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sunset, according to the Jewish computation, was reckoned as one day. Saturday, it is universally admitted, formed the second day; and as the third day began on Saturday at sunset, and our Saviour rose about sunrise on the following morning, that part of a day is justly reckoned for the third day; so that the interval was "three days and three nights," or three calendar days current, not exceeding 42 hours, and, consequently, not two entire days. This observation also illustrates 2 Chron. x. 5. 12. and the same mode of computing time obtains in the East, to this day.2
In like manner, in some parts of the East, the year ending on a certain day, any portion of the foregoing year is taken for a whole year; so that, supposing a child to be born in the last week of our December, it would be reckoned one year old on the first day of January, because born in the old year. If this mode of computation obtained among the Hebrews, the principle of it easily accounts for those anachronisms of single years, or parts of years taken for whole ones, which occur in sacred writ: it obviates the difficulties which concern the half years of several princes of Judah and Israel, in which the latter half of the deceased king's last year has hitherto been supposed to be added to the former half of his successor's first year.
"We are told" (1 Sam. xiii. 1. marg. reading), "a son of one year was Saul in his kingdom: and two years he reigned over Israel," that is, say he was crowned in June: he was consequently one year old on the first of January following, though he had only reigned six months,-the son of a year. But, after this so following first of January he was in the second year of his reign; though, according to our computation, the first year of his reign wanted some months of being completed; in this, his second year, he chose three thousand military, &c. guards.
"The phrase (aro drs) used to denote the age of the infants slaughtered at Bethlehem (Matt. ii. 16.) from two years old and under,' is a difficulty that has been deeply felt by the learned. Some infants two weeks old, some two months, others two years, equally slain! Surely those born so long before could not possibly be included in the order, whose purpose was to destroy a child, certainly born within a few months. This is regulated at once by the idea that they were all of nearly equal age, being recently born; some not long before the close of the old year, others a little time since the beginning of the new year. Now, those born before the close of the old year, though only a few months or weeks,
Dr. Hales, to whom we are partly indebted for the above remark, has cited several passages from profane authors, who have used a similar phraseology. (Analysis of Chronology, vol. i. pp. 121, 122.) Similar illustrations from rabbinical writers are collected by Bp. Beveridge (on the 39 Articles, in Art. IV. Works, vol. ix. p. 159. note f), by Dr. Lightfoot (Hor. Heb. in Matt, xii. 40.), and by Reland. (Antiq. Heb. lib. iv. c. I.)
2 Shortly before the philanthropic Mr. Howard arrived at Constantinople, the grand chamberlain of the city (whose province it was to supply the inhabitants with bread) had been beheaded in a summary way, in the public street, for having furnished, or permitted to be furnished, loaves short of weight; and his body was exposed for a day and a half, with three light loaves beside it to denote his crime. "When Mr. Howard was told that the body had lain there for three days, he expressed his surprise that it had not bred a contagion. He learnt, however, that in point of fact it had not been left so long, as they were not entire days: for, it being the evening when the head was struck off, it remained the whole of the second, and was removed early in the succeeding morning, which was accounted the third; thus" (as Mr. H.'s biographer very properly remarks) "the manner of computation, in use at the time of our Saviour's crucifixion and burial, still subsists among the eastern nations." (Brown's Life of John Howard, Esq. pp. 437, 438. 8vo. edit.)
would be reckoned not merely one year old, but also in their second year, as the expression implies; and those born since the beginning of the year, would be well described by the phrase and under,' that is, under one year old;-some, two years old, though not born a complete twelvemonth (perhaps, in fact, barely six months); others, under one year old, yet born three, four, or five months, and, therefore, a trifle younger than those before described: according to the time which Herod had diligently inquired of the wise men, IN their second year and UNDER."3
VII. Besides the computation of years, the Hebrews first and the Jews afterwards, were accustomed to reckon their time from some REMARKABLE ÆRAS or epochas. Thus, 1. From Gen. vii. 11. and viii. 13., it appears that they reckoned from the lives of the patriarchs or other illustrious persons: 2. From their departure out of Egypt, and the first institution of their polity (Exod. xix. 1. xl. 17. Num. i. 1. ix. 1. xxxiii. 38. 1'Kings vi. 1.): 3. Afterwards, from the building of the temple (1 Kings ix. 10. 2 Chron. viii. 1.), and from the reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel: 4. Then from the commencement of the Babylonian captivity (Ezek. i. 1. xxxiii. 21. xl. 1.); and, perhaps, also from their return from captivity, and the dedication of the second temple. In process of time they adopted, 5. The Era of the Seleucida, which in the books of Maccabees is called the Era of the Greeks, and the Alexandrian Era: it began from the year when Seleucus Nicanor attained the sovereign power, that is, about 312 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. This æra the Jews continued to employ for upwards of thirteen hundred years.4 6. They were further accustomed to reckon their years from the years when their princes began to reign. Thus, in 1 Kings xv. 1. Isa. xxxvi. 1. and Jer. i. 2, 3., we have traces of their anciently computing according to the years of their kings; and in later times (1 Macc. xiii. 42. xiv. 27), according to the years of the Asmonæan princes. Of this mode of computation we have vestiges in Matt. ii. 1. Luke i. 5. and iii. 1. Lastly, ever since the compilation of the Talmud, the Jews have reckoned their years from the creation of the world.5
3 Calmet's Dictionary, 4to. edit. vol. ii. Supplementary Addenda. 4 There are in fact two dates assigned to the æra of the Seleucidæ in the two books of Maccabees. As Seleucus did not obtain permanent possession of the city of Babylon (which had been retaken from him by Demetrius, surnamed Poliorcetes, or the vanquisher of cities) until the spring of the year 311 before Christ, the Babylonians fixed the commencement of this era 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 1 Macc. x 21.; while the second book dates from October, B. c. 312.; consequently, there is often the difference of a year in the chronology of these books. (Com pare 2 Macc. xi. 21. with 1 Macc. vi. 16., and 2 Macc. xiii. I. with 1 Macc. vi. 20.) This æra continued in general use among the orientals, with the exception of the Mohammedans, who employed it together with their own æra from the flight of Mohammed, B. c. 622. The Jews had no other epoch until A. D. 1040; when, being expelled from Asia by the caliphs, and scattered about in Spain, England, Germany, Poland, and other western countries, they began to date from the creation, though still without entirely dropping the era of the Seleucida. The orientals denominate this epoch the era of the two-horned; by which it is generally supposed they mean Alexander the Great. But perhaps the name had primary reference to Seleucus; for on some coins he is represented with two horns. See Froelich, Annales Syriæ, Tab. ii. Seleuc. Nic. 1. et Tab. iii. 29."-(Jahn's His. tory of the Hebrew Commonwealth, vol. i. pp. 249, 250.)
Reland, Antiq. Hebr. pp. 203-215. Schulzii Compendium Archæolo give Hebraicæ, lib. i. c. 11. pp. 94-107. Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, book i. ch. 5. vol. i. pp. 138-154. Calmet's Dictionary, articles Day, Week, Month, Year. Jahn, et Ackermann, Archæologia Biblica, §§ 101-103. Jen. ning's Jewish Antiquities, book iii. ch. 1. See also Waehner's Antiquitates Hebræorum, part ii. p. 5. et seq. Pritii Introd. in Nov. Test. pp. 566-575.; Pareau, Antiquitas Hebraica, pp. 310-318,
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, it is but just that every one who enjoys his share of protection from it, should contribute towards it maintenance and support.
1. On the first departure of the Israelites from Egypt, before any regulation was made, the people contributed, on any extraordinary occasion, according to their ability, as in the case of the voluntary donations for the tabernacle. (Exod. xxv. 2. xxxv. 5.) After the tabernacle was erected, a payment of half a shekel was made by every male of twenty years of age and upwards (Exod. xxx. 13, 14.), when the census, or sum of the children of Israel, was taken: and on the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, an annual payment of the third part of a shekel was made, for the maintenance of the temple-worship and service. (Neh. x. 32.) Subsequently, the enactment of Moses was deemed to be of perpetual obligation, and in the time of our Saviour two drachmæ, or half a shekel, were paid by every Jew, whether native or residing in foreign countries: besides which, every one, who was so disposed, made voluntary offerings, according to his ability. (Mark xii. 41-44.)3 Hence vast quantities of gold were annually brought to Jerusalem into the temple, where there was an apartment called the Treasury (Tacoquanov), specially appropriated to their reception. After the destruction of Jerusalem, Vespasian, by an edict, commanded that the half shekel should in future be brought by the Jews, wherever they were, into the capitol. In addition to the preceding payments for the support of their sacred worship, we may notice the first-fruits and tenths, of which an account is found in Part III. chap. iv. infra.
II. Several of the Canaanitish tribes were tributary to the Israelites even from the time of Joshua (Josh. xvi. 10. xvii. 13. Judg. i. 28. 33.) whence they could not but derive considerable wealth. The Moabites and Syrians were tributary to David (2 Sam. viii. 2. 6.): and Solomon at the beginning of his reign compelled the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were left in the country, to pay him tribute, and to perform the drudgery of the public works which he had undertaken, and from which the children of Israel were exempted. (1 Kings ix. 21, 22. 33. 2 Chron. viii. 9.) But towards the end of his reign he imposed a tribute on them also (1 Kings v. 13, 14. ix. 15. xi. 27.), which alienated their minds, and sowed the seeds of that discontent, which afterwards ripened into open revolt by the rebellion of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
III. Afterwards, however, the Israelites, being subdued by other nations, were themselves compelled to pay tribute to their conquerors. Thus Pharaoh-Necho, king of Egypt, imposed a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. (2 Kings xxiii. 33. 35.) After their return from captivity, the Jews paid tribute to the Persians, under whose government they were (Ezra iv. 13.), then to the Greeks, from which, however, they were exonerated, when under the Maccabees they had regained their liberty. In later times, when they were conquered by the Roman arms under Pompey, they were again subjected to the payment of tribute, even though their princes enjoyed the honours and dignities of royalty, as was the case with Herod the Great
The materials of this chapter, where other authorities are not cited, are derived from Schulz's Archæologia Hebraica, c. 13. de vectigalibus et tributis, and Pareau's Antiquitas Hebraica, part iii. sect. ii. c. 5. de tributis et vectigalibus. 2 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. vii. c.6. § 6. Philonis Judæi Opera, tom. ii. A singular law was in force in the time of Jesus Christ, prohibiting one mite (ETOV) from being cast into the treasury. The poor widow, therefore, who in Mark xii. 42. is said to have cast in two mites, gave the smallest sum permitted by the law. Schoetgen, Hora Hebraica, vol. i. p. 250. Townsend's Harmony of the New Testament, vol. i. p. 114. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiv. c. 7. § 2. Cicero, Orat. pro Flacco, c. 28. Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. vii. c. 6. § 6.
1 Macc. x. 29, 30. xi. 35, 36. xv. 5. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. 2. 3. c. 4. § 9. c. 6. § 6.
(Luke ii. 1-5.): and afterwards, when Judea was reduced into a Roman province, on the dethronement and banishment of his son Archelaus, the Romans imposed on the Jews not only the annual capitation tax of a denarius (cpos), but also a tax on goods imported or exported (T), and various other taxes and burthens. To this capitation tax the evange lists allude in Matt. xxii. 17. and Mark xii. 14. where it is termed voμsoμa unvoco (numisma censsûs), or the tribute money; and as this tax appears from Matt. xxii. 20, 21. to have been paid in Roman coin, the Jews paid it with great reluctance; and raised various insurrections on account of it. Among these malcontents, Judas, surnamed the Gaulonite or Galilæan, distinguished himself: he pretended that it was not lawful to pay tribute to a foreigner; that it was the badge of actual servitude, and that they were not allowed to own any for their master who did not worship the Lord. These sentiments animated the Pharisees, who came to Christ with the insidious design of ensnaring him by the question, whether it was lawful to pay tribute to Cæsar or not? Which question he answered with equal wisdom and regard for the Roman government. (Matt. xxii. 17-21.) With these sentiments the Jews continued to be animated long after the ascension of Jesus Christ; and it should seem that some of the first Hebrew Christians had imbibed their principles. In opposition to which, the apostle Paul and Peter in their inimitable epistles strenuously recommend and inculcate on all sincere believers in Jesus Christ, the duties of submission and obedience to princes, and a conscientious discharge of their duty, in paying tribute. (Rom. xiii. 7. 1 Pet. ii. 13.)
To supply the Jews who came to Jerusalem from all parts of the Roman empire to pay the half-shekel with coins current there, the money-changers (6) stationed themselves at tables, in the courts of the temple, and chiefly, it should seem, in the court of the Gentiles, for which they exacted a small fee, kolbon (xxxvbos). It was the tables on which these men trafficked for this unholy gain, which were overturned by Jesus Christ. (Matt. xxi. 12.)7
The money-changers (called Tura in Matt. xxi. 12. and is in John ii. 14.) were also those who made a profit by exchanging money. They supplied the Jews, who came from distant parts of Judæa and other parts of the Roman empire, with money, to be received back at their respective homes, or which, perhaps, they had paid before they commenced their journey. It is likewise probable that they exchanged foreign coins for such as were current at Jerusalem.
IV. Among the Romans, the censors let their taxes by public auction; and those who farmed them were called Publicani, or PUBLICANS. These farmers-general were usually Roman knights, who had under them inferior collectors: Josephus has made mention of several Jews who were Roman knights, whence Dr. Lardner thinks it probable that they had merited the equestrian rank by their good services in collecting some part of the revenue. The coltectors of these tributes were known by the general name of Teva, that is, tax-gatherers, in our authorized version rendered PUBLICANS. Some of them appear to have been receivers-general for a large district, as Zaccheus, who is styled a chief publican (APXITE vns). Matthew, who is térmed simply a publican (Texvms), was one who sat at the receipt of custom where the duty was paid on imports and exports. (Matt. ix. 9. Luke v. 29. Mark ii. 14.) These officers, at
Grotius, Hammond, and Whitby, on Matt. xxi. 12. Dr. Lightfoot's Works, vol. ii. p. 225. In Ceylon, "Moormen, whose business it is to give cash for notes, may be seen sitting in public places, with heaps of coin before them. On observing a person with a note, or in want of their ser vices, they earnestly solicit his attention." Callaway's Oriental Observa tions, p. 68. Cicero, in Verrem, lib. iii. c. 72. Orat. pro Planco, c. 9. De Petitione Consulatûs, c. 1. Tacit. Annal. lib. iv. c. 6. Adam's Roman Antiquities, pp. 25. 60. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 14. § 9.
least the inferior ones (like the rahdars, or toll-gatherers, in modern Persia,1 and the mirigees, or collectors of customs, in Asia Minor, were generally rapacious, extorting more than the legal tribute; whence they were reckoned infamous among the Greeks, and various passages in the Gospels show how odious they were to the Jews (Mark ii. 15, 16. Luke iii. 13.), insomuch that the Pharisees would hold no communication whatever with them, and imputed it to our Saviour as a crime that he sat at meat with publicans. (Matt. ix. 10, 11. xi. 19. xxi. 31, 32.) The payment of taxes to the Romans was accounted by the Jews an intolerable grievance: hence those who assisted in collecting them were detested as plunderers in the cause of the Romans, as betrayers of the liberties of their country, and as abettors of those who had enslaved it; this circumstance will account for the contempt and hatred so
often expressed by the Jews in the evangelical histories against the collectors of the taxes or tribute.3
The parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke xviii. 10-13.) will derive considerable illustration from these circumstances. Our Saviour, in bringing these two characters together, appears to have chosen them as making the strongest contrast between what, in the public estimation, were the extremes of excellence and villany. The Pharisees, it is well known, were the most powerful sect among the Jews, and made great pretences to piety: and when the account of the Persian rahdars, given in the preceding page, is recollected, it will account for the Pharisee, in addressing God, having made extortioners, and the unjust, almost synonymous terms with publicans; because, from his peculiar office, the rahdar is almost an extortioner by profession.
ON THE GENEALOGICAL TABLES OF THE HEBREWS, AND PUBLIC MEMORIALS OF EVENTS.
I. THE Hebrews were very careful in preserving their GENEALOGIES, or the history of the successions of families. Vestiges of these histories of families appear in Gen. v. and x. In proportion as the Hebrews increased in numbers during their residence in Egypt, it became an object of growing importance carefully to preserve the genealogical tables of the whole nation, in order that each tribe might be kept perfectly distinct. The charge of these genealogies was, most probably, confided, in the first instance, to the shoterim, or scribes, of whom a short account is given in p. 42. supra, and afterwards to the Levites; at least in the time of the kings, we find that the scribes were generally taken from the tribe of Levi. (1 Chron. xxiii. 4. 2 Chron. xix. 8-11. xxxiv. 13.) "This was a very rational procedure, as the Levites devoted themselves particularly to study; and, among husbandmen and unlearned people, few were likely to be so expert in writing, as to be intrusted with keeping registers so important. In later times the genealogical tables were kept in the temple."5
and Babylon, or in any other place whithersoever their priests were carried, were careful to preserve their genealogies." Such priests after the captivity as could not produce their genealogies were excluded from the sacerdotal office. Hence, when in Heb. vii. 3. Melchizedek is said to have been with out descent (averos, that is, without genealogy), the meaning is, that his name was not found in the public genealogical registers: his father and mother, and ancestors were unknown, whence his priesthood was of a different kind, and to be regarded differently from that of Aaron and his sons.
From similar public registers Mathew and Luke derived the genealogies of our Saviour; the former of which, from Abraham to Jesus Christ, embraces a period of nearly two thousand years, while the genealogy of Luke, from Adam to Christ, comprises a period of about four thousand years. It is well known that the Jews carried their fondness for genealogies to great excess, and prided themselves on tracing their pedigrees up to Abraham. Jerome says that they were as well acquainted with genealogies from Adam to Zerubbabel as they were with their own names. Against such unprofitable genealogies Paul cautions Timothy (I Tim. i. 4.) and Titus. (iii. 9.) Since the total dispersion of the Jews in the reign of Adrian, the Jews have utterly lost their ancient genealogies.
Whatever injury the public genealogies might have sustained in consequence of the Babylonish captivity, it was repaired on the restoration of the Jewish polity, as far at least as was practicable. (Ezra ii. viii. 1-14. Neh. vii. xii.) Hence it is, that a very considerable portion of the first book 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 Jews had an uninterrupted succession of their high-priests preserved in their records for the space of nearly two thousand years; and that the priests in Judæa, and even in Egypt
The rahdars, or toll-gatherers, are appointed to levy a toll upon Kafilhes or caravans of merchants; "who in general exercise their office with so much brutality and extortion, as to be execrated by all travellers. The police of the highways is confided to them, and whenever any goods are stolen, they are meant to be the instruments of restitution; but when they are put to the test, are found to be inefficient. None but a man in power can hope to recover what he has once lost....The collections of the toll are farmed, consequently extortion ensues; and as most of the rahdars receive no other emolument than what they can exact over and above the prescribed dues from the traveller, their insolence is accounted for on the one hand, and the detestation in which they are held on the other." Morier's Second Journey, p. 70.
kind occur in Exod. vi. 14-24. 1 Chron. vi. 12-15. compared with Ezra i. 5. and in Matt. i. 17. The Arabs have not unfrequently taken a similar liberty in their genealogies.
II. From the remotest ages, mankind have been desirous of perpetuating the memory of remarkable events, not only for their own benefit, but also in order to transmit them to posterity; and in proportion to the antiquity of such events has been the simplicity of the PUBLIC MEMORIALS employed to preserve the remembrance of them. When, therefore, any remarkable event befell the patriarchs, they raised either a rude stone or a heap of stones in the very place where such event had happened. (Gen. xxviii. 18. xxxi. 45, 46.) Sometimes, also, they gave names to places importing the nature of the transactions which had taken place (Gen. xvi. 14. xxi. 2 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 "and reentering 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 commodities, were sometimes given by them to individuals. (Gen. xxv. (says Mr. Hartley, who experienced both) " are just in character with the safing to accommodate himself, in Gen. xvii. 5. 15. and conduct of the publicans mentioned in the New Testament."....When men xxxii. 28, 29. are guilty of such conduct as this, no wonder that they were detested in ancient times, as were the publicans; and in modern times, as are the mirigees." (Hartley's Researches in Greece, p. 239.)
at the custom (or in the custom-house of
Lardner's Credibility, part i. book i. c. 9. $5 10, 11. Carpzovii Appara 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 Rom. xiii. 6. studiously obviates this slander; and enjoins the payment of tribute to civil governors, because, as all governments derive their authority from God, rulers are his ministers, attending upon this very thing, viz. the public administration, to protect the good and to punish the evil doer. (Gilpin and Valpy on Rom. xiii. 6.)
Morier's Second Journey, p. 71.
Conformably to this custom, Moses enjoined the Israelites to erect an altar of great stones on which the law was to be inscribed, after they had crossed the river Jordan (Deut.
ascribes the origin of the name of Maccabæus with which
xxvii. 1-4.), and also gave to those places, which had been
ON THE TREATIES OR COVENANTS, CONTRACTS, AND OATHS OF THE JEWS.
doubtless, with a view to the great Sacrifice, who was to purge our sins in his own blood; and the offering of these sacrifices, and passing between the parts of the divided victim, was symbolically staking their hopes of purification and salvation on their performance of the condition on which it was offered.4
I. 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 mistake, that the Israelites were prohibited from forming alliances with heathens: this would in effect have amounted to a general prohibition of alliance with any nation whatever, because at that time all the world were heathens. In the Mosaic law, not a single statute is enacted, that prohibits the 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 overflowing 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 Solomon lived in alliance with the king of Tyre; and the former with the king of Hamath (2 Sam. viii. 9, 10); and the queen of Sheba cannot be regarded in any other light than as an ally of Solomon's. Even the Maccabees, who were so laudably zealous for the law of Moses, did not hesitate to enter into a compact with the Romans. The only treaties condemned by the prophets are those with the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians, which were extremely prejudicial to the nation, by involving it continually in quarrels with sovereigns more powerful than the Jewish monarchs; and the event always showed, in a most striking manner, the propriety of their reproofs.
storm, they will gather money, light up candles in remembrance of some dead marrabot (saint) or other, calling upon him with heavy sighs and groans. If they find no succour from their before-mentioned rites and superstitions, but that the danger rather increases, then they go to sacrificing a sheep (or two or three upon occasion, as they think needful), which is done after this manner: having cut off the head with a knife, they immediately take out the entrails, and throw them and the head overboard; and then, with all the speed they can (without skinning) they cut the body into two parts by the middle, and throw one part over the right side of the ship, and the other over the left, into the sea, as 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." In 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 laying 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 with 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 Abraham and the king of Gerar was ratified by the oath of both parties, by a present from Abraham to the latter of seven ewe lambs, and by giving a name to the well which had given occasion to the transaction. (Gen. xxi. 22-32.) It was, moreover, customary to cut the victim (which was to be offered as a sacrifice upon the occasion) into two parts, and so placing each half upon two different altars, to cause those who contracted the covenant to pass between both. (Gen. xv. 9, 10. 17. Jer. xxxiv. 18.) This rite was practised both
Festivities always accompanied the ceremonies attending covenants. Isaac and Abimelech feasted at making their covenant (Gen. xxvi. 30.), And he made them a feast, and they did eat and drink. (Gen. xxxi. 54.) Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread. This practice was also usual amongst the heathen nations."
This remarkable practice may be clearly traced in the Greek and Latin writers. Homer has the following expression:
Iliad, lib. ii. ver. 124.
Ορκια πίστα ταμοντες.
$ No. 129.
Burder's Oriental Customs, vol. ii. p. 84.-Fifth edition. See examples of the ancient mode of ratifying covenants, in Homer. II. lib. iii. verses 103-107. 245. et seq. Virgil, Æn. lib. viii. 641. xii. 169. et seq. Dionysius Halicarnassensis, lib. v. c. 1. Hooke's Roman History, vol. i. p. 67.
Afterwards, when the Mosaic law was established, and the people were settled in the land of Canaan, the people feasted, in their peace offerings, on a part of the sacrifice, in token of their reconciliation with God (Deut. xii. 6, 7.): and thus, in the sacrament of the Lord's supper, we renew our covenant with God, and (in the beautiful language of the communion office of the Anglican church) "we offer and present ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, noly, and lively sacrifice" unto Him, being at His table feasted with the bread and wine, the representation of the sacrifice of Christ's body and blood; who by himself once offered upon the cross has made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and atonement for the sin of the whole world.
Sometimes the parties to the covenant were sprinkled with the blood of the victim. Thus Moses, after sprinkling part of the blood on the altar, to show that Jehovah was a party to the covenant, sprinkled part of it on the Israelites, and said unto them, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you. (Exod. xxiv. 6. 8.) To this transaction St. Paul alludes in his Epistle to the Hebrews (ix. 20.), and explains its evangelical meaning.
The Scythians are said to have first poured wine into an earthen vessel, and then the contracting parties, cutting their arms with a knife, let some of the blood run into the wine, with which they stained their armour. After which they themselves, together with the other persons present, drank of the mixture, uttering the direst maledictions on the party who should violate the treaty.1
Another mode of ratifying covenants was by the superior contracting party presenting to the other some article of his own dress or arms. Thus, Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to the sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle. (1 Sam. xviii. 4.) The highest honour, which a king of Persia can bestow upon a subject, is to cause himself to be disapparelled, and to give his robe to the favoured individual.2
cup, said, This is (signifies or represents) my blood of the New Covenant, which is shed for many, for the remission of sins. (Matt. xxvi. 28.) By this very remarkable expression, Jesus Christ teaches us, that as his body was to be broken or crucified, vp nav, in our stead, so his blood was to be poured out (xxv, a sacrificial term) to make an atonement, as the words remission of sins evidently imply; for without shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb. ix. 22.), nor any remission by shedding of blood but in a sacrificial way. Compare Heb. ix. 20. and xiii. 12.
III. What treaties or covenants were between the high contracting powers who were authorized to conclude them, that contracts of bargain and sale are between private individuals.
Among the Hebrews, and long before them among the Canaanites, the purchase of any thing of consequence was concluded and the price paid, at the gate of the city, as the seat of judgment, before all who went out and came in. (Gen. xxiii. 16-20. Ruth iv. 1, 2.) As persons of leisure, and those who wanted amusement, were wont to sit in the gates, purchases there made could always be testified by numerous witnesses. From Ruth iv. 7-11. we learn another singular usage on occasions of purchase, cession, and exchange, viz. that in earlier times, the transfer of alienable property was confirmed by the proprietor plucking off his shoe at the city gate, in the presence of the elders and other witnesses, and handing it over to the new owner. The origin of this custom it is impossible to trace: but it had evidently become antiquated in the time of David, as the author of the book of Ruth introduces it as an unknown custom of former ages.
In process of time the joining or striking of hands, already mentioned with reference to public treaties, was introduced as a ratification of a bargain and sale. This usage was not unknown in the days of Job (xvii. 3.), and Solomon often alludes to it. (See Prov. vi. 1. xi. 15. xvii. 18. xx. 16. xxii. 26. xxvii. 13.) The earliest vestige of written instruments, sealed and delivered for ratifying the disposal and transfer of property, occurs in Jer. xxxii. 10-12., which the prophet commanded Baruch to bury in an earthen vessel in order to be preserved for production at a future period, as evidence of the purchase. (14, 15.) No mention is expressly made of the manner in which deeds were anciently cancelled. Some expositors have imagined that in Col. ii. 14. Saint Paul refers to the cancelling of them by blotting or drawing a line across them, or by striking them through with a nail: but we have no information whatever from antiquity to authorize such a conclusion.4
IV. It was customary for those who appealed to the Deity in attestation of any thing, to hold up their right hand towards heaven; by which action the party swearing, or making OATH, signified that he appealed to God to witness the truth of what he averred. Thus Abram said to the king of Sodom-I have LIFT UP MY HAND unto the LORD the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,.....that I will not take any thing that is thine. (Gen. xiv. 22, 23.) Hence the expression, "to lift up the hand," is equivalent to making oath. In this form of scriptural antiquity, the angel in the Apocalypse is represented as taking a solemn oath. (Rev. x. 5.)5*
In Num. xviii. 19. mention is made of a covenant of salt. The expression appears to be borrowed from the practice of ratifying their federal engagements by salt; which, as it not only imparted a relish to different kinds of viands, but also preserved them from putrefaction and decay, became the emblem of incorruptibility and permanence. It is well known, from the concurrent testimony of voyagers and travellers, that the Asiatics deem the eating together as a bond of perpetual friendship; and as salt is now (as it anciently was) a common article in all their repasts, it may be in reference to this circumstance that a perpetual covenant is termed a covenant of salt; because the contracting parties ate together of the sacrifice offered on the occasion, and the whole transaction was considered as a league of endless friendship. In order to assure those persons to whom the divine promises were made, of their certainty and stability, the Almighty not only willed that they should have the force of a covenant; but also vouchsafed to accommodate himself (if we may be permitted to use such an expression) to the received customs. Thus, he constituted the rainbow a sign of his covenant with mankind that the earth should be no more destroyed by a deluge (Gen. ix. 12—17.); and in a vision appeared to Abraham to pass between the divided pieces of the sacrifice, which the patriarch had offered. (Gen. xv. 12-17.) Jehovah further instituted the rite of circumcision, as a token of the covenant between himself and Abraham (Gen. xvii. 9-14.); and sometimes sware by nimself (Gen. xxii. 16. Luke i. 73.), that is, pledged his eternal power and godhead for the fulfilment of his promise, there being no one superior to himself to whom he could make appeal, or by whom he could be bound. Saint Paul beautifully illustrates this transaction in his Epistle to the Hebrews. (vi. 13—18.) Lastly, the whole of the Mosaic constitution was a mutual covenant between Jehovah and the Israelites; the tables of which being preserved in an ark, the latter was thence termed the ark of the covenant, and as (we have just seen) the blood of the victims slain in ratifica-3. tion of that covenant, was termed the blood of the covenant. (Exod. xxiv. 8. Zech. ix. 11.) Referring to this, our Saviour, when instituting the Lord's supper, after giving the 1 Herodotus, lib. iv. c. 70. vol. i. p. 273. Oxon. 1809. Doughtæi Analecta, 1. p. 69. 2 Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. p. 94. Burder's Or. Cust. vol. i. p. Some pleasing facts from modern history, illustrative of the covenant of salt, are collected by the industrious editor of Calinet, Fragments, No. 130. VOL. II. L
Among the Jews, an oath of fidelity was taken by the servant's putting his hand under the thigh of his lord, as Eliezer did to Abraham (Gen. xxiv. 2.); whence, with no great deviation, is perhaps derived the form of doing homage at this day, by putting the hands between the knees, and within the hands of the liege. Sometimes an oath was accompanied with an imprecation, as in 2 Sam. iii. 9. 35. Ruth i. 17. 1 Kings ii. 23. 2 Kings vi. 31.: but sometimes the party swearing omitted the imprecation, as if he were afraid, and shuddered to utter it, although it was, from other sources, sufficiently well understood. (Gen. xiv. 22, 23. Ezek. xvii. 18.) At other times he merely said, "Let God be a witness," and sometimes affirmed, saying, "As surely as God I'veth." (Jer. xlii. 5. Ruth iii, 13, 1 Sam. xiv. 45. xx. 21.)
These remarks apply to the person who uttered the oath • Schulzii Archæologia Hebraica, cap. 14. de Forleribus et Contractibus, pp. 130-132.; Pareau, Antiquitas Hebraica, part iii. § 2. cap. 3. de Faderibus et Contractibus, pp. 322-325. Bruning, Antiquitates Hebrææ, cap. 26 pp. 242-245, Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. i. pp. 310-313.
"This mode of swearing has descended even to our own times and nation, being still used in Scotland, and there allowed by act of Parliament to those dissenters who are styled Seceders. The Solemn League and Covenant, in the time of Charles I., was taken in this form." Dean Wood house, on Rev. x. 5.
Paley's Mor. and Polit. Philosophy, Book iii. ch. 16. § 1.