituted in the time of the Maccabees, and was composed of seventy or seventy-two members, under the chief presidency of the highpriest, under whom were two vice-presidents; the first of whom, called the Father of the Council, sat on the right, as the second vice-president, who was called Chakam, or the Wise Man, did on the left hand of the president. The other assessors, or members of this council, comprised three descriptions of persons, viz. 1. The Apps, or Chief Priests, who were partly such priests as had executed the pontificate, and partly the princes or chiefs of the twenty-four courses or classes of priests, who enjoyed this honourable title:-2. The penals also had inferior ministers or officers (ungera, Matt. v. Tepol, or Elders, perhaps the princes of tribes or heads of families;-and, 3. The гpaμμrs, Scribes, or men learned in the law. It does not appear that all the elders and scribes were members of this tribunal: most probably those only were assessors, who were either elected to the office, or nominated to it by royal authority. They are reported to have sat in a semi-circular form; and to this manner of their sitting in judgment Jesus Christ is supposed to refer in Matt. xix. 28., and St. Paul in 1 Cor. vi. 2.

The Sanhedrin held its daily sittings early in the morning (according to the Talmudists) in the Temple; but they are contradicted by Josephus, who speaks of a council-house in the immediate vicinity of the Temple, where this council was in all probability convened; though in extraordinary emergencies it was assembled in the high-priest's house, as was the case in the mock trial of Jesus Christ. The authority of this tribunal was very extensive. It decided all causes, which were brought before it, by appeal from inferior courts; and also took cognizance of the general affairs of the nation. Before Judæa was subject to the Roman power, the Sanhedrin had the right of judging in capital cases, but not afterwards; the stoning of Stephen being (as we have already observed) a tumultuary act, and not in consequence of sentence pronounced by this council.3

Besides the Sanhedrin, the Talmudical writers assert that there were other smaller councils, each consisting of twentythree persons, who heard and determined petty causes: two of these were at Jerusalem, and one in every city containing one hundred and twenty inhabitants. Josephus is silent concerning these tribunals, but they certainly appear to have existed in the time of Jesus Christ; who, by images taken from these two courts, in a very striking manner represents the different degrees of future punishments, to which the impenitently wicked will be doomed according to the respective heinousness of their crimes. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the JUDGMENT; and whosever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the COUNCIL; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of HELL FIRE. (Matt. v. 22.) That is, whosoever shall indulge causeless and unprovoked resentment against his Christian brother, shall be punished with a severity similar to that which is inflicted by the court of judgment. He, who shall suffer his passions to transport him to greater extravagances, so as to make his brother the object of derision and contempt, shall be exposed to a still severer punishment, corresponding to that which the council imposes. But he who shall load his fellow-Christian with odíous appellations and abusive language, shall incur the severest degree of all punishments,-equal to that of being burnt alive in the valley of Hinnom:"4-which, having formerly been the scene of those horrid sacrifices of children to Moloch by causing them to pass through the fire, the

1 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiv. c. 9. § 3.

De Bell. Jud. lib. v. c. 4. § 2. lib. vi. c. 6. § 3.

3 Dr. Lightfoot has given a list of sixteen presidents who directed the sanhedrin from the captivity till its dissolution. (Prospect of the Temple, ch. xxii. § 1. Works, vol. ix. pp. 342-346. 8vo. edit.)

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

It is essential to the ends of justice, that the proceedings of the courts should be committed to writing, and preserved in archives or registries: Josephus informs us that there was such a repository at Jerusalem, which was burnt by the Romans, and which was furnished with scribes or notaries, for recording the proceedings. From this place, probably, St. Luke derived his account of the proceedings against the protomartyr Stephen, related in Acts vi. and vii. These tribu25.), who probably corresponded with our apparitors or mes. sengers; and others whose office it was to carry the decrees into execution, viz. 1. The panтopes, or exactors, whose business it was to levy the fines imposed by the court; and, 2. The Baransa, or tormentors, those whose office it was to examine by torture: as this charge was devolved on gaolers, in the time of Christ, the word Brass came to signify a gaoler.

IV. It appears from Jer. xxi. 12., that causes were heard, and judgment was executed in the morning. According to the Talmud, capital causes were prohibited from being heard in the night, as also were the institution of an examination, the pronouncing of sentence, and the carrying of it into execution, on one and the same day; and it was enjoined that at least the execution of a sentence should be deferred until the following day. How flagrantly this injunction was disregarded in the case of Jesus Christ, it is scarcely necessary to mention. According to the Talmud, also, no judgments could be executed on festival days; but this by no means agrees with the end and design of capital punishment expressed in Deut. xvii. 13. viz. That all the people might hear and fear. It is evident from Matt. xxvi. 5. that the chief priests and other leading men among the Jews were at first afraid to apprehend Jesus, lest there should be a tumult among the people: it is not improbable that they feared the Galilæans more than the populace of Jerusalem, because they were the countrymen of our Lord. Afterwards, however, when the traitor Judas presented himself to them, their fears vanished away.

In the early ages of the Jewish history, judicial procedure must have been summary, as it still is in Asia. Of advocates, such as ours, there is no appearance in any part of the Old Testament. Every one pleaded his own cause; of this practice we have a memorable instance in 1 Kings iii. 16— 28. As causes were heard at the city gate, where the people assembled to hear news or to pass away their time, Michaelis thinks that men of experience and wisdom might be asked for their opinions in difficult cases, and might sometimes assist with their advice those who seemed embarrassed in their own cause, even when it was a good one. Probably this is alluded to in Job xxix. 7-17. and Isa. i. 17.9 From the Romans, the use of advocates, or patrons who pleaded the cause of another, might have passed to the Jews. In this view the word laparos, or advocate, is applied to Christ, our intercessor, who pleads the cause of sinners with his Father. (1 John ii. 1.) The form of proceeding appears to have been as follows:

1. Those who were summoned before courts of judicature, were said to be as up, because they were cited by posting up their names in some public place, and to these

Josephus, De Bell. Jud. lib. vi. c. 3. § 3.
Schleusner's and Parkhurst's Lexicon, in voce.
Sanhedrin, IV.

8 And also among the Marootzee, a nation inhabiting the interior of South Africa. Campbell's Travels in the interior of South Africa, vol. ii. p. 236. (London, 1822. 8vo.) From this, and other coincidences with Jewish observances, Mr. C. thinks it probable that the Marootzee are of Jewish or Arabian origin.

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 poppsvcus, to those whom the Romans called proscriptos or proscribed, that is, whose names were posted up in writing in some public place, as persons doomed to die, with a reward offered to whoever would kill them. To this usage there is an allusion in the Epistle of Jude (verse 4.), where the persons who are said to be pay JOHμMEVOLUS TOUTO To иpua, fore written to, or before described for, this condemnation, denote those who were long before described, in the examples of their wickedness contained in the writings of Moses and the prophets, such as the angels that sinned, the antediluvians, the people of Sodom, &c. And in the condemnation of these sinners, God has shown what he will do to all others like them. In the sacred writings, all false teachers and impure practices have been most openly proscribed and condemned, and in the following verses of the same epistle the apostle distinctly specifies who these per

sons are.

2. He, who entered the action, went to the judges, and stated his affair to them; and then they sent officers with him to seize the party and bring him to justice. To this our Lord alludes, when he says (Matt. v. 25.), Agree with thine adversary while thou art in the way with him, before thou art brought before the judge, lest thou be condemned. On the day appointed for hearing the cause, the plaintiff and defendant presented themselves before the judges; who at first sat alone. (Deut. xxv. 1.) In later times, the Jewish writers inform us, that there were always two notaries belonging to the court, one of whom stood on the right hand of the judge, who wrote the sentence of acquittal; and the other, on his left hand, who wrote the sentence of condemnation. To this custom, probably, our Saviour referred (Matt. xxv. 33.), when, speaking of the last judgment, he says, that he will set the sheep on his right hand, in order to be acquitted, and the goats on his left, in order to be condemned. It appears that the judicial decrees were (as they still are in the East) first written by a notary, and then authenticated or annulled by the magistrate. To this the prophet Isaiah alludes when he denounces a woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and to the writers that write grievousness. (Isa. x. 1. marginal rendering.) The judges sat, while the defendants stood, particularly during the examination of witnesses. Thus, Jesus stood before the governor. (Matt. xxvii. 11.)

3. In criminal cases, when the trial came on, the judge's first care was to exhort the criminal to confess his crime, if he really were guilty: thus Joshua exhorted Achan to give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him. Josh. vii. 19.) To this custom of the Jews, St. Paul seems to allude, when he says, Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth (Rom. xiv. 22.); that is, who, being convinced of the truth of a thing, does not really and effectually condemn himself in the sight of God by denying it. After the accusation was laid before the court, the criminal was heard in his defence, and therefore Nicodemus said to the chief priests and Pharisees, Doth our law judge any man before it hear him, and know what he doth? (John vii. 51.) If, during the trial, the defendant, or supposed criminal, said any thing that displeased either the judge 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. 2.), and the same brutal conduct prevails in Persia to this day.3

4. In matters of life and death, the evidence of one witness was not sufficient: in order to establish a charge, it was necessary to have the testimony of two or three credible and unimpeachable witnesses. (Num. xxxv. 30. Deut. xvii. 6, 7. xix. 15.) Though the law of Moses is silent concerning the evidence of women, Josephus says that it was prohibited on account of the levity and boldness of their sex! He also adds that the testimony of servants was inadmissible, on account of the probability of their being influenced to speak what was untrue, either from hope of gain or fear of punishment. Most likely, this was the exposition of the scribes and Pharisees, and the practice of the Jews, in the last age of their political existence. The party sworn held up his right hand, which explains Psal. cxliv. 8., Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood. In general, the witnesses to be sworn did not

1 Parkhurst's and Schleusner's Lexicon to the New Testament, voce Ipoy paw. Boothroyd on Jude 4.

2 Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. pp. 519-521.

Morier's Second Journey, p. 95. Hanway's Travels, vol. i. p. 299. Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. iv. p. 325. Schulzii Archæol. Hebr. p. 74. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. iv. c. 8. § 15.

cial one, or taken on any other solemn occasion. A formula was read, to which they said Amen. (Lev. v. 1. 1 Kings viii. 31.) Referring to this usage, when Jesus Christ was abjured or put upon his oath, he immediately made an an swer. (Matt. xxvi. 63.) All manner of false witness was most severely prohibited. (Exod. xx. 16. xxiii. 1—3.)5 5. In questions of property, in default of any other means of decision, recourse was had to the lot. In this manner, it will be recollected that the land of Canaan was divided by Joshua, to which there are so many allusions in the Old Testament, particularly in the book of Psalms. And it should seem, from Prov. xvi. 33. and xviii. 18. that it was used in courts of justice, in the time of Solomon, though, probably, only with the consent of both parties. In criminal cases, recourse was had to the sacred lot, called Urim and Thummim, in order to discover, not to convict the guilty party (Josh. vii. 14-18. 1 Sam. xiv. 37-45.); but it appears to have been used only in the case of an oath being transgressed, which the whole people had taken, or the leader of the host in their name.6

A peculiar mode of eliciting the truth was employed in the case of a woman suspected of adultery. She was to be brought by her husband to the tabernacle,-afterwards to the temple; where she took an oath of purgation, imprecating tremendous punishment upon herself. The form of this process (which was the foundation of the trial by ordeal that so generally prevailed in the dark ages) is detailed at length in Num. v. 11-31., to which the rabbinical writers have added a variety of frivolous ceremonies. If innocent, the woman suffered no inconvenience or injury; but if guilty, the punishment which she had imprecated on herself immediately overtook her.7

6. Sentences were only pronounced in the day time; of which circumstance notice is taken in Saint Luke's narrative of our Saviour's mock trial. (xxii. 66.) It was the custom among the Jews to pronounce sentence of condemnation in this manner-He is guilty of death. (Matt. xxvi. 66.) In other countries, a person's condemnation was announced to him by giving him a black stone, and his acquittal by giving him a white stone. Ovid mentions this practice thus:

Mos erat antiquus, niveis atrisque lapillis,
His damnare reos, illis absolvere culpa.
Nunc quoque sic lata est sententia tristis-
MET. lib. xv. 41-43.

A custom was of old, and still obtains,
Which life or death by suffrages ordains:
White stones and black within an urn are cast;
The first absolve, but fate is in the last.

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In allusion to this custom, some critics have supposed that our Saviour (Rev. ii. 17.) promises to give the spiritual conqueror a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth it; which may be supposed to signify-Well done, thou good and faithfu servant. The white stones of the ancients were inscribed with characters; and so is the white stone mentioned in the Apocalypse. According to Persius, the letter was the token of condemnation:"

Et potis es nigrum vitio prefigere Theta.
SAT. iv. 13.
Fixing thy stigma on the brow of vice.

But, as there was a new name inscribed on the white stone given by our Lord, which no man knoweth but he who receiv eth it, it should rather seem that the allusion in this passage is to the tessera hospitales, of which the reader will find an account infra, in the close of chap. vi. of Part IV. of this volume.

7. Such were the judicial proceedings in ordinary cases, when the forms of law were observed. On some occasions, however, when particular persons were obnoxious to the populace, it was usual for them to demand prompt justice upon the supposed delinquents. It is well known that in Asia, to this day, those who demand justice against a criminal, repair in large bodies to the gate of the royal residence, where they make horrid cries, tearing their garments and throwing dust into the air. This circumstance throws great light upon the conduct of the Jews towards St. Paul, when

Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 342, 343. Brunings says, that in cases of idolatry, the Jews assert the admissibility of false witnesses; bu he gives no authority for this statement.

6 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 357-359. Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, pp. 79, 80.

Wetstein, Doddridge, and Dean Woodhouse on Rev. ii. 17.


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