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2. God being both the sovereign and the legislator of the Israelites, BLASPHEMY (that is, the speaking injuriously of his name, his attributes, his government, and his revelation) was not only a crime against Him, but also against the state; it was, therefore, punished capitally by stoning. (Lev. xxiv. 10-14.) 3. It appears from Deut. xviii. 20-22. that a FALSE PROPHET was punished capitally, being stoned to death; and there were two cases in which a person was held as convicted of the crime, and consequently liable to its punishment, viz. (1.) If he had prophesied any thing in the name of any other god,-whether it took place or not, he was at all events considered as a false prophet, and, as such, stoned to death. (Deut. xiii. 2—6.)-(2.) If a prophet spoke in the name of the true God, he was tolerated, so long as he remained unconvicted of imposture, even though he threatened calamity or destruction to the state, and he could not be punished but when the event which he had predicted did not come to pass, he was regarded as an audacious impostor, and, as such, was stoned. (Deut. xviii. 21, 22.)
4. DIVINATION is the conjecturing of future events from things which are supposed to presage them. The eastern people were always fond of divination, magic, the curious arts of interpreting dreams, and of obtaining a knowledge of future events. When Moses gave the law which bears his name to the Israelites, this disposition had long been common in Egypt and the neighbouring countries. Now, all these vain arts in order to pry into futurity, and all divination whatever, unless God was consulted by prophets, or by Urim and Thummim (the sacred lot kept by the high-priest), were expressly prohibited by the statutes of Lev. xix. 26. 31. xx. 6. 23. 27. and Deut. xviii. 9-12. In the case of a person transgressing these laws, by consulting a diviner, God reserved to himself the infliction of his punishment; the transgressor not being amenable to the secular magistrate. (Lev. xx. 6.) The diviner himself was to be stoned. (Lev. xx. 27.)
5. PERJURY is, by the Mosaic law, most peremptorily prohibited as a most heinous sin against God; to whom the punishment of it is left, and who in Exod. xx. 7. expressly promises that he will inflict it, without ordaining the infliction of any punishment by the temporal magistrate; except only in the case of a man falsely charging another with a crime, in which case the false witness was liable to the same punishment which would have been inflicted on the accused party if he had been found to have been really guilty (as is shown in p. 64. infra); not indeed as the punishment of perjury against God, but of false witness.
II. CRIMES AGAINST PARENTS and MAGISTRATES constitute an important article of the criminal law of the Hebrews. 1. In the form of government among that people, we recognise much of the patriarchal spirit; in consequence of which fathers enjoyed great rights over their families. The CURSING OF PARENTS, that is, not only the imprecation of evil on them, but probably also all rude and reproachful language towards them, was punished with death (Exod. xxi. 17. Lev. xx. 9.); as likewise was the striking of them. (Exod. xxi. 15.) An example of the crime of cursing of a parent, which is fully in point, is given by Jesus Christ in Matt. xv. 4-6. or Mark vii. 9-12.; "where he upbraids the Pharisees with their giving, from their deference to human traditions and doctrines, such an exposition of the divine law, as converted an action, which, by the law of Moses, would have been punished with death, into a vow, both obligatory and acceptable in the sight of God. It seems, that it was then not uncommon for an undutiful and degenerate son, who wanted to be rid of the burden of supporting his parents, and in his wrath, to turn them adrift upon the wide world, to say to his father or mother, Korban, or, Be that Corban (consecrated) which I should appropriate to thy support; that is, Every thing wherewith I might ever aid or serve thee, and, of course, every thing, which I ought to devote to thy relief in the days of helpless old age, I here row unto God.-A most abominable vow, indeed! and which God would, unquestionably, as little approve or accept, as he would a vow to commit adultery. And yet some of the Pharisees pronounced on such vows this strange decision; that they were absolutely obligatory, and that the son, who uttered such words, was bound to abstain from contributing, in the smallest article, to the use of his parents, because every thing, that should have been so appropriated, had become consecrated to God, and could no longer be applied to their use, without sacrilege and a breach of his vow. But on this exposition, Christ not
only remarked, that it abrogated the fifth commandment, but he likewise added, as a counter-doctrine, that Moses, their own legislator, had expressly declared, that the man who cursed futher or mother deserved to die. Now, it is impossible for a man to curse his parents more effectually, than by a vow like this, when he interprets it with such rigour, as to preclude him from doing any thing in future for their benefit. It is not imprecating upon them a curse in the common style of curses, which evaporate into air; but it is fulfilling the curse, and making it to all intents and purposes effectual." Of the two crimes above noticed, the act of striking a parent evinces the most depraved and wicked disposition: and severe as the punishment was, few parents would apply to a magistrate, until all methods had been tried in vain. Both these crimes are included in the case of the stubborn, rebellious, and drunkard son; whom his parents were unable to keep in order, and who, when intoxicated, endangered the lives of others. Such an irreclaimable offender was to be punished with stoning. (Deut. xxi. 18-21.) Severe as this law may seem, we have no instance recorded of its being carried into effect; but it must have had a most salutary operation in the prevention of crimes, in a climate like that of Palestine, where (as in all southern climates) liquor produces more formidable effects than with us, and where also it is most probable that at that time, the people had not the same efficacious means which we possess, of securing drunkards, and preventing them from doing mischief.
2. Civil government being an ordinance of God, provision is made in all well regulated states for respecting the persons of MAGISTRATES. We have seen in a former chapter,2 that when the regal government was established among the Israelites, the person of the king was inviolable, even though he might be tyrannical and unjust. It is indispensably necessary to the due execution of justice that the persons of magistrates be sacred, and that they should not be insulted in the discharge of their office. All reproachful words or curses, uttered against persons invested with authority, are prohibited in Exod. xxii. 28. No punishment, however, is specified; probably it was left to the discretion of the judge, and was different according to the rank of the magistrate and the extent of the crime.
III. The CRIMES or offences AGAINST PROPERTY, mentioned by Moses, are theft, man-stealing, and the denial of any thing taken in trust, or found.
1. On the crime of THEFT, Moses imposed the punishment of double (and in certain cases still higher) restitution; and if the thief were unable to make it (which, however, could rarely happen, as every Israelite by law had his paternal field, the crops of which might be attached), he was ordered to be sold for a slave, and payment was to be made to the injured party out of the purchase-money. (Exod. xxii. 1. 3.) The same practice obtains, according to Chardin, among the Persians. The wisdom of this regulation is much greater than the generality of mankind are aware of: for, as the desire of gain and the love of luxuries are the prevalent inducements to theft, restitution, varied according to circumstances, would effectually prevent the unlawful gratification of that desire, while the idle man would be deterred from stealing by the dread of slavery, in which he would be compelled to work by the power of blows. If, however, a thief was found breaking into a house in the night season, he might be killed (Exod. xxii. 2.), but not if the sun had arisen, in which case he might be known and apprehended, and the restitution made which was enjoined by Moses. When stolen oxen or sheep were found in the possession of a thief, he was to make a two-fold restitution to the owner, who thus obtained a profit for his risk of loss. (Exod. xxii. 4.) The punishment was applicable to every case in which the article stolen remained unaltered in his possession. But if it was already alienated or slaughtered, the criminal was to restore four-fold for a sheep, and five-fold for an ox (Exod. xxii. 1), in consequence of its great value and indispensable utility in agriculture, to the Israelites, who had no horses. In the time of Solomon, when property had become more valuable from the increase of commerce, the punishment of restitution was increased to seven-fold. (Prov. vi. 30, 31.) When a thief had nothing to pay, he was sold as a slave (Exod. xxii. 3.), probably for as many years as were necessary for the extinction of the debt, and of course, perhaps, for life; though in other cases the Hebrew servant could be made to serve only for six years. If, however, a thief, after having denied, even upon oath, any theft, with which he was charged, had the honesty or con1 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. p. 300. 2 See p. 44. supra.
science to retract his perjury, and to confess his guilt, instead of double restitution, he had only to repay the amount stolen, and one fifth more. (Levit. vi. 2-5.).
2. MAN-STEALING, that is, the seizing or stealing of the person of a free-born Israelite, either to use him as a slave himself, or to sell him as a slave to others, was absolutely and irremissibly punished with death. (Exod. xxi. 16. Deut. xxiv. 7.) 3. "Where a person was judicially convicted of having DENIED ANY THING COMMITTED TO HIS TRUST, or found by him, his punishment, as in the case of theft, was double restitution; only that it never, as in that crime, went so far as quadruple, or quintuple restitution; at least nothing of this kind is ordained in Exod. xxii. 8. If the person accused of this crime had sworn himself guiltless, and afterwards, from the impulse of his conscience, acknowledged the commission of perjury, he had only one-fifth beyond the value of the article denied to refund to its owner." (Levit. vi. 5.)
4. The Mosaic laws respecting DEBTORS were widely different from those which obtain in European countries: the mode of procedure sanctioned by them, though simple, was very efficient. Persons, who had property due to them, might, if they chose, secure it either by means of a mortgage, or by a pledge, or by a bondsman or surety.
(1.) The creditor, when about to receive a pledge for a debt, was not allowed to enter the debtor's house, and take what he pleased; but was to wait before the door, till the debtor should deliver up that pledge with which he could most easily dispense. (Deut. xxiv. 10, 11. Compare Job xxii. 6. xxiv. 3. 7-9.)
(3.) When it is committed premeditatedly and deceitfully. (Exod. xxi. 14.)-(4.) When a man lies in wait for another, falls upon him, and slays him. (Deut. xix. 11.) In order to constitute wilful murder, besides enmity, Moses deemed it essential, that the deed be perpetrated by a blow, a thrust, or a cast, or other thing of such a nature as inevitably to cause death. (Num. xxxv. 16-21.): such as, the use of an iron tool,—a stone, or piece of wood, that may probably cause death, the striking of a man with the fist, out of enmity,-pushing a man down in such a manner that his life is endangered, and throwing any thing at a man, from sanguinary motives, so as to occasion his death. The punishment of murder was death, without all power of redemption. 2. HOMICIDE OF MANSLAUGHTER is discriminated by the following adjuncts or circumstances:-(1.) That it takes place without hatred or enmity. (Num. xxxv. 22. Deut. xix. 46.)-(2.) Without thirst for revenge. (Exod. xxi. 13. Num. XXXV. 22.)-(3.) When it happens by mistake. (Num. xxxv. 11. 15.)-(4.) By accident, or (as it is termed in the English law) chance-medley. (Deut. xix. 5.) The punishment of homicide was confinement to a city of refuge, as will be shown in the following section.
Besides the two crimes of murder and homicide, there are two other species of homicide, to which no punishment was annexed; viz. (1.) If a man caught a thief breaking into his house by night, and killed him, it was not blood-guiltiness, that is, he could not be punished; but if he did so when the sun was up, it was blood-guiltiness; for the thief's life ought to have been spared, for the reason annexed to the law (Exod. xxii. 2, 3.), víz. because then the person robbed might have (2) When a mill or mill-stone, or an upper garment, was it in his power to obtain restitution; or, at any rate, the thief, given as a pledge, it was not to be kept all night. These if he could not otherwise make up his loss, might be sold, articles appear to be specified as examples for all other in order to repay him.-(2.) If the Goël or avenger of blood things with which the debtor could not dispense without overtook the innocent homicide before he reached a city of great inconvenience. (Exod. xxii. 26, 27. Deut. xxiv. 6. 12.) refuge, and killed him while his heart was hot, it was consi(3) The debt which remained unpaid until the seventh or dered as done in justifiable zeal (Deut. xix. 6.); and even sabbatic year (during which the soil was to be left without if he found him without the limits of his asylum, and slew cultivation, and, consequently, a person was not supposed to him, he was not punishable. (Num. xxxv. 26, 27.) The be in a condition to make payments), could not be exacted taking of pecuniary compensation for murder was prohibited; during that period. (Deut. xv. 1-11.) But, at other times, but the mode of punishing murderers was undetermined; and, in case the debt was not paid, the creditor might seize, first, indeed, it appears to have been left in a great degree to the the hereditary land of the debtor, and enjoy its produce until pleasure of the Gol. An exception, however, was made to the debt was paid, or at least until the year of jubilee; or, the severity of the law in the case of a perfect slave (that is, secondly, his houses. These might be sold in perpetuity, one not of Hebrew descent), whether male or female. Alexcept those belonging to the Levites. (Levit. xxv. 14-32.) though a man had struck any of his slaves, whether male or Thirdly, in case the house or land was not sufficient to cancel female, with a stick, so as to cause their death, unless that the debt, or if it so happened that the debtor had none, the event took place immediately, and under his hand, he was person of the debtor might be sold, together with his wife not punished. If the slave survived one or two days, the and children, if he had any. This is implied in Lev. xxv. master escaped with impunity: it being considered that his 39.; and this custom is alluded to in Job xxiv. 9. It existed death might not have proceeded from the beating, and that it in the time of Elisha (2 Kings iv. 1.); and on the return of was not a master's interest to kill his slaves, because, as the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, some rich persons Moses says (Exod. xxi. 20, 21.), they are his money. If the exercised this right over their poor debtors. (Neh. v. 1-slave died under his master's hand while beating him, or 13.) Our Lord alludes to the same custom in Matt. xviii. 25. even during the same day, his death was to be avenged; but As the person of the debtor might thus be seized and sold, in what manner Moses has not specified. Probably the his cattle and furniture were, consequently, liable for his Israelitish master was subjected only to an arbitrary punishdebts. This is alluded to by Solomon, in Prov. xxii. 27. It ment, regulated according to circumstances by the pleasure does not appear that imprisonment for debt existed in the age of the judge. of Moses, but it seems to have prevailed in the time of Jesus Christ. (Matt. xviii. 34.)
(4.) If a person had become bondsman, or surety for another, he was liable to be called upon for payment in the same way with the original debtor. But this practice does not appear to have obtained before the time of Solomon (in whose Proverbs there are several references to it), when it was attended with serious consequences. It seems that the formality observed was, for the person who became surety to give his hand to the debtor, and not to the creditor, to intimate that he became, in a legal sense, one with the debtor; for Solomon cautions his son against giving his hand to a stranger, to a person whose circumstances he did not know: and entreats him to go and urge the person to whom he had given his hand, or for whom he had become surety, to pay his own debt; so that it must have been to the debtor that the hand was given. See Prov. xi. 15. xvii. 18. and xxii. 26. IV. Among the CRIMES which may be committed AGAINST THE PERSON,
1. MURDER claims the first place. As this is a crime of the most heinous nature, Moses has described four accessory circumstances or marks, by which to distinguish it from simple homicide or manslaughter; viz. (1.) When it proceeds from hatred or enmity. (Num. xxxv. 20, 21. Deut. xix. 11.) -(2.) When it proceeds from thirst of blood, or a desire to satiate revenge with the blood of another. (Num. xxxv. 20.)
In order to increase an abhorrence of murder, and to deter them from the perpetration of so heinous a crime, when it had been committed by some person unknown, the city nearest to which the corpse was found was to be ascertained by mensuration: after which the elders or magistates of that city were required to declare their utter ignorance of the affair in the very solemn manner prescribed in Deut. xxi. 1-9.
3. For other CORPORAL INJURIES of various kinds, different statutes were made, which show the humanity and wisdom of the Mosaic law. Thus, if a man injured another in a fray, he was obliged to pay the expenses of his cure, and of his bed, that is, the loss of his time arising from his confinement. (Exod. xxi. 18, 19.) By this admirable precept, most courts of justice still regulate their decisions in such cases.-If a pregnant woman was hurt, in consequence of a fray between two individuals, as posterity among the Jews was among the peculiar promises of their covenant,-in the event of her premature delivery, the author of the misfortune was obliged to give her husband such a pecuniary compensation as he might demand, the amount of which, if the offender thought it too high, was to be determined by the decision of arbitrators. On the other hand, if either the woman or her child was hurt or maimed, the law of retaliation took its full effect, as stated in Exod. xxi. 22-25.-The law of retaliation also operated, if one man hurt another by either
assaulting him openly, or by any insidious attack, whether the parties were both Israelites, or an Israelite and a foreigner. (Lev. xxiv. 19-22.) This equality of the law, however, did not extend to slaves: but if a master knocked out the eye or tooth of a slave, the latter received his freedom as a compensation for the injury he had sustained. (Exod. xxi. 26, 27.) If this noble law, did not teach the unmerciful slave-holder humanity, at least it taught him caution; as one rash blow might have deprived him of all right to the future services of his slave, and, consequently, self-interest would oblige him to be cautious and circumspect.
4. The crime, of which decency withholds the name, as nature abominates the idea, was punished with death (Lev. xviii. 22, 23. xx. 13. 15, 16.), as also was adultery (Lev. xx. 10.),—it should seem by stoning (Ezek. xvi. 38. 40. John viii. 7.), except in certain cases which are specified in Lev. xix. 20-22. Other crimes of lust, which were common among the Egyptians and Canaanites, are made capital by Moses. For a full examination of the wisdom of his laws on these subjects, the reader is referred to the commen
taries of Michaelis.2
8. Dichotomy, or cutting asunder.-9. Tuμravioμcs, or beat ing to death.-10. Exposing to wild beasts-11. Crucifixion
(1.) Prevalence of this mode of punishment among the an cients. (2.) Ignominy of crucifixion.-(3.) The circum stances of our Saviour's crucifixion considered and illus trated.
THE end of punishment is expressed by Moses to be the determent of others from the commission of crimes. His language is, that others may hear and fear, and may shun the commission of like crimes. (Deut. xvii. 13. xix. 20.) By the wise and humane enactments of this legislator, parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children for their parents (Deut. xxiv. 16.), as was afterwards the case with the Chaldæans (Dan. vi. 24.), and also among the kings of Israel (1 Kings xxi. and 2 Kings ix. 26.), on charges of treason. Of the punishments mentioned in the sacred writers, some were inflicted by the Jews in common with other nations, and others were peculiar to themselves. They are usually divided into two classes, non-capital and capital. I. The NON-CAPITAL or inferior PUNISHMENTS, which were V. In nothing, however, were the wisdom and equity of inflicted for smaller offences, are eight in number; viz. the Mosaic law more admirably displayed, than in the rigour Mosaic law was SCOURGING. (Lev. xix. 20. Deut. xxii. 18. 1. The most common corporal punishment of the ancient with which CRIMES OF MALICE were punished. Those pests of society, malicious informers, were odious in the eye of XXV. 2, 3.) After the captivity it continued to be the usual that law (Lev. xix. 16-18.), and the publication of false punishment for transgressions of the law, so late indeed as the reports, affecting the characters of others, is expressly pro- time of Josephus; and the apostle tells us that he suffered hibited in Exod. xxiii. 1.: though that statute does not it five times. (2 Cor. xi. 24.) In the time of our Saviour it annex any punishment to this crime. One exception, how- was not confined to the judicial tribunals, but was also inever, is made, which justly imposes a very severe punish-flicted in the synagogues. (Matt. x. 17. xxiii. 34. Acts xxii. ment on the delinquent. See Deut. xxii. 13-19. All manner 19. xxvi. 11.) The penalty of scourging was inflicted by of false witness was prohibited (Exod. xx. 16.), even though judicial sentence. The offender having been admonished to it were to favour a poor man. (Exod. xxiii. 1-3.) But in acknowledge his guilt, and the witnesses produced against the case of false testimony against an innocent man, the him as in capital cases, the judges commanded him to be tied matter was ordered to be investigated with the utmost strict- by the arms to a low pillar: the culprit being stripped down ness, and, as a species of wickedness altogether extraordi- to his waist, the executioner, who stood behind him upon a nary, to be brought before the highest tribunal, where the stone, inflicted the punishment both on the back and breast priests and the judges of the whole people sat in judgment: with thongs ordinarily made of ox's hide or leather. The and after conviction, the false witness was subjected to pu- number of stripes depended upon the enormity of the offence. nishment, according to the law of retaliation, and beyond the According to the talmudical writers, while the executioner possibility of reprieve; so that he suffered the very same was discharging his office, the principal judge proclaimed punishment which attended the crime of which he accused these words with a loud voice :-If thou observest not all the his innocent brother. (Deut. xix. 16-21.) No regulation words of this law, &c. then the Lord shall make thy plagues can be more equitable than this, which must have operated wonderful, &c. (Deut. xxviii. 58, 59.); adding, Keep thereas a powerful prevention of this crime. Some of those fore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosexcellent laws, which are the glory and ornament of the per in all that ye do (Deut. xxix. 9.); and concluding with British Constitution, have been made on this very ground. these words of the Psalmist (lxxviii. 38.):—But he being full Thus, in the 37 Edw. III. c. 18., it is enacted, that all those of compassion forgave their iniquities, which he was to repeat, who make suggestion, shall suffer the same penalty to which if he had finished these verses before the full number of the other party would have been subject, if he were attainted, stripes was given. It was expressly enacted that no Jew in case his suggestions be found evil. A similar law was should suffer more than forty stripes for any crime, though a made in the same reign. (38 Edw. III. c. 9.) By a law less number might be inflicted. In order that the legal numof the twelve tables, false witnesses were thrown down the ber might not be exceeded, the scourge consisted of three Tarpeian rock. In short, false witnesses have been desery- lashes or thongs: so that, at each blow, he received three edly execrated by all nations, and in every age. stripes: consequently when the full punishment was inflicted, the delinquent received only thirteen blows, that is, forty stripes save one; but if he were so weak, as to be on the point of fainting away, the judges would order the executioner to suspend his flagellation. Among the Romans, however, the number was not limited, but varied according to the crime of the malefactor and the discretion of the judge. It is highly probable that, when Pilate took Jesus and scourged him, he directed this scourging to be unusually severe, that the sight of his lacerated body might move the Jews to compassionate the prisoner, and desist from opposing his release. This appears the more probable; as our Saviour was so enfeebled by this scourging, that he afterwards had not strength enough left to enable him to drag his cross to Calvary. Among the Jews, the punishment of scourging involved no sort of ignominy, which could make the sufferer infamous or an object of reproach to his fellow-citizens. It consisted merely in the physical sense of the pain.8
ON THE PUNISHMENTS MENTIONED IN THE SCRIPTURES.3
Design of punishments.- Classification of Jewish punishments. I. PUNISHMENTS, NOT CAPITAL.-1. Scourging.-2. Retaliation.-3. Pecuniary Fines.-4. Offerings in the nature of punishment.-5. Imprisonment.-6. Banishment.-Oriental mode of treating prisoners.-7. Depriving them of sight.8. Cutting or plucking off the hair.-9. Excommunication. -II. CAPITAL PUNISHMENTS.-1. Slaying with the sword. 2. Stoning.-3. Burning to death.-4. Decapitation.-5. Precipitation.-6. Drowning.-7. Bruising in a mortar.
1 As the Jewish law inflicted such heavy punishments on those who comnitted fornication and adultery, it is probable, from Prov. ii. 16., that the Jews had harlots among them from the neighbouring nations, who seduced them into impurity and idolatry, and who might be tolerated in some corrupt periods of their state. The case was the same at Athens, where foreign harlots were tolerated. Hence the terin strange women, came to be applied to all bad women, whether foreigners or Israelites. Orton's Exposition, vol. v. p. 6.
2 Vol. iv. pp. 163-203.
The general authorities for this section are, Schulzii Archeologia Hebraica, pp. 82-92. Calmet, Dissertation sur les Supplices des Hebreux, Dissert. tom. i. pp. 241-276.; Brunings, Antiq. Hebr. pp. 107-114.; Alber, Hermeneut. Vet. Test. tom. i. pp. 225-233. C. B. Michaelis, de judiciis, poenisque capitalibus Hebræorum, in Pott's and Ruperti's Sylloge Commentationum, vol. iv. pp. 177-239.; Jahn, Archæologia Biblica, $$ 219-255. ; Ackermann, Archæologia Biblica, §§ 243-258.
2. RETALIATION, or the returning of like for like, was the punishment inflicted for corporal injuries to another, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot. (Exod. xxi. 24.) It appears, however, to have been rarely, if ever,
4 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. p. 371. vol. iii. pp. 404. 400-402.
In inflicting the punishment of whipping, the Jews sometimes, for noto-
8 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 444-448.
strictly put in execution: but the injurious party was to give | celled by making a trespass-offering, and making up his dethe injured person satisfaction. In this sense the Taurora ficiencies with twenty per cent. over and above. (Lev. v. among the Greeks, and the Lex Talionis among the Romans, 14, 15.) was understood; and an equivalent was accepted, the value of an eye, a tooth, &c. for the eye or tooth itself. It should seem that in the time of Jesus Christ, the Jews had made this law (the execution of which belonged to the civil magistrate) a ground for authorizing private resentments, and all the excesses committed by a vindictive spirit. Revenge was carried to the utmost extremity, and more evil returned than what had been received. On this account our Saviour prohibited retaliation in his divine sermon on the mount. (Matt. v. 38, 39.)
3. RESTITUTION.-Jústice requires that those things which have been stolen or unlawfully taken from another should be restored to the party aggrieved, and that compensation should be made to him by the aggressor. Accordingly, various fines or pecuniary payments were enacted by the Mosaic law; as, (1.) Fines, way (ONESH), strictly so called, went commonly to the injured party; and were of two kinds,-Fixed, that is, those of which the amount was determined by some statute, as for instance, that of Deut. xxii. 19. or xxii. 29. ;—and Undetermined, or where the amount was left to the decision of the judges. (Exod. xxi. 22.)
(2.) Two-fold, four-fold, and even five-fold, restitution of things stolen, and restitution of property unjustly retained, with twenty per cent. over and above. Thus, if a man killed a beast, he was to make it good, beast for beast. (Lev. xxiv. 18.)-If an ox pushed or gored another man's servant to death, his owner was bound to pay for the servant thirty shekels of silver. (Exod. xxi. 32.)-In the case of one man's ox pushing the ox of another man to death, as it would be very difficult to ascertain which of the two had been to blame for the quarrel, the two owners were obliged to bear the loss. The living ox was to be sold, and its price, together with the dead beast, was to be equally divided between them. If, however, one of the oxen had previously been notorious for pushing, and the owner had not taken care to confine him, in such case he was to give the loser another, and to take the dead ox himself. (Exod. xxi. 36.)-If a man dug a pit and did not cover it, or let an old pit remain open, and another man's beast fell into it, the owner of such pit was obliged to pay for the beast, and had it for the payment. (Exod. xxi. 33, 34.)-When a fire was kindled in the fields and did any damage, he who kindled it was to make the damage good. (Exod. xxii. 6.),
(3.) Compensation, not commanded, but only allowed, by law, to be given to a person injured that he might depart from his suit, and not insist on the legal punishment, whether corporal or capital. It is termed either (KopheR), that is, Compensation or (PiDJON NerhesH), that is, Ransom of Life. In one case it is most expressly permitted (Exod, xxi. 30.); but it is prohibited in the case of murder and also in homicide. (Num. xxxv. 31, 32.) The highest fine leviable by the law of Moses, was one hundred shekels of silver, a great sum in those times, when the precious metals were rare.2
4. To this class of punishments may be referred the Sin and Trespass OFFERINGS, which were IN THE NATURE OF PUNISHMENTS. They were in general extremely moderate, and were enjoined in the following cases :
(1.) For every unintentional trangression of the Levitical law, even if it was a sin of commission (for in the Mosaic doctrine concerning sin and trespass offerings, all transgressions are divided into sins of commission, and sins of omission), a sin-offering was to be made, and thereupon the legal punishment was remitted, which, in the case of wilful transgression, was nothing less than extirpation. (Lev. iv. 2. v. 1. 4-7).
(2.) Whoever had made a rash oath, and had not kept it, was obliged to make a sin-offering; for his inconsideration, if it was an oath to do evil, and for his neglect, if it was an oath to do good. (Lev. v. 4.).
(5.) The same was the rule, where a person denied any thing given him in trust, or any thing lost, which he had found, or any promise he had made; or again, where he had acquired any property dishonestly, and had his conscience awakened account of it, even where it was a theft, of which he had once cleared himself by oath, but was now moved by the impulse of his conscience to make voluntary restitution, and wished to get rid of the guilt. (Lev. vi. 1-7.) By the offering made on such an occasion, the preceding crime was wholly cancelled; and because the delinquent would otherwise have had to make restitution from two to five fold, he now gave twenty per cent. over and above the amount of his theft.
(6.) In the case of adultery committed with a slave, an offering was appointed by Lev. xix. 20-22.: which did not, however, wholly cancel the punishment, but mitigated it from death, which was the established punishment of adultery, to that of stripes for the woman, the man bringing the trespassoffering in the manner directed by Moses.3
Such measures as these, Michaelis remarks, must have had a great effect in prompting to the restitution of property unjustly acquired: but in the case of crimes, of which the good of the community expressly required that the legal punishment should uniformly and actually be put in execution, no such offering could be accepted.4
5. IMPRISONMENT does not appear to have been imposed by Moses as a punishment, though he could not be unacquainted with it; for he describes it as in use among the Egyptians. (Gen. xxxix. 20, 21.) The only time he mentions it, or more properly arrest, is solely for the purpose of keeping the culprit safe until judgment should be given on his conduct. (Lev. xxiv. 12.) In later times, however, the punishment of the prison came into use among the Israelites and Jews; whose history, uuder the monarchs, abounds with instances of their imprisoning persons, especially the prophets, who were obnoxious to them for their faithful reproofs of their sins and crimes. Thus, Asa committed the prophet Hanani to prison, for reproving him (2 Chron. xvi. 10.) ;5 Ahab committed Micaiah (1 Kings xxii. 27.), as Zedekiah did the prophet Jeremiah, for the same offence. (Jer. xxxvii. 21.) John the Baptist was imprisoned by Herod, misnamed the Great (Matt. iv. 12.); and Peter by Herod Agrippa. (Acts xii. 4.) Debtors (Matt. xviii. 30.) and murderers (Luke xxiii. 19.) were also committed to prison. We read also of Taphos Anco, a common prison, a public gaol (Acts v. 18.), which was a place of durance and confinement for the worst sort of offenders. In their prisons, there was usually a dungeon (Jer. xxxviii. 6.), or a pit or cistern, as the word (BOR) is rendered in Zech. ix. 11. where it unquestionably refers to a prison: and from this word we may conceive the nature of a dungeon, viz. that it was a place, in which indeed there was no water, but in its bottom deep mud; and, accordingly, we read that Jeremiah, who was cast into this worst and lowest part of the prison, sunk into the mire. (Jer. XXXviii. 6.)6
In the prisons also were Stocks, for detaining the person of the prisoner more securely. (Job xiii. 27. xxxiii. 11.) Michaelis conjectures that they were of the sort by the Greeks called Tupy, wherein the prisoner was so confined, that his body was kept in an unnatural position, which must have proved a torture truly insupportable. The EswTip
xxxn, or Inner Prison, into which Paul and Silas were thrust at Philippi, is supposed to have been the same as the pit or cistern above noticed; and here their feet were made fast in the wooden stocks (Acts xvi. 24), run. As this prison was under the Roman government, these stocks are supposed to have been the cippi or large pieces of wood in use among that people, which not only loaded the legs of (3.) Whoever had, as a witness, been guilty of perjury-prisoners, but sometimes distended them in a very painful not, however, to impeach an innocent man (for in that case the manner. Hence the situation of Paul and Silas would be lex talionis operated), but-in not testifying what he knew against a guilty person, or in any other respect concerning the matter in question; and in consequence thereof felt disquieted in his conscience, might, without being liable to any farther punishment, or ignominy, obtain remission of the perjury, by a confession of it, accompanied with a trespass-probably Joseph in the same manner (see Gen. xl. 3.); a similar practice offering. (Lev. v. 1.)
(4.) Whoever had incurred debt to the sanctuary, that is had not conscientiously paid his tithes, had his crime can
1 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. ii. pp. 365-367. 477, 478.
3 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 482—487. Ibid. pp. 488.
This place is termed the prison-house: but it appears that suspected persons were sometimes confined in part of the house which was occupied pose. In this manner Jeremiah was at first confined (Jer. xxxvii. 15.), and by the great officers of state, and was converted into a prison for this pur
obtains in the East to this day. See Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. p. 503. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 439-442. Schulzii Archæol. Hebr. pp. 84, 85.
The word rendered stocks in our authorized version of Jer. xx. 2. and xxix. 26. ought to have been rendered house of correction. See Dr. Blay. ney's notes on those passages.
Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. p. 443.
rendered more painful than that of an offender sitting in the stocks, as used among us; especially if (as is very possible) they lay on the hard or dirty ground, with their bare backs, lacerated by recent scourging.
The keepers of the prison anciently had, as in the East they still have, a discretionary power to treat their prisoners just as they please; nothing further being required of them, than to produce them when called for. According to the accurate and observant traveller, Chardin, the gaoler is master, to do as he pleases; to treat his prisoner well or ill; to put him in irons or not, to shut him up closely, or to hold him in easier restraint; to admit persons to him, or to suffer no one to see him. If the gaoler and his servants receive large fees, however base may be the character of the prisoner, he shall be lodged in the best part of the gaoler's own apartment: and, on the contrary, if the persons, who have caused the prisoner to be confined, make the gaoler greater presents, he will treat his victim with the utmost inhumanity. "Chardin illustrates this statement by a narrative of the treatment received by a very great Armenian merchant. While he bribed the gaoler, the latter treated him with the greatest lenity; but afterwards, when the adverse party presented a considerable sum of money, first to the judge, and afterwards to the gaoler, the hapless Armenian first felt his privileges retrenched he was next closely confined, and then was treated with such inhumanity as not to be permitted to drink oftener than once in twenty-four hours, even during the hottest time in the summer. No person was allowed to approach him but the servants of the prison: at length he was thrown into a dungeon, where he was in a quarter of an hour brought to the point to which all this severe usage was designed to force him. What energy does this account of an eastern prison give to those passages of Scripture, which speak of the soul coming into iron (Psal. cv. 17. marginal rendering), of the sorrowful SIGHING of the prisoner coming before God (Psal. lxxix. 11.), and of Jeremiah's being kept in a dungeon many days, and supplicating that he might not be remanded thither lest he should die! (Jer. xxxvii. 16-20.)
6. BANISHMENT was not a punishment enjoined by the Mosaic law; but after the captivity, both exile and forfeiture of property were introduced among the Jews: and it also existed under the Romans, by whom it was called diminutio capitis, because the person banished lost the right of a citizen, and the city of Rome thereby lost a head. But there was another kind of exile, termed disportatio, which was accounted the worst kind. The party banished forfeited his estate; and being bound was put on board ship, and transported to some island specified exclusively by the emperor, there to be confined in perpetual banishment. In this manner the apostle John was exiled to the little island of Patmos (Rev. i. 9.), where he wrote his Revelation.
7. In the East, anciently, it was the custom to PUT OUT THE EYES OF PRISONERS. Thus Samson was deprived of sight by the Philistines (Judg. xvi. 21.), and Zedekiah by the Chaldees. (2 Kings xxv. 7.) It is well known that cutting out one or both of the eyes has been frequently practised in Persia and other parts of the East, as a punishment for treasonable offences. To the great work of restoring eyeballs to the sightless by the Messiah, the prophet Isaiah probably alludes in his beautiful prediction cited by our Lord, and applied to himself in Luke iv. 18.5
8. CUTTING OFF THE HAIR of criminals seems to be rather an ignominious than a painful mode of punishment: yet it appears that pain was added to the disgrace, and that the hair was violently plucked off, as if the executioner were plucking a bird alive. This is the literal meaning of the original word, which in Neh. xiii. 25. is rendered plucked off their hair; sometimes hot ashes were applied to the skin after the hair was torn off, in order to render the pain more exquisitely acute. In the spurious book, commonly termed the fourth hook of Maccabees, it is said that the tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes caused the hair and skin to be entirely torn Doddridge's Expositor, and Kuinöel, on Acts xvi. 24. Biscoe on Acts,
vol. i. p. 34.
2 Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. pp. 504, 505. Dr. Adain's Roman Antiquities, pp. 66, 67. exhibited marks of the vengeance of the late pacha Hadjee Achmet, from
In 18:20, Mr. Rae Wilson iuet, at Acre, with numerous individuals, who his sanguinary cruelties fitly surnamed Diaszar, or the Butcher. They were disfigured in various ways, by a hand amputated, an eye torn out, or a nose which had been split, or partly or totally cut off. (Travels in the Holy Land, vol. ii. p. 43.) In the winter of 1826, two eoirs had their eyes burnt out, and their tongues in part cut off by the Emir Beehir, the prince of Mount Lebanon, their uncle on account of their having been concerned in some disturba&ces against his government. (Missionary Register, July, 17. p. 333.)
Fragments supplementary to Calmet, No. 192.
off the heads of some of the seven Maccabean brethren. As an historical composition this book is utterly destitute of credit; but it shows that the mode of punishment under consideration was not unusual in the East. This sort of torture is said to have been frequently inflicted on the early martyrs and confessors for the Christian faith.
9. EXCLUSION FROM SACRED WORSHIP, or EXCOMMUNICATION, was not only an ecclesiastical punishment, but also a civil one; because in this theocratic republic there was no distinction between the divine and the civil right. The fancies of the Rabbins, relative to the origin of excommunica tion, are endless. Some affirm, that Adam excommunicated Cain and his whole race; others, that excommunication began with Miriam, for having spoken ill of Moses; others, again, find it in the song of Deborah and Barak (Judg. v. 23. Curse ye Meroz), interpreting Meroz as a person who had refused to assist Barak. But it is most probable, that the earliest positive mention of this punishment occurs after the return from the Babylonish captivity, in Ezra x. 7, 8., or in the anathema of Nehemiah (xiii. 5.) against those who had married strange women. In later times, according to the rabbinical writers, there were three degrees of excommunication among the Jews. The first was called (N/DUI), removal or separation from all intercourse with society: this is, in the New Testament, frequently termed casting out of the synagogue. (John ix. 22. xvi. 2. Luke vi. 22, &c.) This was in force for thirty days, and might be shortened by repentance. During its continuance, the excommunicated party was prohibited from bathing, from shaving his head, or approaching his wife or any other person nearer than four cubits: but if he submitted to this prohibition, he was not debarred the privilege of attending the sacred rites. If, however, the party continued in his obstinacy after that time, the excommunica tion was renewed with additional solemn maledictions. This second degree was called (CHERM), which signifies to anathematize, or devote to death: it involved an exclusion from the sacred assemblies. The third, and last degree of excommunication was termed NN (SHAM-ATHA) or NON (MaRaN-ATHA), that is, the Lord cometh, or may the Lord come; intimating that those against whom it was fulminated, had nothing more to expect but the terrible day of judgment.6
The condition of those who were excommunicated was the most deplorable that can be imagined. They were perpetually excluded from all the rights and privileges of the Jewish people, were debarred from all social intercourse, and were excluded from the temple and the synagogues, on pain of severe corporal punishment. Whoever had incurred this sentence was loaded with imprecations, as appears from Deut. xxvii. where the expression cursed is he, is so often repeated: whence to curse and to excommunicate were equivalent terms with the Jews. And therefore St. Paul says, that no man, speaking by the Spirit of God, calleth Jesus anathema or accursed (1 Cor. xii. 3.), that is, curses Him as the Jew did, who denied him to be the Messiah, and excommunicated the Christians. In the second degree, they delivered the excommunicated party over to Satan, devoting him by a solemn curse: to this practice St. Paul is supposed to allude (1 Cor. v. 5.); and in this sense he expresses his desire even to be accursed for his brethren (Rom. ix. 3.), that is, to be excommunicated, laden with curses, and to suffer all the miseries consequent on the infliction of this punishment, if it could have been of any service to his brethren the Jews. In order to impress the minds of the people with the greater horror, it is said that, when the offence was published in the synagogue, all the candles were lighted, and when the proclamation was finished, they were extinguished, as a sign that the excommunicated person was deprived of the light of Heaven; further, his goods were confiscated, his sons were not admitted to circumcision; and if he died without repentance or absolution, by the sentence of the judge a stone was to be cast upon his coffin or bier, in order to show that he deserved to be stoned."
II. The Talmudical writers have distinguished the CAPITAL PUNISHMENTS of the Jews into lesser deaths, and such as were more grievous but there is no warrant in the Scriptures for these distinctions, neither are these writers agreed among themselves what particular punishments are to be referred to these two heads. A capital crime was termed, generally, a sin of death (Deut. xxii. 26.), or a sin worthy of death (Deut
Robinson's Lexicon on the Gr. Test, voce Avvy, Jahn, Archæologia Biblica, $ 258. Ackermann, Archæol. Bibl. § 252. Encyclopæ dia Metropolitana, vol. xxi. p 703.
Grotius's Note, or rather Dissertation. on Luke vi. 22. Lightfoot's Works, vol. ii. pp. 747-749. Selden, de Jure Naturæ et Gentium, lib. iv. c. 3. Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus vol. i. pp. 279-291.