Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

sunset, according to the Jewish computation, was reckoned would be reckoned not merely one year old, but also in their as one day. Saturday, it is universally admitted, formed the second year, as the expression implies; and those born since second day; and as the third day began on Saturday at sun- the beginning of the year, would be well described by the set, and our Saviour rose about sunrise on the following phrase and under,' that is, under one year old ;-some, two morning, that part of a day is justly reckoned for the third years old, though not born a complete twelvemonth (perhaps, day; so that the inte val was "three days and three nights," in fact, barely six months); others, under one year old, yet or three calendar days current, not exceeding 42 hours, and, born three, four, or five months, and, therefore, a trifle consequently, not two entire days. This observation also younger than those before described ; according to the time illustrates 2 Chron. x. 5. 12. : and the same mode of com- which Herod had diligently inquired of the wise men,

in puting time obtains in the East, to this day.2

their second year and UNDER. In like manner, in some parts of the East, the year ending VII. Besides the computation of years, the Hebrews first on a certain day, any portion of the foregoing year is taken and the Jews afterwards, were accustomed to reckon their for a whole year; so that, supposing a child to be born in time from some REMARKABLE Æras or epochas. Thus, 1. the last week of our December, it would be reckoned one From Gen. vii. 11. and viii. 13., it appears that they reckyear old on the first day of January, because born in the old oned from the lives of the patriarchs or other illustrious peryear. If this mode of computation obtained among the He- sons: 2. From their departure out of Egypt, and the first brews, the principle of it easily accounts for those anachron- institution of their polity (Exod. xix. 1. xl. 17. Num. i. i. isms of single years, or parts of years taken for whole ones, ix. 1. xxxiii. 38. i Kings vi. 1.): 3. Afterwards, from the which occur in sacred writ: it obviates the difficulties which building of the temple (1 Kings ix. 10. 2 Chron. viii. 1.), concern the half years of several princes of Judah and Israel, and from the reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel : 4. in which the latter half of the deceased king's last year has Then from the commencement of the Babylonian captivity hitherto been supposed to be added to the former half of his (Ezek. i. 1. xxxiii. 21. xl. 1.); and, perhaps, also from successor's first year.

their return from captivity, and the dedication of the second “We are told” (1 Sam. xiii. 1. marg. reading), “a son temple. In process of time they adopted, 5. The Æra of of one year was Saul in his kingdom: and two years he the Seleucida, which in the books of Maccabees is called reigned over Israel,” that is, say he was crowned in June : the Æra of the Greeks, and the Alexandrian Æra : it began he was consequently one year old on the first of January from the year when Seleucus Nicanor attained the sovereign following, though he had only reigned six months,—the son power, that is, about 312 years before the birth of Jesus of a year. But, after this so following first of January he Christ. This æra the Jews continued to employ for upwards was in the second year of his reign; though, according to of thirteen hundred years. 6. They were further accustomed our computation, the first year of his reign wanted some to reckon their years from the years when their princes began months of being completed ; in this, his second year, he chose to reign. Thus, in 1 Kings xv. 1. Isa. xxxvi. 1. and Jer. i. three thousand military, &c. guards.

2, 3., we have traces of their anciently computing according “The phrase (ato duerns) used to denote the age of the to the years of their kings; and in later times (1 Macc. xiii. infants slaughtered at Bethlehem (Matt. ii. 16.) from two 42. xiv. 27), according to the years of the Asmonæan princes. years old and under,' is a difficulty that has been deeply felt of this mode of computation we have vestiges in Matt. by the learned. Some infants two weeks old, some two months, ii. 1. Luke i. 5. and iii. 1. Lastly, ever since the compilaothers two years, equally slain ! Surely those born so long tion of the Talmud, the Jews have reckoned their years from before could not possibly be included in the order, whose the creation of the world.5 purpose was to destroy a child, certainly born within a few

3 Calmet's Dictionary, 4to. edit. vol. ii. Supplementary Addenda. months. This is regulated at once by the idea that they 4 There are in fact two dates assigned to the æra of the Seleucidæ in the were all of nearly equal age, being recently born; some not two books of Maccabees. As Seleucus did not obtain permanent

possession long before the close of the old year, others a little time since of the city of Babylon (which had been retaken from him by Demetrius, the beginning

of the new year. Now, those born before the year 311 before Christ, the Babylonians fixed the commencement of this close of the old year, though only a few months or weeks, æra in the latter year. The first book of Maccabees computes the

years from April, B. c. 311, as Michaelis has shown in his note on I Macc. x 21.;

while the second book dates from October, B. c. 312.; consequently, there · Dr. Hales, to whom we are partly indebted for the above remark, has is often the difference of a year in the chronology of these books. (Com. cited several passages from profane authors, who have used a similar pare 2 Macc. xi. 21. with 1 Macc. vi. 16., and 2 Macc. xii. I. with 1 Macc. phraseology. (Analysis of Chronology, vol. i. pp. 121, 122.) Similar illustra- vi. 20.). This æra continued in general use among the orientals, with the Lions from rabbinical writers are collected by Bp: Beveridge (on the 39 exception of the Mohammedans, who employed it together with their

own Articles, in Art. IV. Works, vol. ix. p. 159. note f), by Dr. Lightfoot (Hor. æra from the flight of Mohammed, B. c. 622. "The Jews had no other epoch Heb. in Matt. xii. 40.), and by Reland. (Antiq. Heb. lib. iv. c. 1.)

until A. D. 1040; when, being expelled from Asia by the caliphs, and scalShortly before the philanthropic Mr. Howard arrived at Constantinople, tered about in Spain, England, Germany, Poland, and other western coun. the grand chamberlain of the city (whose province it was to supply the in- tries, they began to date from the creation, though still without entirely habitants with bread) had been beheaded in a summary way, in the public dropping the æra of the Seleucidæ. The orientals denominate this epoch street, for having furnished, or permitted to be furnished, loaves short of the era of the two-horned; by which it is generally supposed they mean weight; and his body was exposed for a day and a half, with three light Alexander the Great. But perhaps the name had primary reference to loaves beside it to denote his crime. "When Mr. Howard was told that Seleucus; for on some coins he is represented with two horns. See Froethe body had lain there for three days, he expressed his surprise that it lich, Annales Syriæ, Tab. ii. Seleuc. Nic. 1. et Tab. iii. 29."-(Jahn's His. had not bred a contagion. He learnt, however, that in point of fact it had tory of the Hebrew

Commonwealth, vol. i. pp. 249, 250.) not been left so long, as they were not entire days: for, it being the even- * Reland, Antiq. Hebr. pp. 203-215. Schulzii Compendium Archæolo. ing when the head was struck off, it remained the whole of the second, and giæ Hebraicæ, lib. i. c. 11. pp. 94-107. Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, book was removed early in the succeeding morning, which was accounted the i. ch. 5. vol. i. pp. 138-154. Calmet's Dictionary, articles Day, Week, third; thus” (as Mr. H.'s biographer

very properly remarks) "the

manner Month,

Year. Jahn, et Ackermann, Archæologia Bíblica, $s 101–103. Jen. of computation, in use at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion and burial, ning's Jewish Antiquities, book iii. ch. 1. See also Waehner's Antiquitates still subsists among the eastern nations." (Brown's Life of John Howard, Hebræorum, part ii. p. 5. et seq. Pritii Introd. in Nov. Test. pp. 566-575.; Enq. pp. 437, 438. 8vo. edit.)

Pareau, Antiquitas Hebraica, pp. 310–318,

CHAPTER V.

ON THE TRIBUTE AND TAXES MENTIONED IN THE SCRIPTURES.

I. Annual Payments made by the Jews for the support of their Sacred Worship.-II. Tributes paid to their own Sovereigns.

III. Tributes and Customs paid by them to foreign Powers.--Notice of the Money-changers.-IV. Account of the Publicans or Tax-gatherers.

As no government can be supported without great charge, (Luke ii. 1—5.): and afterwards, when Judæa was reduced it is but just that every one who enjoys his share of protec. into a Roman province, on the dethronement and banishment tion from it, should contribute towards it maintenance and of his son Archeläus, the Romans imposed on the Jews not support.

only the annual capitation tax of a denarius (pupos), but also I. On the first departure of the Israelites from Egypt, be- a tax on goods imported or exported (Tags), and various fore any regulation was made, the people contributed, on any other taxes and burthens. To this capitation tax the evangeextraordinary occasion, according to their ability, as in the lists allude in Matt. xxii. 17. and Mark xii. 14. where it is case of the voluntary donations for the tabernacle. (Exod. termed vopuso use xnvocu (numisma censsús), or the tribute money; xxv. 2. xxxv. 5.) After the tabernacle was erected, a pay. and as this tax appears from Matt. xxii. 20, 21. to have been ment of half a shekel was made by every male of twenty paid in Roman coin, the Jews paid it with great reluctance; years of age and upwards (Exod. xxx. 13, 14.), when the and raised various insurrections on account of it. Among census, or sum of the children of Israel, was taken: and on these malcontents, Judas, surnamed the Gaulonite or Galithe return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, an læan, distinguished himself: he pretended that it was not annual payment of the third part of a shekel was made, for lawful to pay tribute to a foreigner; that it was the badge of the maintenance of the temple-worship and service. (Neh. actual servitude, and that they were not allowed to own any X. 32.) Subsequently, the enactment of Moses was deemed for their master who did not worship the Lord. These sentito be of perpetual obligation, and in the time of our Saviour ments animated the Pharisees, who came to Christ with the two drachmæ, or half a shekel, were paid by every Jew, insidious design of ensnaring him by the question, whether whether native or residing in foreign countries : besides it was lawful to pay tribute to Cæsar or not? Which queswhich, every one, who was so disposed, made voluntary tion he answered with equal wisdom and regard for the offerings, according to his ability. * (Mark xii. 41–44.) Roman government. (Matt. xxii, 17—21.) With these senHence vast quantities of gold were annually brought to timents the Jews continued to be animated long after the Jerusalem into the temple, where there was an apartment ascension of Jesus Christ; and it should seem that some of called the Treasury (rasoqunamtov), specially appropriated to the first Hebrew Christians had imbibed their principles. their reception. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Vespa- In opposition to which, the apostle Paul and Peter in their sian, by an edict, commanded that the half shekel should in inimitable epistles strenuously recommend and inculcate on future be brought by the Jews, wherever they were, into the all sincere believers in Jesus Christ, the duties of submiscapitol. In addition to the preceding payments for the sup- sion and obedience to princes, and a conscientious disport of their sacred worship, we may notice the first-fruits charge of their duty, in paying tribute. (Rom. xiii. 7. 1 Pet. and tenths, of which an account is found in Part III. chap. ii. 13.) iv. infra.

To supply the Jews who came to Jerusalem from all parts II. Several of the Canaanitish tribes were tributary to the of the Roman empire to pay the half-shekel with coins curIsraelites even from the time of Joshua (Josh. xvi. 10. xvii. rent there, the money-changers (xonnubiSCL) stationed them13. Judg. i. 28. 33.) whence they could not but derive con- selves at tables, in the courts of the temple, and chiefly, it siderable wealth. The Moabites and Syrians were tributary should seem, in the court of the Gentiles, for which they to David (2 Sam. viii. 2. 6.): and Solomon at the beginning exacted a small fee, kolbon (x07.060s). It was the tables on of his reign compelled the Amerites, Hittites, Perizzites, which these men trafficked for this unholy gain, which were Hivites, and Jebusites, who were left in the country, to pay overturned by Jesus Christ. (Matt. xxi. 12.)? him tribute, and to perform the drudgery of the public works The money-changers (called TPLIESITcu in Matt. xxi. 12. which he had undertaken, and from which the children of and xeppestisce in John ii. 14.) were also those who made a Israel were exempted. (1 Kings ix. 21, 22. 33. 2 Chron. viii. profit by exchanging money, They supplied the Jews, who 9.) But towards the end of his reign he imposed a tribute came from distant parts of Judæa and other parts of the Roon them also (1 Kings v. 13, 14. ix. 15. xi. 27.), which man empire, with money, to be received back at their alienated their minds, and sowed the seeds of that discontent, respective homes, or which, perhaps, they had paid before which afterwards ripened into open revolt by the rebellion of they commenced their journey. It is likewise probable that Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

they exchanged foreign coins for such as were current at III. Afterwards, however, the Israelites, being subdued by Jerusalem. other nations, were themselves compelled to pay tribute to IV. Among the Romans, the censors let their taxes by their conquerors. Thus Pharaoh-Necho, king of Egypt, public auction ; and those who farmed them were called imposed a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a Publicani, or PUBLICANS. These farmers-general were talent of gold. (2 Kings xxiii. 33. 35.) After their return usually Roman knights, who had under them inferior colfrom captivity, the Jews paid tribute to the Persians, under lectors: Josephus has made mention of several Jews who whose government they were (Ezra iv. 13.), then to the were Roman knights, whence Dr. Lardner thinks it probaGreeks, from which, however, they were exonerated, when ble that they had merited the equestrian rank by their good under the Maccabees they had regained their liberty. In services in collecting some part of the revenue. The collater times, when they were conquered by the Roman arms tectors of these tributes were known by the general name of under Pompey, they were again subjected to the payment of Teacves, that is, tax-gatherers, in our authorized version rentribute, even though their princes enjoyed the honours and dered Publicans. Some of them appear to have been redignities of royalty, as was the case with Herod the Great ceivers-general for a large district, as Zaccheus, who is styled

a chief publican (APX'ten avns), Matthew, who is tèrmed sim· The materials of this chapter, where other authorities are not cited, ply a publican (Tshcovns), was one who sat at the receipt of are derived from Schulz's Archæologia Hebraica, c. 13. de vectigalibus et custom where the duty was paid on imports and exports. tributis, and Parcau's Antiquitas Hebraica, part iii. sect. ii. c. 5. de tributis (Matt. ix. 9. Luke v. 29. Mark ii. 14.) "These officers, at et vectigalibus. 2 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. vii. c.6. $ 6. Philonis Judæi Opera, tom. ii.

. Grotius, Hammond, and Whitby, on Matt. xxi. 12. Dr. Lightfoot's : A singular law was in force in the time of Jesus Christ, prohibit- Works, vol. ii. p. 225. In Ceylon, "Moormen, whose business it is to give ing one mite (NETTON) from being cast into the treasury: The poor cash for notes, may be seen sitting in public places, with heaps of coin widow, therefore, who in Mark xii. 42. is said to have cast in two mites, before them. 'On observing a person with a note, or in want of their ser gave the smallest sum permitted by the law. Schoetgen, Horæ Hebraicæ, vices, they earnestly solicit his attention." Callaway's Oriental Observa vol. i. p. 250. Townsend's Harmony of the

New Testament, vol. i. p. 114. tions, p. 68. • Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiv. c. 1. & 2. Cicero, Orat. pro Flacco, c. 28. * Cicero, in Verrem, lib. iii. c. 72. Orat. pro Planco, c. 9. De Petitione · Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. vii. c. 6. $ 6.

Consulatûs, c. 1. Tacit. Annal. lib. iv. c. 6. Adam's Roman Antiquities, • 1 Macc. x. 29, 30. xi. 35, 36. xv. 5. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. 2. pp. 25. 60.

• De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 14. 9 9.

p. 224.

3. c. 4. & 9. c. 6. 66.

least the inferior ones (like the rahdars, or toll-gatherers, in often expressed by the Jews in the evangelical histories modern Persia, and the mirigees, or collectors of customs, in against the collectors of the taxes or tribute.3 Asia Minor,? were generally rapacious, extorting more than The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke xviii. the legal tribute ; whence they were reckoned infamous 10–13.) will derive considerable illustration from these ciramong the Greeks, and various passages in the Gospels show cumstances. Our Saviour, in bringing these two characters how odious they were to the Jews (Mark ii. 15, 16. Luke together, appears to have chosen them as making the strongest iii. 13.), insomuch that the Pharisees would hold no com- contrast between what, in the public estimation, were the munication whatever with them, and imputed it to our Saviour extremes of excellence and villany. The Pharisees, it is as a crime that he sat at meat with publicans. (Matt. ix. 10, 11. well known, were the most powerful sect among the Jews, xi. 19. xxi. 31, 32.) The payment of taxes to the Romans was and made great pretences to piety: and when the account of accounted by the Jews an intolerable grievance: hence those the Persian rahdars, given in the preceding page, is recolwho assisted in collecting them were detested as plunderers lected, it will account for the Pharisee, in addressing God, in the cause of the Romans, as betrayers of the liberties of having made extortioners, and the unjust, almost synonymous their country, and as abettors of those who had enslaved it; terms with publicans; because, from his peculiar office, the this circumstance will account for the contempt and hatred só rahdar is almost an extortioner by profession.

CHAPTER VI.

ON THE GENEALOGICAL TABLES OF THE HEBREWS, AND PUBLIC MEMORIALS OF EVENTS.

I. On the Genealogical Tables of the Hebrews.—II. Public Memorials of Events. I. The Hebrews were very careful in preserving their , and Babylon, or in any other place whithersoever their priests GENEALOGIES, or the history of the successions of families. were carried, were careful to preserve their genealogies. Vestiges of these histories of families appear in Gen. v. and Such priests after the captivity as could not produce their x. In proportion as the Hebrews increased in numbers dur- genealogies were excluded from the sacerdotal office. Hence, ing their residence in Egypt, it became an object of growing when in Heb. vii. 3. Melchizedek is said to have been with importance carefully to preserve the genealogical tables of out descent (azaveznog utos, that is, without genealogy), the meanthe whole nation, in order that each tribe might be kept per- ing is, that his name was not found

in the public genealogical fectly distinct. The charge of these genealogies was, most registers : his father and mother, and ancestors were unknown, probably, confided, in the first instance, to the shoterim, or whence his priesthood was of a different kind, and to be rescribes, of whom a short account is given in p. 42. supra, and garded differently from that of Aaron and his sons. afterwards to the Levites; at least in the time of the kings, From similar public registers Mathew and Luke derived we find that the scribes were generally taken from the tribe the genealogies of our Saviour; the former of which, from of Levi. (1 Chron. xxiii. 4. 2 Chron. xix. 8—11. xxxiv. 13.) Abraham to Jesus Christ, embraces a period of nearly two “ This was a very rational procedure, as the Levites devoted thousand years, while the genealogy of Luke, from Adam to themselves particularly to study; and, among husbandmen Christ, comprises a period of about four thousand years. It and unlearned people, few were likely to be so expert in is well known that the Jews carried their fondness for writing, as to be intrusted with keeping registers so impor- genealogies to great excess, and prided themselves on tracing tant. In later times the genealogical tables were kept in the their pedigrees up to Abraham. Jerome says that they were temple."5

as well acquainted with genealogies from Adam to ZerubWhatever injury the public genealogies might have sus- babel as they were with their own names.? Against such tained in consequence of the Babylonish captivity, it was re- unprofitable genealogies Paul cautions Timothy (i Tim. i. 4.) paired on the restoration of the Jewish polity, as far at least and Titus. (iii. 9.) Since the total dispersion of the Jews in as was practicable. (Ezra ii. viii. 1–14. Neh. vii. xii.) the reign of Adrian, the Jews have utterly lost their ancient Hence it is, that a very considerable portion of the first book genealogies. of Chronicles is composed of genealogical tables: the com- In exhibiting genealogical tables with any specific design, parison of which, as well as of the genealogy recorded in some of the sacred writers, for the sake of brevity, omitted Gen. v. with the tables in Matt. i. and Luke iii. will contri- names which were of less importance, and distributed the bute materially to show the fulfilment of the prophecies re- genealogies into certain equal classes. Examples of this lative to the advent of the Messiah. Josephus states that the kind occur in Exod. vi. 14–24. 1 Chron. vi. 12—15. comJews had an uninterrupted succession of their high-priests pared with Ezra i. 5. and in Matt. i. 17. The Arabs have preserved in their records for the space of nearly two thou- not unfrequently taken a similar liberty in their genealogies.8 sand years; and that the priests in Judæa, and even in Egypt II. From the remotest ages, mankind have been desirous

of perpetuating the memory of remarkable events, not only The rahdars, or toll-gatherers, are appointed to levy a toll upon for their own benefit, but also in order to transmit them to with so much brutality and extortion, as to be execrated by an travellers posterity; and in proportion to the antiquity of such events The police of the highways is confided to them, and whenever any goods has been the simplicity of the Public Memorials employed they are put to the test, are found to be inefficient. None but a man in remarkable event befell the patriarchs, they raised either a are stolen, they are meant to be the instruments of restitution ; but when to preserve the remembrance of them. When, therefore, any toll are farmed, consequently extortion ensues ; and as most of the rabdars rude stone or a heap of stones in the very place where such prescribed dues from the traveller, their insolence is accounted for on the times, also, they gave names to places importing the nature receive no other einolument than what they can exact over and above the event had happened. (Gen. xxviii. 18. xxxi. 45, 46.) Someone hand, and the detestation in which they are held on the other." Morier's Second Journey, p. 70.

of the transactions which had taken place (Gen. xvi. 14. xxi. - At Smyrna, the mirigee sits in the house allotted to him, as Matthew sat 31. xxii. 14. xxviii. 19. xxxi. 47–49.); and symbolical names entering into the city. The exactions and rude behaviour of these men" 26. 30.) To this usage the Almighty is represented as vouchceives the money which is due from various persons and cominodities, were sometimes given by them to individuals. (Gen. xxv. conduct of the publicans mentioned in the New Testament.”.... When men xxxii. 28, 29. (says Mr. Hartley, who experienced both are just in character with the safing to accommodate himself, in Gen. xvii. 5. 15. and are guilty of such conduct as this, no wonder that they were detested in ancient times, as were the publicans; and in modern tiines, as are the Conformably to this custom, Moses enjoined the Israelites mirigees." (Hartley's Researches in Greece, p. 239.) 3 Lardner's Credibility, part i, book i, c. 9.5 10,ch..Carpzopii Appara: inscribed, after they had crossed the river Jordan (Deut.

to erect an altar of great stones on which the law was to be tus Antiquitatum Sacri Codicis, pp. 29, 30. As the Christians subsequently were often termed Galilæans, and were represented as a people hostile to all government, and its necessary supports, St. Paul in Roin. xiii. 6. stu- 6 Josephus against Apion, book i. $7. diously obviates this slander; and enjoins the payment of tribute to civil 1 Valpy's Gr. Test. vol. iji. p. 117. governors, because, as all governments derive

their authority from God, 8 Pareau, Antiq. Hebr. pp. 318-320. Schulzii Archæol. Hebr. 'p. 41. rulers are bis ministers, attending upon this very thing, viz. the public ad The ecclesiastical historian Eusebius, on the authority of Julius Africaministration, to protect the good and to punish the evil doer, (Gilpin and nus, a writer of the third century, relates that Herod, misnamed the Valpy on Rom. xiii. 6.)

Great, committed to the flames all the records of the Jewish genealogies; • Morier's Second Journey, p. 71.

but Carpzov has shown that this narrative is not worthy of credit Anti: Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. i. p. 250.

quitates Gentis Hebrææ, p.36.

[ocr errors]

xxvii. 1–4.), and also gave to those places, which had been ascribes the origin of the name of Maccabæus with which signalized by the previous conduct of the Israelites, signifi- Judas was first distinguished (1 Macc. ii. 4.), (who was sur cant names which would be perpetual memorials of their re- named Napp, Macaba, or the Hammer, on account of his sinbellion against God. (Exod. xvii. 7.). The same custom gular valour and success against the enemies of his nation);' obtained after their arrival in the land of Canaan. (Josh. iv.) and also the new name given by our Lord to Peter (Matt. In like manner, Samuel erected a stone at Mizpeh, to com- xvi. 18. John i. 43.), and the name given to the field which memorate the discomfiture of the Philistines. (1 Sam. vii. 12.) was bought with the purchase-money of Judas's treason.

In progress of time more splendid monuments were erected (Matt. xxvii. 8. Acts i. 19.) The great festivals, prescribed (1 Sam. xv. 12. 2 Sam. viii. 13. xviii. 18.); and symbolical by Moses to the Jews, as well as the feasts and fasts instimemorial names were given both to things and persons. tuted by them in later times, and the tables of the law which Thus, the columns which were erected in the temple of So- were to be most religiously preserved in the ark, were so lomon, Jachin he shall establish, Boaz, in it is strength,— many memorials of important national transactions. most probably denoted the devout monarch's hope, that Jeho- In more ancient times proverbs sometimes originated from vah would firmly establish that temple in the entrance of some remarkable occurrence. (Gen. x. 9. xxii. 14. 1 Sam which they were placed. To the same practice Pareau / x. 12. xix. 24.)2

CHAPTER VII.

ON THE TREATIES OR COVENANTS, CONTRACTS, AND OATHS OF THE JEWS.

1. Whether the Jews were prohibited from concluding Treaties with heathen Nations.-II. Treaties, how made and ratified

- Covenant of Salt.—III. Contracts for the Sale and Cession of alienable Property, how made.-IV. Of Oaths.. I. A Treaty is a pact or covenant made with a view to | by believers and heathens at their solemn leagues ; at first, the public welfare by the superior power. It is a common doubtless, with a view to the great Sacrifice, who was to mistake, that the Israelites were prohibited from forming purge our sins in his own blood; and the offering of these alliances with heathens : this would in effect have amounted sacrifices, and passing between the parts of the divided victo a general prohibition of alliance with any nation whatever, tim, was symbolically staking their hopes of purification and because at that time all the world were heathens. In the salvation on their performance of the condition on which it Mosaic law, not a single statule is enacted, that prohibits the was offered. conclusion of treaties with heathen nations in general ; al- The editor of the Fragments supplementary to Calmets is though, for the reasons therein specified, Moses either com- of opinion that what is yet practised of this ceremony may mands them to carry on eternal war against the Canaanites elucidate that passage in Isa. xxviii. 15.:—We have made a and Amalekites (but not against the Moabites and Ammon- covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when ites), or else forbids all friendship with these particular na- the over flowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come tions. It is however, clear, from Deut. xxiii. 4-9., that he unto us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood did not entertain the same opinion with regard to all foreign have we hid ourselves. As if it had been said :-We have nations : for in that passage, though the Moabites are pro- cut off a covenant Sacrifice, a purification offering with nounced to be an abomination to the Israelites, no such decla- death, and with the grave we have settled, so that the ration is made respecting the Edomites. Further, it is evident scourge shall not injure us. May not such a custom have that they felt themselves bound religiously to observe treaties been the origin of the following superstition related by Pitts ? when actually concluded : though one of the contracting par- —“ If they (the Algerine corsairs) at any time happen to be ties had been guilty of fraud in the transaction, as in the case in a very great strait or distress, as being chased, or in a of the treaty with the Gibeonites. (Josh. ix.) David and storm, they will gather money, light up candles in rememSolomon lived in alliance with the king of Tyre; and the brance of some dead marrabot (saint), or other, calling upon former with the king of Hamath (2 Sam. viii. 9, 10); and him with heavy sighs and groans. If they find no succoui the queen of Sheba cannot be regarded in any other light than from their before-mentioned rites and superstitions, but that as an ally of Solomon's. Even the Maccabees, who were the danger rather increases, then they go to sacrificing a so laudabiy zealous for the law of Moses, did not hesitate to sheep (or two or three upon occasion, as they think needful), enter into a compact with the Romans. The only treaties which is done after this manner : having cut off the head condemned by the prophets are those with the Egyptians, with a knife, they immediately take out the entrails, and Babylonians, and Assyrians, which were extremely prejudi- throw them and the head overboard; and then, with all the cial to the nation, by involving it continually in quarrels speed they can (without skinning) they cut the body into with sovereigns more powerful than the Jewish monarchs; two parts by the middle, and throw one part over the right and the event always showed, in a most striking manner, side of the ship, and the other over the left, into the sea, as the propriety of their reproofs.

a kind of propitiation. Thus those blind infidels apply them II. Various solemnities were used in the conclusion of selves to imaginary intercessors, instead of the living and treaties;

sometimes it was done by a simple junction of the true God.”6 În the case here referred to, the ship passes hands. (Prov. xi. 21. Ezek. xvii. 18.) The Hindoos to this between the parts thus thrown on each side of it. This day ratify an engagement by one person layįng his right behaviour of the Algerines may be taken as a pretty accurate hand on the hand of the other. Sometimes, also, the cove-counterpart to that of making a covenant with death and withi nant was ratified by erecting a heap of stones, to which a imminent danger of destruction, by appeasing the angry suitable name was given, referring to the subject-matter of gods. the covenant (Gen. xxxi. 44–54.);

that made between Abra- Festivities always accompanied the ceremonies attending ham and the king of Gerar was ratified by the oath of both covenants. Isaac and Abimelech feasted at making their parties, by a present from Abraham to the latter of seven ewe covenant (Gen. xxvi. 30.), And he made them a feast, and lambs, and by giving a name to the well which had given they did eat and drink. (Gen. xxxi. 54.) Jacob offered sacrioccasion to the transaction. (Gen. xxi. 22–32.) It was, fice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread. This moreover, customary to cut the victim (which was to be practice was also usual amongst the heathen nations.? offered as a sacrifice upon the occasion) into two parts, and so placing each half upon two different altars, to cause those

* This remarkable practice may be clearly traced in the Greek and

Latin writers. Homer has the following expression> who contracted the covenant to pass between both. (Gen.

Ορκια πιστα ταμοντες.

Iliad, lib. ii. ver. 124. xv. 9, 10. 17. Jer. xxxiv. 18.) This rite was practised both

Flaving cut faithful oaths. 1 In like manner Charles, mayor of the palace to the king of France, Eustathius explains the passage by saying, they were oaths relating to received the name of Martei, or ihe llammer, from the irresistible blows important matters, and were made by the division of the victim. See also he is said to have given to the Saracens or Moors, who were utterly dis. Virgil, Æn. viii. ver. 640. comfited in the memorable battle fought near Poictiers, in 733.---Another,

Travels, p. 18. and more generally received origin of the appellation Maccabees, has - Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. p. 84.--Fifth edition. See examples been given in p. 50. supra.

of the ancient mode of ratifying covenants, in Homer. n. lib. iii. verses . Parean, Antiq. Hebr. pp. 320-322.

103-107. 245. et seg. Virgil, Æn. lib. viii. 641. xii. 169. et seq. Dionysius • Ward's View of the History, &r. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 323. Halicarnassensis, lib. v. c. 1. Hooke's Roman History, vol. 1. p. 67.

No. 129.

Afterwards, when the Mosaic law was established, and cup, said, This is (signifies or represents) my blood of tho the people were settled in the land of Canaan, the people New Covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of feasted, in their peace offerings, on a part of the sacrifice, in sins. (Matt. xxvi. 28.). By this very remarkable exprestoken of their reconciliation with God (Deut. xii. 6, 7.) : andsion, Jesus Christ teaches us, that as his body was to be thus, in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, we renew our broken or crucified, umep mar, in our stead, so his blood was to covenant with God, and (in the beautiful language of the be poured out (ex Xvycperov, a sacrificial term) to make an atonecommunion office of the Anglican church)," we offer and ment, as the words remission of sins evidently imply; for present ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, without shedding of blod there is no remission (Heb. ix. 22.), noly, and lively sacrifice" unto Him, being at His table nor any remission by shedding of blood but în a sacrificial feasted with the bread and wine, the representation of the way. Compare Heb. ix. 20. and xiii. 12. sacrifice of Christ's body and blood ; who by himself once III. What treaties or covenants were between the high offered upon the cross has made a full, perfect, and sufficient contracting powers who were authorized to conclude them, sacrifice, oblation, and atonement for the sin of the whole that contracts of bargain and sale are between private indiworld.

viduals. Sometimes the parties to the covenant were sprinkled with Among the Hebrews, and long before them among the the blood of the victim. Thus Moses, after sprinkling part Canaanites, the purchase of any thing of consequence was of the blood on the altar, to show that Jehovah was a party concluded and the price paid, at the gate of the city, as the to the covenant, sprinkled part of it on the Israelites, and seat of judgment, before all who went out and came in. said unto them, Behold the blood of the covenant which the (Gen. xxiii. 16–20. Ruth iv. 1, 2.) As persons of leisure, Lord hath made with you. (Ex xxiv. 6. 8.) To this and those who wanted amusement, were wont to sit in the transaction St. Paul alludes in his Epistle to the Hebrews gates, purchases there made could always be testified by (ix. 20.), and explains its evangelical meaning,

numerous witnesses. From Ruth iv. 7-11. we learn another The Scythians are said to have first poured wine into an singular usage on occasions of purchase, cession, and exearthen vessel, and then the contracting parties, cutting their change, viz. that in earlier times, the transfer of alienable arms with a knife, let some of the blood run into the wine, property was confirmed by the proprietor plucking off his with which they stained their armour. After which they shoe at the city gate, in the presence of the elders and other themselves, together with the other persons present, drank witnesses, and handing it over to the new owner. The of the mixture, uttering the direst maledictions on the party origin of this custom it is impossible to trace: but it had who should violate the treaty.'

evidently become antiquated in the time of David, as the Another mode of ratifying covenants was by the superior author of the book of Ruth introduces it as an unknown contracting party presenting

to the other some article of his custom of former ages. own dress or arms. Thus, Jonathan stripped himself of the In process of time the joining or striking of hands, already robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his gar- mentioned with reference to public treaties, was introduced ments, even to the sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. as a ratification of a bargain and sale. This usage was not (1 Sam. xviii. 4.) The highest honour, which a king of unknown in the days of Job (xvii. 3.), and Solomon often Persia can bestow upon a subject, is to cause himself to alludes to it. (See Prov. vi. 1. xi. 15. xvii. 18. xx. 16. be disapparelled, and to give his robe to the favoured indi- xxii. 26. xxvii. 13.) The earliest vestige of written instruvidual.

ments, sealed and delivered for ratifying the disposal and In Num. xviii. 19. mention is made of a covenant of salt. transfer of property, occurs in Jer. xxxii

. 10–12., which the The expression appears to be borrowed from the practice of prophet commanded Baruch to bury in an earthen vessel in ratifying their federal engagements by salt; which, as it not order to be preserved for production at a future period, as only imparted a relish to different kinds of viands, but also evidence of the purchase. (14, 15.) No mention is expreserved them from putrefaction and decay, became the pressly made of the manner in which deeds were anciently emblem of incorruptibility and permanence. It is well cancelled. Some expositors have imagined that in Col. ii. known, from the concurrent testimony of voyagers and 14. Saint Paul refers to the cancelling of them by blotting travellers, that the Asiatics deem the eating together as a or drawing, a line across them, or by striking them through bond of perpetual friendship: and as salt is now (as it with a nail : but we have no information whatever from anciently was) a common article in all their repasts, it may antiquity to authorize such a conclusion." be in reference to this circumstance that a perpetual covenant IV. It was customary for those who appealed to the Deity is termed a covenant of salt; because the contracting parties in attestation of any thing, to hold up their right hand ate together of the sacrifice offered on the occasion, and the towards heaven; by which action the party swearing, or whole transaction was considered as a league of endless making oath, signified that he appealed to God to witness friendship. In order to assure those persons to whom the the truth of what he averred. Thus Abram said to the king divine promises were made, of their certainty and stability, of Sodom I hare LIFT UP MY HAND unto the Lord the most the Almighty not only willed that they should have the force high God, the possessor of heaven und earth, ..... that I will of a covenant; but also vouchsafed to accommodate himself not take any thing that is thine. (Gen. xiv. 22, 23.) Hence (if we may be permitted to use such an expression) to the the expression,“ to lift up the hand," is equivalent to making received customs. Thus, he constituted the rainbow a sign oath. In this form of scriptural antiquity, the angel in the of his covenant with mankind that the earth should be no Apocalypse is represented as taking a solemn oath. (Rev. more destroyed by a deluge (Gen. ix. 12—17.); and in a x. 5.)** vision appeared to Abraham to pass between the divided Among the Jews, an oath of fidelity was taken by the pieces of the sacrifice, which the patriarch had offered. servant's putting his hand under the thigh of his lord, as (Gen. xv. 12—17.) Jehovah further instituted the rite of Eliezer díd to Abraham (Gen. xxiv. 2.); whence, with no circumcision, as á token of the covenant between himself great deviation, is perhaps derived the form of doing homage and Abraham (Gen. xvii. 9–14.); and sometimes sware by at this day, by putting the hands between the knees, and nimself (Gen. xxii. 16. Luke 1. 73.), that is, pledged his within the hands of the liege. Sometimes an oath was eternal power and godhead for the fulfilment of his promise, accompanied with an imprecation, as in 2 Sam. iii. 9. 35. there being no one superior to himself to whom he could Ruth i. 17. 1 Kings ii. 23. 2 Kings vi. 31.: but sometimes make appeal, or by whom he could be bound. Saint Paul the party swearing omitted the imprecation, as if he were beautifully illustrates this transaction in his Epistle to the afraid, and shuddered to utter it, although it was, from other Hebrews. (vi. 13—18.). Lastly, the whole of the Mosaic sources, sufficiently well understood. (Gen. xiv. 22, 23. constitution was a mutual covenant between Jehovah and the Ezek. xvii. 18.) At other times he morely said, “ Let God Israelites; the tables of which being preserved in an ark, be a witness;" and sometimes affirmed, saying, "As surely as the latter was thence termed the ark of the covenant, and as God l'veth.” (Jer. xlii. 5. Ruth iži, 13, 1 Sam. xiv. 45. XX. (we have just seen) the blood of the victims slain in ratifica- 3. 21.) tion of that covenant, was termed the blood of the covenant. These remarks apply to the person who uttered the oath (Exod. xxiv. §. Zech. ix. 11.). Referring to this, our

• Schulzii Archæologia Hebraioa, cap. 14. de Forleribus et Contractibus, Saviour, when instituting the Lord's supper, after giving the pp. 130–132. ; Pareau, Antiquitas Hebraica, part ini. $ 2. cap. 3. de Fæde

ribus et Contractibus, pp. 322-325. Bruning, Antiqnitates Hebrew, cap. Herodotus, lib. iv. c. 70. vol. I. p. 273. Oxon. 1809. Douglitæi Analecta, 26 pp. 242—245. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 310–313, 1. p. 69.

***This mode of swearing has descended even to our own times and Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. p. 94. Burder's Or. Cust. vol. i. p. nation, being still used in Scotland, and there allowed by act of Parliament

to those dissenters who are styled Seceders. The Solemn League and : Some pleasing facts from nodern history, illustrative of the covenant Covenant, in the time of Charles I., was taken in this form." Dean Wood of salt, are collected by the industrious editor of Calinet, Fragments, house, on Rev. x. 5.

• Paley's Mor. and Polit. Philosophy, Book iii. ch. 16. $ 1. VOL. II.

L

206.

No. 130.

« ElőzőTovább »