Title: The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah
Creator(s): Edersheim, Alfred (1825-1889)
Print Basis: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1953
Rights: Public Domain
CCEL Subjects: All; Classic; History;
LC Call no: BT301
LC Subjects:

Doctrinal theology

Christology

Life of Christ


THE

LIFE AND TIMES

OF

JESUS THE MESSIAH

 

 

BY

ALFRED EDERSHEIM, M.A.Oxon., D.D. Ph.D.

 

 

 

TO

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS, AND SCHOLARS

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

THESE VOLUMES

ARE RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED

 

 


PREFACE
TO
THE FIRST EDITION.

 

In presenting these volumes to the reader, I must offer an explanation, - though I would fain hope that such may not be absolutely necessary. The title of this book must not be understood as implying any pretence on my part to write a Life of Christ' in the strict sense. To take the lowest view, the materials for it do not exist. Evidently the Evangelists did not intend to give a full record of even the outward events in that History; far less could they have thought of compassing the sphere or sounding the depths of the Life of Him, Whom they present to us as the God-Man and the Eternal Son of the Eternal Father. Rather must the Gospels be regarded as four different aspects in which the Evangelists viewed the historical Jesus of Nazareth as the fulfilment of the Divine promise of old, the Messiah of Israel and the Saviour of man, and presented Him to the Jewish and Gentile world for their acknowledgment as the Sent of God, Who revealed the Father, and was Himself the Way to Him, the Truth, and the Life. And this view of the Gospel-narratives underlies the figurative representation of the Evangelist in Christian Symbolism. [1]

In thus guarding my meaning in the choice of the title, I have already indicated my own standpoint in this book. But in another respect I wish to disclaim having taken any predetermined dogmatic standpoint at the outset of my investigations. I wished to write, not for a definite purpose, be it even that of the defence of the faith, - but rather to let that purpose grow out of the book, as would be pointed out by the course of independent study, in which arguments on both sides should be impartially weighed and facts ascertained. In this manner I hoped best to attain what must be the first object in all research, but especially in such as the present: to ascertain, as far as we can, the truth, irrespective of consequences. And thus also I hoped to help others, by going, as it were, before them, in the path which their enquiries must take, and removing the difficulties and entanglements which beset it. So might I honestly, confidently, and, in such a matter, earnestly, ask them to follow me, pointing to the height to which such enquiries must lead up. I know, indeed, that there is something beyond and apart from this; even the restful sense on that height, and the happy outlook from it. But this is not within the province of one man to give to another, nor yet does it come in the way of study, however earnest and careful; it depends upon, and implies the existence of a subjective state which comes only by the direction given to our enquiries by the true hodegos (St John xvi. 13).

This statement of the general object in view will explain the course pursued in these enquiries. First and foremost, this book was to be study of the Life of Jesus the Messiah, retaining the general designation, as best conveying to others the subject to be treated.

But, secondly, since Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, spoke to, and moved among Jews, in Palestine, and at a definite period of its history, it was absolutely necessary to view that Life and Teaching in all its surroundings of place, society, popular life, and intellectual or religious development. This would form not only the frame in which to set the picture of the Christ, but the very background of the picture itself. It is, indeed, most true that Christ spoke not only to the Jews, to Palestine, and to that time, but - of which history has given the evidence - to all men and to all times. Still He spoke first and directly to the Jews, and His words must have been intelligible to them, His teaching have reached upwards from their intellectual and religious standpoint, even although it infinitely extended the horizon so as, in its full application, to make it wide as the bounds of earth and time. Nay, to explain the bearing of the religious leaders of Israel, from the first, towards Jesus, it seemed also necessary to trace the historical development of thought and religious belief, till it issued in that system of Traditionalism, which, by an internal necessity, was irreconcilably antagonistic to the Christ of the Gospels.

On other grounds also, such a full portraiture of Jewish life, society, and thinking seemed requisite. It furnishes alike a vindication and an illustration of the Gospel-narratives. A vindication - because in measure as we transport ourselves into that time, we feel that the Gospels present to us a real, historical scene; that the men and the circumstances to which we are introduced are real - not a fancy picture, but just such as we know and now recognize them, and would expect them to have spoken, or to have been. Again, we shall thus vividly realise another and most important aspect of the words of Christ. We shall perceive that their form is wholly of the times, their cast Jewish - while by the side of this similarity of form there is not only essential difference but absolute contrariety of substance and spirit. Jesus spoke as truly a Jew to the Jews, but He spoke not as they - no, not as their highest and best Teachers would have spoken. And this contrariety of spirit with manifest similarity of form is, to my mind, one of the strongest evidences of the claims of Christ, since it raises the all-important question, whence the Teacher of Nazareth - or, shall we say, the humble Child of the Carpenter-home in a far-off little place of Galilee - had drawn His inspiration? And clearly to set this forth has been the first object of the detailed Rabbinic quotations in this book.

But their further object, besides this vindication, has been the illustration of the Gospel-narratives. Even the general reader must be aware that some knowledge of Jewish life and society at the time is requisite for the understanding of the Gospel-history. Those who have consulted the works of Lightfoot, Schöttgen, Meuschen, Wetstein and Wünsche, or even the extracts from them presented in Commentaries, know that the help derived from their Jewish references is very great. And yet, despite the immense learning and industry of these writers, there are serious drawbacks to their use. Sometimes the references are critically not quite accurate; sometimes they are derived from works that should not have been adduced in evidence; occasionally, either the rendering, or the application of what is separated from its context, is not reliable. A still more serious objection is, that these quotations are not unfrequently one sided; but chiefly this - perhaps, as the necessary consequence of being merely illustrative notes to certain verses in the Gospels - that they do not present a full and connected picture. And yet it is this which so often gives the most varied and welcome illustration of the Gospel-narratives. In truth, we know not only the leading personages in Church and State in Palestine at that time, their views, teaching, pursuits, and aims; the state of parties; the character of popular opinion; the proverbs, the customs, the daily life of the country - but we can, in imagination, enter their dwellings, associate with them in familiar intercourse, or follow them to the Temple, the Synagogue, the Academy, or to the market-place and the workshop. We know what clothes they wore, what dishes they ate, what wines they drank, what they produced and what they imported: nay, the cost of every article of their dress or food, the price of houses and of living; in short, every detail that can give vividness to a picture of life.

All this is so important for the understanding of the Gospel-history as, I hope, to justify the fulness of archæological detail in this book. And yet I have used only a portion of the materials which I had collected for the purpose. And here I must frankly own, as another reason for this fulness of detail, that many erroneous and misleading statements on this subject, and these even on elementary points, have of late been made. Supported by references to the labours of truly learned German writers, they have been sometimes set forth with such confidence as to impose the laborious and unwelcome duty of carefully examining and testing them. But to this only the briefest possible reference has been made, and chiefly in the beginning of these volumes.

Another explanation seems more necessary in this connection. In describing the Traditionalism of the time of Christ, I must have said what, I fear, may, most unwillingly on my part, wound the feelings of some who still cling, if not to the faith of, yet to what now represents the ancient Synagogue. But let me appeal to their fairness. I must needs state what I believe to be the facts; and I could neither keep them back nor soften them, since it was of the very essence of my argument to present Christ as both in contact and in contrast with Jewish Traditionalism. No educated Western Jew would, in these days, confess himself as occupying the exact standpoint of Rabbinic Traditionalism. Some will select parts of the system; others will allegorise, explain, or modify it; very many will, in heart - often also openly - repudiate the whole. And here it is surely not necessary for me to rebut or disown those vile falsehoods about the Jews which ignorance, cupidity, and bigoted hatred have of late again so strangely raised. But I would go further, and assert that, in reference to Jesus of Nazareth, no educated Israelite of to-day would identify himself with the religious leaders of the people eighteen centuries ago. Yet is not this disclaimer of that Traditionalism which not only explains the rejection of Jesus, but is the sole logical raison d'être of the Synagogue, also its condemnation?

I know, indeed, that from this negative there is a vast step in advance to the positive in the reception of the Gospel, and that many continue in the Synagogue, because they are not so convinced of the other as truthfully to profess it. And perhaps the means we have taken to present it have not always been the wisest. The mere appeal to the literal fulfilment of certain prophetic passages in the Old Testament not only leads chiefly to critical discussions, but rests the case on what is, after all, a secondary line of argumentation. In the New Testament prophecies are not made to point to facts, but facts to point back to prophecies. The New Testament presents the fulfilment of all prophecy rather than of prophecies, and individual predictions serve as fingerposts to great outstanding facts, which mark where the roads meet and part. And here, as it seems to me, we are at one with the ancient Synagogue. In proof, I would call special attention to Appendix IX., which gives a list of all the Old Testament passages Messianically applied in Jewish writings. We, as well as they, appeal to all Scripture, to all prophecy, as that of which the reality is in the Messiah. But we also appeal to the whole tendency and new direction which the Gospel presents in opposition to that of Traditionalism; to the new revelation of the Father, to the new brotherhood of man, and to the satisfaction of the deepest wants of the heart, which Christ has brought - in short, to the Scriptural, the moral, and the spiritual elements; and we would ask whether all this could have been only the outcome of a Carpenter's Son at Nazareth at the time, and amidst the surroundings which we so well know.

In seeking to reproduce in detail the life, opinions, and teaching of the contemporaries of Christ, we have also in great measure addressed ourselves to what was the third special object in view in this History. This was to clear the path of difficulties - in other words, to meet such objections as might be raised to the Gospel-narratives. And this, as regards principle - not details and minor questions, which will cause little uneasiness to the thoughtful and calm reader; quite irrespective also of any theory of inspiration which may be proposed, and hence of any harmonistic or kindred attempts which may be made. Broadly speaking, the attacks on the Gospel-narratives may be grouped under these three particulars: they may be represented as intentional fraud by the writers, and imposition on the readers; or, secondly, a rationalistic explanation may be sought of them, showing how what originally had been quite simple and natural was misunderstood by ignorance, or perverted by superstition; or, thirdly, they may be represented as the outcome of ideas and expectations at the time, which gathered around the beloved Teacher of Nazareth, and, so to speak, found body in legends that clustered around the Person and Life of Him Who was regarded as the Messiah. . . . And this is supposed to account for the preaching of the Apostles, for their life-witness, for their martyr-death, for the Church, for the course which history has taken, as well as for the dearest hopes and experiences of Christian life!

Of the three modes of criticism just indicated, importance attaches only to the third, which has been broadly designated as the mythical theory. The fraud-theory seems - as even Strauss admits - psychologically so incompatible with admitted facts as regards the early Disciples and the Church, and it does such violence to the first requirements of historical enquiry, as to make it - at least to me - difficult to understand how any thoughtful student could be swayed by objections which too often are merely an appeal to the vulgar, intellectually and morally, in us. For - to take the historical view of the question - even if every concession were made to negative criticism, sufficient would still be left in the Christian documents to establish a consensus of the earliest belief as to all the great facts of the Gospel-History, on which both the preaching of the Apostles and the primitive Church have been historically based. And with this consensus at least, and its practical outcome, historical enquiry has to reckon. And here I may take leave to point out the infinite importance, as regards the very foundation of our faith, attaching to the historical Church - truly in this also the ekklesia theou zontos, stulos kai hedraioma[columna et fulcrum] tes aletheias (the Church of the Living God, the pillar and stay [support] of the truth).

As regards the second class of interpretation - the rationalistic - it is altogether so superficial, shadowy and unreal that it can at most be only regarded as a passing phase of light-minded attempts to set aside felt difficulties.

But the third mode of explanation, commonly, though perhaps not always quite fairly, designated as the mythical, deserves and demands, at least in its sober presentation, the serious consideration of the historical student. Happily it is also that which, in the nature of it, is most capable of being subjected to the test of historical examination. For, as previously stated, we possess ample materials for ascertaining the state of thought, belief, and expectancy in the time of Christ, and of His Apostles. And to this aspect of objections to the Gospels the main line of argumentation in this book has been addressed. For, if the historical analysis here attempted has any logical force, it leads up to this conclusion, that Jesus Christ was, alike in the fundamental direction of His teaching and work, and in its details, antithetic to the Synagogue in its doctrine, practice, and expectancies.

But even so, one difficulty - we all feel it - remaineth. It is that connected with miracles, or rather with the miraculous, since the designation, and the difficulty to which it points, must not be limited to outward and tangible phenomena. But herein, I venture to say, lies also its solution, at least so far as such is possible - since the difficulty itself, the miraculous, is of the very essence of our thinking about the Divine, and therefore one of the conditions of it: at least, in all religions of which the origin is not from within us, subjective, but from without us, objective, or, if I may so say, in all that claim to be universal religions (catholic thinking). But, to my mind, the evidential value of miracles (as frequently set forth in these volumes) lies not in what, without intending offence, I may call their barely super-naturalistic aspect, but in this, that they are the manifestations of the miraculous, in the widest sense, as the essential element in revealed religion. Miracles are of chief evidential value, not in themselves, but as instances and proof of the direct communication between Heaven and earth. And such direct communication is, at least, the postulate and first position in all religions. They all present to the worshipper some medium of personal communication from Heaven to earth - some prophet or other channel of the Divine - and some medium for our communication with Heaven. And this is the fundamental principle of the miraculous as the essential postulate in all religion that purposes again to bind man to God. It proceeds on the twofold principle that communication must first come to man from Heaven, and then that it does so come. Rather, perhaps, let us say, that all religion turns on these two great factors of our inner experience: man's felt need and (as implied in it, if we are God's creatures) his felt expectancy. And in the Christian Church this is not merely matter of the past - it has attained its fullest reality, and is a constant present in the indwelling of the Paraclete.

Yet another part of the task in writing this book remains to be mentioned. In the nature of it, such a book must necessarily have been more or less of a Commentary on the Gospels. But I have sought to follow the text of the Gospels throughout, and separately to consider every passage in them, so that, I hope, I may truthfully designate it also a Commentary on the Four Gospels - though an informal one. And here I may be allowed to state that throughout I have had the general reader in view, reserving for the foot-notes and Appendices what may be of special interest to students. While thankfully availing myself of all critical help within my reach - and here I may perhaps take the liberty of specially singling out Professor Westcott's Commentary on St. John - I have thought it right to make the sacred text the subject of fresh and independent study. The conclusions at which I arrived I would present with the more deference, that, from my isolated position, I had not, in writing these volumes, the inestimable advantage of personal contact, on these subjects, with other students of the sacred text.

It only remains to add a few sentences in regard to other matters - perhaps of more interest to myself than to the reader. For many years I had wished and planned writing such a book, and all my previous studies were really in preparation for this. But the task was actually undertaken at the request of the Publishers, of whose kindness and patience I must here make public acknowledgment. For, the original term fixed for writing it was two or three years. It has taken me seven years of continual and earnest labour - and, even so, I feel as if I would fain, and ought to, spend other seven years upon what could, at most, be touching the fringe of this great subject. What these seven years have been to me I could not attempt to tell. In a remote country parish, entirely isolated from all social intercourse, and amidst not a few trials, parochial duty has been diversified and relieved by many hours of daily work and of study - delightful in and for itself. If any point seemed not clear to my own mind, or required protracted investigation, I could give days of undisturbed work to what to others might perhaps seem secondary, but was all-important to me. And so these seven years passed - with no other companion in study than my daughter, to whom I am indebted, not only for the Index Rerum, but for much else, especially for a renewed revision, in the proof-sheets, of the references made throughout these volumes. What labour and patience this required every reader will perceive - although even so I cannot hope that no misprint or slip of the pen has escaped our detection.

And now I part from this book with thankfulness to Almighty God for sparing me to complete it, with lingering regret that the task is ended, but also with unfeigned diffidence. I have, indeed, sought to give my best and most earnest labour to it, and to write what I believed to be true, irrespective of party or received opinions. This, in such a book, was only sacred duty. But where study necessarily extended to so many, and sometimes new, departments, I cannot hope always to carry the reader with me, or, which is far more serious - to have escaped all error. My deepest and most earnest prayer is that He, in Whose Service I have desired to write this book, would graciously accept the humble service - forgive what is mistaken and bless what is true. And if anything personal may intrude into these concluding lines, I would fain also designate what I have written as Apologia pro vita mea (alike in its fundamental direction and even ecclesiastically) - if, indeed, that may be called an Apologia which is the confession of this inmost conviction of mind and heart: Lord, to Whom shall we go? The words of eternal life hast Thou! And we have believed and know that Thou art the Holy One of God.'

ALFRED EDERSHEIM.

8 BRADMORE ROAD, OXFORD:

September 1883

 


[1] Comp. the historical account of these symbols in Zahn, Forsch. z. Gesch. d. Neu-Test. Kanons, ii. pp. 257-275.


 PREFACE
TO THE
SECOND AND THIRD EDITIONS.

 

IN issuing a new edition of this book I wish, in the first place, again to record, as the expression of permanent convictions and feelings, some remarks with which I had prefaced the Second Edition, although happily they are not at present so urgently called for.

With the feelings of sincere thankfulness for the kindness with which this book was received by all branches of the Church, only one element of pain mingled. Although I am well convinced that a careful or impartial reader could not arrive at any such conclusion, yet it was suggested that a perverse ingenuity might abuse certain statements and quotations for what in modern parlance are termed Anti-Semitic' purposes. That any such thoughts could possibly attach to a book concerning Him, Who was Himself a Jew; Who in the love of His compassion wept tears of bitter anguish over the Jerusalem that was about to crucify Him, and Whose first utterance and prayer when nailed to the Cross was: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do' - would seem terribly incongruous and painful. Nor can it surely be necessary to point out that the love of Christ, or the understanding of His Work and Mission, must call forth feelings far different from those to which reference has been made. To me, indeed, it is difficult to associate the so-called Anti-Semitic movement with any but the lowest causes: envy, jealousy, and cupidity on the one hand; or, on the other, ignorance, prejudice, bigotry, and hatred of race. But as these are times when it is necessary to speak unmistakably, I avail myself of the present opportunity to point out the reasons why any Talmudic quotations, even if fair, can have no application for Anti-Semitic' purposes.

First: It is a mistake to regard everything in Talmudic writings about the Gentiles' as presently applying to Christians. Those spoken of are characterised as the worshippers of idols,' of stars and planets,' and by similar designations. That the heathens' of those days and lands should have been suspected of almost any abomination, deemed capable of any treachery or cruelty towards Israel, - no student of history can deem strange, especially when the experience of so many terrible wrongs (would they had been confined to the heathen and to those times!) would naturally lead to morbidly excited suspicions and apprehensions.

Secondly: We must remember the times, the education, and the general standpoint of that period as compared with our own. No one would measure the belief of Christians by certain statements in the Fathers, nor judge the moral principles of Roman Catholics by prurient quotations from the Casuists; nor yet estimate the Lutherans by the utterances and deeds of the early successors of Luther, nor Calvinists by the burning of Servetus. In all such cases the general standpoint of the times has to be first taken into account. And no educated Jew would share the follies and superstitions, nor yet sympathise with the suspicions or feelings towards even the most hostile and depraved heathens, that may be quoted from the Talmud.

Thirdly: Absolutely the contrary of all this has been again and again set forth by modern Jewish writers. Even their attempts to explain away certain quotations from the Talmud - unsuccessful though, in my view, some of them are - afford evidence of their present repudiation of all such sentiments. I would here specially refer to such work as Dr. Grünebaum's Ethics of Judaism' (Sittenlehre d. Judenthums') - a book deeply interesting also as setting forth the modern Jewish view of Christ and His Teaching, and accordant (though on different grounds) with some of the conclusions expressed in this book, as regards certain incidents in the History of Christ. The principles expressed by Dr. Grünebaum, and other writers, are such as for ever to give the lie to Anti-Semitic charges. And although he and others, with quite proper loyalty, labour to explain certain Talmudic citations, yet it ultimately comes to the admission that Talmudic sayings are not the criterion and rule of present duty, even as regards the heathen - still less Christians, to whom they do not apply.

What has just been stated, while it fully disposes of all Anti-Semitism,' only the more clearly sets forth the argument which forms the main proposition of this book. Here also we have the highest example. None loved Israel so intensely, even unto death, as Jesus of Nazareth; none made such withering denunciations as He of Jewish Traditionalism, in all its branches, and of its Representatives. It is with Traditionalism, not the Jews, that our controversy lies. And here we cannot speak too plainly nor decidedly. It might, indeed, be argued, apart from any proposed different applications, that on one or another point opinions of a different kind may also be adduced from other Rabbis. Nor is it intended to convey unanimity of opinion on every subject. For, indeed, such scarcely existed on any one point - not on matters of fact, nor even often on Halakhic questions. And this also is characteristic of Rabbinism. But it must be remembered that we are here dealing with the very text-book of that sacred and Divine Traditionalism, the basis and substance of Rabbinism, for which such unlimited authority and absolute submission are claimed; and hence, that any statement admitted into its pages, even though a different view were also to be adduced, possesses an authoritative and a representative character. And this further appears from the fact that the same statements are often repeated in other documents, besides that in which they were originally made, and that they are also supported by other statements, kindred and parallel in spirit.

In truth, it has throughout been my aim to present, not one nor another isolated statement or aspect of Rabbinism, but its general teaching and tendency. In so doing I have, however, purposely left aside certain passages which, while they might have most fully brought out the sad and strange extravagances to which Rabbinism could go, would have involved the unnecessary quotation of what is not only very painful in itself, but might have furnished an occasion to enemies of Israel. Alike the one and the other it was my most earnest desire to avoid. And by the side of these extravagances there is so much in Jewish writings and life - the outcome of Old Testament training - that is noblest and most touching, especially as regards the social virtues, such as purity, kindness, and charity, and the acknowledgment of God in sufferings, as well as their patient endurance. On the other hand, it is difficult to believe that even the vehement assertions of partisans on the other side, supported by isolated sayings, sometimes torn from their context, or by such coincidences as are historically to be expected, will persuade those who keep in view either the words of Christ or His history and that of the Apostles, that the relation between Christianity in its origin, as the fulfilment of the Old Testament, and Traditionalism, as the externalised development of its letter, is other than that of which these volumes furnish both the explanation and the evidence. In point of fact, the attentive student of history will observe that a similar protest against the bare letter underlies Alexandrianism and Philo - although there from the side of reason and apologetically, in the New Testament from the aspect of spiritual life and for its full presentation.

Thus much - somewhat reluctantly written, because approaching controversy - seemed necessary by way of explanation. The brief interval between the First and Second Editions rendered only a superficial revision possible, as then indicated. For the present edition the whole work has once more been revised, chiefly with the view of removing from the numerous marginal Talmudic references such misprints as were observed. In the text and notes, also, a few errata have been corrected, or else the meaning rendered more clear. In one or two places fresh notes have been made; some references have been struck out, and others added. These notes will furnish evidence that the literature of the subject, since the first appearance of these volumes, has not been neglected, although it seemed unnecessary to swell the List of Authorities' by the names of all the books since published or perused. Life is too busy and too short to be always going back on one's traces. Nor, indeed, would this be profitable. The further results of reading and study will best be embodied in further labours, please God, in continuation of those now completed. Opportunity may then also occur for the discussion of some questions which had certainly not been overlooked, although this seemed not the proper place for them: such as that of the composition of the Apostolic writings.

And so, with great thankfulness for what service this book has been already allowed to perform, I would now send it forth on its new journey, with this as my most earnest hope and desire: that, in however humble a manner, it may be helpful for the fuller and clearer setting forth of the Life of Him Who is the Life of all our life.

A. E.

OXFORD: March 1886.

 


LIST OF AUTHORITIES

CHIEFLY USED IN WRITING THIS BOOK.

Alford: Greek Testament.

Von der Alm: Heidn. u. jüd. Urtheile über Jesu u. die alten Christen.

Altingius: Dissertationes et Orationes.

Apocrypha: S.P.C.K. Commentary on. The Apocryphal Gospels.

Auerbach: Berith Abraham.

Bacher: Die Agada der Babylon. Amoräer.

Bäck: Geschichte des Jüd. Volkes u.seiner Literatur.

Baedeker: Syrien u. Palästina.

Bähr: Gesetz über Falsche Zeugen nach Bible u. Talmud.

Barclay: City of the Great King.

Beer: Leben Abraham's.

Beer: Leben Mosis.

Beer, P.: Geschichte d. relig. Sekten d. Juden.

Bengel: Gnomon Novi Testamenti.

Bengel: Alter der jüdischen Proselytentaufe.

Bergel: Naturwissenschaftliche Kenntnisse d. Talmudisten.

Bergel: Der Himmel u. seine Wunder.

Bergel: Die Eheverhältnisse der alten Juden.

Berliner, Dr. A.: Targum Onkelos.

Bertholdt: Christologie Judæorum. Testaments.

Beyschlag: Die Christologie des Neuen Testaments.

Beyschlag: Zur Johanneischen Frage.

Bickell: Die Entstehung der Liturgie aus der Einsetzungsfeier.

Bleek: Einleitung in dasa Neue Testament. ed. Mangold.

Bleek: Synoptische Erklärung d. drei Evangelien.

Bloch: Studien z. Gesch. der Sammlung d althebr. Literatur.

Bloch: Das Mosaisch-talmud. Polizeirecht.

Bloch: Civilprocess-Ordnung nach Mos. rabb. Rechte.

Bochartus: Hierozoicon.

Bodek: Marcus Aurelius u. R. Jehudah.

Bodenschatz: Kirchliche Verfassung der heutigen Juden.

Böhl: Forschungen nach einer Volks bibel zur Zeit Jesu.

Böhl: Alttestamentliche Citate im N. T.

Bonar: The Land of Promise.

Braun: Die Söhne des Herodes.

Braunius: De Vestitu Hebræorum.

Brecher: DasTranscendentale im Talmud.

Bredow: Rabbinische Mythen, &c.

Brückner: Die Versuchungsgeschichte unseres Herrn Jesu Christi.

Brück: Rabbinische Ceremonialgebräuche.

Brüll: Fremdsprachliche Redensarten im Talmud.

Brüll: Trachten der Juden.

Buber: Pesikta.

Bucher: Des Apostels Johannes Lehre vom Logos.

Burgon: The Last Twelve Verses of St. Mark.

Buxtorf: Exercitationes.

Buxtorf: Synagoga Judaica.

Buxtorf; Lexicon Talmud.

Calvin: Comment. (passim).

Cahen: Repertorium Talmudioum.

Carpzov: Chuppa Hebræorium.

Caspari: Einleitung in das Leben Jesu Christi.

Cassel: Das Buch Kusari.

Cassel: Lehrbuch der Jud. Gesch, u. Literatur.

Castelli: Commento di Sabbatai Donnolo sul libro della Creazione.

Castelli: Il Messia secondo gli Ebrei.

Cavedoni: Biblische Numismatik.

Charteris: Canonicity.

Chasronoth Hashas.

Cheyne: Prophecies of Isaiah.

Chijs: De Herode Magno.

Cohen: Les Déicides.

Commentaries, Speaker's, on the Gospels; Camb. Bible on the Gospels.

Conder: Tent Work in Palestine.

Conder: Handbook to the Bible.

Conforte: Liber Kore ha-Dorot.

Cook: The Rev. Version of the Gospels.

Creizenach: Shulcan Aruch.

Cremer: New Testament Dictionary.

Cureton: Syriac Gospels.

Dähne: Jüdisch-Alex. Religionsphilos.

Davidson: Introduction to the Study of the New Testament.

Davidson: The Last Things.

Dachs: Codex Succa Talmudis Babylonici.

Danko: Historia Revelationis Divinae N. T.

Danko: De Sacra Scriptura ejusque interpretatione Commentarius.

Delaunay: Moines et Sibylles dans l'antiquité Judéo-Grecque.

Delitzsch: Handwerkerleben zur Zeit Jesu.

Delitzsch: Geschichte der jüd. Poesie.

Delitzsch: Durch Krankheit zur Genesung.

Delitzsch: Ein Tag in Capernaum.

Delitzsch: Untersuchungen üb. die Entsteh. u. Anlage d. Matth-Evang.

Delitzsch; Talmudische Studien.

Delitzsch: Jesus und Hillel.

Derenbourg: Essai sur l'Histoire et la Géographie de la Palestine.

Deutsch: Literary Remains.

Deylingius: Observationes Sacræ.

Dillmann: Das Buch Henoch.

Döllinger: Heidenthum und Judenthum.

Drummond: The Jewish Messiah.

Dukes: Zur Rabbinischen Sprachkunde.

Dukes: Rabbinische Blumenlese.

Duschak: Zur Botanik des Talmud.

Duschak: Die Moral der Evangelien und des Talmud.

Duschak: Jüdischer Cultus.

Duschak: Schulgesetzgebung.

Ebrard: Wissenschaftliche Kritik der evangel. Geschichte.

Edersheim: History of the Jewish Nation.

Edersheim: The Temple, its Ministry and its Services.

Edersheim: Sketches of Jewish Social Life.

Ehrmann: Geschichte der Schulen u. der Cultur unter den Juden.

Eisenmenger: Entdecktes Judenthum.

Eisler: Beiträge zur Rabb. Sprach- u. Alterthums-kunde.

Ellicott: New Testament Commentary: Gospels.

Ellicott: Lectures on the Life of our Lord.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (passim).

Etheridge: The Targums on the Pentateuch.

Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History.

Ewald: Abodah Sarah.

Ewald: Geschichte des Volkes Israel.

Ewald: Bibl. Jahrb. (passim).

Fabricius: Codex Pseudepigraphus V.T.

Farrar: Life of Christ.

Farrar: Eternal Hope.

Fassel: Das Mos. rabb. Civilrecht.

Fassel: Gerichts-Verf.

Field: Otium Norvicense.

Filipowski: Liber Juchassin.

Fisher: Beginnings of Christianity.

Frankel: Targum der Proph.

Frankel: Ueb. d. Einfl. d. palast. Exegese auf die Alexandr. Hermeneutik.

Frankel: Monatschrift fur das Judenthum (passim).

Frankel: Vorstudien zu der Septuaginta.

Frankel: Einleitung in d. Jerusalem Talmud.

Franck: d. Kabbala.

Freudenthal: Hellenistische Studien.

Friedenthal: Jessode haddat weikere Haemuna.

Friedlaender: Sittengeschichte Roms.

Friedlaender: Ben Dosa u. seine Zeit.

Friedlaender: Patristische u. Talmudische Studien.

Friedlieb: Oracula Subyllina.

Friedlieb: Archäologie der Leidensge schichte.

Friedmann: Siphré debe Rab.

Fritzsche u. Grimm: Handbuch zu den Apokryphen.

Fritzsche u. Grimm: Libri V. T. Pseudepigraphi Selecti.

Fuller: Harmony of the Four Gospels.

Fürst: Der Kanon des A. T.

Fürst: Kultur u. Literaturgeschichte der Juden in Asien.

Fürst: Biblioth. Jüd. (passim).

Fürstenthal: Menorath Hammaor.

Fürstenthal: Jessode haddat.

Geier: De Ebraeorum Luctu Lugentiumque Ritibus.

Geiger: Das Judenthum u. seine Geschichte.

Geiger: Beiträge z. Jüd. Literatur-Gesch.

Geiger: Zeitschrift fur Jud. Theol. (passim).

Geiger: Urschrift u. Uebersetzungen der Bibel.

Geikie: Life and Words of Christ.

Gelpke: Die Jugendgesch. des Herrn.

Gerlach: Die Röm. Statthälter in Syrien u Judäa.

Gfrörer: Philo.

Gfrörer: Jahrh. d. Heils.

Ginsburg: Ben Chajim's Introd.

Ginsburg: Massoreth Ha-Massoreth.

Ginsburg: The Essenes.

Ginsburg: The Kabbalah.

Godet: Commentar.

Godet: Bibl. Studies.

Goebel: Die Parabeln Jesu.

Goldberg: The Language of Christ.

Graetz: Geschichte der Juden.

Green: Handbk. to the Grammar of the Grk. Test.

Grimm: Die Samariter.

Grimm: Clavis N. T.

Gronemann: Die Jonathansche Pentateuch-Uebersetzung.

Grünebaum: Sittenlehre des Judenthums.

Guérin: Description de la Palestine et Samarie.

Guillemard: Hebraisms in the Greek Testament.

Günzburg: Beleuchtung des alten Judenthums.

Hamburger: Real Encyklopädie f. Bibel u. Talmud.

Hamelsveia: Dissertatio de aedibus vet. Hebr.

Haneberg: Die relig. Alterth. der Bibel.

Harnoch: De Philonis Judaei Log. Inquisitio.

Hartmann: Die Hebräerin am Putztische u. als Braut.

Hartmann: Die enge Verbindung des A. T. mit dem Neuen.

Hase: Leben Jesu.

Haupt: Die A. T. Citate in den 4 Evangelien.

Hausrath: Neutestamentliche zeitgeschichte.

Herzfeld: Geschichte Israels.

Herzfeld: Handelsgeschichte der Juden des Alterthums.

Herzog: Real-Encyklopädie (passim).

Hildesheimer: Der Herod. Tempel n. d. Talmud u. Josephus.

Hilgenfeld: Jüdische Apokalyptik.

Hirschfeld: Halach. u. Hagad. Exegese.

Hirschfeld: Tractatus Macot. Hitzig: Geschichte des Volkes Israel.

Hoffmann: Leben Jesu.

Hofmann: Schriftbeweis.

Hofmann: Weissagung u. Erfullung.

Hoffmann: Abhandlungen üb. die Pentat. Gesetze.

Holdheim: d. Cerem. Ges.

Hottinger: Juris Hebr. Leges.

Huschke: Ueb. d. Census u. die Steuerverf. d. früh. Röm. Kaiserzeit.

Huschke: Ueb. d. z. Zeit d. Geb. Jesu Christi gehaltenen Census.

Havercamp: Flavius Josephus.

Ideler: Chronologie.

Ikenius: Antiquitates Hebraicæ.

Ikenius: Dissertationes Philologico-theologicæ.

Jellinek: Beth ha-Midrash.

Joel: Blick in d. Religionsgesch. d. 2ten Christlichen Jahrh.

Joel: Religionsphilos. des Sohar.

Jost: Gesch. d. Judenth. u. seiner Sekten.

Jowett: Epistles of St. Paul, Romans, Galatians, Thessalonians.

Josephus Gorionides: ed. Breithaupt.

Juynboll: Comment. in Hist. Gentis Samaritanæ.

Keil: Einl. in. d. Kanon. u. Apokryph. Schriften des A. T.

Keim: Geschichte Jesu von Nazara.

Kennedy: Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Kirchheim: Septem Libri Talmudici parvi Hierosol.

Kirchner: Jud. Passahf.

Kitto: Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature (passim).

Kobut: Jüdische Angelologie u. Daemonologie.

König: Die Menschwerdung Gottes.

Köster: Nachw. d. Spur. einer Trinitätslehre vor Christo.

Krafft: Jüdische Sagen u. Dichtungen.

Krauss: Die Grosse Synode.

Krebs: Decreta Athen in honor Hyrcani P. M. Judæorum.

Krebs: Decreta Roman. pro Judæis.

Krebs: Observationes in Nov. Test.

Kuhn: Städt. u. bürgerl. Verfass d. Röm. Reichs.

Landau: Arukh.

Lange: Bibelwerk (on Gospels).

Langen: Judenthum in Palästina z. Zeit Christi.

Lange: Leben Jesu.

Langfelder: Symbolik des Judenthums.

Lattes: Saggio di Giunte e Correzzioni al Lessico Talmudico.

Lavadeur: Krit. Beleucht. d. jüd Kalenderwesens.

Lenormant: Chaldean Magic.

Levi: Historia Religionis Judæorum.

Levy: Neuhebr. u. Chaldäisch. Wörterbuch.

Levy: Chaldäisch. Wörterb. über die Targumim.

Levy: Gesch. der Jüdisch. Münzen.

Levyssohn: Disputatio de Jud. sub. Cæs. Conditione.

Lewin: Fasti Sacri.

Lewin: Siege of Jerusalem.

Lewyssohn: Zoologie des Talmuds.

Lightfoot: Horæ Hebraicæ et Talmudicæ in 4 Evangel.

Lightfoot: Commentary on Galatians.

Lightfoot: Commentary on Colossians.

Lisco: Die Wunder Jesu Christi.

Low: Beiträge z. jüd Alterthumskunde.

Low: Lebensalter in d. jüd. Literatur.

Löwe: Schulchan Aruch.

Lowy: Biggoreth ha Talmud.

Lucius: Essenismus in sein Verhältn z. Judenth.

Lücke: Johannes (Gospel).

Lundius: Jüdische Heiligthumer.

Luthardt: Johann. Evangelium.

Luthardt: Die modern. Darstell. d. Lebens Jesu.

Lutterbeck: Neutestamentliche Lehrbegriffe.

McLellan: New Testament (Gospels).

Madden: Coins of the Jews.

Maimonides: Yad haChazzakah.

Marcus: Pädagogik des Talmud.

Marquardt: Röm, Staatsverwaltung.

Martinus: Fidei Pugio.

Maybaum: Die Anthropomorph. u. Anthropopath. bei Onkelos.

Megillath Taanith.

Meier: Judaica.

Meuschen: Nov. Test ex Talmude et Joseph.

Meyer: Seder Olam Rabba et Suta.

Meyer: Buch Jezira.

Meyer: Kommentar. (on Gospels).

Meyer: Arbeit u. Handwerk. im Talmud.

Midrash Rabboth.

Midrashim. (See List in Rabb. Abbrev.)

Mill: On the Mythical Interpretation of the Gospels.

Mishnah.

Molitor: Philosophie der Geschichte.

Moscovitor: Het N. T. en de Talmud.

Müller: Mess. Erwart. d. Jud. Philo.

Müller: Zur Johann Frage.

Müller, J.: Massech. Sopher.

Münter: Stern der Weisen

Nanz: Die Besessenen im N. T.

Neander: Life of Christ.

Nebe: Leidensgesch. unser. Herrn Jesu Christi.

Nebe: Auferstehungsgesch. unser. Herrn Jesu Christi.

Neubauer: La Géographie du Talmud.

Neubauer and Driver: Jewish Interpreters of Isaiah. liii.

Neumann: Messian. Erschein. bei d. Juden.

Neumann: Gesch. d. Mess. Weissag. im A. T.

New Testament. Ed. Scrivener. Ed. Westcott and Hort. Ed. Gebhardt.

Nicolai: De Sepulchris Hebræorum.

Nizzachon Vetus. et Toledoth Jeshu.

Nicholson: The Gospel accord. to the Hebrews.

Norris: New Testament (Gospels).

Nork: Rabbinische Quellen u. Parallelen.

Nutt: Samaritan History.

Otho: Lexicon Rabbin. Philolog.

Outram: De Sacrificiis Judæor et Christi.

Othijoth de R. Akiba.

Oxlee: Doc. of Trinity on Princips. of Judaism.

Pagninus: Thesaurus Linguæ Sanctæ.

Palestine Exploration Fund Quarterly Statements (passim).

Perles: Liechenfeierlichk. im Nachbibl, Judenth.

Philippson: Haben wirklich die Jud. Jesum gekreuzigt?

Philippson: Israelit. Religionslehre.

Philo Judæus: Opera.

Pictorial Palestine (passim).

Picturesque Palestine.

Pinner: Berachoth.

Pinner: Compend. des Hieros. u. Babyl. Thalm.

Pirké de R. Elieser.

Plumptre: Comment. on the Gospels.

Plumptre: Bible Educator (passim).

Pocock: Porta Mosis.

Prayer-books, Jewish: i. Arnheim. ii. Mannheimer. iii. Polak (Frankfort ed.). iv. Friedländer. v. F. A. Euchel. vi. Jacobson. vii. Pesach Haggadah. viii. Rodelheim ed.

Pressensé: Jesus Christ: His Time, Life, and Works.

Prideaux: Connec. of O. and N.T.

Pusey: What is of Faith as to Everlasting Punishment?

Rabbinowicz: Einleit. in d. Gesetzgeb. u. Medicin d. Talm.

Ravuis: Dissertat. de. aedib. vet. Hebr.

Redslob: Die Kanonisch. Evangelien.

Reland: Antiquit. Sacr. veter. Hebr.

Reland: Palæstina.

Remond: Ausbreit. d. Judenthums.

Renan: L'Antéchrist.

Renan: Vie de Jésus.

Renan: Marc-Auréle.

Rhenferd et Vitringa: De Decem Otiosis Synagogæ.

Riehm: Handwörterb. d. bibl. Alterth. (passim).

Riehm: Lehrbegriff d. Hebraerbriefs.

Riess: Geburtsjahr Christi.

Ritter: Philo u. die Halacha.

Roberts: Discussion on the Gospels.

Robinson: Biblical Researches in Palestine.

Roeth: Epistoia ad Hebraeos.

Rohr: Palästina z. Zeit Christi.

Rönsch: Buch Jubiläen.

Roos: Lehre u. Lebensgesch. Jesu Christi.

Rösch: Jesus-Mythen d. Talmudist.

Rosenmüller: Biblisch. Geographie.

Rossi, Azarjah de: Meor Enajim.

Rossi, Giambernardo de: Della Lingua Propria di Christo.

Sachs: Beiträge z. Sprach u. Alterthumskunde.

Saalschütz: Musik bei d. Hebraern.

Saalschütz: Mos. Recht.

Salvador: Römerherrschaft in Judæa.

Salvador: Gesch. d. Jud. Volkes.

Sammter: Baba Mezia.

Schenkel: Bibel-Lexicon (passim).

Schleusner: Lexicon Gr. Lat. in N.T.

Schmer: De Chuppa Hebræorum.

Schmilg: Der Siegeskalender Megill Taanith.

Schneckenburger: Neutestament. Zeitgeschichte.

Schoettgen: Horæ Hebraicæ et Talmudicæ.

Schreiber: Principien des Judenthums.

Schroederus: Comment. de Vestitu Mulier. Hebr.

Schürer: Neutestam. Zeitgesch.

Schürer: Gemeindeverfass. d. Juden in Rom in d. Kaiserzeit.

Schwab: Le Talmud de Jérusalem.

Schwarz: D. Heilige Land.

Schwarz: Tosifta Shabbath.

Scrivener: Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament.

Seder Hadoroth.

Selden: De Synedriis Ebr.

Selden: De Jure Naturali et Gent. Hebr.

Selden: Uxor Ebraica.

Sepp: Leben Jesu.

Sevin: Chronologie des Lebens Jesu.

Sheringham: Joma.

Siegfried: Philo von Alexandria.

Singer: Onkelos u. seine Verhältn. z. Halacha.

Sion Ledorosh.

Smith: Dictionary of the Bible (passim).

Smith and Wace: Dictionary of Christian Biography (passim).

Sohar.

Tikkuné haSohar.

Saloweyczyk: Bibel, Talmud, u. Evangelium.

Sommer: Mispar haSohar.

Spencer: De Legib. Hebr. Ritual.

Spiess: Das Jerusalem des Josephus.

Spitzer: Das Mahl bei den Hebräern.

Stanley: Sinai and Palestine.

Steinmeyer: Geburt des Herrn u. seinerste Schritte im Leben.

Steinmeyer: Die Parabeln des Herrn

Stein: Schrift des Lebens.

Stern: Die Frau im Talmud.

Stern: Gesch. des Judenthums.

Stier: Reden des Herrn Jesu.

Strack: Pirké Aboth.

Strack: Proleg. Crit. in V.T. Hebr.

Strauss: Leben Jesu.

Supernatural Religion.

Surenhusius: Biblos Katallages.

Surenhusius: Mishnah.

Talmud, Babylon and Jerusalem.

Targum, the Targumim in the Mikraoth gedoloth.

Taylor: Sayings of the Jewish Fathers (Pirqé Ab., &c.), with critical and illutrative Notes.

Taylor: Great Exemplar.

Tauchuma: Midrash.

Thein: Der Talmud.

Theologische Studien u. Kritiken (passim).

Tholuck: Bergpredigt Christi.

Tholuck: Das Alt. Test. im Neu. Test.

Tischendorf: When were our Gospels written?

Toetterman: R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanus.

Traill: Josephus.

Trench: Notes on the Miracles

Trench: Notes on the Parables.

Tristram: Natural History of the Bible.

Tristram: Land of Israel.

Tristram: Land of Moab. d. alt. Hebr.

Trusen: Sitten, Gebräuche u. Krankheiten.

Ugolinus: Thesaurus Antiquitatum Sacrarum (passim).

Unruh: Das alte Jerusalem u. seine Bauwerke.

Vernes: Histoire des Idées Messianiques.

Vitringa: De Synagoga Vetere.

Volkmar: Einleitung in die Apokryphen.

Volkmar: Marcus.

Volkmar: Mose Prophetie u. Himmel fahrt.

Vorstius: De Hebraisms Nov. Test.

Wace: The Gospel and its Witnesses.

Wagenseil: Sota. Wahl: Clavis Nov. Test. Philologica.

Warneck: Pontius Pilatus.

Watkins: Gospel of St. John.

Weber: Johannes der Täufer u. die Parteien seiner Zeit.

Weber: System der altsynagog. paläst. Theologie. B.

Weiss: Lehrb. d. bibl. Theol. des N.T.

Weiss: Mechilta.

Weiss: Siphra B.

Weiss: Matthäusevangelium. B.

Weiss: Leben Jesu.

Weiss: Geschichte. der jüd. Tradition.

Weizsäcker: Untersuch. üb. die evangel. Geschichte.

Wellhausen: Die Pharisäer u. die Sadducäer.

Westcott: Introduction to the Study of the Gospels.

Westcott: On the Canon of the New Testament.

Westcott: Gospel of St. John.

Wetstein: Novum Testamentum Graecum (Gospels).

Wichelhaus: Kommentar zur Leidensgeschichte.

Wieseler: Beiträge zu den Evange. u. der Evangel. Gesch.

Wieseler: Chronol. Synopse der 4 Evangelien.

Wiesner: d. Bann in s. Gesch. Entwickelung.

Winer: Biblisches Realwörterbuch (passim).

Winer: De Onkeloso.

Wilson: Recovery of Jerusalem.

Wittichen: Die Idee des Reiches Gottes.

Wittichen: Leben Jesu.

Wolfius: Bibliotheca Hebræa (passim).

Wordsworth: Commentary (Gospels).

Wunderbar: Bibl. talmud. Medecin.

Wünsche: Die Leiden des Messias.

Wünsche: Neue Beiträge z. Erlaut. der Evangel.

Wünsche: Der Jerusalemische Talmud.

Wünsche: Bibliotheca Rabbinica.

Yalkut Shimeoni.

Yalkut Rubeni.

Young: Christology of the Targums.

Zahn: Forsch. zur Gesch. d. N.T. Kanous.

Zeller: Philosophie der Griechen.

Zemach David.

Zimmermann: Karten u. Pläne z. Topographie des alten Jerusalems.

Zockler: Handb. d. Theol. Wissenschaften.

Zumpt: Geburtsjahr Christi.

Zunz: Zur Geschichte u. Literatur.

Zunz: Die Gottesdienstl. Vortr. d. Juden

Zunz: Synagogale Poesie.

Zunz: Ritus d. Synagogalen-Gottesdienst.

Zuckermandel: Tosephta.

 


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS USED IN REFERENCE TO
RABBINIC WRITINGS QUOTED IN THIS WORK.

 

THE Mishnah is always quoted according to Tractate, Chapter (Pereq) and Paragraph (Mishnah), the Chapter being marked in Roman, the paragraph in ordinary Numerals. Thus Ber. ii. 4 means the Mishnic Tractate Berakhoth, second Chapter, fourth Paragraph.

The Jerusalem Talmud is distinguished by the abbreviation Jer. before the name of the Tractate. Thus, Jer. Ber. is the Jer. Gemara, or Talmud, of the Tractate Berakhoth. The edition, from which quotations are made, is that commonly used, Krotoschin, 1866, 1 vol. fol. The quotations are made either by Chapter and Paragraph (Jer. Ber. ii. 4), or, in these volumes mostly, by page and column.  It ought to be noted that in Rabbinic writings each page is really a double one, distinguished respectively as a and b: a being the page to the left hand of the reader, and b the reverse one (on turning over the page) to the right hand of the reader. But in the Jerusalem Gemara (and in Yalkut [see below], as in all works where the page and column (col.) are mentioned) the quotation is often - in these volumes, mostly - made by page and column (two columns being on each side of a page). Thus, while Jer. Ber. ii. 4 would be Chapter II. Par. 4, the corresponding quotation by page and column would in that instance be, Jer. Ber. 4 d; d marking that it is the fourth column in b (or the off-side) of page 4.

The Babyl. Talmud is, in all its editions, equally paged, so that a quotation made applies to all editions. It is double-paged, and quoted with the name of the Tractate, the number of the page, and a or b according as one or another side of the page is referred to. The quotations are distinguished from those of the Mishnah by this, that in the Mihnah Roman and ordinary numerals are employed (to mark Chapters and Paragraphs), while in the Babylon Talmud the name of the Tractate is followed by an ordinary numeral, indicating the page, together with a or b, to mark which side of the page is referred to. Thus Ber. 4 a means:  Tractate Berachoth, p. 4, first or left-hand side of the page.

I have used the Vienna edition, but this, as already explained, is not a point of any importance. To facilitate the verification of passages quoted I have in very many instances quoted also the lines, either from top or bottom.

The abbreviation Tos. (Tosephta, additamentum) before the name of a Tractate refers to the additions made to the Mishnah after its redaction. This redaction dates from the third century of our era. The Tos. extends only over 52 of the Mishnic Tractates. They are inserted in the Talmud at the end of each Tractate, and are printed on the double pages in double columns (col. a and b on p. a, col. e and d on p. b). They are generally quoted by Pereq and Mishnah: thus, Tos. Gitt. i. 1, or (more rarely) by page and column, Tos. Gitt. p. 150 a. The ed. Zuckermandel is, when quoted, specially indicated.

Besides, the Tractate Aboth de Rabbi Nathan (Ab. de. R. Math.), and the smaller Tractates, Sopherim (Sopher), Semachoth (Semach.), Kallah (Kall. or Chall), [2] Derekh Erets (Der Er.),  Derekh Erets Zuta (commonly Der Er. S.), and Pereq Shalom (Per. Shal.) are inserted at the close of vol. ix. of the Talmud. They are printed in four columns (on double pages), and quoted by Pereq and Mishnah.

The so-called Septem Libri Talmudici parvi Hierosolymitani are published separately (ed. Raphael Kirchheim, Fref 1851). They are the Massecheth Sepher Torah (Mass. Seph. Tor.), Mass. Mezuzah (Mass. Mesus.), Mass. Tephillin (Mass. Tephill.), Mass. Tsitsith (Mass. Ziz.), Mass. Abhadim (Mass. Abad.), Mass. Kuthim (Mass. Cuth.), and Mass. Gerim (Mass. Ger.). They are printed and quoted according to double pages (a and b).

To these must be added the so-called Chesronoth haShas, a collection of passages expurgated in the ordinary editions from the various Tractates of the Talmud. Here we must close, what might else assume undue proportions, by an alphabeticallist of the abbreviations, although only of the principal books referred to: -

Ab. Zar. [3]                      The Talmudic Tractate Abhodah Zorah, on Idolatry.

Ab.                               The Talmudic Tractate Pirquey Abohoth, Savings of the Fathers.

Ab. de R Nath. The Tractate Abhoth de Rabbi Nathan at the close of vol. ix. in the Bab. Talm.

Arakh.                         The Talmudic Tractate Arakhin, on the redemption of persons or things consecrated to the Sanctuary.

Bab. K.                        The Talmudic Tractate Babha Qamma (First Gate'), the first,

Bab. Mets. [or Mez.]    Talmudic Tractate Babha Metsia (Middle Gate'), the second,

Bab. B.                         The Talmudic Tractate Babha Bathra (Last Gate'), the third of the great Tractates on Common Law.

Bechor.                        The Talmudic Tractate Bekhoroth, on the consecration to the Sanctuary of the First-born.

Bemid R.                      The Midrash (or Commentary) Bemidbar Rabba, on Numbers.

Ber.                              The Talmudic Tractate Berakhoth, on Prayers and Benedictions.

Ber. R.                         The Midrash (or Commentary) Bereshith Rabba, on Genesis.

Bets. [or Bez.] The Talmudic Tractate Betsah, laws about an egg laid on Sabbath and Fast-days, and on similar points connected with the sanctifying of such seasons.

Biccur.                         The Talmudic Tractate Bikkurim, on First-fruits.

Chag.                          The Talmudic Tractate Chagigah, on the festive offerings at the three Great Feasts.

Chall.                          The Talmudic Tractate Challah, on the first of the dough (Numb. xv. 17).

Chull.                          The Talmudic Tractate Chullin, the rubric as to the mode of killing meat and kindred subjects.

Debar R.                      The Midrash Debharim Rabba, on Deuteronomy.

Dem.                            The Talmudic Tractate Demai, regarding Produce, the tithing of which is not certain.

Ech. R.                         The Midrash Ekhah Rabbathi, on Lamentations (also quoted as Mid. on Lament).

Eduy.                           The Talmudic Tractate Eduyoth (Testimonies), the legal determinations enacted or confirmed on a certain occasion, decisive in Jewish History.

Erub.                           The Talmudic Tractate Erubhin, on the conjunction of Sabbath boundaries. (See Appendix XVII.)

Midr. Esth.                  The Midrash on Esther.

Gitt.                             The Talmudic Tractate Gittin, on Divorce.

Horay.                         The Taldmudic Tractate Horayoth Decisions' on certain unintentional transgressions.

Jad. [or Yad.]               The Taldmudic Tractate Yadayim, on the Washing of Hands.

Jebam. [or Yebam.]     The Taldmudic Tractate Yebhamoth, on the Levirate.

Jom. [mostly Yom.]      The Taldmudic Tractate Yoma, on the Day of Atonement.

Kel.                              The Taldmudic Tractate Kelim, on the purification of furniture and vessels.

Kerith.                         The Taldmudic Tractate Kerithuth, on the punishment of cutting off.'

Kethub.                       The Taldmudic Tractate Kethubhoth, on marriage-contracts.

Kidd.                           The Taldmudic Tractate Qiddushin, on Betrothal.

Kil.                              The Taldmudic Tractate Kilayim, on the unlawful commixtures (Lev. xix. 19; Deut. xxii. 9-11).

Kinn.                           The Taldmudic Tractate Qinnim, on the offering of doves (Lev. v. 1-10; xii. 8).

Midr. Kohel.                The Midrash on Qoheleth or Eccles.

Maas.                          The Talmudic Tractate Maaseroth, on Levitical Tithes.

Maas Sh.                     The Talmudic Tractate Maaser Sheni, on second Tithes (Deut. xiv. 22, &c.).

Machsh.                       The Talmudic Tractate Makhshirin, on fluids that may render products defiled,' or that leave them undefiled (Lev. xi. 34, 38).

Makk. [or Macc.]        The Talmudic Tractate Makkoth, on the punishment of Stripes.

Mechil.                        The Talmudic Tractate Mekhilta, a Commentary on part of Exodus, dating at the latest from the first half of the second century.

Megill.                         The Talmudic Tractate Megillah, referring to the reading of the (roll') Book of Esther and on the Feast of Esther.

Meil.                            The Talmudic Tractate Meilah, on the defilement of things consecrated.

Menach.                      The Talmudic Tractate Menachoth, on Meat-offerings.

Midd.                           The Talmudic Tractate Middoth, on the Temple-measurements and arrangements.

Mikv.                           The Talmudic Tractate Miqvaoth, on ablutions and immersions.

Moed K.                      The Talmudic Tractate Moed Qatan, on Half-holidays

Naz.                             The Talmudic Tractate Nazir, on the Nasirate.

Ned.                             The Talmudic Tractate Nedarim, on Vowing.

Neg.                             The Talmudic Tractate Negaim, on Leprosy.

Nidd.                           The Talmudic Tractate Niddah, on female levitical impurity (menstrua).

Ohol.                           The Talmudic Tractate Oholoth, on the defilement of tents and houses, specially by death.

Orl.                              The Talmudic Tractate Orlah, on the ordinances connected with Lev. xix. 23.

Par.                             The Talmudic Tractate Parah, on the Red Heifer and purification by its ashes.

Peah                            The Talmudic Tractate Peah, on the corner to be left for the poor in harvesting.

Pes.                             The Talmudic Tractate Pesachim, on the Paschal Feast.

Pesiqta                        The Book Pesiqta, an exceedingly interesting series of Meditations or brief discussions and Lectures on certain portions of  the Lectionary for the principal Sabbaths and Feast Days.

Pirqé de R. Eliez.         The Haggadic Pirqé de Rabbi Eliezer, in 54 chapters, a discursive Tractate on the History of Israel from the creation to the time of Moses, with the insertion of three chapters (xlix.-li.) on the history of Haman and the future Messianic deliverance.

Rosh haSh.                  The Talmudic Tractate Rosh haShanah, on the Feast of New Year

Sab.                             The Talmudic Tractate Zabhim, on certain levitically defiling issues.

Sanh.                           The Talmudic Tractate Sanhedrin, on the Sanhedrim and Criminal Jurisprudence.

Sebach.                        The Talmudic Tractate Zebhachim, on Sacrifices.

Shabb.                         The Talmudic Tractate Shabbath, on Sabbath-observance.

Shebh.                         The Talmudic Tractate Shebhiith, on the Sabbatic Year.

Shebu.                         The Talmudic Tractate Shebhuoth, on Oaths, &c.

Sheqal.                        The Talmudic Tractate Sheqalim, on the Temple-Tribute, &c.

Shem R.                       The Midrash Shemoth Rabba on Exodus.

Shir haSh R.                The Midrash Shir haShirim Rabba, on the Song of Solomon.

Siphra              The ancient Commentary on Leviticus, dating from the second century.

Siphré              The still somewhat older Commentary on Numb. and Deuter.

Sot.                              The Talmudic Tractate Sotah, on the Woman accused of Adultery.

Sukk.                           The Talmudic Tractate Sukkah, on the Feast of Tabernacles.

Taan.                           The Talmudic Tractate Taanith, on Fasting and Fast-Days.

Tam.                            The Talmudic Tractate Tamid, on the daily Service and Sacrifice in the Temple.

Teb. Yom.                    The Talmudic Tractate Tebhul Yom (bathed of the day'), on impurities, where there is immersion on the evening of the same day.

Tem.                            The Talmudic Tractate Temurah, on substitution for things consecrated (Lev. xxvii. 10).

Ter.                              The Talmudic Tractate Terumoth, on the priestly dues in produce.

Tohar.                         The Talmudic Tractate Toharoth, on minor kinds of defilement.

Tanch.                         The Midrashic Commentary Tanchuma (or Yelamdenu), on the Pentateuch.

Ukz.                             The Talmudic Tractate Uqtsin, on the defilement of fruits through their envelopes, stalks, &c.

Vayyik R.                     The Midrash Vayyikra Rabba, on Leviticus.

Yalk.                            The great collectaneum: Yalkut Shimeoni, which is a catena on the whole Old Testament, containing also quotations from works lost to us. [4]

 


[2] It is to be noted that in the marginal and note-references the old mode of indicating a reference (as in the first ed. of this book) and the, perhaps, more correct mode of transliteration have been promiscuously employed. But the reader can have no difficulty in understanding the reference.

[3] Mark the note on previous page.

[4] It will, of course, be understood that we have only given the briefest, and, indeed, imperfect, indications of the contents of the various Talmudic Tractates. Besides giving the Laws connected with each of the subjects of which they treat, all kindred topics are taken up, nay, the discussion often passes to quite other than the subjects primarily treated of in a Tractate.


Book I

 

INTRODUCTORY.

 

THE PREPARATION FOR THE GOSPEL:

THE JEWISH WORLD IN THE DAYS OF CHRIST

 

{hebrew}

All the prophets prophesied not but of the days of the Messiah.'-Sanh. 99 a

 

{hebrew}

The world was not created but only for the Messiah.'-Sanh. 98 b


CHAPTER I.
THE JEWISH WORLD IN THE DAYS OF CHRIST - THE JEWISH DISPERSION IN THE EAST.

 

Among the outward means by which the religion of Israel was preserved, one of the most important was the centralisation and localisation of its worship in Jerusalem. If to some the ordinances of the Old Testament may in this respect seem narrow and exclusive, it is at least doubtful, whether without such a provision Monothsiem itself could have continued as a creed or a worship. In view of the state of the ancient world, and of the tendencies of Israel during the earlier stages of their history, the strictest isolation was necessary in order to preserve the religion of the Old Testament from that mixture with foreign elements which would speedily have proved fatal to its existence. And if one source of that danger had ceased after the seventy years' exile in Babylonia, the dispersion of the greater part of the nation among those manners and civilisation would necessarily influence them, rendered the continuance of this separation of as great importance as before. In this respect, even traditionalism had its mission and use, as a hedge around the Law to render its infringement or modification impossible.

Wherever a Roman, a Greek, or an Asiatic might wander, he could take his gods with him, or find rites kindred to his own. It was far otherwise with the Jew. He had only one Temple, that in Jerusalem; only one God, Him Who had once throned there between the Cherubim, and Who was still King over Zion. That Temple was the only place where a God-appointed, pure priesthood could offer acceptable sacrifices, whether for forgiveness of sin, or for fellowship with God. Here, in the impenetrable gloom of the innermost sanctuary, which the High-Priest alone might enter once a year for most solemn expiation, had stood the Ark, the leader of the people into the Land of Promise, and the footstool on which the Schechinah had rested. From that golden altar rose the cloud in incense, symbol of Israel's accepted prayers; that seven-branched candlestick shed its perpetual light, indicative of the brightness of God's Covenant Presence; on that table, as it were before the face of Jehovah, was laid, week by week, the Bread of the Face [5] ,' a constant sacrificial meal which Israel offered unto God, and wherewith God in turn fed His chosen priesthood. On the great blood-sprinkled altar of sacrifice smoked the daily and festive burnt-offerings, brought by all Israel, and for all Israel, wherever scattered; while the vast courts of the Temple were thronged not only by native Palestinians, but literally by Jews out of every nation under heaven.' Around this Temple gathered the sacred memories of the past; to it clung the yet brighter hopes of the future. The history of Israel and all their prospects were intertwined with their religion; so that it may be said that without their religion they had no history, and without their history no religion. Thus, history, patriotism, religion, and hope alike pointed to Jerusalem and the Temple as the centre of Israel's unity.

Nor could the depressed state of the nation alter their views or shake their confidence. What mattered it, that the Idumæan, Herod, had usurped the throne of David, expect so far as his own guilt and their present subjection were concerned? Israel had passed through deeper waters, and stood triumphant on the other shore. For centuries seemingly hopeless bondsmen in Egypt, they had not only been delivered, but had raised the God-inspired morning-song of jubilee, as they looked back upon the sea cleft for them, and which had buried their oppressors in their might and pride. Again, for weary years had their captives hung Zion's harps by the rivers of that city and empire whose colossal grandeur, wherever they turned, must have carried to the scattered strangers the desolate feeling of utter hopelessness. And yet that empire had crumbled into dust, while Israel had again taken root and sprung up. And now little more than a century and a half had passed, since a danger greater even than any of these had threatened the faith and the very existence of Israel. In his daring madness, the Syrian king, Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes) had forbidden their religion, sought to destroy their sacred books, with unsparing ferocity forced on them conformity to heathen rites, desecrated the Temple by dedicating it to Zeus Olympios, what is translated by shewbread.' a constant sacrificial and even reared a heathen altar upon that of burnt-offering. [6] Worst of all, his wicked schemes had been aided by two apostate High-Priests, who had outvied each other in buying and then prostituting the sacred office of God's anointed. [7] Yet far away in the mountains of Ephraim [8] God had raised for them most unlooked-for and unlikely help. Only three years later, and, after a series of brilliant victories by undisciplined men over the flower of the Syrian army, Judas the Maccabee, truly God's Hammer [9] had purified the Temple, and restored its altar on the very same day [10] on which the abomination of desolation' [11] had been set up in its place. In all their history the darkest hour of their night had ever preceded the dawn of a morning brighter than any that had yet broken. It was thus that with one voice all their prophets had bidden them wait and hope. Their sayings had been more than fulfilled as regarded the past. Would they not equally become true in reference to that far more glorious future for Zion and for Israel, which was to be ushered in by the coming of the Messiah?

Nor were such the feelings of the Palestinian Jews only. These indeed were now a minority. The majority of the nation constituted what was known as the dispersion; a term which, however, no longer expressed its original meaning of banishment by the judgment of God, [12] since absence from Palestine was now entirely voluntary. But all the more that it referred not to outward suffering, [13] did its continued use indicate a deep feeling of religious sorrow, of social isolation, and of political strangership [14] in the midst of a heathen world. For although, as Josephus reminded his countrymen, [15] there was no nation in the world which had not among them part of the Jewish people,' since it was widely dispersed over all the world among its inhabitants,' [16] yet they had nowhere found a real home. A century and a half before our era comes to us from Egypt [17] - where the Jews possessed exceptional privileges - professedly from the heathen, but really from the Jewish [18] Sibyl, this lament of Israel -

Crowding with thy numbers every ocean and country -

Yet an offense to all around thy presence and customs! [19]

Sixty years later the Greek geographer and historian Strabo bears the like witness to their presence in every land, but in language that shows how true had been the complaint of the Sibyl. [20] The reasons for this state of feeling will by-and-by appear. Suffice it for the present that, all unconsciously, Philo tells its deepest ground, and that of Israel's loneliness in the heathen world, when speaking, like the others, of his countrymen as in all the cities of Europe, in the provinces of Asia and in the islands,' he describes them as, wherever sojourning, having but one metropolis - not Alexandria, Antioch, or Rome - but the Holy City with its Temple, dedicated to the Most High God.' [21] A nation, the vast majority of which was dispersed over the whole inhabited earth, had ceased to be a special, and become a world-nation. [22] Yet its heart beat in Jerasulem, and thence the life-blood passed to its most distant members. And this, indeed, if we rightly understand it, was the grand object of the Jewish dispersion' throughout the world.

What has been said applies, perhaps, in a special manner, to the Western, rather than to the Eastern dispersion.' The connection of the latter with Palestine was so close as almost to seem one of continuity. In the account of the truly representative gathering in Jerusalem on that ever-memorable Feast of Weeks, [23]   the division of the dispersion' into two grand sections - the Eastern or Trans-Euphratic, and the Western or Hellenist - seems clearly marked. [24] In this arrangement the former would include the Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and dwellers in Mesopotamia,' Judæa standing, so to speak, in the middle, while the Bretes and Arabians' would typically represent the farthest outrunners respectively of the Western and the Eastern Diaspora. The former, as we know from the New Testament, commonly bore in Palestine the name of the dispersion of the Greeks,' [25] and of Hellenists' or Grecians.' [26] On the other hand, the Trans-Euphratic Jews, who inhabited Babylon and many of the other satrapies,' [27] were included with the Palestinians and the Syrians under the term Hebrews,' from the common language which they spoke.

But the difference between the Grecians' and the Hebrews' was far deeper than merely of language, and extended to the whole direction of thought. There were mental influences at work in the Greek world from which, in the nature of things, it was impossible even for Jews to withdraw themselves, and which, indeed, were as necessary for the fulfillment of their mission as their isolation from heathenism, and their connection with Jerusalem. At the same time it was only natural that the Hellenists, placed as they were in the midst of such hostile elements, should intensely wish to be Jews, equal to their Eastern brethren. On the other hand, Pharisaism, in its pride of legal purity and of the possession of traditional lore, with all that it involved, made no secret of its contempt for the Hellenists, and openly declared the Grecian far inferior to the Babylonian dispersion.' [28] That such feelings, and the suspicions which they engendered, had struck deep into the popular mind, appears from the fact, that even in the Apostolic Church, and that in her earliest days, disputes could break out between the Hellenists and the Hebrews, arising from suspicion of unkind and unfair dealings grounded on these sectional prejudices. [29]

Far other was the estimate in which the Babylonians were held by the leaders of Judaism. Indeed, according to one view of it, Babylonia, as well as Syria' as far north as Antioch, was regarded as forming part of the land of Israel. [30] Every other country was considered outside the land,' as Palestine was called, witht the exception of Babylonia, which was reckoned as part of it. [31] For Syria and Mesopotamia, eastwards to the banks of the Tigris, were supposed to have been in the territory which King David had conquered, and this made them ideally for ever like the land of Israel. But it was just between the Euphrates and the Tigris that the largest and wealthiest settlements of the Jews were, to such extent that a later writer actually designated them the land of Israel.' Here Nehardaa, on the Nahar Malka, or royal canal, which passed from the Euphrates to the Tigris, was the oldest Jewish settlement. It boasted of a Synagogue, said to have been built by King Jechoniah with stones that had been brought from the Temple. [32] In this fortified city the vast contributions intended for the Temple were deposited by the Eastern Jews, and thence conveyed to their destination under escort of thousands of armed men. Another of these Jewish treasure-cities was Nisibis, in northern Mesopotamia. Even the fact that wealth, which must have sorely tempted the cupidity of the heathen, could be safely stored in these cities and transported to Palestine, shows how large the Jewish population must have been, and how great their general influence.

In general, it is of the greatest importance to remember in regard to this Eastern dispersion, that only a minority of the Jews, consisting in all of about 50,000, originally returned from Babylon, first under Zerubbabel and afterwards under Ezra. [33] Nor was their inferiority confined to numbers. The wealthiest and most influential of the Jews remained behind. According to Josephus, [34] with whom Philo substantially agrees, vast numbers, estimated at millions, inhabited the Trans-Euphratic provinces. To judge even by the number of those slain in popular risings (50,000 in Seleucia alone [35] ), these figures do not seem greatly exaggerated. A later tradition had it, that so dense was the Jewish population in the Persian Empire, that Cyrus forbade the further return of the exiles, lest the country should be depopulated. [36] So large and compact a body soon became a political power. Kindly treated under the Persian monarchy, they were, after the fall of that empire, [37] favoured by the successors of Alexander. When in turn the Macedono-Syrian rule gave place to the Parthian Empire, [38] the Jews formed, from their national opposition to Rome, an important element in the East. Such was their influence that, as late as the year 40 a.d., the Roman legate shrank from provoking their hostility. [39] At the same time it must not be thought that, even in these favoured regions, they were wholly without persecution. Here also history records more than one tale of bloody strife on the part of those among whom they dwelt. [40]

To the Palestinians, their brethren of the East and of Syria - to which they had wandered under the fostering rule of the Macedono-Syrian monarchs (the Seleucidæ) - were indeed pre-eminently the Golah, or dispersion.' To them the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem intimated by fire-signals from mountain-top to mountain-top the commencement of each month for the regulation of the festive calendar, [41] even as they afterwards despatched messengers into Syria for the same purpose. [42] In some respects the Eastern dispersion was placed on the same footing; in others, on even a higher level than the mother country. Tithes and Terumoth, or first-fruits in a prepared condition, [43] were due from them, while the Bikkurim, or first-fruits in a fresh state, were to be brought from Syria to Jerusalem. Unlike the heathen countries, whose very dust defiled, the soil of Syria was declared clean, like that of Palestine itself. [44] So far as purity of descent was concerned, the Babylonians, indeed, considered themselves superior to their Palestinian brethren. They had it, that when Ezra took with him those who went to Palestine, he had left the land behind him as pure as fine flour. [45] To express it in their own fashion: In regard to the genealogical purity of their Jewish inhabitants, all other countries were, compared to Palestine, like dough mixed with leaven; but Palestine itself was such by the side of Babylonia. [46] It was even maintained, that the exact boundaries could be traced in a district, within which the Jewish population had preserved itself unmixed. Great merit was in this respect also ascribed to Ezra. In the usual mode of exaggeration, it was asserted, that, if all the genealogical studies and researches [47] had been put together, they would have amounted to many hundred camel-loads. There was for it, however, at least this foundation in truth, that great care and labour were bestowed on preserving full and accurate records so as to establish purity of descent. What importance attached to it, we know from the action on Ezra [48] in that respect, and from the stress which Josephus lays on this point. [49] Official records of descent as regarded the priesthood were kept in the Temple. Besides, the Jewish authorities seem to have possessed a general official register, which Herod afterwards ordered to be burnt, from reasons which it is not difficult to infer. But from that day, laments a Rabbi, the glory of the Jews decreased! [50]

Nor was it merely purity of descent of which the Eastern dispersion could boast. In truth, Palestine owed everything to Ezra, the Babylonian, [51] a man so distinguished that, according to tradition, the Law would have been given by him, if Moses had not previously obtained that honor. Putting aside the various traditional ordinances which the Talmud ascribes to him, [52] we know from the Scriptures what his activity for good had been. Altered circumstances had brought many changes to the new Jewish State. Even the language, spoken and written, was other than formerly. Instead of the characters anciently employed, the exiles brought with them, on their return, those now common, the so-called square Hebrew letters, which gradually came into general use. [53] [54] The language spoken by the Jews was no longer Hebrew, but Aramæan, both in Palestine and in Babylonia; [55] in the former the Western, in the latter the Eastern dialect. In fact, the common people were ignorant of pure Hebrew, which henceforth became the language of students and of the Synagogue. Even there a Methurgeman, or interpreter, had to be employed to translate into the vernacular the portions of Scripture read in the public services, [56] and the addresses delivered by the Rabbis. This was the origin of the so-called Targumim, or paraphrases of Scripture. In earliest times, indeed, it was forbidden to the Methurgeman to read his translation or to write down a Targum, lest the paraphrase should be regarded as of equal authority with the original. It was said that, when Jonathan brought out his Targum on the Prophets, a voice from heaven was heard to utter: Who is this that has revealed My secrets to men?' [57] Still, such Targumim seem to have existed from a very early period, and, amid the varying and often incorrect renderings, their necessity must have made itself increasingly felt. Accordingly, their use was authoritatively sanctioned before the end of the second century after Christ. This is the origin of our two oldest extant Targumim: that of Onkelos (as it is called), on the Pentateuch; and that on the Prophets, attributed to Jonathan the son of Uzziel. These names do not, indeed, accurately represent the authorship of the oldest Targumim, which may more correctly be regarded as later and authoritative recensions of what, in some form, had existed before. But although these works had their origin in Palestine, it is noteworthy that, in the form in which at present we possess them, they are the outcome of the schools of Babylon.

But Palestine owed, if possible, a still greater debt to Babylonia. The new circumstances in which the Jews were placed on their return seemed to render necessary an adaptation of the Mosaic Law, if not new legislation. Besides, piety and zeal now attached themselves to the outward observance and study of the letter of the Law. This is the origin of the Mishnah, or Second Law, which was intended to explain and supplement the first. This constituted the only Jewish dogmatics, in the real sense, in the study of which the sage, Rabbi, scholar, scribe, and Darshan, [58] were engaged. The result of it was the Midrash, or investigation, a term which afterwards was popularly applied to commentaries on the Scriptures and preaching. From the outset, Jewish theology divided into two branches: the Halakhah and the Haggadah. The former (from halakh, to go) was, so to speak, the Rule of the Spiritual Road, and, when fixed, had even greater authority than the Scriptures of the Old Testament, since it explained and applied them. On the other hand, the Haggadah [59] (from nagad, to tell) was only the personal saying of the teacher, more or less valuable according to his learning and popularity, or the authorities which he could quote in his support. Unlike the Halakhah, the Haggadah had no absolute authority, either as to doctrine practice, or exegesis. But all the greater would be its popular influence, [60] and all the more dangerous the doctrinal license which it allowed. In fact, strange as it may sound, almost all the doctrinal teaching of the Synagogue is to be derived from the Haggadah - and this also is characteristic of Jewish traditionalism. But, alike in Halakhah and Haggadah, Palestine was under the deepest obligation to Babylonia. For the father of Halakhic study was Hillel, the Babylonian, and among the popular Haggadists there is not a name better known than that of Eleazar the Mede, who flourished in the first century of our era.

After this, it seems almost idle to inquire whether, during the first period after the return of the exiles from Babylon, there were regular theological academies in Babylon. Although it is, of course, impossible to furnish historical proof, we can scarely doubt that a community so large and so intensely Hebrew would not have been indifferent to that study, which constituted the main thought and engagement of their brethren in Palestine. We can understand that, since the great Sanhedrin in Palestine exercised supreme spiritual authority, and in that capacity ultimately settled all religious questions - at least for a time - the study and discussion of these subjects should also have been chiefly carried on in the schools of Palestine; and that even the great Hillel himself, when still a poor and unknown student, should have wandered thither to acquire the learning and authority, which at that period he could not have found in his own country. But even this circumstance implies, that such studies were at least carried on and encouraged in Babylonia. How rapidly soon afterwards the authority of the Babylonian schools increased, till they not only overshadowed those of Palestine, but finally inherited their prerogatives, is well known. However, therefore, the Palestinians in their pride or jealousy might sneer, [61] that the Babylonians were stupid, proud, and poor (they ate bread upon bread'), [62] even they had to acknowledge that, when the Law had fallen into oblivion, it was restored by Ezra of Babylon; when it was a second time forgotten, Hillel the Babylonian came and recovered it; and when yet a third time it fell into oblivion, Rabbi Chija came from Babylon and gave it back once more.' [63]

Such then was that Hebrew dispersion which, from the first, constituted really the chief part and the strength of the Jewish nation, and with which its religious future was also to lie. For it is one of those strangely significant, almost symbolical, facts in history, that after the destruction of Jerusalem the spiritual supremacy of Palestine passed to Babylonia, and that Rabbinical Judaism, under the stress of political adversity, voluntarily transferred itself to the seats of Israel's ancient dispersion, as if to ratify by its own act what the judgment of God had formerly executed. But long before that time the Babylonian dispersion' had already stretched out its hands in every direction. Northwards, it had spread through Armenia, the Caucasus, and to the shores of the Black Sea, and through Media to those of the Caspian. Southwards, it had extended to the Persian Gulf and through the vast extent of Arabia, although Arabia Felix and the land of the Homerites may have received their first Jewish colonies from the opposite shores of Ethiopia. Eastwards it had passed as far as India. [64] Everywhere we have distinct notices of these wanderers, and everywhere they appear as in closest connection with the Rabbinical hierarchy of Palestine. Thus the Mishnah, in an extremely curious section, [65] tells us how on Sabbaths the Jewesses of Arabia might wear their long veils, and those of India the kerchief round the head, customary in those countries, without incurring the guilt of desecrating the holy day by needlessly carrying what, in the eyes of the law, would be a burden; [66] while in the rubric for the Day of Atonement we have it noted that the dress which the High-Priest wore between the evenings' of the great fast - that is, as afternoon darkened into evening - was of most costly Indian' stuff. [67]

That among such a vast community there should have been poverty, and that at one time, as the Palestinians sneered, learning may have been left to pine in want, we can readily believe. For, as one of the Rabbis had it in explanation of Deut. xxx. 13: Wisdom is not "beyond the sea" - that is, it will not be found among traders or merchants,' [68] whose mind must be engrossed by gain. And it was trade and commerce which procured to the Babylonians their wealth and influence, although agriculture was not neglected. Their caravans - of whose camel drivers, by the way, no very flattering account is given [69] - carried the rich carpets and woven stuffs of the East, as well as its precious spices, to the West: generally through Palestine to the Phoenician harbours, where a fleet of merchantmen belonging to Jewish bankers and shippers lay ready to convey them to every quarter of the world. These merchant princes were keenly alive to all that passed, not only in the financial, but in the political world. We know that they were in possession of State secrets, and entrusted with the intricacies of diplomacy. Yet, whatever its condition, this Eastern Jewish community was intensely Hebrew. Only eight days' journey - though, according to Philo's western ideas of it, by a difficult road [70] - separated them from Palestine; and every pulsation there vibrated in Babylonia. It was in the most outlying part of that colony, in the wide plains of Arabia, that Saul of Tarsus spent those three years of silent thought and unknown labour, which preceded his re-appearance in Jerusalem, when from the burning longing to labour among his brethren, kindled by long residence among these Hebrews of the Hebrews, he was directed to that strange work which was his life's mission. [71] And it was among the same community that Peter wrote and laboured, [72] amidst discouragements of which we can form some conception from the sad boast of Nehardaa, that up to the end of the third century it had not numbered among its members any convert to Christianity. [73] In what has been said, no notice has been taken of those wanderers of the ten tribes, whose trackless footsteps seem as mysterious as their after-fate. The Talmudists name four countries as their seats. But, even if we were to attach historic credence to their vague statements, at least two of these localities cannot with any certainty be identified. [74] Only thus far all agree as to point us northwards, through India, Armenia, the Kurdish mountains, and the Caucasus. And with this tallies a curious reference in what is known as IV. Esdras, which locates them in a land called Arzareth, a term which has, with some probability, been identified with the land of Ararat. [75] Josephus [76] describes them as an innumerable multitude, and vaguely locates them beyond the Euphrates. The Mishnah is silent as to their seats, but discusses their future restoration; Rabbi Akiba denying and Rabbi Eliezer anticipating it. [77] [78] Another Jewish tradition [79] locates them by the fabled river Sabbatyon, which was supposed to cease its flow on the weekly Sabbath. This, of course, is an implied admission of ignorance of their seats. Similarly, the Talmud [80] speaks of three localities whither they had been banished: the district around the river Sabbatyon; Daphne, near Antioch; while the third was overshadowed and hidden by a cloud.

Later Jewish notices connect the final discovery and the return of the lost tribes' with their conversion under that second Messiah who, in contradistinction to the Son of David' is styled the Son of Joseph,' to whom Jewish tradition ascribes what it cannot reconcile with the royal dignity of the Son of David,' and which, if applied to Him, would almost inevitably lead up to the most wide concessions in the Christian argument. [81] As regards the ten tribes there is this truth underlying the strange hypothesis, that, as their persistent apostasy from the God of Israel and His worship had cut them off from his people, so the fulfilment of the Divine promises to them in the latter days would imply, as it were, a second birth to make them once more Israel. Beyond this we are travelling chiefly into the region of conjecture. Modern investigations have pointed to the Nestorians, [82] and latterly with almost convincing evidence (so far as such is possible) to the Afghans, as descended from the lost tribes. [83] Such mixture with, and lapse into, Gentile nationalities seems to have been before the minds of those Rabbis who ordered that, if at present a non-Jew weds a Jewess, such a union was to be respected, since the stranger might be a descendant of the ten tribes. [84] Besides, there is reason to believe that part of them, at least, had coalesced with their brethren of the later exile; [85] while we know that individuals who had settled in Palestine and, presumably, elsewhere, were able to trace descent from them. [86] Still the great mass of the ten tribes was in the days of Christ, as in our own, lost to the Hebrew nation.


[5] Such is the literal meaning of what is translated by shewbread.'

[6] 1 Macc. i. 54, 59; Jos. Ant. xii. 5. 4.

[7] After the deposition of Onias III. through the bribery of his own brother Jason, the latter and Menelaus outvied each other in bribery for, and prostitution of, the holy office.

[8] Modin, the birthplace of the Maccabees, has been identified with the modern El-Medyeh, about sixteen miles northwest of Jerusalem, in the ancient territory of Ephraim. Comp. Conder's Handbook of the Bible, p. 291; and for a full reference to the whole literature of the subject, see Schürer (Neutest. Zeitgesch. p. 78, note 1).

[9] On the meaning of the name Maccabee, comp. Grimm's Kurzgef. Exeget. Handb. z. d. Apokr. Lief. iii., pp. ix. x. We adopt the derivation from Maqqabha, a hammer, like Charles Martel.

[10] 1 Macc. iv. 52-54: Megill. Taan. 23.

[11] 1 Macc. l. 54.

[12] Alike the verb {hebrew} in Hebrew, and diaspero in Greek, with their derivatives, are used in the Old Testament, and in the rendering of the LXX., with reference to punitive banishment. See, for example, Judg. xviii. 30; 1 Sam. iv. 21; and in the LXX. Deut. xxx. 4; Ps. cxlvii. 2; Is. xlix. 6, and other passages.

[13] There is some truth, although greatly exaggerated, in the bitter remarks of Hausrath (Neutest. Zeitgesch. ii. p. 93), as to the sensitiveness of the Jews in the diaspor, and the loud outcry of all its members at any interference with them, however trivial. But events unfortunately too often proved how real and near was their danger, and how necessary the caution Obsta principiis.'

[14] St. Peter seems to have used it in that sense, 1 Pet. i. 1.

[15] Jew. W ii. 16. 4.

[16] vii. 3.3.

[17] Comp. the remarks of Schneckenburger (Vorles ü. Neutest. Zeitg. p. 95).

[18] Comp. Friedlieb, D. Sibyll. Weissag. xxii. 39.

[19] Orac Sibyll. iii. 271,272, apud Friedlieb, p. 62.

[20] Strabo apud Jos. Ant. xiv. 7.2: It is not easy to find a place in the world that has not admitted this race, and is not mastered by it.'

[21] Philo in Flaccum (ed. Francf.), p. 971.

[22] Comp. Jos. Ant. xii. 3; xiii. 10. 4; 13. 1; xiv. 6. 2; 8. 1; 10. 8; Sueton. Cæs. 85.

[23] Acts ii. 9-11

[24] Grimm (Clavis N.T. p. 113) quotes two passages from Philo, in one of which he contradistinguishes us,' the Hellenist Jews, from the Hebrews,' and speaks of the Greek as our language.'

[25] St. John vii. 35.

[26] Acts vi. 1; ix. 29; xi. 20.

[27] Philo ad Cajum, p. 1023; Jos. Ant. xv. 3.1.

[28] Similarly we have (in Men. 110a) this curious explanation of Is. xliii. 6: My sons from afar' - these are the exiles in Babylon, whose minds were settled, like men, and my daughters from the ends of the earth' - these are the exiles in other lands, whose minds were not settled, like women.

[29] Acts vi. 1.

[30] Ber. R. 17.

[31] Erub. 21 a Gritt. 6 a.

[32] Comp. Fürst, Kult. u. Literaturgesch d. Jud. in Asien, vol. i. p. 8.

[33] 537 b.c., and 459-'8 b.c.

[34] Ant. xi. 5. 2; xv. 2. 2; xviii. 9.

[35] Jos. Ant. xviii. 9. 9.

[36] Midrash on Cant. v. 5, ed. Warsh. p. 26 a.

[37] 330 b.c.

[38] 63 b.c.

[39] Philo ad Caj.

[40] The following are the chief passages in Josephus relating to that part of Jewish history: Ant. xi. 5. 2; xiv. 13. 5; xv. 2. 7; 3. 1; xvii. 2. 1-3; xviii. 9. 1, &c.; xx. 4. Jew. W. i. 13. 3.

[41] Rosh. haSh. ii. 4; comp. the Jer. Gemara on it, and in the Bab. Talmud 23 b.

[42] Rosh. haSh. i. 4.

[43] Shev. vi. passim; Gitt. 8 a.

[44] Ohol. xxiii. 7.

[45] Kidd. 69 b.

[46] Cheth. 111 a.

[47] As comments upon the genealogies from Azel' in 1 Chr. viii. 37 to Azel' in ix. 44. Pes. 62 b.

[48] Chs. ix. x.

[49] Life i.; Ag Apion i. 7.

[50] Pes. 62 b; Sachs, Beitr. vol. ii. p. 157.

[51] According to tradition he returned to Babylon, and died there. Josephus says that he died in Jerusalem (Anti. xi. 5. 5).

[52] Herzfeld has given a very clear historical arrangement of the order in which, and the persons by whom, the various legal determinations were supposed to have been given. See Gesch. d. V. Isr. vol. iii. pp. 240 &c.

[53] Sanh. 21 b.

[54] Although thus introduced under Ezra, the ancient Hebrew characters, which resemble the Samaritan, only very gradually gave way. They are found on monuments and coins.

[55] Herzfeld (u. s. vol. iii. p. 46) happily designates the Palestinian as the Hebræo-Aramaic, from its Hebraistic tinge. The Hebrew, as well as the Aramæan, belongs to the Semitic group of languages, which has thus been arranged: 1. North Semitic: Punico-Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic (Western and Eastern dialects). 2. South Semitic: Arabic, Himyaritic, and Ethiopian. 3. East Semitic: The Assyro-Baylonian cuneiform. When we speak of the dialect used in Palestine, we do not, of course, forget the great influence of Syria, exerted long before and after the Exile. Of these three branches the Aramaic is the most closely connected with the Hebrew. Hebrew occupies an intermediate position between the Aramaic and the Arabic, and may be said to be the oldest, certainly from a literary point of view. Together with the introduction of the new dialect into Palestine, we mark that of the new, or square, characters of writing. The Mishnah and all the kindred literature up to the fourth century are in Hebrew, or rather in a modern development and adaptation of that language; the Talmud is in Aramæan. Comp. on this subject: DeWette-Schrader, Lehrb. d. hist. kr. Eink. (8 ed.) pp. 71-88; Herzog's Real-Encykl. vol. i. 466, 468; v. 614 &c., 710; Zunz, Gottesd. Vortr. d. Jud. pp. 7-9; Herzfeld, u.s. pp. 44 &c., 58&c.

[56] Could St. Paul have had this in mind when, in referring to the miraculous gift of speaking in other languages, he directs that one shall always interpret (1 Cor. xiv. 27)? At any rate, the word targum in Ezra iv. 7 is rendered in the LXX. by rmeneo. The following from the Talmud (Ber. 8 a and b) affords a curious illustration of 1 Cor. xiv. 27: Let a man always finish his Parashah (the daily lesson from the Law) with the congregation (at the same time) - twice the text, and once Targum.'

[57] Megill. 3 b.

[58] From darash, to search out, literally, to tread out. The preacher was afterwards called the Darshan.

[59] The Halakhah might be described as the apocryphal Pentateuch, the Haggadah as the apocryphal Prophets

[60] We may here remind ourselves of 1 Tim. v. 17. St. Paul, as always, writes with the familiar Jewish phrases ever recurring to his mind. The expression didaskala seems to be equivalent to Halakhic teaching. Comp. Grimm, Clavis N. T. pp. 98, 99.

[61] In Moed Q. 25 a. sojourn in Babylon is mentioned as a reason why the Shekhinah could not rest upon a certain Rabbi.

[62] Pes. 34 b; Men. 52 a; Sanh. 24 a; Bets. 16 a - apud Neubauer, Géog. du Talmud, p. 323. In Keth. 75 a, they are styled the silly Babylonians.' See also Jer. Pes. 32 a.

[63] Sukk. 20 a. R. Chija, one of the teachers of the second century, is among the most celebrated Rabbinical authorities, around whose memory legend has thrown a special halo.

[64] In this, as in so many respects, Dr. Neubauer has collated very interesting information, to which we refer. See his Géogr. du Talm. pp. 369-399.

[65] The whole section gives a most curious glimpse of the dress and ornaments worn by the Jews at that time. The reader interested in the subject will find special information in the three little volumes of Hartmann (Die Hebräerin am Putztische), in N. G. Schröder's some-what heavy work: De Vestitu Mulier. Hebr., and especially in that interesting tractate, Trachten d. Juden, by Dr. A. Brüll, of which, unfortunately, only one part has appeared.

[66] Shabb. vi. 6.

[67] Yoma iii. 7.

[68] Er. 55 a.

[69] Kidd. iv. 14.

[70] Philo ad Cajum, ed. Frcf. p. 1023.

[71] Gal. i. 17;

[72] 1 Pet. v. 13.

[73] Pes. 56 a, apud Neubauer, u. s., p. 351.

[74] Comp. Neubauer, pp. 315, 372; Hamburger, Real-Encykl. p. 135.

[75] Comp. Volkmar, Handb. d. Einl. in d. Apokr. iite Abth., pp. 193, 194, notes. For the reasons there stated, I prefer this to the ingenious interpretation proposed by Dr. Schiller-Szinessy (Journ. of Philol. for 1870, pp. 113, 114), who regards it as a contraction of Erez achereth, another land,' referred to in Deut. xxix. 27 (28).

[76] Ant. xi. 5.2.

[77] Sanh. x. 3.

[78] R. Eliezer seems to connect their return with the dawn of the new Messianic day.

[79] Ber. R. 73.

[80] Jer. Sanb 29 c.

[81] This is not the place to discuss the later Jewish fiction of a second or suffering' Messiah, the son of Joseph,' whose special mission it would be to bring back the ten tribes, and to subject them to Messiah, the son of David,' but who would perish in the war against Gog and Magog.

[82] Comp. the work of Dr. Asahel Grant on the Nestorians. His arguments have been well summarised and expanded in an interesting note in Mr. Nutt's Sketch of Samaritan History, pp. 2-4.

[83] I would here call special attention to a most interesting paper on the subject (A New Afghan Question'), by Mr. H. W. Bellew, in the Journal of the United Service Institution of India,' for 1881, pp. 49-97.

[84] Yebam 16 b.

[85] Kidd. 69 b.

[86] So Anna from the tribe of Aser, St. Luke ii. 36. Lutterbeck (Neutest. Lehrbegr. pp. 102, 103) argues that the ten tribes had become wholly undistinguishable from the other two. But his arguments are not convincing, and his opinion was certainly not that of those who lived in the time of Christ, or who reflected their ideas.


CHAPTER II.
THE JEWISH DISPERSION IN THE WEST - THE HELLENISTS - ORIGIN OF HELLENIST LITERATURE IN THE GREEK TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE - CHARACTER OF THE SEPTUAGINT.

 

When we turn from the Jewish dispersion' in the East to that in the West, we seem to breathe quite a different atmosphere. Despite their intense nationalism, all unconsciously to themselves, their mental characteristics and tendencies were in the opposite direction from those of their brethren. With those of the East rested the future of Judaism; with them of the West, in a sense, that of the world. The one represented old Israel, stretching forth its hands to where the dawn of a new day was about to break. These Jews of the West are known by the term Hellenists - from llenzein, to conform to the language and manners of the Greeks. [87]

Whatever their religious and social isolation, it was, in the nature of thing, impossible that the Jewish communities in the West should remains unaffected by Grecian culture and modes of thought; just as, on the other hand, the Greek world, despite popular hatred and the contempt of the higher classes, could not wholly withdraw itself from Jewish influences. Witness here the many converts to Judaism among the Gentiles; [88] witness also the evident preparedness of the lands of this dispersion' for the new doctrine which was to come from Judea. Many causes contributed to render the Jews of the West accessible to Greek influences. They had not a long local history to look back upon, nor did they form a compact body, like their brethren in the East. They were craftsmen, traders, merchants, settled for a time here or there - units might combine into communities, but could not form one people. Then their position was not favourable to the sway of traditionalism. Their occupations, the very reasons for their being in a strange land,' were purely secular. That lofty absorption of thought and life in the study of the Law, written and oral, which characterised the East, was to the, something in the dim distance, sacred, like the soil and the institutions of Palestine, but unattainable. In Palestine or Babylonia numberless influences from his earliest years, all that he saw and heard, the very force of circumstances, would tend to make an earnest Jew a disciple of the Rabbis; in the West it would lead him to hellenise.' It was, so to speak, in the air'; and he could no more shut his mind against Greek thought than he could withdraw his body from atmospheric influences. That restless, searching, subtle Greek intellect would penetrate everywhere, and flash its light into the innermost recesses of his home and Synagogue.

To be sure, they were intensely Jewish, these communities of strangers. Like our scattered colonists in distant lands, they would cling with double affection to the customs of their home, and invest with the halo of tender memories the sacred traditions of their faith. The Grecian Jew might well look with contempt, not unmingled with pity, on the idolatrous rites practised around, from which long ago the pitiless irony of Isaiah had torn the veil of beauty, to show the hideousness and unreality beneath. The dissoluteness of public and private life, the frivolity and aimlessness of their pursuits, political aspirations, popular assemblies, amusements - in short, the utter decay of society, in all its phases, would lie open to his gaze. It is in terms of lofty scorn, not unmingled with indignation, which only occasionally gives way to the softer mood of warning, or even invitation, that Jewish Hellenistic literature, whether in the Apocrypha or in its Apocalyptic utterances, address heathenism.

From that spectacle the Grecian Jew would turn with infinite satisfaction - not to say, pride - to his own community, to think of its spiritual enlightenment, and to pass in review its exclusive privileges. [89] It was with no uncertain steps that he would go past those splendid temples to his own humbler Synagogue, pleased to find himself there surrounded by those who shared his descent, his faith, his hopes; and gratified to see their number swelled by many who, heathens by birth, had learned the error of their ways, and now, so to speak, humbly stood as suppliant strangers of the gate,' to seek admission into his sanctuary. [90] How different were the rites which he practised, hallowed in their Divine origin, rational in themselves, and at the same time deeply significant, from the absurd superstitions around. Who could have compared with the voiceless, meaningless, blasphemous heathen worship, if it deserved the name, that of the Synagogue, with its pathetic hymns, its sublime liturgy, its Divine Scriptures, and those stated sermons' which instructed in virtue and piety,' of which not only Philo, [91] Agrippa, [92] and Josephus, [93] speak as a regular institution, but whose antiquity and general prevalence is attested in Jewish writings, [94] and nowhere more strongly than in the book of the Acts of the Apostles?

And in these Synagogues, how would brotherly love' be called out, since, if one member suffered, all might soon be affected, and the danger which threatened one community would, unless averted, ere long overwhelm the rest. There was little need for the admonition not to forget the love of strangers.' [95] To entertain them was not merely a virtue; in the Hellenist dispersion it was a religious necessity. And by such means not a few whom they would regard as heavenly messengers' might be welcomed. From the Acts of the Apostles we knew with what eagerness they would receive, and with what readiness they would invite, the passing Rabbi or teacher, who came from the home of their faith, to speak, if there were in them a word of comforting exhortation for the people. [96] We can scarcely doubt, considering the state of things, that this often bore on the consolation of Israel.' But, indeed, all that came from Jerusalem, all that helped them to realise their living connection with it, or bound it more closely, was precious. Letters out of Judæa,' the tidings which some one might bring on his return from festive pilgrimage or business journey, especially about anything connected with that grand expectation - the star which was to rise on the Eastern sky - would soon spread, till the Jewish pedlar in his wanderings had carried the news to the most distant and isolated Jewish home, where he might find a Sabbath, welcome and Sabbath-rest.

Such undoubtedly was the case. And yet, when the Jew stepped out of the narrow circle which he had drawn around him, he was confronted on every side by Grecianism. It was in the forum, in the market, in the counting house, in the street; in all that he saw, and in all to whom he spoke. It was refined; it was elegant; it was profound; it was supremely attractive. He might resist, but he could not push it aside. Even in resisting, he had already yielded to it. For, once open the door to the questions which it brought, if it were only to expel, or repel them, he must give up that principle of simple authority on which traditionalism as a system rested. Hellenic criticism could not so be silenced, nor its searching light be extinguished by the breath of a Rabbi. If he attempted this, the truth would not only be worsted before its enemies, but suffer detriment in his own eyes. He must meet argument with argument, and that not only for those who were without, but in order to be himself quite sure of what he believed. He must be able to hold it, not only in controversy with others, where pride might bid him stand fast, but in that much more serious contest within, where a man meets the old adversary alone in the secret arena of his own mind, and has to sustain that terrible hand-to-hand fight, in which he is uncheered by outward help. But why should he shrink from the contest, when he was sure that his was Divine truth, and that therefore victory must be on his side? As in our modern conflicts against the onesided inferences from physical investigations we are wont to say that the truths of nature cannot contradict those of revelation, both being of God, and as we are apt to regard as truths of nature what sometimes are only deductions from partially ascertained facts, and as truths of revelation what, after all, may be only our own inferences, sometimes from imperfectly apprehended premises, so the Hellenist would seek to conciliate the truths of Divine revelation with those others which, he thought, he recognized in Hellenism. But what were the truths of Divine revelation? Was it only the substance of Scripture, or also its form, the truth itself which was conveyed, or the manner in which it was presented to the Jews; or, if both, then did the two stand on exactly the same footing? On the answer to these questions would depend how little or how much he would hellenise.'

One thing at any rate was quite certain. The Old Testament, leastwise, the Law of Moses, was directly and wholly from God; and if so, then its form also - its letter - must be authentic and authoritative. Thus much on the surface, and for all. But the student must search deeper into it, his senses, as it were, quickened by Greek criticism; he must meditate' and penetrate into the Divine mysteries. The Palestinian also searched into them, and the result was the Midrash. But, whichever of his methods he had applied - the Peshat, or simple criticism of the words, the Derush, or search into the possible applications of the text, what might be trodden out' of it; or the Sod, the hidden, mystical, supranatural bearing of the words - it was still only the letter of the text that had been studied. There was, indeed, yet another understanding of the Scriptures, to which St. Paul directed his disciples: the spiritual bearing of its spiritual truths. But that needed another qualification, and tended in another direction from those of which the Jewish student knew. On the other hand, there was the intellectual view of the Scriptures - their philosophical understanding, the application to them of the results of Grecian thought and criticism. It was this which was peculiarly Hellenistic. Apply that method, and the deeper the explorer proceeded in his search, the more would he feel himself alone, far from the outside crowd; but the brighter also would that light of criticism, which he carried, shine in the growing darkness, or, as he held it up, would the precious ore, which he laid bare, glitter and sparkle with a thousand varying hues of brilliancy. What was Jewish, Palestinian, individual, concrete in the Scriptures, was only the outside - true in itself, but not the truth. There were depths beneath. Strip these stories of their nationalism; idealise the individual of the persons introduced, and you came upon abstract ideas and realities, true to all time and to all nations. But this deep symbolism was Pythagorean; this pre-existence of ideas which were the types of all outward actuality, was Platonism! Broken rays in them, but the focus of truth in the Scriptures. Yet these were rays, and could only have come from the Sun. All truth was of God; hence theirs must have been of that origin. Then were the sages of the heathen also in a sense God-taught - and God-teaching, or inspiration, was rather a question of degree than of kind!

One step only remained; and that, as we imagine, if not the easiest, yet, as we reflect upon it, that which in practice would be most readily taken. It was simply to advance towards Grecianism; frankly to recognise truth in the results of Greek thought. There is that within us, name it mental consciousness, or as you will, which, all unbidden, rises to answer to the voice of intellectual truth, come whence it may, just as conscience answers to the cause of moral truth or duty. But in this case there was more. There was the mighty spell which Greek philosophy exercised on all kindred minds, and the special adaptation of the Jewish intellect to such subtle, if not deep, thinking. And, in general, and more powerful than the rest, because penetrating everywhere, was the charm of Greek literature, with its brilliancy; of Greek civilisation and culture, with their polish and attractiveness; and of what, in one word, we may call the time-spirit,' that tyrannos, who rules all in their thinking, speaking, doing, whether they list or not.

Why, his sway extended even to Palestine itself, and was felt in the innermost circle of the most exclusive Rabbinism. We are not here referring to the fact that the very language spoken in Palestine came to be very largely charged with Greek, and even Latin, words Hebraised, since this is easily accounted for by the new circumstances, and the necessities of intercourse with the dominant or resident foreigners. Nor is it requisite to point out how impossible it would have been, in presence of so many from the Greek and Roman world, and after the long and persistent struggle of their rulers to Grecianise Palestine, nay, even in view of so many magnificent heathen temples on the very soil of Palestine, to exclude all knowledge of, or contact with Grecianism. But not to be able to exclude was to have in sight the dazzle of that unknown, which as such, and in itself, must have had peculiar attractions to the Jewish mind. It needed stern principle to repress the curiosity thus awakened. When a young Rabbi, Ben Dama, asked his uncle whether he might not study Greek philosophy, since he had mastered the Law' in every aspect of it, the older Rabbi replied by a reference to Josh. i. 8: Go and search what is the hour which is neither of the day nor of the night, and in it thou mayest study Greek philosophy.' [97] Yet even the Jewish patriarch, Gamaliel II., who may have sat with Saul of Tarsus at the feet of his grandfather, was said to have busied himself with Greek, as he certainly held liberal views on many points connected with Grecianism. To be sure, tradition justified him on the ground that his position brought him into contact with the ruling powers, and, perhaps, to further vindicate him, ascribed similar pursuits to the elder Gamaliel, although groundlessly, to judge from the circumstance that he was so impressed even with the wrong of possessing a Targum on Job in Aramæan, that he had it buried deep in the ground.

But all these are indications of a tendency existing. How wide it must have spread, appears from the fact that the ban had to be pronounced on all who studied Greek wisdom.' One of the greatest Rabbis, Elisha ben Abujah, seems to have been actually led to apostacy by such studies. True, he appears as the Acher' - the other' - in Talmudic writings, whom it was not proper even to name. But he was not yet an apostate from the Synagogue when those Greek songs' ever flowed from his lips; and it was in the very Beth-ha-Midrash, or theological academy, that a multitude of Siphrey Minim (heretical books) flew from his breast, where they had lain concealed. [98] It may be so, that the expression Siphrey Homeros' (Homeric writings), which occur not only in the Talmud [99] but even in the Mishnah [100] referred pre-eminently, if not exclusively, to the religious or semi-religious Jewish Hellenistic literature, outside even the Apocrypha. [101] But its occurrence proves, at any rate, that the Hellenists were credited with the study of Greek literature, and that through them, if not more directly, the Palestinians had become acquainted with it.

This sketch will prepare us for a rapid survey of that Hellenistic literature which Judæa so much dreaded. Its importance, not only to the Hellenists but to the world at large, can scarcely be over-estimated. First and foremost, we have here the Greek translation of the Old Testament, venerable not only as the oldest, but as that which at the time of Jesus held the place of our Authorized Version,' and as such is so often, although freely, quoted, in the New Testament. Nor need we wonder that it should have been the people's Bible, not merely among the Hellenists, but in Galilee, and even in Judæa. It was not only, as already explained, that Hebrew was no longer the vulgar tongue' in Palestine, and that written Targumim were prohibited. But most, if not all - at least in towns - would understand the Greek version; it might be quoted in intercourse with Hellenist brethren or with the Gentiles; and, what was perhaps equally, if not more important, it was the most readily procurable. From the extreme labour and care bestowed on them, Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible were enormously dear, as we infer from a curious Talmudical notice, [102] where a common wollen wrap, which of course was very cheap, a copy of the Psalms, of Job, and torn pieces from Proverbs, are together valued at five maneh - say, about 19l. Although this notice dates from the third or fourth century, it is not likely that the cost of Hebrew Biblical MSS. was much lower at the time of Jesus. This would, of course, put their possession well nigh out of common reach. On the other hand, we are able to form an idea of the cheapness of Greek manuscripts from what we know of the price of books in Rome at the beginning of our era. Hundreds of slaves were there engaged copying what one dictated. The result was not only the publication of as large editions as in our days, but their production at only about double the cost of what are now known as cheap' or people's editions.' Probably it would be safe to compute, that as much matter as would cover sixteen pages of small print might, in such cases, be sold at the rate of about sixpence, and in that ratio. [103] Accordingly, manuscripts in Greek or Latin, although often incorrect, must have been easily attainable, and this would have considerable influence on making the Greek version of the Old Testament the people's Bible.' [104]

The Greek version, like the Targum of the Palestinians, originated, no doubt, in the first place, in a felt national want on the part of the Hellenists, who as a body were ignorant of Hebrew. Hence we find notices of very early Greek versions of at least parts of the Pentateuch. [105] But this, of course, could not suffice. On the other hand, there existed, as we may suppose, a natural curiosity on the part of students, especially in Alexandria, which had so large a Jewish population, to know the sacred books on which the religion and history of Israel were founded. Even more than this, we must take into account the literary tastes of the first three Ptolemies (successors in Egypt of Alexander the Great), and the exceptional favour which the Jews for a time enjoyed. Ptolemy I. (Lagi) was a great patron of learning. He projected the Museum in Alexandria, which was a home for literature and study, and founded the great library. In these undertakings Demetrius Phalereus was his chief adviser. The tastes of the first Ptolemy were inherited by his son, Ptolemy II. (Philadelphus), who had for two years been co-regent. [106] In fact, ultimately that monarch became literally book-mad, and the sums spent on rare MSS., which too often proved spurious, almost pass belief. The same may be said of the third of these monarchs, Ptolemy III. (Euergetes). It would have been strange, indeed, if these monarchs had not sought to enrich their library with an authentic rendering of the Jewish sacred books, or not encouraged such a translation.

These circumstances will account for the different elements which we can trace in the Greek version of the Old Testament, and explain the historical, or rather legendary, notices which we have of its composition. To begin with the latter. Josephus has preserved what, no doubt in its present form, is a spurious letter from one Aristeas to his brother Philocrates, [107] in which we are told how, by the advice of his librarian (?), Demetrius Phalereus, Ptolemy II. had sent by him (Aristeas) and another officer, a letter, with rich presents, to Eleazar, the High-Priest at Jerusalem; who in turn had selected seventy-two translators (six out of each tribe), and furnished them with a most valuable manuscript of the Old Testament. The letter then gives further details of their splendid reception at the Egyptian court, and of their sojourn in the island of Pharos, where they accomplished their work in seventy-two days, when they returned to Jerusalem laden with rich presents, their translation having received the formal approval of the Jewish Sanhedrin at Alexandria. From this account we may at least derive as historical these facts: that the Pentateuch - for to it only the testimony refers - was translated into Greek, at the suggestion of Demetrius Phalareus, in the reign and under the patronage - if not by direction - of Ptolemy II. (Philadelphus). [108] With this the Jewish accounts agree, which describe the translation of the Pentateuch under Ptolemy - the Jerusalem Talmud [109] in a simpler narrative, the Babylonian [110] with additions apparently derived from the Alexandrian legends; the former expressly noting thirteen, the latter marking fifteen, variations from the original text. [111]

The Pentateuch once translated, whether by one, or more likely by several persons, [112] the other books of the Old Testament would naturally soon receive the same treatment. They were evidently rendered by a number of persons, who possessed very different qualifications for their work - the translation of the Book of Daniel having been so defective, that in its place another by Theodotion was afterwards substituted. The version, as a whole, bears the name of the LXX. - as some have supposed from the number of its translators according to Aristeas' account - only that in that case it should have been seventy-two; or from the approval of the Alexandrian Sannedrin [113] - although in that case it should have been seventy-one; or perhaps because, in the popular idea, the number of the Gentile nations, of which the Greek (Japheth) was regarded as typical, was seventy. We have, however, one fixed date by which to compute the completion of this translation. From the prologue to the Apocryphal Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach,' we learn that in his days the Canon of Scripture was closed; and that on his arrival, in his thirty-eighth year. [114] In Egypt, which was then under the rule of Euergetes, he found the so-called LXX. version completed, when he set himself to a similar translation of the Hebrew work of his grandfather. But in the 50th chapter of that work we have a description of the High-Priest Simon, which is evidently written by an eye-witness. We have therefore as one term the pontificate of Simon, during which the earlier Jesus lived; and as the other, the reign of Euergetes, in which the grandson was at Alexandria. Now, although there were two High-Priests who bore the name Simon, and two Egyptian kings with the surname Euergetes, yet on purely historical grounds, and apart from critical prejudices, we conclude that the Simon of Ecclus. L. was Simon I., the Just, one of the greatest names in Jewish traditional history; and similarly, that the Euergetes of the younger Jesus was the first of that name, Ptolemy III., who reigned from 247 to 221 b.c. [115] In his reign, therefore, we must regard the LXX. version as, at least substantially, completed.

From this it would, of course, follow that the Canon of the Old Testament was then practically fixed in Palestine. [116] That Canon was accepted by the Alexandrian translators, although the more loose views of the Hellenists on inspiration,' and the absence of that close watchfulness exercised over the text in Palestine, led to additions and alterations, and ultimately even to the admission of the Apocrypha into the Greek Bible. Unlike the Hebrew arrangement of the tex into the Law, the Prophets, [117] and the (sacred) Writings, or Hagiographa, the LXX. arrange them into historical, prophetical, and poetic books, and count twenty-two, after the Hebrew alphabet, instead of twenty-four, as the Hebrews. But perhaps both these may have been later arrangements, since Philo evidently knew the Jewish order of the books. [118] What text the translators may have used we can only conjecture. It differs in almost innumerable instances from our own, though the more important deviations are comparatively few. [119] In the great majority of the lesser variations our Hebrew must be regarded as the correct text. [120]

Putting aside clerical mistakes and misreadings, and making allowance for errors of translation, ignorance, and haste, we note certain outstanding facts as characteristic of the Greek version. It bears evident marks of its origin in Egypt in its use of Egyptian words and references, and equally evident traces of its Jewish composition. By the side of slavish and false literalism there is great liberty, if not licence, in handling the original; gross mistakes occur along with happy renderings of very difficult passages, suggesting the aid of some able scholars. Distinct Jewish elements are undeniably there, which can only be explained by reference to Jewish tradition, although they are much fewer than some critics have supposed. [121] This we can easily understand, since only those traditions would find a place which at that early time were not only received, but in general circulation. The distinctively Grecian elements, however, are at present of chief interest to us. They consist of allusions to Greek mythological terms, and adaptations of Greek philosophical ideas. However few, [122] even one well-authenticated instance would lead us to suspect others, and in general give to the version the character of Jewish Hellenising. In the same class we reckon what constitutes the prominent characteristic of the LXX. version, which, for want of better terms, we would designate as rationalistic and apologetic. Difficulties - or what seemed such - are removed by the most bold methods, and by free handling of the text; it need scarcely be said, often very unsatisfactorily. More especially a strenuous effort is made to banish all anthropomorphisms, as inconsistent with their ideas of the Deity. The superficial observer might be tempted to regard this as not strictly Hellenistic, since the same may be noted, and indeed is much more consistently carried out, in the Targum of Onkelos. Perhaps such alterations had even been introduced into the Hebrew text itself. [123] But there is this vital difference between Palestinianism and Alexandrianism, that, broadly speaking, the Hebrew avoidance of anthropomorphisms depends on objective - theological and dogmatic - the Hellenistic on subjective - philosophical and apologetic - grounds. The Hebrew avoids them as he does what seems to him inconsistent with the dignity of Biblical heroes and of Israel. Great is the power of the prophets,' he writes, who liken the Creator to the creature;' or else [124] a thing is written only to break it to the ear' - to adapt it to our human modes of speaking and understanding; and again, [125] the words of the Torah are like the speech of the children of men.' But for this very purpose the words of Scripture may be presented in another form, if need be even modified, so as to obviate possible misunderstanding, or dogmatic error. The Alexandrians arrived at the same conclusion, but from an opposite direction. They had not theological but philosophical axioms in their minds - truths which the highest truth could not, and, as they held, did not contravene. Only dig deeper; get beyond the letter to that to which it pointed; divest abstract truth of its concrete, national, Judaistic envelope - penetrate through the dim porch into the temple, and you were surrounded by a blaze of light, of which, as its portals had been thrown open, single rays had fallen into the night of heathendom. And so the truth would appear glorious - more than vindicated in their own sight, triumphant in that of others!

In such manner the LXX. version became really the people's Bible to that large Jewish world through which Christianity was afterwards to address itself to mankind. It was part of the case, that this translation should be regarded by the Hellenists as inspired like the original. Otherwise it would have been impossible to make final appeal to the very words of the Greek; still less, to find in them a mystical and allegorical meaning. Only that we must not regard their views of inspiration - except as applying to Moses, and even there only partially - as identical with ours. To their minds inspiration differed quantitatively, not qualitatively, from what the rapt soul might at any time experience, so that even heathen philosophers might ultimately be regarded as at times inspired. So far as the version of the Bible was concerned (and probably on like grounds), similar views obtained at a later period even in Hebrew circles, where it was laid down that the Chaldee Targum on the Pentateuch had been originally spoken to Moses on Sinai, [126] though afterwards forgotten, till restored and re-introduced. [127]

Whether or not the LXX. was read in the Hellenist Synagogues, and the worship conducted, wholly or partly, in Greek, must be matter of conjecture. We find, however, a significant notice [128] to the effect that among those who spoke a barbarous language (not Hebrew - the term referring specially to Greek), it was the custom for one person to read the whole Parashah (or lesson for the day), while among the Hebrew-speaking Jews this was done by seven persons, successively called up. This seems to imply that either the Greek text alone was read, or that it followed a Hebrew reading, like the Targum of the Easterns. More probably, however, the former would be the case, since both Hebrew manuscripts, and persons qualified to read them, would be difficult to procure. At any rate, we know that the Greek Scriptures were authoritatively acknowledged in Palestine, [129] and that the ordinary daily prayers might be said in Greek. [130] The LXX. deserved this distinction from its general faithfulness - at least, in regard to the Pentateuch - and from its preservation of ancient doctrine. Thus, without further referring to its full acknowledgment of the doctrine of Angels (comp. Deut. xxxii. 8, xxxiii. 2), we specially mark that is preserved the Messianic interpretation of Gen. xlix. 10, and Numb. xxiv. 7, 17, 23, bringing us evidence of what had been the generally received view two and a half centuries before the birth of Jesus. It must have been on the ground of the use made of the LXX. in argument, that later voices in the Synagogue declared this version to have been as great calamity to Israel as the making of the golden calf, [131] and that is completion had been followed by the terrible omen of an eclipse, that lasted three days. [132] For the Rabbis declared that upon investigation it had been found that the Torah could be adequately translated only into Greek, and they are most extravagant in their praise of the Greek version of Akylas, or Aquila, the proselyte, which was made to counteract the influence of the LXX. [133] But in Egypt the anniversary of the completion of the LXX. was celebrated by a feast in the island of Pharos, in which ultimately even heathens seem to have taken part. [134]


[87] Indeed, the word Alnisti (or Alunistin) - Greek' - actually occurs, as in Jer. Sot. 21 b, line 14 from bottom. Böhl (Forsch. n. ein. Volksb. p. 7) quotes Philo (Leg. ad Caj. p. 1023) in proof that he regarded the Eastern dispersion as a branch separate from the Palestinians. But the passage does not convey to me the inference which he draws from it. Dr. Guillemard (Hebraisms in the Greek Test.) on Acts vi. 1, agreeing with Dr. Roberts, argues that the term Hellenist' indicated only principles, and not birthplace, and that there were Hebrews and Hellenists in and out of Palestine. But this view is untenable.

[88] An account of this propaganda of Judaism and of its results will be given in another connection.

[89] St. Paul fully describes these feelings in the Epistle to the Romans.

[90] The Gerey haShaar,' proselytes of the gate, a designation which some have derived from the circumstance that Gentiles were not allowed to advance beyond the Temple Court, but more likely to be traced to such passages as Ex. xx. 10; Deut. xiv. 21; xxiv. 14.

[91] De Vita Mosis, p. 685; Leg ad Caj. p. 1014.

[92] Leg. ad Caj. p. 1035.

[93] Ag. Apion ii. 17.

[94] Comp. here Targ. Jon. on Judg. v. 2, 9. I feel more hesitation in appealing to such passages as Ber. 19 a, where we read of a Rabbi in Rome, Thodos (Theudos?), who flourished several generations before Hillel, for reasons which the passage itself will suggest to the student. At the time of Philo, however, such instructions in the Synagogues at Rome were a long, established institution (Ad Caj. p. 1014).

[95] philoxena, Hebr. xiii. 2.

[96] lgos paraklseos prs tn lan, Acts xiii. 15.

[97] Men. 99 b, towards the end.

[98] Jer. Chag. ii. 1; comp. Chag. 15.

[99] Jer. Sanh. x. 28 a.

[100] Yad. iv. 6.

[101] Through this literature, which as being Jewish might have passed unsuspected, a dangerous acquaintance might have been introduced with Greek writings - the more readily, that for example Aristobulus described Homer and Hesiod as having drawn from our books' (ap. Euseb. Praepar. Evang. xiii. 12). According to Hamburger (Real-Encykl. für Bibel u. Talmud, vol. ii. pp. 68, 69), the expression Siphrey Homeros applies exclusively to the Judæo-Alexandrian heretical writings; according to Fürst (Kanon d. A. Test. p. 98), simply to Homeric literature. But see the discussion in Levy, Neuhebr. u. Chald. Wörterb., vol. i. p. 476 a and b.

[102] Gitt. 35 last line and b.

[103] Comp. Friedländer, Sitteng. Roms, vol. iii. p. 315.

[104] To these causes there should perhaps be added the attempt to introduce Grecianism by force into Palestine, the consequences which it may have left, and the existence of a Grecian party in the land.

[105] Aristobulus in Euseb. Præpar. Evang. ix. 6; xiii. 12. The doubts raised by Hody against this testimony have been generally repudiated by critics since the treatise by Valkenaer (Diatr. de Aristob. Jud. appended to Gaisford's ed. of the Præpar. Evang.).

[106] 286-284 b.c.

[107] Comp. Josephi Opera, ed. Havercamp, vol. ii. App. pp. 103-132. The best and most critical edition of this letter by Prof. M. Schmidt, in Merx' Archiv. i. pp. 252-310. The story is found in Jos. Ant. xii. 2. 2; Ag. Ap. ii. 4; Philo, de Vita Mosis, lib. ii. section 5-7. The extracts are most fully given in Euseb. Præpar. Evang. Some of the Fathers give the story, with additional embellishments. It was first critically called in question by Hody (Contra Historiam Aristeæ de L. X. interpret. dissert. Oxon. 1685), and has since been generally regarded as legendary. But its foundation in fact has of late been recognized by well nigh all critics, though the letter itself is pseudonymic, and full of fabulous details.

[108] This is also otherwise attested. See Keil, Lehrb. d. hist. kr. Einl. d. A. T., p. 551, note 5.

[109] Meg. i.

[110] Meg. 9 a.

[111] It is scarcely worth while to refute the view of Tychsen, Jost (Gesch. d. Judenth.), and others, that the Jewish writers only wrote down for Ptolemy the Hebrew words in Greek letters. But the word {hebrew} cannot possibly bear that meaning in this connection. Comp. also Frankel, Vorstudien, p. 31.

[112] According to Sopher. i. 8, by five persons, but that seems a round number to correspond to the five books of Moses. Frankel (Ueber d. Einfl. d. paläst. Exeg.) labours, however, to show in detail the differences between the different translators. But his criticism is often strained, and the solution of the question is apparently impossible.

[113] Böhl would have it, the Jerusalem Sanhedrin!'

[114] But the expression has also been referred to the thirty-eighth year of the reign of Euergetes.

[115] To my mind, at least, the historical evidence, apart from critical considerations, seems very strong. Modern writers on the other side have confessedly been influenced by the consideration that the earlier date of the Book of Sirach would also involve a much earlier date for the close of the O. T. Canon than they are disposed to admit. More especially would it bear on the question of the so-called Maccabean Psalms,' and the authorship and date of the Book of Daniel. But historical questions should be treated independently of critical prejudices. Winer (Bibl. Realwörterb. i. p. 555), and others after him admit that the Simon of Ecclus. ch. L. was indeed Simon the Just (i.), but maintain that the Euergetes of the Prologue was the second of that name, Ptolemy VII., popularly nicknamed Kakergetes. Comp. the remarks of Fritzsche on this view in the Kurzgef. Exeg. Handb. z. d. Apokr. 5te Lief. p. xvii.

[116] Comp. here, besides the passages quoted in the previous note, Baba B. 13 b and 14 b; for the cessation of revelation in the Maccabean period, 1 Macc. iv. 46; ix. 27; xiv. 41; and, in general, for the Jewish view on the subject at the time of Christ, Jos. Ag. Ap. i. 8.

[117] Anterior: Josh., Judg., 1 and 2 Sam. 1 and 2 Kings. Posterior: Major: Is., Jer., and Ezek.; and the Minor Prophets.

[118] De Vita Contempl. § 3.

[119] They occur chiefly in 1 Kings, the books of Esther, Job, Proverbs, Jeremiah, and Daniel. In the Pentateuch we find them only in four passages in the Book of Exodus.

[120] There is also a curious correspondence between the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch and that of the LXX., which in no less than about 2,000 passages agree as against our Hebrew, although in other instances the Greek text either agrees with the Hebrew against the Samaritan, or else is independent of both. On the connection between Samaritan literature and Hellenism there are some very interesting notices in Freudenthal, Hell. Stud. pp. 82-103, 130-136, 186, &c.

[121] The extravagant computations in this respect of Frankel (both in his work, Ueber d. Einfl. d. Paläst. Exeg., and also in the Vorstud. z. Sept. pp. 189-191) have been rectified by Herzfeld (Gesch. d. Vol. Isr. vol. iii.), who, perhaps, goes to the other extreme. Herzfeld (pp. 548-550) admits - and even this with hesitation - of only six distinct references to Halakhoth in the following passages in the LXX.: Gen. ix. 4; xxxii. 32; Lev. xix. 19; xxiv. 7; Deut. xxv. 5; xxvi. 12. As instances of Haggadah we may mention the renderings in Gen. v. 24 and Ex. x. 23.

[122] Dähne and Gfrörer have in this respect gone to the same extreme as Frankel on the Jewish side. But even Siegfried (Philo v. Alex. p. 8) is obliged to admit that the LXX. rendering, dg n ratos ka kataskeastos Gen. i. 2), bears undeniable mark of Grecian philosophic views. And certainly this is not the sole instance of the kind.

[123] As in the so-called Tiqquney Sopherim,' or emendations of the scribes.' Comp. here generally the investigations of Geiger (Urschrift u. Ueberse z. d. Bibel). But these, however learned and ingenious, require, like so many of the dicta of modern Jewish criticism, to be taken with the utmost caution, and in each case subjected to fresh examination, since so large a proportion of their writings are what is best designated by the German Tendenz-Schriften, and their inferences Tendenz-Schlüsse. But the critic and the historian should have no Tendenz - except towards simple fact and historical truth.

[124] Mechilta on Ex. xix.

[125] Ber. 31 b.

[126] Ned. 37 b; Kidd. 49 a.

[127] Meg. 3 a.

[128] Jer. Meg. iv. 3, ed. Krot. p. 75a.

[129] Meg. i. 8. It is, however, fair to confess strong doubt, on my part, whether this passage may not refer to the Greek translation of Akylas. At the same time it simply speaks of a translation into Greek. And before the version of Aquila the LXX. alone held that place. It is one of the most daring modern Jewish perversions of history to identify this Akylas, who flourished about 130 after Christ, with the Aquila of the Book of Acts. It wants even the excuse of a colourable perversion of the confused story about Akylas, which Epiphanius who is so generally inaccurate, gives in De Pond. et Mensur. c. xiv.

[130] The Shema' (Jewish creed), with its collects, the eighteen benedictions,' and the grace at meat.' A later Rabbi vindicated the use of the Shema' in Greek by the argument that the word Shema meant not only Hear,' but also understand' (Jer. Sotah vii. 1.) Comp. sotah vii. 1, 2. In Ber. 40 b, it is said that the Parashah connected with the woman suspected of adultery, the prayer and confession at the bringing of the tithes, and the various benedictions over food, may be said not only in Hebrew, but in any other languages.

[131] Mass. Sopher i. Hal. 7 - at the close of vol. ix. of the Bab.Talmud.

[132] Hilch. Ged. Taan.

[133] Jer. Meg. i. 11, ed. Krot. p. 71 b and c.

[134] Philo, Vita Mos. ii. ed. Francf. p. 660.


CHAPTER III.
THE OLD FAITH PREPARING FOR THE NEW - DEVELOPMENT OF HELLENIST THEOLOGY: THE APOCRYPHA, ARISTEAS, ARISTOBULUS, AND THE PSEUDEPIGRAPHIC WRITINGS.

 

The translation of the Old Testament into Greek may be regarded as the starting-point of Hellenism. It rendered possible the hope that what in its original form had been confined to the few, might become accessible to the world at large. [135] But much yet remained to be done. If the religion of the Old Testament had been brought near to the Grecian world of thought, the latter had still to be brought near to Judaism. Some intermediate stage must be found; some common ground on which the two might meet; some original kindredness of spirit to which their later divergences might be carried back, and where they might finally be reconciled. As the first attempt in this direction - first in order, if not always in time - we mark the so-called Apocryphal literature, most of which was either written in Greek, or is the product of Hellenising Jews. [136] Its general object was twofold. First, of course, it was apologetic - intended to fill gaps in Jewish history or thought, but especially to strengthen the Jewish mind against attacks from without, and generally to extol the dignity of Israel. Thus, more withering sarcasm could scarcely be poured on heathenism than in the apocryphal story of Bel and the Dragon,' or in the so-called Epistle of Jeremy,' with which the Book of Baruch' closes. The same strain, only in more lofty tones, resounds through the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon,' [137] along with the constantly implied contrast between the righteous, or Israel, and sinners, or the heathen. But the next object was to show that the deeper and purer thinking of heathenism in its highest philosophy supported - nay, in some respects, was identical with - the fundamental teaching of the Old Testament. This, of course, was apologetic of the Old Testament, but it also prepared the way for a reconciliation with Greek philosophy. We notice this especially in the so-called Fourth Book of Maccabees, so long erroneously attributed to Josephus, [138] and in the Wisdom of Solomon.' The first postulate here would be the acknowledgment of truth among the Gentiles, which was the outcome of Wisdom - and Wisdom was the revelation of God. This seems already implied in so thoroughly Jewish a book as that of Jesus the Son of Sirach. [139] Of course there could be no alliance with Epicureanism, which was at the opposite pole of the Old Testament. But the brilliancy of Plato's speculations would charm, while the stern self-abnegation of Stoicism would prove almost equally attractive. The one would show why they believed, the other why they lived, as they did. Thus the theology of the Old Testament would find a rational basis in the ontology of Plato, and its ethics in the moral philosophy of the Stoics. Indeed, this is the very line of argument which Josephus follows in the conclusion of his treatise against Apion. [140] This, then, was an unassailable position to take: contempt poured on heathenism as such, [141] and a rational philosophical basis for Judaism. They were not deep, only acute thinkers, these Alexandrians, and the result of their speculations was a curious Eclecticism, in which Platonism and Stoicism are found, often heterogeneously, side by side. Thus, without further details, it may be said that the Fourth Book of Maccabees is a Jewish Stoical treatise on the Stoical theme of the supremacy of reason,' the proposition, stated at the outset, that pious reason bears absolute sway over the passions,' being illustrated by the story of the martyrdom of Eleazar, and of the mother and her seven sons. [142] On the other hand, that sublime work, the Wisdom of Solomon,' contains Platonic and Stoic elements [143] - chiefly perhaps the latter - the two occurring side by side. Thus [144] Wisdom,' which is so concretely presented as to be almost hypostatised, [145] is first described in the language of Stoicism, [146] and afterwards set forth, in that of Platonism, [147] as the breath of the power of God;' as a pure influence flowing from the glory of the Almighty;' the brightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror of the power of God, and the image of His goodness.' Similarly, we have [148] a Stoical enumeration of the four cardinal virtues, temperance, prudence, justice, and fortitude, and close by it the Platonic idea of the soul's pre-existence, [149] and of earth and matter pressing it down. [150] How such views would point in the direction of the need of a perfect revelation from on high, as in the Bible, and of its rational possibility, need scarcely be shown.

But how did Eastern Judaism bear itself towards this Apocryphal literature? We find it described by a term which seems to correspond to our Apocrypha,' as Sepharim Genuzim,' hidden books,' i.e., either such whose origin was hidden, or, more likely, books withdrawn from common or congregational use. Although they were, of course, carefully distinguished from the canonical Scriptures, as not being sacred, their use was not only allowed, but many of them are quoted in Talmudical writings. [151] In this respect they are placed on a very different footing from the so-called Sepharim Chitsonim, or outside books,' which probably included both the products of a certain class of Jewish Hellenistic literature, and the Siphrey Minim, or writings of the heretics. Against these Rabbinism can scarcely find terms of sufficient violence, even debarring from share in the world to come those who read them. [152] This, not only because they were used in controversy, but because their secret influence on orthodox Judaism was dreaded. For similar reasons, later Judaism forbade the use of the Apocrypha in the same manner as that of the Sepharim Chitsonim. But their influence had already made itself felt. The Apocrypha, the more greedily perused, not only for their glorification of Judaism, but that they were, so to speak, doubtful reading, which yet afforded a glimpse into that forbidden Greek world, opened the way for other Hellenistic literature, of which unacknowledged but frequent traces occur in Talmudical writings. [153]

To those who thus sought to weld Grecian thought with Hebrew revelation, two objects would naturally present themselves. They must try to connect their Greek philosophers with the Bible, and they must find beneath the letter of Scripture a deeper meaning, which would accord with philosophic truth. So far as the text of Scripture was concerned, they had a method ready to hand. The Stoic philosophers had busied themselves in finding a deeper allegorical meaning, especially in the writings of Homer. By applying it to mythical stories, or to the popular beliefs, and by tracing the supposed symbolical meaning of names, numbers, &c., it became easy to prove almost anything, or to extract from these philosophical truths ethical principles, and even the later results of natural science. [154] Such a process was peculiarly pleasing to the imagination, and the results alike astounding and satisfactory, since as they could not be proved, so neither could they be disproved. This allegorical method [155] was the welcome key by which the Hellenists might unlock the hidden treasury of Scripture. In point of fact, we find it applied so early as in the Wisdom of Solomon.' [156]

But as yet Hellenism had scarcely left the domain of sober interpretation. it is otherwise in the letter of the Pseudo-Aristeas, to which reference has already been made. [157] Here the wildest symbolism is put into the mouth of the High-Priest Eleazar, to convince Aristeas and his fellow-ambassador that the Mosaic ordinances concerning food had not only a political reason - to keep Israel separate from impious nations - and a sanitary one, but chiefly a mystical meaning. The birds allowed for food were all tame and pure, and they fed on corn or vegetable products, the opposite being the case with those forbidden. The first lesson which this was intended to teach was, that Israel must be just, and not seek to obtain aught from others by violence; but, so to speak, imitate the habits of those birds which were allowed them. The next lesson would be, that each must learn to govern his passions and inclinations. Similarly, the direction about cloven hoofs pointed to the need of making separation - that is, between good and evil; and that about chewing the cud to the need of remembering, viz. God and His will. [158] In such manner, according to Aristeas, did the High Priest go through the catalogue of things forbidden, and of animals to be sacrificed, showing from their hidden meaning' the majesty and sanctity of the Law. [159]

This was an important line to take, and it differed in principle from the allegorical method adopted by the Eastern Jews. Not only the Dorshey Reshumoth, [160] or searches out of the subleties of Scripture, of their indications, but even the ordinary Haggadist employed, indeed, allegoric interpretations. Thereby Akiba vindicated for the Song of Songs' its place in the Canon. Did not Scripture say: One thing spake God, twofold is what I heard,' [161] and did not this imply a twofold meaning; nay, could not the Torah be explained by many different methods? [162] What, for example, was the water which Israel sought in the wilderness, or the bread and raiment which Jacob asked in Bethel, but the Torah and the dignity which it conferred? But in all these, and innumerable similar instances, the allegorical interpretation was only an application of Scripture for homiletical purposes, not a searching into a rationale beneath, such as that of the Hellenists. The latter the Rabbis would have utterly repudiated, on their express principle that Scripture goes not beyond its plain meaning.' [163] They sternly insisted, that we ought not to search into the ulterior object and rationale of a law, but simply obey it. But it was this very rationale of the Law which the Alexandrians sought to find under its letter. It was in this sense that Aristobulus, a Hellenist Jew of Alexandria, [164] sought to explain Scripture. Only a fragment of his work, which seems to have been a Commentary on the Pentateuch, dedicated to King Ptolemy (Philometor), has been preserved to us (by Clement of Alexandria, and by Eusebius [165] ). According to Clement of Alexandria, his aim was, to bring the Peripatetic philosophy out of the law of Moses, and out of the other prophets.' Thus, when we read that God stood, it meant the stable order of the world; that He created the world in six days, the orderly succession of time; the rest of the Sabbath, the preservation of what was created. And in such manner could the whole system of Aristole be found in the Bible. But how was this to be accounted for? Of course, the Bible had not learned from Aristole, but he and all the other philosphers had learned from the Bible. Thus, according to Aristobulus, Pythagoras, Plato, and all the other sages had really learned from Moses, and the broken rays found in their writings were united in all their glory in the Torah.

It was a tempting path on which to enter, and one on which there was no standing still. It only remained to give fixedness to the allegorical method by reducing it to certain principles, or canons of criticism, and to form the heterogeneous mass of Grecian philosophemes and Jewish theologumena into a compact, if not homogeneous system. This was the work of Philo of Alexandria, born about 20 b.c. It concerns us not here to inquire what were the intermediate links between Aristobulus and Philo. Another and more important point claims our attention. If ancient Greek philosophy knew the teaching of Moses, where was the historic evidence for it? If such did not exist, it must somehow be invented. Orpheus was a name which had always lent itself to literary fraud, [166] and so Aristobulus boldly produces (whether of his own or of others' making) a number of spurious citations from Hesiod, Homer, Linus, but especially from Orpheus, all Biblical and Jewish in their cast. Aristobulus was neither the first nor the last to commit such fraud. The Jewish Sibyl boldly, and, as we shall see, successfully personated the heathen oracles. And this opens, generally, quite a vista of Jewish-Grecia literature. In the second, and even in the third century before Christ, there were Hellenist historians, such as Eupolemus, Artapanus, Demetrius, and Aristeas; tragic and epic poets, such as Ezekiel, Pseudo-Philo, and Theodotus, who, after the manner of the ancient classical writers, but for their own purposes, described certain periods of Jewish history, or sang of such themes as the Exodus, Jerusalem, or the rape of Dinah.

The mention of these spurious quotations naturally leads us to another class of spurious literature, which, although not Hellenistic, has many elements in common with it, and, even when originating with Palestinian Jews is not Palestinian, nor yet has been preserved in its language. We allude to what are known as the Pseudepigraphic, or Pseudonymic Writings, so called because, with one exception, they bear false names of authorship. It is difficult to arrange them otherwise than chronologically - and even here the greatest difference of opinions prevails. Their general character (with one exception) may be described as anti-heathen, perhaps missionary, but chiefly as Apocalyptic. They are attempts at taking up the key-note struck in the prophecies of Daniel; rather, we should say, to lift the veil only partially raised by him, and to point - alike as concerned Israel, and the kingdoms of the world - to the past, the present, and the future, in the light of the Kingship of the Messiah. Here, if anywhere, we might expect to find traces of New Testament teaching; and yet, side by side with frequent similarity of form, the greatest difference - we had almost said contrast - in spirit, prevails.

Many of these works must have perished. In one of the latest of them [167] they are put down at seventy, probably a round number, having reference to the supposed number of the nations of the earth, or to every possible mode of interpreting Scripture. They are described as intended for the wise among the people,' probably those whom St. Paul, in the Christian sense, designates as knowing the time' [168] [169] of the Advent of the Messiah. Viewed in this light, they embody the ardent aspirataions and the inmost hopes [170] of those who longed for the consolation of Israel,' as they understood it. Nor should we judge their personations of authorship according to our Western ideas. [171] Pseudonymic writings were common in that age, and a Jew might perhaps plead that, even in the Old Testament, books had been headed by names which confessedly were not those of their authors (such as Samuel, Ruth, Esther). If those inspired poets who sang in the spirit, and echoed the strains, of Asaph, adopted that designation, and the sons of Korah preferred to be known by that title, might not they, who could no longer claim the authority of inspiration seek attention for their utterances by adopting the names of those in whose spirit they professed to write?

The most interesting as well as the oldest of these books are those known as the Book of Enoch, the Sibylline Oracles, the Psalter of Solomon, and the Book of Jubilees, or Little Genesis. Only the briefest notice of them can here find a place. [172]

The Book of Enoch, the oldest parts of which date a century and a half before Christ, comes to us from Palestine. It professes to be a vision vouchsafed to that Patriacrch, and tells of the fall of the Angels and its consequences, and of what he saw and heard in his rapt journeys through heaven and earth. Of deepest, though often sad, interest, is what it says of the Kingdom of Heaven, of the advent of Messiah and His Kingdom, and of the last things.

On the other hand, the Sibylline Oracles, of which the oldest portions date from about 160 b.c., come to us from Egypt. It is to the latter only that we here refer. Their most interesting parts are also the most characteristic. In them the ancient heathen myths of the first ages of man are welded together with Old Testament notices, while the heathen Theogony is recast in a Jewish mould. Thus Noah becomes Uranos, Shem Saturn, Ham Titan, and Japheth Japetus. Similarly, we have fragments of ancient heathen oracles, so to speak, recast in a Jewish edition. The strangest circumstance is, that the utterances of this Judaising and Jewish Sibyl seem to have passed as the oracles of the ancient Erythraean, which had predicted the fall of Troy, and as those of the Sibyl of Cumae, which, in the infancy of Rome, Tarquinius Superbus had deposited in the Capitol.

The collection of eighteen hymns known as the Psalter of Solomon dates from more than half a century before our era. No doubt the original was Hebrew, though they breathe a somewhat Hellenistic spirit. They express ardent Messianic aspirations, and a firm faith in the Resurrection, and in eternal rewards and punishments.

Different in character from the preceding works is The Book of Jubilees - so called from its chronological arrangement into Jubilee-periods' - or Little Genesis.' It is chiefly a kind of legendary supplement to the Book of Genesis, intended to explain some of its historic difficulties, and to fill up its historic lacunæ. It was probably written about the time of Christ - and this gives it a special interest - by a Palestinian, and in Hebrew, or rather Aramæan. But, like the rest of the Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic literature which comes from Palestine, or was originally written in Hebrew, we posses it no longer in that language, but only in translation.

If from this brief review of Hellenist and Pseudepigraphic literature we turn to take a retrospect, we can scarcely fail to perceive, on the one hand, the development of the old, and on the other the preparation for the new - in other words, the grand expectancy awakened, and the grand preparation made. One step only remained to complete what Hellenism had already begun. That completion came through one who, although himself untouched by the Gospel, perhaps more than any other prepared alike his co-religionists the Jews, and his countrymen the Greeks, for the new teaching, which, indeed, was presented by many of its early advocates in the forms which they had learned from him. That man was Philo the Jew, of Alexandria.


[135] Philo, de Vita Mos. ed. Mangey, ii. p. 140.

[136] All the Apocrypha were originally written in Greek, except 1 Macc., Judith, part of Baruch, probably Tobit, and, of course, the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach.'

[137] Comp. x. - xx.

[138] It is printed in Havercamp's edition of Josephus, vol. ii. pp. 497-520. The best edition is in Fritzsche, Libri Apocryphi Vet. Test. (Lips. 1871).

[139] Comp. for ex. Ecclus. xxiv. 6.

[140] ii. 39, 40.

[141] Comp. also Jos. Ag. Ap. ii. 34.

[142] Comp. 2 Macc. vi. 18 - vii. 41.

[143] Ewald (Gesch. d. Volkes Isr., vol. iv. pp. 626-632) has given a glowing sketch of it. Ewald rightly says that its Grecian elements have been exaggerated; but Bucher (Lehre vom Logos, pp. 59-62) utterly fails in denying their presence altogether.

[144] Ch. vii. 22-27.

[145] Compare especially ix. 1; xviii. 14-16, where the idea of sopha passes into that of the lgos. Of course the above remarks are not intended to depreciate the great value of this book, alike in itself, and in its practical teaching, in its clear enunciation of a retribution as awaiting man, and in its important bearing on the New Testament revelation of the lgos.

[146] Vv. 22-24.

[147] Vv. 25-29.

[148] In ch. viii. 7.

[149] In vv. 19, 20.

[150] ix. 15.

[151] Some Apocryphal books which have not been preserved to us are mentioned in Talmudical writings, among them one, The roll of the building of the Temple,' alas, lost to us! Comp. Hamburger, vol. ii. pp. 66-70.

[152] Sanh 100.

[153] Comp. Siegfried, Philo von Alex. pp. 275-299, who, however, perhaps overstates the matter.

[154] Comp. Siegfried, pp. 9-16; Hartmann, Enge Verb. d. A. Test. mit d. N., pp. 568-572.

[155] This is to be carefully distinguished from the typical interpretation and from the mystical - the type being prophetic, the mystery spiritually understood.

[156] Not to speak of such sounder interpretations as that of the brazen serpent (Wisd. xvi. 6, 7), and of the Fall (ii. 24), or of the view presented of the early history of the chosen race in ch. x., we may mention as instances of allegorical interpretation that of the manna (xvi. 26-28), and of the high-priestly dress (xviii. 24), to which, no doubt, others might be added. But I cannot find sufficient evidence of this allegorical method in the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach. The reasoning of Hartmann (u. s., pp. 542-547) seems to me greatly strained. Of the existence of allegorical interpretations in the Synoptic Gospels, or of any connection with Hellenism, such as Hartmann, Siegfried, and Loesner (Obs. ad. N.T. e Phil. Alex) put into them, I cannot, on examination, discover any evidence. Similarity of expressions, or even of thought, afford no evidence of inward connection. Of the Gospel by St. John we shall speak in the sequel. In the Pauline Epistles we find, as might be expected, some allegorical interpretations, chiefly in those to the Corinthians, perhaps owing to the connection of that church with Apollos. Comp here 1 Cor. ix. 9; x. 4 (Philo, Quod deter. potiori insid. 31); 2 Cor. iii. 16; Gal. iv. 21. Of the Epistle to the Hebrews and the Apocalypse we cannot here speak.

[157] See p. 25.

[158] A similar principle applied to the prohibition of such species as the mouse or the weasel, not only because they destroyed everything, but because the latter, from its mode of conceiving and bearing, symbolized listening to evil tales, and exaggerated, lying, or malicious speech.

[159] Of course this method is constantly adopted by Josephus. Comp. for example, Ant. iii. 1. 6; 7. 7.

[160] Or Dorshey Chamuroth, searchers of difficult passages. Zunz. Gottesd. Vortr. p. 323. note b.

[161] Ps. lxii. 11; Sanh. 34 a.

[162] The seventy languages in which the Law was supposed to have been written below Mount Ebal (Sotah vii. 5). I cannot help feeling this may in part also refer to the various modes of interpreting Holy Scripture, and that there is an allusion to this Shabb. 88 b, where Ps. lxviii. 12. and Jer. xxiii. 29, are quoted, the latter to show that the word of God is like a hammer that breaks the rock in a thousand pieces. Comp. Rashi on Gen. xxxiii. 20.

[163] Perhaps we ought here to point out one of the most important principles of Rabbinism, which has been almost entirely overlooked in modern criticism of the Talmud. It is this: that any ordinance, not only of the Divine law, but of the Rabbis, even though only given for a particular time or occasion, or for a special reason, remains in full force for all time unless it be expressly recalled (Betsah 5 b). Thus Maimonides (Sepher ha Mitsv.) declares the law to extirpate the Canaanites as continuing in its obligations. The inferences as to the perpetual obligation, not only of the ceremonial law, but of sacrifices, will be obvious, and their bearing on the Jewish controversy need not be explained. Comp. Chief Rabbi Holdheim. d. Ceremonial Gesetz in Messasreich, 1845.

[164] About 160 b.c.

[165] Præpar. Evang. vii. 14. 1 ; vii. 10. 1-17; xiii. 12.

[166] As Val. Kenaer puts it, Daitr. de Aristob. Jud. p. 73.

[167] 4 Esdras xiv. 44, 46.

[168] Rom. xiii. 11.

[169] The kairs of St. Paul seems here used in exactly the same sense as in later Hebrew {hebrew}.  The Septuagint renders it so in five passages (Ezr. 5:3; Dan. 4:33; 6:10; 7:22, 25).

[170] Of course, it suits Jewish, writers, like Dr. Jost, to deprecate the value of the Pseudepigrapha. Their ardour of expectancy ill agrees with the modern theories, which would eliminate, if possible, the Messianic hope from ancient Judaism.

[171] Comp. Dillmann in Herzog's Real-Encykl. vol. xii. p. 301.

[172] For a brief review of the Pseudepigraphic Writings,' see Appendix I.


CHAPTER IV.
PHILO OF ALEXANDRIA, THE RABBIS, AND THE GOSPELS - THE FINAL DEVELOPMENT OF HELLENISM IN ITS RELATION TO RABBINISM AND THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN.

 

It is strange how little we know of the personal history of the greatest of uninspired Jewish writers of old, though he occupied so prominent a position in his time. [173] Philo was born in Alexandria, about the year 20 before Christ. He was a descendant of Aaron, and belonged to one of the wealthiest and most influential families among the Jewish merchant-princes of Egypt. His brother was the political head of that community in Alexandria, and he himself on one occasion represented his co-religionists, though unsuccessfully, at Rome, [174] as the head of an embassy to entreat the Emperior Caligula for protection from the persecutions consequent on the Jewish resistance to placing statues of the Emperor in their Synagogues. But it is not with Philo, the wealthy aristocratic Jew of Alexandria, but with the great writer and thinker who, so to speak, completed Jewish Hellenism, that we have here to do. Let us see what was his relation alike to heathen philosophy and to the Jewish faith, of both of which he was the ardent advocate, and how in his system he combined the teaching of the two.

To begin with, Philo united in rare measure Greek learning with Jewish enthusiasm. In his writings he very frequently uses classical modes of expression; [175] he names not fewer than sixty-four Greek writers; [176] and he either alludes to, or quotes frequently from, such sources as Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, Solon, the great Greek tragedians, Plato, and others. But to him these men were scarcely heathen.' He had sat at their feet, and learned to weave a system from Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. The gatherings of these philosophers were holy,' and Plato was the great.' But holier than all was the gathering of the true Israel; and incomparably greater than any, Moses. From him had all sages learned, and with him alone was all truth to be found - not, indeed, in the letter, but under the letter, of Holy Scripture. If in Numb. xxiii. 19 we read God is not a man,' and in Deut. i. 31 that the Lord was as a man,' did it not imply, on the one hand, the revelation of absolute truth by God, and, on the other, accommodation to those who were weak? Here, then, was the principle of a twofold interpretation of the Word of God - the literal and the allegorical. The letter of the text must be held fast; and Biblical personages and histories were real. But only narrow-minded slaves of the letter would stop here; the more so, as sometimes the literal meaning alone would be tame, even absurd; while the allegorical interpretation gave the true sense, even though it might occassionally run counter to the letter. Thus, the patriarchs represented states of the soul; and, whatever the letter might bear, Joseph represented one given to the fleshly, whom his brothers rightly hated; Simeon the soul aiming after the higher; the killing of the Egyptian by Moses, the subjugation of passion, and so on. But this allegorical interpretation - by the side of the literal (the Peshat of the Palestinians) - though only for the few, was not arbitrary. It had its laws,' and canons' - some of which excluded the literal interpretation, while others admitted it by the side of the higher meaning. [177]

To begin with the former: the literal sense must be wholly set aside, when it implied anything unworthy of the Deity, anything unmeaning, impossible, or contrary to reason. Manifestly, this canon, if strictly applied, would do away not only with all anthropomorphisms, but cut the knot wherever difficulties seemed insuperable. Again, Philo would find an allegorical, along with the literal, interpretation indicated in the reduplication of a word, and in seemingly superfluous words, particles, or expressions. [178] These could, of course, only bear such a meaning on Philo's assumption of the actual inspiration of the LXX. version. Similarly, in exact accordance with a Talmudical canon, [179] any repetition of what had been already stated would point to something new. These were comparatively sober rules of exegesis. Not so the licence which he claimed of freely altering the punctuation [180] of sentences, and his notion that, if one from among several synonymous words was chosen in a passage, this pointed to some special meaning attaching to it. Even more extravagant was the idea, that a word which occurred in the LXX. might be interpreted according to every shade of meaning which it bore in the Greek, and that even another meaning might be given it by slightly altering the letters. However, like other of Philo's allegorical canons, these were also adopted by the Rabbis, and Haggadic interpretations were frequently prefaced by: Read not thus - but thus.' If such violence might be done to the text, we need not wonder at interpretations based on a play upon words, or even upon parts of a word. Of course, all seemingly strange or peculiar modes of expression, or of designation, occurring in Scripture, must have their special meaning, and so also every particle, adverb, or preposition. Again, the position of a verse, its succession by another, the apparently unaccountable presence or absence of a word, might furnish hints for some deeper meaning, and so would an unexpected singular for a plural, or vice versâ, the use of a tense, even the gender of a word. Most serious of all, an allegorical interpretation might be again employed as the basis of another. [181]

We repeat, that these allegorical canons of Philo are essentially the same as those of Jewish traditionalism in the Haggadah, [182] only the latter were not rationalising, and far more brilliant in their application. [183] In another respect also the Palestinian had the advantage of the Alexandrian exegesis. Reverently and cautiously it indicated what might be omitted in public reading, and why; what expressions of the original might be modified by the Meturgeman, and how; so as to avoid alike one danger by giving a passage in its literality, and another by adding to the sacred text, or conveying a wrong impression of the Divine Being, or else giving occasion to the unlearned and unwary of becoming entangled in dangerous speculations. Jewish tradition here lays down some principles which would be of great practical use. Thus we are told, [184] that Scripture uses the modes of expression common among men. This would, of course, include all anthropomorphisms. Again, sometimes with considerable ingenuity, a suggestion is taken from a word, such as that Moses knew the Serpent was to be made of brass from the similarity of the two words (nachash, a serpent, and nechosheth, brass.) [185] Similarly, it is noted that Scripture uses euphemistic language, so as to preserve the greatest delicacy. [186] These instances might be multiplied, but the above will suffice.

In his symbolical interpretations Philo only partially took the same road as the Rabbis. The symbolism of numbers and, so far as the Sanctuary was concerned, that of colours, and even materials, may, indeed, be said to have its foundation in the Old Testament itself. The same remark applies partially to that of names. The Rabbis certainly so interpreted them. [187] But the application which Philo made of this symbolism was very different. Everything became symbolical in his hands, if it suited his purpose: numbers (in a very arbitrary manner), beasts, birds, fowls, creeping things, plants, stones, elements, substances, conditions, even sex - and so a term or an expression might even have several and contradictory meanings, from which the interpreter was at liberty to choose.

From the consideration of the method by which Philo derived from Scriptures his theological views, we turn to a brief analysis of these views. [188]

1. Theology. - In reference to God, we find, side by side, the apparently contradictory views of the Platonic and the Stoic schools. Following the former, the sharpest distinction was drawn between God and the world. God existed neither in space, nor in time; He had neither human qualities nor affections; in fact, He was without any qualities (poios), and even without any name (etos) ; hence, wholly uncognisable by man (katleptos). Thus, changing the punctuation and the accents, the LXX. of Gen. iii. 9 was made to read: Adam, thou art somewhere;' but God had no somewhere, as Adam seemed to think when he hid himself from Him. In the above sense, also, Ex. iii. 14, and vi. 3, were explained, and the two names Elohim and Jehovah belonged really to the two supreme Divine Potencies,' while the fact of God's being uncognisable appeared from Ex. xx. 21.

But side by side with this we have, to save the Jewish, or rather Old Testament, idea of creation and providence, the Stoic notion of God as immanent in the world - in fact, as that alone which is real in it, as always working: in short, to use his own Pantheistic expression, as Himself one and the all' (es ka t pn). Chief in His Being is His goodness, the forthgoing of which was the ground of creation. Only the good comes from Him. With matter He can have nothing to do - hence the plural number in the account of creation. God only created the soul, and that only of the good. In the sense of being immanent,' God is everywhere - nay, all things are really only in Him, or rather He is the real in all. But chiefly is God the wellspring and the light of the soul - its Saviour' from the Egypt' of passion. Two things follow. With Philo's ideas of the sepration between God and matter, it was impossible always to account for miracles or interpositions. Accordingly, these are sometimes allegorised, sometimes rationalistically explained. Further, the God of Philo, whatever he might say to the contrary, was not the God of that Israel which was His chosen people.

2. Intermediary Beings. - Potencies (dunmeis, lgoi). If, in what has preceded, we have once and again noticed a remarkable similarity between Philo and the Rabbis, there is a still more curious analogy between his teaching and that of Jewish Mysticism, as ultimately fully developed in the Kabbalah.' The very term Kabbalah (from qibbel, to hand down) seems to point out not only its descent by oral tradition, but also its ascent to ancient sources. [189] Its existence is presupposed, and its leading ideas are sketched in the Mishnah. [190] The Targums also bear at least one remarkable trace of it. May it not be, that as Philo frequently refers to ancient tradition, so both Eastern and Western Judaism may here have drawn from one and the same source - we will not venture to suggest, how high up - while each made such use of it as suited their distinctive tendencies? At any rate the Kabbalah also, likening Scripture to a person, compares those who study merely the letter, to them who attend only to the dress; those who consider the moral of a fact, to them who attend to the body; while the initiated alone, who regard the hidden meaning, are those who attend to the soul. Again, as Philo, so the oldest part of the Mishnah [191] designates God as Maqom - the place' - the tpos, the all-comprehending, what the Kabbalists called the EnSoph, the boundless,' that God, without any quality, Who becomes cognisable only by His manifestations. [192]

The manifestations of God! But neither Eastern mystical Judaism, nor the philosophy of Philo, could admit of any direct contact between God and creation. The Kabbalah solved the difficulty by their Sephiroth, [193] or emanations from God, through which this contact was ultimately brought about, and of which the EnSoph, or crown, was the spring: the source from which the infinite light issued.' If Philo found greater difficulties, he had also more ready help from the philosophical systems to hand. His Sephiroth were Potencies' (dunmeis), Words' (lgoi), intermediate powers. Potencies,' as we imagine, when viewed Godwards; Words,' as viewed creationwards. They were not emanations, but, according to Plato, archetypal ideas,' on the model of which all that exists was formed; and also, according to the Stoic idea, the cause of all, pervading all, forming all, and sustaining all. Thus these Potencies' were wholly in God, and yet wholly out of God. If we divest all this of its philosophical colouring, did not Eastern Judaism also teach that there was a distinction between the Unapproachable God, and God manifest? [194]

Another remark will show the parallelism between Philo and Rabbinism. [195] As the latter speaks of the two qualities (Middoth) of Mercy and Judgment in the Divine Being, [196] and distinguishes between Elohim as the God of Justice, and Jehovah as the God of Mercy and Grace, so Philo places next to the Divine Word (theos lgos), Goodness (gathotes), as the Creative Potency (poietik dnamis), and Power (xousia), as the Ruling Potency (basilik dnamis), proving this by a curious etymological derivation of the words for God' and Lord' (Thes and krios) - apparently unconscious that the LXX., in direct contradiction, translated Jehovah by Lord (krios), and Elohim by God (Thes)! These two potencies of goodness and power, Philo sees in the two Cherubim, and in the two Angels' which accompanied God (the Divine Word), when on his way to destroy the cities of the plain. But there were more than these two Potencies. In one place Philo enumerates six, according to the number of the cities of refuge. The Potencies issued from God as the beams from the light, as the waters from the spring, as the breath from a person; they were immanent in God, and yet also without Him - motions on the part of God, and yet independent beings. They were the ideal world, which in its impulse outwards, meeting matter, produced this material world of ours. They were also the angels of God - His messengers to man, the media through whom He reveled Himself. [197]

3. The Logos. - Viewed in its bearing on New Testament teaching, this part of Philo's system raises the most interesting questions. But it is just here that our difficulties are greatest. We can understand the Platonic conception of the Logos as the archetypal idea,' and that of the Stoics as the world-reason' pervading matter. Similarly, we can perceive, how the Apocrypha - especially the Book of Wisdom - following up the Old Testament typical truth concerning Wisdom' (as specially set forth in the Book of Proverbs) almost arrived so far as to present Wisdom' as a special Subsistence' (hypostatising it). More than this, in Talmudical writings, we find mention not only of the Shem, or Name,' [198] but also of the Shekhinah,' God as manifest and present, which is sometimes also presented as the Ruach ha Qodesh, of Holy Spirit. [199] But in the Targumim we get yet another expression, which, strange to say, never occurs in the Talmud. [200] It is that of the Memra, Logos, or Word.' Not that the term is exclusively applied to the Divine Logos. [201] But it stands out as perhaps the most remarkable fact in this literature, that God - not as in His permanent manifestation, or manifest Presence - but as revealing Himself, is designated Memra. Altogether that term, as applied to God, occurs in the Targum Onkelos 179 times, in the so-called Jerusalem Targum 99 times, and in the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan 321 times. A critical analysis shows that in 82 instances in Onkelos, in 71 instances in the Jerusalem Targum, and in 213 instances in the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, the designation Memra is not only distinguished from God, but evidently refers to God as revealing Himself. [202] But what does this imply? The distinction between God and the Memra of Jehovah is marked in many passages. [203] Similarly, the Memra of Jehovah is distinguished from the Shekhinah. [204] Nor is the term used instead of the sacred word Jehovah; [205] nor for the well-known Old Testament expression the Angel of the Lord;' [206] nor yet for the Metatron of the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and of the Talmud. [207] Does it then represent an older tradition underlying all these? [208] Beyond this Rabbinic theology has not preserved to us the doctrine of Personal distinctions in the Godhead. And yet, if words have any meaning, the Memra is a hypostasis, though the distinction of permanent, personal Subsistence is not marked. Nor yet, to complete this subject, is the Memra identified with the Messiah. In the Targum Onkelos distinct mention is twice made of Him, [209] while in the other Targumim no fewer than seventy-one Biblical passages are rendered with explicit reference to Him.

If we now turn to the views expressed by Philo about the Logos we find that they are hesitating, and even contradictory. One thing, however, is plain: the Logos of Philo is not the Memra of the Targumim. For, the expression Memra ultimately rests on theological, that of Logos on philosophical grounds. Again, the Logos of Philo approximates more closely to the Metatron of the Talmud and Kabbalah. As they speak of him as the Prince of the Face,' who bore the name of his Lord, so Philo represents the Logos as the eldest Angel,' the many-named Archangel,' in accordance with the Jewish view that the name JeHoVaH unfolded its meaning in seventy names for the Godhead. [210] As they speak of the Adam Qadmon,' so Philo of the Logos as the human reflection of the eternal God. And in both these respects, it is worthy of notice that he appeals to ancient teaching. [211]

What, then, is the Logos of Philo? Not a concrete personality, and yet, from another point of view, not strictly impersonal, nor merely a property of the Deity, but the shadow, as it were, which the light of God casts - and if Himself light, only the manifested reflection of God, His spiritual, even as the world is His material, habitation. Moreover, the Logos is the image of God' (ekn) upon which man was made, [212] or, to use the platonic term, the archetypal idea.' As regards the relation between the Logos and the two fundamental Potencies (from which all others issue), the latter are variously represented - on the one hand, as proceeding from the Logos; and on the other, as themselves constituting the Logos. As regards the world, the Logos is its real being. He is also its archetype; moreover the instrument (rganon) through Whom God created all things. If the Logos separates between God and the world, it is rather as intermediary; He separates, but He also unites. But chiefly does this hold true as regards the relation between God and man. The Logos announces and interprets to man the will and mind of God (rmenes ka prophtes); He acts as mediator; He is the real High-Priest, and as such by His purity takes away the sins of man, and by His intercession procures for us the mercy of God. Hence Philo designates Him not only as the High-Priest, but as the Paraclete.' He is also the sun whose rays enlighten man, the medium of Divine revelation to the soul; the Manna, or support of spiritual life; He Who dwells in the soul. And so the Logos is, in the fullest sense, Melchisedek, the priest of the most high God, the king of righteousness (basiles dkaios), and the king of Salem (basiles ernes), Who brings righteousness and peace to the soul. [213] But the Logos does not come into any soul that is dead in sin.' That there is close similarity of form between these Alexandrian views and much in the argumentation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, must be evident to all - no less than that there is the widest possible divergence in substance and spirit. [214] The Logos of Philo is shadowy, unreal, not a Person; [215] there is no need of an atonement; the High-Priest intercedes, but has no sacrifice to offer as the basis of His intercession, least of all that of Himself; the old Testament types are only typical ideas, not typical facts; they point to a Prototypal Idea in the eternal past, not to an Antitypal Person and Fact in history; there is no cleansing of the soul by blood, no sprinkling of the Mercy Seat, no access for all through the rent veil into the immediate Presence of God; nor yet a quickening of the soul from dead works to serve the living God. If the argumentation of the Epistle to the Hebrews is Alexandrian, it is an Alexandrianism which is overcome and past, which only furnishes the form, not the substance, the vessel, not its contents. The closer therefore the outward similarity, the greater is the contrast in substance.

The vast difference between Alexandrianism and the New Testament will appear still more clearly in the views of Philo on Cosmology and Anthropology. In regard to the former, his results in some respects run parallel to those of the students of mysticism in the Talmud, and of the Kabbalists. Together with the Stoic view, which represented God as the active cause' of this world, and matter as the passive,' Philo holds the Platonic idea, that matter was something existent, and that is resisted God. [216] Such speculations must have been current among the Jews long before, to judge by certain warning given by the Son of Sirach. [217] [218] And Stoic views of the origin of the world seem implied even in the Book of the Wisdom of Solomon (i. 7; vii. 24; viii. 1; xii. 1). [219] The mystics in the Talmud arrived at similar conclusions, not through Greek, but through Persian teaching. Their speculations [220] boldly entered on the dangerous ground, [221] forbidden to the many, scarcely allowed to the few, [222] where such deep questions as the origin of our world and its connection with God were discussed. It was, perhaps, only a beautiful poetic figure that God had taken of the dust under the throne of His glory, and cast it upon the waters, which thus became earth. [223] But so far did isolated teachers become intoxicated [224] by the new wine of these strange speculations, that they whispered it to one another that water was the original element of the world, [225] which had successively been hardened into snow and then into earth. [226] [227] Other and later teachers fixed upon the air or the fire as the original element, arguing the pre-existence of matter from the use of the word made' in Gen. i. 7. instead of created.' Some modified this view, and suggested that God had originally created the three elements of water, air or spirit, and fire, from which all else was developed. [228] Traces also occur of the doctrine of the pre-existence of things, in a sense similar to that of Plato. [229]

Like Plato and the Stoics, Philo regarded matter as devoid of all quality, and even form. Matter in itself was dead - more than that, it was evil. This matter, which was already existing, God formed (not made), like an architect who uses his materials according to a pre-existing plan - which in this case was the archetypal world.

This was creation, or rather formation, brought about not by God Himself, but by the Potencies, especially by the Logos, Who was the connecting bond of all. As for God, His only direct work was the soul, and that only of the good, not of the evil. Man's immaterial part had a twofold aspect: earthwards, as Sensuousness (asthesis); and heavenwards, as Reason (nos). The sensuous part of the soul was connected with the body. It had no heavenly past, and would have no future. But Reason' (nos) was that breath of true life which God had breathed into man (pnema) whereby the earthy became the higher, living spirit, with its various faculties. Before time began the soul was without body, an archetype, the heavenly man,' pure spirit in Paradise (virtue), yet even so longing after its ultimate archetype, God. Some of these pure spirits descended into bodies and so lost their purity. Or else, the union was brought about by God and by powers lower than God (dæmons, demiourgo). To the latter is due our earthly part. God breathed on the formation, and the earthly Reason' became intelligent' spiritual' soul (psuch noer). Our earthly part alone is the seat of sin. [230]

This leads us to the great question of Original Sin. Here the views of Philo are those of the Eastern Rabbis. But both are entirely different from those on which the argument in the Epistle to the Romans turns. It was neither at the feet of Gamaliel, nor yet from Jewish Hellenism, that Saul of Tarsus learned the doctrine of original sin. The statement that as in Adam all spiritually died, so in Messiah all should be made alive, [231] finds absolutely no parallel in Jewish writings. [232] What may be called the starting point of Christian theology, the doctrine of hereditary guilt and sin, through the fall of Adam, and of the consequent entire and helplesss corruption of our nature, is entirely unknown to Rabbinical Judaism. The reign of physical death was indeed traced to the sin of our first parents. [233] But the Talmud expressly teaches, [234] that God originally created man with two propensities, [235] one to good and one to evil (Yetser tobh, and Yetser hara [236] ). The evil impulse began immediately after birth. [237] [238] But it was within the power of man to vanquish sin, and to attain perfect righteousness; in fact, this stage had actually been attained. [239]

Similarly, Philo regarded the soul of the child as naked' (Adam and Eve), a sort of tabula rasa, as wax which God would fain form and mould. But this state ceased when affection' presented itself to reason, and thus sensuous lust arose, which was the spring of all sin. The grand task, then, was to get rid of the sensuous, and to rise to the spiritual. In this, the ethical part of his system, Philo was most under the influence of Stoic philosophy. We might almost say, it is no longer the Hebrew who Hellenises, but the Hellene who Hebraises. And yet it is here also that the most ingenious and wide reaching allegorisms of Scripture are introduced. It is scarcely possible to convey an idea of how brilliant this method becomes in the hands of Philo, how universal its application, or how captivating it must have proved. Philo describes man's state as, first one of sensuousness, but also of unrest, misery and unsatisfied longing. If persisted in, it would end in complete spiritual insensibility. [240] But from this state the soul must pass to one of devotion to reason. [241] This change might be accomplished in one of three ways: first, by study - of which physical was the lowest; next, that which embraced the ordinary circle of knowledge; and lastly, the highest, that of Divine philosophy. The second method was Askesis: discipline, or practice, when the soul turned from the lower to the higher. But the best of all was the third way: the free unfolding of that spiritual life which cometh neither from study nor discipline, but from a natural good disposition. And in that state the soul had true rest [242] and joy. [243]

Here we must for the present pause. [244] Brief as this sketch of Hellenism has been, it must have brought the question vividly before the mind, whether and how far certain parts of the New Testament, especially the fourth Gospel, [245] are connected with the direction of thought described in the preceding pages. Without yielding to that school of critics, whose perverse ingenuity discerns everywhere a sinister motive or tendency in the Evangelic writers, [246] it is evident that each of them had a special object in view in constructing his narrative of the One Life; and primarily addressed himself to a special audience. If, without entering into elaborate discussion, we might, according to St. Luke i. 2, regard the narrative of St. Mark as the grand representative of that authentic narration' (digesis), though not by Apostles, [247] which was in circulation, and the Gospel by St. Matthew as representing the tradition' handed down (the pardosis), by the Apostolic eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word, [248] we should reach the following results. Our oldest Gospel-narrative is that by St. Mark, which, addressing itself to no class in particular, sketches in rapid outlines the picture of Jesus as the Messiah, alike for all men. Next in order of time comes our present Gospel by St. Matthew. It goes a step further back than that by St. Mark, and gives not only the genealogy, but the history of the miraculous birth of Jesus. Even if we had not the consensus of tradition every one must feel that this Gospel is Hebrew in its cast, in its citations from the Old Testament, and in its whole bearing. Taking its key-note from the Book of Daniel, that grand Messianic text-book of Eastern Judaism at the time, and as re-echoed in the Book of Enoch - which expresses the popular apprehension of Daniel's Messianic idea - it presents the Messiah chiefly as the Son of Man,' the Son of David,' the Son of God.' We have here the fulfilment of Old Testament law and prophecy; the realisation of Old Testament life, faith, and hope. Third in point of time is the Gospel by St. Luke, which, passing back another step, gives us not only the history of the birth of Jesus, but also that of John, the preparer of the way.' It is Pauline, and addresses itself, or rather, we should say, presents the Person of the Messiah, it may be to the Jew first,' but certainly also to the Greek.' The term which St. Luke, alone of all Gospel writers, [249] applies to Jesus, is that of the pas or servant' of God, in the sense in which Isaiah has spoken of the Messiah as the Ebhed Jehovah,' servant of the Lord.' St. Luke's is, so to speak, the Isaiah-Gospel, presenting the Christ in His bearing on the history of God's Kingdom and of the world - as God's Elect Servant in Whom He delighted. In the Old Testament, to adopt a beautiful figure, [250] the idea of the Servant of the Lord is set before us like a pyramid: at its base it is all Israel, at its central section Israel after the Spirit (the circumcised in heart), represented by David, the man after God's own heart; while at its apex it is the Elect' Servant, the Messiah. [251] And these three ideas, with their sequences, are presented in the third Gospel as centring in Jesus the Messiah. By the side of this pyramid is the other: the Son of Man, the Son of David, the Son of God. The Servant of the Lord of Isaiah and of Luke is the Enlightener, the Consoler, the victorious Deliverer; the Messiah or Anointed: the Prophet, the Priest, the King.

Yet another tendency - shall we say, want? - remained, so to speak, unmet and unsatisfied. That large world of latest and most promising Jewish thought, whose task it seemed to bridge over the chasm between heathenism and Judaism - the Western Jewish world, must have the Christ presented to them. For in every direction is He the Christ. And not only they, but that larger Greek world, so far as Jewish Hellenism could bring it to the threshold of the Church. This Hellenistic and Hellenic world now stood in waiting to enter it, though as it were by its northern porch, and to be baptized at its font. All this must have forced itself on the mind of St. John, residing in the midst of them at Ephesus, even as St. Paul's Epistles contain almost as many allusions to Hellenism as to Rabbinism. [252] And so the fourth Gospel became, not the supplement, but the complement, of the other three. [253] There is no other Gospel more Palestinian than this in its modes of expression, allusions, and references. Yet we must all feel how thoroughly Hellenistic it also is in its cast, [254] in what it reports and what it omits - in short, in its whole aim; how adapted to Hellenist wants its presentation of deep central truths; how suitably, in the report of His Discourses - even so far as their form is concerned - the promise was here fulfilled, of bringing all things to remembrance whatsoever He had said. [255] It is the true Light which shineth, of which the full meridian-blaze lies on the Hellenist and Hellenic world. There is Alexandrian form of thought not only in the whole conception, but in the Logos, [256] and in His presentation as the Light, the Life, the Wellspring of the world. [257] But these forms are filled in the fourth Gospel with quite other substance. God is not afar off, uncognisable by man, without properties, without name. He is the Father. Instead of a nebulous reflection of the Deity we have the Person of the Logos; not a Logos with the two potencies of goodness and power, but full of grace and truth. The Gospel of St. John also begins with a Bereshith' - but it is the theological, not the cosmic Bereshith, when the Logos was with God and was God. Matter is not pre-existent; far less is it evil. St. John strikes the pen through Alexandrianism when he lays it down as the fundamental fact of New Testament history that the Logos was made flesh,' just as St. Paul does when he proclaims the great mystery of God manifest in the flesh.' Best of all, it is not by a long course of study, nor by wearing discipline, least of all by an inborn good disposition, that the soul attains the new life, but by a birth from above, by the Holy Ghost, and by simple faith which is brought within reach of the fallen and the lost. [258]

Philo had no successor. In him Hellenism had completed its cycle. Its message and its mission were ended. Henceforth it needed, like Apollos, its great representative in the Christian Church, two things: the baptism of John to the knowledge of sin and need, and to have the way of God more perfectly expounded. [259] On the other hand, Eastern Judaism had entered with Hillel on a new stage. This direction led farther and farther away from that which the New Testament had taken in following up and unfolding the spiritual elements of the Old. That development was incapable of transformation or renovation. It must go on to its final completion, and be either true, or else be swept away and destroyed.


[173] Hausrath (N.T. Zeitg. vol. ii. p. 222 &c.) has given a highly imaginative picture of Philo- as, indeed, of many other persons and things.

[174] 39 or 40 a.d.

[175] Siegfried has, with immense labor, collected a vast number of parallel expressions, chiefly from Plato and Plutarch (pp. 39-47).

[176] Comp. Grossmann, Quæ st. Phil. i. p. 5 &c.

[177] In this sketch of the system of Philo I have largely availed myself of the careful analysis of Siegfried.

[178] It should be noted that these are also Talmudical canons, not indeed for allegorical interpretation, but as pointing to some special meaning, since there was not a word or particle in Scripture without a definite meaning and object.

[179] Baba K 64 a.

[180] To illustrate what use might be made of such alterations, the Midrash (Ber. R. 65) would have us punctuate Gen. xxvii. 19, as follows: And Jacob said unto his father, I (viz. am he who will receive the ten commandments) - (but) Esau (is) thy firstborn.' In Yalkut there is the still more curious explanation that in heaven the soul of Jacob was the firstborn!

[181] Each of these positions is capable of ample proof from Philo's writings, as shown by Siegfried. But only a bare statement of these canons was here possible.

[182] Comp. our above outline with the XXV. theses de modis et formulis quibus pr. Hebr. doctores SS. interpretari etc. soliti fuerunt,' in Surenhusius, Bblos katallags, pp. 57-88.

[183] For a comparison between Philo and Rabbinic theology, see Appendix II.: Philo and Rabbinic Theology.' Freudenthal (Hellen. Studien, pp. 67 &c.) aptly designates this mixture of the two as Hellenistic Midrash,' it being difficult sometimes to distinguish whether it originated in Palestine or in Egypt, or else in both independently. Freudenthal gives a number of curious instances in which Hellenism and Rabbinism agree in their interpretations. For other interesting comparisons between Haggadic interpretations and those of Philo, see Joel, Blick in d. Religionsgesch. i. p. 38 &c.

[184] Ber. 31 b.

[185] Ber. R. 31.

[186] Ber. R. 70.

[187] Thus, to give only a few out of many examples, Ruth is derived from ravah, to satiate to give to drink, because David, her descendant, satiated God with his Psalms of praise (Ber. 7 b). Here the principle of the significance of Bible names is deduced from Ps. xlvi. 8 (9 in the Hebrew): Come, behold the works of the Lord, who hath made names on earth,' the word desolations,' shamoth, being altered to shemoth, names.' In general, that section, from Ber. 3 b, to the end of 8 a, is full of Haggadic Scripture interpretations. On fol. 4 a there is the curious symbolical derivation of Mephibosheth, who is supposed to have set David right on halakhic questions, as Mippi bosheth: from my mouth shaming,' because he put to shame the face of David in the Halakhah.' Similarly in Siphré (Par. Behaalothekha, ed. Friedmann, p. 20 a) we have very beautiful and ingenious interpretations of the names Reuel, Hobab and Jethro.

[188] It would be impossible here to give the references, which would occupy too much space.

[189] For want of handier material I must take leave to refer to my brief sketch of the Kabbalah in the History of the Jewish Nation,' pp. 434-446.

[190] Chag. ii. 1.

[191] Ab. v. 4.

[192] In short, the lgos spermatiks of the Stoics.

[193] Supposed to mean either numerationes, or splendour. But why not derive the word from sphara? The ten are: Crown, Wisdom, Intelligence, Mercy, Judgment, Beauty, Triumph, Praise, Foundation, Kingdom.

[194] For the teaching of Eastern Judaism in this respect, see Appendix II.: Philo and Rabbinic Theology.'

[195] A very interesting question arises: how far Philo was acquainted with, and influenced by, the Jewish traditional law or the Halakhah. This has been treated by Dr. B. Ritter in an able tractate (Philo u. die Halach.), although he attributes more to Philo than the evidence seems to admit.

[196] Jer. Ber. ix. 7.

[197] At the same time there is a remarkable difference here between Philo and Rabbinism. Philo holds that the creation of the world was brought about by the Potencies, but the Law was given directly through Moses, and not by the mediation of angels. But this latter was certainly the view generally entertained in Palestine as expressed in the LXX. rendering of Deut. xxxii. 2, in the Targumim on that passage, and more fully still in Jos. Ant. xv. 5. 3, in the Midrashim and in the Talmud, where we are told (Macc. 24 a) that only the opening words, I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt have no other gods but Me,' were spoken by God Himself. Comp. also Acts vii. 38, 53; Gal. iii. 19; Heb. ii. 2.

[198] Hammejuchad, appropriatum;' hammephorash, expositum,' separatum,' the tetragrammaton,' or four-lettered name, {hebrew}. There was also a Shem with twelve,' and one with forty-two' letters (Kidd. 71a).

[199] Or Ruach ham Maqom, Ab. iii. 10, and frequently in the Talmud.

[200] Levy (Neuhebr. Wörterb. i. p. 374 a.) seems to imply that in the Midrash the term dibbur occupies the same place and meaning. But with all deference I cannot agree with this opinion, nor do the passages quoted bear it out.

[201] The word,' as spoken, is distinguished from the Word' as speaking, or revealing Himself. The former is generally designated by the term pithgama.' Thus in Gen. XV. 1, After these words (things) came the "pithgama" of Jehovah to Abram in prophecy, saying, Fear not, Abram, My "Memra" shall be thy strength, and thy very great reward.' Still, the term Memra, as applied not only to man, but also in reference to God, is not always the equivalent of the Logos.'

[202] The various passages in the Targum of Onkelos, the Jerusalem, and the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum on the Pentateuch will be found enumerated and classified, as those in which it is a doubtful, a fair, or an unquestionable inference, that the word Memra is intended for God revealing Himself, in Appendix II.: Philo and Rabbinic Theology.'

[203] As, for example, Gen. xxviii. 21, the Memra of Jehovah shall be my God.'

[204] As, for example, Num. xxiii. 21, the Memra of Jehovah their God is their helper, and the Shekhinah of their King is in the midst of them.'

[205] That term is often used by Onkelos. Besides, the expression itself is the Memra of Jehovah.'

[206] Onkelos only once (in Ex. iv. 24) paraphrases Jehovah by Malakha.'

[207] Metatron, either = met thrnon, or met trannon. In the Talmud it is applied to the Angel of Jehovah (Ex. xxiii. 20), the Prince of the World,' the Prince of the Face' or of the Presence,' as they call him; he who sits in the innermost chamber before God, while the other angels only hear His commands from behind the veil (Chag. 15 a; 16 a; Toseft. ad Chull. 60 a; Jeb. 16 b). This Metatron of the Talmud and the Kabbalah is also the Adam Qadmon, or archetypal man.

[208] Of deep interest is Onkelos' rendering of Deut. xxxiii. 27, where, instead of underneath are the everlasting arms,' Onkelos has, and by His Memra was the world created,' exactly as in St John i. 10. Now this divergence of Onkelos from the Hebrew text seems unaccountable. Winer, whose inaugural dissertation, De Onkeloso ejusque paraph. Chald.' Lips. 1820, most modern writers have followed (with amplifications, chiefly from Luzzato's Philoxenus), makes no reference to this passage, nor do his successors, so far as I know. It is curious that, as our present Hebrew text of this verse consists of three words, so does the rendering of Onkelos, and that both end with the same word. Is the rendering of Onkelos then a paraphrase, or does it represent another reading? Another interesting passage is Deut. viii. 3. Its quotation by Christ in St. Matt. iv. 4 is deeply interesting, as read in the light of the rendering of Onkelos, Not by bread alone is man sustained, but by every forthcoming Memra from before Jehovah shall man live.' Yet another rendering of Onkelos is significantly illustrative of 1 Cor. x. 1-4. He renders Deut. xxxiii. 3 with power He brought them out of Egypt; they were led under thy cloud; they journeyed according to (by) thy Memra.' Does this represent a difference in Hebrew from the admittedly difficult text in our present Bible? Winer refers to it as an instance in which Onkelos suopte ingenio et copiose admodum eloquitur vatum divinorum mentem,' adding, ita ut de his, quas singulis vocibus inesse crediderit, significationibus non possit recte judicari;' and Winer's successors say much the same. But this is to state, not to explain, the difficulty. In general, we may here be allowed to say that the question of the Targumim has scarcely received as yet sufficient treatment. Mr. Deutsch's Article in Smith's Dictionary of the Bible' (since reprinted in his Remains') is, though brilliantly written, unsatisfactory. Dr. Davidson (in Kitto's Cyclop., vol. iii. pp. 948-966) is, as always, careful, laborious, and learned. Dr. Volck's article (in Herzog's Real-Encykl., vol. xv. pp. 672-683) is without much intrinsic value, though painstaking. We mention these articles, besides the treatment of the subject in the Introduction to the Old Testament (Keil, De Wette-Schrader, Bleek-kamphausen, Reuss), and the works of Zunz, Geiger, Noldeke, and others, to whom partial reference has already been made. Frankel's interesting and learned book (Zu dem Targum der Propheten) deals almost exclusively with the Targum Jonathan, on which it was impossible to enter within our limits. As modern brochures of interest the following three may be mentioned: Maybaum, Anthropomorphien bei Onkelos; Grönemann, Die Jonath. Pentat. Uebers. im Verhaltn. z. Halacha; and Singer, Onkelos im Verhaltn. z. Halacha.

[209] Gen. xlix. 10, 11; Num. xxiv. 17.

[210] See the enumeration of these 70 Names in the Baal-ha-Turim on Numb. xi. 16.

[211] Comp. Siegfried, u. s., pp. 221-223.

[212] Gen. i. 27.

[213] De Leg. Alleg. iii. 25, 26.

[214] For a full discussion of this similarity of form and divergence of spirit, between Philo - or, rather, between Alexandrianism - and the Epistle to the Hebrews, the reader is referred to the masterly treatise by Riehm (Der Lehrbegriff d. Hebräerbr. ed. 1867, especially pp. 247-268, 411-424, 658-670, and 855-860). The author's general view on the subject is well and convincingly formulated on p. 249. We must, however, add, in opposition to Riehm, that, by his own showing the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews displays few traces of a Palestinian training.

[215] On the subject of Philo's Logos generally the brochure of Harnoch (Königsberg, 1879) deserves perusal, although it does not furnish much that is new. In general, the student of Philo ought especially to study the sketch by Zeller in his Philosophie der Gr. vol. iii. pt. ii. 3rd ed. pp. 338-418.

[216] With singular and characteristic inconsistency, Philo, however, ascribes also to God the creation of matter (de Somn. i. 13).

[217] As for example Ecclus. iii. 21-24.

[218] So the Talmudists certainly understood it, Jer. Chag. ii. 1.

[219] Comp. Grimm, Exeg. Handb. zu d. Apokr., Lief. vi. pp. 55, 56.

[220] They were arranged into those concerning the Maasey Bereshith (Creation), and the Maasey Merkabbah, the chariot' of Ezekiel's vision (Providence in the widest sense, or God's manifestation in the created world).

[221] Of the four celebrities who entered the Pardes,' or enclosed Paradise of theosophic speculation, one became an apostate, another died, a third went wrong (Ben Soma), and only Akiba escaped unscathed, according to the Scripture saying, Draw me, and we will run' (Chag. 14 b).

[222] 'It is not lawful to enter upon the Maasey Bereshith in presence of two, nor upon the Merkabhah in presence of one, unless he be a "sage," and understands of his own knowledge. Any one who ratiocinates on these four things, it were better for him that he had not been born: What is above and what is below; what was afore, and what shall be hereafter.' (Chag. ii. 1).

[223] Shem. R. 13.

[224] Ben Soma went astray (mentally): he shook the (Jewish) world.'

[225] That criticism, which one would designate as impertinent, which would find this view in 2 Peter iii. 5, is, alas! not confined to Jewish writers, but hazarded even by De Wette.

[226] Jer. Chag. 77 a.

[227] Judah bar Pazi, in the second century. Ben Soma lived in the first century of our era.

[228] According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Ber. i. I) the firmament was at first soft, and only gradually became hard. According to Ber. R. 10, God created the world from a mixture of fire and snow, other Rabbis suggesting four original elements, according to the quarters of the globe, or else six, adding to them that which is above and that which is below. A very curious idea is that of R. Joshua ben Levi, according to which all the works of creation were really finished on the first day, and only, as it were, extended on the other days. This also represents really a doubt of the Biblical account of creation. Strange though it may sound, the doctrine of development was derived from the words (Gen. ii. 4). These are the generations of heaven and earth when they were created, in the day when Jahveh Elohim made earth and heavens.' It was argued, that the expression implied, they were developed from the day in which they had been created. Others seem to have held, that the three principal things that were created - earth, heaven, and water - remained, each for three days, at the end of which they respectively developed what is connected with them (Ber. R. 12).

[229] Ber. R. i.

[230] For further notices on the Cosmology and Anthropology of Philo, see Appendix II.: Philo and Rabbinic Theology.'

[231] We cannot help quoting the beautiful Haggadic explanation of the name Adam, according to its three letters, A, D, M - as including these three names, Adam, David, Messiah.

[232] Raymundus Martini, in his Pugio Fidei' (orig. ed. p. 675; ed. Voisin et Carpzov, pp. 866, 867), quotes from the book Siphré: Go and learn the merit of Messiah the King, and the reward of the righteous from the first Adam, on whom was laid only one commandment of a prohibitive character, and he transgressed it. See how many deaths were appointed on him, and on his generations, and on the generations of his generations to the end of all generations. (Wünsche, Leiden d. Mess. p. 65, makes here an unwarrantable addition, in his translation.) But which attribute (measuring?) is the greater - the attribute of goodness or the attribute of punishment (retribution)? He answered, the attribute of goodness is the greater, and the attribute of punishment the less. And Messiah the King, who was chastened and suffered for the transgressors, as it is said, "He was wounded for our transgressions," and so on, how much more shall He justify (make righteous, by His merit) all generations; and this is what is meant when it is written, "And Jehovah made to meet upon Him the sin of us all."' We have rendered this passage as literally as possible, but we are bound to add that it is not found in any now existing copy of Siphré.

[233] Death is not considered an absolute evil. In short, all the various consequences which Rabbinical writings ascribe to the sin of Adam may be designated either as physical, or, if mental, as amounting only to detriment, loss, or imperfectness. These results had been partially counteracted by Abraham, and would be fully removed by the Messiah. Neither Enoch nor Elijah had sinned, and accordingly they did not die. Comp. generally, Hamburger, Geist d. Agada, pp. 81-84, and in regard to death as connected with Adam, p. 85.

[234] Ber. 61 a.

[235] These are also hypostatised as Angels. Comp. Levy, Chald. Wörterb. p. 342 a; Neuhebr. Wörterb. p. 259, a, b.

[236] Or with two reins,' the one, advising to good, being at his right, the other, counselling evil, at his left, according to Eccles. x. 2 (Ber. 61 a, towards the end of the page).

[237] Sanh. 91 b.

[238] In a sense its existence was necessary for the continuance of this world. The conflict between these two impulses constituted the moral life of man.

[239] The solitary exception here is 4 Esdras, where the Christian doctrine of original sin is most strongly expressed, being evidently derived from New Testament teaching. Comp. especially 4 Esdras (our Apocryphal 2 Esdras) vii. 46-53, and other passages. Wherein the hope of safety lay, appears in ch. ix.

[240] Symbolised by Lot's wife.

[241] Symbolised by Ebher, Hebrew.

[242] The Sabbath, Jerusalem.

[243] For further details on these points see Appendix II.: Philo and Rabbinic Theology.'

[244] The views of Philo on the Messiah will be presented in another connection.

[245] This is not the place to enter on the question of the composition, date, and authorship of the four Gospels. But as regards the point on which negative criticism has of late spoken strongest, and on which, indeed (as Weiss rightly remarks) the very existence of the Tübingen School' depends - that of the Johannine authorship of the fourth Gospel, I would refer to Weiss, Leben Jesu (1882: vol. i. pp. 84-139), and to Dr. Salmon's Introd. to the New Test. pp. 266-365.

[246] No one not acquainted with this literature can imagine the character of the arguments sometimes used by a certain class of critics. To say that they proceed on the most forced perversion of the natural and obvious meaning of passages, is but little. But one cannot restrain moral indignation on finding that to Evangelists and Apostles is imputed, on such grounds, not only systematic falsehood, but falsehood with the most sinister motives.

[247] I do not, of course, mean that the narration of St. Mark was not itself derived chiefly from Apostolic preaching, especially that of St. Peter. In general, the question of the authorship and source of the various Gospels must be reserved for separate treatment in another place.

[248] Comp. Mangold's ed. of Bleek, Einl. in d. N.T. (3te Aufl. 1875), p. 346.

[249] With the sole exception of St. Matt. xii. 18, where the expression is a quotation from the LXX. of Is. xlii. 1.

[250] First expressed by Delitzsch (Bibl. Comm. ü. d. Proph. Jes. p. 414), and then adopted by Oehler (Theol.  d. A. Test. vol. ii. pp. 270-272).

[251] The two fundamental principles in the history of the Kingdom of God are selection and development. It is surely remarkable, not strange, that these are also the two fundamental truths in the history of that other Kingdom of God, Nature, if modern science has read them correctly. These two substantives would mark the facts as ascertained; the adjectives, which are added to them by a certain class of students, mark only their inferences from these facts. These facts may be true, even if as yet incomplete, although the inferences may be false. Theology should not here rashly interfere. But whatever the ultimate result, these two are certainly the fundamental facts in the history of the Kingdom of God, and, marking them as such, the devout philosopher may rest contented.

[252] The Gnostics, to whom, in the opinion of many, so frequent references are made in the writings of St. John and St. Paul, were only an offspring (rather, as the Germans would term it, an Abart) of Alexandrianism on the one hand, and on the other of Eastern notions, which are so largely embodied in the later Kabbalah.

[253] A complement, not a supplement, as many critics put it (Ewald, Weizsäcker, and even Hengstenberg) - least of all a rectification (Godet, Evang. Joh. p. 633).

[254] Keim (Leben Jesu von Nazara, i. a, pp. 112-114) fully recognises this; but I entirely differ from the conclusions of his analytical comparison of Philo with the fourth Gospel.

[255] St. John xiv. 26

[256] The student who has carefully considered the views expressed by Philo about the Logos, and analysed, as in the Appendix, the passages in the Targumim in which the word Memra occurs, cannot fail to perceive the immense difference in the presentation of the Logos by St. John. Yet M. Renan, in an article in the Contemporary Review' for September 1877, with utter disregard of the historical evidence on the question, maintains not only the identity of these three sets of ideas, but actually grounds on it his argument against the authenticity of the fourth Gospel. Considering the importance of the subject, it is not easy to speak with moderation of assertions so bold based on statements so entirely inaccurate.

[257] Dr. Bucher, whose book, Des Apostels Johannes Lehre vom Logos, deserves careful perusal, tries to trace the reason of these peculiarities as indicated in the Prologue of the fourth Gospel. Bucher differentiates at great length between the Logos of Philo and of the fourth Gospel. He sums up his views by stating that in the Prologue of St. John the Logos is presented as the fulness of Divine Light and Life. This is, so to speak, the theme, while the Gospel history is intended to present the Logos as the giver of this Divine Light and Life. While the other Evangelists ascend from the manifestation to the idea of the Son of God, St. John descends from the idea of the Logos, as expressed in the Prologue, to its concrete realisation in His history. The latest tractate (at the present writing, 1882) on the Gospel of St. John, by Dr. Müller, Die Johann. Frage, gives a good summary of the argument on both sides, and deserves the careful attention of students of the question.

[258] I cannot agree with Weiss (u. s., p. 122) that the great object of the fourth Gospel was to oppose the rising Gnostic movement, This may have been present to the Apostle's mind, as evidenced in his Epistle, but the object in view could not have been mainly, nor even primarily, negative and controversial.

[259] Acts xviii 24-28


CHAPTER V.
ALEXANDRIA AND ROME - THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN THE CAPITALS OF WESTERN CIVILISATION.

We have spoken of Alexandria as the capital of the Jewish world in the West. Antioch was, indeed, nearer to Palestine, and its Jewish population - including the floating part of it - as numerous as that of Alexandria. But the wealth, the thought, and the influence of Western Judaism centred in the modern capital of the land of the Pharaohs. In those days Greece was the land of the past, to which the student might resort as the home of beauty and of art, the time hallowed temple of thought and of poetry. But it was also the land of desolateness and of ruins, where fields of corn waved over the remains of classic antiquity. The ancient Greeks had in great measure sunk to a nation of traders, in keen competition with the Jews. Indeed, Roman sway had levelled the ancient world, and buried its national characteristics. It was otherwise in the far East; it was otherwise also in Egypt. Egypt was not a land to be largely inhabited, or to be civilised' in the then sense of the term: soil, climate, history, nature forbade it. Still, as now, and even more than now, was it the dream-land of untold attractions to the traveller. The ancient, mysterious Nile still rolled its healing waters out into the blue sea, where (so it was supposed) they changed its taste within a radius farther than the eye could reach. To be gently borne in bark or ship on its waters, to watch the strange vegetation and fauna of its banks; to gaze beyond, where they merged into the trackless desert; to wander under the shade of its gigantic monuments, or within the wierd avenues of its colossal temples, to see the scroll of mysterious hieroglyphics; to note the sameness of manner and of people as of old, and to watch the unique rites of its ancient religion - this was indeed to be again in the old far-away world, and that amidst a dreaminess bewitching the senses, and a gorgeousness dazzling the imagination. [260]

We are still far out at sea, making for the port of Alexandria - the only safe shelter all along the coast of Asia and Africa. Quite thirty miles out the silver sheen of the lighthouse on the island of Pharos [261] - connected by a mole with Alexandria - is burning like a star on the edge of the horizon. Now we catch sight of the palmgroves of Pharos; presently the anchor rattles and grates on the sand, and we are ashore. What crowd of vessels of all sizes, shapes and nationalities; what a multitude of busy people; what a very Babel of languages; what a commingling of old and new world civilisation; and what a variety of wares piled up, loading or unloading!

Alexandria itself was not an old Egyptian, but a comparatively modern, city; in Egypt and yet not of Egypt. Everything was in character - the city, its inhabitants, public life, art, literature, study, amusements, the very aspect of the place. Nothing original anywhere, but combination of all that had been in the ancient world, or that was at the time - most fitting place therefore to be the capital of Jewish Hellenism.

As its name indicates, the city was founded by Alexander the Great. It was built in the form of an open fan, or rather, of the outspread cloak of a Macedonian horseman. Altogether, it measured (16,360 paces) 3,160 paces more than Rome; but its houses were neither so crowded nor so many-storied. It had been a large city when Rome was still inconsiderable, and to the last held the second place in the Empire. One of the five quarters into which the city was divided, and which were named according to the first letters of the alphabet, was wholly covered by the royal palaces, with their gardens, and similar buildings, including the royal mausoleum, where the body of Alexander the Great, preserved in honey, was kept in a glass coffin. But these, and its three miles of colonnades along the principal highway, were only some of the magnificent architectural adornments of a city full of palaces. The population amounted, probably, to nearly a million, drawn from the East and West by trade, the attractions of wealth, the facilities for study, or the amusements of a singularly frivolous city. A strange mixture of elements among the people, combining the quickness and versatility of the Greek with the gravity, the conservatism, the dream-grandeur, and the luxury of the Eastern.

Three worlds met in Alexandria: Europe, Asia, and Africa; and brought to it, or fetched from it, their treasures. Above all, it was a commercial city, furnished with an excellent harbour - or rather with five harbours. A special fleet carried, as tribute, from Alexandria to Italy, two-tenths of the corn produce of Egypt, which sufficed to feed the capital for four months of the year. A magnificent fleet it was, from the light quick sailer to those immense corn-ships which hoisted a special flag, and whose early arrival was awaited at Puteoli [262] with more eagerness than that of any modern ocean-steamer. [263] The commerce of India was in the hands of the Alexandrian shippers. [264] Since the days of the Ptolemies the Indian trade alone had increased sixfold. [265] Nor was the native industry inconsiderable. Linen goods, to suit the tastes or costumes of all countries; woolen stuffs of every hue, some curiously wrought with figures, and even scenes; glass of every shade and in every shape; paper from the thinnest sheet to the coarsest packing paper; essences, perfumeries - such were the native products. However idly or luxuriously inclined, still every one seemed busy, in a city where (as the Emperor Hadrian expressed it) money was the people's god;' and every one seemed well-to-do in his own way, from the waif in the streets, who with little trouble to himself could pick up sufficient to go to the restaurant and enjoy a comfortable dinner of fresh or smoked fish with garlic, and his pudding, washed down with the favourite Egyptian barley beer, up to the millionaire banker, who owned a palace in the city and a villa by the canal that connected Alexandria with Canobus. What a jostling crowd of all nations in the streets, in the market (where, according to the joke of a contemporary, anything might be got except snow), or by the harbours; what cool shades, delicious retreats, vast halls, magnificent libraries, where the savants of Alexandria assembled and taught every conceivable branch of learning, and its far-famed physicians prescribed for the poor consumptive patients sent thither from all parts of Italy! What bustle and noise among that ever excitable, chatty conceited, vain, pleasure-loving multitude, whose highest enjoyment was the theatre and singers; what scenes on that long canal to Canobus, lined with luxurious inns, where barks full of pleasure-seekers revelled in the cool shade of the banks, or sped to Canobus, that scene of all dissipation and luxury, proverbial even in those days! And yet, close by, on the shores of Lake Mareotis, as if in grim contrast, were the chosen retreats of that sternly ascetic Jewish party, the Therapeutæ, [266] whose views and practices in so many points were kindred to those of the Essenes in Palestine!

This sketch of Alexandria will help us to understand the surroundings of the large mass of Jews settled in the Egyptian capital. Altogether more than an eighth of the population of the country (one million in 7,800,000) was Jewish. Whether or not a Jewish colony had gone into Egypt at the time of Nebuchadnezzar, or even earlier, the great mass of its residents had been attracted by Alexander the Great, [267] who had granted the Jews equally exceptional privileges with the Macedonians. The later troubles of Palestine under the Syrian kings greatly swelled their number, the more so that the Ptolemies, with one exception, favoured them. Originally a special quarter had been assigned to the Jews in the city - the Delta' by the eastern harbour and the Canobus canal - probably alike to keep the community separate, and from its convenience for commercial purposes. The priveleges which the Ptolemies had accorded to the Jews were confirmed, and even enlarged, by Julius Cæsar. The export trade in grain was now in their hands, and the harbour and river police committed to their charge. Two quarters in the city are named as specially Jewish - not, however, in the sense of their being confined to them. Their Synagogues, surrounded by shady trees, stood in all parts of the city. But the chief glory of the Jewish community in Egypt, of which even the Palestinians boasted, was the great central Synagogue, built in the shape of a basilica, with double colonnade, and so large that it needed a signal for those most distant to know the proper moment for the responses. The different trade guilds sat there together, so that a stranger would at once know where to find Jewish employers or fellow-workmen. [268] In the choir of this Jewish cathedral stood seventy chairs of state, encrusted with precious stones, for the seventy elders who constituted the eldership of Alexandria, on the model of the great Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.

It is a strange, almost inexplicable fact, that the Egyptian Jews had actually built a schismatic Temple. During the terrible Syrian persecutions in Palestine Onias, the son of the murdered High-Priest Onias III., had sought safety in Egypt. Ptolemy Philometor not only received him kindly, but gave a disused heathen temple in the town of Leontopolis for a Jewish sanctuary. Here a new Aaronic priesthood ministered, their support being derived from the revenues of the district around. The new Temple, however, resembled not that of Jerusalem either in outward appearance nor in all its internal fittings. [269] At first the Egyptian Jews were very proud of their new sanctuary, and professed to see in it the fulfilment of the prediction, [270] that five cities in the land of Egypt should speak the language of Canaan, of which one was to be called Ir-ha-Heres, which the LXX. (in their original form, or by some later emendation) altered into the city of righteousness.' This temple continued from about 160 b.c. to shortly after the destruction of Jerusalem. It could scarcely be called a rival to that on Mount Moriah, since the Egyptian Jews also owned that of Jerusalem as their central sanctuary, to which they made pilgrimages and brought their contributions, [271] while the priests at Leontopolis, before marrying, always consulted the official archives in Jerusalem to ascertain the purity of descent of their intended wives. [272] The Palestinians designated it contemptuously as the house of Chonyi' (Onias), and declared the priesthood of Leontopolis incapable of serving in Jerusalem, although on a par with those who were disqualified only by some bodily defect. Offerings brought in Leontopolis were considered null, unless in the case of vows to which the name of this Temple had been expressly attached. [273] This qualified condemnation seems, however, strangely mild, except on the supposition that the statements we have quoted only date from a time when both Temples had long passed away.

Nor were such feelings unreasonable. The Egyptian Jews had spread on all sides - southward to Abyssinia and Ethiopia, and westward to, and beyond, the province of Cyrene. In the city of that name they formed one of the four classes into which its inhabitants were divided. [274] A Jewish inscription at Berenice, apparently dating from the year 13 b.c., shows that the Cyrenian Jews formed a distinct community under nine rulers' of their own, who no doubt attended to the communal affairs - not always an easy matter, since the Cyrenian Jews were noted, if not for turbulence, yet for strong anti-Roman feeling, which more than once was cruelly quenched in blood. [275] Other inscriptions prove, [276] that in other places of their dispersion also the Jews had their own Archontes or rulers,' while the special direction of public worship was always entrusted to the Archisynagogos, or chief ruler of the Synagogue,' both titles occurring side by side. [277] It is, to say the least, very doubtful, whether the High-Priest at Leontopolis was ever regarded as, in any real sense, the head of the Jewish community in Egypt. [278] In Alexandria, the Jews were under the rule of a Jewish Ethnarch, [279] whose authority was similar to that of the Archon' of independent cities. [280] But his authority [281] was transferred, by Augustus, to the whole eldership.' [282] Another, probably Roman, office, though for obvious reasons often filled by Jews, was that of the Alabarch, or rather Arabarch, who was set over the Arab population. [283] Among others, Alexander, the brother of Philo, held this post. If we may judge of the position of the wealthy Jewish families in Alexandria by that of this Alabarch, their influence must have been very great. The firm of Alexander was probably as rich as the great Jewish banking and shipping house of Saramalla in Antioch. [284] Its chief was entrusted with the management of the affairs of Antonia, the much respected sister-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius. [285] It was a small thing for such a man to lend King Agrippa, when his fortunes were very low, a sum of about 7,000l. with which to resort to Italy, [286] since he advanced it on the guarantee of Agrippa's wife, whom he highly esteemed, and at the same time made provision that the money should not be all spent before the Prince met the Emperor. Besides, he had his own plans in the matter. Two of his sons married daughters of King Agrippa; while a third, at the price of apostasy, rose successively to the posts of Procurator of Palestine, and finally of Governor of Egypt. [287] The Temple at Jerusalem bore evidence of the wealth and munificence of this Jewish millionaire. The gold and silver with which the nine massive gates were covered, which led into the Temple, were the gift of the great Alexandrian banker.

The possession of such wealth, coupled no doubt with pride and self-assertion, and openly spoken contempt of the superstitions around, [288] would naturally excite the hatred of the Alexandria populace against the Jews. The greater number of those silly stories about the origin, early history, and religion of the Jews, which even the philosophers and historians of Rome record as genuine, originated in Egypt. A whole series of writers, beginning with Manetho, [289] made it their business to give a kind of historical travesty of the events recorded in the books of Moses. The boldest of these scribblers was Apion, to whom Josephus replied - a world-famed charlatan and liar, who wrote or lectured, with equal presumption and falseness, on every conceivable object. He was just the man to suit the Alexandrians, on whom his unblushing assurance imposed. In Rome he soon found his level, and the Emperor Tiberius well characterised the irrepressible boastful talker as the tinkling cymbal of the world.' He had studied, seen, and heard everything - even, on three occasions, the mysterious sound on the Colossus of Memnon, as the sun rose upon it! At least, so he graved upon the Colossus itself, for the information of all generations. [290] Such was the man on whom the Alexandrians conferred the freedom of their city, to whom they entrusted their most important affairs, and whom they extolled as the victorious, the laborious, the new Homer. [291] There can be little doubt, that the popular favour was partly due to Apion's virulent attacks upon the Jews. His grotesque accounts of their history and religion held them up to contempt. But his real object was to rouse the fanaticism of the populace against the Jews. Every year, so he told them, it was the practice of the Jews to get hold of some unfortunate Hellene, whom ill-chance might bring into their hands, to fatten him for the year, and then to sacrifice him, partaking of his entrials, and burying the body, while during these horrible rites they took a fearful oath of perpetual enmity to the Greeks. These were the people who battened on the wealth of Alexandria, who had usurped quarters of the city to which they had no right, and claimed exceptional privileges; a people who had proved traitors to, and the ruin of every one who had trusted them. If the Jews,' he exclaimed, are citizens of Alexandria, why do they not worship the same gods as the Alexandrians?' And, if they wished to enjoy the protection of the Cæsars, why did they not erect statues, and pay Divine honor to them? [292] There is nothing strange in these appeals to the fanaticism of mankind. In one form or another, they have only too often been repeated in all lands and ages, and, alas! by the representatives of all creeds. Well might the Jews, as Philo mourns, [293] wish no better for themselves than to be treated like other men!

We have already seen, that the ideas entertained in Rome about the Jews were chiefly derived from Alexandrian sources. But it is not easy to understand, how a Tacitus, Cicero, or Pliny could have credited such absurdities as that the Jews had come from Crete (Mount Ida - Idæi = Judæi), been expelled on account of leprosy from Egypt, and emigrated under an apostate priest, Moses; or that the Sabbath-rest originated in sores, which had obliged the wanderers to stop short on the seventh day; or that the Jews worshipped the head of an ass, or else Bacchus; that their abstinence from swine's flesh was due to remembrance and fear of leprosy, or else to the worship of that animal - and other puerilities of the like kind. [294] The educated Roman regarded the Jew with a mixture of contempt and anger, all the more keen that, according to his notions, the Jew had, since his subjection to Rome, no longer a right to his religion; and all the more bitter that, do what he might, that despised race confronted him everywhere, with a religion so uncompromising as to form a wall of separation, and with rites so exclusive as to make them not only strangers, but enemies. Such a phenomenon was nowhere else to be encountered. The Romans were intensely practical. In their view, political life and religion were not only intertwined, but the one formed part of the other. A religion apart from a political organisation, or which offered not, as a quid pro quo, some direct return from the Deity to his votaries, seemed utterly inconceivable. Every country has its own religion, argued Cicero, in his appeal for Flaccus. So long as Jerusalem was unvaquished, Judaism might claim toleration; but had not the immortal gods shown what they thought of it, when the Jewish race was conquered? This was a kind of logic that appealed to the humblest in the crowd, which thronged to hear the great orator defending his client, among others, against the charge of preventing the transport from Asia to Jerusalem of the annual Temple-tribute. This was not a popular accusation to bring against a man in such an assembly. And as the Jews - who, to create a distrubance, had (we are told) distributed themselves among the audience in such numbers, that Cicero somewhat rhetorically declared, he would fain have spoken with bated breath, so as to be only audible to the judges - listened to the great orator, they must have felt a keen pang shoot to their hearts while he held them up to the scorn of the heathen, and touched, with rough finger, their open sore, as he urged the ruin of their nation as the one unanswerable argument, which Materialism could bring against the religion of the Unseen.

And that religion - was it not, in the words of Cicero, a barbarous superstition,' and were not its adherents, as Pliny had it, [295] a race distinguished for its contempt of the gods?' To begin with their theology. The Roman philosopher would sympathise with disbelief of all spiritual realities, as, on the other hand, he could understand the popular modes of worship and superstition. But what was to be said for a worship of something quite unseen, an adoration, as it seemed to him, of the clouds and of the sky, without any visible symbol, conjoined with an utter rejection of every other form of religion - Asiatic, Egyptian, Greek, Roman - and the refusal even to pay the customary Divine honor to the Cæsars, as the incarnation of Roman power? Next, as to their rites. Foremost among them was the initiatory rite of circumcision, a constant subject for coarse jests. What could be the meaning of it; or of what seemed like some ancestral veneration for the pig, or dread of it, since they made it a religious duty not to partake of its flesh? Their Sabbath-observance, however it had originated, was merely an indulgence in idleness. The fast young Roman literati would find their amusement in wandering on the Sabbath-eve through the tangled, narrow streets of the Ghetto, watching how the dim lamp within shed its unsavory light, while the inmates mumbled prayers with blanched lips;' [296] or they would, like Ovid, seek in the Synagogue occasion for their dissolute amusements. The Thursday fast was another target for their wit. In short, at the best, the Jew was a constant theme of popular merriment, and the theatre would resound with laughter as his religion was lampooned, no matter how absurd the stories, or how poor the punning. [297]

And then, as the proud Roman passed on the Sabbath through the streets, Judaism would obtrude itself upon his notice, by the shops that were shut, and by the strange figures that idly moved about in holiday attire. They were strangers in a strange land, not only without sympathy with what passed around, but with marked contempt and abhorrence of it, while there was that about their whole bearing, which expressed the unspoken feeling, that the time of Rome's fall, and of their own supremacy, was at hand. To put the general feeling in the words of Tacitus, the Jews kept close together, and were ever most liberal to one another; but they were filled with bitter hatred of all others. They would neither eat nor sleep with strangers; and the first thing which they taught their proselytes was to despise the gods, to renounce their own country, and to rend the bonds which had bound them to parents, children or kindred. To be sure, there was some ground of distorted truth in these charges. For, the Jew, as such, was only intended for Palestine. By a necessity, not of his own making, he was now, so to speak, the negative element in the heathen world; yet one which, do what he might, would always obtrude itself upon public notice. But the Roman satirists went further. They accused the Jews of such hatred of all other religionists, that they would not even show the way to any who worshipped otherwise, nor point out the cooling spring to the thirsty. [298] According to Tacitus, there was a political and religious reason for this. In order to keep the Jews separate from all other nations, Moses had given them rites, contrary to those of any other race, that they might regard as unholy what was sacred to others, and as lawful what they held in abomination. [299] Such a people deserved neither consideration nor pity; and when the historian tells how thousands of their number had been banished by Tiberius to Sardinia, he dismisses the probability of their perishing in that severe climate with the cynical remark, that it entailed a poor loss' [300] (vile damnum).

Still, the Jew was there in the midst of them. It is impossible to fix the date when the first Jewish wanderers found their way to the capital of the world. We know, that in the wars under Pompey, Cassius, and Antonius, many were brought captive to Rome, and sold as slaves. In general, the Republican party was hostile, the Cæsars were friendly, to the Jews. The Jewish slaves in Rome proved an unprofitable and troublesome acquisition. They clung so tenaciously to their ancestral customs, that it was impossible to make them conform to the ways of heathen households. [301] How far they would carry their passive resistance, appears from a story told by Josephus, [302] about some Jewish priests of his acquaintance, who, during their captivity in Rome, refused to eat anything but figs and nuts, so as to avoid the defilement of Gentile food. [303] Their Roman masters deemed it prudent to give their Jewish slaves their freedom, either at a small ransom, or even without it. These freedmen (liberti) formed the nucleus of the Jewish community in Rome, and in great measure determined its social character. Of course they were, as always, industrious, sober, pushing. In course of time many of them acquired wealth. By-and-by Jewish immigrants of greater distinction swelled their number. Still their social position was inferior to that of their co-religionists in other lands. A Jewish population so large as 40,000 in the time of Augustus, and 60,000 in that of Tiberius, would naturally included all ranks - merchants, bankers, literati, even actors. [304] In a city which offered such temptations, they would number among them those of every degree of religious profession; nay, some who would not only imitate the habits of those around, but try to outdo their gross licentiousness. [305] Yet, even so, they would vainly endeavor to efface the hateful mark of being Jews.

Augustus had assigned to the Jews as their special quarter the fourteenth region' across the Tiber, which stretched from the slope of the Vatican onwards and across the Tiber-island, where the boats from Ostia were wont to unload. This seems to have been their poor quarter, chiefly inhabited by hawkers, sellers of matches, [306] glass, old clothes and second-hand wares. The Jewish burying-ground in that quarter [307] gives evidence of their condition. The whole appointments and the graves are mean. There is neither marble nor any trace of painting, unless it be a rough representation of the seven-branched candlestick in red coloring. Another Jewish quarter was by the Porta Capena, where the Appian Way entered the city. Close by, the ancient sanctuary of Egeria was utilized at the time of Juvenal [308] as a Jewish hawking place. But there must have been richer Jews also in that neighborhood, since the burying-place there discovered has paintings - some even of mythological figures, of which the meaning has not yet been ascertained. A third Jewish burying-ground was near the ancient Christian catacombs.

But indeed, the Jewish residents in Rome must have spread over every quarter of the city - even the best - to judge by the location of their Synagogues. From inscriptions, we have been made acquainted not only with the existence, but with the names, of not fewer than seven of these Synagogues. Three of them respectively bear the names of Augustus, Agrippa, and Volumnius, either as their patrons, or because the worshippers were chiefly their attendants and clients; while two of them derived their names from the Campus Martius, and the quarter Subura in which they stood. [309] The Synagoge Elaias' may have been so called from bearing on its front the device of an olive-tree, a favourite, and in Rome specially significant, emblem of Israel, whose fruit, crushed beneath heavy weight, would yield the precious oil by which the Divine light would shed its brightness through the night of heathendom. [310] Of course, there must have been other Synagogues besides those whose names have been discovered.

One other mode of tracking the footsteps of Israel's wanderings seems strangely significant. It is by tracing their records among the dead, reading them on broken tombstones, and in ruined monuments. They are rude, and the inscriptions - most of them in bad Greek, or still worse Latin, none in Hebrew - are like the stammering of strangers. Yet what a contrast between the simple faith and earnest hope which they express, and the grim proclamation of utter disbelief in any future to the soul, not unmixed with language of coarsest materialism, on the graves of so many of the polished Romans ! Truly the pen of God in history has, as so often, ratified the sentence which a nation had pronounced upon itself. That civilisation was doomed which could inscribe over its dead such words as: To eternal sleep;' To perpetual rest;' or more coarsely express it thus, I was not, and I became; I was, and am no more. Thus much is true; who says other, lies; for I shall not be,' adding, as it were by way of moral, And thou who livest, drink, play, come.' Not so did God teach His people; and, as we pick our way among these broken stones, we can understand how a religion, which proclaimed a hope so different, must have spoken to the hearts of many even at Rome, and much more, how that blessed assurance of life and immortality, which Christianity afterwards brought, could win its thousands, though it were at the cost of poverty, shame, torture, and the arena.

Wandering from graveyard to graveyard, and deciphering the records of the dead, we can almost read the history of Israel in the days of the Cæsars, or when Paul the prisoner set foot on the soil of Italy. When St. Paul, on the journey of the Castor and Pollux,' touched at Syracuse, he would, during his stay of three days, find himself in the midst of a Jewish community, as we learn from an inscription. When he disembarked at Puteoli, he was in the oldest Jewish settlement next to that of Rome, [311] where the loving hospitality of Christian Israelites constrained him to tarry over a Sabbath. As he went towards Rome,' and reached Capua, he would meet Jews there, as we infer from the tombstone of one Alfius Juda,' who had been Archon' of the Jews, and Archisynagogus' in Capua. As he neared the city, he found in Anxur (Terracina) a Synagogue. [312] In Rome itself the Jewish community was organized as in other places. [313] It sounds strange, as after these many centuries we again read the names of the Archons of their various Synagogues, all Roman, such as Claudius, Asteris, Julian (who was Archon alike of the Campesian and the Agrippesian Synagogue priest, the son of Julian the Archisynagogus, or chief of the eldership of the Augustesian Synagogue). And so in other places. On these tombstones we find names of Jewish Synagogue-dignitaries, in every centre of population, in Pompeii, in Venusia, the birthplace of Horace; in Jewish catacombs; and similarly Jewish inscriptions in Africa, in Asia, in the islands of the Mediterranean, in Ægina, in Patræ, in Athens. Even where as yet records of their early settlements have not been discovered, we still infer their presence, as we remember the almost incredible extent of Roman commerce, which led to such large settlements in Britain, or as we discover among the tombstones those of Syrian' merchants, as in Spain (where St. Paul hoped to preach, no doubt, also to his own countrymen), throughout Gaul, and even in the remotest parts of Germany. [314] Thus the statements of Josephus and of Philo, as to the dispersion of Israel throughout all lands of the known world, are fully borne out.

But the special importance of the Jewish community in Rome lay in its contiguity to the seat of the government of the world, where every movement could be watched and influenced, and where it could lend support to the wants and wishes of that compact body which, however widely scattered, was one in heart and feeling, in thought and purpose, in faith and practice, in suffering and in prosperity. [315] Thus, when upon the death of Herod a deputation from Palestine appeared in the capital to seek the restoration of their Theocracy under a Roman protectorate, [316] no less than 8,000 of the Roman Jews joined it. And in case of need they could find powerful friends, not only among the Herodian princes, but among court favourites who were Jews, like the actor of whom Josephus speaks; [317] among those who were inclined towards Judaism, like Poppæa, the dissolute wife of Nero, whose coffin as that of a Jewess was laid among the urns of the emperors; [318] or among real proselytes, like those of all ranks who, from superstition or conviction, had identified themselves with the Synagogue. [319]

In truth, there was no law to prevent the spread of Judaism. Excepting the brief period when Tiberius [320] banished the Jews from Rome and sent 4,000 of their number to fight the banditti in Sardinia, the Jews enjoyed not only perfect liberty, but exceptional privileges. In the reign of Cæsar and of Augustus we have quite a series of edicts, which secured the full exercise of their religion and their communal rights. [321] In virtue of these they were not to be disturbed in their religious ceremonies, nor in the observance of their sabbaths and feasts. The annual Temple-tribute was allowed to be transported to Jerusalem, and the alienation of these funds by the civil magistrates treated as sacrilege. As the Jews objected to bear arms, or march, on the Sabbath, they were freed from military service. On similar grounds, they were not obliged to appear in courts of law on their holy days. Augustus even ordered that, when the public distribution of corn or of money among the citizens fell on a Sabbath, the Jews were to receive their share on the following day. In a similar spirit the Roman authorities confirmed a decree by which the founder of Antioch, Seleucus I. (Nicator), [322] had granted the Jews the right of citizenship in all the cities of Asia Minor and Syria which he had built, and the privilege of receiving, instead of the oil that was distributed, which their religion forbade them to use, [323] an equivalent in money. [324] These rights were maintained by Vespasian and Titus even after the last Jewish war, notwithstanding the earnest remonstrances of these cities. No wonder, that at the death of Cæsar [325] the Jews of Rome gathered for many nights, waking strange feelings of awe in the city, as they chanted in mournful melodies their Psalms around the pyre on which the body of their benefactor had been burnt, and raised their pathetic dirges. [326] The measures of Sejanus, and ceased with his sway. Besides, they were the outcome of public feeling at the time against all foreign rites, which had been roused by the vile conduct of the priests of Isis towards a Roman matron, and was again provoked by a gross imposture upon Fulvia, a noble Roman proselyte, on the part of some vagabond Rabbis. But even so, there is no reason to believe that literally all Jews had left Rome. Many would find means to remain secretly behind. At any rate, twenty years afterwards Philo found a large community there, ready to support him in his mission on behalf of his Egyptian countrymen. Any temporary measures against the Jews can, therefore, scarcely be regarded as a serious interference with their privileges, or a cessation of the Imperial favour shown to them.


[260] What charm Egypt had for the Romans may be gathered from so many of their mosaics and frescoes. Comp. Friedländer, u. s. vol. ii. pp. 134-136.

[261] This immense lighthouse was square up to the middle, then covered by an octagon, the top being round. The last recorded repairs to this magnificent structure of blocks of marble were made in the year 1303 of our era.

[262] The average passage from Alexandria to Puteoli was twelve days, the ships touching at Malta and in Sicily. It was in such a ship, the Castor and Pollux' carrying wheat, that St. Paul sailed from Malta to Puteoli, where it would be among the first arrivals of the season.

[263] They bore, painted on the two sides of the prow, the emblems of the gods to whom they were dedicated, and were navigated by Egyptian pilots, the most reowned in the world. One of these vessels is described as 180 by 45 feet and of about 1,575 tons, and is computed to have returned to its owner nearly 3,000l. annually. (Comp. Friedländer, u.s. vol. ii. p. 131, &c.) And yet these were small ships compared with those built for the conveyance of marble blocks and columns, and especially of obelisks. One of these is said to have carried, besides an obelisk, 1,200 passenger, a freight of paper, nitre, pepper, linen, and a large cargo of wheat.

[264] The journey took about three months, either up the Nile, thence by caravan, and again by sea; or else perhaps by the Ptolemy Canal and the Red Sea.

[265] It included gold-dust, ivory, and mother-of-pearl from the interior of Africa, spices from Arabia, pearls from the Gulf of Persia, precious stones and byssus from India, and silk from China.

[266] On the existence of the Therapeutes comp. Art. Philo in Smith & Wace's Dict. of Chr. Biogr. vol. iv.

[267] Mommsen (Röm. Gesch. v. p. 489) ascribes this rather to Ptolemy I.

[268] Sukk. 51 b.

[269] Instead of the seven-branched golden candlestick there was a golden lamp, suspended from a chain of the same metal.

[270] Is xix. 18.

[271] Philo, ii. 646, ed. Mangey.

[272] Jos. Ag. Ap. i. 7.

[273] Men. xiii. 10, and the Gemara, 109 a and b.

[274] Strabo in Jos. Ant. xiv. 7, 2.

[275] Could there have been any such meaning in laying the Roman cross which Jesus had to bear upon a Cyrenian (St. Luke xxiii. 26)? A symbolical meaning it certainly has, as we remember that the last Jewish rebellion (132-135 a.d.), which had Bar Cochba for its Messiah, first broke out in Cyrene. What terrible vengeance was taken on those who followed the false Christ, cannot here be told.

[276] Jewish inscriptions have also been found in Mauritania and Algiers.

[277] On a tombstone at Capua (Mommsen, Inscr. R. Neap. 3,657, apud Schürer, p 629). The subject is of great importance as illustrating the rule of the Synagogue in the days of Christ. Another designation on the gravestones patr sunagogs seems to refer solely to age - one being described as 110 years old.

[278] Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. i. p. 345.

[279] Marquardt (Röm. Staatsverwalt. vol. i. p. 297). Note 5 suggests that thnos may here mean classes, ordo.

[280] Strabo in Jos. Ant. xiv. 7. 2

[281] The office itself would seem to have been continued. (Jos. Ant. xix. 5. 2.)

[282] Philo, in Flacc. ed. Mangey, ii. 527

[283] Comp. Wesseling, de Jud. Archont. pp. 63, &c., apud Schürer, pp. 627,628.

[284] Jos. Ant. xiv. 13. 5; War. i. 13, 5

[285] Ant. xix 5. 1

[286] Ant. xviii. 6.3

[287] Ant. xix. 5. 1; xx. 5. 3

[288] Comp., for example, such a trenchant chapter as Baruch vi., or the 2nd Fragm. of the Erythr. Sibyl, vv. 21-33.

[289] Probably about 200 b.c.

[290] Comp. Friedländer, u. s. ii. p. 155.

[291] A very good sketch of Apion is given by Hausrath, Neutest. Zeitg. vol. ii. pp. 187-195.

[292] Jos. Ag. Ap. ii. 4, 5, 6.

[293] Leg. ad Caj. ed. Frcf.

[294] Comp. Tacitus, Hist. v. 2-4; Plut. Sympos. iv. 5

[295] Hist. Nat. xiii. 4.

[296] Persius v. 184.

[297] Comp. the quotation of such scenes in the Introd. to the Midrash on Lamentations.

[298] Juv. Sat. xiv. 103, 104

[299] Hist. v. 13

[300] Ann. ii.85, Comp. Suet. Tib. 36.

[301] Philo, Leg. ad Caj. ed. Frcf. p. 101.

[302] Life 3.

[303] Lutterbeck (Neutest. Lehrbegr. p. 119), following up the suggestions of Wieseler (Chron. d. Apost. Zeitalt. pp. 384, 402, etc.), regards these priests as the accusers of St. Paul, who brought about his martyrdom.

[304] Comp., for example, Mart. xi. 94; Jos. Life 3.

[305] Martialis, u. s. The Anchialus' by whom the poet would have the Jew swear, is a corruption of Anochi Elohim (I am God') in Ex. xx. 2. Comp. Ewald, Gesch. Isr. vol. vii. p. 27.

[306] Mart. i.41; xii. 57.

[307] Described by Bosio, but since unknown. Comp. Friedländer, u. s. vol. iii. pp. 510, 511.

[308] Sat. iii.13; vi. 542.

[309] Comp. Friedländer, u. s. vol. iii. p.510.

[310] Midr. R. on Ex. 36.

[311] Jos. Ant. xvii. 12. 1; War ii. 7. 1.

[312] Comp. Cassel, in Ersch u. Gruber's Encyclop. 2d sect. vol. xxvii. p. 147.

[313] Acts xxviii. 17.

[314] Comp. Friedländer, u. s. vol. ii. pp. 17-204 passim.

[315] It was probably this unity of Israelitish interests which Cicero had in view (Pro Flacco, 28) when he took such credit for his boldness in daring to stand up against the Jews - unless, indeed, the orator only meant to make a point in favour of his client.

[316] Jos. Ant. xvii. 11. 1; War. ii. 6. 1.

[317] Life 3.

[318] Schiller (Gesch. d. Röm. Kaiserreichs, p. 583) denies that Poppæa was a proselyte. It is, indeed, true, as he argues, that the fact of her entombment affords no absolute evidence of this, if taken by itself; but comp. Jos. Ant. xx. 8. 11; Life 3.

[319] The question of Jewish proselytes will be treated in another place.

[320] 19 a.d.

[321] Comp. Jos. Ant. xiv. 10, passim, and xvi. 6. These edicts are collated in Krebs. Decreta Romanor. pro Jud. facta, with long comments by the author, and by Levyssohn.

[322] Ob.280 b.c.

[323] Ab. Sar ii. 6.

[324] Jos. Ant. xii. 3. 1.

[325] 44 b.c.

[326] Suet. Cæs. 84.


CHAPTER VI.
POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS LIFE OF THE JEWISH DISPERSION IN THE WEST - THEIR UNION IN THE GREAT HOPE OF THE COMING DELIVERER.

It was not only in the capital of the Empire that the Jews enjoyed the rights of Roman citizenship. Many in Asia Minor could boast of the same privilege. [327] The Seleucidic rulers of Syria had previously bestowed kindred privileges on the Jews in many places. Thus, they possessed in some cities twofold rights: the status of Roman and the privileges of Asiatic, citizenship. Those who enjoyed the former were entitled to a civil government of their own, under archons of their choosing, quite independent of the rule and tribunals of the cities in which they lived. As instances, we may mention the Jews of Sardis, Ephesus, Delos, and apparently also of Antioch. But, whether legally entitled to it or not, they probably everywhere claimed the right of self-government, and exercised it, except in times of persecution. But, as already stated, they also possessed, besides this, at least in many places, the privileges of Asiatic citizenship, to the same extent as their heathen fellow-citizens. This twofold status and jurisdiction might have led to serious complications, if the archons had not confined their authority to strictly communal interests, [328] without interfering with the ordinary administration of justice, and the Jews willingly submitted to the sentences pronounced by their own tribunals.

But, in truth, they enjoyed even more than religious liberty and communal privileges. It was quite in the spirit of the times, that potentates friendly to Israel bestowed largesses alike on the Temple in Jerusalem, and on the Synagogues in the provinces. The magnificent porch of the Temple was adorned' with many such dedicated gifts.' Thus, we read of repeated costly offerings by the Ptolemies, of a golden wreath which Sosius offered after he had taken Jerusalem in conjunction with Herod, and of rich flagons which Augustus and his wife had given to the Sanctuary. [329] And, although this same Emperor praised his grandson for leaving Jerusalem unvisited on his journey from Egypt to Syria, yet he himself made provision for a daily sacrifice on his behalf, which only ceased when the last war against Rome was proclaimed. [330] Even the circumstance that there was a Court of the Gentiles,' with marble screen beautifully ornamented, bearing tablets which, in Latin and Greek, warned Gentiles not to proceed further, [331] proves that the Sanctuary was largely attended by others than Jews, or, in the words of Josephus, that it was held in reverence by nations from the ends of the earth.' [332]

In Syria also, where, according to Josephus, the largest number of Jews lived, [333] they experienced special favour. In Antioch their rights and immunities were recorded on tables of brass. [334]

But, indeed, the capital of Syria was one of their favourite resorts. It will be remembered what importance attached to it in the early history of the Christian Church. Antioch was the third city of the Empire, and lay just outside what the Rabbinists designated as Syria' and still regarded as holy ground. Thus it formed, so to speak, an advanced post between the Palestinian and the Gentile world. Its chief Synagogue was a magnificent building, to which the successors of Antiochus Epiphanes had given the spoils which that monarch had brought from the Temple. The connection between Jerusalem and Antioch was very close. All that occurred in that city was eagerly watched in the Jewish capital. The spread of Christianity there must have excited deep concern. Careful as the Talmud is not to afford unwelcome information, which might have led to further mischief, we know that three of the principal Rabbis went thither on a mission - we can scarcely doubt for the purpose of arresting the progress of Christianity. Again, we find at a later period a record of religious controversy in Antioch between Rabbis and Christians. [335] Yet the Jews of Antioch were strictly Hellenistic, and on one occasion a great Rabbi was unable to find among them a copy of even the Book of Esther in Hebrew, which, accordingly, he had to write out from memory for his use in their Synagogue. A fit place this great border-city, crowded by Hellenists, in close connection with Jerusalem, to be the birthplace of the name Christian,' to send forth a Paul on his mission to the Gentile world, and to obtain for it a charter of citizenship far nobler than that of which the record was graven on tablets of brass.

But, whatever privileges Israel might enjoy, history records an almost continuous series of attempts, on the part of the communities among whom they lived, to deprive them not only of their immunities, but even of their common rights. Foremost among the reasons of this antagonism we place the absolute contrariety between heathenism and the Synagogue, and the social isolation which Judaism rendered necessary. It was avowedly unlawful for the Jew even to keep company, or come unto one of another nation.' [336] To quarrel with this, was to find fault with the law and the religion which made him a Jew. But besides, there was that pride of descent, creed, enlightenment, and national privileges, which St. Paul so graphically sums up as making boast of God and of the law.' [337] However differently they might have expressed it, Philo and Hillel would have been at one as to the absolute superiority of the Jew as such. Pretensions of this kind must have been the more provocative, that the populace at any rate envied the prosperity which Jewish industry, talent, and capital everywhere secured. Why should that close, foreign corporation possess every civic right, and yet be free from many of its burdens? Why should their meetings be excepted from the collegia illicita?' why should they alone be allowed to export part of the national wealth, to dedicate it to their superstition in Jerusalem? The Jew could not well feign any real interest in what gave its greatness to Ephesus, it attractiveness to Corinth, its influence to Athens. He was ready to profit by it; but his inmost thought must have been contempt, and all he wanted was quietness and protection in his own pursuits. What concern had he with those petty squabbles, ambitions, or designs, which agitated the turbulent populace in those Grecian cities? What cared he for their popular meetings and noisy discussions? The recognition of the fact that, as Jews, they were strangers in a strange land, made them so loyal to the ruling powers, and procured them the protection of kings and Cæsars. But it also roused the hatred of the populace.

That such should have been the case, and these widely scattered members have been united in one body, is a unique fact in history. Its only true explanation must be sought in a higher Divine impulse. The links which bound them together were: a common creed, a common life, a common centre, and a common hope.

Wherever the Jew sojourned, or however he might differ from his brethern, Monotheism, the Divine mission of Moses, and the authority of the Old Testament, were equally to all unquestioned articles of belief. It may well have been that the Hellenistic Jew, living in the midst of a hostile, curious, and scurrilous population, did not care to exhibit over his house and doorposts, at the right of the entrance, the Mezuzah, [338] which enclosed the folded parchment that, on twenty-two lines, bore the words from Deut. iv. 4-9 and xi. 13-21, or to call attention by their breadth to the Tephillin, [339] or phylacteries on his left arm and forehead, or even to make observable the Tsitsith, [340] or fringes on the borders of his garments. [341] Perhaps, indeed, all these observances may at that time not have been deemed incumbent on every Jew. [342] At any rate, we do not find mention of them in heathen writers. Similarly, they could easily keep out of view, or they may not have had conveniences for, their prescribed purifications. But in every place, as we have abundant evidence, where there were at least ten Batlanim - male householders who had leisure to give themselves to regular attendance - they had, from ancient times, [343] one, and, if possible, more Synagogues. [344] Where there was no Synagogue there was at least a Proseuche, [345] [346] open sky, after the form of a theatre, generally outside the town, near a river or the sea, for the sake of lustrations. These, as we know from classical writers, were well known to the heathen, and even frequented by them. Their Sabbath observance, their fasting on Thursdays, their Day of Atonement, their laws relating to food, and their pilgrimages to Jerusalem - all found sympathisers among Judaising Gentiles. [347] They even watched to see, how the Sabbath lamp was kindled, and the solemn prayers spoken which marked the beginning of the Sabbath. [348] But to the Jew the Synagogue was the bond of union throughout the world. There, on Sabbath and feast days they met to read, from the same Lectionary, the same Scripture-lessons which their brethren read throughout the world, and to say, in the words of the same liturgy, their common prayers, catching echoes of the gorgeous Temple-services in Jerusalem. The heathen must have been struck with awe as they listened, and watched in the gloom of the Synagogue the mysterious light at the far curtained end, where the sacred oracles were reverently kept, wrapped in costly coverings. Here the stranger Jew also would find himself at home: the same arrangements as in his own land, and the well-known services and prayers. A hospitable welcome at the Sabbath-meal, and in many a home, would be pressed on him, and ready aid be proffered in work or trial.

For, deepest of all convictions was that of their common centre; strongest of all feelings was the love which bound them to Palestine and to Jerusalem, the city of God, the joy of all the earth, the glory of His people Israel. If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth,' Hellenist and Eastern equally realised this. As the soil of his native land, the deeds of his people, or the graves of his fathers draw the far-off wanderer to the home of his childhood, or fill the mountaineer in his exile with irrepressible longing, so the sounds which the Jew heard in his Synagogue, and the observances which he kept. Nor was it with him merely matter of patriotism, of history, or of association. It was a religious principle, a spiritual hope. No truth more firmly rooted in the consciousness of all, than that in Jerusalem alone men could truly worship. [349] As Daniel of old had in his hour of worship turned towards the Holy City, so in the Synagogue and in his prayers every Jew turned towards Jerusalem; and anything that might imply want of reverence, when looking in that direction, was considered a grievous sin. From every Synagogue in the Diaspora the annual Temple-tribute went up to Jerusalem, [350] no doubt often accompanied by rich votive offerings. Few, who could undertake or afford the journey, but had at some time or other gone up to the Holy City to attend one of the great feasts. [351] Philo, who was held by the same spell as the most bigoted Rabbinist, had himself been one of those deputed by his fellow-citizens to offer prayers and sacrifices in the great Sanctuary. [352] Views and feelings of this kind help us to understand, how, on some great feast, as Josephus states on sufficient authority, the population of Jerusalem - within its ecclesiastical boundaries - could have swelled to the enormous number of nearly three millions. [353]

And still, there was an even stronger bond in their common hope. That hope pointed them all, wherever scattered, back to Palestine. To them the coming of the Messiah undoubtedly implied the restoration of Israel's kingdom, and, as a first part in it, the return of the dispersed.' [354] Indeed, every devout Jew prayed, day by day: Proclaim by Thy loud trumpet our deliverance, and raise up a banner to gather our dispersed, and gather us together from the four ends of the earth. Blessed be Thou, O Lord! Who gatherest the outcasts of Thy people Israel.' [355] That prayer included in its generality also the lost ten tribes. So, for example, the prophecy [356] was rendered: They hasten hither, like a bird out of Egypt,' - referring to Israel of old; and like a dove out of the land of Assyria' - referring to the ten tribes. [357] [358] And thus even these wanderers, so long lost, were to be reckoned in the field of the Good Shepherd. [359]

It is worth while to trace, how universally and warmly both Eastern and Western Judaism cherished this hope of all Israel's return to their own land. The Targumim bear repeated reference to it; [360] and although there may be question as to the exact date of these paraphrases, it cannot be doubted, that in this respect they represented the views of the Synagogue at the time of Jesus. For the same reason we may gather from the Talmud and earliest commentaries, what Israel's hope was in regard to the return of the dispersed.' [361] It was a beautiful idea to liken Israel to the olive-tree, which is never stripped of its leaves. [362] The storm of trial that had swept over it was, indeed, sent in judgment, but not to destroy, only to purify. Even so, Israel's persecutions had served to keep them from becoming mixed with the Gentiles. Heaven and earth might be destroyed, but not Israel; and their final deliverance would far outstrip in marvellousness that from Egypt. The winds would blow to bring together the dispersed; nay, if there were a single Israelite in a land, however distant, he would be restored. With every honour would the nations bring them back. The patriarchs and all the just would rise to share in the joys Patræ of the new possession of their land; new hymns as well as the old ones would rise to the praise of God. Nay, the bounds of the land would be extended far beyond what they had ever been, and made as wide as originally promised to Abraham. Nor would that possession be ever taken from them, nor those joys be ever succeeded by sorrows. [363] In view of such general expectations we cannot fail to mark with what wonderful sobriety the Apostles put the question to Jesus: Wilt Thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?' [364]

Hopes and expectations such as these are expressed not only in Talmudical writings. We find them throughout that very interesting Apocalyptic class of literature, the Pseudepigrapha, to which reference has already been made. The two earliest of them, the Book of Enoch and the Sibylline Oracles, are equally emphatic on this subject. The seer in the Book of Enoch beholds Israel in the Messianic time as coming in carriages, and as borne on the wings of the wind from East, and West, and South. [365] Fuller details of that happy event are furnished by the Jewish Sibyl. In her utterances these three events are connected together: the coming of the Messiah, the rebuilding of the Temple, [366] and the restoration of the dispersed, [367] when all nations would bring their wealth to the House of God. [368] [369] The latter trait specially reminds us of their Hellenistic origin. A century later the same joyous confidence, only perhaps more clearly worded, appears in the so-called Psalter of Solomon.' Thus the seventeenth Psalm bursts into this strain: Blessed are they who shall live in those days - in the reunion of the tribes, which God brings about.' [370] And no wonder, since they are the days when the King, the Son of David,' [371] having purged Jerusalem [372] and destroyed the heathen by the word of His mouth, [373] would gather together a holy people which He would rule with justice, and judge the tribes of His people, [374] dividing them over the land according to tribes;' when no stranger would any longer dwell among them.' [375]

Another pause, and we reach the time when Jesus the Messiah appeared. Knowing the characteristics of that time, we scarcely wonder that the Book of Jubilees, which dates from that period, should have been Rabbinic in its cast rather than Apocalyptic. Yet even there the reference to the future glory is distinct. Thus we are told, that, though for its wickedness Israel had been scattered, God would gather them all from the midst of the heathen,' build among them His Sanctuary, and dwell with them.' That Sanctuary was to be for ever and ever, and God would appear to the eye of every one, and every one acknowledge that He was the God of Israel, and the Father of all the Children of Jacob, and King upon Mount Zion, from everlasting to everlasting. And Zion and Jerusalem shall be holy.' [376] When listening to this language of, perhaps, a contemporary of Jesus, we can in some measure understand the popular indignation which such a charge would call forth, as that the Man of Nazareth had proposed to destroy the Temple, [377] or that he thought merely of the children of Jacob.

There is an ominous pause of a century before we come to the next work of this class, which bears the title of the Fourth Book of Esdras. That century had been decisive in the history of Israel. Jesus had lived and died; His Apostles had gone forth to bear the tidings of the new Kingdom of God; the Church had been founded and separated from the Synagogue; and the Temple had been destroyed, the Holy City laid waste, and Israel undergone sufferings, compared with which the former troubles might almost be forgotten. But already the new doctrine had struck its roots deep alike in Eastern and in Hellenistic soil. It were strange indeed if, in such circumstances, this book should not have been different from any that had preceded it; stranger still, if earnest Jewish minds and ardent Jewish hearts had remained wholly unaffected by the new teaching, even though the doctrine of the Cross still continued a stumbling-block, and the Gospel announcement a rock of offence. But perhaps we could scarcely have been prepared to find, as in the Fourth Book of Esdras, doctrinal views which were wholly foreign to Judaism, and evidently derived from the New Testament, and which, in logical consistency, would seem to lead up to it. [378] The greater part of the book may be described as restless tossing, the seer being agitated by the problem and the consequences of sin, which here for the first and only time is presented as in the New Testament; by the question, why there are so few who are saved; and especially by what to a Jew must have seemed the inscrutable, terrible mystery of Israel's sufferings and banishment. [379] Yet, so far as we can see, no other way of salvation is indicated than that by works and personal righteousness. Throughout there is a tone of deep sadness and intense earnestness. It almost seems sometimes, as if one heard the wind of the new dispensation sweeping before it the withered leaves of Israel's autumn. Thus far for the principal portion of the book. The second, or Apocalyptic, part, endeavors to solve the mystery of Israel's state by foretelling their future. Here also there are echoes of New Testament utterances. What the end is to be, we are told in unmistakable language. His Son,' Whom the Highest has for a long time preserved, to deliver the creature' by Him, is suddenly to appear in the form of a Man. From His mouth shall proceed alike woe, fire, and storm, which are the tribulations of the last days. And as they shall gather for war against Him, He shall stand on Mount Zion, and the Holy City shall come down from heaven, prepared and ready, and He shall destroy all His enemies. But a peaceable multitude shall now be gathered to Him. These are the ten tribes, who, to separate themselves from the ways of the heathen, had wandered far away, miraculously helped, a journey of one and a half years, and who were now similarly restored by God to their own land. But as for the Son,' or those who accompanied him, no one on earth would be able to see or know them, till the day of His appearing. [380] [381]

It seems scarcely necessary to complete the series of testimony by referring in detail to a book, called The Prophecy and Assumption of Moses,' and to what is known as the Apocalypse of Baruch, the servant of Jeremiah. Both date from probably a somewhat later period than the Fourth Book of Esdras, and both are fragmentary. The one distinctly anticipates the return of the ten tribes; [382] the other, in the letter to the nine and a half tribes, far beyond the Euphrates, [383] with which the book closes, preserves an ominous silence on that point, or rather alludes to it in language which so strongly reminds us of the adverse opinion expressed in the Talmud, that we cannot help suspecting some internal connection between the two. [384]

The writings to which we have referred have all a decidedly Hellenistic tinge of thought. [385] Still they are not the outcome of pure Hellenism. It is therefore with peculiar interest that we turn to Philo, the great representative of that direction, to see whether he would admit an idea so purely national and, as it might seem, exclusive. Nor are we here left in doubt. So universal was this belief, so deep-seated the conviction, not only in the mind, but in the heart of Israel, that we could scarcely find it more distinctly expressed than by the great Alexandrian. However low the condition of Israel might be, he tells us, [386] or however scattered the people to the ends of the earth, the banished would, on a given sign, be set free in one day. In consistency with his system, he traces this wondrous event to their sudden conversion to virtue, which would make their masters ashamed to hold any longer in bondage those who were so much better than themselves. Then, gathering as by one impulse, the dispersed would return from Hellas, from the lands of the barbarians, from the isles, and from the continents, led by a Divine, superhuman apparition invisible to others, and visible only to themselves. On their arrival in Palestine the waste places and the wilderness would be inhabited, and the barren land transformed into fruitfulness.

Whatever shades of difference, then, we may note in the expression of these views, all anticipate the deliverance of Israel, their restoration, and future pre-eminent glory, and they all connect these events with the coming of the Messiah. This was the promise' unto which, in their instant service night and day, the twelve tribes,' however grievously oppressed, hoped to come. [387] To this sure word of prophecy' the strangers scattered' throughout all lands would take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place,' until the day dawned, and the day-star rose in their hearts. [388] It was this which gave meaning to their worship, filled them with patience in suffering, kept them separate from the nations around, and ever fixed their hearts and thoughts upon Jerusalem. For the Jerusalem' which was above was the mother' of them all. Yet a little while, and He that would come should come, and not tarry - and then all the blessing and glory would be theirs. At any moment the gladsome tidings might burst upon them, that He had come, when their glory would shine out from one end of the heavens to the other. All the signs of His Advent had come to pass. Perhaps, indeed, the Messiah might even now be there, ready to manifest Himself, so soon as the voice of Israel's repentance called Him from His hiding. Any hour might that banner be planted on the top of the mountains; that glittering sword be unsheathed; that trumpet sound. Closer then, and still closer, must be their connection with Jerusalem, as their salvation drew nigh; more earnest their longing, and more eager their gaze, till the dawn of that long expected day tinged the Eastern sky with its brightness.


[327] Jos. Ant. xiv. 10, passim; Acts xxii. 25-29.

[328] Comp. Acts xix. 14 ix. 2.

[329] Jos. Ant. xii. 2. 5; xiii. 3. 4; Ag. Ap.ii. 5; Ant. xiv. 16. 4; War v. 13.

[330] Jos. War ii. 10. 4; ii. 17.

[331] One of these tablets has lately been excavated. Comp. The Temple: its Ministry and Services in the Time of Christ,' p. 24.

[332] War iv. 4. 3; comp. War ii. 17. 2-4.

[333] War, vii. 3. 3.

[334] War, vii. 5. 2.

[335] Comp. generally Neubauer, Géogr. du Talmud, pp. 312, 313.

[336] Acts x.28.

[337] Comp. Rom. ii. 17-24.

[338] Ber. iii. 3; Meg. i. 8; Moed K. iii. 4; Men. iii. 7. Comp. Jos. Ant. iv.8.13; and the tractate Mezuzah in Kirchheim, Septem libri Talmud. parvi Hierosol. pp. 12-17.

[339] St. Matt. xxiii. 5; Ber. i. 3; Shabb. vi. 2; vii. 3; xvi. 1; Er. x. 1, 2; Sheq. iii. 2; Meg. i. 8; iv. 8; Moed. Q. iii. 4; Sanh. xi. 3; Men. iii. 7; iv. 1; Kel. xviii. 8; Miqv. x. 3; yad. iii. 3. Comp. Kirchheim, Tract. Tephillin, u. s. pp. 18-21.

[340] Moed K. iii. 4; Eduy. iv. 10; Men. iii. 7; iv. 1. Comp. Kirchheim, Tract. Tsitsith, u. s. pp. 22-24.

[341] The Tephillin enclosed a transcript of Exod. xiii. 1-10, 11-16; Deut. vi. 4-9; xi. 13-21. The Tsitsith were worn in obedience to the injunction in Num. xv. 37 etc.; Deut. xxii. 12 (comp. St. Matt. ix. 20; xiv. 36; St. Mark v. 27; St. Luke viii. 44).

[342] It is remarkable that Aristeas seems to speak only of the phylacteries on the arm, and Philo of those for the head, while the LXX. takes the command entirely in a metaphorical sense. This has already been pointed out in that book of gigantic learning, Spencer, De Leg. Heb. p. 1213. Frankel (Uber d. Einfl. d. Pal. Exeg., pp. 89, 90) tries in vain to controvert the statement. The insufficiency of his arguments has been fully shown by Herzfeld (Gesch. d. Volk. Isr. vol. iii. p. 224).

[343] Acts xv. 21.

[344] sunagog Jos. Ant. xix. 6. 3; War, ii. 14. 4, 5; vii. 3. 3; Philo, Quod omnis probus liber, ed. Mangey, ii. p. 458; sunaggion Philo, Ad Caj. ii. p. 591; sabbateon Jos. Ant. xvi. 66. 2  proseuktrionPhilo, Vita Mosis, lib. iii., ii. p. 168.

[345] Acts xvi.13

[346] proseuch Jos. Ant. xiv. 10 23, life 54; Philo, In Flacc. ii. p. 523; Ad Caj. ii. pp. 565, 596; Epiphan. Haer. 1xxx. 1. Comp. Juven. Sat. iii. 296: Ede ubi consistas? in qua te quæro proseucha?'

[347] Comp., among others, Ovid, Ars Amat. i. 76; Juv. Sat. xvi. 96, 97; Hor. Sat. i. 5. 100; 9. 70; Suet. Aug. 93.

[348] Persius v. 180.

[349] St. John iv. 20.

[350] Comp. Jos. Ant. xiv. 7. 2; xvi. 6, passium; Philo, De Monarchia, ed. Mangey, ii. p. 224; Ad Caj. ii. p. 568; Contra Flacc. ii. p. 524.

[351] Philo, De Monarchia, ii. p. 223.

[352] Philo, in a fragment preserved in Euseb., Præpar. Ev. viii. 13. What the Temple was in the estimation of Israel, and what its loss boded, not only to them, but to the whole world, will be shown in a later part of this book.

[353] War vi. 9. 3; comp. ii. 14. 3

[354] Even Maimonides, in spite of his desire to minimise the Messianic expectancy, admits this.

[355] This is the tenth of the eighteen (or rather nineteen) benedictions in the daily prayers. Of these the first and the last three are certainly the oldest. But this tenth also dates from before the destruction of Jerusalem. Comp. Zunz, Gottesd. Vortr. d. Juden, p. 368.

[356] Hos. xi. 11.

[357] Midr. On Cant. i. 15, ed. Warshau, p. 11b.

[358] Comp. Jer. Sanh. x. 6; Sanh. 110 b: Yalk. Shim.

[359] The suggestion is made by Castelli, Il Messia, p. 253.

[360] Notably in connection with Ex. Xii. 42 (both in the Pseudo-Jon. And Jer. Targum); Numb. xxiv. 7 (Jer. Targ.); Deut. xxx.4 (targ. Ps.-Jon.); Is xiv. 29; Jer. xxxiii. 13; Hos. xiv. 7; Zech. x. 6. Dr. Drummond, in his Jewish Messiah,' p. 335, quotes from the Targum on Lamentations. But this dates from long after the Talmudic period.

[361] As each sentence which follows would necessitate one or more references to different works, the reader, who may be desirous to verify the statements in the text, is generally referred to Castelli, u. s. pp. 251-255.

[362] Men. 53 b.

[363] The fiction of two Messiahs - one the Son of David, the other the Son of Joseph, the latter being connected with the restoration of the ten tribes - has been conclusively shown to be the post-Christian date (comp. Schöttgen, Horæ Hebr. i. p. 359; and Wünsche, Leiden d. Mess. p. 109). Possibly it was invented to find an explanation for Zech. xii. 10 (comp. Succ. 52 a), just as the Socinian doctrine of the assumption of Christ into heaven at the beginning of His ministry was invented to account for St. John iii. 13.

[364] Acts i.6.

[365] Book of En. ch. lvii.; comp. xc.33.

[366] B. iii. 286-294; comp. B. v. 414-433.

[367] B. iii. 732-735.

[368] B. iii. 766-783.

[369] M. Maurice Vernes (Hist. Des Idées Messian. pp. 43-119) maintains that the writers of Enoch and Or. Sib. 3 expected this period under the rule of the Maccabees, and regarded one of them as the Messiah. It implies a peculiar reading of history, and a lively imagination, to arrive at such a conclusion.

[370] Ps. of Sol. vxii. 50; comp. also Ps. xi.

[371] Ps. Sal. xviii. 23.

[372] v. 25.

[373] v. 27.

[374] v. 28.

[375] vv. 30, 31.

[376] Book of Jub. Ch. i.; comp. also ch. xxiii.

[377] St. John ii. 19.

[378] The doctrinal part of IV. Esdras may be said to be saturated with the dogma of original sin, which is wholly foreign to the theology alike of Rabbinic and Hellenistic Judaism. Comp. Vis. i. ch. iii. 21, 22; iv. 30, 38; Vis. iii. ch. vi, 18, 19 (ed. Fritzsche, p. 607); 33-41; vii. 46-48; viii. 34-35.

[379] It almost seems as if there were a parallelism between this book and the Epistle to the Romans, which in its dogmatic part, seems successively to take up these three subjects, although from quite another point of view. How different the treatment is, need not be told.

[380] Vis. vi. ch. xiii. 27-52.

[381] The better reading is in tempore diei ejus. (v. 52).'

[382] Prophet. et Ass. Mos. iv. 7-14; vii. 20.

[383] Ap. Bar. xxvii. 22.

[384] In Sanh. 110 b we read, Our Rabbis teach, that the Ten Tribes have no part in the era to come, because it is written "The Lord drave them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land." "The Lord drave them from their land" - in the present era - "and cast them into another land," in the era to come.' In curious agreement with this, Pseudo-Baruch writes to the nine and a half tribes to prepare their hearts to that which they had formerly believed,' least they should suffer in both eras (ab utroque soeculo),' being led captive in the one, and tormented in the other (Apoc. Bar. lxxxiii. 8).

[385] Thus, for example, the assertion that there had been individuals who fulfilled the commandments of God, Vis. i. ch. iii. 36; the domain of reason, iv. 22; v. 9; general Messianic blessings to the world at large, Vis. i. ch. iv. 27, 28; the idea of a law within their minds, like that of which St. Paul speaks in the case of the heathen, Vis. iii. ch. vi. 45-47 (ed. Fritzsche, p. 609). These are only instances, and we refer besides to the general cast of the reasoning.

[386] De Execrat. ed. Frcf. pp. 936, 937.

[387] Acts xxvi. 7.

[388] 2 Pet. i. 19.


CHAPTER VII.
IN PALESTINE - JEWS AND GENTILES IN THE LAND' - THEIR MUTUAL RELATIONS AND FEELINGS - THE WALL OF SEPARATION.'

THE pilgrim who, leaving other countries, entered Palestine, must have felt as if he had crossed the threshold of another world. Manners, customs, institutions, law, life, nay, the very intercourse between man and man, were quite different. All was dominated by the one all-absorbing idea of religion. It penetrated every relation of life. Moreover, it was inseparably connected with the soil, as well as the people of Palestine, at least so long as the Temple stood. Nowhere else could the Shekhinah dwell or manifest itself; nor could, unless under exceptional circumstances, and for the merit of the fathers,' the spirit of prophecy be granted outside its bounds. To the orthodox Jew the mental and spiritual horizon was bounded by Palestine. It was the land'; all the rest of the world, except Babylonia, was outside the land.' No need to designate it specially as holy;' for all here bore the impress of sanctity, as he understood it. Not that the soil itself, irrespective of the people, was holy; it was Israel that made it such. For, had not God given so many commandments and ordinances, some of them apparently needless, simply to call forth the righteousness of Israel; [389] did not Israel possess the merits of the fathers,' [390] and specially that of Abraham, itself so valuable that, even if his descendants had, morally speaking, been as a dead body, his merit would have been imputed to them? [391] More than that, God had created the world on account of Israel, [392] and for their merit, making preparation for them long before their appearance on the scene, just as a king who foresees the birth of his son; nay, Israel had been in God's thoughts not only before anything had actually been created, but even before every other creative thought. [393] If these distinctions seem excessive, they were, at least, not out of proportion to the estimate formed of Israel's merits. In theory, the latter might be supposed to flow from good works,' of course, including the strict practice of legal piety, and from study of the law.' But in reality it was study' alone to which such supreme merit attached. Practice required knowledge for its direction; such as the Am-ha-arets (country people,' plebeians, in the Jewish sense of being unlearned) could not possess, [394] who had bartered away the highest crown for a spade with which to dig. And the school of Arum' - the sages - the great ones of the world' had long settled it, that study was before works. [395] And how could it well be otherwise, since the studies, which engaged His chosen children on earth, equally occupied their Almighty Father in heaven? [396] Could anything, then, be higher than the peculiar calling of Israel, or better qualify them for being the sons of God?

It is necessary to transport oneself into this atmosphere to understand the views entertained at the time of Jesus, or to form any conception of their infinite contrast in spirit to the new doctrine. The abhorrence, not unmingled with contempt, of all Gentile ways, thoughts and associations; the worship of the letter of the Law; the self-righteousness, and pride of descent, and still more of knowledge, become thus intelligible to us, and, equally so, the absolute antagonism to the claims of a Messiah, so unlike themselves and their own ideal. His first announcement might, indeed, excite hope, soon felt to have been vain; and His miracles might startle for a time. But the boundary lines of the Kingdom which He traced were essentially different from those which they had fixed, and within which they had arranged everything, alike for the present and the future. Had He been content to step within them, to complete and realise what they had indicated, it might have been different. Nay, once admit their fundamental ideas, and there was much that was beautiful, true, and even grand in the details. But it was exactly in the former that the divergence lay. Nor was there any possibility of reform or progress here. The past, the present, and the future, alike as regarded the Gentile world and Israel, were irrevocably fixed; or rather, it might almost be said, there were not such - all continuing as they had been from the creation of the world, nay, long before it. The Torah had really existed 2,000 years before Creation; [397] the patriarchs had had their Academies of study, and they had known and observed all the ordinances; and traditionalism had the same origin, both as to time and authority, as the Law itself. As for the heathen nations, the Law had been offered by God to them, but refused, and even their after repentance would prove hypocritical, as all their excuses would be shown to be futile. But as for Israel, even though their good deeds should be few, yet, by cumulating them from among all the people, they would appear great in the end, and God would exact payment for their sins as a man does from his friends, taking little sums at a time. It was in this sense, that the Rabbis employed that sublime figure, representing the Church as one body, of which all the members suffered and joyed together, which St. Paul adopted and applied in a vastly different and spiritual sense. [398]

If, on the one hand, the pre-eminence of Israel depended on the Land, and, on the other, that of the Land on the presence of Israel in it, the Rabbinical complaint was, indeed, well grounded, that its boundaries were becoming narrow.' We can scarcely expect any accurate demarcation of them, since the question, what belonged to it, was determined by ritual and theological, not by geographical considerations. Not only the immediate neighborhood (as in the case of Ascalon), but the very wall of a city (as of Acco and of Cæsarea) might be Palestinian, and yet the city itself be regarded as outside' the sacred limits. All depended on who had originally possessed, and now held a place, and hence what ritual obligations lay upon it. Ideally, as we may say, the land of promise' included all which God had covenanted to give to Israel, although never yet actually possessed by them. Then, in a more restricted sense, the land' comprised what they who came up from Egypt took possession of, from Chezib [about three hours north of Acre] and unto the river [Euphrates], and unto Amanah.' This included, of course, the conquests made by David in the most prosperous times of the Jewish commonwealth, supposed to have extended over Mesopotamia, Syria, Zobah, Achlah, &c. To all these districts the general name of Soria, or Syria, was afterwards given. This formed, at the time of which we write, a sort of inner band around the land,' in its narrowest and only real sense; just as the countries in which Israel was specially interested, such as Egypt, Babylon, Ammon, and Moab, formed an outer band. These lands were heathen, and yet not quite heathen, since the dedication of the so-called Terumoth, or first-fruits in a prepared state, was expected from them, while Soria shared almost all the obligations of Palestine, except those of the second tithes,' and the fourth year's product of plants. [399] But the wavesheaf at the Paschal Feast, and the two loaves at Pentecost, could only be brought from what had grown on the holy soil itself. This latter was roughly defined, as all which they who came up from Babylon took possession of, in the land of Israel, and unto Chezib.' Viewed in this light, there was a special significance in the fact that Antioch, where the name Christian' first marked the new Sect' which had sprung up in Palestine, [400] and where the first Gentile Church was formed, [401] lay just outside the northern boundary of the land.' Similarly, we understand, why those Jewish zealots who would fain have imposed on the new Church the yoke of the Law, [402] concentrated their first efforts on that Syria which was regarded as a kind of outer Palestine.

But, even so, there was a gradation of sanctity in the Holy Land itself, in accordance with ritual distinctions. Ten degrees are here enumerated, beginning with the bare soil of Palestine, and culminating in the Most Holy Place in the Temple - each implying some ritual distinction, which did not attach to a lower degree. And yet, although the very dust of heathen soil was supposed to carry defilement, like corruption or the grave, the spots most sacred were everywhere surrounded by heathenism; nay, its traces were visible in Jerusalem itself. The reasons of this are to be sought in the political circumstances of Palestine, and in the persistent endeavour of its rulers - with the exception of a very brief period under the Maccabees - to Grecianise the country, so as to eradicate that Jewish particularism which must always be antagonistic to every foreign element. In general, Palestine might be divided into the strictly Jewish territory, and the so-called Hellenic cities. The latter had been built at different periods, and were politically constituted after the model of the Greek cities, having their own senates (generally consisting of several hundred persons) and magistrates, each city with its adjoining territory forming a sort of commonwealth of its own. But it must not be imagined, that these districts were inhabited exclusively, or even chiefly, by Greeks. One of these groups, that towards Peræa, was really Syrian, and formed part of Syria Decapolis; [403] while the other, along the coast of the Mediterranean, was Phoenician. Thus the land' was hemmed in, east and west, within its own borders, while south and north stretched heathen or semi-heathen districts. The strictly Jewish territory consisted of Judæa proper, to which Galilee, Samaria and Peræa were joined as Toparchies. These Toparchies consisted of a group of townships, under a Metropolis. The villages and townships themselves had neither magistrates of their own, nor civic constitution, nor lawful popular assemblies. Such civil adminstration as they required devolved on Scribes' (the so-called komogrammates or topogrammates). Thus Jerusalem was really, as well as nominally, the capital of the whole land. Judæa itself was arranged into eleven, or rather, more exactly, into nine Toparchies, of which Jerusalem was the chief. While, therefore, the Hellenic cities were each independent of the other, the whole Jewish territory formed only one Civitas.' Rule, government, tribute - in short, political life - centred in Jerusalem.

But this is not all. From motives similar to those which led to the founding of other Hellenic cities, Herod the Great and his immediate successors built a number of towns, which were inhabited chiefly by Gentiles, and had independent constitutions, like those of the Hellenic cities. Thus, Herod himself built Sebaste (Samaria), in the centre of the country; Cæsarea in the west, commanding the sea-coast; Gaba in Galilee, close to the great plain of Esdraelon; and Esbonitis in Peræa. [404] Similarly, Philip the Tetrarch built Cæsarea Philippi and Julias (Bethsaida-Julias, on the western shore of the lake); and Herod Antipas another Julias, and Tiberias. [405] The object of these cities was twofold. As Herod, well knowing his unpopularity, surrounded himself by foreign mercenaries, and reared fortresses around his palace and the Temple which he built, so he erected these fortified posts, which he populated with strangers, as so many outworks, to surround and command Jerusalem and the Jews on all sides. Again, as, despite his profession of Judaism, he reared magnificent heathen temples in honour of Augustus at Sebaste and Cæsarea, so those cities were really intended to form centres of Grecian influence within the sacred territory itself. At the same time, the Herodian cities enjoyed not the same amount of liberty as the Hellenic,' which, with the exception of certain imposts, were entirely self-governed, while in the former there were representatives of the Herodian rulers. [406]

Although each of these towns and districts had its special deities and rites, some being determined by local traditions, their prevailing character may be described as a mixture of Greek and Syrian worship, the former preponderating, as might be expected. [407] On the other hand, Herod and his successors encouraged the worship of the Emperor and of Rome, which, characteristically, was chiefly practised in the East. [408] Thus, in the temple which Herod built to Augustus in Cæsarea, there were statues of the Emperor as Olympian Zeus, and of Rome as Hera. [409] He was wont to excuse this conformity to heathenism before his own people on the ground of political necessity. Yet, even if his religious inclinations had not been in that direction, he would have earnestly striven to Grecianise the people. Not only in Cæsarea, but even in Jerusalem, he built a theatre and amphitheatre, where at great expense games were held every four years in honour of Augustus. [410] Nay, he placed over the great gate of Temple at Jerusalem a massive golden eagle, the symbol of Roman dominion, as a sort of counterpart to that gigantic golden vine, the symbol of Israel, which hung above the entrance to the Holy Place. These measures, indeed, led to popular indignation, and even to conspiracies and tumults, [411] though not of the same general and intense character, as when, at a later period, Pilate sought to introduce into Jerusalem images of the Emperor, or when the statue of Caligula was to be placed in the Temple. In connection with this, it is curious to notice that the Talmud, while on the whole disapproving of attendance at theatres and amphitheatres - chiefly on the ground that it implies sitting in the seat of scorners,' and might involve contributions to the maintenance of idol-worship - does not expressly prohibit it, nor indeed speak very decidedly on the subject. [412]

The views of the Rabbis in regard to pictorial representations are still more interesting, as illustrating their abhorrence of all contact with idolatry. We mark here differences at two, if not at three periods, according to the outward circumstances of the people. The earliest and strictest opinions [413] absolutely forbade any representation of things in heaven, on earth, or in the waters. But the Mishnah [414] seems to relax these prohibitions by subtle distinctions, which are still further carried out in the Talmud. [415]

To those who held such stringent views, it must have been peculiarly galling to see their most sacred feelings openly outraged by their own rulers. Thus, the Asmonean princess, Alexandra, the mother-in-law of Herod, could so far forget the traditions of her house, as to send portraits of her son and daughter to Mark Antony for infamous purposes, in hope of thereby winning him for her ambitious plans. [416] One would be curious to know who painted these pictures, for, when the statue of Caligula was to be made for the Temple at Jerusalem, no native artist could be found, and the work was entrusted to Phoenicians. It must have been these foreigners also who made the figures,' with which Herod adorned his palace at Jerusalem, and the brazen statues' in the gardens through which the water ran out,' [417] as well as the colossal statues at Cæsarea, and those of the three daughters of Agrippa, which after his death [418] were so shamefully abused by the soldiery at Sebaste and Cæsarea. [419]

This abhorrence of all connected with idolatry, and the contempt entertained for all that was non-Jewish, will in great measure explain the code of legislation intended to keep the Jew and Gentile apart. If Judæa had to submit to the power of Rome, it could at least avenge itself in the Academies of its sages. Almost innumerable stories are told in which Jewish sages, always easily, confute Roman and Greek philosophers; and others, in which even a certain Emperor (Antoninus) is represented as constantly in the most menial relation of self-abasement before a Rabbi. [420] Rome, which was the fourth beast of Daniel, [421] would in the age to come, [422] when Jerusalem would be the metropolis of all lands, [423] be the first to excuse herself on false though vain pleas for her wrongs to Israel. [424] But on wordly grounds also, Rome was contemptible, having derived her language and writing from the Greeks, and not possessing even a hereditary succession in her empire. [425] If such was the estimate of dreaded Rome, it may be imagined in what contempt other nations were held. Well might the earth tremble,' [426] for, if Israel had not accepted the Law at Sinai, the whole world would have been destroyed, while it once more was still' when that [427] happy event took place, although God in a manner forced Israel to it. And so Israel was purified at Mount Sinai from the impurity which clung to our race in consequence of the unclean union between Eve and the serpent, and which still adhered to all other nations! [428]

To begin with, every Gentile child, so soon as born, was to be regarded as unclean. Those who actually worshipped mountains, hills, bushes, &c. - in short, gross idolaters - should be cut down with the sword. But as it was impossible to exterminate heathenism, Rabbinic legislation kept certain definite objects in view, which may be thus summarised: To prevent Jews from being inadvertently led into idolatry; to avoid all participation in idolatry; not to do anything which might aid the heathen in their worship; and, beyond all this, not to give pleasure, nor even help, to heathens. The latter involved a most dangerous principle, capable of almost indefinite application by fanaticism. Even the Mishnah goes so far [429] as to forbid aid to a mother in the hour of her need, or nourishment to her babe, in order not to bring up a child for idolatry! [430] But this is not all. Heathens were, indeed, not to be precipitated into danger, but yet not to be delivered from it. Indeed, an isolated teacher ventures even upon this statement: The best among the Gentiles, kill; the best among serpents, crush its head.' [431] Still more terrible was the fanaticism which directed, that heretics, traitors, and those who had left the Jewish faith should be thrown into actual danger, and, if they were in it, all means for their escape removed. No intercourse of any kind was to be had with such - not even to invoke their medical aid in case of danger to life, [432] since it was deemed, that he who had to do with heretics was imminent peril of becoming one himself, [433] and that, if a heretic returned to the true faith, he should die at once - partly, probably, to expiate his guilt, and partly from fear of relapse. Terrible as all this sounds, it was probably not worse than the fanaticism displayed in what are called more enlightened times. Impartial history must chronicle it, however painful, to show the circumstances in which teaching so far different was propounded by Christ. [434]

In truth, the bitter hatred which the Jew bore to the Gentile can only be explained from the estimate entertained of his character. The most vile, and even unnatural, crimes were imputed to them. It was not safe to leave cattle in their charge, to allow their women to nurse infants, or their physicians to attend the sick, nor to walk in their company, without taking precautions against sudden and unprovoked attacks. They should, so far as possible, be altogether avoided, except in cases of necessity or for the sake of business. They and theirs were defiled; their houses unclean, as containing idols or things dedicated to them; their feasts, their joyous occasions, their very contact, was polluted by idolatry; and there was no security, if a heathen were left alone in a room, that he might not, in wantonness or by carelessness, defile the wine or meat on the table, or the oil and wheat in the store. Under such circumstances, therefore, everything must be regarded as having been rendered unclean. Three days before a heathen festival (according to some, also three days after) every business transaction with them was prohibited, for fear of giving either help or pleasure. Jews were to avoid passing through a city where there was an idolatrous feast - nay, they were not even to sit down within the shadow of a tree dedicated to idol-worship. Its wood was polluted; if used in baking, the bread was unclean; if a shuttle had been made of it, not only was all cloth woven on it forbidden, but if such had been inadvertently mixed with other pieces of cloth, or a garment made from it placed with other garments, the whole became unclean. Jewish workmen were not to assist in building basilicas, nor stadia, nor places where judicial sentences were pronounced by the heathen. Of course, it was not lawful to let houses or fields, nor to sell cattle to them. Milk drawn by a heathen, if a Jew had not been present to watch it, [435] bread and oil prepared by them, were unlawful. Their wine was wholly interdicted [436] - the mere touch of a heathen polluted a whole cask; nay, even to put one's nose to heathen wine was strictly prohibited!

Painful as these details are, they might be multiplied. And yet the bigotry of these Rabbis was, perhaps, not worse than that of other sectaries. It was a painful logical necessity of their system, against which their heart, no doubt, often rebelled; and, it must be truthfully added, it was in measure accounted for by the terrible history of Israel.


[389] Mac. 23 b.

[390] Rosh HaSh. 11 a.

[391] Ber. R. 44.

[392] Yalkut §2.

[393] Ber. R. 1.

[394] Comp. Ab. ii. 5

[395] Jer. Chag. i. hal. 7, towards the end; Jer. Pes. iii.7.

[396] Ab. Z. 3 b.

[397] Shir haShir. R. on Cant. v. 11, ed Warshau, p. 26b.

[398] Eph. iv. 16.

[399] Lev. xix. 24.

[400] Acts xi. 26.

[401] Acts xi. 20, 21.

[402] Acts xv.1.

[403] The following cities probably formed the Decapolis, though it is difficult to feel quite sure in reference to one or the other of them: Damascus, Philadelphia, Raphana, Scythopolis, Gadara, Hippos Dion, Pella, Gerasa, and Canatha. On these cities, comp. Caspari, Chronol. Geogr. Einl. in d. Leben J. Christ, pp. 83-90.

[404] Herod rebuilt or built other cities, such as Antipatris, Cypros, Phasaelis, Anthedon, &c. Schürer describes the two first as built, but they were only rebuilt or fortified (comp. Ant. xiii. 15. 1; War i. 21. 8.) by Herod.

[405] He also rebuilt Sepphoris.

[406] Comp. on the subject of the civic institutions of the Roman Empire, Kuhn, Die Städt. u. bürgerl. Verf. d. Röm. Reichs, 2 vols.; and for this part. vol. ii. pp. 336-354, and pp. 370-372.

[407] A good sketch of the various rites prevailing in different places is given by Schürer, Neutest. Zeitg. pp. 378-385.

[408] Comp. Weiseler, Beitr. z richt. Wur dig. d. Evang. pp. 90, 91.

[409] Jos. Ant. xv. 9. 6; War i. 21. 5-8.

[410] The Actian games took place every fifth year, three years always intervening. The games in Jerusalem were held in the year 28 b.c. (Jos. Ant. xv. 8. 1); the first games in Cæsarea in the year 12 b.c. (Ant. xvi. 5. 1; comp. War. i. 21. 8).

[411] Ant. xv. 8. 1-4; xvii. 6. 2.

[412] So at least in a Boraitha. Comp. the discussion and the very curious arguments in favour of attendance in Ab. Zar. 18 b, and following.

[413] Mechilta on Ex. xx. 4 ed. Weiss, p. 75 a.

[414] Ab. Zar. iii.

[415] For a full statement of the Talmudical views as to images, representations on coins, and the most ancient Jewish coins, see Appendix III.

[416] Jos. Ant. xv. 2, 5 and 6.

[417] Jos. War v. 4. 4.

[418] Acts xii. 23.

[419] Ant. xix. 9. l.

[420] Comp. here the interesting tractate of Dr. Bodek, Marc. Aur. Anton. als Freund u. Zeitgenosse des R. Jehuda ha Nasi.'

[421] Dan. vii. 23.

[422] The Athidlabho, sæculum futurum,' to be distinguished from the Olam habba, the world to come.'

[423] Midr. R. on Ex. Par. 23.

[424] Ab. Z. 2 b.

[425] Ab. Z. 10 a; Gitt. 80 a.

[426] Ps. lxxvi. 9.

[427] Shabb. 88 a.

[428] Ab. Z. 22 b. But as in what follows the quotations would be too numerous, they will be omitted. Each statement, however, advanced in the text or notes is derived from part of the Talmudic tractate Abodah Zarah.

[429] Ab. Z. ii. 1.

[430] The Talmud declares it only lawful if done to avoid exciting hatred against the Jews.

[431] Mechilta, ed. Weiss, p. 33 b, line 8 from top.

[432] There is a well-known story told of a Rabbi who was bitten by a serpent, and about to be cured by the invocation of the name of Jesus by a Jewish Christian, which was, however, interdicted.

[433] Yet, such is the moral obliquity, that even idolatry is allowed to save life, provided it be done in secret!

[434] Against this, although somewhat doubtfully, such concessions may be put as that, outside Palestine, Gentiles were not to be considered as idolators, but as observing the customs of their fathers (Chull. 13 b), and that the poor of the Gentiles were to be equally supported with those of Israel, their sick visited, and their dead buried; it being, however, significantly added, on account of the arrangements of the world' (Gitt. 61 a). The quotation so often made (Ab. Z. 3 a), that a Gentile who occupied himself with the Torah was to be regarded as equal to the High-Priest, proves nothing, since in the case supposed the Gentile acts like a Rabbinic Jew. But, and this is a more serious point, it is difficult to believe that those who make this quotation are not aware, how the Talmud (Ab. Z. 3 a) immediately labours to prove that their reward is not equal to that of Israelites. A somewhat similar charge of one-sideness, if not of unfairness, must be brought against Deutsch (Lecture on the Talmud, Remains, pp. 146, 147), whose sketch of Judaism should be compared, for example, with the first Perek of the Talmudic tractate Abodah Zarah.

[435] Ab. Zar. 35 b.

[436] According to R. Asi, there was a threefold distinction. If wine had been dedicated to an idol, to carry, even on a stick, so much as the weight of an olive of it, defiled a man. Other wine, if prepared by a heathen, was prohibited, whether for personal use or for trading. Lastly, wine prepared by a Jew, but deposited in custody of a Gentile, was prohibited for personal use, but allowed for traffic.


CHAPTER VIII.
TRADITIONALISM, ITS ORIGIN, CHARACTER, AND LITERATURE - THE MISHNAH AND TALMUD - THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST - THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY.

In trying to picture to ourselves New Testament scenes, the figure most prominent, next to those of the chief actors, is that of the Scribe ({hebrew}, grammates, literatus). He seems ubiquitous; we meet him in Jerusalem, in Judæa, and even in Galilee. [437] Indeed, he is indispensable, not only in Babylon, which may have been the birthplace of his order, but among the dispersion' also. [438] Everywhere he appears as the mouthpiece and representative of the people; he pushes to the front, the crowd respectfully giving way, and eagerly hanging on his utterances, as those of a recognised authority. He has been solemnly ordained by the laying on of hands; and is the Rabbi, [439] my great one,' Master, amplitudo. He puts questions; he urges objections; he expects full explanations and respectful demeanour. Indeed, his hyper-ingenuity in questioning has become a proverb. There is not measure of his dignity, nor yet limit to his importance. He is the lawyer,' [440] the well-plastered pit,' [441] filled with the water of knowledge out of which not a drop can escape,' [442] in opposition to the weeds of untilled soil' {hebrew} of ignorance. [443] He is the Divine aristocrat, among the vulgar herd of rude and profane country-people,' who know not the Law' and are cursed.' More than that, his order constitutes the ultimate authority on all questions of faith and practice; he is the Exegete of the Laws,' [444] the teacher of the Law,' [445] and along with the chief priests' and elders' a judge in the eccesiastical tribunals, whether of the capital or in the provinces. [446] Although generally appearing in company with the Pharisees,' he is not necessarily one of them - for they represent a religious party, while he has a status, and holds an office. [447] In short, he is the Talmid or learned student, the Chakham or sage, whose honour is to be great in the future world. Each Scribe outweighed all the common people, who must accordingly pay him every honour. Nay, they were honoured of God Himself, and their praises proclaimed by the angels; and in heaven also, each of them would hold the same rank and distinction as on earth. [448] Such was to be the respect paid to their sayings, that they were to be absolutely believed, even if they were to declare that to be at the right hand which was at the left, or vice versâ. [449]

An institution which had attained such proportions, and wielded such power, could not have been of recent growth. In point of fact, its rise was very gradual, and stretched back to the time of Nehemiah, if not beyond it. Although from the utter confusion of historical notices in Rabbinic writings and their constant practice of antedating events, it is impossible to furnish satisfactory details, the general development of the institution can be traced with sufficient precision. If Ezra is described in Holy Writ [450] as a ready (expertus) Scribe,' who had set his heart to seek (seek out the full meaning of) the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel,' [451] this might indicate to his successors, the Sopherim (Scribes), the threefold direction which their studies afterwards took: the Midrash, the Halakhah, and the Haggadah, [452] [453] of which the one pointed to Scriptural investigation, the other to what was to be observed, and the third to oral teaching in the widest sense. But Ezra left his work uncompleted. On Nehemiah's second arrival in Palestine, he found matters again in a state of utmost confusion. [454] He must have felt the need of establishing some permanent authority to watch over religious affairs. This we take to have been the Great Assembly,' or, as it is commonly called, the Great Synagogue.' It is impossible with certainty to determine, [455] either who composed this assembly, or of how many members it consisted. [456] Probably it comprised the leading men in Church and State, the chief priests, elders, and judges' - the latter two classes including the Scribes,' if, indeed, that order was already separately organised. [457] Probably also the term Great Assembly' refers rather to a succession of men than to one Synod; the ingenuity of later times filling such parts of the historical canvas as had been left blank with fictitious notices. In the nature of things such an assembly could not exercise permanent sway in a sparsely populated country, without a strong central authority. Nor could they have wielded real power during the political difficulties and troubles of foreign domination. The oldest tradition [458] sums up the result of their activity in this sentence ascribed to them: Be careful in judgment, set up many Talmidim, and make a hedge about the Torah (Law).'

In the course of time this rope of sand dissolved. The High-Priest, Simon the Just, [459] is already designated as of the remnants of the Great Assembly.' But even this expression does not necessarily imply that he actually belonged to it. In the troublous times which followed his Pontificate, the sacred study seems to have been left to solitary individuals. The Mishnic tractate Aboth, which records the sayings of the Fathers,' here gives us only the name of Antigonus of Socho. It is significant, that for the first time we now meet a Greek name among Rabbinic authorities, together with an indistinct allusion to his disciples. [460] [461] The long interval between Simon the Just and Antigonus and his disciples, brings us to the terrible time of Antiochus Epiphanes and the great Syrian persecution. The very sayings attributed to these two sound like an echo of the political state of the country. On three things, Simon was wont to say, the permanency of the (Jewish?) world depends: on the Torah (faithfulness to the Law and its pursuit), on worship (the non-participation in Grecianism), and on works of righteousness. [462] They were dark times, when God's persecuted people were tempted to think, that it might be vain to serve Him, in which Antigonus had it: Be not like servants who serve their master for the sake of reward, but be like servants who serve their lord without a view to the getting of reward, and let the fear of heaven be upon you.' [463] After these two names come those of the so-called five Zugoth, or couples,' of whom Hillel and Shammai are the last. Later tradition has represented these successive couples as, respectively, the Nasi (president), and Ab-beth-din (vice-president, of the Sanhedrin). Of the first three of these couples' it may be said that, except significant allusions to the circumstances and dangers of their times, their recorded utterances clearly point to the development of purely Sopheric teaching, that is, to the Rabbinistic part of their functions. From the fourth couple,' which consists of Simon ben Shetach, who figured so largely in the political history of the later Maccabees [464] (as Ab-beth-din), and his superior in learning and judgment, Jehudah ben Tabbai (as Nasi), we have again utterances which show, in harmony with the political history of the time, that judicial functions had been once more restored to the Rabbis. The last of five couples brings us to the time of Herod and of Christ.

We have seen that, during the period of severe domestic troubles, beginning with the persecutions under the Seleucidæ, which marked the mortal struggle between Judaism and Grecianism, the Great Assembly' had disappeared from the scene. The Sopherim had ceased to be a party in power. They had become the Zeqenim, Elders,' whose task was purely ecclesiastical - the preservation of their religion, such as the dogmatic labours of their predecessors had made it. Yet another period opened with the advent of the Maccabees. These had been raised into power by the enthusiasm of the Chasidim, or pious ones,' who formed the nationalist party in the land, and who had gathered around the liberators of their faith and country. But the later bearing of the Maccabees had alienated the nationalists. Henceforth they sink out of view, or, rather, the extreme section of them merged in the extreme section of the Pharisees, till fresh national calamities awakened a new nationalist party. Instead of the Chasidim, we see now two religious parties within the Synagogue - the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The latter originally represented a reaction from the Pharisees - the modern men, who sympathised with the later tendencies of the Maccabees. Josephus places the origin of these two schools in the time of Jonathan, the successor of Judas Maccabee, [465] and with this other Jewish notices agree. Jonathan accepted from the foreigner (the Syrian) the High-Priestly dignity, and combined with it that of secular ruler. But this is not all. The earlier Maccabees surrounded themselves with a governing eldership. [466] [467] On the coins of their reigns this is designated as the Chebher, or eldership (association) of the Jews. Thus, theirs was what Josephus designates as an aristocratic government, [468] and of which he somewhat vaguely says, that it lasted from the Captivity until the descendants of the Asmoneans set up kingly government.' In this aristocratic government the High-Priest would rather be the chief of a representative ecclesiastical body of rulers. This state of things continued until the great breach between Hycanus, the fourth from Judas Maccabee, and the Pharisaical party, [469] which is equally recorded by Josephus [470] and the Talmud, [471] with only variations of names and details. The dispute apparently arose from the desire of the Pharisees, that Hycanus should be content with the secular power, and resign the Pontificate. But it ended in the persecution, and removal from power, of the Pharisees. Very significantly, Jewish tradition introduces again at this time those purely ecclesiastical authorities which are designated as the couples.' [472] In accordance with this, altered state of things, the name Chebher' now disappears from the coins of the Maccabees, and Rabbinical celebrities (the couples' or Zugoth) are only teachers of traditionalism, and ecclesiastical authorities. The eldership,' [473] which under the earlier Maccabees was called the tribunal of the Asmoneans.' [474] [475] now passed into the Sanhedrin. [476] [477] Thus we place the origin of this institution about the time of Hyrcanus. With this Jewish tradition fully agrees. [478] The power of the Sanhedrin would, of course, vary with political circumstances, being at times almost absolute, as in the reign of the Pharisaic devotee-Queen, Alexandra, while at others it was shorn of all but ecclesiastical authority. But as the Sanhedrin was in full force at the time of Jesus, its organization will claim our attention in the sequel.

After this brief outline of the origin and development of an institution which exerted such decisive influence on the future of Israel, it seems necessary similarly to trace the growth of the traditions of the Elders,' so as to understand what, alas! so effectually, opposed the new doctrine of the Kingdom. The first place must here be assigned to those legal determinations, which traditionalism declared absolutely binding on all - not only of equal, but even greater obligation than Scripture itself. [479] And this not illogically, since tradition was equally of Divine origin with Holy Scripture, and authoritatively explained its meaning; supplemented it; gave it application to cases not expressly provided for, perhaps not even forseen in Biblical times; and generally guarded its sanctity by extending and adding to its provisions, drawing a hedge,' around its garden enclosed.' Thus, in new and dangerous circumstances, would the full meaning of God's Law, to its every title and iota, be elicited and obeyed. Thus also would their feet be arrested, who might stray from within, or break in from without. Accordingly, so important was tradition, that the greatest merit a Rabbi could claim was the strictest adherence to the traditions, which he had received from his teacher. Nor might one Sanhedrin annul, or set aside, the decrees of its predecessors. To such length did they go in this worship of the letter, that the great Hillel was actually wont to mispronounce a word, because his teacher before him had done so. [480]

These traditional ordinances, as already stated, bear the general name of the Halakhah, as indicating alike the way in which the fathers had walked, and that which their children were bound to follow. [481] These Halakhoth were either simply the laws laid down in Scripture; or else derived from, or traced to it by some ingenious and artificial method of exegesis; or added to it, by way of amplification and for safety's sake; or, finally, legalized customs. They provided for every possible and impossible case, entered into every detail of private, family, and public life; and with iron logic, unbending rigour, and most minute analysis pursued and dominated man, turn whither he might, laying on him a yoke which was truly unbearable. The return which it offered was the pleasure and distinction of knowledge, the acquisition of righteousness, and the final attainment of rewards; one of its chief advantages over our modern traditionalism, that it was expressly forbidden to draw inferences from these traditions, which should have the force of fresh legal determinations. [482]

In describing the historical growth of the Halakhah, [483] we may dismiss in a few sentences the legends of Jewish tradition about patriarchal times. They assure us, that there was an Academy and a Rabbinic tribunal of Shem, and they speak of traditions delivered by that Patriarch to Jacob; of diligent attendance by the latter on the Rabbinic College; of a tractate (in 400 sections) on idolatry by Abraham, and of his observance of the whole traditional law; of the introduction of the three daily times of prayer, successively by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; of the three benedictions in the customary grace at meat,' as propounded by Moses, Joshua, and David and Solomon; of the Mosaic introduction of the practice of reading lessons from the law on Sabbaths, New Moons, and Feast Days, and even on the Mondays and Thursdays; and of that, by the same authority, of preaching on the three great festivals about those feasts. Further, they ascribe to Moses the arrangement of the priesthood into eight courses (that intosixteen to Samuel, and that into twenty-four to David), as also, the duration of the time for marriage festivities, and for mourning. But evidently these are vague statements, with the object of tracing traditionalism and its observances to primaeval times, even as legend had it, that Adam was born circumcised, [484] and later writers that he had kept all the ordinances.

But other principles apply to the traditions, from Moses downwards. According to the Jewish view, God had given Moses on Mount Sinai alike the oral and the written Law, that is, the Law with all its interpretations and applications. From Ex. xx. 1, it was inferred, that God had communicated to Moses the Bible, the Mishnah, and Talmud, and the Haggadah, even to that which scholars would in latest times propound. [485] In answer to the somewhat natural objection, why the Bible alone had been written, it was said that Moses had proposed to write down all the teaching entrusted to him, but the Almighty had refused, on account of the future subjection of Israel to the nations, who would take from them the written Law. Then the unwritten traditions would remain to separate between Israel and the Gentiles. Popular exegesis found this indicated even in the language of prophecy. [486]

But traditionalism went further, and placed the oral actually above the written Law. The expression, [487] After the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel,' was explained as meaning, that God's covenant was founded on the spoken, in opposition to the written words. [488] If the written was thus placed below the oral Law, we can scarcely wonder that the reading of the Hagiographa was actually prohibited to the people on the Sabbath, from fear that it might divert attention from the learned discourses of the Rabbis. The study of them on that day was only allowed for the purpose of learned investigation and discussions. [489] [490]

But if traditionalism was not to be committed to writing by Moses, measures had been taken to prevent oblivion or inaccuracy. Moses had always repeated a traditional law successively to Aaron, to his sons, and to the elders of the people, and they again in turn to each other, in such wise, that Aaron heard the Mishnah four times, his sons three times, the Elders twice, and the people once. But even this was not all, for by successive repetitions (of Aaron, his sons, and the Elders) the people also heard it four times. [491] And, before his death, Moses had summoned any one to come forward, if he had forgotten aught of what he had heard and learned. [492] But these Halakhoth of Moses from Sinai' do not make up the whole of traditionalism. According to Maimonides, it consists of five, but more critically of three classes. [493] The first of these comprises both such ordinances as are found in the Bible itself, and the so-called Halakhoth of Moses from Sinai - that is, such laws and usages as prevailed from time immemorial, and which, according to the Jewish view, had been orally delivered to, but not written down by Moses. For these, therefore, no proof was to be sought in Scripture - at most support, or confirmatory allusion (Asmakhtu). [494] Nor were these open to discussion. The second class formed the oral law,' [495] or the traditional teaching' [496] in the stricter sense. To this class belonged all that was supposed to be implied in, or that could be deduced from, the Law of Moses. [497] The latter contained, indeed, in substance or germ, everything; but it had not been brought out, till circumstances successfully evolved what from the first had been provided in principle. For this class of ordinances reference to, and proof from, Scripture was required. Not so for the third class of ordinances, which were the hedge' drawn by the Rabbis around the Law, to prevent any breach of the Law or customs, to ensure their exact observance, or to meet peculiar circumstances and dangers. These ordinances constituted the sayings of the Scribes' [498] or of the Rabbis' [499] [500] - and were either positive in their character (Teqqanoth), or else negative (Gezeroth from gazar to cut off'). Perhaps the distinction of these two cannot always be strictly carried out. But it was probably to this third class especially, confessedly unsupported by Scripture, that these words of Christ referred: [501] All therefore whatsoever they tell you, that do and observe; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but with their finger they will not move them away (set in motion).' [502] This view has two-fold confirmation. For, this third class of Halakhic ordinances was the only one open to the discussion of the learned, the ultimate decision being according to the majority. Yet it possessed practically (though not theoretically) the same authority as the other two classes. In further confirmation of our view the following may be quoted: A Gezerah (i.e. this third class of ordinances) is not to be laid on the congregation, unless the majority of the congregation is able to bear it' [503] - words which read like a commentary on those of Jesus, and show that these burdens could be laid on, or moved away, according to the varying judgment or severity of a Rabbinic College. [504]

This body of traditional ordinances forms the subject of the Mishnah, or second, repeated law. We have here to place on one side the Law of Moses as recorded in the Pentateuch, as standing by itself. All else - even the teaching of the Prophets and of the Hagiographa, as well as the oral traditions - bore the general name of Qabbalah - that which has been received.' The sacred study - or Midrash, in the original application of the term - concerned either the Halakhah, traditional ordinance, which was always that which had been heard' (Shematha), or else the Haggadah, that which was said' upon the authority of individuals, not as legal ordinance. It was illustration, commentary, anecdote, clever or learned saying, &c. At first the Halakhah remained unwritten, probably owing to the disputes between Pharisees and Sadducees. But the necessity of fixedness and order led in course of time to more or less complete collections of the Halakhoth. [505] The oldest of these is ascribed to R. Akiba, in the time of the Emperor Hadrian. [506] [507] But the authoritative collection in the so-called Mishnah is the work of Jehudah the Holy, who died about the end of the second century of our era.

Altogether, the Mishnah comprises six Orders' (Sedarim), each devoted to a special class of subjects. [508] These Orders' are divided into tractates (Massikhtoth, Massekhtiyoth, textures, webs'), of which there are sixty-three (or else sixty-two) in all. These tractates are again subdivided into chapters (Peraqim) - in all 525, which severally consist of a certain number of verses, or Mishnahs (Mishnayoth, in all 4,187). Considering the variety and complexity of the subjects treated, the Mishnah is arranged with remarkable logical perspicuity. The language is Hebrew, though of course not that of the Old Testament. The words rendered necessary by the new circumstances are chiefly derived from the Greek, the Syriac, and the Latin, with Hebrew terminations. [509] But all connected with social intercourse, or ordinary life (such as contracts), is written, not in Hebrew, but in Aramæan, as the language of the people.

But the traditional law embodied other materials than the Halakhoth collected in the Mishnah. Some that had not been recorded there, found a place in the works of certain Rabbis, or were derived from their schools. These are called Boraithas - that is, traditions external to the Mishnah. Finally, there were additions' (or Tosephtoth), dating after the completion of the Mishnah, but probably not later than the third century of our era. Such there are to not fewer than fifty-two out of the sixty-three Mishnic tractates. When speaking of the Halakhah as distinguished from the Haggadah, we must not, however, suppose that the latter could be entirely separated from it. In point of fact, one whole tractate in the Mishnah (Aboth: The Sayings of the Fathers') is entirely Haggadah; a second (Middoth: the Measurements of the Temple') has Halakhah in only fourteen places; while in the rest of the tractates Haggadah occurs in not fewer than 207 places. [510] Only thirteen out of the sixty-three tractates of the Mishnah are entirely free from Haggadah.

Hitherto we have only spoken of the Mishnah. But this comprises only a very small part of traditionalism. In course of time the discussions, illustrations, explanations, and additions to which the Mishnah gave rise, whether in its application, or in the Academies of the Rabbis, were authoritatively collected and edited in what are known as the two Talmuds or Gemaras. [511] If we imagine something combining law reports, a Rabbinical Hansard,' and notes of a theological debating club - all thoroughly Oriental, full of digressions, anecdotes, quaint sayings, fancies, legends, and too often of what, from its profanity, superstition, and even obscenity, could scarcely be quoted, we may form some general idea of what the Talmud is. The oldest of these two Talmuds dates from about the close of the fourth century of our era. It is the product of the Palestinian Academies, and hence called the Jerusalem Talmud. The second is about a century younger, and the outcome of the Babylonian schools, hence called the Babylon (afterwards also our') Talmud. We do not possess either of these works complete. [512] The most defective is the Jerusalem Talmud, which is also much briefer, and contains far fewer discussions than that of Babylon. The Babylon Talmud, which in its present form extends over thirty-six out of the sixty-three tractates of the Mishnah, is about ten or eleven times the size of the latter, and more than four times that of the Jerusalem Talmud. It occupies (in our editions), with marginal commentations, 2,947 folio leaves (pages a and b). Both Talmuds are written in Aramæan; the one in its western, the other in its eastern dialect, and in both the Mishnah is discussed seriatim, and clause by clause. Of the character of these discussions it would be impossible to convey an adequate idea. When we bear in mind the many sparkling, beautiful, and occasionally almost sublime passages in the Talmud, but especially that its forms of thought and expression so often recall those of the New Testament, only prejudice and hatred could indulge in indiscriminate vituperation. On the other hand, it seems unaccountable how any one who has read a Talmudic tractate, or even part of one, could compare the Talmud with the New Testament, or find in the one the origin of the other.

To complete our brief survey, it should be added that our editions of the Babylon Talmud contain (at the close of vol. ix. and after the fourth Order') certain Boraithas. Of these there were originally nine, but two of the smaller tractates (on the memorial fringes,' and on non-Israelites') have not been preserved. The first of these Boraithas is entitled Abhoth de Rabbi Nathan, and partially corresponds with a tractate of a similar name in the Mishnah. [513] Next follow six minor tractates. These are respectively entitled Sopherim (Scribes), [514] detailing the ordinances about copying the Scriptures, the ritual of the Lectionary, and festive prayers; Ebhel Rabbathi or Semakhoth, [515] containing Halakhah and Haggadah about funeral and mourning observances; Kallah, [516] on the married relationship; Derekh Erets, [517] embodying moral directions and the rules and customs of social intercourse; Derekh Erets Zuta, [518] treating of similar subjects, but as regards learned students; and, lastly, the Pereq ha Shalom, [519] which is a eulogy on peace. All these tractates date, at least in their present form, later than the Talmudic period. [520]

But when the Halakhah, however varied in its application, was something fixed and stable, the utmost latitude was claimed and given in the Haggadah. It is sadly characteristic, that, practically, the main body of Jewish dogmatic and moral theology is really only Haggadah, and hence of no absolute authority. The Halakhah indicated with the most minute and painful punctiliousness every legal ordinance as to outward observances, and it explained every bearing of the Law of Moses. But beyond this it left the inner man, the spring of actions, untouched. What he was to believe and what to feel, was chiefly matter of the Haggadah. Of course the laws of morality, and religion, as laid down in the Pentateuch, were fixed principles, but there was the greatest divergence and latitude in the explanation and application of many of them. A man might hold or propound almost any views, so long as he contravened not the Law of Moses, as it was understood, and adhered in teaching and practice to the traditional ordinances. In principle it was the same liberty which the Romish Church accords to its professing members - only with much wider application, since the debatable ground embraced so many matters of faith, and the liberty given was not only that of private opinion but of public utterance. We emphasise this, because the absence of authoritative direction and the latitude in matters of faith and inner feeling stand side by side, and in such sharp contrast, with the most minute punctiliousness in all matters of outward observance. And here we may mark the fundamental distinction between the teaching of Jesus and Rabbinism. He left the Halakhah untouched, putting it, as it were, on one side, as something quite secondary, while He insisted as primary on that which to them was chiefly matter of Haggadah. And this rightly so, for, in His own words, Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth,' since those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart, and they defil the man.' [521] The difference was one of fundamental principle, and not merely of development, form, or detail. The one developed the Law in its outward direction as ordinances and commandments; the other in its inward direction as life and liberty. Thus Rabbinism occupied one pole - and the outcome of its tendency to pure externalism was the Halakhah, all that was internal and higher being merely Haggadic. The teaching of Jesus occupied the opposite pole. Its starting-point was the inner sanctuary in which God was known and worshipped, and it might well leave the Rabbinic Halakhoth aside, as not worth controversy, to be in the meantime done and observed,' in the firm assurance that, in the course of its development, the spirit would create its own appropriate forms, or, to use a New Testament figure, the new wine burst the old bottles. And, lastly, as closely connected with all this, and marking the climax of contrariety: Rabbinism started with demand of outward obedience and righteousness, and pointed to sonship as its goal; the Gospel started with the free gift of forgiveness through faith and of sonship, and pointed to obedience and righteousness as its goal.

In truth, Rabbinism, as such, had no system of theology; only what ideas, conjectures, or fancies the Haggadah yielded concerning God, Angels, demons, man, his future destiny and present position, and Israel, with its past history and coming glory. Accordingly, by the side of what is noble and pure, what a terrible mass of utter incongruities, of conflicting statements and too often debasing superstitions, the outcome of ignorance and narrow nationalism; of legendary colouring of Biblical narratives and scenes, profane, coarse, and degrading to them; the Almighty Himself and His Angels taking part in the conversations of Rabbis, and the discussions of Academies; nay, forming a kind of heavenly Sanhedrin, which occasionally requires the aid of an earthly Rabbi. [522] The miraculous merges into the ridiculous, and even the revolting. Miraculous cures, miraculous supplies, miraculous help, all for the glory of great Rabbis, [523] who by a look or word can kill, and restore to life. At their bidding the eyes of a rival fall out, and are again inserted. Nay, such was the veneration due to Rabbis, that R. Joshua used to kiss the stone on which R. Eliezer had sat and lectured, saying: This stone is like Mount Sinai, and he who sat on it like the Ark.' Modern ingenuity has, indeed, striven to suggest deeper symbolical meaning for such stories. It should own the terrible contrast existing side by side: Hebrewism and Judaism, the Old Testament and traditionalism; and it should recognise its deeper cause in the absence of that element of spiritual and inner life which Christ has brought. Thus as between the two - the old and the new - it may be fearlessly asserted that as regards their substance and spirit, there is not a difference, but a total divergence, of fundamental principle between Rabbinism and the New Testament, so that comparison between them is not possible. Here there is absolute contrariety.

The painful fact just referred to is only too clearly illustrated by the relation in which traditionalism places itself to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, even though it acknowledges their inspiration and authority. The Talmud has it, [524] that he who busies himself with Scripture only (i.e. without either the Mishnah or Gemara) has merit, and yet no merit. [525] Even the comparative paucity of references to the Bible in the Mishnah [526] is significant. Israel had made void the Law by its traditions. Under a load of outward ordinances and observances its spirit had been crushed. The religion as well as the grand hope of the Old Testament had become externalized. And so alike Heathenism and Judaism - for it was no longer the pure religion of the Old Testament - each following its own direction, had reached its goal. All was prepared and waiting. The very porch had been built, through which the new, and yet old, religion was to pass into the ancient world, and the ancient world into the new religion. Only one thing was needed: the Coming of the Christ. As yet darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness lay upon the people. But far away the golden light of the new day was already tingeing the edge of the horizon. Presently would the Lord arise upon Zion, and His glory be seen upon her. Presently would the Voice from out the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; presently would it herald the Coming of His Christ to Jew and Gentile, and that Kingdom of heaven, which, established upon earth, is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. [527]

 


[437] St. Luke v. 17.

[438] Jos. Ant. xviii. 3. 5; xx. 11. 2.

[439] The title Rabbon (our Master) occurs first in connection with Gamaliel i. (Acts v. 34). The N.T. expression Rabboni or Rabbouni (St. Mark x. 51; St. John xx. 16) takes the word Rabbon or Rabban (here in the absolute sense)= Rabh, and adds to it the personal suffix my,' pronouncing the Kamez in the Syriac manner.

[440] nomiks, the legis Divinae peritus, St. Matt. xxii. 35; St. Luke vii. 30; x.25; xi. 45; xiv. 3.

[441] Not 45 a, as apud Derenbourg. Similarly, his rendering littéralement, "citerne vide"' seems to me erroneous.

[442] Ab. ii. 8.

[443] Ber. 45 b 2; Ab. ii. 5; Bemid. R. 3.

[444] Jos. Ant. xvii. 6. 2.

[445] nomodids kalos, St. Luke v. 17; Acts v. 34; comp. also 1 Tim. i. 7.

[446] St. Matt. ii. 4; xx. 18; xxi. 15; xxvi. 57; xxvii. 41; St. Mark xiv.1.43;xv. 1; St. Luke xxii. 2, 66; xxiii. 10; Acts iv. 5.

[447] The distinction between Pharisees' and Scribes,' is marked in may passages in the N.T., for example, St. Matt. xxiii. passim; St. Luke vii. 30; xiv. 3; and especially in St. Luke xi. 43, comp. with v. 46. The words Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,' in ver. 44, are, according to all evidence, spurious.

[448] Siphré or Numb. p 25 b.

[449] Siphré on Deut. p. 105 a.

[450] Ezra vii.6, 10, 11, 12.

[451] {hebrew}

[452] Nedar. iv. 8.

[453] In Ned. iv. 3 this is the actual division. Of course, in another sense the Midrash might be considered as the source of both the Halakhah and the Haggadah.

[454] Neh. xiii.

[455] Very strange and ungrounded conjectures on this subject have been hazarded, which need not here find a place. Comp. for ex. the two articles of Grätz in Frankel's Montsschrift for 1857, pp. 31 etc. 61 etc., the main positions of which have, however, been adopted by some learned English writers.

[456] The Talmudic notices are often inconsistent. The number as given in them amounts to abut 120. But the modern doubts (of Kuenen and others) against the institution itself cannot be sustained.

[457] Ezra x. 14; Neh. v. 7.

[458] Ab. i. 1.

[459] In the beginning of the third century b.c.

[460] Ab. i. 3, 4

[461] Zunz has well pointed out that, if in Ab. i. 4 the first couple' is said to have received from them' - while only Antigonus is mentioned in the preceding Mishnah, it must imply Antigonus and his unnamed disciples and followers. In general, I may take this opportunity of stating that, except for special reasons, I shall not refer to previous writers on this subject, partly because it would necessitate too many quotations, but chiefly because the line of argument I have taken differs from that of my predecessors.

[462] Ab. i. 2.

[463] Ab. i. 3.

[464] See Appendix IV.: Political History of the Jews from the Reign of Alexander to the Accession of Herod.'

[465] 160-143 b.c.

[466] The Gerousa, 1 Macc. xii. 6; xiii. 36; xiv. 28; Jos. Ant. xiii. 4. 9; 5. 8.

[467] At the same time some kind of ruling lerousa existed earlier than at this period, if we may judge from Jos. Ant. xii 3.3. But he uses the term somewhat vaguely, applying it even to the time of Jaddua (Antiq. xi. 8. 2).

[468] Ant. xi. 4. 8.

[469] Even Ber. 48 a furnishes evidence of this enmity.' This, of course, is an inference from the whole history and relation there indicated. On the hostile relations between the Pharisaical party and the Maccabees see Hamburger, Real-Enc. ii. p. 367. Comp. Jer. Taan. iv. 5.

[470] Ant. xiii. 10. 5. 6.

[471] Kidd 66 a.

[472] Jer. Maas Sheni v. end, p. 56 d Jer. Sot. ix. p. 24 a.

[473] geroussia

[474] {hebrew}Sanh 82 a; Ab. Z. 36 b.

[475] Derenbourg takes a different view, and identifies the tribunal of the Asmoneans with the Sanhedrin. This seems to me, historically, impossible. But his opinion to that effect (u. s. p. 87) is apparently contradicted at p. 93.

[476] sundrion. {hebrew} in the N.T also once gerousa, Acts v. 21 and twice presbutrion St. Luke xxii. 66; Acts xxii 5.

[477] Schürer, following Wieseler, supposes the Sanhedrin to have been of Roman institution. But the arguments of Wieseler on this point (Beitr. zur richt. Wurd. d. Evang. p. 224) are inconclusive.

[478] Comp. Derenbourg, u. s. p. 95.

[479] Thus we read: The sayings of the elders have more weight than those of the prophets' (Jer. Ber. i. 7); an offence against the sayings of the Scribes is worse than one against those of Scripture' (Sanh. xi. 3). Compare also Er. 21 b The comparison between such claims and those sometimes set up on behalf of creeds' and articles' (Kitto's Cyclop., 2nd ed., p. 786, col a) does not seem to me applicable. In the introduction to the Midr. on Lament. it is inferred from Jer. ix. 12, 13, that to forsake the law - in the Rabbinic sense - was worse than adolatry, uncleanness, or the shedding of blood. See generally that Introduction.

[480] Eduy. i. 3. See the comment of Maimonides.

[481] It is so explained in the Aruch (ed Zandau, vol. ii. p. 529, col b).

[482] Comp. Hamburger, u.s. p 343.

[483] Comp. here especially the detailed description by Herzfeld (u. s. vol. iii. pp. 226, 263); also the Introduction of Maimonides, and the very able and learned works (not sufficiently appreciated) by Dr. H. S. Hirschfeld, Halachische Exegese (Berlin, 1840), and Hagadische Exegese (Berlin, 1847). Perhaps I may also take leave to refer to the corresponding chapters in my History of the Jewish Nation.'

[484] Midr. Shochar Tobh on Ps. ix. 6. ed. Warshau, p. 14 b; Abde R. Nath. 2.

[485] Similarly, the expressions in Ex. xxiv. 12 were thus explained: the tables of stone,' the ten commandments; the law,' the written Law; the commandments,' the Mishnah; which I have written,' the Prophets and Hagiographa; that thou mayest teach them,' the Talmud - which shows that they were all given to Moses on Sinai' (Ber. 5 a, lines 11-16). A like application was made of the various clauses in Cant. vii. 12 (Erub. 21 b). Nay, by an alternation of the words in Hos. vii. 10, it was shown that the banished had been brought back for the merit of their study (of the sacrificial sections) of the Mishnah (Vayyik R. 7).

[486] Hos. viii 12;comp. Shem. R. 47.

[487] Ex. xxxiv. 27.

[488] Jer. Chag. p. 76 d.

[489] Tos. Shabb. xiv.

[490] Another reason also is, however, mentioned for his prohibition.

[491] Erub. 54 b.

[492] Deut. i. 5.

[493] Hirschfeld, u. s. pp. 92-99.

[494] From {hebrew} to lean against. At the same time the ordinances, for which an appeal could be made to Asmakhta, were better liked than those which rested on tradition alone (Jer. Chag. p. 76, col d).

[495] {hebrew}

[496] {hebrew}

[497] In connection with this it is very significant that R. Jochanan ben Zaccai, who taught not many years after the Crucifixion of Christ, was wont to say, that, in the future, Halakhahs in regard to purity, which had not the support of Scripture, would be repeated (Sot. 27 b, line 16 from top). In geneal, the teaching of R. Jochanan should be studied to understand the unacknowledged influence which Christianity exercised upon the Synagogue.

[498] {hebrew}.

[499] {hebrew}.

[500] But this is not always.

[501] St. Matt. xxiii. 3, 4.

[502] To elucidate the meaning of Christ, it seemed necessary to submit an avowedly difficult text to fresh criticism. I have taken the word kinen, moveo in the sense of ire facio (Grimm, Clavis N.T. ed. 2da, p. 241 a), but I have not adopted the inference of Meyer (Krit. Exeget. Handb. p. 455). In classical Greek also kinen  is used for to remove, to alter.' My reasons against what may be called the traditional interpretation of St. Matt. xxiii. 3, 4, are: 1. It seems scarcely possible to suppose that, before such an audience, Christ would have contemplated the possibility of not observing either of the two first classes of Halakhoth, which were regarded as beyond controversy. 2. It could scarcely be truthfully charged against the Scribes and Pharisees, that they did not attempt to keep themselves the ordinances which they imposed upon others. The expression in the parallel passage (St. Luke xi. 46) must be explained in accordance with the commentation on St. Matt. xxiii. 4. Nor is there any serious difficulty about it.

[503] B. Kam. 79 b.

[504] For the classification, arrangement, origin, and enumeration of these Halakhoth, see Appendix V.: Rabbinic Theology and literature.'

[505] See the learned remarks of Levy about the reasons for the earlier prohibition of writing down the oral law, and the final collection of the Mishnah (Neuhebr. u. Chald. Wörterb. vol. ii. p. 435).

[506] 132-135 a.d.

[507] These collections are enumerated in the Midrash on Eccles. xii. 3. They are also distinguished as the former' and the later' Mishnah (Nedar. 91 a).

[508] The first Order' (Zeraim, seeds') begins with the ordinances concerning benedictions,' or the time, mode, manner, and character of the prayers prescribed. It then goes on to detail what may be called the religio-agrarian laws (such as tithing, Sabbatical years, first fruits, &c.). The second Order' (Moed, festive time') discusses all connected with the Sabbath observance and the other festivals. The third Order' (Nashim, women') treats of all that concerns betrothal, marriage and divorce, but also includes a tractate on the Nasirate. The fourth Order' (Neziqin, damages') contains the civil and criminal law. Characteristically, it includes all the ordinances concerning idol-worship (in the tractate Abhodah Zarah) and the sayings of the Fathers' (Abhoth). The fifth Order' (Qodashim, holy things') treats of the various classes of sacrifices, offerings, and things belonging (as the first-born), or dedicated, to God, and of all questions which can be grouped under sacred things' (such as the redemption, exchange, or alienation of what had been dedicated to God). It also includes the laws concerning the daily morning and evening service (Tamid), and a description of the structure and arrangements of the Temple (Middoth, the measurements'). Finally, the sixth Order' (Toharoth, cleannesses') gives every ordinance connected with the questions of clean and unclean,' alike as regards human beings, animals, and inanimate things.

[509] Comp. the very interesting tractate by Dr. Brüll (Fremdspr Redensart in d. Talmud), as well as Dr. Eisler's Beiträge z. Rabb. u. Alterthumsk., 3 fascic; Sachs, Beitr. z. Rabb u. Alterthumsk.

[510] Comp. the enumeration in Pinner, u. s.

[511] Talmud: that which is learned, doctrine. Gemara: either the same, or else perfection,' completion.'

[512] The following will explain our meaning: On the first order' we have the Jerusalem Talmud complete, that is, on every tractate (comprising in all 65 folio leaves), while the Babylon Talmud extends only over its first tractate (Berakhoth). On the second order, the four last chapters of one tractate (Shabbath) are wanting in the Jerusalem, and one whole tractate (Sheqalim) in the Babylon Talmud. The third order is complete in both Gemaras. On the fourth order a chapter is wanting in one tractate (Makkoth) in the Jerusalem, and two whole tractates (Eduyoth and Abhoth) in both Gemaras. The fifth order is wholly wanting in the Jerusalem, and two and a half tractates of it (Middoth, Qinnim, and half Tamid) in the Babylon Talmud. Of the sixth order only one tractate (Niddah) exists in both Gemaras. The principal Halakhoth were collected in a work (dating from about 800 a.d.) entitled Halakhoth Gedoloth. They are arranged to correspond with the weekly lectionary of the Pentateuch in a work entitled Sheeltoth (Questions:' best ed. Dghernfurth, 1786). The Jerusalem Talmud extends over 39, the Babylonian over 36 ½ tractates - 15 ½ tractates have no Gemara at all.

[513] The last ten chapters curiously group together events or things under numerals from 10 downwards. The most generally interesting of these is that of the 10 Nequdoth, or passages of Scripture in which letters are marked by dots, together with the explanation of their reasons (ch. xxxiv.). The whole Boraitha seems composed of parts of three different works, and consists of forty (or forty-one) chapters, and occupies ten folio leaves.

[514] In twenty-one chapters, each containing a number of Halakhahs, and occupying in all four folio leaves.

[515] In fourteen chapters, occupying rather more than three folio leaves.

[516] It fills little more than a folio page.

[517] In eleven chapters, covering about 1 ¾ folio leaves.

[518] In nine chapters, filling one folio leaf.

[519] Little more than a folio column.

[520] Besides these, Raphael Kirchheim has published (Frankfort, 1851) the so-called seven smaller tractates, covering altogether with abundant notes, only forty-four small pages, which treat of the copying of the Bible (Sepher Torah, in five chapters), of the Mezuzah, or memorial on the doorposts (in two chapters), Phylacteries (Tephillin, in one chapter), of the Tsitsith, or memorial-fringes (in one chapter), of Slaves (Abhadim, in three chapters) of the Cutheans, or Samaritans (in two chapters), and, finally, a curious tractate on Proselytes (Gerim, in four chapters).

[521] St. Matt. xv. 11, 18.

[522] Thus, in B. Mez. 86 a, we read of a discussion in the heavenly Academy on the subject of purity, when Rabbah was summoned to heaven by death, although this required a miracle, since he was constantly engaged in sacred study. Shocking to write, it needed the authority of Rabbah to attest the correctness of the Almighty's statement on the Halakhic question discussed.

[523] Some of these miracles are detailed in B. Mets. 85 b, 86 a. Thus, Resh Lakish, when searching for the tomb of R. Chija, found that it was miraculously removed from his sight, as being too sacred for ordinary eyes. The same Rabbi claimed such merit, that for his sake the Law should never be forgotten in Israel. Such was the power of the patriarchs that, if they had been raised up together, they would have brought Messiah before His time. When R. Chija prayed, successively a storm arose, the rain descended, and the earth trembled. Again, Rabbah, when about to be arrested, caused the face of the messenger to be turned to his back, and again restored it; next, by his prayer he made a wall burst, and so escaped. In Abhod. Zar. 17 b, a miracle is recorded in favour of R. Eleazar, to set him free from his persecutors, or, rather, to attest a false statement which he made in order to escape martyrdom. For further extravagant praises of the Rabbis, comp. Sanh. 101 a.

[524] Baba Mets. 33 a.

[525] Similarly we read in Aboth d. R. Nathan 29: He who is master of the Midrash, but knows no Halakhahs, is like a hero, but there are no arms in his hand. He that is master of the Halakhoth, but knows nothing of the Midrashim, is a weak person who is provided with arms. But he that is master of both is both a hero and armed.'

[526] Most of these, of course, are from the Pentateuch.  References to any other Old Testament books are generally loosely made, and serve chiefly as points d'appuî for Rabbinical sayings. Scriptural quotations occur in 51 out of the 63 tractates of the Mishnah, the number of verses quoted being 430. A quotation in the Mishnah is generally introduced by the formula as it is said.' This in all but sixteen instances, where the quotation is prefaced by, Scripture means to say.' But, in general, the difference in the mode of quotation in Rabbinic writings seems to depend partly on the context, but chiefly on the place and time. Thus, as it is written' is a Chaldee mode of quotation. Half the quotations in the Talmud are prefaced by as it is said;' a fifth of them by as it is written;' a tenth by scripture means to say;' and the remaining fifth by various other formulas.  Comp. Pinner's Introduction to Berakhoth. In the Jerusalem Talmud no al-tikré (read not so, but read so') occurs, for the purposes of textual criticism. In the Talmud a favourite mode of quoting from the Pentateuch, made in about 600 passages, is by introducing it as spoken or written by {hebrew}. The various modes in which Biblical quotations are made in Jewish writings are enumerated in Surenhusius Bblos katallags, pp. 1-56.

[527] For details on the Jewish views on the Canon, and historical and mystical theology, see Appendix V.: Rabbinic Theology and Literature.'



Book II

FROM THE MANGER IN BETHLEHEM TO THE BAPTISM IN JORDAN.

________________

 

Fortitudo infirmatur,

Parva fit immensitas;

Liberator alligatur,

Nascitur æternitas.

O quam mira perpetrasti

Jesu propter hominem!

Tam ardenter quem amasti

Paradiso exulem.' - Ancient Latin Hymn


CHAPTER I.
IN JERUSALEM WHEN HEROD REIGNED

IF the dust of ten centuries could have been wiped from the eyelids of those sleepers, and one of them who thronged Jerusalem in the highday of its glory, during the reign of King Solomon, had returned to its streets, he would scarcely have recognised the once familiar city. Then, as now, a Jewish king reigned, who bore undivided rule over the whole land; then, as now, the city was filled with riches and adorned with palaces and architectural monuments; then, as now, Jerusalem was crowded with strangers from all lands. Solomon and Herod were each the last Jewish king over the Land of Promise; [528] Solomon and Herod, each, built the Temple. But with the son of David began, and with the Idumæan ended, the kingdom;' or rather, having fulfilled its mission, it gave place to the spiritual world-kingdom of David's greater Son.' The sceptre departed from Judah to where the nations were to gather under its sway. And the Temple which Solomon built was the first. In it the Shekhinah dwelt visibly. The Temple which Herod reared was the last. The ruins of its burning, which the torch of the Romans had kindled, were never to be restored. Herod was not the antitype, he was the Barabbas, of David's Royal Son.

In other respects, also, the difference was almost equally great. The four companion-like' hills on which the city was built, [529] the deep clefts by which it was surrounded, the Mount of Olives rising in the east, were the same as a thousand years ago. There, as of old were the Pool of Siloam and the royal gardens - nay, the very wall that had then surrounded the city. And yet all was so altered as to be scarcely recognisable. The ancient Jebusite fort, the City of David, Mount Zion, [530] was now the priests' quarter, Ophel, and the old royal palace and stables had been thrown into the Temple area - now completely levelled - where they formed the magnificent treble colonnade, known as the Royal Porch. Passing through it, and out by the Western Gate of the Temple, we stand on the immense bridge which spans the Valley of the Cheesemongers,' or the Tyropoeon, and connects the Eastern with the Western hills of the city. It is perhaps here that we can best mark the outstanding features, and note the changes. On the right, as we look northward, are (on the Eastern hill) Ophel, the Priest-quarter, and the Temple - oh, how wondrously beautiful and enlarged, and rising terrace upon terrace, surrounded by massive walls: a palace, a fortress, a Sanctuary of shining marble and glittering gold. And beyond it frowns the old fortress of Baris, rebuilt by Herod, and named after his patron, Antonia. This is the Hill of Zion. Right below us is the cleft of the Tyropoeon, and here creeps up northwards the Lower City' or Acra, in the form of a crescent, widening into an almost square suburb.' Across the Tyropoeon - westward, rises the Upper City.' If the Lower City and suburb form the business-quarter with its markets bazaars, and streets of trades and guilds, the Upper City' is that of palaces. Here, at the other end of the great bridge which connects the Temple with the Upper City,' is the palace of the Maccabees; beyond it, the Xystos, or vast colonnaded enclosure, where popular assemblies are held; then the Palace of Ananias the High-Priest, and nearest to the Temple, the Council Chamber' and public Archives. Behind it, westwards, rise, terrace upon terrace, the stately mansions of the Upper City, till, quite in the north-west corner of the old city, we reach the Palace which Herod had built for himself - almost a city and fortress, flanked by three high towers, and enclosing spacious gardens. Beyond it again, and outside the city walls, both of the first and the second, stretches all north of the city the new suburb of Bezetha. Here on every side are gardens and villas; here passes the great northern road; out there must they have laid hold on Simon the Cyrenian, and here must have led the way to the place of the Crucifixion.

Changes that marked the chequered course of Israel's history had come even over the city walls. The first and oldest - that of David and Solomon - ran round the west side of the Upper City, then crossed south to the Pool of Siloam, and ran up east, round Ophel, till it reached the eastern enclosure of the Temple, whence it passed in a straight line to the point from which it had started, forming the northern boundary of the ancient city. But although this wall still existed, there was now a marked addition to it. When the Maccabee Jonathan finally cleared Jerusalem of the Syrian garrison that lay in Fort Acra, [531] he built a wall right through the middle of the city,' so as to shut out the foe. [532] This wall probably ran from the western angle of the Temple southwards, to near the pool of Siloam, following the winding course of the Tyropoeon, but on the other side of it, where the declivity of the Upper City merged in the valley. Another monument of the Syrian Wars, of the Maccabees, and of Herod, was the fortress Antonia. Part of it had, probably, been formerly occupied by what was known as Fort Acra, of such unhappy prominence in the wars that preceded and marked the early Maccabean period. It had passed from the Ptolemies to the Syrians, and always formed the central spot round which the fight for the city turned. Judas Maccabee had not been able to take it. Jonathan had laid siege to it, and built the wall, to which reference has just been made, so as to isolate its garrison. It was at last taken by Simon, the brother and successor of Jonathan, and levelled with the ground. [533] Fort Baris, which was constructed by his successor Hyrcanus I., [534] covered a much wider space. It lay on the northwestern angle of the Temple, slightly jutting beyond it in the west, but not covering the whole northern area of the Temple. The rock on which it stood was higher than the Temple, [535] although lower than the hill up which the new suburb Bezetha crept, which, accordingly, was cut off by a deep ditch, for the safety of the fortress. Herod greatly enlarged and strengthened it. Within encircling walls the fort rose to a height of sixty feet, and was flanked by four towers, of which three had a height of seventy, the fourth (S.E.), which jutted into the Temple area, of 105 feet, so as to command the sacred enclosure. A subterranean passage led into the Temple itself, [536] which was also connected with it by colonnades and stairs. Herod had adorned as well as strengthened and enlarged, this fort (now Antonia), and made it a palace, an armed camp, and almost a city. [537]

Hitherto we have only spoken of the first, or old wall, which was fortified by sixty towers. The second wall, which had only fourteen towers, began at some point in the northern wall at the Gate Gennath, whence it ran north, and then east, so as to enclose Acra and the Suburb. It terminated at Fort Antonia. Beyond, and all around this second wall stretched, as already noticed, the new, as yet unenclosed suburb Bezetha, rising towards the north-east. But these changes were as nothing compared with those within the city itself. First and foremost was the great transformation in the Temple itself, [538] which, from a small building, little larger than an ordinary church, in the time of Solomon, [539] had become that great and glorious House which excited the admiration of the foreigner, and kindled the enthusiasm of every son of Israel. At the time of Christ it had been already forty-six years in building, and workmen were still, and for a long time, engaged on it. [540] But what a heterogeneous crowd thronged its porches and courts! Hellenists; scattered wanderers from the most distant parts of the earth - east, west, north, and south; Galileans, quick of temper and uncouth of Jewish speech; Judæans and Jerusalemites; white-robed Priests and Levites; Temple officials; broad-phylacteried, wide-fringed Pharisees, and courtly, ironical Sadducees; and, in the outer court, curious Gentiles! Some had come to worship; others to pay vows, or bring offerings, or to seek purification; some to meet friends, and discourse on religious subjects in those colonnaded porches, which ran round the Sanctuary; or else to have their questions answered, or their causes heard and decided, by the smaller Sanhedrin of twenty-three, that sat in the entering of the gate or by the Great Sanhedrin. The latter no longer occupied the Hall of Hewn Stones, Gazith, but met in some chamber attached to those shops,' or booths, on the Temple Mount, which belonged to the High-Priestly family of Ananias, and where such profitable trade was driven by those who, in their cupidity and covetousness, were worthy successors of the sons of Eli. In the Court of the Gentiles (or in its porches) sat the official money-changers, who for a fixed discount changed all foreign coins into those of the Sanctuary. Here also was that great mart for sacrificial animals, and all that was requisite for offerings. How the simple, earnest country people, who came to pay vows, or bring offerings for purifying, must have wondered, and felt oppressed in that atmosphere of strangely blended religious rigorism and utter worldliness; and how they must have been taxed, imposed upon, and treated with utmost curtness, nay, rudeness, by those who laughed at their boorishness, and despised them as cursed, ignorant country people, little better than heathens, or, for that matter, than brute beasts. Here also there lay about a crowd of noisy beggars, unsightly from disease, and clamorous for help. And close by passed the luxurious scion of the High-Priestly families; the proud, intensely self-conscious Teacher of the Law, respectfully followed by his disciples; and the quick-witted, subtle Scribe. These were men who, on Sabbaths and feast-days, would come out on the Temple-terrace to teach the people, or condescend to answer their questions; who in the Synagogues would hold their puzzled hearers spell-bound by their traditional lore and subtle argumentation, or tickle the fancy of the entranced multitude, that thronged every available space, by their ingenious frivolities, their marvellous legends, or their clever sayings; but who would, if occasion required, quell an opponent by well-poised questions, or crush him beneath the sheer weight of authority. Yet others were there who, despite the utterly lowering influence which the frivolities of the prevalent religion, and the elaborate trifling of its endless observances, must have exercised on the moral and religious feelings of all - perhaps, because of them - turned aside, and looked back with loving gaze to the spiritual promises of the past, and forward with longing expectancy to the near consolation of Israel,' waiting for it in prayerful fellowship, and with bright, heaven-granted gleams of its dawning light amidst the encircling gloom.

Descending from the Temple into the city, there was more than enlargement, due to the increased population. Altogether, Jerusalem covered, at its greatest, about 300 acres. [541] As of old there were still the same narrow streets in the business quarters; but in close contiguity to bazaars and shops rose stately mansions of wealthy merchants, and palaces of princes. [542] And what a change in the aspect of these streets, in the character of those shops, and, above all, in the appearance of the restless Eastern crowd that surged to and fro! Outside their shops in the streets, or at least in sight of the passers, and within reach of their talk, was the shoemaker hammering his sandals, the tailor plying his needle, the carpenter, or the worker in iron and brass. Those who were less busy, or more enterprising, passed along, wearing some emblem of their trade: the dyer, variously coloured threads; the carpenter, a rule: the writer, a reed behind his ear; the tailor, with a needle prominently stuck in his dress. In the side streets the less attractive occupations of the butcher, the wool-comber, or the flaxspinner were pursued: the elegant workmanship of the goldsmith and jeweller; the various articles de luxe, that adorned the houses of the rich; the work of the designer, the moulder, or the artificer in iron or brass. In these streets and lanes everything might be purchased: the production of Palestine, or imported from foreign lands - nay, the rarest articles from the remotest parts. Exquisitely shaped, curiously designed and jewelled cups, rings and other workmanship of precious metals; glass, silks, fine linen, woollen stuffs, purple, and costly hangings; essences, ointments, and perfumes, as precious as gold; articles of food and drink from foreign lands - in short, what India, Persia, Arabia, Media Egypt, Italy, Greece, and even the far-off lands of the Gentiles yielded, might be had in these bazaars.

Ancient Jewish writings enable us to identify no fewer than 118 different articles of import from foreign lands, covering more than even modern luxury has devised. Articles of luxury, especially from abroad, fetched indeed enormous prices; and a lady might spend 36l. on a cloak; [543] silk would be paid by its weight in gold; purple wool at 3l. 5s. the pound, or, if double-dyed, at almost ten times that amount; while the price of the best balsam and nard was most exorbitant. On the other hand, the cost of common living was very low. In the bazaars you might get a complete suit for your slave for eighteen or nineteen shillings, [544] and a tolerable outfit for yourself from 3l. to 6l. For the same sum you might purchase an ass, [545] an ox, [546] or a cow, [547] and, for little more, a horse. A calf might be had for less than fifteen shillings, a goat for five or six. [548] Sheep were dearer, and fetched from four to fifteen or sixteen shillings, while a lamb might sometimes be had as low as two pence. No wonder living and labour were so cheap. Corn of all kinds, fruit, wine, and oil, cost very little. Meat was about a penny a pound; a man might get himself a small, of course unfurnished, lodging for about sixpence a week. [549] A day labourer was paid about 7½d. a day, though skilled labour would fetch a good deal more. Indeed, the great Hillel was popularly supposed to have supported his family on less than twopence a day, [550] while property to the amount of about 6l., or trade with 2l. or 3l. of goods, was supposed to exclude a person from charity, or a claim on what was left in the corners of fields and the gleaners. [551]

To these many like details might be added. [552] Sufficient has been said to show the two ends of society: the exceeding dearness of luxuries, and the corresponding cheapness of necessaries. Such extremes would meet especially at Jerusalem. Its population, computed at from 200,000 to 250,000, [553] was enormously swelled by travellers, and by pilgrims during the great festivals. [554] The great Palace was the residence of King and Court, with all their following and luxury; in Antonia lay afterwards the Roman garrison. The Temple called thousands of priests, many of them with their families, to Jerusalem; while the learned Academies were filled with hundreds, though it may have been mostly poor, scholars and students. In Jerusalem must have been many of the large warehouses for the near commercial harbour of Joppa; and thence, as from the industrial centres of busy Galilee, would the pedlar go forth to carry his wares over the land. More especially would the markets of Jerusalem, held, however, in bazaars and streets rather than in squares, be thronged with noisy sellers and bargaining buyers. Thither would Galilee send not only its manufactures, but its provisions: fish (fresh or salted), fruit [555] known for its lusciousness, oil, grape-syrup, and wine. There were special inspectors for these markets - the Agardemis or Agronimos - who tested weights and measures, and officially stamped them, [556] tried the soundness of food or drink, [557] and occasionally fixed or lowered the market-prices, enforcing their decision, [558] if need were, even with the stick. [559] [560] Not only was there an upper and a lower market in Jerusalem, [561] but we read of at least seven special markets: those for cattle, [562] wool, iron-ware, [563] clothes, wood, [564] bread, and fruit and vegetables. The original market-days were Monday and Tuesday, afterwards Friday. [565] The large fairs (Yeridin) were naturally confined to the centres of import and export - the borders of Egypt (Gaza), the ancient Phoenician maritime towns (Tyre and Acco), and the Emporium across the Jordan (Botnah). [566] Besides, every caravansary, or khan (qatlis, atlis, katlusis), was a sort of mart, where goods were unloaded, and especially cattle set out [567] for sale, and purchases made. But in Jerusalem one may suppose the sellers to have been every day in the market; and the magazines, in which green grocery and all kinds of meat were sold (the Beth haShevaqim), [568] must have been always open. Besides, there were the many shops (Chanuyoth) either fronting the streets, or in courtyards, or else movable wooden booths in the streets. Strangely enough, occasionally Jewish women were employed in selling. [569] Business was also done in the restaurants and wineshops, of which there were many; where you might be served with some dish: fresh or salted fish, fried locusts, a mess of vegetables, a dish of soup, pastry, sweetmeats, or a piece of a fruit-cake, to be washed down with Judæan or Galilean wine, Idumæan vinegar, or foreign beer.

If from these busy scenes we turn to the more aristocratic quarters of the Upper City, [570] we still see the same narrow streets, but tenanted by another class. First, we pass the High-Priest's palace on the slope of the hill, with a lower story under the principal apartments, and a porch in front. Here, on the night of the Betrayal, Peter was beneath in the Palace.' [571] Next, we come to Xystos, and then pause for a moment at the Palace of the Maccabees. It lies higher up the hill, and westward from the Xytos. From its halls you can look into the city, and even into the Temple. We know not which of the Maccabees had built this palace. But it was occupied, not by the actually reigning prince, who always resided in the fortress (Baris, afterwards Antonia), but by some other member of the family. From them it passed into the possession of Herod. There Herod Antipas was when, on that terrible Passover, Pilate sent Jesus from the old palace of Herod to be examined by the Ruler of Galilee. [572] If these buildings pointed to the difference between the past and present, two structures of Herod's were, perhaps, more eloquent than any words in their accusations of the Idumæan. One of these, at least, would come in sight in passing along the slopes of the Upper City. The Maccabean rule had been preceded by that of corrupt High-Priests, who had prostituted their office to the vilest purposes. One of them, who had changed his Jewish name of Joshua into Jason, had gone so far, in his attempts to Grecianise the people, as to build a Hippodrome and Gymnasium for heathen games. We infer, it stood where the Western hill sloped into the Tyropoeon, to the south-west of the Temple. [573] It was probably this which Herod afterwards enlarged and beautified, and turned into a threatre. No expense was spared on the great games held there. The threatre itself was magnificently adorned with gold, silver, precious stones, and trophies of arms and records of the victories of Augustus. But to the Jews this essentially heathen place, over against their Temple, was cause of deep indignation and plots. [574] Besides this theatre, Herod also built an immense amphitheatre, which we must locate somewhere in the north-west, and outside the second city wall. [575]

All this was Jerusalem above ground. But there was an under ground Jerusalem also, which burrowed everywhere under the city - under the Upper City, under the Temple, beyond the city walls. Its extent may be gathered from the circumstance that, after the capture of the city, besides the living who had sought shelter there, no fewer than 2,000 dead bodies were found in those subterranean streets.

Close by the tracks of heathenism in Jerusalem, and in sharp contrast, was what gave to Jerusalem its intensely Jewish character. It was not only the Temple, nor the festive pilgrims to its feasts and services. But there were hundreds of Synagogues, [576] some for different nationalities - such as the Alexandrians, or the Cyrenians; some for, or perhaps founded by, certain trade-guilds. If possible, the Jewish schools were even more numerous than the Synagogues. Then there were the many Rabbinic Academies; and, besides, you might also see in Jerusalem that mysterious sect, the Essenes, of which the members were easily recognized by their white dress. Essenes, Pharisees, stranger Jews of all hues, and of many dresses and languages! One could have imagined himself almost in another world, a sort of enchanted land, in this Jewish metropolis, and metropolis of Judaism. When the silver trumpets of the Priests woke the city to prayer, or the strain of Levite music swept over it, or the smoke of the sacrifices hung like another Shekhinah over the Temple, against the green background of Olivet; or when in every street, court, and housetop rose the booths at the Feast of Tabernacles, and at night the sheen of the Temple illumination threw long fantastic shadows over the city; or when, at the Passover, tens of thousands crowded up the Mount with their Paschal lambs, and hundreds of thousands sat down to the Paschal supper - it would be almost difficult to believe, that heathenism was so near, that the Roman was virtually, and would soon be really, master of the land, or that a Herod occupied the Jewish throne.

Yet there he was; in the pride of his power, and the reckless cruelty of his ever-watchful tyranny. Everywhere was his mark. Temples to the gods and to Cæsar, magnificent, and magnificently adorned, outside Palestine and in its non-Jewish cities; towns rebuilt or built: Sebaste for the ancient Samaria, the splendid city and harbour of Cæsarea in the west, Antipatris (after his father) in the north, Kypros and Phasaelis (after his mother and brother), and Agrippeion; unconquerable fortresses, such as Essebonitis and Machoerus in Peræa, Alexandreion, Herodeion, Hyrcania, and Masada in Judæa - proclaimed his name and sway. But in Jerusalem it seemed as if he had gathered up all his strength. The theatre and amphitheatre spoke of his Grecianism; Antonia was the representative fortress; for his religion he had built that glorious Temple, and for his residence the noblest of palaces, at the north-western angle of the Upper City, close by where Milo had been in the days of David. It seems almost incredible, that a Herod should have reared the Temple, and yet we can understand his motives. Jewish tradition had it, that a Rabbi (Baba ben Buta) had advised him in this manner to conciliate the people, [577] or else thereby to expiate the slaughter of so many Rabbis. [578] [579] Probably a desire to gain popularity, and supersition, may alike have contributed, as also the wish to gratify his love for splendour and building. At the same time, he may have wished to show himself a better Jew than that rabble of Pharisees and Rabbis, who perpetually would cast it in his teeth, that he was an Idumæan. Whatever his origin, he was a true king of the Jews - as great, nay greater, than Solomon himself. Certainly, neither labour nor money had been spared on the Temple. A thousand vehicles carried up the stone; 10,000 workmen, under the guidance of 1,000 priests, wrought all the costly material gathered into that house, of which Jewish tradition could say, He that has not seen the temple of Herod, has never known what beauty is.' [580] And yet Israel despised and abhorred the builder! Nor could his apparent work for the God of Israel have deceived the most credulous. In youth he had browbeaten the venerable Sanhedrin, and threatened the city with slaughter and destruction; again and again had he murdered her venerable sages; he had shed like water the blood of her Asmonean princes, and of every one who dared to be free; had stifled every national aspiration in the groans of the torture, and quenched it in the gore of his victims. Not once, nor twice, but six times did he change the High-Priesthood, to bestow it at last on one who bears no good name in Jewish theology, a foreigner in Judæa, an Alexandrian. And yet the power of that Idumæan was but of yesterday, and of mushroom growth!


[528] I do not here reckon the brief reign of King Agrippa.

[529] Ps. cxxii.

[530] It will be seen that, with the most recent explorers, I locate Mount Zion not on the traditional site, on the western hill of Jerusalem, but on the eastern, south of the Temple area.

[531] 1 Macc. i. 33, and often; but the precise situation of this fort' is in dispute.

[532] 1 Macc. xii. 36; Jos. Ant. xiii. 5. 11; comp. with it xiv. 16. 2; War vi. 7. 2; 8. 1.

[533] 141 b.c.

[534] 135-106 b.c.

[535] It is, to say the least, doubtful, whether the numeral 50 cubits (75 feet), which Josephus assigns to this rock (War v. 5. 8), applies to its height (comp. Speiss, Das Jerus. d. Jos.p. 66).

[536] Ant. xv. 11. 7.

[537] Jos. War v. 5. 8.

[538] I must take leave to refer to the description of Jerusalem, and especially of the Temple, in the Temple and its Services at the Time of Jesus Christ.'

[539] Dr. Mühlau, in Riehm's Handwörterb. Part viii. p. 682 b, speaks of the dimensions of the old Sanctuary as little more than those of a village church.

[540] It was only finished in 64 a.d., that is, six years before its destruction.

[541] See Conder, Heth and Moab, p. 94.

[542] Such as the Palace of Grapte, and that of Queen Helena of Adiabene.

[543] Baba B. ix. 7.

[544] Arakh. vi. 5.

[545] Baba K. x. 4.

[546] Men. xiii. 8; Baba K. iii. 9.

[547] Tos. Sheq. ii.; Tos. Ar. iv.

[548] Men. xiii. 8.

[549] Tos. Baba Mets. iv.

[550] Yoma 35 b.

[551] Peah viii. 8, 9.

[552] Comp. Herzfeld's Handelsgesch.

[553] Ancient Jerusalem is supposed to have covered about double the area of the modern city. Comp. Dr. Schick in A.M. Luncz, Jerusalem,' for 1882.

[554] Although Jerusalem covered only about 300 acres, yet, from the narrowness of Oriental streets, it would hold a very much larger population than any Western city of the same extent. Besides, we must remember that its ecclesiastical boundaries extended beyond the city.

[555] Maaser. ii. 3.

[556] Baba B. 89 a.

[557] Jer. Ab. Z 44 b; Ab. Z. 58 a.

[558] Jer. Dem 22 c.

[559] Yoma 9 a.

[560] On the question of officially fixing the market-price, diverging opinions are expressed, Baba B. 89 b. It was thought that the market-price should leave to the producer a profit of one-sixth on the cost (Baba B. 90 a). In general, the laws on these subjects form a most interesting study. Bloch (Mos. Talm. Polizeir.) holds, that there were two classes of market-officials. But this is not supported by sufficient evidence, nor, indeed, would such an arrangement seem likely.

[561] Sanh. 89 a.

[562] Erub. x. 9.

[563] Jos. War v. 8. 1.

[564] Ibid. ii. 19. 4.

[565] Tos. Baba Mets. iii.

[566] That of Botnah was the largest, Jer. Ab. Z. 39 d.

[567] Kerith. iii. 7; Temur. iii.5.

[568] Makhsh. vi. 2.

[569] Kethub. ix. 4.

[570] Compare here generally Unruh, D. alte Jerusalem.

[571] St. Mark xiv. 66.

[572] St. Luke xxiii. 6, 7.

[573] Jos. War ii. 3. 1.

[574] Ant. xv. 8. 1.

[575] Ant. xvii. 10. 2; War ii. 3. 1, 2.

[576] Tradition exaggerates their number as 460 (Jer. Kethub. 35 c.) or even 480 (Jer. Meg. 73 d). But even the large number (proportionally to the size of the city) mentioned in the text need not surprise us when we remember that ten men were sufficient to form a Synagogue, and how many - what may be called private' - Synagogues exist at present in every town where there is a large and orthodox Jewish population.

[577] Baba B. 3 b.

[578] Bemid. R. 14.

[579] The occasion is said to have been, that the Rabbis, in answer to Herod's question, quoted Deut. xvii. 15. Baba ben Buta himself is said to have escaped the slaughter, indeed, but to have been deprived of his eyes.

[580] Baba B. 4 a.


CHAPTER II.
THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF HEROD - THE TWO WORLDS IN JERUSALEM.

It is an intensely painful history, [581] in the course of which Herod made his way to the throne. We look back nearly two and a half centuries to where, with the empire of Alexander, Palestine fell to his successors. For nearly a century and a half it continued the battle-field of the Egyptian and Syrian kings (the Ptolemies and the Seleucidæ). At last it was a corrupt High-Priesthood - with which virtually the government of the land had all along lain - that betrayed Israel's precious trust. The great-grandson of so noble a figure in Jewish history as Simon the Just (compare Ecclus. 1.) bought from the Syrians the High-Priestly office of his brother, adopted the heathen name Jason, and sought to Grecianise the people. The sacred office fell, if possible, even lower when, through bribery, it was transferred to his brother Menelaus. Then followed the brief period of the terrible persecutions of Antiochus Epiphanes, when Judaism was all but exterminated in Palestine. The glorious uprising of the Maccabees called forth all the national elements left in Israel, and kindled afresh the smouldering religious feeling. It seemed like a revival of Old Testament times. And when Judas the Maccabee, with a band so inferior in numbers and discipline, defeated the best of the Syrian soldiery, led by its ablest generals, and, on the anniversary of its desecration by heathen rites, set up again the great altar of burnt-offering, it appeared as if a new Theocracy were to be inaugurated. The ceremonial of that feast of the new dedication of the Temple,' when each night the number of lights grew larger in the winter's darkness, seemed symbolic of what was before Israel. But the Maccabees were not the Messiah; nor yet the kingdom, which their sword would have restored - that of Heaven, with its blessings and peace. If ever, Israel might then have learned what Saviour to look for.

The period even of promise was more brief than might have been expected. The fervour and purity of the movement ceased almost with its success. It was certainly never the golden age of Israel - not even among those who remained faithful to its God - which those seem to imagine who, forgetful of its history and contests, would trace to it so much that is most precious and spiritual in the Old Testament. It may have been the pressure of circumstances, but it was anything but a pious, or even a happy' thought [582] of Judas the Maccabee, to seek the alliance of the Romans. From their entrance on the scene dates the decline of Israel's national cause. For a time, indeed - though after varying fortunes of war - all seemed prosperous. The Maccabees became both High-Priests and Kings. But party strife and worldliness, ambition and corruption, and Grecianism on the throne, soon brought their sequel in the decline of morale and vigour, and led to the decay and decadence of the Maccabean house. It is a story as old as the Old Testament, and as wide as the history of the world. Contention for the throne among the Maccabees led to the interference of the foreigner. When, after capturing Jerusalem, and violating the sanctity of the Temple, although not plundering its treasures, Pompey placed Hyrcanus II. in the possession of the High-Priesthood, the last of the Maccabean rulers [583] was virtually shorn of power. The country was now tributary to Rome, and subject to the Governor of Syria. Even the shadow of political power passed from the feeble hands of Hyrcanus when, shortly afterwards, Gabinius (one of the Roman governors) divided the land into five districts, independent of each other.

But already a person had appeared on the stage of Jewish affairs, who was to give them their last decisive turn. About fifty years before this, the district of Idumæa had been conquered by the Maccabean King Hyrcanus I., and its inhabitants forced to adopt Judaism. By this Idumæa we are not, however, to understand the ancient or Eastern Edom, which was now in the hands of the Nabataeans, but parts of Southern Palestine which the Edomites had occupied since the Babylonian Exile, and especially a small district on the northern and eastern boundary of Judæa, and below Samaria. [584] After it became Judæan, its administration was entrusted to a governor. In the reign of the last of the Maccabees this office devolved on one Antipater, a man of equal cunning and determination. He successfully interfered in the unhappy dispute for the crown, which was at last decided by the sword of Pompey. Antipater took the part of the utterly weak Hyrcanus in that contest with his energetic brother Aristobulus. He soon became the virtual ruler, and Hyrcanus II. only a puppet in his hands. From the accession of Judas Maccabæus, in 166 b.c., to the year 63 b.c., when Jerusalem was taken by Pompey, only about a century had elapsed. Other twenty-four years, and the last of the Maccabees had given place to the son of Antipater: Herod, surnamed the Great.

The settlement of Pompey did not prove lasting. Aristobulus, the brother and defeated rival of Hyrcanus, was still alive, and his sons were even more energetic than he. The risings attempted by them, the interference of the Parthians on behalf of those who were hostile to Rome, and, lastly, the contentions for supremacy in Rome itself, made this period one of confusion, turmoil, and constant warfare in Palestine. When Pompey was finally defeated by Cæsar, the prospects of Antipater and Hycanus seemed dark. But they quickly changed sides; and timely help given to Cæsar in Egypt brought to Antipater the title of Procurator of Judæa, while Hycanus was left in the High-Priesthood, and, at least, nominal head of the people. The two sons of Antipater were now made governors: the elder, Phasaelus, of Jerusalem; the younger, Herod, only twenty-five years old, of Galilee. Here he displayed the energy and determination which were his characteristics, in crushing a guerilla warfare, of which the deeper springs were probably nationalist. The execution of its leader brought Herod a summons to appear before the Great Sanhedrin of Jerusalem, for having arrogated to himself the power of life and death. He came, but arrayed in purple, surrounded by a body-guard, and supported by the express direction of the Roman Governor to Hyrcanus, that he was to be acquitted. Even so he would have fallen a victim to the apprehensions of the Sanhedrin - only too well grounded - had he not been persuaded to withdrawn from the city. He returned at the head of an army, and was with difficulty persuaded by his father to spare Jerusalem. Meantime Cæsar had named him Governor of Coelesyria.

On the murder of Cæsar, and the possession of Syria by Cassius, Antipater and Herod again changed sides. But they rendered such substantial service as to secure favour, and Herod was continued in the position conferred on him by Cæsar. Antipater was, indeed, poisoned by a rival, but his sons Herod and Phasaelus repressed and extinguished all opposition. When the battle of Philippi placed the Roman world in the hands of Antony and Octavius, the former obtained Asia. Once more the Idumæans knew how to gain the new ruler, and Phasaelus and Herod were named Tetrarchs of Judæa. Afterwards, when Antony was held in the toils of Cleopatra, matters seemed, indeed, to assume a different aspect. The Parthians entered the land, in support of the rival Maccabean prince Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus. By treachery, Phasaelus and Hyrcanus were induced to go to the Parthian camp, and made captives. Phasaelus shortly afterwards destroyed himself in his prison, [585] while Hyrcanus was deprived of his ears, to unfit him for the High-Priestly office. And so Antigonus for a short time succeeded both to the High-Priesthood and royalty in Jerusalem. Meantime Herod, who had in vain warned his brother and Hyrcanus against the Parthian, had been able to make his escape from Jerusalem. His family he left to the defence of his brother Joseph, in the inaccessible fortress of Masada; himself fled into Arabia, and finally made his way to Rome. There he succeeded, not only with Antony, but obtained the consent of Octavius, and was proclaimed by the Senate King of Judæa. A sacrifice on the Capitol, and a banquet by Antony, celebrated the accession of the new successor of David.

But he had yet to conquer his kingdom. At first he made way by the help of the Romans. Such success, however, as he had gained, was more than lost during his brief absence on a visit to Antony. Joseph, the brother of Herod, was defeated and slain, and Galilee, which had been subdued, revolted again. But the aid which the Romans rendered, after Herod's return from Antony, was much more hearty, and his losses were more than retrieved. Soon all Palestine, with the exception of Jerusalem, was in his hands. While laying siege to it, he went to Samaria, there to wed the beautiful Maccabean princess Mariamme, who had been betrothed to him five years before. [586] That ill-fated Queen, and her elder brother Aristobulus, united in themselves the two rival branches of the Maccabean family. Their father was Alexander, the eldest son of Aristobulus, and brother of that Antigonus whom Herod now besieged in Jerusalem; and their mother, Alexandra, the daughter of Hyrcanus II. The uncle of Mariamme was not long able to hold out against the combined forces of Rome and Herod. The carnage was terrible. When Herod, by rich presents, at length induced the Romans to leave Jerusalem, they took Antigonus with them. By desire of Herod he was executed.

This was the first of the Maccabees who fell victim to his jealousy and cruelty. The history which now follows is one of sickening carnage. The next to experience his vengeance were the principal adherents in Jerusalem of his rival Antigonus. Forty-five of the noblest and richest were executed. His next step was to appoint an abscure Babylonian to the High-Priesthood. This awakened the active hostility of Alexandra, the mother of Marimme, Herod's wife. The Maccabean princess claimed the High-Priesthood for her son Aristobulus. Her intrigues with Cleopatra - and through her with Antony - and the entreaties of Mariamme, the only being whom Herod loved, though in his own mad way, prevailed. At the age of seventeen Aristobulus was made High-Priest. But Herod, who well knew the hatred and contempt of the Maccabean members of his family, had his mother-in-law watched, a precaution increased after the vain attempt of Alexandra to have herself and her son removed in coffins from Jerusalem, to flee to Cleopatra. Soon the jealousy and suspicions of Herod were raised to murderous madness, by the acclamations which greeted the young Aristobulus at the Feast of Tabernacles. So dangerous a Maccabean rival must be got rid of; and, by secret order of Herod, Aristobulus was drowned while bathing. His mother denounced the murderer, and her influence with Cleopatra, who also hated Herod, led to his being summoned before Antony. Once more bribery, indeed, prevailed; but other troubles awaited Herod.

When obeying the summons of Antony, Herod had committed the government to his uncle Joseph, who was also his brother-in-law, having wedded Salome, the sister of Herod. His mad jealousy had prompted him to direct that, in case of his condemnation, Mariamme was to be killed, that she might not become the wife of another. Unfortunately, Joseph told this to Mariamme, to show how much she was loved. But on the return of Herod, the infamous Salome accused her old husband of impropriety with Mariamme. When it appeared that Joseph had told the Queen of his commission, Herod, regarding it as confirming his sister's charge, ordered him to be executed, without even a hearing. External complications of the gravest kind now supervened. Herod had to cede to Cleopatra the districts of Phoenice and Philistia, and that of Jericho with its rich balsam plantations. Then the dissensions between Antony and Octavius involved him, in the cause of the former, in a war with Arabia, whose king had failed to pay tribute to Cleopatra. Herod was victorious; but he had now to reckon with another master. The battle of Actium [587] decided the fate on Antony, and Herod had to make his peace with Octavius. Happily, he was able to do good service to the new cause, ere presenting himself before Augustus. But, in order to be secure from all possible rivals, he had the aged Hyrcanus II. executed, on pretence of intrigues with the Arabs. Herod was successful with Augustus; and when, in the following summer, he furnished him supplies on his march to Egypt, he was rewarded by a substantial addition of territory.

When about to appear before Augustus, Herod had entrusted to one Soemus the charge of Mariamme, with the same fatal directions as formerly to Joseph. Again Mariamme learnt the secret; again the old calumnies were raised - this time not only by Salome, but also by Kypros, Herod's mother; and again Herod imagined he had found corroborative evidence. Soemus was slain without a hearing, and the beautiful Mariamme executed after a mock trail. The most fearful paroxysm of remorse, passion, and longing for his murdered wife now seized the tyrant, and brought him to the brink of the grave. Alexandra, the mother of Mariamme, deemed the moment favorable for her plots - but she was discovered, and executed. Of the Maccabean race there now remained only distant members, the sons of Babas, who had found an asylum with Costobarus, the Governor of Idumæa, who had wedded Salome after the death of her first husband. Tired of him, as she had been of Joseph, Salome denounced her second husband; and Costobarus, as well as the sons of Babas, fell victims to Herod. Thus perished the family of the Maccabees.

The hand of the maddened tyrant was next turned against his own family. Of his ten wives, we mention only those whose children occupy a place in this history. The son of Doris was Antipater; those of the Maccabean Mariamme, Alexander and Aristobulus; another Mariamme, whose father Herod had made High-Priest, bore him a son named Herod (a name which other of the sons shared); Malthake, a Samaritan, was the mother of Archelaus and Herod Antipas; and, lastly, Cleopatra of Jerusalem bore Philip. The sons of the Maccabean princess, as heirs presumptive, were sent to Rome for their education. On this occasion Herod received, as reward for many services, the country east of the Jordan, and was allowed to appoint his still remaining brother, Pheroras, Tetrarch of Peræa. On their return from Rome the young princes were married: Alexander to a daughter of the King of Cappadocia, and Aristobulus to his cousin Berenice, the daughter of Salome. But neither kinship, nor the yet nearer relation in which Aristobulus now stood to her, could extinguish the hatred of Salome towards the dead Maccabean princess or her children. Nor did the young princes, in their pride of descent, disguise their feelings towards the house of their father. At first, Herod gave not heed to the denunciations of his sister. Presently he yielded to vague apprehensions. As a first step, Antipater, the son of Doris, was recalled from exile, and sent to Rome for education. So the breach became open; and Herod took his sons to Italy, to lay formal accusation against them before Augustus. The wise counsels of the Emperor restored peace for a time. But Antipater now returned to Palestine, and joined his calumnies to those of Salome. Once more the King of Cappadocia succeeded in reconciling Herod and his sons. But in the end the intrigues of Salome, Antipater, and of an infamous foreigner who had made his way at Court, prevailed. Alexander and Aristobulus were imprisoned, and an accusation of high treason laid against them before the Emperor. Augustus gave Herod full powers, but advised the convocation of a mixed tribunal of Jews and Romans to try the case. As might have been expected, the two princes were condemned to death, and when some old soldiers ventured to intercede for them, 300 of the supposed adherents of the cause were cut down, and the two princes strangled in prison. This happened in Samaria, where, thirty years before, Herod had wedded their ill-fated mother.

Antipater was now the heir presumptive. But, impatient of the throne, he plotted with Herod's brother, Pheroras, against his father. Again Salome denounced her nephew and her brother. Antipater withdrew to Rome; but when, after the death of Pheraras, Herod obtained indubitable evidence that his son had plotted against his life, he lured Antipater to Palestine, where on his arrival he was cast into prison. All that was needed was the permission of Augustus for his execution. It arrived, and was carried out only five days before the death of Herod himself. So ended a reign almost unparalleled for reckless cruelty and bloodshed, in which the murder of the Innocents in Bethlehem formed but so trifling an episode among the many deeds of blood, as to have seemed not deserving of record on the page of the Jewish historian.

But we can understand the feelings of the people towards such a King. They hated the Idumæan; they detested his semi-heathen reign; they abhorred his deeds of cruelty. the King had surrounded himself with foreign councillors, and was protected by foreign mercenaries from Thracia, Germany, and Gaul. [588] So long as he lived, no woman's honour was safe, no man's life secure. An army of all-powerful spies pervaded Jerusalem - nay, the King himself was said to stoop to that office. [589] If pique or private enmity led to denunciation, the torture would extract any confession from the most innocent. What his relation to Judaism had been, may easily be inferred. He would be a Jew - even build the Temple, advocate the cause of the Jews in other lands, and, in a certain sense, conform to the Law of Judaism. In building the Temple, he was so anxious to conciliate national prejudice, that the Sanctuary itself was entrusted to the workmanship of priests only. Nor did he ever intrude into the Holy Place, nor interfere with any functions of the priesthood. None of his coins bear devices which could have shocked popular feeling, nor did any of the buildings he erected in Jerusalem exhibit any forbidden emblems. The Sanhedrin did exist during his reign, [590] though it must have been shorn of all real power, and its activity confined to ecclesiastical, or semi-ecclesiastical, causes. Strangest of all, he seems to have had at least the passive support of two of the greatest Rabbis - the Pollio and Sameas of Josephus [591] - supposed to represent those great figures in Jewish tradition, Abtalion and Shemajah. [592] [593] We can but conjecture, that they preferred even his rule to what had preceded; and hoped it might lead to a Roman Protectorate, which would leave Judæa practically independent, or rather under Rabbinc rule.

It was also under the government of Herod, that Hillel and Shammai lived and taught in Jerusalem: [594] the two, whom tradition designates as the fathers of old.' [595] Both gave their names to schools,' whose direction was generally different - not unfrequently, it seems, chiefly for the sake of opposition. But it is not correct to describe the former as consistently the more liberal and mild. [596] The teaching of both was supposed to have been declared by the Voice from Heaven' (the Bath-Qol) as the words of the living God;' yet the Law was to be henceforth according to the teaching of Hillel. [597] But to us Hillel is so intensely interesting, not merely as the mild and gentle, nor only as the earnest student who came from Babylon to learn in the Academies of Jerusalem; who would support his family on a third of his scanty wages as a day labourer, that he might pay for entrance into the schools; and whose zeal and merits were only discovered when, after a severe night, in which, from poverty, he had been unable to gain admittance into the Academy, his benumbed form was taken down from the window-sill, to which he had crept up not to lose aught of the precious instruction. And for his sake did they gladly break on that Sabbath the sacred rest. Nor do we think of him, as tradition fables him - the descendant of David, [598] possessed of every great quality of body, mind, and heart; nor yet as the second Ezra, whose learning placed him at the head of the Sanhedrin, who laid down the principles afterwards applied and developed by Rabbinism, and who was the real founder of traditionalism. Still less do we think of him, as he is falsely represented by some: as he whose principles closely resemble the teaching of Jesus, or, according to certain writers, were its source. By the side of Jesus we think of him otherwise than this. We remember that, in his extreme old age and near his end, he may have presided over that meeting of Sanhedrin which, in answer to Herod's inquiry, pointed to Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah. [599] [600] We think of him also as the grandfather of that Gamaliel, at whose feet Saul of Tarsus sat. And to us he is the representative Jewish reformer, in the spirit of those times, and in the sense of restoring rather than removing; while we think of Jesus as the Messiah of Israel, in the sense of bringing the Kingdom of God to all men, and opening it to all believers.

And so there were two worlds in Jerusalem, side by side. On the one hand, was Grecianism with its theatre and amphitheatre; foreigners filling the Court, and crowding the city; foreign tendencies and ways, from the foreign King downwards. On the other hand, was the old Jewish world, becoming now set and ossified in the Schools of Hillel and Shammai, and overshadowed by Temple and Synagogue. And each was pursuing its course, by the side of the other. If Herod had everywhere his spies, the Jewish law provided its two police magistrates in Jerusalem, the only judges who received renumeration. [601] [602] If Herod judged cruelly and despotically, the Sanhedrin weighed most deliberately, the balance always inclining to mercy. If Greek was the language of the court and camp, and indeed must have been understood and spoken by most in the land, the language of the people, spoken also by Christ and His Apostles, was a dialect of the ancient Hebrew, the Western or Palestinian Aramaic. [603] It seems strange, that this could ever have been doubted. [604] A Jewish Messiah Who would urge His claim upon Israel in Greek, seems almost a contradiction in terms. We know, that the language of the Temple and the Synagogue was Hebrew, and that the addresses of the Rabbis had to be targumed' into the vernacular Aramæan - and can we believe that, in a Hebrew service, the Messiah could have risen to address the people in Greek, or that He would have argued with the Pharisees and Scribes in that tongue, especially remembering that its study was actually forbidden by the Rabbis? [605]

Indeed, it was a peculiar mixture of two worlds in Jerusalem: not only of the Grecian and the Jewish, but of piety and frivolity also. The devotion of the people and the liberality of the rich were unbounded. Fortunes were lavished on the support of Jewish learning, the promotion of piety, or the advance of the national cause. Thousands of votive offerings, and the costly gifts in the Temple, bore evidence of this. Priestly avarice had artificially raised the price of sacrificial animals, a rich man would bring into the Temple at his own cost the number requisite for the poor. Charity was not only open-handed, but most delicate, and one who had been in good circumstances would actually be enabled to live according to his former station. [606] Then these Jerusalemites - townspeople, as they called themselves - were so polished, so witty, so pleasant. There was a tact in their social intercourse, and a considerateness and delicacy in their public arrangements and provisions, nowhere else to be found. Their very language was different. There was a Jerusalem dialect, [607] quicker, shorter, lighter' (Lishna Qalila). [608] And their hospitality, especially at festive seasons, was unlimited. No one considered his house his own, and no stranger or pilgrim but found reception. And how much there was to be seen and heard in those luxuriously furnished houses, and at those sumptuous entertainments! In the women's apartments, friends from the country would see every novelty in dress, adornment, and jewellery, and have the benefit of examining themselves in looking-glasses. To be sure, as being womanish vanity, their use was interdicted to men, except it were to the members of the family of the President of the Sanhedrin, on account of their intercourse with those in authority, just as for the same reason they were allowed to learn Greek. [609] Nor might even women look in the glass on the Sabbath. [610] But that could only apply to those carried in the hand, since one might be tempted, on the holy day, to do such servile work as to pull out a grey hair with the pincers attached to the end of the glass; but not to a glass fixed in the lid of a basket; [611] nor to such as hung on the wall. [612] And then the lady-visitor might get anything in Jerusalem; from a false tooth to an Arabian veil, a Persian shawl, or an Indian dress!

While the women so learned Jerusalem manners in the inner apartments, the men would converse on the news of the day, or on politics. For the Jerusalemites had friends and correspondents in the most distant parts of the world, and letters were carried by special messengers, [613] in a kind of post-bag. Nay, there seem to have been some sort of receiving-offices in towns, [614] and even something resembling our parcel-post. [615] And, strange as it may sound, even a species of newspapers, or broadsheets, appears to have been circulating (Mikhtabhin), not allowed, however, on the Sabbath, unless they treated of public affairs. [616]

Of course, it is difficult accurately to determine which of these things were in use in the earliest times, or else introduced at a later period. Perhaps, however, it was safer to bring them into a picture of Jewish society. Undoubted, and, alas, too painful evidence comes to us of the luxuriousness of Jerusalem at that time, and of the moral corruption to which it led. It seems only too clear, that such commentations as the Talmud [617] gives of Is. iii. 16-24, in regard to the manners and modes of attraction practised by a certain class of the female population in Jerusalem, applied to a far later period than that of the prophet. With this agrees only too well the recorded covert lascivious expressions used by the men, which gives a lamentable picture of the state of morals of many in the city, [618] and the notices of the indecent dress worn not only by women, [619] but even by corrupt High-Priestly youths. Nor do the exaggerated descriptions of what the Midrash on Lamentations [620] describes as the dignity of the Jerusalemites; of the wealth which they lavished on their marriages; of the ceremony which insisted on repeated invitations to the guests to a banquet, and that men inferior in rank should not be bidden to it; of the dress in which they appeared; the manner in which the dishes were served, the wine in white crystal vases; and the punishment of the cook who had failed in his duty, and which was to be commensurate to the dignity of the party - give a better impression of the great world in Jerusalem.

And yet it was the City of God, over whose destruction not only the Patriarch and Moses, but the Angelic hosts - nay, the Almighty Himself and His Shekhinah - had made bitterest lamentation. [621] The City of the Prophets, also, since each of them whose birthplace had not been mentioned, must be regarded as having sprung from it. [622] Equally, even more, marked, but now for joy and triumph, would be the hour of Jerusalem's uprising, when it would welcome its Messiah. Oh, when would He come? In the feverish excitement of expectancy they were only too ready to listen to the voice of any pretender, however coarse and clumsy the imposture. Yet He was at hand - even now coming: only quite other than the Messiah of their dreams. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become children of God, even to them that believe on His Name.'


[581] For a fuller sketch of this history see Appendix IV.

[582] So Schürer in his Neutestam. Zeitgesch.

[583] A table of the Maccabean and Herodian families is given in Appendix VI.

[584] Comp. 1 Macc. vi. 31.

[585] By dashing out his brains against the prison walls.

[586] He had previously been married to one Doris, the issue of the marriage being a son, Antipater.

[587] 31 b.c.

[588] Jos. Ant. xvii. 8. 3.

[589] Ant. xv. 10. 4.

[590] Comp. the discussion of this question in Wieseler, Beitr. pp. 215 &c.

[591] Ant. xiv. 9. 4; xv. 1. 1, 10. 4.

[592] Ab. i. 10, 11.

[593] Even their recorded fundamental principles bear this out. That of Shemajah was: Love labour, hate lordship, and do not push forward to the authorities.' That of Abtalion was: Ye sages, be careful in your words, lest perchance ye incur banishment, and are exiled to a place of bad waters, and the disciples who follow you drink of them and die, and so in the end the name of God be profaned.'

[594] On Hillel and Shammai see the article in Herzog's Real-Encyklop.; that in Hamburger's; Delitzsch, Jesus u. Hillel. and books on Jewish history generally.

[595] Eduj. 1. 4.

[596] A number of points on which the ordinances of Hillel were more severe than those of Shammai are enumerated in Eduj. iv. 1-12; v. 1-4; Ber. 36 a, end. Comp. also Ber. R. 1.

[597] Jer. Ber. 3 b, lines 3 and 2 from bottom.

[598] Ber. R. 98.

[599] St.Matt. ii. 4.

[600] On the chronology of the life of Hillel &c., see also Schmilg, Ueb. d. Entsteh. &c. der Megillath Taanith, especially p. 34. Hillel is said to have become Chief of the Sanhedrin in 30 b.c., and to have held the office for forty years. These numbers, however, are no doubt somewhat exaggerated.

[601] Jer. Kethub. 35 c; Kethub. 104 b.

[602] The police laws of the Rabbis might well serve us as a model for all similar legislation.

[603] At the same time I can scarcely agree with Delitzsch and others, that this was the dialect called Sursi. The latter was rather Syriac. Comp. Levy, ad voc.

[604] Professor Roberts has advocated, with great ingenuity, the view that Christ and His Apostles used the Greek language. See especially his Discussions on the Gospels.' The Roman Catholic Church sometimes maintained, that Jesus and His disciples spoke Latin, and in 1822 a work appeared by Black to prove that the N.T. Greek showed a Latin origin.

[605] For a full statement of the arguments on this subject we refer the student to Böhl, Forsch. n. e. Volksbibel z. Zeit Jesu, pp. 4-28; to the latter work by the same writer (Aittestam. Citate im N. Test.); to a very interesting article by Professor Delitzsch in the Daheim' for 1874 (No. 27); to Buxtorf, sub Gelil; to J. D. Goldberg, The Language of Christ'; but especially to F. de Rossi, Della lingua prop. di Cristo (Parma 1772).

[606] Thus Hillel was said to have hired a horse, and even an outrunner, for a decayed rich man.

[607] Bemid. R. 14; ed. Warsh. p. 59 a.

[608] Baba K.

[609] Jer.Shabb. 7 d.

[610] Shabb. 149 a.

[611] Kel. xiv. 6.

[612] Tos. Shabb. xiii. ed. Zuckerm. p. 130.

[613] Shabb. x. 4.

[614] Shabb. 19 a.

[615] Rosh haSh. 9 b.

[616] Tos. Shabb. xviii.

[617] Shabb. 62 b.

[618] Comp. Shabb. 62 b, last line and first of 63 a.

[619] Kel. xxiv. 16; xxviii. 9.

[620] On ch. iv 2.

[621] See the Introduction to the Midrash on Lamentations. But some of the descriptions are so painful - even blasphemous - that we do not venture on quotation.

[622] Meg. 15 a.


CHAPTER III.
THE ANNUNCIATION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST

(St. Luke i. 5-25.)

It was the time of the Morning Sacrifice. [623] As the massive Temple gates slowly swung on their hinges, a three-fold blast from the silver trumpets of the Priests seemed to waken the City, as with the Voice of God, to the life of another day. As its echoes came in the still air across the cleft of the Tyropoeon, up the slopes of the Upper City, down the busy quarters below, or away to the new suburb beyond, they must, if but for a moment, have brought holier thoughts to all. For, did it not seem to link the present to the past and the future, as with the golden chain of promises that bound the Holy City to the Jerusalem that was above, which in type had already, and in reality would soon descend from heaven? Patriot, saint, or stranger, he could not have heard it unmoved, as thrice the summons from within the Temple-gates rose and fell.

It had not come too soon. The Levites on ministry, and those of the laity, whose course' it was to act as the representatives of Israel, whether in Palestine or far away, in a sacrifice provided by, and offered for, all Israel, hastened to their duties. [624] For already the blush of dawn, for which the Priest on the highest pinnacle of the Temple had watched, to give the signal for beginning the services of the day, had shot its brightness far away to Hebron and beyond. Within the Courts below all had long been busy. At some time previously, unknown to those who waited for the morning - whether at cockcrowing, or a little earlier or later, [625] the superintending Priest had summoned to their sacred functions those who had washed,' according to the ordinance. There must have been each day about fifty priests on duty. [626] Such of them as were ready now divided into two parties, to make inspection of the Temple courts by torchlight. Presently they met, and trooped to the well-known Hall of Hewn Polished Stones, [627] where formerly the Sanhedrin had been wont to sit. The ministry for the day was there apportioned. To prevent the disputes of carnal zeal, the lot' was to assign to each his function. Four times was it resorted to: twice before, and twice after the Temple-gates were opened. The first act of their ministry had to be done in the grey dawn, by the fitful red light that glowed on the altar of burnt offering, ere the priests had stirred it into fresh flame. It was scarcely daybreak, when a second time they met for the lot,' which designated those who were to take part in the sacrifice itself, and who were to trim the golden candlestick, and make ready the altar of incense within the Holy Place. And now morn had broken, and nothing remained before the admission of worshippers but to bring out the lamb, once again to make sure of its fitness for sacrifice, to water it from a golden bowl, and then to lay it in mystic fashion - as tradition described the binding of Isaac - on the north side of the altar, with its face to the west.

All, priests and laity, were present as the Priest, standing on the east side of the altar, from a golden bowl sprinkled with sacrificial blood two sides of the altar, below the red line which marked the difference between ordinary sacrifices and those that were to be wholly consumed. While the sacrifice was prepared for the altar, the priests, whose lot it was, had made ready all within the Holy Place, where the most solemn part of the day's service was to take place - that of offering the incense, which symbolised Israel's accepted prayers. Again was the lot (the third) cast to indicate him, who was to be honoured with this highest mediatorial act. Only once in a lifetime might any one enjoy that privilege. [628] Henceforth he was called rich,' [629] and must leave to his brethren the hope of the distinction which had been granted him. It was fitting that, as the custom was, such lot should be preceded by prayer and confession of their faith [630] on the part of the assembled priests.

It was the first week in October 748 a.u.c., [631] that is, in the sixth year before our present era, when the course of Abia' [632] - the eighth in the original arrangement of the weekly service - was on duty in the Temple. True this, as indeed most of the twenty-four courses' into which the Priesthood had been arranged, could not claim identity, only continuity, with those whose names they bore. For only three, or at most four, of the ancient courses' had returned from Babylon. But the original arrangement had been preserved, the names of the missing courses being retained, and their number filled up by lot from among those who had come back to Palestine. In our ignorance of the number of houses of their father,' or families,' which constituted the course of Abia,' it is impossible to determine, how the services of that week had been apportioned among them. But this is of comparatively small importance, since there is no doubt about the central figure in the scene.

In the group ranged that autumn morning around the superintending Priest was one, on whom the snows of at least sixty winters had fallen. [633] But never during these many years had he been honoured with the office of incensing - and it was perhaps well he should have learned, that this distinction came direct from God. Yet the venerable figure of Zacharias must have been well known in the Temple. For, each course was twice a year on ministry, and, unlike the Levites, the priests were not disqualified by age, but only by infirmity. In many respects he seemed different from those around. His home was not in either of the great priest-centres - the Ophel-quarter in Jerusalem, nor in Jericho [634] - but in some small town in those uplands, south of Jerusalem: the historic hill-country of Judea.' And yet he might have claimed distinction. To be a priest, and married to the daughter of a priest, was supposed to convey twofold honour. [635] That he was surrounded by relatives and friends, and that he was well known and respected throughout his district, appears incidentally from the narrative. [636] It would, indeed, have been strange had it been otherwise. There was much in the popular habits of thought, as well as in the office and privileges of the Priesthood, if worthily represented, to invest it with a veneration which the aggressive claims of Rabbinism could not wholly monopolise. And in this instance Zacharias and Elisabeth, his wife, were truly righteous,' [637] in the sense of walking, so far as man could judge, blamelessly,' alike in those commandments which were specially binding on Israel, and in those statutes that were of universal bearing on mankind. [638] No doubt their piety assumed in some measure the form of the time, being, if we must use the expression, Pharisaic, though in the good, not the evil sense of it.

There is much about those earlier Rabbis - Hillel, Gamaliel, and others - to attract us, and their spirit ofttimes sharply contrasts with the narrow bigotry, the self-glory, and the unspiritual externalism of their successors. We may not unreasonably infer, that the Tsaddiq in the quiet home of the hill-country was quite other than the self-asserting Rabbi, whose dress and gait, voice and manner, words and even prayers, were those of the religious parvenu, pushing his claims to distinction before angels and men. Such a household as that of Zacharias and Elisabeth would have all that was beautiful in the religion of the time: devotion towards God; a home of affection and purity; reverence towards all that was sacred in things Divine and human; ungrudging, self-denying, loving charity to the poor; the tenderest regard for the feelings of others, so as not to raise a blush, nor to wound their hearts; [639] above all, intense faith and hope in the higher and better future of Israel. Of such, indeed, there must have been not a few in the land - the quiet, the prayerful, the pious, who, though certainly not Sadducees nor Essenes, but reckoned with the Pharisaic party, waited for the consolation of Israel, and received it with joy when manifested. Nor could aught more certainly have marked the difference between the one and the other section than on a matter, which must almost daily, and most painfully have forced itself on Zacharias and Elisabeth. There were among the Rabbis those who, remembering the words of the prophet, [640] spoke in most pathetic language of the wrong of parting from the wife of youth, [641] and there were those to whom the bare fact of childlessness rendered separation a religious duty. [642] Elisabeth was childless. For many a year this must have been the burden of Zacharias' prayer; the burden also of reproach, which Elisabeth seemed always to carry with her. They had waited together these many years, till in the evening of life the flower of hope had closed its fragrant cup; and still the two sat together in the twilight, content to wait in loneliness, till night would close around them.

But on that bright autumn morning in the Temple no such thoughts would come to Zacharias. For the first, and for the last time in life the lot had marked him for incensing, and every thought must have centred on what was before him. Even outwardly, all attention would be requisite for the proper performance of his office. First, he had to choose two of his special friends or relatives, to assist in his sacred service. Their duties were comparatively simple. One reverently removed what had been left on the altar from the previous evening's service; then, worshipping, retired backwards. The second assistant now advanced, and, having spread to the utmost verge of the golden altar the live coals taken from that of burnt-offering, worshipped and retired. Meanwhile the sound of the organ' (the Magrephah), heard to the most distant parts of the Temple, and, according to tradition, far beyond its precincts, had summoned priests, Levites, and people to prepare for whatever service or duty was before them. For, this was the innermost part of the worship of the day. But the celebrant Priest, bearing the golden censer, stood alone within the Holy Place, lit by the sheen of the seven-branched candlestick. Before him - somewhat farther away, towards the heavy Veil that hung before the Holy of Holies, was the golden altar of incense, on which the red coals glowed. To his right (the left of the altar - that is, on the north side) was the table of shewbread; to his left, on the right or south side of the altar, was the golden candlestick. And still he waited, as instructed to do, till a special signal indicated, that the moment had come to spread the incense on the altar, as near as possible to the Holy of Holies. Priests and people had reverently withdrawn from the neighbourhood of the altar, and were prostrate before the Lord, offering unspoken worship, in which record of past deliverance, longing for mercies promised in the future, and entreaty for present blessing and peace, [643] seemed the ingredients of the incense, that rose in a fragrant cloud of praise and prayer. Deep silence had fallen on the worshippers, as if they watched to heaven the prayers of Israel, ascending in the cloud of odours' that rose from the golden altar in the Holy Place. [644] Zacharias waited, until he saw the incense kindling. Then he also would have bowed down in worship,' and reverently withdrawn, [645] had not a wondrous sight arrested his steps.

On the right (or south) side of the altar, between it and the golden candlestick, stood what he could not but recognise as an Angelic form. [646] Never, indeed, had even tradition reported such a vision to an ordinary Priest in the act of incensing. The two super-natural apparitions recorded - one of an Angel each year of the Pontificate of Simon the Just; the other in that blasphemous account of the vision of the Almighty by Ishmael, the son of Elisha, and of the conversation which then ensued [647] [648] - had both been vouchsafed to High-Priests, and on the Day of Atonement. Still, there was always uneasiness among the people as any mortal approached the immediate Presence of God, and every delay in his return seemed ominous. [649] No wonder, then, that Zacharias was troubled, and fear fell on him,' as of a sudden - probably just after he had spread the incense on the altar, and was about to offer his parting prayer - he beheld what afterwards he knew to be the Angel Gabriel (the might of God'). Apart from higher considerations, there could perhaps be no better evidence of the truth of this narrative than its accord with psychological facts. An Apocryphal narrative would probably have painted the scene in agreement with what, in the view of such a writer, should have been the feelings of Zacharias, and the language of the Angel. [650] The Angel would have commenced by referring to Zacharias' prayers for the coming of a Messiah, and Zacharias would have been represented in a highly enthusiastic state. Instead of the strangely prosaic objection which he offered to the Angelic announcement, there would have been a burst of spiritual sentiment, or what passed for such. But all this would have been psychologically untrue. There are moments of moral faintness, so to spseak, when the vital powers of the spiritual heart are depressed, and, as in the case of the Disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration and in the Garden of Gethsemane, the physical part of our being and all that is weakest in us assert their power.

It was true to this state of semi-consciousness, that the Angel first awakened within Zacharias the remembrance of life-long prayers and hopes, which had now passed into the background of his being, and then suddenly startled him by the promise of their realisation. But that Child of so many prayers, who was to bear the significant name of John (Jehochanan, or Jochanan), the Lord is gracious,' was to be the source of joy and gladness to a far wider circle than that of the family. This might be called the first rung of the ladder by which the Angel would take the priest upwards. Nor was even this followed by an immediate disclosure of what, in such a place, and from such a messenger, must have carried to a believing heart the thrill of almost unspeakable emotion. Rather was Zacharias led upwards, step by step. The Child was to be great before the Lord; not only an ordinary, but a life-Nazarite, [651] as Samson and Samuel of old had been. Like them, he was not to consecrate himself, but from the inception of life wholly to belong to God, for His work. And, greater than either of these representatives of the symbolical import of Nazarism, he would combine the twofold meaning of their mission - outward and inward might in God, only in a higher and more spiritual sense. For this life-work he would be filled with the Holy Ghost, from the moment life woke within him. Then, as another Samson, would he, in the strength of God, lift the axe to each tree to be felled, and, like another Samuel, turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. Nay, combining these two missions, as did Elijah on Mount Carmel, he should, in accordance with prophecy, [652] precede the Messianic manifestation, and, not indeed in the person or form, but in the spirit and power of Elijah, accomplish the typical meaning of his mission, as on that day of decision it had risen as the burden of his prayer [653] - that is, in the words of prophecy, [654] turn the heart of the fathers to the children,' which, in view of the coming dispensation, would be the disobedient (to walk) in the wisdom of the just.' [655] Thus would this new Elijah make ready for the Lord a people prepared.'

If the apparition of the Angel, in that place, and at that time, had overwhelmed the aged priest, the words which he heard must have filled him with such bewilderment, that for the moment he scarcely realised their meaning. One idea alone, which had struck its roots so long in his consciousness, stood out: A son - while, as it were in the dim distance beyond, stretched, as covered with a mist of glory, all those marvellous things that were to be connected with him. So, when age or strong feeling renders us almost insensible to the present, it is ever that which connects itself with the past, rather than with the present, which emerges first and strongest in our consciousness. And so it was the obvious doubt, that would suggest itself, which fell from his lips - almost unconscious of what he said. Yet there was in his words an element of faith also, or at least of hope, as he asked for some pledge or confirmation of what he had heard.

It is this demand of some visible sign, by which to know' all that the Angel had promised, which distinguishes the doubt of Zacharias from that of Abraham, [656] or of Manoah and his wife, [657] under somewhat similar circumstances - although, otherwise also, even a cursory reading must convey the impression of most marked differences. Nor ought we perhaps to forget, that we are on the threshold of a dispensation, to which faith is the only entrance. This door Zacharias was now to hold ajar, a dumb messenger. He that would not speak the praises of God, but asked a sign, received it. His dumbness was a sign - though the sign, as it were the dumb child of the prayer of unbelief, was its punishment also. And yet, when rightly applied, a sign in another sense also - a sign to the waiting multitude in the Temple; a sign to Elisabeth; to all who knew Zacharias in the hill-country; and to the priest himself, during those nine months of retirement and inward solitude; a sign also that would kindle into flame in the day when God would loosen his tongue.

A period of unusual length had passed, since the signal for incensing had been given. The prayers of the people had been offered, and their anxious gaze was directed towards the Holy Place. At last Zacharias emerged to take his stand on the top of the steps which led from the Porch to the Court of the Priests, waiting to lead in the priestly benediction, [658] that preceded the daily meat-offering and the chant of the Psalms of praise, accompanied with joyous sound of music, as the drink-offering was poured out. But already the sign of Zacharias was to be a sign to all the people. The pieces of the sacrifices had been ranged in due order on the altar of burnt-offering; the priests stood on the steps to the porch, and the people were in waiting. Zacharias essayed to speak the words of benediction, unconscious that the stoke had fallen. But the people knew it by his silence, that he had seen a vision in the Temple. Yet as he stood helpless, trying by signs to indicate it to the awestruck assembly, he remained dumb.

Wondering, they had dispersed - people and priests. The day's service over, another family of ministrants took the place of those among whom Zacharias had been; and again, at the close of the week's service, another course' that of Abia. They returned to their homes - some to Ophel, some to Jericho, some to their quiet dwellings in the country. But God fulfilled the word which He had spoken by His Angel.

Before leaving this subject, it may be well to inquire into the relation between the events just described, and the customs and expectations of the time. The scene in the Temple, and all the surroundings, are in strictest accordance with what we know of the services of the Sanctuary. In a narrative that lays hold on some details of a very complex service, such entire accuracy conveys the impression of general truthfulness. Similarly, the sketch of Zacharias and Elisabeth is true to the history of the time - though Zacharias could not have been one of the learned,' nor to the Rabbinists, a model priest. They would have described him as an idiot,' [659] or common, and as an Amha-arets, a rustic' priest, and treated him with benevolent contempt. [660] The Angelic apparition, which he saw, was wholly unprecedented, and could therefore not have lain within range of common expectation; though the possibility, or rather the fear, of some contact with the Divine was always present to the popular mind. But it is difficult to conceive how, if not true, the invention of such a vision in such circumstances could have suggested itself. This difficulty is enhanced by the obvious difference between the Evangelic narrative, and the popular ideas of the time. Far too much importance has here been attached by a certain class of writers to a Rabbinic saying, [661] that the names of the Angels were brought from Babylon. For, not only was this saying (of Ben Lakish) only a clever Scriptural deduction (as the context shows), and not even an actual tradition, but no competent critic would venture to lay down the principle, that isolated Rabbinic sayings in the Talmud are to be regarded as sufficient foundation for historical facts. On the other hand, Rabbinic tradition does lay it down, that the names of the Angels were derived from their mission, and might be changed with it. Thus the reply of the Angel to the inquiry of Manoah [662] is explained as implying, that he knew not what other name might be given him in the future. In the Book of Daniel, to which the son of Lakish refers, the only two Angelic names mentioned are Gabriel [663] and Michael, [664] while the appeal to the Book of Daniel, as evidence of the Babylonish origin of Jewish Angelology, comes with strange inconsistency from writers who date it in Maccabean times. [665] But the question of Angelic nomenclature is quite secondary. The real point at issue is, whether or not the Angelology and Demonology of the New Testament was derived from contemporary Judaism. The opinion, that such was the case, has been so dogmatically asserted, as to have almost passed among a certain class as a settled fact. That nevertheless such was not the case, is capable of the most ample proof. Here also, with similarity of form, slighter than usually, there is absolutely contrast of substance. [666]

Admitting that the names of Gabriel and Michael must have been familiar to the mind of Zacharias, some not unimportant differences must be kept in view. Thus, Gabriel was regarded in tradition as inferior to Michael; and, though both were connected with Israel, Gabriel was represented as chiefly the minister of justice, and Michael of mercy; while, thirdly, Gabriel was supposed to stand on the left, and not (as in the Evangelic narrative) on the right, side of the throne of glory. Small as these divergences may seem, they are all important, when derivation of one set of opinions from another is in question. Finally, as regarded the coming of Elijah as forerunner of the Messiah, it is to be observed that, according to Jewish notions, he was to appear personally, and not merely in spirit and power.' In fact, tradition represents his ministry and appearances as almost continuous - not only immediately before the coming of Messiah, but at all times. Rabbinic writings introduce him on the scene, not only frequently, but on the most incongruous occasions, and for the most diverse purposes. In this sense it is said of him, that he always liveth. [667] Sometimes, indeed, he is blamed, as for the closing words in his prayer about the turning of the heart of the people, [668] and even his sacrifice on Carmel was only excused on the ground of express command. [669] But his great activity as precursor of the Messiah is to resolve doubts of all kinds; to reintroduce those who had been violently and improperly extruded from the congregation of Israel, and vice-versa; to make peace; while, finally, he was connected with the raising of the dead. [670] [671] But nowhere is he prominently designated as intended to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.' [672]

Thus, from whatever source the narrative may be supposed to have been derived, its details certainly differ, in almost all particulars, from the theological notions current at the time. And the more Zacharias meditated on this in the long solitude of his enforced silence, the more fully must new spiritual thoughts have come to him. As for Elisabeth, those tender feelings of woman, which ever shrink from the disclosure of the dearest secret of motherhood, were intensely deepened and sanctified in the knowledge of all that had passed. Little as she might understand the full meaning of the future, it must have been to her, as if she also now stood in the Holy Place, gazing towards the Veil which concealed the innermost Presence. Meantime she was content with, nay, felt the need of, absolute retirement from other fellowship than that of God and her own heart. Like her husband, she too would be silent and alone - till another voice called her forth. Whatever the future might bring, sufficient for the present, that thus the Lord had done to her, in days in which He looked down to remove her reproach among men. The removal of that burden, its manner, its meaning, its end, were all from God, and with God; and it was fitting to be quite alone and silent, till God's voice would again wake the echoes within. And so five months passed in absolute retirement.


[623] We presume, that the ministration of Zacharias (St. Luke i. 9) took place in the morning, as the principal service. But Meyer (Komm. i. 2, p. 242) is mistaken in supposing, that this follows from the reference to the lot. It is, indeed, true that, of the four lots for the priestly functions, three took place only in the morning. But that for incensing was repeated in the evening (Yoma 26 a). Even Bishop Haneberg (Die Relig. Alterth. p. 609) is not accurate in this respect.

[624] For a description of the details of that service, see The Temple and its Services,' &c.

[625] Tamid i. 2.

[626] If we reckon the total number in the twenty-four courses of, presumably, the officiating priesthood, at 20,000, according to Josephus (Ag. Ap. ii. 8), which is very much below the exaggerated Talmudic computation of 85,000 for the smallest course (Jer. Taan. 69 a), and suppose, that little more than one-third of each course had come up for duty, this would give fifty priests for each week-day, while on the Sabbath the whole course would be on duty. This is, of course, considerably more than the number requisite, since, except for the incensing priest, the lot for the morning also held good for the evening sacrifice.

[627] Yoma 25 a.

[628] Tamid v. 2.

[629] Yoma 26 a. The designation rich' is derived from the promise which, in Deut. xxxiii. 11, follows on the service referred to in verse 10. But probably a spiritual application was also intended.

[630] The so-called Shema, consisting of Deut. vi. 4-9; xi. 13-21; Num. xv. 37-41.

[631] The question of this date is, of course, intimately connected with that of the Nativity of Christ, and could therefore not be treated in the text. It is discussed in Appendix VII.: On the Date of the Nativity of our Lord.'

[632] This was the eighth course in the original arrangement (1 Chr. xxiv. 10).

[633] According to St. Luke i. 7, they were both well stricken in years.' But from Aboth v. 21 we learn, that sixty years was considered the commencement of agedness.'

[634] According to tradition, about one-fourth of the priesthood was resident in Jericho. But, even limiting this to those who were in the habit of officiating, the statement seems greatly exaggerated.

[635] Comp. Ber. 44 a; Pes. 49 a; Vayyikra R. 4.

[636] dkaios - of  course not in the strict sense in which the word is sometimes used, especially by St. Paul, but as pius et bonus. See Vorstius (De Hebraism. N.T. pp. 55 &c.). As the account of the Evangelist seems derived from an original Hebrew source, the word must have corresponded to that of Tsaddiq in the then popular signification.

[637] dkaios - of  course not in the strict sense in which the word is sometimes used, especially by St. Paul, but as pius et bonus. See Vorstius (De Hebraism. N.T. pp. 55 &c.). As the account of the Evangelist seems derived from an original Hebrew source, the word must have corresponded to that of Tsaddiq in the then popular signification.

[638] ntola and dikaimata evidently mark an essential division of the Law at the time. But it is almost impossible to determine their exact Hebrew equivalents. The LXX. render by these two terms not always the same Hebrew words. Comp. Gen. xxvi. 5 with Deut. iv. 40. They cannot refer to the division of the law into affirmative (248) and prohibitive (365) commandments.

[639] There is, perhaps, no point on which the Rabbinic Law is more explicit or stringent than on that of tenderest regard for the feelings of others, especially of the poor.

[640] Mal. ii. 13-16.

[641] Gitt. 90 b.

[642] Yeb. 64 a.

[643] For the prayers offered by the people during the incensing, see The Temple,' pp. 139, 140.

[644] Rev. v. 8; viii. 1, 3, 4.

[645] Tamid vi. 3.

[646] The following extract from Yalkut (vol. i. p. 113 d, close) affords a curious illustration of this Divine communication from beside the altar of incense: From what place did the Shekhinah speak to Moses? R. Nathan said: From the altar of incense, according to Ex. xxx. 6. Simeon ben Asai said: From the side of the altar of incense.'

[647] Ber. 7 a.

[648] According to the Talmud, Ishmael once went into the innermost Sanctuary, when he had a vision of God, Who called upon the priest to pronounce a benediction. The token of God's acceptance had better not be quoted.

[649] Jer. Yoma 42 c.

[650] Instances of an analogous kind frequently occur in the Apocryphal Gospels.

[651] On the different classes of Nazarites, see The Temple, &c.,' pp. 322-331.

[652] Mal. iii. 1.

[653] 1 Kings xviii. 37.

[654] Mal. iv. 5, 6.

[655] St. Luke i. 17; comp. St. Matt. xi. 19.

[656] Gen. xvii. 17, 18.

[657] Judg. xiii 2-21.

[658] Numb. vi. 24-26.

[659] The word {hebrew} or idiot,' when conjoined with priest' ordinarily means a common priest, in distinction to the High priest. But the word unquestionably also signifies vulgar, ignorant, and illiterate. See Jer. Sot. 21 b, line 3 from bottom; Sanh. 21 b. Comp. also Meg. 12 b; Ber. R. 96.

[660] According to Sanh. 90 b, such an one was not even allowed to get the Terumah.

[661] Jer. haSh. 56 d, line 10 from bottom.

[662] Judg. xiii. 18.

[663] Dan. ix. 21.

[664] x. 21.

[665] Two other Angels are mentioned, but not named, in Dan. x. 13, 20.

[666] The Jewish ideas and teaching about angels are fully given in Appendix XIII.: Jewish Angelology and Demonology.'

[667] Moed k. 26 a.

[668] 1 Kings xviii. 37 (in Hebr. without that' and again'); see Ber. 31 b, last two lines.

[669] Bemidbar R. 14. Another view in Par. 13.

[670] This in Shir haSh R. i. ed. Warshau, p. 3 a.

[671] All the Rabbinic traditions about Elijah as the Forerunner of the Messiah' are collated in Appendix VIII.

[672] I should, however, remark, that that very curious chapter on Repentance, in the Pirké de R. Elieser (c. 43), closes with these words: And Israel will not make great repentance till Elijah - his memory for blessing! - come, as it is said, Mal. iv. 6,' &c. From this isolated and enigmatic sentence, Professor Delitzsch's implied inference (Zeitschr. fur Luther. Theol. 1875, p. 593) seems too sweeping.


CHAPTER IV.
THE ANNUNCIATION OF JESUS THE MESSIAH, AND THE BIRTH OF HIS FORERUNNER.

(St. Matt. i.; St. Luke i. 26-80.)

FROM the Temple to Nazareth! It seems indeed most fitting that the Evangelic story should have taken its beginning within the Sanctuary, and at the time of sacrifice. Despite its outward veneration for them, the Temple, its services, and specially its sacrifices, were, by an inward logical necessity, fast becoming a superfluity for Rabbinism. But the new development, passing over the intruded elements, which were, after all, of rationalistic origin, connected its beginning directly with the Old Testament dispensation - its sacrifices, priesthood, and promises. In the Sanctuary, in connection with sacrifice, and through the priesthood - such was significantly the beginning of the era of fulfillment. And so the great religious reformation of Israel under Samuel had also begun in the Tabernacle, which had so long been in the background. But if, even in this Temple-beginning, and in the communication to, and selection of an idiot priest,' there was marked divergence from the Rabbinic ideal, that difference widens into the sharpest contrast, as we pass from the Forerunner to the Messiah, from the Temple to Galilee, from the idiot' priest to the humble, unlettered family of Nazareth. It is necessary here to recall our general impression of Rabbinism: its conception of God, [673] and of the highest good and ultimate object of all things, as concentrated in learned study, pursued in Academies; and then to think of the unmitigated contempt with which they were wont to speak of Galilee, and of the Galileans, whose very patois was an offence; of the utter abhorrence with which they regarded the unlettered country-people, in order to realise, how such an household as that of Joseph and Mary would be regarded by the leaders of Israel. A Messianic announcement, not the result of learned investigation, nor connected with the Academies, but in the Sanctuary, to a rustic' priest; an Elijah unable to untie the intellectual or ecclesiastical knots, of whose mission, indeed, this formed no part at all; and a Messiah, the offspring of a Virgin in Galilee betrothed to a humble workman - assuredly, such a picture of the fulfillment of Israel's hope could never have been conceived by contemporary Judaism. There was in such a Messiah absolutely nothing - past, present, or possible; intellectually, religiously, or even nationally - to attract, but all to repel. And so we can, at the very outset of this history, understand the infinite contrast which it embodied - with all the difficulties to its reception, even to those who became disciples, as at almost every step of its progress they were, with ever fresh surprise, recalled from all that they had formerly thought, to that which was so entirely new and strange.

And yet, just as Zacharias may be described as the representative of the good and the true in the Priesthood at that time, so the family of Nazareth as a typical Israelitish household. We feel, that the scantiness of particulars here supplied by the Gospels, was intended to prevent the human interest from overshadowing the grand central Fact, to which alone attention was to be directed. For, the design of the Gospels was manifestly not to furnish a biography of Jesus the Messiah, [674] but, in organic connection with the Old Testament, to tell the history of the long-promised establishment of the Kingdom of God upon earth. Yet what scanty details we possess of the Holy Family' and its surroundings may here find a place.

The highlands which form the central portion of Palestine are broken by the wide, rich plain of Jezreel, which severs Gailee from the rest of the land. This was always the great battle-field of Israel. Appropriately, it is shut in as between mountain-walls. That along the north of the plain is formed by the mountains of Lower Galilee, cleft about the middle by a valley that widens, till, after an hour's journey, we stand within an enclosure which seems almost one of Nature's own sanctuaries. As in an amphitheatre, fifteen hill-tops rise around. That to the west is the highest - about 500 feet. On its lower slopes nestles a little town, its narrow streets ranged like terraces. This is Nazareth, probably the ancient Sarid (or En-Sarid), which, in the time of Joshua, marked the northern boundary of Zebulun. [675] [676]

Climbing this steep hill, fragrant with aromatic plants, and bright with rich-coloured flowers, a view almost unsurpassed opens before us. For, the Galilee of the time of Jesus was not only of the richest fertility, cultivated to the utmost, and thickly covered with populous towns and villages, but the centre of every known industry, and the busy road of the world's commerce. Northward the eye would sweep over a rich plain; rest here and there on white towns, glittering in the sunlight; then quickly travel over the romantic hills and glens which form the scenes of Solomon's Song, till, passing beyond Safed (the Tsephath of the Rabbis - the city set on a hill'), the view is bounded by that giant of the far-off mountain-chain, snow-tipped Hermon. Westward stretched a like scene of beauty and wealth - a land not lonely, but wedded; not desolate, but teeming with life; while, on the edge of the horizon, lay purple Carmel; beyond it a fringe of silver sand, and then the dazzling sheen of the Great Sea. In the farthest distance, white sails, like wings outspread towards the ends of the world; nearer, busy ports; then, centres of industry; and close by, travelled roads, all bright in the pure Eastern air and rich glow of the sun. But if you turned eastwards, the eye would soon be arrested by the wooded height of Tabor, yet not before attention had been riveted by the long, narrow string of fantastic caravans, and curiosity roused by the motley figures, of all nationalities and in all costumes, busy binding the East to the West by that line of commerce that passed along the route winding around Tabor. And when, weary with the gaze, you looked once more down on little Nazareth nestling on the breast of the mountain, the eye would rest on a scene of tranquil, homely beauty. Just outside the town, in the north-west, bubbled the spring or well, the trysting-spot of townspeople, and welcome resting-place of travellers. Beyond it stretched lines of houses, each with its flat roof standing out distinctly against the clear sky; watered, terraced gardens, gnarled wide-spreading figtrees, graceful feathery palms, scented oranges, silvery olive-trees, thick hedges, rich pasture-land, then the bounding hills to the south; and beyond, the seemingly unbounded expanse of the wide plain of Esdraelon!

And yet, withdrawn from the world as, in its enclosure of mountains, Nazareth might seem, we must not think of it as a lonely village which only faint echoes reached of what roused the land beyond. With reverence be it said: such a place might have suited the training of the contemplative hermit, not the upbringing of Him Whose sympathies were to be with every clime and race. Nor would such an abode have furnished what (with all due acknowledgment of the supernatural) we mark as a constant, because a rationally necessary, element in Scripture history: that of inward preparedness in which the higher and the Divine afterwards find their ready points of contact.

Nor was it otherwise in Nazareth. The two great interests which stirred the land, the two great factors in the religious future of Israel, constantly met in the retirement of Nazareth. The great caravan-route which led from Acco on the sea to Damascus divided at its commencement into three roads: the most northern passing through Cæsarea Philippi; the Upper Galilean; and the Lower Galilean. The latter, the ancient Via Maris led through Nazareth, and thence either by Cana, or else along the northern shoulder of Mount Tabor, to the Lake of Gennesaret - each of these roads soon uniting with the Upper Galilean. [677] Hence, although the stream of commerce between Acco and the East was divided into three channels, yet, as one of these passed through Nazareth, the quiet little town was not a stagnant pool of rustic seclusion. Men of all nations, busy with another life than that of Israel, would appear in the streets of Nazareth; and through them thoughts, associations, and hopes connected with the great outside world be stirred. But, on the other hand, Nazareth was also one of the great centers of Jewish Temple-life. It has already been indicated that the Priesthood was divided into twenty-four courses,' which, in turn, ministered in the Temple. The Priests of the course' which was to be on duty always gathered in certain towns, whence they went up in company to Jerusalem, while those of their number who were unable to go spent the week in fasting and prayer. Now Nazareth was one of these Priest-centres, [678] and although it may well have been, that comparatively few in distant Galilee conformed to the Priestly regulations - some must have assembled there in preparation for the sacred functions, or appeared in its Synagogue. Even the fact, so well known to all, of this living connection between Nazareth and the Temple, must have wakened peculiar feelings. Thus, to take the wider view, a double symbolic significance attached to Nazareth, since through it passed alike those who carried on the traffic of the world, and those who ministered in the Temple. [679]

We may take it, that the people of Nazareth were like those of other little towns similarly circumstanced: [680] with all the peculiarities of the impulsive, straight-spoken, hot-blooded, brave, intensely national Galileans; [681] with the deeper feelings and almost instinctive habits of thought and life, which were the outcome of long centuries of Old Testament training; but also with the petty interest and jealousies of such places, and with all the ceremonialism and punctilious self-assertion of Orientals. The cast of Judaism prevalent in Nazareth would, of course, be the same as in Galilee generally. We know, that there were marked divergences from the observances in that stronghold of Rabbinism, [682] Judæa - indicating greater simplicity and freedom from the constant intrusion of traditional ordinances. The home-life would be all the purer, that the veil of wedded life was not so coarsely lifted as in Judæa, nor its sacred secrecy interfered with by an Argus-eyed legislation. [683] The purity of betrothal in Galilee was less likely to be sullied, [684] and weddings were more simple than in Judæa - without the dubious institution of groomsmen, [685] [686] or friends of the bridegroom' [687] whose office must not unfrequently have degenerated into utter coarseness. The bride was chosen, not as in Judæa, where money was too often the motive, but as in Jerusalem, with chief regard to a fair degree;' and widows were (as in Jerusalem) more tenderly cared for, as we gather even from the fact, that they had a life-right of residence in their husband's house.

Such a home was that to which Joseph was about to bring the maiden, to whom he had been betrothed. Whatever view may be taken of the genealogies in the Gospels according to St. Matthew and St. Luke - whether they be regarded as those of Joseph and of Mary, [688] or, which seems the more likely, [689] as those of Joseph only, marking his natural and his legal descent [690] from David, or vice versâ [691] - there can be no question, that both Joseph and Mary were of the royal lineage of David. [692] Most probably the two were nearly related, [693] while Mary could also claim kinship with the Priesthood, being, no doubt on her mother's side, a blood-relative' of Elisabeth, the Priest-wife of Zacharias. [694] [695] Even this seems to imply, that Mary's family must shortly before have held higher rank, for only with such did custom sanction any alliance on the part of Priests. [696] But at the time of their betrothal, alike Joseph and Mary were extremely poor, as appears - not indeed from his being a carpenter, since a trade was regarded as almost a religious duty - but from the offering at the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. [697] Accordingly, their betrothal must have been of the simplest, and the dowry settled the smallest possible. [698] Whichever of the two modes of betrothal [699] may have been adopted: in the presence of witnesses - either by solemn word of mouth, in due prescribed formality, with the added pledge of a piece of money, however small, or of money's worth for use; or else by writing (the so-called Shitre Erusin) - there would be no sumptuous feast to follow; and the ceremony would conclude with some such benediction as that afterwards in use: Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the World, Who hath sanctified us by His Commandments, and enjoined us about incest, and forbidden the betrothed, but allowed us those wedded by Chuppah (the marriage-baldachino) and betrothal. Blessed art Thou, Who sanctifiest Israel by Chuppah and betrothal' - the whole being perhaps concluded by a benediction over the statutory cup of wine, which was tasted in turn by the betrothed. From that moment Mary was the betrothed wife of Joseph; their relationship as sacred, as if they had already been wedded. Any breach of it would be treated as adultery; nor could the band be dissolved except, as after marriage, by regular divorce. Yet months might intervene between the betrothal and marriage. [700]

Five months of Elisabeth's sacred retirement had passed, when a strange messenger brought its first tidings to her kinswoman in far-off Galilee. It was not in the solemn grandeur of the Temple, between the golden altar of incense and the seven-branched candlesticks that the Angel Gabriel now appeared, but in the privacy of a humble home at Nazareth. The greatest honor bestowed on man was to come amidst circumstances of deepest human lowliness, as if the more clearly to mark the exclusively Divine character of what was to happen. And, although the awe of the Supernatural must unconsciously have fallen upon her, it was not so much the sudden appearance of the mysterious stranger in her retirement that startled the maiden, as the words of his greeting, implying unthought blessing. The Peace to thee' [701] was, indeed, the well-known salutation, while the words, The Lord is with thee' might waken the remembrance of the Angelic call, to great deliverance in the past. [702] But this designation of highly favored' [703] came upon her with bewildering surprise, perhaps not so much from its contrast to the humbleness of her estate, as from the self-conscious humility of her heart. And it was intended so, for of all feelings this would now most become her. Accordingly, it is this story of special favour' or grace, which the Angel traces in rapid outline, from the conception of the Virgin-Mother to the distinctive, Divinely-given Name, symbolic of the meaning of His coming; His absolute greatness; His acknowledgment as the Son of God; and the fulfillment in Him of the great Davidic hope, with its never-ceasing royalty, [704] and its never-ending, boundless Kingdom. [705]

In all this, however marvellous, there could be nothing strange to those who cherished in their hearts Israel's great hope, not merely as an article of abstract belief, but as matter of certain fact - least of all to the maiden of the lineage of David, betrothed to him of the house and lineage of David. So long as the hand of prophetic blessing rested on the house of David, and before its finger had pointed to the individual who found favor' in the highest sense, the consciousness of possibilities, which scarce dared shape themselves into definite thoughts, must at times have stirred nameless feelings - perhaps the more often in circumstances of outward depression and humility, such as those of the Holy Family.' Nor was there anything strange even in the naming of the yet unconceived Child. It sounds like a saying current among the people of old, this of the Rabbis, [706] concerning the six whose names were given before their birth: Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Solomon, Josiah, and the Name of the Messiah, Whom may the Holy One, blessed be His Name, bring quickly in our days!' [707] But as for the deeper meaning of the name Jesus, [708] which, like an unopened bud, enclosed the flower of His Passion, that was mercifully yet the unthought-of secret of that sword, which should pierce the soul of the Virgin-Mother, and which only His future history would lay open to her and to others.

Thus, on the supposition of the readiness of her believing heart, and her entire self-unconsciousness, it would have been only the glorious announcement of the impending event, which would absorb her thinking - with nothing strange about it, or that needed further light, than the how of her own connection with it. [709] And the words, which she spake, were not of trembling doubt, that required to lean on the staff of a sign,' but rather those of enquiry, for the further guidance of a willing self-surrender. The Angel had pointed her opened eyes to the shining path: that was not strange; only, that She should walk in it, seemed so. And now the Angel still further unfolded it in words which, however little she may have understood their full meaning, had again nothing strange about them, save once more that she should be thus favoured;' words which, even to her understanding, must have carried yet further thoughts of Divine favour, and so deepened her humility. For, the idea of the activity of the Holy Ghost in all great events was quite familiar to Israel at the time, [710] even though the Individuation of the Holy Ghost may not have been fully apprehended. Only, that they expected such influences to rest exclusively upon those who were either mighty, or rich, or wise. [711] And of this twofold manifestation of miraculous favour' - that she, and as a Virgin, should be its subject - Gabriel, the might of God,' gave this unasked sign, in what had happened to her kinswoman Elisabeth.

The sign was at the same time a direction. The first, but also the ever-deepening desire in the heart of Mary, when the Angel left her, must have been to be away from Nazareth, and for the relief of opening her heart to a woman, in all things like-minded, who perhaps might speak blessed words to her. And to such an one the Angel himself seemed to have directed her. It is only what we would have expected, that with haste' she should have resorted to her kinswoman, without loss of time, and before she would speak to her betrothed of what even in wedded life is the first secret whispered. [712]

It could have been no ordinary welcome that would greet the Virgin-Mother, on entering the house of her kinswoman. Elisabeth must have learnt from her husband the destiny of their son, and hence the near Advent of the Messiah. But she could not have known either when, or of whom He would be born. When, by a sign not quite strange to Jewish expectancy, [713] she recognised in her near kinswoman the Mother of her Lord, her salutation was that of a mother to a mother - the mother of the preparer' to the mother of Him for Whom he would prepare. To be more precise: the words which, filled with the Holy Ghost, she spake, were the mother's utterance, to the mother, of the homage which her unborn babe offered to his Lord; while the answering hymn of Mary was the offering of that homage unto God. It was the antiphonal morning-psalmody of the Messianic day as it broke, of which the words were still all of the old dispensation, [714] but their music of the new; the keynote being that of favour,' grace,' struck by the Angel in his first salutation: favour' to the Virgin; [715] favour,' eternal favour' to all His humble and poor ones; [716] and favour' to Israel, stretching in golden line from the calling of Abraham to the glorious future that now opened. [717] Not one of these fundamental ideas but lay strictly within the range of the Old Testament; and yet all of them now lay beyond it, bathed in the golden light of the new day. Miraculous it all is, and professes to be; not indeed in the connection of these events, which succeed each other with psychological truthfulness; nor yet in their language, which is of the times and the circumstances; but in the underlying facts. [718] And for these there can be no other evidence than the Life, the Death, and the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah. If He was such, and if He really rose from the dead, then, with all soberness and solemnity, such inception of His appearance seems almost a logical necessity. But of this whole narrative it may be said, that such inception of the Messianic appearance, such announcement of it, and such manner of His Coming, could never have been invented by contemporary Judaism; indeed, ran directly counter to all its preconceptions. [719]

Three months had passed since the Virgin-Mother entered the home of her kinswoman. And now she must return to Nazareth. Soon Elisabeth's neighbours and kinsfolk would gather with sympathetic joy around a home which, as they thought, had experienced unexpected mercy - little thinking, how wide-reaching its consequences would be. But the Virgin-Mother must not be exposed to the publicity of such meetings. However conscious of what had led to her condition, it must have been as the first sharp pang of the sword which was to pierce her soul, when she told it all to her betrothed. For, however deep his trust in her whom he had chosen for wife, only a direct Divine communication could have chased all questioning from his heart, and given him that assurance, which was needful in the future history of the Messiah. Brief as, with exquisite delicacy, the narrative is, we can read in the thoughts' of Joseph the anxious contending of feelings, the scarcely established, and yet delayed, resolve to put her away,' which could only be done by regular divorce; this one determination only standing out clearly, that, if it must be, her letter of divorce shall be handed to her privately, only in the presence of two witnesses. The humble Tsaddiq of Nazareth would not willingly have brought the blush to any face, least of all would he make of her a public exhibition of shame.' [720] It was a relief that he could legally divorce her either publicly or privately, whether from change of feeling, or because he had found just cause for it, but hesitated to make it known, either from regard for his own character, or because he had not sufficient legal evidence [721] of the charge. He would follow, all unconscious of it, the truer manly feeling of R. Eliezar, [722] R. Jochanan, and R. Zera, [723] according to which a man would not like to put his wife to shame before a Court of Justice, rather than the opposite sentence of R. Meir.

The assurance, which Joseph could scarcely dare to hope for, was miraculously conveyed to him in a dream-vision. All would now be clear; even the terms in which he was addressed (thou son of David'), so utterly unusual in ordinary circumstances, would prepare him for the Angel's message. The naming of the unborn Messiah would accord with popular notions; [724] the symbolism of such a name was deeply rooted in Jewish belief; [725] while the explanation of Jehoshua or Jeshua (Jesus), as He who would save His people (primarily, as he would understand it, Israel) from their sins, described at least one generally expected aspect of His Mission, [726] although Joseph may not have known that it was the basis of all the rest. And perhaps it was not without deeper meaning and insight into His character, that the Angel laid stress on this very element in His communication to Joseph, and not to Mary.

The fact that such an announcement came to Him in a dream, would dispose Joseph all the more readily to receive it. A good dream' was one of the three things [727] popularly regarded as marks of God's favour; and so general was the belief in their significance, as to have passed into this popular saying: If any one sleeps seven days without dreaming (or rather, remembering his dream for interpretation), call him wicked' (as being unremembered of God [728] [729] ). Thus Divinely set at rest, Joseph could no longer hesitate. The highest duty towards the Virgin-Mother and the unborn Jesus demanded an immediate marriage, which would afford not only outward, but moral protection to both. [730]

Viewing events, not as isolated, but as links welded in the golden chain of the history of the Kingdom of God, all this' - not only the birth of Jesus from a Virgin, nor even His symbolic Name with its import, but also the unrestful questioning of Joseph, - happened' [731] in fulfilment [732] of what had been prefigured. [733] The promise of a Virginborn son as a sign of the firmness of God's covenant of old with David and his house; the now unfolded meaning of the former symbolic name Immanuel; even the unbelief of Ahaz, with its counterpart in the questioning of Joseph - all this' could now be clearly read in the light of the breaking day. Never had the house of David sunk morally lower than when, in the words of Ahaz, it seemed to renounce the very foundation of its claim to continuance; never had the fortunes of the house of David fallen lower, than when a Herod sat on its throne, and its lineal representative was a humble village carpenter, from whose heart doubts of the Virgin-Mother had to be Divinely chased. And never, not even when God gave to the doubts of Moses this as the sign of Israel's future deliverance, that in that mountain they should worship [734] - had unbelief been answered by more strange evidence. But as, nevertheless, the stability of the Davidic house was ensured by the future advent of Immanuel - and with such certainty, that before even such a child could discern between choice of good and evil, the land would be freed of its dangers; so now all that was then prefigured was to become literally true, and Israel to be saved from its real danger by the Advent of Jesus, Immanuel. [735] And so it had all been intended. The golden cup of prophecy which Isaiah had placed empty on the Holy Table, waiting for the time of the end, was now full filled, up to its brim, with the new wine of the Kingdom.

Meanwhile the long-looked-for event had taken place in the home of Zacharias. No domestic solemnity so important or so joyous as that in which, by circumcision, the child had, as it were, laid upon it the yoke of the Law, with all of duty and privilege which this implied. Even the circumstance, that it took place at early morning [736] might indicate this. It was, so tradition has it, as if the father had acted sacrificially as High-Priest, [737] offering his child to God in gratitude and love; [738] and it symbolised this deeper moral truth, that man must by his own act complete what God had first instituted. [739] To Zacharias and Elisabeth the rite would have even more than this significance, as administered to the child of their old age, so miraculously given, and who was connected with such a future. Besides, the legend which associates circumcision with Elijah, as the restorer of this rite in the apostate period of the Kings of Israel, [740] was probably in circulation at the time. [741] We can scarcely be mistaken in supposing, that then, as now, a benediction was spoken before circumcision, and that the ceremony closed with the usual grace over the cup of wine, [742] when the child received his name in a prayer that probably did not much differ from this at present in use: Our God, and the God of our fathers, raise up this child to his father and mother, and let his name be called in Israel Zacharias, the son of Zacharias. [743] Let his father rejoice in the issue of his loins, and his mother in the fruit of her womb, as it is written in Prov. xxiii. 25, and as it is said in Ezek. xvi. 6, and again in Ps. cv. 8, and Gen. xxi. 4;' the passages being, of course, quoted in full. The prayer closed with the hope that the child might grow up, and successfully, attain to the Torah, the marriagebaldachino, and good works.' [744]

Of all this Zacharias was, though a deeply interested, yet a deaf and dumb [745] witness. This only had he noticed, that, in the benediction in which the child's name was inserted, the mother had interrupted the prayer. Without explaining her reason, she insisted that his name should not be that of his aged father, as in the peculiar circumstances might have been expected, but John (Jochanan). A reference to the father only deepened the general astonishment, when he also gave the same name. But this was not the sole cause for marvel. For, forthwith the tongue of the dumb was loosed, and he, who could not utter the name of the child, now burst into praise of the name of the Lord. His last words had been those of unbelief, his first were those of praise; his last words had been a question of doubt, his first were a hymn of assurance. Strictly Hebrew in its cast, and closely following Old Testament prophecy, it is remarkable - and yet almost natural - that this hymn of the Priest closely follows, and, if the expression be allowable, spiritualises a great part of the most ancient Jewish prayer: the so-called Eighteen Benedictions; rather perhaps, that it transforms the expectancy of that prayer into praise of its realisation. And if we bear in mind, that a great portion of these prayers was said by the Priests before the lot was cast for incensing, or by the people in the time of incesing, it almost seems as if, during the long period of his enforced solitude, the aged Priest had meditated on, and learned to understand, what so often he had repeated. Opening with the common form of benediction, his hymn struck, one by one, the deepest chords of that prayer, specially this the most significant of all (the fifteenth Eulogy), Speedily make to shoot forth the Branch [746] of David, Thy servant, and exalt Thou his horn by Thy salvation, for in Thy salvation we trust all the day long. Blessed art Thou, Jehovah! Who causeth to spring forth the Horn of Salvation' (literally, to branch forth). This analogy between the hymn of Zacharias and the prayers of Israel will best appear from the benedictions with which these eulogies closed. For, when thus examined, their leading thoughts will be found to be as follows: God as the Shield of Abraham; He that raises the dead, and causes salvation to shoot forth; the Holy One; Who graciously giveth knowledge; Who taketh pleasure in repentance; Who multiplieth forgiveness; Who redeemeth Israel; Who healeth their (spiritual) diseases; Who blesseth the years; Who gathereth the outcasts of His people; Who loveth righteousness and judgment; Who is the abode and stay of the righteous; Who buildeth Jerusalem; Who causeth the Horn of Salvation to shoot forth; Who heareth prayer; Who bringeth back His Shekhinah to Zion; God the Gracious One, to Whom praise is due; Who blesseth His people Israel with peace. [747]

It was all most fitting. The question of unbelief had struck the Priest dumb, for most truly unbelief cannot speak; and the answer of faith restored to him speech, for most truly does faith loosen the tongue. The first evidence of his dumbness had been, that his tongue refused to speak the benediction to the people; and the first evidence of his restored power was, that he spoke the benediction of God in a rapturous burst of praise and thanksgiving. The sign of the unbeliving Priest standing before the awe-struck people, vainly essaying to make himself understood by signs, was most fitting; most fitting also that, when they made signs' to him, the believing father should burst in their hearing into a prophetic hymn.

But far and wide, as these marvellous tidings spread throughout the hill-country of Judæa, fear fell on all - the fear also of a nameless hope. The silence of a long-clouded day had been broken, and the light which had suddenly riven its gloom, laid itself on their hearts in expectancy: What then shall this Child be? For the Hand of the Lord also was with Him!' [748]


[673] Terrible as it may sound, it is certainly the teaching of Rabbinism, that God occupied so many hours every day in the study of the Law. Comp. Targ. Ps.-Jonathan on Deut. xxxii. 4, and Abhod. Z. 3 b. Nay, Rabbinism goes farther in its daring, and speaks of the Almighty as arrayed in a white dress, or as occupying himself by day with the study of the Bible, and by night with that of the six tractates of the Mishnah. Comp. also the Targum on Cant. v. 10.

[674] The object which the Evangelists had in view was certainly not that of biography, even as the Old Testament contains no biography. The twofold object of their narratives is indicated by St. Luke i. 4, and by St. John xx. 31.

[675] Josh. xix. 10, 11.

[676] The name Nazareth may best be regarded as the equivalent of {hebrew} watch' or watcheress.' The name does not occur in the Talmud, nor in those Midrashim which have been preserved. But the elegy of Eleazar ha Kallir - written before the close of the Talmud - in which Nazareth is mentioned as a Priestcentre, is based upon an ancient Midrash, now lost (comp. Neubauer, Geogr. du Talmud, p. 117, note 5). It is, however, possible, as Dr. Neubauer suggests (u.s. p. 190, note 5), that the name {hebrew} in Midr. on Eccl. ii. 8 should read {hebrew} and refers to Nazareth.

[677] Comp. the detailed description of these roads, and the references in Herzog's Real-Encykl. vol. xv. pp. 160, 161.

[678] Comp. Neubauer, u. s. p. 190. See a detailed account in sketches of Jewish Social Life,' &c. p. 36.

[679] It is strange, that these two circumstances have not been noticed. Keim (Jesu von Nazari i. 2, pp. 322, 323) only cursorily refers to the great road which passed through Nazareth.

[680] The inference, that the expression of Nathanael (St. John i. 46) implies a lower state of the people of Nazareth, is unfounded. Even Keim points out, that it only marks disbelief that the Messiah would come from such a place.

[681] Our description of them is derived from notices by Josephus (such as War iii. 3, 2), and many passages in the Talmud.

[682] These differences are marked in Pes. iv. 5; Keth. iv. 12; Ned. ii. 4; Chull. 62 a; Baba K. 80 a; Keth. 12 a.

[683] The reader who wishes to understand what we have only ventured to hint, is referred to the Mishnic tractate Niddah.

[684] Keth. 12 a.

[685] Keth. 12 a, and often.

[686] Comp. Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' &c., pp. 152 &c.

[687] St. John iii. 29

[688] The best defence of this view is that by Wieseler, Beitr. zur Wurdig. d. Evang. pp. 133 &c. It is also virtually adopted by Weiss (Leben Jesu, vol. i. 1882).

[689] This view is adopted almost unanimously by modern writers.

[690] This view is defended with much skill by Mr. McClellan in his New Testament, vol. i. pp. 409-422.

[691] So Grotius, Bishop Lord Arthur Hervey, and after him most modern English writers.

[692] The Davidic descent of the Virgin-Mother - which is questioned by some even among orthodox interpreters - seems implied in the Gospel (St. Luke i. 27, 32, 69; ii. 4), and an almost necessary inference from such passages as Rom. i. 3; 2 Tim. ii. 8; Hebr. vii. 14. The Davidic descent of Jesus is not only admitted, but elaborately proved - on purely rationalistic grounds - by Keim (u. s. pp. 327-329).

[693] This is the general view of antiquity.

[694] St. Luke i. 36.

[695] Reference to this union of Levi and Judah in the Messiah is made in the Test. xii. Patriarch., Test. Simeonis vii. (apud Fabr. Cod. Pseudepigr. vol. ii. p. 542). Curiously, the great Hillel was also said by some to have descended, through his father and mother, from the tribes of Judah and Levi - all, however, asserting his Davidic origin (comp. Jer. Taan. iv. 2; Ber. R. 98 and 33).

[696] Comp, Maimonides, Yad haChaz Hil. Sanh. ii. The inference would, of course, be the same, whether we suppose Mary's mother to have been the sister-in-law, or the sister, of Elisabeth's father.

[697] St. Luke ii. 24.

[698] Comp. Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ,' pp. 143-149. Also the article on Marriage' in Cassell's Bible-Educator, vol. iv. pp. 267-270.

[699] There was a third mode, by cohabitation; but this was highly disapproved of even by the Rabbis.

[700] The assertion of Professor Wünsche (Neue Beitr. zur Erläuter. d. Evang. p. 7) that the practice of betrothal was confined exclusively, or almost so, to Judæa, is quite ungrounded. The passages to which he refers (Kethub. i. 5 - not 3 - and especially Keth. 12 a) are irrelevant. Keth. 12 a marks the simpler and purer customs of Galilee, but does not refer to betrothals.

[701] I have rendered the Greek chare by the Hebrew {hebrew} and for the correctness of it refer the reader to Grimm's remarks on 1 Macc. x. 18 (Exeget. Handb. zu d. Apokryph. 3tte Lief. p. 149).

[702] Judg. vi. 12.

[703] Bengel aptly remarks, Non ut mater gratiae, sed ut filia gratiae.' Even Jeremy Taylor's remarks (Life of Christ, ed. Pickering, vol. i. p. 56) would here require modification. Following the best critical authorities, I have omitted the words, Blessed art thou among women.'

[704] We here refer, as an interesting corroboration, to the Targum on Ps. xlv. 7 (6 in our A. V.). But this interest is intensely increased when we read it, not as in our editions of the Targum, but as found in a MS. copy of the year 1208 (given by Levy in his Targum. Wörterb. vol. i. p. 390 a). Translating it from that reading, the Targum thus renders Ps. xlv. 7, Thy throne, O God, in the heaven' (Levy renders, Thy throne from God in heaven,' but in either case it refers to the throne of the Messiah) is for ever and ever' (for world without end,' {hebrew} a rule of righteousness is the rule of Thy kingdom, O Thou King Messiah!'

[705] In Pirqé de R. El. c. 11, the same boundless dominion is ascribed to Messiah the King. In that curious passage dominion is ascribed to ten kings,' the first being God, the ninth the Messiah, and the tenth again God, to Whom the kingdom would be delivered in the end, according to Is. xliv. 6; Zechar. xiv. 9; Ezek. xxxiv. 24, with the result described in Is. lii. 9.

[706] Pirqé de R. El. 32, at the beginning.

[707] Professor Wünsche's quotation is here not exact (u. s. p. 414).

[708] St. Matt. i. 21.

[709] Weiss (Leben Jesu, 1882, vol. i. p. 213) rightly calls attention to the humility of her self-surrender, when she willingly submitted to what her heart would feel hardest to bear - that of incurring suspicion of her purity in the sight of all, but especially in that of her betrothed.  The whole account, as we gather from St. Luke ii. 19, 51, must have been derived from the personal recollections of the Virgin-Mother.

[710] So in almost innumerable Rabbinic passages.

[711] Nedar. 38 a.

[712] This is answer to the objection, so pertinaciously urged, of inconsistency with the narrative in St. Matt. i. 19 &c. It is clear, that Mary went with haste' to her kinswoman, and that any communication to Joseph could only have taken place after that, and after the Angelic prediction was in all its parts confirmed by her visit to Elisabeth. Jeremy Taylor (u. s. p. 64) has already arranged the narrative as in the text.

[713] According to Jewish tradition, the yet unborn infants in their mother's wombs responded by an Amen to the hymn of praise at the Red Sea. This is supposed to be indicated by the words {hebrew}(Ps. lxviii. 27; see also the Targum on that verse). Comp. Keth. 7 b and Sotah 30 b (last line) and 31 a, though the coarse legendary explanation of R. Tanchuma mars the poetic beauty of the whole.

[714] The poetic grandeur and the Old Testament cast of the Virgin's hymn (comp. the Song of Hannah, 1 Sam. ii. 1-10), need scarcely be pointed out. Perhaps it would read fullest and best by trying to recall what must have been its Hebrew original.

[715] 1st stanza vv. 46-49.

[716] 2nd stanza, vv. 50-53.

[717] 3rd stanza, vv. 54-55.

[718] Weiss, while denying the historical accuracy of much in the Gospel-narrative of it, unhesitatingly accepts the fact of the supernatural birth of Jesus.

[719] Keim elaborately discusses the origin of what he calls the legend of Christ's supernatural conception. He arrives at the conclusion that it was a Jewish-Christian legend - as if a Jewish invention of such a legend' were not the most unlikely of all possible hypotheses! But negative criticism is at least bound to furnish some historical basis for the origination of such an unlikely legend. Whence was the idea of it first derived? How did it find such ready acceptance in the Church? Weiss has, at considerable length, and very fully, shown the impossibility of its origin either in Jewish or heathen legend.

[720] I have thus paraphrased the verb paradeigmatzo rendered in Heb. vi. 6 put to an open shame.' Comp. also LXX. Num. xxv. 4; Jer. xiii. 22; Ezek. xxviii. 17 (see Grimm, Clavis N.T. p. 333 b) Archdeacon Farrar adopts the reading deigmatsai.

[721] For example, if he had not sufficient witnesses, or if their testimony could be invalidated by any of those provisions in favour of the accused, of which traditionalism had not a few. Thus, as indicated in the text, Joseph might have privately divorced Mary leaving it open to doubt on what ground he had so acted.

[722] Keth. 74 b 75 a.

[723] Keth. 97 b.

[724] See a former note.

[725] Thus we read in (Shocher Tobh) the Midrash on Prov. xix. 21 (closing part; ed. Lemberg. p. 16 b) of eight names given to the Messiah, viz. Yinnon (Ps. xxii. 17, His name shall sprout [bear sprouts] before the Sun;' comp. also Pirqé de R. El. c. 2); Jehovah; Our Righteousness; Tsemach (the Branch, Zech. iii. 8); Menachem (the Comforter, Is. li. 3); David (Ps. xviii. 50); Shiloh (Gen. xlix. 10); Elijah (Mal. iv. 5). The Messiah is also called Anani (He that cometh in the clouds, Dan. vii. 13; see Tanch. Par. Toledoth 14); Chaninah, with reference to Jer. xvi. 13; the Leprous, with reference to Is. liii. 4 (Sanh. 96 b). It is a curious instance of the Jewish mode of explaining a meaning by gimatreya, or numerical calculation, that they prove Tsemach (Branch) and Menachem (Comforter) to be the same, because the numerical equivalents of the one word are equal to those of the other: {hebrew} = 40, {hebrew} =50, {hebrew}=8, {hebrew} = 40, = 138; {hebrew} = 90, {hebrew} = 40, {hebrew} = 8, =138.

[726] Professor Wünsche (Erlauter. d. Evang. p. 10) proposes to strike out the words from their sins' as an un-Jewish interpolation. In answer, it would suffice to point him to the passages on this very subject which he has collated in a previous work: Die Leiden des Messias, pp. 63-108. To these I will only add a comment in the Midrash on Cant. i. 14 (ed. Warshau, p. 11 a and b), where the reference is undoubtedly to the Messiah (in the words of R. Berakhyah, line 8 from bottom; and again in the words of R. Levi, 11 b, line 5 from top, &c.). The expression {hebrew} is there explained as meaning He Who makes expiation for the sins of Israel,' and it is distinctly added that this expiation bears reference to the transgressions and evil deeds of the children of Abraham, for which God provides this Man as the Atonement.

[727] A good king, a fruitful year, and a good dream.'

[728] Ber. 55 b.

[729] Rabbi Zera proves this by a reference to Prov. xix. 23, the reading Sabhea (satisfied) being altered into Shebha - both written {hebrew} - while {hebrew} is understood as of spending the night. Ber. 55 a to 57 b contains a long, and sometimes very coarse, discussion of dreams, giving their various interpretations, rules for avoiding the consequences of evil dreams, &c. The fundamental principle is, that a dream is according to its interpretation' (Ber. 55 b). Such views about dreams would, no doubt, have long been matter of popular belief, before being formally expressed in the Talmud.

[730] The objection, that the account of Joseph and Mary's immediate marriage is inconsistent with the designation of Mary in St. Luke ii. 5, is sufficiently refuted by the consideration that, in any other case, Jewish custom would not have allowed Mary to travel to Bethlehem in company with Joseph. The expression used in St. Luke ii. 5, must be read in connection with St. Matt. i. 25.

[731] Haupt (Alttestam. Citate in d. vier Evang. pp. 207-215) rightly lays stress on the words, all this was done.' He even extends its reference to the threefold arrangement of the genealogy by St. Matthew, as implying the ascending splendour of the line of David, its midday glory, and its decline.

[732] The correct Hebrew equivalent of the expression that it might be fulfilled' na pleroth is not, as Surenhusius (Biblos Katallages, p. 151) and other writers have it, {hebrew}, still loss (Wünsche) {hebrew}, but, as Professor Delitzsch renders it, in his new translation of St. Matthew, {hebrew}. The difference is important, and Delitzsch's translation completely established by the similar rendering of the LXX. of 1 Kings ii. 27 and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22.

[733] Is. vii. 14.

[734] Ex. iii. 12.

[735] A critical discussion of Is. vii. 14 would here be out of place; though I have attempted to express my views in the text. (The nearest approach to them is that by Engelhardt in the Zeitschr. für Luth. Theol. fur 1872, Heft iv.). The quotation of St. Matthew follows, with scarcely any variation, the rendering of the LXX. That they should have translated the Hebrew {hebrew} by parthnos, a Virgin,' is surely sufficient evidence of the admissibility of such a rendering. The idea that the promised Son was to be either that of Ahaz, or else of the prophet, cannot stand the test of critical investigation (see Haupt, u.s., and Böhl, Alttest. Citate im N.T. pp. 3-6). Our difficulties of interpretation are, in great part, due to the abruptness of Isaiah's prophetic language, and to our ignorance of surrounding circumstances. Steinmeyer ingeniously argues against the mythical theory that, since Is. vii. 14 was not interpreted by the ancient Synagogue in a Messianic sense, that passage could not have led to the origination of the legend' about the Virgin's Son' (Gesch. d. Geb. d. Herrn, p. 95). We add this further question, Whence did it originate?

[736] Pes. 4 a.

[737] Yalkut Sh. i. par. 81.

[738] Tanch. P Tetsavveh, at the beginning, ed. Warshau, p. 111 a.

[739] Tanch. u. s.

[740] Pirqé de R. Elies. c. 29.

[741] Probably the designation of chair' or throne of Elijah,' for the chair on which the godparent holding the child sits, and certainly the invocation of Elijah, are of later date. Indeed, the institution of godparents is itself of later origin. Curiously enough, the Council of Terracina, in 1330 had to interdict Christians acting as godparents at circumcision! Even the great Buxtorf acted as godparent in 1619 to a Jewish child, and was condemned to a fine of 100 florins for his offence. See Löw, Lebensalter, p. 86.

[742] According to Josephus (Ag. Ap. ii. 26) circumcision was not followed by a feast. But, if this be true, the practice was soon altered, and the feast took place on the eve of circumcision (Jer. Keth. i. 5; B. Kama 80 a; B. Bath. 60 b, &c.). Later Midrashim traced it up to the history of Abraham and the feast at the weaning of Isaac, which they represented as one at circumcision (Pirqé d. R. Eliez. 29).

[743] Wünsche reiterates the groundless objection of Rabbi Low (u. s. p.96), that a family-name was only given in remembrance of the grandfather, deceased father, or other member of the family! Strange, that such a statement should ever have been hazarded; stranger still, that it should be repeated after having been fully refuted by Delitzsch. It certainly is contrary to Josephus (War iv. 3, 9), and to the circumstance that both the father and brother of Josephus bore the name of Mattias. See also Zunz (Z. Gesch. u. Liter. p. 318).

[744] The reader will find B. H. Auerbach's Berith Abraham (with a Hebrew introduction) an interesting tractate on the subject. For another and younger version of these prayers, see Löw, u. s. p. 102.

[745] From St. Luke i. 62 we gather, that Zacharias was what the Rabbis understood by {hebrew} - one deaf as well as dumb. Accordingly they communicated with him by {hebrew} signs' - as Delitzsch correctly renders it: {hebrew}

[746] Although almost all modern authorities are against me, I cannot persuade myself that the expression (St. Luke i. 78) rendered dayspring' in our A. V. is here not the equivalent of the Hebrew {hebrew} Branch.' The LXX. at any rate rendered {hebrew} in Jer. xxiii. 5; Ezek. xvi. 7; xvii. 10; Zech. iii. 8; vi. 12, by natol.

[747] The italics mark the points of correspondence with the hymn of Zacharias. Comp. The best edition of the Jewish Prayer Book (Frankfort, 5601), pp. 21-28.  The Eighteen Eulogies are given in full in the History of the Jewish Nation,' pp. 363-367.

[748] The insertion of gr seems critically established, and gives the fuller meaning.


CHAPTER V.
WHAT MESSIAH DID THE JEWS EXPECT?

It were an extremely narrow, and, indeed, false view, to regard the difference between Judaism and Christianity as confined to the question of the fulfillment of certain prophecies in Jesus of Nazareth. These predictions could only outline individual features in the Person and history of the Messiah. It is not thus that a likeness is recognised, but rather by the combination of the various features into a unity, and by the expression which gives it meaning. So far as we can gather from the Gospel narratives, no objection was ever taken to the fulfillment of individual prophecies in Jesus. But the general conception which the Rabbis had formed of the Messiah, differed totally from what was presented by the Prophet of Nazareth. Thus, what is the fundamental divergence between the two may be said to have existed long before the events which finally divided them. It is the combination of letters which constitute words, and the same letters may be combined into different words. Similarly, both Rabbinism and - what, by anticipation, we designate - Christianity might regard the same predictions as Messianic, and look for their fulfillment; while at the same time the Messianic ideal of the Synagogue might be quite other than that, to which the faith and hope of the Church have clung.

1. The most important point here is to keep in mind the organic unity of the Old Testament. Its predictions are not isolated, but features of one grand prophetic picture; its ritual and institutions parts of one great system; its history, not loosely connected events, but an organic development tending towards a definite end. Viewed in its innermost substance, the history of the Old Testament is not different from its typical institutions, nor yet these two from its predictions. The idea, underlying all, is God's gracious manifestation in the world - the Kingdom of God; the meaning of all - the establishment of this Kingdom upon earth. That gracious purpose was, so to speak, individualized, and the Kingdom actually established in the Messiah. Both the fundamental and the final relationship in view was that of God towards man, and of man towards God: the former as expressed by the word Father; the latter by that of Servant - or rather the combination of the two ideas: Son-Servant.' This was already implied in the so-called Protevangel; [749] and in this sense also the words of Jesus hold true: Before Abraham came into being, I am.'

But, narrowing our survey to where the history of the Kingdom of God begins with that of Abraham, it was indeed as Jesus said: Your father Abraham rejoiced that he should see My day, and he saw it, and was glad.' [750] For, all that followed from Abraham to the Messiah was one, and bore this twofold impress: heavenwards, that of Son; earthwards, that of Servant. Israel was God's Son - His first-born;' their history that of the children of God; their institutions those of the family of God; their predictions those of the household of God. And Israel was also the Servant of God - Jacob My Servant;' and its history, institutions, and predictions those of the Servant of the Lord. Yet not merely Servant, but Son-Servant - anointed' to such service. This idea was, so to speak, crystallised in the three great representative institutions of Israel. The Servant of the Lord' in relation to Israel's history was Kingship in Israel; the Servant of the Lord' in relation to Israel's ritual ordinances was the Priesthood in Israel; the Servant of the Lord' in relation to prediction was the Prophetic order. But all sprang from the same fundamental idea: that of the Servant of Jehovah.'

One step still remains. The Messiah and His history are not presented in the Old Testament as something separate from, or superadded to, Israel. The history, the institutions, and the predictions of Israel run up into Him. [751] He is the typical Israelite, nay, typical Israel itself - alike the crown, the completion, and the representative of Israel. He is the Son of God and the Servant of the Lord; but in that highest and only true sense, which had given its meaning to all the preparatory development. As He was anointed' to be the Servant of the Lord,' not with the typical oil, but by the Spirit of Jehovah' upon' Him, so was He also the Son' in a unique sense. His organic connection with Israel is marked by the designations Seed of Abraham' and Son of David,' while at the same time He was essentially, what Israel was subordinately and typically: Thou art My Son - this day have I begotten Thee.' Hence also, in strictest truthfulness, the Evangelist could apply to the Messiah what referred to Israel, and see it fulfilled in His history: Out of Egypt have I called my Son.' [752] And this other correlate idea, of Israel as the Servant of the Lord,' is also fully concentrated in the Messiah as the Representative Israelite, so that the Book of Isaiah, as the series of predictions in which His picture is most fully outlined, might be summarised as that concerning the Servant of Jehovah.' Moreover, the Messiah, as Representative Israelite, combined in Himself as the Servant of the Lord' the threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King, and joined together the two ideas of Son' and Servant.' [753] And the final combination and full exhibition of these two ideas was the fulfillment of the typical mission of Israel, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God among men.

Thus, in its final, as in its initial, [754] stage it was the establishment of the Kingdom of God upon earth - brought about by the Servant' of the Lord, Who was to stricken humanity the God-sent Anointed Comforter' (Mashiach ha-Menachem): in this twofold sense of Comforter' of individuals (the friend of sinners'), and Comforter' of Israel and of the world, reconciling the two, and bringing to both eternal salvation. And here the mission of Israel ended. It had passed through three stages. The first, or historical, was the preparation of the Kingdom of God; the second, or ritual, the typical presentation of that Kingdom; while the third, or prophetic, brought that Kingdom into actual contact with the kingdoms of the world. Accordingly, it is during the latter that the designation Son of David' (typical Israel) enlarged in the visions of Daniel into that of Son of Man' (the Head of redeemed humanity). It were a onesided view to regard the Babylonish exile as only a punishment for Israel's sin. There is, in truth, nothing in all God's dealings in history exclusively punitive. That were a merely negative element. But there is always a positive element also of actual progress; a step forward, even though in the taking of it something should have to be crushed. And this step forward was the development of the idea of the Kingdom of God in its relation to the world.

2. This organic unity of Israel and the Messiah explains how events, institutions, and predictions, which initially were purely Israelitish, could with truth be regarded as finding their full accomplishment in the Messiah. From this point of view the whole Old Testament becomes the perspective in which the figure of the Messiah stands out. And perhaps the most valuable element in Rabbinic excommentation on Messianic times is that in which, as so frequently, it is explained, that all the miracles and deliverances of Israel's past would be re-enacted, only in a much wider manner, in the days of the Messiah. Thus the whole past was symbolic, and typical of the future - the Old Testament the glass, through which the universal blessings of the latter days were seen. It is in this sense that we would understand the two sayings of the Talmud: All the prophets prophesied only of the days of the Messiah,' [755] and The world was created only for the Messiah.' [756]

In accordance with all this, the ancient Synagogue found references to the Messiah in many more passages of the Old Testament than those verbal predictions, to which we generally appeal; and the latter formed (as in the New Testament) a proportionately small, and secondary, element in the conception of the Messianic era. This is fully borne out by a detailed analysis of those passages in the Old Testament to which the ancient Synagogue referred as Messianic. [757] Their number amounts to upwards of 456 (75 from the Pentateuch, 243 from the Prophets, and 138 from the Hagiographa), and their Messianic application is supported by more than 558 references to the most ancient Rabbinic writings. [758] But comparatively few of these are what would be termed verbal predictions. Rather would it seem as if every event were regarded as prophetic, and every prophecy, whether by fact, or by word (prediction), as a light to cast its sheen on the future, until the picture of the Messianic age in the far back-ground stood out in the hundredfold variegated brightness of prophetic events, and prophetic utterances; or, as regarded the then state of Israel, till the darkness of their present night was lit up by a hundred constellations kindling in the sky overhead, and its lonely silence broken by echoes of heavenly voices, and strains of prophetic hymns borne on the breeze.

Of course, there was the danger that, amidst these dazzling lights, or in the crowd of figures, each so attractive, or else in the absorbing interest of the general picture, the grand central Personality should not engage the attention it claimed, and so the meaning of the whole be lost in the contemplation of its details. This danger was the greater from the absence of any deeper spiritual elements. All that Israel needed: study of the Law and good works,' lay within the reach of every one; and all that Israel hoped for, was national restoration and glory. Everything else was but means to these ends; the Messiah Himself only the grand instrument in attaining them. Thus viewed, the picture presented would be of Israel's exaltation, rather than of the salvation of the world. To this, and to the idea of Israel's exclusive spiritual position in the world, must be traced much, that otherwise would seem utterly irrational in the Rabbinic pictures of the latter days. But in such a picture there would be neither room nor occasion for a Messiah-Saviour, in the only sense in which such a heavenly mission could be rational, or the heart of humanity respond to it. The Rabbinic ideal of the Messiah was not that of a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel' - the satisfaction of the wants of humanity, and the completion of Israel's mission - but quite different, even to contrariety. Accordingly, there was a fundamental antagonism between the Rabbis and Christ, quite irrespective of the manner in which He carried out His Messianic work. On the other hand, it is equally noteworthy, that the purely national elements, which well nigh formed the sum total of Rabbinic expectation, scarcely entered into the teaching of Jesus about the Kingdom of God. And the more we realise, that Jesus so fundamentally separated Himself from all the ideas of His time, the more evidential is it of the fact, that He was not the Messiah of Jewish conception, but derived His mission from a source unknown to, or at least ignored by, the leaders of His people.

3. But still, as the Rabbinic ideas were at least based on the Old Testament, we need not wonder that they also embodied the chief features of the Messianic history. Accordingly, a careful perusal of their Scripture quotations [759] shows, that the main postulates of the New Testament concerning the Messiah are fully supported by Rabbinic statements. Thus, such doctrines as the pre-mundane existence of the Messiah; His elevation above Moses, and even above the Angels; His representative character; His cruel sufferings and derision; His violent death, and that for His people; His work on behalf of the living and of the dead; His redemption, and restoration of Israel; the opposition of the Gentiles; their partial judgment and conversion; the prevalence of His Law; the universal blessings of the latter days; and His Kingdom - can be clearly deduced from unquestioned passages in ancient Rabbinic writings. Only, as we might expect, all is there indistinct, incoherent, unexplained, and from a much lower standpoint. At best, it is the lower stage of yet unfulfilled prophecy - the haze when the sun is about to rise, not the blaze when it has risen. Most painfully is this felt in connection with the one element on which the New Testament most insists. There is, indeed, in Rabbinic writings frequent reference to the sufferings, and even the death of the Messiah, and these are brought into connection with our sins - as how could it be otherwise in view of Isaiah liii. and other passages - and in one most remarkable comment [760] the Messiah is represented as willingly taking upon Himself all these sufferings, on condition that all Israel - the living, the dead, and those yet unborn - should be saved, and that, in consequence of His work, God and Israel should be reconciled, and Satan cast into hell. But there is only the most indistinct reference to the removal of sin by the Messiah, in the sense of vicarious sufferings.

In connection with what has been stated, one most important point must be kept in view. So far as their opinions can be gathered from their writings, the great doctrines of Original Sin, and of the sinfulness of our whole nature, were not held by the ancient Rabbis. [761] Of course, it is not meant that they denied the consequences of sin, either as concerned Adam himself, or his descendants; but the final result is far from that seriousness which attaches to the Fall in the New Testament, where it is presented as the basis of the need of a Redeemer, Who, as the Second Adam, restored what the first had lost. The difference is so fundamental as to render further explanation necessary. [762]

The fall of Adam is ascribed to the envy of the Angels [763] - not the fallen ones, for none were fallen, till God cast them down in consequence of their seduction of man. The Angels, having in vain tried to prevent the creation of man, at last conspired to lead him into sin as the only means of his ruin - the task being undertaken by Sammael (and his Angels), who in many respects was superior to the other Angelic princes. [764] The instrument employed was the serpent, of whose original condition the strangest legends are told, probably to make the Biblical narrative appear more rational. [765] The details of the story of the Fall, as told by the Rabbis, need not be here repeated, save to indicate its consequences. The first of these was the withdrawal of the Shekhinah from earth to the first heaven, while subsequent sins successively led to its further removal to the seventh heaven. This, however, can scarcely be considered a permanent sequel of sin, since the good deeds of seven righteous men, beginning with Abraham, brought it again, in the time of Moses, to earth. [766] Six things Adam is said to have lost by his sin; but even these are to be restored to man by the Messiah. [767] [768] That the physical death of Adam was the consequence of his sin, is certainly taught. Otherwise he would have lived forever, like Enoch and Elijah. [769] But although the fate which overtook Adam was to rest on all the world, [770] and death came not only on our first father but on his descendants, and all creation lost its perfectness, [771] yet even these temporal sequences are not universally admitted. It rather seems taught, that death was intended to be the fate of all, or sent to show the folly of men claiming Divine worship, or to test whether piety was real, [772] the more so that with death the weary struggle with our evil inclination ceased. It was needful to die when our work was done, that others might enter upon it. In each case death was the consequence of our own, not of Adam's sin. [773] In fact, over these six - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and Miriam - the Angel of Death had had no absolute power. Nay, there was a time when all Israel were not only free from death, but like the Angels, and even higher than they. For, originally God had offered the Law to all Gentile nations, [774] but they had refused to submit to it. [775] But when Israel took on themselves the Law at Mount Sinai, the description in Psalm 1xxxii. 6 applied literally to them. They would not have died, and were the sons of God.' [776] But all this was lost by the sin of making the golden calf - although the Talmud marks that, if Israel had continued in that Angelic state, the nation would have ceased with that generation. [777] Thus there were two divergent opinions - the one ascribing death to personal, the other tracing it to Adam's guilt. [778]

When, however, we pass from the physical to the moral sequences of the fall, our Jewish authorities wholly fail us. They teach, that man is created with two inclinations - that to evil (the Yetser ha-ra), and that to good; [779] the first working in him from the beginning, the latter coming gradually in the course of time. [780] Yet, so far from guilt attaching to the Yetser ha-ra, its existence is absolutely necessary, if the world is to continue. [781] In fact, as the Talmud expressly teaches, [782] the evil desire or impulse was created by God Himself; while it is also asserted [783] that, on seeing the consequences, God actually repented having done so. This gives quite another character to sin, as due to causes for which no blame attaches to man. [784] On the other hand, as it is in the power of each wholly to overcome sin, and to gain life by study and works; [785]   as Israel at Mount Sinai had actually got rid of the Yetser ha-ra; and as there had been those, who were entirely righteous [786] - there scarcely remains any moral sequence of Adam's fall to be considered. Similarly, the Apocrypha are silent on the subject, the only exception being the very strong language used in II. Esdras, which dates after the Christian era. [787] [788]

4. In the absence of felt need of deliverance from sin, we can understand, how Rabbinic tradition found no place for the Priestly office of the Messiah, and how even His claims to be the Prophet of His people are almost entirely overshadowed by His appearance as their King and Deliverer. This, indeed, was the ever-present want, pressing the more heavily as Israel's national sufferings seemed almost inexplicable, while they contrasted so sharply with the glory expected by the Rabbis. Whence these sufferings? From sin [789] - national sin; the idolatry of former times; [790] the prevalence of crimes and vices; the dereliction of God's ordinances; [791] the neglect of instruction, of study, and of proper practice of His Law; and, in later days, the love of money and party strife. [792] But the seventy years' captivity had ceased, why not the present dispersion? Because hypocrisy had been added to all other sins; [793] because there had not been proper repentance; [794] because of the half-heartedness of the Jewish proselytes; because of improper marriages, and other evil customs; [795] and because of the gross dissoluteness of certain cities. [796] The consequences appeared not only in the political condition of Israel, but in the land itself, in the absence of rain and dew, of fruitfulness and of plenty; in the general disorder of society; the cessation of piety and of religious study; and the silence of prophecy. [797] As significantly summed up, Israel was without Priesthood, without law, without God. [798] Nay, the world itself suffered in consequence of the destruction of the Temple. In a very remarkable passage, [799] where it is explained, that the seventy bullocks offered during the Feast of Tabernacles were for the nations of the world, R. Jochanan deplores their fate, since while the Temple had stood the altar had atoned for the Gentiles, but who was now to do so? The light, which had shone from out the Temple windows into the world, had been extinguished. [800] Indeed, but for the intercession of the Angels the world would now be destroyed. [801] In the poetic language of the time, the heavens, sun, moon and stars, trees and mountains, even the Angels, mourned over the desolation of the Temple, [802] [803] and the very Angelic hosts had since been diminished. [804] But, though the Divine Presence had been withdrawn, it still lingered near His own; it had followed them in all their banishments; it had suffered with them in all their sorrows. [805] It is a touching legend, which represents the Shekhinah as still lingering over the western wall of the Temple [806] - the only one supposed to be still standing. [807] Nay, in language still bolder, and which cannot be fully reproduced, God Himself is represented as mourning over Jerusalem and the Temple. He has not entered His Palace since then, and His hair is wet with the dew. [808] He weeps over His children and their desolateness, [809] and displays in the heavens tokens of mourning, corresponding to those which an earthly monarch would show. [810]

All this is to be gloriously set right, when the Lord turneth the captivity of Zion, and the Messiah cometh. But when may He be expected, and what are the signs of His coming? Or perhaps the question should thus be put: Why are the redemption of Israel and the coming of the Messiah so unaccountably delayed? It is here that the Synagogue finds itself in presence of an insoluble mystery. The explanations attempted are, confessedly, guesses, or rather attempts to evade the issue. The only course left is, authoritatively to impose silence on all such inquiries - the silence, as they would put it, of implicit, mournful submission to the inexplicable, in faith that somehow, when least expected, deliverance would come; or, as we would put it, the silence of ever-recurring disappointment and despair. Thus the grand hope of the Synagogue is, as it were, written in an epitaph on a broken tombstone, to be repeated by the thousands who, for these long centuries, have washed the ruins of the Sanctuary with unavailing tears.

5. Why delayeth the Messiah His coming? Since the brief and broken sunshine of the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, the sky overhead has ever grown darker, nor have even the terrible storms, which have burst over Israel, reft the canopy of cloud. The first capitivity passed, why not the second? This is the painful question ever and again discussed by the Rabbis. [811] Can they mean it seriously, that the sins of the second, are more grievous than those which caused the first dispersion; or that they of the first captivity repented, but not they of the second? What constitutes this repentance which yet remains to be made? But the reasoning becomes absolutely self-contradictory when, together with the assertion that, if Israel repented but one day, the Messiah would come, [812] we are told, that Israel will not repent till Elijah comes. [813] Besides, bold as the language is, there is truth in the expostulation, which the Midrash [814] puts into the mouth of the congregation of Israel: Lord of the world, it depends on Thee that we repent.' Such truth, that, although at first the Divine reply is a repetition of Zechar. i. 3, yet, when Israel reiterates the words, Turn Thou us unto Thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned,' supporting them by Ps lxxxv. 4, the argument proves unanswerable.

Other conditions of Israel's deliverance are, indeed, mentioned. But we can scarcely regard the Synagogue as seriously making the coming of Messiah dependent on their realisation. Among the most touching of these is a beautiful passage (almost reminding us of Heb. xi.), in which Israel's future deliverance is described as the reward of faith. [815] Similarly beautiful is the thought, [816] that, when God redeems Israel, it will be amidst their weeping. [817] But neither can this be regarded as the condition of Messiah's coming; nor yet such generalities as the observance of the Law, or of some special commandments. The very variety of suggestions [818] [819] shows, how utterly unable the Synagogue felt to indicate any condition to be fulfilled by Israel. Such vague statements, as that the salvation of Israel depended on the merits of the patriarchs, or on that of one of them, cannot help us to a solution; and the long discussion in the Talmud [820] leaves no doubt, that the final and most sober opinion was, that the time of Messiah's coming depended not on repentance, nor any other condition, but on the mercy of God, when the time fixed had arrived. But even so, we are again thrown into doubt by the statement, that it might be either hastened or retarded by Israel's bearing! [821]

In these circumstances, any attempt at determining the date of Messiah's coming would be even more hypothetical than such calculations generally are. [822] Guesses on the subject could only be grounded on imaginary symbolisms. Of such we have examples in the Talmud. [823] Thus, some fixed the date at 4000 years after the Creation - curiously enough, about the era of Christ - though Israel's sin had blotted out the whole past from the reckoning; others at 4291 from the Creation; [824] others again expected it at the beginning, or end, of the eighty-fifth Jubilee - with this proviso, that it would not take place earlier; and so on, through equally groundless conjectures. A comparatively late work speaks of five monarchies - Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and Ishmael. During the last of these God would hear the cry of Israel, [825] and the Messiah come, after a terrible war between Rome and Ishmael (the West and the East). [826] But as the rule of these monarchies was to last altogether one day (= 1000 years), less two-thirds of an hour (1 hour = 83 ½ years); [827] it would follow, that their domination would last 944 4/9 years. [828] Again, according to Jewish tradition, the rule of Babylon had lasted 70, that of Medo-Persia 34, and that of Greece 180 years, leaving 660 4/9 years for Rome and Ishmael. Thus the date for the expected Advent of the Messiah would have been about 661 after the destruction of Jerusalem, or about the year 729 of the Christian era. [829]

In the category of guesses we must also place such vague statements, as that the Messiah would come, when all were righteous, or all wicked; or else nine months after the empire of Rome had extended over the whole world; [830] [831] or when all the souls, predestined to inhabit bodies, had been on earth. [832] But as, after years of unrelieved sufferings, the Synagogue had to acknowledge that, one by one, all the terms had passed, and as despair settled on the heart of Israel, it came to be generally thought, that the time of Messiah's Advent could not be known beforehand, [833] and that speculation on the subject was dangerous, sinful, even damnable. The time of the end had, indeed, been revealed to two sons of Adam, Jacob and David; but neither of them had been allowed to make it known. [834] In view of this, it can scarcely be regarded as more than a symbolical, though significant guess, when the future redemption of Israel is expected on the Paschal Day, the 15th of Nisan. [835] [836]

6. We now approach this most difficult and delicate question: What was the expectation of the ancient Synagogue, as regarded the Nature, Person, and qualifications of the Messiah? In answering it - not at present from the Old Testament, but from the views expressed in Rabinic literature, and, so far as we can gather from the Gospel-narratives, from those cherished by the contemporaries of Christ - two inferences seem evident. First, the idea of a Divine Personality, and of the union of the two Natures in the Messiah, seems to have been foreign to the Jewish auditory of Jesus of Nazareth, and even at first to His disciples. Secondly, they appear to have regarded the Messiah as far above the ordinary human, royal, prophetic, and even Angelic type, to such extent, that the boundary-line separating it from Divine Personality is of the narrowest, so that, when the conviction of the reality of the Messianic manifestation in Jesus burst on their minds, this boundary-line was easily, almost naturally, overstepped, and those who would have shrunk from framing their belief in such dogmatic form, readily owned and worshipped Him as the Son of God. Nor need we wonder at this, even taking the highest view of Old Testament prophecy. For here also the principle applies, which underlies one of St. Paul's most wide-reaching utterance: We prophesy in part' [837] (k mrous propheteomen). [838] In the nature of it, all prophecy presents but disjecta, membra, and it almost seems, as if we had to take our stand in the prophet's valley of vision (Ezek. xxxvii.), waiting till, at the bidding of the Lord, the scattered bones should be joined into a body, to which the breath of the Spirit would give life.

These two inferences, derived from the Gospel-narratives, are in exact accordance with the whole line of ancient Jewish teaching. Beginning with the LXX. rendering of Genesis xlix. 10, and especially of Numbers xxiv. 7, 17, we gather, that the Kingdom of the Messiah [839] was higher than any that is earthly, and destined to subdue them all. But the rendering of Psalm lxxii. 5, 7; Psalm cx. 3; and especially of Isaiah ix., carries us much farther. They convey the idea, that the existence of this Messiah was regarded as premundane (before the moon, [840] before the morning-star [841] ), and eternal, [842] and His Person and dignity as superior to that of men and Angels: the Angel of the Great Council,' [843] [844] probably the Angel of the Face' - a view fully confirmed by the rendering of the Targum. [845] The silence of the Apocrypha about the Person of the Messiah is so strange, as to be scarcely explained by the consideration, that those books were composed when the need of a Messiah for the deliverance of Israel was not painfully felt. [846] All the more striking are the allusions in the Pseudepigraphic Writings, although these also do not carry us beyond our two inferences. Thus, the third book of the Sibylline Oracles - which, with few exceptions, [847] dates from more than a century and a half before Christ - presents a picture of Messianic times, [848] generally admitted to have formed the basis of Virgil's description of the Golden Age, and of similar heathen expectations. In these Oracles, 170 years before Christ, the Messiah is the King sent from heaven' who would judge every man in blood and splendour of fire.' [849] Similarly, the vision of Messianic times opens with a reference to the King Whom God will send from the sun.' [850] [851] That a superhuman Kingdom of eternal duration, such as this vision paints, [852] should have a superhuman King, seems almost a necessary corollary. [853]

Even more distinct are the statements in the so-called Book of Enoch.' Critics are substantially agreed, that the oldest part of it [854] dates from between 150 and 130 b.c. [855] The part next in date is full of Messianic allusions; but, as a certain class of modern writers has ascribed to it a post-Christian date, and, however ungrounded, [856] to Christian authorship, it may be better not to refer to it in the present argument, the more so as we have other testimony from the time of Herod. Not to speak, therefore, of such peculiar designations of the Messiah as the Woman's Son,' [857] the Son of Man,' [858] the Elect,' and the Just One,' we mark that the Messiah is expressly designed in the oldest portion as the Son of God' (I and My Son'). [859] That this implies, not, indeed, essential Sonship, but infinite superiority over all other servants of God, and rule over them, appears from the mystic description of the Messiah as the first of the [now changed] white bulls,' the great Animal among them, having great and black horns on His head' [860] - Whom all the beasts of the field and all the fowls of heaven dread, and to Whom they cry at all times.'

Still more explicit is that beautiful collection of eighteen Psalms, dating from about half a century before Christ, which bears the name of the Psalter of Solomon.' A chaste anticipation of the Messianic Kingdom [861] is followed by a full description of its need and its blessings, [862] to which the concluding Psalm [863] forms an apt epilogue. The King Who reigns is of the house of David. [864] He is the Son of David, Who comes at the time known to God only, to reign over Israel. [865] He is a righteous King, taught of God. [866] He is Christ the Lord. (Christs Krios, [867] exactly as in the LXX. translations of Lamentations iv. 20). He is pure from sin,' which qualifies Him for ruling His people, and banishing sinners by His word. [868] Never in His days will He be infirm towards His God, since God renders Him strong in the Holy Ghost,' wise in counsel, with might and righteousness (mighty in deed and word'). The blessing of the Lord being upon Him, He does not fail. [869] This is the beauty of the King of Israel, Whom God hath chosen, to set Him over the house of Israel to rule it.' [870] Thus invincible, not by outward might, but in His God, He will bring His people the blessings of restoration to their tribal possessions, and of righteousness, but break in pieces His enemies, not by outward weapons, but by the word of His mouth; purify Jerusalem, and judge the nations, who will be subject to His rule, and behold and own His glory. [871] Manifestly, this is not an earthly Kingdom, nor yet an earthly King.

If we now turn to works dating after the Christian era, we would naturally expect them, either simply to reproduce earlier opinions, or, from opposition to Christ, to present the Messiah in a less exalted manner. [872] But since, strange to say, they even more strongly assert the high dignity of the Messiah, we are warranted in regarding this as the rooted belief of the Synagogue. [873] This estimate of the Messiah may be gathered from IV Esdras, [874] [875] with which the kindred picture of the Messiah and His reign in the Apocalypse of Baruch [876] may be compared. But even in strictly Rabbinic documents, the premundane, if not the eternal existence of the Messiah appears as matter of common belief. Such is the view expressed in the Targum on Is. ix. 6, and in that on Micah v. 2. But the Midrash on Prov. viii. 9 [877] expressly mentions the Messiah among the seven things created before the world. [878] The passage is the more important, as it throws light on quite a series of others, in which the Name of the Messiah is said to have been created before the world. [879] [880] [881] [882] Even if this were an ideal conception, it would prove the Messiah to be elevated above the ordinary conditions of humanity. But it means much more than this, since not only the existence of the Messiah long before His actual appearance, but His premundane state are clearly taught in other places. In the Talmud [883] it is not only implied, that the Messiah may already be among the living, but a strange story is related, according to which He had actually been born in the royal palace at Bethlehem, bore the name Menachem (Comforter), was discovered by one R. Judan through a peculiar device, but had been carried away by a storm. Similarly, the Babylon Talmud represents Him as sitting at the gate of Imperial Rome. [884] In general, the idea of the Messiah's appearance and concealment is familiar to Jewish tradition. [885] [886] But the Rabbis go much farther back, and declare that from the time of Judah's marriage, [887] God busied Himself with creating the light of the Messiah,' it being significantly added that, before the first oppressor [Pharaoh] was born, the final deliverer [Messiah, the son of David] was already born.' [888] In another passage the Messiah is expresily identified with Anani, [889] [890] and therefore represented as pre-existent long before his actual manifestation. [891] The same inference may be drawn from His emphatic designation as the First. [892] Lastly, in Yalkut on Is. lx., the words In Thy light shall we see light' (Ps. xxxvi. 9) are explained as meaning, that this is the light of the Messiah, - the same which God had at the first pronounced to be very good, and which, before the world was created, He had hid beneath the throne of His glory for the Messiah and His age. When Satan asked for whom it was reserved, he was told that it was destined for Him Who would put him to shame, and destroy him. And when, at his request, he was shown the Messiah, he fell on his face and owned, that the Messiah would in the future cast him and the Gentiles into Gehenna [893] Whatever else may be inferred from it, this passage clearly implies not only the pre-existence, but the premundane existence of the Messiah. [894]

But, indeed, it carries us much farther. For, a Messiah, preexistent, in the Presence of God, and destined to subdue Satan and cast him into hell, could not have been regarded as an ordinary man. It is indeed true that, as the history of Elijah, so that of the Messiah is throughout compared with that of Moses, the first' with the last Redeemer.' As Moses was educated at the court of Pharaoh, so the Messiah dwells in Rome (or Edom) among His enemies. [895] Like Moses He comes, withdraws, and comes again. [896] Like Moses He works deliverance. But here the analogy ceases, for, whereas the redemption by Moses was temporary and comparatively small, that of the Messiah would be eternal and absolute. All the marvels connected with Moses were to be intensified in the Messiah. The ass on which the Messiah would ride - and this humble estate was only caused by Israel's sin [897] - would be not only that on which Moses had come back to Egypt, but also that which Abraham had used when he went to offer up Isaac, and which had been specially created on the eve of the world's first Sabbath. [898] Similarly, the horns of the ram caught in the thicket, which was offered instead of Isaac, were destined for blowing - the left one by the Almighty on Mount Sinai, the right and larger one by the Messiah, when He would gather the outcasts of Israel (Is. xxvii. 13). [899] Again, the rod' of the Messiah was that of Aaron, which had budded, blossomed, and burst into fruit; as also that on which Jacob had leaned, and which, through Judah, had passed to all the kings of Israel, till the destruction of the Temple. [900] And so the principle that the later Deliverer would be like the first' was carried into every detail. As the first Deliverer brought down the Manna, so the Messiah; [901] as the first Deliverer had made a spring of water to rise, so would the second. [902]

But even this is not all. That the Messiah had, without any instruction, attained to knowledge of God; [903] and that He had received, directly from Him, all wisdom, knowledge, counsel, and grace, [904] is comparatively little, since the same was claimed for Abraham, Job, and Hezekiah. But we are told that, when God showed Moses all his successors, the spirit of wisdom and knowledge in the Messiah equalled that of all the others together. [905] The Messiah would be greater than the Patriarchs,' higher than Moses, [906] and even loftier than the ministering Angels. [907] In view of this we can understand, how the Midrash on Psalm xxi. 3 should apply to the Messiah, in all its literality, that God would set His own crown on His head,' and clothe Him with His honour and majesty.' It is only consistent that the same Midrash should assign to the Messiah the Divine designations: Jehovah is a Man of War,' and Jehovah our Righteousness.' [908] One other quotation, from perhaps the most spiritual Jewish commentary, must be added, reminding us of that outburst of adoring wonder which once greeted Jesus of Nazareth. The passage first refers to the seven garments with which God successively robed Himself - the first of honour and glory,' at creation; [909] the second of majesty,' at the Red Sea; [910] the third of strength,' at the giving of the Law; [911] the fourth white,' when He blotteth out the sins of Israel; [912] the fifth of zeal,' when He avengeth them of their enemies; [913] the sixth of righteousness,' at the time when the Messiah should be revealed; [914] and the seventh red,' when He would take vengeance on Edom (Rome). [915] But,' continues the commentary, the garment with which in the future He will clothe the Messiah, its splendour will extend from one end of the world to the other, as it is written: [916] "As a bridegroom priestly in headgear." And Israel are astounded at His light, and say: Blessed the hour in which the Messiah was created; blessed the womb whence He issued; blessed the generation that sees Him; blessed the eye that is worthy to behold Him; because the opening of His lips is blessing and peace, and His speech quieting of the spirit. Glory and majesty are in His appearance (vesture), and confidence and tranquillity in His words; and on His tongue compassion and forgiveness; His prayer is a sweet-smelling odour, and His supplication holiness and purity. Happy Israel, what is reserved for you! Thus it is written: [917] "How manifold is Thy goodness, which Thou hast reserved to them that fear Thee."' [918] Such a King Messiah might well be represented as sitting at the Right Hand of God, while Abraham was only at His left; [919] nay, as throwing forth His Right Hand, while God stood up to war for Him. [920]

It is not without hesitation, that we make reference to Jewish allusions to the miraculous birth of the Saviour. Yet there are two expressions, which convey the idea, if not of superhuman origin, yet of some great mystery attaching to His birth. The first occurs in connection with the birth of Seth. Rabbi Tanchuma said, in the name of Rabbi Samuel: Eve had respect [had regard, looked forward] to that Seed which is to come from another place. And who is this? This is Messiah the King.' [921] The second appears in the narrative of the crime of Lot's daughters: [922] It is not written "that we may preserve a son from our father," but "seed from our father." This is that seed which is coming from another place. And who is this? This is the King Messiah.' [923] [924]

That a superhuman character attached, if not to the Personality, yet to the Mission of the Messiah, appears from three passages, in which the expression, The Spirit of the Lord moved upon the face of the deep,' is thus paraphrased: This is the Spirit of the King Messiah.' [925] [926] Whether this implies some activity of the Messiah in connection with creation, [927] or only that, from the first, His Mission was to have a bearing on all creation, it elevates His character and work above every other agency, human or Angelic. And, without pressing the argument, it is at least very remarkable that even the Ineffable Name Jehovah is expressly attributed to the Messiah. [928] [929] The whole of this passage, beginning at p. 147 b, is very curious and deeply interesting. It would lead too far to quote fact becomes the more significant, when we recall that one of the most familiar names of the Messiah was Anani - He Who cometh in the clouds of heaven. [930]

In what has been stated, no reference has been made to the final conquests of Messiah, to His reign with all its wonders, or to the subdual of all nation - in short, to what are commonly called the last things.' This will be treated in another connection. Nor is it contented that, whatever individuals may have expected, the Synagogue taught the doctrine of the Divine Personality of the Messiah, as held by the Christian Church. On the other hand, the cumulative evidence just presented must leave on the mind at least this conviction, that the Messiah expected was far above the conditions of the most exalted of God's servants, even His Angels; in short, so closely bordering on the Divine, that it was almost impossible to distinguish Him therefrom. In such circumstances, it only needed the personal conviction, that He, Who taught and wrought as none other, was really the Messiah, to kindle at His word into the adoring confession, that He was indeed the Son of the Living God.' And once that point reached, the mind, looking back through the teaching of the Synagogue, would, with increasing clearness, perceive that, however ill-understood in the past, this had been all along the sum of the whole Old Testament. Thus, we can understand alike the preparedness for, and yet the gradualness of conviction on this point; then, the increasing clearness with which it emerged in the consciousness of the disciples; and, finally, the unhesitating distinctness with which it was put forward in Apostolic teaching as the fundamental article of belief to the Church Catholic. [931]


[749] Gen. iii. 13.

[750] St. John viii. 56.

[751] In this respect there is deep significance in the Jewish legend (frequently introduced; see, for example, Tanch. ii. 99 a; Deb. R. 1), that all the miracles which God had shown to Israel in the wilderness would be done again to redeemed Zion in the latter days.'

[752] St. Matt. ii. 15.

[753] Phil. ii. 6-11.

[754] Gen. iii. 15.

[755] Sanh. 99 a.

[756] Sanh. 98 b.

[757] See Appendix IX., where a detailed list is given of all the Old Testament passages which the ancient Synagogue applied Messianically, together with the references to the Rabbinic works where they are quoted.

[758] Large as this number is, I do not present the list as complete. Thus, out of the thirty-seven Parashahs constituting the Midrash on Leviticus, no fewer than twenty-five close with an outlook on Messianic times. The same may be said of the close of many of the Parashahs in the Midrashim known as Pesiqta and Tanchuma (Zunz, u.s. pp. 181, 234). Besides, the oldest portions of the Jewish liturgy are full of Messianic aspirations.

[759] For these, see Appendix IX.

[760] Yalkut on Is. ix. 1.

[761] This is the view expressed by all Jewish dogmatic writers. See also Weber, Altsynag. Theol. p. 217.

[762] Comp. on the subject. Ber. R. 12-16.

[763] In Ber. R., however, it has seemed to me, as if sometimes a mystical and symbolical view of the history of the Fall were insinuated - evil concupiscence being the occasion of it.

[764] Pirqé de R. El. c. 13; Yalkut i. p. 8 c.

[765] Comp. Pirqé de R. El. and Yalkut, u.s.; also Ber. R. 19.

[766] Ber. R. 19, ed. Warshau, p. 37 a.

[767] Bemidb. R. 13.

[768] They are: the shining splendour of his person, even his heels being like suns; his gigantic size, from east to west, from earth to heaven; the spontaneous splendid products of the ground, and of all fruit-trees; an infinitely greater measure of light on the part of the heavenly bodies; and, finally, endless duration of life (Ber. R. 12, ed. Warsh. p. 24 b; Ber. R. 21; Sanh. 38 b; Chag. 12 a; and for their restoration by the Messiah, Bem. R. 13).

[769] Vayyikra R. 27.

[770] Ber. R. 16, 21, and often.

[771] Ber. R. 5, 12, 10; comp. also Midr. on Eccl. vii. 13; and viii. 1, and Baba B. 17 a.

[772] Ber. R. 9.

[773] Bemidb. R. 19.

[774] According to Deut.xxxiii. 2; Hab. iii. 3.

[775] Ab. Zar. 2 b.

[776] Ab. Z. 5 a.

[777] By a most ingenious theological artifice the sin of the golden calf, and that of David are made matter for thanksgiving; the one as showing that, even if the whole people sinned, God was willing to forgive; the other as proving, that God graciously condescended to each individual sinner, and that to each the door of repentance was open.

[778] In the Talmud (Shabb. 55 a and b) each view is supported in discussion, the one by a reference to Ezek. xviii. 20, the other to Eccles. ix. 2 (comp. also Siphré on Deut. xxxii. 49). The final conclusion, however, greatly inclines towards the connection between death and the fall (see especially the clear statement in Debar. R. 9, ed. Warsh., p. 20 a). This view is also supported by such passages in the Apocrypha as Wisdom ii. 23, 24; iii. 1, &c.; while, on the other hand, Ecclus. xv. 11-17 seems rather to point in a different direction.

[779] Targum Ps.-Jon. on Gen. ii. 7.

[780] Nedar. 32 b; Midr. on Eccl. iv. 13, 14, ed. W. p. 89 a; ix. 15; ib. p. 101 a.

[781] Ber. R. 9.

[782] Ber. 61 a.

[783] Sukk. 52 a, and Yalkut ii. p. 149 b.

[784] Comp. also Jer. Targum on Ex. xxxii. 22.

[785] Ab. Z. 5 b; Kidd. 30 b.

[786] For example, Yoma 28 b; Chag. 4 b.

[787] Comp. IV. Esd. iii. 21, 22, 26; iv. 30; and especially vii. 46-53.

[788] There can be no question that, despite its strong polemical tendency against Christianity, the Fourth Book of Esdras (II. Esdras in our Apocrypha), written at the close of the first century of our era, is deeply tinged with Christian doctrine. Of course, the first two and the last two chapters in our Apocryphal II. Esdras are later spurious additions of Christian authorship. But in proof of the influence of the Christian teaching on the writer of the Fourth Book of Esdras we may call attention, besides the adoption of the doctrine of original sin, to the remarkable application to Israel of such N.T. expressions as the firstborn,' the only-begotten,' and the Well-beloved' (IV. Esdras vi. 58 - in our Apocr. II. Esdras iv. 58).

[789] Men. 53 b.

[790] Gitt. 7 a.

[791] Gitt. 88 a.

[792] Jer. Yoma i. 1; Yoma 9 a, and many other passages.

[793] Yoma 9 b.

[794] Jer. Yoma i. 1.

[795] Nidd. 13 b.

[796] Yoma 19 b.

[797] For all these points comp. Ber. 58 b; 59 a; Sot. 48 a; Shabb. 138 b; Baba B. 12 a, b.

[798] Vayyikra R 19.

[799] Sukk. 55 b.

[800] Pesiqta, 1 ed. Buber, p. 145 a, last lines.

[801] Midr, on Ps.cxxxvii.

[802] Pesiqta 148 b.

[803] This is the Pesiqta, not that which is generally quoted either as Rabbathi or Sutarta.

[804] Chag. 13 b.

[805] This in very many Rabbinical passages. Comp. Castelli, II Messia, p. 176, note 4.

[806] Shemoth R. 2. ed. Warsh. p. 7 b, lines 12 &c.

[807] In proof they appeal to such passages as 2 Chr. vii. 16; Ps. iii. 4; Cant. ii. 9, proving it even from the decree of Cyrus (Ezra i. 3, 4), in which God is spoken of as still in desolate Jerusalem.

[808] The passage from Yalkut on Is. lx. 1 is quoted in full in Appendix IX.

[809] Ber. 3 a; 59 a.

[810] Pesiqta 119 b; 120 a.

[811] Jer. Yoma i. 1, ed. Krot. p 38 c, last part, Sanh. 97 b, 98 a.

[812] Midr. on Cant. v. 2, ed. Warsh. p. 25 a; Sanh. 98 a.

[813] Pirqé de R. Eliez. 43 end.

[814] On Lam. v. 21, ed. Warsh. vol. iii. p. 77 a.

[815] Tanch. on Ex. xv. 1, ed. Warsh. p. 86 b.

[816] On Jer. xxxi. 9.

[817] Tanch. on Gen. xiv. 2, ed. Warsh.

[818] Sanh. 97 b 98 a.

[819] The reader will find these discussions summarised at the close of Appendix IX.

[820] Sanh. 98 a and b.

[821] See, on the whole subject, also Debar. R. 2.

[822] We put aside, as universally repudiated, the opinion expressed by one Rabbi, that Israel's Messianic era was past, the promises having been fulfilled in King Hezekiah (Sanh. 98 b; 99 a).

[823] See, in Appendix IX. the extracts from Sanh.

[824] Sanh. 97 b.

[825] Pirqé de R. Ehes. 32.

[826] u. s. 30.

[827] Comp. Pirqé de R. El. 48.

[828] Pirqé de R. El. 28. The reasoning by which this duration of the monarchies is derived from Lament. i. 13 and Zech. xiv. 7, is a very curious specimen of Rabbinic argumentation.

[829] Comp. Zunz, Gottesd. Vortr. p. 277.

[830] Sanh. 98 b.

[831] See Appendix IX.

[832] Ab. Z. 5 a, Ber. R. 24.

[833] Targum Pseudo-Jon on Gen. xlix. 1.

[834] Midrash on Ps. xxxi. ed. Warsh. p. 41 a, lines 18 to 15 from bottom.

[835] Pesikta, ed. Buber, 47 b. 48 a, Sopher. xxi. Hal. 2. Shir. haShir. R. ii. 8. ed. Warsh. vol. iii. p. 15 a.

[836] Solitary opinions, however, place the future redemption in the month Tishri (Tanch. on Ex. xii. 37, ed. Warsh. p. 81 b, line 2 from bottom.)

[837] See the telling remarks of Oehler in Herzog's Real-Encykul., vol. ix. p. 417. We would add, that there is always a hereafter' of further development in the history of the individual believer, as in that of the Church - growing brighter and brighter, with increased spiritual communication and knowledge, till at last the perfect light is reached.

[838] 1 Cor. xiii. 9.

[839] No reasonable doubt can be left on the mind, that the LXX. translators have here the Messiah in view.

[840] Ps. lxxii.

[841] Ps. cx.

[842] Ps. lxxii.

[843] Is. ix. 6.

[844] The criticism of Mr. Drummond on these three passages (Jewish Messiah, pp. 290, 291) cannot be supported on critical grounds.

[845] Three, if not four, different renderings of the Targum on Is. ix. 6 are possible. But the minimum conveyed to my mind implies the premundane existence, the eternal continuance, and the superhuman dignity of the Messiah. (See also the Targum on Micah v. 2.)

[846] This is the view of Grimm, and more fully carried out by Oehler. The argument of Hengstenberg, that the mention of such a Messiah was restrained from fear of the heathen, does not deserve serious refutation.

[847] These exceptions are, according to Friedlieb (Die Sibyllin. Weissag.) vv. 1-45, vv. 47-96 (dating from 40-31 before Christ), and vv. 818-828. On the subject generally, see our previous remarks in Book 1.

[848] vv. 652-807.

[849] vv. 285, 286.

[850] v. 652.

[851] Mr. Drummond defends (at pp. d 274, 275) Holtxmann's view, that the expression applies to Simon the Maccabee, although on p. 291 he argues on the opposite supposition that the text refers to the Messiah. It is difficult to understand, how on reading the whole passage the hypothesis of Holtzmann could be entertained. While referring to the 3rd Book of the Sib. Or., another point of considerable interest deserves notice. According to the theory which places the authorship of Daniel in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes - or say about 165 b.c. - the fourth kingdom' of Daniel must be the Grecian. But, on the other hand, such certainly was not the view entertained by Apocalypts of the year 165, since the 3d Book of the Sib. Or., which dates from precisely that period, not only takes notice of the rising power of Rome, but anticipates the destruction of the Grecian Empire by Rome, which in turn is to be vanquished by Israel (vv. 175-195; 520-544; 638-807). This most important fact would require to be accounted for by the opponents of the authenticity of Daniel.

[852] vv. 652-807.

[853] I have purposely omitted all references to controverted passages. But see Langen, D. Judenth. in Palest. pp. 401 &c.

[854] ch. i.- xxxvi. and lxxii.-cv.

[855] The next oldest portion, consisting of the so-called Similitudes (ch xxxvii.- xxi.), excepting what are termed the Noachic' parts, dates from about the time of Herod the Great.

[856] Schürer (Lehrb. d. Neutest. Zitg. pp. 534, 535) has, I think, consclusively shown that this portion of the Book of Enoch is of Jewish authorship, and pre-Christian date. If so, it were deeply interesting to follow its account of the Messiah. He appears by the side of the Ancient of Days, His face like appearance of a man, and yet so lovely, like that of one of the holy Angels. This Son of Man' has, and with Him dwells, all righteousness; He reveals the treasures of all that is hidden, being chosen by the Lord, is superior to all, and destined to subdue and destroy all the powers and kingdoms of wickedness (ch. xivi.). Although only revealed at the last, His Name had been named before God, before sun or stars were created. He is the staff on which the righteous lean, the light of nations, and the hope of all who mourn in spirit. All are to bow down before Him, and adore Him, and for this He was chosen and hidden with God before the world was created, and will continue before Him for ever (ch. xlviii.). This Elect One' is to sit on the throne of glory, and dwell among His saints. Heaven and earth would abide on the and only the saints would abide on the renewed earth (ch. xiv.). He is mighty in all the secrets of righteousness, and unrighteousness would flee as a shadow, because His glory lasted from eternity to eternity, and His power from generation to generation (ch. xlix.). Then would the earth, Hades, and hell give up their dead, and Messiah, sitting on His throne, would select and own the just, and open up all secrets of wisdom, amidst the universal joy of ransomed earth (ch. li., lxi., lxii.).

[857] lxii. 5.

[858] For ex. xlviii. 2: lxii. 7; lxix 29.

[859] cv. 2.

[860] xc. 38.

[861] in Ps. xi.

[862] in Ps. xvii.

[863] xviii.

[864] xvii. 5.

[865] v. 23.

[866] v. 35.

[867] v. 36.

[868] v. 41.

[869] vv. 42, 43.

[870] v. 47.

[871] vv. 25-35.

[872] In illustration of this tendency we may quote the following evidently polemical saying, of R. Abbahu. If any man saith to thee, "I am God" he is a liar; "I am the Son of Man," he will at last repent of it; "I go up to heaven," hath he said, and shall he not do it?' [or, he hath said, and shall not make it good] (Jer. Taan. p. 65 b. line 7 from bottom). This R. Abbahu (279-320 of our era) seems to have largely engaged in controversy with Jewish Christians. Thus he sought to argue against the Sonship of Christ, by commenting, as follows, on Is. xliv. 6: "I am the first" - because He has no father; "I am the last" - because He has no Son; "and beside me there is no God" - because He has no brother (equal)' (Shem. R. 29, ed. Warsh. vol. ii. p. 41 a, line 8 from bottom).

[873] It is, to say the least, a pity that Mr. Drummond should have imagined that the question could be so easily settled on the premises which he presents.

[874] xii. 32; xiii. 26, 52; xiv. 9.

[875] The 4th Book of Esdras (in our Apocr. II. Esdras) dates from the end of the first century of our era - and so does the Apocalypse of Baruch.

[876] lxx.9- lxxiv.

[877] Ed. Lemb. p. 7 a

[878] These are: the Throne of Glory, Messiah the King, the Torah, (ideal) Israel, the Temple, repentance, and Gehenna.

[879] Pirqé de R. E. 3; Midr.on Ps. xciii.1; Ps. 54 a; Nedar. 39 b; Ber. R. 1; 3 Tanch. on Numb. vii. 14, ed. Warsh. vol. ii Midr. on Ps. 54 a; Nedar. 39 b; Ber. R. 1; Tanch. on Numb. vii. 14, ed. Warsh. vol. ii. p. 56 b, at the bottom.

[880] In Pirqé de R. El. and the other authorities these seven things are: the Torah, Gehenna, Paradise, the Throne of Glory, the Temple, repentance, and the Name of the Messiah.

[881] In Ber. R. six things are mentioned: two actually created (the Torah and the Throne of Glory), and four which came into His Mind to create them (the Fathers, Israel, the Temple, and the Name of the Messiah.

[882] In Tanch, seven things are enumerated (the six as in Ber. R., with the addition of repentance), and some say: also Paradise and Gehenna.'

[883] Jer. Ber. ii. 4, p. 5 a.

[884] Sanh. 98 a; comp. also Jerus. Targ. on Ex. xii. 42; Pirqé de R. El. 30, and other passages.

[885] See for example Pesiqta, ed Buber, p. 49 b.

[886] In that passage the time of Messiah's concealment is calculated at forty-five days, from a comparison of Dan. xii. 11 with v. 12.

[887] Gen.. xxxviii. 1, 2.

[888] Ber. R. 85, ed. Warsh. p. 151 b.

[889] Mentioned in 1 Chr. iii. 24 6.

[890] The comment on this passage is curiously mystical, but clearly implies not only the pre-existence, but the superhuman character of the Messiah.

[891] Tanch. Par. To edoth, 14. ed. Warsh. p. 37 b.

[892] Ber. R. 65 ed. Warsh. p. 114 b; Vayyikra R. 30, ed. W. vol. iii. p. 47 a; Pes 5 a.

[893] Yalkut ii. p. 56 c.

[894] The whole of this very remarkable passage is given in Appendix IX., in the notes on Is. xxv. 8; lx l; lxiv. 4; Jer. xxxi. 8.

[895] Shem. R. 1, ed. W. vol. ii. p. 5 b; Tanch. Par. Tazrya, 8, ed. W. vol. ii. p. 20 a.

[896] Pesiqta, ed. Buber, p. 49 b; Midr. Ruth. Par. 5, ed. W. p. 43 b.

[897] Sanh. 98 a.

[898] Pirqé de R. El. 31, ed. Lemb. p. 38 a.

[899] Pirqé de R. El. u. s., p. 39 a, close.

[900] Bemid. R. 18, close of the Phar.

[901] Ps. lxxii. 16.

[902] According to the last clause of (English verson) Joel iii. 18 (Midr. on Eccles. i. 9 ed. Warsh, vol. iv. p. 80 b.)

[903] Bemid. R. 14, ed. Warsh. p. 55 a.

[904] Bemid. R. 13.

[905] Yalkut on Numb. xxvii. 16, vol. i. p. 247 d.

[906] This is the more noteworthy as, according Sotah 9 b, none in Israel was so great as Moses, who was only inferior to the Almighty.

[907] Tanch., Par. Toledoth 14.

[908] Midr. Tehill. ed. Warsh. p. 30 b.

[909] Ps. civ. 1.

[910] Ps. xciii. 1.

[911] Ps. xciii. 1.

[912] Dan. vii. 9.

[913] Is. lix. 17.

[914] Is. lix. 17.

[915] Is. lxiii.

[916] Is. lxi. 10.

[917] Ps. xxxi. 19.

[918] Pesiqta. ed. Buber. pp. 149, a, b.

[919] Midr. on Ps. xviii. 36, ed. Warsh. p. 27 a.

[920] Midr. on Ps. cx. 1, ed. Warsh. p. 80 b.

[921] Ber. R. 23, ed Warsh p. 45 b.

[922] Gen. xix. 32.

[923] Ber. R. 51 ed. Warsh. p. 95 a.

[924] I am, of course, aware that certain Rabbinists explain the expression Seed from another place,' as referring to the descent of the Messiah from Ruth - a non-Israelite. But if this explanation could be offered in reference to the daughters of Lot, it is difficult to see its meaning in reference to Eve and the birth of Seth. The connection there with the words (Gen. iv. 25), God hath appointed me another Seed,' would be the very loosest.

[925] Ber. R. 2; and 8; Vayyikra R. 14, ed. Warsh. vol. iii. p. 21 b.

[926] I am surprised, that Castelli (u. s. p. 207) should have contended, that the reading in Ber. R. 8 and Vay. R. 14 should be the Spirit of Adam.' For (1) the attempted correction gives neither sense, nor proper meaning. (2) The passage Ber. R. 1 is not impugned; yet that passage is the basis of the other two. (3) Ber. R. 8 must read, The Spirit of God moved on the deep - that is, the Spirit of Messiah the King,' because the proof-passage is immediately added, and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,' which is a Messianic passage; and because, only two lines before the impugned passage, we are told, that Gen. i. 26, 1st clause, refers to the spirit of the first man.' The latter remark applies also to Vayyikra R. 14, where the context equally forbids the proposed correction.

[927] It would be very interesting to compare with this the statements of Philo as to the agency of the Logos in Creation. The subject is very well treated by Riehm (Lehrbegr. d. Hebr. Br. pp. 414-420), although I cannot agree with all his conclusions.

[928] Midr. on Lament. i 16, ed Warsh. p. 64 a, last line comp. Pesiqta, p. 148 a; Midr. on Ps. xxi. and the very curious concessions in a controvesy with a Christian recorded in Sanh. 38 b.

[929] The whole of this passage, beginning at p. 147 b, is very curious and deeply interesting. It would lead too far to quote it, or other parallel passages which might be adduced. The passage in the Midrash on Lament. i. 16 is also extremely interesting. After the statement quoted in the text, there follows a discussion on the names of the Messiah, and then the curious story about the Messiah having already been born in Bethlehem.

[930] Dan. vii. 13.

[931] It will be noticed, that the cummulative argument presented in the foregoing pages follows closely that in the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews; only, that the latter carries it up to its final conclusion, that the Messiah was truly the Son of God, while it has been our purpose simply to state, what was the expectation of the ancient Synagogue, not what it should have been according to the Old Testament.


CHAPTER VI.
THE NATIVITY OF JESUS THE MESSIAH.

(St. Matthew i. 25; St. Luke ii. 1-20.)

SUCH then was the hope of the promise made of God unto the fathers,' for which the twelve tribes, instantly serving (God) night and day,' longed - with such vividness, that they read it in almost every event and promise; with such earnestness, that it ever was the burden of their prayers; with such intensity, that many and long centuries of disappointment have not quenched it. Its light, comparatively dim in days of sunshine and calm, seemed to burn brightest in the dark and lonely nights of suffering, as if each gust that swept over Israel only kindled it into fresh flame.

To the question, whether this hope has ever been realised - or rather, whether One has appeared Whose claims to the Messiahship have stood the test of investigation and of time - impartial history can make only one answer. It points to Bethlehem and to Nazareth. If the claims of Jesus have been rejected by the Jewish Nation, He has at least, undoubtedly, fulfilled one part of the Mission prophetically assigned to the Messiah. Whether or not He be the Lion of the tribe of Judah, to Him, assuredly, has been the gathering of the nations, and the isles have waited for His law. Passing the narrow bounds of obscure Judæa, and breaking down the walls of national prejudice and isolation, He has made the sublimer teaching of the Old Testament the common possession of the world, and founded a great Brotherhood, of which the God of Israel is the Father. He alone also has exhibited a life, in which absolutely no fault could be found; and promulgated a teaching, to which absolutely no exception can be taken. Admittedly, He was the One perfect Man - the ideal of humanity, His doctrine the one absolute teaching. The world has known none other, none equal. And the world has owned it, if not by the testimony of words, yet by the evidence of facts. Springing from such a people; born, living, and dying in circumstances, and using means, the most unlikely of such results - the Man of Nazareth has, by universal consent, been the mightiest Factor in our world's history: alike politically, socially, intellectually, and morally. If He be not the Messiah, He has at least thus far done the Messiah's work. If He be not the Messiah, there has at least been none other, before or after Him. If He be not the Messiah, the world has not, and never can have, a Messiah.

To Bethlehem as the birthplace of Messiah, not only Old Testament prediction, [932] but the testimony of Rabbinic teaching, unhesitatingly pointed. Yet nothing could be imagined more directly contrary to Jewish thoughts and feelings - and hence nothing less likely to suggest itself to Jewish invention [933] - than the circumstances which, according to the Gospel-narrative, brought about the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem. A counting of the people, of Census; and that Census taken at the bidding of a heathen Emperor, and executed by one so universally hated as Herod, would represent the ne plus ultra of all that was most repugnant to Jewish feeling. [934] If the account of the circumstances, which brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, has no basis in fact, but is a legend invented to locate the birth of the Nazarene in the royal City of David, it must be pronounced most clumsily devised. There is absolutely nothing to account for its origination - either from parallel events in the past, or from contemporary expectancy. Why then connect the birth of their Messiah with what was most repugnant to Israel, especially if, as the advocates of the legendary hypothesis contend, it did not occur at a time when any Jewish Census was taken, but ten years previously?

But if it be impossible rationally to account for any legendary origin of the narrative of Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem, the historical grounds, on which its accuracy has been impugned, are equally insufficient. They resolve themselves into this: that (beyond the Gospel-narrative) we have no solid evidence that Cyrenius was at that time occupying the needful official position in the East, to order such a registration for Herod to carry out. But even this feeble contention is by no means historically unassailable. [935] At any rate, there are two facts, which render any historical mistake by St. Luke on this point extremely difficult to believe. First, he was evidently aware of a Census under Cyrenius, ten years later; [936] secondly, whatever rendering of St. Luke ii. 2 may be adopted, it will at least be admitted, that the intercalated sentence about Cyrenius was not necessary for the narrative, and that the writer must have intended thereby emphatically to mark a certain event. But an author would not be likely to call special attention to a fact, of which he had only indistinct knowledge; rather, if it must be mentioned, would he do so in the most indefinite terms. This presumption in favour of St. Luke's statement is strengthened by the consideration, that such an event as the taxing of Judæa must have been so easily ascertainable by him.

We are, however, not left to the presumptive reasoning just set forth. That the Emperor Augustus made registers of the Roman Empire, and of subject and tributary states, is now generally admitted. This registration - for the purpose of future taxation - would also embrace Palestine. Even if no actual order to that effect had been issued during the lifetime of Herod, we can understand that he would deem it most expedient, both on account of his relations to the Emperor, and in view of the probable excitement which a heathen Census would cause in Palestine, to take steps for making a registration, and that rather according to the Jewish than the Roman manner. This Census, then, arranged by Augustus, and taken by Herod in his own manner, was, according to St. Luke, first [really] carried out when Cyrenius was Governor of Syria,' some years after Herod's death and when Judæa had become a Roman province. [937]

We are now prepared to follow the course of the Gospel-narrative. In consequence of the decree of Cæsar Augustus,' Herod directed a general registration to be made after the Jewish, rather than the Roman, manner. Practically the two would, indeed, in this instance, be very similar. According to the Roman law, all country-people were to be registered in their own city' - meaning thereby the town to which the village or place, where they were born, was attached. In so doing, the house and lineage' (the nomen and cognomen) of each were marked. [938] According to the Jewish mode of registration, the people would have been enrolled according to tribes {hebrew}, families or clans {hebrew}, and the house of their fathers {hebrew}. But as the ten tribes had not returned to Palestine, this could only take place to a very limited extent, [939] while it would be easy for each to be registered in his own city.' In the case of Joseph and Mary, whose descent from David was not only known, but where, for the sake of the unborn Messiah, it was most important that this should be distinctly noted, it was natural that, in accordance with Jewish law, they should have gone to Bethlehem. Perhaps also, for many reasons which will readily suggest themselves, Joseph and Mary might be glad to leave Nazareth, and seek, if possible, a home in Bethlehem. Indeed, so strong was this feeling, that it afterwards required special Divine direction to induce Joseph to relinquish this chosen place of residence, and to return into Galilee. [940] In these circumstances, Mary, now the wife' of Joseph, though standing to him only in the actual relationship of betrothed,' [941] would, of course, accompany her husband to Bethlehem. Irrespective of this, every feeling and hope in her must have prompted such a course, and there is no need to discuss whether Roman or Jewish Census-usage required her presence - a question which, if put, would have to be answered in the negative.

The short winter's day was probably closing in, [942] as the two travellers from Nazareth, bringing with them the few necessaries of a poor Eastern household, neared their journey's end. If we think of Jesus as the Messiah from heaven, the surroundings of outward poverty, so far from detracting, seem most congruous to His Divine character. Earthly splendor would here seem like tawdry tinsel, and the utmost simplicity like that clothing of the lilies, which far surpassed all the glory of Solomon's court. But only in the East would the most absolute simplicity be possible, and yet neither it, nor the poverty from which it sprang, necessarily imply even the slightest taint of social inferiority. The way had been long and weary - at the very least, three days' journey, whatever route had been taken from Galilee. Most probably it would be that so commonly followed, from a desire to avoid Samaria, along the eastern banks of the Jordan, and by the fords of Jericho. [943] Although passing through one of the warmest parts of the country, the season of the year must, even in most favorable circumstances, have greatly increased the difficulties of such a journey. A sense of rest and peace must, almost unconsciously, have crept over the travellers when at last they reached the rich fields that surrounded the ancient House of Bread,' and, passing through the valley which, like an amphitheatre, sweeps up to the twain heights along which Bethlehem stretches (2,704 feet above the sea), ascended through the terraced vineyards and gardens. Winter though it was, the green and silvery foliage of the olive might, even at that season, mingle with the pale pink of the almond - nature's early waker' [944] - and with the darker coloring of the opening peach-buds. The chaste beauty and sweet quiet of the place would recall memories of Boaz, of Jesse, and of David. All the more would such thoughts suggest themselves, from the contrast between the past and the present. For, as the travellers reached the heights of Bethlehem, and, indeed, long before, the most prominent object in view must have been the great castle which Herod had built, and called after his own name. Perched on the highest hill south-east of Bethlehem, it was, at the same time magnificent palace, strongest fortress, and almost courtier-city. [945] With a sense of relief the travellers would turn from this, to mark the undulating outlines of the highland wilderness of Judæa, till the horizon was bounded by the mountain-ridges of Tekoa. Through the break of the hills eastward the heavy molten surface of the Sea of Judgement would appear in view; westward wound the road to Hebron; behind them lay the valleys and hills which separated Bethlehem from Jerusalem, and concealed the Holy City.

But for the present such thoughts would give way to the pressing necessity of finding shelter and rest. The little town of Bethlehem was crowded with those who had come from all the outlying district to register their names. Even if the strangers from far-off Galilee had been personally acquainted with any one in Bethlehem, who could have shown them hospitality, they would have found every house fully occupied. The very inn was filled, and the only available space was, where ordinarily the cattle were stabled. [946] Bearing in mind the simple habits of the East, this scarcely implies, what it would in the West; and perhaps the seclusion and privacy from the noisy, chattering crowd, which thronged the khan, would be all the more welcome. Scanty as these particulars are, even thus much is gathered rather by inference than from the narrative itself. Thus early in this history does the absence of details, which painfully increases as we proceed, remind us, that the Gospels were not intended to furnish a biography of Jesus, nor even the materials for it; but had only this twofold object: that those who read them might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,' and that believing they might have life through His Name.' [947] The Christian heart and imagination, indeed, long to be able to localise the scene of such surpassing importance, and linger with fond reverence over that Cave, which is now covered by the Church of the Nativity.' It may be - nay, it seems likely - that this, to which the most venerable tradition points, was the sacred spot of the world's greatest event. [948] But certainly we have not. It is better, that it should be so. As to all that passed in the seclusion of that stable' - the circumstances of the Nativity,' even its exact time after the arrival of Mary (brief as it must have been) - the Gospel-narrative is silent. This only is told, that then and there the Virgin-Mother brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger.' Beyond this announcement of the bare fact, Holy Scripture, with indescribable appropriateness and delicacy, draws a veil over that most sacred mystery. Two impressions only are left on the mind: that of utmost earthly humility, in the surrounding circumstances; and that of inward fitness, in the contrast suggested by them. Instinctively, reverently, we feel that it is well it should have been so. It best befits the birth of the Christ - if He be what the New Testament declares Him.

On the other hand, the circumstances just noted afford the strongest indirect evidence of the truth of this narrative. For, if it were the outcome of Jewish imagination, where is the basis for it in contemporary expectation? Would Jewish legend have ever presented its Messiah as born in a stable, to which chance circumstances had consigned His Mother? The whole current of Jewish opinion would run in the contrary direction. The opponents of the authenticity of this narrative are bound to face this. Further, it may safely be asserted, that no Apocryphal or legendary narrative of such a (legendary) event would have been characterised by such scantiness, or rather absence, of details. For, the two essential features, alike of legend and of tradition, are, that they ever seek to surround their heroes with a halo of glory, and that they attempt to supply details, which are otherwise wanting. And in both these respects a more sharply-marked contrast could scarcely be presented, than in the Gospel-narrative.

But as we pass from the sacred gloom of the cave out into the night, its sky all aglow with starry brightness, its loneliness is peopled, and its silence made vocal from heaven. There is nothing now to conceal, but much to reveal, though the manner of it would seem strangely incongruous to Jewish thinking. And yet Jewish tradition may here prove both illustrative and helpful. That the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, [949] was a settled conviction. Equally so was the belief, that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, the tower of the flock.' [950] This Migdal Eder was not the watchtower for the ordinary flocks which pastured on the barren sheepground beyond Bethlehem, but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem. A passage in the Mishnah [951] leads to the conclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, were destined for Temple-sacrifices, [952] and, accordingly, that the shepherds, who watched over them, were not ordinary shepherds. The latter were under the ban of Rabbinism, [953] on account of their necessary isolation from religious ordinances, and their manner of life, which rendered strict legal observance unlikely, if not absolutely impossible. The same Mishnic passage also leads us to infer, that these flocks lay out all the year round, since they are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before the Passover - that is, in the month of February, when in Palestine the average rainfall is nearly greatest. [954] Thus, Jewish tradition in some dim manner apprehended the first revelation of the Messiah from that Migdal Eder, where shepherds watched the Temple-flocks all the year round. Of the deep symbolic significance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak.

It was, then, on that wintry night' of the 25th of December, [955] that shepherds watched the flocks destined for sacrificial services, in the very place consecrated by tradition as that where the Messiah was to be first revealed. Of a sudden came the long-delayed, unthought-of announcement. Heaven and earth seemed to mingle, as suddenly an Angel stood before their dazzled eyes, while the outstreaming glory of the Lord seemed to enwrap them, as in a mantle of light. [956] Surprise, awe, fear would be hushed into calm and expectancy, as from the Angel they heard, that what they saw boded not judgment, but ushered in to waiting Israel the great joy of those good tidings which he brought: that the long-promised Saviour, Messiah, Lord, was born in the City of David, and that they themselves might go and see, and recognize Him by the humbleness of the circumstances surrounding His Nativity.

It was, as if attendant angels had only waited the signal. As, when the sacrifice was laid on the altar, the Temple-music burst forth in three sections, each marked by the blast of the priests' silver trumpets, as if each Psalm were to be a Tris-Hagion; [957] so, when the Herald-Angel had spoken, a multitude of heaven's host [958] stood forth to hymn the good tidings he had brought. What they sang was but the reflex of what had been announced. It told in the language of praise the character, the meaning, the result, of what had taken place. Heaven took up the strain of glory;' earth echoed it as peace;' it fell on the ears and hearts of men as good pleasure:'

Glory to God in the highest -

And upon earth peace -

Among men good pleasure! [959]

Only once before had the words of the Angels' hymn fallen upon mortal's ears, when, to Isaiah's rapt vision, Heaven's high Temple had opened, and the glory of Jehovah swept its courts, almost breaking down the trembling posts that bore its boundary gates. Now the same glory enwrapt the shepherds on Bethlehem's plains. Then the Angels' hymn had heralded the announcement of the Kingdom coming; now that of the King come. Then it had been the Tris-Hagion of prophetic anticipation; now that of Evangelic fulfilment.

The hymn had ceased; the light faded out of the sky; and the shepherds were alone. But the Angelic message remained with them; and the sign, which was to guide them to the Infant Christ, lighted their rapid way up the terraced height to where, at the entering of Bethlehem, the lamp swinging over the hostelry directed them to the strangers of the house of David, who had come from Nazareth. Though it seems as if, in the hour of her utmost need, the Virgin, Mother had not been ministered to by loving hands, [960] yet what had happened in the stable must soon have become known in the Khan. Perhaps friendly women were still passing to and fro on errands of mercy, when the shepherds reached the stable.' [961] There they found, perhaps not what they had expected, but as they had been told. The holy group only consisted of the humble Virgin-Mother, the lowly carpenter of Nazareth, and the Babe laid in the manger. What further passed we know not, save that, having seen it for themselves, the shepherds told what had been spoken to them about this Child, to all around [962] - in the stable' in the fields, probably also in the Temple, to which they would bring their flocks, thereby preparing the minds of a Simeon, of an Anna, and of all them that looked for salvation in Israel. [963]

And now the hush of wondering expectancy fell once more on all, who heard what was told by the shepherds - this time not only in the hill-country of Judæa, but within the wider circle that embraced Behtlehem and the Holy City. And yet it seemed all so sudden, so strange. That such slender thread, as the feeble throb of an Infant-life, the salvation of the world should hang - and no special care watch over its safety, no better shelter be provided it than a stable,' no other cradle than a manger! And still it is ever so. On what slender thread has the continued life of the Church often seemed to hang; on what feeble throbbing that of every child of God - with no visible outward means to ward off danger, no home of comfort, no rest of ease. But, Lo, children are Jehovah's heritage!' - and: So giveth He to His beloved in his sleep!' [964]


[932] Micah v. 2.

[933] The advocates of the mythical theory have not answered, not even faced or understood, what to us seems, on their hypothesis, an insuperable difficulty. Granting, that Jewish expectancy would suggest the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem, why invent such circumstances to bring Mary to Bethlehem? Keim may be right in saying: The belief in the birth at Bethlehem originated very simply' (Leben Jesu i. 2, p. 393); but all the more complicated and inexplicable is the origination of the legend, which accounts for the journey thither of Mary and Joseph.

[934] In evidence of these feelings, we have the account of Josephus of the consequences of the taxation of Cyrenius (Ant. xviii. 1. 1. Comp. Acts v. 37).

[935] The arguments on what may be called the orthodox side have, from different points of view, been so often and well stated - latterly by Wieseler, Huschke, Zumpt, and Steinmeyer - and on the other side almost ad nauseam by negative critics of every school, that it seems unnecessary to go again over them. The reader will find the whole subject stated by Canon Cook, whose views we substantially adopt, in the Speaker's Commentary' (N.T. i. pp. 326-329). The reasoning of Mommsen (Res gestae D. Aug. pp. 175, 176) does not seem to me to affect the view taken in the text.

[936] Comp. Acts v. 37.

[937] For the textual explanation we again refer to Canon Cook, only we would mark, with Steinmeyer, that the meaning of the expression geneto, in St. Luke ii. 2, is determined by the similar use of it in Acts xi. 28, where what was predicted is said to have actually taken place (gneto) at the time of Claudius Cæsar.

[938] Comp. Huschke. Ueber d. z. Zeit d. Geb. J. C. gehalt. Census pp. 119, 120. Most critics have written very confusedly on this point.

[939] The reader will now be able to appreciate the value of Keim's objections against such a Census, as involving a wahre Volkswanderung' (!), and being eine Sache der Unmöglichkeit.'

[940] St. Matt ii. 22.

[941] St. Luke ii. 5.

[942] This, of course, is only a conjecture; but I call it probable,' partly because one would naturally so arrange a journey of several days, to make its stages as slow and easy as possible, and partly from the circumstance, that, on their arrival, they found the khan full, which would scarcely have been the case had they reached Bethlehem early in the day.

[943] Comp. the account of the roads, inns, &c. in the History of the Jewish Nation,' p. 275; and the chapter on Travelling in Palestine,' in Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ.'

[944] The almond is called, in Hebrew, {hebrew}, the waker,' from the word to be awake.' It is quite possible, that many of the earliest spring flowers already made the landscape bright.

[945] Jos. Ant. xiv. 13. 9; xv. 9. 4; War. i. 13. 8:21, 10.

[946] Dr. Geikie indeed feels sure' that the katluma was not an inn, but a guest-chamber, because the word is used in that sense in St. Mark xiv. 14, Luke xxii. 11. But this inference is critically untenable. The Greek word is of very wide application, and means (as Schleusner puts it) omnis locus quieti aptus.' In the LXX. katluma is the equivalent of not less than five Hebrew words, which have widely different meanings. In the LXX. rendering of Ex. iv. 24 it is used for the Hebrew {hebrew} which certainly cannot mean a guest-chamber, but an inn. No one could imagine that. If private hospitality had been extended to the Virgin-Mother, she would have been left in such circumstances in a stable. The same term occurs in Aramaic form, in Rabbinic writings, as {hebrew} or {hebrew}={hebrew} katluma, an inn. Delitzsch, in his Hebrew N.T., uses the more common {hebrew}. Bazaars and markets were also held in those hostelries; animals killed, and meat sold there; also wine and cider; so that they were a much more public place of resort than might at first be imagined. Comp. Herzfeld. Handelsgesch. p. 325.

[947] St. John xx. 31; comp. St. Luke i. 4.

[948] Perhaps the best authenticated of all local traditions is that which fixes on this cave as the place of the Nativity. The evidence in its favour is well given by Dr. Farrar in his Life of Christ.' Dean Stanley, however, and others, have questioned it.

[949] In the curious story of His birth, related in the Jer. Talmud (Ber. ii. 3), He is said to have been born in the royal castle of Bethlehem;' while in the parallel narrative in the Midr. on Lament. i. 16, ed. W. p. 64 b) the somewhat mysterious expression is used {hebrew}. But we must keep in view the Rabbinic statement that, even if a castle falls down, it is still called a castle (Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 60 b).

[950] Targum Pseudo-Jon. On Gen. xxxv. 21.

[951] Shek. vii. 4.

[952] In fact the Mishnah (Baba K. vii. 7) expressly forbids the keeping of flocks throughout the land of Israel, except in the wilderness - and the only flocks otherwise kept, would be those for the Temple-services (Baba K. 80 a).

[953] This disposes of an inapt quotation (from Delitzsch) by Dr. Geikie. No one could imagine, that the Talmudic passages in question could apply to such shepherds as these.

[954] The mean of 22 seasons in Jerusalem amounted to 4.718 inches in December, 5.479 in January, and 5.207 in February (see a very interesting paper by Dr. Chaplin in Quart. Stat. of Pal. Explor. Fund, January, 1883). For 1876-77 we have these startling figures: mean for December, .490; for January, 1.595; for February, 8.750 - and, similarly, in other years. And so we read: Good the year in which Tebheth (December) is without rain' (Taan. 6 b). Those who have copied Lightfoot's quotations about the flocks not lying out during the winter months ought, at least, to have known that the reference in the Talmudic passages is expressly to the flocks which pastured in the wilderness' ({hebrew}). But even so, the statement, as so many others of the kind, is not accurate. For, in the Talmud two opinions are expressed. According to one, the Midbariyoth,' or animals of the wilderness,' are those which go to the open at the Passovertime, and return at the first rains (about November); while, on the other hand, Rabbi maintains, and, as it seems, more authoritatively, that the wilderness-flocks remain in the open alike in the hottest days and in the rainy season - i.e. all the year round (Bezah 40 a). Comp. also Tosephta Bezah iv. 6. A somewhat different explanation is given in Jer. Bezah 63 b.

[955] There is no adequate reason for questioning the historical accuracy of this date. The objections generally made rest on grounds, which seem to me historically untenable. The subject has been fully discussed in an article by Cassel in Herzog's Real. Ency. xvii. pp. 588-594. But a curious piece of evidence comes to us from a Jewish source. In the addition to the Megillath Taanith (ed. Warsh. p. 20 a), the 9th Tebheth is marked as a fast day, and it is added, that the reason for this is not stated. Now, Jewish chronologists have fixed on that day as that of Christ's birth, and it is remarkable that, between the years 500 and 816 a.d. the 25th of December fell no less than twelve times on the 9th Tebheth. If the 9th Tebheth, or 25th December, was regarded as the birthday of Christ, we can understand the concealment about it. Comp. Zunz, Ritus d. Synag. Gottesd. p. 126.

[956] In illustration we may here quote Shem. R. 2 (ed. W. vol. ii. p. 8 a), where it is said that, wherever Michael appears, there also is the glory of the Shekhinah. In the same section we read, in reference to the appearance in the bush, that, at first only one Angel came,' who stood in the burning bush, and after that the Shekhinah came, and spoke to Moses from out the bush. (It is a curious illustration of Acts ix. 7, that Moses alone is said in Jewish tradition to have seen the vision. but not the men who were with him.) Wetstein gives an erroneous reference to a Talmudic statement, to the effect that, at the birth of Moses, the room was filled with heavenly light. The statement really occurs in Sotah 12 a; Shem. R. 1; Yalkut i. 51 c. This must be the foundation of the Christian legend, that the cave, in which Christ was born, was filled with heavenly light. Similarly, the Romish legend about the Virgin Mother not feeling the pangs of maternity is derived from the Jewish legend, which asserts the same of the mother of Moses. The same authority maintains, that the birth of Moses remained unknown for three months, because he was a child of seven months. There are other legends about the sinlessness of Moses' father, and the maidenhood of his mother (at 103 years), which remind us of Christian traditions.

[957] According to tradition, the three blasts symbolically proclaimed the Kingdom of God, the providence of God, and the final judgment.

[958] Curiously enough, the word strati is Hebraised in the same connection {hebrew}. See Yalkut on Ps. xlv. (vol. ii. p. 105 a, about the middle).

[959] I have unhesitatingly retained the reading of the textus receptus. The arguments in its favor are sufficiently set forth by Canon Cook in his Revised Version of the First Three Gospels,' pp. 27, 32.

[960] This appears to me implied in the emphatic statement, that Mary - as I gather, herself - wrapped Him in swaddling clothes' (St. Luke ii. 7, 12). Otherwise the remark would seem needless and meaningless.

[961] It seems difficult to understand how, on Dr. Geikie's theory, the shepherds could have found the Infant-Saviour, since, manifestly, they could not during that night have roused every household in Bethlehem, to inquire whether any child had been born among their guests.

[962] The term diagnorzo more than to make known abroad.' Wahl renders it ultro citroquenarroh;' Schleusner: divulgo aliquid ut aliis innotescat, spargo rumorem.'

[963] This may have prepared not only those who welcomed Jesus on His presentation in the Temple, but filled many others with expectancy.

[964] The following remarkable extract from the Jerusalem Targum on Ex. xii. 42 may interest the reader: - It is a night to be observed and exalted.... Four nights are there written in the Book of Memorial. Night first: when the Memra of Jehovah was revealed upon the world for its creation; when the world was without form and void, and darkness was spread upon the face of the deep, and the Memra of Jehovah illuminated and made it light; and He called it the first night. Night second: when the Memra of Jehovah was revealed unto Abraham between the divided pieces; when Abraham was a hundred years, and Sarah was ninety years, and to confirm thereby that which the Scripture saith - Abraham a hundred years, can he beget? and Sarah, ninety years old, can she bear? Was not our father Isaac thirty-seven years old at the time he was offered upon the altar? Then the heavens were bowed down and brought low, and Isaac saw their foundations, and his eyes were blinded owing to that sight; and He called it the second night. The third night: when the Memra of Jehovah was revealed upon the Egyptians, at the dividing of the night; His right hand slew the first-born of the Egyptians, and His right hand spared the first-born of Israel; to fulfil what the Scripture hath said, Israel is My first-born well-beloved son. And He called it the third night. Night the fourth: when the end of the world will be accomplished, that it might be dissolved, the bands of wickedness destroyed, and the iron yoke broken. Moses came forth from the midst of the desert, and the King Messiah from the midst of Rome. This one shall lead at the head of a Cloud, and that one shall lead at the head of a Cloud; and the Memra of Jehovah will lead between both, and they two shall come as one (Cachada).' (For explan. see vol. ii. p. 100, note.)


CHAPTER VII.
THE PURIFICATION OF THE VIRGIN AND THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE

(St. Luke ii. 21-38.)

FOREMOST amongst those who, wondering, had heard what the shepherds told, was she whom most it concerned, who laid it up deepest in her heart, and brought to it treasured stores of memory. It was the Mother of Jesus. These many months, all connected with this Child could never have been far away form her thoughts. And now that He was hers yet not hers - belonged, yet did not seem to belong, to her - He would be the more dear to her Mother-heart for what made Him so near, and yet parted Him so far from her. And upon all His history seemed to lie such wondrous light, that she could only see the path behind, so far as she had trodden it; while upon that on which she was to move, was such dazzling brightness, that she could scare look upon the present, and dared not gaze towards the future.

At the very outset of this history, and increasingly in its course, the question meets us, how, if the Angelic message to the Virgin was a reality, and her motherhood so supernatural, she could have been apparently so ignorant of what was to come - nay, so often have even misunderstood it? Strange, that she should have pondered in her heart' the shepherd's account; stranger, that afterwards she should have wondered at His lingering in the Temple among Israel's teachers; strangest, that, at the very first of His miracles, a mother's fond pride should have so harshly broken in upon the Divine melody of His work, by striking a keynote so different from that, to which His life had been set; or that afterwards, in the height of his activity, loving fears, if not doubts, should have prompted her to interrupt, what evidently she had not as yet comprehended in the fulness of its meaning. Might we not rather have expected, that the Virgin-Mother from the inception of this Child's life would have understood, that He was truly the Son of God? The question, like so many others, requires only to be clearly stated, to find its emphatic answer. For, had it been so His history, His human life, of which every step is of such importance to mankind, would not have been possible. Apart from all thoughts of the deeper necessity, both as regarded His Mission and all the salvation of the world, of a true human development of gradual consciousness and personal life, Christ could not, in any true sense, have been subject to His Parents, if they had fully understood that He was Divine; nor could He, in that case, have been watched, as He grew in wisdon and in favour with God and men.' Such knowledge would have broken the bond of His Humanity to ours, by severing that which bound Him as a child to His mother. We could not have become His brethren, had He not been truly the Virgin's Son. The mystery of the Incarnation would have been needless and fruitless, had His humanity not been subject to all its right and ordinary conditions. And, applying the same principle more widely, we can thus, in some measure, understand why the mystery of His Divinity had to be kept while He was on earth. Had it been otherwise, the thought of His Divinity would have proved so all-absorbing, as to render impossible that of His Humanity, with all its lessons. The Son of God Most High, Whom they worshipped, could never have been the loving Man, with Whom they could hold such close converse. The bond which bound the Master to His disciples - the Son of Man to humanity - would have been dissolved; His teaching as a Man, the Incarnation, and the Tabernacling among men, in place of the former Old Testament Revelation from heaven, would have become wholly impossible. In short, one, and that the distinctive New Testament, element in our salvation would have been taken away. At the beginning of His life He would have anticipated the lessons of its end - nay, not those of His Death only, but of His Resurrection and Ascension, and of the coming of the Holy Ghost.

In all this we have only been taking the subjective, not the objective, view of the question; considered the earthward, not the heavenward, aspect of His life. The latter, though very real, lies beyond our present horizon. Not so the question as to the development of the Virgin-Mother's spiritual knowledge. Assuming her to have occupied, in the fullest sense, the standpoint of Jewish Messianic expectancy, and remembering, also, that she was so highly favoured' of God, still, there was not as yet anything, nor could there be for many years, to lead her beyond what might be called the utmost height of Jewish belief. On the contrary, there was much connected with His true Humanity to keep her back. For narrow as, to our retrospective thinking, the boundary-line seems between Jewish belief and that in the hypostatic union of the two Natures, the passage from the one to the other represented such tremendous mental revolution, as to imply direct Divine teaching. [965] An illustrative instance will prove this better than argument. We read, in a commentary on the opening words of Gen. xv. 18, [966] that when God made the covenant with Abram, He revealed to him both this Olam (dispensation) and the Olam to come,' which latter expression is correctly explained as referring to the days of the Messiah. Jewish tradition, therefore, here asserts exactly what Jesus stated in these words: Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day; and he saw it, and was glad.' [967] Yet we know what storm of indignation the enunciation of it called forth among the Jews!

Thus it was, that every event connected with the Messianic manifestation of Jesus would come to the Virgin-Mother as a fresh discovery and a new surprise. Each event, as it took place, stood isolated in her mind; not as part of a whole which she would anticipate, nor as only one link in a chain; but as something quite by itself. She knew the beginning, and she knew the end; but she knew not the path which led from the one to the other; and each step in it was a new revelation. Hence it was, that she so carefully treasured in her heart every new fact, [968] piecing each to the other, till she could read from it the great mystery that He, Whom Incarnate she had borne, was, indeed, the Son of the living God. And as it was natural, so it was well that it should be so. For, thus only could she truly, because self-unconsciously, as a Jewish woman and mother, fulfil all the requirements of the Law, alike as regarded herself and her Child

The first of these was Circumcision, representing voluntary subjection to the conditions of the Law, and acceptance of the obligations, but also of the privileges, of the Covenant between God and Abraham and his seed. Any attempt to show the deep siginificance of such a rite in the case of Jesus, could only weaken the impression which the fact itself conveys. The ceremony took place, as in all ordinary circumstances, on the eight day, when the Child received the Angel-given name Jeshua (Jesus). Two other legal ordinances still remained to be observed. The firstborn son of every household was, according to the Law, to be redeemed' of the priest at the price of five shekels of the Sanctuary. [969] Rabbinic casuistry here added many needless, and even repulsive, details. The following, however, are of practical interest. The earliest period of presentation was thirty-one days after birth so as to make the legal month quite complete. The child must have been the firstborn of his mother (according to some writers, of his father also); [970] neither father nor mother [971] must be of Levitic descent; and the child must be free from all such bodily blemishes as would have disqualified him for the priesthood - or, as it was expressed: the firstborn for the priesthood.' It was a thing much dreaded, that the child should die before his redemption; but if his father died in the interval, the child had to redeem himself when of age. As the Rabbinic law expressly states, that the shekels were to be of Tyrian weight,' [972] the value of the redemption money' would amount to about ten or twelve shillings. The redemption could be made from any priest, and attendance in the Temple was not requisite. It was otherwise with the purification' of the mother. [973] The Rabbinic law fixed this at forty-one days after the birth of a son, and eighty-one after that of a daughter, [974] so as to make the Biblical terms quite complete. [975] But it might take place any time later - notably, when attendance on any of the great feasts brought a family to Jerusalem. Thus, we read of cases when a mother would offer several sacrifices of purification at the same time. [976] But, indeed, the woman was not required to be personally present at all, when her offering was presented, or, rather (as we shall see), provided for - say, by the representatives of the laity, who daily took part in the services for the various districts from which they came. This also is specially provided for in the Tulmud. [977] But mothers who were within convenient distance of the Temple, and especially the more earnest among them, would naturally attend personally in the Temple; [978] and in such cases, when practicable, the redemption of the firstborn, and the purification of his mother, would be combined. Such was undoubtedly the case with the Virgin-Mother and her Son.

For this twofold purpose the Holy Family went up to the Temple, when the prescribed days were completed. [979] The ceremony at the redemption of a firstborn son was, no doubt, more simple than that at present in use. It consisted of the formal presentation of the child to the priest, accompanied by two short benedictions,' the one for the law of redemption, the other for the gift of a firstborn son, after which the redemption money was paid. [980] Most solemn, as in such a place, and remembering its symbolic significance as the expression of God's claim over each family in Israel, must this rite have been.

As regards the rite at the purification of the mother, the scantiness of information has led to serious misstatements. Any comparison with our modern churching' of women [981] is inapplicable, since the latter consists of thanksgiving, and the former primarily of a sin-offering for the Levitical defilement symbolically attaching to the beginning of life, and a burnt-offering, that marked the restoration of communion with God. Besides, as already stated, the sacrifice for purification might be brought in the absence of the mother. Similar mistakes prevail as to the rubric. It is not case, as generally stated, that the woman was sprinkled with blood, and then pronounced clean by the priest, or that prayers were offered on the occasion. [982] The service simply consisted of the statutory sacrifice. This was what, in ecclesiastical language, was termed an offering oleh veyored, that is, ascending and descending,' according to the means of the offerer. The sin-offering was, in all cases, a turtle-dove or a young pigeon. But, while the more wealthy brought a lamb for a burnt-offering the poor might substitute for it a turtle-dove, or a young pigeon. [983] The ribric directed that the neck of the sin-offering was to be broken, but the head not wholly severed; that some of the blood should be sprinkled at the south-western angle of the altar, [984] below the red line, [985] which ran round the middle of the altar, and that the rest should be poured out at the base of the altar. The whole of the flesh belonged to the priests, and had to be eaten within the enclosure of the Sanctuary. The rubric for the burnt-offering of a turtle-dove or a young pigeon was somewhat more intricate. [986] The substitution of the latter for a young lamb was expressly designated the poor's offering.' And rightly so, since, while a lamb would probably cost about three shillings, the average value of a pair of turtle-doves, for both the sin-and burnt-offering, would be about eightpence, [987] and on one occasion fell so low as twopence. The Temple-price of the meat-and drink-offerings was fixed once a month; and special officials instructed the intending offerers, and provided them with what was needed. [988] There was also a special superintendent of turtle-doves and pigeons,' required for certain purifications, and the holder of that office is mentioned with praise in the Mishnah. [989] Much, indeed, depended upon his uprightness. For, at any rate as regarded those who brought the poor's offering, the purchasers of pigeons or turtle-doves would, as a rule, have to deal with him. In the Court of the Women there were thirteen trumpet-shaped chests for pecuniary contributions, called trumpets.' [990] Into the third of these they who brought the poor's offering, like the Virgin-Mother, were to drop the price of the sacrifices which were needed for their purification. [991] As we infer, [992] the superintending priest must have been stationed here, alike to inform the offerer of the price of the turtle-doves, and to see that all was in order. For, the offerer of the poor's offering would not require to deal directly with the sacrificing priest. At a certain time in the day this third chest was opened, and half of its contents applied to burnt, the other half to sin-offerings. Thus sacrifices were provided for a corresponding number of those who were to be purified, without either shaming the poor, needlessly disclosing the character of impurity, or causing unnecessary bustle and work. Though this mode of procedure could, of course, not be obligatory, it would, no doubt, be that generally followed.

We can now, in imagination, follow the Virgin-Mother in the Temple. [993] Her child had been given up to the Lord, and received back from Him. She had entered the Court of the Women, probably by the Gate of the Women,' [994] on the north side, and deposited the price of her sacrifices in Trumpet No. 3, which was close to the raised dais or gallery where the women worshipped, apart from the men. And now the sound of the organ, which announced throughout the vast Temple-buildings that the incense was about to be kindled on the Golden Altar, summoned those who were to be purified. The chief of the ministrant lay-representatives of Israel on duty (the so-called station-men') ranged those, who presented themselves before the Lord as offerers of special sacrifices, within the wickets on either side the great Nicanor Gate, at the top of the fifteen steps which led up from the Court of the Women to that of Israel. It was, as if they were to be brought nearest to the Sanctuary; as if theirs were to be specially the prayers' that rose in the cloud of incense from the Golden Altar; as if for them specially the sacrifices were laid on the Altar of Burnt-offering; as if theirs was a larger share of the benediction which, spoken by the lips of the priests, seemed like Jehovah's answer to the prayers of the people; theirs especially the expression of joy symbolised in the drink-offering, and the hymn of praise whose Tris-Hagion filled the Temple. From where they stood they could see it all, [995] share in it, rejoice in it. And now the general service was over, and only those remained who brought special sacrifices, or who lingered near them that had such, or whose loved abode was ever in the Temple. The purification-service, with such unspoken prayer and praise as would be the outcome of a grateful heart, [996] was soon ended, and they who had shared in it were Levitically clean. Now all stain was removed, and, as the Law put it, they might again partake of sacred offerings.

And in such sacred offering, better than any of which priest's family had ever partaken, was the Virgin-Mother immediately to share. It has been observed, that by the side of every humiliation connected with the Humanity of the Messiah, the glory of His Divinity was also made to shine forth. The coincidences are manifestly undesigned on the part of the Evangelic writers, and hence all the more striking. Thus, if he was born of the humble Maiden of Nazareth, an Angel announced His birth; if the Infant-Saviour was cradled in a manger, the shining host of heaven hymned His Advent. And so afterwards - if He hungered and was tempted in the wilderness, Angels ministered to Him, even as an Angel strengthened Him in the agony of the garden. If He submitted to baptism, the Voice and vision from heaven attested His Sonship; if enemies threatened. He could miraculously pass through them; if the Jews assailed, there was the Voice of God to glorify Him; if He was nailed to the cross, the sun craped his brightness, and earth quaked; if He was laid in the tomb, Angels kept its watches, and heralded His rising. And so, when now the Mother of Jesus, in her humbleness, could only bring the poor's offering,' the witness to the greatness of Him Whom she had borne was not wanting. A eucharistic offering' - so to speak - was brought, the record of which is the more precious that Rabbinic writings make no allusion to the existence of the party, whose representatives we here meet. Yet they were the true outcome of the spirit of the Old Testament, and, as such, at this time, the special recipients of the Spirit' of the Old Testament.

The parents' of Jesus had brought Him into the Temple for presentation and redemption, when they were met by one, whose venerable figure must have been well known in the city and the Sanctuary. Simeon combined the three characteristics of Old Testament piety: Justice,' as regarded his relation and bearing to God and man; [997] fear of God,' [998] in opposition to the boastful self-righteousness of Pharisaism; and, above all, longing expectancy of the near fulfilment of the great promises, and that in their spiritual import as the Consolation of Israel.' [999] The Holy Spirit was upon him; and by that same Spirit [1000] the gracious Divine answer to his heart's longing had been communicated him. And now it was as had been promised him. Coming in the Spirit' into the Temple, just as His parents were bringing the Infant Jesus, he took Him into his arms, and burst into rapt thanksgiving. Now, indeed, had God fulfilled His word. He was not to see death, till he had seen the Lord's Christ. Now did his Lord dismiss' him in peace' [1001] - release him [1002] in blessed comfort from work and watch - since he had actually seen that salvation, [1003] so long preparing for a waiting weary world: a glorious light, Whose rising would light up heathen darkness, and be the outshining glory around Israel's mission. With this Infant in his arms, it was as if he stood on the mountain-height of prophetic vision, and watched the golden beams of sunrise far away over the isles of the Gentiles, and then gathering their full glow over his own beloved land and people. There was nothing Judiac - quite the contrary: only what was of the Old Testament - in what he first said. [1004]

But his unexpected appearance, the more unexpected deed and words, and that most unexpected form in which what was said of the Infant Christ was presented to their minds, filled the hearts of His parents with wonderment. And it was, as if their silent wonderment had been an unspoken question, to which the answer now came in words of blessing from the aged watcher. Mystic they seemed, yet prophetic. But now it was the personal, or rather the Judaic, aspect which, in broken utterances, was set before the Virgin-Mother - as if the whole history of the Christ upon earth were passing in rapid vision before Simeon. That Infant, now again in the Virgin-Mother's arms: It was to be a stone of decision; a foundation and corner-stone, [1005] for fall or for uprising; a sign spoken against; the sword of deep personal sorrow would pierce the Mother's heart; and so to the terrible end, when the veil of externalism which had so long covered the hearts of Israel's leaders would be rent, and the deep evil of their thoughts [1006] laid bare. Such, as regarded Israel, was the history of Jesus, from His Baptism to the Cross; and such is still the history of Jesus, as ever present to the heart of the believing, loving Church.

Nor was Simeon's the only hymn of praise on that day. A special interest attaches to her who, coming that very moment, responded in praise to God [1007] for the pledge she saw of the near redemption. A kind of mystery seems to invest this Anna (Channah). A widow, whose early desolateness had been followed by a long life of solitary mourning; one of those in whose home the tribal genealogy had been preserved. [1008]   We infer from this, and from the fact that it was that of a tribe which had not returned to Palestine, that hers was a family of some distinction. Curiously enough, the tribe of Asher alone is celebrated in tradition for the beauty of its women, and their fitness to be wedded to High-Priest or King. [1009]

But Anna had better claim to distinction than family-descent, or long, faithful memory of brief home-joys. These many years she had spent in the Sanctuary, [1010] and spent in fasting and prayer - yet not of that self-righteous, self-satisfied kind which was of the essence of popular religion. Nor, as to the Pharisees around, was it the Synagogue which was her constant and loved resort; but the Temple, with its symbolic and unspoken worship, which Rabbinic self-assertion and rationalism were rapidly superseding, and for whose services, indeed, Rabbinism could find no real basis. Nor yet were fasting and prayer' to her the all-in-all of religion, sufficient in themselves; sufficient also before God. Deepest in her soul was longing waiting for the redemption' promised, and now surely nigh. To her widowed heart the great hope of Israel appeared not so much, as to Simeon, in the light of consolation,' as rather in that of redemption.' The seemingly hopeless exile of her own tribe, the political state of Judæa, the condition - social, moral, and religious - of her own Jerusalem: all kindled in her, as in those who were like-minded, deep, earnest longing for the time of promised redemption.' No place so suited to such an one as the Temple, with its services, the only thing free, pure, undefiled, and pointing forward and upward; no occupation so befitting as fasting and prayer.' And, blessed be God, there were others, perhaps many such, in Jerusalem. Though Rabbinic tradition ignored them, they were the salt which preserved the mass from festering corruption. To her as the representative, the example, friend, and adviser of such, was it granted as prophetess to recognise Him, Whose Advent had been the burden of Simeon's praise. And, day by day, to those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem, would she speak of Him Whom her eyes had seen, though it must be in whispers and with bated breath. For they were in the city of Herod, and the stronghold of Pharisaism.


[965] 1 Cor. xii. 3.

[966] Ber. R. 44, ed. Warsh. p. 81 b.

[967] St. John viii. 56.

[968] St. Luke ii. 19, 51.

[969] Numb. xviii. 16.

[970] So Lundius, Jüd. Alterth. p.621, and Buxtorf, Lex. Talmud. p. 1699. But I am bound to say, that this seems contrary to the sayings of the Rabbis.

[971] This disposes of the idea, that the Virgin-Mother was of direct Aaronic or Levitic descent.

[972] Bechor viii. 7.

[973] Lev. xii.

[974] Archdeacon Farrar is mistaken in supposing, that the thirty-three days' were counted after the circumcision.' The idea must have arisen from a misunderstanding of the English version of Lev. xii. 4. There was no connection between the time of the circumcision of the child, and that of the purification of his mother. In certain circumstances circumcision might have to be delayed for days, in case of sickness, till recovery. It is equally a mistake to suppose, that a Jewish mother could not leave the house till after the forty days of her purification.

[975] Comp. Sifra, ed. Weiss, p. 59 a and b; Maimonides, Yad haChaz. Hal.Mechusre Capp., ed. Amst., vol. iii. p. 255 a and b.

[976] Comp. Kerith. i. 7.

[977] Jer. Sheq. 50 b.

[978] There is no ground whatever for the objection which Rabbi Löw (Lebensalter, p. 112) raises against the account of St. Luke. Jewish documents only prove, that a mother need not personally attend in the Temple; not that they did not do so, when attendance was possible. The contrary impression is conveyed to us by Jewish notices.

[979] The expression to katharismo atn cannot refer to the Purification of the Virgin and her Babe (Farrar), nor to that of the Virgin and Joseph (Meyer), because neither the Babe nor Joseph needed, nor were they included in, the purification. It can only refer to their' (i.e. the Jews') purification. But this does not imply any Romish inferences (Sepp, Leben Jesu, ii. 1, p. 131) as to the superhuman condition or origin of the Blessed Virgin; on the contrary, the offering of the sin-offering points in the other direction.

[980] Comp. the rubric and the prayers in Maimonides, Yad haChaz. Hilch. Biccur. xi. 5.

[981] So Dr. Geikie.

[982] So Dr. Geikie, taking his account from Herzog's Real-Encykl. The mistake about the mother being sprinkled with sacrificial blood orginated with Lightfoot (Horæ Hebr. on St. Luke ii. 22). Later writers have followed the lead. Tamid v. 6, quoted by Lightfoot, refers only to the cleansing of the leper. The prayers' supposed to be spoken, and the pronouncing clean by the priests, are the embellishments of later writers, for which Lightfoot is not responsible.

[983] According to Sifra (Par. Tazria, Per. iv. 3): Whenever the sin-offering is changed, it precedes [as on ordinary occasions] the burnt-offering; but when the burnt-offering is changed [as on this occasion], it precedes the sin-offering.'

[984] But this precise spot was not matter of absolute necessity (Seb. vi. 2). Directions are given as to the manner in which the priest was to perform the sacrificial act.

[985] Kinnim i. 1. If the sin-offering was a four-footed animal, the blood was sprinkled above the red line.

[986] Sebach. vi. 5.

[987] Comp. Kerith. i. 7.

[988] Sheq. iv. 9.

[989] Sheq. v. 1.

[990] Comp. St. Matt. vi. 2. See The Temple and its Services,' & c. pp. 26, 27.

[991] Comp. Shekal. vi. 5, the Commentaries, and Jer. Shek. 50 b.

[992] Tosepht. Sheq. iii. 2.

[993] According to Dr. Geikie, the Golden Gate at the head of the long flight of steps that led to the valley of the Kedron opened into the Court of the Women.' But there was no Golden Gate, neither was there any flight of steps into the valley of the Kedron, while between the Court of the Women and any outer gate (such as could have led into Kedron), the Court of the Gentiles and a colonnade must have intervened.

[994] Or else, the gate of the firstlings.' Comp. generally, The Temple, its Ministry and Services.'

[995] This they could not have done from the elevated platform on which they commonly worshipped.

[996] This is stated by the Rabbis to have been the object of the burnt-offering. That suggested for the sin-offering is too ridiculous to mention. The language used about the burnt-offering reminds us of that in the exhortation in the office for the Churching of Women:' that she might be stirred up to give thanks to Almighty God, Who has delivered her from the pains and perils of childbirth ({hebrew}), which is matter of miracle.' (Comp. Hottingerus, Juris Hebr. Leges, ed. Tiguri, p. 233.)

[997] Comp. Josephus, Ant. xii. 2. 5.

[998] The expression elabs, unquestionably refers to fear of God.' Comp. Delitzsch, Hebr. Br. pp. 191, 192; and Grimm, Clavis N. T. p. 180 b.

[999] The expression {hebrew} consolation,' for the great Messianic hope - whence the Messianic title of Menachem - is of very frequent occurrence (so in the Targum on Isaiah and Jeremiah, and in many Rabbinical passages). Curiously enough, it is several times put into the mouth of a Simeon (Chag. 16 b; Macc. 5 b; Shev. 34 a) - although, of course, not the one mentioned by St. Luke. The suggestion, that the latter was the son of the great Hillel and the father of Gamaliel, St. Paul's teacher, though not impossible as regards time, is unsupported, though it does seem strange that the Mishnah has nothing to say about him: lo niscar bamishnah.'

[1000] The mention of the Holy Spirit,' as speaking to individuals, is frequent in Rabbinic writings. This, of course, does not imply their belief in the Personality of the Holy Spirit (comp. Bemidb. R. 15; 20; Midr. on Ruth ii. 9; Yalkut, vol. i. pp. 221 b and 265 d).

[1001] The Talmud (Ber.last page) has a curious conceit, to the effect that, in taking leave of a person, one ought to say: Go to peace,' not in peace' ({hebrew}, not {hebrew}), the former having been said by Jethro to Moses (Ex. iv. 18), on which he prospered; the latter by David to Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 9), on which he perished. On the other hand, on taking leave of a dead friend, we are to say Go in peace,' according to Gen. xv.15, and not Go to peace.'

[1002] The expression polein, absolvere, liberare, demittere, is most graphic. It corresponds to the Hebrew {hebrew}, which is also used of death; as in regard to Simeon the Just, Menach. 109 b; comp. Ber. 17 a; Targum on Cant. i. 7.

[1003] Godet seems to strain the meaning of sotrion, when he renders it by the neuter of the adjective. It is frequently used in the LXX. for {hebrew}.

[1004] St. Luke ii. 29-32.

[1005] Is. viii. 14.

[1006] dialogisms, generally used in an evil sense.

[1007] The verb nthomologesthai may mean responsive praise, or simply praise ({hebrew}) which in this case, however, would equally be in response' to that of Simeon, whether responsive in form or not.

[1008] The whole subject of genealogies' is briefly, but well treated by Hamburger, Real Encykl., section ii. pp. 291 &c. It is a pity, that Hamburger so often treats his subject from a Judaeo-apologetic standpoint.

[1009] Bar. R. 71, ed. Warsh.p. 131 b end; 99. p. 179 a, lines 13 and 12 from bottom.

[1010] It is scarcely necessary to discuss the curious suggestion, that Anna actually lived in the Temple. No one, least of all a woman, permanently resided in the Temple, though the High Priest had chambers there.


CHAPTER VIII.
THE VISIT AND HOMAGE OF THE MAGI, AND THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT

(St. Matt. ii. 1-8.)

With the Presentation of the Infant Saviour in the Temple, and His acknowledgment - not indeed by the leaders of Israel, but, characteristically, by the representatives of those earnest men and women who looked for His Advent - the Prologue, if such it may be called, to the third Gospel closes. From whatever source its information was derived - perhaps, as has been suggested, its earlier portion from the Virgin-Mother, the later from Anna; or else both alike from her, who with loving reverence and wonderment treasured it all in her heart - its marvellous details could not have been told with greater simplicity, nor yet with more exquisitely delicate grace. [1011] On the other hand, the Prologue to the first Gospel, while omitting these, records other incidents of the infancy of the Saviour. The plan of these narratives, or the sources whence they may originally have been derived, may account for the omissions in either case. At first sight it may seem strange, that the cosmopolitan Gospel by St. Luke should have described what took place in the Temple, and the homage of the Jews, while the Gospel by St. Matthew, which was primarily intended for Hebrews, records only the homage of the Gentiles, and the circumstances which led to the flight into Egypt. But of such seeming contrasts there are not a few in the Gospel-history - discords, which soon resolve themselves into glorious harmony.

The story of the homage to the Infant Saviour by the Magi is told by St. Matthew, in language of which the brevity constitutes the chief difficulty. Even their designation is not free from ambiguity. The term Magi is used in the LXX., by Philo, Josephus, and by profane writers, alike in an evil and, so to speak, in a good sense [1012] - in the former case as implying the practice of magical arts; [1013] in the latter, as referring to the those Eastern (especially Chaldee) priest-sages, whose researches, in great measure as yet mysterious and unknown to us, seem to have embraced much deep knowledge, though not untinged with superstition. It is to these latter, that the Magi spoken of by St. Matthew must have belonged. Their number - to which, however, no importance attaches - cannot be ascertained. [1014] Various suggestions have been made as to the country of the East,' whence they came. At the period in question the sacerdotal caste of the Medes and Persians was dispersed over various parts of the East, [1015] and the presence in those lands of a large Jewish diaspora, through which they might, and probably would, gain knowleded of the great hope of Israel, [1016] is sufficiently attested by Jewish history. The oldest opinion traces the Magi - though partially on insufficient grounds [1017] - to Arabia. And there is this in favor of it, that not only the closest intercourse existed between Palestine and Arabia, but that from about 120 b.c. to the sixth century of our era, the kings of Yemen professed the Jewish faith. [1018] For if, on the one hand, it seems unlikely, that Eastern Magi would spontaneously connect a celestial phenomenon with the birth of a Jewish king, evidence will, on the other hand, be presented to connect the meaning attached to the appearance of the star' at that particular time with Jewish expectancy of the Messiah. But we are anticipating.

Shortly after the Presentation of the Infant Saviour in the Temple, certain Magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem with strange tidings. They had seen at its rising' [1019] a sidereal appearance, [1020] which they regarded as betokening the birth of the Messiah King of the Jews, in the sense which at the time attached to that designation. Accordingly, they had come to Jerusalem to pay homage [1021] to Him, probably not because they imagined He must be born in the Jewish capital [1022] but because they would naturally expect there to obtain authentic information, where' He might be found. In their simplicity of heart, the Magi addressed themselves in the first place to the official head of the nation. The rumor of such an inquiry, and by such persons, would rapidly spread throughout the city. But it produced on King Herod, and in the capital, a far different impression from the feeling of the Magi. Unscrupulously cruel as Herod had always proved, even the slightest suspicion of danger to his rule - the bare possibility of the Advent of One, Who had such claims upon the allegiance of Israel, and Who, if acknowledged, would evoke the most intense movement on their part - must have struck terror to his heart. Not that he could believe the tidings, though a dread of their possibility might creep over a nature such as Herod's; but the bare thought of a Pretender, with such claims, would fill him with suspicion, apprehension, and impotent rage. Nor is it difficult to understand, that the whole city should, although on different grounds, have shared the trouble' of the king. It was certainly not, as some have suggested, from apprehension of the woes' which, according to popular notions, were to accompany the Advent of Messiah. Throughout the history of Christ the absence of such woes' was never made a ground of objection to His Messianic claims; and this, because these woes' were not associated with the first Advent of the Messiah, but with His final manifestation in power. And between these two periods a more or less long interval was supposed to intervene, during which the Messiah would be hidden,' either in the literal sense, or perhaps as to His power, or else in both respects. [1023] This enables us to understand the question of the disciples, as to the sign of His coming and the end of the world, and the answer of the Master. [1024] But the people of Jerusalem had far other reason to fear. They knew only too well the character of Herod, and what the consequences would be to them, or to any one who might be suspected, however unjustly, of sympathy with any claimant to the royal throne of David. [1025]

Herod took immediate measures, characterised by his usual cunning. He called together all the High-Priests - past and present - and all the learned Rabbis, [1026] and, without committing himself as to whether the Messiah was already born, or only expected, [1027] simply propounded to them the question of His birthplace. This would show him where Jewish expectancy looked for the appearance of his rival, and thus enable him to watch alike that place and the people generally, while it might possibly bring to light the feelings of the leaders of Israel. At the same time he took care diligently to inquire the precise time, when the sidereal appearance had first attracted the attention of the Magi. [1028] This would enable him to judge, how far back he would have to make his own inquiries, since the birth of the Pretender might be made to synchronise with the earliest appearance of the sidereal phenomenon. So long as any one lived, who was born in Bethlehem between the earliest appearance of this star' and the time of the arrival of the Magi, he was not safe. The subsequent conduct of Herod [1029] shows, that the Magi must have told him, that their earliest observation of the sidereal phenomenon had taken place two years before their arrival in Jerusalem.

The assembled authorities of Israel could only return one answer to the question submitted by Herod. As shown by the rendering of the Targum Jonathan, the prediction in Micah v. 2 was at the time universally understood as pointing to Bethlehem, as the birthplace of the Messiah. That such was the general expectation, appears from the Talmud, [1030] where, in an imaginary conversation between an Arab and a Jew, Bethlehem is authoritatively named as Messiah's birthplace. St. Matthew reproduces the prophetic utterance of Micah, exactly as such quotations were popularly made at that time. It will be remembered that, Hebrew being a dead language so far as the people were concerned, the Holy Scriptures were always translated into the popular dialect, the person so doing being designated Methurgeman (dragoman) or interpreter. These renderings, which at the time of St. Matthew were not yet allowed to be written down, formed the precedent for, if not the basis of, our later Targum. In short, at that time each one Targumed for himself, and these Targumim (as our existing one on the Prophets shows) were neither literal versions, [1031] nor yet paraphrases, but something between them, a sort of interpreting translation. That, when Targuming, the New Testament writers should in preference make use of such a well-known and widely-spread version as the Translation of the LXX. needs no explanation. That they did not confine themselves to it, but, when it seemed necessary, literally or Targumically rendered a verse, appears from the actual quotations in the New Testament. Such Targuming of the Old Testament was entirely in accordance with the then universal method of setting Holy Scripture before a popular audience. It is needless to remark, that the New Testament writers would Targum as Christians. These remarks apply not only to the case under immediate consideration, [1032] but generally to the quotations from the Old Testament in the New. [1033]

The further conduct of Herod was in keeping with his plans. He sent for the Magi - for various reasons, secretly. After ascertaining the precise time, when they had first observed the star,' he directed them to Bethlehem, with the request to inform him when they had found the Child; on pretence, that he was equally desirous with them to pay Him homage. As they left Jerusalem [1034] for the goal of their pilgrimage, to their surprise and joy, the star,' which had attracted their attention at its rising,' [1035] and which, as seems implied in the narrative, they had not seen of late, once more appeared on the horizon, and seemed to move before them, till it stood over where the young child was' - that is, of course, over Bethlehem, not over any special house in it. Whether at a turn of the road, close to Bethlehem, they lost sight of it, or they no longer heeded its position, since it had seemed to go before them to the goal that had been pointed out - for, surely, they needed not the star to guide them to Bethlehem - or whether the celestial phenomenon now disappeared, is neither stated in the Gospel-narrative, nor is indeed of any importance. Sufficient for them, and for us: they had been auhoritatively directed to Bethlehem; as they had set out for it, the sidereal phenomenon had once more appeared; and it had seemed to go before them, till it actually stood over Bethlehem. And, since in ancient times such extraordinary guidance' by a star' was matter of belief and expectancy, [1036] the Magi would, from their standpoint, regard it as the fullest confirmation that they had been rightly directed to Bethlehem, and they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.' It could not be difficult to learn in Bethlehem, where the Infant, around Whose Birth marvels had gathered, might be found. It appears that the temporary shelter of the stable' had been exchanged by the Holy Family for the more permanent abode of a house;' [1037] and there the Magi found the Infant-Saviour with His Mother. With exquisite tact and reverence the narrative attempts not the faintest description of the scene. It is as if the sacred writer had fully entered into the spirit of St. Paul, Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more.' [1038] And thus it should ever be. It is the great fact of the manifestation of Christ - not its outward surroundings, however precious or touching they might be in connection with any ordinary earthly being - to which our gaze must be directed. The externals may, indeed, attract our sensuous nature; but they detract from the unmatched glory of the great supersensuous Reality. [1039] Around the Person of the God-Man, in the hour when the homage of the heathen world was first offered Him, we need not, and want not, the drapery of outward circumstances. That scene is best realized, not by description, but by silently joining in the silent homage and the silent offerings of the wise men from the East.'

Before proceeding further, we must ask ourselves two questions: What relationship does this narrative bear to Jewish expectancy? and, Is there any astronomical confirmation of this account? Besides their intrinsic interest, the answer to the first question will determine, whether any legendary basis could be assigned to the narrative; while on the second will depend, whether the account can be truthfully charged with an accommodation on the part of God to the superstitions and errors of astrology. For, if the whole was extranatural, and the sidereal appearance specially produced in order to meet the astrological views of the Magi, it would not be a sufficient answer to the difficulty, that great catastrophes and unusual phenomena in nature have synchronised in a remarkable manner with great events in human history.' [1040] On the other hand, if the sidereal appearance was not of supernatural origin, and would equally have taken place whether or not there had been Magi to direct to Bethlehem, the difficulty is not only entirely removed, but the narrative affords another instance, alike of the condescension of God to the lower standpoint of the Magi, and of His wisdom and goodness in the combination of circumstances.

As regards the question of Jewish expectancy, sufficient has been said in the preceding pages, to show that Rabbinism looked for a very different kind and manner of the world's homage to the Messiah than that of a few Magi, guided by a star to His Infant-Home. Indeed, so far from serving as historical basis for the orgin of such a legend' a more gross caricature of Jewish Messianic anticipation could scarcely be imagined. Similarly futile would it be to seek a background for this narrative in Balaam's prediction, [1041] since it is incredible that any one could have understood it as referring to a brief sidereal apparition to a few Magi, in order to bring them to look for the Messiah. [1042] Nor can it be represented as intended to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah, [1043] [1044] that they shall bring gold and incense, and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord.' For, supposing this figurative language to have been grossly literalised, [1045] what would become of the other part of that prophecy, [1046] which must, of course, have been treated in the same manner; not to speak of the fact, that the whole evidently refers not to the Messiah (least of all in His Infancy), but to Jerusalem in her latter-day glory. Thus, we fail to perceive any historical basis for a legendary origin of St. Matthew's narrative, either in the Old Testament or, still less, in Jewish tradition. And we are warranted in asking: If the account be not true, what rational explanation can be given of its origin, since its invention would never have occurred to any contemporary Jew?

But this is not all. There seems, indeed, no logical connection between this astrological interpretation of the Magi, and any supposed practice of astrology among the Jews. Yet, strange to say, writers have largely insisted on this. [1047] The charge is, to say the least, grossly exaggerated. That Jewish - as other Eastern - impostors pretended to astrological knowledge, and that such investigations may have been secretly carried on by certain Jewish students, is readily admitted. But the language of disapproval in which these pursuits are referred to - such as that knowledge of the Law is not found with astrologers [1048] - and the emphatic statement, that he who learned even one thing from a Mage deserved death, show what views were authoritatively held. [1049] [1050] Of course, the Jews (or many of them), like most ancients, believed in the influence of the planets upon the destiny of man. [1051] But it was a principle strongly expressed, and frequently illustrated in the Talmud, that such planetary influence did not extend to Israel. [1052] It must be admitted, that this was not always consistently carried out; and there were Rabbis who computed a man's future from the constellation (the Mazzal), either of the day, or the hour, under which he was born. [1053] It was supposed, that some persons had a star of their own, [1054] and the (representative) stars of all proselytes were said to have been present at Mount Sinai. Accordingly, they also, like Israel, had lost the defilement of the serpent (sin). [1055] One Rabbi even had it, that success, wisdom, the duration of life, and a posterity, depended upon the constellation. [1056] Such views were carried out till they merged in a kind of fatalism, [1057] or else in the idea of a natal affinity,' by which persons born under the same constellation were thought to stand in sympathetic rapport. [1058] The further statement, that conjunctions of the planets [1059] affected the products of the earth [1060] is scarcely astrological; nor perhaps this, that an eclipse of the sun betokened evil to the nations, an eclipse of the moon to Israel, because the former calculated time by the sun, the latter by the moon.

But there is one illustrative Jewish statement which, though not astrological, is of the greatest importance, although it seems to have been hitherto overlooked. Since the appearance of Münter's well known tractate on the Star of the Magi, [1061] writers have endeavoured to show, that Jewish expectancy of a Messiah was connected with a peculiar sidereal conjunction, such as that which occurred two years before the birth of our Lord, [1062] and this on the ground of a quotation from the well-known Jewish commentator Abarbanel (or rather Abrabanel). [1063] In his Commentary on Daniel that Rabbi laid it down, that the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation Pisces betokened not only the most important events, but referred especially to Israel (for which he gives five mystic reasons). He further argues that, as that conjunction had taken place three years before the birth of Moses, which heralded the first deliverance of Israel, so it would also precede the birth of the Messiah, and the final deliverance of Israel. But the argument fails, not only because Abarbanel's calculations are inconclusive and even erroneous, [1064] but because it is manifestly unfair to infer the state of Jewish belief at the time of Christ from a haphazard astrological conceit of a Rabbi of the fifteenth century. There is, however, testimony which seems to us not only reliable, but embodies most ancient Jewish tradition. It is contained in one of the smaller Midrashim, of which a collection has lately been published. [1065] On account of its importance, one quotation at least from it should be made in full. The so-called Messiah-Haggadah (Aggadoth Mashiach) opens as follows: A star shall come out of Jacob. There is a Boraita in the name of the Rabbis: The heptad in which the Son of David cometh - in the first year, there will not be sufficient nourishment; in the second year the arrows of famine are launched; in the third, a great famine; in the fourth, neither famine nor plenty; in the fifth, great abundance, and the Star shall shine forth from the East, and this is the Star of the Messiah. And it will shine from the East for fifteen days, and if it be prolonged, it will be for the good of Israel; in the sixth, sayings (voices), and announcements (hearings); in the seventh, wars, and at the close of the seventh the Messiah is to be expected.' A similar statement occurs at the close of a collection of three Midrashim - respectively entitled, The Book of Elijah,' Chapters about the Messiah,' and The Mysteries of R. Simon, the son of Jochai' [1066] - where we read that a Star in the East was to appear two years before the birth of the Messiah. The statement is almost equally remarkable, whether it represents a tradition previous to the birth of Jesus, or originated after that event. But two years before the birth of Christ, which, as we have calculated, took place in December 749 a.u.c., or 5 before the Christian era, brings us to the year 747 a.u.c., or 7 before Christ, in which such a Star should appear in the East. [1067]

Did such a Star, then, really appear in the East seven years before the Christian era? Astronomically speaking, and without any reference to controversy, there can be no doubt that the most remarkable conjunction of planets - that of Jupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pices, which occurs only once in 800 years - did take place no less than three times in the year 747 a.u.c., or two years before the birth of Christ (in May, October and December). This conjunction is admitted by all astronomers. It was not only extraordinary, but presented the most brilliant spectacle in the night-sky, such as could not but attract the attention of all who watched the sidereal heavens, but especially of those who busied themselves with astrology. In the year following, that is, in 748 a.u.c., another planet, Mars, joined this conjunction. The merit of first discovering these facts - of which it is unnecessary here to present the literary history [1068] - belongs to the great Kepler, [1069] who, accordingly, placed the Nativity of Christ in the year 748 a.u.c. This date, however, is not only well nigh impossible; but it has also been shown that such a conjunction would, for various reasons, not answer the requirements of the Evangelical narrative, so far as the guidance to Bethlehem is concerned. But it does fully account for the attention of the Magi being aroused, and - even if they had not possessed knowledge of the Jewish expectancy above described - for their making inquiry of all around, and certainly, among others, of the Jews. Here we leave the domain of the certain, and enter upon that of the probable. Kepler, who was led to the discovery by observing a similar conjunction in 1603-4, also noticed, that when the three planets came into conjunction, a new, extraordinary, brilliant, and peculiarly colored evanescent star was visible between Jupiter and Saturn, and he suggested that a similar star had appeared under the same circumstances in the conjunction preceding the Nativity. Of this, of course, there is not, and cannot be, absolute certainty. But, if so, this would be the star' of the Magi, in its rising.' There is yet another remarkable statement, which, however, must also be assigned only to the domain of the probable. In the astronomical tables of the Chinese - to whose general trustworthiness so high an authority as Humboldt bears testimony [1070] - the appearance of an evanescent star was noted. Pingre and others have designated it as a comet, and calculated its first appearance in February 750 a.u.c., which is just the time when the Magi would, in all probability, leave Jerusalem for Bethlehem, since this must have preceded the death of Herod, which took place in March 750. Moreover, it has been astronomically ascertained, that such a sidereal apparition would be visible to those who left Jerusalem, and that it would point - almost seem to go before - in the direction of, and stand over, Bethlehem. [1071] Such, impartially stated, are the facts of the case - and here the subject must, in the present state of our information, be left. [1072]

Only two things are recorded of this visit of the Magi to Bethlehem: their humblest Eastern homage, and their offerings. [1073] Viewed as gifts, the incense and the myrrh would, indeed, have been strangely inappropriate. But their offerings were evidently intended as specimens of the products of their country, and their presentation was, even as in our own days, expressive of the homage of their country to the new-found King. In this sense, then, the Magi may truly be regarded as the representatives of the Gentile world; their homage as the first and typical acknowledgment of Christ by those who hitherto had been far off;' and their offerings as symbolic of the world's tribute. This deeper significance the ancient Church has rightly apprehended, though, perhaps, mistaking its grounds. Its symbolism, twining, like the convolvulus, around the Divine Plant, has traced in the gold the emblem of His Royalty; in the myrrh, of His Humanity, and that in the fullest evidence of it, in His burying; and in the incense, that of His Divinity. [1074]

As always in the history of Christ, so here also, glory and suffering appear in juxtaposition. It could not be, that these Magi should become the innocent instruments of Herod's murderous designs; nor yet that the Infant-Saviour should fall a victim to the tyrant. Warned of God in a dream, the wise men' returned into their own country another way;' and, warned by the angel of the Lord in a dream, the Holy Family sought temporary shelter in Egypt. Baffled in the hope of attaining his object through the Magi, the reckless tyrant sought to secure it by an indiscriminate slaughter of all the children in Bethlehem and its immediate neighborhood, from two years and under. True, considering the population of Bethlehem, their number could only have been small, probably twenty at most. [1075] But the deed was none the less atrocious; and these infants may justly be regarded as the protomartyrs,' the first witnesses, of Christ, the blossom of martydom' (flores martyrum,' as Prudentius calls them). The slaughter was entirely in accordance with the character and former measures of Herod. [1076] Nor do we wonder, that it remained unrecorded by Josephus, since on other occasions also he has omitted events which to us seem important. [1077] The murder of a few infants in an insignificant village might appear scarcely worth notice in a reign stained by so much bloodshed. Besides, he had, perhaps, a special motive for this silence. Josephus always carefully suppresses, so far as possible, all that refers to the Christ [1078] - probably not only in accordance with his own religious views, but because mention of a Christ might have been dangerous, certainly would have been inconvenient, in a work written by an intense self-seeker, mainly for readers in Rome.

Of two passages in his own Old Testament Scriptures the Evangelist sees a fulfilment in these events. The flight into Egypt is to him the fulfilment of this expression by Hosea, Out of Egypt have I called My Son.' [1079] In the murder of the Innocents,' he sees the fulfilment of Rachel's lament [1080]   (who died and was buried in Ramah) [1081] over her children, the men of Benjamin, when the exiles to Babylon met in Ramah, [1082] and there was bitter wailing at the prospect of parting for hopeless captivity, and yet bitterer lament, as they who might have encumbered the onward march were pitilessly slaughtered. Those who have attentively followed the course of Jewish thinking, and marked how the ancient Synagogue, and that rightly, read the Old Testament in its unity, as ever pointing to the Messiah as the fulfilment of Israel's history, will not wonder at, but fully accord with, St. Matthew's retrospective view. The words of Hosea were in the highest sense fulfilled' in the flight to, and return of, the Saviour from Egypt. [1083] To an inspired writer, nay, to a true Jewish reader of the Old Testament, the question in regard to any prophecy could not be: What did the prophet - but, What did the prophecy - mean? And this could only be unfolded in the course of Israel's history. Similarly, those who ever saw in the past the prototype of the future, and recognized in events, not only the principle, but the very features, of that which was to come, could not fail to perceive, in the bitter wail of the mothers of Bethlehem over their slaughtered children, the full realisation of the prophetic description of the scene enacted in Jeremiah's days. Had not the prophet himself heard, in the lament of the captives to Babylon, the echoes of Rachel's voice in the past? In neither one nor the other case had the utterances of the prophets (Hosea and Jeremiah) been predictions: they were prophetic. In neither one nor the other case was the fulfilment' literal: it was Scriptural, and that in the truest Old Testament sense.


[1011] It is scarcely necessary to point out, how evidential this is of the truthfulness of the Gospel-narrative. In this respect also the so-called Apocryphal Gospels, with their gross and often repulsive legendary adornments, form a striking contrast. I have purposely abstained from reproducing any of these narratives, partly because previous writers have done so, and partly because the only object served by repeating, what must so deeply shock the Christian mind, would be to point the contrast between the canonical and the Apocryphal Gospels. But this can, I think, be as well done by a single sentence, as by pages of quotations.

[1012] The evidence on this point is furnished by J. G. Müller in Herzog's Real-Enc., vol. viii. p. 682. The whole subject of the visit of the Magi is treated with the greatest ability and learning (as against Strauss) by Dr. Mill (On the Mythical Interpretation of the Gospels,' part ii. pp. 275 &c.).

[1013] So also in Acts viii. 9; xiii. 6, 8.

[1014] They are variously stated as twelve (Aug. Chrysost.) and three, the latter on account of the number of the gifts. Other legends on the subject need not be repeated.

[1015] Mill, u. s., p. 303.

[1016] There is no historical evidence that at the time of Christ there was among the nations any widespread expectancy of the Advent of a Messiah in Palestine. Where the knowledge of such a hope existed, it must have been entirely derived from Jewish sources. The allusions to it by Tacitus (Hist. v. 13) and Suetonius (Vesp. 4) are evidently derived from Josephus, and admittedly refer to the Flavian dynasty, and to a period seventy years or more after the Advent of Christ. The splendid vaticination in the Fourth Eclogue of Virgil,' which Archdeacon Farrar regards as among the unconscious prophecies of heathendom,' is confessedly derived from the Cumaean Sibyl, and based on the Sibylline Oracles, book iii. lines 784-794 (ed. Friedlieb, p. 86; see Einl. p. xxxix.). Almost the whole of book iii., inclusive of these verses, is of Jewish authorship, and dates probably from about 160 b.c. Archdeacon Farrar holds that, besides the above references, there is ample proof, both in Jewish and Pagan writings, that a guilty and weary world was dimly expecting the advent of its Deliverer.' But he offers no evidence of it, either from Jewish or Pagan writings.

[1017] Comp. Mill, u.s., p. 308, note 66. The grounds adduced by some are such references as to Is. viii. 4; Ps. lxxii. 10, &c.; and the character of the gifts.

[1018] Comp. the account of this Jewish monarchy in the History of the Jewish Nation,' pp. 67-71; also Remond's Vers. e. Gesch. d. Ausbreit. d. Judenth. pp. 81 &c.; and Jost, Gesch. d. Isr. vol. v. pp. 236 &c.

[1019] This is the correct rendering, and not, as in A.V., in the East,' the latter being expressed by the plural of natol, in v. 1, while in vv. 2 and 9 the word is used in the singular.

[1020] Schleusner has abundantly proved that the word str, though primarily meaning a star, is also used of constellations, meteors, and comets - in short, has the widest application: omne designare, quod aliquem splendorem habet et emitit' (Lex. in N.T., t. i. pp. 390, 391).

[1021] Not, as in the A.V., to worship,' which at this stage of the history would seem most incongruous, but as an equivalent of the Hebrew {hebrew}, as in Gen. xix. 1. So often in the LXX. and by profane writers (comp. Scheleusner, u. s., t. ii. pp. 749, 750, and Vorstius, De Hebraismis N.T. pp. 637-641).

[1022] This is the view generally, but as I think erroneously, entertained. Any Jew would have told them, that the Messiah was not to be born in Jerusalem. Besides, the question of the Magi implies their ignorance of the where' of the Messiah.

[1023] Christian writers on these subjects have generally conjoined the so-called woes of the Messiah' with His first appearance. It seems not to have occurred to them, that, if such had been the Jewish expectation, a preliminary objection would have lain against the claims of Jesus from their absence.

[1024] As reported in St. Matt. xxiv. 3-29.

[1025] Their feelings on this matter would be represented, mutatis mutandis, by the expressions in the Sanhedrin, recorded in St. John xi. 47-50.

[1026] Both Meyer and Weiss have shown, that this was not a meeting of the Sanhedrin, if, indeed, that body had anything more than a shadowy existence during the reign of Herod.

[1027] The question propounded by Herod (v. 4), where Christ should be born,' is put neither in the past nor in the future, but in the present tense. In other words, he laid before them a case - a theological problem, but not a fact, either past or future.

[1028] St. Matt. ii. 7.

[1029] v. 16.

[1030] Jer. Ber. ii. 4, p. 5 a.

[1031] In point of fact, the Talmud expressly lays it down, that whosoever targums a verse in its closely literal form [without due regard to its meaning], is a liar.' (Kidd. 49 a; comp. on the subject Deutsch's Literary Remains,' p. 327).

[1032] St. Matt. ii. 6.

[1033] The general pinciple, that St. Matthew rendered Mic. v. 2 targumically, would, it seems, cover all the differences between his quotation and the Hebrew text. But it may be worth while, in this instance at least, to examine the differences in detail. Two of them are trivial, viz., Bethlehem, land of Juda,' instead of Ephratah;' princes' instead of thousands,' though St. Matthew may, possibly, have pointed {hebrew} (princes'), instead of {hebrew} as in our Hebrew text. Perhaps he rendered the word more correctly than we do, since {hebrew} means not only a thousand' but also a part of a tribe (Is. lx. 22), a clan, or Beth Abh (Judg. vi. 15); comp. also Numb. i. 16; x. 4, 36; Deut. xxxiii. 17; Josh. xxii. 21, 30; i Sam. x. 19; xxiii. 23; in which case the personification of these thousands' (=our hundreds') by their chieftains or princes' would be a very apt Targumic rendering. Two other of the divergences are more important, viz., (1) Art not the least,' instead of though thou be little.' But the Hebrew words have also been otherwise rendered: in the Syriac interrogatively (art thou little?'), which suggests the rendering of St. Matthew; and in the Arabic just as by St. Matthew (vide Pocock, Porta Mosis, Notæ, c. ii.; but Pocock does not give the Targum accurately). Credner ingeniously suggested, that the rendering of St. Matthew may have been caused by a Targumic rendering of the Hebrew {hebrew} by {hebrew}; but he does not seem to have noticed, that this is the actual rendering in the Targum Jon. on the passage. As for the second and more serious divergence in the latter part of the verse, it may be best here simply to give for comparison the rendering of the passage in the Targum Jonathan: Out of thee shall come forth before Me Messiah to exercise rule over Israel.'

[1034] Not necessarily by night, as most writers suppose.

[1035] So correctly, and not in the East,' as in A.V.

[1036] Proof of this is abundantly furnished by Wetstein, Nov. Test. t. i. pp. 247 and 248.

[1037] v. 11.

[1038] 2 Cor. v 16

[1039] In this seems to lie the strongest condemnation of Romish and Romanising tendencies, that they ever seek to present - or, perhaps, rather obtrude - the external circumstances. It is not thus that the Gospel most fully presents to us the spiritual, nor yet thus that the deepest and holiest impressions are made. True religion is ever objectivistic, sensuous subjectivistic.

[1040] Archdeacon Farrar.

[1041] Numb. xxiv. 17.

[1042] Strauss (Leben Jesu, i. pp. 224-249) finds a legendary basis for the Evangelic account in Numb. xxiv. 17, and also appeals to the legendary stories of profane writers about stars appearing at the birth of great men.

[1043] lx. 6 last clauses.

[1044] Keim (Jesu von Nazara, i. 2, p. 377) drops the appeal to legends of profane writers, ascribes only a secondary influence to Numb. xxiv. 17, and lays the main stress of the legend' on Is. lx. - with what success the reader may judge.

[1045] Can it be imagined thatany person would invent such a legend' on the strength of Is. lx. 6? On the other hand, if the event really took place, it is easy to understand how Christian symbolism would - though uncritically - have seen an adumbration of it in that prophecy.

[1046] The multitude of camels and dromedaries,' the flocks of Kedar and the rams of Nebaioth' (v. 7), and the isles,' and the ships of Tarshish' (v. 9).

[1047] The subject of Jewish astrology is well treated by Dr. Hamburger, both in the first and second volumes of his Real-Encykl. The ablest summary, though brief, is that in Dr. Gideon Brecher's book, Das Transcendentale im Talmud.' Gfrörer is, as usually, one-sided, and not always trustworthy in his translations. A curious brochure by Rabbi Thein (Der Talmud, od. das Prinzip d. planet. Elinfl.) is one of the boldest attempts at special pleading, to the ignoration of palpable facts on the other side. Hausrath's dicta on this subject are, as on many others, assertions unsupported by historical evidence.

[1048] Deb. R. 8.

[1049] Comp. Shabb. 75 a.

[1050] I cannot, however, see that Buxtorf charges so many Rabbis with giving themselves to astrology as Dr. Geikie imputes to him - nor how Humboldt can be quoted as corroborating the Chinese record of the appearance of a new star in 750 (see the passage in the Cosmos, Engl. transl. vol. i. pp. 92, 93).

[1051] See for ex. Jos. War vi. 5. 3.

[1052] Shabb. 156 a.

[1053] Shabb, u. s.

[1054] Moed K. 16 a.

[1055] Shabb. 145 b; 146 a comp. Yeb. 103 b.

[1056] Moed K. 28 a.

[1057] Comp. Baba K. 2 b; Shabb. 121 b.

[1058] Ned. 39 b.

[1059] Jewish astronomy distinguishes the seven planets (called wandering stars'); the twelve signs of the Zodiac, Mazzaloth (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces) - arranged by astrologers into four trigons: that of fire (1, 5, 9); of earth (2, 6, 10); of air (3, 7, 11); and of water (4, 8, 12); and the stars. The Kabbalistic book Raziel (dating from the eleventh century) arranges them into three quadrons. The comets, which are called arrows or star-rods, proved a great difficulty to students. The planets (in their order) were: Shabbathai (the Sabbatic, Saturn); Tsedeq (righteousness, Jupiter); Maadim (the red, blood-coloured, Mars); Chammah (the Sun); Nogah (splendour, Venus); Cokhabh (the star, Mercury); Lebhanah (the Moon). Kabbalistic works depict our system as a circle, the lower arc consisting of Oceanos, and the upper filled by the sphere of the earth; next comes that of the surrounding atmosphere; then successively the seven semicircles of the planets, each fitting on the other - to use the Kabbalistic illustration - like the successive layers in an onion (see Sepher Raziel, ed. Lemb. 1873, pp. 9 b, 10 a). Day and night were divided each into twelve hours (from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.). Each hour was under the influence of successive planets: thus, Sunday, 7 a.m., the Sun; 8 a.m., Venus; 9 a.m., Mercury; 10 a.m., Moon; 11 a.m., Saturn; 12 a.m., Jupiter, and so on. Similarly, we have for Monday, 7 a.m., the Moon, &c.; for Tuesday, 7 a.m., Mars; for Wednesday, 7 a.m., Mercury; for Thursday, 7 a.m., Jupiter; for Friday, 7 a.m., Venus; and for Saturday, 7 a.m., Saturn. Most important were the Tequphoth, in which the Sun entered respectively Aries (Tek. Nisan, spring-equinox, harvest'), Cancer (Tek. Tammuz, summer solstice, warmth'), Libra (Tek. Tishri, autumn-equinox, seed-time), Capricornus (Tek. Tebheth, winter-solstice, cold'). Comp. Targ. Pseudo-Jon. on Gen. viii. 22. From one Tequphah to the other were 91 days 7½ hours. By a beautiful figure the sundust is called filings of the day' (as the word xsma - that which falls off from the sunwheel as it turns (Yoma 20 b).

[1060] Erub. 56 a: Ber. R. 10.

[1061] Der Stern der Weisen,' Copenhagen, 1827. The tractate, though so frequently quoted, seems scarcely to have been sufficiently studied, most writers having apparently rather read the references to it in Ideler's Handb. d. Math. u techn. Chronol. Münter's work contains much that is interesting and important.

[1062] In 747 a.u.c., or 7 b.c.

[1063] Born 1439 died 1508.

[1064] To form an adequate conception of the untrustworthiness of such a testimony, it is necessary to study the history of the astronomical and astrological pursuits of the Jews during that period, of which a masterly summary is given in Steinschneider's History of Jewish Literature (Ersch u. Gruber, Encykl. vol. xxvii.). Comp. also Sachs, Relig. Poes. d. Juden in Spanien, pp. 230 &c.

[1065] By Dr. Jellinek, in a work in six parts, entitled Beth ha-Midrash,' Leipz, and Vienna, 1853-1878.

[1066] Jellinek, Beth ha-Midrash, fasc. iii. p. 8.

[1067] It would, of course, be possible to argue, that the Evangelic account arose from this Jewish tradition about the appearance of a star two years before the birth of the Messiah. But ut has been already shown, that the hypothesis of a Jewish legendary origin is utterly untenable. Besides, if St. Matthew ii. had been derived from this tradition, the narrative would have been quite differently shaped, and more especially the two years' interval between the rising of the star and the Advent of the Messiah would have been emphasized, instead of being, as now, rather matter of inference.

[1068] The chief writers on the subject have been: Münter (u.s.), Ideler (u.s.). and Wieseler (Chronol. Synopse d. 4 Evang. (1843), and again in Herzog's Real-Enc. vol. xxi p. 544, and finally in his Beitr. z. Würd. d Ev. 1869). In our own country, writers have, since the appearance of Professor Pritchard's art. (Star of the Wise Men') in Dr. Smith's Bible Dict. vol. iii., generally given up the astronomical argument, without, however, clearly indicating whether they regard the star as a miraculous guidance. I do not, of course, presume to enter on an astronomical discussion with Professor Pritchard; but as his reasoning proceeds on the idea that the planetary conjunction of 747 a.u.c., is regarded as the Star of the Magi,' his arguments do not apply either to the view presented in the text nor even to that of Wieseler. Besides, I must guard myself against accepting his interpretation of the narrative in St. Matthew.

[1069] De Stella Nova &c., Pragæ, 1606.

[1070] Cosmos. vol. i. p. 92.

[1071] By the astronomer, Dr. Goldschmidt. (See Wieseler, Chron. Syn. p. 72.).

[1072] A somewhat different view is presented in the laborious and learned edition of the New Testament by Mr. Brown McClellan (vol. i. pp, 400-402).

[1073] Our A.V. curiously translates in v. 11, treasures,' instead of treasury-cases.' The expression is exactly the same as in Deut. xxviii. 12, for which the LXX. use the same words as the Evangelist. The expression is also used in this sense in the Apocr. and by profane writers. Comp. Wetstein and Meyer ad locum. Jewish tradition also expresses the expectancy that the nations of the world would offer gifts unto the Messiah. (Comp. Pes. 118 b; Ber. R. 78.).

[1074] So not only in ancient hymns (by Sedulius, Juvencus, and Claudian), but by the Fathers and later writers. (Comp. Sepp, Leben Jesu, ii. 1, pp. 102, 103.)

[1075] So Archdeacon Farrar rightly computes it.

[1076] An illustrative instance of the ruthless destruction of whole families on suspicion that his crown was in danger, occurs in Ant. xv. 8. 4. But the suggestion that Bagoas had suffered at the hands of Herod for Messianic predictions is entirely an invention of Keim. (Schenkel, Bibel Lex., vol. iii. p. 37. Comp. Ant. xvii. 2. 4.)

[1077] There are, in Josephus' history of Herod, besides omissions, inconsistencies of narrative, such as about the execution of Mariamme (Ant. xv. 3, 5-9 &c.; comp. War i. 22. 3, 4), and of chronology (as War i. 18. 2, comp. v. 9. 4; Ant. xiv. 16. 2, comp. xv. 1. 2, and others.)

[1078] Comp. on article on Josephus in Smith and Wace's Dict. of Christian Biogr.

[1079] Hos. xi. 1.

[1080] Jer. xxxi. 15.

[1081] See the evidence for it summarized in Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ,' p. 60.

[1082] Jer. xi. 1.

[1083] In point of fact the ancient Synagogue did actually apply to the Messiah Ex. iv. 22, on which the words of Hosea are based. See the Midrash on Ps. ii. 7. The quotation is given in full in our remarks on Ps. ii. 7 in Appendix IX.


CHAPTER IX.
THE CHILD-LIFE IN NAZARETH

(St. Matt. ii. 19-23; St. Luke ii. 39, 40.)

THE stay of the Holy Family in Egypt must have been of brief duration. The cup of Herod's misdeeds, but also of his misery, was full. During the whole latter part of his life, the dread of a rival to the throne had haunted him, and he had sacrificed thousands, among them those nearest and dearest to him, to lay that ghost. [1084] And still the tyrant was not at rest. A more terrible scene is not presented in history than that of the closing days of Herod. Tormented by nameless fears; ever and again a prey to vain remorse, when he would frantically call for his passionately-loved, murdered wife Mariamme, and her sons; even making attempts on his own life; the delirium of tyranny, the passion for blood, drove him to the verge of madness. The most loathsome disease, such as can scarcely be described, had fastened on his body, [1085] and his sufferings were at times agonizing. By the advice of his physicians, he had himself carried to the baths of Callirhoe (east of the Jordan), trying all remedies with the determination of one who will do hard battle for life. It was in vain. The namelessly horrible distemper, which had seized the old man of seventy, held him fast in its grasp, and, so to speak, played death on the living. He knew it, that his hour was come, and had himself conveyed back to his palace under the palm-trees of Jericho. They had known it also in Jerusalem, and, even before the last stage of his disease, two of the most honored and loved Rabbis - Judas and Matthias - had headed the wild band, which would sweep away all traces of Herod's idolatrous rule. They began by pulling down the immense golden eagle, which hung over the great gate of the Temple. The two ringleaders, and forty of their followers, allowed themselves to be taken by Herod's guards. A mock public trial in the theatre at Jericho followed. Herod, carried out on a couch, was both accuser and judge. The zealots, who had made noble answer to the tyrant, were burnt alive; and the High-Priest, who was suspected of connivance, deposed.

After that the end came rapidly. On his return from Callirhoe, feeling his death approaching, the King had summoned the noblest of Israel throughout the land of Jericho, and shut them up in the Hippodrome, with orders to his sister to have them slain immediately upon his death, in the grim hope that the joy of the people at his decease would thus be changed into mourning. Five days before his death one ray of passing joy lighted his couch. Terrible to say, it was caused by a letter from Augustus allowing Herod to execute his son Antipater - the false accuser and real murderer of his half-brothers Alexander and Aristobulus. The death of the wretched prince was hastened by his attempt to bribe the jailer, as the noise in the palace, caused by an attempted suicide of Herod, led him to suppose his father was actually dead. And now the terrible drama was hastening to a close. The fresh access of rage shortened the life which was already running out. Five days more, and the terror of Judæa lay dead. He had reigned thirty-seven years - thirty-four since his conquest of Jerusalem. Soon the rule for which he had so long plotted, striven, and stained himself with untold crimes, passed from his descendants. A century more, and the whole race of Herod had been swept away.

We pass by the empty pageant and barbaric splendor of his burying in the Castle of Herodium, close to Bethlehem. The events of the last few weeks formed a lurid back-ground to the murder of the Innocents.' As we have reckoned it, the visit of the Magi took place in February 750 a.u.c. On the 12th of March the Rabbis and their adherents suffered. On the following night (or rather early morning) there was a lunar eclipse; the execution of Antipater preceded the death of his father by five days, and the latter occurred from seven to fourteen days before the Passover, which in 750 took place on the 12th of April. [1086]  

It need scarcely be said, that Salome (Herod's sister) and her husband were too wise to execute Herod's direction in regard to the noble Jews shut up in the Hippodrome. Their liberation, and the death of Herod, were marked by the leaders of the people as joyous events in the so-called Megillath Taanith, or Roll of Fasts, although the date is not exactly marked. [1087] Henceforth this was to be a Yom Tobh (feast-day), on which mourning was interdicted. [1088]

Herod had three times before changed his testament. By the first will Antipater, the successful calumniator of Alexander and Aristobulus, had been appointed his successor, while the latter two were named kings, though we know not of what districts. [1089] After the execution of the two sons of Mariamme, Antipater was named king, and, in case of his death, Herod, the son of Mariamme II. When the treachery of Antipater was proved, Herod made a third will, in which Antipas (the Herod Antipas of the New Testament) was named his successor. [1090] But a few days before his death he made yet another disposition, by which Archelaus, the elder brother of Antipas (both sons of Malthake, a Samaritan), was appointed king; Antipas tetrarch of Galilee and Peræa; and Philip (the son of Cleopatra, of Jerusalem [1091] ), tetrarch of the territory east of the Jordan. [1092] These testaments reflected the varying phases of suspicion and family-hatred through which Herod had passed. Although the Emperor seems to have authorised him to appoint his successor, [1093] Herod wisely made his disposition dependent on the approval of Augustus. [1094] But the latter was not by any means to be taken for granted. Archelaus had, indeed, been immediately proclaimed King by the army; but he prudently declined the title, till it had been confirmed by the Emperor. The night of his father's death, and those that followed, were characteristically spent by Archelaus in rioting with his friends. [1095] But the people of Jerusalem were not easily satisfied. At first liberal promises of amnesty and reforms had assuaged the populace. [1096] But the indignation excited by the late murder of the Rabbis soon burst into a storm of lamentation, and then of rebellion, which Archelaus silenced by the slaughter of not less than three thousand, and that within the sacred precincts of the Temple itself. [1097]

Other and more serious difficulties awaited him in Rome, whither he went in company with his mother, his aunt Salome, and other relatives. These, however, presently deserted him to espouse the claims of Antipas, who likewise appeared before Augustus to plead for the royal succession, assigned to him in a former testament. The Herodian family, while intriguing and clamouring each on his own account, were, for reasons easily understood, agreed that they would rather not have a king at all, but be under the suzerainty of Rome; though, if king there must be, they preferred Antipas to Archelaus. Meanwhile, fresh troubles broke out in Palestine, which were suppressed by fire, sword, and crucifixions. And now two other deputations arrived in the Imperial City. Philip, the step-brother of Archelaus, to whom the latter had left the administration of his kingdom, came to look after his own interests, as well as to support Archelaus. [1098] [1099] At the same time, a Jewish deputation of fifty, from Palestine, accompanied by eight thousand Roman Jews, clamoured for the deposition of the entire Herodian race, on account of their crimes, [1100] and the incorporation of Palestine with Syria - no doubt in hope of the same semi-independence under their own authorities, enjoyed by their fellow-religionists in the Grecian cities. Augustus decided to confirm the last testament of Herod, with certain slight modifications, of which the most important was that Archelaus should bear the title of Ethnarch, which, if he deserved it, would by-and-by be exchanged for that of King. His dominions were to be Judæa, Idumæa, and Samaria, with a revenue of 600 talents [1101] (about 230,000l. to 240,000l). It is needless to follow the fortunes of the new Ethnarch. He began his rule by crushing all resistance by the wholesale slaughter of his opponents. Of the High-Priestly office he disposed after the manner of his father. But he far surpassed him in cruelty, oppression, luxury, the grossest egotism, and the lowest sensuality, and that, without possessing the talent or the energy of Herod. [1102] His brief reign ceased in the year 6 of our era, when the Emperor banished him, on account of his crimes to Gaul.

It must have been soon after the accession of Archelaus, [1103] but before tidings of it had actually reached Joseph in Egypt, that the Holy Family returned to Palestine. The first intention of Joseph seems to have been to settle in Bethlehem, where he had lived since the birth of Jesus. Obvious reasons would incline him to choose this, and, if possible, to avoid Nazareth as the place of his residence. His trade, even had he been unknown in Bethlehem, would have easily supplied the modest wants of his household. But when, on reaching Palestine, he learned who the successor of Herod was, and also, no doubt, in what manner he had inaugurated his reign, common prudence would have dictated the withdrawal of the Infant-Saviour from the dominions of Archelaus. But it needed Divine direction to determine his return to Nazareth. [1104]

Of the many years spent in Nazareth, during which Jesus passed from infancy to childhood, from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood, the Evangelic narrative has left us but briefest notice. Of His childhood: that He grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him;' [1105] of His youth: besides the account of His questioning the Rabbis in the Temple, the year before he attained Jewish majority - that He was subject to His parents,' and that He increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man.' Considering what loving care watched over Jewish child-life, tenderly marking by not fewer than eight designations the various stages of its development, [1106] and the deep interest naturally attaching to the early life of the Messiah, that silence, in contrast to the almost blasphemous absurdities of the Apocryphal Gospels, teaches us once more, and most impressively, that the Gospels furnish a history of the Saviour, not a biography of Jesus of Nazareth.

St. Matthew, indeed, summarises the whole outward history of the life in Nazareth in one sentence. Henceforth Jesus would stand out before the Jews of His time - and, as we know, of all times, [1107] by the distinctive designation: of Nazareth,' {hebrew} (Notsri), Nazoraos, the Nazarene.' In the mind of a Palestinian a peculiar significance would attach to the by-Name of the Messiah, especially in its connection with the general teaching of prophetic Scripture. And here we must remember, that St. Matthew primarily addressed his Gospel to Palestinian readers, and that it is the Jewish presentation of the Messiah as meeting Jewish expectancy. In this there is nothing derogatory to the character of the Gospel, no accommodation in the sense of adaptation, since Jesus was not only the Saviour of the world, but especially also the King of the Jews, and we are now considering how He would stand out before the Jewish mind. On one point all were agreed: His Name was Notsri (of Nazareth). St. Matthew proceeds to point out, how entirely this accorded with prophetic Scripture - not, indeed, with any single prediction, but with the whole language of the prophets. From this [1108] the Jews derived not fewer than eight designations or Names by which the Messiah was to be called. The most prominent among them was that of Tsemach, or Branch.' [1109] We call it the most prominent, not only because it is based upon the clearest Scripture-testimony, but because it evidently occupied the foremost rank in Jewish thinking, being embodied in this earliest portion of their daily liturgy: The Branch of David, Thy Servant, speedily make to shoot forth, and His Horn exalt Thou by Thy Salvation....Blessed art Thou Jehovah, Who causeth to spring forth (literally: to branch forth) the Horn of Salvation' (15th Eulogy). Now, what is expressed by the word Tsemach is also conveyed by the term Netser, Branch,' in such passages as Isaiah xi,1, which was likewise applied to the Messiah. [1110] Thus, starting from Isaiah xi. 1, Netser being equivalent to Tsemach, Jesus would, as Notsri or Ben Netser, [1111] [1112] bear in popular parlance, and that on the ground of prophetic Scriptures, the exact equivalent of the best-known designation of the Messiah. [1113] The more significant this, that it was not a self-chosen nor man-given name, but arose, in the providence of God, from what otherwise might have been called the accident of His residence. We admit that this is a Jewish view; but then this Gospel is the Jewish view of the Jewish Messiah.

But, taking this Jewish title in its Jewish significance, it has also a deeper meaning, and that not only to Jews, but to all men. The idea of Christ as the Divinely placed Branch' (symbolised by His Divinely-appointed early residence), small and despised in its forthshooting, or then visible appearance (like Nazareth and the Nazarenes), but destined to grow as the Branch sprung out of Jesse's roots, is most marvellously true to the whole history of the Christ, alike as sketched by the prophets,' and as exhibited in reality. And thus to us all, Jews or Gentiles, the Divine guidance to Nazareth and the name Nazarene present the truest fulfilment of the prophecies of His history.

Greater contrast could scarcely be imagined than between the intricate scholastic studies of the Judæans, and the active pursuits that engaged men in Galilee. It was a common saying: If a person wishes to be rich, let him go north; if he wants to be wise, let him come south' - and to Judæa, accordingly, flocked, from ploughshare and workshop, whoever wished to become learned in the Law.' The very neighbourhood of the Gentile world, the contact with the great commercial centres close by, and the constant intercourse with foreigners, who passed through Galilee along one of the world's great highways, would render the narrow exclusiveness of the Southerners impossible. Galilee was to Judaism the Court of the Gentiles' - the Rabbinic Schools of Judæa its innermost Sanctuary. The natural disposition of the people, even the soil and climate of Galilee, were not favourable to the all-engrossing passion for Rabbinic study. In Judæa all seemed to invite to retrospection and introspection; to favour habits of solitary thought and study, till it kindled into fanaticism. Mile by mile as you travelled southwards, memories of the past would crowd around, and thoughts of the future would rise within. Avoiding the great towns as the centres of hated heathenism, the traveller would meet few foreigners, but everywhere encounter those gaunt representatives of what was regarded as the superlative excellency of his religion. These were the embodiment of Jewish piety and asceticism, the possessors and expounders of the mysteries of his faith, the fountain-head of wisdom, who were not only sure of heaven themselves, but knew its secrets, and were its very aristocracy; men who could tell him all about his own religion, practised its most minute injunctions, and could interpret every stroke and letter of the Law - nay, whose it actually was to loose and to bind,' to pronounce an action lawful or unlawful, and to remit or retain sins,' by declaring a man liable to, or free from, expiatory sacrifices, or else punishment in this or the next world. No Hindoo fanatic would more humbly bend before Brahmin saints, nor devout Romanist more venerate the members of a holy fraternity, than the Jew his great Rabbis. [1114] Reason, duty, and precept, alike bound him to reverence them, as he reverenced the God Whose interpreters, representatives, deputies, intimate companions, almost colleagues in the heavenly Sanhedrin, they were. And all around, even nature itself, might seem to foster such tendencies. Even at that time Judæa was comparatively desolate, barren, grey. The decaying cities of ancient renown; the lone highland scenery; the bare, rugged hills; the rocky terraces from which only artificial culture could woo a return; the wide solitary plains, deep glens, limestone heights - with distant glorious Jerusalem ever in the far background, would all favour solitary thought and religious abstraction.

It was quite otherwise in Galilee. The smiling landscape of Lower Galilee invited the easy labour of the agriculturist. Even the highlands of Upper Galilee [1115] were not, like those of Judæa, sombre, lonely, enthusiasm-killing, but gloriously grand, free, fresh, and bracing. A more beautiful country - hill, dale, and lake - could scarcely be imagined than Galilee Proper. It was here that Asher had dipped his foot in oil.' According to the Rabbis, it was easier to rear a forest of olive-trees in Galilee than one child in Judæa. Corn grew in abundance; the wine, though not so plentiful as the oil, was rich and generous. Proverbially, all fruit grew in perfection, and altogether the cost of living was about one-fifth that in Judæa. And then, what a teeming, busy population! Making every allowance for exaggeration, we cannot wholly ignore the account of Josephus about the 240 towns and villages of Galilee, each with not less than 15,000 inhabitants. In the centres of industry all then known trades were busily carried on; the husbandman pursued his happy toil on genial soil, while by the Lake of Gennesaret, with its unrivalled beauty, its rich villages, and lovely retreats, the fisherman plied his healthy avocation. By those waters, overarched by a deep blue sky, spangled with the brilliancy of innumerable stars, a man might feel constrained by nature itself to meditate and pray; he would not be likely to indulge in a morbid fanaticism.

Assuredly, in its then condition, Galilee was not the home of Rabbinism, though that of generous spirits, of warm, impulsive hearts, of intense nationalism, of simple manners, and of earnest piety. Of course, there would be a reverse side to the picture. Such a race would be excitable, passionate, violent. The Talmud accuses them of being quarrelsome, [1116] but admits that they cared more for honour than for money. The great ideal teacher of Palestinian schools was Akiba, and one of his most outspoken opponents a Galilean, Rabbi José. [1117] In religious observances their practice was simpler; as regarded canon-law they often took independent views, and generally followed the interpretations of those who, in opposition to Akiba, inclined to the more mild and rational - we had almost said, the more human - application of traditionalism. [1118] The Talmud mentions several points in which the practice of the Galileans differed from that of Judæa - all either in the direction of more practical earnestness, [1119] or of alleviation of Rabbinic rigorism. [1120] On the other hand, they were looked down upon as neglecting traditionalism, unable to rise to its speculative heights, and preferring the attractions of the Haggadah to the logical subtleties of the Halakhah. [1121] There was a general contempt in Rabbinic circles for all that was Galilean. Although the Judæan or Jerusalem dialect was far from pure, [1122] the people of Galilee were especially blamed for neglecting the study of their language, charged with error in grammar, and especially with absurd malpronunciation, sometimes leading to ridiculous mistakes. [1123] Galilean - Fool!' was so common an expression, that a learned lady turned with it upon so great a man as R. José, the Galilean, because he had used two needless words in asking her the road to Lydda. [1124] [1125] Indeed, this R. José had considerable prejudices to overcome, before his remarkable talents and learning were fully acknowledged. [1126]

Among such a people, and in that country, Jesus spent by far the longest part of His life upon earth. Generally, this period may be described as that of His true and full Human Development - physical, intellectual, spiritual - of outward submission to man, and inward submission to God, with the attendant results of wisdom,' favour,' and grace.' Necessary, therefore, as this period was, if the Christ was to be True Man, it cannot be said that it was lost, even so far as His Work as Saviour was concerned. It was more than the preparation for that work; it was the commencement of it: subjectively (and passively), the self-abnegation of humiliation in His willing submission; and objectively (and actively), the fulfilment of all righteousness through it. But into this mystery of piety' we may only look afar off - simply remarking, that it almost needed for us also these thirty years of Human Life, that the overpowering thought of His Divinity might not overshadow that of His Humanity. But if He was subject to such conditions, they must, in the nature of things, have affected His development. It is therefore not presumption when, without breaking the silence of Holy Scripture, we follow the various stages of the Nazareth life, as each is, so to speak, initialled by the brief but emphatic summaries of the third Gospel.

In regard to the Child-Life, [1127] we read: And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, [1128] being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.' [1129] This marks, so to speak, the lowest rung in the ladder. Having entered upon life as the Divine Infant, He began it as the Human Child, subject to all its conditions, yet perfect in them.

These conditions were, indeed, for that time, the happiest conceivable, and such as only centuries of Old Testament life-training could have made them. The Gentile world here presented terrible contrast, alike in regard to the relation of parents and children, and the character and moral object of their upbringing. Education begins in the home, and there were not homes like those in Israel; it is imparted by influence and example, before it comes by teaching; it is acquired by what is seen and heard, before it is laboriously learned from books; its real object becomes instinctively felt, before its goal is consciously sought. What Jewish fathers and mothers were; what they felt towards their children; and with what reverence, affection, and care the latter returned what they had received, is known to every reader of the Old Testament. The relationship of father has its highest sanction and embodiment in that of God towards Israel; the tenderness and care of a mother in that of the watchfulness and pity of the Lord over His people. The semi-Divine relationship between children and parents appears in the location, the far more than outward duties which it implies in the wording, of the Fifth Commandment. No punishment more prompt than that of its breach; [1130] no description more terribly realistic than that of the vengeance which overtakes such sin. [1131]

From the first days of its existence, a religious atmosphere surrounded the child of Jewish parents. Admitted in the number of God's chosen people by the deeply significant rite of circumcision, when its name was first spoken in the accents of prayer, [1132] it was henceforth separated unto God. Whether or not it accepted the privileges and obligations implied in this dedication, they came to him directly from God, as much as the circumstances of his birth. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel, the God of the promises, claimed him, with all of blessing which this conveyed, and of responsibility which resulted from it. And the first wish expressed for him was that, as he had been joined to the covenant,' so it might also be to him in regard to the Torah' (Law), to the Chuppah' (the marriage-baldachino), and to good works;' in other words, that he might live godly, soberly, and righteously in this present world' - a holy, happy, and God-devoted life. And what this was, could not for a moment be in doubt. Putting aside the overlying Rabbinic interpretations, the ideal of life was presented to the mind of the Jew in a hundred different forms - in none perhaps more popularly than in the words, These are the things of which a man enjoys the fruit in this world, but their possession continueth for the next: to honour father and mother, pious works, peacemaking between man and man, and the study of the Law, which is equivalent to them all.' [1133] This devotion to the Law was, indeed, to the Jew the all in all - the sum of intellectual pursuits, the aim of life. What better thing could a father seek for his child than this inestimable boon?

The first education was necessarily the mother's. [1134] Even the Talmud owns this, when, among the memorable sayings of the sages, it records one of the School of Rabbi Jannai, to the effect that knowledge of the Law may be looked for in those, who have sucked it in at their mother's breast. [1135] And what the true mothers in Israel were, is known not only from instances in the Old Testament, from the praise of woman in the Book of Proverbs, and from the sayings of the son of Sirach (Ecclus. iii. [1136] ), but from the Jewish women of the New Testament. [1137] If, according to a somewhat curious traditional principle, women were dispensed from all such positive obligations as were incumbent at fixed periods of time (such as putting on phylacteries), other religious duties devolved exclusively upon them. The Sabbath meal, the kindling of the Sabbath lamp, and the setting apart a portion of the dough from the bread for the household, these are but instances, with which every Taph,' as he clung to his mother's skirts, must have been familiar. Even before he could follow her in such religious household duties, his eyes must have been attracted by the Mezuzah attached to the door-post, as the name of the Most High on the outside of the little folded parchment [1138] was reverently touched by each who came or went, and then the fingers kissed that had come in contact with the Holy Name. [1139] Indeed, the duty of the Mezuzah was incumbent on women also, and one can imagine it to have been in the heathen-home of Lois and Eunice in the far-off dispersion,' where Timothy would first learn to wonder at, then to understand, its meaning. And what lessons for the past and for the present might not be connected with it! In popular opinion it was the symbol of the Divine guard over Israel's homes, the visible emblem of this joyous hymn: The Lord shall preserve thy going out and coming in, from this time forth, and even for evermore.' [1140]

There could not be national history, nor even romance, to compare with that by which a Jewish mother might hold her child entranced. And it was his own history - that of his tribe, clan, perhaps family; of the past, indeed, but yet of the present, and still more of the glorious future. Long before he could go to school, or even Synagogue, the private and united prayers and the domestic rites, whether of the weekly Sabbath or of festive seasons, would indelibly impress themselves upon his mind. In mid-winter there was the festive illumination in each home. In most houses, the first night only one candle was lit, the next two, and so on to the eighth day; and the child would learn that this was symbolic, and commemorative of the Dedication of the Temple, its purgation, and the restoration of its services by the lion-hearted Judas the Maccabee. Next came, in earliest spring, the merry time of Purim, the Feast of Esther and of Israel's deliverance through her, with its good cheer and boisterous enjoyments. [1141] Although the Passover might call the rest of the family to Jerusalem, the rigid exclusion of all leaven during the whole week could not pass without its impressions. Then, after the Feast of Weeks, came bright summer. But its golden harvest and its rich fruits would remind of the early dedication of the first and best to the Lord, and of those solemn processions in which it was carried up to Jerusalem. As autumn seared the leaves, the Feast of the New Year spoke of the casting up of man's accounts in the great Book of Judgment, and the fixing of destiny for good or for evil. Then followed the Fast of the Day of Atonement, with its tremendous solemnities, the memory of which could never fade from mind or imagination; and, last of all, in the week of the Feast of Tabernacles, there were the strange leafy booths in which they lived and joyed, keeping their harvest-thanksgiving; and praying and longing for the better harvest of a renewed world.

But it was not only through sight and hearing that, from its very inception, life in Israel became religious. There was also from the first positive teaching, of which the commencement would necessarily devolve on the mother. It needed not the extravagant laudations, nor the promises held out by the Rabbis, to incite Jewish women to this duty. If they were true to their descent, it would come almost naturally to them. Scripture set before them a continuous succession of noble Hebrew mothers. How well they followed their example, we learn from the instance of her, whose son, the child of a Gentile father, and reared far away, where there was not even a Synagogue to sustain religious life, had from an infant [1142] known the Holy Scriptures,' and that in their life-moulding influence. [1143] It was, indeed, no idle boast that the Jews were from their swaddling-clothes...trained to recognise God as their Father, and as the Maker of the world;' that, having been taught the knowledge (of the laws) from earliest youth, they bore in their souls the image of the commandments;' [1144] that from their earliest consciousness they learned the laws, so as to have them, as it were, engraven upon the soul;' [1145] and that they were brought up in learning,' exercised in the laws,' and made acquainted with the acts of their predecessors in order to their imitation of them.' [1146]

But while the earliest religious teaching would, of necessity, come from the lips of the mother, it was the father who was bound to teach his son.' [1147] To impart to the child knowledge of the Torah conferred as great spiritual distinction, as if a man had received the Law itself on Mount Horeb. [1148] Every other engagement, even the necessary meal, should give place to this paramount duty; [1149] nor should it be forgotten that, while here real labour was necessary, it would never prove fruitless. [1150] That man was of the profane vulgar (an Am ha-arets), who had sons, but failed to bring them up in knowledge of the Law. [1151] Directly the child learned to speak, his religious instruction was to begin [1152] - no doubt, with such verses of Holy Scripture as composed that part of the Jewish liturgy, which answers to our Creed. [1153] Then would follow other passages from the Bible, short prayers, and select sayings of the sages. Special attention was given to the culture of the memory, since forgetfulness might prove as fatal in its consequences as ignorance or neglect of the Law. [1154] Very early the child must have been taught what might be called his birthday-text - some verse of Scripture beginning, or ending with, or at least containing, the same letters as his Hebrew name. This guardian-promise the child would insert in its daily prayers. [1155] The earliest hymns taught would be the Psalms for the days of the week, or festive Psalms, such as the Hallel, [1156] or those connected with the festive pilgrimages to Zion.

The regular instruction commenced with the fifth or sixth year (according to strength), when every child was sent to school. [1157] There can be no reasonable doubt that at that time such schools existed throughout the land. We find references to them at almost every period; indeed, the existence of higher schools and Academies would not have been possible without such primary instruction. Two Rabbis of Jerusalem, specially distinguished and beloved on account of their educational labours, were among the last victims of Herod's cruelty. [1158] Later on, tradition ascribes to Joshua the son of Gamla the introduction of schools in every town, and the compulsory education in them of all children above the age of six. [1159] Such was the transcendent merit attaching to this act, that it seemed to blot out the guilt of the purchase for him of the High-Priestly office by his wife Martha, shortly before the commencement of the great Jewish war. [1160] [1161] To pass over the fabulous number of schools supposed to have existed in Jerusalem, tradition had it that, despite of this, the City only fell because of the neglect of the education of children. [1162] It was even deemed unlawful to live in a place where there was no school. [1163] Such a city deserved to be either destroyed or excommunicated. [1164]

It would lead too far to give details about the appointment of, and provision for, teachers, the arrangements of the schools, the method of teaching, or the subjects of study, the more so as many of these regulations date from a period later than that under review. Suffice it that, from the teaching of the alphabet or of writing, onwards to the farthest limit of instruction in the most advanced Academies of the Rabbis, all is marked by extreme care, wisdom, accuracy, and a moral and religious purpose as the ultimate object. For a long time it was not uncommon to teach in the open air; [1165] but this must have been chiefly in connection with theological discussions, and the instruction of youths. But the children were gathered in the Synagogues, or in School-houses, [1166] where at first they either stood, teacher and pupils alike, or else sat on the ground in a semicircle, facing the teacher, as it were, literally to carry into practice the prophetic saying: Thine eyes shall see thy teachers.' [1167] The introduction of benches or chairs was of later date; but the principle was always the same, that in respect of accommodation there was no distinction between teacher and taught. [1168] Thus, encircled by his pupils, as by a crown of glory (to use the language of Maimonides), the teacher - generally the Chazzan, or Officer of the Synagogue [1169] - should impart to them the precious knowledge of the Law, with constant adaptation to their capacity, with unwearied patience, intense earnestness, strictness tempered by kindness, but, above all, with the highest object of their training ever in view. To keep children from all contact with vice; to train them to gentleness, even when bitterest wrong had been received; to show sin in its repulsiveness, rather than to terrify by its consequences; to train to strict truthfulness; to avoid all that might lead to disagreeable or indelicate thoughts; and to do all this without showing partiality, without either undue severity, or laxity of discipline, with judicious increase of study and work, with careful attention to thoroughness in acquiring knowledge - all this and more constituted the ideal set before the teacher, and made his office of such high esteem in Israel.

Roughly classifying the subjects of study, it was held, that, up to ten years of age, the Bible exclusively should be the text-book; from ten to fifteen, the Mishnah, or traditional law; after that age, the student should enter on those theological discussions which occupied time and attention in the higher Academies of the Rabbis. [1170] Not that this progression would always be made. For, if after three, or, at most, five years of tuition - that is, after having fairly entered on Mishnic studies - the child had not shown decided aptitude, little hope was to be entertained of his future. The study of the Bible commenced with that of the Book of Leviticus. [1171] Thence it passed to the other parts of the Pentateuch; then to the Prophets; and, finally, to the Hagiographa. What now constitutes the Gemara or Talmud was taught in the Academies, to which access could not be gained till after the age of fifteen. Care was taken not to send a child too early to school, nor to overwork him when there. For this purpose the school-hours were fixed, and attendance shortened during the summer-months.

The teaching in school would, of course, be greatly aided by the services of the Synagogue, and the deeper influences of home-life. We know that, even in the troublous times which preceded the rising of the Maccabees, the possession of parts or the whole of the Old Testament (whether in the original or the LXX. rendering) was so common, that during the great persecutions a regular search was made throughout the land for every copy of the Holy Scriptures, and those punished who possessed them. [1172] After the triumph of the Maccabees, these copies of the Bible would, of course, be greatly multiplied. And, although perhaps only the wealthy could have purchased a MS. of the whole Old Testament in Hebrew, yet some portion or portions of the Word of God, in the original, would form the most cherished treasure of every pious household. Besides, a school for Bible-study was attached to every academy, [1173] in which copies of the Holy Scripture would be kept. From anxious care to preserve the integrity of the text, it was deemed unlawful to make copies of small portions of a book of Scripture. [1174] But exception was made of certain sections which were copied for the instruction of children. Among them, the history of the Creation to that of the Flood; Lev. i.-ix.; and Numb. i.-x. 35, are specially mentioned. [1175]

It was in such circumstances, and under such influences, that the early years of Jesus passed. To go beyond this, and to attempt lifting the veil which lies over His Child-History, would not only be presumptuous, [1176] but involve us in anachronisms. Fain would we know it, whether the Child Jesus frequented the Synagogue School; who was His teacher, and who those who sat beside Him on the ground, earnestly gazing on the face of Him Who repeated the sacrificial ordinances in the Book of Leviticus, that were all to be fulfilled in Him. But it is all a mystery of Godliness.' We do not even know quite certainly whether the school-system had, at that time, extended to far-off Nazareth; nor whether the order and method which have been described were universally observed at that time. In all probability, however, there was such a school in Nazareth, and, if so, the Child-Saviour would conform to the general practice of attendance. We may thus, still with deepest reverence, think of Him as learning His earliest earthly lesson from the Book of Leviticus. Learned Rabbis there were not in Nazareth - either then or afterwards. [1177] He would attend the services of the Synagogue, where Moses and the prophets were read, and, as afterwards by Himself, [1178] occasional addresses delivered. [1179] That His was pre-eminently a pious home in the highest sense, it seems almost irreverent to say. From His intimate familiarity with Holy Scripture, in its every detail, we may be allowed to infer that the home of Nazareth, however humble, possessed a precious copy of the Sacred Volume in its entirety. At any rate, we know that from earliest childhood it must have formed the meat and drink of the God-Man. The words of the Lord, as recorded by St. Matthew [1180] and St. Luke, [1181] also imply that the Holy Scriptures which He read were in the original Hebrew, and that they were written in the square, or Assyrian, characters. [1182] Indeed, as the Pharisees and Sadducees always appealed to the Scriptures in the original, Jesus could not have met them on any other ground, and it was this which gave such point to His frequent expostulations with them: Have ye not read?'

But far other thoughts than theirs gathered around His study of the Old Testament Scriptures. When comparing their long discussions on the letter and law of Scripture with His references to the Word of God, it seems as if it were quite another book which was handled. As we gaze into the vast glory of meaning which He opens to us; follow the shining track of heavenward living to which He points; behold the lines of symbol, type, and prediction converging in the grand unity of that Kingdom which became reality in Him; or listen as, alternately, some question of His seems to rive the darkness, as with flash of sudden light, or some sweet promise of old to lull the storm, some earnest lesson to quiet the tossing waves - we catch faint, it may be far-off, glimpses of how, in that early Child-life, when the Holy Scriptures were His special study, He must have read them, and what thoughts must have been kindled by their light. And thus better than before can we understand it: And the Child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him.'

 


[1084] And yet Keim speaks of his Hochherzigkeit and natürlicher Edelsinn! (Leben Jesu, i. 1. p. 184.) A much truer estimate is that of Schürer, Neutest. Zeitgesch. pp. 197, 198.

[1085] See the horrible description of his living death in Jos. Ant. xvii. 6. 5.

[1086] See the calculation in Wiesler's Synopse, pp. 56 and 444. The Dissertatio de Herode Magno,' by J.A. van der Chijs (Leyden, 1855), is very clear and accurate. Dr. Geikie adopts the manifest mistake of Caspari, that Herod died in January, 753, and holds that the Holy Family spent three years in Egypt. The repeated statement of Josephus that Herod died close upon the Passover should have sufficed to show the impossibility of that hypothesis. Indeed, there is scarcely any historical date on which competent writers are more agreed than that of Herod's death. See Schürer, Neutest. Zeitg., pp. 222, 223.

[1087] Meg. Taan xi, 1, ed Warsh, p. 16 a.

[1088] The Megillath Taanith itself, or Roll of Fasts,' does not mention the death of Herod. But the commentator adds to the dates 7th Kislev (Nov.) and 2nd Shebhat (Jan.), both manifestly incorrect, the notice that Herod had died - on the 2nd Shebhat, Jannai also - at the same time telling a story about the incarceration and liberatio of seventy of the Elders of Israel,' evidently a modification of Josephus' account of what passed in the Hiprodrome of Jericho. Accordingly, Grätz (Gesch. vol. iii. p. 427) and Derenbourg (pp. 101, 164) have regarded the 1st of Shebhat as really that of Herod's death. But this is impossible; and we know enough of the historical inaccuracy of the Rabbis not to attach any serious importance to their precise dates.

[1089] Jos. War i. 23. 5.

[1090] Jos. Ant. xvii. 6. 1; War i. 32. 7.

[1091] Herod had married no less than ten times. See his genealogical table.

[1092] Batanæa, Trachonitis, Auranitis, and Panias.

[1093] Jos. War i. 23. 5.

[1094] Ant. xvii 8. 2.

[1095] Ant. xvii 8. 4; 9. 5.

[1096] Ant. xvii 8. 4.

[1097] Ant. xvii. 9. 1-3.

[1098] Ant. xvii. 11. 1; War ii. 6. 1.

[1099] I cannot conceive on what ground Keim (both in Schenkel's Bible Lex, and in his Jesu von Nazara') speaks of him as a pretender to the throne.

[1100] This may have been the historical basis of the parable of our Lord in St. Luke xix. 12-27.

[1101] The revenues of Antipas were 200 talents, and those of Philip 100 talents.

[1102] This is admitted even by Braun (Söhne d. Herodes, p. 8). Despite its pretentiousness this tractate is untrustworthy, being written in a party spirit (Jewish).

[1103] We gather this from the expression, When he heard that Archelaus did reign.' Evidently Joseph had not heard who was Herod's successor, when he left Egypt. Archdeacon Farrar suggests, that the expression reigned' (as a king,' basileei - St. Matt. ii. 22) refers to the period before Augustus had changed his title from King' to Ethnarch. But this can scarcely be pressed, the word being used of other rule than that of a king, not only in the New Testament and in the Apocrypha, but by Josephus, and even by classical writers.

[1104] The language of St. Matthew (ii. 22, 23) seems to imply express Divine direction not to enter the territory of Judæa. In that case he would travel along the coast-line till he passed into Galilee. The impression left is, that the settlement at Nazareth was not of his own choice.

[1105] St. Luke ii. 40.

[1106] Yeled, the newborn babe, as in Is. ix. 6; Yoneq, the suckling, Is. xi. 8; Olel, the suckling beginning to ask for food, Lam. iv. 4; Gamul, the weaned child, Is. xxviii. 9; Taph, the child clinging to its mother, Jer. xl. 7; Elem, a child becoming firm; Naar, the lad, literally, one who shakes himself free;' and Bachur, the ripened one. (See Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' pp. 103. 104.)

[1107] This is still the common, almost universal, designation of Christ among the Jews.

[1108] Comp. ch. iv. of this book.

[1109] In accordance with Jer. xxiii. 5; xxxiii. 15; and especially Zech. iii 18.

[1110] See Appendix IX.

[1111] So in Be R. 76.

[1112] Comp. Buxtorf, Lexicon Talm. p. 1383.

[1113] All this becomes more evident by Delitzsch's ingenious suggestion (Zeitschr. fur luther. Theol. 1876, part iii. p. 402), that the real meaning, though not the literal rendering, of the words of St. Matthew, would be {hebrew} - for Nezer ['branch'] is His Name.'

[1114] One of the most absurdly curious illustrations of this is the following: He who blows his nose in the presence of his Rabbi is worthy of death' (Erub, 99 a, line 11 from bottom). The dictum is supported by an alteration in the reading of Prov. viii. 36.

[1115] Galilee covered the ancient possessions of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, and Asher. In the time of Christ it stretched northwards to the possessions of Tyre on the one side, and to Syria on the other. On the south it was bounded by Samaria - Mount Carmel on the Western, and the district of Scythopolis on the eastern side, being here landmarks; while the Jordan and the Lake of Gennesaret formed the general eastern boundary line.' (Sketches of Jewish Soc. Life. p. 33.) It was divided into Upper and Lower Galilee - the former beginning where sycomores (not our sycamores) cease to grow.' Fishing in the Lake of Galilee was free to all (Baba K. 81 b).

[1116] {hebrew} 'cantankerous' (?), Ned. 48 a.

[1117] Siphré on Numb. x. 19, ed. Friedmann, 4 a; Chag. 14 a.

[1118] Of which Jochanan, the son of Nuri, may here be regarded as the exponent.

[1119] As in the relation between bridegroom and bride, the cessation of work the day before the Passover, &c.

[1120] As in regard to animals lawful to be eaten, vows, &c.

[1121] The doctrinal, or rather Halakhic, differences between Galilee and Judæa are partially noted by Lightfoot (Chronoger. Matth. praem. lxxxvi.), and by Hamburger (Real-Enc. i. p. 395).

[1122] See Deutsch's Remains, p. 358.

[1123] The differences of pronunciation and language are indicated by Lightfoot (u.s. lxxxvii.), and by Deutsch (u. s. pp. 357, 358). Several instances of ridiculous mistakes arising from it are recorded. Thus, a woman cooked for her husband two lentils ({hebrew})instead of two feet (of an animal, {hebrew}) as desired (Nedar. 66 b). On another occasion a woman malpronounced Come, I will give thee milk,' into Companion, butter devour thee!' (Erub. 53 b). In the same connection other similar stories are told. Comp. also Neubauer, Geogr. du Talmud, p. 184, G. de Rossi, della lingua prop. di Cristo, Dissert. I. passim.

[1124] Erub. 53 b.

[1125] The Rabbi asked: What road leads to Lydda? - using four words. The woman pointed out that, since it was not lawful to multiply speech with a woman, he should have asked: Whither to Lydda? - in two words.

[1126] In fact, only four great Galilean Rabbis are mentioned. The Galileans are said to have inclined towards mystical (Kabbalistic?) pursuits.

[1127] Gelpke, Jugendgesch, des Herrn, has, at least in our days, little value beyond its title.

[1128] The words in spirit' are of doubtful authority. But their omission can be of no consequence, since the waxing strong' evidently refers to the mental development, as the subsequent clause shows.

[1129] St. Luke ii. 40.

[1130] Deut. xxi. 18-21.

[1131] Prov. xxx. 17.

[1132] See the notice of these rites at the circumcision of John the Baptist, in ch. iv. of his Book.

[1133] Peah i. 1.

[1134] Comp. Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' pp. 86-160, the literature there quoted: Duschak, Schulgesetzgebung d. alten Isr.; and Dr. Marcus, Pædagog. d. Isr. Volkes.

[1135] Ber. 63 b.

[1136] The counterpart is in Ecclus. xxx.

[1137] Besides the holy women who are named in the Gospels, we would refer to the mothers of Zebedee's children and of Mark, to Dorcas, Lydia, Lois, Eunice, Priscilla, St. John's elect lady,' and others.

[1138] On which Deut.vi. 4-9 and xi. 13-21 were inscribed.

[1139] Jos. Ant. iv. 8. 13; Ber.iii. 3; Megill. i. 8; Moed K. iii.

[1140] Ps. cxxi. 8.

[1141] Some of its customs almost remind us of our 5th of November.

[1142] The word brphos has no other meaning than that of infant' or babe.'

[1143] 2 Tim. iii. 15; i. 5.

[1144] Philo, Legat. ad Cajum, sec. 16. 31.

[1145] Jos. Ag. Apion ii. 19.

[1146] Jos. Ag. Apion ii. 26; comp. 1. 8, 12; ii. 27.

[1147] Kidd, 29 a.

[1148] Sanh. 99 b.

[1149] Kidd, 30 a.

[1150] Meg. 6 b.

[1151] Sot. 22 a.

[1152] Succ. 42 a.

[1153] The Shema.

[1154] Ab. iii. 9

[1155] Comp. Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' pp. 159 &c. The enigmatic mode of wording and writing was very common. Thus, the year is marked by a verse, generally from Scripture, which contains the letters that give the numerical value of the year. These letters are indicated by marks above them.

[1156] Ps. cxiii. - cxviii.

[1157] Baba B. 21 a; Keth. 50 a.

[1158] Jos. Ant. xvii. 6. 2.

[1159] Baba B. 21 a.

[1160] Yebam. 61 a; Yoma 18 a.

[1161] He was succeeded by Matthias, the son of Theophilos, under whose Pontificate the war against Rome began.

[1162] Shabb. 119 b.

[1163] Sanh. 17 b.

[1164] Shabb. u.s.

[1165] Shabb. 127 a; Moed K. 16. a.

[1166] Among the names by which the schools are designated there is also that of Ischoli, with its various derivations, evidently from the Greek schol, schola.

[1167] Is. xxx. 20.

[1168] The proof-passages from the Talmud are collated by Dr. Marcus (Pædagog. d. Isr. Volkes, ii. pp. 16, 17).

[1169] For example, Shabb. 11 a.

[1170] Ab. v. 21.

[1171] Altingius (Academic. Dissert. p. 335) curiously suggests, that this was done to teach a child its guilt and the need of justification. The Rabbinical interpretation (Vayyikra R. 7) is at least equally far-fetched: that, as children are pure and sacrifices pure, it is fitting that the pure should busy themselves with the pure. The obvious reason seems, that Leviticus treated of the ordinances with which every Jew ought to have been acquainted.

[1172] 1 Macc. i. 57; comp. Jos. Ant. xii. 5. 4.

[1173] Jer. Meg. iii. 1, p. 73 d.

[1174] Herzfeld (Gesch. d. V. Isr. iii. p. 267, note) strangely misquotes and misinterprets this matter. Comp. Dr. Müller, Massech. Sofer. p. 75.

[1175] Sopher. v. 9, p. 25 b; Gitt. 60 a; Jer. Meg. 74 a; Tos. Yad. 2.

[1176] The most painful instances of these are the legendary accounts of the early history of Christ in the Apocryphal Gospels (well collated by Keim, i. 2, pp. 413-468, passim). But later writers are unfortunately not wholly free from the charge.

[1177] I must here protest against the introduction of imaginary Evening Scenes in Nazareth,' when, according to Dr. Geikie, friends or neighbours of Joseph's circle would meet for an hour's quiet gossip.' Dr. Geikie here introduces as specimens of this quiet gossip' a number of Rabbinic quotations from the German translation in Dukes' Rabbinische Blumenlese.' To this it is sufficient answer: 1. There were no such learned Rabbis in Nazareth. 2. If there had been, they would not have been visitors in the house of Joseph. 3. If they had been visitors there, they would not have spoken what Dr. Geikie quotes from Dukes, since some of the extracts are from mediæval books and only one a proverbial expression. 4. Even if they had so spoken, it would at least have been in the words which Dukes has translated, without the changes and additions which Dr. Geikie has introduced in some instances.

[1178] St. Luke iv. 16.

[1179] See Book III., the chapter on The Synagogue of Nazareth.'

[1180] St. Matt. v. 18.

[1181] St. Luke xvi. 17.

[1182] This may be gathered even from such an expression as One iota, or one little hook' - not tittle' as in the A.V.


CHAPTER X.
IN THE HOUSE OF HIS HEAVENLY, AND IN THE HOME OF HIS EARTHLY FATHER - THE TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM - THE RETIREMENT AT NAZARETH.

(St. Luke ii. 41-52.)

Once only is the great silence, which lies on the history of Christ's early life, broken. It is to record what took place on His first visit to the Temple. What this meant, even to an ordinary devout Jew, may easily be imagined. Where life and religion were so intertwined, and both in such organic connection with the Temple and the people of Israel, every thoughtful Israelite must have felt as if his real life were not in what was around, but ran up into the grand unity of the people of God, and were compassed by the halo of its sanctity. To him it would be true in the deepest sense, that, so to speak, each Israelite was born in Zion, as, assuredly, all the well-springs of his life were there. [1183] It was, therefore, not merely the natural eagerness to see the City of their God and of their fathers, glorious Jerusalem; nor yet the lawful enthusiasm, national or religious, which would kindle at the thought of our feet' standing within those gates, through which priests, prophets, and kings had passed; but far deeper feelings which would make glad, when it was said: Let us go into the house of Jehovah.' They were not ruins to which precious memories clung, nor did the great hope seem to lie afar off, behind the evening-mist. But glorious things were spoken of Zion, the City of God' - in the past, and in the near future the thrones of David' were to be set within her walls, and amidst her palaces. [1184]

In strict law, personal observance of the ordinances, and hence attendance on the feasts at Jerusalem, devolved on a youth only when he was of age, that is, at thirteen years. Then he became what was called a son of the Commandment,' or of the Torah.' [1185] But, as a matter of fact, the legal age was in this respect anticipated by two years, or at least by one. [1186] It was in accordance with this custom, that, [1187] on the first Pascha after Jesus had passed His twelfth year, His Parents took Him with them in the company' of the Nazarenes to Jerusalem. The text seems to indicate, that it was their wont [1188] to go up to the Temple; and we mark that, although women were not bound to make such personal appearance, [1189] Mary gladly availed herself of what seems to have been the direction of Hillel (followed also by other religious women, mentioned in Rabbinic writings), to go up to the solemn services of the Sanctuary. Politically, times had changed. The weak and wicked rule of Archelaus had lasted only nine years, [1190] when, in consequence of the charges against him, he was banished to Gaul. Judæa, Samaria and Idumæa were now incorporated into the Roman province of Syria, under its Governor, or Legate. The special administration of that part of Palestine was, however, entrusted to a Procurator, whose ordinary residence was at Cæsarea. It will be remembered, that the Jews themselves had desired some such arrangement, in te vain hope that, freed from the tyranny of the Herodians, they might enjoy the semi-independence of their brethren in the Grecian cities. But they found it otherwise. Their privileges were not secured to them; their religious feelings and prejudices were constantly, though perhaps not intentionally, outraged; [1191] and their Sanhedrin shorn of its real power, though the Romans would probably not interfere in what might be regarded as purely religious questions. Indeed, the very presence of the Roman power in Jerusalem was a constant offence, and must necessarily have issued in a life and death struggle. One of the first measures of the new Legate of Syria, P. Sulpicius Quirinius, [1192] after confiscating the ill-gotten wealth of Archelaus, was to order a census in Palestine, with the view of fixing the taxation of the country. [1193] The popular excitement which this called forth was due, probably, not so much to opposition on principle, [1194] as to this, that the census was regarded as the badge of servitude, and incompatible with the Theocratic character of Israel. [1195] Had a census been considered absolutely contrary to the Law, the leading Rabbis would never have submitted to it; [1196] nor would the popular resistance to the measure of Quirinius have been quelled by the representations of the High-Priest Joazar. But, although through his influence the census was allowed to be taken, the popular agitation was not suppressed. Indeed, that movement formed part of the history of the time, and not only affected political and religious parties in the land, but must have been presented to the mind of Jesus Himself, since, as will be shown, it had a representative within His own family circle.

This accession of Herod, misnamed the Great, marked a period in Jewish history, which closed with the war of despair against Rome and the flames of Jerusalem and the Temple. It gave rise to the appearance of what Josephus, despite his misrepresentation of them, rightly calls a fourth party - besides the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes - that of the Nationalists. [1197] A deeper and more independent view of the history of the times would, perhaps, lead us to regard the whole country as ranged either with or against that party. As afterwards expressed in its purest and simplest form, their watchword was, negatively, to call no human being their absolute lord; [1198] positively, that God alone was to lead as absolute Lord. [1199] It was, in fact, a revival of the Maccabean movement, perhaps more fully in its national than in its religious aspect, although the two could scarcely be separated in Israel, and their motto almost reads like that which according to some, furnished the letters whence the name Maccabee [1200] was composed: Mi Camochah Baelim Jehovah, Who like Thee among the gods, Jehovah?' [1201] It is characteristic of the times and religious tendencies, that their followers were no more called, as before, Assideans or Chasidim, the pious,' but Zealots (zelotai) or by the Hebrew equivalent Qannaim (Cananæans, not Canaanites,' as in A.V.) The real home of that party was not Judæa nor Jerusalem, but Galilee.

Quite other, and indeed antagonistic, tendencies prevailed in the stronghold of the Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees. Of the latter only a small portion had any real sympathy with the national movement. Each party followed its own direction. The Essenes, absorbed in theosophic speculations, not untinged with Eastern mysticism, withdrew from all contact with the world, and practiced an ascetic life. With them, whatever individuals may have felt, no such movement could have originated; nor yet with the Herodians or Boethusians, who combined strictly Pharisaic views with Herodian political partisanship; nor yet with the Sadducees; nor, finally, with what constituted the great bulk of the Rabbinist party, the School of Hillel. But the brave, free Highlanders of Galilee, and of the region across their glorious lake, seemed to have inherited the spirit of Jephthah, [1202] and to have treasured as their ideal - alas! often wrongly apprehended - their own Elijah, as, descending in wild, shaggy garb from the mountains of Gilead, he did battle against all the might of Ahab and Jezebel. Their enthusiasm could not be kindled by the logical subtleties of the Schools, but their hearts burned within them for their God, their land, their people, their religion, and their freedom.

It was in Galilee, accordingly, that such wild, irregular resistance to Herod at the outset of his career, as could be offered, was organised by guerilla bands, which traversed the country, and owned one Ezekias as their leader. Although Josephus calls them robbers,' a far different estimate of them obtained in Jerusalem, where, as we remember, the Sanhedrin summoned Herod to answer for the execution of Esekias. What followed is told in substantially the same manner, though with difference of form [1203] and, sometimes, nomenclature, by Josephus, [1204] and in the Talmud. [1205] The story has already been related in another connection. Suffice it that, after the accession of Herod, the Sanhedrin became a shadow of itself. It was packed with Sadducees and Priests of the King's nomination, and with Doctors of the canon-law, whose only aim was to pursue in peace their subtleties; who had not, and, from their contempt of the people, could not have, any real sympathy with national aspirations; and whose ideal heavenly Kingdom was a miraculous, heaven-instituted, absolute rule of Rabbis. Accordingly, the national movement, as it afterwards developed, received neither the sympathy nor the support of leading Rabbis. Perhaps the most gross manifestation of this was exhibited, shortly before the taking of Jerusalem, by R. Jochanan ben Saccai, the most renowned among its teachers. Almost unmoved he had witnessed the portent of the opening of the Temple-doors by an unseen Hand, which, by an interpretation of Zech. xi. 1, was popularly regarded as betokening its speedy destruction. [1206] [1207] There is cynicism, as well as want of sympathy, in the story recorded by tradition, that when, in the straits of famine during the siege, Jochanan saw people eagerly feasting on soup made from straw, he scouted the idea of such a garrison resisting Vespasian and immediately resolved to leave the city. [1208] In fact, we have distinct evidence that R. Jochanan had, as leader of the School of Hillel, used all his influence, although in vain, to persuade the people to submission to Rome. [1209]

We can understand it, how this school had taken so little interest in anything purely national. Generally only one side of the character of Hillel has been presented by writers, and even this in greatly exaggerated language. His much lauded gentleness, peacefulness, and charity were rather negative than positive qualities. He was a philosophic Rabbi, whose real interest lay in a far other direction than that of sympathy with the people - and whose motto seemed, indeed, to imply, We, the sages, are the people of God; but this people, who know not the Law, are curse.' [1210] A far deeper feeling, and intense, though misguided earnestness pervaded the School of Shammai. It was in the minority, but it sympathised with the aspirations of the people. It was not philosophic nor eclectic, but intensely national. It opposed all approach to, and by, strangers; it dealt harshly with proselytes, [1211] even the most distinguished (such as Akylas or Onkelos); [1212] it passed, by first murdering a number of Hillelites who had come to the deliberative assembly, eighteen decrees, of which the object was to prevent all intercourse with Gentiles; [1213] and it furnished leaders or supporters of the national movement.

We have marked the rise of the Nationalist party in Galilee at the time of Herod's first appearance on the scene, and learned how mercilessly he tried to suppress it: first, by the execution of Ezekias and his adherents, and afterwards, when he became King of Judæa, by the slaughter of the Sanhedrists. The consequence of this unsparing severity was to give Rabbinism a different direction. The School of Hillel which henceforth commanded the majority, were men of no political colour, theological theorists, self-seeking Jurists, vain rather than ambitious. The minority, represented by the School of Shammai, were Nationalists. Defective and even false as both tendencies were, there was certainly more hope, as regarded the Kingdom of God, of the Nationalists than of the Sophists and Jurists. It was, of course, the policy of Herod to suppress all national aspirations. No one understood the meaning of Jewish Nationalism so well as he; no one ever opposed it so sytematically. There was internal fitness, so to speak, in his attempt to kill the King of the Jews among the infants of Bethlehem. The murder of the Sanhedrists, with the consequent new anti-Messianic tendency of Rabbinism, was one measure in that direction; the various appointments which Herod made to the High-Priesthood another. And yet it was not easy, even in those times, to deprive the Pontificate of its power and influence. The High-Priest was still the representative of the religious life of the people, and he acted on all occasions, when the question under discussion was not one exclusively of subtle canon-law, as the President of the Sanhedrin, in which, indeed, the members of his family had evidently seat and vote. [1214] The four families [1215] from which, with few exceptions, the High-Priest - however often changed - were chosen, absorbed the wealth, and commanded the influence, of a state-endowed establishment, in its worst times. It was, therefore, of the utmost importance to make wise choice of the High-Priest. With the exception of the brief tenure by Aristobulus, the last of the Maccabees - whose appointment, too soon followed by his murder, was at the time a necessity - all the Herodian High-Priests were non-Palestinians. A keener blow than this could not have been dealt at Nationalism.

The same contempt for the High-Priesthood characterised the brief reign of Archelaus. On his death-bed, Herod had appointed to the Pontificate Joazar, a son of Boethos, the wealthy Alexandrian priest, whose daughter, Mariamme II., he had married. The Boethusian family, allied to Herod, formed a party - the Herodians - who combined strict Pharisaic views with devotion to the reigning family. [1216] Joazar took the popular part against Archelaus, on his accession. For this he was deprived of his dignity in favour of another son of Boethos, Eleazar by name. But the mood of Archelaus was fickle - perhaps he was distrustful of the family of Boethos. At any rate, Eleazar had to give place to Jesus, the son of Sië, an otherwise unknown individual. At the time of the taxing of Quirinius we find Joazar again in office, [1217] apparently restored to it by the multitude, which, having taken matters into its own hands at the change of government, recalled one who had formerly favoured national aspirations. [1218] It is thus that we explain his influence with the people, in persuading them to submit to the Roman taxation.

But if Joazar had succeeded with the unthinking populace, he failed to conciliate the more advanced of his own party, and, as the event proved, the Roman authorities also, whose favour he had hoped to gain. It will be remembered, that the Nationalist party - or Zealots,' as they were afterwards called - first appeared in those guerilla-bands which traversed Galilee under the leadership of Ezekias, whom Herod executed. But the National party was not destroyed, only held in check, during his iron reign. It was once more the family of Ezekias that headed the movement. During the civil war which followed the accession of Archelaus, or rather was carried on while he was pleading his cause in Rome, the standard of the Nationalists was again raised in Galilee. Judas, the son of Ezekias, took possession of the city of Sepphoris, and armed his followers from the royal arsenal there. At that time, as we know, the High-Priest Joazar sympathised, at least indirectly, with the Nationalists. The rising, which indeed was general throughout Palestine, was suppressed by fire and sword, and the sons of Herod were enabled to enter on their possessions. But when, after the deposition of Archelaus, Joazar persuaded the people to submit to the taxing of Quirinius, Judas was not disposed to follow what he regarded as the treacherous lead of the Pontiff. In conjunction with a Shammaite Rabbi, Sadduk, he raised again the standard of revolt, although once more unsuccessfully. [1219] How the Hillelites looked upon this movement, we gather even from the slighting allusion of Gamaliel. [1220] The family of Ezekias furnished other martyrs to the National cause. The two sons of Judas died for it on the cross in 46 a.d. [1221] Yet a third son, Manahem, who, from the commencement of the war against Rome, was one of the leaders of the most fanatical Nationalists, the Sicarii - the Jacobins of the party, as they have been aptly designated - died under unspeakable sufferings, [1222] while a fouth member of the family, Eleazar, was the leader of Israel's forlorn hope, and nobly died at Masada, in the closing drama of the Jewish war of independence. [1223] Of such stuff were the Galilean Zealots made. But we have to take this intense Nationalist tendency also into account in the history of Jesus, the more so that at least one of His disciples, and he a member of His family, had at one time belonged to the party. Only the Kingdom of which Jesus was the King was, as He Himself said, not of this world, and of far different conception from that for which the Nationalists longed.

At the time when Jesus went up to the feast, Quirinius was, as already stated, Governor of Syria. The taxing and the rising of Judas were alike past; and the Roman Governor, dissatisfied with the trimming of Joazar, and distrustful of him, had appointed in his stead Ananos, the son of Seth, the Annas of infamous memory in the New Testament. With brief interruption, he or his son held the Pontifical office till, under the Procuratorship of Pilate, Caiaphas, the son-in-law of Annas, succeeded to that dignity. It has already been stated that, subject to the Roman Governors of Syria, the rule of Palestine devolved on Procurators, of whom Coponius was the first. Of him and his immediate successors - Marcus Ambivius, [1224] Annius Rufus, [1225] and Valerius Gratus, [1226] we know little. They were, indeed, guilty of the most grievous fiscal oppressions, but they seem to have respected, so far as was in them, the religious feelings of the Jews. We know, that they even removed the image of the Emperor from the standards of the Roman soldiers before marching them into Jerusalem, so as to avoid the appearance of a cultus of the Cæsars. It was reserved for Pontius Pilate to force this hated emblem on the Jews, and otherwise to set their most sacred feelings at defiance. But we may notice, even at this stage, with what critical periods in Jewish history the public appearance of Christ synchronised. His first visit to the Temple followed upon the Roman possession of Judæa, the taxing, and the national rising, as also the institution of Annas to the High-Priesthood. And the commencement of His public Ministry was contemporaneous with the accession of Pilate, and the institution of Caiaphas. Whether viewed subjectively or objectively, these things also have a deep bearing upon the history of the Christ.

It was, as we reckon it, in spring a.d. 9, that Jesus for the first time went up to the Paschal Feast in Jerusalem. Coponius would be there as the Procurator; and Annas ruled in the Temple as High-Priest, when He appeared among its doctors. But far other than political thoughts must have occupied the mind of Christ. Indeed, for a time a brief calm had fallen upon the land. There was nothing to provoke active resistance, and the party of the Zealots, although existing, and striking deeper root in the hearts of the people, was, for the time, rather what Josephus called it, the philosphical party' - their minds busy with an ideal, which their hands were not yet preparing to make a reality. And so, when, according to ancient wont, [1227] the festive company from Nazareth, soon swelled by other festive bands, went up to Jerusalem, chanting by the way those Psalms of Ascent' [1228] to the accompaniment of the flute, they might implicitly yield themselves to the spiritual thoughts kindled by such words.

When the pilgrims' feet stood within the gates of Jerusalem, there could have been no difficulty in finding hospitality, however crowded the City may have been on such occasions [1229] - the more so when we remember the extreme simplicity of Eastern manners and wants, and the abundance of provisions which the many sacrifices of the season would supply. But on this subject, also, the Evangelic narrative keeps silence. Glorious as a view of Jerusalem must have seemed to a child coming to it for the first time from the retirement of a Galilean village, we must bear in mind, that He Who now looked upon it was not an ordinary Child. Nor are we, perhaps, mistaken in the idea that the sight of its grandeur would, as on another occasion, [1230] awaken in Him not so much feelings of admiration, which might have been akin to those of pride, as of sadness, though He may as yet have been scarcely conscious of its deeper reason. But the one all-engrossing thought would be of the Temple. This, his first visit to its halls, seems also to have called out the first outspoken - and may we not infer, the first conscious - thought of that Temple as the House of His Father, and with it the first conscious impulse of his Mission and Being. Here also it would be the higher meaning, rather than the structure and appearance, of the Temple, that would absorb the mind. And yet there was sufficient, even in the latter, to kindle enthusiasm. As the pilgrim ascended the Mount, crested by that symmetrically proportioned building, which could hold within its gigantic girdle not fewer than 210,000 persons, his wonder might well increase at every step. The Mount itself seemed like an island, abruptly rising from out deep valleys, surrounded by a sea of walls, palaces, streets, and houses, and crowned by a mass of snowy marble and glittering gold, rising terrace upon terrace. Altogether it measured a square of about 1,000 feet, or, to give a more exact equivalent of the measurements furnished by the Rabbis, 927 feet. At its north-western angle, and connected with it, frowned the Castle of Antonia, held by the Roman garrison. The lofty walls were pierced by massive gates - the unused gate (Tedi) on the north; the Susa Gate on the east, which opened on the arched roadway to the Mount of Olives; [1231] the two so-called Huldah' (probably, weasel') gates, which led by tunnels [1232] from the priest-suburb Ophel into the outer Court; and, finally, four gates on the west.

Within the gates ran all around covered double colonnades, with here are there benches for those who resorted thither for prayer or for conference. The most magnificent of those was the southern, or twofold double colonnade, with a wide space between; the most venerable, the ancient Solomon's Porch,' or eastern colonnade. Entering from the Xystus bridge, and under the tower of John, [1233] one would pass along the southern colonnade (over the tunnel of the Huldah-gates) to its eastern extremity, over which another tower rose, probably the pinnacle' of the history of the Temptation. From this height yawned the Kedron valley 450 feet beneath. From that lofty pinnacle the priest each morning watched and announced the earliest streak of day. Passing along the eastern colonnade, or Solomon's Porch, we would, if the description of the Rabbis is trustworthy, have reached the Susa Gate, the carved representation of that city over the gateway reminding us of the Eastern Dispersion. Here the standard measures of the Temple are said to have been kept; and here, also, we have to locate the first or lowest of the three Sanhedrins, which, according to the Mishnah, [1234] held their meetings in the Temple; the second, or intermediate Court of Appeal, being in the Court of the Priests' (probably close to the Nicanor Gate); and the highest, that of the Great Sanhedrin, at one time in the Hall of Hewn Square Stones' (Lishkath ha-Gazith.)

Passing out of these colonnades,' or porches,' you entered the Court of the Gentiles,' or what the Rabbis called the Mount of the House,' which was widest on the west side, and more and more narrow respectively on the east, the south, and the north. This was called the Chol, or profane' place to which Gentiles had access. Here must have been the market for the sale of sacrificial animals, the tables of the money-changers, and places for the sale of other needful articles. [1235] [1236] Advancing within this Court, you reached a low breast-wall (the Soreg), which marked the space beyond which no Gentile, nor Levitically unclean person, might proceed - tablets, bearing inscriptions to that effect, warning them off. Thirteen openings admitted into the inner part of the Court. Thence fourteen steps led up to the Chel or Terrace, which was bounded by the wall of the Temple-buildings in the stricter sense. A flight of steps led up to the massive, splendid gates. The two on the west side seem to have been of no importance, so far as the worshippers were concerned, and probably intended for the use of workmen. North and south were four gates. [1237] But the most splendid gate was that to the east, termed the Beautiful.' [1238]

Entering by the latter, you came into the Court of the Women, so called because the women occupied in it two elevated and separated galleries, which, however, filled only part of the Court. Fifteen steps led up to the Upper Court, which was bounded by a wall, and where was the celebrated Nicanor Gate, covered with Corinthian brass. Here the Levites, who conducted the musical part of the service, were placed. In the Court of the Women were the Treasury and the thirteen Trumpets,' while at each corner were chambers or halls, destined for various purposes. Similarly, beyond the fifteen steps, there were repositories for the musical instruments. The Upper Court was divided into two parts by a boundary - the narrow part forming the Court of Israel, and the wider that of the Priests, in which were the great Altar and the Laver.

The Sanctuary itself was on a higher terrace than that Court of the Priests. Twelve steps led up to its Porch, which extended beyond it on either side (north and south). Here, in separate chambers, all that was necessary for the sacrificial service was kept. On two marble tables near the entrance the old shewbread which was taken out, and the new that was brought in, were respectively placed. The Porch was adorned by votive presents, conspicuous among them a massive golden vine. A two-leaved gate opened into the Sanctuary itself, which was divided into two parts. The Holy Place had the Golden Candlestick (south), the Table of Shewbread (north), and the Golden Altar of Incense between them. A heavy double veil concealed the entrance to the Most Holy Place, which in the second Temple was empty, nothing being there but the piece of rock, called the Ebhen Shethiyah, or Foundation Stone, which, according to tradition, covered the mouth of the pit, and on which, it was thought, the world was founded. Nor does all this convey an adequate idea of the vastness of the Temple-buildings. For all around the Sanctuary and each of the Courts were various chambers and out-buildings, which served different purposes connected with the Services of the Temple. [1239]

In some part of this Temple, sitting in the midst of the Doctors, [1240] both hearing them and asking them questions,' we must look for the Child Jesus on the third and the two following days of the Feast on which He first visited the Sanctuary. Only on the two first days of the Feast of Passover was personal attendance in the Temple necessary. With the third day commenced the so-called half-holydays, when it was lawful to return to one's home [1241] - a provision of which, no doubt, many availed themselves. Indeed, there was really nothing of special interest to detain the pilgrims. For, the Passover had been eaten, the festive sacrifice (or Chagigah) offered, and the first ripe barely reaped and brought to the Temple, and waved as the Omer of first flour before the Lord. Hence, in view of the well-known Rabbinic provision, the expression in the Gospel-narrative concerning the Parents' of Jesus, when they had fulfilled the days,' [1242]   cannot necessarily imply that Joseph and the Mother of Jesus had remained in Jerusalem during the whole Paschal week. [1243] On the other hand, the circumstances connected with the presence of Jesus could not have been found among the Doctors after the close of the Feast. The first question here is as to the locality in the Temple, where the scene has to be laid. It has, indeed, been commonly supposed that there was a Synagogue in the Temple; but of this there is, to say the least, no historical evidence. [1244] But even if such had existed, the worship and addresses of the Synagogue would not have offered any opportunity for the questioning on the part of Jesus which the narrative implies. Still more groundless is the idea that there was in the Temple something like a Beth ha-Midrash, or theological Academy, not to speak of the circumstance that a child of twelve would not, at any time, have been allowed to take part in its discussions. But there were occasions on which the Temple became virtually, though not formally, a Beth ha-Midrash. For we read in the Talmud, [1245] that the members of the Temple-Sanhedrin, who on ordinary days sat as a Court of Appeal, from the close of the Morning-to the time of the Evening-Sacrifice, were wont on Sabbaths and feast-days to come out upon the Terrace' of the Temple, and there to teach. In such popular instruction the utmost latitude of questioning would be given. It is in this audience, which sat on the ground, surrounding and mingling with the Doctors - and hence during, not after the Feast - that we must seek the Child Jesus.

But we have yet to show that the presence and questioning of a Child of that age did not necessarily imply anything so extraordinary, as to convey the idea of supernaturalness to those Doctors or others in the audience. Jewish tradition gives other instances of precocious and strangely advanced students. Besides, scientific theological learning would not be necessary to take part in such popular discussions. If we may judge from later arrangements, not only in Babylon, but in Palestine, there were two kinds of public lectures, and two kinds of students. The first, or more scientific class, was designated Kallah (literally, bride), and its attendants Beney-Kallah (children of the bride). These lectures were delivered in the last month of summer (Elul), before the Feast of the New Year, and in the last winter month (Adar), immediately before the Feast of Passover. They implied considerable preparation on the part of the lecturing Rabbis, and at least some Talmudic knowledge on the part of the attendants. On the other hand, there were Students of the Court (Chatsatsta, and in Babylon Tarbitsa), who during ordinary lectures sat separated from the regular students by a kind of hedge, outside, as it were in the Court, some of whom seem to have been ignorant even of the Bible. The lectures addressed to such a general audience would, of course, be of a very different character. [1246]

But if there was nothing so unprecedented as to render His Presence and questioning marvellous, yet all who heard Him were amazed' at His combinative insight' [1247] and discerning answers.' [1248] We scarcely venture to inquire towards what His questioning had been directed. Judging by what we know of such discussion, we infer that they may have been connected with the Paschal solemnities. Grave Paschal questions did arise. Indeed, the great Hillel obtained his rank as chief when he proved to the assembled Doctors that the Passover might be offered even on the Sabbath. [1249] Many other questions might arise on the subject of the Passover. Or did the Child Jesus - as afterwards, in connection with the Messianic teaching [1250] - lead up by His questions to the deeper meaning of the Paschal solemnities, as it was to be unfolded, when Himself was offered up, the Lamb of God, Which taketh away the sin of the world?'

Other questions also almost force themselves on the mind - most notably this: whether on the occasion of this His first visit to the Temple, the Virgin-Mother had told her Son the history of His Infancy, and of what had happened when, for the first time, He had been brought to the Temple. It would almost seem so, if we might judge from the contrast between the Virgin-Mother's complaint about the search of His father and of her, and His own emphatic appeal to the business of His Father. But most surprising, truly wonderful it must have seemed to Joseph, and even to the Mother of Jesus, that the meek, quiet Child should have been found in such company, and so engaged. It must have been quite other than what, from His past, they would have expected; or they would not have taken it for granted, when they left Jerusalem, that He was among their kinsfolk and acquaintance, perhaps mingling with the children. Nor yet would they, in such case, after they missed Him at the first night's halt - at Sichem, [1251] if the direct road north, through Samaria, [1252] was taken (or, according to the Mishnah, at Akrabah [1253] ) - have so anxiously sought Him by the way, [1254] and in Jerusalem; nor yet would they have been amazed' when they found Him in the assembly of the Doctors. The reply of Jesus to the half-reproachful, half-relieved expostulation of them who had sought Him sorrowing' these three days, [1255] sets clearly these three things before us. He had been so entirely absorbed by the awakening thought of His Being and Mission, however kindled, as to be not only neglectful, but forgetful of all around. Nay, it even seemed to Him impossible to understand how they could have sought Him, and not known where He had lingered. Secondly: we may venture to say, that He now realised that this was emphatically His Father's House. And, thirdly: so far as we can judge, it was then and there that, for the first time, He felt the strong and irresistible impulse - that Divine necessity of His Being - to be about His Father's business.' [1256] We all, when first awakening to spiritual consciousness - or, perhaps, when for the first time taking part in the feast of the Lord's House - may, and, learning from His example, should, make this the hour of decision, in which heart and life shall be wholly consecrated to the business' of our Father. But there was far more than this in the bearing of Christ on this occasion. That forgetfulness of His Child-life was a sacrifice - a sacrifice of self; that entire absorption in His Father's business, without a thought of self, either in the gratification of curiosity, the acquisition of knowledge, or personal ambition - a consecration of Himself unto God. It was the first manifestation of His passive and active obedience to the Will of God. Even at this stage, it was the forth-bursting of the inmost meaning of His Life: My meat is to do the Will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.' And yet this awakening of the Christ-consciousness on His first visit to the Temple, partial, and perhaps even temporary, as it may have been, seems itself like the morning-dawn, which from the pinnacle of the Temple the Priest watched, ere he summoned his waiting brethren beneath to offer the early sacrifice.

From what we have already learned of this History, we do not wonder that the answer of Jesus came to His parents as a fresh surprise. For, we can only understand what we perceive in its totality. But here each fresh manifestation came as something separate and new - not as part of a whole; and therefore as a surprise, of which the purport and meaning could not be understood, except in its organic connection and as a whole. And for the true human development of the God-Man, what was the natural was also the needful process, even as it was best for the learning of Mary herself, and for the future reception of His teaching. These three subsidiary reasons may once more be indicated here in explanation of the Virgin-Mother's seeming ignorance of her Son's true character: the necessary gradualness of such a revelation; the necessary development of His own consciousness; and the fact, that Jesus could not have been subject to His Parents, nor had true and proper human training, if they had clearly known that He was the essential Son of God.

A further, though to us it seems a downward step, was His quiet, immediate, unquestioning return to Nazareth with His Parents, and His willing submission [1257] to them while there. It was self-denial, self-sacrifice, self-consecration to His Mission, with all that it implied. It was not self-exinanition but self-submission, all the more glorious in proportion to the greatness of that Self. This constant contrast before her eyes only deepened in the heart of Mary the everpresent impression of all those matters,' [1258] of which she was the most cognisant. She was learning to spell out the word Messiah, as each of those matters' taught her one fresh letter in it, and she looked at them all in the light of the Nazareth-Sun.

With His return to Nazareth began Jesus' Life of youth and early manhood, with all of inward and outward development, of heavenly and earthly approbation which it carried. [1259] Whether or not He went to Jerusalem on recurring Feasts, we know not, and need not inquire. For only once during that period - on His first visit to the Temple, and in the awakening of His Youth-Life - could there have been such outward forth-bursting of His real Being and Mission. Other influences were at their silent work to weld His inward and outward development, and to determine the manner of His later Manifesting of Himself. We assume that the School-education of Jesus must have ceased soon after His return to Nazareth. Henceforth the Nazareth-influences on the Life and Thinking of Jesus may be grouped - and progressively as He advanced from youth to manhood - under these particulars: Home, Nature, and Prevailing Ideas.

1. Home. Jewish Home-Life, especially in the country, was of the simplest. Even in luxurious Alexandria it seems often to have been such, alike as regarded the furnishing of the house, and the provisions of the table. [1260] The morning and midday meal must have been of the plainest, and even the larger evening meal of the simplest, in the home at Nazareth. Only the Sabbath and festivals, whether domestic or public, brought what of the best lay within reach. But Nazareth was not the city of the wealthy or influential, and such festive evening-entertainments, with elaborate ceremoniousness of reception, arranging of guests according to rank, and rich spread of board, would but rarely, if ever, be witnessed in those quiet homes. The same simplicity would prevail in dress and manners. [1261] But close and loving were the bonds which drew together the members of a family, and deep the influence which they exercised on each other. We cannot here discuss the vexed question whether the brothers and sisters' of Jesus were such in the real sense, or step-brothers and sisters, or else cousins, though it seems to us as if the primary meaning of the terms would scarcely have been called in question, but for a theory of false asceticism, and an undervaluing of the sanctity of the married estate. [1262] But, whatever the precise relationship between Jesus and these brothers and sisters,' it must, on any theory, have been of the closest, and exercised its influence upon Him. [1263]

Passing over Joses or Joseph, of whose history we know next to nothing, we have sufficient materials to enable us to form some judgment of what must have been the tendencies and thoughts of two of His brothers James and Jude, before they were heart and soul followers of the Messiah, and of His cousin Simon. [1264] If we might venture on a general characterisation, we would infer from the Epistle of St. James, that his religious views had originally been cast in the mould of Shammai. Certainly, there is nothing of the Hillelite direction about it, but all to remind us of the earnestness, directness, vigour, and rigour of Shammai. Of Simon we know that he had belonged to the Nationalist party, since he is expressly so designated (Zelotes, [1265] Cananæan). [1266] Lastly, there are in the Epistle of St. Jude, one undoubted, and another probable reference to two of those (Pseudepigraphic) Apocalyptic books, which at that time marked one deeply interesting phase of the Messianic outlook of Israel. [1267] We have thus within the narrow circle of Christ's Family-Life - not to speak of any intercourse with the sons of Zebedee, who probably were also His cousins [1268] - the three most hopeful and pure Jewish tendencies, brought into constant contact with Jesus: in Pharisaism, the teaching of Shammai; then, the Nationalist ideal; and, finally, the hope of a glorious Messianic future. To these there should probably be added, at least knowledge of the lonely preparation of His kinsman John, who, though certainly not an Essene, had, from the necessity of his calling, much in his outward bearing that was akin to them.

But we are anticipating. From what are, necessarily, only suggestions, we turn again to what is certain in connection with His Family-Life and its influences. From St. Mark vi. 3, we may infer with great probability, though not with absolute certainty, [1269] that He had adopted the trade of Joseph. Among the Jews the contempt for manual labour, which was one of the painful [1270] characteristics of heathenism, did not exist. On the contrary, it was deemed a religious duty, frequently and most earnestly insisted upon, to learn some trade, provided it did not minister to luxury, nor tend to lead away from personal observance of the Law. [1271] There was not such separation between rich and poor as with us, and while wealth might confer social distinction, the absence of it in no way implied social inferiority. Nor could it be otherwise where wants were so few, life was so simple, and its highest aim so ever present to the mind.

We have already spoken of the religious influences in the family, so blessedly different from that neglect, exposure, and even murder of children among the heathen, or their education by slaves, who corrupted the mind from its earliest opening. [1272] The love of parents to children, appearing even in the curse which was felt to attach to childlessness; the reverence towards parents, as a duty higher than any of outward observance; and the love of brethren, which Jesus had learned in His home, form, so to speak, the natural basis of many of the teachings of Jesus. They give us also an insight into the family-life of Nazareth. And yet there is nothing sombre nor morose about it; and even the joyous games of children, as well as festive gatherings of families, find their record in the words and the life of Christ. This also is characteristic of His past. And so are His deep sympathy with all sorrow and suffering, and His love for the family circle, as evidenced in the home of Lazarus. That He spoke Hebrew, and used and quoted the Scriptures in the original, has already been shown, although, no doubt, He understood Greek, possibly also Latin.

Secondly: Nature and Every-day Life. The most superficial perusal of the teaching of Christ must convince how deeply sympathetic He was with nature, and how keenly observant of man. Here there is no contrast between love of the country and the habits of city life; the two are found side by side. On His lonely walks He must have had an eye for the beauty of the lilies of the field, and thought of it, how the birds of the air received their food from an Unseen Hand, and with what maternal affection the hen gathered her chickens under her wing. He had watched the sower or the vinedresser as he went forth to his labour, and read the teaching of the tares which sprang up among the wheat. To Him the vocation of the shepherd must have been full of meaning, as he led, and fed, and watched his flock, spoke to his sheep with well-known voice, brought them to the fold, or followed, and tenderly carried back, those that had strayed, ever ready to defend them, even at the cost of his own life. Nay, He even seems to have watched the habits of the fox in its secret lair. But he also equally knew the joys, the sorrows, the wants and sufferings of the busy multitude. The play in the market, the marriage processions, the funeral rites, the wrongs of injustice and oppression, the urgent harshness of the creditor, the bonds and prison of the debtor, the palaces and luxury of princes and courtiers, the self-indulgence of the rich, the avarice of the covetous, the exactions of the tax-gatherer, and the oppression of the widow by unjust judges, had all made an indelible impression on His mind. And yet this evil world was not one which He hated, and from which He would withdraw Himself with His disciples, though ever and again He felt the need of periods of meditation and prayer. On the contrary, while He confronted all the evil in it, He would fain pervade the mass with the new leaven; not cast it away, but renew it. He recognised the good and the hopeful, even in those who seemed most lost. He quenched not the dimly burning flax, nor brake the bruised reed. It was not contempt of the world, but sadness over it; not condemnation of man, but drawing him to His Heavenly Father; not despising of the little and the poor, whether ontwardly or inwardly such, but encouragement and adoption of them, together with keen insight into the real under the mask of the apparent, and withering denunciation and unsparing exposure of all that was evil, mean, and unreal, wherever it might appear. Such were some of the results gathered from His past life, as presented in His teaching.

Thirdly: Of the prevailing ideas around, with which He was brought in contact, some have already been mentioned. Surely, the earnestness of His Shammaite brother, if such we may venture to designate him; the idea of the Kingdom suggested by the Nationalists, only in its purest and most spiritual form, as not of this world, and as truly realising the sovereignty of God in the individual, whoever he might be; even the dreamy thoughts of the prophetic literature of those times, which sought to read the mysteries of the coming Kingdom; as well as the prophet-like asceticism of His forerunner and kinsman, formed at least so many points of contact for His teaching. Thus, Christ was in sympathy with all the highest tendencies of His people and time. Above all, there was His intimate converse with the Scriptures of the Old Testament. If, in the Synagogue, He saw much to show the hollowness, self-seeking, pride, and literalism which a mere external observance of the Law fostered, He would ever turn from what man or devils said to what He read, to what was written.' Not one dot or hook of it could fall to the ground - all must be established and fulfilled. The Law of Moses in all its bearings, the utterances of the prophets - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Micah, Zechariah, Malachi - and the hopes and consolations of the Psalms, were all to Him literally true, and cast their light upon the building which Moses had reared. It was all one, a grand unity; not an aggregation of different parts, but the unfolding of a living organism. Chiefest of all, it was the thought of the Messianic bearing of all Scripture to its unity, the idea of the Kingdom of God and the King of Zion, which was the life and light of all. Beyond this, into the mystery of His inner converse with God, the unfolding of His spiritual receptiveness, and the increasing communication from above, we dare not enter. Even what His bodily appearance may have been, we scarcely venture to imagine. [1273] It could not but be that His outer man in some measure bodied forth His Inner Being.' Yet we dread gathering around our thoughts of Him the artificial flowers of legend. [1274] What His manner and mode of receiving and dealing with men were, we can portray to ourselves from His life. And so it is best to remain content with the simple account of the Evangelic narrative: Jesus increased in favour with God and Man.'


[1183] Ps. ixxxvii. 5-7.

[1184] Ps. cxxii. 1-5.

[1185] Ab. v. 21.

[1186] Yoma 82 a.

[1187] Comp. also Maimonides, Hilkh. Chag. ii. The common statement, that Jesus went to the Temple because He was a Son of the Commandment,' is obviously erroneous. All the more remarkable, on the other hand, is St. Luke's accurate knowledge of Jewish customs, and all the more antithetic to the mythical theory the circumstance, that he places this remarkable event in the twelfth year of Jesus' life, and not when He became a Son of the Law.'

[1188] We take as the more correct reading that which puts the participle in the present tense (nabainnton), and not in the aorist.

[1189] Jer Kidd. 61 c.

[1190] From 4 b.c.to 6 a.d.

[1191] The Romans were tolerant of the religion of all subject nations - excepting only Gaul and Carthage. This for reasons which cannot here be discussed. But what rendered Rome so obnoxious to Palestine was the cultus of the Emperor, as the symbol and impersonation of Imperial Rome. On this cultus Rome insisted in all countries, not perhaps so much on religious grounds as on political, as being the expression of loyalty to the empire. But in Judæa this cultus necessarily met resistance to the death. (Comp. Schneckenburger, Neutest. Zeitgesch. pp. 40-61.)

[1192] 6-11 (?) a.d.

[1193] Acts v. 37; Jos. Ant. xviii. 1. 1.

[1194] This view, for which there is no historic foundation, is urged by those whose interest it is to deny the possibility of a census during the reign of Herod.

[1195] That these were the sole grounds of resistance to the census, appears from Jos. Ant. xviii. 1. 1, 6.

[1196] As unquestionably they did.

[1197] Ant. xviii. 1. 6.

[1198] Ant. xviii. 1. 6.

[1199] u.s. and Jew. War vii. 10. 1.

[1200] {hebrew}

[1201] Ex. xv. 11

[1202] Judg. xi. 3-6.

[1203] The Talmud is never to be trusted as to historical details. Often it seems purposely to alter, when it intends the experienced student to read between the lines, while at other times it presents a story in what may be called an allegorical form. <