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The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah Vol.1

Written by: Edersheim, Alfred    Posted on: 03/13/2003

Category: Biographies

Source: CCN

Etext of Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah by Alfred Edersheim 1883

              Volume 1




Among the outward means by which the religion of Israel was preserved, one of the most important was the centralisationand localisation of its worship in Jerusalem. If to some theordinances of the Old Testament may in this respect seemnarrow and exclusive, it is at least doubtful, whetherwithout such a provision Monothsiem itself could havecontinued as a creed or a worship. In view of the state ofthe ancient world, and of the tendencies of Israel during theearlier stages of their history, the strictest isolation wasnecessary in order to preserve the religion of the OldTestament from that mixture with foreign elements which wouldspeedily have proved fatal to its existence. And if onesource of that danger had ceased after the seventy years'exile in babylonia, the dispersion of the greater part of thenation among those manners and civilisation would necessarilyinfluence them, rendered the continuance of this separationof as great importance as before. In this respect, eventraditionalism had its mission and use, as a hedge around theLaw to render its infringement or modification impossible.

Wherever a Roman, a Greek, or an Asiatic might wander, hecould take his gods with him, or find rites kindred to hisown. It was far otherwise with the Jew. He had only oneTemple, that in Jerusalem; only one God, Him Who had oncethroned there between the Cherubim, and Who was still Kingover Zion. That Temple was the only place where aGod-appointed, pure priesthood could offer acceptablesacrifices, whether for forgiveness of sin, or for fellowshipwith God. Here, in the impenetrable gloom of the innermostsanctuary, which the High-Priest alone might enter once ayear for most solemn expiation, had stood the Ark, the leaderof the people into the Land of Promise, and the footstool onwhich the Schechinah had rested. From that golden altar rosethe 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; onthat table, as it were before the face of Jehovah, was laid,week by week, 'the Bread of the Face,' [1 Such is the literalmeaning of what is translated by 'shewbread.'] a constantsacrificial meal which Israel offered unto God, and wherewithGod in turn fed His chosen priesthood. On the greatblood-sprinkled altar of sacrifice smoked the daily andfestive burnt-offerings, brought by all Israel, and for allIsrael, wherever scattered; while the vast courts of theTemple were thronged not only by native Palestinians, butliterally by 'Jews out of every nation under heaven.' Aroundthis Temple gathered the sacred memories of the past; to itclung the yet brighter hopes of the future. The history ofIsrael and all their prospects were intertwined with theirreligion; so that it may be said that without their religionthey had no history, and without their history no religion.Thus, history, patriotism, religion, and hope alike pointedto Jerusalem and the Temple as the centre of Israel's unity.

Nor could the depressed state of the nation alter theirviews or shake their confidence. What mattered it, that theIdumaean, Herod, had unsurped the throne of David, expect sofar as his own guilt and their present subjection wereconcerned? Israel had passed through deeper waters, and stoodtriumphant on the other shore. For centuries seeminglyhopeless bondsmen in Egypt, they had not only been delivered,but had raised the God-inspired morning-song of jubilee, asthey looked back upon the sea cleft for them, and which hadburied their oppressors in their might and pride. Again, forweary years had their captives hung Zion's harps by therivers of that city and empire whose colossal grandeur,wherever they turned, must have carried to the scatteredstrangers the desolate feeling of utter hopelessness. And yetthat empire had crumbled into dust, while Israel had againtaken root and sprung up. And now little more than a centuryand a half had passed, since a danger greater even than anyof these had threatened the faith and the very existence ofIsrael. In his daring madness, the Syrian king, Antiochus IV.(Epiphanes) had forbidden their religion, sought to destroytheir sacred books, with unsparing ferocity forced on themconformity to heathen rites, desecrated the Temple bydedicating it to Zeus Olympios, what is translated by'shewbread.' a constant sacrificial and even reared a heathenaltar upon that of burnt-offering. [2 Macc. i. 54, 59; Jos.Ant. xii. 5. 4.] Worst of all, his wicked schemes had beenaided by two apostate High-Priests, who had outvied eachother in buying and then prostituting the sacred office ofGod's anointed. [1 After the deposition of Onias III. throughthe bribery of his own brother Jason, the latter and Menelausoutvied each other in bribery for, and prostitution of, theholy office.] Yet far away in the mountains of Ephraim [2Modin, the birthplace of the Maccabees, has been identifiedwith the modern El-Medyeh, about sixteen miles northwest ofJerusalem, in the ancient territory of Ephraim. Comp.Conder's Handbook of the Bible, p. 291; and for a fullreference to the whole literature of the subject, see Schurer(Neutest. Zeitgesch. p. 78, note 1).] God had raised for themmost unlooked-for and unlikely help. Only three years later,and, after a series of brilliant victories by undisciplinedmen over the flower of the Syrian army, Judas the Maccabee,truly God's Hammer [3 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, ahammer, like Charles Martel.] had purified the Temple, andrestored its altar on the very same day [4 1 Macc. 1. 54.] onwhich the 'abomination of desolation' [5 1 Macc. iv. 52-54:]Megill. Taan. 23. had been set up in its place. In all theirhistory the darkest hour of their night had ever preceded thedawn of a morning brighter than any that had yet broken. Itwas thus that with one voice all their prophets had biddenthem wait and hope. Their sayings had been more thanfulfilled as regarded the past. Would they not equally becometrue in reference to that far more glorious future for Zionand for Israel, which was to be ushered in by the coming ofthe Messiah?

Nor were such the feelings of the Palestinian Jews only.These indeed were now a minority. The majority of the nationconstituted what was known as the dispersion; a term which,however, no longer expressed its original meaning ofbanishment by the judgment of God, [6 Alike the verb inHebrew, and in Greek, with their derivatives, are used in theOld Testament, and in the rendering of the LXX., withreference 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.] since absencefrom Palestine was now entirely voluntary. But all the morethat it referred not to outward suffering, [7 There is sometruth, although greatly exaggerated, in the bitter remarks ofHausrath (Neutest. Zeitgesch. ii. p. 93), as to thesensitiveness of the Jews in the, and the loud outcry of allits members at any interference with them, however trivial.But events unfortunately too often proved how real and nearwas their danger, and how necessary the caution 'Obstaprincipiis.'] did its continued use indicate a deep feelingof religious sorrow, of social isolation, and of politicalstrangership [8 St. Peter seems to have used it in thatsense, 1 Pet. i. 1.] in the midst of a heathen world. Foralthough, as Josephus reminded his countrymen, [Jew. W ii.16. 4.] there was 'no nation inthe world which had not amongthem part of the Jewish people,' since it was 'widelydispersed over all the world among its inhabitants,' [b vii.3.3.] yet they had nowhere found a real home. A century and ahalf before our era comes to us from Egypt [1 Comp. theremarks of Schneckenburger (Vorles u. Neutest. Zeitg. p.95).] ,where the Jews possessed exceptional privileges,professedly from the heathen, but really fdrom the Jewish [2Comp. Friedlieb, D. Sibyll. Weissag. xxii. 39.] Sibyl, thislament of Israel:, Crowding with thy numbers every ocean andcountry, Yet an offense to all around thy presence andcustoms! [3 Orac Sibyll. iii. 271,272, apud Friedlieb, p.62.] Sixty years later the Greek geographer and historianStrabo bears the like witness to their presence in everyland, but in language that shows how true had been thecomplaint of the Sibyl. [4 Strabo apud Jos. Ant. xiv. 7.2:'It is not easy to find a place in the world that has notadmitted this race, and is not mastered by it.'] The reasonsfor this state of feeling will by-and-by appear. Suffice itfor the present that, all unconsciously, Philo tells itsdeepest ground, and that of Israel's loneliness in theheathen world, when speaking, like the others, of hiscountrymen as in 'all the cities of Europe, in the provincesof Asia and in the islands,' he describes them as, whereversojourning, having but one metropolis, not Alexandria,Antioch, or Rome, but 'the Holy City with its Temple,dedicateda to the Most High God.' [5 Philo in Flaccum (ed.Francf.), p. 971.] A nation, the vast majority of which wasdispersed over the whole inhabited earth, had ceased to be aspecial, and become a world-nation. [6 Comp. Jos. Ant. xii.3; xiii. 10. 4; 13. 1; xiv. 6. 2; 8. 1; 10. 8; Sueton. Caes.85.] Yet its heart beat in Jerasulem, and thence thelife-blood passed to its most distant members. And this,indeed, if we rightly understand it, was the grand object ofthe 'Jewish dispersion' throughout the world.

What has been said applies, perhaps, in a special manner, tothe Western, rather than to the Eastern 'dispersion.' Theconnection of the latter with Palestine was so close asalmost to seem one of continuity. In the account of the trulyrepresentative gathering in Jerusalem on that ever-memorableFeast of Weeks, [a Acts ii. 9-11] the division of the'dispersion' into two grand sections, the Eastern orTrans-Euphratic, and the Western or Hellenist, seems clearlymarked. [7 Grimm (Clavis N.T. p. 113) quotes two passagesfrom Philo, in one of which he contradistinguishes 'us,' theHellenist Jews, from 'the Hebrews,' and speaks of the Greekas 'our language.'] In this arrangement the former wouldinclude 'the Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and dwellers inMesopotamia,' Judaea standing, so to speak, in the middle,while 'the Bretes and Arabians' would typically represent thefarthest outrunners respectively of the Western and theEastern Diaspora. The former, as we know from the NewTestament, commonly bore in Palestine the name of the'dispersion of the Greeks," [a St. John vii. 35.] and of'Hellenists' or 'Grecians." [b Acts vi. 1;ix. 29; xi. 20.] Onthe other hand, the Trans-Euphratic Jews, who 'inhabitedBabylon and many of the other satrapies,'[c Philo ad Cajum,p. 1023; Jos. Ant. xv. 3.1.] were included with thePalestinians and the Syrians under the term 'Hebrews,' fromthe common language which they spoke.

But the difference between the 'Grecians' and the 'Hebrews'was far deeper than merely of language, and extended to thewhole direction of thought. There were mental influences atwork in the Greek world from which, in the nature of things,it was impossible even for Jews to withdraw themselves, andwhich, indeed, were as necessary for the fulfillment of theirmission as their isolation from heathenism, and theirconnection with Jerusalem. At the same time it was onlynatural that the Hellenists, placed as they were in the midstof 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 thepossession of traditional lore, with all that it involved,made no secret of its contempt for the Hellenists, and openlydeclared the Grecian far inferior to the Babylonian'dispersion.' [1 Similarly we have (in Men. 110a) thiscurious 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 notsettled, like women.] That such feelings, and the suspicionswhich they engendered, had struck deep into the popular mind,appears from the fact, that even in the Apostolic Church, andthat in her earliest days, disputes could break out betweenthe Hellenists and the Hebrews, arising from suspicion ofunkind and unfair dealings grounded on these sectionalprejudices. [d Acts vi. 1.]

Far other was the estimate in which the Babylonians wereheld by the leaders of Judaism. Indeed, according to one viewof it, Babylonia, as well as 'Syria' as far north as Antioch,was regarded as forming part of the land of Israel. [Ber. R.17.] Every other country was considered outside 'the land,'as Palestine was called, witht the exception of Babylonia,which was reckoned as part of it. [e Erub. 21 a Gritt. 6 a.]For Syria and Mesopotamia, eastwards to the banks of theTigris, were supposed to have been in the territory whichKing David had conquered, and this made them ideally for everlike the land of Israel. But it was just between theEuphrates and the Tigris that the largest and wealthiestsettlements of the Jews were, to such extent that a laterwriter actually designated them 'the land of Israel.' HereNehardaa, on the Nahar Malka, or royal canal, which passedfrom the Euphrates to the Tigris, was the oldest Jewishsettlement. It boasted of a Synagogue, said to have beenbuilt by King Jechoniah with stones that had been broughtfrom the Temple. [1 Comp. Furst, Kult. u. Literaturgesch d.Jud. in Asien, vol. i. p. 8.] In this fortified city the vastcontributions intended for the Temple were deposited by theEastern Jews, and thence conveyed to their destination underescort of thousands of armed men. Another of these Jewishtreasure-cities was Nisibis, in northern Mesopotamia. Eventhe fact that wealth, which must have sorely tempted thecupidity of the heathen, could be safely stored in thesecities and transported to Palestine, shows how large theJewish population must have been, and how great their generalinfluence.

In general, it is of the greatest importance to remember inregard to this Eastern dispersion, that only a minority ofthe Jews, consisting in all of about 50,000, originallyreturned from Babylon, first under Zerubbabel and afterwardsunder Ezra. [a 537 B.C., and 459-'8 B.C.] Nor was theirinferiority confined to numbers. The wealthiest and mostinfluential of the Jews remained behind. According toJosephus, [b Ant. xi. 5. 2; xv. 2. 2; xviii. 9.] with whomPhilo substantially agrees, vast numbers, estimated atmillions, inhabited the Trans-Euphratic provinces. To judgeeven by the number of those slain in popular risings (50,000in Seleucia alone [2 Jos. Ant. xviii. 9. 9.] ),these figuresdo not seem greatly exaggerated. A later tradition had it,that so dense was the Jewish population in the PersianEmpire, that Cyrus forbade the further return of the exiles,lest the country should be depopulated. [3 Midrash on Cant.v. 5, ed. Warsh. p. 26 a.] So large and compact a body soonbecame a political power. Kindly treated under the Persianmonarchy, they were, after the fall of that empire, [c 330 B.C.] favoured by the successors of Alexander. When in turn theMacedono-Syrian rule gave place to the Parthian Empire, [d 63B.C.] the Jews formed, from their national opposition toRome, an important element in the East. Such was theirinfluence that, as late as the year 40 A.D., the Roman legateshrank from provoking their hostility. [4 Philo ad Caj.] Atthesame time it must not be thought that, even in thesefavoured regions, they were wholly without persecution. Herealso history records more than one tale of bloody strife onthe part of those among whom they dwelt. [5 The following arethe chief passages in Josephus relating to that part ofJewish 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.]

To the Palestinians, their brethren of the East and ofSyria, to which they had wandered under the fostering rule ofthe Macedono-Syrian monarchs (the Seleucidae), were indeedpre-eminently the Golah, or 'dispersion.' To them theSanhedrin in Jerusalem intimated by fire-signals frommountain-top to mountain-top the commencement of each monthfor the regulation of the festive calendar, [1 Rosh. haSh.ii. 4; comp. the Jer. Gemara on it, and in the Bab. Talmud 23b.] even as they afterwards despatched messengers into Syriafor the same purpose. [2 Rosh. haSh. i. 4.] In some respectsthe Eastern dispersion was placed on the same footing; inothers, on even a higher level than the mothercountry. Tithesand Terumoth, or first-fruits in a prepared condition, [3Shev. vi. passim; Gitt. 8 a.] were due from them, while theBikkurim, or first-fruits in a fresh state, were to bebrought from Syria to Jerusalem. Unlike the heathencountries, whose very dust defiled, the soil of Syria wasdeclared clean, like that of Palestine itself. [a Ohol.xxiii. 7.] So far as purity of descent was concerned, theBabylonians, indeed, considered themselves superior to theirPalestinian brethren. They had it, that when Ezra took withhim those who went to Palestine, he had left the land behindhim as pure as fine flour. [b Kidd. 69.] To express it intheir own fashion: In regard to the genealogical purity oftheir Jewish inhabitants, all other countries were, comparedto Palestine, like dough mixed with leaven; but Palestineitself was such by the side of Babylonia. [4 Cheth. 111 a.]It was evemaintained, that the exact boundaries could betraced in a district, within which the Jewish population hadpreserved itself unmixed. Great merit was in this respectalso ascribed to Ezra. In the usual mode of exaggeration, itwas asserted, that, if all the genealogical studies andresearches [5 As comments upon the genealogies from 'Azel' in1 Chr. viii. 37 to 'Azel' in ix. 44. Pes. 62 b.] had been puttogether, they would have amounted to many hundredcamel-loads. There was for it, however, at least thisfoundation in truth, that great care and labour were bestowedon preserving full and accurate records so as to establishpurity of descent. What importance attached to it, we knowfrom the action on Ezra [c Chs. ix. x.] in that respect, andfrom the stress which Josephus layson this point. [d Life i.;Ag Apion i. 7.] Official records of descent as regarded thepriesthood were kept in the Temple. Besides, the Jewishauthorities seem to have possessed a general officialregister, which Herod afterwards ordered to be burnt, fromreasons which it is not difficult to infer. But from thatday, laments a Rabbi, the glory of the Jews decreased! [6Pes. 62 b; Sachs,Beitr. vol. ii. p. 157.]

Nor was it merely purity of descent of which the Easterndispersion could boast. In truth, Palestine owed everythingto Ezra, the Babylonian, [1 According to tradition hereturned to Babylon, and died there. Josephus says that hedied in Jerusalem (Anti. xi. 5. 5).] a man so distinguishedthat, according to tradition, the Law would have been givenby him, if Moses had not previously obtained that honor.Putting aside the various traditional ordinances which theTalmud ascribes to him, [2 Herzfeld has given a very clearhistorical arrangement of the order in which, and the personsby whom, the various legal determinations were supposed tohave been given. See Gesch. d. V. Isr. vol. iii. pp. 240 &c.]we know from the Scriptures what his activity for good hadbeen. Altered circumstances had brought many changes to thenew Jewish State. Even the language, spoken and written, wasother than formerly. Instead of the characters ancientlyemployed, the exiles brought with them, on their return,those now common, the so-called square Hebrew letters, whichgradually came into general use. [a Sanh. 21 b.] [3 Althoughthus introduced under Ezra, the ancient Hebrew characters,which resemble the Samaritan, only very gradually gave way.They are found on monuments and coins.] The language spokenby the Jews was no longer Hebrew, but Aramaean, both inPalestine and in Babylonia; [4 Herzfeld (u. s. vol. iii. p.46) happily designates the Palestinian as theHebraeo-Aramaic, from its Hebraistic tinge. The Hebrew, aswell as the Aramaean, belongs to the Semitic group oflanguages, which has thus been arranged: 1. North Semitic:Punico-Phoenician, Hebrew, and Aramaic (Western and Easterndialects). 2. South Semitic: Arabic, Himyaritic, andEthipian. 3. East Semitic: The Assyro-Baylonian cuneiform.When we speak of the dialect used in Palestine, we do not, ofcourse, forget the great influence of Syria, exerted longbefore and after the Exile. Of these three branches theAramaic is the most closely connected with the Hebrew. Hebrewoccupies an intermediate position between the Aramaic and theArabic, and may be said to be the oldest, certainly from aliterary point of view. Together with the introduction of thenew dialect into Palestine, we mark that of the new, orsquare, characters of writing. The Mishnah and all thekindred literature up to the fourth century are in Hebrew, orrather in a modern development and adaptation of thatlanguage; the Talmud is in Aramaean. 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.] in the former the Western, in the latterthe Eastern dialect. In fact, the common people were ignorantof pure Hebrew, which henceforth became the language ofstudents and of the Synagogue. Even there a Methurgeman, orinterpreter, had to be employed to translate into thevernacular the portions of Scripture read in the publicservices, [5 Could St. Paul have had this in mind when, inreferring to the miraculous gift of speaking in otherlanguages, he directs that one shall always interpret (1 Cor.xiv. 27)? At any rate, the word targum in Ezra iv. 7 isrendered in the LXX. by The following from the Talmud (Ber. 8a and b) affords a curious illustration of 1 Cor. xiv. 27:'Let a man always finish his Parashah (the daily lesson fromthe Law) with the congregation (at the same time), twice thetext, and once targum.']. and the address delivered by theRabbis. This was the origin of the so-called Targumim, orparaphrases of Scripture. In earliest times, indeed, it wasforbidden to the Methurgeman to read his translation or towrite down a Targum, lest the paraphrase should be regardedas of equal authority with the original. It was said that,when Jonathan brought out his Targum on the Prophets, a voicefrom heaven was heard to utter: 'Who is this that hasrevealed My secrets to men?' [a Megill. 3.] Still, suchTargumim seem to have existed from a very early period, and,amid the varying and often incorrect renderings, theirnecessity must have made itself increasingly felt.Accordingly, their use was authoritatively sanctioned beforethe end of the second century after Christ. This is theorigin of our two oldest extant Targumim: that of Onkelos (asit 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 oldestTargumim, which may more correctly be regarded as later andauthoritative recensions of what, in some form, had existedbefore. But although these works had their origin inPalestine, it is noteworthy that, in the form in which atpresent we possess them, they are the outcome of the schoolsof Babylon.

But Palestine owed, if possible, a still greater debt toBabylonia. The new circumstances in which the Jews wereplaced on their return seemed to render necessary anadaptation of the Mosaic Law, if not new legislation.Besides, piety and zeal now attached themselves to theoutward observance and study of the letter of the Law. Thisis the origin of the Mishnah, or Second Law, which wasintended to explain and supplement the first. Thisconstituted the only Jewish dogmatics, in the real sense, inthe study of which the sage, Rabbi , scholar, scribe, andCarshan, [1 From darash, to search out, literally, to treadout. The preacher was afterwards called the Darshan.] wereengaged. The result of it was the Midrash, or investigation,a term which afterwards was popularly applied to commentariesont he Scriptures and preaching. From the outset, Jewishtheology divided into two branches: the Halakhah and theHaggadah. The former (from halakh, to go) was, so to speak,the Rule of the Spiritual Road, and, when fixed, had evengreater authority than the Scriptures of the Old Testament,since it explained and applied them. On the other hand, thesince it explained and applied them. On the other hand, theHaggadah [2 The Halakhah might be described as the apocryphalPentateuch, the personal saying of the teacher, more or lessvaluable according to his learning and popularity, or theauthorities which he could quote in his support. Unlike theHalakhah, the Haggadah had no absolute authority, either asto doctrine practice, or exegesis. But all the greater wouldbe its popular influence, [1 We may here remind ourselves of1 Tim. v. 17. St. Paul, as always, writes with the familiarJewish phrases ever recurring to his mind. The expressionseems to be equivalent to Halakhic teaching. Comp. Grimm,Clavis N. T. pp. 98, 99.] and all the more dangerous thedoctrinal license which it allowed. In fact, strange as itmay sound, almost all the doctrinal teaching of the Synagogueis to be derived from the Haggadah and this also ischaracteristic of Jewish traditionalism. But, alike inHalakhah and Haggadah, Palestine was under the deepestobligation to Babylonia. For the father of Halakhic study wasHillel, the Babylonian, and among the popular Haggadiststhere is not a name better known than that of Eleazar theMede, who flourished in the first century of our era.

After this, it seems almost idle to inquire whether, duringthe first period after the return of the exiles from Babylon,there were regular theological academies in Babylon. Althoughit is, of course, impossible to furnish historical proof, wecan scarely doubt that a community so large and so intenselyHebrew would not have been indifferent to that study, whichconstituted the main thought and engagement of their brethrenin Palestine. We can understand that, since the greatSanhedrin in Palestine exercised supreme spiritual authority,and in that capacity ultimately settled all religiousquestions, at least for a time, the study and discussion ofthese subjects should also have been chiefly carried on inthe schools of Palestine; and that even the great Hillelhimself, when still a poor and unknown student, should havewandered thither to acquire the learning and authority, whichat that period he could not have found in his own country.But even this circumstance implies, that such studies were atleast carried on and encouraged in Babylonia. How rapidlysoon afterwards the authority of the Babylonian schoolsincreased, till they not only overshadowed those ofPalestine, but finally inherited their prerogatives, is wellknown. However, therefore, the Palestinians in their pride orjealousy might sneer, [2 In Moed Q. 25 a. sojourn in Babylonis mentioned as a reason why the Shekhinah could not restupon a certain Rabbi.] that the Babylonians were stupid,proud, and poor ('they ate bread upon bread'), [3 Pes. 34 b;Men. 52 a; Sanh. 24 a; Bets. 16 a, apud Neubauer, Geog. duTalmud, p. 323. In Keth. 75 a, they are styled the 'sillyBabylonians.' See also Jer. Pes. 32 a.] even they had toacknowledge that, 'when the Law had fallen into oblivion, itwas restored by Ezra of Babylon; when it was a second timeforgotten, Hillel the Babylonian came and recovered it; andwhen yet a third time it fell into oblivion, Rabbi Chija camefrom Babylon and gave it back once more.' [4 Sukk. 20 a. R.Chija, one of the teachers of the second century, is amongthe most.celebrated Rabbinical authorities, around whosememory legend has thrown a special halo.] Such then was thatHebrew dispersion which, from the first, constituted Suchthen was that Hebrew dispersion which, from the first,constituted really the chief part and the strength of theJewish nation, and with which its religious future was alsoto lie. For it is one of those strangely significant, almostsymbolical, facts in history, that after the destruction ofJerusalem the spiritual supremacy of Palestine passed toBabylonia, and that Rabbinical Judaism, under the stress ofpolitical adversity, voluntarily transferred itself to theseats of Israel's ancient dispersion, as if to ratify by itsown act what the judgment of God had formerly executed. Butlong before that time the Babylonian 'dispersion' had alreadystretched out its hands in every direction. Northwards, ithad spread through Armenia, the Caucasus, and to the shoresof the Black Sea, and through Media to those of the Caspian.Southwards, it had extended to the Persian Gulf and throughthe vast extent of Arabia, although Arabia Felix and the landof the Homerites may have received their first Jewishcolonies from the opposite shores of Ethiopia. Eastwards ithad passed as far as India. [1 In this, as in so manyrespects, Dr. Neubauer has collated very interestinginformation, to which we refer. See his Geogr. du Talm. pp.369-399.] Everywhere we have distinct notices of thesewanderers, and everywhere they appear as in closestconnection with the Rabbinical hierarchy of Palestine. Thusthe Mishnah, in an extremely curious section, [2 The wholesection gives a most curious glimpse of the dress andornaments worn by the jews at that time. The readerinterested in the subject will find special information inthe three little volumes of Hartmann (Die Hebraerin amPutztische), in N. G. Schroder's some-what heavy work: DeVestitu Mulier. Hebr., and especially in that interestingtractate, Trachten d. Juden, by Dr. A. Brull, of which,unfortunately, only one part has appeared.] tells us how onSabbaths the Jewesses of Arabia might wear their long veils,and those of India the kerchief round the head, customary inthose countries, without incurring the guilt of desecratingthe holy day by needlessly carrying what, in the eyes of thelaw, would be a burden; [a Shabb. vi. 6.] while in the rubricfor the Day of Atonement we haveit noted that the dress whichthe High-Priest wore 'between the evenings' of the greatfast, that is, as afternoon darkened into evening, was ofmost costly 'Indian' stuff. [b Yoma iii. 7.]

That among such a vast community there should have beenpoverty, and that at one time, as the Palestinians sneered,learning may have been left to pine in want, we can readilybelieve. For, as one of the Rabbis had it in explanation ofDeut. xxx. 13: 'Wisdom is not "beyond the sea", that is, itwill not be found among traders or merchants,' [c Er. 55 a.]whose mind must be engrossed by gain. And it was trade andcommerce which procured to the Babylonians their wealth andinfluence, although agriculture was not neglected. Theircaravans, of whose camel drivers, by the way, no veryflattering account is given [a Kidd. iv.], carried the richcarpets and woven stuffs of the East, as well as its preciousspices, to the West: generally through Palestine to thePhoenician harbours, where a fleet of merchantmen belongingto Jewish bankers and shippers lay ready to convey them toevery quarter of the world. These merchant princes werekeenly alive to all that passed, not only in the financial,but in the political world. We know that they were inpossession of State secrets, and entrusted with theintricacies of diplomacy. Yet, whatever its condition, thisEastern Jewish community was intensely Hebrew. Only eightdays' journey, though, according to Philo's western ideas ofit, by a difficult road [1 Philo ad Cajum, ed. Frcf. p.1023.], separated them from Palestine; and every pulsationthere vibrated in Babylonia. It was in the most outlying partof that colony, in the wide plains of Arabia, that Saul ofTarsus spent those three years of silent thought and unknownlabour, which preceded his re-appearance in Jerusalem, whenfrom 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'smission. [b Gal. i. 17;] And it was among the same communitythat Peter wrote and laboured, [c 1 Pet. v. 13.] amidstdiscouragements of which we can form some conception from thesad boast of Nehardaa, that up to the end of the thirdcentury it had not numbered among its members any convert toChristianity. [2 Pes. 56 a, apud Neubauer, u. s., p. 351.] Inwhat has been said, no notice has been taken of thosewanderers of the ten tribes, whose trackless footsteps seemas mysterious as their after-fate. The Talmudists name fourcountries as their seats. But, even if we were to attachhistoric credence to their vague statements, at least two ofthese localities cannot with any certainty be identified. [3Comp. Neubauer, pp. 315, 372; Hamburger, Real-Encykl. p.135.] Only thus far all agree as to point us northwards,through India, Armenia, the Kurdish mountains, and theCaucasus. And with this tallies a curious reference in whatis known as IV. Esdras, which locates them in a land calledArzareth, a term which has, with some probability, beenidentified with the land of Ararat. [4 Comp. Volkmar, Handb.d. Einl. in d. Apokr. iite Abth., pp. 193, 194, notes. Forthe reasons there stated, I prefer this to the ingeniousinterpretation proposed by Dr. Schiller-Szinessy (Journ. ofPhilol. for 1870, pp. 113, 114), who regards it as acontraction of Erez achereth, 'another land,' referred to inDeut. xxix. 27 (28).] Josephus [a Ant. xi. 5.2.] describesthem as an innumerable multitude, and vaguely locates thembeyond the Euphrates. The Mishnah is silent as to theirseats, but discusses their future restoration; Rabbi Akibadenying and Rabbi Eliezer anticipating it. [b Sanh. x. 3.] [1R. Eliezer seems to connect their return with the dawn of thenew Messianic day.] Another Jewish tradition [c Ber. R. 73.]locates them by the fabled river Sabbatyon, which wassupposed to cease its flow on the weekly Sabbath. This, ofcourse, is an implied admission of ignorance of their seats.Similarly, the Talmud [d Jer. Sanb 29 c.]speaks of threelocalities whither they had been banished : the districtaround the river Sabbatyon; Daphne, near Antioch; while thethird was overshadowed and hidden by a cloud.

Later Jewish notices connect the final discovery and thereturn of the 'lost tribes' with their conversion under thatsecond Messiah who, in contradistinction to 'the Son ofDavid' is styled 'the Son of Joseph,' to whom Jewishtradition ascribes what it cannot reconcile with the royaldignity of 'the Son of David,' and which, if applied to Him,would almost inevitably lead up to the most wide concessionsin the Christian argument. [2 This is not the place todiscuss the later Jewish fiction of a second or 'suffering'Messiah, 'the son of Joseph,' whose special mission it wouldbe to bring back the ten tribes, and to subject them toMessiah, 'the son of David,' but who would perish in the waragainst Gog and Magog.] As regards the ten tribes there isthis truth underlying the strange hypothesis, that, as theirpersistent apostacy from the God of Israel and His worshiphad cut them off from his people, so the fulfilment of theDivine promises to them in the latter days would imply, as itwere, a second birth to make them once more Israel. Beyondthis we are travelling chiefly into the region of conjecture.Modern investigations have pointed to the Nestorians, [3Comp. the work of Dr. Asahel Grant on the Nestorians. Hisarguments have been well summarised and expanded in aninteresting note in Mr. Nutths Sketch of Samaritan History,pp. 2-4.] and latterly with almost convincing evidence (sofar as such is possible) to the Afghans, as descended fromthe lost tribes. [4 I would here call special attention to amost interesting paper on the subject ('A New AfghanQuestion'), by Mr. H. W. Bellew, in the 'Journal of theUnited Service Institution of India,' for 1881, pp. 49-97.]Such mixture with, and lapse into, Gentile nationalitiesseems to have been before the minds of those Rabbis whoordered that, if at present a non-Jew weds a Jewess, such aunion was to be respected, since the stranger might be adescendant of the ten tribes. [e Yebam 16 b.] Besides, thereis reason to believe that part of them, at least, hadcoalesced with their brethren of the later exile; [5 Kidd. 69b.] while we know that individuals who had settled inPalestine and, presumably, elsewhere, were able to tracedescent from them.[1 So Anna from the tribe of Aser, St. Lukeii. 36. Lutterbeck (Neutest. Lehrbegr. pp. 102, 103) arguesthat the ten tribes had become wholly undistinguishable fromthe other two. But his arguments are not convincing, and hisopinion was certainly not that of those who lived in the timeof Christ, or who reflected their ideas.] Still the greatmass of the ten tribes was in the days of Christ, as in ourown, lost to the Hebrew nation.




When we turn from the Jewish 'dispersion' in the East tothat in the West, we seem to breathe quite a differentatmosphere. Despite their intense nationalism, allunconsciously to themselves, their mental characteristics andtendencies were in the opposite direction from those of theirbrethren. With those of the East rested the future ofJudaism; with them of the West, in a sense, that of theworld. The one represented old Israel, stretching forth itshands to where the dawn of a new day was about to break.These Jews of the West are known by the term Hellenists, from, to conform to the language and manners of the Greeks.[1Indeed, the word Alnisti (or Alunistin), 'Greek', actuallyoccurs, as in Jer. Sot. 21 b, line 14 from bottom. Bohl(Forsch. n. ein. Volksb. p. 7) quotes Philo (Leg. ad Caj. p.1023) in proof that he regarded the Eastern dispersion as abranch separate from the Palestinians. But the passage doesnot 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 therewere Hebrews and Hellenists in and out of Palestine. But thisview is untenable.]

Whatever their religious and social isolation, it was, inthe nature of thing, impossible that the Jewish communitiesin the West should remains unaffected by Grecian culture andmodes of though; just as, on the other hand, the Greek world,despite popular hatred and the contempt of the higherclasses, could not wholly withdraw itself from Jewishinfluences. Witness here the many converts to Judaism amongthe Gentiles; [2 An account of this propaganda of Judaism andof its results will be given in another connection.] witnessalso the evident preparedness of the lands of this'dispersion' for the new doctrine which was to come fromJudea. Many causes contributed to render the Jews of the Westaccessible to Greek influences. They had not a long localhistory 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, unitsmight combine into communities, but could not form onepeople. Then their position was not favourable to the sway oftraditionalism. Their occupations, the very reasons for theirbeing in a 'strange land,' were purely secular. That loftyabsorption of thought and life in the study of the Law,writtem and oral, which characterised the East, was to the,something in the dim distance, sacred, like the soil and theinstitutions of Palestine, but unattainable. In Palestine orBabylonia numberless influences from his earliest years, allthat he saw and heard, the very force of circumstances, wouldtend to make an earnest Jew a disciple of the Rabbis; in theWest it would lead him to 'hellenise.' It was, so to speak,'in the air'; and he could no more shut his mind againstGreek thought than he could withdraw his body fromatmospheric influences. That restless, searching, subtleGreek intellect would penetrate everywhere, and flash itslight into the innermost recesses of his home and Synagogue.

To be sure, they were intensely Jewish, these communities ofstrangers. Like our scattered colonists in distant lands,they would cling with double affection to the customs oftheir home, and invest with the halo of tende memories thesacred traditions of thir faith. The Grecian Jew might welllook with contempt, not unmingled with pity, on theidolatrous rites practised around, from which long ago thepitiless irony of Isaiah had torn the veil of beauty, to showthe hideousness and unreality beneath. The dissoluteness ofpublic and private life, the frivolity and aimlessness oftheir pursuits, political aspirations, popular assemblies,amusements, in short, the utter decay of society, in all itsphases, would lie open to his gaze. It is in terms of loftyscorn, not unmingled with idignation, which only occasionallygives way to the softer mood of warning, or even invitation,that Jewish Hellenistic literature, whether in the Apocryphaor in its Apocalyptic utterances, address heathenism.

From that spectacle the Grecian Jew would turn with infinitesatisfaction, not to say, pride, to his own community, tothink of its spiritual enlightenment, and to pass in reviewits exclusive privileges. [1 St, Paul fully describes thesefeelings in the Epistle to the Romans.] It was with nouncertain steps that he would go past those splendid templesto his own humbler Synagogue, pleased to find himself theresurrounded by those who shared his descent, his faith, hishopes; and gratified to see their number swelled by many who,heathens by birth, had learned the error of their ways, andnow, so to speak, humbly stood as suppliant 'strangers of thegate,' to seek admission into his sanctuary. [1 The 'GereyhaShaar,' proselytes of the gate, a designation which somehave derived from the circumstance that Gentiles were notallowed to advance beyond the Temple Court, but more likelyto be traced to such passages as Ex. xx. 10; Deut. xiv. 21;xxiv. 14.] How different were the rites which he practised,hallowed in their Divine origin, rational in themselves, andat the same time deeply significant, from the absurdsuperstitions around. Who could have compared with thevoiceless, meaningless, blasphemous heathen worship, if itdeserved the name, that of the Synagogue, with its pathetichymns, its sublime liturgy, its Divine Scriptures, and those'stated sermons' which 'instructed in virtue and piety,' ofwhich not only Philo, [a De Vita Mosis, p. 685; Leg ad Caj.p. 1014.]Agrippa, [b Leg. ad Caj. p. 1035.] and Josephus, [cAg. Apion ii. 17.] speak as a regular institution, but whoseantiquity and general prevalence is attested in Jewishwritings, [2 Comp. here Targ. Jon. on Judg. v. 2, 9. I feelmore hesitation in appealing to such passages as Ber. 19 a,where we read of a Rabbi in Rome, Thodos (Theudos?), whoflourished several generations before Hillel, for reasonswhich the passage itself will suggest to the student. At thetime of Philo, however, such instructions in the Synagoguesat Rome were a long, established institution (Ad Caj. p.1014).] and nowhere more strongly than in the book of theActs of the Apostles?

And in these Synagogues, how would 'brotherly love' becalled out, since, if one member suffered, all might soon beaffected, and the danger which threatened one communitywould, unless averted, ere long overwhelm the rest. There waslittle need for the admonition not to 'forget the love ofstrangers.' [3 Hebr. xiii. 2.] To entertain them was notmerely a virtue; in the Hellenist dispersion it was areligious necessity. And by such means not a few whom theywould regard as 'heavenly messengers' might be welcomed. Fromthe Acts of the Apostles we knew with what eagerness theywould receive, and with what readiness they would invite, thepassing Rabbi or teacher, who came from the home of theirfaith, to speak, if there were in them a word of comfortingexhortation for the people. [d Acts xiii. 15.] We canscarcely doubt, considering the state of things, that thisoften bore on 'the consolation of Israel.' But, indeed, allthat came from Jerusalem, all that helped them to realisetheir living connection with it, or bound it more closely,was precious. 'Letters out of Judaea,' the tidings which someone might bring on his return from festive pilgrimage orbusiness journey, especially about anything connected withthat grand expectation, the star which was to rise on theEastern sky, would soon spread, till the Jewish pedlar in hiswanderings had carried the news to the most distant andisolated Jewish home, where he might find a Sabbath, welcomeand Sabbath-rest.

Such undoubtedly was the case. And yet, when the Jew steppedout of the narrow circle which he had drawn around him, hewas confronted on every side by Grecianism. It was in theforum, in the market, in the counting, house, in the street;in all that he saw, and in all to whom he spoke. It wasrefined; it was elegant; it was profound; it was supremelyattractive. He might resist, but he could not push it aside.Even in resisting, he had already yielded to it. For, onceopen the door to the questions which it brought, if it wereonly to expel, or repel them, he must give up that principleof simple authority on which traditionalism as a systemrested. Hellenic criticism could not so be silenced, nor itssearching light be extinguished by the breath of a Rabbi. Ifhe attempted this, the truth would not only be worsted beforeits enemies, but suffer detriment in his own eyes. He mustmeet argument with argument, and that not only for those whowere without, but in order to be himself quite sure of whathe believed. He must be able to hold it, not only incontroversy with others, where pride might bid him standfast, but in that much more serious contest within, where aman meets the old adversary alone in the secret arena of hisown mind, and has to sustain that terrible hand-to-handfight, in which he is uncheered by outward help. But whyshould he shrink from the contest, when he was sure that hiswas Divine truth, and that therefore victory must be on hisside? As in our modern conflicts against the onesidedinferences from physical investigations we are wont to saythat the truths of nature cannot contradict those ofrevelation, both being of God, and as we are apt to regard astruths of nature what sometimes are only deductions frompartially ascertained facts, and as truths of revelationwhat, after all, may be only our own inferences, sometimesfrom imperfectly apprehended premises, so the Hellenist wouldseek to conciliate the truths of Divine revelation with thoseothers which, he thought, he recognized in Hellenism. Butwhat were the truths of Divine revelation? Was it only thesubstance of Scripture, or also its form, the truth itselfwhich was conveyed, or the manner in which it was presentedto the Jews; or, if both, then did the two stand on exactlythe same footing? On the answer to these questions woulddepend 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 fromGod; and if so, then its form also, its letter, must beauthentic and authoritative. Thus much on the surface, andfor all. But the student must search deeper into it, hissenses, as it were, quickened by Greek criticism; he must'meditate' and penetrate into the Divine mysteries. ThePalestinian also searched into them, and the result was theMidrash. But, whichever of his methods he had applied, thePeshat, or simple criticism of the words, the Derush, orsearch into the possible applications of the text, what mightbe 'trodden out' of it; or the Sod, the hidden, mystical,supranatural bearing of the words, it was still only theletter 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 itsspiritual truths. But that needed another qualification, andtended in another direction from those of which the Jewishstudent knew. On the other hand, there was the intellectualview of the Scriptures, their philosophical understanding,the application to them of the results of Grecian thought andcriticism. It was this which was peculiarly Hellenistic.Apply that method, and the deeper the explorer proceeded inhis search, the more would he feel himself alone, far fromthe outside crowd; but the brighter also would that light ofcriticism, which he carried, shine in the growing darkness,or, as he held it up, would the precious ore, which he laidbare, glitter and sparkle with a thousand varying hues ofbrilliancy. What was Jewish, Palestinian, individual,concrete in the Scriptures, was only the outside, true initself, but not the truth. There were depths beneath. Stripthese stories of their nationalism; idealise the individualof the persons introduced, and you came upon abstract ideasand realities, true to all time and to all nations. But thisdeep symbolism was Pythagorean; this pre-existence of ideaswhich were the types of all outward actuality, was Platonism!Broken rays in them, but the focus of truth in theScriptures. Yet these were rays, and could only have comefrom the Sun. All truth was of God; hence theirs must havebeen of that origin. Then were the sages of the heathen alsoin 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 theeasiest, yet, as we reflect upon it, that which in practicewould be most readily taken. It was simply to advance towardsGrecianism; frankly to recognise truth in the results ofGreek thought. There is that within us, name it mentalconsciousness, or as you will, which, all unbidden, rises toanswer to the voice of intellectual truth, come whence itmay, just as conscience answers to the cause of moral truthor duty. But in this case there was more. There was themighty spell which Greek philosophy exercised on all kindredminds, and the special adaptation of the Jewish intellect tosuch subtle, if not deep, thinking. And, in general, and morepowerful than the rest, because penetrating everywhere, wasthe charm of Greek literature, with its brilliancy; of Greekcivilisation and culture, with their polish andattractiveness; and of what, in one word, we may call the'time-spirit,' that tyrannos, who rules all in theirthinking, speaking, doing, whether they list or not.

Why, his sway extended even to Palestine itself, and wasfelt in the innermost circle of the most exclusive Rabbinism.We are not here referring to the fact that the very languagespoken in Palestine came to be very largely charged withGreek, and even Latin, words Hebraised, since this is easilyaccounted for by the new circumstances, and the necessitiesof intercourse with the dominant or resident foreigners. Noris it requisite to point out how impossible it would havebeen, in presence of so many from the Greek and Roman world,and after the long and persistent struggle of their rulers toGrecianise Palestine, nay, even in view of so manymagnificent heathen temples on the very soil of Palestine, toexclude all knowledge of, or contact with Grecianism. But notto be able to exclude was to have in sight the dazzle of thatunknown, which as such, and in itself, must have had peculiarattractions to the Jewish mind. It needed stern principle torepress the curiosity thus awakened. When a young Rabbi, BenDama, asked his uncle whether he might not study Greekphilosophy, since he had mastered the 'Law' in every aspectof it, the older Rabbi replied by a reference to Josh. i. 8:'Go and search what is the hour which is neither of the daynor of the night, and in it thou mayest study Greekphilosophy.' [a Men. 99 b, towards the end.] Yet eventheJewish patriarch, Gamaliel II., who may have sat with Saul ofTarsus at the feet of his grandfather, was said to havebusied himself with Greek, as he certainly held liberal viewson many points connected with Grecianism. To be sure,tradition justified him on the ground that his positionbrought him into contact with the ruling powers, and,perhaps, to further vindicate him, ascribed similar pursuitsto the elder Gamaliel, although groundlessly, to judge fromthe circumstance that he was so impressed even with the wrongof possessing a Targum on Job in Aramaean, that he had itburied deep in the ground.

But all these are indications of a tendency existing. Howwide it must have spread, appears from the fact that the banhad to be pronounced on all who studied 'Greek wisdom.' Oneof the greatest Rabbis, Elisha ben Abujah, seems to have beenactually led to apostacy by such studies. True, he appears asthe 'Acher', the 'other', in Talmudic writings, whom it wasnot proper even to name. But he was not yet an apostate fromthe Synagogue when those 'Greek songs' ever flowed from hislips; and it was in the very Beth-ha-Midrash, or theologicalacademy, that a multitude of Siphrey Minim (heretical books)flew from his breast, where they had lain concealed. [a Jer.Chag. ii. 1; comp. Chag. 15.] It may be so, that theexpression 'Siphrey Homeros' (Homeric writings), which occurnot only in the Talmud [b Jer. Sanh. x. 28 a.] but even inthe Mishnah [c Yad. iv. 6.] referred pre-eminently, if notexclusively, to the religious or semi-religious JewishHellenistic literature, outside even the Apocrypha. [1Through this literature, which as being Jewish might havepassed unsuspected, a dangerous acquaintance might have beenintroduced with Greek writings, the more readily, that forexample Aristobulus described Homer and Hesiod as having'drawn from our books' (ap. Euseb. Praepar. Evang. xiii. 12).According to Hamburger (Real-Encykl. fur Bibel u. Talmud,vol. ii. pp. 68, 69), the expression Siphrey Homeros appliesexclusively to the Judaeo-Alexandrian heretical writings;according to First (Kanon d. A. Test. p. 98), simply toHomeric literature. But see the discussion in Levy, Neuhebr.u. Chald. Worterb., vol. i. p. 476 a and b.] But itsoccurrence proves, at any rate, that the Hellenists werecredited with the study of Greek literature, and that throughthem, if not more directly, the Palestinians had becomeacquainted with it.

This sketch will prepare us for a rapid survey of thatHellenistic literature which Judaea so much dreaded. Itsimportance, not only to the Hellenists but to the world atlarge, can scarcely be over-estimated. First and foremost, wehave here the Greek translation of the Old Testament,venerable not only as the oldest, but as that which at thetime of Jesus held the place of our 'Authorized Version,' andas such is so often, although freely, quoted, in the NewTestament. Nor need we wonder that it should have been thepeople's Bible, not merely among the Hellenists, but inGalilee, and even in Judaea. It was not only, as alreadyexplained, that Hebrew was no longer the 'vulgar tongue' inPalestine, and that written Targumim were prohibited. butmost, if not all, at least in towns, would understand theGreek version; it might be quoted in intercourse withHellenist breathren or with the Gentiles; and, what wasperhaps equally, if not more important, it was the mostreadily procurable. From the extreme labour and care bestowedon them, Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible were enormouslydear, as we infer from a curious Talmudical notice, [d Gitt.35 last line and b.] where a common wollen wrap, which ofcourse was very cheap, a copy of the Psalms, of Job, and tornpieces from Proverbs, are together valued at five maneh, say,about 19l. Although this notice dates from the third orfourth century, it is not likely that the cost of HebrewBiblical MSS. was much lower at the time of Jesus. Thiswould, of course, put their possession well nigh out ofcommon reach. On the other hand, we are able to form an ideaof the cheapness of Greek manuscripts from what we know ofthe price of books in Rome at the beginning of our era.Hundreds of slaves were there engaged copying what onedictated. The result was not only the publication of as largeeditions as in our days, but their production at only aboutdouble the cost of what are now known as 'cheap' or 'people'seditions.' Probably it would be safe to compute, that as muchmatter as would cover sixteen pages of small print might, insuch cases, be sold at the rate of about sixpence, and inthat ratio. [1 Comp. Friedlander, Sitteng. Roms, vol. iii. p.315.] Accordingly, manuscripts in Greek or Latin, althoughoften incorrect, must have been easily attainable, and thiswould have considerable influence on making the Greek versionof the Old Testament the 'people's Bible.' [2 To these causesthere should perhaps be added the attempt to introduceGrecianism by force into Palestine, the consequences which itmay have left, and the existence of a Grecian party in theland.]

The Greek version, like the Targum of the Palestinians,originated, no doubt, in the first place, in a felt nationalwant on the part of the Hellenists, who as a body wereignorant of Hebrew. Hence we find notices of very early Greekversions of at least parts of the Pentateuch. [3 Aristobulusin Euseb. Praepar. Evang. ix. 6; xiii. 12. The doubts raisedby Hody against this testimony have been generally repudiatedby critics since the treatise by Valkenaer (Diatr. deAristob. Jud. appended to Gaisford's ed. of the Praepar.Evang.).] But this, of course, could not suffice. On theother hand, there existed, as we may suppose, a naturalcuriosity on the part of students, especially in Alexandria,which had so large a Jewish population, to know the sacredbooks on which the religion and history of Israel werefounded. Even more than this, we must take into account theliterary tastes of the first three Ptolemies (successors inEgypt of Alexander the Great), and the exceptional favourwhich the Jews for a time enjoyed. Ptolemy I. (Lagi) was agreat patron of learning. He projected the Museum inAlexandria, which was a home for literature and study, andfounded the great library. In these undertakings DemetriusPhalereus was his chief adviser. The tastes of the firstPtolemy were inherited by his son, Ptolemy II.(Philadelphus), who had for two years been co-regent. [a286-284 B.C.] In fact, ultimately that monarch becameliterally book-mad, and the sums spent on rare MSS., whichtoo often proved spurious, almost pass belief. The same maybe said of the third of these monarchs, Ptolemy III.(Euergetes). It would have been strange, indeed, if thesemonarchs had not sought to enrich their library with anauthentic rendering of the Jewish sacred books, or notencouraged such a translation.

These circumstances will account for the different elementswhich we can trace in the Greek version of the Old Testament,and explain the historical, or rather legendary, noticeswhich we have of its composition. To begin with the latter.Josephus has preserved what, no doubt in its present form, isa spurious letter from one Aristeas to his brotherPhilocrates, [1 Comp. Josephi Opera, ed. Havercamp, vol. ii.App. pp. 103-132. The best and most critical edition of thisletter 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 aremost fully given in Euseb. Praepar. Evang. Some of theFathers give the story, with additional embellishments. Itwas first critically called in question by Hody (ContraHistoriam Aristeae de L. X. interpret. dissert. Oxon. 1685),and has since been generally regarded as legendary. But itsfoundation in fact has of late been recognized by well nighall critics, though the letter itself is pseudonymic, andfull of fabulous details.] in which we are told how, by theadvice 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 ofeach tribe), and furnished them with a most valuablemanuscript of the Old Testament. The letter then givesfurther details of their splendid reception at the Egyptiancourt, and of their sojourn in the island of Pharos, wherethey accomplished their work in seventy-two days, when theyreturned to Jerusalem laden with rich presents, theirtranslation having received the formal approval of the JewishSanhedrin at Alexandria. From this account we may at leastderive as historical these facts: that the Pentateuch, for toit only the testimony refers, was translated into Greek, atthe suggestion of Demetrius Phalareus, in the reign and underthe patronage, if not by direction, of Ptolemy II.(Philadelphus). [2 This is also otherwise attested. See Keil,Lehrb. d. hist. kr. Einl. d. A. T., p. 551, note 5.] Withthis the Jewish accounts agree, which describe thetranslation of the Pentateuch under Ptolemy, the JerusalemTalmud [a Meg. i.] in a simpler narrative, the Babylonian [bMeg. 9 a.] with additions apparently derived from theAlexandrian legends; the former expressly noting thirteen,the latter marking fifteen, variations from the originaltext. [3 It is scarcely worth while to refute the view ofTychsen, Jost (Gesch. d. Judenth.), and others, that theJewish writers only wrote down for Ptolemy the Hebrew wordsin Greek letters. But the word cannot possibly bear thatmeaning in this connection. Comp. also Frankel, Vorstudien,p. 31.]

The Pentateuch once translated, whether by one, or morelikely by several persons,. [4 According to Sopher. i. 8, byfive persons, but that seems a round number to correspond tothe five books of Moses. Frankel (Ueber d. Einfl. d. palast.Exeg.) labours, however, to show in detail the differencesbetween the different translators. But his criticism is oftenstrained, and the solution of the question is apparentlyimpossible.] the other books of the Old Testament wouldnaturally soon receive the same treatment. They wereevidently rendered by a number of persons, who possessed verydifferent qualifications for their work, the translation ofthe Book of Daniel having been so defective, that in itsplace another by Theodotion was afterwards substituted. Theversion, as a whole, bears the name of the LXX., as some havesupposed from the number of its translators according toAristeas' account, only that in that case it should have beenseventy-two; or from the approval of the AlexandrianSannedrin [1 Bohl would have it, 'the Jerusalem Sanhedrin!']although in that case it should have been seventy-one; orperhaps because, in the popular idea, the number of theGentile nations, of which the Greek (Japheth) was regarded astypical, was seventy. We have, however, one fixed date bywhich to compute the completion of this translation. From theprologue to the Apocryphal 'Wisdom of Jesus the son ofSirach,' we learn that in his days the Canon of Scripture wasclosed; and that on his arrival, in his thirty-eighth year,[2 But the expression has also been referred to thethirty-eighth year of the reign of Euergetes.] In Egypt,which was then under the rule of Euergetes, he found theso-called LXX. version completed, when he set himself to asimilar translation of the Hebrew work of his grandfather.But in the 50th chapter of that work we have a description ofthe High-Priest Simon, which is evidently written by aneye-witness. We have therefore as one term the pontificate ofSimon, during which the earlier Jesus lived; and as theother, the reign of Euergetes, in which the grandson was atAlexandria. Now, although there were two High-Priests whobore the name Simon, and two Egyptian kings with the surnameEuergetes, yet on purely historical grounds, and apart fromcritical prejudices, we conclude that the Simon of Ecclus. L.was Simon I., the Just, one of the greatest names in Jewishtraditional history; and similarly, that the Euergetes of theyounger Jesus was the first of that name, Ptolemy III., whoreigned from 247 to 221 B.C. [3 To my mind, at least, thehistorical evidence, apart from critical considerations,seems very strong. Modern writers on the other side haveconfessedly been influenced by the consideration that theearlier date of the Book of Sirach would also involve a muchearlier date for the close of the O. T. Canon than they aredisposed to admit. More especially would it bear on thequestion of the so-called 'Maccabean Psalms,' and theauthorship and date of the Book of Daniel. But historicalquestions should be treated independently of criticalprejudices. Winex (Bibl. Realworterb. i. p. 555), and othersafter him admit that the Simon of Ecclus. ch. L. was indeedSimon the Just (i.), but maintain that the Euergetes of thePrologue was the second of that name, Ptolemy VII., popularlynicknamed Kakergetes. Comp. the remarks of Fritzsche on thisview in the Kurzgef. Exeg. Handb. z. d. Apokr. 5te Lief. p.xvii.] 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 theOld Testament was then practically fixed in Palestine. [1Comp. here, besides the passages quoted in the previous note,Baba B. 13 b and 14 b; for the cessation of revelation in theMaccabean period, 1 Macc. iv. 46; ix. 27; xiv. 41; and, ingeneral, for the Jewish view on the subject at the time ofChrist, Jos. Ag. Ap. i. 8.] That Canon was accepted by theAlexandrian translators, although the more loose views of theHellenists on 'inspiration,' and the absence of that closewatchfulness exercised over the text in Palestine, led toadditions and alterations, and ultimately even to theadmission of the Apocrypha into the Greek Bible. Unlike theHebrew arrangement of the tex into the Law, the Prophets, [2Anterior: Josh., Judg., 1 and 2 Sam. 1 and 2 Kings.Posterior: Major: Is., Jer., and Ezek.; and the MinorProphets.] and the (sacred) Writings, or Hagiographa, theLXX. arrange them into historical, prophetical, and poeticbooks, and count twenty-two, after the Hebrew alphabet,instead of twenty-four, as the Hebrews. But perhaps boththese may have been later arrangements, since Philo evidentlyknew the Jewish order of the books. [a De Vita Contempl.section 3.] What text the translators may have used we canonly conjecture. It differs in almost innumerable instancesfrom our own, though the more important deviations arecomparatively few. [3 They occur chiefly in 1 Kings, thebooks of Esther, Job, Proverbs, Jeremiah, and Daniel. In thePentateuch we find them only in four passages in the Book ofExodus.] In the great majority of the lesser variations ourHebrew must be regarded as the correct text. [4 There is alsoa curious correspondence between the Samaritan version of thePentateuch and that of the LXX., which in no less than about2,000 passages agree as against our Hebrew, although in otherinstances the Greek text either agrees with the Hebrewagainst the Samaritan, or else is independent of both. On theconnection between Samaritan literature and Hellenism thereare some very interesting notices in Freudenthal, Hell. Stud.pp. 82-103, 130-136, 186, &c.] Putting aside clerical mistakes and misreadings, and makingallowance for errors of translation, ignorance, and haste, wenote certain outstanding facts as characteristic of the Greekversion. It bears evident marks of its origin in Egypt in itsuse of Egyptian words and references, and equally evidenttraces of its Jewish composition. By the side of slavish andfalse literalism there is great liberty, if not licence, inhandling the original; gross mistakes occur along with happyrenderings of very difficult passages, suggesting the aid ofsome able scholars. Distinct Jewish elements are undeniablythere, which can only be explained by reference to Jewishtradition, although they are much fewer than some criticshave supposed. [5 The extravagant computations in thisrespect of Frankel (both in his work, Ueber d. Einfl. d.Palast. 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 sixdistinct references to Halakhoth in the following passages inthe LXX.: Gen. ix. 4; xxxii. 32; Lev. xix. 19; xxiv. 7; Deut.xxv. 5; xxvi. 12. As instances of Haggadah we may mention therenderings in Gen. v. 24 and Ex. x. 23.] This we can easilyunderstand, since only those traditions would find a placewhich at that early time were not only received, but ingeneral circulation. The distinctively Grecian elements,however, are at present of chief interest to us. They consistof allusions to Greek mythological terms, and adaptations ofGreek philosophical ideas. However few, [1 Dahne and Gfrorerhave in this respect gone to the same extreme as Frankel onthe Jewish side. But even Siegfried (Philo v. Alex. p. 8) isobliged to admit that the LXX. rendering, Gen. i. 2), bearsundeniable mark of Grecian philosophic views. And certainlythis is not the sole instance of the kind.] even onewell-authenticated instance would lead us to suspect others,and in general give to the version the character of JewishHellenising. In the same class we reckon what constitutes theprominent characteristic of the LXX. version, which, for wantof better terms, we would designate as rationalistic andapologetic. Difficulties, or what seemed such, are removed bythe most bold methods, and by free handling of the text; itneed scarcely be said, often very unsatisfactorily. Moreespecially a strenuous effort is made to banish allanthropomorphisms, as inconsistent with their ideas of theDeity. The superficial observer might be tempted to regardthis as not strictly Hellenistic, since the same may benoted, and indeed is much more consistently carried out, inthe Targum of Onkelos. Perhaps such alterations had even beenintroduced into the Hebrew text itself. [2 As in theso-called 'Tiqquney Sopherim,' or 'emendations of thescribes.' Comp. here generally the investigations of Geiger(Urschrift u. Ueberse z. d. Bibel). But these, howeverlearned and ingenious, require, like so many of the dicta ofmodern Jewish criticism, to be taken with the utmost caution,and in each case subjected to fresh examination, since solarge a proportion of their writings are what is bestdesignated by the German Tendenz-Schriften, and theirinferences Tendenz-Schlusse. But the critic and the historianshould have no Tendenz, except towards simple fact andhistorical truth.] But there is this vital difference betweenPalestinainism and Alexandrianism, that, broadly speaking,the Hebrew avoidance of anthropomorphisms depends onobjective, theological and dogmatic, the Hellenistic onsubjective, philosophical and apologetic, grounds. The Hebrewavoids them as he does what seems to him inconsistent withthe dignity of Biblical heroes and of Israel. 'Great is thepower of the prophets,' he writes, 'who liken the Creator tothe creature;' or else [a Mechilta on Ex. xix.] 'a thing iswritten only to break it to the ear', to adapt it to ourhuman modes of speaking and understanding; and again, [b Ber.31 b.] the 'words of the Torah are like the speech of thechildren of men.' But for this very purpose the words ofScripture may be presented in another form, if need be evenmodified, so as to obviate possible misunderstanding, ordogmatic error. The Alexandrians arrived at the sameconclusion, but from an opposite direction. They had nottheological but philosophical axioms in their minds, truthswhich the highest truth could not, and, as they held, did notcontravene. Only dig deeper; get beyond the letter to that towhich it pointed; divest abstract truth of its concrete,national, Judaistic envelope, penetrate through the dim porchinto the temple, and you were surrounded by a blaze of light,of which, as its portals had been thrown open, single rayshad fallen into the night of heathendom. And so the truthwould appear glorious, more than vindicated in their ownsight, triumphant in that of others!

In such manner the LXX. version became really the people'sBible to that large Jewish world through which Christianitywas afterwards to address itself to mankind. It was part ofthe case, that this translation should be regarded by theHellenists as inspired like the original. Otherwise it wouldhave been impossible to make final appeal to the very wordsof the Greek; still less, to find in them a mystical andallegorical meaning. Only that we must not regard their viewsof inspiration, except as applying to Moses, and even thereonly partially, as identical with ours. To their mindsinspiration differed quantitatively, not qualitatively, fromwhat the rapt soul might at any time experience, so that evenheathen philosophers might ultimately be regarded as at timesinspired. So far as the version of the Bible wa concerned(and probably on like grounds), similar views obtained at alater period even in Hebrew circles, where it was laid downthat the Chaldee Targum on the Pentateuch had been originallyspoken to Moses on Sinai, [a Ned. 37 b; Kidd. 49 a.] thoughafterwards forgotten, till restored and re-introduced. [bMeg. 3 a.]

Whether or not the LXX. was read in the HellenistSynagogues, and the worship conducted, wholly or partly, inGreek, must be matter of conjecture. We find, however, asignificant notice [c Jer. Meg. iv. 3,ed. Krot. p. 75a.] tothe effect that among those who spoke a barbarous language(not Hebrew, the term referring specially to Greek), it wasthe custom for one person to read the whole Parashah (orlesson for the day), while among the Hebrew-speaking Jewsthis was done by seven persons, successively called up. Thisseems to imply that either the Greek text alone was read, orthat it followed a Hebrew reading, like the Targum of theEasterns. More probably, however, the former would be thecase, since both Hebrew manuscripts, and persons qualified toread them, would be difficult to procure. At any rate, weknow that the Greek Scriptures were authoritativelyacknowledged in Palestine, [1 Meg. i. It is, however, fair toconfess strong doubt, on my part, whether this passage maynot refer to the Greek translation of Akylas. At the sametime it simply speaks of a translation into Greek. And beforethe version of Aquila the LXX. alone held that place. It isone of the most daring modern Jewish perversions of historyto identify this Akylas, who flourished about 130 afterChrist, with the Aquila of the Book of Acts. It wants eventhe excuse of a colourable perversion of the confused storyabout Akylas, which Epiphanius who is so generallyinaccurate, gives in De Pond. et Mensur. c. xiv. and that theordinary daily prayers might be said in Greek. [2 The 'Shema'(Jewish creed), with its collects, the eighteen'benedictions,' and 'the grace at meat.' A later Rabbivindicated the use of the 'Shema' in Greek by the argumentthat the word Shema meant not only 'Hear,' but also'understand' (Jer. Sotah vii. 1.) Comp. sotah vii. 1, 2. InBer. 40 b, it is said that the Parashah connected with thewoman suspected of adultery, the prayer and confession at thebringing of the tithes, and the various benedictions overfood, may be said not only in Hebrew, but in any otherlanguages.] The LXX. deserved this distinction from itsgeneral faithfulness, at least, in regard to the Pentateuch,and from its preservation of ancient doctrine. Thus, withoutfurther referring to its full acknowledgment of the doctrineof Angels (comp. Deut. xxxii. 8, xxxiii. 2), we speciallymark that is preserved the Messianic interpretation of Gen.xlix. 10, and Numb. xxiv. 7, 17, 23, bringing us evidence ofwhat had been the generally received view two and a halfcenturies before the birth of Jesus. It must have been on theground of the use made of the LXX. in argument, that latervoices in the Synagogue declared this version to have been asgreat calamity to Israel as the making of the golden calf, [aMass. Sopher i. Hal. 7, at the close of vol. ix. of theBab.Talmud.] and that is completion had been followed by theterrible omen of an eclipse, that lasted three days. [bHilch. Ged. Taan.] For the Rabbis declared that uponinvestigation it had been found that the Torah could beadequately translated only into Greek, and they are mostextravagant in their praise of the Greek version of Akylas,or Aquila, the proselyte, which was made to counteract theinfluence of the LXX. [c Jer. Meg. i. 11, ed. Krot. p. 71 band c.] But in Egypt the anniversary of the completion of theLXX. was celebrated by a feast in the island of Pharos, inwhich ultimately even heathens seem to have taken part. [dPhilo, Vita Mos. ii. ed. Francf. p. 660.]




The translation of the Old Testament into Greek may beregarded as the starting-point of Hellenism. It renderedpossible the hope that what in its original form had beenconfined to the few, might become accessible to the world atlarge. [a Philo, de Vita Mos. ed. Mangey, ii. p. 140.] Butmuch yet remained to be done. If the religion of the OldTestament had been brought near to the Grecian world ofthought, the latter had still to be brought near to Judaism.Some intermediate stage must be found; some common ground onwhich the two might meet; some original kindredness of spiritto which their later divergences might be carried back, andwhere they might finally be reconciled. As the first attemptin this direction, first in order, if not always in time, wemark the so-called Apocryphal literature, most of which waseither written in Greek, or is the product of HellenisingJews. [1 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.'] Itsgeneral object was twofold. First, of course, it wasapologetic, intended to fill gaps in Jewish history orthought, but especially to strengthen the Jewish mind againstattacks from without, and generally to extol the dignity ofIsrael. Thus, more withering sarcasm could scarcely be pouredon heathenism than in the apocryphal story of 'Bel and theDragon,' or in the so-called 'Epistle of Jeremy,' with whichthe Book of 'Baruch' closes. The same strain, only in morelofty tones, resounds through the Book of the 'Wisdom ofSolomon,' [b Comp. x. xx.] along with the constantly impliedcontrast between the righteous, or Israel, and sinners, orthe heathen. But the next object was to show that the deeperand purer thinking of heathenism in its highest philosophysupported, nay, in some respects, was identical with, thefundamental teaching of the Old Testament. This, of course,was apologetic of the Old Testament, but it also prepared theway for a reconciliation with Greek philosophy. We noticethis especially in the so-called Fourth Book of Maccabees, solong erroneously attributed to Josephus, [1 It is printed inHavercamp's edition of Josephus, vol. ii. pp. 497-520. Thebest edition is in Fritzsche, Libri Apocryphi Vet. Test.(Lips. 1871).] and in the 'Wisdom of Solomon.' The firstpostulate here would be the acknowledgment of truth among theGentiles, which was the outcome of Wisdom, and Wisdom was therevelation of God. This seems already implied in sothoroughly Jewish a book as that of Jesus the Son of Sirach.[a Comp. for ex. Ecclus. xxiv. 6.] Of coursethere could be noalliance with Epicureanism, which was at the opposite pole ofthe Old Testament. But the brilliancy of Plato's speculationswould charm, while the stern self-abnegation of Stoicismwould prove almost equally attractive. The one would show whythey believed, the other why they lived, as they did. Thusthe theology of the Old Testament would find a rational basisin the ontology of Plato, and its ethics in the moralphilosophy of the Stoics. Indeed, this is the very line ofargument which Josephus follows in the conclusion of histreatise against Apion. [b ii. 39, 40.] This, then, was anunassailable position to take:contempt poured on heathenismas such, [c Comp. also Jos. Ag. Ap. ii. 34.] and arationalphilosophical basis for Judaism. They were not deep, onlyacute thinkers, these Alexandrians, and the result of theirspeculations was a curious Eclecticism, in which Platonismand Stoicism are found, often heterogeneously, side by side.Thus, without further details, it may be said that the FourthBook of Maccabees is a Jewish Stoical treatise on the Stoicaltheme of 'the supremacy of reason', the proposition, statedat the outset, that 'pious reason bears absolute sway overthe passions,' being illustrated by the story of themartyrdom of Eleazar, and of the mother and her seven sons.[d Comp. 2 Macc. vi. 18-vii. 41.] On the other hand, thatsublime work, the 'Wisdom of Solomon,' contains Platonic andStoic elements [2 Ewald (Gesch. d. Volkes Isr., vol. iv. pp.626-632) has given a glowing sketch of it. Ewald rightly saysthat its Grecian elements have been exaggerated; but Bucher(Lehre vom Logos, pp. 59-62) utterly fails in denying theirpresence altogether.], chiefly perhaps the latter, the twooccurring side by side. Thus [e Ch. vii. 22-27.] 'Wisdom,'which is so concretely presented as to be almosthypostatised, [3 Compare especially ix. 1; xviii. 14-16,where the idea of passes into that of the. Of course theabove remarks are not intended to depreciate the great valueof 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 revelationof the.] is first described in the language of Stoicism, [fVv. 22-24.] and afterwards set forth, in that of Platonism,[g Vv. 25-29.] as 'the breath of thepower of God;' as 'a pureinfluence flowing from the glory of the Almighty;' 'thebrightness of the everlasting light, the unspotted mirror ofthe power of God, and the image of His goodness.' Similarly,we have [a In ch. viii. 7.] a Stoical enumeration of the fourcardinal virtues, temperance, prudence, justice, andfortitude, and close by it the Platonic idea of the soul'spre-existence, [b In vv. 19, 20.] and of earth and matterpressing it down. [c ix. 15.] How such views would point inthe direction of the need of a perfect revelation from onhigh, as in the Bible, and of its rational possibility, needscarcely be shown.

But how did Eastern Judaism bear itself towards thisApocryphal literature? We find it described by a term whichseems 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 orcongregational use. Although they were, of course, carefullydistinguished from the canonical Scriptures, as not beingsacred, their use was not only allowed, but many of them arequoted in Talmudical writings. [1 Some Apocryphal books whichhave not been preserved to us are mentioned in Talmudicalwritings, among them one, 'The roll of the building of theTemple,' alas, lost to us! Comp. Hamburger, vol. ii. pp.66-70.] In this respect they are placed on a very differentfooting from the so-called Sepharim Chitsonim, or 'outsidebooks,' which probably included both the products of acertain class of Jewish Hellenistic literature, and theSiphrey Minim, or writings of the heretics. Against theseRabbinism can scarcely find terms of sufficient violence,even debarring from share in the world to come those who readthem. [d Sanh 100.] This, not only because they were usedincontroversy, but because their secret influence on orthodoxJudaism was dreaded. For similar reasons, later Judaismforbade the use of the Apocrypha in the same manner as thatof the Sepharim Chitsonim. But their influence had alreadymade itself felt. The Apocrypha, the more greedily perused,not only for their glorification of Judaism, but that theywere, so to speak, doubtful reading, which yet afforded aglimpse into that forbidden Greek world, opened the way forother Hellenistic literature, of which unacknowledged butfrequent traces occur in Talmudical writings. [2 Comp.Siegfried, Philo von Alex. pp. 275-299, who, however, perhapsoverstates the matter.]

To those who thus sought to weld Grecian thought with Hebrewrevelation, two objects would naturally present themselves.They must try to connect their Greek philosophers with theBible, and they must find beneath the letter of Scripture adeeper meaning, which would accord with philosophic truth. Sofar as the text of Scripture was concerned, they had a methodready to hand. The Stoic philosophers had busied themselvesin finding a deeper allegorical meaning, especially in thewritings of Homer. By applying it to mythical stories, or tothe popular beliefs, and by tracing the supposed symbolicalmeaning of names, numbers, &c., it became easy to provealmost anything, or to extract from these philosophicaltruths ethical principles, and even the later results ofnatural science. [1 Comp. Siegfried, pp. 9-16; Hartmann, EngeVerb. d. A. Test. mit d. N., pp. 568-572.] Such a process waspeculiarly pleasing to the imagination, and the results alikeastounding and satisfactory, since as they could not beproved, so neither could they be disproved. This allegoricalmethod [2 This is to be carefully distinguished from thetypical interpretation and from the mystical, the type beingprophetic, the mystery spiritually understood.] was thewelcome key by which the Hellenists might unlock the hiddentreasury of Scripture. In point of fact, we find it appliedso early as in the 'Wisdom of Solomon.' [3 Not to speak ofsuch sounder interpretations as that of the brazen serpent(Wisd. xvi. 6, 7), and of the Fall (ii. 24), or of the viewpresented of the early history of the chosen race in ch. x.,we may mention as instances of allegorical interpretationthat of the manna (xvi. 26-28), and of the high-priestlydress (xviii. 24), to which, no doubt, others might be added.But I cannot find sufficient evidence of this allegoricalmethod in the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach. Thereasoning of Hartmann (u. s., pp. 542-547) seems to megreatly strained. Of the existence of allegoricalinterpretations in the Synoptic Gospels, or of any connectionwith Hellenism, such as Hartmann, Siegfried, and Loesner(Obs. ad. N.T. e Phil. Alex) put into them, I cannot, onexamination, discover any evidence. Similarity ofexpressions, or even of thought, afford no evidence of inwardconnection. Of the Gospel by St. John we shall speak in thesequel. In the Paul ne Epistles we find, as might beexpected, some allegorical interpretations, chiefly in thoseto the Corinthians, perhaps owing to the connection of thatchurch 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 cannothere speak.]

But as yet Hellenism had scarcely left the domain of soberinterpretation. it is otherwise in the letter of thePseudo-Aristeas, to which reference has already been made. [4See p. 25.] Here the wildest symbolismis put into the mouthof the High-Priest Eleazar, to convince Aristeas and hisfellow-ambassador that the Mosaic ordinances concerning foodhad not only a political reason, to keep Israel separate fromimpious nations, and a sanitary one, but chiefly a mysticalmeaning. The birds allowed for food were all tame and pure,and they fed on corn or vegetable products, the oppositebeing the case with those forbidden. The first lesson whichthis was intended to teach was, that Israel must be just, andnot seek to obtain aught from others by violence; but, so tospeak, imitate the habits of those birds which were allowedthem. The next lesson would be, that each must learn togovern his passions and inclinations. Similarly, thedirection about cloven hoofs pointed to the need of makingseparation, that is, between good and evil; and that aboutchewing the cud to the need of remembering, viz. God and Hiswill. [1 A similar principle applied to the prohibition ofsuch species as the mouse or the weasel, not only becausethey destroyed everthing, but because they latter, from itsmode of conceiving and bearing, symbolized listening to eviltales, and exaggerated, lying, or malicious speech.] In suchmanner, according to Aristeas, did the High Priest go throughthe catalogue of things forbidden, and of animals to besacrificed, showing from their 'hidden meaning' the majestyand sanctity of the Law. [2 Of course this method isconstantly adopted by Josephus. Comp. for example, Ant. iii.1. 6; 7. 7.]

This was an important line to take, and it differed inprinciple from the allegorical method adopted by the EasternJews. Not only the Dorshey Reshumoth, [3 Or DorsheyChamuroth, searchers of difficult passages. Zunz. Gottesd.Vortr. p. 323. note b.] or searches out of the subleties ofScripture, of their indications, but even the ordinryHaggadist employed, indeeds, allegoric interpretations.Thereby Akiba vindicated for the 'Song of Songs' its place inthe Canon. Did not Scripture say: 'One thing spake God,twofold is what I heard,' [a Ps. lxii. 11; Sanh. 34 a.] anddid not this imply a twofold meaning; nay, could not theTorah be explained by many different methods? [4 The seventylanguages in which the Law was supposed to have been writtenbelow Mount Ebal (Sotah vii. 5). I cannot help feeling thismay in part also refer to the various modes of interpretingHoly 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 thatbreaks the rock in a thousand pieces. Comp. Rashi on Gen.xxxiii. 20.] What, for example, was the water which Israelsought in the wilderness, or the bread and raiment whichJacob asked in Bethel, but the Torah and the dignity which itconferred? But in all these, and innumerable similarinstances, the allegorical interpretation was only anapplication of Scripture for homiletical purposes, not asearching into a rationale beneath, such as that of theHellenists. The latter the Rabbis would have utterlyrepudiated, on their express principle that 'Scripture goesnot beyond its plain meaning.' [5 Perhaps we ought here topoint out one of the most important principles of Rabbinism,which has been almost entirely overlooked in modern criticismof the Talmud. It is this: that any ordinance, not only ofthe Divine law, but of the Rabbis, even though only given fora particular time or occasion, or for a special reason,remains in full force for all time unless it be expresslyrecalled (Betsah 5 b). Thus Maimonides (Sepher ha Mitsv.)declares the law to extirpate the Canaanites as continuing inits obligations. The inferences as to the perpetualobligation, not only of the ceremonial law, but ofsacrifices, will be obvious, and their bearing on the Jewishcontroversy need not be explained. Comp. Chief RabbiHoldheim. d. Ceremonial Gesetz in Messasreich, 1845.] Theysternly insisted, that we ought not to search into theulterior object and rationale of a law, but simply obey it.But it was this very rationale of the Law which theAlexandrians sought to find under its letter. It was in thissense that Aristobulus, a Hellenist Jew of Alexandria, [bAbout 160 B.C.] sought to explain Scripture. Only a fragmentof hwork, which seems to have been a Commentary on thePentateuch, dedicated to King Ptolemy (Philometor), has beenpreserved to us (by Clement of Alexandria, and by Eusebius [aPraepar. Evang. vii. 14. 1 ; vii. 10. 1-17; xiii. 12.]).According to Clement of Alexandria, his aim was, 'to bringthe Peripatetic philosophy out of the law of Moses, and outof the other prophets.' Thus, when we read that God stood, itmeant the stable order of the world; that He created theworld in six days, the orderly succession of time; the restof the Sabbath, the preservation of what was created. And insuch manner could the whole system of Aristole be found inthe Bible. But how was this to be accounted for? Of course,the Bible had not learned from Aristole, but he and all theother philosphers had learned from the Bible. Thus, accordingto Aristobulus, Pythagoras, Plato, and all the other sageshad really learned from Moses, and the broken rays found intheir writings were united in all their glory in the Torah.

It was a tempting path on which to enter, and one on whichthere was no standing still. It only remained to givefixedness to the allegorical method by reducing it to certainprinciples, or canons of criticism, and to form theheterogeneous mass of Grecian philosophemes and Jewishtheologumena into a compact, if not homogeneous system. Thiswas the work of Philo of Alexandria, born about 20 B.C. Itconcerns us not here to inquire what were the intermediatelinks between Aristobulus and Philo. Another and moreimportant point claims our attention. If ancient Greekphilosophy knew the teaching of Moses, where was the historicevidence for it? If such did not exist, it must somehow beinvented. Orpheus was a name which had always lent itself toliterary frand, [b As Val. Kenaer puts it, Daitr. de Aristob.Jud. p. 73.] and so Aristobulus boldl;y produces (whether ofhis own or of others' making) a number of spurious citationsfrom Hesiod, Homer, Linus, but especially from Orpheus, allBiblical and Jewish in their cast. Aristobulus was neitherthe first nor the last to commit such fraud. The Jewish Sibylboldly, and, as we shall see, successfully personated theheathen oracles. And this opens, generally, quite a vista ofJewish-Grecia literature. In the second, and even in thethird century before Christ, there were Hellenist historians,such as Eupolemus, Artapanus, Demetrius, and Aristeas; tragicand epic poets, such as Ezekiel, Pseudo-Philo, and Theodotus,who, after the manner of the ancient classical writers, butfor their own purposes, described certain periods of Jewishhistory, or sang of such themes as the Exodus, Jerusalem, orthe rape of Dinah.

The mention of these spurious quotations naturally leads usto another class of spurious literature, which, although notHellenistic, has many elements in common with it, and, evenwhen originating with Palestinian Jews is not Palestinian,nor yet has been preserved in its language. We allude to whatare known as the Pseudepigraphic, or Pseudonymic Writings, socalled because, with one exception, they bear false names ofauthorship. It is difficult to arrange them otherwise thanchronological, and even here the greatest difference ofopinions prevails. Their general character (with oneexception) may be described as anti-heathen, perhapsmissionary, but chiefly as Apocalyptic. They are attempts attaking up the key-note struck in the prophecies of Daniel;rather, we should say, to lift the veil only partially raisedby him, and to point, alike as concerned Israel, and thekingdoms of the world, to the past, the present, and thefuture, in the light of the Kingship of the Messiah. Here, ifanywhere, we might expect to find traces of New Testamentteaching; and yet, side by side with frequent similarity ofform, the greatest difference, we had almost said contrast,in spirit, prevails.

Many of these works must have perished. In one of the latestof them [a 4 Esdras xiv. 44, 46.] they are put down atseventy, probably a roundnumber, having reference to thesupposed number of the nations of the earth, or to everypossible mode of interpreting Scripture. They are describedas intended for 'the wise among the people,' probably thosewhom St. Paul, in the Christian sense, designates as 'knowingthe time' [b Rom. xiii. 11.] [1 The of St. Paul seems hereused in exactly the same sense as in later Hebrew. The LXX.render it so in five passages (Ezr. v. 3; Dan. iv. 33; vi.10; vii. 22, 25).] of the Advent of the Messiah. Viewed inthis light, they embody the ardent aspirataions and theinmost hopes [2 Of course, it suits Jewish, writers, like Dr.Jost, to deprecate the value of the Pseudepigrapha. Theirardour of expectancy ill agrees with the modern theories,which would eliminate, if possible, the Messianic hope fromancient Judaism.] of those who longed for the 'consolation ofIsrael,' as they understood it. Nor should we judge theirpersonations of authorship according to our Western ideas. [3Comp. Dillmann in Herzog's Real-Encykl. vol. xii. p. 301.]Pseudonymic writings were common in that age, and a Jew mightperhaps plead that, even in the Old Testament, books had beenheaded by names which confessedly were not those of theirauthors (such as Samuel, Ruth, Esther). If those inspiredpoets who sang in the spirit, and echoed the strains, ofAsaph, adopted that designation, and the sons of Korahpreferred to be known by that title, might not they, whocould no longer claim the authority of inspiration seekattention for their utterances by adopting the names of thosein whose spirit they professed to write?

The most interesting as well as the oldest of these booksare those known as the Book of Enoch, the Sibylline Oracles,the Paler of Solomon, and the Book of Jubilees, or LittleGenesis. Only the briefest notice of them can here find aplace. [1 For a brief review of the 'PseudepigraphicWritings,' see Appendix I.]

The Book of Enoch, the oldest parts of which date a centuryand a half before Christ, comes to us from Palestine. Itprofesses to be a vision vouchsafed to that Patriacrch, andatells of the fall of the Angels and its consequences, and ofwhat he saw and heard in his rapt journeys through heaven andearth. Of deepest, though often sad, interest, is what itsays of the Kingdom of Heaven, of the advent of Messiah andHis Kingdom, and of the last things.

On the other hand, the Sibylline Oracles, of which theoldest portions date from about 160 B.C., come to us fromEgypt. It is to the latter only that we here refer. Theirmost interesting parts are also the most characteristics. Inthem the ancient heathen myths of the first ages of man arewelded together with Old Testament notices, while the heathenTheogony is recast in a Jewish mould. Thus Noah becomesUranos, Shem Saturn, Ham Titan, and Japheth Japetus.Similarly, we have fragments of ancient heathen oracles, soto speak, recast in a Jewish edition. The strangestcircumstance is, that the utterances of this Judaising andJewish Sibyl seem to have passed as the oracles of theancient Erythraean, which had predicted the fall of Troy, andas those of the Sibyl of Cumae, which, in the infancy ofRome, Tarquinius Superbus had deposited in the Capitol.

The collection of eighteen hymns known as the Psalter ofSolomon dates from more than half a century before our ear.No doubt the e original was Hebrew, though they breathe asomewhat Hellenistic spirit. They express ardent Messianicaspirations, and a firm faith in the Resurrection, and ineternal rewards and punishments.

Different in character from the preceding works is The Bookof Jubilees, so called from its chronological arrangementinto 'Jubilee-periods', or 'Little Genesis.' It is chiefly akind of legendary supplement to the Book of Genesis, intendedto explain some of its historic difficulties, and to fill upits historic lacunae. It was probably written about the timeof Christ, and this gives it a special interest, by aPalestinian, and in Hebrew, or rather Aramaean. But, like therest of the Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphic literature whichcomes from Palestine, or was originally written in Hebrew, weposses it no longer in that language, but only intranslation.

If from this brief review of Hellenist and Pseudepigraphicliterature we turn to take a retrospect, we can scarcely failto perceive, on the one hand, the development of the old, andon the other the preparation for the new, in other words, thegrand expectancy awakened, and the grand preparation made.One step only remained to complete what Hellenism had alreadybegun. That completion came through one who, although himselfuntouched by the Gospel, perhaps more than any other preparedalike his co-religionists the Jews, and his countrymen theGreeks, for the new teaching, which, indeed, was presented bymany of its early advocates in the forms which they hadlearned from him. That man was Philo the Jew, of Alexandria.




It is strange how little we know of the personal history ofthe greatest of uninspired Jewish writers of old, though heoccupied so prominent a position in his time. [1 Hausrath(N.T. Zeitg. vol. ii. p. 222 &c.) has given a highlyimaginative picture of Philo, as, indeed, of many otherpersons and things.] Philo was born in Alexandria, about theyear 20 before Christ. He was a descendant of Aaron, andbelonged to one of the wealthiest and most influentialfamilies among the Jewish merchant-princes of Egypt. Hisbrother was the political head of that community inAlexandria, and he himself on one occasion represented hisco-religionists, though unsuccessfully, at Rome, [a 39 or 40A.D.] as the head of an embassy to entreat the EmperiorCaligula for protection from the persecutions consequent onthe Jewish resistance to placing statues of the Emperor intheir Synagogues. But it is not with Philo, the wealthyaristocratic Jew of Alexandria, but with the great writer andthinker who, so to speak, completed Jewish Hellenism, that wehave here to do. Let us see what was his relation alike toheathen philosophy and to the Jewish faith, of both of whichhe was the ardent advocate, and how in his system he combinedthe teaching of the two.

To begin with, Philo united in rare measure Greek learningwith Jewish enthusiasm. In his writings he very frequentlyuses classical modes of expression; [2 Siegfried has, withimmense labor, collected a vast number of parallelexpressions, chiefly from Plato and Plutarch (pp. 39-47).] henames not fewer than sixty-four Greek writers; [3 Comp.Grossmann, Quaest. Phil. i. p. 5 &c.] and he either alludesto, 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 attheir feet, and learned to weave a system from Pythagoras,Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. The gatherings of thesephilosophers were 'holy,' and Plato was 'the great.' Butholier than all was the gathering of the true Israel; andincomparably greater than any, Moses. From him had all sageslearned, and with him alone was all truth to be found, not,indeed, in the letter, but under the letter, of HolyScripture. 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 notimply, on the one hand, the revelation of absolute truth byGod, and, on the other, accommodation to those who were weak?Here, then, was the principle of a twofold interpretation ofthe Word of God, the literal and the allegorical. The letterof the text must be held fast; and Biblical personages andhistories were real. But only narrow-minded slaves of theletter would stop here; the more so, as sometimes the literalmeaning alone would be tame, even absurd; while theallegorical interpretation gave the true sense, even thoughit might occassionally run counter to the letter. Thus, thepatriarchs represented states of the soul; and, whatever theletter might bear, Joseph represented one given to thefleshly, whom his brothers rightly hated; Simeon the soulaiming after the higher; the killing of the Egyptian byMoses, the subjugation of passion, and so on. But thisallegorical interpretation, by the side of the literal (thePeshat of the Palestinians), though only for the few, was notarbitrary. It had its 'laws,' and 'canons', some of whichexcluded the literal interpretation, while others admitted itby the side of the higher meaning. [1 In this sketch of thesystem of Philo I have largely availed myself of the carefulanalysis of Siegfried.]

To begin with the former: the literal sense must be whollyset aside, when it implied anything unworthy of the Deity,anything unmeaning, impossible, or contrary to reason.Manifestly, this canon, if strictly applied, would do awaynot only with all anthropomorphisms, but cut the knotwherever difficulties seemed insuperable. Again, Philo wouldfind an allegorical, along with the literal, interpretationindicated in the reduplication of a word, and in seeminglysuperfluous words, particles, or expressions. [2 It should benoted that these are also Talmudical canons, not indeed forallegorical interpretation, but as pointing to some specialmeaning, since there was not a word or particle in Scripturewithout a definite meaning and object.] These could, ofcourse, only bear such a meaning on Philo's assumption of theactual inspiration of the LXX. version. Similarly, in exactaccordance with a Talmudical canon, [a Baba K 64 a.] anyrepetition of what had been already stated would point tosomething new. These were comparatively sober rules ofexegesis. Not so the licence which he claimed of freelyaltering the punctuation [3 To illustrate what use might bemade of such alterations, the Midrash (Ber. R. 65) would haveus punctuate Gen. xxvii. 19, as follows: 'And Jacob said untohis father, I (viz. am he who will receive the tencommandments), (but) Esau (is) thy firstborn.' In Yalkutthere is the still more curious explanation that in heaventhe soul of Jacob was the firstborn!] of sentences, and hisnotion that, if one from among several synonymous words waschosen in a passage, this pointed to some special meaningattaching to it. Even more extravagant was the idea, that aword which occurred in the LXX. might be interpretedaccording to every shade of meaning which it bore in theGreek, and that even another meaning might be given it byslightly altering the letters. However, like other of Philo'sallegorical 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 tothe text, we need not wonder at interpretations based on aplay upon words, or even upon parts of a word. Of course, allseemingly strange or peculiar modes of expression, or ofdesignation, occurring in Scripture, must have their specialmeaning, 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 anunexpected singular for a plural, or vice versa, the use of atense, even the gender of a word. Most serious of all, anallegorical interpretation might be again employed as thebasis of another. [1 Each of these positions is capable ofample proof from Philo's writings, as shown by Siegfried. Butonly a bare statement of these canons was here possible.]

We repeat, that these allegorical canons of Philo areessentially the same as those of Jewish traditionalism in theHaggadah, [2 Comp. our above outline with the 'XXV. theses demodis et formulis quibus pr. Hebr. doctores SS. interpretarietc. soliti fuerunt,' in Surenhusius, Biblos, pp. 57-88.]only the latter were not rationalising, and far morebrilliant in their application. [3 For a comparison betweenPhilo and Rabbinic theology, see Appendix II.: 'Philo andRabbinic Theology.' Freudenthal (Hellen. Studien, pp. 67 &c.)aptly designates this mixture of the two as 'HellenisticMidrash,' it being difficult sometimes to distinguish whetherit originated in Palestine or in Egypt, or else in bothindependently. Freudenthal gives a number of curiousinstances in which Hellenism and Rabbinism agree in theirinterpretations. For other interesting comparisons betweenHaggadic interpretations and those of Philo, see Joel, Blickin d. Religionsgesch. i. p. 38 &c.] In another respect alsothe Palestinian had the advantage of the Alexandrianexegesis. Reverently and cautiously it indicated what mightbe omitted in public reading, and why; what expressions ofthe original might be modified by the Meturgeman, and how; soas to avoid alike one danger by giving a passage in itsliterality, and another by adding to the sacred text, orconveying a wrong impression of the Divine Being, or elsegiving occasion to the unlearned and unwary of becomingentangled in dangerous speculations. Jewish tradition herelays down some principles which would be of great practicaluse. Thus we are told, [a Ber. 31 b.] that Scripture uses themodes ofexpression common among men. This would, of course,include all anthropomorphisms. Again, sometimes withconsiderable ingenuity, a suggestion is taken from a word,such as that Moses knew the Serpent was to be made of brassfrom the similarity of the two words (nachash, a serpent, andnechosheth, brass. [b Ber. R. 31.] Similarly, it is notedthat Scripture uses euphemistic language, so as to preservethe greatest delicacy. [c Ber. R. 70.] These instances mightbe multiplied, but the above will suffice.

In his symbolical interpretations Philo only partially tookthe same road as the Rabbis. The symbolism of numbers and, sofar as the Sanctuary was concerned, that of colours, and evenmaterials, may, indeed, be said to have its foundation in theOld Testament itself. The same remark applies partially tothat of names. The Rabbis certainly so interpreted them. [1Thus, to give only a few out of many examples, Ruth isderived from ravah, to satiate to give to drink, becauseDavid, her descendant, satiated God with his Psalms of praise(Ber. 7 b). Here the principle of the significance ofBiblenames is deduced from Ps. xlvi. 8 (9 in the Hebrew):'Come, behold the works of the Lord, who hath made names onearth,' the word 'desolations,' SHAMOTH, being altered toSHEMOTH, 'names.' In general, that section, from Ber. 3 b, tothe end of 8 a, is full of Haggadic Scriptureinterpretations. On fol. 4 a there is the curious symbolicalderivation of Mephibosheth, who is supposed to have set Davidright on halakhic questions, as Mippi bosheth: 'from my mouthshaming,' 'because he put to shame the face of David in theHalakhah.' Similarly in Siphre (Par. Behaalothekha, ed.Friedmann, p. 20 a) we have very beautiful and ingeniousinterpretations of the names Reuel, Hobab and Jethro.] Butthe application which Philo made of this symbolism was verydifferent. Everything became symbolical in his hands, if itsuited his purpose: numbers (in a very arbitrary manner),beasts, birds, fowls, creeping things, plants, stones,elements, substances, conditions, even sex, and so a term oran expression might even have several and contradictorymeanings, from which the interpreter was at liberty tochoose.

From the consideration of the method by which Philo derivedfrom Scriptures his theological views, we turn to a briefanalysis of these views. [2 It would be impossible here togive the references, which would occupy too much space.]

1. Theology. In reference to God, we find, side by side, theapparently contradictory views of the Platonic and the Stoicschools. Following the former, the sharpest distinction wasdrawn between God and the world. God existed neither inspace, nor in time; He had neither human qualities norafections; in fact, He was without any qualities ( ), andeven without any name ( ) ; hence, wholly uncognisable by man( ). 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 hidhimself from Him. In the above sense, also, Ex. iii. 14, andvi. 3, were explained, and the two names Elohim and Jehovahbelonged really to the two supreme Divine 'Potencies,' whilethe fact of God's being uncognisable appeared from Ex. xx.21.

But side by side with this we have, to save the Jewish, orrather Old Testament, idea of creation and providence, theStoic notion of God as immanent in the world, in fact, asthat alone which is real in it, as always working: in short,to use his own Pantheistic expression, as 'Himself one andthe all' ( ). Chief in His Being is His goodness, theforthgoing of which was the ground of creation. Only the goodcomes from Him. With matter He can have nothing to do, hencethe plural number in the account of creation. God onlycreated the soul, and that only of the good. In the sense ofbeing 'immanent,' God is everywhere, nay, all things arereally only in Him, or rather He is the real in all. Butchiefly 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 orinterpositions. Accordingly, these are sometimes allegorised,sometimes rationalistically explained. Further, the God ofPhilo, whatever he might say to the contrary, was not the Godof that Israel which was His chosen people.2. Intermediary Beings. Potencies ( ). If, in what haspreceded, we have once and again noticed a remarkablesimilarity between Philo and the Rabbis, there is a stillmore curious analogy between his teaching and that of JewishMysticism, as ultimately fully developed in the 'Kabbalah.'The very term Kabbalah (from qibbel, to hand down) seems topoint out not only its descent by oral tradition, but alsoits ascent to ancient sources. [1 For want of handiermaterial I must take leave to refer to my brief sketch of theKabbalah in the 'History of the Jewish Nation,' pp. 434-446.]Its existence is presupposed, and its leading ideas aresketched in the Mishnah. [a Chag. ii. 1.]The Targums alsobear at least one remarkable trace of it. May it not be, thatas Philo frequently refers to ancient tradition, so bothEastern and Western Judaism may here have drawn from one andthe same source, we will not venture to suggest, how high up,while each made such use of it as suited their distinctivetendencies? At any rate the Kabbalah also, likening Scriptureto a person, compares those who study merely the letter, tothem who attend only to the dress; those who consider themnoral of a fact, to them who attend to the body; while theinitiated alone, who regard the hidden meaning, are those whoattend to the soul. Again, as Philo, so the oldest part ofthe Mishnah [a Ab. v. 4.] designates God as Maqom, 'theplace', the, the all-comprehending, what the Kabbalistscalled the EnSoph, 'the boundless,' that God, without anyquality, Who becomes cognisable only by His manifestations.[1 In short, the of the Stoics.]

The manifestations of God! But neither Eastern mysticalJudaism, nor the philosophy of Philo, could admit of anydirect contact between God and creation. The Kabbalah solvedthe difficulty by their Sephiroth, [2 Supposed to mean eithernumerationes, or splendour. But why not derive the word from? The ten are: Crown, Wisdom, Intelligence, Mercy, Judgment,Beauty, Triumph, Praise, Foundation, Kingdom.] or emanationsfrom God, through which this contact was ultimately broughtabout, and of which the EnSoph, or crown, was the spring:'the source from which the infinite light issued.' If Philofound greater difficulties, he had also more ready help fromthe philosophical systems to hand. His Sephiroth were'Potencies' ( ), 'Words' ( ), intermediate powers.'Potencies,' as we imagine, when viewed Godwards; 'Words,' asviewed creationwards. They were not emanations, but,according to Plato, 'archetypal ideas,' on the model of whichall that exists was formed; and also, according to the Stoicidea, the cause of all, pervading all, forming all, andsustaining all. Thus these 'Potencies' were wholly in God,and yet wholly out of God. If we divest all this of itsphilosophical colouring, did not Eastern Judaism also teachthat there was a distinction between the Unapproachable God,and God manifest? [3 For the teaching of Eastern Judaism inthis respect, see Appendix II.: 'Philo and RabbinicTheology.']

Another remark will show the parallelism between Philo andRabbinism. [4 A very interesting question arises: how farPhilo was acquainted with, and influenced by, the Jewishtraditional 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 seemsto admit.] As the latter speaks of the two qualities(Middoth) of Mercy and Judgment in the Divine Being, [b Jer.Ber. ix. 7.] and distinguishes between Elohim as the God ofJustice, and Jehovah as the God of Mercy and Grace, so Philoplaces next to the Divine Word ( ), Goodness ( ), as theCreative Potency ( ), and Power ( ), as the Ruling Potency (), proving this by a curious etymological derivation of thewords for 'God' and 'Lord' ( ), apparently unconscious thatthe LXX., in direct contradiction, translated Jehovah by Lord( ), and Elohim by God ( )! These two potencies of goodnessand power, Philo sees in the two Cherubim, and in the two'Angels' which accompanied God (the Divine Word), when on hisway to destroy the cities of the plain. But there were morethan these two Potencies. In one place Philo enumerates six,according to the number of the cities of refuge. ThePotencies issued from God as the beams from the light, as thewaters from the spring, as the breath from a person; theywere immanent in God, and yet independent beings. They werethe ideal world, which in its impulse outwards, meetingmatter, produced this material world of ours. They were alsothe angels of God, His messengers to man, the media throughwhom He reveled Himself. [1 At the same time there is aremarkable difference here between Philo and Rabbinism. Philoholds that the creation of the world was brought about by thePotencies, but the Law was given directly through Moses, andnot by the mediation of angels. But this latter was certainlythe view generally entertained in Palestine as expressed inthe LXX. rendering of Deut. xxxii. 2, in the Targumim on thatpassage, and more fully still in Jos. Ant. xv. 5. 3, in theMidrashim and in the Talmud, where we are told (Macc. 24 a)that only the opening words, 'I am the Lord thy God, thoushalt have no other gods but Me,' were spoken by God Himself.Comp. also Acts vii. 38, 53; Gal. iii. 19; Heb. ii. 2.] 3. The Logos. Viewed in its bearing on New Testamentteaching, this part of Philo's system raises the mostinteresting questions. But it is just here that ourdifficulties are greatest. We can understand the Platonicconception of the Logos as the 'archetypal idea,' and that ofthe Stoics as the 'world-reason' pervading matter. Similarly,we can perceive, how the Apocrypha, especially the Book ofWisdom, following up the Old Testament typical truthconcerning "Wisdom' (as specially set forth in the Book ofProverbs) almost arrived so far as to present 'Wisdom' as aspecial 'Subsistence' (hypostatising it). More than this, inTalmudical writings, we find mention not only of the Shem, or'Name,' [2 Hammejuchad, 'appropriatum;' hammephorash,'expositum,' 'separatum,' the 'tetragrammaton,' orfour-lettered name, There was also a Shem with 'twelve,' andone with 'forty-two' letters (Kidd. 71 a).] but also of theShekhinah,' God as manifest and present, which is sometimesalso presented as the Ruach ha Qodesh, or Holy Spirit. [a OrRuach ham Maqom, Ab. iii. 10, and frequently in the Talmud.]But in the Targumim we eet yet another expression, which,strange to say, never occurs in the Talmud. [1 Levy (Neuhebr.Worterb. i. p. 374 a.) seems to imply that in the Midrash theterm dibbur occupies the same place and meaning. But with alldeference I cannot agree with this opinion, nor do thepassages quoted bear it out.] It is that of the Memra, Logos,or 'Word.' Not that the term is exclusively applied to theDivine Logos. [2 The 'word,' as spoken, is distinguished fromthe 'Word' as speaking, or revealing Himself. The former isgenerally designated by the term 'pithgama.' Thus in Gen. XV.1, 'After these words (things) came the "pithgama" of Jehovahto Abram in prophecy, saying, Fear not, Abram, My "Memra"shall be thy strength, and thy very great reward.' Still, theterm Memra, as applied not only to man, but also in referenceto God, is not always the equivalent of 'the Logos.'] But itstands out as perhaps the most remarkable fact in thisliterature, that God, not as in His permanent manifestation,or manifest Presence, but as revealing Himself, is designatedMemra. Altogether that term, as applied to God, occurs in theTargum Onkelos 179 times, in the so-called Jerusalem Targum99 times, and in the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan 321 times. Acritical analysis shows that in 82 instances in Onkelos, in71 instances in the Jerusalem Targum, and in 213 instances inthe Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, the designation Memra is not onlydistinguished from God, but evidently refers to God asrevealing Himself. [3 The various passages in the Targum ofOnkelos, the Jerusalem, and the Pseudo-Jonathan Targum on thePentateuch will be found enumerated and classified, as thosein which it is a doubtful, a fair, or an unquestionableinference, that the word Memra is intended for God revealingHimself, in Appendix II.: 'Philo and Rabbinic Theology.'] Butwhat does this imply? The distinction between God and theMemra of Jehovah is marked in many passages. [4 As, forexample, Gen. xxviii. 21, 'the Memra of Jehovah shall be myGod.'] Similarly, the Memra of Jehovah is distinguished fromthe Shekhinah. [5 As, for example, Num. xxiii. 21, 'the Memraof Jehovah their God is their helper, and the Shekhinah oftheir King is in the midst of them.'] Nor is the term usedinstead of the sacred word Jehovah; [6 That term is oftenused by Onkelos. Besides, the expression itself is 'the Memraof Jehovah.'] nor for the well-known Old Testament expression'the Angel of the Lord; [7 Onkelos only once (in Ex. iv. 24)paraphrases Jehovah by 'Malakha.'] nor yet for the Metatronof the Targum Pseudo-Jonathan and of the Talmud. [8 Metatron,either = , or In the Talmud it is applied to the Angel ofJehovah (Ex. xxiii. 20), 'the Prince of the World,' 'thePrince of the Face' or 'of the Presence,' as they call him;he who sits in the innermost chamber before God, while theother angels only hear His commands from behind the veil(Chag. 15 a; 16 a; Toseft. ad Chull. 60 a; Jeb. 16 b). ThisMetatron of the Talmud and the Kabbalah is also the AdamQadmon, or archetypal man.] Does it then represent an oldertradition underlying all these? [9 Of deep interest isOnkelos' rendering of Deut. xxxiii. 27, where, instead of'underneath are the everlasting arms,' Onkelos has, 'and byHis Memra was the world created,' exactly as in St John i.10. Now this divergence of Onkelos from the Hebrew text seemsunaccountable. Winer, whose inaugural dissertation, 'DeOnkeloso ejusque paraph. Chald.' Lips. 1820, most modernwriters have followed (with amplifications, chiefly fromLuzzato'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 verseconsists of three words, so does the rendering of Onkelos,and that both end with the same word. Is the rendering ofOnkelos then a paraphrase, or does it represent anotherreading? Another interesting passage is Deut. viii. 3. Itsquotation by Christ in St. Matt. iv. 4 is deeply interesting,as read in the light of the rendering of Onkelos, 'Not bybread alone is man sustained, but by every forthcoming Memrafrom before Jehovah shall man live.' Yet another rendering ofOnkelos is significantly illustrative of 1 Cor. x. 1-4. Herenders Deut. xxxiii. 3 'with power He brought them out ofEgypt; they were led under thy cloud; they journeyedaccording to (by) thy Memra.' Does this represent adifference in Hebrew from the admittedly difficult text inour present Bible? Winer refers to it as an instance in whichOnkelos 'suopte ingenio et copiose admodum eloquitur vatumdivinorum mentem,' adding, 'ita ut de his, quas singulisvocibus inesse crediderit, significationibus non possit rectejudicari;' and Winer's successors say much the same. But thisis to state, not to explain, the difficulty. In general, wemay here be allowed to say that the question of the Targumimhas scarcely received as yet sufficient treatment. Mr.Deutsch's Article in Smith's 'Dictionary of the Bible' (sincereprinted 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 thesubject in the Introduction to the Old Testament (Keil, DeWette-Schrader, Bleek-kamphausen, Reuss), and the works ofZunz, Geiger, Noldeke, and others, to whom partial referencehas already been made. Frankel's interesting and learned book(Zu dem Targum der Propheten) deals almost exclusively withthe Targum Jonathan, on which it was impossible to enterwithin our limits. As modern brochures of interest thefollowing three may be mentioned: Maybaum, Anthropomorphienbei Onkelos; Gronemann, Die Jonath. Pentat. Uebers. imVerhaltn. z. Halacha; and Singer, Onkelos im Verhaltn. z.Halacha.] Beyond this Rabbinic theology has not preserved tous the doctrine of Personal distinctions in the Godhead. Andyet, if words have any meaning, the Memra is a hypostasis,though the distinction of permanent, personal Subsistence isnot marked. Nor yet, to complete this subject, is the Memraidentified with the Messiah. In the Targum Onkelos distinctmention is twice made of Him, [a Gen. xlix. 10, 11; Num.xxiv. 17.] while in the other Targumim no fewer thanseventy-one Biblical passages are rendered with explicitreference to Him.

If we now turn to the views expressed by Philo about theLogos we find that they are hesitating, and evencontradictory. One thing, however, is plain: the Logos ofPhilo is not the Memra of the Targumim. For, the expressionMemra ultimately rests on theological, that of Logos onphilosophical grounds. Again, the Logos of Philo approximatesmore closely to the Metatron of the Talmud and Kabbalah. Asthey speak of him as the 'Prince of the Face,' who bore thename of his Lord, so Philo represents the Logos as 'theeldest Angel,' 'the many-named Archangel,' in accordance withthe Jewish view that the name JeHoVaH unfolded its meaning inseventy names for the Godhead. [1 See the enumeration ofthese 70 Names in the Baal-ha-Turim on Numb. xi. 16.] As theyspeak of the 'Adam Qadmon,' so Philo of the Logos as thehuman reflection of the eternal God. And in both theserespects, it is worthy of notice that he appeals to ancientteaching. [2 Comp. Siegfried, u. s., pp. 221-223.]

What, then, is the Logos of Philo? Not a concretepersonality, and yet, from another point of view, notstrictly impersonal, nor merely a property of the Deity, butthe shadow, as it were, which the light of God casts--and ifHimself light, only the manifested reflection of God, Hisspiritual, even as the world is His material, habitation.Moreover, the Logos is 'the image of God' ( ) upon which manwas made, [a Gen. i. 27.] or, to use the platonic term, 'thearchetypal idea.' As regards the relation between the Logosand the two fundamental Potencies (from which all othersissue), the latter are variously represented, on the onehand, as proceeding from the Logos; and on the other, asthemselves constituting the Logos. As regards the world, theLogos is its real being. He is also its archetype; moreoverthe instrument ( ) through Whom God created all things. Ifthe Logos separates between God and the world, it is ratheras intermediary; He separates, but He also unites. Butchiefly does this hold true as regards the relation betweenGod and man. The Logos announces and interprets to man thewill and mind of God ( ) He acts as mediator; He is the realHigh-Priest, and as such by His purity takes away the sins ofman, and by His intercession procures for us the mercy ofGod, Hence Philo designates Him not only as the High-Priest,but as the 'Paraclete.' He is also the sun whose raysenlighten man, the medium of Divine revelation to the soul;the Manna, or support of spiritual life; He Who dwells in thesoul. And so the Logos is, in the fullest sense, Melchisedek,the priest of the most high God, the king of righteousness ,and the king of Salem Who brings righteousness and peace tothe soul. [b De Leg. Alleg. iii 25,26.] But the Logos 'doesnot come into any soul that is dead in sin.' That there isclose similarity of form between these Alexandrian views andmuch in the argumentation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, mustbe evident to all, no less than that there is the widestpossible divergence in substance and spirit. [1 For a fulldiscussion of this similarity of form and divergence ofspirit, between Philo, or, rather, between Alexandrianism,and the Epistle to the Hebrews, the reader is referred to themasterly treatise by Riehm (Der Lehrbegriff d. Hebraerbr. ed.1867, especially pp. 247-268, 411-424, 658-670, and 855-860).The author's general view on the subject is well andconvincingly formulated on p. 249. We must, however, add, inopposition to Riehm, that, by his own showing the writer ofthe Epistle to the Hebrews displays few traces of aPalestinian training.] The Logos of Philo is shadowy, unreal,not a Person; [2 On the subject of Philo's Logos generallythe brochure of Harnoch (Konigsberg, 1879) deserves perusal,although it does not furnish much that is new. In general,the student of Philo ought especially to study the sketch byZeller in his Philosophie der Gr. vol. iii. pt. ii. 3rd ed.pp. 338-418.] there is no need of an atonement; theHigh-Priest intercedes, but has no sacrifice to offer as thebasis of His intercession, least of all that of Himself; theold Testament types are only typical ideas, not typicalfacts; they point to a Prototypal Idea in the eternal past,not to an Antitypal Person and Fact in history; there is nocleansing of the soul by blood, no sprinkling of the MercySeat, no access for all through the rent veil into theimmediate Presence of God; nor yet a quickening of the soulfrom dead works to serve the living God. If the argumentationof the Epistle to the Hebrews is Alexandrian, it is anAlexandrianism which is overcome and past, which onlyfurnishes the form, not the substance, the vessel, not itscontents. The closer therefore the outward similarity, thegreater is the contrast in substance.

The vast difference between Alexandrianism and the NewTestament will appear still more clearly in the views ofPhilo on Cosmology and Anthropology. In regard to the former,his results in some respects run parallel to those of thestudents of mysticism in the Talmud, and of the Kabbalists.Together with the Stoic view, which represented God as 'theactive cause' of this world, and matter as 'the passive,'Philo holds the Platonic idea, that matter was somethingexistent, and that is resisted God. [1 With singular andcharacteristic inconsistency, Philo, however, ascribes alsoto God the creation of matter (de Somn. i. 13).] Suchspeculations must have been current among the Jews longbefore, to judge by certain warning given by the Son ofSirach. [a As for example Ecclus. iii. 21-24.] [2 So theTalmudists certainly understood it, Jer. Chag. ii. 1.] AndStoic views of the origin of the world seem implied even inthe Book of the Wisdom of Solomon (i. 7; vii. 24; viii. 1;xii. 1). [3 Comp. Grimm, Exeg. Handb. zu d. Apokr., Lief. vi.pp. 55, 56.] The mystics in the Talmud arrived at similarconclusions, not through Greek, but through Persian teaching.Their speculations [4 They were arranged into thoseconcerning the Maasey Bereshith (Creation), and the MaaseyMerkabbah, 'the chariot' of Ezekiel's vision (Providence inthe widest sense, or God's manifestation in the createdworld).] boldly entered on the dangerous ground, [5 Of thefour celebrities who entered the 'Pardes,' or enclosedParadise of theosophic speculation, one became an apostate,another died, a third went wrong (Ben Soma), and only Akibaescaped unscathed, according to the Scripture saying, 'Drawme, and we will run' (Chag. 14 b).] forbidden to the many,scarcely allowed to the few, [6 'It is not lawful to enterupon the Maasey Bereshith in presence of two, nor upon theMerkabhah in presence of one, unless he be a "sage," andunderstands of his own knowledge. Any one who ratiocinates onthese four things, it were better for him that he had notbeen born: What is above and what is below; what was afore,and what shall be hereafter.' (Chag. ii. 1).] where such deepquestions as the origin of our world and its connection withGod were discussed. It was, perhaps, only a beautiful poeticfigure that God had taken of the dust under the throne of Hisglory, and cast it upon the waters, which thus became earth.[b Shem. R. 13.] But so far did isolated teachers becomeintoxicated [1 'Ben Soma went astray (mentally): he shook the(Jewish) world.'] by the new wine of these strangespeculations, that they whispered it to one another thatwater was the original element of the world, [2 Thatcriticsm, which one would designate as impertinent, whichwould find this view in 2 Peter iii. 5, is, alas! notconfined to Jewish writers, but hazarded even by De Wette.]which had successively been hardened into snow and then intoearth. [a Jer. Chag. 77a] [3 Judah bar Pazi, in the secondcentury. Ben Soma lived in the first century of our era.]Other and later teachers fixed upon the air or the fire asthe original element, arguing the pre-existence of matterfrom the use of the word 'made' in Gen. i. 7. instead of'created.' Some modified this view, and suggested that Godhad originally created the three elements of water, air orspirit, and fire, from which all else was developed. [4According to the Jerusalem Talmud (Ber. i. I) the firmamentwas at first soft, and only gradually became hard. Accordingto Ber. R. 10, God created the world from a mixture of fireand snow, other Rabbis suggesting four original elements,according to the quarters of the globe, or else six, addingto them that which is above and that which is below. A verycurious idea is that of R. Joshua ben Levi, according towhich all the works of creation were really finished on thefirst day, and only, as it were, extended on the other days.This also represents really a doubt of the Biblical accountof creation. Strange though it may sound, the doctrine ofdevelopment was derived from the words (Gen. ii. 4). 'Theseare the generations of heaven and earth when they werecreated, in the day when Jahveh Elohim made earth andheavens.' It was argued, that the expression implied, theywere developed from the day in which they had been created.Others seem to have held, that the three principal thingsthat were created, earth, heaven, and water, remained, eachfor three days, at the end of which they respectivelydeveloped what is connected with them (Ber. R. 12).] Tracesalso occur of the doctrine of the pre-existence of things, ina sense similar to that of Plato. [b Ber. R. i.]

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

This was creation, or rather formation, brought about not byGod Himself, but by the Potencies, especially by the Logos,Who was the connecting bond of all. As for God, His onlydirect work was the soul, and that only of the good, not ofthe evil. Man's immaterial part had a twofold aspect:carthwards, as Sensuousness; and heavenwards, as Reason. Thesensuous part of the soul was connected with the body. It hadno heavenly past, and would have no future. But 'Reason' wasthat breath of true life which God had breathed into manwhereby the earthy became the higher, living spirit, with itsvarious faculties. Before time began the soul was withoutbody, an archetype, the 'heavenly man,' pure spirit inParadise (virtue), yet even so longing after its ultimatearchetype, God. Some of these pure spirits descended intobodies and so lost their purity. Or else, the union wasbrought about by God and by powers lower than God (daemons).To the latter is due our earthly part. God breathed on theformation, and the 'earthly Reason' became 'intelligent'spiritual' soul Our earthly part alone is the seat of sin.[1 For further notices on the Cosmology and Anthropology ofPhilo, see Appendix II.: 'Philo and Rabbinic Theology.']This leads us to the great question of Original Sin. Here theviews of Philo are those of the Eastern Rabbis. But both areentirely different from those on which the argument in theEpistle to the Romans turns. It was neither at the feet ofGamaliel, nor yet from Jewish Hellenism, that Saul of Tarsuslearned the doctrine of original sin. The statement that asin Adam all spiritually died, so in Messiah all should bemade alive, [2 We cannot help quoting the beautiful Haggadicexplanation of the name Adam, according to its three letters,A, D, M, as including these three names, Adam, David,Messiah.] finds absolutely no parallel in Jewish writings. [3Raymundus Martini, in his 'Pugio Fidei' (orig. ed. p. 675;ed. Voisin et Carpzov, pp. 866, 867), quotes from the bookSiphre: 'Go and learn the merit of Messiah the King, and thereward of the righteous from the first Adam, on whom was laidonly one commandment of a prohibitive character, and hetransgressed it. See how many deaths were appointed on him,and on his generations, and on the generations of hisgenerations to the end of all generations. (Wunsche, Leidend. Mess. p. 65, makes here an unwarrantable addition, in histranslation.) But which attribute (measuring?) is thegreater, the attribute of goodness or the attribute ofpunishment (retribution)? He answered, the attribute ofgoodness is the greater, and the attribute of punishment theless. And Messiah the King, who was chastened and sufferedfor the transgressors, as it is said, "He was wounded for ourtransgressions," and so on, how much more shall He justify(make righteous, by His merit) all generations; and this iswhat is meant when it is written, "And Jehovah made to meetupon Him the sin of us all."' We have rendered this passageas literally as possible, but we are bound to add that it isnot found in any now existing copy of Siphre.] What may becalled the starting point of Christian theology, the doctrineof hereditary guilt and sin, through the fall of Adam, and ofthe consequent entire and helplesss corruption of our nature,is entirely unknown to Rabbinical Judaism. The reign ofphysical death was indeed traced to the sin of our firstparents. [4 Death is not considered an absolute evil. Inshort, all the various consequences which Rabbinical writingsascribe to the sin of Adam may be designated either asphysical, or, if mental, as amounting only to detriment,loss, or imperfectness. These results had been partiallycounteracted by Abraham, and would be fully removed by theMessiah. Neither Enoch nor Elijah had sinned, and accordinglythey did not die. Comp. generally, Hamburger, Geist d. Agada,pp. 81-84, and in regard to death as connected with Adam, p.85.] But the Talmud expressly teaches, [a Ber. 61 a] that Godoriginally created man withtwo propensities, [5 These arealso hypostatised as Angels. Comp. Levy, Chald. Worterb. p.342 a; Neuhebr. Worterb. p. 259, a, b.] one to good and oneto evil (Yetser tobh, and Yetser hara [6 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).] The evil impulsebegan immediately after birth. [b Sanh. 91 b] [7 In a senseits existence was necessary for the continuance of thisworld. The conflict between these two impulses constitutedthe moral life of man.] But it was within the power of man tovanquish sin, and to attain perfect righteousness; in fact,this stage had actually been attained. [1 The solitaryexception here is 4 Esdras, where the Christian doctrine oforiginal sin is most strongly expressed, being evidentlyderived from New Testament teaching. Comp. especially 4Esdras (our Apocryphal 2 Esdras) vii. 46-53, and otherpassages. Wherein the hope of safety lay, appears in ch. ix.]

Similarly, Philo regarded the soul of the child as 'naked'(Adam and Eve), a sort of tabula rasa, as wax which God wouldfain 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 toget rid of the sensuous, and to rise to the spiritual. Inthis, the ethical part of his system, Philo was most underthe influence of Stoic philosophy. We might almost say, it isno longer the Hebrew who Hellenises, but the Hellene whoHebraises. And yet it is here also that the most ingeniousand widereaching allegorisms of Scripture are introduced. Itis scarcely possible to convey an idea of how brilliant thismethod becomes in the hands of Philo, how universal itsapplication, or how captivating it must have proved. Philodescribes man's state as, first one of sensuousness, but alsoof unrest, misery and unsatisfied longing. If persisted in,it would end in complete spiritual insensibility. [2Symbolised by Lot's wife.] But from this state the soul mustpass to one of devotion to reason. [3 Symbolised by Ebher,Hebrew.] This change might be accomplished in one of threeways: 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. Thesecond method was Askesis: discipline, or practice, when thesoul turned from the lower to the higher. But the best of allwas the third way: the free unfolding of that spiritual lifewhich cometh neither from study nor discipline, but from anatural good disposition. And in that state the soul had truerest [4 The Sabbath, Jerusalem.] and joy. [5 For furtherdetails on these points see Appendix II.: 'Philo and RabbinicTheology.']

Here we must for the present pause. [6 The views of Philo onthe Messiah will be presented in another connection.] Briefas this sketch of Hellenism has been, it must have broughtthe question vividly before the mind, whether and how farcertain parts of the New Testament, especially the fourthGospel, [7 This is not the place to enter on the question ofthe composition, date, and authorship of the four Gospels.But as regards the point on which negative criticism has oflate spoken strongest, and on which, indeed (as Weiss rightlyremarks) the very existence of 'the Tubingen School' depends,that of the Johannine authorship of the fourth Gospel, Iwould refer to Weiss, Leben Jesu (1882: vol. i. pp. 84-139),and to Dr. Salmon's Introd. to the New Test. pp. 266-365.]are connected with the direction of thought described in thepreceding pages. Without yielding to that school of critics,whose perverse ingenuity discerns everywhere a sinistermotive or tendency in the Evangelic writers, [1 No one notacquainted with this literature can imagine the character ofthe arguments sometimes used by a certain class of critics.To say that they proceed on the most forced perversion of thenatural and obvious meaning of passages, is but little. Butone cannot restrain moral indignation on finding that toEvangelists and Apostles is imputed, on such grounds, notonly systematic falsehood, but falsehood with the mostsinister motives.] it is evident that each of them had aspecial object in view in constructing his narrative of theOne Life; and primarily addressed himself to a specialaudience. If, without entering into elaborate discussion, wemight, according to St. Luke i. 2, regard the narrative ofSt. Mark as the grand representative of that authentic'narration', though not by Apostles, [2 I do not, of course,mean that the narration of St. Mark was not itself derivedchiefly from Apostolic preaching, especially that of St.Peter. In general, the question of the authorship and sourceof the various Gospels must be reserved for separatetreatment in another place.] which was in circulation, andthe Gospel by St. Matthew as representing the 'tradition'handed down, by the Apostolic eye-witnesses and ministers ofthe Word, [3 Comp. Mangold's ed.of Bleek, Einl. in d. N.T.(3te Aufl. 1875), p. 346.] we should reach the followingresults. Our oldest Gospel-narrative is that by St. Mark,which, addressing itself to no class in particular, sketchesin rapid outlines the picture of Jesus as the Messiah, alikefor all men. Next in order of time comes our present Gospelby St. Matthew. It goes a step further back than that by St.Mark, and gives not only the genealogy, but the history ofthe miraculous birth of Jesus. Even if we had not theconsensus of tradition, every one must feel that this Gospelis Hebrew in its cast, in its citations from the OldTestament, and in its whole bearing. Taking its key-note fromthe Book of Daniel, that grand Messianic text-book of EasternJudaism at the time, and as re-echoed in the Book of Enoch,which expresses the popular apprehension of Daniel'sMessianic idea, it presents the Messiah chiefly as 'the Sonof Man,' 'the Son of David,' 'the Son of God.' We have herethe fulfilment of Old Testament law and prophecy; therealisation of Old Testament life, faith, and hope. Third inpoint of time is the Gospel by St. Luke, which, passing backanother step, gives us not only the history of the birth ofJesus, but also that of John, 'the preparer of the way.' Itis Pauline, and addresses itself, or rather, we should say,presents the Person of the Messiah, it may be 'to the Jewfirst,' but certainly 'also to the Greek.' The term which St.Luke, alone of all Gospel writers, [4 With the sole exceptionof St. Matt. xii. 18, where the expression is a quotationfrom the LXX. of Is. xlii. 1.] applies to Jesus, is that ofthe or 'servant' of God, in the sense in which Isaiah hasspoken of the Messiah as the 'Ebhed Jehovah,' 'servant of theLord.' St. Luke's is, so to speak, the Isaiah-Gospel,presenting the Christ in His bearing on the history of God'sKingdom and of the world, as God's Elect Servant in Whom Hedelighted. In the Old Testament, to adopt a beautiful figure,[1 First expressed by Delitzsch (Bibl. Comm. u. d. Proph.Jes. p. 414), and then adopted by Oehler (Theol. d. A. Test. vol. ii. pp. 270-272).] the idea of the Servantof the Lord is set before us like a pyramid: at its base itis all Israel, at its central section Israel after the Spirit(the circumcised in heart), represented by David, the manafter God's own heart; while at its apex it is the 'Elect'Servant, the Messiah. [2 The two fundamental principles inthe history of the Kingdom of God are selection anddevelopment. It is surely remarkable, not strange, that theseare also the two fundamental truths in the history of thatother Kingdom of God, Nature, if modern science has read themcorrectly. These two substantives would mark the facts asascertained; the adjectives, which are added to them by acertain class of students, mark only their inferences fromthese facts. These facts may be true, even if as yetincomplete, although the inferences may be false. Theologyshould not here rashly interfere. But whatever the ultimateresult, these two are certainly the fundamental facts in thehistory of the Kingdom of God, and, marking them as such, thedevout philosopher may rest contented.] And these threeideas, with their sequences, are presented in the thirdGospel as centring in Jesus the Messiah. By the side of thispyramid is the other: the Son of Man, the Son of David, theSon of God. The Servant of the Lord of Isaiah and of Luke isthe Enlightener, the Consoler, the victorious Deliverer; theMessiah or Anointed: the Prophet, the Priest, the King.

Yet another tendency, shall we say, want?, remained, so tospeak, unmet and unsatisfied. That large world of latest andmost promising Jewish thought, whose task it seemed to bridgeover the chasm between heathenism and Judaism, the WesternJewish world, must have the Christ presented to them. For inevery direction is He the Christ. And not only they, but thatlarger Greek world, so far as Jewish Hellenism could bring itto the threshold of the Church. This Hellenistic and Hellenicworld now stood in waiting to enter it, though as it were byits northern porch, and to be baptized at its font. All thismust have forced itself on the mind of St. John, residing inthe midst of them at Ephesus, even as St. Paul's Epistlescontain almost as many allusions to Hellenism as toRabbinism. [3 The Gnostics, to whom, in the opinion of many,so frequent references are made in the writings of St. Johnand St. Paul, were only an offspring (rather, as the Germanswould term it, an Abart) of Alexandrianism on the one hand,and on the other of Eastern notions, which are so largelyembodied in the later Kabbalah.] And so the fourth Gospelbecame, not the supplement, but the complement, of the otherthree. [1 A complement, not a supplement, as many critics putit (Ewald, Weizsacker, and even Hengstenberg), least of all arectification (Godet, Evang. Joh. p. 633).] There is no otherGospel more Palestinian than this in its modes of expression,allusions, and references. Yet we must all feel howthoroughly Hellenistic it also is in its cast, [2 Keim (LebenJesu von Nazara, i. a, pp. 112-114) fully recognises this;but I entirely differ from the conclusions of his analyticalcomparison of Philo with the fourth Gospel.] in what itreports and what it omits, in short, in its whole aim; howadapted to Hellenist wants its presentation of deep centraltruths; how suitably, in the report of His Discourses, evenso far as their form is concerned, the promise was herefulfilled, of bringing all things to remembrance whatsoeverHe had said. [a St. John xiv. 26] It is the true Light whichshineth, of which the full meridian-blaze lies on theHellenist and Hellenic world. There is Alexandrian form ofthought not only in the whole conception, but in the Logos,[3 The student who has carefully considered the viewsexpressed by Philo about the Logos, and analysed, as in theAppendix, the passages in the Targumim in which the wordMemra occurs, cannot fail to perceive the immense differencein the presentation of the Logos by St. John. Yet M. Renan,in an article in the 'Contemporary Review' for September1877, with utter disregard of the historical evidence on thequestion, maintains not only the identity of these three setsof ideas, but actually grounds on it his argument against theauthenticity of the fourth Gospel. Considering the importanceof the subject, it is not easy to speak with moderation ofassertions so bold based on statements so entirelyinaccurate.] and in His presentation as the Light, the Life,the Wellspring of the world. [4 Dr. Bucher, whose book, DesApostels Johannes Lehre vom Logos, deserves careful perusal,tries to trace the reason of these peculiarities as indicatedin the Prologue of the fourth Gospel. Bucher differentiatesat great length between the Logos of Philo and of the fourthGospel. He sums up his views by stating that in the Prologueof St. John the Logos is presented as the fulness of DivineLight and Life. This is, so to speak, the theme, while theGospel history is intended to present the Logos as the giverof this Divine Light and Life. While the other Evangelistsascend from the manifestation to the idea of the Son of God,St. John descends from the idea of the Logos, as expressed inthe Prologue, to its concrete realisation in His history. Thelatest tractate (at the present writing, 1882) on the Gospelof St. John, by Dr. Muller, Die Johann. Frage, gives a goodsummary of the argument on both sides, and deserves thecareful attention of students of the question.] But theseforms are filled in the fourth Gospel with quite othersubstance. God is not afar off, uncognisable by man, withoutproperties, without name. He is the Father. Instead of anebulous reflection of the Deity we have the Person of theLogos; not a Logos with the two potencies of goodness andpower, but full of grace and truth. The Gospel of St. Johnalso begins with a 'Bereshith', but it is the theological,not the cosmic Bereshith, when the Logos was with God and wasGod. Matter is not pre-existent; far less is it evil. St.John strikes the pen through Alexandrianism when he lays itdown as the fundamental fact of New Testament history that'the Logos was made flesh,' just as St. Paul does when heproclaims the great mystery of 'God manifest in the flesh.'Best of all, it is not by a long course of study, nor bywearing discipline, least of all by an inborn gooddisposition, that the soul attains the new life, but by abirth from above, by the Holy Ghost, and by simple faithwhich is brought within reach of the fallen and the lost. [1I cannot agree with Weiss (u. s., p. 122) that the greatobject of the fourth Gospel was to oppose the rising Gnosticmovement, This may have been present to the Apostle's mind,as evidenced in his Epistle, but the object in view could nothave been mainly, nor even primarily, negative andcontroversial.]

Philo had no successor. In him Hellenism had completed itscycle. Its message and its mission were ended. Henceforth itneeded, like Apollos, its great representative in theChristian Church, two things: the baptism of John to theknowledge of sin and need, and to have the way of God moreperfectly expounded. [a Acts xviii 24-28] On the other hand,Eastern Judaism had entered with Hillel on a new stage. Thisdirection led farther and farther away from that which theNew Testament had taken in following up and unfolding thespiritual elements of the Old. That development was incapableof transformation or renovation. It must go on to its finalcompletion, and be either true, or else be swept away anddestroyed.




We have spoken of Alexandria as the capital of the Jewishworld 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, thethought, and the influence of Western Judaism centred in themodern capital of the land of the Pharaohs. In those daysGreece was the land of the past, to which the student mightresort as the home of beauty and of art, the timehallowedtemple of thought and of poetry. But it was also the land ofdesolateness and of ruins, where fields of corn waved overthe remains of classic antiquity. The ancient Greeks had ingreat measure sunk to a nation of traders, in keencompetition with the Jews. Indeed, Roman sway had levelledthe ancient world, and buried its national characteristics.It was otherwise in the far East; it was otherwise also inEgypt. 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 thannow, was it the dream-land of untold attractions to thetraveller. The ancient, mysterious Nile still rolled itshealing waters out into the blue sea, where (so it wassupposed) they changed its taste within a radius farther thanthe eye could reach. To be gently borne in bark or ship onits waters, to watch the strange vegetation and fauna of itsbanks; to gaze beyond, where they merged into the tracklessdesert; to wander under the shade of its gigantic monuments,or within the wierd avenues of its colossal temples, to seethe scroll of mysterious hieroglyphics; to note the samenessof manner and of people as of old, and to watch the uniquerites of its ancient religion, this was indeed to be again inthe old far-away world, and that amidst a dreaminessbewitching the senses, and a gorgeousness dazzling theimagination. [1 What charm Egypt had for the Romans may begathered from so many of their mosaics and frescoes. Comp.Friedlander, u. s. vol. ii. pp. 134-136.

We are still far out at sea, making for the port ofAlexandria, the only safe shelter all along the coast of Asiaand Africa. Quite thirty miles out the silver sheen of thelighthouse on the island of Pharos [1 This immense lighthouswas square up to the middle, then covered by an octagon, thetop being round. The last recorded repairs to thismagnificent structure of blocks of marble were made in theyear 1303 of our era.], connected by a mole with Alexandria,is burning like a star on the edge of the horizon. Now wecatch sight of the palmgroves of Pharos; presently the anchorrattles and grates on the sand, and we are ashore. What crowdof vessels of all sizes, shapes and nationalities; what amultitude of busy people; what a very Babel of languages;what a commingling of old and new world civilisation; andwhat a variety of wares piled up, loading or unloading!

Alexandria itself was not an old Egyptian, but acomparatively modern, city; in Egypt and yet not of Egypt.Everything was in character, the city, its inhabitants,public life, art, literature, study, amusements, the veryaspect of the place. Nothing original anywhere, butcombination of all that had been in the ancient world, orthat was at the time, most fitting place therefore to be thecapital of Jewish Hellenism.

As its name indicates, the city was founded by Alexander theGreat. It was built in the form of an open fan, or rather, ofthe outspread cloak of a Macedonian horseman. Altogether, itmeasured (16,360 paces) 3,160 paces more than Rome; but itshouses were neither so crowded nor so many-storied. It hadbeen a large city when Rome was still inconsiderable, and tothe last held the second place in the Empire. One of the fivequarters into which the city was divided, and which werenamed according to the first letters of the alphabet, waswholly covered by the royal palaces, with their gardens, andsimilar buildings, including the royal mausoleum, where thebody of Alexander the Great, preserved in honey, was kept ina glass coffin. But these, and its three miles of colonnadesalong the principal highway, were only some of themagnificent architectural adornments of a city full ofpalaces. The population amounted, probably, to nearly amillion, drawn from the East and West by trade, theattractions of wealth, the facilities for study, or theamusements of a singularly frivolous city. A strange mixtureof elements among the people, combining the quickness andversatility 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. Aboveall, it was a commercial city, furnished with an excellentharbour, or rather with five harbours. A special fleetcarried, as tribute, from Alexandria to Italy, two-tenths ofthe corn produce of Egypt, which sufficed to feed the capitalfor four months of the year. A magnificent fleet it was, fromthe light quick sailer to those immense corn-ships whichhoisted a special flag, and whose early arrival was awaitedat Puteoli [1 The average passage from Alexandria to Puteoliwas twelve days, the ships touching at Malta and in Sicily.It was in such a ship, the 'Castor and Pollux' carryingwheat, that St. Paul sailed from Malta to Puteoli, where itwould be among the first arrivals of the season.] with moreeagerness than that of any modern ocean-steamer. [2 Theybore, painted on the two sides of the prow, the emblems ofthe gods to whom they were dedicated, and were navigated byEgyptian pilots, the most reowned in the world. One of thesevessels is described as 180 by 45 feet and of about 1,575tons, and is computed to have returned to its owner nearly3,000l. annually. (Comp. Friedlander, u.s. vol. ii. p. 131,&c.) And yet these were small ships compared with those builtfor the conveyance of marble blocks and columns, andespecially 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.] Thecommerce of India was in the hands of the Alexandrianshippers. [3 The journey took aboutthree months, either upthe Nile, thence by caravan, and again by sea; or elseperhaps by the Ptolemy Canal and the Red Sea.] Since the daysof the Ptolemies the Indian trade alone had increasedsixfold. [4 It included gold-dust, ivory, and mother-of-pearlfrom the interior of Africa, spices from Arabia, pearls fromthe Gulf of Persia, precious stones and byssus from India,and silk from China.] Nor was the native industryinconsiderable. Linen goods, to suit the tastes or costumesof all countries; woolen stuffs of every hue, some curiouslywrought with figures, and even scenes; glass of every shadeand in every shape; paper from the thinnest sheet to thecoarsest packing paper; essences, perfumeries, such were thenative products. However idly or luxuriously inclined, stillevery one seemed busy, in a city where (as the EmperorHadrian expressed it) 'money was the people's god;' and everyone seemed well-to-do in his own way, from the waif in thestreets, who with little trouble to himself could pick upsufficient to go to the restaurant and enjoy a comfortabledinner of fresh or smoked fish with garlic, and his pudding,washed down with the favourite Egyptian barley beer, up tothe millionaire banker, who owned a palace in the city and avilla by the canal that connected Alexandria with Canobus.What a jostling crowd of all nations in the streets, in themarket (where, according to the joke of a contemporary,anything might be got except snow), or by the harbours; whatcool shades, delicious retreats, vast halls, magnificentlibraries, where the savants of Alexandria assembled andtaught every conceivable branch of learning, and itsfar-famed physicians prescribed for the poor consumptivepatients sent thither from all parts of Italy! What bustleand noise among that ever excitable, chatty conceited, vain,pleasure-loving multitude, whose highest enjoyment was thetheatre and singers; what scenes on that long canal toCanobus, lined with luxurious inns, where barks full ofpleasure-seekers revelled in the cool shade of the banks, orsped to Canobus, that scene of all dissipation and luxury,proverbial even in those days! And yet, close by, on theshores of Lake Mareotis, as if in grim contrast, were thechosen retreats of that sternly ascetic Jewish party, theTherapeutae, [a On theexistence of the Therapeutes comp. Art.Philo in Smith & Wace's Dict. of Chr. Biogr. vol. iv.] whoseviews and practices in so many points were kindred to thoseof the Essenes in Palestine!

This sketch of Alexandria will help us to understand thesurroundings of the large mass of Jews settled in theEgyptian capital. Altogether more than an eighth of thepopulation of the country (one million in 7,800,000) wasJewish. Whether or not a Jewish colony had gone into Egypt atthe time of Nebuchadnezzar, or even earlier, the great massof its residents had been attracted by Alexander the Great,[b Mommsen (Rom. Gesch. v. p. 489) ascribes this rather toPtolemy I.] who had granted the Jews equally exceptionalprivileges with the Macedonians. The later troubles ofPalestine under the Syrian kings greatly swelled theirnumber, the more so that the Ptolemies, with one exception,favoured them. Originally a special quarter had been assignedto the Jews in the city, the 'Delta' by the eastern harbourand the Canobus canal, probably alike to keep the communityseparate, and from its convenience for commercial purposes.The priveleges which the Ptolemies had accorded to the Jewswere confirmed, and even enlarged, by Julius Caesar. Theexport trade in grain was now in their hands, and the harbourand river police committed to their charge. Two quarters inthe city are named as specially Jewish, not, however, in thesense 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, ofwhich even the Palestinians boasted, was the great centralSynagogue, built in the shape of a basilica, with doublecolonnade, and so large that it needed a signal for thosemost distant to know the proper moment for the responses. Thedifferent trade guilds sat there together, so that a strangerwould at once know where to find Jewish employers orfellow-workmen. [c Sukk. 51 b.] In the choir of this Jewishcathedral stood seventy chairs of state, encrusted withprecious stones, for the seventy elders who constituted theeldership of Alexandria, on the model of the great Sanhedrinin Jerusalem.

It is a strange, almost inexplicable fact, that the EgyptianJews had actually built a schismatic Temple. During theterrible Syrian persecutions in Palestine Onias, the son ofthe murdered High-Priest Onias III., had sought safety inEgypt. Ptolemy Philometor not only received him kindly, butgave a disused heathen temple in the town of Leontopolis fora Jewish sanctuary. Here a new Aaronic priesthood ministered,their support being derived from the revenues of the districtaround. The new Temple, however, resembled not that ofJerusalem either in outward appearance nor in all itsinternal fittings. [1 Instead of the seven-branched goldencandlestick there was a golden lamp, suspended from a chainof the same metal.] At first the Egyptian Jews were veryproud of their new sanctuary, and professed to see in it thefulfilment of the prediction, [a is xix. 18.] that fivecities in the land of Egypt should speak the language ofCanaan, of which one was to be called Ir-ha-Heres, which theLXX. (in their original form, or by some later emendation)altered into 'the city of righteousness.' This templecontinued from about 160 B.C. to shortly after thedestruction of Jerusalem. It could scarcely be called a rivalto that on Mount Moriah, since the Egyptian Jews also ownedthat of Jerusalem as their central sanctuary, to which theymade pilgrimages and brought their contributions, [b Philo,ii, 646, ed. Mangey.] while the priests at Leontopolis,before marrying, always consulted the official archives inJerusalem to ascertain the purity of descent of theirintended wives. [c Jos. Ag. Ap. i. 7.] The Palestiniansdesignated it contemptuously as 'the house of Chonyi'(Onias), and declared the priesthood of Leontopolis incapableof serving in Jerusalem, although on a par with those whowere disqualified only by some bodily defect. Offeringsbrought in Leontopolis were considered null, unless in thecase of vows to which the name of this Temple had beenexpressly attached. [d Men. xiii. 10, and the Gemara, 109 aand b.] This qualified condemnation seems, however, strangelymild, except on the supposition that the statements we havequoted only date from a time when both Temples had longpassed away.

Nor were such feelings unreasonable. The Egyptian Jews hadspread on all sides, southward to Abyssinia and Ethiopia, andwestward to, and beyond, the province of Cyrene. In the cityof that name they formed one of the four classes into whichits inhabitants were divided. [e Strabo in Jos. Ant. xiv. 7,2.] A Jewish inscription at Berenice, apparently dating fromthe year 13 B.C., shows that the Cyrenian Jews formed adistinct community under nine 'rulers' of their own, who nodoubt attended to the communal affairs, not always an easymatter, since the Cyrenian Jews were noted, if not forturbulence, yet for strong anti-Roman Roman feeling, whichmore than once was cruelly quenched in blood. [1 Could therehave been any such meaning in laying the Roman cross whichJesus had to bear upon a Cyrenian (St. Luke xxiii. 26)? Asymbolical meaning it certainly has, as we remember that thelast Jewish rebellion (132-135 A.D.), which had Bar Cochbafor its Messiah, first broke out in Cyrene. What terriblevengeance was taken on those who followed the false Christ,cannot here be told.] Other inscriptions prove, [2 Jewishinscriptions have also been found in Mauritania and Algiers.]that in other places of their dispersion also the Jews hadtheir own Archontes or 'rulers,' while the special directionof public worship was always entrusted to the Archisynagogos,or 'chief ruler of the Synagogue,' both titles occurring sideby side. [3 On a tombstone at Capua (Mommsen, Inscr. R. Neap.3,657, apud Schurer, p 629). The subject is of greatimportance as illustrating the rule of the Synagogue in thedays of Christ. Another designation on the gravestones seemsto refer solely to age, one being described as 110 yearsold.] It is, to say the least, very doubtful, whether theHigh-Priest at Leontopolis was ever regarded as, in any realsense, the head of the Jewish community in Egypt. [4 Jost,Gesch. d. Judenth. i. p. 345.] In Alexandria, the Jews wereunder the rule of a Jewish Ethnarch, [5 Marquardt (Rom.Staatsverwalt. vol. i. p. 297). Note 5 suggests that may heremean classes, ordo.] whose authority was similar to that of'the Archon' of independent cities. [a Strabo in Jos. Ant.xiv. 7. 2] But his authority [6 The office itself would seemto have been continued. (Jos. Ant. xix. 5. 2.)] wastransferred, by Augustus, to the whole 'eldership.' [b Philo,in Flacc. ed. Mangey, ii 527] Another, probably Roman,office, though for obvious reasons often filled by Jews, wasthat of the Alabarch, or rather Arabarch, who was set overthe Arab population. [7 Comp. Wesseling, de Jud. Archont. pp.63, &c., apud Schurer, pp. 627, 628.] Among others,Alexander, the brother of Philo, held this post. If we mayjudge of the position of the wealthy Jewish families inAlexandria by that of this Alabarch, their influence musthave been very great. The firm of Alexander was probably asrich as the great Jewish banking and shipping house ofSaramalla in Antioch. [c Jos. Antxiv. 13. 5; War. i. 13, 5]Its chief was entrusted with the management of the affairs ofAntonia, the much respected sister-in-law of the EmperorTiberius. [d Ant. xix 5. 1] It was a small thing for such aman to lend King Agrippa, when his fortunes were very low, asum of about 7,000l. with which to resort to Italy, [c Ant.xviii. 6.3] since he advanced it on the guarantee ofAgrippa's wife, whom he highly esteemed, and at the same timemade provision that the money should not be all spent beforethe Prince met the Emperor. Besides, he had his own plans inthe matter. Two of his sons married daughters of KingAgrippa; while a third, at the price of apostasy, rosesuccessively to the posts of Procurator of Palestine, andfinally of Governor of Egypt. [f Ant. xix. 5. 1; xx. 5. 3]The Temple at Jerusalem bore evidence of the wealth andmunificence of this Jewish millionaire. The gold and silverwith which the nine massive gates were covered, which ledinto the Temple, were the gift of the great Alexandrianbanker.

The possession of such wealth, coupled no doubt with prideand self-assertion, and openly spoken contempt of thesuperstitions around, [1 Comp.for example, such a trenchantchapter as Baruch vi., or the 2nd Fragm. of the Erythr.Sibyl, vv. 21-33.] would naturally excite the hatred of theAlexandria populace against the Jews. The greater number ofthose silly stories about the origin, early history, andreligion of the Jews, which even the philosophers andhistorians of Rome record as genuine, originated in Egypt. Awhole series of writers, beginning with Manetho, [a Probablyabout 200 B.C] made it their business to give a kind ofhistorical travesty of the events recorded in the books ofMoses. The boldest of these scribblers was Apion, to whomJosephus replied, a world-famed charlatan and liar, who wroteor lectured, with equal presumption and falseness, on everyconceivable object. He was just the man to suit theAlexandrians, on whom his unblushing assurance imposed. InRome he soon found his level, and the Emperor Tiberius wellcharacterised the irrepressible boastful talker as the'tinkling cymbal of the world.' He had studied, seen, andheard everything, even, on three occasions, the mysterioussound on the Colossus of Memnon, as the sun rose upon it! Atleast, so he graved upon the Colossus itself, for theinformation of all generations. [2 Comp. Friedlander, u. s.ii. p. 155.] Such was the man on whom the Alexandriansconferred the freedom of their city, to whom they entrustedtheir most important affairs, and whom they extolled as thevictorious, the laborious, the new Homer. [3 A very goodsketch of Apion is given by Hausrath, Neutest. Zeitg. vol.ii. pp. 187-195. There can be little doubt, that the popularfavour was partly due to Apion's virulent attacks upon theJews. His grotesque accounts of their history and religionheld them up to contempt. But his real object was to rousethe fanaticism of the populace against the Jews. Every year,so he told them, it was the practice of the Jews to get holdof some unfortunate Hellene, whom ill-chance might bring intotheir hands, to fatten him for the year, and then tosacrifice him, partaking of his entrials, and burying thebody, while during these horrible rites they took a fearfuloath of perpetual enmity to the Greeks. These were the peoplewho battened on the wealth of Alexandria, who had usurpedquarters of the city to which they had no right, and claimedexceptional privileges; a people who had proved traitors to,and the ruin of every one who had trusted them. 'If theJews,' he exclaimed, 'are citizens of Alexandria, why do theynot worship the same gods as the Alexandrians?' And, if theywished to enjoy the protection of the Caesars, why did theynot erect statues, and pay Divine honor to them? [1 Jos. Ag.Ap. ii. 4, 5, 6.] There is nothing strange in these appealsto the fanaticism of mankind. In one form or another, theyhave only too often been repeated in all lands and ages, and,alas! by the representatives of all creeds. Well might theJews, as Philo mourns, [a Leg. ad Caj. ed. Frcf.] wish nobetter for themselves than to be treated like other men!

We have already seen, that the ideas entertained in Romeabout the Jews were chiefly derived from Alexandrian sources.But it is not easy to understand, how a Tacitus, Cicero, orPliny could have credited such absurdities as that the Jewshad come from Crete (Mount Ida, Idaei = Judaei), beenexpelled on account of leprosy from Egypt, and emigratedunder an apostate priest, Moses; or that the Sabbath-restoriginated in sores, which had obliged the wanderers to stopshort on the seventh day; or that the Jews worshipped thehead of an ass, or else Bacchus; that their abstinence fromswine's flesh was due to remembrance and fear of leprosy, orelse to the worship of that animal, and other puerilities ofthe like kind. [b Comp. Tacitus, Hist. v. 2-4; Plut. Sympos.iv. 5] The educated Roman regarded the Jew with a mixture ofcontempt and anger, all the more keen that, according to hisnotions, the Jew had, since his subjection to Rome, no longera right to his religion; and all the more bitter that, dowhat he might, that despised race confronted him everywhere,with a religion so uncompromising as to form a wall ofseparation, and with rites so exclusive as to make them notonly strangers, but enemies. Such a phenomenon was nowhereelse to be encountered. The Romans were intensely practical.In their view, political life and religion were not onlyintertwined, but the one formed part of the other. A religionapart from a political organisation, or which offered not, asa quid pro quo, some direct return from the Deity to hisvotaries, seemed utterly inconceivable. Every country has itsown religion, argued Cicero, in his appeal for Flaccus. Solong as Jerusalem was unvaquished, Judaism might claimtoleration; but had not the immortal gods shown what theythought of it, when the Jewish race was conquered? This was akind 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 transportfrom Asia to Jerusalem of the annual Temple-tribute. This wasnot a popular accusation to bring against a man in such anassembly. And as the Jews, who, to create a distrubance, had(we are told) distributed themselves among the audience insuch numbers, that Cicero somewhat rhetorically declared, hewould fain have spoken with bated breath, so as to be onlyaudible to the judges, listened to the great orator, theymust have felt a keen pang shoot to their hearts while heheld them up to the scorn of the heathen, and touched, withrough finger, their open sore, as he urged the ruin of theirnation as the one unanswerable argument, which Materialismcould 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, asPliny had it, [a Hist. Nat. xiii. 4] 'a race distinguishedfor its contempt of the gods'? To begin with their theology.The Roman philosopher would sympathise with disbelief of allspiritual realities, as, on the other hand, he couldunderstand the popular modes of worship and superstition. Butwhat was to be said for a worship of something quite unseen,an adoration, as it seemed to him, of the clouds and of thesky, without any visible symbol, conjoined with an utterrejection of every other form of religion, Asiatic, Egyptian,Greek, Roman, and the refusal even to pay the customaryDivine honor to the Caesars, as the incarnation of Romanpower? Next, as to their rites. Foremost among them was theinitiatory rite of circumcision, a constant subject forcoarse jests. What could be the meaning of it; or of whatseemed like some ancestral veneration for the pig, or dreadof it, since they made it a religious duty not to partake ofits flesh? Their Sabbath-observance, however it hadoriginated, was merely an indulgence in idleness. The fastyoung Roman literati would find their amusement in wanderingon the Sabbath-eve through the tangled, narrow streets of theGhetto, watching how the dim lamp within shed its unsavorylight, while the inmates mumbled prayers 'with blanchedlips;' [b Persius v. 184] or they would, like Ovid, seek inthe Synagogue occasion for their dissolute amusements. TheThursday fast was another target for their wit. In short, atthe best, the Jew was a constant theme of popular merriment,and the theatre would resound with laughter as his religionwas lampooned, no matter how absurd the stories, or how poorthe punning. [1 Comp. the quotation of such scenes in theIntrod. to the Midrash on Lamentations.]

And then, as the proud Roman passed on the Sabbath throughthe streets, Judaism would obtrude itself upon his notice, bythe shops that were shut, and by the strange figures thatidly moved about in holiday attire. They were strangers in astrange land, not only without sympathy with what passedaround, but with marked contempt and abhorrence of it, whilethere was that about their whole bearing, which expressed theunspoken feeling, that the time of Rome's fall, and of theirown supremacy, was at hand. To put the general feeling in thewords of Tacitus, the Jews kept close together, and were evermost liberal to one another; but they were filled with bitterhatred of all others. They would neither eat nor sleep withstrangers; and the first thing which they taught theirproselytes was to despise the gods, to renounce their owncountry, and to rend the bonds which had bound them toparents, children or kindred. To be sure, there was someground of distorted truth in these charges. For, the Jew, assuch, was only intended for Palestine. By a necessity, not ofhis own making, he was now, so to speak, the negative elementin the heathen world; yet one which, do what he might, wouldalways obtrude itself upon public notice. But the Romansatirists went further. They accused the Jews of such hatredof all other religionists, that they would not even show theway to any who worshipped otherwise, nor point out thecooling spring to the thirsty.[a Juv. Sat. xiv. 103, 104]According to Tacitus, there was a political and religiousreason for this. In order to keep the Jews separate from allother nations, Moses had given them rites, contrary to thoseof any other race, that they might regard as unholy what wassacred to others, and as lawful what they held inabomination. [b Hist. v. 13] Such a people deserved neitherconsideration nor pity; and when the historian tells howthousands of their number had been banished by Tiberius toSardinia, he dismisses the probability of their perishing inthat severe climate with the cynical remark, that it entaileda 'poor loss' [c Ann. ii.85, Comp. Suet. Tib. 36] (viledamnum).

Still, the Jew was there in the midst of them. It isimpossible to fix the date when the first Jewish wanderersfound their way to the capital of the world. We know, that inthe wars under Pompey, Cassius, and Antonius, many werebrought captive to Rome, and sold as slaves. In general, theRepublican party was hostile, the Caesars were friendly, tothe Jews. The Jewish slaves in Rome proved an unprofitableand troublesome acquisition. They clung so tenaciously totheir ancestral customs, that it was impossible to make themconform to the ways of heathen households. [d Philo, Leg. adCaj. ed. Frcf. p. 101] How far they would carry their passiveresistance, appears from a story told by Josephus, [e Life 3]about some Jewish priests of his acquaintance, who, duringtheir captivity in Rome, refused to eat anything but figs andnuts, so as to avoid the defilement of Gentile food. [1Lutterbeck (Neutest. Lehrbegr. p. 119), following up thesuggestions of Wieseler (Chron. d. Apost. Zeitalt. pp. 384,402, etc.), regards these priests as the accusers of St.Paul, who brought about his martyrdom.] Their Roman mastersdeemed 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. Ofcourse they were, as always, industrious, sober, pushing. Incourse of time many of them acquired wealth. By-and-by Jewishimmigrants of greater distinction swelled their number. Stilltheir social position was inferior to that of theirco-religionists in other lands. A Jewish population so largeas 40,000 in the time of Augustus, and 60,000 in that ofTiberius, would naturally included all ranks, merchants,bankers, literati, even actors. [1 Comp., for example, Mart.xi. 94; Jos. Life 3.] In a city which offered suchtemptations, they would number among them those of everydegree of religious profession; nay, some who would not onlyimitate the habits of those around, but try to outdo theirgross licentiousness. [2 Martialis, u. s. The 'Anchialus' bywhom the poet would have the Jew swear, is a corruption ofAnochi Elohim ('I am God') in Ex. xx. 2. Comp. Ewald, Gesch.Isr. vol. vii. p. 27.] Yet, even so, they would vainlyendeavor to efface the hateful mark of being Jews.

Augustus had assigned to the Jews as their special quarterthe 'fourteenth region' across the Tiber, which stretchedfrom the slope of the Vatican onwards and across theTiber-island, where the boats from Ostia were wont to unload.This seems to have been their poor quarter, chiefly inhabitedby hawkers, sellers of matches, [a Mart. i.41; xii. 57]glass, old clothes and second-hand wares. The Jewishburying-ground in that quarter [3 Described by Bosio, butsince unknown. Comp. Friedlander, u. s. vol. iii. pp. 510,511.] gives evidence of their condition. The wholeappointments and the graves are mean. There is neither marblenor any trace of painting, unless it be a roughrepresentation of the seven-branched candlestick in redcoloring. Another Jewish quarter was by the Porta Capena,where the Appian Way entered the city. Close by, the ancientsanctuary of Egeria was utilized at the time of Juvenal [4Sat. iii.13; vi. 542.] as a Jewish hawking place. But theremust have been richer Jews also in that neighborhood, sincethe burying-place there discovered has paintings, some evenof mythological figures, of which the meaning has not yetbeen ascertained. A third Jewish burying-ground was near theancient Christian catacombs.

But indeed, the Jewish residents in Rome must have spreadover every quarter of the city, even the best, to judge bythe location of their Synagogues. From inscriptions, we havebeen made acquainted not only with the existence, but withthe names, of not fewer than seven of these Synagogues. Threeof them respectively bear the names of Augustus, Agrippa, andVolumnius, either as their patrons, or because theworshippers were chiefly their attendants and clients; whiletwo of them derived their names from the Campus Martius, andthe quarter Subura in which they stood. [1 Comp. Friedlander,u. s. vol. iii. p.510.] The 'Synagoge Elaias' may have beenso called from bearing on its front the device of anolive-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 wouldshed its brightness through the night of heathendom. [2 Midr.R. on Ex. 36.] Of course, there must have been otherSynagogues besides those whose names have been discovered.

One other mode of tracking the footsteps of Israel'swanderings seems strangely significant. It is by tracingtheir records among the dead, reading them on brokentombstones, and in ruined monuments. They are rude, and theinscriptions, most of them in bad Greek, or still worseLatin, none in Hebrew, are like the stammering of strangers.Yet what a contrast between the simple faith and earnest hopewhich they express, and the grim proclamation of utterdisbelief in any future to the soul, not unmixed withlanguage of coarsest materialism, on the graves of so many ofthe polished Romans ! Truly the pen of God in history has, asso often, ratified the sentence which a nation had pronouncedupon itself. That civilisation was doomed which couldinscribe over its dead such words as: 'To eternal sleep;' 'Toperpetual rest;' or more coarsely express it thus, 'I wasnot, 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 wereby way of moral, 'And thou who livest, drink, play, come.'Not so did God teach His people; and, as we pick our wayamong these broken stones, we can understand how a religion,which proclaimed a hope so different, must have spoken to thehearts of many even at Rome, and much more, how that blessedassurance of life and immortality, which Christianityafterwards brought, could win its thousands, though it wereat the cost of poverty, shame, torture, and the arena.

Wandering from graveyard to graveyard, and deciphering therecords of the dead, we can almost read the history of Israelin the days of the Caesars, or when Paul the prisoner setfoot on the soil of Italy. When St. Paul, on the journey ofthe 'Castor and Pollux,' touched at Syracuse, he would,during his stay of three days, find himself in the midst of aJewish community, as we learn from an inscription. When hedisembarked at Puteoli, he was in the oldest Jewishsettlement next to that of Rome, [a Jos. Ant. xvii. 12. 1;War ii. 7. 1] where the loving hospitality of ChristianIsraelites constrained him to tarry over a Sabbath. As he'went towards Rome,' and reached Capua, he would meet Jewsthere, as we infer from the tombstone of one 'Alfius Juda,'who had been 'Archon' of the Jews, and 'Archisynagogus' inCapua. As he neared the city, he found in Anxur (Terracina) aSynagogue. [1 Comp. Cassel, in Ersch u. Gruber's Encyclop. 2dsect. vol. xxvii. p. 147.] In Rome itself the Jewishcommunity was organized as in other places. [b Acts xxviii.17] It sounds strange, as after these many centuries we againread the names of the Archons of their various Synagogues,all Roman, such as Claudius, Asteris, Julian (who was Archonalike of the Campesian and the Agrippesian Synagogue priest,the son of Julian the Archisynagogus, or chief of theeldership of the Augustesian Synagogue). And so in otherplaces. On these tombstones we find names of JewishSynagogue-dignitaries, in every centre of population, inPompeii, in Venusia, the birthplace of Horace; in Jewishcatacombs; and similarly Jewish inscriptions in Africa, inAsia, in the islands of the Mediterranean, in AEgina, inPatrae, in Athens. Even where as yet records of their earlysettlements have not been discovered, we still infer theirpresence, as we remember the almost incredible extent ofRoman commerce, which led to such large settlements inBritain, or as we discover among the tombstones those of'Syrian' merchants, as in Spain (where St. Paul hoped topreach, no doubt, also to his own countrymen), throughoutGaul, and even in the remotest parts of Germany. [2 Comp.Friedlander, u. s. vol. ii. pp. 17-204 passim.] Thus thestatements of Josephus and of Philo, as to the dispersion ofIsrael throughout all lands of the known world, are fullyborne out.

But the special importance of the Jewish community in Romelay in its contiguity to the seat of the government of theworld, where every movement could be watched and influenced,and where it could lend support to the wants and wishes ofthat compact body which, however widely scattered, was one inheart and feeling, in thought and purpose, in faith andpractice, in suffering and in prosperity. [3 It was probablythis unity of Israelitish interests which Cicero had in view(Pro Flacco, 28) when he took such credit for his boldness indaring to stand up against the Jews, unless, indeed, theorator only meant to make a point in favour of his client.]Thus, when upon the death of Herod a deputation fromPalestine appeared in the capital to seek the restoration oftheir Theocracy under a Roman protectorate, [a Jos. Ant.xvii. 11. 1; War. ii. 6. 1] no less than 8,000 of the RomanJews joined it. And in case of need they could find powerfulfriends, not only among the Herodian princes, but among courtfavourites who were Jews, like the actor of whom Josephusspeaks; [b Life 3] among those who were inclined towardsJudaism, like Poppaea, the dissolute wife of Nero, whosecoffin as that of a Jewess was laid among the urns of theemperors; [1 Schiller (Gesch. d. Rom. Kaiserreichs, p. 583)denies that Poppaea was a proselyte. It is, indeed, true, ashe argues, that the fact of her entombment affords noabsolute evidence of this, if taken by itself; but comp. Jos.Ant. xx. 8. 11; Life 3.] or among real proselytes, like thoseof all ranks who, from superstition or conviction, hadidentified themselves with the Synagogue. [2 The question ofJewish proselytes will be treated in another place.]

In truth, there was no law to prevent the spread of Judaism.Excepting the brief period when Tiberius [c 19 A.D.] banishedthe Jews from Rome and sent 4,000 of their number to fightthe banditti in Sardinia, the Jews enjoyed not only perfectliberty, but exceptional privileges. In the reign of Caesarand of Augustus we have quite a series of edicts, whichsecured the full exercise of their religion and theircommunal rights. [3 Comp. Jos. Ant. xiv. 10, passim, and xvi.6. These edicts are collated in Krebs. Decreta Romanor. proJud. facta, with long comments by the author, and byLevyssohn.] In virtue of these they were not to be disturbedin their religious ceremonies, nor in the observance of theirsabbaths and feasts. The annual Temple-tribute was allowed tobe transported to Jerusalem, and the alienation of thesefunds by the civil magistrates treated as sacrilege. As theJews objected to bear arms, or march, on the Sabbath, theywere freed from military service. On similar grounds, theywere not obliged to appear in courts of law on their holydays. Augustus even ordered that, when the publicdistribution of corn or of money among the citizens fell on aSabbath, the Jews were to receive their share on thefollowing day. In a similar spirit the Roman authoritiesconfirmed a decree by which the founder of Antioch, SeleucusI. (Nicator), [d Ob.280 B.C.] had granted the Jews the rightof citizenship in all the cities of Asia Minor and Syriawhich he had built, and the privilege of receiving, insteadof the oil that was distributed, which their religion forbadethem to use, [e Ab. Sar ii. 6] an equivalent in money. [fJos. Ant. xii. 3. 1] These rights were maintained byVespasian and Titus even after the last Jewish war,notwithstanding the earnest remonstrances of these cities. Nowonder, that at the death of Caesar [g 44 B.C.] the Jews ofRome gathered for many nights, waking strange feelings of awein the city, as they chanted in mournful melodies theirPsalms around the pyre on which the body of their benefactorhad been burnt, and raised their pathetic dirges. [a Suet.Caes. 84] The measures of Sejanus, and ceased with his sway.Besides, they were the outcome of public feeling at the timeagainst all foreign rites, which had been roused by the vileconduct of the priests of Isis towards a Roman matron, andwas again provoked by a gross imposture upon Fulvia, a nobleRoman proselyte, on the part of some vagabond Rabbis. Buteven so, there is no reason to believe that literally allJews had left Rome. Many would find means to remain secretlybehind. At any rate, twenty years afterwards Philo found alarge community there, ready to support him in his mission onbehalf of his Egyptian countrymen. Any temporary measuresagainst the Jews can, therefore, scarcely be regarded as aserious interference with their privileges, or a cessation ofthe Imperial favour shown to them.




It was not only in the capital of the Empire that the Jewsenjoyed the rights of Roman citizenship. Many in Asia Minorcould boast of the same privilege. [a Jos. Ant. xiv. 10,passim; Acts xxii. 25-29] The Seleucidic rulers of Syria hadpreviously bestowed kindred privileges on the Jews in manyplaces. 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 acivil government of their own, under archons of theirchoosing, quite independent of the rule and tribunals of thecities in which they lived. As instances, we may mention theJews of Sardis, Ephesus, Delos, and apparently also ofAntioch. But, whether legally entitled to it or not, theyprobably everywhere claimed the right of self-government, andexercised it, except in times of persecution. But, as alreadystated, they also possessed, besides this, at least in manyplaces, the privileges of Asiatic citizenship, to the sameextent as their heathen fellow-citizens. This twofold statusand jurisdiction might have led to serious complications, ifthe archons had not confined their authority to strictlycommunal interests, [b Co. np. Acts xix. 14 ix. 2] withoutinterfering with the ordinary administration of justice, andthe Jews willingly submitted to the sentences pronounced bytheir own tribunals.

But, in truth, they enjoyed even more than religious libertyand communal privileges. It was quite in the spirit of thetimes, that potentates friendly to Israel bestowed largessesalike on the Temple in Jerusalem, and on the Synagogues inthe provinces. The magnificent porch of the Temple was'adorned' with many such 'dedicated gifts.' Thus, we read ofrepeated costly offerings by the Ptolemies, of a goldenwreath which Sosius offered after he had taken Jerusalem inconjunction with Herod, and of rich flagons which Augustusand his wife had given to the Sanctuary. [c Jos. Ant. xii. 2.5; xiii. 3. 4; Ag. Ap.ii. 5; Ant. xiv. 16. 4; War v. 13] And,although this same Emperor praised his grandson for leavingJerusalem unvisited on his journey from Egypt to Syria, yethe himself made provision for a daily sacrifice on hisbehalf, which only ceased when the last war against Rome wasproclaimed. [a Jos. War ii. 10. 4; ii. 17.] Even thecircumstance that there was a 'Court of the Gentiles,' withmarble screen beautifully ornamented, bearing tablets which,in Latin and Greek, warned Gentiles not to proceed further,[1 One of these tablets has lately been excavated. Comp. 'TheTemple: its Ministry and Services in the Time of Christ,' p.24.] proves that the Sanctuary was largely attended by othersthan Jews, or, in the words of Josephus, that 'it was held inreverence by nations from the ends of the earth.' [b War iv.4. 3; comp. War ii. 17. 2-4]

In Syria also, where, according to Josephus, the largestnumber of Jews lived, [2 War, vii. 3. 3.] they experiencedspecial favour. In Antioch their rights and immunities wererecorded on tables of brass. [3 War, vii. 5. 2.]

But, indeed, the capital of Syria was one of their favouriteresorts. It will be remembered what importance attached to itin the early history of the Christian Church. Antioch was thethird city of the Empire, and lay just outside what theRabbinists designated as 'Syria' and still regarded as holyground. Thus it formed, so to speak, an advanced post betweenthe Palestinian and the Gentile world. Its chief Synagoguewas a magnificent building, to which the successors ofAntiochus Epiphanes had given the spoils which that monarchhad brought from the Temple. The connection between Jerusalemand Antioch was very close. All that occurred in that citywas eagerly watched in the Jewish capital. The spread ofChristianity there must have excited deep concern. Careful asthe Talmud is not to afford unwelcome information, whichmight have led to further mischief, we know that three of theprincipal Rabbis went thither on a mission, we can scarcelydoubt for the purpose of arresting the progress ofChristianity. Again, we find at a later period a record ofreligious controversy in Antioch between Rabbis andChristians. [4 Comp. generally Neubauer, Geogr. du Talmud,pp. 312, 313.] Yet the Jews of Antioch were strictlyHellenistic, and on one occasion a great Rabbi was unable tofind among them a copy of even the Book of Esther in Hebrew,which, accordingly, he had to write out from memory for hisuse in their Synagogue. A fit place this great border-city,crowded by Hellenists, in close connection with Jerusalem, tobe the birthplace of the name 'Christian,' to send forth aPaul on his mission to the Gentile world, and to obtain forit a charter of citizenship far nobler than that of which therecord was graven on tablets of brass.

But, whatever privileges Israel might enjoy, history recordsan almost continuous series of attempts, on the part of thecommunities among whom they lived, to deprive them not onlyof their immunities, but even of their common rights.Foremost among the reasons of this antagonism we place theabsolute contrariety between heathenism and the Synagogue,and the social isolation which Judaism rendered necessary. Itwas avowedly unlawful for the Jew even 'to keep company, orcome unto one of another nation.' [a Acts x. To quarrel withthis, was to find fault with the law and the religion whichmade him a Jew. But besides, there was that pride of descent,creed, enlightenment, and national privileges, which St. Paulso graphically sums up as 'making boast of God and of thelaw.' [b Comp. Rom. ii. 17-24 However differently they mighthave expressed it, Philo and Hillel would have been at one asto the absolute superiority of the Jew as such. Pretensionsof this kind must have been the more provocative, that thepopulace at any rate envied tne prosperity which Jewishindustry, talent, and capital everywhere secured. Why shouldthat close, foreign corporation possess every civic right,and yet be free from many of its burdens? Why should theirmeetings be excepted from the 'collegia illicita'? why shouldthey alone be allowed to export part of the national wealth,to dedicate it to their superstition in Jerusalem? The Jewcould not well feign any real interest in what gave itsgreatness to Ephesus, it attractiveness to Corinth, itsinfluence to Athens. He was ready to profit by it; but hisinmost thought must have been contempt, and all he wanted wasquietness and protection in his own pursuits. What concernhad he with those petty squabbles, ambitions, or designs,which agitated the turbulent populace in those Greciancities? what cared he for their popular meetings and noisydiscussions? The recognition of the fact that, as Jews, theywere strangers in a strange land, made them so loyal to theruling powers, and procured them the protection of kings andCaesars. But it also roused the hatred of the populace.

That such should have been the case, and these widelyscattered members have been united in one body, is a uniquefact in history. Its only true explanation must be sought ina higher Divine impulse. The links which bound them togetherwere: a common creed, a common life, a common centre, and acommon hope.

Wherever the Jew sojourned, or however he might differ fromhis brethern, Monotheism, the Divine mission of Moses, andthe authority of the Old Testament, were equally to allunquestioned articles of belief. It may well have been thatthe Hellenistic Jew, living in the midst of a hostile,curious, and scurrilous population, did not care to exhibitover his house and doorposts, at the right of the entrance,the Mezuzah, [1 Ber. iii. 3; Meg. i. 8; Moed K. iii. 4; Men.iii. 7. Comp. Jos. Ant. iv.8.13; and the tractate Mezuzah inKirchheim, Septem libri Talmud. parvi Hierosol. pp. 12-17.]which enclosed the folded parchment that, on twenty-twolines, bore the words from Deut. iv. 4-9 and xi. 13-21, or tocall attention by their breadth to the Tephillin, [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.] orphylacteries on his left arm and forehead, or even to makeobservable the Tsitsith, [Moed K. iii. 4; Eduy. iv. 10; Men.iii. 7; iv. 1. Comp. Kirchheim, Tract. Tsitsith, u. s. pp.22-24.] or fringes on the borders of his garments. [TheTephillin enclosed a transcript of Exod. xiii. 1-10, 11-16;Deut. vi. 4-9; xi. 13-21. The Tsitsith were worn in obedienceto 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).] Perhaps, indeed, all these observances may at that timenot have been deemed incumbent on every Jew. [It isremarkable that Aristeas seems to speak only of thephylacteries on the arm, and Philo of those for the head,while the LXX. takes the command entirely in a metaphoricalsense. This has already been pointed out in that book ofgigantic learning, Spencer, De Leg. Heb. p. 1213. Frankel(Uber d. Einfl. d. Pal. Exeg., pp. 89, 90) tries in vain tocontrovert the statement. The insufficency of his argumentshas been fully shown by Herzfeld (Gesch. d. Volk. Isr. vol.iii. p. 224).] At any rate, we do not find mention of them inheathen writers. Similarly, they could easily keep out ofview, or they may not have had conveniences for, theirprescribed purifications. But in every place, as we haveabundant evidence, where there were at least ten Batlanim -male householders who had leisure to give themselves toregular attendance - they had, from ancient times, [Acts xv.21.] one, and, if possible, more Synagogues. [Jos. Ant. xix.6. 3; War, ii. 14. 4, 5; vii. 3. 3; Philo, Quod omnis probusliber, ed. Mangey, ii. p. 458; Philo, Ad Caj. ii. p. 591;Jos. Ant. xvi. 6. 2; Philo, Vita Mosis, lib. iii., ii. p.168.] Where there was no Synagogue there was at least aProseuche, [Acts xvi.13] [Jos. Ant. xvi. 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 ubiconsistas? in qua te quaero proseucha?'] open sky, after theform of a theatre, generally outside the town, near a riveror the sea, for the sake of lustrations. These, as we knowfrom classical writers, were well known to the heathen, andeven frequented by them. Their Sabbath observance, theirfasting on Thursdays, their Day of Atonement, their lawsrelating to food, and their pilgrimages to Jerusalem - allfound sympathiers among Judaising Gentiles. [8 Comp., amongothers, Ovid, Ars Amat. i. 76; Juv. Sat. xvi. 96, 97; Hor.Sat. i. 5. 100; 9. 70; Suet. Aug. 93.] They even watched tosee, how the Sabbath lamp was kindled, and the solemn prayersspoken which marked the beginning of the Sabbath. [9 Persiusv. 180. But to the Jew the Synagogue was the bond of unionthroughout the world. There, on Sabbath and feast days theymet to read, from the same Lectionary, the sameScripture-lessons which their brethren read throughout theworld, and to say, in the words of the same liturgy, theircommon prayers, catching echoes of the gorgeousTemple-services in Jerusalem. The heathen must have beenstruck with awe as they listened, and watched in the gloom ofthe Synagogue the mysterious light at the far curtained end,where the sacred oracles were reverently kept, wrapped incostly coverings. Here the stranger Jew also would findhimself at home: the same arrangements as in his own land,and the well-known services and prayers. A hospitable welcomeat the Sabbath-meal, and in many a home, would be pressed onhim, and ready aid be proffered in work or trial.

For, deepest of all convictions was that of their commoncentre; strongest of all feelings was the love which boundthem to Palestine and to Jerusalem, the city of God, the joyof all the earth, the glory of His people Isael. 'If I forgetthee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; letmy tongue cleave to the roof of my mouuth,' Hellenist andEastern equally realised this. As the soil of his nativeland, the deeds of his people, or the graves of his fathersdraw the far-off wanderer to the home of his childhood, orfill the mountaineer in his exile with irrepressible longing,so the sounds which the Jew heard in his Synagogue, and theobservances which he kept. Nor was it with him merely matterof patriotism, of history, or of association. It was areligious principle, a spiritual hope. No truth more firmlyrooted in the consciousness of all, than that in Jerusalemalone men could truly worship. [a St. John iv. 20] As Danielof old had in his hour ofworship turned towards the HolyCity, so in the Synagogue and in his prayers every Jew turnedtowards Jerusalem; and anything that might imply want ofreverence, when looking in that direction, was considered agrievous sin. From every Synagogue in the Diaspora the annualTemple-tribute went up to Jerusalem, [1 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.] nodoubt often accompanied by rich votive offerings. Few, whocould undertake or afford the journey, but had at some timeor other gone up to the Holy City to attend one of the greatfeasts. [2 philo, De Monarchia, ii. p. 223.] Philo, who washeld by the same spell as the most bigoted Rabbinist, hadhimself been one of those deputed by his fellow-citizens tooffer prayers and sacrifices in the great Sanctuary. [3Philo, in a fragment preserved in Euseb., Praepar. Ev. viii.13. What the Temple was in the estimation of Israel,] Viewsand feelings of this kind help us to understand, how, on somegreat feast, as Josephus states on sufficient authority, thepopulation of Jerusalem - within its ecclesiasticalboundaries - could have swelled to the enormous number ofnearly three millions. [a War vi. 9. 3; comp. ii. 14. 3]

And still, there was an even stronger bond in their commonhope. That hope pointed them all, wherever scattered, back toPalestine. To them the coming of the Messiah undoubtedlyimplied the restoration of Israel's kingdom, and, as a firstpart in it, the return of 'the dispersed.' [1 EvenMaimonides, in spite of his desire to minimise the Messianicexpectancy, admits this. Indeed, every devout Jew prayed, dayby day: 'Proclaim by Thy loud trumpet our deliverance, andraise up a banner to gather our dispersed, and gather ustogether from the four ends of the earth. Blessed be Thou, OLord! Who gatherest the outcasts of Thy people Israel.' [2This is the tenth of the eighteen (or rather nineteen)benedictions in the daily prayers. Of these the first and thelast three are certainly the oldest. But this tenth alsodates from before the destruction of Jerusalem. Comp. Zunz,Gottesd. Vortr. d. Juden, p. 368.] That prayer included inits generality also the lost ten tribes. So, for example, theprophecy [b Hos. xi. 11.] was rendered: 'They hasten hither,like a bird out of Egypt,' - referring to Israel of old; 'andlike a dove out of the land of Assyria' - referring to theten tribes. [c Midr. on Cant. i. 15, ed. warshau, p. 11b] [3Comp. Jer. Sanh. x. 6; Sanh. 110 b: Yalk. Shim.] And thuseven these wanderers, so long lost, were to be reckoned inthe field of the Good Shepherd. [4 The suggestion is made byCastelli, Il Messia, p. 253.]

It is worth while to trace, how universally and warmly bothEastern and Western Judaism cherished this hope of allIsrael's return to their own land. The Targumim bear repeatedreference to it; [5 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, inhis 'Jewish Messiah,' p. 335, quotes from the Targum onLamentations. But this dates from long after the Talmudicperiod.] and although there may be question as to the exactdate of these paraphrases, it cannot be doubted, that in thisrespect they represented the views of the Synagogue at thetime of Jesus. For the same reason we may gather from theTalmud and earliest commentaries, what Israel's hope was inregard to the return of the 'dispersed.' [6 As each sentencewhich follows would necessitate one or more references todifferent works, the reader, who may be desirous to verifythe statements in the text, is generally referred toCastelli, u. s. pp. 251-255.] It was a beautiful idea toliken Israel to the olive-tree, which is never stripped ofits leves. [d Men. 53 b] The storm of trial that had sweptover it was, indeed, sent in judgment, but not to destroy,only to purify. Even so, Israel's persecutions had served tokeep them from becoming mixed with the Gentiles. Heaven andearth might be destroyed, but not Israel; and their finaldeliverance would far outstrip in marvellousness that fromEgypt. The winds would blow to bring together the dispersed;nay, if there were a single Israelite in a land, howeverdistant, he would be restored. With every honour would thenations bring them back. The patriarchs and all the justwould rise to share in the joys of the new possession oftheir land; new hymns as well as the old ones would rise tothe praise of God. Nay, the bounds of the land would beextended far beyond what they had ever been, and made as wideas originally promised to Abraham. Nor would that possessionbe ever taken from them, nor those joys be ever succeeded bysorrows. [1 The fiction of two Messiahs, one the Son ofDavid, the other the Son of Joseph, the latter beingconnected with the restoration of the ten tribes, has beenconclusively shown to be the post-Christian date (comp.Schottgen, Horae Hebr. i. p. 359; and Wunsche, Leiden d.Mess. p. 109). Possibly it was invented to find anexplanation for Zech. xii. 10 (comp. Succ. 52 a), just as theSocinian doctrine of the assumption of Christ into heaven atthe beginning of His ministry was invented to account for St.John iii. 13.] In view of such general expectations we cannotfail to mark with what wonderful sobriety the Apostles putthe question to Jesus: 'Wilt Thou at this time restore thekingdom to Israel?' [a Acts i.6]

Hopes and expectations such as these are expressed not onlyin Talmudical writings. We find them throughout that veryinteresting Apocalyptic class of literature, thePseudepigrapha, to which reference has already been made. Thetwo earliest of them, the Book of Enoch and the SibyllineOracles, are equally emphatic on this subject. The seer inthe Book of Enoch beholds Israel in the Messianic time ascoming in carriages, and as borne on the wings of the windfrom East, and West, and South. [b Book of En. ch. lvii.;comp.xc.33] Fuller details of that happy event are furnishedby the Jewish Sibyl. In her utterances these three events areconnected together: the coming of the Messiah, the rebuildingof the Temple, [c B. iii. 286-294; comp. B. v. 414-433] andthe restoration of the dispersed, [d iii. 732-735] when allnations would bring their wealth to the House of God. [e iii.766-783] [2 M. Maurice Vernes (Hist. des Idees Messian. pp.43-119) maintains that the writers of Enoch and Or. Sib. iii.expected this period under the rule of the Maccabees, andregarded one of them as the Messiah. It implies a peculiarreading of history, and a lively imagination, to arrive atsuch a conclusion.] The latter trait specially reminds us oftheir Hellenistic origin. A century later the same joyousconfidence, only perhaps more clearly worded, appears in theso-called 'Psalter of Solomon.' Thus the seventeenth Psalmbursts into this strain: 'Blessed are they who shall live inthose days, in the reunion of the tribes, which God bringsabout.' [f Ps. of Sol. vxii. 50; comp. also Ps. xi.] And nowonder, since they are the days when 'the King, the Son ofDavid,' [a Ps. Sal. xviii. 23] having purged Jerusalem [b v.25] and destroyed the heathen by the word of His mouth, [c v.27] would gather together a holy people which He would rulewith justice, and judge the tribes of His people, [d v. 28]'dividing them over the land according to tribes;' when 'nostranger would any longer dwell among them.' [e vv. 30,31]

Another pause, and we reach the time when Jesus the Messiahappeared. Knowing the characteristics of that time, wescarcely wonder that the Book of Jubilees, which dates fromthat period, should have been Rabbinic in its cast ratherthan Apocalyptic. Yet even there the reference to the futureglory is distinct. Thus we are told, that, though for itswickedness Israel had been scattered, God would 'gather themall from the midst of the heathen,' 'build among them HisSanctuary, and dwell with them.' That Sanctuary was to 'befor ever and ever, and God would appear to the eye of everyone, and every one acknowledge that He was the God of Israel,and the Father of all the Children of Jacob, and King uponMount Zion, from everlasting to everlasting. And Zion andJerusalem shall be holy.' [f Book of Jub. ch. i.; comp. alsoch. xxiii.] When listening to this language of, perhaps, acontemporary of Jesus, we can in some measure understand thepopular indignation which such a charge would call forth, asthat the Man of Nazareth had proposed to destroy the Temple,[g St. John ii. 19] or that he thought merely of the childrenof Jacob.

There is an ominous pause of a century before we come to thenext work of this class, which bears the title of the FourthBook of Esdras. That century had been decisive in the historyof Israel. Jesus had lived and died; His Apostles had goneforth to bear the tidings of the new Kingdom of God; theChurch had been founded and separated from the Synagogue; andthe Temple had been destroyed, the Holy City laid waste, andIsrael undergone sufferings, compared with which the formertroubles might almost be forgotten. But already the newdoctrine had struck it roots deep alike in Eastern and inHellenistic soil. It were strange indeed if, in suchcircumstances, this book should not have been different fromany that had preceded it; stranger still, if earnest Jewishminds and ardent Jewish hearts had remained wholly unaffectedby the new teaching, even though the doctrine of the Crossstill continued a stumbling-block, and the Gospelannouncement a rock of offence. But perhaps we could scarcelyhave been prepared to find, as in the Fourth Book of Esdras,doctrinal views which were wholly foreign to Judaism, andevidently derived from the New Testament, and which, inlogical consistency, would seem to lead up to it. [1 Thedoctrinal part of IV. Esdras may be said to be saturated withthe dogma of original sin, which is wholly foreign to thetheology 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.] Thegreater part of the book may be described as restlesstossing, the seer being agitated by the problem and theconsequences of sin, which here for the first and only timeis presented as in the New Testament; by the question, whythere are so few who are saved; and especially by what to aJew must have seemed the inscrutable, terrible mystery ofIsrael's sufferings and banishment. [1 It almost seems as ifthere were a parallelism between this book and the Epistle tothe Romans, which in its dogmatic part, seems successively totake up these three subjects, although from quite anotherpoint of view. How different the treatment is, need not betold.] Yet, so far as we can see, no other way of salvationis indicated than that by works and personal righteousness.Throughout there is a tone of deep sadness and intenseearnestness. It almost seems sometimes, as if one heard thewind of the new dispensation sweeping before it the witheredleaves of Israel's autumn. Thus far for the principal portionof the book. The second, or Apocalyptic, part, endeavors tosolve the mystery of Israel's state by foretelling theirfuture. Here also there are echoes of New Testamentutterances. What the end is to be, we are told inunmistakable language. His 'Son,' Whom the Highest has for along time preserved, to deliver 'the creature' by Him, issuddenly to appear in the form of a Man. From His mouth shallproceed alike woe, fire, and storm, which are thetribulations of the last days. And as they shall gather forwar against Him, He shall stand on Mount Zion, and the HolyCity shall come down from heaven, prepared and ready, and Heshall destroy all His enemies. But a peaceable multitudeshall now be gathered to Him. These are the ten tribes, who,to separate themselves from the ways of the heathen, hadwandered far away, miraculously helped, a journey of one anda half years, and who were now similarly restored by God totheir own land. But as for the 'Son,' or those whoaccompanied him, no one on earth would be able to see or knowthem, till the day of His appearing. [a Vis. vi. ch. xiii.27-52] [2 The better reading is 'in tempore diei ejus. (v.52).']

It seems scarcely necessary to complete the series oftestimony by referring in detail to a book, called 'TheProphecy and Assumption of Moses,' and to what is known asthe Apocalypse of Branch, the servant of Jeremiah. Both datefrom probably a somewhat later period than the Fourth Book ofEsdras, and both are fragmentary. The one distinctlyanticipates the return of the ten tribes;[b Prophet. et Ass.Mos. iv. 7-14; vii. 20] the other, in the letter to the nineand a half tribes, far beyond the Euphrates, [c Ap. Bar.xxvii. 22] with which the book closes, preserves an ominoussilence on that point, or rather alludes to it in languagewhich so strongly reminds us of the adverse opinion expressedin the Talmud, that we cannot help suspecting some internalconnection between the two. [1 In Sanh. 110 b we read, 'OurRabbisteach, that the Ten Tribes have no part in the era tocome, because it is written "The Lord drave them out of theirland in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, andcast them into another land." "The Lord drave them from theirland", 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 formerlybelieved,' least they should suffer 'in both eras (ab utroquesaeculo),' being led captive in the one, and tormented in theother (Apoc. Bar. lxxxiii. 8).]

The writings to which we have referred have all a decidedlyHellenistic tinge of thought. [2 Thus, for example, theassertion that there had been individuals who fulfilled thecommandments of God, Vis. i. ch. iii. 36; the domain ofreason, iv. 22; v. 9; general Messianic blessings to theworld at large, Vis. i. ch. iv. 27, 28; the idea of a lawwithin their minds, like that of which St. Paul speaks in thecase of the heathen, Vis. iii. ch. vi. 45-47 (ed. Fritzsche,p. 609). These are only instances, and we refer besides tothe general cast of the reasoning.] Still they are not theoutcome of pure Hellenism. It is therefore with peculiarinterest that we turn to Philo, the great representative ofthat direction, to see whether he would admit an idea sopurely national and, as it might seem, exclusive. Nor are wehere left in doubt. So universal was this belief, sodeep-seated the conviction, not only in the mind, but in theheart of Israel, that we could scarcely find it moredistinctly expressed than by the great Alexandrian. Howeverlow the condition of Israel might be, he tells us, [a DeExecrat. ed. Frcf. pp. 936, 937] or however scattered thepeople to the ends of the earth, the banished would, on agiven sign, be set free in one day. In consistency with hissystem, he traces this wondrous event to their suddenconversion to virtue, which would make their masters ashamedto hold any longer in bondage those who were so much betterthan themselves. Then, gathering as by one impulse, thedispersed would return from Hellas, from the lands of thebarbarians, from the isles, and from the continents, led by aDivine, superhuman apparition invisible to others, andvisible only to themselves. On their arrival in Palestine thewaste places and the wilderness would be inhabited, and thebarren land transformed into fruitfulness.

Whatever shades of difference, then, we may note in theexpression of these views, all anticipate the deliverance ofIsrael, their restoration, and future pre-eminent glory, andthey all connect these events with the coming of the Messiah.This was 'the promise' unto which, in their 'instant servicenight and day, the twelve tribes,' however grievouslyoppressed, hoped to come. [b Acts xxvi. 7] To this 'surewordof prophecy' 'the strangers scattered' throughout alllands would 'take heed, as unto a light that shineth in adark place,' until the day dawned, and the day-star rose intheir hearts. [a 2 Pet. i. 19] It was this which gave meaningto their worship, filled them with patience in suffering,kept them separate from the nations around, and ever fixedtheir hearts and thoughts upon Jerusalem. For the 'Jerusalem'which was above was 'the mother' of them all. Yet a littlewhile, and He that would come should come, and not tarry, andthen all the blessing and glory would be theirs. At anymoment the gladsome tidings might burst upon them, that Hehad come, when their glory would shine out from one end ofthe heavens to the other. All the signs of His Advent hadcome to pass. Perhaps, indeed, the Messiah might even now bethere, ready to manifest Himself, so soon as the voice ofIsrael's repentance called Him from His hiding. Any hourmight 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 withJerusalem, as their salvation drew nigh; more earnest theirlonging, and more eager their gaze, till the dawn of thatlong expected day tinged the Eastern sky with its brightness.




THE pilgrim who, leaving other countries, entered Palestine,must have felt as if he had crossed the threshold of anotherworld. Manners, customs, institutions, law, life, nay, thevery 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 wasinseparably connected with the soil, as well as the people ofPalestine, at least so long as the Temple stood. Nowhere elsecould the Shekhinah dwell or manifest itself; nor could,unless under exceptional circumstances, and for 'the merit ofthe fathers,' the spirit of prophecy be granted outside itsbounds. To the orthodox Jew the mental and spiritual horizonwas bounded by Palestine. It was 'the land'; all the rest ofthe world, except Babylonia, was 'outside the land.' No needto designate it specially as 'holy'; for all here bore theimpress of sanctity, as he understood it. Not that the soilitself, irrespective of the people, was holy; it was Israelthat made it such. For, had not God given so manycommandments and ordinances, some of them apparentlyneedless, simply to call forth the righteousness of Israel;[a Mac. 23 b] did not Israel possess the merits of 'thefathers,' [b Rosh HaSh. 11 a] and specially that of Abraham,itself so valuable that, even if his descendants had, morallyspeaking, been as a dead body, his merit would have beenimputed to them? [c Ber. R. 44] More than that, God hadcreated the world on account of Israel, [d Yalkut 2] and fortheir merit, making preparation for them long before theirappearance on the scene, just as a king who foresees thebirth of his son; nay, Israel had been in God's thoughts notonly before anything had actually been created, but evenbefore every other creative thought. [e Ber. R. 1] If thesedistinctions seem excessive, they were, at least, not out ofproportion to the estimate formed of Israel's merits. Intheory, the latter might be supposed to flow from 'goodworks,' of course, including the strict practice of legalpiety, and from 'study of the law.' But in reality it was'study' alone to which such supreme merit attached. Practicerequired knowledge for its direction; such as the Am-ha-arets('country people,' plebeians, in the Jewish sense of beingunlearned) could not possess, [a Comp. Ab ii. 5] who hadbartered away the highest crown for a spade with which todig. And 'the school of Arum', the sages, the 'great ones ofthe world' had long settled it, that study was before works.[b Jer. Chag. i. hal. 7, towards the end; Jer. Pes. iii.7]And how could it well be otherwise, since the studies, whichengaged His chosen children on earth, equally occupied theirAlmighty Father in heaven? [c Ab. Z. 3 b] Could anything,then, be higher than the peculiar calling of Israel, orbetter qualify them for being the sons of God?

It is necessary to transport oneself into this atmosphere tounderstand the views entertained at the time of Jesus, or toform any conception of their infinite contrast in spirit tothe new doctrine. The abhorrence, not unmingled withcontempt, of all Gentile ways, thoughts and associations; theworship of the letter of the Law; the self-righteousness, andpride of descent, and still more of knowledge, become thusintelligible to us, and, equally so, the absolute antagonismto the claims of a Messiah, so unlike themselves and theirown ideal. His first announcement might, indeed, excite hope,soon felt to have been vain; and His miracles might startlefor a time. But the boundary lines of the Kingdom which Hetraced were essentially different from those which they hadfixed, and within which they had arranged everything, alikefor the present and the future. Had He been content to stepwithin them, to complete and realise what they had indicated,it might have been different. Nay, once admit theirfundamental ideas, and there was much that was beautiful,true, and even grand in the details. But it was exactly inthe former that the divergence lay. Nor was there anypossibility of reform or progress here. The past, thepresent, and the future, alike as regarded the Gentile worldand Israel, were irrevocably fixed; or rather, it mightalmost be said, there were not such, all continuing as theyhad been from the creation of the world, nay, long before it.The Torah had really existed 2,000 years before Creation; [dShir haShir. R. on Cant. v. 11, ed War shau, p. 26b] thepatriarchs had had their Academies of study, and they hadknown and observed all the ordinances; and traditionalism hadthe same origin, both as to time and authority, as the Lawitself. As for the heathen nations, the Law had been offeredby God to them, but refused, and even their after repentancewould prove hypocritical, as all their excuses would be shownto be futile. But as for Israel, even though their good deedsshould be few, yet, by cumulating them from among all thepeople, they would appear great in the end, and God wouldexact payment for their sins as a man does from his friends,taking little sums at a time. It was in this sense, that theRabbis employed that sublime figure, representing the Churchas one body, of which all the members suffered and joyedtogether, which St. Paul adopted and applied in a vastlydifferent and spiritual sense. [a Eph. iv. 16]

If, on the one hand, the pre-eminence of Israel depended onthe Land, and, on the other, that of the Land on the presenceof Israel in it, the Rabbinical complaint was, indeed, wellgrounded, that its 'boundaries were becoming narrow.' We canscarcely expect any accurate demarcation of them, since thequestion, what belonged to it, was determined by ritual andtheological, not by geographical considerations. Not only theimmediate neighborhood (as in the case of Ascalon), but thevery wall of a city (as of Acco and of Caesarea) might bePalestinian, and yet the city itself be regarded as 'outside'the sacred limits. All depended on who had originallypossessed, and now held a place, and hence what ritualobligations lay upon it. Ideally, as we may say, 'the land ofpromise' included all which God had covenanted to give toIsrael, although never yet actually possessed by them. Then,in a more restricted sense, the 'land' comprised what 'theywho came up from Egypt took possession of, from Chezib [aboutthree hours north of Acre] and unto the river [Euphrates],and unto Amanah.' This included, of course, the conquestsmade by David in the most prosperous times of the Jewishcommonwealth, supposed to have extended over Mesopotamia,Syria, Zobah, Achlah, &c. To all these districts the generalname 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 thecountries in which Israel was specially interested, such asEgypt, Babylon, Ammon, and Moab, formed an outer band. Theselands were heathen, and yet not quite heathen, since thededication of the so-called Terumoth, or first-fruits in aprepared state, was expected from them, while Soria sharedalmost all the obligations of Palestine, except those of the'second tithes,' and the fourth year's product of plants. [bLev. xix. 24.] But the wavesheaf at the Paschal Feast, andthe two loaves at Pentecost, could only be brought from whathad grown on the holy soil itself. This latter was roughlydefined, as 'all which they who came up from Babylon tookpossession of, in the land of Israel, and unto Chezib.'Viewed in this light, there was a special significance in thefact that Antioch, where the name 'Christian' first markedthe new 'Sect' which had sprung up in Palestine, [c Acts xi.26.] and where the first Gentile Church was formed, [a Actsxi. 20, 21] lay just outside the northern boundary of 'theland.' Similarly, we understand, why those Jewish zealots whowould fain have imposed on the new Church the yoke of theLaw, [b Acts xv.1]concentrated their first efforts on thatSoria which was regarded as a kind of outer Palestine.

But, even so, there was a gradation of sanctity in the HolyLand itself, in accordance with ritual distinctions. Tendegrees are here enumerated, beginning with the bare soil ofPalestine, and culminating in the Most Holy Place in theTemple, each implying some ritual distinction, which did notattach to a lower degree. And yet, although the very dust ofheathen soil was supposed to carry defilement, likecorruption or the grave, the spots most sacred wereeverywhere surrounded by heathenism; nay, its traces werevisible in Jerusalem itself. The reasons of this are to besought in the political circumstances of Palestine, and inthe persistent endeavour of its rulers, with the exception ofa very brief period under the Maccabees, to Grecianise thecountry, so as to eradicate that Jewish particularism whichmust always be antagonistic to every foreign element. Ingeneral, Palestine might be divided into the strictly Jewishterritory, and the so-called Hellenic cities. The latter hadbeen built at different periods, and were politicallyconstituted after the model of the Greek cities, having theirown senates (generally consisting of several hundred persons)and magistrates, each city with its adjoining territoryforming a sort of commonwealth of its own. But it must not beimagined, that these districts were inhabited exclusively, oreven chiefly, by Greeks. One of these groups, that towardsPeraea, was really Syrian, and formed part of SyriaDecapolis; [1 The following cities probably formed theDecapolis, though it is difficult to feel quite sure inreference 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.]while the other, along the coast of the Mediterranean, wasPhoenician. Thus 'the land' was hemmed in, east and west,within its own borders, while south and north stretchedheathen or semi-heathen districts. The strictly Jewishterritory consisted of Judaea proper, to which Galilee,Samaria and Peraea were joined as Toparchies. TheseToparchies consisted of a group of townships, under aMetropolis. The villages and townships themselves had neithermagistrates of their own, nor civic constitution, nor lawfulpopular assemblies. Such civil adminstration as they requireddevolved on 'Scribes' (the so-called). Thus Jerusalem wasreally, as well as nominally, the capital of the whole land.Judaea itself was arranged into eleven, or rather, moreexactly, into nine Toparchies, of which Jerusalem was thechief. While, therefore, the Hellenic cities were eachindependent of the other, the whole Jewish territory formedonly one 'Civitas.' Rule, government, tribute, in short,political life, centred in Jerusalem.

But this is not all. From motives similar to those which ledto the founding of other Hellenic cities, Herod the Great andhis immediate successors built a number of towns, which wereinhabited chiefly by Gentiles, and had independentconstitutions, like those of the Hellenic cities. Thus, Herodhimself built Sebaste (Samaria), in the centre of thecountry; Caesarea in the west, commanding the sea-coast; Gabain Galilee, close to the great plain of Esdraelon; andEsbonitis in Peraea. [1 Herod rebuilt or built other cities,such as Antipatris, Cypros, Phasaelis, Anthedon, &c. Schurerdescribes the two first as built, but they were only rebuiltor fortified (comp. Ant. xiii. 15. 1; War i. 21. 8.) byHerod.] Similarly, Philip the Tetrarch built CaesareaPhilippi and Julias (Bethsaida-Julias, on the western shoreof the lake); and Herod Antipas another Julias, and Tiberias.[2 He also rebuilt Sepphoris.] The object of these cities wastwofold. As Herod, well knowing his unpopularity, surroundedhimself by foreign mercenaries, and reared fortresses aroundhis palace and the Temple which he built, so he erected thesefortified posts, which he populated with strangers, as somany outworks, to surround and command Jerusalem and the Jewson all sides. Again, as, despite his profession of Judaism,he reared magnificent heathen temples in honour of Augustusat Sebaste and Caesarca, so those cities were really intendedto form centres of Grecian influence within the sacredterritory itself. At the same time, the Herodian citiesenjoyed not the same amount of liberty as the 'Hellenic,'which, with the exception of certain imposts, were entirelyself-governed, while in the former there were representativesof the Herodian rulers. [3 Comp. on the subject of the civicinstitutions of the Roman Empire, Kuhn, Die Stadt. u.burgerl. Verf. d. Rom. Reichs, 2 vols.; and for this part.vol. ii. pp. 336-354, and pp. 370-372.]

Although each of these towns and districts had its specialdeities and rites, some being determined by local traditions,their prevailing character may be described as a mixture ofGreek and Syrian worship, the former preponderating, as mightbe expected. [4 A good sketch of the variousrites prevailingin different places is given by Schurer, Neutest. Zeitg. pp.378-385.] On the other hand, Herod and his successorsencouraged the worship of the Emperor and of Rome, which,characteristically, was chiefly practised in the East. [5Comp. Weiseler, Beitr. z richt. Wur dig. d. Evang. pp. 9091.] Thus, in the temple which Herod built to Augustus inCaesarea, there were statues of the Emperor as Olympian Zeus,and of Rome as Hera. [a Jos. Ant. xv. 9. 6; War i. 21. 5-8.]He was wont to excuse this conformity to heathenism beforehis own people on the ground of political necessity. Yet,even if his religious inclinations had not been in thatdirection, he would have earnestly striven to Grecianise thepeople. Not only in Caesarea, but even in Jerusalem, he builta theatre and amphitheatre, where at great expense games wereheld every four years in honour of Augustus. [1 The Actiangames took place every fifth year, three years alwaysintervening. The games in Jerusalem were held in the year 28B.C. (Jos. Ant. xv. 8. 1); the first games in Caesarea in theyear 12 B.C. (Ant. xvi. 5. 1; comp. War. i. 21. 8).] Nay, heplaced over the great gate of Temple at Jerusalem a massivegolden eagle, the symbol of Roman dominion, as a sort ofcounterpart to that gigantic golden vine, the symbol ofIsrael, which hung above the entrance to the Holy Place.These measures, indeed, led to popular indignation, and evento conspiracies and tumults, [b Ant. xv. 8. 1-4; xvii. 6. 2]though not of the same general and intense character, aswhen, at a later period, Pilate sought to introduce intoJerusalem images of the Emperor, or when the statue ofCaligula was to be placed in the Temple. In connection withthis, it is curious to notice that the Talmud, while on thewhole disapproving of attendance at theatres andamphitheatres, chiefly on the ground that it implies 'sittingin the seat of scorners,' and might involve contributions tothe maintenance of idol-worship, does not expressly prohibitit, nor indeed speak very decidedly on the subject. [c So atleast in a Boraitha. Comp. the the discussion and the verycurious arguments in favour of attendance in Ab. Zar. 18 b,and following The views of the Rabbis in regard to pictorialrepresentations are still more interesting, as illustratingtheir abhorrence of all contact with idolatry. We mark heredifferences at two, if not at three periods, according to theoutward circumstances of the people. The earliest andstrictest opinions [d Mechilta on Ex. xx. 4 ed. Weiss, p. 75a.] absolutely forbade any representation of things inheaven, on earth, or in the waters. But the Mishnah [e Ab.Zar. iii.] seems to relax these prohibitions by subtledistinctions, which are still further carried out in theTalmud. [2 For a full statement of the Talmudical views as toimages, representations on coins, and the most ancient Jewishcoins, see Appendix III.]

To those who held such stringent views, it must have beenpeculiarly galling to see their most sacred feelings openlyoutraged by their own rulers. Thus, the Asmonean princess,Alexandra, the mother-in-law of Herod, could so far forgetthe traditions of her house, as to send portraits of her sonand daughter to Mark Antony for infamous purposes, in hope ofthereby winning him for her ambitious plans. [f Jos. Ant. xv.2. 5 and 6] One would be curious to know who painted thesepictures, for, when the statue of Caligula was to be made forthe Temple at Jerusalem, no native artist could be found, andthe work was entrusted to Phoenicians. It must have beenthese foreigners also who made the 'figures,' with whichHerod adorned his palace at Jerusalem, and 'the brazenstatues' in the gardens 'through which the water ran out,' [aJos. Warv. 4. 4] as well as the colossal statues at Caesarea,and those of the three daughters of Agrippa, which after hisdeath [b Acts xii. 23] were so shamefully abused bythesoldiery at Sebaste and Caesarea. [cAnt. xix. 9. l]

This abhorrence of all connected with idolatry, and thecontempt entertained for all that was non-Jewish, will ingreat measure explain the code of legislation intended tokeep the Jew and Gentile apart. If Judaea had to submit tothe power of Rome, it could at least avenge itself in theAcademies of its sages. Almost innumerable stories are toldin which Jewish sages, always easily, confute Roman and Greekphilosophers; and others, in which even a certain Emperor(Antoninus) is represented as constantly in the most menialrelation of self-abasement before a Rabbi. [1 Comp. here theinteresting tractate of Dr. Bodek, 'Marc. Aur. Anton. alsFreund u. Zeitgenosse des R. Jehuda ha Nasi.'] Rome, whichwas the fourth beast of Daniel, [d Dan. vii. 23.] would inthe age to come, [2 The Athidlabho, 'saeculum futurum,' to bedistinguished from the Olam habba, 'the world to come.'] whenJerusalem would be the metropolis of all lands, [e Midr. R.on Ex. Par. 23.] be the first to excuse herself on falsethough vain pleas for her wrongs to Israel. [f Ab. Z. 2 b]But on wordly grounds also, Rome was contemptible, havingderived her language and writing from the Greeks, and notpossessing even a hereditary succession in her empire. [g Ab.Z. 10 a; Gitt. 80 a.] If such was the estimate of dreadedRome, it may be imagined in what contempt other nations wereheld. Well might 'the earth tremble,' [Ps. ixxvi. 9.] for, ifIsrael had not accepted the Law at Sinai, the whole worldwould have been destroyed, while it once more 'was still'when that [i Shabb. 88 a.] happy event took place, althoughGod in a manner forced Israel to it. And so Israel waspurified at Mount Sinai from the impurity which clung to ourrace in consequence of the unclean union between Eve and theserpent, and which still adhered to all other nations! [3 Ab.Z. 22 b. But as in what follows the quotations would be toonumerous, they will be omitted. Each statement, however,advanced in the text or notes is derived from part of theTalmudic tractate Abodah Zarah.]

To begin with, every Gentile child, so soon as born, was tobe regarded as unclean. Those who actually worshippedmountains, hills, bushes, &c., in short, gross idolaters,should be cut down with the sword. But as it was impossibleto exterminate heathenism, Rabbinic legislation kept certaindefinite objects in view, which may be thus summarised: Toprevent Jews from being inadvertenly led into idolatry; toavoid all participation in idolatry; not to do anything whichmight aid the heathen in their worship; and, beyond all this,not to give pleasure, nor even help, to heathens. The latterinvolved a most dangerous principle, capable of almostindefinite application by fanaticism. Even the Mishnah goesfor far [a Ab. Z. ii. 1] as to forbid aid to amother in thehour of her need, or nourishment to her babe, in order not tobring up a child for idolatry! [1 The Talmud declares it onlylawful if done to avoid exciting hatred against the Jews.]But this is not all. Heathens were, indeed, not to beprecipitated into danger, but yet not to be delivered fromit. Indeed, an isolated teacher ventures even upon thisstatement: 'The best among the Gentiles, kill; the best amongserpents, crush its head.' [b Mechilta, ed. Weiss, p. 33 b,line 8 from top] Still more terrible was the fanaticism whichdirected, that heretics, traitors, and those who had left theJewish faith should be thrown into actual danger, and, ifthey were in it, all means for their escape removed. Nointercourse of any kind was to be had with such, not even toinvoke their medical aid in case of danger to life, [2 Thereis a well-known story told of a Rabbi who was bitten by aserpent, and about to be cured by the invocation of the nameof Jesus by a Jewish Christian, which was, however,interdicted.] since it was deemed, that he who had to do withheretics was imminent peril of becoming one himself, [3 Yet,such is the moral obliquity, that even idolatry is allowed tosave life, provided it be done in secret!] and that, if aheretic returned to the true faith, he should die at once,partly, probably, to expiate his guilt, and partly from fearof relapse. Terrible as all this sounds, it was probably notworse than the fanaticism displayed in what are called moreenlightened times. Impartial history must chronicle it,however painful, to show the circumstances in which teachingso far different was propounded by Christ. [4 Against this,although somewhat doubtfully, such concessions may be put asthat, outside Palestine, Gentiles were not to be consideredas idolators, but as observing the customs of their fathers(Chull. 13 b), and that the poor of the Gentiles were to beequally supported with those of Israel, their sick visited,and their dead buried; it being, however, significantlyadded, 'on account of the arrangements of the world' (Gitt.61 a). The quotation so often made (Ab. Z. 3 a), that aGentile who occupied himself with the Torah was to beregarded as equal to the High-Priest, proves nothing, sincein the case supposed the Gentile acts like a Rabbinic Jew.But, and this is a more serious point, it is difficult tobelieve that those who make this quotation are not aware, howthe Talmud (Ab. Z. 3 a) immediately labours to prove thattheir reward is not equal to that of Israelites. A somewhatsimilar charge of one-sideness, if not of unfairness, must bebrought against Deutsch (Lecture on the Talmud, Remains, pp.146, 147), whose sketch of Judaism should be compared, forexample, with the first Perek of the Talmudic tractate AbodahZarah.]

In truth, the bitter hatred which the Jew bore to theGentile can only be explained from the estimate entertainedof his character. The most vile, and even unnatural, crimeswere imputed to them. It was not safe to leave cattle intheir charge, to allow their women to nurse infants, or theirphysicians to attend the sick, nor to walk in their company,without taking precautions against sudden and unprovokedattacks. They should, so far as possible, be altogetheravoided, except in cases of necessity or for the sake ofbusiness. They and theirs were defiled; their houses unclean,as containing idols or things dedicated to them; theirfeasts, their joyous occasions, their very contact, waspolluted by idolatry; and there was no security, if a heathenwere left alone in a room, that he might not, in wantonnessor by carelessness, defile the wine or meat on the table, orthe oil and wheat in the store. Under such circumstances,therefore, everything must be regarded as having beenrendered unclean. Three days before a heathen festival(according to some, also three days after) every businesstransaction with them was prohibited, for fear of givingeither help or pleasure. Jews were to avoid passing through acity where there was an idolatrous feast, nay, they were noteven to sit down within the shadow of a tree dedicated toidol-worship. Its wood was polluted; if used in baking, thebread was unclean; if a shuttle had been made of it, not onlywas all cloth woven on it forbidden, but if such had beeninadvertently mixed with other pieces of cloth, or a garmentmade from it placed with other garments, the whole becameunclean. Jewish workmen were not to assist in buildingbasilicas, nor stadia, nor places where judicial sentenceswere pronounced by the heathen. Of course, it was not lawfulto let houses or fields, nor to sell cattle to them. Milkdrawn by a heathen, if a Jew had not been present to watchit, [a Ab. Zar. 35 b.] bread and oil prepared by them, wereunlawful. Their wine was wholly interdicted [1 According toR. Asi, there was a threefold distinction. If wine had beendedicated to an idol, to carry, even on a stick, so much asthe weight of an olive of it, defiled a man. Other wine, ifprepared by a heathen, was prohibited, whether for personaluse or for trading. Lastly, wine prepared by a Jew, butdeposited in custody of a Gentile, was prohibited forpersonal use, but allowed for traffic.] , the mere touch of aheathen polluted a whole cask; nay, even to put one's nose toheathen wine was strictly prohibited!

Painful as these details are, they might be multiplied. Andyet the bigotry of these Rabbis was, perhaps, not worse thanthat of other sectaries. It was a painful logical necessityof their system, against which their heart, no doubt, oftenrebelled; and, it must be truthfully added, it was in measureaccounted for by the terrible history of Israel.




In trying to picture to ourselves New Testament scenes, thefigure most prominent, next to those of the chief actors, isthat of the Scribe (literatus). He seems ubiquitous; we meethim in Jerusalem, in Judaea, and even in Galilee. [a St. Lukev. 17.] Indeed, he is indispensable, not only in Babylon,which may have been the birthplace of his order, but amongthe 'dispersion' also. [b Jos. Ant. xviii. 3. 5 xx. 11. 2]Everywhere he appears as the mouthpiece and representative ofthe people; he pushes to the front, the crowd respectfullygiving way, and eagerly hanging on his utterances, as thoseof a recognised authority. He has been solemnly ordained bythe laying on of hands; and is the Rabbi, [1 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 thepersonal suffix 'my,' pronouncing the Kamez in the Syriacmanner.] 'my great one,' Master, amplitudo. He putsquestions; he urges objections; he expects full explanationsand respectful demeanour. Indeed, his hyper-ingenuity inquestioning has become a proverb. There is not measure of hisdignity, nor yet limit to his importance. He is the 'lawyer,'[c the legis Divinae peritus, St. Matt. xxii. 35; St. Lukevii. 30; x.25; xi. 45; xiv. 3.] the well-plastered pit,'filled with the water of knowledge'out of which not a dropcan escape,' [d Ab. ii. 8.] in opposition to the weeds ofuntilled soil' of ignorance. [e Ber. 45 b 2; Ab. ii. 5;Bemid. R. 3.] He is the Divine aristocrat, among the vulgarherd of rude and profane 'country-people,' who 'know not theLaw' and are 'cursed.' More than that, his order constitutesthe ultimate authority on all questions of faith andpractice; he is 'the Exegete of the Laws,' [f Jos. Ant. xvii.6 2.] the 'teacher of the Law,' [g St. Luke v. 17; Acts v.34; comp. also 1 Tim. i. 7.] and along with 'the chiefpriests' and 'elders' a judge in the ecclesiasticaltribunals, whether of the capital or in the provinces. [h St.Matt. ii. 4; xx. 18; xxi. 15; xxvi. 57; xxvii. 41; St. Markxiv.1.43;xv. 1; St. Luke xxii. 2, 66; xxiii. 10; Acts iv. 5.]Although generally appearing incompany with 'the Pharisees,'he is not necessarily one of them, for they represent areligious party, while he has a status, and holds an office.[1 The distinction between 'Pharisees' and 'Scribes,' ismarked in may passages in the N.T., for example, St. Matt.xxiii. passim; St. Luke vii. 30; xiv. 3; and especially inSt. Luke xi. 43, comp. with v. 46. The words 'Scribes andPharisees, hypocrites,' in ver. 44, are, according to allevidence, spurious.] In short, he is the Talmid or learnedstudent, the Chakham or sage, whose honour is to be great inthe future world. Each Scribe outweighed all the commonpeople, who must accordingly pay him every honour. Nay, theywere honoured of God Himself, and their praises proclaimed bythe angels; and in heaven also, each of them would hold thesame rank and distinction as on earth. [a Siphre or Numb. p25 b.] Such was to be therespect paid to their sayings, thatthey were to be absolutely believed, even if they were todeclare that to be at the right hand which was at the left,or vice versa. [b Siphre on Deut. p. 105 a.]

An institution which had attained such proportions, andwielded such power, could not have been of recent growth. Inpoint of fact, its rise was very gradual, and stretched backto the time of Nehemiah, if not beyond it. Although from theutter confusion of historical notices in Rabbinic writingsand their constant practice of antedating events, it isimpossible to furnish satisfactory details, the generaldevelopment of the institution can be traced with sufficientprecision. If Ezra is described in Holy Writ [c Ezra vii.6,10, 11, 12.] as 'a ready (expertus) Scribe,' who had 'set hisheart to seek (seek out the full meaning of) the law of theLord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel,' this mightindicate to his successors, the Sopherim (Scribes), thethreefold direction which their studies afterwards took: theMidrash, the Halakhah, and the Haggadah, [e Nedar. iv. 8.] [2In Ned. iv. 3 this is the actual division. Of course, inanother sense the Midrash might be considered as the sourceof both the Halakhah and the Haggadah.] of which the onepointed to Scriptural investigation, the other to what was tobe observed, and the third to oral teaching in the widestsense. But Ezra left his work uncompleted. On Nehemiah'ssecond arrival in Palestine, he found matters again in astate of utmost confusion. [f Neh. xiii.] He must have feltthe need of establishing some permanent authority to watchover religious affairs. This we take to have been 'the GreatAssembly,' or, as it is commonly called, the 'GreatSynagogue.' It is impossible with certainty to determine, [3Very strange and ungrounded conjectures on this subject havebeen hazarded, which need not here find a place. Comp. forex. the two articles of Gratz in Frankel's Montsschrift for1857, pp. 31 etc. 61 etc., the main positions of which have,however, been adopted by some learned English writers.]either who composed this assembly, or of how many members itconsisted. [4 The Talmudic notices are often inconsistent.The number as given in them amounts to about 120. But themodern doubts (of Kuenen and others) against the institutionitself cannot be sustained.] Probably it comprised theleading 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. [aEzra x. 14; Neh. v. 7.] Probably also the term 'GreatAssembly' refers rather to a succession of men than to oneSynod; the ingenuity of later times filling such parts of thehistorical canvas as had been left blank with fictitiousnotices. In the nature of things such an assembly could notexercise permanent sway in a sparsely populated country,without a strong central authority. Nor could they havewielded real power during the political difficulties andtroubles of foreign domination. The oldest tradition [b Ab.i. 1.] sums up the result of their activity in this sentenceascribed to them: 'Be careful in judgment, set up manyTalmidim, and make a hedge about the Torah (Law).'

In the course of time this rope of sand dissolved. TheHigh-Priest, Simon the Just, [c In the beginning of the thirdcentury B.C.] is already designated as 'of the remnants ofthe Great Assembly.' But even this expression does notnecessarily imply that he actually belonged to it. In thetroublous times which followed his Pontificate, the sacredstudy seems to have been left to solitary individuals. TheMishnic tractate Aboth, which records 'the sayings of theFathers,' here gives us only the name of Antigonus of Socho.It is significant, that for the first time we now meet aGreek name among Rabbinic authorities, together with anindistinct allusion to his disciples. [d Ab. i. 3, 4] [1 Zunzhas well pointed out that, if in Ab. i. 4 the first 'couple'is said to have 'received from them', while only Antigonus ismentioned in the preceding Mishnah, it must imply Antigonusand his unnamed disciples and followers. In general, I maytake this opportunity of stating that, except for specialreasons, I shall not refer to previous writers on thissubject, partly because it would necessitate too manyquotations, but chiefly because the line of argument I havetaken differs from that of my predecessors.] The longinterval between Simon theJust and Antigonus and hisdisciples, brings us to the terrible time of AntiochusEpiphanes and the great Syrian persecution. The very sayingsattributed to these two sound like an echo of the politicalstate 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 (thenon-participation in Grecianism), and on works ofrighteousness. [e Ab. i. 2.] They were dark times, when God'spersecuted people were tempted to think, that it might bevain to serve Him, in which Antigonus had it: 'Be not likeservants who serve their master for the sake of reward, butbe like servants who serve their lord without a view to thegetting of reward, and let the fear of heaven be upon you.'[f Ab. i. 3.] After these two names come those of theso-called five Zugoth, or 'couples,' of whom Hillel andShammai are the last. Later tradition has represented thesesuccessive couples as, respectively, the Nasi (president),and Ab-beth-din (vice-president, of the Sanhedrin). Of thefirst three of these 'couples' it may be said that, exceptsignificant allusions to the circumstances and dangers oftheir times, their recorded utterances clearly point to thedevelopment of purely Sopheric teaching, that is, to theRabbinistic part of their functions. From the fourth'couple,' which consists of Simon ben Shetach, who figured solargely in the political history of the later Maccabees [1See Appendix IV.: 'Political History of the Jews from theReign of Alexander to the Accession of Herod.'] (asAb-beth-din), and his superior in learning and judgment,Jehudah ben Tabbai (as Nasi), we have again utterances whichshow, in harmony with the political history of the time, thatjudicial functions had been once more restored to the Rabbis.The last of five couples brings us to the time of Herod andof Christ.

We have seen that, during the period of severe domestictroubles, beginning with the persecutions under theSeleucidae, which marked the mortal struggle between Judaismand Grecianism, the 'Great Assembly' had disappeared from thescene. The Sopherim had ceased to be a party in power. Theyhad become the Zeqenim, 'Elders,' whose task was purelyecclesiastical, the perservation of their religion, such asthe dogmatic labours of their predecessors had made it. Yetanother period opened with the advent of the Maccabees. Thesehad been raised into power by the enthusiasm of the Chasidim,or 'pious ones,' who formed the nationalist party in theland, and who had gathered around the liberators of theirfaith and country. But the later bearing of the Maccabees hadalienated the nationalists. Henceforth they sink out of view,or, rather, the extreme section of them merged in the extremesection of the Pharisees, till fresh national calamitiesawakened a new nationalist party Instead of the Chasidim, wesee now two religious parties within the Synagogue, thepharisees and the Sadducees. The latter originallyrepresented 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 timeof Jonathan, the successor of Judas Maccabee, [a 160-143B.C.] and with this other Jewish notices agree. Jonathanaccepted from the foreigner (the Syrian) the High-Priestlydignity, and combined with it that of secular ruler. But thisis not all. The earlier Maccabees surrounded themselves witha governing eldership. [b The Pepovajia, 1 Maco. xii. 6;xiii. 36; xiv. 28; Jos. Ant. xiii. 4. 9; 5. 8] [2 At the sametime some kind of ruling existed earlier than at this period,if we may judge from Jos. Ant. xii 3.3.] On the coins oftheir reigns this is designated as the Chebher, or eldership(association) of the Jews. Thus, theirs was what Josephusdesignates as an aristocratic government, [a Ant. xi. 4. 8]and of which he somewhat vaguely says, that it lasted 'fromthe Captivity until the descendants of the Asmoneans set upkingly government.' In this aristocratic government theHigh-Priest would rather be the chief of a representativeecclesiastical body of rulers. This state of things continueduntil the great breach between Hycanus, the fourth from JudasMaccabee, and the Pharisaical party, [1 Even Ber. 48 afurnishes evidence of this 'enmity.' On the hostile relationsbetween the Pharisaical party and the Maccabees seeHamburger, Real-Enc. ii. p. 367. Comp. Jer. Taan. iv. 5.]which is equally recorded by Josephus [b Ant. xiii. 10. 5. 6]and the Talmud, with only variations of names and details.The dispute apparently arose from the desire of thePharisees, that Hycanus should be content with the secularpower, and resign the Pontificate. But it ended in thepersecution, and removal from power, of the Pharisees. Verysignificantly, Jewish tradition introduces again at this timethose purely ecclesiastical authorities which are designatedas 'the couples.' [d Jer. Maas Sheni v. end, p. 56 d Jer.Sot. ix. p. 24 a] In accordance with this, altered state ofthings, the name 'Chebher' now disappears from the coins ofthe Maccabees, and Rabbinical celebrities ('the couples' orZugoth) are only teachers of traditionalism, andecclesiastical authorities. The 'eldership,' which under theearlier Maccabees was called 'the tribunal of the Asmoneans.'[f Sanh 82 a; Ab. Z. 36 b.] [2 Derenbourg takes a differentview, and identifies the tribunal of the Asmoneans with theSanhedrin. This seems to me, historically, impossible. Buthis opinion to that effect (u. s. p. 87) is apparentlycontradicted at p. 93.] now passed into the Sanhedrin. [3Schurer, following Wieseler, supposes the Sanhedrin to havebeen of Roman institution. But the arguments of Wieseler onthis point [Beitr. zur richt. Wurd. d. Evang. p. 224] areinconclusive.] [g in the N.T also once Acts v. 21 and twiceSt. Luke xxii. 66; Acts xxii 5.] Thus we place the origin ofthis institution about the time of Hyrcanus. With this Jewishtradition fully agrees. [4 Comp. Derenbourg, u. s. p. 95.]The power of the Sanhedrin would, of course, vary withpolitical circumstances, being at times almost absolute, asin the reign of the Pharisaic devotee-Queen, Alexandra, whileat others it was shorn of all but ecclesiasticla 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 aninstitution which exerted such decisive influence on thefuture of Israel, it seems necessary similarly to trace thegrowth of the 'traditions of the Elders, 'so as to understandwhat, alas! so effectually, opposed the new doctrine of theKingdom. The first place must here be assigned to those legaldeterminations, which traditionalism declared absolutelybinding on all, not only of equal, but even greaterobligation than Scripture itself. [5 Thus we read: 'Thesayings of the elders have more weight than those of theprophets' (Jer. Ber. i. 7); 'an offence against the sayingsof the Scribes is worse than one against those of Scripture'(Sanh. xi. 3). Compare also Er. 21 b The comparison betweensuch claims and those sometimes set up on behalf of 'creeds'and 'articles' (Kitto's Cyclop., 2nd ed., p. 786, col a) doesnot seem to me applicable. In the introduction to the Midr.on Lament. it is inferred from Jer. ix. 12, 13, that toforsake the law, in the Rabbinic sense, was worse thanadolatry, uncleanness, or the shedding of blood. Seegenerally that Introduction.] And this not illogically, sincetradition 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 generallyguarded its sanctity by extending and adding to itsprovisions, drawing 'a hedge,' around its 'garden enclosed.'Thus, in new and dangerous circumstances, would the fullmeaning of God's Law, to its every title and iota, beelicited 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 greatestmerit a Rabbi could claim was the strictest adherence to thetraditions, which he had received from his teacher. Nor mightone Sanhedrin annul, or set aside, the decrees of itspredecessors. To such length did they go in this worship ofthe letter, that the great Hillel was actually wont tomispronounce a word, because his teacher before him had doneso. [a Eduy. i. 3. See the comment of Maimonides.]

These traditional ordinances, as already stated, bear thegeneral name of the Halakhah, as indicating alike the way inwhich the fathers had walked, and that which their childrenwere bound to follow. [1 It is so explained in the Aruch (edZandau, vol. ii. p. 529, col b).] These Halakhoth were eithersimply the laws laid down in Scripture; or else derived from,or traced to it by some ingenious and artificial method ofexegesis; or added to it, by way of amplification and forsafety's sake; or, finally, legalized customs. They providedfor every possible and impossible case, entered into everydetail of private, family, and public life; and with ironlogic, unbending rigour, and most minute analysis pursued anddominated man, turn whither he might, laying on him a yokewhich was truly unbearable. The return which it offered wasthe pleasure and distinction of knowledge, the acquisition ofrighteousness, and the final attainment of rewards; one ofits chief advantages over our modern traditionalism, that itwas expressly forbidden to draw inferences from thesetraditions, which should have the force of fresh legaldeterminations. [2 Comp. Hamburger, u.s. p 343.]

In describing the historical growth of the Halakhah, [3Comp. here especially the detailed description by Herzfeld(u. s. vol. iii. pp. 226, 263); also the Introduction ofMaimonides, and the very able and learned works (notsufficiently appreciated) by Dr. H. S. Hirschfeld,Halachische Exegese (Berlin, 1840), and Hagadische Exegese(Berlin, 1847). Perhaps I may also take leave to refer to thecorresponding chapters in my 'History of the Jewish Nation.'Similarly, the expressions in Ex. xxiv. 12 were thusexplained: 'the tables of stone,' the ten commandments; the'law,' the written Law; the 'commandments,' the Mishnah;'which I have written,' the Prophets and Hagiographa; 'thatthou mayest teach them,' the Talmud, which shows that theywere all given to Moses on Sinai' (Ber. 5 a, lines 11-16). Alike application was made of the various clauses in Cant.vii. 12 (Erub. 21 b). Nay, by an alternation of the words inHos. vii. 10, it was shown that the banished had been broughtback for the merit of their study (of the sacrificialsections) of the Mishnah (Vayyik R. 7).] we may dismiss in afew sentences the legends of Jewish tradition aboutpatriarchal times. They assure us, that there was an Academyand a Rabbinic tribunal of Shem, and they speak of traditionsdelivered by that Patriarch to Jacob; of diligent attendanceby the latter on the Rabbinic College; of a tractate (in 400sections) on idolatry by Abraham, and of his observance ofthe whole traditional law; of the introduction of the threedaily times of prayer, successively by Abraham, Isaac, andJacob; of the three benedictions in the customary 'grace atmeat,' as propounded by Moses, Joshua, and David and Solomon;of the Mosaic introduction of the practice of reading lessonsfrom the law on Sabbaths, New Moons, and Feast Days, and evenon the Mondays and Thursdays; and of that, by the sameauthority, of preaching on the three great festivals aboutthose feasts. Further, they ascribe to Moses the arrangementof the priesthood into eight courses (that into sixteen toSamuel, and that into twenty-four to David), as also, theduration of the time for marriage festivities, and formourning. But evidently these are vague statements, with theobject of tracing traditionalism and its observances toprimaeval times, even as legend had it, that Adam was borncircumcised, [a Midr. Shochar Tobh on Ps. ix. 6. ed. Warshau,p. 14 b; Abde R. Nath. 2.] and later writers that he had keptall the ordinances.

But other principles apply to the traditions, from Mosesdownwards. According to the Jewish view, God had given Moseson Mount Sinai alike the oral and the written Law, that is,the Law with all its interpretations and applications. FromEx. xx. 1, it was inferred, that God had communicated toMoses the Bible, the Mishnah, and Talmud, and the Haggadah,even to that which scholars would in latest times propound.In answer to the somewhat natural objection, why the Biblealone had been written, it was said that Moses had proposedto write down all the teaching entrusted to him, but theAlmighty had refused, on account of the future subjection ofIsrael to the nations, who would take from them the writtenLaw. Then the unwritten traditions would remain to separatebetween Israel and the Gentiles. Popular exegesis found thisindicated even in the language of prophecy. [b Hos. viii12;comp. Shem. R. 47.]

But traditionalism went further, and placed the oralactually above the written Law. The expression, [a Ex. xxxiv.27.] 'After the tenor of these words I have made a covenantwith thee and with Israel,' was explained as meaning, thatGod's covenant was founded on the spoken, in opposition tothe written words. [b Jer. Chag. p. 76 d.] If the written wasthus placed below the oral Law, we can scarcely wonder thatthe reading of the Hagiographa was actually prohibited to thepeople on the Sabbath, from fear that it might divertattention from the learned discourses of the Rabbis. Thestudy of them on that day was only allowed for the purpose oflearned investigation and discussions. [c Tos. Shabb. xiv.][1. Another reason also is, however, mentioned for hisprohibition.]

But if traditionalism was not to be committed to writing byMoses, measures had been taken to prevent oblivion orinaccuracy. Moses had always repeated a traditional lawsuccessively to Aaron, to his sons, and to the elders of thepeople, and they again in turn to each other, in such wise,that Aaron heard the Mishnah four times, his sons threetimes, the Elders twice, and the people once. But even thiswas not all, for by successive repetitions of Aaron, hissons, and the Elders) the people also heard it four times. [dErub. 54b.] And, before his death, Moses had summoned any oneto come forward, if he had forgotten aught of what he hadheard and learned. [e Deut. i. 5.] But these 'Halakhoth ofMoses from Sinai' do not make up the whole of traditionalism.According to Maimonides, it consists of five, but morecritically of three classes. [2 Hirschfeld, u. s. pp. 92-99.]The first of these comprises both such ordinances as arefound in the Bible itself, and the so-called Halakhoth ofMoses from Sinai, that is, such laws and usages as prevailedfrom time immemorial, and which, according to the Jewishview, had been orally delivered to, but not written down byMoses. For these, therefore, no proof was to be sought inScripture, at most support, or confirmatory allusion(Asmakhtu). [3 From to lean against. At the same time theordinances, 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).] Nor were these open todiscussion. The second class formed the 'oral law,' [f.] orthe 'traditional teaching' [g.] in the stricter sense. Tothis class belonged all that was supposed to be implied in,or that could be deduced from, the Law of Moses. [4 Inconnection with this it is very significant that R. Jochananben Zaccai, who taught not many years after the Crucifixionof Christ, was wont to say, that, in the future, Halakhahs inregard to purity, which had not the support of Scripture,would be repeated (Sot. 27 b, line 16 from top). In general,the teaching of R. Jochanan should be studied to understandthe unacknowledged influence which Christianity exercisedupon the Synagogue.] The latter contained, indeed, insubstance or germ, everything; but it had not been broughtout, till circumstances successfully evolved what from thefirst had been provided in principle. For this class ofordinances reference to, and proof from, Scripture wasrequired. Not so for the third class of ordinances, whichwere 'the hedge' drawn by the Rabbis around the Law, toprevent any breach of the Law or customs, to ensure theirexact observance, or to meet peculiar circumstances anddangers. These ordinances constituted 'the sayings of theScribes' or 'of the Rabbis' [1 But this is not always.] , andwere either positive in their character (Teqqanoth), or elsenegative (Gezeroth from gazar to cut off'). Perhaps thedistinction of these two cannot always be strictly carriedout. But it was probably to this third class especially,confessedly unsupported by Scripture, that these words ofChrist referred: [c St. Matt. xxiii. 3, 4.] 'All thereforewhatsoever they tell you, that do and observe; but do not yeafter their works: for they say, and do not. For they bindheavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men'sshoulders; but with their finger they will not move them away(set in motion).' [2 To elucidate the meaning of Christ, itseemed necessary to submit an avowedly difficult text tofresh criticism. I have taken the word moveo in the sense ofire facio (Grimm, Clavis N.T. ed. 2(da), p. 241 a), but Ihave not adopted the inference of Meyer (Krit. Exeget. Handb.p. 455). In classical Greek also is used for 'to remove, toalter.' My reasons against what may be called the traditionalinterpretation of St. Matt. xxiii. 3, 4, are: 1. It seemsscarcely possible to suppose that, before such an audience,Christ would have contemplated the possiblity of notobserving either of the two first classes of Halakhoth, whichwere regarded as beyond controversy. 2. It could scarcely betruthfully charged against the Scribes and Pharisees, thatthey did not attempt to keep themselves the ordinances whichthey imposed upon others. The expression in the parallelpassage (St. Luke xi. 46) must be explained in accordancewith the commentation on St. Matt. xxiii. 4. Nor is there anyserious difficulty about it.] This view has two-foldconfirmation. For, this third class of Halakhic ordinanceswas the only one open to the discussion of the learned, theultimate decision being according to the majority. Yet itpossessed practically (though not theoretically) the sameauthority as the other two classes. In further confirmationof our view the following may be quoted: 'A Gezerah (i.e.this third class of ordinances) is not to be laid on thecongregation, unless the majority of the congregation is ableto bear it' [d B. Kam. 79.] , words which read like acommentary on those of Jesus, and show that these burdenscould be laid on, or moved away, according to the varyingjudgment or severity of a Rabbinic College. [3 For theclassification, arrangement, origin, and enumeration of theseHalakhoth, see Appendix V.: 'Rabbinic Theology andliterature.']

This body of traditional ordinances forms the subject of theMishnah, or second, repeated law. We have here to place onone side the Law of Moses as recorded in the Pentateuch, asstanding by itself. All else, even the teaching of theProphets and of the Hagiographa, as well as the oraltraditions, bore the general name of Qabbalah, 'that whichhas been received.' The sacred study, or Midrash, in theoriginal application of the term, concerned either theHalakhah, traditional ordinance, which was always 'that whichwas said' upon the authority of individuals, not as legalordinance. It was illustration, commentary, anecdote, cleveror learned saying, &c. At first the Halakhah remainedunwritten, probably owing to the disputes between Phariseesand Sadducees. But the necessity of fixedness and order ledin course of time to more or less complete collections of theHalakhoth. [1 See the learned remarks of Levy about thereasons for the earlier prohibition of writing down the orallaw, and the final collection of the Mishnah (Neuhebr. u.Chald. Worterb. vol. ii. p. 435).] The oldest of these isascribed to R. Akiba, in the time of the Emperor Hadrian. [a132-135 A.D.] [2 These collections are enumerated in theMidrash on eccles. xii. 3. They are also distinguished as'the former' and 'the later' Mishnah (Nedar. 91 a).] But theauthoritative collection in the so-called Mishhan is the workof Jehudah the Holy, who died about the end of the secondcentury of our era.

Altogether, the Mishnah comprises six 'Orders' (Sedarim),each devoted to a special class of subjects. [3 The first'Order' (Zeraim, 'seeds') begins with the ordinancesconcerning 'benedictions,' or the time, mode, manner, andcharacter of the prayers prescribed. It then goes on todetail what may be called the religio-agrarian laws (such astithing, Sabbatical years, first fruits, &c.). The second'Order' (Moed, 'festive time') discusses all connected withthe Sabbath observance and the other festivals. The third'Order' (Nashim, 'women') treats of all that concernsbetrothal, marriage and divorce, but also includes a tractateon the Nasirate. The fourth 'Order' (Neziqin, 'damages')contains the civil and criminal law. Characteristically, itincludes all the ordinances concerning idol-worship (in thetractate Abhodah Zarah) and 'the sayings of the Fathers'(Abhoth). The fifth 'Order' (Qodashim, 'holy things') treatsof the various classes of sacrifices, offerings, and thingsbelonging (as the first-born), or dedicated, to God, and ofall questions which can be grouped under 'sacred things'(such as the redemption, exchange, or alienation of what hadbeen dedicated to God). It also includes the laws concerningthe daily morning and evening service (Tamid), and adescription of the structure and arrangements of the Temple(Middoth, 'the measurements'). Finally, the sixth 'Order'(Toharoth, 'cleannesses') gives every ordinance connectedwith the questions of 'clean and unclean,' alike as regardshuman beings, animals, and inanimate things.] These 'Orders'are divided into tractates (Massikhtoth, Massekhtiyoth,'textures, webs'), of which there are sixty-three (or elsesixty-two) in all. These tractates are again subdivided intochapters (Peraqim), in all 525, which severally consist of acertain number of verses, or Mishnahs (Mishnayoth, in all4,187). Considering the variety and complexity of thesubjects treated, the Mishnah is arranged with remarkablelogical perspicuity. The language is Hebrew, though of coursenot that of the Old Testament. The words rendered necessaryby the new circumstances are chiefly derived from the Greek,the Syriac, and the Latin, with Hebrew terminations. [1 Comp.the very interesting tractate by Dr. Brill (FremdsprRedensart in d. Talmud), as well as Dr. Eisler's Beitrage z.Rabb. u. Alterthumsk., 3 fascic; Sachs, Beitr. z. Rabb u.Alterthumsk.] But all connected with social intercourse, orordinary life (such as contracts), is written, not in Hebrew,but in Aramaean, as the language of the people.

But the traditional law embodied other materials than theHalakhoth collected in the Mishnah. Some that had not beenrecorded there, found a place in the works of certain Rabbis,or were derived from their schools. These are calledBoraithas, that is, traditions external to the Mishnah.Finally, there were 'additions' (or Tosephtoth), dating afterthe completion of the Mishnah, but probably not later thanthe third century of our era. Such there are to not fewerthan fifty-two out of the sixty-three Mishnic tractates. Whenspeaking of the Halakhah as distinguished from the Haggadah,we must not, however, suppose that the latter could beentirely separated from it. In point of fact, one wholetractate in the Mishnah (Aboth: The Sayings of the 'Fathers')is entirely Haggadah; a second (Middoth: the 'Measurements ofthe Temple') has Halakhah in only fourteen places; while inthe rest of the tractates Haggadah occurs in not fewer than207 places. [2 Comp. the enumeration in Pinner, u. s.] Onlythirteen out of the sixty-three tractates of the Mishnah areentirely free from Haggadah.

Hitherto we have only spoken of the Mishnah. But thiscomprises only a very small part of traditionalism. In courseof time the discussions, illustrations, explanations, andadditions to which the Mishnah gave rise, whether in itsapplication, or in the Academies of the Rabbis, wereauthoritatively collected and edited in what are known as thetwo Talmuds or Gemaras. [3 Talmud: that which is learned,doctrine.Gemara: either the same, or else 'perfection,'completion.'] If we imagine something combining law reports,a Rabbinical 'Hansard,' and notes of a theological debatingclub, all thoroughly Oriental, full of digressions,anecdotes, quaint sayings, fancies, legends, and too often ofwhat, from its profanity, superstition, and even obscenity,could scarcely be quoted, we may form some general idea ofwhat the Talmud is. The oldest of these two Talmuds datesfrom about the close of the fourth century of our era. It isthe product of the Palestinian Academies, and hence calledthe Jerusalem Talmud. The second is about a century younger,and the outcome of the Babylonian schools, hence called theBabylon (afterwards also 'our') Talmud. We do not possesseither of these works complete. [1 The following will explainour meaning: On the first 'order' we have the JerusalemTalmud complete, that is, on every tractate (comprising inall 65 folio leaves), while the Babylon Talmud extends onlyover its first tractate (Berakhoth). On the second order, thefour last chapters of one tractate (Shabbath) are wanting inthe Jerusalem, and one whole tractate (Sheqalim) in theBabylon 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 (Eduyothand Abhoth) in both Gemaras. The fifth order is whollywanting in the Jerusalem, and two and a half tractates of itBabylon Talmud. Of the sixth order only one tractate (Niddah)exists in both Gemaras. The principal Halakhoth werecollected in a work (dating from about 800 A.D.) entitledHalakhoth Gedoloth. They are arranged to correspond with theweekly lectionary of the Pentateuch in a work entitledSheeltoth ('Questions:' bested. Dghernfurth, 1786). TheJerusalem Talmud extends over 39, the Babylonian over 36 1/2tractates, 15 1/2 tractates have no Gemara at all.] The mostdefective is the Jerusalem Talmud, which is also muchbriefer, and contains far fewer discussions than that ofBabylon. The Babylon Talmud, which in its present formextends over thirty-six out of the sixty-three tractates ofthe Mishnah, is about ten or eleven times the size of thelatter, and more than four times that of the JerusalemTalmud. It occupies (in our editions), with marginalcommentations, 2,947 folio leaves (pages a and b). BothTalmuds are written in Aramaean; the one in its western, theother in its eastern dialect, and in both the Mishnah isdiscussed seriatim, and clause by clause. Of the character ofthese discussions it would be impossible to convey anadequate idea. When we bear in mind the many sparkling,beautiful, and occasionally almost sublime passages in theTalmud, but especially that its forms of thought andexpression so often recall those of the New Testament, onlyprejudice and hatred could indulge in indiscriminatevituperation. On the other hand, it seems unaccountable howany one who has read a Talmudic tractate, or even part ofone, could compare the Talmud with the New Testament, or findin the one the origin of the other.

To complete our brief survey, it should be added that oureditions of the Babylon Talmud contain (at the close of vol.ix. and after the fourth 'Order') certain Boraithas. Of thesethere were originally nine, but two of the smaller tractates(on 'the memorial fringes,' and on 'non-Israelites') have notbeen preserved. The first of these Boraithas is entitledAbhoth de Rabbi Nathan, and partially corresponds with atractate of a similar name in the Mishnah. [2 The last tenchapters curiously group together events or things undernumerals from 10 downwards. The most generally interesting ofthese is that of the 10 Nequdoth, or passages of Scripture inwhich letters are marked by dots, together with theexplanation of their reasons (ch. xxxiv.). The whole Boraithaseems composed of parts of three different works, andconsists of forty (or forty-one) chapters, and occupies tenfolio leaves.] Next follow six minor tractates. These arerespectively entitled Sopherim (Scribes), [1 In twenty-onechapters, each containing a number of Halakhahs, andoccupying in all four folio leaves.] detailing the ordinancesabout copying the Scriptures, the ritual of the Lectionary,and festive prayers; Ebhel Rabbathi or Semakhoth, [2 Infourteen chapters, occupying rather more than three folioleaves.] containing Halakhah and Haggadah about funeral andmourning observances; Kallah, [3 It fills little more than afolio page.] on the married relationship; Derekh Erets, [4 Ineleven chapters, covering about 1 3/4 folio leaves.]embodying moral directions and the rules and customs ofsocial intercourse; Derekh Erets Zuta, [5 In nine chapters,filling one folio leaf.] treating of similar subjects, but asregards learned students; and, lastly, the Pereq ha Shalom,[6 Little more than a folio column.] which is a eulogy onpeace. All these tractates date, at least in their presentform, later than the Talmudic period. [7 Besides these,Raphael Kirchheim has published (Frankfort, 1851) theso-called seven smaller tractates, covering altogether, withabundant notes, only forty-four small pages, which treat ofthe copying of the Bible (Sepher Torah, in five chapters), ofthe Mezuzah, or memorial on the doorposts (in two chapters),of the Tsitsith, (Tephillin, in one chapter), of theTsitsith, 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 onProselytes (Gerim, in four chapters).]

But when the Halakhah, however varied in its application,was something fixed and stable, the utmost latitude wasclaimed and given in the Haggadah. It is sadlycharacteristic, that, practically, the main body of Jewishdogmatic and moral theology is really only Haggadah, andhence of no absolute authority. The Halakhah indicated withthe most minute and painful punctiliousness every legalordinance as to outward observances, and it explained everybearing of the Law of Moses. But beyond this it left theinner man, the spring of actions, untouched. What he was tobelieve and what to feel, was chiefly matter of the Haggadah.Of course the laws of morality, and religion, as laid down inthe Pentateuch, were fixed principles, but there was thegreatest divergence and latitude in the explanation andapplication of many of them. A man might hold or propoundalmost any views, so long as he contravened not the Law ofMoses, as it was understood, and adhered in teaching andpractice to the traditional ordinances. In principle it wasthe same liberty which the Romish Church accords to itsprofessing members, only with much wider application, sincethe debatable ground embraced so many matters of faith, andthe liberty given was not only that of private opinion but ofpublic utterance. We emphasise this, because the absence ofauthoritative direction and the latitude in matters of faithand inner feeling stand side by side, and in such sharpcontrast, with the most minute punctiliousness in all mattersof outward observance. And here we may mark the fundamentaldistinction between the teaching of Jesus and Rabbinism. Heleft the Halakhah untouched, putting it, as it were, on oneside, as something quite secondary, while He insisted asprimary on that which to them was chiefly matter of Haggadah.And this rightly so, for, in His own words, 'Not that whichgoeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which comethout of the mouth,' since 'those things which proceed out ofthe mouth come forth from the heart, and they defile theman.' [a St. Matt. xv. 11, 18.] The difference was one offundamental principle, and not merely of development, form,or detail. The one developed the Law in its outward directionas ordinances and commandments; the other in its inwarddirection as life and liberty. Thus Rabbinism occupied onepole, and the outcome of its tendency to pure externalism wasthe Halakhah, all that was internal and higher being merelyHaggadic. The teaching of Jesus occupied the opposite pole.Its starting-point was the inner sanctuary in which God wasknown and worshipped, and it might well leave the RabbinicHalakhoth aside, as not worth controversy, to be in themeantime 'done and observed,' in the firm assurance that, inthe course of its development, the spirit would create itsown appropriate forms, or, to use a New Testament figure, thenew wine burst the old bottles. And, lastly, as closelyconnected with all this, and marking the climax ofcontrariety: Rabbinism started with demand of outwardobedience and righteousness, and pointed to sonship as itsgoal; the Gospel started with the free gift of forgivenessthrough faith and of sonship, and pointed to obedience andrighteousness as its goal.

In truth, Rabbinism, as such, had no system of theology;only what ideas, conjectures, or fancies the Haggadah yieldedconcerning God, Angels, demons, man, his future destiny andpresent position, and Israel, with its past history andcoming glory. Accordingly, by the side of what is noble andpure, what a terrible mass of utter incongruities, ofconflicting statements and too often debasing superstitions,the outcome of ignorance and narrow nationalism; of legendarycolouring of Biblical narratives and scenes, profane, coarse,and degrading to them; the Almighty Himself and His Angelstaking part in the conversations of Rabbis, and thediscussions of Academies; nay, forming a kind of heavenlySanhedrin, which occasionally requires the aid of an earthlyRabbi. [1 Thus, in B. Mez. 86 a, we read of a discussion inthe heavenly Academy on the subject of purity, when Rabbahwas summoned to heaven by death, although this required amiracle, since he was constantly engaged in sacred study.Shocking to write, it needed the authority of Rabbah toattest the correctness of the Almighty's statement on theHalakhic question discussed.] The miraculous merges into theridiculous, and even the revolting. Miraculous cures,miraculous supplies, miraculous help, all for the glory ofgreat Rabbis, who by a look or word can kill, and restore tolife. At their bidding the eyes of a rival fall out, and areagain inserted. Nay, such was the veneration due to Rabbis,that R. Joshua used to kiss the stone on which R. Eliezer hadsat 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 suchstories. It should own the terrible contrast existing side byside: Hebrewism and Judaism, the Old Testament andtraditionalism; and it should recognise its deeper cause inthe absence of that element of spiritual and inner life whichChrist has brought. Thus as between the two - the old and thenew - it may be fearlessly asserted that, as regards theirsubstance and spirit, there is not a difference, but a totaldivergence, of fundamental principle between Rabbinism andthe New Testament, so that comparison between them is notpossible. Here there is absolute contrariety.

The painful fact just referred to is only too clearlyillustrated by the relation in which traditionalism placesitself to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, even though itacknowledges their inspiration and authority. The Talmud hasit, [a Baba Mets. 33 a] that he who busies himselfwithScripture only (i.e. without either the Mishnah or Gemara)has merit, and yet no merit. Even the comparative paucity ofreferences to the Bible in the Mishnah is significant Israelhad made void the Law by its traditions. Under a load ofoutward ordinances and observances its spirit had beencrushed. The religion as well as the grand hope of the OldTestament had become externalized. And so alike Heathenismand Judaism - for it was no longer the pure religion of theOld Testament - each following its own direction, had reachedits goal. All was prepared and waiting. The very porch hadbeen built, through which the new, and yet old, religion wasto pass into the ancient world, and the ancient world intothe new religion. Only one thing was needed: the Coming ofthe Christ. As yet darkness covered the earth, and grossdarkness lay upon the people. But far away the golden lightof the new day was already tingeing the edge of the horizon.Presently would the Lord arise upon Zion, and His glory beseen upon her. Presently would the Voice from out thewilderness prepare the way of the Lord; presently would itherald the Coming of His Christ to Jew and Gentile, and thatKingdom of heaven, which, established upon earth, isrighteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. [1 Fordetails on the Jewish views on the Canon, and historical andmystical theology, see Appendix V.: 'Rabbinic Theology andLiterature.']




IF the dust of ten centuries could have been wiped from theeyelids of those sleepers, and one of them who throngedJerusalem in the highday of its glory, during the reign ofKing Solomon, had returned to its streets, he would scarcelyhave recognised the once familiar city. Then, as now, aJewish king reigned, who bore undivided rule over the wholeland; then, as now, the city was filled with riches andadorned with palaces and architectural monuments; then, asnow, Jerusalem was crowded with strangers from all lands.Solomon and Herod were each the last Jewish king over theLand of Promise; [1 I do not here reckon the brief reign ofKing Agrippa.] Solomon and Herod, each, built the Temple. Butwith the son of David began, and with the Idumaean ended,'the kingdom'; or rather, having fulfilled its mission, itgave place to the spiritual world-kingdom of 'David's greaterSon.' The sceptre departed from Judah to where the nationswere to gather under its sway. And the Temple which Solomonbuilt was the first. In it the Shekhinah dwelt visibly. TheTemple which Herod reared was the last. The ruins of itsburning, which the torch of the Romans had kindled, werenever to be restored. Herod was not the antitype, he was theBarabbas, of David's Royal Son.

In other respects, also, the difference was almost equallygreat. The four 'companion-like' hills on which the city wasbuilt, [a Ps. cxxii] the deep clefts by which it wassurrounded, the Mount of Olives rising in the the east, werethe same as a thousand years ago. There, as of old were thePool of Siloam and the royal gardens, nay, the very wall thathad then surrounded the city. And yet all was so altered asto be scarcely recognisable. The ancient Jebusite fort, theCity of David, Mount Zion, [2 It will be seen that, with themost recent explorers, I locate Mount Zion not on thetraditional site, on the western hill of Jerusalem, but ontheeastern, south of the Temple area.] was now the priests'quarter, Ophel, andthe old royal palace and stables had beenthrown into the Temple area, now completely levelled, wherethey formed the magnificent treble colonnade, known as theRoyal Porch. Passing through it, and out by the Western Gateof the Temple, we stand on the immense bridge which spans the'Valley of the Cheesemongers,' or the Tyropoeon, and connectsthe Eastern with the Western hills of the city. It is perhapshere that we can best mark the outstanding features, and notethe changes. On the right, as we look northward, are (on theEastern hill) Ophel, the Priest-quarter, and the Temple, oh,how wondrously beautiful and enlarged, and rising terraceupon terrace, surrounded by massive walls: a palace, afortress, a Sanctuary of shining marble and glittering gold.And beyond it frowns the old fortress of Baris, rebuilt byHerod, and named after his patron, Antonia. This is the Hillof Zion. Right below us is the cleft of the Tyropoeon, andhere creeps up northwards the 'Lower City' or Acra, in theform of a crescent, widening into an almost square 'suburb.'Across the Tyropoeon, westward, rises the 'Upper City.' Ifthe Lower City and suburb form the business-quarter with itsmarkets, bazaars, and streets of trades and guilds, the'Upper City' is that of palaces. Here, at the other end ofthe great bridge which connects the Temple with the 'UpperCity,' is the palace of the Maccabees; beyond it, the Xystos,or vast colonnaded enclosure, where popular assemblies areheld; then the Palace of Ananias the High-Priest, and nearestto the Temple, 'the Council Chamber' and public Archives.Behind it, westwards, rise, terrace upon terrace, the statelymansions of the Upper City, till, quite in the north-westcorner of the old city, we reach the Palace which Herod hadbuilt for himself, almost a city and fortress, flanked bythree high towers, and enclosing spacious gardens. Beyond itagain, and outside the city walls, both of the first and thesecond, stretches all north of the city the new suburb ofBezetha. Here on every side are gardens and villas; herepasses the great northern road; out there must they have laidhold on Simon the Cyrenian, and here must have led the way tothe place of the Crucifixion.

Changes that marked the chequered course of Israel's historyhad come even over the city walls. The first and oldest, thatof David and Solomon, ran round the west side of the UpperCity, then crossed south to the Pool of Siloam, and ran upeast, round Ophel, till it reached the eastern enclosure ofthe Temple, whence it passed in a straight line to the pointfrom which it had started, forming the northern boundary ofthe ancient city. But although this wall still existed, therewas now a marked addition to it. When the Maccabee Jonathanfinally cleared Jerusalem of the Syrian garrison that lay inFort Acra, [a 1 Macc. i. 33, and often; but the precisesituation of this 'fort' is in dispute] he built a wall right'through the middle of the city,' so as to shut out the foe.[b 1 Macc. xii. 36; Jos. Ant. xiii. 5. 11; comp. with it xiv.16. 2; War vi. 7. 2; 8. 1] This wall probably ran from thewestern angle of the Temple southwards, to near the pool ofSiloam, following the winding course of the Tyropoeon, but onthe other side of it, where the declivity of the Upper Citymerged in the valley. Another monument of the Syrian Wars, ofthe Maccabees, and of Herod, was the fortress Antonia. Partof it had, probably, been formerly occupied by what was knownas Fort Acra, of such unhappy prominence in the wars thatpreceded and marked the early Maccabean period. it had passedfrom the Ptolemies to the Syrians, and always formed thecentral spot round which the fight for the city turned. JudasMaccabee had not been able to take it. Jonathan had laidsiege to it, and built the wall, to which reference has justbeen made, so as to isolatc its garrison. It was at lasttaken by Simon, the brother and successor of Jonathan, andlevelled with the ground. [c 141 B.C.] Fort Baris, which wasconstructed by his successor Hyrcanus I., [d 135-106 B.C.]covered a much wider space. It lay on the northwestern angleof the Temple, slightly jutting beyond it in the west, butnot covering the whole northern area of the Temple. The rockon which it stood was higher than the Temple, [1 It is, tosay the least, doubtful, whether the numeral 50 cubits (75feet), which Josephus assigns to this rock (War v. 5. 8),applies to its height (comp. Speiss, Das Jerus. d. Jos.p.66).] although lower than the hill up which the new suburbBezetha crept, which, accordingly, was cut off by a deepditch, for the safety of the fortress. Herod greatly enlargedand strengthened it. Within encircling walls the fort rose toa height of sixty feet, and was flanked by four towers, ofwhich three had a height of seventy, the fourth (S.E.), whichjutted into the Temple area, of 105 feet, so as to commandthe sacred enclosure. A subterranean passage led into theTemple itself, [e Ant. xv. 11. 7]which was also connectedwith it by colonnades and stairs. Herod had adorned as wellas strengthened and enlarged, this fort (now Antonia), andmade it a palace, an armed camp, and almost a city. [f Jos.War v. 5. 8]

Hitherto we have only spoken of the first, or old wall,which was fortified by sixty towers. The second wall, whichhad only fourteen towers, began at some point in the northernwall at the Gate Gennath, whence it ran north, and then east,so as to enclose Acra and the Suburb. It terminated at FortAntonia. Beyond, and all around this second wall stretched,as already noticed, the new, as yet unenclosed suburbBezetha, rising towards the north-east. But these changeswere as nothing compared with those within the city itself.First and foremost was the great transformation in the Templeitself, [1 I must take leave to refer to the description ofJerusalem, and especially of the Temple, in the 'Temple andits Services at the Time of Jesus Christ.'] which, from asmall building, little larger than an ordinary church, in thetime of Solomon, [2 Dr. Muhlau, in Riehm's Handworterb. Partviii. p. 682 b, speaks of the dimensions of the old Sanctuaryas little more than those of a village church.] had becomethat great and glorious House which excited the admiration ofthe foreigner, and kindled the enthusiasm of every son ofIsrael. At the time of Christ it had been already forty-sixyears in building, and workmen were still, and for a longtime, engaged on it. [3 It was only finished in 64 A.D., thatis, six years before its destruction.] But what aheterogeneous crowd thronged its porches and courts!Hellenists; scattered wanderers from the most distant partsof the earth, east, west, north, and south; Galileans, quickof temper and uncouth of Jewish speech; Judaeans andJerusalemites; white-robed Priests and Levites; Templeofficials; broad-phylacteried, wide-fringed Pharisees, andcourtly, ironical Sadducees; and, in the outer court, curiousGentiles! Some had come to worship; others to pay vows, orbring offerings, or to seek purification; some to meetfriends, and discourse on religious subjects in thosecolonnaded porches, which ran round the Sanctuary; or else tohave their questions answered, or their causes heard anddecided, by the smaller Sanhedrin of twenty-three, that satin the entering of the gate or by the Great Sanhedrin. Thelatter 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-Priestlyfamily of Ananias, and where such profitable trade was drivenby those who, in their cupidity and covetousness, were worthysuccessors of the sons of Eli. In the Court of the Gentiles(or in its porches) sat the official money-changers, who fora fixed discount changed all foreign coins into those of theSanctuary. Here also was that great mart for sacrificialanimals, and all that was requisite for offerings. How thesimple, earnest country people, who came to pay vows, orbring offerings for purifying, must have wondered, and feltoppressed in that atmosphere of strangely blended religiousrigorism and utter worldliness; and how they must have beentaxed, imposed upon, and treated with utmost curtness, nay,rudeness, by those who laughed at their boorishness, anddespised them as cursed, ignorant country people, littlebetter than heathens, or, for that matter, than brute beasts.Here also there lay about a crows of noisy beggars, unsightlyfrom disease, and clamorous for help. And close by passed theluxurious scion of the High-Priestly families; the proud,intensely self-conscious Teacher of the Law, respectfullyfollowed by his disciples; and the quick-witted, subtleScribe. These were men who, on Sabbaths and feast-days, wouldcome out on the Temple-terrace to teach the people, orcondescend to answer their questions; who in the Synagogueswould hold their puzzled hearers spell-bound by theirtraditional lore and subtle argumentation, or tickle thefancy of the entranced multitude, that thronged everyavailable space, by their ingenious frivolities, theirmarvellous legends, or their clever sayings; but who would,if occasion required, quell an opponent by well-poisedquestions, or crush him beneath the sheer weight ofauthority. Yet others were there who, despite the utterlylowering influence which the frivolities of the prevalentreligion, and the elaborate trifling of its endlessobservances, must have exercised on the moral and religiousfeelings of all, perhaps, because of them, turned aside, andlooked back with loving gaze to the spiritual promises of thepast, and forward with longing expectancy to the near'consolation of Israel,' waiting for it in prayerfulfellowship, and with bright, heaven-granted gleams of itsdawning light amidst the encircling gloom.

Descending from the Temple into the city, there was morethan enlargement, due to the increased population.Altogether, Jerusalem covered, at its greatest, about 300acres. [1 See Conder, Heth and Moab, p. 94.]As of old therewere still the same narrow streets in the business quarters;but in close contiguity to bazaars and shops rose statelymansions of wealthy merchants, and palaces of princes. [2Such as the Palace of Grapte, and that of Queen Helena ofAdiabene.] And what a change in the aspect of these streets,in the character of those shops, and, above all, in theappearance of the restless Eastern crowd that surged to andfro! Outside their shops in the streets, or at least in sightof the passers, and within reach of their talk, was theshoemaker hammering his sandals, the tailor plying hisneedle, the carpenter, or the worker in iron and brass. Thosewho were less busy, or more enterprising, passed along,wearing some emblem of their trade: the dyer, variouslycoloured threads; the carpenter, a rule: the writer, a reedbehind his ear; the tailor, with a needle prominently stuckin his dress. In the side streets the less attractiveoccupations of the butcher, the wool-comber, or theflaxspinner were pursued: the elegant workmanship of thegoldsmith and jeweller; the various articles de luxe, thatadorned the houses of the rich; the work of the designer, themoulder, or the artificer in iron or brass. In these streetsand lanes everything might be purchased: the production ofPalestine, or imported from foreign lands, nay, the rarestarticles from the remotest parts. Exquisitely shaped,curiously designed and jewelled cups, rings and otherworkmanship of precious metals; glass, silks, fine linen,woollen stuffs, purple, and costly hangings; essences,ointments, and perfumes, as precious as gold; articles offood and drink from foreign lands, in short, what India,Persia, Arabia, Media Egypt, Italy, Greece, and even thefar-off lands of the Gentiles yielded, might be had in thesebazaars.

Ancient Jewish writings enable us to identify no fewer than118 different articles of import from foreign lands, coveringmore than even modern luxury has devised. Articles of luxury,especially from abroad, fetched indeed enormous prices; and alady might spend 36l. on a cloak; [a Baba B. ix. 7.] silkwould be paid by its weight in gold; purple wool at 3l. 5s.the pound, or, if double-dyed, at almost ten times thatamount; while the price of the best balsam and nard was mostexorbitant. On the other hand, the cost of common living wasvery low. In the bazaars you might get a complete suit foryour slave for eighteen or nineteen shillings, [b Arakh. vi.5.] and a tolerable outfit for yourself from 3l. to 6l.Forthe same sum you might purchase an ass, [c Baba K. x. 4.] anox, [d Men. xiii. 8; or a cow, [e Tos. Sheq. ii.; Tos. Ar.iv.] and , for little more, a horse. A calf might be had forless than fifteen shillings, a goat for five or six. [f Men.xiii. 8.] Sheep were dearer, and fethed from four to fifteenor sixteen shillings, while a lamb might sometimes be had aslow 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 asmall, of course unfurnished, lodging for about sixpence aweek. [g Tos. Baba Mets. iv.] A day labourer was paid about 71/2d. a day, though skilled labour would fetch a good dealmore. Indeed, the great Hillel was popularly supposed to havesupported his family on less than twopence a day, [h Yoma 35b.] while property to the amount of about 6l., or trade with2l. or 3l. of goods, was supposed to exclude a person fromcharity, or a claim on what was left in the corners of fieldsand the gleaners. [i Peah viii. 8, 9.]

To these many like details might be added. [1 Comp.Herzfeld's Handelsgesch.] Sufficient has been said to showthe two ends of society: the exceeding dearness of luxuries,and the corresponding cheapness of necessaries. Such extremeswould meet especially at Jerusalem. Its population, computedat from 200,000 to 250,000, [2 Ancient Jerusalem is supposedto have covered about double the area of the modern city.Comp. Dr. Schick in A.M. Luncz, 'Jerusalem,' for 1882.] wasenormously swelled by travellers, and by pilgrims during thegreat festivals. [1 Although Jerusalem covered only about 300acres, yet, from the narrowness of Oriental streets, it wouldhold a very much larger population than any Western city ofthe same extent. Besides, we must remember that itsecclesiastical boundaries extended beyond the city.] Thegreat Palace was the residence of King and Court, with alltheir following and luxury; in Antonia lay afterwards theRoman garrison. The Temple called thousands of priests, manyof them with their families, to Jerusalem; while the learnedAcademies were filled with hundreds, though it may have beenmostly poor, scholars and students. In Jerusalem must havebeen many of the large warehouses for the near commercialharbour of Joppa; and thence, as from the industrial centresof busy Galilee, would the pedlar go forth to carry his waresover the land. More especially would the markets ofJerusalem, held, however, in bazaars and streets rather thanin squares, be thronged with noisy sellers and bargainingbuyers. Thither would Galilee send not only its manufactures,but its provisions: fish (fresh or salted), fruit [a Maaser.ii. 3.] known for its lusciousness, oil, grape-syrup, andwine. There were special inspectors for these markets, theAgardemis or Agronimos, who tested weights and measures, andofficially stamped them, [b Baba B. 89 a.] tried thesoundness of food or drink, [c Jer. Ab. Z 44 b; Ab. Z. 58 a.]and occasionally fixed or lowered the market-prices,enforcing their decision, [d Jer. Dem 22 c.] if need were,even with the stick. [e Yoma 9 a.] [2On the question ofofficially fixing the market-price, diverging opinions areexpressed, Baba B. 89 b. It was thought that the market-priceshould leave to the producer a profit of one-sixth on thecost (Baba B. 90 a). In general, the laws on these subjectsform a most interesting study. Bloch (Mos. Talm. Polizeir.)holds, that there were two classes of market-officials. Butthis is not supported by sufficient evidence, nor, indeed,would such an arrangement seem likely. 3 That of Botnah wasthe largest, Jer. Ab. Z. 39 d.] Not only was there an upperand a lower market in Jerusalem, [f Sanh. 89 a.] but we readof at least seven special markets: those for cattle, [g Erub.x. 9.] wool, iron-ware, [h Jos. War v. 8. 1.] clothes, wood,[i Ibid. ii. 19. 4.] bread, and fruit and vegetables. Theoriginal market-days were Monday and Tuesday, afterwardsFriday. [k Tos. Baba Mets. iii.] The large fairs (Yeridin)were naturally confined to the centres of import and export,the borders of Egypt (Gaza), the ancient Phoenician maritimetowns (Tyro and Acco), and the Emporium across the Jordan(Botnah). Besides, every caravansary, or khan (qatlis,atlis,), was a sort of mart, where goods were unloaded, andespecially cattle set out [l Kerith. iii. 7;] for sale, andpurchases made. But in Jerusalem one may suppose the sellersto have been every day in the market; and the magazines, inwhich greengrocery and all kinds of meat were sold (the BethhaShevaqim), [m Makhsh. vi. 2] must have been always open.Besides, there were the many shops (Chanuyoth) eitherfronting the streets, or in courtyards, or else movablewooden booths in the streets. Stangely enough, occasionallyJewish women were employed in selling. [a Kethub. ix. 4]Business was also done in the resturants and wineshops, ofwhich there were many; where you might be served with somedish: fresh or salted fish, fried locusts, a mess ofvegetables, a dish of soup, pastry, sweetmeats, or a piece ofa fruit-cake, to be washed down with Judaean or Galileanwine, Idumaean vinegar, or foreign beer.

If from these busy scenes we turn to the more aristocraticquarters of the Upper City, [1 Compare here generally Unruh,D. alte Jerusalem.] we stillsee the same narrow streets, buttenanted by another class. First, we pass the High-Priest'spalace on the slope of the hill, with a lower story under theprincipal apartments, and a porch in front. Here, on thenight of the Betrayal, Peter was 'beneath in the Palace.' [aSt. Mark xiv. 66.] Next, we come to Xystos, and thenpause fora moment at the Palace of the Maccabees. It lies higher upthe hill, and westward from the Xytos. From its halls you canlook into the city, and even into the Temple. We know notwhich of the Maccabees had built this palace. But it wasoccupied, not by the actually reigning prince, who alwaysresided in the fortress (Baris, afterwards Antonia), but bysome other member of the family. From them it passed into thepossession of Herod. There Herod Antipas was when, on thatterrible Passover, Pilate sent Jesus from the old palace ofHerod to be examined by the Ruler of Galilee. [b St. Lukexxiii. 6,7] If these buildings pointed to the differencebetween the past and present, two structures of Herod's were,perhaps, more eloquent than any words in their accusations ofthe Idumaean. One of these, at least, would come in sight inpassing along the slopes of the Upper City. The Maccabeanrule had been preceded by that of corrupt High-Priests, whohad prostituted their office to the vilest purposes. One ofthem, who had changed his Jewish name of Joshua into Jason,had gone so far, in his attempts to Grecianise the people, asto build a Hippodrome and Gymnasium for heathen games. Weinfer, it stood where the Western hill sloped into theTyropoeon, to the south-west of the Temple. [c Jos. War ii.3.1] It was probably this which Herod afterwards enlarged andbeautified, and turned into a threatre. No expense was sparedon the great games held there. The threatre itself wasmagnificently adorned with gold, silver, precious stones, andtrophies of arms and records of the victories of Augustus.But to the Jews this essentially heathen place, over againsttheir Temple, was cause of deep indignation and plots. [dAnt. xv. 8. 1] Besidesthis theatre, Herod also built animmense amphitheatre, which we must locate somewhere in thenorth-west, and outside the second city wall. [e Ant. xvii.10. 2; War ii. 3. 1, 2]

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

Close by the tracks of heathenism in Jerusalem, and in sharpcontrast, was what gave to Jerusalem its intensely Jewishcharacter. It was not only the Temple, nor the festivepilgrims to its feasts and services. But there were hundredsof Synagogues, [1 Tradition exaggerates their number as 460(Jer. Kethub. 35 c.) or even 480 (Jer. Meg. 73 d). But eventhe large number (proportionally to the size of the city)mentioned in the text need not surprise us when we rememberthat ten men were sufficient to form a Synagogue, and howmany, what may be called 'private', Synagogues exist atpresent in every town where there is a large and orthodoxJewish population.] some for different nationalities, such asthe Alexandrians, or the Cyrenians; some for, or perhapsfounded by, certain trade-guilds. If possible, the Jewishschools were even more numerous than the Synagogues. Thenthere were the many Rabbinic Academies; and, besides, youmight also see in Jerusalem that mysterious sect, theEssenes, of which the members were easily recognized by theirwhite dress. Essenes, Pharisees, stranger Jews of all hues,and of many dresses and languages! One could have imaginedhimself almost in another world, a sort of enchanted land, inthis Jewish metropolis, and metropolis of Judaism. When thesilver trumpets of the Priests woke the city to prayer, orthe strain of Levite music swept over it, or the smoke of thesacrifices hung like another Shekhinah over the Temple,against the green background of Olivet; or when in everystreet, court, and housetop rose the booths at the Feast ofTabernacles, and at night the sheen of the Templeillumination threw long fantastic shadows over the city; orwhen, at the Passover, tens of thousands crowded up the Mountwith their Paschal lambs, and hundreds of thousands sat downto the Paschal supper, it would be almost difficult tobelieve, that heathenism was so near, that the Roman wasvirtually, and would soon be really, master of the land, orthat a Herod occupied the Jewish throne.

Yet there he was; in the pride of his power, and thereckless cruelty of his ever-watchful tyranny. Everywhere washis mark. Temples to the gods and to Caesar, magnificent, andmagnificently adorned, outside Palestine and in itsnon-Jewish cities; towns rebuilt or built: Sebaste for theacient Samaria, the splendid city and harbour of Coesarea inthe west, Antipatris (after his father) in the north, Kyprosand Phasaelis (after his mother and brother), and Agrippeion;unconquerable fortresses, such as Essebonitis and Machoerusin Peraea, Alexandreion, Herodeion, Hyrcania, and Masada inJudaea, proclaimed his name and sway. But in Jerusalem itseemed as if he had gathered up all his strength. The theatreand amphitheatre spoke of his Grecianism; Antonia was therepresentative fortress; for his religion he had built thatglorious Temple, and for his residence the noblest ofpalaces, at the north-western angle of the Upper City, closeby where Milo had been in the days of David. It seems almostincredible, that a Herod should have reared the Temple, andyet we can understand his motives. Jewish tradition had it,that a Rabbi (Baba ben Buta) had advised him in this mannerto conciliate the people, [a Baba B. 3 b] or else thereby toexpiate the slaughter of so many Rabbis. [b Bemid. R. 14.] [1The occasion is said to have been, that the Rabbis, in answerto Herod's question, quoted Deut. xvii. 15. Baba ben Butahimself is said to have escaped the slaughter, indeed, but tohave been deprived of his eyes.] Probably a desire to gainpopularity, and supersition, may alike have contributed, asalso the wish to gratify his love for splendour and building.At the same time, he may have wished to show himself a betterJew than that rabble of Pharisees and Rabbis, who perpetuallywould cast it in his teeth, that he was an Idumaean. Whateverhis origin, he was a true king of the Jews, as great, naygreater, than Solomon himself. Certainly, neither labour normoney had been spared on the Temple. A thousand vehiclescarried up the stone; 10,000 workmen, under the guidance of1,000 priests, wrought all the costly material gathered intothat house, of which Jewish tradition could say, 'He that hasnot seen the temple of Herod, has never known what beautyis.' [c Baba B. 4a.] And yet Israel despised and abhorred thebuilder! Nor could his apparent work for the God of Israelhave deceived the most credulous. In youth he had browbeatenthe venerable Sanhedrin, and threatened the city withslaughter and destruction; again and again had he murderedher venerable sages; he had shed like water the blood of herAsmonean princes, and of every one who dared to be free; hadstifled every national aspiration in the groans of thetorture, and quenched it in the gore of his victims. Notonce, nor twice, but six times did he change theHigh-Priesthood, to bestow it at last on one who bears nogood name in Jewish theology, a foreigner in Judaea, anAlexandrian. And yet the power of that Idumaean was but ofyesterday, and of mushroom growth!




It is an intensely painful history, [1 For a fuller sketchof this history see Appendix IV.] in the course of whichHerod made his way to the throne. We look back nearly two anda half centuries to where, with the empire of Alexander,Palestine fell to his successors. For nearly a century and ahalf it continued the battle-field of the Egyptian and Syriankings (the Ptolemies and the Seleucidae). At last it was acorrupt High-Priesthood, with which virtually the governmentof the land had all along lain, that betrayed Israel'sprecious trust. The great-grandson of so noble a figure inJewish history as Simon the Just (compare Ecclus. 1.) boughtfrom the Syrians the High-Priestly office of his brother,adopted the heathen name Jason, and sought to Grecianise thepeople. 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 persecutionsof Antiochus Epiphanes, when Judaism was all but exterminatedin Palestine. The glorious uprising of the Maccabees calledforth all the national elements left in Israel, and kindledafresh the smouldering religious feeling. It seemed like arevival of Old Testament times. And when Judas the Maccabee,with a band so inferior in numbers and discipline, defeatedthe 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 appearedas if a new Theocracy were to be inaugurated. The ceremonialof that feast of the new 'dedication of the Temple,' wheneach night the number of lights grew larger in the winter'sdarkness, seemed symbolic of what was before Israel. But theMaccabees were not the Messiah; nor yet the kingdom, whichtheir sword would have restored , that of Heaven, with itsblessings and peace. If ever, Israel might then have learnedwhat Saviour to look for.

The period even of promise was more brief than might havebeen expected. The fervour and purity of the movement ceasedalmost with its success. It was certainly never the goldenage of Israel, not even among those who remained faithful toits God, which those seem to imagine who, forgetful of itshistory and contests, would trace to it so much that is mostprecious and spiritual in the Old Testament. It may have beenthe pressure of circumstances, but it was anything but apious, or even a 'happy' thought [1 So Schurer in hisNeutestam. Zeitgesch.] of Judas the Maccabee, to seek thealliance of the Romans. From their entrance on the scenedates the decline of Israel's national cause. For a time,indeed, though after varying fortunes of war, all seemedprosperous. The Maccabees became both High-Priests and Kings.But partystrife and worldliness, ambition and corruption, andGrecianism on the throne, soon brought their sequel in thedecline of morale and vigour, and led to the decay anddecadence of the Maccabean house. It is a story as old as theOld Testament, and as wide as the history of the world.Contention for the throne among the Maccabees led to theinterference of the foreigner. When, after capturingJerusalem, and violating the sanctity of the Temple, althoughnot plundering its treasures, Pompey placed Hyrcanus II. inthe possession of the High-Priesthood, the last of theMaccabean rulers [2 A table of the Maccabean and Herodianfamilies is given in Appendix VI.] was virtually shorn ofpower. The country was now tributary to Rome, and subject tothe Governor of Syria. Even the shadow of political powerpassed from the feeble hands of Hyrcanus when, shortlyafterwards, Gabinius (one of the Roman governors) divided theland into five districts, independent of each other.

But already a person had appeared on the stage of Jewishaffairs, who was to give them their last decisive turn. Aboutfifty years before this, the district of Idumaea had beenconquered by the Maccabean King Hyrcanus I., and itsinhabitants forced to adopt Judaism. By this Idumaea we arenot, however, to understand the ancient or Eastern Edom,which was now in the hands of the Nabataeans, but parts ofSouthern Palestine which the Edomites had occupied since theBabylonian Exile, and especially a small district on thenorthern and eastern boundary of Judaea, and below Samaria.[a Comp. 1 Macc. vi. 31] After it became Judaean, itsadministration was entrusted to a governor. In the reign ofthe last of the Maccabees this office devolved on oneAntipater, a man of equal cunning and determination. Hesuccessfully interfered in the unhappy dispute for the crown,which was at last decided by the sword of Pompey. Antipatertook the part of the utterly weak Hyrcanus in that contestwith his energetic brother Aristobulus. He soon became thevirtual ruler, and Hyrcanus II. only a puppet in his hands.From the accession of Judas Maccabaeus, in 166 B.C., to theyear 63 B.C., when Jerusalem was taken by Pompey, only abouta century had elapsed. Other twenty-four years, and the lastof 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 risingsattempted by them, the interference of the Parthians onbehalf of those who were hostile to Rome, and, lastly, thecontentions for supremacy in Rome itself, made this periodone of confusion, turmoil, and constant warfare in Palestine.When Pompey was finally defeated by Caesar, the prospects ofAntipater and Hycanus seemed dark. But they quickly changedsides; and timely help given to Caesar in Egypt brought toAntipater the title of Procurator of Judaea, while Hycanuswas left in the High-Priesthood, and, at least, nominal headof the people. The two sons of Antipater were now madegovernors: the elder, Phasaelus, of Jerusalem; the younger,Herod, only twenty-five years old, of Galilee. Here hedisplayed the energy and determination which were hischaracteristics, in crushing a guerilla warfare, of which thedeeper springs were probably nationalist. The execution ofits leader brought Herod a summons to appear before the GreatSanhedrin of Jerusalem, for having arrogated to himself thepower of life and death. He came, but arrayed in purple,surrounded by a body-guard, and supported by the expressdirection of the Roman Governor to Hyrcanus, that he was tobe acquitted. Even so he would have fallen a victim to theapprehensions of the Sanhedrin, only too well grounded, hadhe not been persuaded to withdrawn from the city. He returnedat the head of an army, and was with difficulty persuaded byhis father to spare Jerusalem. Meantime Caesar had named himGovernor of Coelesyria.

On the murder of Caesar, and the possession of Syria byCassius, Antipater and Herod again changed sides. But theyrendered such substantial service as to secure favour, andHerod was continued in the position conferred on him byCaesar. Antipater was, indeed, poisoned by a rival, but hissons Herod and Phasaelus repressed and extinguished allopposition. When the battle of Philippi placed the Romanworld in the hands of Antony and Octavius, the formerobtained Asia. Once more the Idumaeans knew how to gain thenew ruler, and Phasaelus and Herod were named Tetrarchs ofJudaea. Afterwards, when Antony was held in the toils ofCleopatra, matters seemed, indeed, to assume a differentaspect. The Parthians entered the land, in support of therival Maccabean prince Antigonus, the son of Aristobulus. Bytreachery, Phasaelus and Hyrcanus were induced to go to theParthian camp, and made captives. Phasaelus shortlyafterwards destroyed himself in his prison, [1 By dashing outhis brains againstthe prison walls.] while Hyrcanus wasdeprived of his ears, to unfit him for the High-Priestlyoffice. And so Antigonus for a short time succeeded both tothe High-Priesthood and royalty in Jerusalem. Meantime Herod,who had in vain warned his brother and Hyrcanus against theParthian, had been able to make his escape from Jerusalem.His family he left to the defence of his brother Joseph, inthe inaccessible fortress of Masada; himself fled intoArabia, 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 Judaea. A sacrificeon the Capitol, and a banquet by Antony, celebrated theaccession of the new successor of David.

But he had yet to conquer his kingdom. At first he made wayby the help of the Romans. Such success, however, as he hadgained, was more than lost during his brief absence on avisit to Antony. Joseph, the brother of Herod, was defeatedand slain, and Galilee, which had been subdued, revoltedagain. But the aid which the Romans rendered, after Herod'sreturn from Antony, was much more hearty, and his losses weremore than retrieved. Soon all Palestine, with the exceptionof Jerusalem, was in his hands. While laying siege to it, hewent to Samaria, there to wed the beautiful Maccabeanprincess Mariamme, who had been betrothed to him five yearsbefore. [2 He had previously been married to one Doris, theissue of the marriage being a son, Antipater.] That ill-fatedQueen, and her elder brother Aristobulus, united inthemselves 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 inJerusalem; and their mother, Alexandra, the daughter ofHyrcanus II. The uncle of Mariamme was not long able to holdout against the combined forces of Rome and Herod. Thecarnage was terrible. When Herod, by rich presents, at lengthinduced the Romans to leave Jerusalem, they took Antigonuswith them. By desire of Herod he was executed.

This was the first of the Maccabees who fell victim to hisjealousy and cruelty. The history which now follows is one ofsickening carnage. The next to experience his vengeance werethe principal adherents in Jerusalem of his rival Antigonus.Forty-five of the noblest and richest were executed. His nextstep was to appoint an abscure Babylonian to theHigh-Priesthood. This awakened the active hostility ofAlexandra, the mother of Marimme, Herod's wife. The Maccabeanprincess 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 Herodloved, though in his own mad way, prevailed. At the age ofseventeen Aristobulus was made High-Priest. But Herod, whowell knew the hatred and contempt of the Maccabean members ofhis family, had his mother-in-law watched, a precautionincreased after the vain attempt of Alexandra to have herselfand her son removed in coffins from Jerusalem, to flee toCleopatra. Soon the jealousy and suspicions of Herod wereraised to murderous madness, by the acclamations whichgreeted the young Aristobulus at the Feast of Tabernacles. Sodangerous a Maccabean rival must be got rid of; and, bysecret order of Herod, Aristobulus was drowned while bathing.His mother denounced the murderer, and her influence withCleopatra, who also hated Herod, led to his being summonedbefore Antony. Once more bribery, indeed, prevailed; butother troubles awaited Herod.

When obeying the summons of Antony, Herod had committed thegovernment to his uncle Joseph, who was also hisbrother-in-law, having wedded Salome, the sister of Herod.His mad jealousy had prompted him to direct that, in case ofhis condemnation, Mariamme was to be killed, that she mightnot become the wife of another. Unfortunately, Joseph toldthis to Mariamme, to show how much she was loved. But on thereturn of Herod, the infamous Salome accused her old husbandof impropriety with Mariamme. When it appeared that Josephhad told the Queen of his commission, Herod, regarding it asconfirming his sister's charge, ordered him to be executed,without even a hearing. External complications of the gravestkind now supervened. Herod had to cede to Cleopatra thedistricts of Phoenice and Philistia, and that of Jericho withits rich balsam plantations. Then the dissensions betweenAntony and Octavius involved him, in the cause of the former,in a war with Arabia, whose king had failed to pay tribute toCleopatra. Herod was victorious; but he had now to reckonwith another master. The battle of Actium [a 31 B.C.] decidedthe fate on Antony, and Herod had to make his peace withOctavius. Happily, he was able to do good service to the newcause, ere presenting himself before Augustus. But, in orderto be secure from all possible rivals, he had the agedHyrcanus II. executed, on pretence of intrigues with theArabs. Herod was successful with Augustus; and when, in thefollowing summer, he furnished him supplies on his march toEgypt, he was rewarded by a substantial addition ofterritory.

When about to appear before Augustus, Herod had entrusted toone Soemus the charge of Mariamme, with the same fataldirections as formerly to Joseph. Again Mariamme learnt thesecret; again the old calumnies were raised, this time notonly by Salome, but also by Kypros, Herod's mother; and againHerod imagined he had found corroborative evidence. Soemuswas slain without a hearing, and the beautiful Mariammeexecuted after a mock trail. The most fearful paroxysm ofremorse, passion, and longing for his murdered wife nowseized the tyrant, and brought him to the brink of the grave.Alexandra, the mother of Mariamme, deemed the momentfavorable for her plots, but she was discovered, andexecuted. Of the Maccabean race there now remained onlydistant members, the sons of Babas, who had found an asylumwith Costobarus, the Governor of Idumaea, who had weddedSalome after the death of her first husband. Tired of him, asshe had been of Joseph, Salome denounced her second husband;and Costobarus, as well as the sons of Babas, fell victims toHerod. Thus perished the family of the Maccabees.

The hand of the maddened tyrant was next turned against hisown family. Of his ten wives, we mention only those whosechildren occupy a place in this history. The son of Doris wasAntipater; those of the Maccabean Mariamme, Alexander andAristobulus; another Mariamme, whose father Herod had madeHigh-Priest, bore him a son named Herod (a name which otherof the sons shared); Malthake, a Samaritan, was the mother ofArchelaus and Herod Antipas; and, lastly, Cleopatra ofJerusalem bore Philip. The sons of the Maccabean princess, asheirs presumptive, were sent to Rome for their education. Onthis occasion Herod received, as reward for many services,the country east of the Jordan, and was allowed to appointhis still remaining brother, Pheroras, Tetrarch of Peraea. Ontheir return from Rome the young princes were married:Alexander to a daughter of the King of Cappadocia, andAristobulus to his cousin Berenice, the daughter of Salome.But neither kinship, nor the yet nearer relation in whichAristobulus now stood to her, could extinguish the hatred ofSalome 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. Atfirst, Herod gave not heed to the denunciations of hissister. Presently he yielded to vague apprehensions. As afirst step, Antipater, the son of Doris, was recalled fromexile, and sent to Rome for education. So the breach becameopen; and Herod took his sons to Italy, to lay formalaccusation against them before Augustus. The wise counsels ofthe Emperor restored peace for a time. But Antipater nowreturned to Plaestine, and joined his calumnies to those ofSalome. Once more the King of Cappadocia succeeded inreconciling Herod and his sons. But in the end the intriguesof Salome, Antipater, and of an infamous foreigner who hadmade his way at Court, prevailed. Alexander and Aristobuluswere imprisoned, and an accusation of high treason laidagainst them before the Emperor. Augustus gave Herod fullpowers, but advised the convocation of a mixed tribunal ofJews and Romans to try the case. As might have been expected,the two princes were condemned to death, and when some oldsoldiers ventured to intercede for them, 300 of the supposedadherents of the cause were cut down, and the two princesstrangled in prison. This happened in Samaria, where, thirtyyears before, Herod had wedded their ill-fated mother.

Antipater was now the heir presumptive. But, impatient ofthe throne, he plotted with Herod's brother, Pheroras,against his father. Again Salome denounced her nephew and herbrother. Antipater withdrew to Rome; but when, after thedeath of Pheraras, Herod obtained indubitable evidence thathis son had plotted against his life, he lured Antipater toPalestine, where on his arrival he was cast into prison. Allthat was needed was the permission of Augustus for hisexecution. It arrived, and was carried out only five daysbefore the death of Herod himself. So ended a reign almostunparalleled for reckless cruelty and bloodshed, in which themurder of the Innocents in Bethlehem formed but so triflingan episode among the many deeds of blood, as to have seemednot deserving of record on the page of the Jewish historian.

But we can understand the feelings of the people towardssuch a King. They hated the Idumaean; they detested hissemi-heathen reign; they abhorred his deeds of cruelty. theKing had surrounded himself with foreign councillors, and wasprotected by foreign mercenaries from Thracia, Germany, andGaul. [a Jos. Ant. vxii. 8. 3] So long as he lived, nowoman's honour was safe, no man's life secure. An army ofallpowerful spies pervaded Jerusalem, nay, the King himselfwas said to stoop to that office. [b Ant. xv. 10. 4] If piqueor private enmity led to denunciation, the torture wouldextract any confession from the most innocent. What hisrelation to Judaism had been, may easily be inferred. Hewould be a Jew, even build the Temple, advocate the cause ofthe Jews in other lands, and, in a certain sense, conform tothe Law of Judaism. In building the Temple, he was so anxiousto conciliate national prejudice, that the Sanctuary itselfwas entrusted to the workmanship of priests only. Nor did heever intrude into the Holy Place, nor interfere with anyfunctions of the priesthood. None of his coins bear deviceswhich could have shocked popular feeling, nor did any of thebuildings he erected in Jerusalem exhibit any forbiddenemblems. The Sanhedrin did exist during his reign, [1 Comp.the discussion of this question in Wieseler, Beitr. pp. 215&c.] though it must have been shorn of all real power, andits activity confined to ecclesiastical, orsemi-ecclesiastical, causes. Strangest of all, he seems tohave had at least the passive support of two of the greatestRabbis, the Pollio and Sameas of Josephus [a Ant. xiv. 9. 4;xv. 1 1 10. 4.], supposed to represent those great figures inJewish tradition, Abtalion and Shemajah. [b Ab. i. 10, 11] [2Even their recorded fundamental principles bear this out.That of Shemajah was: 'Love labour, hate lordship, and do notpush forward to the authorities.' That of Abtalion was: 'Yesages, be careful in your words, lest perchance ye incurbanishment, and are exiled to a place of bad waters, and thedisciples who follow you drink of them and die, and so in theend the name of God be profaned.' We can but conjecture, thatthey preferres even his rule to what had preceded; and hopedit might lead to a Roman Protectorate, which would leaveJudaea practically independent, or rather under Rabbinc rule.

It was also under the government of Herod, that Hillel andShammai lived and taught in Jerusalem: [3 On Hillel andShammai see the article in Herzog's Real-Encyklop.; that inHamburger's; Delitzscg, Jesus u. Hillel. and books on Jewishhistory generally.] the two, whom tradition designates as'the fathers of old.' [c Eduj. 1. 4] Both gave their names to'schools,' whose direction was generally different, notunfrequently, it seems, chiefly for the sake of opposition.But it is not correct to describe the former as consistentlythe more liberal and mild. [4 A number of points on which theordinances of Hillel were more severe than those of Shammaiare enumerated in Eduj. iv. 1-12; v. 1-4; Ber. 36 a, end.Comp. also Ber. R. 1.] The teaching of both was supposed tohave been declared by the 'Voice from Heaven' (the Bath-Qol)as 'the words of the living God;' yet the Law was to behenceforth according to the teaching of Hillel. [d Jer. Ber.3 b, lines 3 and 2 from botton But to us Hillel is sointensely interesting, not merely as the mild and gentle, noronly as the earnest student who came from Babylon to learn inthe Academies of Jerusalem; who would support his family on athird of his scanty wages as a day labourer, that he mightpay for entrance into the schools; and whose zeal and meritswere only discovered when, after a severe night, in which,from poverty, he had been unable to gain admittance into theAcademy, his benumbed form was taken down from thewindow-sill, to which he had crept up not to lose aught ofthe precious instruction. And for his sake did they gladlybreak on that Sabbath the sacred rest. Nor do we think ofhim, as tradition fables him, the descendant of David, [aBer. R. 98] possessed of every great quality of body, mind,and heart; nor yet as the second Ezra, whose learning placedhim at the head of the Sanhedrin, who laid down theprinciples afterwards applied and developed by Rabbinism, andwho was the real founder of traditionalism. Still less do wethink of him, as he is falsely represented by some: as hewhose principles closely resemble the teaching of Jesus, or,according to certain writers, were its source. By the side ofJesus we think of him otherwise than this. We remember that,in his extreme old age and near his end, he may have presidedover that meeting of Sanhedrin which, in answer to Herod'sinquiry, pointed to Bethlehem as the birthplace of theMessiah. [b St.Matt. ii. 4.] [1 On the chronology of the lifeof Hillel &c., see also Schmilg, Ueb. d. Entsteh. &c. derMegillath Taanith, especially p. 34. Hillel is said to havebecome Chief of the Sanhedrin in 30 B.C., and to have heldthe office for forty years. These numbers, however, are nodoubt somewhat exaggerated.] We think of him also as thegrandfather of that Gamaliel, at whose feet Saul of Tarsussat. And to us he is the representative Jewish reformer, inthe spirit of those times, and in the sense of restoringrather than removing; while we think of Jesus as the Messiahof Israel, in the sense of bringing the Kingdom of God to allmen, and opening it to all believers.

And so there were two worlds in Jerusalem, side by side. Onthe one hand, was Grecianism with its theatre andamphitheatre; foreigners filling the Court, and crowding thecity; foreign tendencies and ways, from the foreign Kingdownwards. On the other hand, was the old Jewish world,becoming now set and ossified in the Schools of Hillel andShammai, and overshadowed by Temple and Synagogue. And eachwas pursuing its course, by the side of the other. If Herodhad everywhere his spies, the Jewish law provided its twopolice magistrates in Jerusalem, the only judges who receivedrenumeration. [c Jer, Kethub. 35 c; Kethub. 104 b] [2 Thepolice laws of the Rabbis might well serve us as a model forall similar legislation.] If Herod judged cruelly anddespotically, the Sanhedrin weighed most deliberately, thebalance always inclining to mercy. If Greek was the languageof the court and camp, and indeed must have been understoodand spoken by most in the land, the language of the people,spoken also by Christ and His Apostles, was a dialect of theancient Hebrew, the Western or Palestinian Aramaic. [3 At thesame time I can scarcely agree with Delitzsch and others,that this was the dialect called Sursi. The latter was ratherSyriac. Comp. Levy, ad voc.] It seems strange, that thiscould ever have been doubted. [4 Professor Roberts hasadvocated, with great ingenuity, the view that Christ and HisApostles used the Greek language. See especially his'Discussions on the Gospels.' The Roman Catholic Churchsometimes maintained, that Jesus and His disciples spokeLatin, and in 1822 a work appeared by Black to prove that theN.T. Greek showed a Latin origin.] A Jewish Messiah Who wouldurge His claim upon Israel in Greek, seems almost acontradiction in terms. We know, that the language of theTemple and the Synagogue was Hebrew, and that the addressesof the Rabbis had to be 'targumed' into the vernacularAramaean, and can we believe that, in a Hebrew service, theMessiah could have risen to address the people in Greek, orthat He would have argued with the Pharisees and Scribes inthat tongue, especially remembering that its study wasactually forbidden by the Rabbis? [1 For a full statement ofthe arguments on this subject we refer the student to Bohl,Forsch. n. e. Volksbibel z. Zeit Jesu, pp. 4-28; to thelatter work by the same writer (Aittestam. Citate im N.Test.); to a very interesting article by Professor Delitzschin the 'Daheim' for 1874 (No. 27); to Buxtorf, sub Gelil; toJ. D. Goldberg, 'The Language of Christ'; but especiallyprop. di Cristo (Parma 1772).]

Indeed, it was a peculiar mixture of two worlds inJerusalem: not only of the Grecian and the Jewish, but ofpiety and frivolity also. The devotion of the people and theliberality of the rich were unbounded. Fortunes were lavishedon the support of Jewish learning, the promotion of piety, orthe advance of the national cause. Thousands of votiveofferings, and the costly gifts in the Temple, bore evidenceof this. priestly avarice had artificially raised the priceof sacrificial animals, a rich man would bring into theTemple at his own cost the number requisite for the poor.Charity was not only open-handed, but most delicate, and onewho had been in good circumstances would actually be enabledto live according to his former station. [2 Thus Hillel wassaid to have hired a horse, and even an outrunner, for adecayed rich man.] Then these Jerusalemites, townspeople, asthey called themselves, were so polished, so witty, sopleasant. There was a tact in their social intercourse, and aconsiderateness and delicacy in their public arrangements andprovisions, nowhere else to be found. Their very language wasdifferent. There was a Jerusalem dialect, [a Bemid. R. 14;ed. Warsh. p. 59a.] quicker, shorter, 'lighter' (LishnaQalila). [b Baba K.] And their hospitality, especially atfestive seasons, was unlimited. No one considered his househis own, and no stranger or pilgrim but found reception. Andhow much there was to be seen and heard in those luxuriouslyfurnished houses, and at those sumptuous entertainments! Inthe women's apartments, friends from the country would seeevery novelty in dress, adornment, and jewellery, and havethe benefit of examining themselves in looking-glasses. To besure, as being womanish vanity, their use was interdicted tomen, except it were to the members of the family of thePresident of the Sanhedrin, on account of their intercoursewith those in authority, just as for the same reason theywere allowed to learn Greek. [a Jer.Shabb. 7 d] Nor mighteven women look in theglass on the Sabbath. [b Shabb. 149 a]But that could only apply to those carried in the hand, sinceone might be tempted, on the holy day, to do such servilework as to pull out a grey hair with the pincers attached tothe end of the glass; but not to a glass fixed in the lid ofa basket; [c Kel. xiv. 6] nor to such as hung on the wall. [dTos. Shabb.xiii. ed. Zuckerm. p. 130] And then thelady-visitor might get anything in Jerusalem; from a falsetooth to an Arabian veil, a Persian shawl, or an Indiandress!

While the women so learned Jerusalem manners in the innerapartments, the men would converse on the news of the day, oron politics. For the Jerusalemites had friends andcorrespondents in the most distant parts of the world, andletters were carried by special messengers, [e Shabb. x.4] ina kind of post-bag. Nay, there seem to have been some sort ofreceiving-offices in towns, [f Shabb. 19a] and even somethingresembling our parcel-post. [g Rosh haSh. 9 b] And, strangeas it may sound, even a species of newspapers, orbroadsheets, appears to have been circulating (Mikhtabhin),not allowed, however, on the Sabbath, unless they treated ofpublic affairs. [h Tos. Shabb. xviii.]

Of course, it is difficult accurately to determine which ofthese things were in use in the earliest times, or elseintroduced at a later period. Perhaps, however, it was saferto bring them into a picture of Jewish society. Undoubted,and, alas, too painful evidence comes to us of theluxuriousness of Jerusalem at that time, and of the moralcorruption to which it led. It seems only too clear, thatsuch commentations as the Talmud [i Shabb. 62 b] gives of Is.iii. 16-24, in regard to the manners and modes of attractionpractised by a certain class of the female population inJerusalem, applied to a far later period than that of theprophet. With this agrees only too well the recorded covertlascivious expressions used by the men, which gives alamentable picture of the state of morals of many in thecity, [k Comp. Shabb. 62 b, last line and first of 63 a] andthe notices of the indecent dress worn not only by women, [lKel. xxiv. 16; xxviii. 9] but evenby corrupt High-Priestlyyouths. Nor do the exaggerated descriptions of what theMidrash on Lamentations [m On ch. iv 2] describes as thedignity of the Jerusalemites; of the wealth which theylavished on their marriages; of the ceremony which insistedon repeated invitations to the guests to a banquet, and thatmen inferior in rank should not be bidden to it; of the dressin which they appeared; the manner in which the dishes wereserved, the wine in white crystal vases; and the punishmentof the cook who had failed in his duty, and which was to becommensurate to the dignity of the party, give a betterimpression of the great world in Jerusalem.

And yet it was the City of God, over whose destruction notonly the Patriarch and Moses, but the Angelic hosts, nay, theAlmighty Himself and His Shekhinah, had made bitterestlamentation. [1 See the Introduction to the Midrash onLamentations. But some of the descriptions are so painful,even blasphemous , that we do not venture on quotation.] TheCity of the Prophets, also, since each of them whosebirthplace had not been mentioned, must be regarded as havingsprung from it. [aMeg. 15 a] Equally, even more, marked, butnow for joy and triumph, would be the hour of Jerusalem'suprising, when it would welcome its Messiah. Oh, when wouldHe come? In the feverish excitement of expectancy they wereonly 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 theirdreams. 'He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to becomechildren of God, even to them that believe on His Name.'




It was the time of the Morning Sacrifice. [1 We presume,that the ministration of Zacharias (St. Luke i. 9) took placein the morning, as the principal service. But Meyer (Komm. i.2, p. 242) is mistaken in supposing, that this follows fromthe reference to the lot. It is, indeed, true that, of thefour lots for the priestly functions, three took place onlyin the morning. But that for incensing was repeated in theevening (Yoma 26 a). Even Bishop Haneberg (Die Relig.Alterth. p. 609) is not accurate in this respect. As themassive Temple gates slowly swung on their hinges, athree-fold blast from the silver trumpets of the Priestsseemed to waken the City, as with the Voice of God, to thelife of another day. As its echoes came in the still airacross the cleft of the Tyropoeon, up the slopes of the UpperCity, down the busy quarters below, or away to the new suburbbeyond, they must, if but for a moment, have brought holierthoughts to all. For, did it not seem to link the present tothe past and the future, as with the golden chain of promisesthat bound the Holy City to the Jerusalem that was above,which in type had already, and in reality would soon descendfrom heaven? Patriot, saint, or stranger, he could not haveheard it unmoved, as thrice the summons from within theTemple-gates rose and fell.

It had not come too soon. The Levites on ministry, and thoseof the laity, whose 'course' it was to act as therepresentatives of Israel, whether in Palestine or far away,in a sacrifice provided by, and offered for, all Israel,hastened to their duties. [2 For a description of the detailsof that service, see 'The Temple and its Services,' &c.] Foralready the blush of dawn, for which the Priest on thehighest pinnacle of the Temple had watched, to give thesignal for beginning the services of the day, had shot itsbrightness far away to Hebron and beyond. Within the Courtsbelow all had long been busy. At some time previously,unknown to those who waited for the morning, whether atcockcrowing, or a little earlier or later, [a Tamid i. 2] thesuperintending Priest had summoned to their sacred functionsthose who had 'washed,' according to the ordinance. Theremust have been each day about fifty priests on duty. [1 If wereckon the total number in the twenty-four courses of,presumably, the officiating priesthood, at 20,000, accordingto Josephus (Ag. Ap. ii. 8), which is very much below theexaggerated Talmudic computation of 85,000 for the smallestcourse (Jer. Taan. 69 a), and suppose, that little more thanone-third of each course had come up for duty, this wouldgive fifty priests for each week-day, while on the Sabbaththe whole course would be on duty. This is, of course,considerably more than the number requisite, since, exceptfor the incensing priest, the lot for the morning also heldgood for the evening sacrifice.] Such of them as were readynow divided into two parties, to make inspection of theTemple courts by torchlight. Presently they met, and troopedto the well-known Hall of Hewn Polished Stones, [a Yoma 25 a]where formerly the Sanhedrin had been wont to sit. Theministry for the day was there apportioned. To prevent thedisputes of carnal zeal, the 'lot' was to assign to each hisfunction. Four times was it resorted to: twice before, andtwice after the Temple-gates were opened. The first act oftheir ministry had to be done in the grey dawn, by the fitfulred light that glowed on the altar of burnt offering, ere thepriests had stirred it into fresh flame. It was scarcelydaybreak, when a second time they met for the 'lot,' whichdesignated those who were to take part in the sacrificeitself, and who were to trim the golden candlestick, and makeready the altar of incense within the Holy Place. And nowmorn had broken, and nothing remained before the admission ofworshippers but to bring out the lamb, once again to makesure of its fitness for sacrifice, to water it from a goldenbowl, and then to lay it in mystic fashion, as traditiondescribed the binding of Isaac, on the north side of thealtar, with its face to the west.

All, priests and laity, were present as the Priest, standingon the east side of the altar, from a golden bowl sprinkledwith sacrificial blood two sides of the altar, below the redline which marked the difference between ordinary sacrificesand those that were to be wholly consumed. While thesacrifice was prepared for the altar, the priests, whose lotit was, had made ready all within the Holy Place, where themost solemn part of the day's service was to take place, thatof offering the incense, which symbolised Israel's acceptedprayers. 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.[b Tamid v. 2] Henceforth he was called 'rich,' [2 Yoma 26 a.The designation 'rich' is derived from the promise which, inDeut. xxxiii. 11, follows on the service referred to in verse10. But probably a spiritual application was also intended.]and must leave to his brethren the hope of the distinctionwhich had been granted him. It was fitting that, as thecustom was, such lot should be preceded by prayer andconfession of their faith [1 The so-called Shema, consistingof Deut. vi. 4-9; xi. 13-21; Num. xv. 37-41.] on the part ofthe assembled priests.

It was the first week in October 748 A.U.C., [2 The questionof this date is, of course, intimately connected with that ofthe Nativity of Christ, and could therefore not be treated inthe text. It is discussed in Appendix VII.: 'On the Date ofthe Nativity of our Lord.'] that is, in the sixth year beforeour present era, when 'the course of Abia' [3 This was theeighth course in the ,iginal arrangement (1 Chr. xxiv. 10).], the eighth in the original arrangement of the weeklyservice, was on duty in the Temple. True this, as indeed mostof the twenty-four 'courses' into which the Priesthood hadbeen arranged, could not claim identity, only continuity,with those whose names they bore. For only three, or at mostfour, of the ancient 'courses' had returned from Babylon. Butthe original arrangement had been preserved, the names of themissing courses being retained, and their number filled up bylot from among those who had come back to Palestine. In ourignorance of the number of 'houses of their father,' orfamilies,' which constituted the 'course of Abia,' it isimpossible to determine, how the services of that week hadbeen apportioned among them. But this is of comparativelysmall importance, since there is no doubt about the centralfigure in the scene.

In the group ranged that autumn morning around thesuperintending Priest was one, on whom the snows of at leastsixty winters had fallen. [4 According to St. Luke i. 7, theywere both 'well stricken in years.' But from Aboth v. 21 welearn, that sixty years was considered 'the commencement ofagedness.'] But never during these many years had he beenhonoured with the office of incensing, and it was perhapswell he should have learned, that this distinction camedirect from God. Yet the venerable figure of Zacharias musthave been well known in the Temple. For, each course wastwice a year on ministry, and, unlike the Levites, thepriests were not disqualified by age, but only by infirmity.In many respects he seemed different from those around. Hishome was not in either of the great priest-centres, theOphel-quarter in Jerusalem, nor in Jericho [5 According totradition, about one-fourth of the priesthood was resident inJericho. But, even limiting this to those who were in thehabit of officiating, the statement seems greatlyexaggerated.], but in some small town in those uplands, southof Jerusalem: the historic 'hill-country of Judea.' And yethe might have claimed distinction. To be a priest, andmarried to the daughter of a priest, was supposed to conveytwofold honour. [6 Comp. Ber. 44 a; Pes. 49 a; Vayyikra R.4.] That he was surrounded by relatives and friends, and thathe was well known and respected throughout his district,appears incidentally from the narrative.(1) It would, indeed,have been strange had it been otherwise. There was much inthe popular habits of thought, as well as in the office andprivileges of the Priesthood, if worthily represented, toinvest it with a veneration which the aggressive claims ofRabbinism could not wholly monopolise. And in this instanceZacharias and Elisabeth, his wife, were truly 'righteous,' [1, of course not in the strict sense in which the word issometimes used, especially by St. Paul, but as pius et bonus.See Vorstius (De Hebraism. N.T. pp. 55 &c.). As the accountof the Evangelist seems derived from an original Hebrewsource, the word must have corresponded to that of Tsaddiq inthe then popular signification.] in the sense of walking, sofar as man could judge, 'blamelessly,' alike in thosecommandments which were specially binding on Israel, and inthose statues that were of universal bearing on mankind. [2evidently mark an essential division of the Law at the time.But it is almost impossible to determine their exact Hebrewequivalents. The LXX. render by these two terms not alwaysthe 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.] No doubt theirpiety assumed in some measure the form of the time, being, ifwe 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 sharplycontrasts with the narrow bigotry, the self-glory, and theunspiritual externalism of their successors. We may notunreasonably infer, that the Tsaddiq in the quiet home of thehill-country was quite other than the self-asserting Rabbi,whose dress and gait, voice and manner, words and evenprayers, were those of the religious parvenu, pushing hisclaims to distinction before angels and men. Such a householdas that of Zacharias and Elisabeth would have all that wasbeautiful in the religion of the time: devotion towards God;a home of affection and purity; reverence towards all thatwas sacred in things Divine and human; ungrudging,self-denying, loving charity to the poor; the tenderestregard for the feelings of others, so as not to raise ablush, nor to wound their hearts; [3 There is, perhaps, nopoint on which the Rabbinic Law is more explicit or stringentthan on that of tenderest regard for the feelings of others,especially of the poor.] above all, intense faith and hope inthe higher and better future of Israel. Of such, indeed,there must have been not a few in the land, the quiet, theprayerful, the pious, who, though certainly not Sadducees norEssenes, but reckoned with the Pharisaic party, waited forthe consolation of Israel, and received it with joy whenmanifested. Nor could aught more certainly have marked thedifference between the one and the other section than on amatter, which must almost daily, and most painfully haveforced itself on Zacharias and Elisabeth. There were amongthe Rabbis those who, remembering the words of the prophet,[a Mal. ii. 13 16] spoke in most pathetic language of thewrong of parting from the wife of youth, [b Gitt. 90 b] andthere were those to whom the bare fact of childlessnessrendered separation a religious duty. [c Yeb. 64 a] Elisabethwas childless. Formany a year this must have been the burdenof Zacharias' prayer; the burden also of reproach, whichElisabeth seemed always to carry with her. They had waitedtogether these many years, till in the evening of life theflower of hope had closed its fragrant cup; and still the twosat 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 suchthoughts would come to Zacharias. For the first, and for thelast time in life the lot had marked him for incensing, andevery thought must have centred on what was before him. Evenoutwardly, all attention would be requisite for the properperformance of his office. First, he had to choose two of hisspecial friends or relatives, to assist in his sacredservice. Their duties were comparatively simple. Onereverently removed what had been left on the altar from theprevious evening's service; then, worshipping, retiredbackwards. The second assistant now advanced, and, havingspread to the utmost verge of the golden altar the live coalstaken from that of burnt-offering, worshipped and retired.Meanwhile the sound of the 'organ' (the Magrephah), heard tothe most distant parts of the Temple, and, according totradition, far beyond its precincts, had summoned priests,Levites, and people to prepare for whatever service or dutywas before them. For, this was the innermost part of theworship of the day. But the celebrant Priest, bearing thegolden censer, stood alone within the Holy Place, lit by thesheen of the seven-branched candlestick. Before him, somewhatfarther away, towards the heavy Veil that hung before theHoly of Holies, was the golden altar of incense, on which thered coals glowed. To his right (the left of the altar, thatis, on the north side) was the table of shewbread; to hisleft, on the right or south side of the altar, was the goldencandlestick. And still he waited, as instructed to do, till aspecial signal indicated, that the moment had come to spreadthe incense on the altar, as near as possible to the Holy ofHolies. Priests and people had reverently withdrawn from theneighbourhood of the altar, and were prostrate before theLord, offering unspoken worship, in which record of pastdeliverance, longing for mercies promised in the future, andentreaty for present blessing and peace, [1 For the prayersoffered by the people during the incensing, see 'The Temple,'pp. 139, 140.] seemed the ingredients of the incense, thatrose in a fragrant cloud of praise and prayer. Deep silencehad fallen on the worshippers, as if they watched to heaventhe prayers of Israel, ascending in the cloud of 'odours'that rose from the golden altar in the Holy Place. [a Rev. v.8; viii. 1, 3, 4] Zacharias waited, until he saw the incensekindling. Then he also would have 'bowed down in worship,'and reverently withdrawn, [b Tamid vi. 3] had not a wondroussight arrested his steps.

On the right (or south) side of the altar, between it andthe golden candlestick, stood what he could not but recogniseas an Angelic form. [2 The following extract from Yalkut(vol. i. p. 113 d, close) affords a curious illustration ofthis Divine communication from beside the altar of incense:'From what place did the Shekhinah speak to Moses? R. Nathansaid: From the altar of incense, according to Ex. xxx. 6.Simeon ben Asai said: From the side of the altar ofincense.'] Never, indeed, had even tradition reported such avision to an ordinary Priest in the act of incensing. The twosuper-natural apparitions recorded, one of an Angel each yearof the Pontificate of Simon the Just; the other in thatblasphemous account of the vision of the Almighty by Ishmael,the son of Elisha, and of the conversation which then ensued[c Ber. 7 a] [3 According to the Talmud, Ishmael once wentinto the innermost Sanctuary, when he had a vision of God,Who called upon the priest to pronounce a benediction. Thetoken of God's acceptance had better not be quoted.] , hadbothbeen vouchsafed to High-Priests, and on the Day ofAtonement. Still, there was always uneasiness among thepeople as any mortal approached the immediate Presence ofGod, and every delay in his return seemed ominous. [d Jer.Yoma 42 c] No wonder, then, that Zacharias 'was troubled, andfear fell on him,' as of a sudden, probably just after he hadspread the incense on the altar, and was about to offer hisparting prayer, he beheld what afterwards he knew to be theAngel Gabriel ('the might of God'). Apart from higherconsiderations, there could perhaps be no better evidence ofthe truth of this narrative than its accord withpsychological facts. An Apocryphal narrative would probablyhave painted the scene in agreement with what, in the view ofsuch a writer, should have been the feelings of Zacharias,and the language of the Angel. [4 Instances of an analogouskind frequently occur in the Apocryphal Gospels.] The Angelwould have commenced by referring to Zacharias' prayers forthe coming of a Messiah, and Zacharias would have beenrepresented in a highly enthusiastic state. Instead of thestrangely prosaic objection which he offered to the Angelicannouncement, there would have been a burst of spiritualsentiment, or what passed for such. But all this would havebeen psychologically untrue. There are moments of moralfaintness, so to spseak, when the vital powers of thespiritual heart are depressed, and, as in the case of theDisciples on the Mount of Transfiguration and in the Gardenof Gethsemane, the physical part of our being and all that isweakest in us assert their power.

It was true to this state of semi-consciousness, that theAngel first awakened within Zacharias the remembrance oflife-long prayers and hopes, which had now passed into thebackground of his being, and then suddenly startled him bythe promise of their realisation. But that Child of so manyprayers, who was to bear the significant name of John(Jehochanan, or Jochanan), 'the Lord is gracious,' was to bethe source of joy and gladness to a far wider circle thanthat of the family. This might be called the first rung ofthe ladder by which the Angel would take the priest upwards.Nor was even this followed by an immediate disclosure ofwhat, in such a place, and from such a messenger, must havecarried to a believing heart the thrill of almost unspeakableemotion. Rather was Zacharias led upwards, step by step. TheChild was to be great before the Lord; not only an ordinary,but a life-Nazarite, [1 On the different classes ofNazarites, see 'The Temple, &c.,' pp. 322-331.] as Samson andSamuel of old had been. Like them, he was not to consecratehimself, but from the inception of life wholly to belong toGod, for His work. And, greater than either of theserepresentatives of the symbolical import of Nazarism, hewould combine the twofold meaning of their mission , outwardand inward might in God, only in a higher and more spiritualsense. For this life-work he would be filled with the HolyGhost, from the moment life woke within him. Then, as anotherSamson, would he, in the strength of God, lift the axe toeach tree to be felled, and, like another Samuel, turn manyof 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, [a Mal. iii. 1]precede the Messianic manifestation, and, not indeed in theperson or form, but in the spirit and power of Elijah,accomplish the typical meaning of his mission, as on that dayof decision it had risen as the burden of his prayer [b 1Kings xviii. 37] , that is, in the words of prophecy, [c Mal.iv. 5, 6] 'turn the heart of the fathers to the children,'which, in view of the coming dispensation, would be 'thedisobedient (to walk) in the wisdom of the just.' [d St. Lukei. 17; comp. St. Matt. xi. 19] Thus would this new Elijah'make ready for the Lord a people prepared.'

If the apparition of the Angel, in that place, and at thattime, had overwhelmed the aged priest, the words which heheard must have filled him with such bewilderment, that forthe moment he scarcely realised their meaning. One ideaalone, which had struck its roots so long in hisconsciousness, stood out: A son, while, as it were in the dimdistance beyond, stretched, as covered with a mist of glory,all those marvellous things that were to be connected withhim. So, when age or strong feeling renders us almostinsensible to the present, it is ever that which connectsitself with the past, rather than with the present, whichemerges first and strongest in our consciousness. And so itwas the obvious doubt, that would suggest itself, which fellfrom his lips, almost unconscious of what he said. Yet therewas in his words an element of faith also, or at least ofhope, as he asked for some pledge or confirmation of what hehad heard.

It is this demand of some visible sign, by which to 'know'all that the Angel had promised, which distinguishes thedoubt of Zacharias from that of Abraham, [a Gen. xvii. 17,18] or of Manoah and his wife,[b Judg. xiii 2-21] undersomewhat similar circumstances, although, otherwise also,even a cursory reading must convey the impression of mostmarked differences. Nor ought we perhaps to forget, that weare on the threshold of a dispensation, to which faith is theonly entrance. This door Zacharias was now to hold ajar, adumb 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 ofunbelief, was its punishment also. And yet, when rightlyapplied, a sign in another sense also, a sign to the waitingmultitude in the Temple; a sign to Elisabeth; to all who knewZacharias in the hill-country; and to the priest himself,during those nine months of retirement and inward solitude; asign also that would kindle into flame in the day when Godwould loosen his tongue.

A period of unusual length had passed, since the signal forincensing had been given. The prayers of the people had beenoffered, and their anxious gaze was directed towards the HolyPlace. At last Zacharias emerged to take his stand on the topof the steps which led from the Porch to the Court of thePriests, waiting to lead in the priestly benediction, [cNumb. vi. 24-26] that preceded the daily meat-offering andthe chant of the Psalms of praise, accompanied with joyoussound of music, as the drink-offering was poured out. Butalready the sign of Zacharias was to be a sign to all thepeople. The pieces of the sacrifices had been ranged in dueorder on the altar of burnt-offering; the priests stood onthe 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 itby his silence, that he had seen a vision in the Temple. Yetas he stood helpless, trying by signs to indicate it to theawestruck assembly, he remained dumb.

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

Before leaving this subject, it may be well to inquire intothe relation between the events just described, and thecustoms and expectations of the time. The scene in theTemple, and all the surroundings, are in strictest accordancewith what we know of the services of the Sanctuary. In anarrative that lays hold on some details of a very complexservice, such entire accuracy conveys the impression ofgeneral truthfulness. Similarly, the sketch of Zacharias andElisabeth is true to the history of the time, thoughZacharias could not have been one of the 'learned,' nor tothe Rabbinists, a model priest. They would have described himas an 'idiot,' [1 The word or 'idiot,' when conjoined with'priest' ordinarily means a common priest, in distinction tothe High priest. But the word unquestionably also signifiesvulgar, ignorant, and illiterate. See Jer. Sot. 21 b, line 3from bottom; Sanh. 21 b. Comp. also Meg. 12 b; Ber. R. 96.]or common, and as an Amha-arets, a 'rustic' priest, andtreated himm with benevolent contempt. [2 According to Sanh.90 b, such an one was not even allowed to get the Terumah.]The Angelic apparition, which he saw, was whollyunprecedented, and could therefore not have lain within rangeof common expectation; though the possibility, or rather thefear, of some contact with the Divine was always present tothe popular mind. But it is difficult to conceive how, if nottrue, the invention of such a vision in such circumstancescould have suggested itself. This difficulty is enhanced bythe obvious difference between the Evangelic narrative, andthe popular ideas of the time. Far too much importance hashere been attached by a certain class of writers to aRabbinic saying, [a Jer. haSh. 56 d, line 10 from bottom]that the names of the Angels were brought from Babylon. For,not only was this saying (of Ben Lakish) only a cleverScriptural deduction (as the context shows), and not even anactual tradition, but no competent critic would venture tolay down the principle, that isolated Rabbinic sayings in theTalmud are to be regarded as sufficient foundation forhistorical facts. On the other hand, Rabbinic tradition doeslay it down, that the names of the Angels were derived fromtheir mission, and might be changed with it. Thus the replyof the Angel to the inquiry of Manoah [a Judg. xiii. 18] isexplained as implying, that he knew not what other name mightbe given him in the future. In the Book of Daniel, to whichthe son of Lakish refers, the only two Angelic namesmentioned are Gabriel [b Dan. ix. 21] and Michael, [c x. 21]while the appeal to the Book of Daniel, as evidence of theBabylonish origin of Jewish Angelology, comes with strangeinconsistency from writers who date it in Maccabean times. [1Two other Angels are mentioned, but not named, in Dan. x. 13,20.] But the question of Angelic nomenclature is quitesecondary. The real point at issue is, whether or not theAngelology and Demonology of the New Testament was derivedfrom contemporary Judaism. The opinion, that such was thecase, has been so dogmatically asserted, as to have almostpassed among a certain class as a settled fact. Thatnevertheless such was not the case, is capable of the mostample proof. Here also, with similarity of form, slighterthan usually, there os absolutely contrast of substance. [2The Jewish ideas and teaching about angels are fully given inAppendix XIII.: 'Jewish Angelology and Demonology.']

Admitting that the names of Gabriel and Michael must havebeen familiar to the mind of ZXacharias, some not unimportantdifferences must be kept in view. Thus, Gabriel was regardedin tradition as inferior to Michael; and, though both wereconnected with Israel, Gabriel was represented as chiefly theminister of justice, and Michael of mercy; while, thirdly,Gabriel was supposed to stand on the left, and not (as in theEvangelic narrative) on the right, side of the throne ofglory. Small as these divergences may seem, they areallimportant, when derivation of one set of opinions fromanother is in question. Finally, as regarded the coming ofElijah as forerunner of the Messiah, it is to be observedthat, according to Jewish notions, he was to appearpersonally, and not merely 'in spirit and power.' In fact,tradition represents his ministry and appearances as almostcontinuous , not only immediately before the coming ofMessiah, but at all times. Rabbinic writings introduce him onthe scene, not only frequently, but on the most incongruousoccasions, and for the most diverse purposes. In this senseit is said of him, that he always liveth. [d Moed k. 26a]Sometimes, indeed, he is blamed, as for the closing words inhis prayer about the turning of the heart of the people, [e 1Kings xviii. 37 (in Hebr. without 'that' and 'again'); seeBer. 31 b, last two lines] and even his sacrifice on Carmelwas only excused on the ground of express command. [fBemidbar R. 14. Another view in Par. 13] But his greatactivity as precursor of the Messiah is to resolve doubts ofall kinds; to reintroduce those who had been violently andimproperly extruded from the congregation of Israel, andvice-versa; to make peace; while, finally, he was connectedwith the raising of the dead. [a This in Shir haSh R. i. ed.Warshau, p. 3 a.] [1 All the Rabbinic traditions about'Elijah as the Forerunner of the Messiah' are collated inAppendix VIII.] But nowhere is he prominently designated asintended 'to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.' [2 Ishould, however, remark, that that very curious chapter onRepentance, in the Pirke de R. Elieser (c. 43), closes withthese words: 'And Israel will not make great repentance tillElijah, 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. furLuther. Theol. 1875, p. 593) seems too sweeping.]

Thus, from whatever source the narrative may be supposed tohave been derived, its details certainly differ, in almostall particulars, from the theological notions current at thetime. And the more Zacharias meditated on this in the longsolitude of his enforced silence, the more fully must newspiritual thoughts have come to him. As for Elisabeth, thosetender feelings of woman, which ever shrink from thedisclosure of the dearest secret of motherhood, wereintensely deepened and sanctified in the knowledge of allthat had passed. Little as she might understand the fullmeaning of the future, it must have been to her, as if shealso now stood in the Holy Place, gazing towards the Veilwhich concealed the innermost Presence. Meantime she wascontent with, nay, felt the need of, absolute retirement fromother fellowship than that of God and her own heart. Like herhusband, she too would be silent and alone, till anothervoice called her forth. Whatever the future might bring,sufficient for the present, that thus the Lord had done toher, in days in which He looked down to remove her reproachamong men. The removal of that burden, its manner, itsmeaning, its end, were all from God, and with God; and it wasfitting to be quite alone and silent, till God's voice wouldagain wake the echoes within. And so five months passed inabsolute retirement.




(St. Matt. i.; St. Luke i. 26-80.)

FROM the Temple to Nazareth! It seems indeed most fittingthat the Evangelic story should have taken its beginningwithin the Sanctuary, and at the time of sacrifice. Despiteits outward veneration for them, the Temple, its services,and specially its sacrifices, were, by an inward logicalnecessity, fast becoming a superfluity for Rabbinism. But thenew development, passing over the intruded elements, whichwere, after all, of rationalistic origin, connected itsbeginning directly with the Old Testament dispensation, itssacrifices, priesthood, and promises. In the Sanctuary, inconnection with sacrifice, and through the priesthood, suchwas significantly the beginning of the era of fulfillment.And so the great religious reformation of Israel under Samuelhad also begun in the Tabernacle, which had so long been inthe background. But if, even in this Temple-beginning, and inthe communication to, and selection of an idiot 'priest,'there was marked divergence from the Rabbinic ideal, thatdifference widens into the sharpest contrast, as we pass fromthe Forerunner to the Messiah, from the Temple to Galilee,from the 'idiot' priest to the humble, unlettered family ofNazareth. It is necessary here to recall our generalimpression of Rabbinism: its conception of God, [1 Terribleas it may sound, it is certainly the teaching of Rabbinism,that God occupied so many hours every day in the study of theLaw. Comp. Targ. Ps.-Jonathan on Deut. xxxii. 4, and Abhod.Z. 3 b. Nay, Rabbinism goes farther in its daring, and speaksof the Almighty as arrayed in a white dress, or as occupyinghimself by day with the study of the Bible, and by night withthat of the six tractates of the Mishnah. Comp. also theTargum on Cant. v. 10.] and of the highest good and ultimateobject of all things, as concentrated in learned study,pursued in Academies; and then to think of the unmitigatedcontempt with which they were wont to speak of Galilee, andof the Galileans, whose very patois was an offence; of theutter abhorrence with which they regarded the unletteredcountry-people, in order to realise, how such an household asthat of Joseph and Mary would be regarded by the leaders ofIsrael. A Messianic announcement, not the result of learnedinvestigation, nor connected with the Academies, but in theSanctuary, to a 'rustic' priest; an Elijah unable to untiethe intellectual or ecclesiastical knots, of whose mission,indeed, this formed no part at all; and a Messiah, theoffspring of a Virgin in Galilee betrothed to a humbleworkman , assuredly, such a picture of the fulfillment ofIsrael's hope could never have been conceived by contemporaryJudaism. There was in such a Messiah absolutely nothing,past, present, or possible; intellectually, religiously, oreven nationally, to attract, but all to repel. And so we can,at the very outset of this history, understand the infinitecontrast which it embodied, with all the difficulties to itsreception, even to those who became disciples, as at almostevery step of its progress they were, with ever freshsurprise, 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 therepresentative of the good and the true in the Priesthood atthat time, so the family of Nazareth as a typical Israelitishhousehold. We feel, that the scantiness of particulars heresupplied by the Gospels, was intended to prevent the humaninterest from overshadowing the grand central Fact, to whichalone attention was to be directed. For, the design of theGospels was manifestly not to furnish a biography of Jesusthe Messiah, [1 The object which the Evangelists had in viewwas certainly not that of biography, even as the OldTestament contains no biography. The twofold object of theirnarratives is indicated by St. Luke i. 4, and by St. John xx.31.] but, in organic connection with the Old Testament, totell the history of the long-promised establishment of theKingdom of God upon earth. Yet what scanty details we possessof the 'Holy Family' and its surroundings may here find aplace.

The highlands which form the central portion of Palestineare broken by the wide, rich plain of Jezreel, which seversGailee from the rest of the land. This was always the greatbattle-field of Israel. Appropriately, it is shut in asbetween mountain-walls. That along the north of the plain isformed by the mountains of Lower Galilee, cleft about themiddle by a valley that widens, till, after an hour'sjourney, we stand within an enclosure which seems almost oneof Nature's own sanctuaries. As in an amphitheatre, fifteenhill-tops rise around. That to the west is the highest, about500 feet. On its lower slopes nestles a little town, itsnarrow streets ranged like terraces. This is Nazareth,probably the ancient Sarid (or En-Sarid), which, in the timeof Joshua, marked the northern boundary of Zebulun. [a Josh.xix. 10,11] [1 The name Nazareth may best be regarded as theequivalent of 'watch' or 'watcheress.' The name does notoccur in the Talmud, nor in those Midrashim which have beenpreserved. But the elegy of Eleazar ha Kallir, written beforethe close of the Talmud, in which Nazareth is mentioned as aPriestcentre, 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 in Midr. on Eccl. ii. 8 should readand refers to Nazareth.]

Climbing this steep hill, fragrant with aromatic plants, andbright with rich-coloured flowers, a view almost unsurpassedopens before us. For, the Galilee of the time of Jesus wasnot only of the richest fertility, cultivated to the utmost,and thickly covered with populous towns and villages, but thecentre of every known industry, and the busy road of theworld's commerce. Northward the eye would sweep over a richplain; rest here and there on white towns, glittering in thesunlight; then quickly travel over the romantic hills andglens which form the scenes of Solomon's Song, till, passingbeyond Safed (the Tsephath of the Rabbis, the 'city set on ahill'), the view is bounded by that giant of the far-offmountain-chain, snow-tipped Hermon. Westward stretched a likescene of beauty and wealth, a land not lonely, but wedded;not desolate, but teeming with life; while, on the edge ofthe horizon, lay purple Carmel; beyond it a fringe of silversand, and then the dazzling sheen of the Great Sea. In thefarthest distance, white sails, like wings outspread towardsthe ends of the world; nearer, busy ports; then, centres ofindustry; and close by, travelled roads, all bright in thepure Eastern air and rich glow of the sun. But if you turnedeastwards, the eye would soon be arrested by the woodedheight of Tabor, yet not before attention had been riveted bythe long, narrow string of fantastic caravans, and curiosityroused by the motley figures, of all nationalities and in allcostumes, busy binding the East to the West by that line ofcommerce that passed along the route winding around Tabor.And when, weary with the gaze, you looked once more down onlittle Nazareth nestling on the breast of the mountain, theeye would rest on a scene of tranquil, homely beauty. Justoutside the town, in the north-west, bubbled the spring orwell, the trysting-spot of townspeople, and welcomeresting-place of travellers. Beyond it stretched lines ofhouses, each with its flat roof standing out distinctlyagainst the clear sky; watered, terraced gardens, gnarledwide-spreading figtrees, graceful feathery palms, scentedoranges, silvery olive-trees, thick hedges, richpasture-land, then the bounding hills to the south; andbeyond, the seemingly unbounded expanse of the wide plain ofEsdraelon!

And yet, withdrawn from the world as, in its enclosure ofmountains, Nazareth might seem, we must not think of it as alonely village which only faint echoes reached of what rousedthe land beyond. With reverence be it said: such a placemight have suited the training of the contemplative hermit,not the upbringing of Him Whose sympathies were to be withevery clime and race. Nor would such an abode have furnishedwhat (with all due acknowledgment of the supernatural) wemark as a constant, because a rationally necessary, elementin Scripture history: that of inward preparedness in whichthe higher and the Divine afterwards find their ready pointsof contact.

Nor was it otherwise in Nazareth. The two great interestswhich stirred the land, the two great factors in thereligious future of Israel, constantly met in the retirementof Nazareth. The great caravan-route which led from Acco onthe sea to Damascus divided at its commencement into threeroads: the most northern passing through Caesarea Philippi;the Upper Galilean; and the Lower Galilean. The latter, theancient Via Maris led through Nazareth, and thence either byCana, or else along the northern shoulder of Mount Tabor, tothe Lake of Gennesaret, each of these roads soon uniting withthe Upper Galilean. [1 Comp. the detailed description ofthese roads, and the references in Herzog's Real-Encykl. vol.xv. pp. 160, 161.] Hence, although the stream of commercebetween Acco and the East was divided into three channels,yet, as one of these passed through Nazareth, the quietlittle town was not a stagnant pool of rustic seclusion. Menof all nations, busy with another life than that of Israel,would appear in the streets of Nazareth; and through themthoughts, associations, and hopes connected with the greatoutside world be stirred. But, on the other hand, Nazarethwas also one of the great centers of Jewish Temple-life. Ithas already been indicated that the Priesthood was dividedinto twenty-four 'course' which, in turn, ministered in theTemple. The Priests of the 'course' which was to be on dutyalways gathered in certain towns, whence they went up incompany to Jerusalem, while those of their number who wereunable to go spent the week in fasting and prayer. NowNazareth was one of these Priest-centres, [2 Comp. Neubauer,u. s. p. 190. See a detailed account in 'sketches of JewishSocial Life,' &c. p. 36.] and although it may well have been,that comparatively few in distant Galilee conformed to thePriestly regulations, some must have assembled there inpreparation for the sacred functions, or appeared in itsSynagogue. Even the fact, so well known to all, of thisliving connection between Nazareth and the Temple, must havewakened peculiar feelings. Thus, to take the wider view, adouble symbolic significance attached to Nazareth, sincethrough it passed alike those who carried on the traffic ofthe world, and those who ministered in the Temple. [1 It isstrange, that these two circumstances have not been noticed.Keim (Jesu von Nazari i. 2, pp. 322, 323) only cursorilyrefers to the great road which passed through Nazareth.]

We may take it, that the people of Nazareth were like thoseof other little towns similarly circumstanced: [2 Theinference, that the expression of Nathanael (St. John i. 46)implies a lower state of the people of Nazareth, isunfounded. Even Keim points out, that it only marks disbeliefthat the Messiah would come from such a place.] with all thepeculiarities of the impulsive, straight-spoken, hot-blooded,brave, intensely national Galileans; [3 Our description ofthem is derived from notices by Josephus (such as War iii. 3,2), and many passages in the Talmud,] with the deeperfeelings and almost instinctive habits of thought and life,which were the outcome of long centuries of Old Testamenttraining; but also with the petty interest and jealousies ofsuch places, and with all the ceremonialism and punctiliousself-assertion of Orientals. The cast of Judaism prevalent inNazareth would, of course, be the same as in Galileegenerally. We know, that there were marked divergences fromthe observances in that stronghold of Rabbinism, [4 Thesedifferences are marked in Pes. iv. 5; Keth. iv. 12; Ned. ii.4; Chull. 62 a; Baba K. 80 a; Keth. 12 a.] Judaea, indicatinggreater simplicity and freedom from the constant intrusion oftraditional ordinances. The home-life would be all the purer,that the veil of wedded life was not so coarsely lifted as inJudaea, nor its sacred secrecy interfered with by anArgus-eyed legislation. [5 The reader who wishes tounderstand what we have only ventured to hint, is referred tothe Mishnic tractate Niddah.] The purity of betrothal inGalilee wasless likely to be sullied, [a Keth. 12 a] andweddings were more simple than in Judaea, without the dubiousinstitution of groomsmen, [b Keth. 12 a, and often] [6 Comp.'Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' &c., pp. 152 &c.] or'friends of the bridegroom,' [c St. John iii. 29.] whoseoffice must not unfrequently have degenerated into uttercoarseness. The bride was chosen, not as in Judaea, wheremoney was too often the motive, but as in Jerusalem, withchief regard to 'a fair degree;' and widows were (as inJerusalem) more tenderly cared for, as we gather even fromthe fact, that they had a life-right of residence in theirhusband's house.

Such a home was that to which Joseph was about to bring themaiden, to whom he had been betrothed. Whatever view may betaken of the genealogies in the Gospels according to St.Matthew and St. Luke, whether they be regarded as those ofJoseph and of Mary, [1 The best defence of this view is thatby Wieseler, Beitr. zur Wurdig. d. Evang. pp. 133 &c. It isalso virtually adopted by Weiss (Leben Jesu, vol. i. 1882).]or, which seems the more likely, [2 This view is adoptedalmost unanimously by modern writers.] as those of Josephonly, marking his natural and his legal descent [3 This viewis defended with much skill by Mr. McClellan in his NewTestament, vol. i. pp. 409-422.] from David, or vice versa [4So Grotius, Bishop Lord Arthur Hervey, and after him mostmodern English writers.], there can be no question, that bothJoseph and Mary were of the royal lineage of David. [5 TheDavidic descent of the Virgin-Mother, which is questioned bysome even among orthodox interpreters, seems implied in theGospel (St. Luke i. 27, 32, 69; ii. 4), and an almostnecessary inference from such passages as Rom. i. 3; 2 Tim.ii. 8; Hebr. vii. 14. The Davidic descent of Jesus is notonly admitted, but elaborately proved, on purelyrationalistic grounds, by Keim (u. s. pp. 327-329).] Mostprobably the two were nearly related, [6 This is the generalview of antiquity.] while Mary could also claim kinship withthe Priesthood, being, no doubt on her mother's side, a'blood-relative' of Elisabeth, the Priest-wife of Zacharias.[a St. Luke i. 36.] [7 Reference to this union of Levi andJudah 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 tohave descended, through his father and mother, from thetribes of Judah and Levi, all, however, asserting his Davidicorigin (comp. Jer. Taan. iv. 2; Ber. R. 98 and 33).] Eventhis seems to imply, that Mary's family must shortly beforehave held higher rank, for only with such did custom sanctionany alliance on the part of Priests. [8 Comp, Maimonides, YadhaChaz Hil. Sanh. ii. The inference would, of course, be thesame, whether we suppose Mary's mother to have been thesister-in-law, or the sister, of Elisabeth's father.] But atthe time of their betrothal, alike Joseph and Mary wereextremely poor, as appears, not indeed from his being acarpenter, since a trade was regarded as almost a religiousduty, but from the offering at the presentation of Jesus inthe Temple. [b St. Luke ii. 24.] Accordingly, their betrothalmust have been of the simplest, and the dowry settled thesmallest possible. [9 Comp. 'Sketches of Jewish Social Lifein the Days of Christ,' pp. 143-149. Also the article on'Marriage' in Cassell's Bible-Educator, vol. iv. pp.267-270.] Whichever of the two modes of betrothal [10 Therewas a third mode, by cohabitation; but this was highlydisapproved of even by the Rabbis.] may have been adopted: inthe presence of witnesses, either by solemn word of mouth, indue prescribed formality, with the added pledge of a piece ofmoney, however small, or of money's worth for use; or else bywriting (the so-called Shitre Erusin), there would be nosumptuous feast to follow; and the ceremony would concludewith some such benediction as that afterwards in use:'Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God, King of the World, Whohath sanctified us by His Commandments, and enjoined us aboutincest, and forbidden the betrothed, but allowed us thosewedded by Chuppah (the marriage-baldachino) and betrothal.Blessed art Thou, Who sanctifiest Israel by Chuppah andbetrothal', the whole being perhaps concluded by abenediction over the statutory cup of wine, which was tastedin turn by the betrothed. From that moment Mary was thebetrothed wife of Joseph; their relationship as sacred, as ifthey had already been wedded. Any breach of it would betreated as adultery; nor could the band be dissolved except,as after marriage, by regular divorce. Yet months mightintervene between the betrothal and marriage. [1 Theassertion of Professor Wunsche (Neue Beitr. zur Erlauter. d.Evang. p. 7) that the practice of betrothal was confinedexclusively, or almost so, to Judaea, is quite ungrounded.The passages to which he refers (Kethub. i. 5, not 3, andespecially Keth. 12 a) are irrelevant. Keth. 12 a marks thesimpler and purer customs of Galilee, but does not refer tobetrothals.]

Five months of Elisabeth's sacred retirement had passed,when a strange messenger brought its first tidings to herkinswoman in far-off Galilee. It was not in the solemngrandeur of the Temple, between the golden altar of incenseand the seven-branched candlesticks that the Angel Gabrielnow appeared, but in the privacy of a humble home atNazareth. The greatest honor bestowed on man was to comeamidst circumstances of deepest human lowliness, as if themore clearly to mark the exclusively Divine character of whatwas to happen. And, although the awe of the Supernatural mustunconsciously have fallen upon her, it was not so much thesudden appearance of the mysterious stranger in herretirement that startled the maiden, as the words of hisgreeting, implying unthought blessing. The 'Peace to thee' [2I have rendered the Greek by the Hebrew and for thecorrectness of it refer the reader to Grimm's remarks on 1Macc. x. 18 (Exeget. Handb. zu d. Apokryph. 3(tte) Lief. p.149).] was, indeed, the well-known salutation, while thewords, 'The Lord is with thee' might waken the remembrance ofthe Angelic call, to great deliverance in the past. [a Judg.vi. 12.] But this designation of 'highly favored' [3 Bengelaptly 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 thebest critical authorities, I have omitted the words, 'Blessedart thou among women.'] came upon her with bewilderingsurprise, perhaps not so much from its contrast to thehumbleness of her estate, as from the self-conscious humilityof her heart. And it was intended so, for of all feelingsthis would now most become her. Accordingly, it is this storyof special 'favour' or grace, which the Angel traces in rapidoutline, from the conception of the Virgin-Mother to thedistinctive, Divinely-given Name, symbolic of the meaning ofHis coming; His absolute greatness; His acknowledgment as theSon of God; and the fulfillment in Him of the great Davidichope, with its never-ceasing royalty, [1 We here refer, as aninteresting corroboration, to the Targum on Ps. xlv. 7 (6 inour A. V.). But this interest is intensely increased when weread it, not as in our editions of the Targum, but as foundin a MS. copy of the year 1208 (given by Levy in his Targum.Worterb. vol. i. p. 390 a). Translating it from that reading,the Targum thus renders Ps. xlv. 7, 'Thy throne, O God, inthe 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,' 'a rule ofrighteousness is the rule of Thy kingdom, O Thou KingMessiah!'] and its never-ending, boundless Kingdom. [2 InPirque' de R. El. c. 11, the same boundless dominion isascribed to Messiah the King. In that curious passagedominion is ascribed to 'ten kings,' the first being God, theninth the Messiah, and the tenth again God, to Whom thekingdom would be delivered in the end, according to Is. xliv.6; Zechar. xiv. 9; Ezek. xxxiv. 24, with the result describedin Is. lii. 9.]

In all this, however marvellous, there could be nothingstrange to those who cherished in their hearts Israel's greathope, not merely as an article of abstract belief, but asmatter of certain fact, least of all to the maiden of thelineage of David, betrothed to him of the house and lineageof David. So long as the hand of prophetic blessing rested onthe house of David, and before its finger had pointed to theindividual who 'found favor' in the highest sense, theconsciousness of possibilities, which scarce dared shapethemselves into definite thoughts, must at times have stirrednameless feelings, perhaps the more often in circumstances ofoutward depression and humility, such as those of the 'HolyFamily.' Nor was there anything strange even in the naming ofthe yet unconceived Child. It sounds like a saying currentamong the people of old, this of the Rabbis, [a Pirque' de R.El. 32, at the beginning] concerning the six whose names weregiven 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!' [3 ProfessorWunsche's quotation is here not exact (u. s. p. 414)] But asfor the deeper meaning of the name Jesus, [b St. Matt. i. 21]which, like an unopened bud, enclosed the flower of HisPassion, that was mercifully yet the unthought-of secret ofthat sword, which should pierce the soul of theVirgin-Mother, and which only His future history would layopen to her and to others.

Thus, on the supposition of the readiness of her believingheart, and her entire self-unconsciousness, it would havebeen only the glorious announcement of the impending event,which would absorb her thinking, with nothing strange aboutit, or that needed further light, than the how of her ownconnection with it. [4 Weiss (Leben Jesu, 1882, vol. i. p.213) rightly calls attention to the humility of herself-surrender, when she willingly submitted to what herheart would feel hardest to bear, that of incurring suspicionof her purity in the sight of all.] And the words, which shespake, were not of trembling doubt, that required to lean onthe staff of a 'sign,' but rather those of enquiry, for thefurther guidance of a willing self-surrender. The Angel hadpointed her opened eyes to the shining path: that was notstrange; only, that She should walk in it, seemed so. And nowthe Angel still further unfolded it in words which, howeverlittle she may have understood their full meaning, had againnothing strange about them, save once more that she should bethus 'favoured'; words which, even to her understanding, musthave carried yet further thoughts of Divine favour, and sodeepened her humility. For, the idea of the activity of theHoly Ghost in all great events was quite familiar to Israelat the time, [1 So in almost innumerable Rabbinic passages.]even though the Individuation of the Holy Ghost may not havebeen fully apprehended. Only, that they expected suchinfluences to rest exclusively upon those who were eithermighty, or rich, or wise. [a Nedar. 38 a] And of this twofoldmanifestation of miraculous 'favour,' that she, and as aVirgin, should be its subject, Gabriel, 'the might of God,'gave this unasked sign, in what had happened to her kinswomanElisabeth.

The sign was at the same time a direction. The first, butalso the ever-deepening desire in the heart of Mary, when theAngel left her, must have been to be away from Nazareth, andfor the relief of opening her heart to a woman, in all thingslike-minded, who perhaps might speak blessed words to her.And to such an one the Angel himself seemed to have directedher. It is only what we would have expected, that 'withhaste' she should have resorted to her kinswoman, withoutloss of time, and before she would speak to her betrothed ofwhat even in wedded life is the first secret whispered. [2This is answer to the objection, so pertinaciously urged, ofinconsistency with the narrative in St. Matt. i. 19 &c. It isclear, that Mary went 'with haste' to her kinswoman, and thatany communication to Joseph could only have taken place afterthat, and after the Angelic prediction was in all its partsconfirmed by her visit to Elisabeth. Jeremy Taylor (u. s. p.64) has already arranged the narrative as in the text.]

It could have been no ordinary welcome that would greet theVirgin-Mother, on entering the house of her kinswoman.Elisabeth must have learnt from her husband the destiny oftheir son, and hence the near Advent of the Messiah. But shecould not have known either when, or of whom He would beborn. When, by a sign not quite strange to Jewish expectancy,[3 According to Jewish tradition, the yet unborn infants intheir mother's] she recognised in her near kinswoman theMother of her Lord, her salutation was that of a mother to amother, the mother of the 'preparer' to the mother of Him forWhom he would prepare. To be more precise: the words which,filled with the Holy Ghost, she spake, were the mother'sutterance, to the mother, of the homage which her unborn babeoffered to his Lord; while the answering hymn of Mary was theoffering of that homage unto God. It was the antiphonalmorning-psalmody of the Messianic day as it broke, of whichthe words were still all of the old dispensation, [1 Thepoetic grandeur and the Old Testament cast of the Virgin'shymn (comp. the Song of Hannah, 1 Sam. ii. 1-10), needscarcely be pointed out. Perhaps it would read fullest andbest by trying to recall what must have been its Hebreworiginal.] but their music of the new; the keynote being thatof 'favour,' 'grace,' struck by the Angel in his firstsalutation: 'favour' to the Virgin; [a 1st stanza vv. 46-49]'favour,' eternal 'favour' to all His humble and poor ones;[b 2nd stanza, vv. 50-53] and 'favour' to Israel, stretchingin golden line from the calling of Abraham to the gloriousfuture that now opened. [c 3rd stanza, vv. 54-55] Not one ofthese fundamental ideas but lay strictly within the range ofthe Old Testament; and yet all of them now lay beyond it,bathed in the golden light of the new day. Miraculous it allis, and professes to be; not indeed in the connection ofthese events, which succeed each other with psycologicaltruthfulness; nor yet in their language, which is of thetimes and the circumstances; but in the underlying facts. [2Weiss, while denying the historical accuracy of much in theGospel-narrative of it, unhesitatingly accepts the fact ofthe supernatural birth of Jesus.] And for these there can beno other evidence than the Life, the Death, and theResurrection of Jesus the Messiah. If He was such, and if Hereally rose from the dead, then, with all soberness andsolemnity, such inception of His appearance seems almost alogical necessity. But of this whole narrative it may besaid, that such inception of the Messianic appearance, suchannouncement of it, and such manner of His Coming, couldnever have been invented by contemporary Judaism; indeed, randirectly counter to all its preconceptions. [3 Keimelaborately discusses the origin of what he calls the legendof Christ's supernatural conception. He arrives at theconclusion that it was a Jewish-Christian legend, as if aJewish invention of such a 'legend' were not the mostunlikely of all possible hypotheses! But negative criticismis at least bound to furnish some historical basis for theorigination of such an unlikely legend. Whence was the ideaof it first derived? How did it find such ready acceptance inthe Church? Weiss has, at considerable length, and veryfully, shown the impossibility of its origin either in Jewishor heathen legend.]

Three months had passed since the Virgin-Mother entered thehome of her kinswoman. And now she must return to Nazareth.Soon Elisabeth's neighbours and kinsfolk would gather withsympathetic joy around a home which, as they thought, hadexperienced unexpected mercy, little thinking, howwide-reaching its consequences would be. But theVirgin-Mother must not be exposed to the publicity of suchmeetings. However conscious of what had led to her condition,it must have been as the first sharp pang of the sword whichwas to pierce her soul, when she told it all to herbetrothed. For, however deep his trust in her whom he hadchosen for wife, only a direct Divine communication couldhave chased all questioning from his heart, and given himthat assurance, which was needful in the future history ofthe Messiah. Brief as, with exquisite delicacy, the narrativeis, we can read in the 'thoughts' of Joseph the anxiouscontending of feelings, the scarcely established, and yetdelayed, resolve to 'put her away,' which could only be doneby regular divorce; this one determination only standing outclearly, that, if it must be, her letter of divorce shall behanded to her privately, only in the presence of twowitnesses. The humble Tsaddiq of Nazareth would not willinglyhave brought the blush to any face, least of all would hemake of her 'a public exhibition of shame.' [1 I havethusparaphrased the verb rendered in Heb. vi. 6 'put to anopen shame.' Comp. also LXX. Num. xxv. 4; Jer. xiii. 22;Ezek. xxviii. 17 (see Grimm, Clavis N.T. p. 333 b) ArchdeaconFarrar adopts the reading.] It was a relief that he couldlegally divorce her either publicly or privately, whetherfrom change of feeling, or because he had found just causefor it, but hesitated to make it known, either from regardfor his own character, or because he had not sufficient legalevidence [2 For example, if he had not sufficient witnesses,or if their testimony could be invalidated by any of thoseprovisions in favour of the accused, of which traditionalismhad not a few. Thus, as indicated in the text, Joseph mighthave privately divorced Mary leaving it open to doubt on whatground he had so acted.] of the charge. He would follow, allunconscious of it, the truer manly feeling of R. Eliezar, [aKeth. 74 b 75 a.] R. Jochanan, and R. Zera, [b Keth. 97 b.]according to which a man would not like to put his wife toshame before a Court of Justice, rather than the oppositesentence of R. Meir.

The assurance, which Joseph could scarcely dare to hope for,was miraculously conveyed to him in a dream-vision. All wouldnow be clear; even the terms in which he was addressed ('thouson of David'), so utterly unusual in ordinary circumstances,would prepare him for the Angel's message. The naming of theunborn Messiah would accord with popular notions; [3 See aformer note.] the symbolism of such a name was deeply rootedin Jewish belief; [1 Thus we read in (Shocher Tobh) theMidrash 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 Pirqe 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 (Hethat cometh in the clouds, Dan. vii. 13; see Tanch. Par.Toledoth 14); Chaninah, with reference to Jer. xvi. 13; theLeprous, with reference to Is. liii. 4 (Sanh. 96 b). It is acurious instance of the Jewish mode of explaining a meaningby gimatreya, or numerical calculation, that they proveTsemach (Branch) and Menachem (Comforter) to be the same,because the numerical equivalents of the one word are equalto those of the other:] while the explanation of Jehoshua orJeshua (Jesus), as He who would save His people (primarily,as he would understand it, Israel) from their sins, describedat least one generally expected aspect of His Mission, [2Professor Wunsche (Erlauter. d. Evang. p. 10) proposes tostrike out the words 'from their sins' as an un-Jewishinterpolation. In answer, it would suffice to point him tothe passages on this very subject which he has collated in aprevious work: Die Leiden des Messias, pp. 63-108. To these Iwill only add a comment in the Midrash on Cant. i. 14 (ed.Warshau, p. 11 a and b), where the reference is undoubtedlyto the Messiah (in the words of R. Berakhyah, line 8 frombottom; and again in the words of R. Levi, 11 b, line 5 fromtop, &c.). The expression is there explained as meaning 'HeWho makes expiation for the sins of Israel,' and it isdistinctly added that this expiation bears reference to thetransgressions and evil deeds of the children of Abraham, forwhich God provides this Man as the Atonement.] althoughJoseph may not have known that it was the basis of all therest. And perhaps it was not without deeper meaning andinsight into His character, that the Angel laid stress onthis very element in His communication to Joseph, and not toMary.

The fact that such an announcement came to Him in a dream,would dispose Joseph all the more readily to receive it. 'Agood dream' was one of the three things [3 'A good king, afruitful year, and a good dream.'] popularly regarded asmarks of God's favour; and so general was the belief in theirsignificance, as to have passed into this popular saying: 'Ifany one sleeps seven days without dreaming (or rather,remembering his dream for interpretation), call him wicked'(as being unremembered of God [a Ber. 55 b] [4 Rabbi Zeraproves this by a reference to Prov. xix. 23, the readingSabhea (satisfied) being altered into Shebha, both written,while is understood as of spending the night. Ber. 55 a to 57b contains a long, and sometimes very coarse, discussion ofdreams, giving their various interpretations, rules foravoiding the consequences of evil dreams, &c. The fundamentalprinciple is, that 'a dream is according to itsinterpretation' (Ber. 55 b). Such views about dreams would,no doubt, have long been matter of popular belief, beforebeing formally expressed in the Talmud.]). Thus Divinely setat rest, Joseph could no longer hesitate. The highest dutytowards the Virgin-Mother and the unborn Jesus demanded animmediate marriage, which would afford not only outward, butmoral protection to both. [5 The objection, that the accountof Joseph and Mary's immediate marriage is inconsistent withthe designation of Mary in St. Luke ii. 5, is sufficientlyrefuted by the consideration that, in any other case, Jewishcustom would not have allowed Mary to travel to Bethlehem incompany with Joseph. The expression used in St. Luke ii. 5,must be read in connection with St. Matt. i. 25.]

Viewing events, not as isolated, but as links welded in thegolden chain of the history of the Kingdom of God, 'allthis', not only the birth of Jesus from a Virgin, nor evenHis symbolic Name with its import, but also the unrestfulquestioning of Joseph, 'happened' [1 Haupt (Alttestam. Citatein d. vier Evang. pp. 207-215) rightly lays stress on thewords, 'all this was done.' He even extends its reference tothe threefold arrangement of the genealogy by St. Matthew, asimplying the ascending splendour of the line of David, itsmidday glory, and its decline.] in fulfilment [2 The correctHebrew equivalent of the expression 'that it might befulfilled' is not, as Surenhusius (Biblos Katallages, p. 151)and other writers have it, still loss (Wunsche) but, asProfessor Delitzsch renders it, in his new translation of St.Matthew, The difference is important, and Delitzsch'stranslation completely established by the similar renderingof the LXX. of 1 Kings ii. 27 and 2 Chron. xxxvi. 22.] ofwhat had been prefigured. [a Is. vii. 14.] The promise of aVirginborn son as a sign of the firmness of God's covenant ofold with David and his house; the now unfolded meaning of theformer symbolic name Immanuel; even the unbief of Ahaz, withits 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, inthe words of Ahaz, it seemed to renounce the very foundationof its claim to continuance; never had the fortunes of thehouse of David fallen lower, than when a Herod sat on itsthrone, and its lineal representative was a humble villagecarpenter, from whose heart doubts of the Virgin-Mother hadto be Divinely chased. And never, not even when God gave tothe doubts of Moses this as the sign of Israel's futuredeliverance, that in that mountain they should worship [b Ex.iii. 12.] had unbelief been answered by more strangeevidence. But as, nevertheless, the stability of the Davidichouse was ensured by the future advent of Immanuel, and withsuch certainty, that before even such a child could discernbetween choice of good and evil, the land would be freed ofits dangers; so now all that was then prefigured was tobecome literally true, and Israel to be saved from its realdanger by the Advent of Jesus, Immanuel. [3 A criticaldiscussion of Is. vii. 14 would here be out of place; thoughI have attempted to express my views in the text. (Thenearest approach to them is that by Engelhardt in theZeitschr. fur Luth. Theol. fur 1872, Heft iv.). The quotationof St. Matthew follows, with scarcely any variation, therendering of the LXX. That they should have translated theHebrew by, 'a Virgin,' is surely sufficient evidence of theadmissibility of such a rendering. The idea that the promisedSon was to be either that of Ahaz, or else of the prophet,cannot stand the test of critical investigation (see Haupt,u.s., and Bohl, Alttest. Citate im N.T. pp. 3-6). Ourdifficulties of interpretation are, in great part, due to theabruptness of Isaiah's prophetic language, and to ourignorance of surrounding circumstances. Steinmeyeringeniously argues against the mythical theory that, sinceIs. vii. 14 was not interpreted by the ancient Synagogue in aMessianic sense, that passage could not have led to theorigination of 'the legend' about the 'Virgin's Son' (Gesch.d. Geb. d. Herrn, p. 95). We add this further question,Whence did it originate?] And so it had all been intended.Thegolden cup of prophecy which Isaiah had placed empty onthe Holy Table, waiting for the time of the end, was now fullfilled, up to its brim, with the new wine of the Kingdom.

Meanwhile the long-looked-for event had taken place in thehome of Zacharias. No domestic solemnity so important or sojoyous as that in which, by circumcision, the child had, asit were, laid upon it the yoke of the Law, with all of dutyand privilege which this implied. Even the circumstance, thatit took place at early morning [a Pes. 4 a.] might indicatethis. It was, so tradition has it, as if the father had actedsacrificially as High-Priest, [b Yalkut Sh. i. par. 81.]offering his child to God in gratitude and love; [c Tanch. PTetsavveh, at the beginning, ed. Warshau, p. 111 a.] and itsymbolised this deeper moral truth, that man must by his ownact complete what God had first instituted. [d Tanch. u. s.]To Zacharias and Elisabeth the rite would have even more thanthis significance, as administered to the child of their oldage, so miraculously given, and who was connected with such afuture. Besides, the legend which associates circumcisionwith Elijah, as the restorer of this rite in the apostateperiod of the Kings of Israel, [e Pirq de R. Elies. c. 29.]was probably in circulation at the time. [1 Probably thedesignation of 'chair' or 'throne of Elijah,' for the chairon which the godparent holding the child sits, and certainlythe invocation of Elijah, are of later date. Indeed, theinstitution of godparents is itself of later origin.Curiously enough, the Council of Terracina, in 1330 had tointerdict Christians acting as godparents at circumcision!Even the great Buxtorf acted as godparent in 1619 to a Jewishchild, and was condemned to a fine of 100 florins for hisoffence. See Low, Lebensalter, p. 86.] We can scarcely bemistaken in supposing, that then, as now, a benediction wasspoken before circumcision, and that the ceremony closed withthe usual grace over the cup of wine, [2 According toJosephus (Ag. Ap. ii. 26) circumcision was not followed by afeast. 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.). LaterMidrashim traced it up to the history of Abraham and thefeast at the weaning of Isaac, which they represented as oneat circumcision (Pirqe d. R. Eliez. 29).] when the childreceived his name in a prayer that probably did not muchdiffer from this at present in use: 'Our God, and the God ofour fathers, raise up this child to his father and mother,and let his name be called in Israel Zacharias, the son ofZacharias. [3 Wunsche reiterates the groundless objection ofRabbi Low (u. s. p.96), that a family-name was only given inremembrance of the grandfather, deceased father, or othermember of the family! Strange, that such a statement shouldever have been hazarded; stranger still, that it should berepeated after having been fully refuted by Delitzsch. Itcertainly is contrary to Josephus (War iv. 3, 9), and to thecircumstance that both the father and brother of Josephusbore the name of Mattias. See also Zunz (Z. Gesch. u. Liter.p. 318).] Let his father rejoice in the issue of his loins,and his mother in the fruit of her womb, as it is written inProv. xxiii. 25, and as it is said in Ezek. xvi. 6, and againin Ps. cv. 8, and Gen. xxi. 4;' the passages being, ofcourse, quoted in full. The prayer closed with the hope thatthe child might grow up, and successfully, 'attain to theTorah, the marriagebaldachino, and good works.' [1 The readerwill find B. H. Auerbach's Berith Abraham (with a Hebrewintroduction) an interesting tractate on the subject. Foranother and younger version of these prayers, see Low, u. s.p. 102.]

Of all this Zacharias was, though a deeply interested, yet adeaf and dumb [2 From St. Luke i. 62 we gather, thatZacharias was what the Rabbis understood by, one deaf as wellas dumb. Accordingly they communicated with him by 'signs',as Delitzsch correctly renders it:] witness. This only had henoticed, that, in the benediction in which the child's namewas inserted, the mother had interrupted the prayer. Withoutexplaining her reason, she insisted that his name should notbe that of his aged father, as in the peculiar circumstancesmight have been expected, but John (Jochanan). A reference tothe father only deepened the general astonishment, when healso gave the same name. But this was not the sole cause formarvel. For, forthwith the tongue of the dumb was loosed, andhe, who could not utter the name of the child, now burst intopraise of the name of the Lord. His last words had been thoseof unbelief, his first were those of praise; his last wordshad been a question of doubt, his first were a hymn ofassurance. Strictly Hebrew in its cast, and closely followingOld Testament prophecy, it is remarkable and yet almostnatural, that this hymn of the Priest closely follows, and,if the expression be allowable, spiritualises a great part ofthe most ancient Jewish prayer: the so-called EighteenBenedictions; rather perhaps, that it transforms theexpectancy of that prayer into praise of its realisation. Andif we bear in mind, that a great portion of these prayers wassaid by the Priests before the lot was cast for incensing, orby the people in the time of incesing, it almost seems as if,during the long period of his enforced solitude, the agedPriest had meditated on, and learned to understand, what sooften he had repeated. Opening with the common form ofbenediction, his hymn struck, one by one, the deepest chordsof that prayer, specially this the most significant of all(the fifteenth Eulogy), 'Speedily make to shoot forth theBranch [3 Although almost all modern authorities are againstme, I cannot persuade myself that the expression (St. Luke i.78) rendered 'dayspring' in our A. V. is here not theequivalent of the Hebrew 'Branch.' The LXX at any raterendered in Jer. xxiii. 5; Ezek. xvi. 7; xvii. 10; Zech. iii.8; vi. 12, by.] of David, Thy servant, and exalt Thou hishorn by Thy salvation, for in Thy salvation we trust all theday long. Blessed art Thou, Jehovah! Who causeth to springforth the Horn of Salvation' (literally, to branch forth).This analogy between the hymn of Zacharias and the prayers ofIsrael will best appear from the benedictions with whichthese eulogies closed. For, when thus examined, their leadingthoughts will be found to be as follows: God as the Shield ofAbraham; He that raises the dead, and causes salvation toshoot forth; the Holy One; Who graciously giveth knowledge;Who taketh pleasure in repentance; Who multipliethforgiveness; Who redeemeth Israel; Who healeth their(spiritual) diseases; Who blesseth the years; Who gathereththe outcasts of His people; Who loveth righteousness andjudgment; Who is the abode and stay of the righteous; Whobuildeth Jerusalem; Who causeth the Horn of Salvation toshoot forth; Who heareth prayer; Who bringeth back HisShekhinah to Zion; God the Gracious One, to Whom praise isdue; Who blesseth His people Israel with peace.

It was all most fitting. The question of unbelief had struckthe Priest dumb, for most truly unbelief cannot speak; andthe answer of faith restored to him speech, for most trulydoes faith loosen the tongue. The first evidence of hisdumbness had been, that his tongue refused to speak thebenediction to the people; and the first evidence of hisrestored power was, that he spoke the benediction of God in arapturous burst of praise and thanksgiving. The sign of theunbeliving Priest standing before the awe-struck people,vainly essaying to make himself understood by signs, was mostfitting; most fitting also that, when 'they made signs' tohim, the believing father should burst in their hearing intoa prophetic hymn.

But far and wide, as these marvellous tidings spreadthroughout the hill-country of Judaea, fear fell on all, thefear also of a nameless hope. The silence of a long-cloudedday had been broken, and the light which had suddenly rivenits gloom, laid itself on their hearts in expectancy: 'Whatthen shall this Child be? For the Hand of the Lord also waswith Him!' [2 The insertion of seems critically established,and gives the fuller meaning.]




It were an extremely narrow, and, indeed, false view, toregard the difference between Judaism and Christianity asconfined to the question of the fulfillment of certainprophecies in Jesus of Nazareth. These predictions could onlyoutline individual features in the Person and history of theMessiah. It is not thus that a likeness is recognised, butrather by the combination of the various features into aunity, and by the expression which gives it meaning. So faras we can gather from the Gospel narratives, no objection wasever taken to the fulfillment of individual prophecies inJesus. But the general conception which the Rabbis had formedof the Messiah, differed totally from what was presented bythe Prophet of Nazareth. Thus, what is the fundamentaldivergence between the two may be said to have existed longbefore the events which finally divided them. It is thecombination of letters which constitute words, and the sameletters may be combined into different words. Similarly, bothRabbinism and, what, by anticipation, we designate,Christianity might regard the same predictions as Messianic,and look for their fulfillment; while at the same time theMessianic ideal of the Synagogue might be quite other thanthat, to which the faith and hope of the Church have clung.

1. The most important point here is to keep in mind theorganic unity of the Old Testament. Its predictions are notisolated, but features of one grand prophetic picture; itsritual and institutions parts of one great system; itshistory, not loosely connected events, but an organicdevelopment tending towards a definite end. Viewed in itsinnermost substance, the history of the Old Testament is notdifferent from its typical institutions, nor yet these twofrom its predictions.The idea, underlying all, is God'sgracious manifestation in the world, the Kingdom of God; themeaning of all, the establishment of this Kingdom upon earth.That gracious purpose was, so to speak, individualized, andthe Kingdom actually established in the Messiah. Both thefundamental and the final relationship in view was that ofGod towards man, and of man towards God: the former asexpressed 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; [aGen. iii. 13 ] and in this sense also the words of Jesus holdtrue: 'Before Abraham came into being, I am.'

But, narrowing our survey to where the history of theKingdom of God begins with that of Abraham, it was indeed asJesus said: 'Your father Abraham rejoiced that he should seeMy day, and he saw it, and was glad.' [b St. John viii. 56]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; theirpredictions those of the household of God. And Israel wasalso the Servant of God, 'Jacob My Servant'; and its history,institutions, and predictions those of the Servant of theLord. Yet not merely Servant, but Son-Servant, 'anointed' tosuch service. This idea was, so to speak, crystallised in thethree great representative institutions of Israel. The'Servant of the Lord' in relation to Israel's history wasKingship in Israel; the 'Servant of the Lord' in relation toIsrael's ritual ordinances was the Priesthood in Israel; the'Servant of the Lord' in relation to prediction was theProphetic order. But all sprang from the same fundamentalidea: that of the 'Servant of Jehovah.'

One step still remains. The Messiah and His history are notpresented in the Old Testament as something separate from, orsuperadded to, Israel. The history, the institutions, and thepredictions of Israel run up into Him. [1 In this respectthere is deep significance in the Jewish legend (frequentlyintroduced; see, for example, Tanch. ii. 99 a; Deb. R. 1),that all the miracles which God had shown to Israel in thewilderness would be done again to redeemed Zion in the'latter days.'] He is the typical Israelite, nay, typicalIsrael itself, alike the crown, the completion, and therepresentative of Israel. He is the Son of God and theServant of the Lord; but in that highest and only true sense,which had given its meaning to all the preparatorydevelopment. As He was 'anointed' to be the 'Servant of theLord,' not with the typical oil, but by 'the Spirit ofJehovah' 'upon' Him, so was He also the 'Son' in a uniquesense. His organic connection with Israel is marked by thedesignations 'Seed of Abraham' and 'Son of David,' while atthe same time He was essentially, what Israel wassubordinately and typically: 'Thou art My Son, this day haveI begotten Thee.' Hence also, in strictest truthfulness, theEvangelist could apply to the Messiah what referred toIsrael, and see it fulfilled in His history: 'Out of Egypthave I called my Son.' [a St. Matt. ii. 15] And this othercorrelate idea, of Israel as 'the Servant of the Lord,' isalso fully concentrated in the Messiah as the RepresentativeIsraelite, so that the Book of Isaiah, as the series ofpredictions in which His picture is most fully outlined,might be summarised as that concerning 'the Servant ofJehovah.' Moreover, the Messiah, as Representative Israelite,combined in Himself as 'the Servant of the Lord' thethreefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King, and joinedtogether the two ideas of 'Son' and 'Servant'. [b Phil. ii.6-11] And the final combination and full exhibition of thesetwo ideas was the fulfillment of the typical mission ofIsrael, and the establishment of the Kingdom of God amongmen.

Thus, in its final, as in its initial, [c Gen. iii. 15]stage it was the establishment of the Kingdom of God uponearth, brought about by the 'Servant' of the Lord, Who was tostricken humanity the God-sent 'Anointed Comforter' (Mashiachha-Menachem): in this twofold sense of 'Comforter' ofindividuals ('the friend of sinners'), and 'Comforter' ofIsrael and of the world, reconciling the two, and bringing toboth 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, orritual, the typical presentation of that Kingdom; while thethird, or prophetic, brought that Kingdom into actual contactwith the kingdoms of the world. Accordingly, it is during thelatter 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 toregard the Babylonish exile as only a punishment for Israel'ssin. There is, in truth, nothing in all God's dealings inhistory exclusively punitive. That were a merely negativeelement. But there is always a positive element also ofactual progress; a step forward, even though in the taking ofit something should have to be crushed. And this step forwardwas the development of the idea of the Kingdom of God in itsrelation to the world.

2. This organic unity of Israel and the Messiah explains howevents, institutions, and predictions, which initially werepurely Israelitish, could with truth be regarded as findingtheir full accomplishment in the Messiah. From this point ofview the whole Old Testament becomes the perspective in whichthe figure of the Messiah stands out. And perhaps the mostvaluable element in Rabbinic excommentation on Messianictimes is that in which, as so frequently, it is explained,that all the miracles and deliverances of Israel's past wouldbe re-enacted, only in a much wider manner, in the days ofthe Messiah. Thus the whole past was symbolic, and typical ofthe future, the Old Testament the glass, through which theuniversal blessings of the latter days were seen. It is inthis sense that we would understand the two sayings of theTalmud: 'All the prophets prophesied only of the days of theMessiah,' [a Sanh. 99 a] and 'The world was created only forthe Messiah.' [b Sanh. 98 b]

In accordance with all this, the ancient Synagogue foundreferences to the Messiah in many more passages of the OldTestament than those verbal predictions, to which wegenerally appeal; and the latter formed (as in the NewTestament) a proportionately small, and secondary, element inthe conception of the Messianic era. This is fully borne outby a detailed analysis of those passages in the Old Testamentto which the ancient Synagogue referred as Messianic. [1 SeeAppendix IX., where a detailed list is given of all the OldTestament passages which the ancient Synagogue appliedMessianically, together with the references to the Rabbinicworks where they are quoted.] Their number amounts to upwardsof 456 (75 from the Pentateuch, 243 from the Prophets, and138 from the Hagiographa), and their Messianic application issupported by more than 558 references to the most ancientRabbinic writings. [2 Large as this number is, I do notpresent the list as complete. Thus, out of the thirty-sevenParashahs constituting the Midrash on Leviticus, no fewerthan twenty-five close with an outlook on Messianic times.The same may be said of the close of many of the Parashahs inthe Midrashim known as Pesiqta and Tanchuma (Zunz, u.s. pp.181, 234). Besides, the oldest portions of the Jewish liturgyare full of Messianic aspirations] But comparatively few ofthese are what would be termed verbal predictions. Ratherwould 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 pictureof the Messianic age in the far back-ground stood out in thehundredfold variegated brightness of prophetic events, andprophetic utterances; or, as regarded the then state ofIsrael, till the darkness of their present night was lit upby a hundred constellations kindling in the sky overhead, andits lonely silence broken by echoes of heavenly voices, andstrains of prophetic hymns borne on the breeze.

Of course, there was the danger that, amidst these dazzlinglights, or in the crowd of figures, each so attractive, orelse in the absorbing interest of the general picture, thegrand central Personality should not engage the attention itclaimed, and so the meaning of the whole be lost in thecontemplation of its details. This danger was the greaterfrom the absence of any deeper spiritual elements. All thatIsrael needed: 'study of the Law and good works,' lay withinthe reach of every one; and all that Israel hoped for, wasnational restoration and glory. Everything else was but meansto these ends; the Messiah Himself only the grand instrumentin attaining them. Thus viewed, the picture presented wouldbe of Israel's exaltation, rather than of the salvation ofthe world. To this, and to the idea of Israel's exclusivespiritual position in the world, must be traced much, thatotherwise would seem utterly irrational in the Rabbinicpictures of the latter days. But in such a picture therewould be neither room nor occasion for a Messiah-Saviour, inthe only sense in which such a heavenly mission could berational, or the heart of humanity respond to it. TheRabbinic ideal of the Messiah was not that of 'a light tolighten the Gentiles, and the glory of His people Israel',the satisfaction of the wants of humanity, and the completionof Israel's mission but quite different, even to contrariety.Accordingly, there was a fundamental antagonism between theRabbis and Christ, quite irrespective of the manner in whichHe carried out His Messianic work. On the other hand, it isequally noteworthy, that the purely national elements, whichwell nigh formed the sum total of Rabbinic expectation,scarcely entered into the teaching of Jesus about the Kingdomof God. And the more we realise, that Jesus so fundamentallyseparated Himself from all the ideas of His time, the moreevidential is it of the fact, that He was not the Messiah ofJewish conception, but derived His mission from a sourceunknown to, or at least ignored by, the leaders of Hispeople.

3. But still, as the Rabbinic ideas were at least based onthe Old Testament, we need not wonder that they also embodiedthe chief features of the Messianic history. Accordingly, acareful perusal of their Scripture quotations [1 For these,see Appendix IX.] shows, that the main postulates of the NewTestament concerning the Messiah are fully supported byRabbinic statements. Thus, such doctrines as the pre-mundaneexistence of the Messiah; His elevation above Moses, and evenabove the Angels; His representative character; His cruelsufferings and derision; His violent death, and that for Hispeople; His work on behalf of the living and of the dead; Hisredemption, and restoration of Israel; the opposition of theGentiles; their partial judgment and conversion; theprevalence of His Law; the universal blessings of the latterdays; and His Kingdom, can be clearly deduced fromunquestioned passages in ancient Rabbinic writings. Only, aswe might expect, all is there indistinct, incoherent,unexplained, and from a much lower standpoint. At best, it isthe lower stage of yet unfulfilled prophecy, the haze whenthe sun is about to rise, not the blaze when it has risen.Most painfully is this felt in connection with the oneelement on which the New Testament most insists. There is,indeed, in Rabbinic writings frequent reference to thesufferings, and even the death of the Messiah, and these arebrought into connection with our sins, as how could it beotherwise in view of Isaiah liii. and other passages, and inone most remarkable comment [a Yalkut on Is. ix. 1] theMessiah is represented as willingly taking upon Himself allthese sufferings, on condition that all Israel, the living,the dead, and those yet unborn, should be saved, and that, inconsequence of His work, God and Israel should be reconciled,and Satan cast into hell. But there is only the mostindistinct reference to the removal of sin by the Messiah, inthe sense of vicarious sufferings.

In connection with what has been stated, one most importantpoint must be kept in view. So far as their opinions can begathered from their writings, the great doctrines of OriginalSin, and of the sinfulness of our whole nature, were not heldby the ancient Rabbis. [1 This is the view expressed by allJewish dogmatic writers. See also Weber, Altsynag. Theol. p.217.] Of course, it is not meant that they denied theconsequences of sin, either as concerned Adam himself, or hisdescendants; but the final result is far from thatseriousness 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 furtherexplanation necessary. [2 Comp. on the subject. Ber. R.12-16.] The fall of Adam is ascribed to the envy of the Angels [3 InBer. R., however, it has seemed to me, as if sometimes amystical and symbolical view of the history of the Fall wereinsinuated, evil concupiscence being the occasion of it.] ,not the fallen ones, for none were fallen, till God cast themdown in consequence of their seduction of man. The Angels,having in vain tried to prevent the creation of man, at lastconspired to lead him into sin as the only means of his ruin,the task being undertaken by Sammael (and his Angels), who inmany respects was superior to the other Angelic princes. [bPirqe de R. El. c. 13; Yalkut i. p. 8 c] The instrumentemployed was the serpent, of whose original condition thestrangest legends are told, probably to make the Biblicalnarrative appear more rational. [c Comp. Pirqe de R. El. andYalkut, u.s.; also Ber. R. 19] The details of the story ofthe Fall, as told by the Rabbis, need not be here repeated,save to indicate its consequences. The first of these was thewithdrawal of the Shekhinah from earth to the first heaven,while subsequent sins successively led to its further removalto the seventh heaven. This, however, can scarcely beconsidered a permanent sequel of sin, since the good deeds ofseven righteous men, beginning with Abraham, brought itagain, in the time of Moses, to earth. [a Ber. R. 19, ed.Warshau, p. 37a] Six things Adam is said to have lost by hissin; but even these are to be restored to man by the Messiah.[b Bemidb. R. 13] [1 They are: the shiningsplendour of hisperson, even his heels being like suns; his gigantic size,from east to west, from earth to heaven; the spontaneoussplendid products of the ground, and of all fruit-trees; aninfinitely greater measure of light on the part of theheavenly bodies; and, finally, endless duration of life (Ber.R. 12, ed. Warsh. p. 24 b; Ber. R. 21; Sanh. 38 b; Chag. 12a; and for their restoration by the Messiah, Bem. R. 13).]That the physical death of Adam was the consequence of hissin, is certainly taught. Otherwise he would have livedforever, like Enoch and Elijah. [c Vayyikra R. 27] Butalthough the fate which overtook Adam was to rest on all theworld, [d Ber. R. 16 21, and often] and death came not onlyon our first father but on his descendants, and all creationlost its perfectness, [e Ber. R. 5, 12, 10; comp. also Midr.on Eccl. vii. 13; and viii. 1, and Baba B. 17 a] yet eventhese temporal sequences are not universally admitted. Itrather seems taught, that death was intended to be the fateof all, or sent to show the folly of men claiming Divineworship, or to test whether piety was real, [f Ber. R. 9] themore so that with death the weary struggle with our evilinclination ceased. It was needful to die when our work wasdone, that others might enter upon it. In each case death wasthe consequence of our own, not of Adam's sin. [g Bemidb. R.19] In fact, over these six, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses,Aaron, and Miriam, the Angel of Death had had no absolutepower. Nay, there was a time when all Israel were not onlyfree from death, but like the Angels, and even higher thanthey. For, originally God had offered the Law to all Gentilenations, [h According to Deut.xxxiii. 2; Hab. iii. 3] butthey had refused to submit to it. [i Ab. Zar. 2 b] But whenIsrael took on themselvesthe Law at Mount Sinai, thedescription in Psalm 1xxxii. 6 applied literally to them.They would not have died, and were 'the sons of God.' [k Ab.Z. 5 a] But all this was lost by the sin of making the goldencalf,although the Talmud marks that, if Israel had continuedin that Angelic state, the nation would have ceased with thatgeneration. [2 By a most ingenious theological artifice thesin of the golden calf, and that of David are made matter forthanksgiving; the one as showing that, even if the wholepeople sinned, God was willing to forgive; the other asproving, that God graciously condescended to each individualsinner, and that to each the door of repentance was open.]Thus there were two divergent opinions, the one ascribingdeath to personal, the other tracing it to Adam's guilt.] [3In the Talmud (Shabb. 55 a and b) each view is supported indiscussion, the one by a reference to Ezek. xviii. 20, theother to Eccles. ix. 2 (comp. also Siphre on Deut. xxxii.49). The final conclusion, however, greatly inclines towardsthe connection between death and the fall (see especially theclear statement in Debar. R. 9, ed. Warsh., p. 20 a). Thisview is also supported by such passages in the Apocrypha asWisdom ii. 23, 24; iii. 1, &c.; while, on the other hand,Ecclus. xv. 11-17 seems rather to point in a differentdirection.]

When, however, we pass from the physical to the moralsequences of the fall, our Jewish authorities wholly fail us.They teach, that man is created with two inclinations, thatto evil (the Yetser ha-ra), and that to good; [a TargumPs.-Jon. on Gen. ii. 7] the first working in him from thebeginning, the latter coming gradually in the course of time.[b Nedar. 32 b; Midr. on Eccl. iv. 13, 14, ed. W. p. 89 a;ix. 15; ib. p. 101 a] Yet, so far from guilt attaching to theYetser ha-ra, its existence is absolutely necessary, if theworld is to continue. [c Ber. R. 9] In fact, as the Talmudexpressly teaches, [d Ber. 61 a] the evil desire or impulsewas created by God Himself; while it is also asserted [eSukk. 52 a, and Yalkut ii. p. 149 b] that, on seeing theconsequences, God actually repented having done so. Thisgives quite another character to sin, as due to causes forwhich no blame attaches to man. [f Comp. also Jer. Targum onEx. xxxii. 22] On the other hand, as it is in the power ofeach wholly to overcome sin, and to gain life by study andworks; [g Ab. Z. 5 b; Kidd. 30 b] as Israel at Mount Sinaihad actually got rid of the Yetser ha-ra; and as there hadbeen those, who were entirely righteous, [h For example, Yoma28 b; Chag. 4 b] there scarcely remains any moral sequence ofAdam's fall to be considered. Similarly, the Apocrypha aresilent on the subject, the only exception being the verystrong language used in II. Esdras, which dates after theChristian era. [i Comp. IV. Esd. iii. 21, 22, 26; iv. 30; andespecially vii. 46-53] [1 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, isdeeply tinged with Christian doctrine. Of course, the firsttwo and the last two chapters in our Apocryphal II. Esdrasare later spurious additions of Christian authorship. But inproof of the influence of the Christian teaching on thewriter of the Fourth Book of Esdras we may call attention,besides the adoption of the doctrine of original sin, to theremarkable application to Israel of such N.T. expressions asthe 'firstborn,' the 'only-begotten,' and the 'Well-beloved'(IV. Esdras vi. 58, in our Apocr. II. Esdras iv. 58).

4. In the absence of felt need of deliverance from sin, wecan understand, how Rabbinic tradition found no place for thePriestly office of the Messiah, and how even His claims to bethe Prophet of His people are almost entirely overshadowed byHis appearance as their King and Deliverer. This, indeed, wasthe ever-present want, pressing the more heavily as Israel'snational sufferings seemed almost inexplicable, while theycontrasted so sharply with the glory expected by the Rabbis.Whence these sufferings? From sin [k Men. 53 b], nationalsin; the idolatry of former times; [l Gitt. 7 a] theprevalence of crimes and vices; the dereliction of God'sordinances; [m Gitt. 88 a] the neglect of instruction, ofstudy, and of proper practice of His Law; and, in later days,the love of money and party strife. [n Jer. Yoma i. 1; Yoma 9a, and many other passages] But the seventy years' captivityhad ceased, why not the present dispersion? Because hypocrisyhad been added to all other sins; [o Yoma 9 b] because therehad not been proper repentance; [pJer. Yoma i. 1] because ofthe half-heartedness of the Jewish proselytes; because ofimproper marriages, and other evil customs; [a Nidd. 13 b]and because of the gross dissoluteness of certain cities. [bYoma 19 b] The consequences appeared not only in thepolitical condition of Israel, but in the land itself, in theabsence of rain and dew, of fruitfulness and of plenty; inthe general disorder of society; the cessation of piety andof religious study; and the silence of prophecy. [c For allthese points comp. Ber. 58 b; 59 a; Sot. 48 a; Shabb. 138 b;Baba B. 12 a, b] As significantly summed up, Israel waswithout Priesthood, without law, without God. [d Vayyikra R19] Nay, the world itself suffered in consequence of thedestruction of the Temple. In a very remarkable passage, [eSukk. 55 b] where it is explained, that the seventy bullocksoffered during the Feast of Tabernacles were for the nationsof the world, R. Jochanan deplores their fate, since whilethe Temple had stood the altar had atoned for the Gentiles,but who was now to do so? The light, which had shone from outthe Temple windows into the world, had been extinguished. [fPesiqta, 1 ed. Buber, p. 145 a, last lines] Indeed, but forthe intercession of the Angels the world would now bedestroyed. [g Midr, on Ps.cxxxvii.] In the poetic language ofthe time, the heavens, sun, moon and stars, trees andmountains, even the Angels, mourned over the desolation ofthe Temple, [h Pesiqta 148 b] and the very Angelic hosts hadsince been diminished. [i Chag. 13 b] But, though the DivinePresence had been withdrawn, it still lingered near His own;it had followed them in all their banishments; it hadsuffered with them in all their sorrows. [2 This in very manyRabbinical passages. Comp. Castelli, II Messia, p. 176, note4.] It is a touching legend, which represents the Shekhinahas still lingering over the western wall of the Temple [kShemoth R. 2. ed. Warsh. p. 7 b, lines 12 &c.] , the only onesupposed to be still standing. [3 In proof they appeal tosuch passages as 2 Chr. vii. 16; Ps. iii. 4; Cant. ii. 9,proving it even from the decree of Cyrus (Ezra i. 3, 4), inwhich God is spoken of as still in desolate Jerusalem.] Nay,in language still bolder, and which cannot be fullyreproduced, God Himself is represented as mourning overJerusalem and the Temple. He has not entered His Palace sincethen, and His hair is wet with the dew. [4 The passage fromYalkut on Is. lx. 1 is quoted in full in Appendix IX.] Heweeps over His children and their desolateness, [m Ber. 3 a;59 a] and displays in the heavens tokens ofmourning,corresponding to those which an earthly monarchwould show. [n Pesiqta 119 b; 120 a]

All this is to be gloriously set right, when the Lordturneth the captivity of Zion, and the Messiah cometh. Butwhen may He be expected, and what are the signs of Hiscoming? Or perhaps the question should thus be put: Why arethe redemption of Israel and the coming of the Messiah sounaccountably delayed? It is here that the Synagogue findsitself in presence of an insoluble mystery. The explanationsattempted are, confessedly, guesses, or rather attempts toevade the issue. The only course left is, authoritatively toimpose silence on all such inquiries, the silence, as theywould put it, of implicit, mournful submission to theinexplicable, in faith that somehow, when least expected,deliverance would come; or, as we would put it, the silenceof ever-recurring disappointment and despair. Thus the grandhope of the Synagogue is, as it were, written in an epitaphon a broken tombstone, to be repeated by the thousands who,for these long centuries, have washed the ruins of theSanctuary with unavailing tears.

5. Why delayeth the Messiah His coming? Since the brief andbroken sunshine of the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, the skyoverhead has ever grown darker, nor have even the terriblestorms, which have burst over Israel, reft the canopy ofcloud. The first capitivity passed, why not the second? Thisis the painful question ever and again discussed by theRabbis. [a Jer. Yoma i. 1, ed. Krot. p 38 c, last part, Sanh.97 b, 98 a] Can they mean it seriously, that the sins of thesecond, are more grievous than those which caused the firstdispersion; or that they of the first captivity repented, butnot they of the second? What constitutes this repentancewhich yet remains to be made? But the reasoning becomesabsolutely self-contradictory when, together with theassertion that, if Israel repented but one day, the Messiahwould come, [b Midr. on Cant. v. 2, ed. Warsh. p. 25 a;Sanh.98 a] we are told, that Israel will not repent till Elijahcomes. [c Pirqe de R. Eliez. 43 end] Besides, bold asthelanguage is, there is truth in the expostulation, whichthe Midrash [d On Lam. v. 21, ed. Warsh. vo. iii. p. 77 a]puts into the mouth of the congregation of Israel: 'Lord ofthe world, it depends on Thee that we repent.' Such truth,that, although at first the Divine reply is a repetition ofZechar. i. 3, yet, when Israel reiterates the words, 'TurnThou us unto Thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned,'supporting them by Ps lxxxv. 4, the argument provesunanswerable.

Other conditions of Israel's deliverance are, indeed,mentioned. But we can scarcely regard the Synagogue asseriously making the coming of Messiah dependent on theirrealisation. Among the most touching of these is a beautifulpassage (almost reminding us of Heb. xi.), in which Israel'sfuture deliverance is described as the reward of faith. [eTanch. on Ex. xv. 1, ed. Warsh. p. 86 b] Similarly beautifulis the thought, [f On Jer.' xxxi. 9] that, when God redeemsIsrael, it will be amidst their weeping. [g Tanch. on Gen.xiv. 2, ed. Warsh.] But neither can this be regarded as thecondition of Messiah's coming; nor yet such generalities asthe observance of the Law, or of some special commandments.The very variety of suggestions [h Sanh. 97 b 98 a] [1 Thereader will find these discussions summarised at the close ofApendix IX.] shows, how utterly unable the Synagogue felt toindicate any condition to be fulfilled by Israel. Such vaguestatements, as that the salvation of Israel depended on themerits of the patriarchs, or on that of one of them, cannothelp us to a solution; and the long discussion in the Talmud[a Sanh. 98 a and b] leaves no doubt, that the final and mostsober opinion was, that the time of Messiah's coming dependednot on repentance, nor any other condition, but on the mercyof God, when the time fixed had arrived. But even so, we areagain thrown into doubt by the statement, that it might beeither hastened or retarded by Israel's bearing! [1 See, onthe whole subject, also Debar. R. 2.]

In these circumstances, any attempt at determining the dateof Messiah's coming would be even more hypothetical than suchcalculations generally are. [2 We put aside, as universallyrepudiated, the opinion expressed by one Rabbi, that Israel'sMessianic era was past, the promises having been fulfilled inKing Hezekiah (Sanh. 98 b; 99 a).] Guesses on the subjectcould only be grounded on imaginary symbolisms. Of such wehave examples in the Talmud. [3 See, in Appendix IX. theextracts from Sanh.] Thus, some fixed the date at 4000 yearsafter the Creation, curiously enough, about the era ofChrist, though Israel's sin had blotted out the whole pastfrom the reckoning; others at 4291 from the Creation; [bSanh. 97b] others again expected it at the beginning, or end,of the eighty-fifth Jubilee, with this proviso, that it itwould not take place earlier; and so on, through equallygroundless conjectures. A comparatively late work speaks offive monarchies, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome andIshmael. During the last of these God would hear the cry ofIsrael, [c Pirqe de R. Ehes. 32] and the Messiah come, aftera terrible war between Rome and Ishmael (the West and theEast). [d u. s. 30] But as the rule of these monarchies wasto last altogether one day (= 1000 years), less two-thirds ofan hour (1 hour = 83 1/2 years); [e Comp. Pirqe de R. El. 48]it would follow, that their domination would last 9444/9years. [4 Pirqe de R. El. 28. The reasoning by which thisduration of the monarchies is derived from Lament. i. 13 andZech. xiv. 7, is a very curious specimen of Rabbinicargumentation.] Again, according to Jewish tradition, therule of Babylon had lasted 70, that of Medo-Persia 34, andthat of Greece 180 years, leaving 6604/9 years for Rome andIshmael. Thus the date for the expected Advent of the Messiahwould have been about 661 after the destruction of Jerusalem,or about the year 729 of the Christian era. [5 Comp. Zunz,Gottesd. Vortr. p. 277.]

In the category of guesses we must also place such vaguestatements, as that the Messiah would come, when all wererighteous, or all wicked; or else nine months after theempire of Rome had extended over the whole world; [a Sanh. 98b 1] or when all the souls, predestined to inhabit bodies,had been on earth. [b Ab. Z. 5 a, Ber. R. 24] But as, afteryears of unrelieved sufferings, the Synagogue had toacknowledge that, one by one, all the terms had passed, andas despair settled on the heart of Israel, it came to begenerally thought, that the time of Messiah's Advent couldnot be known beforehand, [c Targum Pseudo-Jon on Gen. xlix.1] and that speculation on the subject was dangerous, sinful,even damnable. The time of the end had, indeed, been revealedto two sons of Adam, Jacob and David; but neither of them hadbeen allowed to make it known. [d Midrash on Ps. xxxi. ed.Warsh. p. 41 a, lines 18 to 15 from bottom] In view of this,it can scarcely be regarded as more than a symbolical, thoughsignificant guess, when the future redemption of Israel isexpected on the Paschal Day, the 15th of Nisan. [e Pesikta,ed. Buber, 47 b. 48 a, Sopher. xxi. Hal. 2. Shir. haShir. R.ii. 8. ed. Warsh. vol. iii. p. 15 a] [2 Solitary opinions,however, place the future redemption in the month Tishri(Tanch. on Ex. xii. 37, ed. Warsh. p. 81 b, line 2 frombottom).

6. We now approach this most difficult and delicatequestion: What was the expectation of the ancient Synagogue,as regarded the Nature, Person, and qualifications of theMessiah? In answering it, not at present from the OldTestament, but from the views expressed in Rabinicliterature, and, so far as we can gather from theGospel-narratives, from those cherished by the contemporariesof Christ, two inferences seem evident. First, the idea of aDivine Personality, and of the union of the two Natures inthe Messiah, seems to have been foreign to the Jewishauditory of Jesus of Nazareth, and even at first to Hisdisciples. Secondly, they appear to have regarded the Messiahas far above the ordinary human, royal, prophetic, and evenAngelic type, to such extent, that the boundary-lineseparating it from Divine Personality is of the narrowest, sothat, when the conviction of the reality of the Messianicmanifestation in Jesus burst on their minds, thisboundary-line was easily, almost naturally, overstepped, andthose who would have shrunk from framing their belief in suchdogmatic form, readily owned and worshipped Him as the Son ofGod. Nor need we wonder at this, even taking the highest viewof Old Testament prophecy. For here also the principleapplies, which underlies one of St. Paul's most wide-reachingutterance: 'We prophesy in part' [3 See the telling remarksof Oehler in Herzog's Real-Encykul., vol. ix. p. 417. Wewould add, that there is always a 'hereafter' of furtherdevelopment in the history of the individual believer, as inthat of the Church, growing brighter and brighter, withincreased spiritual communication and knowledge, till at lastthe perfect light is reached.] In the nature of it, allprophecy presents but disjecta, membra, and it almost seems,as if we had to take our stand in the prophet's valley ofvision (Ezek. xxxvii.), waiting till, at the bidding of theLord, the scattered bones should be joined into a body, towhich 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 Jewishteaching. Beginning with the LXX. rendering of Genesis xlix.10, and especially of Numbers xxiv. 7, 17, we gather, thatthe Kingdom of the Messiah [1 No reasonable doubt can be lefton the mind, that the LXX. translators have here the Messiahin view.] was higher than any that is earthly, and destinedto subdue them all. But the rendering of Psalm lxxii. 5, 7;Psalm cx. 3; and especially of Isaiah ix., carries us muchfarther. They convey the idea, that the existence of thisMessiah was regarded as premundane (before the moon, [a Ps.lxxii.] before the morning-star [b Ps. cx.]), and eternal, [cPs. lxxii.] and His Person and dignity as superior to that ofmen and Angels: 'the Angel of the Great Council,' [d Is. ix.6(2).] probably 'the Angel of the Face',a view fullyconfirmed by the rendering of the Targum. [3 Three, if notfour, different renderings of the Targum on Is. ix. 6 arepossible. But the minimum conveyed to my mind implies thepremundane existence, the eternal continuance, and thesuperhuman dignity of the Messiah. (See also the Targum onMicah v. 2.)] The silence of the Apocrypha about the Personof the Messiah is so strange, as to be scarcely explainedbythe consideration, that those books were composed when theneed of a Messiah for the deliverance of Israel was notpainfully felt. [4 This is the view of Grimm, and more fullycarried out by Oehler. The argument of Hengstenberg, that themention of such a Messiah was restrained from fear of theheathen, does not deserve serious refutation.] All the morestriking are the allusions in the Pseudepigraphic Writings,although these also do not carry us beyond our twoinferences. Thus, the third book of the Sibylline Oracleswhich, with few exceptions, [5 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. Onthe subject generally, see our previous remarks in Book 1.]dates from more than a century and a half before Christ,presents a picture of Messianic times, [e vv. 652-807.]generally admitted to have formed the basis of Virgil'sdescription of the Golden Age, and of similar heathenexpectations. In these Oracles, 170 years before Christ, theMessiah is 'the King sent from heaven' who would 'judge everyman in blood and splendour of fire.' [f vv. 285, 286.]Similarly, the vision of Messianic times opens with areference to 'the King Whom God will send from the sun. [g v.652.] [6 Mr. Drummond defends (at pp. d 274, 275) Holtxmann'sview, taht the expression applies to Simon the Maccabee,although on p. 291 he argues on the opposite supposition thatthe text refers to the Messiah. It is difficult tounderstand, how on reading the whole passage the hypothesisof Holtzmann could be entertained. While referring to the 3rdBook of the Sib. Or., another point of considerable interestdeserves notice. According to the theory which places theauthorship of Daniel in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes, orsay about 165 B.C., the 'fourth kingdom' of Daniel must bethe Grecian. But, on the other hand, such certainly was notthe view entertained by Apocalypts of the year 165, since the3d Book of the Sib. Or., which dates from precisely thatperiod, not only takes notice of the rising power of Rome,but anticipates the destruction of the Grecian Empire byRome, which in turn is to be vanquished by Israel (vv.175-195; 520-544; 638-807). This most important fact wouldrequire to be accounted for by the opponents of theauthenticity of Daniel.] That a superhuman Kingdom of eternalduration, such as this vision paints, [a vv. 652-807.] shouldhave a superhuman King, seems almost a necessary corollary.[1 I have purposely omittedall referances to controvertedpassages. But see Langen, D. Judenth. in Palest. pp. 401 &c.]

Even more distinct are the statements in the so-called 'Bookof Enoch.' Critics are substantially agreed, that the oldestpart of it [b ch. i.- xxxvi. and lxxii.-cv. dates frombetween 150 and 130 B.C. [2 The next oldest portion,consisting of the so-called Similitudes (ch xxxvii.- xxi.),excepting what are termed 'the Noachic parts, dates fromabout the time of Herod the Great.] The part next in date isfull of Messianic allusions; but, as a certain class ofmodern writers has ascribed to it a post-Christian date, and,however ungrounded, [3 Schiirer (Lehrb. d. Neutest. Zitg. pp.534, 535) has, I think, consclusively shown that this portionof the Book of Enoch is of Jewish authorship, andpre-Christian date. If so, it were deeply interesting tofollow its account of the Messiah. He appears by the side ofthe Ancient of Days, His face like appearance of a man, andyet so lovely, like that of one of the holy Angels. This 'Sonof Man' has, and with Him dwells, all righteousness; Hereveals the treasures of all that is hidden, being chosen bythe Lord, is superior to all, and destined to subdue anddestroy all the powers and kingdoms of wickedness (ch.xivi.). Although only revealed at the last, His Name had beennamed before God, before sun or stars were created. He is thestaff on which the righteous lean, the light of nations, andthe hope of all who mourn in spirit. All are to bow downbefore Him, and adore Him, and for this He was chosen andhidden with God before the world was created, and willcontinue 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 wouldabide on the renewed earth (ch. xiv.). He is mighty in allthe secrets of righteousness, and unrighteousness would fleeas a shadow, because His glory lasted from eternity toeternity, and 'is power from generation to generation (ch.xlix.). Then would the earth, Hades, and hell give up theirdead, and Messiah, sitting on His throne, would select andown the just, and open up all secrets of wisdom, amidst theuniversal joy of ransomed earth (ch. li., lxi., lxii.).] toChristian authorship, it may be better not to refer to it inthe present argument, the more so as we have other testimonyfrom the time of Herod. Not to speak, therefore, of suchpeculiar designations of the Messiah as 'the Woman's Son,' [clxii. 5.] 'the Son of Man, [d For ex. xlviii. 2: lxii. 7;lxix 29.] 'the Elect,' and 'the Just One,' we mark that theMessiah is expressly designed in the oldest portion as 'theSon of God' ('I and My Son'). [e cv. 2.] That this implies,not, indeed, essential Sonship, but infinite superiority overall other servants of God, and rule over them, appears fromthe 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' [a xc. 38.], Whom'all the beasts of the field and all the fowls of heavendread, and to Whom they cry at all times.'

Still more explicit is that beautiful collection of eighteenPsalms, dating from about half a century before Christ, whichbears the name of 'the Psalter of Solomon.' Achasteanticipation of the Messianic Kingdom [b in Ps. xi.]. isfollowed by a full description of its need and it blessings,[c in Ps. xvii.] to which the concluding Psalm [d xviii.]forms an apt epilogue. The King Who reigns is of ther houseof David. [e xvii. 5.] He is the Son of David, Who comes atthe time known to God only, to reign over Israel. [f v. 23.]He is a righteous King, taught of God. [g v. 35.] He isChrist the Lord [h v. 36.] exactlyu as inthe LXX.translations of Lamentations iv. 20). 'He is pure from sin,'which qualifies Him for ruling His people, and banishingsinners by His word. [i v. 41.] Never in His days will He beinfirm towards His God, since God renders Him strong in theHoly Ghost,' wise in counsel, with might and righteousness('mighty in deed and word'). The blessingof the Lord beingupon Him, He does not fail. [k vv. 42, 43.] 'This is thebeauty of the King of Israel, Whom God hath chosen, to setHim over the house of Israel to rule it.' [m v. 47.] Thusinvincible, not by outward might, but in His God, He willbring His people the blessings of restoration to their tribalpossessions, and of righteousness, but break in pieces Hisenemies, not by outward weapons, but by the word of Hismouth; purify Jerusalem, and judge the nations, who will besubject to His rule, and behold and own His glory. [n vv.25-35.] Manifestly, this is not an earthly Kingdom, nor yetan earthly King.

If we now turn to works dating after the Christian era, wewould naturally expect them, either simply to reproduceearlier opinions, or, from opposition to Christ, to presentthe Messiah in a less exalted manner. [1 In illustration ofthis tendency we may quote the following evidently polemicalsaying, 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 repentof it; "I go up to heaven," hath he said, and shall he not doit? [or, he hath said, and shall not make it good] (Jer.Taan. p. 65 b. line 7 from bottom). This R. Abbahu (279-320of our era) seems to have largely engaged in controversy withJewish Christians. Thus he sought to argue against theSonship 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).] But since, strange tosay, they even more strongly assert the high dignity of theMessiah, we are warranted in regarding this as the rootedbelief of the Synagogue. [2 It is, to say the least, a pitythat Mr. Drummond should have imagined that the questioncould be so easily settled on the premises which hepresents.] This estimate of the Messiah may be gathered fromIV Esdras, [o xii. 32; xiii. 26, 52; xiv. 9.] [3 The 4th Bookof Esdras (in our Apocr. II. Esdras) dates from the end ofthe first century of our era, and so does the Apocalypse ofBaruch.] with which the kindred picture of the Messiah andHis reign in the Apocalypse of Baruch [a lxx.9- lxxiv.] maybe compared. But even in strictly Rabbinic documents, thepremundane, if not the eternal existence of the Messiahappears as matter of common belief. Such is the viewexpressed in the Targum on Is. ix. 6, and in that on Micah v.2. But the Midrash on Prov. viii. 9 [b Ed. Lemb. p. 7 a]expressly mentions the Messiah among the seven things createdbefore the world. [1 These are: the Throne of Glory, Messiahthe King, the Torah, (ideal) Israel, the Temple, repentance,and Gehenna.] The passage is the more important, as it throwslight on quite a series of others, in which the Name of theMessiah is said to have been created before the world. [cPirqe de R. E. 3; Midr.on Ps. xciii.1; Ps. 54a; Nedar. 39 b;Ber. R. 1; 3 Tanch. on Numb. vii. 14, ed. Warsh. vol. iiMidr. 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.] [2 InPirqu de R. El. and the other authorities these seven thingsare: the Torah, Gehenna, Paradise, the Throne of Glory, theTemple, repentance, and the Name of the Messiah.] Even ifthis were an ideal conception, it would prove the Messiah tobe elevated above the ordinary conditions of humanity. But itmeans much more than this, since not only the existence ofthe Messiah long before His actual appearance, but Hispremundane state are clearly taught in other places. In theTalmud [d Jer. Ber. ii. 4, p. 5 a.] it is not only implied,that the Messiah may already be among the living, but astrange story is related, according to which He had actuallybeen born in the royal palace at Bethlehem, bore the nameMenachem (Comforter), was discovered by one R. Judan througha peculiar device, but had been carried away by a storm.Similarly, the Babylon Talmud represents Him as sitting atthe gate of Imperial Rome. [e Sanh. 98 a; comp. also Jerus.Targ. on Ex. xii. 42, Pirqe de R. El. 30, and otherpassages.] In general, the idea of the Messiah's appearanceand concealment is familiar to Jewish tradition. [f See forexample Pesiqta, ed Buber, p. 49 b 5.] But the Rabbis go muchfarther back, and declare that from the time of Judah'smarriage, [g Gen.. xxxviii. 1, 2.] 'God busied Himself withcreating the light of the Messiah,' it being significantlyadded that, 'before the first oppressor [Pharaoh] was born,the final deliverer [Messiah, the son of David] was alreadyborn.' [h Ber. R. 85, ed. Warsh. p. 151 b.] In anotherpassage the Messiah is expresily identified with Anani, [1These ar: the Throne of Glory, Messiah the King, the Torah,(ideal) Israel, the Temple, repentance, and Gehenna.] andtherefore represented as pre-existent long before his actualmanifestation. [k Tanch. Par. To edoth, 14. ed. Warsh. p. 37b.] The same inference may be drawn from His emphaticdesignation as the First. [m Ber. R. 65 ed. Warsh. p. 114 b;Vayyikra R. 30, ed. W. vol. iii. p. 47 a; Pes 5 a.] Lastly,in Yalkut on Is. lx., the words 'In Thy light shall we seelight' (Ps. xxxvi. 9) are explained as meaning, that this isthe light of the Messiah, the same which God had at the firstpronounced to be very good, and which, before the world wascreated, He had hid beneath the throne of His glory for theMessiah and His age. When Satan asked for whom it wasreserved, he was told that it was destined for Him Who wouldput him to shame, and destroy him. And when, at his request,he was shown the Messiah, he fell on his face and owned, thatthe Messiah would in the future cast him and the Gentilesinto Gehenna [a Yalkut ii.p. 56 c] Whatever else may beinferred from it, this passage clearly implies not only thepre-existence, but the premundane existence of the Messiah.[1 The whole of this very remarkable passage is given inAppendix IX., in the notes on Is. xxv. 8; lx l; lxiv. 4; Jer.xxxi. 8.]

But, indeed, it carries us much farther. For, a Messiah,preexistent, in the Presence of God, and destined to subdueSatan and cast him into hell, could not have been regarded asan ordinary man. It is indeed true that, as the history ofElijah, so that of the Messiah is throughout compared withthat of Moses, the 'first' with 'the last Redeemer.' As Moseswas educated at the court of Pharaoh, so the Messiah dwellsin Rome (or Edom) among His enemies. [b Shem. R. 1, ed. W.vol. ii. p. 5 b; Tanch. Par. Tazrya, 8, ed. W. vol. ii. p. 20a] Like Moses He comes, withdraws, and comes again. [cPesiqta, ed. Buber, p. 49 b; Midr. Ruth. Par. 5, ed. W. p. 43b] Like Moses He works deliverance. But here the analogyceases, for, whereas the redemption by Moses was temporaryand comparatively small, that of the Messiah would be eternaland absolute. All the marvels connected with Moses were to beintensified in the Messiah. The ass on which the Messiahwould ride, and this humble estate was only caused byIsrael's sin [d Sanh. 98 a], would be not only that on whichMoses had come backto Egypt, but also that which Abraham hadused when he went to offer up Isaac, and which had beenspecially created on the eve of the world's first Sabbath. [ePirque de R. El. 31, ed. Lemb. p. 38 a] Similarly, thehornsof the ram caught in the thicket, which was offered insteadof Isaac, were destined for blowing --the left one by theAlmighty on Mount Sinai, the right and larger one by theMessiah, when He would gather the outcasts of Israel (Is.xxvii. 13).[f Pirque de R. El. u. s., p. 39 a, close] Again,the 'rod' of the Messiah was that of Aaron, which had budded,blossomed, and burst into fruit; as also that on which Jacobhad leaned, and which, through Judah, had passed to all thekings of Israel, till the destruction of the Temple. [gBemid. R. 18, close of the Phar. h Ps. lxxii. 16] And so theprinciple that 'the later Deliverer would be like the first'was carried into every detail. As the first Deliverer broughtdown the Manna, so the Messiah; [h According to the lastclause of (English verson) Joel iii. 18 (Midr. on Eccles. i.9 ed. Warsh, vol. iv. p. 80 b)] as the first Deliverer hadmade a spring of water to rise, so would the second.(i)

But even this is not all. That the Messiah had, without anyinstruction, attained to knowledge of God; [a Bemid. R. 14,ed. Warsh. p. 55 a] and that He had received, directly fromHim, all wisdom, knowledge, counsel, and grace, [b Bemid. R.13] is comparatively little, since the same was claimed forAbraham, Job, and Hezekiah. But we are told that, when Godshowed Moses all his successors, the spirit of wisdom andknowledge in the Messiah equalled that of all the otherstogether. [c Yalkut on Numb. xxvii. 16,] vol. i. p. 247 d]The Messiah would be 'greater than the Patriarchs,' higherthan Moses, [1 This is the more noteworthyas, according Sotah9 b, none in Israel was so great as Moses, who was onlyinferior to the Almighty.] and even loftier than theministering Angels. [d Tanch., Par. Toledoth 14] In view ofthis we canunderstand, how the Midrash on Psalm xxi. 3 shouldapply to the Messiah, in all its literality, that 'God wouldset His own crown on His head,' and clothe Him with His'honour and majesty.' It is only consistent that the sameMidrash should assign to the Messiah the Divine designations:'Jehovah is a Man of War,' and 'Jehovah our Righteousness.'[e Midr. Tehill. ed.Warsh. p. 30 b] One other quotation, fromperhaps the most spiritual Jewish commentary, must be added,reminding us of that outburst of adoring wonder which oncegreeted Jesus of Nazareth. The passage first refers to theseven garments with which God successively robed Himself, thefirst of 'honour and glory,' at creation; [f Ps. civ. 1] thesecond of 'majesty,' at the Red Sea; [g Ps. xciii. 1] thethird of 'strength,' at the giving of the Law; [h Ps. xciii.1] the fourth 'white,' when He blotteth outthe sins ofIsrael; [i Dan. vii. 9] the fifth of 'zeal,' when He avengeththem of their enemies; [k Is. lix. 17] the sixth of'righteousness,' at the time when the Messiah should berevealed; [m Is. lix. 17] and the seventh 'red,' when Hewouldtake vengeance on Edom (Rome). [n Is. lxiii.] 'But,'continues the commentary, 'the garment with which in thefuture He will clothe the Messiah, its splendour will extendfrom one end of the world to the other, as it is written: [oIs. lxi. 10] 'As a bridegroom priestly in headgear." AndIsrael are astounded at His light, and say: Blessed the hourin which the Messiah was created; blessed the womb whence Heissued; blessed the generation that sees Him; blessed the eyethat is worthy to behold Him; because the opening of His lipsis blessing and peace, and His speech quieting of the spirit.Glory and majesty are in His appearance (vesture), andconfidence and tranquillity in His words; and on His tonguecompassion and forgiveness; His prayer is a sweet-smellingodour, and His supplication holiness and purity. HappyIsrael, what is reserved for you! Thus it is written: [p Ps.xxxi. 19] "How manifold is Thy goodness, which Thou hastreserved to them that fear Thee." '[q Pesiqta. ed. Buber. pp.149, a, b] Such a King Messiah might well be represented assitting at the Right Hand of God, while Abraham was only atHis left; [a Midr. on Ps. xviii. 36, ed. Warsh. p. 27 a] nay,as throwing forth His Right Hand, while God stood up to warfor Him [b Midr. on Ps. cx. 1, ed. Warsh. p. 80 b]

It is not without hesitation, that we make reference toJewish allusions to the miraculous birth of the Saviour. Yetthere are two expressions, which convey the idea, if not ofsuperhuman origin, yet of some great mystery attaching to Hisbirth. The first occurs in connection with the birth of Seth.'Rabbi Tanchuma said, in the name of Rabbi Samuel: Eve hadrespect [had regard, looked forward] to that Seed which is tocome from another place. And who is this? This is Messiah theKing.' [c Ber. R. 23, ed Warsh p. 45 b] The second appears inthe narrative of the crime of Lot's daughters: [d Gen. xix.32] 'It is not written "that we may preserve a son from ourfather," but "seed from our father." This is that seed whichis coming from another place. And who is this? This is theKing Messiah.' [e Ber. R. 51 ed. Warsh. p. 95 a] [1 I am, ofcourse, aware that certain Rabbinists explain the expression'Seed from another place,' as referring to the descent of theMessiah from Ruth--a non-Israelite. But if this explanationcould be offered in reference to the daughters of Lot, it isdifficult to see its meaning in reference to Eve and thebirth of Seth. The connection there with the words (Gen. iv.25), 'God hath appointed me another Seed,' would be the veryloosest.]

That a superhuman character attached, if not to thePersonality, yet to the Mission of the Messiah, appears fromthree passages, in which the expression, 'The Spirit of theLord moved upon the face of the deep,' is thus paraphrased:'This is the Spirit of the King Messiah.' [f Ber. R. 2; and8; Vayyikra R. 14, ed. Warsh. vol. iii. p. 21 b] [2 I amsurprised, that Castelli (u. s. p. 207) should havecontended, that the reading in Ber. R. 8 and Vay. R. 14should be 'the Spirit of Adam.' For (1) the attemptedcorrection gives neither sense, nor proper meaning. (2) Thepassage Ber. R. 1 is not impugned; yet that passage is thebasis of the other two. (3) Ber. R. 8 must read, 'The Spiritof God moved on the deep--that is, the Spirit of Messiah theKing,' because the proof-passage is immediately added, 'andthe spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,' which is aMessianic passage; and because, only two lines before theimpugned passage, we are told, that Gen. i. 26, 1st clause,refers to the 'spirit of the first man.' The latter remarkapplies also to Vayyikra R. 14, where the context equallyforbids the proposed correction.] Whether this implies someactivity of the Messiah in connection with creation, [3 Itwould be very interesting to compare with this the statementsof Philo as to the agency of the Logos in Creation. Thesubject is very well treated by Riehm (Lehrbegr. d. Hebr. Br.pp. 414-420), although I cannot agree with all hisconclusions.] or only that, from the first,His Mission was tohave a bearing on all creation, it elevates His character andwork above every other agency, human or Angelic. And, withoutpressing the argument, it is at least very remarkable thateven the Ineffable Name Jehovah is expressly attributed tothe Messiah. [g Midr. on Lament. i 16, ed Warsh. p. 64 a,last line comp. Pesiqta, p. 148 a ; 4 Midr. on Ps. xxi. andthe very curious concessions in a controvesy with a Christianrecorded in Sanh. 38 b] The whole of this passage, beginningat p. 147 b, is very curious and deeply interesting. It wouldlead too far to quote fact becomes the more significant, whenwe recall that one of the most familiar names of the Messiahwas Anani, He Whi cometh in the clouds of heaven. [a Dan.vii. 13]

In what has been stated, no reference has been made to thefinal conquests of Messiah, to His reign with all itswonders, or to the subdual of all nation, in short, to whatare commonly called 'the last things.' This will be treatedin another connection. Nor is it contented that, whateverindividuals may have expected, the Synagogue taught thedoctrine of the Divine Personality of the Messiah, as held bythe Christian Church. On the other hand, the cumulativeevidence just presented must leave on the mind at least thisconviction, that the Messiah expected was far above theconditions of the most exalted of God's servants, even HisAngels; in short, so closely bordering on the Divine, that itwas almost impossible to distinguish Him therefrom. In suchcircumstances, it only needed the personal conviction, thatHe, Who taught and wrought as none other, was really theMessiah, to kindle at His word into the adoring confession,that He was indeed 'the Son of the Living God.' And once thatpoint reached, the mind, looking back through the teaching ofthe Synagogue, would, with increasing clearness, perceivethat, however ill-understood in the past, this had been allalong the sum of the whole Old Testament. Thus, we canunderstand alike the preparedness for, and yet thegradualness of conviction on this point; then, the increasingclearness with which it emerged in the consciousness of thedisciples; and, finally, the unhesitating distinctness withwhich it was put forward in Apostolic teaching as thefundamental article of belief to the Church Catholic. [1 Itwill be noticed, that the cummulative argument presented inthe foregoing pages follows closely that in the first chapterof the Epistle to the Hebrews; only, that the latter carriesit up to its final conclusion, that the Messiah was truly theSon of God, while it has been our purpose simply to state,what was the expectation of the ancient Synagogue, not whatit should have been according to the Old Testament.]




(St. Matthew i. 25; St. Luke ii. 1-20.)

SUCH then was 'the hope of the promise made of God unto thefathers,' for which the twelve tribes, 'instantly serving(God) night and day,' longed, with such vividness, that theyread it in almost every event and promise; with suchearnestness, that it ever was the burden of their prayers;with such intensity, that many and long centuries ifdisappointment have not quenched it. Its light, comparativelydim in days of sunshine and calm, seemed to burn brightestinthe dark and lonely nights of suffering, as if each gustthat 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 theMessiahship have stood the test of investigation and of time,impartial history can make only one answer. It points toBethlehem and to Nazareth. If the claims of Jesus have beenrejected by the Jewish Nation, He has at least, undoubtedly,fulfilled one part of the Mission prophetically assigned tothe Messiah. Whether or not He be the Lion of the tribe ofJudah, to Him, assuredly, has been the gathering of thenations, and the isles have waited for His law. Passing thenarrow bounds of obscure Judaea, and breaking down the wallsof national prejudice and isolation, He has made the sublimerteaching of the Old Testament the common possession of theworld, and founded a great Brotherhood, of which the God ofIsrael is the Father. He alone also has exhibited a life, inwhich absolutely no fault could be found; and promulgated ateaching, to which absolutely no exception can be taken.Admittedly, He was the One perfect Man, the ideal ofhumanity, His doctrine the one absolute teaching. The worldhas known none other, none equal. And the world has owned it,if not by the testimony of words, yet by the evidence offacts. Springing from such a people; born, living, and dyingin circumstances, and using means, the most unlikely of suchresults, the Man of Nazareth has, by universal consent, beenthe mightiest Factor in our world's history: alikepolitically, socially, intellectually, and morally. If He benot the Messiah, He has at least thus far done the Messiah'swork. If He be not the Messiah, there has has at least beennone 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 OldTestament prediction, [a Micah v. 2] but the testimony ofRabbinic teaching, unhesitatingly pointed. Yet nothing couldbe imagined more directly contrary to Jewish thoughts andfeelings, and hence nothing less likely to suggest itself toJewish invention [1 The advocates of the mythical theory havenot 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 atBethlehem, why invent such circumstances to being Mary toBethlehem? Keim may be right in saying: 'The belief in thebirth at Bethlehem originated very simply (Leben Jesu i. 2,p. 393); but all the more complicated and inexplicable is theorigination of the legend, which accounts for the journeythither of Mary and Joseph.] , than the circumstances which,according to the Gospel-narrative, brought about the birth ofthe Messiah in Bethlehem. Acounting of the people, of Census;and that Census taken at the bidding of a heathen Emperor,andexecuted by one so universally hated as Herod, wouldrepresent the ne plus ultra of all that was most repugnant toJewish feeling. [2 In evidence of of these feelings, we havethe account of Josephus of the consequences of the taxationof Cyrenius (Ant. xviii. 1. 1. Comp. Acts v. 37).] If theaccount to the Gospel-narrative, brought about the birth ofthe Bethlehem, has no basis in fact, but is a legend inventedto locate the birth of the Nazarene in the royal City ofDavid, it must be pronounced most clumsily devised. There isabsolutely nothing to account for its origination, eitherfrom parallel events in the past, or from contemporaryexpectancy. Why then connect the birth of their Messiah withwhat was most repugnant to Israel, especially if, as theadvocates of the legendary hypothesis contend, it did notoccur at a time when any Jewish Census was taken, but tenyears previously?

But if it be impossible rationally to account for anylegendary origin of the narrative of Joseph and Mary'sjourney to Bethlehem, the historical grounds, on which itsaccuracy has been impugned, are equally insufficient. Theyresolve themselves into this: that (beyond theGospel-narrative) we have no solid evidence that Cyrenius wasat that time occupying the needful official position in theEast, to order such a registration for Herod to carry out.But even this feeble contention is by no means historicallyunassailable. [3 The arguments on what may be calledtheorthodox side have, from different points of view, been sooften and well stated, latterly by Wieseler, Huschke, Zumpt,and Steinmeyer, and on the otherside almost ad nauseam bynegative critics of every school, that it seems unnecessaryto go again over them. The reader will find the whole subjectstated by Canon Cook, whose views we substantially adopt, inthe 'Speaker's Commentary' (N.T. i. pp. 326-329). Thereasoning of Mommsen (Res gestae D. Aug. pp. 175, 176) doesnot seem to me to affect the view taken in the text.] At anyrate, there are two facts, which render any historicalmistake by St. Luke on this point extremely difficult tobelieve. First, he was evidently aware of a Census underCyrenius, ten years later; [a Comp. Acts v. 37] secondly,whatever rendered of St. Luke ii. 2 may be adopted, it willat least be admitted, that the intercalated sentence aboutCyrenius was not necessary for the narrative, and that thewriter must have intended thereby emphatically to mark acertain event. But an author would not be likely to callspecial attention to a fact, of which he had only indistinctknowledge; rather, if it must be mentioned, would he do so inthe most indefinite terms. This presumption in favour of St.Luke's statement is strengthened by the consideration, thatsuch an event as the taxing of Judaea must have been soeasily ascertainable by him.

We are, however, not left to the presumptive reasoning justset forth. That the Emperor Augustus made registers of theRoaman Empire, and of subject and tributary states, is nowgenerally admitted. This registration, for the purpose offuture taxation, would also embrace Palestine. Even if noactual order to that effect had been issued during thelifetime of Herod, we can understand that he would deem itmost expedient, both on account of his relations to theEmperor, and in view of the probable excitement which aheathen Census would cause in Palestine, to take steps formaking a registration, and that rather according to theJewish than the Roman manner. This Census, then, arranged byAugustus, and taken by Herod in his own manner, was,according to St. Luke, 'first [really] carried out whenCyrenius was Governor of Syria,' some years after Herod'sdeath and when Judaea had become a Roman province. [1 For thetextual explanation we again refer to Canon Cook, only wewould mark, with Steinmeyer, that the meaning of theexpression, in St. Luke ii. 2, is determined by the similaruse of it in Acts xi. 28, where what was predicted is said tohave actually taken place at the time of Claudius Caesar.]

We are now prepared to follow the course of theGospel-narrative. In consequence of 'the decree of CaesarAugustus,' Herod directed a general registration to be madeafter the Jewish, rather than the Roman, manner. Practicallythe two would, indeed, in this instance, be very similar.According to the Roman law, all country-people were to beregistered in their 'own city', meaning thereby the town towhich the village or place, where they were born, wasattached. In so doing, the 'house and lineage' (the nomen andcognomen) of each were marked. [1 Comp. Huschke. Ueber d. z.Zeit d. Geb. J. C. gehalt. Census pp. 119, 120. Most criticshave written very confusedly on this point.] According to theJewish mode of registration, the people would have beenenrolled according to tribes, families or clans, and thehouse of their fathers. But as the ten tribes had notreturned to Palestine, this could only take place to a verylimited extent, [2 The reader will now be able to appreciatethe value of Keim's objections against such a Census, asinvolving a 'wahre Volkswanderung' (!), and being 'eine Sacheder Unmoglichkeit.'] while it would be easy for each to beregistered in 'his own city.' In the case of Joseph and Mary,whose descent from David was not only known, but where, forthe sake of the unborn Messiah, it was most important thatthis should be distinctly noted, it was natural that, inaccordance with Jewish law, they should have gone toBethlehem. Perhaps also, for many reasons which will readilysuggest themselves, Joseph and Mary might be glad to leaveNazareth, and seek, if possible, a home in Bethlehem. Indeed,so strong was this feeling, that it afterwards requiredspecial Divine direction to induce Joseph to relinquish thischosen place of residence, and to return into Galilee. [a St.Matt ii. 22.] In these circumstances, Mary, now the 'wife' ofJoseph, though standing to him only in the actualrelationship of 'betrothed,' [b St. Luke ii. 5.] would, ofcourse, accompany her husband to Bethlehem. Irrespective ofthis, every feeling and hope in her must have prompted such acourse, and there is no need to discuss whether Roman orJewish 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, [3 This, ofcourse, is only a conjecture; but I call it 'probable,'partly because one would naturally so arrange a journey ofseveral days, to make its stages as slow and easy aspossible, and partly from the circumstance, that, on theirarrival, they found the khan full, which would scarcely havebeen the case had they reached Bethlehem early in the day.]as the two travellers from Nazareth, bringing with them thefew necessaries of a poor Eastern household, neared theirjourney's end. If we think of Jesus as the Messiah fromheaven, the surroundings of outward poverty, so far fromdetracting, seem most congruous to His Divine character.Earthly splendor would here seem like tawdry tinsel, and theutmost simplicity like that clothing of the lilies, which farsurpassed all the glory of Solomon's court. But only in theEast would the most absolute simplicity be possible, and yetneither it, nor the poverty from which it sprang, necessarilyimply even the slightest taint of social inferiority. The wayhad been long and weary, at the very least, three days'journey, whatever route had been taken from Galilee. Mostprobably it would be that so commonly followed, from a desireto avoid Samaria, along the eastern banks of the Jordan, andby the fords of Jericho. [1 Comp. the account of the roads,inns, &c. in the 'History of the Jewish Nation,' p. 275; andthe chapter on Travelling in Palestine,' in 'Sketches ofJewish Social Life in the Days of Christ.'] Although passingthrough one of the warmest parts of the country, the seasonof the year must, even in most favorable circumstances, havegreatly increased the difficulties of such a journey. A senseof rest and peace must, almost unconsciously, have crept overthe travellers when at last they reached the rich fields thatsurrounded the ancient 'House of Bread,' and, passing throughthe valley which, like an amphitheatre, sweeps up to thetwain heights along which Bethlehem stretches (2,704 feetabove the sea), ascended through the terraced vineyards andgardens. Winter though it was, the green and silvery foliageof the olive might, even at that season, mingle with the palepink of the almond, nature's 'early waker' [2 The almond iscalled, in Hebrew, 'the waker,' from the word 'to be awake.'It is quite possible, that many of the earliest springflowers already made the landscape bright.], and with thedarker coloring of the opening peach-buds. The chaste beautyand sweet quiet of the place would recall memories of Boaz,of Jesse, and of David. All the more would such thoughtssuggest themselves, from the contrast between the past andthe present. For, as the travellers reached the heights ofBethlehem, and, indeed, long before, the most prominentobject in view must have been the great castle which Herodhad built, and called after his own name. Perched on thehighest hill south-east of Bethlehem, it was, at the sametime magnificent palace, strongest fortress, and almostcourtier-city. [a Jos. Ant. xiv. 13. 9; xv. 9. 4; War. i. 13.8:21, 10.] With a sense of relief the travellers would turnfrom this, to mark the undulating outlines of the highlandwilderness of Judaea, till the horizon was bounded by themountain-ridges of Tekoa. Through the break of the hillseastward the heavy molten surface of the Sea of Judgementwould appear in view; westward wound the road to Hebron;behind them lay the valleys and hills which separatedBethlehem from Jerusalem, and concealed the Holy City.

But for the present such thoughts would give way to thepressing necessity of finding shelter and rest. The littletown of Bethlehem was crowded with those who had come fromall the outlying district to register their names. Even ifthe strangers from far-off Galilee had been personallyacquainted with any one in Bethlehem, who could have shownthem hospitality, they would have found every house fullyoccupied. The very inn was filled, and the only availablespace was, where ordinarily the cattle were stabled. [1 Dr.Geikie indeed 'feelssure' that the was not an inn, but aguest-chamber, because the word is used in that sense in St.Mark xiv. 14, Luke xxii. 11. But this inference is criticallyuntenable. The Greek word is of very wide application, andmeans (as Schleusner puts it) 'omnis locus quieti aptus.' Inthe LXX. is the equivalent of not less than five Hebrewwords, which have widely different meanings. In the LXX.rendering of Ex. iv. 24 it is used for the Hebrew whichcertainly cannot mean a guest-chamber, but an inn. No onecould imagine that. If private hospitality had been extendedto the Virgin-Mother, she would have been left in suchcircumstances in a stable. The same term occurs in Aramaicform, in Rabbinic writings, as an inn. Delitzsch, in hisHebrew N.T., uses the more common Bazaars and markets werealso held in those hostelries; animals killed, and meat soldthere; also wine and cider; so that they were a much morepublic place of resort than might at first be imagined. Comp.Herzfeld. Handelsgesch. p. 325.] Bearing in mind the simplehabits of the East, this scarcely implies, what it would inthe West; and perhaps the seclusion and privacy from thenoisy, chattering crowd, which thronged the khan, would beall the more welcome. Scanty as these particulars are, eventhus much is gathered rather by inference than from thenarrative itself. Thus early in this history does the absenceof details, which painfully increases as we proceed, remindus, that the Gospels were not intended to furnish a biographyof Jesus, nor even the materials for it; but had only thistwofold object: that those who read them 'might believe thatJesus is the Christ, the Son of God,' and that believing they'might have life through His Name.' [a St. John xx. 31; comp.St. Luke i. 4.] The Christian heart and imagination, indeed,long to be able to localise the scene of such surpassingimportance, and linger with fond reverence over that Cave,which is now covered by 'the Church of the Nativity.' It maybe, nay, it seems likely, that this, to which the mostvenerable tradition points, was the sacred spot of theworld's greatest event. [2 Perhaps the best authenticated ofall local traditions is that which fixes on this cave as theplace of the Nativity. The evidence in its favour is wellgiven by Dr. Farrar in his 'Life of Christ.' Dean Stanley,however, and others, have questioned it.] But certainly wehave not. It is better, that it should be so. As to all thatpassed in the seclusion of that 'stable,' the circumstancesof the 'Nativity,' even its exact time after the arrival ofMary (brief as it must have been), the Gospel-narrative issilent. This only is told, that then and there theVirgin-Mother 'brought forth her first-born Son, and wrappedHim in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger.' Beyondthis announcement of the bare fact, Holy Scripture, withindescribable appropriateness and delicacy, draws a veil overthat most sacred mystery. Two impressions only are left onthe mind: that of utmost earthly humility, in the surroundingcircumstances; and that of inward fitness, in the contrastsuggested by them. Instinctively, reverently, we feel that itis well it should have been so. It best befits the birth ofthe Christ, if He be what the New Testament declares Him.

On the other hand, the circumstances just noted afford thestrongest indirect evidence of the truth of this narrative.For, if it were the outcome of Jewish imagination, where isthe basis for it in contemporary expectation? Would Jewishlegend have ever presented its Messiah as born in a stable,to which chance circumstances had consigned His Mother? Thewhole current of Jewish opinion would run in the contrarydirection. The opponents of the authenticity of thisnarrative are bound to face this. Further, it may safely beasserted, that no Apocryphal or legendary narrative of such a(legendary) event would have been characterised by suchscantiness, or rather absence, of details. For, the twoessential features, alike of legend and of tradition, are,that they ever seek to surround their heroes with a halo ofglory, and that they attempt to supply details, which areotherwise wanting. And in both these respects a moresharply-marked contrast could scarcely be presented, than inthe Gospel-narrative.

But as we pass from the sacred gloom of the cave out intothe night, its sky all aglow with starry brightness, itsloneliness is peopled, and its silence made vocal fromheaven. There is nothing now to conceal, but much to reveal,though the manner of it would seem strangely incongruous toJewish thinking. And yet Jewish tradition may here prove bothillustrative and helpful. That the Messiah was to be born inBethlehem, [1 In the curious story of His birth, related inthe Jer. Talmud (Ber. ii. 3), He is said to have been born in'the royal castle of Bethlehem;' while in the parallelnarrative in the Midr. on Lament. i. 16, ed. W. p. 64 b) thesomewhat mysterious expression is used But we must keep inview the Rabbinic statement that, even if a castle fallsdown, it is still called a castle (Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 60b).] was a settled conviction. Equally so was the belief,that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder, 'the tower ofthe flock.' [a Targum Pseudo-Jon. on Gen. xxxv 21.] ThisMigdal Eder was not the watchtower for the ordinary flockswhich pastured on the barren sheepground beyond Bethlehem,but lay close to the town, on the road to Jerusalem. Apassage in the Mishnah [b Shek. vii. 4.] leads to theconclusion, that the flocks, which pastured there, weredestined for Temple-sacrifices, [2 In fact the Mishnah (BabaK. vii. 7) expressly forbids the keeping of flocks throughoutthe land of Israel, except in the wilderness, and the onlyflocks otherwise kept, would be those for the Temple-services(Baba K. 80 a).] and, accordingly, that the shepherds, whowatched over them, were not ordinary shepherds. The latterwere under the ban of Rabbinism, [1 This disposes of an inaptquotation (from Delitzsch) by Dr. Geikie. No one couldimagine, that the Talmudic passages in question could applyto such shepherds as these.] on account of their necessaryisolation from religious ordinances, and their manner oflife, which rendered strict legal observance unlikely, if notabsolutely impossible. The same Mishnic passage also leads usto infer, that these flocks lay out all the year round, sincethey are spoken of as in the fields thirty days before thePassover, that is, in the month of February, when inPalestine the average rainfall is nearly greatest. [2 Themean of 22 seasons in Jerusalem amounted to 4.718 inches inDecember, 5.479 in January, and 5.207 in February (see a veryinteresting paper by Dr. Chaplin in Quart. Stat. of Pal.Explor. Fund, January, 1883). For 1876-77 we have thesestartling 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) iswithout rain' (Taan. 6 b). Those who have copied Lightfoot'squotations about the flocks not lying out during the wintermonths ought, at least, to have known that the reference inthe Talmudic passages is expressly to the flocks whichpastured in 'the wilderness'. But even so, the statement, asso many others of the kind, is not accurate. For, in theTalmud two opinions are expressed. According to one, the'Midbariyoth,' or 'animals of the wilderness,' are thosewhich go to the open at the Passovertime, and return at thefirst rains (about November); while, on the other hand, Rabbimaintains, and, as it seems, more authoritatively, that thewilderness-flocks remain in the open alike in the hottestdays and in the rainy season, i.e. all the year round (Bezah40 a). Comp. also Tosephta Bezah iv. 6. A somewhat differentexplanation is given in Jer. Bezah 63 b.] Thus, Jewishtradition in some dim manner apprehended the first revelationof the Messiah from that Migdal Eder, where shepherds watchedthe Temple-flocks all the year round. Of the deep symbolicsignificance of such a coincidence, it is needless to speak.

It was, then, on that 'wintry night' of the 25th ofDecember, [3 There is no adequate reason for questioning thehistorical accuracy of this date. The objections generallymade rest on grounds, which seem to me historicallyuntenable. The subject has been fully discussed in an articleby Cassel in Herzog's Real. Ency. xvii. pp. 588-594. But acurious piece of evidence comes to us from a Jewish source.In the addition to the Megillath Taanith (ed. Warsh. p. 20a), the 9th Tebheth is marked as a fast day, and it is added,that the reason for this is not stated. Now, Jewishchronologists have fixed on that day as that of Christ'sbirth, and it is remarkable that, between the years 500 and816 A.D. the 25th of December fell no less than twelve timeson the 9th Tebheth. If the 9th Tebheth, or 25th December, wasregarded as the birthday of Christ, we can understand theconcealment about it. Comp. Zunz, Ritus d. Synag. Gottesd. p.126.] that shepherds watched the flocks destined forsacrificial services, in the very place consecrated bytradition as that where the Messiah was to be first revealed.Of a sudden came the long-delayed, unthoughtof ofannouncement. Heaven and earth seemed to mingle, as suddenlyannouncement. Heaven and earth seemed to mingle, as suddenlyan Angel stood before their dazzled eyes, while theoutstreaming glory of the Lord seemed to enwrap them, as in amantle of light. [4 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 theShekhinah. In the same section we read, in reference to theappearance in the bush, that, 'at first only one Angel came,'who stood in the burning bush, and after that the Shekhinahcame, and spoke to Moses from out the bush. (It is a curiousillustration of Acts ix. 7, that Moses alone is said inJewish tradition to have seen the vision. but not the men whowere with him.) Wetstein gives an erroneous reference to aTalmudic statement, to the effect that, at the birth ofMoses, the room was filled with heavenly light. The statementreally occurs in Sotah 12 a; Shem. R. 1; Yalkut i. 51 c. Thismust be the foundation of the Christian legend, that thecave, in which Christ was born, was filled with heavenlylight. Similarly, the Romish legend about the Virgin Mothernot feeling the pangs of maternity is derived from the Jewishlegend, which asserts the same of the mother of Moses. Thesame authority maintains, that the birth of Moses remainedunknown for three months, because he was a child of sevenmonths. There are other legends about the sinlessness ofMoses' father, and the maidenhood of his mother (at 103years), which remind us of Christian traditions.] Surprise,awe, fear would be hushed into calm and expectancy, as fromthe Angel they heard, that what they saw boded not judgment,but ushered in to waiting Israel the great joy of those goodtidings which he brought: that the long-promised Saviour,Messiah, Lord, was born in the City of David, and that theythemselves might go and see, and recognize Him by thehumbleness 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, theTemple-music burst forth in three sections, each marked bythe blast of the priests' silver trumpets, as if each Psalmwere to be a Tris-Hagion; [1 According to tradition, thethree blasts symbolically proclaimed the Kingdom of God, theprovidence of God, and the final judgment.] so, when theHerald-Angel had spoken, a multitude of heaven's host [2Curiously enough, the word is Hebraised in the sameconnection See Yalkut on Ps. xlv. (vol. ii. p. 105 a, aboutthe middle).] stood forth to hymn the good tidings he hadbrought. What they sang was but the reflex of what had beenannounced. It told in the language of praise the character,the meaning, the result, of what had taken place. Heaven tookup the strain of 'glory'; earth echoed it as 'peace'; it fellon the ears and hearts of men as 'good pleasure':

Glory to God in the highest, And upon earth peace, Among mengood pleasure! [3 I have unhesitatingly retained the readingof the textus receptus. The arguments in its favor aresufficiently set forth by Canon Cook in his 'Revised Versionof the First Three Gospels,' pp. 27,32.]

Only once before had the words of the Angels' hymn fallenupon mortal's ears, when, to Isaiah's rapt vision, Heaven'shigh Temple had opened, and the glory of Jehovah swept itscourts, almost breaking down the trembling posts that boreits boundary gates. Now the same glory enwrapt the shepherdson Bethlehem's plams. Then the Angels' hymn had heralded theannouncement of the Kingdom coming; now that of the Kingcome. Then it had been the Tris-Hagion of propheticanticipation; now that of Evangelic fulfilment.

The hymn had ceased; the light faded out of the sky; and theshepherds were alone. But the Angelic message remained withthem; and the sign, which was to guide them to the InfantChrist, lighted their rapid way up the terraced height towhere, at the entering of Bethlehem, the lamp swinging overthe hostelry directed them to the strangers of the house ofDavid, who had come from Nazareth. Though it seems as if, inthe hour of her utmost need, the Virgin, Mother had not beenministered to by loving hands, [1 This appears to me impliedin theemphatic 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.]yet what had happened in the stable must soon have becomeknown in the Khan. Perhaps friendly women were still passingto and fro on errands of mercy, when the shepherds reachedthe 'stable.' [2 It seems difficult to understand how, on Dr.Geikie's theory, the shepherds could have found theInfant-Saviour, since, manifestly, they could not during thatnight have roused every household in Bethlehem, to inquirewhether any child had been born among their guests.] Therethey found, perhaps not what they had expected, but as theyhad been told. The holy group only consisted of the humbleVirgin-Mother, the lowly carpenter of Nazareth, and the Babelaid in the manger. What further passed we know not, savethat, having seen it for themselves, the shepherds told whathad been spoken to them about this Child, to all around [3The term more than to ' make known abroad.' Wahl renders it'ultro citroquenarroh'; Schleusner: 'divulgo aliquid ut aliisinnotescat, spargo rumorem.'] , in the 'stable' in thefields, probably also in the Temple, to which they wouldbring their flocks, thereby preparing the minds of a Simeon,of an Anna, and of all them that looked for salvation inIsrael. [4 This may have prepared not only those who welcomedJesus on His presentation in the Temple, but filled manyothers with expectancy.]

And now the hush of wondering expectancy fell once more onall, who heard what was told by the shepherds, this time notonly in the hill-country of Judaea, but within the widercircle that embraced Behtlehem and the Holy City. And yet itseemed all so sudden, so strange. That such slender thread,as the feeble throb of an Infant-life, the salvation of theworld should hang, and no special care watch over its safety,no better shelter be provided it than a 'stable,' no othercradle than a manger! And still it is ever so. On whatslender thread has the continued life of the Church oftenseemed to hang; on what feeble throbbing that of every childof God, with no visible outward means to ward off danger, nohome of comfort, no rest of ease. But, 'Lo, children areJehovah's heritage!', and: 'So giveth He to His beloved inhis sleep!' [1 The following remarkable extract from theJerusalem Targum on Ex. xii. 42 may interest the reader:

It is a night to be observed and exalted.... Four nights arethere written in the Book of Memorial. Night first: when theMemra of Jehovah was revealed upon the world for itscreation; when the world was without form and void, anddarkness was spread upon the face of the deep, and hte Memraof Jehovah illuminated and made it light; and He called itthe first night. Night second: when the Memra of Jehovah wasrevealed unto Abraham between the divided pieces; whenAbraham was a hundred years, and Sarah was ninety years, andto confirm thereby that which the Scripture saith, Abraham ahundred years, can he beget? and Sarah, ninety years old, canshe bear? Was not our father Isaac thirty-seven years old atthe time he was offered upon the altar? Then the heavens werebowed down and brought low, and Isaac saw their foundations,and his eyes were blinded owing to that sight; and He calledit the second night. The thrid night: when the Memra ofJehovah was revealed upon the Egyptians, at the dividing ofthe night; His right hand slew the first-born of theEgyptians, and His right hand spared the first-born ofIsrael; to fulfil what the Scripture hath said, Israel is Myfirst-born well-beloved son. And He called it the thridnight. Night the forth: when the end of the world will beaccomplished, that it might be dissolved, the bands ofwickedness destroyed, and the iron yoke broken. Moses cameforth from the midst of the desert, and the King Messiah fromthe midst of Rome. This one shall lead at the head of aCloud, and that one shall lead at the head of a Cloud; andthe Memra of Jehovah will lead between both, and they twoshall come as one (Cachada).' (For explan. see vol. ii. p.100, note.)]




(St. Luke ii. 21-38.)

FOREMOST amongst those who, wondering, had heard what theshepherds told, was she whom most it concerned, who laid itup deepest in her heart, and brought to it treasured storesof memory. It was the Mother of Jesus. These many months, allconnected with this Child could never have been far away formher thoughts. And now that He was hers, yet not hers,belonged, yet did not seem to belong, to her, He would be themore dear to her Mother-heart for what made Him so near, andyet parted Him so far from her. And upon all His historyseemed to lie such wondrous light, that she could only seethe path behindm, so far as she had trodden it,; while uponthat on which she was to move, was such dazzling brightness,that she could scare look upon the present, and dared notgaze towards the future.

At the very outset of this history, and increasingly in itscourse, the question meets us, how, if the Angelic message tothe Virgin was a reality, and her motherhood so supernatural,she could have been apparently so ignorant of what was tocome, nay, so often have even misunderstood it? Strange, thatshe should have 'pondered in her heart' the shepherd'saccount; stranger, that afterwards she should have wonderedat His lingering in the Temple among Israel's teachers;strangest, that, at the very first of His miracles, amother's fond pride should have so harshly broken in upon theDivine melody of His work, by striking a keynote so differentfrom that, to which His life had been set; or thatafterwards, in the height of his activity, loving fears, ifnot doubts, should have prompted her to interrupt, whatevidently she had not as yet comprehended in the fulness ofits meaning. Might we not rather have expected, that theVirgin-Mother from the inception of this Child's life wouldhave understood, that He was truly the Son of God? Thequestion, like so many others, requires only to be clearlystated, to find its emphatic answer. For. had it been so Hishistory, His human life, of which every step is of suchimportance to mankind, would not have been possible. Apartfrom all thoughts of the deeper necessity, both as regardedHis Mission and all the salvation of the world, of a truehuman development of gradual consciousness and personal life,Christ could not, in any true sense, have been subject to HisParents, if they had fully understood that He was Divine; norcould He, in that case, have been watched, as He 'grew inwisdon and in favour with God and men.' Such knowledge wouldhave broken the bond of His Humanity to ours, by severingthat which bound Him as a child to His mother. We could nothave become His brethren, had He not been truly the Virgin'sSon. The mystery of the Incarnation would have been needlessand fruitless, had His humanity not been subject to all itsright and ordinary conditions. And, applying the sameprinciple more widely, we can thus, in some measure,understand why the mystery of His Divinity had to be keptwhile He was on earth. Had it been otherwise, the thought ofHis Divinity would have proved so all-absorbing, as to renderimpossible tthat of His Humanity, with all its lessons. TheSon of God Most High, Whom they worshipped, could never havebeen the loving Man, with Whom they could hold such closeconverse. The bond which bound the Master to His disciples,the Son of Man to humanity, would have been dissolved; Histeaching as a Man, the Inearnation, and the Tabernaclingamong men, in place of the former Old Testament Revelationfrom heaven, would have become wholly impossible. In short,one, and that the distinctive New Testament, element in oursalvation would have been taken away. At the beginning of Hislife He would have anticipated the lessons of its end, nay,not those of His Death only, but of His Resurrection andAscension, and of the coming of the Holy Ghost.

In all this we have only been taking the subjective, not theobjective, view of the question; considered the eartward, notthe heavenward, aspect of His life. The latter, though veryreal, lies beyond our present horizon. Not so the question asto the development of the Virgin-Mother's spiritualknowledge. Assuming her to have occupied, in the fullestsense, the standpoint of Jewish Messianic expectancy, andremembering, also, that she was so 'highly favoured' of God,still, there was not as yet anything, nor could there be formany years, to lead her beyond what might be called theutmost height of Jewish belief. On the contrary, there wasmuch connected with His true Humanity to keep her back. Fornarrow as, to our retrospective thinking, the boundary-lineseems between Jewish belief and that in the hypostatic unionof the two Natures, the passage from the one to the otherrepresented such tremendous mental revolution, as to implydirect Divine teaching. [a 1 Cor. xii. 3] An illustrativeinstance willprove this better than argument. We read, in acommentary on the opening words of Gen. xv. 18, [b Ber. R.44, ed. Warsh. p. 81 b] that when God made the covenant withAbram, He 'revealed to him both this Olam (dispensation) andthe Olam to come,' which latter expression is correctlyexplained as referring to the days of the Messiah. Jewishtradition, therefore, here asserts exactly what Jesus statedin these words: 'Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day;and he saw it, and was glad.' [e St. John viii. 56] Yet weknow what storm of indignation the enunciation of it calledforth among the Jews!

Thus it was, that every event connected with the Messianicmanifestation of Jesus would come to the Virgin-Mother as afresh discovery and a new surprise. Each event, as it tookplace, stood isolated in her mind; not as part of a wholewhich she would anticipate, nor as only one link in a chain;but as something quite by itself. She knew the beginning, andshe knew the end; but she knew not the path which led fromthe one to the other; and each step in it was a newrevelation. Henceit was, tht she so carefully treasured inher heart every new fact, [d St. Luke ii. 19, 51] piecingeach to the other, till she could read from it the greatmystery that He, Whom Incarnate she had borne, was, indeed,the Son of the living God. And as it was natural, so it waswell 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 regardedherself and her ChildThe first of these was Circumcision, representing voluntarysubjection to the conditions of the Law, and acceptance ofthe obligations, but also of the privileges, of the Covenantbetween God and Abraham and his seed. Any attempt to show thedeep siginificance of such a rite in the case of Jesus, couldonly weaken the impression which the fact itself conveys. Theceremony took place, as in all ordinary circumstances, on theeight day, when the Child received the Angel-given nameJeshua (Jesus). Two other legal ordinances still remained tobe observed. The firstbnorn son of every household was,according to the Law, to be 'redeemed' of the priest at theprice of five shekels of the Sanctuary. [e Numb. xviii. 16]Rabbinic casuistry here added many needless, and evenrepulsive, details. The following, however, are of practicalinterest. The earliest period of presentation was thirty-onedays after birth so as to make the legal month quitecomplete. The child must have been the firstborn of hismother (according to some writers, of his father also); [1 SoLundius, Jud. Alterth. p.621, and Buxtorf, Lex. Talmud. p.1699. But I am bound to say, that this seems contrary to thesayings of the Rabbis.] neither father nor mother [2 Thisdisposes of the idea, that the Virgin-Mother was of directAaronic or Levitic descent.] must be of Levitic descent; andthe child must be free from all such bodily blemishes aswould have disqualified him for the priesthood, or, as it wasexpressed: 'the firstborn for the priesthood.' It was a thingmuch dreaded, that the child should die before hisredemption; but if his father died in the interval, the childhad to redeem himself when of age. As the Rabbinic lawexpressly states, that the shekels were to be of 'Tyrianweight,' [a Bechor viii. 7] the value of the 'redemptionmoney' would amount to about ten or twelve shillings. Theredemption could be made from any priest, and attendance inthe Temple was not requisite. It was otherwise with the'purification' of the mother. [b Lev. xii.] The Rabbinicd lawfixed this at forty-one days after the birth of a son, andeighty-one after that of a daughter, [3 Archdeacon Farrar ismistaken in supposing, that the 'thirty-three days' werecounted 'after the circumcision.' The idea must have arisenfrom a misunderstanding of the English version of Lev. xii.4. There was no connection between the time of thecircumcision of the child, and that of the purification ofhis mother. In certain circumstances circumcision might haveto be delayed for days, in case of sickness, till recovery.It is equally a mistake to suppose, that a Jewish mothercould not leave the house till after the forty days of herpurification.] so as to make the Biblical terms quitecomplete. [c Comp. Sifra, ed. Weiss, p. 59 a and b;Maimonides, Yad haChaz. Hal.Mechusre Capp., ed. Amst., vol.iii. p. 255 a and b.] But it might take place any time later,notably, when attendance on any of the great feasts brought afamily to Jerusalem. Thus, we read of cases when a motherwould offer several sacrifices of purification at the sametime. [4 Comp. Kerith. i. 7.] But, indeed, the woman was notrequired to be personally present at all, when her offeringwas presented, or, rather (as we shall see), provided for,say, by the representatives of the laity, who daily took partin the services for the various districts from which theycame. This also is specially provided for in the Tulmud. [5Jer. Sheq. 50 b.] But mothers who were within convenientdistanceof the Temple, and especially the more earnest amongthem, would naturally attend personally in the Temple; [6There is no ground whatever for the objection which Rabbi Low(Lebensalter, p. 112) raises against the account of St. Luke.Jewish documents only prove, that a mother need notpersonally attend in the Temple; not tht they did not do so,when attendance was possible. The contrary impression isconveyed to us by Jewish notices.] and in such cases, whenpracticable, the redemption of the firstborn, and thepurification of his mother, would be combined. Such wasundoubtedly the case with the Virgin-Mother and her Son.

For this twofold purpose the Holy Family went up to theTemple, when the prescribed days were completed. [1 Theexpression cannot refer to the Purification of the Virgin andher Babe (Farrar), nor to that of the Virgin and Joseph(Meyer), because neither the Babe nor Joseph needed, nor werethey included in, the purification. It can only refer to'their' (i.e. the Jews') purification. But this does notimply any Romish inferences (Sepp, Leben Jesu, ii. 1, p. 131)as to the superhuman condition or origin of the BlessedVirgin; on the contrary, the offering of the sin-offeringpoints in the other direction.] The ceremony at theredemption of a firstborn son was, no doubt, more simple thanthat at present in use. It consisted of the formalpresentation of the child to the priest, accompanied by twoshort 'benedictions', the one for the law of redemption moneywas paid. [2 Comp. the rubric and the prayers in Maimonides,Yad haChaz. Hilch. Biccur. xi. 5.] Most solemn, as in such aplace, and remembering its symbolic significance as theexpression of God's claim over each family in Israel, mustthis rite have been.

As regards the rite at the purification of the mother, thescantiness of information has led to serious misstatements.Any comparison with our modern 'churching' of women [3 So Dr.Geikie.] is inapplicable, since the latter consists ofthanksgiving, and the former primarily of a sin-offering forthe Levitical defilement symbolically attaching to thebeginning of life, and a burnt-offering, that marked therestoration of communion with God. Besides, as alreadystated, the sacrifice for purification might be brought inthe absence of the mother. Similar mistakes prevail as to therubric. It is not case, as generally stated, that the womanwas sprinkled with blood, and then pronounced clean by thepriest, or that prayers were offered on the occasion. [4 SoDr. Geikie, taking his account from Herzog's Real-Encykl. Themistake about the mother being sprinkled with sacrificialblood orginated with Lightfoot (Horae Hebr. on St. Luke ii.22). Later writers have followed the lead. Tamid v. 6, quotedby Lightfoot, refers only to the cleansing of the leper. The'prayers' supposed to be spoken, and the pronouncing clean bythe priests, are the embellishments of later writers, forwhich Lightfoot is not responsible. The service simplyconsisted of the statutory sacrifice. This was what, inecclesiastical language, was termed an offering oleh veyored,that is, 'ascending and descending,' according to the meansof the offerer. The sin-offering was, in all cases, aturtle-dove or a young pigeon. But, while the more wealthybrought a lamb for a burnt-offering the poor might substitutefor it a turtle-dove, or a young pigeon. [5 According toSifra (Par. Tazria, Per. iv. 3): 'Whenever the sin-offeringis changed, it precedes [as on ordinary occasions] theburnt-offering; but when the burnt-offering is changed [as onthis occasion], it precedes the sin-offering.'] The ribricdirected that the neck of the sin-offering was to be broken,but the head not wholly severed; that some of the bloodshould be sprinkled at the south-western angle of the altar,[1 But this precisespot was not matter of absolute necessity(Seb. vi. 2). Directions are given as to the manner in whichthe priest was to perform the sacrificial act.] below the redline, [2 Kinnim i. 1. If the sin-offering was a four-footedanimal, the blood was sprinkled above the red line.] whichran round the middle of the altar, and that the rest shouldbe poured out at the base of the altar. The whole of theflesh belonged to the priests, and had to be eaten within theenclosure of the Sanctuary. The rubric for the burnt-offeringof a turtle-dove or a young pigeon was somewhat moreintricate. [a Sebach. vi 5] The substitution of the latterfor a young lamb was expressly designated 'the poor'soffering.' And rightly so, since, while a lamb would probablycost about three shillings, the average value of a pair ofturtle-doves, for both the sin-and burnt-offering, would beabout eightpence, [b Comp. Kerith. i. 7] and on one occasionfell so low as twopence. The Temple-price of the meat-anddrink-offerings was fixed once a month; and special officialsinstructed the intending offerers, and provided them withwhat was needed. [c Sheq. iv. 9] There was also a special'superintendent of turtle-doves and pigeons,' required forcertain purifications, and the holder of that office ismentioned with praise in the Mishnah. [d Sheq. v. 1] Much,indeed, depended upon his uprightness. For, at any rate asregarded those who brought the poor's offering, thepurchasers of pigeons or turtle-doves would, as a rule, haveto deal with him. In the Court of the Women there werethirteen trumpet-shaped chests for pecuniary contributions,called 'trumpets.' [3 Comp. St. Matt. vi. 2. See 'The Templeand its Services,' & c. pp. 26, 27.] Into the third of thesethey who brought the poor's offering, like the Virgin-Mother,were to drop the price of the sacrifices which were neededfor their purification. [4 Comp. Shekal. vi. 5, theCommentaries, and Jer. Shek. 50 b.] As we infer, [e Tosepht.Sheq. iii. 2] the superintending priest must have beenstationed here, alike to inform the offerer of the price ofthe turtle-doves, and to see that all was in order. For, theofferer of the poor's offering would not require to dealdirectly with the sacrificing priest. At a certain time inthe day this third chest was opened, and half of its contentsapplied to burnt, the other half to sin-offerings. Thussacrifices were provided for a corresponding number of thosewho were to be purified, without either shaming the poor,needlessly disclosing the character of impurity, or causingunnecessary bustle and work. Though this mode of procedurecould, of course, not be obligatory, it would, no doubt, bethat generally followed.

We can now, in imagination, follow the Virgin-Mother in theTemple. [1 According to Dr. Geikie, 'the Golden Gate at thehead of the long flight of steps that led to the valley ofthe Kedron opened into the Court of the Women.' But there wasno Golden Gate, neither was there any flight of steps intothe valley of the Kedron, while between the Court of theWomen and any outer gate (such as could have led intoKedron), the Court of the Gentiles and a colonnade must haveintervened.] Her child had been given up to the Lord, andreceived back from Him. She had entered the Court of theWomen, probably by the 'Gate of the Women, ' [2 Or else, 'thegate of the firstlings.' Comp. generally, 'The Temple, itsMinistry and Services.'] on the north side, and deposited theprice of her sacrifices in Trumpet No. 3, which was close tothe raised dais or gallery where the women worshipped, apartfrom the men. And now the sound of the organ, which announcedthroughout the vast Temple-buildings that the incense wasabout to be kindled on the Golden Altar, summoned those whowere to be purified. The chief of the ministrantlay-representatives of Israel on duty (the so-called'station-men') ranged those, who presented themselves beforethe Lord as offerers of special sacrifices, within thewickets on either side the great Nicanor Gate, at the top ofthe fifteen steps which led up from the Court of the Women tothat of Israel. It was, as if they were to be brought nearestto the Sanctuary; as if theirs were to be specially the'prayers' that rose in the cloud of incense from the GoldenAltar; as if for them specially the sacrifices were laid onthe Altar of Burnt-offering; as if theirs was a larger shareof 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 thedrink-offering, and the hymn of praise whose Tris-Hagionfilled the Temple. From where they stood they could see itall, [3 This they could not have done from the elevatedplatform on which they commonly worshipped.] share in it,rejoice in it. And now the general service was over, and onlythose remained who brought special sacrifices, or wholingered near them that had such, or whose loved abode wasever in the Temple. The purification-service, with suchunspoken prayer and praise as would be the outcome of agrateful heart, [4 This is stated by the Rabbis to have beenthe object of the burnt-offering. That suggested for thesin-offering is too ridiculous to mention. The language usedabout the burnt-offering reminds us of that in theexhortation in the office for the 'Churching of Women': 'thatshe might be stirred up to give thanks to Almighty God, Whohas delivered her from the pains and perils of childbirthwhich is matter of miracle.' (Comp. Hottingerus, Juris Hebr.Leges, ed. Tiguri, p. 233.)] was soon ended, and they who hadshared in it were Levitically clean. Now all stain wasremoved, and, as the Law put it, they might again partake ofsacred offerings.

And in such sacred offering, better than any of whichpriest's family had ever partaken, was the Virgin-Motherimmediately to share. It has been observed, that by the sideof every humiliation connected with the Humanity of theMessiah, the glory of His Divinity was also made to shineforth. The coincidences are manifestly undesigned on the partof the Evangelic writers, and hence all the more striking.Thus, if he was born of the humble Maiden of Nazareth, anAngel announced His birth; if the Infant-Saviour was cradledin a manger, the shining host of heaven hymned His Advent.And so afterwards, if He hungered and was tempted in thewilderness, Angels ministered to Him, even as an Angelstrengthened Him in the agony of the garden. If He submittedto baptism, the Voice and vision from heaven attested HisSonship; if enemies threatened. He could miraculously passthrough them; if the Jews assailed, there was the Voice ofGod to glorify Him; if He was nailed to the cross, the suncraped his brightness, and earth quaked; if He was laid inthe 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 thegreatness of Him Whom she had borne was not wanting. A'eucharistic offering', so to speak, was brought, the recordof which is the more precious that Rabbinic writings make noallusion to the existence of the party, whose representativeswe here meet. Yet they were the true outcome of the spirit ofthe Old Testament, and, as such, at this time, the specialrecipients of the 'Spirit' of the Old Testament.

The 'parents' of Jesus had brought Him into the Temple forpresentation and redemption, when they were met by one, whosevenerable figure must have been well known in the city andthe Sanctuary. Simeon combined the three characteristics ofOld Testament piety: 'Justice,' as regarded his relation andbearing to God and man; [1 Comp. Josephus, Ant. xii. 2. 5.]'fear of God,' [2 The expression, unquestionably refers to'fear of God.' Comp. Delitzsch, Hebr. Br. pp. 191, 192; andGrimm, Clavis N. T. p. 180 b.] in opposition to the boastfulself-righteousness of Pharisaism; and, above all, longingexpectancy of the near fulfilment of the great promises, andthat in their spiritual import as 'the Consolation ofIsrael.' [3 The expression 'consolation,' for the greatMessianic hope, whence the Messianic title of Menachem, is ofvery frequent occurence (so in the Targum on Isaiah andJeremiah, and in many Rabbinical passages). Curiously enough,it is several times put into the mouth of a Simeon (Chag. 16b; Macc. 5 b; Shev. 34 a), although, of course, not the onementioned by St. Luke. The suggestion, that the latter wasthe son of the great Hillel and the father of Gamaliel, St.Paul's teacher, though not impossible as regards time, isunsupported, though it does seem strange that the Mishnah hasnothing to say about him: 'lo niscar bamishnah.'] The HolySpirit was upon him; and by that same Spirit [1 The mentionof the 'Holy Spirit,' as speaking to individuals, is frequentin Rabbinic writings. This, of course, does not imply theirbelief in the Personality of the Holy Spirit (comp. Bemidb.R. 15; 20; Midr. on Ruth ii. 9; Yalkut, vol. i. pp. 221 b and265 d).] the gracious Divine answer to his heart's longinghad been communicated him. And now it was as had beenpromised him. Coming 'in the Spirit' into the Temple, just asHis parents were bringing the Infant Jesus, he took Him intohis arms, and burst into rapt thanksgiving. Now, indeed, hadGod fulfilled His word. He was not to see death, till he hadseen the Lord's Christ. Now did his Lord 'dismiss' him 'inpeace' [2 The Talmud (Ber.last page) has a curious conceit,to the effect that, in taking leave of a person, one ought tosay: 'Go to peace,' not 'in peace' not), the former havingbeen said by Jethro to Moses (Ex. iv. 18), on which heprospered; the latter by David to Absalom (2 Sam. xv. 9), onwhich he perished. On the other hand, on taking leave of adead friend, we are to say 'Go in peace,' according to Gen.xv.15, and not 'Go to peace.'], release him [3 Theexpression, absolvere, liberare, demittere, is most graphic.It corresponds to the Hebrew, which is also used of death; asin regard to Simeon the Just, Menach. 109 b; comp. Ber. 17 a;Targum on Cant. i. 7.] in blessed comfort from work andwatch, since he had actually seen that salvation, [4 Godetseems to strain the meaning of, when he renders it by theneuter of the adjective. It is frequently used in the LXX.for.] so long preparing for a waiting weary world: a gloriouslight, Whose rising would light up heathen darkness, and bethe outshining glory around Israel's mission. With thisInfant in his arms, it was as if he stood on themountain-height of prophetic vision, and watched the goldenbeams of sunrise far away over the isles of the Gentiles, andthen gathering their full glow over his own beloved land andpeople. There was nothing Judiac, quite the contrary: onlywhat was of the Old Testament, in what he first said. [a St.Luke ii. 29-32.]

But his unexpected appearance, the more unexpected deed andwords, and that most unexpected form in which what was saidof the Infant Christ was presented to their minds, filled thehearts of His parents with wonderment. And it was, as iftheir silent wonderment had been an unspoken question, towhich the answer now came in words of blessing from the agedwatche. Mystic they seemed, yet prophetic. But now it was thepersonal, or rather the Judaic, aspect which, in brokenutterances, was set before the Virgin-Mother, as if the wholehistory of the Christ upon earth were passing in rapid visionbefore Simeon. That Infant, now again in the Virgin-Mother'sarms: It was to be a stone of decision; a foundation andcorner-stone, [b Is. viii. 14.] for fall or for uprising; asign spoken against; the sword of deep personal sorrow wouldpierce the Mother's heart; and so to the terrible end, whenthe veil of externalism which had so long covered the heartsof Israel's leaders would be rent, and the deep evil of theirthoughts [1 generally used in an evil sense.] laid bare.Such, as regarded Israel, was the history of Jesus, from HisBaptism 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. Aspecial interest attaches to her who, coming that verymoment, responded in praise to God [2 The verb may meanresponsive praise, or simply praise which in this case,however, would equally be 'in response' to that of Simeon,whether responsive in form or not.] for the pledge she saw ofthe near redemption. A kind of mystery seems to invest thisAnna (Channah). A widow, whose early desolateness had beenfollowed by a long life of solitary mourning; one of those inwhose home the tribal genealogy had been preserved. [3 Thewhole subject of 'genealogies' is briefly, but well treatedby Hamburger, Real Encykl., section ii. pp. 291 &c. It is apity, that Hamburger so often treats his subject from aJudaeo-apologetic standpoint.] We infer from this, and fromthe fact that it was that of a tribe which had not returnedto Palestine, that hers was a family of some distinction.Curiously enough, the tribe of Asher alone is celebrated intradition for the beauty of its women, and their fitness tobe wedded to High-Priest or King. [a Bar. R. 71, ed. Warsh.p.131 b end; 99. p. 179 a, lines 13 and 12 from bottom.]

But Anna had better claim to distinction thanfamily-descent, or long, faithful memory of brief home-joys.These many years she had spent in the Sanctuary, [4 It isscarcely necessary to discuss the curious suggestion, thatAnna actually lived in the Temple. No one, least of all awoman, permanently resided in the Temple, though the HighPriest had chambers there.] and spent in fasting and prayer,yet not of that self-righteous, self-satisfied kind which wasof the essence of popular religion. Nor, as to the Phariseesaround, was it the Synagogue which was her constant and lovedresort; but the Temple, with its symbolic and unspokenworship, which Rabbinic self-assertion and rationalism wererapidly superseding, and for whose services, indeed,Rabbinism could find no real basis. Nor yet were 'fasting andprayer' to her the all-in-all of religion, sufficient inthemselves; sufficient also before God. Deepest in her soulwas longing waiting for the 'redemption' promised, and nowsurely nigh. To her widowed heart the great hope of Israelappeared not so much, as to Simeon, in the light of'consolation,' as rather in that of 'redemption.' Theseemingly hopeless exile of her own tribe, the politicalstate of Judaea, the condition, social, moral, and religious,of her own Jerusalem: all kindled in her, as in those whowere like-minded, deep, earnest longing for the time ofpromised 'redemption.' No place so suited to such an one asthe Temple, with its services, the only thing free, pure,undefiled, and pointing forward and upward; no occupation sobefitting as 'fasting and prayer.' And, blessed be God, therewere others, perhaps many such, in Jerusalem. Though Rabbinictradition ignored them, they were the salt which preservedthe mass from festering corruption. To her as therepresentative, the example, friend, and adviser of such, wasit granted as prophetess to recognise Him, Whose Advent hadbeen the burden of Simeon's praise. And, day by day, to thosewho looked for redemption in Jerusalem, would she speak ofHim Whom her eyes had seen, though it must be in whispers andwith bated breath. For they were in the city of Herod, andthe stronghold of Pharisaism.




(St. Matt. ii. 1-8.) With the Presentation of the InfantSaviour in the Temple, and His acknowledgement, not indeed bythe leaders of Israel, but, characteristically, by therepresentatives of those earnest men and women who looked forHis Advent, the Prologue, if such it may be called, to thethird Gospel closes. From whatever source its information wasderived, perhaps, as has been suggested, its earlier portionfrom the Virgin-Mother, the later from Anna; or else bothalike from her, who with loving reverence and wondermenttreasured it all in her heart its marvellous details couldnot have been told with greater simplicity, nor yet with moreexquisitely delicate grace. [1 It is scarcely necessary topoint out, how evidential this is of the truthfulness of theGospel-narrative. In this respect also the so-calledApocryphal Gospels, with their gross and often repulsivelegendary adornments, form a striking contrast. I havepurposely abstained from reproducing any of these narratives,partly because previous writers have done so, and partlybecause the only object served by repeating, what must sodeeply shock the Christian mind, would be to point thecontrast 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.] On the other hand, the Prologueto the first Gospel, while omitting these, records otherincidents of the infancy of the Saviour. The plan of thesenarratives, or the sources whence they may originally havebeen derived, may account for the omissions in either case.At first sight it may seem strange, that the cosmopolitanGospel by St. Luke should have described what took place inthe Temple, and the homage of the Jews, while the Gospel bySt. Matthew, which was primarily intended for Hebrews,records only the homage of the Gentiles, and thecircumstances which led to the flight into Egypt. But of suchseeming contrasts there are not a few in the Gospel-history,discords, which soon resolve themselves into gloriousharmony.

The story of the homage to the Infant Saviour by the Magi istold by St. Matthew, in language of which the brevityconstitutes the chief difficulty. Even their designation isnot free from ambiguity. The term Magi is used in the LXX.,by Philo, Josephus, and by profane writers, alike in an eviland, so to speak, in a good sense [1 The evidence on thispoint is furnished by J. G. Miller in Herzog's Real-Enc.,vol. viii. p. 682. The whole subject of the visit of the Magiis treated with the greatest ability and learning (as agaisntStrauss) by Dr. Mill ('On the Mythical Interpretation of theGospels,' part ii. pp. 275 &c.).], in the former case asimplying the practice of magical arts; [a So also in Actsviii. 9; xiii. 6, 8.] in the latter, as referring to thethose Eastern (especially Chaldee) priest-sages, whoseresearches, in great measure as yet mysterious and unknown tous, seem to have embraced much deep knowledge, though notuntinged with superstition. It is dsto these latter, that theMagi spoken of by St. Matthew must have belonged. Theirnumber, to which, however, no importance attaches, cannot beascertained. [2 They are variously stated as twelve (Aug.Chrysost.) and three, the latter on account of the number ofthe gifts. Other legends on the subject need not berepeated.] Various suggestions have been made as to thecountry of 'the East,' whence they came. At the period inquestion the sacerdotal caste of the Medes and Persians wasdispersed over various parts of the East, [3 Mill, u. s., p.303.] and the presence in those lands of a largeJewishdiaspora, through which they might, and probably would,gain knowleded of the great hope of Israel, [4 There is nohistorical evidence that at the time of Christ there wasamong the nations any widespread expectancy of the Advent ofa Messiah in Palestine. Where the knowledge of such a hopeexisted, it must have been entirely derived from Jewishsources. The allusions to it by Tacitus (Hist. v. 13) andSuetonius (Vesp. 4) are evidently derived from Josephus, andadmittedly refer to the Flavian dynasty, and to a periodseventy years or more after the Advent of Christ. 'Thesplendid vaticination in the Fourth Eclogue of Virgil,' whichArchdeacon Farrar regards as among the 'unconsciousprophecies of heathendom,' is confessedly derived from theCumaean 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, isof 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 adventof its Deliverer.' But he offers no evidence of it, eitherfrom Jewish or Pagan writings.] is sufficiently attested byJewish history. The oldest opinion traces the Magi, thoughpartially on insufficient grounds [5 Comp. Mill, u.s., p.308, note 66. The grounds adduced by some are such referencesas to Is. viii. 4; Ps. lxxii. 10, &c.; and the character ofthe gifts.] to Arabia. And there is this in favor of it, thatnot only the closest intercourse existed between century foour ear, the but that from about 120 B.C. to the sixthcentury of our ear, the kings of Yemen professed the Jewishfaith. [6 Comp. the account of this Jewish monarchy in the'History of the Jewish Nation,' pp. 67-71; also Remond'sVers. e. Gesch. d. Ausbreit. d. Judenth. pp. 81 &c.; andJost, Gesch. d. Isr. vol. v. pp. 236 &c.] For if, on the onehand, it seems unlikely, that Eastern Magi wouldspontaneously connect a celestial phenomenon with the birthof a Jewish king, evidence will, on the other hand, bepresented to connect the meaning attached to the appearanceof 'the star' at that particular time with Jewish expectancyof the Messiah. But we are anticipating. Shortly after the Presentation of the Infant Saviour in theTemple, certain Magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem withstrange tidings. They had seen at its 'rising' [1 This is thecorrect rendering,and not, as in A.V., 'in the East,' thelatter being expressed by the plural of, in v. 1, while invv. 2 and 9 the word is used in the singular.] a siderealappearance, [2 Schleusner has abundantly proved that theword, though primarily meaning a star, is also used ofconstellations, meteors, and comets, in short, has the widestapplication: 'omne designare, quod aliquem splendorem habetet emitit' (Lex. in N.T., t. i. pp. 390, 391).] which theyregarded as betokening the birthof the Missiah King of theJews, in the sense which at the time attached to thatdesignation. Accordingly, they had come to Jerusalem to payhomage [3 Not, as in the A.V., 'to worship,' which at thisstage of the history would seem most incongruous, but as anequivalent of the Hebrew, as in Gen. xix. 1. So often in theLXX. and by profane writers (comp. Scheleusner, u. s., t. ii.pp. 749, 750, and Vorstius, De Hebraismis N.T. pp. 637-641).]to Him, probably not because they imagined He must be born inthe Jewish capital [4 This is the view generally, but as Ithink 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.] but because they would naturallyexpect there to obtain authentic information, 'where' Hemight be found. In their simplicity of heart, the Magiaddressed themselves in the first place to the official headof the nation. The rumor of such an inquiry, and by suchpersons, would rapidly spread throughout the city. But itproduced on King Herod, and in the capital, a far differentimpression from the feeling of the Magi. Unscrupulously cruelas Herod had always proved, even the slightest suspicion ofdanger to his rule, the bare possibility of the Advent ofOne, Who had such claims upon the allegiance of Israel, andWho, if acknowledged, would evoke the most intense movementon their part, must have struck terror to his heart. Not thathe could believe the tidings, though a dread of theirpossibility might creep over a nature such as Herod's; butthe bare thought of a Pretender, with such claims, would fillhim with suspicion, apprehension, and impotent rage. Nor isit difficult to understand, that the whole city should,although on different grounds, have shared the 'trouble' ofthe king. It was certainly not, as some have suggested, fromapprehension of 'the woes' which, according to popularnotions, were to accompany the Advent of Messiah. Throughoutthe history of Christ the absence of such 'woes' was nevermade a ground of objection to His Messianic claims; and this,because these 'woes' were not associated with the firstAdvent of the Messiah, but with His final manifestation inpower. And between these two periods a more or less longinterval was supposed to intervene, during which the Messiahwould be 'hidden,' either in the literal sense, or perhaps asto His power, or else in both respects. [1 Christian writerson these subjects have generally conjoined the so-called'woes of the Messiah' with His first appearance. It seems notto have occured to them, that, if such had been the Jewishexpectation, a preliminary objection would have lain againstthe claims of Jesus from their absence.] This enables us tounderstand the question of the disciples, as to the sign ofHis coming and the end of the world, and the answer of theMaster. [a As reported in St. Matt. xxiv. 3-29]But the peopleof Jerusalem had far other reason to fear. They knew only toowell the character of Herod, and what the consequences wouldbe to them, or to any one who might be suspected, howeverunjustly, of sympathy with any claimant to the royal throneof David. [2 Their feelings on this matterwould berepresented, mutatis mutandis, by the expressions in theSanhedrin, recorded in St. John xi. 47-50.]

Herod took immediate measures, characterised by his usualcunning. He called together all the High-Priest, past andpresent, and all the learned Rabbis, [3 Both Meyer and Weisshave shown, that this was not a meeting of the Sanhedrin, if,indeed, that body had anything more than a shadowy existenceduring the reign of Herod.] and, without committing himselfas to whether the Messiah was already born, or only expected,[4 The question propounded by Herod (v. 4), 'where Christshould be born,' is put neither in the past nor in thefuture, but in the present tense. In other words, he laidbefore them a case, a theological problem, but not a fact,either past or future. simply propounded to them the questionof His birthplace. This would show him where Jewishexpectancy looked for the appearance of his rival, and thusenable him to watch alike that place and the peoplegenerally, while it might possibly bring to light thefeelings of the leaders of Israel. At the same time he tookcare diligently to inquire the precise time, when thesidereal appearance had first attracted the attention of theMagi. [b St. Matt. ii. 7.] This would enable him to judge,how far back he would have to make his own inquiries, sincethe birth of the Pretender might be made to synchronise withthe earliest appearance of the sidereal phenomenon. So longas any one lived, who was born in Bethlehem between theearliest appearance of this 'star' and the time of thearrival of the Magi, he was not safe. The subsequent conductof Herod [c v. 16.] shows, that the Magi must have told him,that their earliest observation of the sidereal phenomenonhad taken place two years before their arrival in Jerusalem.

The assembled authorities of Israel could only return oneanswer to the question submitted by Herod. As shown by therendering of the Targum Jonathan, the prediction in Micah v.2 was at the time universally understood as pointing toBethlehem, as the birthplace of the Messiah. That such wasthe general expectation, appears from the Talmud, [a Jer.Ber. ii. 4, p. 5 a.] where, in an imaginary conversationbetween an Arab and a Jew, Bethlehem is authoritatively namedas Messiah's birthplace. St. Matthew reproduces the propheticutterance of Micah, exactly as such quotations were popularlymade at that time. It will be remembered that, Hebrew being adead language so far as the people were concerned, the HolyScriptures 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 theprecedent for, if not the basis of, our later Targum. Inshort, at that time each one Targumed for himself, and theseTargumind (as our existing one on the Prophets shows) wereneither literal versions, [1 In point of fact, the Talmudexpressly lays it down, that 'whosoever targums a verse inits 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).] nor yet paraphrases, butsomething between them, a sort of interpreting translation.That, when Targuming, the New Testament writers should inpreference make use of such a well-known and widely-spreadversion as the Translation of the LXX. needs no explanation.That they did not confine themselves to it, but, when itseemed necessary, literally or Targumically rendered a verse,appears from the actual quotations in the New Testament. SuchTarguming of the Old Testament was entirely in accordancewith the then universal method of setting Holy Scripturebefore a popular audience. It is needless to remark, that theNew Testament writers would Targum as Christians. Theseremarks apply not only to the case under immediateconsideration, [b St. Matt. ii. 6.] but generally tothequotations from the Old Testament in the New. [2 The generalpinciple, that St. Matthew rendered Mic. v. 2 targumically,would, it seems, cover all the differences between hisquotation and the Hebrew text. But it may be worth while, inthis 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 ('princes'),instead of as in our Hebrew text. Perhaps he rendered theword more correctly than we do, since 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 avery apt Targumic rendering. Two other of the divergences aremore important, viz., (1) 'Art not the least,' instead of'though thou be little.' But the Hebrew words have also beenotherwise rendered: in the Syriac interrogatively ('art thoulittle?'), which suggests the rendering of St. Matthew; andin the Arabic just as by St. Matthew (vide Pocock, PortaMosis, Notae, c. ii.; but Pocock does not give the Targumaccurately). Credner ingeniously suggested, that therendering of St. Matthew may have been caused by a Targumicrendering of the Hebrew but he does not seem to have noticed,that this is the actual rendering in the Targum Jon. on thepassage. As for the second and more serious divergence in thelatter part of the verse, it may be best here simply to givefor comparison the rendering of the passage in the TargumJonathan: 'Out of thee shall come forth before Me Messiah toexercise rule over Israel.']

The further conduct of Herod was in keeping with his plans.He sent for the Magi, for various reasons, secretly. Afterascertaining the precise time, when they had first observedthe 'star,' he directed them to Bethlehem, with the requestto inform him when they had found the Child; on pretence,that he was equally desirous with them to pay Him homage. Asthey left Jerusalem [1 Not necessarily by night,as mostwriters suppose.] for the goal of their pilgrimage, to theirsurprise and joy, the 'star,' which had attracted theirattention at its 'rising,' [2 So correctly, and not 'in theEast,' as in A.V.] and which, as seems implied in thenarrative, they had not seen of late, once more appeared onthe horizon, and seemed to move before them, till 'it stoodover where the young child was', that is, of course, overBethlehem, not over any special house in it. Whether at aturn of the road, close to Bethlehem, they lost sight of it,or they no longer heeded its position, since it had seemed togo 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, isneither stated in the Gospel-narrative, nor is indeed of anyimportance. Sufficient for them, and for us: they had beenauhoritatively directed to Bethlehem; as they had set out forit, the sidereal phenomenon had once more appeared; and ithad seemed to go before them, till it actually stood overBethlehem. And, since in ancient times such extraordinary'guidance' by a 'star' was matter of belief and expectancy,[3 Proof of this is abundantly furnished by Wetstein, Nov.Test. t. i. pp. 247 and 248] the Magi would, from theirstandpoint, regard it as the fullest confirmation that theyhad been rightly directed to Bethlehem, and 'they rejoicedwith exceeding great joy.' It could not be difficult to learnin Bethlehem, where the Infant, around Whose Birth marvelshad gathered, might be found. It appears that the temporaryshelter of the 'stable' had been exchanged by the Holy Familyfor the more permanent abode of a 'house;' [a v. 11] andthere the Magi found the Infant-Saviour with His Mother. Withexquisite tact and reverence the narrative attempts not thefaintest description of the scene. It is as if the sacredwriter had fully entered into the spirit of St. Paul, 'Yea,though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet nowhenceforth know we Him no more.' [a 2 Cor. v 16] And thus itshould ever be. It is the great fact of the manifestation ofChrist, not its outward surroundings, however precious ortouching they might be in connection with any ordinaryearthly being, to which our gaze must be directed. Theexternals may, indeed, attract our sensuous nature; but theydetract from the unmatched glory of the great supersensuousReality. [1 In this seems to lie the strongest condemnationof Romish and Romanising tendencies, that they ever seek topresent, or, perhaps, rather obtrude, the externalcircumstances. It is not thus that the Gospel most fullypresents to us the spiritual, nor yet thus that the deepestand holiest impressions are made. True religion is everobjectivistic, sensuous subjectivistic.] Around the Person ofthe God-Man, in the hour when the homage of the heathen worldwas first offered Him, we need not, and want not, the draperyof outward circumstances. That scene is best realized, not bydescription, but by silently joining in the silent homage andthe silent offerings of 'the wise men from the East.'

Before proceeding further, we must ask ourselves twoquestions: What relationship does this narrative bear toJewish expectancy? and, Is there any astronomicalconfirmation of this account? Besides their intrinsicinterest, the answer to the first question will determine,whether any legendary basis could be assigned to thenarrative; while on the second will depend, whether theaccount can be truthfully charged with an accommodation onthe part of God to the superstitions and errors of astrology.For, if the whole was extranatural, and the siderealappearance specially produced in order to meet theastrological views of the Magi, it would not be a sufficientanswer to the difficulty, 'that great catastrophes andunusual phenomena in nature have synchronised in a remarkablemanner with sidereal appearance was not of supernaturalorigin, and would equally have taken place whether or notthere had been Magi to direct to Bethlehem, the difficulty isnot only entirely removed, but the narrative affords anotherinstance, alike of the condescension of God to the lowerstandpoint of the Magi, and of His wisdom and goodness in thecombination of circumstances.

As regards the question of Jewish expectancy, sufficient hasbeen said in the preceding pages, to show that Rabbinismlooked for a very different kind and manner of the world'shomage to the Messiah than that of a few Magi, guided by astar to His Infant-Home. Indeed, so far from serving ashistorical basis for the orgin of such a 'legend' a moregross caricature of Jewish Messianic anticipation couldscarcely be imagined. Similarly futile would it be to seek abackground for this narrative in Balaam's prediction, [aNumb. xxiv. 17] since it is incredible that any one couldhave understood it as referring to a brief siderealapparition to a few Magi, in order to bring them to look forthe Messiah. [1 Strauss (Leben Jesu, i. pp. 224-249) finds alegendary basis for the Evangelic account in Numb. xxiv. 17,and also appeals to the legendary stories of profane writersabout stars appearing at the birth of great men.] Nor can itbe represented as intended to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah,[b lx. 6 last clauses] [2 Keim (Jesu von Nazara, i. 2, p.377) drops the appeal to legends of profane writers, ascribesonly a secondary influence to Numb. xxiv. 17, and lays themain stress of 'the legend' on Is. lx., with what success thereader may judge.] 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 grosslyliteralised, [3 Can it be imagined thatany person wouldinvent such a 'legend' on the strength of Is. lx. 6? On theother hand, if the event really took place, it is easy tounderstand how Christian symbolism would, thoughuncritically, have seen an adumbration of it in thatprophecy.] what would become of the other part of thatprophecy, [4 The 'multitude of camels and dromedaries,' the'flocks of Kedar and the rams of Nebaioth' (v. 7), and 'theisles,' and 'the ships of Tarshish' (v. 9).] which must, ofcourse, have been treated in the same manner; not to speak ofthe fact, that the whole evidently refers not to the Messiah(least of all in His Infancy), but to Jerusalem in herlatter-day glory. Thus, we fail to perceive any historicalbasis for a legendary origin of St. Matthew's narrative,either in the Old Testament or, still less, in Jewishtradition. And we are warranted in asking: If the account benot true, what rational explanation can be given of itsorigin, since its invention would never have occurred to anycontemporary Jew?

But this is not all. There seems, indeed, no logicalconnection between this astrological interpretation of theMagi, and any supposed practice of astrology among the Jews.Yet, strange to say, writers have largely insisted on this.[5 The subject of Jewish astrology is well treated by Dr.Hamburger, both in the first and second volumes of hisReal-Encykl. The ablest summary, though brief, is that in Dr.Gideon Brecher's book, 'Das Transcendentale im Talmud.'Gfrorer is, as usually, one-sided, and not always trustworthyin his translations. A curious brochure by Rabbi Thein (DerTalmud, od. das Prinzip d. planet. Elinfl.) is one of theboldest attempts at special pleading, to the ignoration ofpalpable facts on the other side. Hausrath's dicta on thissubject are, as on many others, assertions unsupported byhistorical evidence.] The charge is, to say the least,grosslyexaggerated. That Jewish, as other Eastern, impostorspretended to astrological knowledge, and that suchinvestigations may have been secretly carried on by certainJewish students, is readily admitted. But the language ofdisapproval in which these pursuits are referred to, such asthat knowledge of the Law is not found with astrologers [aDeb. R. 8,] and the emphatic statement, that he who learnedeven one thing from a Mage deserved death, show what viewswere authoritatively held. [b Comp. Shabb. 75 a] [1 I cannot,however, see that Buxtorf charges so many Rabbis with givingthemselves to astrology as Dr. Geikie imputes to him, nor howHumboldt can be quoted as corroborating the Chinese record ofthe appearance of a new star in 750 (see the passage in theCosmos, Engl. transl. vol. i. pp. 92, 93).] Of course, theJews (or many of them), like most ancients, believed in theinfluence of the planets upon the destiny of man. [c See forex. Jos. Warvi. 5. 3] But it was a principle stronglyexpressed, and frequently illustrated in the Talmud, thatsuch planetary influence did not extend to Israel. [d Shabb.156 a] It mustbe admitted, that this was not alwaysconsistently carried out; and there were Rabbis who computeda man's future from the constellation (the Mazzal), either ofthe day, or the hour, under which he was born. [e Shabb,Itwas supposed, that some persons had a star of their own, [fMoed K. 16 a] andthe (representative) stars of all proselyteswere said to have been present at Mount Sinai. Accordingly,they also, like Israel, had lost the defilement of theserpent (sin). [g Shabb. 145 b; 146 a comp. Yeb. 103 b] OneRabbi even had it, that success, wisdom, the duration oflife, and a posterity, depended upon the constellation. [hMoed K. 28 a] Such views were carried out till they merged ina kind of fatalism, [i Comp. Baba K. 2 b; Shabb. 121 b] orelse in the idea of a 'natalaffinity,' by which persons bornunder the same constellation were thought to stand insympathetic rapport. [k Ned. 39 b] The further statement,that conjunctions of the planets [2 Jewish astronomydistinguishes 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 intofour trigons: that of fire (1, 5, 9); of earth (2, 6, 10); ofair (3, 7, 11); and of water (4, 8, 12); and the stars. TheKabbalistic book Raziel (dating from the eleventh century)arranges them into three quadrons. The comets, which arecalled arrows or star-rods, proved a great difficulty tostudents. The planets (in their order) were: Shabbathai (theSabbatic, 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 bythe sphere of the earth; next comes that of the surroundingatmosphere; then successively the seven semicircles of theplanets, each fitting on the other, to use the Kabbalisticillustration, like the successive layers in an onion (seeSepher Raziel, ed. Lemb. 1873, pp. 9 b, 10 a). Day and nightwere 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 influenceof 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; 12A.M., Jupiter, and so on. Similary, we have for Monday, 7A.M., the Moon, &c.; for Tuesday, 7 A.M., Mars; forWednesday, 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 enteredrespectively 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. onGen. viii. 22. From one Tequphah to the other were 91 days71/2 hours. By a beautiful figure the sundust is called'filings of the day' (as the word, that which falls off fromthe sunwheel as it turns (Yoma 20 b). affected the productsof the earth [a Erub. 56 a: Ber. R. 10.] is scarcelyastrological; nor perhaps this, that an eclipse of the sunbetokened evil to the nations, an eclipse of the moon toIsrael, because the former calculated time by the sun, thelatter by the moon.

But there is one illustrative Jewish statement which, thoughnot astrological, is of the greatest importance, although itseems to have been hitherto overlooked. Since the appearanceof Munter's well known tractate on the Star of the Magi, [1'Der Stern der Weisen, 'Copenhagen, 1827. The tractate,though so frequently quoted, seems scarcely to have beensufficiently studied, most writers having apparently ratherread the references to it in Ideler's Handb. d. Math. utechn. Chronol. Munter's work contains much that isinteresting and important. writers have endeavoured to show,that Jewish expectancy of a Messiah was connected with apeculiar sidereal conjunction, such as that which occurredtwo years before the birth of our Lord, [b In 747 A.U.C., or7 B.C.] and this on the ground of a quotation from thewell-known Jewish commentator Abarbanel (or ratherAbrabanel). [c Born 143 died 1508.] In his Commentary onDaniel that Rabbi laid it down, that the conjunction ofJupiter and Saturn in the constellation Pisces betokened notonly the most important events, but referred especially toIsrael (for which he gives five mystic reasons). He furtherargues that, as that conjunction had taken place three yearsbefore the birth of Moses, which heralded the firstdeliverance of Israel, so it would also precede the birth ofthe Messiah, and the final deliverance of Israel. But theargument fails, not only because Abarbanel's calculations areinconclusive and even erroneous, [2 To form an adequateconception of the untrustworthiness of such a testimony, itis necessary to study the history of the astronomical andastrological pursuits of the Jews during that period, ofwhich a masterly summary is given in Steinschneider's Historyof Jewish Literature (Ersch u. Gruber, Encykl. vol. xxvii.).Comp. also Sachs, Relig. Poes. d. Juden in Spanien, pp. 230&c.] but because it is manifestly unfair to infer the stateof Jewish belief at the time of Christ from a haphazardastrological conceit of a Rabbi of the fifteenth century.There is, however, testimony which seems to us not onlyreliable, but embodies most ancient Jewish tradition. It iscontained in one of the smaller Midrashim, of which acollection has lately been published. [3 ByDr. Jellinek, in awork in six parts, entitled 'Beth ha-Midrash,' Leipz, andVienna, 1853-1878.] On account of its importance, onequotation at least from it should be made in full. Theso-called Messiah-Haggadah (Aggadoth Mashiach) opens asfollows: 'A star shall come out of Jacob. There is a Boraitain the name of the Rabbis: The heptad in which the Son ofDavid cometh, in the first year, there will not be sufficientnourishment; in the second year the arrows of famine arelaunched; in the third, a great famine; in the fourth,neither famine nor plenty; in the fifth, great abundance, andthe Star shall shine forth from the East, and this is theStar of the Messiah. And it will shine from the East forfifteen days, and if it be prolonged, it will be for the goodof Israel; in the sixth, sayings (voices), and announcements(hearings); in the seventh, wars, and at the close of theseventh the Messiah is to be expected.' A similar statementoccurs at the close of a collection of three Midrashim,respectively entitled, 'The Book of Elijah,' 'Chapters aboutthe Messiah,' and 'The Mysteries of R. Simon, the son ofJochai' [a Jellinek, Beth ha-Midrash, fasc. iii. p. 8.],where we read that a Star in the East was to appear two yearsbefore the birth of the Messiah. The statement is almostequally remarkable, whether it represents a traditionprevious to the birth of Jesus, or originated after thatevent. But two years before the birth of Christ, which, as wehave calculated, took place in December 749 A.U.C., or 5before the Christian era, brings us to the year 747 A.U.C.,or 7 before Christ, in which such a Star should appear in theEast. [1 It would, of course, be possible to argue, that theEvangelic account arose from this Jewish tradition about theappearance of a star two years before the birth of theMessiah. But ut has been already shown, that the hypothesisof a Jewish legendary origin is utterly untenable. Besides,if St. Matthew ii. had been derived from this tradition, thenarrative would have been quite differently shaped, and moreespecially the two years' interval between the rising of thestar and the Advent of the Messiah would have beenemphasized, instead of being, as now, rather matter ofinference.]

Did such a Star, then, really appear in the East seven yearsbefore the Christian era? Astronomically speaking, andwithout any reference to controversy, there can be no doubtthat the most remarkable conjunction of planets, that ofJupiter and Saturn in the constellation of Pices, whichoccurs only once in 800 years, did take place no less thanthree times in the year 747 A.U.C., or two year, befored thebirth of Christ (in May, October and December). Thisconjunction is admitted by all astronomers. It was not onlyextraordinary, but presented the most brilliant spectacle inthe night-sky, such as could not but attract the attention ofall who watched the sidereal heavens, but especially of thosewho busied themselves with astrology. In the year following,that is, in 748 A.U.C., another planet, Mars, joined thisconjunction. The merit of first discovering these facts, ofwhich it is unnecessary here to present the literary history[2 The chief writers on the subject have been: Miinter(u.s.),Ideler (u.s.). and Wieseler (Chronol. Synopse d. 4 Evang.(1843), and again in Herzog's Real-Enc. vol. xxi p. 544, andfinally in his Beitr. z. Wiird. d Ev. 1869). In our owncountry, writers have, since the appearance of ProfessorPritchard's art. ('Star of the Wise Men') in Dr. Smith'sBible Dict. vol. iii., generally given up the astronomicalargument, without, however, clearly indicating whether theyregard the star as a miraculous guidance. I do not, ofcourse, presume to enter on an astronomical discussion withProfessor Pritchard; but as his reasoning proceeds on theidea that the planetary conjunction of 747 A.U.C., isregarded as 'the Star of the Magi,' his arguments do notapply either to the view presented in the text nor even tothat of Wieseler. Besides, I must guard myself againstaccepting his interpretation of the narrative in St.Matthew.], belongs to the great Kepler, [a De Stella Nova&c., Pragae, 160.] who, accordingly, placed the Nativity ofChrist in the year 748 A.U.C. This date, however, is not onlywell nigh impossible; but it has also been shown that such aconjunction would, for various reasons, not answer therequirements of the Evangelical narrative, so far as theguidance to Bethlehem is concerned. But it does fully accountfor the attention of the Magi being aroused, and, even ifthey had not possessed knowledge of the Jewish expectancyabove described for their making inquiry of all around, andcertainly, among others, of the Jews. Here we leave thedomain of the certain, and enter upon that of the probable.Kepler, who was led to the discovery by observing a similarconjunction in 1603-4, also noticed, that when the threeplanets came into conjunction, a new, extraordinary,brilliant, and peculiarly colored evanescent star was visiblebetween Jupiter and Saturn, and he suggested that a similarstar had appeared under the same circumstances in theconjunction preceding the Nativity. Of this, of course, thereis not, and cannot be, absolute certainty. But, if so, thiswould be 'the star' of the Magi, 'in its rising.' There isyet another remarkable statement, which, however, must alsobe assigned only to the domain of the probable. In theastronomical tables of the Chinese, to whose generaltrustworthiness so high an authority as Humboldt bearstestimony [b Cosmos. vol. i. p. 92.], the appearance of anevanescent star was noted. Pingre and others have designatedit as a comet, and calculated its first appearance inFebruary 750 A.U.C., which is just the time when the Magiwould, in all probability, leave Jerusalem for Bethlehem,since this must have preceded the death of Herod, which tookplace in March 750. Moreover, it has been astronomicallyascertained, that such a sidereal apparition would be visibleto those who left Jerusalem, and that it would point, almostseem to go before, in the direction of, and stand over,Bethlehem. [1 By the astronomer, Dr. Goldschmidt. (SeeWieseler, Chron. Syn. p. 72.).] Such, impartially stated, arethe facts of the case, and here the subject must, in thepresent state of our information, be left. [2 A somewhatdifferent view is presented in the laborious and learnededition of the New Testament by Mr. Brown McClellan (vol. i.pp, 400-402).]

Only two things are recorded of this visit of the Magi toBethlehem: their humblest Eastern homage, and theirofferings. [3 Our A.V. curiously translates in v. 11,'treasures,' instead of 'treasury-cases.' The expression isexactly the same as in Deut. xxviii. 12, for which the LXX.use the same words as the Evangelist. The expression is alsoused in this sense in the Apocr. and by profane writers.Comp. Wetstein and Meyer ad locum. Jewish tradition alsoexpresses the expectancy that the nations of the world wouldoffer gifts unto the Messiah. (Comp. Pes. 118 b; Ber. R.78.).] Viewed as gifts, the incense and the myrrh would,indeed, have been strangely inappropriate. But theirofferings were evidently intended as specimens of theproducts of their country, and their presentation was, evenas in our own days, expressive of the homage of their countryto the new-found King. In this sense, then, the Magi maytruly be regarded as the representatives of the Gentileworld; their homage as the first and typical acknowledgmentof Christ by those who hitherto had been 'far off;' and theirofferings as symbolic of the world's tribute. This deepersignificance the ancient Church has rightly apprehended,though, perhaps, mistaking its grounds. Its symbolism,twining, like the convolvulus, around athe Divine Plant, hastraced in the gold the emblem of His Royalty; inthe myrrh, ofHis Humanity, and that in the fullest evidence of it, in Hisburying; and in the incense, that of His Divinity. [1 So notonly in ancient hymns (by Sedulius, Juvencus, and Claudian),but by the Fathers and later writers. (Comp. Sepp, LebenJesu, ii. 1, pp. 102, 103.).]

As always in the history of Christ, so here also, glory andsuffering appear in juxtaposition. It could not be, thatthese Magi should become the innocent instruments of Herod'smurderous designs; nor yet that the Infant-Saviour shouldfall 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 HolyFamily sought temporary shelter in Egypt. Baffled in the hopeof attaining his object through the Magi, the reckless tyrantsought to secure it by an indiscriminate slaughter of all thechildren in Bethlehem and its immediate neighborhood, fromtwo years and under. True, considering the population ofBethlehem, their number could only have been small, probablytwenty at most. [2 So Archdeacon Farrar rightly computes it.]But the deed was none the less atrocious; and these infantsmay justly be regarded as the 'protomartyrs,' the firstwitnesses, of Christ, 'the blossom of martydom' ('floresmartyrum,' as Prudentius calls them). The slaughter wasentirely in accordance with the character and former measuresof Herod. [3 An illustrative instance of the ruthlessdestruction of whole families on suspicion that his crown wasin danger, occurs in Ant. xv. 8. 4. But the suggestion thatBagoas had suffered at the hands of Herod for Messianicpredictions is entirely an invention of Keim. (Schenkel,Bibel Lex., vol. iii. p. 37. Comp. Ant. xvii. 2. 4.).] Nor dowe wonder, that it remained unrecorded by Josephus, since onother occasions also he has omitted events which to us seemimportant. [1 There are, in Josephus' history of Herod,besides omissions, inconsistencies of narrative, such asabout 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.)] Themurder of a few infants in an insignificant village mightappear scarcely worth notice in a reign stained by so muchbloodshed. Besides, he had, perhaps, a special motive forthis silence. Josephus always carefully suppresses, so far aspossible, all that refers to the Christ [2 Comp. on articleon Josephus in Smith and Wace's Dict. of Christian Biogr.],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 byan intense self-seeker, mainly for readers in Rome.

Of two passages in his own Old Testament Scriptures theEvangelist sees a fulfilment in these events. The flight intoEgypt is to him the fulfilment of this expression by Hosea,'Out of Egypt have I called My Son.' [a Hos. xi. 1.] In themurder of 'the Innocents,' he sees the fulfilment of Rachel'slament [b Jer. xxxi. 15.] (who died and was buried in Ramah)[3 See the evidence for it summarized in 'Sketches of JewishSocial Life in the Days of Christ,' p. 60.] over herchildren, the men of Benjamin, when the exiles to Babylon metin Ramah, [c Jer. xi. 1.] and there was bitter wailing at theprospect of parting for hopeless captivity, and yet bittererlament, as they who might have encumbered the onward marchwere pitilessly slaughtered. Those who have attentivelyfollowed the course of Jewish thinking, and marked how theancient Synagogue, and that rightly, read the Old Testamentin its unity, as ever pointing to the Messiah as thefulfilment of Israel's history, will not wonder at, but fullyaccord with, St. Matthew's retrospective view. The words ofHosea were in the highest sense 'fulfilled' in the flight to,and return of, the Saviour from Egypt. [4 In point of factthe ancient Synagogue did actually apply to the Messiah Ex.iv. 22, on which the words of Hosea are based. See theMidrash on Ps. ii. 7. The quotation is given in full in ourremarks on Ps. ii. 7 in Appendix IX.] To an inspired writer,nay, to a true Jewish reader of the Old Testament, thequestion in regard to any prophecy could not be: What did theprophet, but, What did the prophecy mean? And this could onlybe 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 thevery features, of that which was to come, could not fail toperceive, in the bitter wail of the mothers of Bethlehem overtheir slaughtered children, the full realisation of theprophetic description of the scene enacted in Jeremiah'sdays. Had not the prophet himself heard, in the lament of thecaptives to Babylon, the echoes of Rachel's voice in thepast? In neither one nor the other case had the utterances ofthe prophets (Hosea and Jeremiah) been predictions: they wereprophetic. In neither one nor the other case was the'fulfilment' literal: it was Scriptural, and that in thetruest Old Testament sense.




(St. Matt. ii. 19-23; St. Luke ii. 39, 40.)

THE stay of the Holy Family in Egypt must have been of briefduration. The cup of Herod's misdeeds, but also of hismisery, was full. During the whole latter part of his life,the dread of a rival to the throne had haunted him, and hehad sacrificed thousands, among them those nearest anddearest to him, to lay that ghost. [1 And yet Keim speaks ofhis Hochherzigkeit and naturlicher Edelsinn! (Leben Jesu, i.1. p. 184.) A much truer estimate is that of Schurer,Neutest. Zeitgesch. pp. 197, 198.] And still the tyrant wasnot at rest. A more terrible scene is not presented inhistory than that of the closing days of Herod. Tormenteo bynameless fears; ever and again a prey to vain remorse, whenhe would frantically call for his passionately-loved,murdered wife Mariamme, and her sons; even making attempts onhis own life; the delirium of tyranny, the passion for blood,drove him to the verge of madness. The most loathsomedisease, such as can scarcely be described, had fastened onhis body, [2 See the horrible description of his living deathin Jos. Ant. xvii. 6. 5.] and his sufferings were at timesagonizing. By the advice of his physicians, he had himselfcarried to the baths of Callirhoe (east of the Jordan),trying all remedies with the determination of one who will dohard battle for life. It was in vain. The namelessly horribledistemper, which had seized the old man of seventy, held himfast in its grasp, and, so to speak, played death on theliving. He knew it, that his hour was come, and had himselfconveyed back to his palace under the palm-trees of Jericho.They had known it also in Jerusalem, and, even before thelast stage of his disease, two of the most honored and lovedRabbis, Judas and Matthias, had headed the wild band, whichwould sweep away all traces of Herod's idolatrous rule. Theybegan by pulling down the immense golden eagle, which hungover the great gate of the Temple. The two ringleaders, andforty of their followers, allowed themselves to be taken byHerod's guards. A mock public trial in the theatre at Jerichofollowed. Herod, carried out on a couch, was both accuser andjudge. The zealots, who had made noble answer to the tyrant,were burnt alive; and the High-Priest, who was suspected ofconnivance, deposed.

After that the end came rapidly. On his return fromCallirhoe, feeling his death approaching, the King hadsummoned the noblest of Israel throughout the land ofJericho, and shut them up in the Hippodrome, with orders tohis sister to have them slain immediately upon his death, inthe grim hope that the joy of the people at his decease wouldthus be changed into mourning. Five days before his death oneray of passing joy lighted his couch. Terrible to say, it wascaused by a letter from Augustus allowing Herod to executehis son Antipater, the false accuser and real murderer of hishalf-brothers Alexander and Aristobulus. The death of thewretched prince was hastened by his attempt to bribe thejailer, as the noise in the palace, caused by an attemptedsuicide of Herod, led him to suppose his father was actuallydead. And now the terrible drama was hastening to a close.The fresh access of rage shortened the life which was alreadyrunning out. Five days more, and the terror of Judaea laydead. He had reigned thirty-seven years, thirty-four sincehis conquest of Jerusalem. Soon the rule for which he had solong plotted, striven, and stained himself with untoldcrimes, passed from his descendants. A century more, and thewhole race of Herod had been swept away.

We pass by the empty pageant and barbaric splendor of hisburying in the Castle of Herodium, close to Bethlehem. Theevents of the last few weeks formed a lurid back-ground tothe murder of 'the Innocents.' As we have reckoned it, thevisit of the Magi took place in February 750 A.U.C. On the12th of March the Rabbis and their adherents suffered. On thefollowing night (or rather early morning) there was a lunareclipse; the execution of Antipater preceded the death of hisfather by five days, and the latter occurred from seven tofourteen days before the Passover, which in 750 took place onthe 12th of April. [1 See the calculation in Wiesler'sSynopse, pp. 56 and 444. The 'Dissertatio de Herode Magno, byJ.A. van der Chijs (Leyden, 1855), is very clear andaccurate. Dr. Geikie adopts the manifest mistake of Caspari,that Herod died in January, 753, and holds that the HolyFamily spent three years in Egypt. The repeated statement ofJosephus that Herod died close upon the Passover should havesufficed to show the impossibility of that hypothesis.Indeed, there is scarcely any historical date on whichcompetent writers are more agreed than that of Herod's death.See Schurer, Neutest. Zeitg., pp. 222, 223.] It need scarcelybe said, that Salome (Herod's sister) and her husband weretoo wise to execute Herod's direction in regard to the nobleJews shut up in the Hippodrome. Their liberation, and thedeath of Herod, were marked by the leaders of the people asjoyous events in the so-called Megillath Taanith, or Roll ofFasts, although the date is not exactly marked. [a Meg. Taanxi, 1, ed Warsh, p. 16 a.] Henceforth this was to be a YomTobh (feast-day), on which mourning was interdicted. [1 TheMegillath Taanith itself, or 'Roll of Fasts,' does notmention the death of Herod. But the commentator adds to thedates 7th Kislev (Nov.) and 2nd Shebhat (Jan.), bothmanifestly incorrect, the notice that Herod had died, on the2nd Shebhat, Jannai also, at the same time telling a storyabout the incarceration and liberation of 'seventy of theElders of Israel,' evidently a modification of Josephus'account of what passed in the Hiprodrome of Jericho.Accordingly, Gratz (Gesch. vol. iii. p. 427) and Derenbourg(pp. 101, 164) have regarded the 1st of Shebhat as reallythat of Herod's death. But this is impossible; and we knowenough of the historical inaccuracy of the Rabbis not toattach any serious importance to their precise dates.]

Herod had three times before changed his testament. By thefirst will Antipater, the successful calumniator of Alexanderand Aristobulus, had been appointed his successor, while thelatter two were named kings, though we know not of whatdistricts. [b Jos. War i. 23.5] After the execution of thetwo sons of Mariamme, Antipater was named king, and, in caseof his death, Herod, the son of Mariamme II. When thetreachery of Antipater was proved, Herod made a third will,in which Antipas (the Herod Antipas of the New Testament) wasnamed his successor. [c Jos. Ant. xvii. 6. 1; War i. 32. 7]But a few days before his death he made yet anotherdisposition, by which Archelaus, the elder brother of Antipas(both sons of Malthake, a Samaritan), was appointed king;Antipas tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea; and Philip (the sonof Cleopatra, of Jerusalem [2 Herod had married no less thanten times. See his genealogical table.]), tetrarch of theterritory east of the Jordan. [3 Batanaea, Trachonitis,Auranitis, and Panias.] These testaments reflected thevarying phases of suspicion and family-hatred through whichHerod had passed. Although the Emperor seems to haveauthorised him to appoint his successor, [d Jos. War i. 23.5]Herod wisely made his disposition dependent on the approvalof Augustus. [e Ant. xvii 8.2] But the latter was not by anymeans to be taken for granted. Archelaus had, indeed, beenimmediately proclaimed King by the army; but he prudentlydeclined the title, till it had been confirmed by theEmperor. The night of his father's death, and those thatfollowed, were characteristically spent by Archelaus inrioting with his friends. [f Ant. xvii 8.4; 9.5] But thepeople of Jerusalem were not easily satisfied. At firstliberal promises of amnesty and reforms had assuaged thepopulace. [g Ant. xvii 8.4] But the indignation excited bythe late murder of the Rabbis soon burst into a storm oflamentation, and then of rebellion, which Archelaus silencedby the slaughter of not less than three thousand, and thatwithin the sacred precincts of the Temple itself. [a Ant.xvii. 1-3]

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 himto espouse the claims of Antipas, who likewise appearedbefore Augustus to plead for the royal succession, assignedto him in a former testament. The Herodian family, whileintriguing and clamouring each on his own account, were, forreasons easily understood, agreed that they would rather nothave a king at all, but be under the suzerainty of Rome;though, if king there must be, they preferred Antipas toArchelaus. Meanwhile, fresh troubles broke out in Palestine,which were suppressed by fire, sword, and crucifixions. Andnow two other deputations arrived in the Imperial City.Philip, the step-brother of Archelaus, to whom the latter hadleft the administration of his kingdom, came to look afterhis own interests, as well as to support Archelaus. [b Ant.xvii. 11.1; War 11. 6.1] [1 1 cannot conceive on what groundKeim (both in Schenkel's Bible Lex, and in his 'Jesu vonNazara') speaks of him as a pretender to the throne.] At thesame time, a Jewish deputation of fifty, from Palestine,accompanied by eight thousand Roman Jews, clamoured for thedeposition of the entire Herodian race, on account of theircrimes, [2 This may have been the historical basis of theparable of our Lord in St. Luke xix. 12-27.] and theincorporation of Palestine with Syria, no doubt in hope ofthe 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, withcertain slight modifications, of which the most important wasthat Archelaus should bear the title of Ethnarch, which, ifhe deserved it, would by-and-by be exchanged for that ofKing. His dominions were to be Judaea, Idumaea, and Samaria,with a revenue of 600 talents [3 The revenues of Antipas were200 talents, and those of Philip 100 talents.] (about230,000l. to 240,000l). It is needless to follow the fortunesof the new Ethnarch. He began his rule by crushing allresistance by the wholesale slaughter of his opponents. Ofthe High-Priestly office he disposed after the manner of hisfather. But he far surpassed him in cruelty, oppression,luxury, the grossest egotism, and the lowest sensuality, andthat, without possessing the talent or the energy of Herod. [This is admitted even byBraun (Sohne d. Herodes, p. 8).Despite its pretentiousness this tractate is untrustworthy,being written in a party spirit (Jewish).] His brief reignceased in the year 6 of our era, when the Emperor banishedhim, on account of his crimes to Gaul.

It must have been soon after the accession of Archelaus, [We gather this from the expression, 'When he heard thatArchelaus did reign.' Evidently Joseph had not heard who wasHerod's successor, when he left Egypt. Archdeacon Farrarsuggests, that the expression 'reigned' ('as a king, ,St.Matt. ii. 22) refers to the period before Augustus hadchanged his title from 'King' to Ethnarch. But this canscarcely be pressed, the word being used of other rule thanthat of a king, not only in the New Testament and in theApocrypha, but by Josephus, and even by classical writers.]but before tidings of it had actually reached Joseph inEgypt, that the Holy Family returned to Palestine. The firstintention of Joseph seems to have been to settle inBethlehem, where he had lived since the birth of Jesus.Obvious reasons would incline him to choose this, and, ifpossible, to avoid Nazareth as the place of his residence.His trade, even had he been unknown in Bethlehem, would haveeasily supplied the modest wants of his household. But when,on reaching Palestine, he learned who the successor of Herodwas, and also, no doubt, in what manner he had inauguratedhis reign, common prudence would have dictated the withdrawalof the Infant-Saviour from the dominions of Archelaus. But itneeded Divine direction to determine his return to Nazareth.[2 The language of St. Matthew (ii. 22, 23) seems to implyexpress Divine direction not to enter the territory ofJudaea. In that case he would travel along the coast-linetill he passed into Galilee. The impression left is, that thesettlement at Nazareth was not of his own choice.]

Of the many years spent in Nazareth, during which Jesuspassed from infancy to childhood, from childhood to youth,and from youth to manhood, the Evangelic narrative has leftus but briefest notice. Of His childhood: that 'He grew andwaxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace ofGod was upon Him;' [a St. Luke ii. 40] of His youth: besidesthe account of His questioning the Rabbis in the Temple, theyear before he attained Jewish majority, that 'He was subjectto His parents,' and that 'He increased in wisdom and instature, and in favour with God and man.' Considering whatloving care watched over Jewish child-life, tenderly markingby not fewer than eight designations the various stages ofits development, [3 Yeled, the newborn babe, as in Is. ix. 6;Yoneq, the suckling, Is. xi. 8; Olel, the suckling beginningto 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.)] andthe deep interest naturally attaching to the early life ofthe Messiah, that silence, in contrast to the almostblasphemous absurdities of the Apocryphal Gospels, teaches usonce more, and most impressively, that the Gospels furnish ahistory of the Saviour, not a biography of Jesus of Nazareth.

St. Matthew, indeed, summarises the whole outward history ofthe life in Nazareth in one sentence. Henceforth Jesus wouldstand out before the Jews of His time, and, as we know, ofall times [1 This is still the common, almost universal,designation of Christ among the Jews.], by the distinctivedesignation: 'of Nazareth,' (Notsri), 'the Nazarene.' In themind of a Palestinian a peculiar significance would attach tothe by-Name of the Messiah, especially in its connection withthe general teaching of prophetic Scripture, And here we mustremember, that St. Matthew primarily addressed his Gospel toPalestinian readers, and that it is the Jewish presentationof the Messiah as meeting Jewish expectancy. In this there isnothing derogatory to the character of the Gospel, noaccommodation in the sense of adaptation, since Jesus was notonly the Saviour of the world, but especially also the Kingof the Jews, and we are now considering how He would standout before the Jewish mind. On one point all were agreed: HisName was Notsri (of Nazareth). St. Matthew proceeds to pointout, how entirely this accorded with prophetic Scripture,not, indeed, with any single prediction, but with the wholelanguage of the prophets. From this [Comp. ch. iv. of thisbook.] the Jews derived not fewer than eight designations orNames by which the Messiah was to be called. The mostprominent among them was that of Tsemach, or 'Branch.' [a Inaccordance with Jer. xxiii. 5; xxxiii. 15; and especiallyZech. iii 18] We call it the most prominent, not only becauseit is based upon the clearest Scripture-testimony, butbecause it evidently occupied the foremost rank in Jewishthinking, being embodied in this earliest portion of theirdaily liturgy: 'The Branch of David, Thy Servant, speedilymake to shoot forth, and His Horn exalt Thou by ThySalvation....Blessed art Thou Jehovah, Who causeth to springforth (literally: to branch forth) the Horn of Salvation'(15th Eulogy). Now, what is expressed by the word Tsemach isalso conveyed by the term Netser, 'Branch,' in such passagesas Isaiah xi,1, which was likewise applied to the Messiah. [3See Appendix IX.] Thus, starting from Isaiahxi. 1, Netserbeing equivalent to Tsemach, Jesus would, as Notsri or BenNetser, [b So in Be R. 76] [4 Comp. Buxtorf, Lexicon Talm. p.1383.] bear in popular parlance, and that on the ground ofprophetic Scriptures, the exact equivalent of the best-knowndesignation of the Messiah. [5 All this becomes more evidentby Delitzsch's ingenious suggestion (Zeitschr. fur luther.Theol. 1876, part iii. p. 402), that the real meaning, thoughnot the literal rendering, of the words of St. Matthew, wouldbe, 'for Nezer ['branch'] is His Name.] The more significantthis, that it was not a self-chosen nor man-given name, butarose, in the providence of God, from what otherwise mighthave been called the accident of His residence. We admit thatthis is a Jewish view; but then this Gospel is the Jewishview of the Jewish Messiah.

But, taking this Jewish title in its Jewish significance, ithas also a deeper meaning, and that not only to Jews, but toall men. The idea of Christ as the Divinely placed 'Branch'(symbolised by His Divinely-appointed early residence), smalland despised in its forthshooting, or then visible appearance(like Nazareth and the Nazarenes), but destined to grow asthe Branch sprung out of Jesse's roots, is most marvellouslytrue to the whole history of the Christ, alike as sketched'by the prophets,' and as exhibited in reality. And thus tous all, Jews or Gentiles, the Divine guidance to Nazareth andthe name Nazarene present the truest fulfilment of theprophecies of His history.

Greater contrast could scarcely be imagined than between theintricate scholastic studies of the Judaeans, and the activepursuits that engaged men in Galilee. It was a common saying:'If a person wishes to be rich, let him go north; if he wantsto be wise, let him come south', and to Judaea, accordingly,flocked, from ploughshare and workshop, whoever wished tobecome 'learned in the Law.' The very neighbourhood of theGentile world, the contact with the great commercial centresclose by, and the constant intercourse with foreigners, whopassed through Galilee along one of the world's greathighways, would render the narrow exclusiveness of theSoutherners impossible. Galilee was to Judaism 'the Court ofthe Gentiles', the Rabbinic Schools of Judaea its innermostSanctuary. The natural disposition of the people, even thesoil and climate of Galilee, were not favourable to theall-engrossing passion for Rabbinic study. In Judaea allseemed to invite to retrospection and introspection; tofavour habits of solitary thought and study, till it kindledinto fanaticism. Mile by mile as you travelled southwards,memories of the past would crowd around, and thoughts of thefuture would rise within. Avoiding the great towns as thecentres of hated heathenism, the traveller would meet fewforeigners, but everywhere encounter those gauntrepresentatives of what was regarded as the superlativeexcellency of his religion. These were the embodiment ofJewish piety and asceticism, the possessors and expounders ofthe mysteries of his faith, the fountain-head of wisdom, whowere not only sure of heaven themselves, but knew itssecrets, and were its very aristocracy; men who could tellhim all about his own religion, practised its most minuteinjunctions, and could interpret every stroke and letter ofthe Law, nay, whose it actually was to 'loose and to bind,'to pronounce an action lawful or unlawful, and to 'remit orretain sins,' by declaring a man liable to, or free from,expiatory sacrifices, or else punishment in this or the nextworld. No Hindoo fanatic would more humbly bend beforeBrahmin saints, nor devout Romanist more venerate the membersof a holy fraternity, than the Jew his great Rabbis. [1 Oneof the most absurdly curious illustrations of this is thefollowing: 'He who blows his nose in the presence of hisRabbi is worthy of death' (Erub, 99 a, line 11 from bottom).The dictum is supported by an alteration in the reading ofProv. viii. 36.] Reason, duty, and precept, alike bound himto reverence them, as he reverenced the God Whoseinterpreters, representatives, deputies, intimate companions,almost colleagues in the heavenly Sanhedrin, they were. Andall around, even nature itself, might seem to foster suchtendencies. Even at that time Judaea was comparativelydesolate, barren, grey. The decaying cities of ancientrenown; the lone highland scenery; the bare, rugged hills;the rocky terraces from which only artificial culture couldwoo a return; the wide solitary plains, deep glens, limestoneheights, with distant glorious Jerusalem ever in the farbackground, would all favour solitary thought and religiousabstraction.

It was quite otherwise in Galilee. The smiling landscape ofLower Galilee invited the easy labour of the agriculturist.Even the highlands of Upper Galilee [2 Galilee covered theancient possessions of Issachar, Zebulun, Naphtali, andAsher. 'In the time of Christ it stretched northwards to thepossessions of Tyre on the one side, and to Syria on theother. On the south it was bounded by Samaria, Mount Carmelon the Western, and the district of Scythopolis on theeastern side, being here landmarks; while the Jordan and theLake of Gennesaret formed the general eastern boundary line.'(Sketches of Jewish Soc. Life. p. 33.) It was divided intoUpper and Lower Galilee, the former beginning 'wheresycomores (not our sycamores) cease to grow.' Fishing in theLake of Galilee was free to all (Baba K. 81 b).] were not,like those of Judaea, sombre, lonely, enthusiasm-killing, butgloriously grand, free, fresh, and bracing. A more beautifulcountry, hill, dale, and lake, could scarcely be imaginedthan Galilee Proper. It was here that Asher had 'dipped hisfoot in oil.' According to the Rabbis, it was easier to reara forest of olive-trees in Galilee than one child in Judaea.Corn grew in abundance; the wine, though not so plentiful asthe oil, was rich and generous. Proverbially, all fruit grewin perfection, and altogether the cost of living was aboutone-fifth that in Judaea. And then, what a teeming, busypopulation! Making every allowance for exaggeration, wecannot wholly ignore the account of Josephus about the 240towns and villages of Galilee, each with not less than 15,000inhabitants. In the centres of industry all then known tradeswere busily carried on; the husbandman pursued his happy toilon genial soil, while by the Lake of Gennesaret, with itsunrivalled 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 brilliancyof innumerable stars, a man might feel constrained by natureitself to meditate and pray; he would not be likely toindulge in a morbid fanaticism.

Assuredly, in its then condition, Galilee was not the homeof 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 reverseside to the picture. Such a race would be excitable,passionate, violent. The Talmud accuses them of beingquarrelsome, [a 'cantankerous' (?), Ned. 48 a] but admitsthat they cared more for honour than for money. The greatideal teacher of Palestinian schools was Akiba, and one ofhis most outspoken opponents a Galilean, Rabbi Jose. [bSiphre on Numb. x. 19, ed. Friedmann, 4 a; Chag. 14 a] Inreligious observances their practice was simpler; as regardedcanon-law they often took independent views, and generallyfollowed the interpretations of those who, in opposition toAkiba, inclined to the more mild and rational, we had almostsaid, the more human, application of traditionalism. [1 Ofwhich Jochanan, the son of Nuri, may here be regarded as theexponent.] The Talmud mentions several points in which thepractice of the Galileans differed from that of Judaea, alleither in the direction of more practical earnestness, [2 Asin the relation between bridegroom and bride, the cessationof work the day before the Passover, &c.] or of alleviationof Rabbinic rigorism. [3 As in regard to animals lawful to beeaten, vows, &c.] On the other hand, they were looked downupon as neglecting traditionalism, unable to rise to itsspeculative heights, and preferring the attractions of theHaggadah to the logical subtleties of the Halakhah. [4 Thedoctrinal, or rather Halakhic, differences between Galileeand Judaea are partially noted by Lightfoot (Chronoger.Matth. praem. lxxxvi.), and by Hamburger (Real-Enc. i. p.395).] There was a general contempt in Rabbinic circles forall that was Galilean. Although the Judaean or Jerusalemdialect was far from pure, [5 See Deutsch's Remains, p. 358.]the people of Galilee were especially blamed for neglectingthe study of their language, charged with errors in grammar,and especially with absurd malpronunciation, sometimesleading to ridiculous mistakes. [6 The differences ofpronunciation and language are indicated by Lightfoot (u.s.lxxxvii.), and by Deutsch (u. s. pp. 357, 358). Severalinstances of ridiculous mistakes arising from it arerecorded. Thus, a woman cooked for her husband two lentilsinstead of two feet (of an animal, as desired (Nedar. 66 b).On another occasion a woman malpronounced 'Come, I will givethee milk,' into 'Companion, butter devour thee!' (Erub. 53b). 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.] 'Galilean,Fool!' was so common an expression, that a learned ladyturned with it upon so great a man as R. Jose, the Galilean,because he had used two needless words in asking her the roadto Lydda. [a Erub. 53 b] [1 The Rabbi asked: What road leadsto Lydda?, using four words. The woman pointed out that,since it was not lawful to multiply speech with a woman, heshould have asked: Whither to Lydda?, in two words.] Indeed,this R. Jose had considerable prejudices to overcome, beforehis remarkable talents and learning were fully acknowledged.[2 In fact, only four great Galilean Rabbis are mentioned.The Galileans are said to have inclined towards mystical(Kabbalistic?) pursuits.]

Among such a people, and in that country, Jesus spent by farthe longest part of His life upon earth. Generally, thisperiod may be described as that of His true and full HumanDevelopment, physical, intellectual, spiritual, of outwardsubmission to man, and inward submission to God, with theattendant results of 'wisdom,' 'favour,' and 'grace.'Necessary, therefore, as this period was, if the Christ wasto be TRUE MAN, it cannot be said that it was lost, even sofar as His Work as Saviour was concerned. It was more thanthe preparation for that work; it was the commencement of it:subjectively (and passively), the self-abnegation ofhumiliation in His willing submission; and objectively (andactively), 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 thesethirty years of Human Life, that the overpowering thought ofHis Divinity might not overshadow that of His Humanity. Butif He was subject to such conditions, they must, in thenature of things, have affected His development. It istherefore not presumption when, without breaking the silenceof Holy Scripture, we follow the various stages of theNazareth life, as each is, so to speak, initialled by thebrief but emphatic summaries of the third Gospel.

In regard to the Child-Life, [3 Gelpke, Jugendgesch, desHerrn, has, at least in our days, little value beyond itstitle.] we read: 'And the Child grew, and waxed strong inspirit, [4 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.] being filled with wisdom,and the grace of God was upon Him. [b St. Luke ii. 40] Thismarks, so to speak, the lowest rung in the ladder. Havingentered upon life as the Divine Infant, He began it as theHuman Child, subject to all its conditions, yet perfect inthem.

These conditions were, indeed, for that time, the happiestconceivable, and such as only centuries of Old Testamentlife-training could have made them. The Gentile world herepresented terrible contrast, in them. alike in regard to therelation of parents and children, and the character and moralobject of their upbringing. Education begins in the home, andthere were not homes like those in Israel; it is imparted byinfluence and example, before it comes by teaching; it isacquired by what is seen and heard, before it is laboriouslylearned from books; its real object becomes instinctivelyfelt, before its goal is consciously sought. What Jewishfathers and mothers were; what they felt towards theirchildren; and with what reverence, affection, and care thelatter returned what they had received, is known to everyreader of the Old Testament. The relationship of father hasits highest sanction and embodiment in that of God towardsIsrael; the tenderness and care of a mother in that of thewatchfulness and pity of the Lord over His people. Thesemi-Divine relationship between children and parents appearsin the location, the far more than outward duties which itimplies in the wording, of the Fifth Commandment. Nopunishment more prompt than that of its breach; [a Deut. xxi.18-21.] no description more terribly realistic than that ofthe vengeance which overtakes such sin. [b Prov. xxx. 17.]

From the first days of its existence, a religious atmospheresurrounded the child of Jewish parents. Admitted in thenumber of God's chosen people by the deeply significant riteof circumcision, when its name was first spoken in theaccents of prayer, [1 See the notice of these rites at thecircumcision of John the Baptist, in ch. iv. of his Book.] itwas henceforth separated unto God. Whether or not it acceptedthe privileges and obligations implied in this dedication,they came to him directly from God, as much as thecircumstances of his birth. The God of Abraham, Isaac, andJacob, the God of Israel, the God of the promises, claimedhim, with all of blessing which this conveyed, and ofresponsibility which resulted from it. And the first wishexpressed for him was that, 'as he had been joined to thecovenant,' 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', aholy, happy, and God-devoted life. And what this was, couldnot for a moment be in doubt. Putting aside the overlyingRabbinic interpretations, the ideal of life was presented tothe mind of the Jew in a hundred different forms, in noneperhaps more popularly than in the words, 'These are thethings of which a man enjoys the fruit in this world, buttheir possession continueth for the next: to honour fatherand mother, pious works, peacemaking between man and man, andthe study of the Law, which is equivalent to them all.' [aPeah i. 1.] This devotion to the Law was, indeed, to the Jewthe all in all, the sum of intellectual pursuits, the aim oflife. What better thing could a father seek for his childthan this inestimable boon?

The first education was necessarily the mother's. [1 Comp.'Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' pp. 86-160, the literaturethere quoted: Duschak, Schulgesetzgebung d. alten Isr.; andDr. Marcus, Paedagog. d. Isr. Volkes.] Even the Talmud ownsthis, when, among the memorable sayings of the sages, itrecords one of the School of Rabbi Jannai, to the effect thatknowledge of the Law may be looked for in those, who havesucked it in at their mother's breast. [b Ber. 63 b.] Andwhat the true mothers in Israel were, is known not only frominstances in the Old Testament, from the praise of woman inthe Book of Proverbs, and from the sayings of the son ofSirach (Ecclus. iii. [2 The counterpart is in Ecclus. xxx.]),but from the Jewish women of the New Testament. [3 Besidesthe holy women who are named in the Gospels, we would referto the mothers of Zebedee's children and of Mark, to Dorcas,Lydia, Lois, Eunice, Priscilla, St. John's 'elect lady,' andothers.] If, according to a somewhat curious traditionalprinciple, women were dispensed from all such positiveobligations as were incumbent at fixed periods of time (suchas putting on phylacteries), other religious duties devolvedexclusively upon them. The Sabbath meal, the kindling of theSabbath lamp, and the setting apart a portion of the doughfrom 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 insuch religious household duties, his eyes must have beenattracted by the Mezuzah attached to the door-post, as thename of the Most High on the outside of the little foldedparchment [c On which Deut.vi. 4-9 and xi. 13-21 wereinscribed.] was reverently touched by each who came or went,and then the fingers kissed that had come in contact with theHoly Name. [d Jos. Ant. iv. 8. 13; Ber.iii. 3; Megill. i. 8;Moed K. iii.] Indeed, the duty of the Mezuzah was incumbenton women also, and one can imagine it to have been in theheathen-home of Lois and Eunice in the far-off 'dispersion,'where Timothy would first learn to wonder at, then tounderstand, its meaning. And what lessons for the past andfor the present might not be connected with it! In popularopinion it was the symbol of the Divine guard over Israel'shomes, the visible emblem of this joyous hymn: 'The Lordshall preserve thy going out and coming in, from this timeforth, and even for evermore.' [e Ps. cxxi. 8.]

There could not be national history, nor even romance, tocompare with that by which a Jewish mother might hold herchild entranced. And it was his own history, that of histribe, clan, perhaps family; of the past, indeed, but yet ofthe present, and still more of the glorious future. Longbefore he could go to school, or even Synagogue, the privateand united prayers and the domestic rites, whether of theweekly Sabbath or of festive seasons, would indelibly impressthemselves upon his mind. In mid-winter there was the festiveillumination in each home. In most houses, the first nightonly one candle was lit, the next two, and so on to theeighth day; and the child would learn that this was symbolic,and commemorative of the Dedication of the Temple, itspurgation, and the restoration of its services by thelion-hearted Judas the Maccabee. Next came, in earliestspring, the merry time of Purim, the Feast of Esther and ofIsrael's deliverance through her, with its good cheer andboisterous enjoyments. [1 Some of its customs almost remindus of our 5th of November.] Although the Passover might callthe rest of the family to Jerusalem, the rigid exclusion ofall leaven during the whole week could not pass without itsimpressions. Then, after the Feast of Weeks, came brightsummer. But its golden harvest and its rich fruits wouldremind of the early dedication of the first and best to theLord, and of those solemn processions in which it was carriedup to Jerusalem. As autumn seared the leaves, the Feast ofthe New Year spoke of the casting up of man's accounts in thegreat Book of Judgment, and the fixing of destiny for good orfor evil. Then followed the Fast of the Day of Atonement,with its tremendous solemnities, the memory of which couldnever fade from mind or imagination; and, last of all, in theweek of the Feast of Tabernacles, there were the strangeleafy booths in which they lived and joyed, keeping theirharvest-thanksgiving; and praying and longing for the betterharvest of a renewed world.

But it was not only through sight and hearing that, from itsvery inception, life in Israel became religious. There wasalso from the first positive teaching, of which thecommencement would necessarily devolve on the mother. Itneeded not the extravagant laudations, nor the promises heldout by the Rabbis, to incite Jewish women to this duty. Ifthey were true to their descent, it would come almostnaturally to them. Scripture set before them a continuoussuccession of noble Hebrew mothers. How well they followedtheir example, we learn from the instance of her, whose son,the child of a Gentile father, and reared far away, wherethere was not even a Synagogue to sustain religious life, had'from an infant [2 The word has no other meaning than that of'infant' or 'babe.'] known the Holy Scriptures,' and that intheir life-moulding influence. [a 2 Tim. iii. 15; 1. 5.] Itwas, indeed,no idle boast that the Jews 'were from theirswaddling-clothes...trained to recognise God as their Father,and as the Maker of the world;' that, 'having been taught theknowledge (of the laws) from earliest youth, they bore intheir souls the image of the commandments;' [b Philo, Legat.ad Cajum, sec. 16. 31.] that 'from their earliestconsciousness they learned the laws, so as to have them, asit were, engraven upon the soul;' [c Jos. Ag. Apion ii. 19]and that they were 'brought up in learning,' 'exercised inthe laws,' 'and made acquainted with the acts of theirpredecessors in order to their imitation of them.' [d Jos.Ag.Apion ii. 26; comp. 1.8. 12; ii. 27.]

But while the earliest religious teaching would, ofnecessity, come from the lips of the mother, it was thefather who was 'bound to teach his son.' [e Kidd, 29 a.] Toimpart to the child knowledge of the Torah conferred as greatspiritual distinction, as if a man had received the Lawitself on Mount Horeb. [f Sanh. 99 b.] Every otherengagement, even the necessary meal, should give place tothis paramount duty; [g Kidd, 30 a.] nor should it beforgotten that, while here real labour was necessary, itwould never prove fruitless. [h Meg. 6 b.] That man was ofthe profane vulgar (an Am ha-arets), who had sons, but failedto bring them up in knowledge of the Law. [i Sot. 22 a.]Directly the child learned to speak, his religiousinstruction was to begin, no doubt, with such verses of HolyScripture as composed that part of the Jewish liturgy, whichanswers to our Creed. [1 The Shema.] Then would follow otherpassages from the Bible, short prayers, and select sayings ofthe sages. Special attention was given to the culture of thememory, since forgetfulness might prove as fatal in itsconsequences as ignorance or neglect of the Law. Very earlythe child must have been taught what might be called hisbirthday-text, some verse of Scripture beginning, or endingwith, or at least containing, the same letters as his Hebrewname. This guardian-promise the child would insert in itsdaily prayers. [2 Comp. 'Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' pp.159 &c. The enigmatic mode of wording and writing was verycommon. Thus, the year is marked by a verse, generally fromScripture, which contains the letters that give the numericalvalue of the year. These letters are indicated by marks abovethem.] The earliest hymns taught would be the Psalms for thedays of the week, or festive Psalms, such as the Hallel, [nPs. cxiii. cxviii.] or those connected with the festivepilgrimages to Zion.

The regular instruction commenced with the fifth or sixthyear (according to strength), when every child was sent toschool. [o Baba B. 21 a; Keth. 50 a.] There can be noreasonable doubt that at that time such schools existedthroughout the land. We find references to them at almostevery period; indeed, the existence of higher schools andAcademies would not have been possible without such primaryinstruction. Two Rabbis of Jerusalem, specially distinguishedand beloved on account of their educational labours, wereamong the last victims of Herod's cruelty. [a Jos. Ant. xvii.6. 2.] Later on, tradition ascribes to Joshua the son ofGamla the introduction of schools in every town, and thecompulsory education in them of all children above the age ofsix. [b Baba B. 21 a.] Such was the transcendent meritattaching to this act, that it seemed to blot out the guiltof the purchase for him of the High-Priestly office by hiswife Martha, shortly before the commencement of the greatJewish war. [c Yebam. 61 a; Yoma 18 a.] [1 He was succeededby Matthias, the son of Theophilos, under whose Pontificatethe war against Rome began.] To pass over the fabulous numberof schools supposed to have existed in Jerusalem, traditionhad it that, despite of this, the City only fell because ofthe neglect of the education of children. [d Shabb. 119 b.]It was even deemed unlawful to live in a place where therewas no school. [e Sanh. 17 b.] Such a city deserved to beeither destroyed or excommunicated. [f Shabb. u.s.]

It would lead too far to give details about the appointmentof, and provision for, teachers, the arrangements of theschools, the method of teaching, or the subjects of study,the more so as many of these regulations date from a periodlater than that under review. Suffice it that, from theteaching of the alphabet or of writing, onwards to thefarthest limit of instruction in the most advanced Academiesof the Rabbis, all is marked by extreme care, wisdom,accuracy, and a moral and religious purpose as the ultimateobject. For a long time it was not uncommon to teach in theopen air; [g Shabb. 127 a; Moed K. 16. a.] but this must havebeen chiefly in connection with theological discussions, andthe instruction of youths. But the children were gathered inthe Synagogues, or in School-houses, [2 Among the names bywhich the schools are designated there is also that ofIscholi, with its various derivations, evidently from theGreek schola.] where at first they either stood, teacher andpupils alike, or else sat on the ground in a semicircle,facing the teacher, as it were, literally to carry intopractice the prophetic saying: 'Thine eyes shall see thyteachers.' [h Is. xxx. 20.] The introduction of benches orchairs was of later date; but the principle was always thesame, that in respect of accommodation there was nodistinction between teacher and taught. [3 The proof-passagesfrom the Talmud are collated by Dr. Marcus (Paedagog. d. Isr.Volkes, ii. pp. 16, 17).] Thus, encircled by his pupils, asby a crown of glory (to use the language of Maimonides), theteacher, generally the Chazzan, or Officer of the Synagogue[i For example, Shabb. 11 a.] should impart to them theprecious knowledge of the Law, with constant adaptation totheir capacity, with unwearied patience, intense earnestness,strictness tempered by kindness, but, above all, with thehighest object of their training ever in view. To keepchildren from all contact with vice; to train them togentleness, even when bitterest wrong had been received; toshow sin in its repulsiveness, rather than to terrify by itsconsequences; to train to strict truthfulness; to avoid allthat might lead to disagreeable or indelicate thoughts; andto do all this without showing partiality, without eitherundue severity, or laxity of discipline, with judiciousincrease of study and work, with careful attention tothoroughness in acquiring knowledge, all this and moreconstituted the ideal set before the teacher, and made hisoffice 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 bethe text-book; from ten to fifteen, the Mishnah, ortraditional law; after that age, the student should enter onthose theological discussions which occupied time andattention in the higher Academies of the Rabbis. [a Ab. v.21.] Not that this progression would always be made. For, ifafter three, or, at most, five years of tuition, that is,after having fairly entered on Mishnic studies, the child hadnot shown decided aptitude, little hope was to be entertainedof his future. The study of the Bible commenced with that ofthe Book of Leviticus. [1 Altingius (Academic. Dissert. p.335) curiously suggests, that this was done to teach a childits guilt and the need of justification. The Rabbinicalinterpretation (Vayyikra R. 7) is at least equallyfar-fetched: that, as children are pure and sacrifices pure,it is fitting that the pure should busy themselves with thepure. The obvious reason seems, that Leviticus treated of theordinances with which every Jew ought to have beenacquainted.] Thence it passed to the other parts of thePentateuch; then to the Prophets; and, finally, to theHagiographa. What now constitutes the Gemara or Talmud wastaught in the Academies, to which access could not be gainedtill after the age of fifteen. Care was taken not to send achild too early to school, nor to overwork him when there.For this purpose the school-hours were fixed, and attendanceshortened during the summer-months.

The teaching in school would, of course, be greatly aided bythe services of the Synagogue, and the deeper influences ofhome-life. We know that, even in the troublous times whichpreceded the rising of the Maccabees, the possession of partsor the whole of the Old Testament (whether in the original orthe LXX. rendering) was so common, that during the greatpersecutions a regular search was made throughout the landfor every copy of the Holy Scriptures, and those punished whopossessed them. [b 1 Macc. i. 57; comp. Jos. Ant. xii. 5,4.]After the triumph of the Maccabees, these copies of theBible would, of course, be greatly multiplied. And, althoughperhaps only the wealthy could have purchased a MS. of thewhole Old Testament in Hebrew, yet some portion or portionsof the Word of God, in the original, would form the mostcherished treasure of every pious household. Besides, aschool for Bible-study was attached to every academy, [a Jer.Meg. iii. 1, p. 73 d.] in which copies of the Holy Scripturewould be kept. From anxious care to preserve the integrity ofthe text, it was deemed unlawful to make copies of smallportions of a book of Scripture. [1 Herzfeld (Gesch. d. V.Isr. iii. p. 267, note) strangely misquotes and misinterpretsthis matter. Comp. Dr. Muller, Massech. Sofer. p. 75.] Butexception was made of certain sections which were copied forthe instruction of children. Among them, the history of theCreation to that of the Flood; Lev. i.-ix.; and Numb. i.-x.35, are specially mentioned. [b Sopher. v. 9, p. 25 b; Gitt.60 a; Jer. Meg. 74 a; Tos. Yad. 2.]

It was in such circumstances, and under such influences,that the early years of Jesus passed. To go beyond this, andto attempt lifting the veil which lies over HisChild-History, would not only be presumptuous, [2 The mostpainful instances of these are the legendary accounts of theearly history of Christ in the Apocryphal Gospels (wellcollated by Keim, i. 2, pp. 413-468, passim). But laterwriters are unfortunately not wholly free from the charge.]but involve us in anachronisms. Fain would we know it,whether the Child Jesus frequented the Synagogue School; whowas His teacher, and who those who sat beside Him on theground, earnestly gazing on the face of Him Who repeated thesacrificial ordinances in the Book of Leviticus, that wereall to be fulfilled in Him. But it is all 'a mystery ofGodliness.' We do not even know quite certainly whether theschool-system had, at that time, extended to far-offNazareth; nor whether the order and method which have beendescribed were universally observed at that time. In allprobability, however, there was such a school in Nazareth,and, if so, the Child-Saviour would conform to the generalpractice of attendance. We may thus, still with deepestreverence, think of Him as learning His earliest earthlylesson from the Book of Leviticus. Learned Rabbis there werenot in Nazareth, either then or afterwards. [3 I must hereprotest against the introduction of imaginary 'Evening Scenesin Nazareth,' when, according to Dr. Geikie, 'friends orneighbours of Joseph's circle would meet for an hour's quietgossip.' Dr. Geikie here introduces as specimens of this'quiet gossip' a number of Rabbinic quotations from theGerman translation in Dukes' 'Rabbinische Blumenlese.' Tothis it is sufficient answer: 1. There were no such learnedRabbis in Nazareth. 2. If there had been, they would not havebeen visitors in the house of Joseph. 3. If they had beenvisitors there, they would not have spoken what Dr. Geikiequotes from Dukes, since some of the extracts are frommediaeval books, and only one a proverbial expression. 4.Even if they had so spoken, it would at least have been inthe words which Dukes has translated, without the changes andadditions which Dr. Geikie has introduced in some instances.]He would attend the services of the Synagogue, where Mosesand the prophets were read, and, as afterwards by Himself, [aSt. Luke iv. 16.] occasional addresses delivered. [1 See BookIII., the chapter on 'The Synagogue of Nazareth.'] That Hiswas pre-eminently a pious home in the highest sense, it seemsalmost irreverent to say. From His intimate familiarity withHoly Scripture, in its every detail, we may be allowed toinfer that the home of Nazareth, however humble, possessed aprecious copy of the Sacred Volume in its entirety. At anyrate, we know that from earliest childhood it must haveformed the meat and drink of the God-Man. The words of theLord, as recorded by St. Matthew [b St. Matt. v. 18.] and St.Luke, [c St. Luke xvi. 17.] also imply that the HolyScriptures which Heread were in the original Hebrew, and thatthey were written in the square, or Assyrian, characters. [2This may be gathered even from such an expression as 'Oneiota, or one little hook,' not 'tittle' as in the A.V.]Indeed, as the Pharisees and Saducees always appealed to theScriptures in the original, Jesus could not have met them onany other ground, and it was this which gave such point toHis frequent expostulations with them: 'Have ye not read?'

But far other thoughts than theirs gathered around His studyof the Old Testament Scriptures. When comparing their longdiscussions on the letter and law of Scripture with Hisreferences to the Word of God, it seems as if it were quiteanother book which was handled. As we gaze into the vastglory of meaning which He opens to us; follow the shiningtrack of heavenward living to which He points; behold thelines of symbol, type, and prediction converging in the grandunity of that Kingdom which became reality in Him; or listenas, alternately, some question of His seems to rive thedarkness, as with flash of sudden light, or some sweetpromise of old to lull the storm, some earnest lesson toquiet the tossing waves, we catch faint, it may be far-off,glimpses of how, in that early Child-life, when the HolyScriptures were His special study, He must have read them,and what thoughts must have been kindled by their light. Andthus better than before can we understand it: 'And the Childgrew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and thegrace of God was upon Him.'




(St. Luke ii. 41-52.)

Once only is the great silence, which lies on the history ofChrist's early life, broken. It is to record what took placeon His first visit to the Temple. What this meant, even to anordinary devout Jew, may easily be imagined. Where life andreligion were so intertwined, and both in such organicconnection with the Temple and the people of Israel, everythoughtful Israelite must have felt as if his real life werenot in what was around, but ran up into the grand unity ofthe people of God, and were compassed by the halo of itssanctity. 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. [a Ps. ixxxvii.5-7] It was, therefore, not merely the natural eagerness tosee the City of their God and of their fathers, gloriousJerusalem; nor yet the lawful enthusiasm, national orreligious, 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 wouldmake glad, when it was said: 'Let us go into the house ofJehovah.' They were not ruins to which precious memoriesclung, nor did the great hope seem to lie afar off, behindthe evening-mist. But 'glorious things were spoken of Zion,the City of God', in the past, and in the near future 'thethrones of David' were to be set within her walls, and amidsther palaces. [b Ps. cxxii. 1-5]

In strict law, personal observance of the ordinances, andhence attendance on the feasts at Jerusalem, devolved on ayouth 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.' [c Ab. v. 21] But, as a matter of fact, thelegal age was in this respect anticipated by two years, or atleast by one. [d Yoma 82 a] It was in accordance with thiscustom, that, [1 Comp. also Maimonides, Hilkh. Chag. ii. Thecommon statement, that Jesus went to the Temple because Hewas 'a Son of the Commandment,' is obviously erroneous. Allthe more remarkable, on the other hand, is St. Luke'saccurate knowledge of Jewish customs, and all the moreantithetic to the mythical theory the circumstance, that heplaces this remarkable event in the twelfth year of Jesus'life, and not when He became 'a Son of the Law.'] on thefirst Pascha after Jesus had passed His twelfth year, HisParents took Him with them in the 'company' of the Nazarenesto Jerusalem. The text seems to indicate, that it was theirwont [1 We take as the more correct reading that which putsthe participle in the present tense , and not in the aorist.]to go up to the Temple; and we mark that, although women werenot bound to make such personal appearance, [a Jer Kidd. 61c] Mary gladly availed herselfof what seems to have been thedirection of Hillel (followed also by other religious women,mentioned in Rabbinic writings), to go up to the solemnservices of the Sanctuary. Politically, times had changed.The weak and wicked rule of Archelaus had lasted only nineyears, [b From 4 B.C.to 6 A.D.] when, in consequence of thecharges against him, he was banished to Gaul. Judaea, Samariaand Idumaea were now incorporated into the Roman province ofSyria, under its Governor, or Legate. The specialadministration of that part of Palestine was, however,entrusted to a Procurator, whose ordinary residence was atCaesarea. It will be remembered, that the Jews themselves haddesired some such arrangement, in the vain hope that, freedfrom the tyranny of the Herodians, they might enjoy thesemi-independence of their brethren in the Grecian cities.But they found it otherwise. Their privileges were notsecured to them; their religious feelings and prejudices wereconstantly, though perhaps not intentionally, outraged; [2The Romans were tolerant of the religion of all subjectnations, excepting only Gaul and Carthage. This for reasonswhich cannot here be discussed. But what rendered Rome soobnoxious to Palestine was the cultus of the Emperor, as thesymbol and impersonation of Imperial Rome. On this cultusRome insisted in all countries, not perhaps so much onreligious grounds as on political, as being the expression ofloyalty to the empire. But in Judaea this cultus necessarilymet resistance to the death. (Comp. Schneckenburger, Neutest.Zeitgesch. pp. 40-61.)] and their Sanhedrin shorn of its realpower, though the Romans would probably not interfere in whatmight be regarded as purely religious questions. Indeed, thevery presence of the Roman power in Jerusalem was a constantoffence, and must necessarily have issued in a life and deathstruggle. One of the first measures of the new Legate ofSyria, P. Sulpicius Quirinius, [c 6-11 (?) A.D.] afterconfiscating the ill-gotten wealth of Archelaus, was to ordera census in Palestine, with the view of fixing the taxationof the country. [d Acts v. 37; Jos. Ant. xviii. 1. 1] Thepopular excitement which this called forth was due, probably,not so much to opposition on principle, [3 This view, forwhich there is no historic foundation, is urged by thosewhose interest it is to deny the possibility of a censusduring the reign of Herod.] as to this, that the census wasregarded as the badge of servitude, and incompatible with theTheocratic character of Israel. [1 That these were the solegrounds of resistance to the census, appears from Jos. Ant.xviii. 1. 1, 6.] Had a census been considered absolutelycontrary to the Law, the leading Rabbis would never havesubmitted to it; [2 As unquestionably they did.] nor wouldthe popular resistance to the measure of Quirinius have beenquelled by the representations of the High-Priest Joazar.But, although through his influence the census was allowed tobe taken, the popular agitation was not suppressed. Indeed,that movement formed part of the history of the time, and notonly 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 Hisown family circle.

This accession of Herod, misnamed the Great, marked a periodin Jewish history, which closed with the war of despairagainst Rome and the flames of Jerusalem and the Temple. Itgave rise to the appearance of what Josephus, despite hismisrepresentation of them, rightly calls a fourth party,besides the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes, that of theNationalists. [a Ant. xviii. 1. 6] A deeper and moreindependent view of the history of the times would, perhaps,lead us to regard the whole country as ranged either with oragainst that party. As afterwards expressed in its purest andsimplest form, their watchword was, negatively, to call nohuman being their absolute lord; [b Ant. xviii. 1. 6]positively, that God alone was to lead as absolute Lord. [cu.s. and Jew. War vii. 10. 1] Itwas, in fact, a revival ofthe Maccabean movement, perhaps more fully in its nationalthan in its religious aspect, although the two could scarcelybe separated in Israel, and their motto almost reads likethat which according to some, furnished the letters whencethe name Maccabee [d] was composed: Mi Camochah BaelimJehovah, 'Who like Thee among the gods, Jehovah? [e Ex. xv.11] It is characteristic of the times and religioustendencies, that their followers were no more called, asbefore, Assideans or Chasidim, 'the pious,' but Zealots or bythe Hebrew equivalent Qannaim (Cananoeans, not 'Canaanites,'as in A.V.) The real home of that party was not Judaea norJerusalem, but Galilee.

Quite other, and indeed antagonistic, tendencies prevailedin the stronghold of the Herodians, Sadducees, and Pharisees.Of the latter only a small portion had any real sympathy withthe national movement. Each party followed its own direction.The Essenes, absorbed in theosophic speculations, notuntinged with Eastern mysticism, withdrew from all contactwith the world, and practiced an ascetic life. With them,whatever individuals may have felt, no such movement couldhave originated; nor yet with the Herodians or Boethusians,who combined strictly Pharisaic views with Herodian politicalpartisanship; nor yet with the Sadducees; nor, finally, withwhat constituted the great bulk of the Rabbinist party, theSchool of Hillel. But the brave, free Highlanders of Galilee,and of the region across their glorious lake, seemed to haveinherited the spirit of Jephthah, [a Judg. xi. 3-6] and tohave treasured as their ideal, alas! often wronglyapprehended, their own Elijah, as, descending in wild, shaggygarb from the mountains of Gilead, he did battle against allthe might of Ahab and Jezebel. Their enthusiasm could not bekindled by the logical subtleties of the Schools, but theirhearts burned within them for their God, their land, theirpeople, their religion, and their freedom. It was in Galilee, accordingly, that such wild, irregularresistance to Herod at the outset of his career, as could beoffered, was organised by guerilla bands, which traversed thecountry, and owned one Ezekias as their leader. AlthoughJosephus calls them 'robbers,' a far different estimate ofthem obtained in Jerusalem, where, as we remember, theSanhedrin summoned Herod to answer for the execution ofEsekias. What followed is told in substantially the samemanner, though with difference of form [1 The talmud is neverto be trusted as to historical details. Often it seemspurposely to alter, when it intends the experienced studentto read between the lines, while at other times it presents astory in what may be called an alle gorical form.] and,sometimes, nomenclature, by Josephus, [b Ant. xiv. 9. 2-5]and in the Talmud. [c Sanh. 19 a] The story has already beenrelated in another connection. Suffice it that, after theaccession of Herod, the Sanhedrin became a shadow of itself.It was packed with Sadducees and Priests of the King'snomination, and with Doctors of the canon-law, whose only aimwas to pursue in peace their subtleties; who had not, and,from their contempt of the people, could not have, any realsympathy with national aspirations; and whose ideal heavenlyKingdom was a miraculous, heaven-instituted, absolute rule ofRabbis. Accordingly, the national movement, as it afterwardsdeveloped, received neither the sympathy nor the support ofleading Rabbis. Perhaps the most gross manifestation of thiswas 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 ofthe Temple-doors by an unseen Hand, which, by aninterpretation of Zech. xi. 1, was popularly regarded asbetokening its speedy destruction. [d Yoma 39 b] [2 Thedesignation 'Lebanon' isoften applied in Talmudic writings tothe Temple.] There is cynicism, as well as want of sympathy,in the story recorded by tradition, that when, in the straitsof famine during the siege, Jochanan saw people eagerlyfeasting on soup made from straw, he scouted the idea of sucha garrison resisting Vespasian and immediately resolved toleave the city. [a Midr. R. on Lament. i. 5; ed. Warsh. vol.iii.p. 60 a] In fact, we havedistinct evidence that R.Jochanan had, as leader of the School of Hillel, used all hisinfluence, although in vain, to persuade the people tosubmission to Rome. [b Ab. de R. Nathan 4]

We can understand it, how this school had taken so littleinterest in anything purely national. Generally only one sideof the character of Hillel has been presented by writers, andeven this in greatly exaggerated language. His much laudedgentleness, peacefulness, and charity were rather negativethan positive qualities. He was a philosophic Rabbi, whosereal interest lay in a far other direction than that ofsympathy with the people, and whose motto seemed, indeed, toimply, 'We, the sages, are the people of God; but thispeople, who know not the Law, are curse.' [c Comp. Ab ii. 5]A far deeper feeling, and intense, though misguidedearnestness pervaded the School of Shammai. It was in theminority, but it sympathised with the aspirations of thepeople. It was not philosophic nor eclectic, but intenselynational. It opposed all approach to, and by, strangers; itdealt harshly with proselytes, [d Shabb. 31] even the mostdistinguished (such as Akylas or Onkelos); [e Ber. R. 70] itpassed, by first murdering a number of Hillelites who hadcome to the deliberative assembly, eighteen decrees, of whichthe object was to prevent all intercourse with Gentiles; [1This celebrated meeting, of which, however, but scant andincoherent notices are left us (Shabb. i. 7 and specially inthe Jer. Talmud on the passage p. 3 c, d; and Shabb. 17 a;Tos. Shabb. i. 2), took place in the house of Chananyah, benChizqiyah, ben Garon, a noted Shammaite. On arriving, many ofthe Hillelites were killed in the lower room, and then amajority of Shammaites carried the so-called eighteendecrees. The first twelve forbade the purchase of the mostnecessary articles of diet from Gentiles; the next fiveforbade the learning of their language, declared theirtestimony invalid, and their offerings unlawful, andinterdicted all intercourse with them; while the lastreferred to first fruits. It was on the ground of thesedecrees that the hitherto customary burnt-offering for theEmperor was intermitted, which was really a declaration ofwar against Rome. The date of these decrees was probablyabout four years before the destruction of the Temple (SeeGratz, Gesch. d. Juden, vol. iii. pp. 494-502). These decreeswere carried by the influence of R. Eleazar, son of Chananyahthe High-Priest, a very wealthy man, whose father and brotherbelonged to the opposite or peace party. It was on theproposal of this strict Shammaite that the offering for theEmperor was intermitted (Jos. Jew. War ii. 17. 2, 3). Indeed,it is impossible to over-estimate the influence of theseShammaite decrees on the great war with Rome. Eleazar, thoughopposed to the extreme party, one of whose chiefs he took andkilled, was one of the leaders of the national party in thewar (War ii. 17. 9, 10). There is, however, some confusionabout various persons who bore the same name. It isimpossible in this place to mention the various Shammaiteswho took part in the last Jewish war. Suffice it to indicatethe tendency of that School.] and it furnished leaders orsupporters of the national movement.

We have marked the rise of the Nationalist party in Galileeat the time of Herod's first appearance on the scene, andlearned how mercilessly he tried to suppress it: first, bythe execution of Ezekias and his adherents, and afterwards,when he became King of Judaea, by the slaughter of theSanhedrists. The consequence of this unsparing severity wasto give Rabbinism a different direction. The School of Hillelwhich henceforth commanded the majority, were men of nopolitical colour, theological theorists, self-seekingJurists, vain rather than ambitious. The minority,represented by the School of Shammai, were Nationalists.Defective and even false as both tendencies were, there wascertainly more hope, as regarded the Kingdom of God, of theNationalists than of the Sophists and Jurists. It was, ofcourse, the policy of Herod to suppress all nationalaspirations. No one understood the meaning of JewishNationalism so well as he; no one ever opposed it sosytematically. There was internal fitness, so to speak, inhis attempt to kill the King of the Jews among the infants ofBethlehem. The murder of the Sanhedrists, with the consequentnew anti-Messianic tendency of Rabbinism, was one measure inthat direction; the various appointments which Herod made tothe High-Priesthood another. And yet it was not easy, even inthose times, to deprive the Pontificate of its power andinfluence. The High-Priest was still the representative ofthe religious life of the people, and he acted on alloccasions, when the question under discussion was not oneexclusively of subtle canon-law, as the President of theSanhedrin, in which, indeed, the members of his family hadevidently seat and vote. [a Acts iv. 6] The four families [1See the list of High-Priests in Appendix VI.] from which,with few exceptions, the High-Priest, however often changed,were chosen, absorbed the wealth, and commanded theinfluence, of a state-endowed establishment, in its worsttimes. It was, therefore, of the utmost importance to makewise choice of the High-Priest. With the exception of thebrief tenure by Aristobulus, the last of the Maccabees, whoseappointment, too soon followed by his murder, was at the timea necessity, all the Herodian High-Priests werenon-Palestinians. A keener blow than this could not have beendealt at Nationalism.

The same contempt for the High-Priesthood characterised thebrief reign of Archelaus. On his death-bed, Herod hadappointed to the Pontificate Joazar, a son of Boethos, thewealthy Alexandrian priest, whose daughter, Mariamme II., hehad married. The Boethusian family, allied to Herod, formed aparty, the Herodians, who combined strict Pharisaic viewswith devotion to the reigning family. [2 The Boethusiansfurnished no fewer than four High-Priest during the periodbetween the reign of Herod and that of Agrippa I. (41 A.D.).] Joazar took the popular part against Archelaus, on hisaccession. For this he was deprived of his dignity in favourof another son of Boethos, Eleazar by name. But the mood ofArchelaus was fickle , perhaps he was distrustful of thefamily of Boethos. At any rate, Eleazar had to give place toJesus, the son of Sie, an otherwise unknown individual. Atthe time of the taxing of Quirinius we find Joazar again inoffice, [a Ant. xviii. 1. 1] apparently restored to it by themultitude, which, having taken matters into its own hands atthe change of government, recalled one who had formerlyfavoured national aspirations. [b Ant. xviii. 2. 1] It isthus that we explain his influence with the people, inpersuading them to submit to the Roman taxation.

But if Joazar had succeeded with the unthinking populace, hefailed to conciliate the more advanced of his own party, and,as the event proved, the Roman authorities also, whose favourhe had hoped to gain. It will be remembered, that theNationalist party , or 'Zealots,' as they were afterwardscalled, first appeared in those guerilla-bands whichtraversed Galilee under the leadership of Ezekias, whom Herodexecuted. But the National party was not destroyed, only heldin check, during his iron reign. It was once more the familyof Ezekias that headed the movement. During the civil warwhich followed the accession of Archelaus, or rather wascarried on while he was pleading his cause in Rome, thestandard of the Nationalists was again raised in Galilee.Judas, the son of Ezekias, took possession of the city ofSepphoris, and armed his followers from the royal arsenalthere. At that time, as we know, the High-Priest Joazarsympathised, at least indirectly, with the Nationalists. Therising, which indeed was general throughout Palestine, wassuppressed by fire and sword, and the sons of Herod wereenabled to enter on their possessions. But when, after thedeposition of Archelaus, Joazar persuaded the people tosubmit to the taxing of Quirinius, Judas was not disposed tofollow what he regarded as the treacherous lead of thePontiff. In conjunction with a Shammaite Rabbi, Sadduk, heraised again the standard of revolt, although once moreunsuccessfully. [c Ant. xviii i. 1] How the Hillelites lookedupon this movement, we gather even from the slightingallusion of Gamaliel. [d Acts v. 37] The family of Ezekiasfurnished other martyrs to the National cause. The two sonsof Judas died for it on the cross in 46 A. D. [e Ant. xx. 5.2] Yet a third son, Manahem, who, from the commencement ofthe war against Rome, was one of the leaders of the mostfanatical Nationalists, the Sicarii, the Jacobins of theparty, as they have been aptly designated, died underunspeakable sufferings, [f Jewish War ii. 17 8 and 9] while afourth member of the family, Eleazar, was the leader ofIsrael's forlorn hope, and nobly died at Masada, in theclosing drama of the Jewish war of independence. [a JewishWar, vii. 7-9] Of such stuff were the Galilean Zealots made.But we have to take this intense Nationalist tendency alsointo account in the history of Jesus, the more so that atleast one of His disciples, and he a member of His family,had at one time belonged to the party. Only the Kingdom ofwhich Jesus was the King was, as He Himself said, not of thisworld, and of far different conception from that for whichthe Nationalists longed.

At the time when Jesus went up to the feast, Quirinius was,as already stated, Governor of Syria. The taxing and therising of Judas were alike past; and the Roman Governor,dissatisfied with the trimming of Joazar, and distrustful ofhim, had appointed in his stead Ananos, the son of Seth, theAnnas of infamous memory in the New Testament. With briefinterruption, he or his son held the Pontifical office till,under the Procuratorship of Pilate, Caiaphas, the son-in-lawof Annas, succeeded to that dignity. It has already beenstated that, subject to the Roman Governors of Syria, therule of Palestine devolved on Procurators, of whom Coponiuswas the first. Of him and his immediate successors, MarcusAmbivius, [b 9-12 A.D.] Annius Rufus, [c 12-15 A.D.] andValerius Gratus, [d 15-26 A.D.] we know little. They were,indeed, guilty of the most grievous fiscal oppressions, butthey seem to have respected, so far as was in them, thereligious feelings of the Jews. We know, that they evenremoved the image of the Emperor from the standards of theRoman soldiers before marching them into Jerusalem, so as toavoid the appearance of a cultus of the Caesars. It wasreserved for Pontius Pilate to force this hated emblem on theJews, and otherwise to set their most sacred feelings atdefiance. But we may notice, even at this stage, with whatcritical periods in Jewish history the public appearance ofChrist synchronised. His first visit to the Temple followedupon the Roman possession of Judaea, the taxing, and thenational rising, as also the institution of Annas to theHigh-Priesthood. And the commencement of His public Ministrywas contemporaneous with the accession of Pilate, and theinstitution of Caiaphas. Whether viewed subjectively orobjectively, these things also have a deep bearing upon thehistory of the Christ.

It was, as we reckon it, in spring A. D. 9, that Jesus forthe first time went up to the Paschal Feast in Jerusalem.Coponius would be there as the Procurator; and Annas ruled inthe Temple as High-Priest, when He appeared among itsdoctors. But far other than political thoughts must haveoccupied the mind of Christ. Indeed, for a time a brief calmhad fallen upon the land. There was nothing to provoke activeresistance, 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, 'thephilosphical party', their minds busy with an ideal, whichtheir hands were not yet preparing to make a reality. And so,when, according to ancient wont, [a Ps. xlii. Is. xxx. 29.]the festive company from Nazareth, soon swelled by otherfestive bands, went up to Jerusalem, chanting by the waythose 'Psalms of Ascent' [b A.V. 'Degrees'; Ps. cxx.-cxxxiv.]to the accompaniment of the flute, they might implicitlyyeild themselves to the spiritual thoughts kindled by suchwords.

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 [1It seems, however, that the Feast ofPentecost would see evenmore pilgrims at least from a distance, in Jerusalem, thanthat of the Passover (comp. Acts ii. 9-11).] the more so whenwe remember the extreme simplicity of Eastern manners andwants, and the abundance of provisions which the manysacrifices of the season would supply. But on this subject,also, the Evangelic narrative keeps silence. Glorious as aview of Jerusalem must have seemed to a child coming to itfor the first time from the retirement of a Galilean village,we must bear in mind, that He Who now looked upon it was notan ordinary Child. Nor are we, perhaps, mistaken in the ideathat the sight of its grandeur would, as on another occasion,[c St. Luke xix. 41.] awaken in Him not so much feelings ofadmiration, which might have been akin to those of pride, asof sadness, though He may as yet have been scarcely consciousof its deeper reason. But the one all-engrossing thoughtwould be of the Temple. This, his first visit to its halls,seems also to have called out the first outspoken, and may wenot infer, the first conscious, thought of that Temple as theHouse of His Father, and with it the first conscious impulseof his Mission and Being. Here also it would be the highermeaning, rather than the structure and appearance, of theTemple, that would absorb the mind. And yet there wassufficient, even in the latter, to kindle enthusiasm. As thepilgrim ascended the Mount, crested by that symmetricallyproportioned building, which could hold within its giganticgirdle not fewer than 210,000 persons, his wonder might wellincrease at every step. The Mount itself seemed like anisland, abruptly rising from out deep valleys, surrounded bya sea of walls, palaces, streets, and houses, and crowned bya mass of snowy marble and glittering gold, rising terraceupon terrace. Altogether it measured a square of about 1,000feet, or, to give a more exact equivalent of the measurementsfurnished by the Rabbis, 927 feet. At its north-westernangle, and connected with it, frowned the Castle of Antonia,held by the Roman garrison. The lofty walls were pierced bymassive gates, the unused gate (Tedi) on the north; the SusaGate on the east, which opened on the arched roadway to theMount of Olives; [1 So according to the Rabbis; Josephus doesnot mention it. In general, the account here given isaccording to the Rabbis.] the two so-called 'Huldah'(probably, 'weasel') gates, which led by tunnels [2 Thesetunnels were divided by colonnades respectively into threeand into two, the double colonnade being probably used by thepriests, since its place of exit was close to the entranceinto the Court of the Priests.] from the priest-suburb Ophelinto 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 thitherfor prayer or for conference. The most magnificent of thosewas the southern, or twofold double colonnade, with a widespace between; the most venerable, the ancient 'Solomon'sPorch,' or eastern colonnade. Entering from the Xystusbridge, and under the tower of John, [a Jos. War vi. 3. 2.]one would pass along the southern colonnade (over the tunnelof the Huldah-gates) to its eastern extremity, over whichanother tower rose, probably 'the pinnacle' of the history ofthe Temptation. From this height yawned the Kedron valley 450feet beneath. From that lofty pinnacle the priest eachmorning watched and announced the earliest streak of day.Passing along the eastern colonnade, or Solomon's Porch, wewould, if the description of the Rabbis is trustworthy, havereached the Susa Gate, the carved representation of that cityover the gateway reminding us of the Eastern Dispersion. Herethe standard measures of the Temple are said to have beenkept; and here, also, we have to locate the first or lowestof the three Sanhedrins, which, according to the Mishnah, [bSanh. xi. 2.] held their meetings in the Temple; the second,or intermediate Court of Appeal, being in the 'Court of thePriests' (probably close to the Nicanor Gate); and thehighest, 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 enteredthe 'Court of the Gentiles,' or what the Rabbis called 'theMount of the House,' which was widest on the west side, andmore and more narrow respectively on the east, the south, andthe north. This was called the Chol, or 'profane' place towhich Gentiles had access. Here must have been the market forthe sale of sacrificial animals, the tables of themoney-changers, and places for the sale of other needfularticles. [c St. John ii. 14; St. Matt. xxi. 12; Jerus. Chag.p. 78 a; comp. Neh. xiii. 4 &c.] [3The question what was soldin this 'market') and its relation to 'the bazaar' of thefamily of Annas (the Chanuyoth beney Chanan) will bediscussed in a later part.] Advancing within this Court, youreached a low breast-wall (the Soreg), which marked the spacebeyond which no Gentile, nor Levitically unclean person,might proceed, tablets, bearing inscriptions to that effect,warning them off. Thirteen openings admitted into the innerpart of the Court. Thence fourteen steps led up to the Chelor Terrace, which was bounded by the wall of theTemple-buildings in the stricter sense. A flight of steps ledup to the massive, splendid gates. The two on the west sideseem to have been of no importance, so far as the worshipperswere concerned, and probably intended for the use of workmen.North and south were four gates. [1 The question as to theirnames and arrangement is not without difficulty. The subjectis fully treated in 'The Temple and its Services.' Although Ihave followed in the text the arrangements of the Rabbis, Imust express my grave doubts as to their historicaltrustworthiness. It seems to me that the Rabbis always giverather the ideal than the real, what, according to theirtheory, should have been, rather than what actually was.] Butthe most splendid gate was that to the east, termed 'theBeautiful.' [a Acts iii. 2.]

Entering by the latter, you came into the Court of theWomen, so called because the women occupied in it twoelevated and separated galleries, which, however, filled onlypart of the Court. Fifteen steps led up to the Upper Court,which was bounded by a wall, and where was the celebratedNicanor Gate, covered with Corinthian brass. Here theLevites, who conducted the musical part of the service, wereplaced. In the Court of the Women were the Treasury and thethirteen 'Trumpets,' while at each corner were chambers orhalls, destined for various purposes. Similarly, beyond thefifteen steps, there were repositories for the musicalinstruments. The Upper Court was divided into two parts by aboundary, the narrow part forming the Court of Israel, andthe wider that of the Priests, in which were the great Altarand the Laver.

The Sanctuary itself was on a higher terrace than that Courtof the Priests. Twelve steps led up to its Porch, whichextended beyond it on either side (north and south). Here, inseparate chambers, all that was necessary for the sacrificialservice was kept. On two marble tables near the entrance theold shewbread which was taken out, and the new that wasbrought in, were respectively placed. The Porch was adornedby votive presents, conspicuous among them a massive goldenvine. A two-leaved gate opened into the Sanctuary itself,which was divided into two parts. The Holy Place had theGolden Candlestick (south), the Table of Shewbread (north),and the Golden Altar of Incense between them. A heavy doubleveil concealed the entrance to the Most Holy Place, which inthe second Temple was empty, nothing being there but thepiece of rock, called the Ebhen Shethiyah, or FoundationStone, which, according to tradition, covered the mouth ofthe pit, and on which, it was thought, the world was founded.Nor does all this convey an adequate idea of the vastness ofthe Temple-buildings. For all around the Sanctuary and eachof the Courts were various chambers and out-buildings, whichserved different purposes connected with the Services of theTemple. [1 For a full description, I must refer to 'TheTemple, its Ministry and Services at the time of JesusChrist.' Some repetition of what had been alluded to inprevious chapters has been unavoidable in the presentdescription of the Temple.]

In some part of this Temple, 'sitting in the midst of theDoctors, [2 Although comparatively few really greatauthorities in Jewish Canon Law lived at that time, more thana dozen names could be given of Rabbis celebrated in Jewishliterature, who must have been His contemporaries at one oranother period of His life.] both hearing them and askingthem questions,' we must look for the Child Jesus on thethird and the two following days of the Feast on which Hefirst visited the Sanctuary. Only onthe two first days of theFeast of Passover was personal attendance in the Templenecessary. With the third day commenced the so-calledhalf-holydays, when it was lawful to return to one's home [aSo according to the Rabbis generally. Comp. Hoffmann, Abh.ii. d. pent. Ges. pp. 65, 66.], a provision of which, nodoubt, many availed themselves. Indeed, there was reallynothing of special interest to detain the pilgrims. For, thePassover had been eaten, the festive sacrifice (or Chagigah)offered, and the first ripe barely reaped and brought to theTemple, and waved as the Omer of first flour before the Lord.Hence, in view of the well-known Rabbinic provision, theexpression in the Gospel-narrative concerning the 'Parents'of Jesus, 'when they had fulfilled the days,' [b St. Luke ii.43.] cannot necessarily imply that Joseph and the Mother ofJesus had remained in Jerusalem during the whole Paschalweek. [3 In fact, an attentive consideration of what in thetractate Moed K. (comp. also Chag. 17 b), is declared to belawful occupation during the half-holydays, leads us to inferthat a very large proportion must have returned to theirhomes.] On the other hand, the circumstances connected withthe presence of Jesus could not have been found among theDoctors after the close of the Feast. The first question hereis as to the locality in the Temple, where the scene has tobe laid. It has, indeed, been commonly supposed that therewas a Synagogue in the Temple; but of this there is, to saythe least, no historical evidence. [4 For afull discussion ofthis important question, see Appendix X.: 'The SupposedTemple-Synagogue.'] But even if such had existed, the worshipand addresses of the Synagogue would not have offered anyopportunity for the questioning on the part of Jesus whichthe narrative implies. Still more groundless is the idea thatthere was in the Temple something like a Beth ha-Midrash, ortheological Academy, not to speak of the circumstance that achild of twelve would not, at any time, have been allowed totake part in its discussions. But there were occasions onwhich the Temple became virtually, though not formally, aBeth ha-Midrash. For we read in the Talmud, [a Sanh. 88 b.]that the members of the Temple-Sanhedrin, who on ordinarydays sat as a Court of Appeal, from the close of theMorning-to the time of the Evening-Sacrifice, were wont onSabbaths and feast-days to come out upon 'the Terrace' of theTemple, and there to teach. In such popular instruction theutmost latitude of questioning would be given. It is in thisaudience, which sat on the ground, surrounding and minglingwith the Doctors, and hence during, not after the Feast, thatwe must seek the Child Jesus.

But we have yet to show that the presence and questioning ofa Child of that age did not necessarily imply anything soextraordinary, as to convey the idea of supernaturalness tothose Doctors or others in the audience. Jewish traditiongives other instances of precocious and strangely advancedstudents. Besides, scientific theological learning would notbe necessary to take part in such popular discussions. If wemay judge from later arrangements, not only in Babylon, butin Palestine, there were two kinds of public lectures, andtwo kinds of students. The first, or more scientific class,was designated Kallah (literally, bride), and its attendantsBeney-Kallah (children of the bride). These lectures weredelivered in the last month of summer (Elul), before theFeast of the New Year, and in the last winter month (Adar),immediately before the Feast of Passover. They impliedconsiderable preparation on the part of the lecturing Rabbis,and at least some Talmudic knowledge on the part of theattendants. On the other hand, there were Students of theCourt (Chatsatsta, and in Babylon Tarbitsa), who duringordinary lectures sat separated from the regular students bya kind of hedge, outside, as it were in the Court, some ofwhom seem to have been ignorant even of the Bible. Thelectures addressed to such a general audience would, ofcourse, be of a very different character. [b Comp. Jer. Ber.iv. p. 7 d, and other passages.]

But if there was nothing so unprecedented as to render HisPresence and questioning marvellous, yet all who heard Him'were amazed' at His 'combinative insight' [1 The expressionmeans originally concursus, and (as Schleusner rightly putsit) intelligentia in the sense of perspicacia qua res probecognitae subtiliter ac diligenter a se invicem discernuntur.The LXX. render by it no less than eight different Hebrewterms.] and 'discerning answers.' [2 The primary meaning ofthe verb, from which the word is derived, is secerno,discerno.] We scarcely venture to inquire towards what Hisquestioning had been directed. Judging by what we know ofsuch discussion, we infer that they may have been connectedwith the Paschal solemnities. Grave Paschal questions didarise. Indeed, the great Hillel obtained his rank as chiefwhen he proved to the assembled Doctors that the Passovermight be offered even on the Sabbath. [a Jer. Pes. vi. 1;Pes.66 a.] Many other questions might arise on the subject ofthe Passover. Or did the Child Jesus, as afterwards, inconnection with the Messianic teaching [b St.Matt. xxii.42-45.], lead up by His questions to the deeper meaning ofthe Paschal solemnities, as it was to be unfolded, whenHimself was offered up, 'the Lamb of God, Which taketh awaythe sin of the world'?

Other questions also almost force themselves on the mind,most notably this: whether on the occasion of this His firstvisit to the Temple, the Virgin-Mother had told her Son thehistory of His Infancy, and of what had happened when, forthe first time, He had been brought to the Temple. It wouldalmost seem so, if we might judge from the contrast betweenthe Virgin-Mother's complaint about the search of His fatherand of her, and His own emphatic appeal to the business ofHis Father. But most surprising, truly wonderful it must haveseemed to Joseph, and even to the Mother of Jesus, that themeek, quiet Child should have been found in such company, andso engaged. It must have been quite other than what, from Hispast, they would have expected; or they would not have takenit for granted, when they left Jerusalem, that He was amongtheir kinsfolk and acquaintance, perhaps mingling with thechildren. Nor yet would they, in such case, after they missedHim at the first night's halt, at Sichem, [c Jos. Ant. xv. 8.5.] if the direct road north, through Samaria, [1 Accordingto Jer. Ab. Z. 44 d, the soil, the fountains, the houses, andthe roads of Samaria were 'clean.'] was taken (or, accordingto the Mishnah, at Akrabah [d Maas. Sh. v. 2.]), have soanxiously sought Him by the way, [2 This is implied in theuse of the present participle.] and in Jerusalem; nor yetwould they have been 'amazed' when they found Him in theassembly of the Doctors. The reply of Jesus to thehalf-reproachful, half-relieved expostulation of them who hadsought Him 'sorrowing' these three days, [3 The first daywould be that of missing Him, the second that of the return,and the third that of the search in Jerusalem.] sets clearlythese three things before us. He had been so entirelyabsorbed by the awakening thought of His Being and Mission,however kindled, as to be not only neglectful, but forgetfulof all around. Nay, it even seemed to Him impossible tounderstand how they could have sought Him, and not knownwhere He had lingered. Secondly: we may venture to say, thatHe now realised that this was emphatically His Father'sHouse. And, thirdly: so far as we can judge, it was then andthere that, for the first time, He felt the strong andirresistible impulse, that Divine necessity of His Being, tobe 'about His Father's business.' [1 The expression may beequally rendered, or rather supplemented, by 'in My Father'shouse,' and 'about My Father's business.' The former isadopted by most modern commentators. But (1) it does notaccord with the word that must be supplemented in the twoanalogous passages in the LXX. Neither in Esth. vii. 9, norin Ecclus. xlii. 10, is it strictly 'the house.' (2) It seemsunaccountable how the word 'house' could have been left outin the Greek rendering of the Aramaean words of Christ, butquite natural, if the word to be supplemented was 'things' or'business.' (3) A reference to the Temple as His Father'shouse could not have seemed so strange on the lips of Jesus,nor, indeed, of any Jewish child, as to fill Joseph and Marywith astonishment.] We all, when first awakening to spiritualconsciousness, or, perhaps, when for the first time takingpart in the feast of the Lord's House may, and, learning fromHis example, should, make this the hour of decision, in whichheart and life shall be wholly consecrated to the 'business'of our Father. But there was far more than this in thebearing of Christ on this occasion. That forgetfulness of HisChild-life was a sacrifice, a sacrifice of self; that entireabsorption in His Father's business, without a thought ofself, either in the gratification of curiosity, theacquisition of knowledge, or personal ambition, aconsecration of Himself unto God. It was the firstmanifestation of His passive and active obedience to the Willof God. Even at this stage, it was the forth-bursting of theinmost meaning of His Life: 'My meat is to do the Will of Himthat sent Me, and to finish His work.' And yet this awakeningof 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 pinnacleof the Temple the Priest watched, ere he summoned his waitingbrethren beneath to offer the early sacrifice.

From what we have already learned of this History, we do notwonder that the answer of Jesus came to His parents as afresh surprise. For, we can only understand what we perceivein its totality. But here each fresh manifestation came assomething separate and new, not as part of a whole; andtherefore as a surprise, of which the purport and meaningcould not be understood, except in its organic connection andas a whole. And for the true human development of theGod-Man, what was the natural was also the needful process,even as it was best for the learning of Mary herself, and forthe future reception of His teaching. These three subsidiaryreasons may once more be indicated here in explanation of theVirgin-Mother's seeming ignorance of her Son's truecharacter: the necessary gradualness of such a revelation;the necessary development of His own consciousness; and thefact, that Jesus could not have been subject to His Parents,nor had true and proper human training, if they had clearlyknown that He was the essential Son of God.

A further, though to us it seems a downward step, was Hisquiet, immediate, unquestioning return to Nazareth with HisParents, and His willing submission [1 The voluntariness ofHis submission is implied by the present part. mid. of theverb.] to them while there. It was self-denial,self-sacrifice, self-consecration to His Mission, with allthat it implied. It was not self-exinanition butself-submission, all the more glorious in proportion to thegreatness of that Self. This constant contrast before hereyes only deepened in the heart of Mary the everpresentimpression of 'all those matters,' [2 The Authorised Versionrenders 'sayings.' But I think the expression is clearlyequivalent to the Hebrew all these things. St. Luke uses theword in that sense in i. 65; ii. 15,.] of which she was themost cognisant. She was learning to spell out the wordMessiah, as each of 'those matters' taught her one freshletter in it, and she looked at them all in the light of theNazareth-Sun.

With His return to Nazareth began Jesus' Life of youth andearly manhood, with all of inward and outward development, ofheavenly and earthly approbation which it carried. [a St.Luke ii. 52.] Whether or not He went to Jerusalem onrecurring Feasts, we know not, and need not inquire. For onlyonce during that period, on His first visit to the Temple,and in the awakening of His Youth-Life, could there have beensuch outward forth-bursting of His real Being and Mission.Other influences were at their silent work to weld His inwardand outward development, and to determine the manner of Hislater Manifesting of Himself. We assume that theSchool-education of Jesus must have ceased soon after Hisreturn to Nazareth. Henceforth the Nazareth-influences on theLife and Thinking of Jesus may be grouped, and progressivelyas He advanced from youth to manhood, under theseparticulars: Home, Nature, and Prevailing Ideas.

1. Home. Jewish Home-Life, especially in the country, was ofthe simplest. Even in luxurious Alexandria it seems often tohave been such, alike as regarded the furnishing of thehouse, and the provisions of the table. [3 Comp. Philo inFlacc.ed. Fcf. p. 977 &c.] The morning and midday meal musthave been of the plainest, and even the larger evening mealof the simplest, in the home at Nazareth. Only the Sabbathand festivals, whether domestic or public, brought what ofthe best lay within reach. But Nazareth was not the city ofthe wealthy or influential, and such festiveevening-entertainments, with elaborate ceremoniousness ofreception, arranging of guests according to rank, and richspread of board, would but rarely, if ever, be witnessed inthose quiet homes. The same simplicity would prevail in dressand manners. [1 For details as to dress, food, and manners inPalestine, I must refer to other parts of this book.] Butclose and loving were the bonds which drew together themembers of a family, and deep the influence which theyexercised on each other. We cannot here discuss the vexedquestion whether 'the brothers and sisters' of Jesus weresuch in the real sense, or step-brothers and sisters, or elsecousins, though it seems to us as if the primary meaning ofthe terms would scarcely have been called in question, butfor a theory of false asceticism, and an undervaluing of thesanctity of the married estate. [a Comp. St. Matt. i. 24; St.Luke ii. 7; St. Matt. xii. 46; xiii. 55, 56; St. Mark iii.31; vi. 3; Acts i. 14; 1 Cor. ix. 5; Gal.i 19.] But, whateverthe precise relationship between Jesus and these 'brothersand sisters,' it must, on any theory, have been of theclosest, and exercised its influence upon Him. [2 Thequestion of the real relationship of Christ to His 'brothers'has been so often discussed in the various Cyclopaedias thatit seems unnecessary here to enter upon the matter in detail.See also Dr. Lightfoot's Dissertation in his Comment. onGalat. pp. 282-291.]

Passing over Joses or Joseph, of whose history we know nextto nothing, we have sufficient materials to enable us to formsome judgment of what must have been the tendencies andthoughts of two of His brothers James and Jude, before theywere heart and soul followers of the Messiah, and of Hiscousin Simon. [3 I regard this Simon (Zelotes) as theson ofClopas (brother of Joseph, the Virgin's husband) and of Mary.For the reasons of this view, see Book III. ch. xvii. andBook V. ch. xv.] If we might venture on a generalcharacterisation, we would infer from the Epistle of St.James, that his religious views had originally been cast inthe mould of Shammai. Certainly, there is nothing of theHillelite direction about it, but all to remind us of theearnestness, directness, vigour, and rigour of Shammai. OfSimon we know that he had belonged to the Nationalist party,since he is expressly so designated (Zelotes, [b St. Luke vi.15; Acts i.13] Cananoean). [c St. Mark iii. 18] Lastly, thereare in the Epistle of St. Jude, one undoubted, and anotherprobable reference to two of those (Pseudepigraphic)Apocalyptic books, which at that time marked one deeplyinteresting phase of the Messianic outlook of Israel. [d St.Jude xv. 14, 15 to the book of Enoch,and v. 9 probably to theAssum. of Moses] We have thus within the narrow circle ofChrist's Family-Life, not to speak of any intercourse withthe sons of Zebedee, who probably were also His cousins [4 Onthe maternal side. We read St. John xix. 25 as indicatingfour women, His Mother's sister being Salome, according toSt. Mark xv. 40.] the three most hopeful and pure Jewishtendencies, brought into constant contact with Jesus: inPharisaism, the teaching of Shammai; then, the Nationalistideal; and, finally, the hope of a glorious Messianic future.To these there should probably be added, at least knowledgeof the lonely preparation of His kinsman John, who, thoughcertainly not an Essene, had, from the necessity of hiscalling, much in his outward bearing that was akin to them.

But we are anticipating. From what are, necessarily, onlysuggestions, we turn again to what is certain in connectionwith His Family-Life and its influences. From St. Mark vi. 3,we may infer with great probability, though not with absolutecertainty, [a Comp. St. Matt. xiii. 55; St. John vi. 42.]that He had adopted the trade of Joseph. Among the Jews thecontempt for manual labour, which was one of the painfu [1See the chapter on 'Trades and Tradesmen,' in the 'Sketchesof Jewish Social Life.'] characteristics of heathenism, didnot exist. On the contrary, it was deemed a religious duty,frequently and most earnestly insisted upon, to learn sometrade, provided it did not minister to luxury, nor tend tolead away from personal observance of the Law. [b Comp. Ab.i. 10; Kidd. 29 b1.] There was not such separation betweenrich and poor as with us, and while wealth might confersocial distinction, the absence of it in no way impliedsocial inferiority. Nor could it be otherwise where wantswere so few, life was so simple, and its highest aim so everpresent to the mind.

We have already spoken of the religious influences in thefamily, so blessedly different from that neglect, exposure,and even murder of children among the heathen, or theireducation by slaves, who corrupted the mind from its earliestopening. [2 Comp. this subject in Dollinger, 'Heidenthum u.Judenthum,' in regard to the Greeks, p. 692; in regard to theRomans, pp. 716-722: in regard to education and itsabominations, pp. 723-726. Nothing can cast a more luridlight on the need for Christianity, if the world was not toperish of utter rottenness, than a study of ancient Hellasand Rome, as presented by Dollinger in his admirable work.]The love of parents to children, appearing even in the cursewhich was felt to attach to childlessness; the reverencetowards parents, as a duty higher than any of outwardobservance; and the love of brethren, which Jesus had learnedin His home, form, so to speak, the natural basis of many ofthe teachings of Jesus. They give us also an insight into thefamily-life of Nazareth. And yet there is nothing sombre normorose about it; and even the joyous games of children, aswell as festive gatherings of families, find their record inthe words and the life of Christ. This also is characteristicof His past. And so are His deep sympathy with all sorrow andsuffering, and His love for the family circle, as evidencedin the home of Lazarus. That He spoke Hebrew, and used andquoted the Scriptures in the original, has already beenshown, although, no doubt, He understood Greek, possibly alsoLatin.

Secondly: Nature and Every-day Life. The most superficialperusal of the teaching of Christ must convince how deeplysympathetic He was with nature, and how keenly observant ofman. Here there is no contrast between love of the countryand 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 ofthe lilies of the field, and thought of it, how the birds ofthe air received their food from an Unseen Hand, and withwhat maternal affection the hen gathered her chickens underher wing. He had watched the sower or the vinedresser as hewent forth to his labour, and read the teaching of the tareswhich sprang up among the wheat. To Him the vocation of theshepherd must have been full of meaning, as he led, and fed,and watched his flock, spoke to his sheep with well-knownvoice, brought them to the fold, or followed, and tenderlycarried back, those that had strayed, ever ready to defendthem, even at the cost of his own life. Nay, He even seems tohave watched the habits of the fox in its secret lair. But healso equally knew the joys, the sorrows, the wants andsufferings of the busy multitude. The play in the market, themarriage processions, the funeral rites, the wrongs ofinjustice and oppression, the urgent harshness of thecreditor, the bonds and prison of the debtor, the palaces andluxury of princes and courtiers, the self-indulgence of therich, the avarice of the covetous, the exactions of thetax-gatherer, and the oppression of the widow by unjustjudges, had all made an indelible impression on His mind. Andyet this evil world was not one which He hated, and fromwhich He would withdraw Himself with His disciples, thoughever and again He felt the need of periods of meditation andprayer. On the contrary, while He confronted all the evil init, He would fain pervade the mass with the new leaven; notcast it away, but renew it. He recognised the good and thehopeful, even in those who seemed most lost. He quenched notthe dimly burning flax, nor brake the bruised reed. It wasnot contempt of the world, but sadness over it; notcondemnation of man, but drawing him to His Heavenly Father;not despising of the little and the poor, whether ontwardlyor inwardly such, but encouragement and adoption of them,together with keen insight into the real under the mask ofthe apparent, and withering denunciation and unsparingexposure of all that was evil, mean, and unreal, wherever itmight appear. Such were some of the results gathered from Hispast life, as presented in His teaching.

Thirdly: Of the prevailing ideas around, with which He wasbrought in contact, some have already been mentioned. Surely,the earnestness of His Shammaite brother, if such we mayventure to designate him; the idea of the Kingdom suggestedby the Nationalists, only in its purest and most spiritualform, as not of this world, and as truly realising thesovereignty of God in the individual, whoever he might be;even the dreamy thoughts of the prophetic literature of thosetimes, which sought to read the mysteries of the comingKingdom; as well as the prophet-like asceticism of Hisforerunner and kinsman, formed at least so many points ofcontact for His teaching. Thus, Christ was in sympathy withall the highest tendencies of His people and time. Above all,there was His intimate converse with the Scriptures of theOld Testament. If, in the Synagogue, He saw much to show thehollowness, self-seeking, pride, and literalism which a mereexternal observance of the Law fostered, He would ever turnfrom what man or devils said to what He read, to what was'written.' Not one dot or hook of it could fall to theground, all must be established and fulfilled. The Law ofMoses 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, wereall to Him literally true, and cast their light upon thebuilding which Moses had reared. It was all one, a grandunity; not an aggregation of different parts, but theunfolding of a living organism. Chiefest of all, it was thethought of the Messianic bearing of all Scripture to itsunity, the idea of the Kingdom of God and the King of Zion,which was the life and light of all. Beyond this, into themystery of His inner converse with God, the unfolding of Hisspiritual receptiveness, and the increasing communicationfrom above, we dare not enter. Even what His bodilyappearance may have been, we scarcely venture to imagine. [1Even the poetic conception of the painter can only furnishhis own ideal, and that of one special mood. Speaking as onewho has no claim to knowledge of art, only one picture ofChrist ever really impressed me. It was that of an 'EcceHomo,' by Carlo Dolci, in the Pitti Gallery at Florence. Foran account of the early pictorial representations, comp.Gieseler. Kirchengesch. i. pp. 85, 86.] It could not but bethat His outer man in some measure bodied forth His 'InnerBeing.' Yet we dread gathering around our thoughts of Him theartificial flowers of legend. [2 Of these there are, alas!only too many. The reader interested in the matter will finda good summary in Keim, i. 2, pp. 460-463. One of the fewnoteworthy remarks recorded is this description of Christ, inthe spurious Epistle of Lentulus, 'Who was never seen tolaugh, but often to weep.'] What His manner and mode ofreceiving and dealing with men were, we can portray toourselves from His life. And so it is best to remain contentwith the simple account of the Evangelic narrative: 'Jesusincreased in favour with God and Man.'




(St. Matthew iii. 1-12; St. Mark i. 2-8; St. Luke iii.1-18.)

THERE is something grand, even awful, in the almost absolutesilence which lies upon the thirty years between the Birthand the first Messianic Manifestation of Jesus. In anarrative like that of the Gospels, this must have beendesigned; and, if so, affords presumptive evidence of theauthenticity of what follows, and is intended to teach, thatwhat had preceded concerned only the inner History of Jesus,and the preparation of the Christ. At last that solemnsilence was broken by an appearance, a proclamation, a rite,and a ministry as startling as that of Elijah had been. Inmany respects, indeed, the two messengers and their timesbore singular likeness. It was to a society secure,prosperous, and luxurious, yet in imminent danger ofperishing from hidden, festering disease; and to a religiouscommunity which presented the appearance of hopelessperversion, and yet contained the germs of a possibleregeneration, that both Elijah and John the Baptist came.Both suddenly appeared to threaten terrible judgment, butalso to open unthought-of possibilities of good. And, as ifto deepen still more the impression of this contrast, bothappeared in a manner unexpected, and even antithetic to thehabits of their contemporaries. John came suddenly out of thewilderness of Judaea, as Elijah from the wilds of Gilead;John bore the same strange ascetic appearance as hispredecessor; the message of John was the counterpart of thatof Elijah; his baptism that of Elijah's novel rite on MountCarmel. And, as if to make complete the parallelism, with allof memory and hope which it awakened, even the more minutedetails surrounding the life of Elijah found theircounterpart in that of John. Yet history never repeatsitself. It fulfils in its development that of which it gaveindication at its commencement. Thus, the history of John theBaptist was the fulfilment of that of Elijah in 'the fulnessof time.'

For, alike in the Roman world and in Palestine, the time hadfully come; not, indeed, in the sense of any specialexpectancy, but of absolute need. The reign of Augustusmarked, not only the climax, but the crisis, of Romanhistory. Whatever of good or of evil the ancient worldcontained, had become fully ripe. As regarded politics,philosophy, religion, and society, the utmost limits had beenreached. [1 Instead of detailed quotations I would heregenerally refer to works on Roman history, especially toFriedlander's Sittengeschichte Roms, and to Dollinger'sexhaustive work, Heidenthum and Judenthum.] Beyond them lay,as only alternatives, ruin or regeneration. It was felt thatthe boundaries of the Empire could be no further extended,and that henceforth the highest aim must be to preserve whathad been conquered. The destines of Rome were in the hands ofone man, who was at the same time general-in-chief of astanding army of about three hundred and forty thousand men,head of a Senate (now sunk into a mere court for registeringthe commands of Caesar), and High-Priest of a religion, ofwhich the highest expression was the apotheosis of the Statein the person of the Emperor. Thus, all power within,without, and above lay in his hands. Within the city, whichin one short reign was transformed from brick into marble,were, side by side, the most abject misery and almostboundless luxury. Of a population of about two millions,well-nigh one half were slaves; and, of the rest, the greaterpart either freedmen and their descendants, or foreigners.Each class contributed its share to the common decay. Slaverywas not even what we know it, but a seething mass of crueltyand oppression on the one side, and of cunning and corruptionon the other. More than any other cause, it contributed tothe ruin of Roman society. The freedmen, who had very oftenacquired their liberty by the most disreputable courses, andhad prospered in them, combined in shameless manner the vicesof the free with the vileness of the slave. The foreigners,especially Greeks and Syrians, who crowded the city, poisonedthe springs of its life by the corruption which they brought.The free citizens were idle, dissipated, sunken; their chiefthoughts of the theatre and the arena; and they were mostlysupported at the public cost. While, even in the time ofAugustus, more than two hundred thousand persons were thusmaintained by the State, what of the old Roman stock remainedwas rapidly decaying, partly from corruption, but chieflyfrom the increasing cessation of marriage, and the namelessabominations of what remained of family-life.

The state of the provinces was in every respect morefavourable. But it was the settled policy of the Empire,which only too surely succeeded, to destroy all separatenationalities, or rather to absorb and to Grecianise all. Theonly real resistance came from the Jews. Their tenacity wasreligious, and, even in its extreme of intolerantexclusiveness, served a most important Providential purpose.And so Rome became to all the centre of attraction, but alsoof fast-spreading destructive corruption. Yet this unityalso, and the common bond of the Greek language, servedanother important Providential purpose. So did, in anotherdirection, the conscious despair of any possible internalreformation. This, indeed, seemed the last word of all theinstitutions in the Roman world: It is not in me! Religion,philosophy, and society had passed through every stage, tothat of despair. Without tracing the various phases ofancient thought, it may be generally said that, in Rome atleast, the issue lay between Stoicism and Epicureanism. Theone flattered its pride, the other gratified its sensuality;the one was in accordance with the original nationalcharacter, the other with its later decay and corruption.Both ultimately led to atheism and despair, the one, byturning all higher aspirations self-ward, the other, byquenching them in the enjoyment of the moment; the one, bymaking the extinction of all feeling and self-deification,the other, the indulgence of every passion and the worship ofmatter, its ideal.

That, under such conditions, all real belief in a personalcontinuance after death must have ceased among the educatedclasses, needs not demonstration. If the older Stoics heldthat, after death, the soul would continue for some time aseparate existence, in the case of sages till the generaldestruction of the world by fire, it was the doctrine of mostof their successors that, immediately after death, the soulreturned into 'the world-soul' of which it was part. But eventhis hope was beset by so many doubts and misgivings, as tomake it practically without influence or comfort. Cicero wasthe only one who, following Plato, defended the immortalityof the soul, while the Peripatetics denied the existence of asoul, and leading Stoics at least its continuance afterdeath. But even Cicero writes as one overwhelmed by doubts.With his contemporaries this doubt deepened into absolutedespair, the only comfort lying in present indulgence of thepassions. Even among the Greeks, who were most tenacious ofbelief in the non-extinction of the individual, the practicalupshot was the same. The only healthier tendency, howevermixed with error, came from the Neo-Platonic School, whichaccordingly offered a point of contact between ancientphilosophy and the new faith.

In such circumstances, anything like real religion wasmanifestly impossible. Rome tolerated, and, indeed,incorporated, all national rites. But among the populacereligion had degenerated into abject superstition. In theEast, much of it consisted of the vilest rites; while, amongthe philosophers, all religions were considered equally falseor equally true, the outcome of ignorance, or else theunconscious modifications of some one fundamental thought.The only religion on which the State insisted was thedefication and worship of the Emperor. [1 The only thoroughresistance to this worship came from hated Judaea, and, wemay add, from Britain (Dollinger, p. 611).] These apotheosesattained almost incredible development. Soon not only theEmperors, but their wives, paramours, children, and thecreatures of their vilest lusts, were deified; nay, anyprivate person might attain that distinction, if thesurvivors possessed sufficient means. [2 From the time ofCaesar to that of Diocletian, fifty-three such apotheosestook place, including those of fifteen women belonging to theImperial families.] Mingled with all this was an increasingamount of superstition, by which term some understood theworship of foreign gods, the most part the existence of fearin religion. The ancient Roman religion had long given placeto foreign rites, the more mysterious and untelligible themore enticing. It was thus that Judaism made its converts inRome; its chief recommendation with many being its contrastto the old, and the unknown possibilities which its seeminglyincredible doctrines opened. Among the most repulsivesymptoms of the general religious decay may be reckonedprayers for the death of a rich relative, or even for thesatisfaction of unnatural lusts, along with horribleblasphemies when such prayers remained unanswered. We mayhere contrast the spirit of the Old and New Testaments withsuch sentiments as this, on the tomb of a child: 'To theunjust gods who robbed me of life;' or on that of a girl oftwenty: 'I lift my hands against the god who took me away,innocent as I am.'

It would be unsavoury to describe how far the worship of indecency was carried; how public morals were corrupted by themimic representations of everything that was vile, and evenby the pandering of a corrupt art. The personation of gods,oracles, divination, dreams, astrology, magic, necromancy,and theurgy, [3 One of the most painful, and to the Christianalmost incredible, manifestations of religious decay was theunblushing manner in which the priests practised impostureupon the people. Numerous and terrible instances of thiscould be given. The evidence of this is not only derived fromthe Fathers, but a work has been preserved in which formalinstructions are given, how temples and altars are to beconstructed in order to produce false miracles, and by whatmeans impostures of this kind may be successfully practised.(Comp. 'The Pneumatics of Hero,' translated by B. Woodcroft.)The worst was, that this kind of imposture on the ignorantpopulace was openly approved by the educated. (Dollinger, p.647.).] Mingled with all this was an increasing amount ofsuperstition, by which term some understood the worship offoreign gods, the most part the existence of fear inreligion. The ancient Roman religion had long given place toforeign rites, the more mysterious and unintelligible themore enticing. It was thus that Judaism made its converts inRome; its chief recommendation with many being its contrastto the old, and the unknown possibilities which its seeminglyincredible doctrines opened. Among the most repulsivesymptoms of the general religious decay may be reckonedprayers for the death of a rich relative, or even for thesatisfaction of unnatural lusts, along with horribleblasphemies when such prayers remained unanswered. We mayhere contrast the spirit of the Old and New Testaments withsuch sentiments as this, on the tomb of a child: 'To theunjust gods who robbed me of life;' or on that of a girl oftwenty: 'I lift my hands against the god who took me away,innocent as I am.'

It would be unsavoury to describe how far the worship of indecency was carried; how public morals were corrupted by themimic representations of everything that was vile, and evenby the pandering of a corrupt art. The personation of gods,oracles, divination, dreams, astrology, magic, necromancy,and theurgy, [3 One of the most painful, and to the Christianalmost incredible, manifestations of religious decay was theunblushing manner in which the priests practised impostureupon the people. Numerous and terrible instances of thiscould be given. The evidence of this is not only derived fromthe Fathers, but a work has been preserved in which formalinstructions are given, how temples and altars are to beconstructed in order to produce false miracles, and by whatmeans impostures of this kind may be successfully practised.(Comp. 'The Pneumatics of Hero, 'translated by B. Woodcroft.)The worst was, that this kind of imposture on the ignorantpopulace was openly approved by the educated. (Dollinger, p.647.).] all contributed to the general decay. It has beenrightly said, that the idea of conscience, as we understandit, was unknown to heathenism. Absolute right did not exist.Might was right. The social relations exhibited, if possible,even deeper corruption. The sanctity of marriage had ceased.Female dissipation and the general dissoluteness led at lastto an almost entire cessation of marriage. Abortion, and theexposure and murder of newly-born children, were common andtolerated; unnatural vices, which even the greatestphilosophers practised, if not advocated, attainedproportions which defy description.

But among these sad signs of the times three must bespecially mentioned: the treatment of slaves; the bearingtowards the poor; and public amusements. The slave wasentirely unprotected; males and females were exposed tonameless cruelties, compared to which death by being thrownto the wild beasts, or fighting in the arena, might seemabsolute relief. Sick or old slaves were cast out to perishfrom want. But what the influence of the slaves must havebeen on the free population, and especially upon the young,whose tutors they generally were, may readily be imagined.The heartlessness towards the poor who crowded the city isanother well-known feature of ancient Roman society. Ofcourse, there was neither hospitals, nor provision for thepoor; charity and brotherly love in their every manifestationare purely Old and New Testament ideas. But even bestowal ofthe smallest alms on the needy was regarded as veryquestionable; best, not to afford them the means ofprotracting a useless existence. Lastly, the account whichSeneca has to give of what occupied and amused the idlemultitude, for all manual labour, except agriculture, waslooked upon with utmost contempt horrified even himself. Andso the only escape which remained for the philosopher, thesatiated, or the miserable, seemed the power ofself-destruction! What is worse, the noblest spirits of thetime of self-destruction! What is worse, the noblest spiritsof the time felt, that the state of things was utterlyhopeless. Society could not reform itself; philosophy andreligion had nothing to offer: they had been tried and foundwanting. Seneca longed for some hand from without to lift upfrom the mire of despair; Cicero pictured the enthusiasmwhich would greet the embodiment of true virtue, should itever appear on earth; Tacitus declared human life one greatfarce, and expressed his conviction that the Roman world layunder some terrible curse. All around, despair, consciousneed, and unconscious longing. Can greater contrast beimagined, than the proclamation of a coming Kingdom of Godamid such a world; or clearer evidence be afforded of thereality of this Divine message, than that it came to seek andto save that which was thus lost? One synchronism, asremarkable as that of the Star in the East and the Birth ofthe Messiah, here claims the reverent attention of thestudent of history. On the 19th of December A.D. 69, theRoman Capitol, with its ancient sanctuaries, was set on fire.Eight months later, on the 9th of Ab A. D. 70, the Temple ofJerusalem was given to the flames. It is not a coincidencebut a conjunction, for upon the ruins of heathenism and ofapostate Judaism was the Church of Christ to be reared.

A silence, even more complete than that concerning the earlylife of Jesus, rests on the thirty years and more, whichintervened between the birth and the open forthshowing [1This seems the full meaning of the word, St. Luke i. 80.Comp. Acts i. 24 Forerunner of the Messiah. Only his outwardand inward development, and his being 'in the deserts,' [2The plural indicates that St. John was not always in the same'wilderness.' The plural form in regard to the 'wildernesswhich are in the land of Israel,' is common in Rabbinicwritings (comp. Baba K. vii. 7 and the Gemaras on thepassage). On the fulfilment by the Baptist of Is. xl. 3, seethe discussion of that passage in Appendix XI.] [a St. Lukei. 80.] The latter, assuredly, not in order to learn from theEssenes, [3 Godet has, in a few forcible sentences, tracedwhat may be called not merely the difference, but thecontrast between the teaching and aims of the Essenes andthose of John.] but to attain really, in lonely fellowshipwith God, what they sought externally. It is characteristicthat, while Jesus could go straight from the home andworkshop of Nazareth to the Baptism of Jordan, His Forerunnerrequired so long and peculiar preparation: characteristic ofthe difference of their Persons and Mission, characteristicalso of the greatness of the work to be inaugurated. St. Lukefurnishes precise notices of the time of the Baptist's publicappearance, not merely to fix the exact chronology, whichwould not have required so many details, but for a higherpurpose. For, they indicate, more so many details, but for ahigher purpose. For, they indicate, more so many details, butfor a higher purpose. For, they indicate, more clearly thanthe most elaborate discussion, the fitness of the moment forthe Advent of 'the Kingdom of Heaven.' For the first timesince the Babylonish Captivity, the foreigner, the Chief ofthe hated Roman Empire, according to the Rabbis, the fourthbeast of Daniel's vision [b Ab.Zar.2b.] was absolute andundisputed master of Judaea; and the chief religious officedivided between two, equally unworthy of its functions. Andit deserves, at least, notice, that of the Rulers mentionedby St. Luke, Pilate entered on his office [a Probably aboutEaster, 26A.D.] only shortly before the public appearance ofJohn, and that they all continued till after the Crucifixionof Christ. There was thus, so to speak, a continuity of thesepowers during the whole Messianic period

As regards Palestine, the ancient kingdom of Herod was nowdivided into four parts, Judaea being under the directadministration of Rome, two other tetrarchies under the ruleof Herod's sons (Herod of Rome, two other tetrarchies underthe rule of Herod's sons (Herod Antipas and Philip), whilethe small principality of Abilene was governed by Lysanias.[1 Till quite lately, those who impugn the veracity of theGospels, Strauss, and even Keim, have pointed to this noticeof Lysanias as an instance of the unhistorical character ofSt. Luke's Gospel. But it is now admitted on all hands thatthe notice of St. Luke is strictly correct; and that, besidesthe other Lysanias, one of the same name had reigned overAbilene at the time of Christ. Comp. Wieseler, Beitr. pp.196-204, and Schurer in Riehm's Handworterb, p. 931.] Of thelatter no details can be furnished, nor are they necessary inthis history. It is otherwise as regards the sons of Herod,and especially the character of the Roman government at thattime.

Herod Antipas, whose rule extended over forty-three years,reigned over Galilee and Peraea, the districts which wererespectively the principal sphere of the Ministry of Jesusand of John the Baptist. Like his brother Archelaus, HerodAntipas possessed in an even aggravated form most of thevices, without any of the greater qualities, of his father.Of deeper religious feelings or convictions he was entirelydestitute, though his conscience occasionally misgrave, if itdid not restrain, him. The inherent weakness of his characterleft him in the absolute control of his wife, to the finalruin of his fortunes.He was covetous, avaricious, luxurious,and utterly dissipated suspicious, and with a good deal ofthat fox-cunning which, especially in the East, often formsthe sum total of state-craft. Like his father, he indulged ataste for building, always taking care to propitiate Rome bydedicating all to the Emperor. The most extensive of hisundertakings was the building, in 22 A.D., of the city ofTiberias, at the upper end of the Lake of Galilee. The sitewas under the disadvantage of having formerly been aburying-place, which, as implying Levitical uncleanness, forsome time deterred pious Jews from settling there.Nevertheless, it rose in great magnificence from among thereeds which had but lately covered the neighbourhood (theensigns armorial of the city were 'reeds'). Herod Antipasmade it his residence, and built there a strong castle and apalace of unrivalled splendour. The city, which was peopledchiefly by adventurers, was mainly Grecian, and adorned withan amphitheatre, of which the ruins can still be traced.

A happier account can be given of Philip, the son of Herodthe Great and Cleopatra of Jerusalem. He was undoubtedly thebest of Herod's sons. He showed, indeed, the same abjectsubmission as the rest of his family to the Roman Emperor,after whom he named the city of Caesarea Philippi, which hebuilt at the sources of the Jordan; just as he changed thename of Bethsaida, a village of which he made an opulentcity, into Julias, after the daughter of Augustus. But he wasa moderate and just ruler, and his reign of thirty-sevenyears contrasted favourably with that of his kinsmen. Theland was quiet and prosperous, and the people contented andhappy.

As regards the Roman rule, matters had greatly changed forthe worse since the mild sway of Augustus, under which, inthe language of Philo, no one throughout the Empire dared tomolest the Jews. [a Philo, ed. Frcf., Leg. 1015.] The onlyinnovations to which Israel had then to submit were, thedaily sacrifices for the Emperor and the Roman people,offerings on festive days, prayers for them in theSynagogues, and such participation in national joy or sorrowas their religion allowed. [b u. s. 1031, 1041.]

It was far other when Tiberius succeeded to the Empire, andJudaea was a province. Merciless harshness characterised theadministration of Palestine; while the Emperor himself wasbitterly hostile to Judaism and the Jews, and that although,personally, openly careless of all religion. [c Suet. Tiber.69.] Under his reign the persecution of the Roman Jewsoccurred, and Palestine suffered almost to the verge ofendurance. The first Procurator whom Tiberius appointed overJudaea, changed the occupancy of the High-Priesthood fourtimes, till he found in Caiaphas a sufficiently submissiveinstrument of Roman tyranny. The exactions, and the recklessdisregard of all Jewish feelings and interests, might havebeen characterised as reaching the extreme limit, if worsehad not followed when Pontius Pilate succeeded to theprocuratorship. Venality, violence, robbery, persecutions,wanton malicious insults, judicial murders without even theformality of a legal process, and cruelty, such are thecharges brought against his administration. [d Philo, u.s.1034.] If former governors had, to some extent, respected thereligious scruples of the Jews, Pilate set them purposely atdefiance; and this not only once, but again and again, inJerusalem, [e Jos. Ant. xviii. 3. 1, 2.] in Galilee, [f St.Luke xiii. 1.] and even in Samaria, [g Ant. xviii. 4. 1, 2.]until the Emperor himself interposed. [h Philo, Leg. 1033.]

Such, then, was the political condition of the land, whenJohn appeared to preach the near Advent of a Kingdom withwhich Israel associated all that was happy and glorious, evenbeyond the dreams of the religious enthusiast. And equallyloud was the call for help in reference to those who heldchief spiritual rule over the people. St. Luke significantlyjoins together, as the highest religious authority in theland, the names of Annas and Caiaphas. [1 The Procuratorswere Imperial financial officers, with absolute power ofgovernment in smaller territories. The office was generallyin the hands of the Roman knights, which chiefly consisted offinancial men, bankers, chief publicans, &c. The order ofknighthood had sunk to a low state, and the exactions of sucha rule, especially in Judea, can better be imagined thandescribed. Comp. on the whole subject, Friedlander,Sittengesch. Rom, vol. i. p. 268 &c.] The former had beenappointed by Quirinius. After holding the Pontificate fornine years, he was deposed, and succeeded by others, of whomthe fourth was his son-in-law Caiaphas. The character of theHigh-Priests during the whole of that period is described inthe Talmud [a Pes. 57 a.] in terrible language. And althoughthere is no evidence that 'the house of Annas' [2 Annas,either Chanan ( ), or else Chana or Channa, a common name.Professor Delitzsch has rightly shown that the Hebrewequivalent for Caiaphas is not Keypha ( ) = Peter, butKayapha ( ), or perhaps rather, according to the reading,Kaipha, , or Kaiphah. The name occurs in the Mishnah asKayaph [so, and not Kuph, correctly] (Parah iii. 5).Professor Delitzsch does not venture to explain its meaning.Would it be too bold to suggest a derivation from , and themeaning to be: He who is 'at the top'?] was guilty of thesame gross self-indulgence, violence, [b Jos. Ant. xx. 8. 8.]luxury, and even public indecency, [c Yoma 35 b.] as some oftheir successors, they are included in the woes pronounced onthe corrupt leaders of the priesthood, whom the Sanctuary isrepresented as bidding depart from the sacred precincts,which their presence defiled. [d Pes. U.S.] It deservesnotice, that the special sin with which the house of Annas ischarged is that of 'whispering', or hissing like vipers,which seems to refer [3 If we may take a statement in theTalmud, where the same word occurs, as a commentary.] toprivate influence on the judges in their administration ofjustice, whereby 'morals were corrupted, judgment pervertedand the Shekhinah withdrawn from Israel.'[e Tos. Set. xiv.]In illustration of this, we recall the terrorism whichprevented Sanhedrists from taking the part of Jesus, [f St.John vii. 50-52.] and especially the violence which seems tohave determined the final action of the Sanhedrin, [g St.John xi. 47-50.] against which not only such men as Nicodemusand Joseph of Arimathea, but even a Gamaliel, would feelthemselves powerless. But although the expression'High-Priest' appears sometimes to have been used in ageneral sense, as designating the sons of the High-Priests,and even the principal members of their families, [h Jos.Jewish War vi. 2.2.] there could, of course, be only oneactual High-Priest. The conjunction of the two names of Annasand Caiaphas [1 This only in St. Luke.] probably indicatesthat, although Annas was deprived of the Pontificate, hestill continued to preside over the Sanhedrin, a conclusionnot only borne out by Acts iv. 6, where Annas appears as theactual President, and by the terms in which Caiaphas isspoken of, as merely 'one of them,' [a St. John xi. 49.] butby the part which Annas took in the final condemnation ofJesus. [b St. John xviii. 13.]

Such a combination of political and religious distress,surely, constituted the time of Israel's utmost need. As yet,no attempt had been made by the people to right themselves byarmed force. In these circumstances, the cry that the Kingdomof Heaven was near at hand, and the call to preparation forit, must have awakened echoes throughout the land, andstartled the most careless and unbelieving. It was, accordingto St. Luke's exact statement, in the fifteenth year of thereign of Tiberius Caesar, reckoning, as provincials would do,[2 Wieseler has, I think, satisfactorily established this.Comp. Beitr. pp. 191-194.] from his co-regency with Augustus(which commenced two years before his sole reign), in theyear 26 A.D. [c 779 A.U.C.] According to our formercomputation, Jesus would then be in His thirtieth year. [3St. Luke speaks of Christ being 'about thirty years old' atthe time of His baptism. If John began His public ministry inthe autumn, and some months elapsed before Jesus wasbaptized, our Lord would have just passed His thirtieth yearwhen He appeared at Bethabara. We have positive evidence thatthe expression 'about' before a numeral meant either a littlemore or a little less than that exact number. See Midr. onRuth i. 4 ed. Warsh. p. 39 b.] The scene of John's firstpublic appearance was in 'the wilderness of Judaea,' that is,the wild, desolate district around the mouth of the Jordan.We know not whether John baptized in this place, [4 Heretradition, though evidently falsely, locates the Baptism ofJesus.] nor yet how long he continued there; but we areexpressly told, that his stay was not confined to thatlocality. [d St. Luke iii. 3.] Soon afterwards we find him atBethabara, [e St. John i. 28.] which is farther up thestream. The outward appearance and the his Mission. Neitherhis dress nor his food was that of the Essenes; [5 Inreference not only to this point, but in general, I wouldrefer to Bishop Lightfoot's masterly essay on the Essenes inhis Appendix to his Commentary on Colossians (especiallyhere, pp. 388, 400). It is a remarkable confirmation of thefact that, if John had been an Essene, his food could nothave been 'locusts' that the Gospel of the Ebionites, who,like the Essenes, abstained from animal food, omits themention of the 'locusts,' of St. Matt. iii. 4. (see Mr.Nicholson's 'The Gospel of the Hebrews,' pp. 34, 35). Butproof positive is derived from jer. Nedar. 40 b, where, incase of a vow of abstinence from flesh, fish and locusts areinterdicted.] and the former, at least, like that of Elijah,[f 2 Kings i.] whose mission he was now to 'fulfil.' This wasevinced alike by what he preached, and by the new symbolicrite, from which he derived the name of 'Baptist.' The grandburden of his message was: the announcement of the approachof 'the Kingdom of Heaven,' and the needed preparation of hishearers for that Kingdom. The latter he sought, positively,by admonition, and negatively, by warnings, while he directedall to the Coming One, in Whom that Kingdom would become, soto speak, individualised. Thus, from the first, it was 'thegood news of the Kingdom,' to which all else in John'spreaching was but subsidiary.

Concerning this 'Kingdom of Heaven,' which was the greatmessage of John, and the great work of Christ Himself, [1Keim beautifully designates it: Das Lieblingswort Jesu.] wemay here say, that it is the whole Old Testament sublimated,and the whole New Testament realised. The idea of it did notlie hidden in the Old, to be opened up in the New Testament,as did the mystery of its realisation. [a Rom. xvi 25, 26;Eph. i. 9; Col. i. 26, 27.] But this rule of heaven andKingship of Jehovah was the very substance of the OldTestament; the object of the calling and mission of Israel;the meaning of all its ordinances, whether civil orreligious; [2 If, indeed, in the preliminary dispensationthese two can be well separated.] the underlying idea of allits institutions. [3 I confess myself utterly unable tounderstand, how anyone writing a History of the Jewish Churchcan apparently eliminate from it what even Keim designates asthe 'treibenden Gedanken des Alten Testaments', those of theKingdom and the King. A Kingdom of God without a King; aTheocracy without the rule of God; a perpetual DavidicKingdom without a 'Son of David', these are antinomies (toborrow the term of Kant) of which neither the Old Testament,the Apocrypha, the Pseudepigraphic writings, nor Rabbinismwere guility.] It explained alike the history of the people,the dealings of God with them, and the prospects opened up bythe prophets. Without it the Old Testament could not beunderstood; it gave perpetuity to its teaching, and dignityto its representations. This constituted alike the realcontrast between Israel and the nations of antiquity, andIsrael's real title to distinction. Thus the whole OldTestament was the preparatory presentation of the rule ofheaven and of the Kingship of its Lord.

But preparatory not only in the sense of typical, but alsoin that of inchoative. Even the twofold hindrance, internaland external, which 'the Kingdom' encountered, indicatedthis. The former arose from the resistance of Israel to theirKing; the latter from the opposition of the surroundingkingdoms of this world. All the more intense became thelonging through thousands of years, that these hindrancesmight be swept away by the Advent of the promised Messiah,Who would permanently establish (by His spirit) the rightrelationship between the King and His Kingdom, by bringing inan everlasting righteousness, and also cast down existingbarriers, by calling the kingdoms of this world to be theKingdom of our God. This would, indeed, be the Advent of theKingdom of God, such as had been the glowing hope held out byZechariah, [a xiv. 9.] the glorious vision beheld by Daniel.[b vii. 13, 14.] Three ideas especially did this Kingdoof Godimply: universality, heavenliness, and permanency. Wide asGod's domain would be His Dominion; holy, as heaven incontrast to earth, and God to man, would be his character;and triumphantly lasting its continuance. Such was theteaching of the Old Testament, and the great hope of Israel.It scarcely needs mental compass, only moral and spiritualcapacity, to see its matchless grandeur, in contrast witheven the highest aspirations of heathenism, and the blanchedideas of modern culture.

How imperfectly Israel understood this Kingdom, our previousinvestigations have shown. In truth, the men of that periodpossessed only the term, as it were, the form. What explainedits meaning, filled, and fulfilled it, came once more fromheaven. Rabbinism and Alexandrianism kept alive the thoughtof it; and in their own way filled the soul with its longing,just as the distress in church and State carried the need ofit to every heart with the keenness of anguish. As throughoutthis history, the form was of that time; the substance andthe spirit were of Him Whose coming was the Advent of thatKingdom. Perhaps the nearest approach to it lay in the higheraspirations of the Nationalist party, only that it soughttheir realisation, not spiritually, but outwardly. Taking thesword, it perished by the sword. It was probably to this thatboth Pilate and Jesus referred in that memorable question:'Art Thou then a King?' to which our Lord, unfolding thedeepest meaning of His mission, replied: 'My Kingdom is notof this world: if My Kingdom were of this world, then wouldMy servants fight.' [c St. John xvii. 33-37.]

According to the Rabbinic views of the time, the terms'Kingdom,' 'Kingdom of heaven,' [3 Occasionally we find,instead of Malkhuth Shamayim ('Kingdom of Heaven'), Malkhuthadireqiya ('Kingdom of the firmament'), as in Ber. 58 a,Shebhu. 35 b. But in the former passage, at least, it seemsto apply rather to God's Providential government than to Hismoral reign.] and 'Kingdom of God' (in the Targum on Micahiv. 7 'Kingdom of Jehovah'), were equivalent. In fact, theword 'heaven' was very often used instead of 'God,' so as toavoid unduly familiarising the ear with the Sacred Name. [1The Talmud (Shebhu. 35 b) analyses the various passages ofScripture in which it is used in a sacred and in the commonsense.] This, probably, accounts for the exclusive use of theexpression 'Kingdom of Heaven' in the Gospel by St. Matthew.[2 In St. Matthew the expression occursthirty-two times; sixtimes that of 'the Kingdom;' five times that of 'Kingdom ofGod.'] And the term did imply a contrast to earth, as theexpression 'the Kingdom of God' did to this world. Theconsciousness of its contrast to earth or the world wasdistinctly expressed in Rabbinic writings. [a As in Shebhu 35b; Ber. R. 9, ed Warsh, pp. 19 b, 20 a.]

This 'Kingdom of Heaven,' or 'of God,' must, however, bedistinguished from such terms as 'the Kingdom of the Messiah'(Malkhutha dimeshicha [b As in the Targum on Ps. xiv. 7, andon Is. liii. 10.]), 'the future age (world) of the Messiah'(Alma deathey dimeshicha [c As in Targum on 1 Kings iv. 33(v. 13).]), 'the days of the Messiah,' 'the age to come'(soeculum futurum, the Athid labho [3 The distinction betweenthe Vlam habba (the world to come), and the Athid labho (theage to come), is important. It will be more fully referred toby-and-by. In the meantime, suffice it, that the Athid labhois the more specific designation of Messianic times. The twoterms are expressly distinguished, for example, in Mechilta(ed. Weiss), p. 74 a, lines 2, 3.], both this and theprevious expression [d For example, in Ber. R. 88, ed. Warsh.p. 157 a.]), 'the end of days,' [e Targ. PseudoJon. on Ex.xl. 9, 11.] and 'the end of the extremity of days' Soph EqebhYomaya [f Jer. Targ. on Gen. iii. 15; Jer. and PseudoJon.Targ on Numb. xxiv. 14.]). This is the more important, sincethe 'Kingdom of Heaven' has so often been confounded with theperiod of its triumphant manifestation in 'the days,' or in'the Kingdom, of the Messiah.' Between the Advent and thefinal manifestation of 'the Kingdom,' Jewish expectancyplaced a temporary obscuration of the Messiah. [4 This willbe more fully explained and shown in the sequel. For thepresent we refer only to Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 75 d, and theMidr. on Ruth ii. 14.] Not His first appearance, but Histriumphant manifestation, was to be preceded by the so-called'sorrows of the Messiah' (the Chebhley shel Mashiach), 'thetribulations of the latter days.' [5 The whole subject isfully treated in Book V. ch. vi.]

A review of many passages on the subject shows that, in theJewish mind the expression 'Kingdom of Heaven' referred, notso much to any particular period, as in general to the Ruleof God, as acknowledged, manifested, and eventuallyperfected. Very often it is the equivalent for personalacknowledgment of God: the taking upon oneself of the 'yoke'of 'the Kingdom,' or of the commandments, the formerpreceding and conditioning the latter. [g So expressly inMechilta, p. 75 a; Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 14 a, last line.]Accordingly, the Mishnah [a Ber. ii. 2.] gives this as thereason why, in the collection of Scripture passages whichforms the prayer called 'Shema,' [1 The Shema, whichwasrepeated twice every day, was regarded as distinctive ofJewish profession (Ber. iii. 3).] the confession, Deut. vi. 4&c., precedes the admonition, Deut. xi. 13 &c., because a mantakes upon himself first the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven,and afterwards that of the commandments. And in this sense,the repetition of this Shema, as the personal acknowledgmentof the Rule of Jehovah, is itself often designated as 'takingupon oneself the Kingdom of Heaven.' [b For example, Ber. 13b, 14 b; Ber. ii. 5; and the touching story of Rabbi Akibathus taking upon himself the yoke of the Law in the hour ofhis martyrdom, Ber. 61 b.] Similarly, the putting on ofphylacteries, and the washing of hands, are also described astaking upon oneself the yoke of the Kingdom of God. [2 InBer. 14 b, last line, and 15 a, first line, there is ashocking definition of what constitutes the Kingdom of Heavenin its completeness. For the sake of those who would deriveChristianity from Rabbinism. I would have quoted it, but amrestrained by its profanity.] To give other instances: Israelis said to have taken up the yoke of the Kingdom of God atMount Sinai; [c So often Comp. Siphre p. 142 b, 143 b.] thechildren of Jacob at their last interview with their father;[d Ber. R. 98.] and Isaiah on his call to the propheticoffice, [e Yalkut, vol. ii. p. 43 a.] where it is also notedthat this must be done willingly and gladly. On the otherhand, the sons of Eli and the sons of Ahab are said to havecast off the Kingdom of Heaven. [f Midr. on 1 Sam. viii 12;Midr. on Eccl. i. 18.] While thus the acknowledgment of theRule of God, both in profession and practice, was consideredto constitute the Kingdom of God, its full manifestation wasexpected only in the time of the Advent of Messiah. Thus inthe Targum on Isaiah xl. 9, the words 'Behold your God!' areparaphrased: 'The Kingdom of your God is revealed.'Similarly, [g In Yalkut ii. p. 178 a.] we read: 'When thetime approaches that the Kingdom of Heaven shall bemanifested, then shall be fulfilled that "the Lord shall beKing over all the earth."' [h Zech. xiv. 9.] [3 The samepassage is similarly referred to in the Midr. on Song. ii.12, where the words 'the time of the singing has come,' areparaphrased; 'the time of the Kingdom of Heaven that it shallbe manifested, hath come' (in R. Martini Pugio Fidei, p.782).] On the other hand, the unbelief of Israel would appearin that they would reject these three things: the Kingdom ofHeaven, the Kingdom of the House of David, and the buildingof the Temple, according to the prediction in Hos. iii. 5. [iMidr. on 1 Sam. viii. 7. Comp. also generally Midr. on Ps.cxlvii. 1.] It follows that, after the period of unbelief,the Messianic deliverances and blessings of the 'AthidLabho,' or future age, were expected. But the finalcompletion of all still remained for the 'Olam Habba,' orworld to come. And that there is a distinction between thetime of the Messiah and this 'world to come' is frequentlyindicated in Rabbinic writings. [4 As in Shabb. 63 a, whereat least three differences between them are mentioned. For,while all prophecy pointed to the days of the Messiah,concerning the world to come we are told (Is. lxiv. 4) that'eye hath not seen, &c.'; in the days of the Messiah weaponswould be borne, but not in the world to come; and while Is.xxiv. 21 applied to the days of the Messiah, the seeminglycontradictory passage, Is. xxx. 26, referred to the world tocome. In Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exod. xvii. 16, we read ofthree generations: that of this world, that of the Messiah,and that of the world to come (Aram: Alma deathey=olamhabba). Comp. Ar. 13 b, and Midr. on Ps. lxxxi. 2 (3 inA.V.), ed. Warsh. p. 63 a, where the harp of the Sanctuary isdescribed as of seven strings (according to Ps. cxix. 164);in the days of the Messiah as of eight strings (according tothe inscription of ps. xii.); and in the world to come (hereAthid labho) as of ten strings (according to Ps. xcii. 3).The references of Gfrorer (Jahrh. d. Heils, vol. ii. p. 213)contain, as not unfrequently, mistakes. I may here say thatRhenferdius carries the argument about the Olam habba, asdistinguished from the days of the Messiah, beyond what Ibelieve to be established. See his Dissertation in Meuschen,Nov. Test. pp. 1116 &c.] As we pass from the Jewish ideas of the time to the teachingof the New Testament, we feel that while there is completechange of spirit, the form in which the idea of the Kingdomof Heaven is presented is substantially similar. Accordingly,we must dismiss the notion that the expression refers to theChurch, whether visible (according to the Roman Catholicview) or invisible (according to certain Protestant writers).[1 It is difficult to conceive, how the idea of the identityof the Kingdom of God with the Church could have originated.Such parables as those about the Sower, and about the Net(St. Matt. xiii. 3-9; 47, 48), and such admonitions as thoseof Christ to His disciples in St. Matt. xix. 12; vi. 33; andvi. 10, are utterly inconsistent with it.] 'The Kingdom ofGod,' or Kingly Rule of God, is an objective fact. Thevisible Church can only be the subjective attempt at itsoutward realisation, of which the invisible Church is thetrue counterpart. When Christ says, [a St. John iii. 3.] that'except a man be born from above, he cannot see the Kingdomof God,' He teaches, in opposition to the Rabbinicrepresentation of how 'the Kingdom' was taken up, that a mancannot even comprehend that glorious idea of the Reign ofGod, and of becoming, by conscious self-surrender, one of Hissubjects, except he be first born from above. Similarly, themeaning of Christ's further teaching on this subject [b inver. 5.] seems to be that, except a man be born of water(profession, with baptism [2 The passage which seems to memost fully to explain the import of baptism, in itssubjective bearing, is 1 Peter, iii. 21, which I would thusrender: 'which (water) also, as the antitype, now saves you,even baptism; not the putting away of the filth of the flesh,but the inquiry (the searching, perhaps the entreaty), for agood conscience towards God, through the resurrection ofChrist.' It is in this sense that baptism is designated inTit. iii. 5, as the 'washing,' or 'bath of regeneration,' thebaptized person stepping out of the waters of baptism withthis openly spoken new search after a good conscience towardsGod; and in this sense also that baptism, not the act ofbaptizing, nor yet that of being baptized, saves us, but thisthrough the Resurrection of Christ. And this leads us up tothe objective aspect of baptism. This consists in the promiseand the gift on the part of the Risen Saviour, Who, by andwith His Holy Spirit, is ever present with his Church. Theseremarks leave, of course, aside the question ofInfant-Baptism, which rests on another and, in my view mostsolid basis.] as its symbol) and the Spirit, he cannot reallyenter into the fellowship of that Kingdom.

In fact, an analysis of 119 passages in the New Testamentwhere the expression 'Kingdom' occurs, shows that it meansthe rule of God; [1 In this view the expression occursthirty-four times, viz: St. Matt. vi. 33; xii. 28; xiii. 38;xix. 24; xxi. 31; St. Mark i. 14; x. 15, 23, 24, 25; xii. 34;St. Luke i. 33; iv. 43; ix. 11; x. 9, 11; xi. 20; xii. 31;xvii. 20, 21; xviii. 17, 24, 25, 29; St. John iii. 3; Acts i.3; viii. 12; xx. 25; xxviii. 31; Rom. xiv. 17; 1 Cor. iv. 20;Col. iv. 11; 1 Thess. ii. 12; Rev. i. 9.] which wasmanifested in and through Christ; [2 As in the followingseventeen passages, viz.: St. Matt. iii. 2; iv. 17, 23; v. 3,10; ix. 35; x. 7; St. Mark i. 15; xi. 10; St. Luke viii. 1;ix. 2; xvi. 16; xix. 12, 15; Acts i. 3; xxviii. 23; Rev. i.9.] is apparent in 'the Church; [3 As in the following elevenpassages: St. Matt. xi. 11; xiii. 41; xvi. 19; xviii. 1; xxi.43; xxiii. 13; St. Luke vii. 28; St. John iii. 5; Acts i. 3;Col. i. 13; Rev. i. 9.] gradually develops amidst hindrances;[4 As in the following twenty-four passages: St. Matt. xi.12; xiii. 11, 19, 24, 31, 33, 44, 45, 47, 52; xviii. 23; xx.1; xxii. 2; xxv. 1, 14; St. Mark iv. 11, 26, 30; St. Lukeviii. 10; ix. 62; xiii. 18, 20; Acts i. 3; Rev. i. 9.] istriumphant at the second coming of Christ [5 As in thefollowing twelve passages: St. Mark xvi. 28; St. Mark ix. 1;xv. 43; St. Luke ix. 27; xix. 11; xxi. 31; xxii. 16, 18; Actsi. 3; 2 Tim. iv. 1; Heb. xii. 28; Rev. i. 9.] ('the end');and, finally, perfected in the world to come. [6 As in thefollowing thirty-one passages: St. Matt. v. 19, 20; vii. 21;viii. 11; xiii. 43; xviii. 3; xxv. 34; xxvi. 29; St. Mark ix.47; x. 14; xiv. 25; St. Luke vi. 20; xii. 32; xiii. 28, 29;xiv. 15; xviii. 16; xxii. 29; Acts i. 3; xiv. 22; 1 Cor. vi.9, 10; xv. 24, 50; Gal. v. 21; Eph. v. 5; 2 Thess. i. 5; St.James ii. 5; 2 Peter i. 11; Rev. i. 9; xii. 10.] Thus viewed,the announcement of John of the near Advent of this Kingdomhad deepest meaning, although, as so often in the case ofprophetism, the stages intervening between the Advent of theChrist and the triumph of that Kingdom seem to have beenhidden from the preacher. He came to call Israel to submit tothe Reign of God, about to be manifested in Christ. Hence, onthe one hand, he called them to repentance, a 'change ofmind', with all that this implied; and, on the other, pointedthem to the Christ, in the exaltation of His Person andOffice. Or rather, the two combined might be summed up in thecall: 'Change your mind', repent, which implies, not only aturning from the past, but a turning to the Christ in newnessof mind. [7 The term 'repentance' includes faith in Christ,as in St. Luke xxiv. 47; Acts v. 31.] And thus the symbolicaction by which this preaching was accompanied might bedesignated 'the baptism of repentance.'

The account given by St. Luke bears, on the face of it, thatit was a summary, not only of the first, but of all John'spreaching. [a iii. 18.] The very presence of his hearers atthis call to, and baptism of, repentance, gave point to hiswords. Did they who, notwithstanding their sins, [1 I cannot,with Schottgen and others, regard the expression 'generationof vipers' as an allusion to the filthy legend about thechildren of Eve and the serpent, but believe that it refersto such passages as Ps. lviii. 4.] lived in such security ofcarelessness and self-righteousness, really understand andfear the final consequences of resistance to the coming'Kingdom'? If so, theirs must be a repentance not only inprofession, but of heart and mind, such as would yield fruit,both good and visible. Or else did they imagine that,according to the common notion of the time, the vials ofwrath were to be poured out only on the Gentiles, [2 In proofthat such was the common view, I shall here refer to only afew passages, and these exclusively from the Targumum: Jer.Targ. on Gen. xlix. 11; Targ. on Is. xi. 4; Targ. on Amos ix.11; Targ. on Nah. i. 6; on Zech. x. 3, 4. See also Ab. Z. 2b, Yalkut i. p. 64 a; also 56 b (where it is shown howplagues exactly corresponding to those of Egypt were to comeupon Rome).] while they, as Abraham's children, were sure ofescape, in the words of the Talmud, that 'the night' (Is.xxi. 12) was 'only to the nations of the world, but themorning to Israel'? [a Jer. Taan. 64 a.]

For, no principle was more fully established in the popularconviction, than that all Israel had part in the world tocome (Sanh. x. 1), and this, specifically, because of theirconnection with Abraham. This appears not only from the NewTestament, [b St. John viii. 33, 39, 53.] from Philo, andJosephus, but from many Rabbinic passages. 'The merits of theFathers,' is one of the commonest phrases in the mouth of theRabbis. [3 'Everything comes to Israel on account of themerits of the fathers' (Siphre on Deut. p. 108 b). In thesame category we place the extraordinary attempts to showthat the sins of Biblical personages were not sins at all, asin Shabb. 55 b, and the idea of Israel's merits as works ofsupererogation (as in Baba B. 10 a).] Abraham was representedas sitting at the gate of Gehenna, to deliver any Israelite[4 I will not mention the profane device by which apostateand wicked Jews are at that time to be converted intonon-Jews.] who otherwise might have been consigned to itsterrors. [c Ber. R. 48; comp. Midr. on Ps. vi. 1; Pirke d. R.Elies. c. 29; Shem. R. 19 Yalkut i. p. 23 b.] In fact, bytheir descent from Abraham, all the children of Israel werenobles, [d Baba Mez. vii. 1; Baba K. 91 a.] infinitely higherthan any proselytes. 'What,' exclaims the Talmud, 'shall theborn Israelite stand upon the earth, and the proselyte be inheaven?' [e Jer. Chag. 76 a.] In fact, the ships on the seawerepreserved through the merit of Abraham; the raindescended on account of it. [f Ber. R. 39.] For his sakealone had Moses been allowed to ascend into heaven, and toreceive the Law; for his sake the sin of the golden calf hadbeen forgiven; [g Shem R. 44.] his righteousness had on manyoccasions been the support of Israel's cause; [h Vayyikra R.36.] Daniel had been heard for the sake of Abraham; [i Ber. 7b.] nay, his merit availed even for the wicked. [k Shabb. 55a; comp Beer, Leben Abr. p. 88.] [5 Professor Wunsche quotesan inapt passage from Shabb. 89 b, but ignores, or isignorant of the evidence above given.] In its extravagancethe Midrash thus apostrophises Abraham: 'If thy children wereeven (morally) dead bodies, without bloodvessels or bones,thy merit would avail for them!' [a Ber. R. ed. Warsh. p. 80b, par. 44.]

But if such had been the inner thoughts of his bearers, Johnwarned them, that God was able of those stones that strewedthe river-bank to raise up children unto Abraham; [b Perhapswith reference to Is. ii. 1, 2.] [1 Lightfoot aptly pointsout a play on the words 'children', banim, and 'stones',abhanim. Both words are derived from bana, to build, which isalso used by the Rabbis in a moral sense like our own'upbuilding,' and in that of the gift of adoption ofchildren. It is not necessary, indeed almost detracts fromthe general impression, to see in the stones an allusion tothe Gentiles.] or, reverting to his former illustration of'fruits meet for repentance,' that the proclamation of theKingdom was, at the same time, the laying of the axe to theroot of every tree that bore not fruit. Then makingapplication of it, in answer to the specific inquiry ofvarious classes, the preacher gave them such practical adviceas applied to the well-known sins of their past; [2 Thus theview that charity delivered from Gehenna was very commonlyentertained (see, for example, Baba B. 10 a). Similarly, itwas the main charge against the publicans that they exactedmore than their due (see, for example, Baba K. 113 a). TheGreek, or wage of the soldiers, has its Rabbinic equivalentof Afsanya (a similar word also in the Syriac).] yet in thisalso not going beyond the merely negative, or preparatoryelement of 'repentance.' The positive, and all-importantaspect of it, was to be presented by the Christ. It was onlynatural that the hearers wondered whether John himself wasthe Christ, since he thus urged repentance. For this was soclosely connected in their thoughts with the Advent of theMessiah, that it was said, 'If Israel repented but one day,the Son of David would immediately come.' [c For ex. Jer.Taan. 64 a.] But here John pointed them to thedifferencebetween himself and his work, and the Person andMission of the Christ. In deepest reverence he declaredhimself not worthy to do Him the service of a slave or of adisciple. [3 Volkmar is mistaken in regarding this as theduty of the house-porter towards arriving guests. It isexpressly mentioned as one of the characteristic duties ofslaves in Pes. 4 a; Jer Kidd. i. 3; Kidd. 22 b. In Kethub. 96a it is described as also the duty of a disciple towards histeacher. In Mechilta on Ex. xxi. 2 (ed. Weiss, p. 82 a) it isqualified as only lawful for a teacher so to employ hisdisciple, while, lastly, in Pesiqta x. it is described as thecommon practice.] His Baptism would not be of preparatoryrepentance and with water, but the Divine Baptism in [4 Godetaptly calls attention to the use of the preposition in here,while as regards the baptism of water no preposition is used,as denoting merely an instrumentality.] the Holy Spirit andfire [5 The same writer points out that the want of thepreposition before 'fire' shows that it cannot refer to thefire of judgment, but must be a further enlargement of theword 'Spirit.' Probably it denotes the negative or purgativeeffect of this baptism, as the word 'holy' indicates itspositive and sanctifying effect.], in the Spirit Whosanctified, and the Divine Light which purified, [6 Theexpression 'baptism of fire' was certainly not unknown to theJews. In Sanh. 39 a (last lines) we read of an immersion ofGod in fire, based on Is. lxvi. 15. An immersion or baptismof fire is proved from Numb. xxxi. 23. More apt, perhaps, asillustration is the statement, Jer. Sot. 22 d, that the Torah(the Law) its parchment was white fire, the writing blackfire, itself fire mixed with fire, hewn out of fire, andgiven by fire, according to Deut. xxxiii. 2.] and soeffectively qualified for the 'Kingdom.' And there was stillanother contrast. John's was but preparing work, the Christ'sthat of final decision; after it came the harvest. His wasthe harvest, and His the garner; His also the fan, with whichHe would sift the wheat from the straw and chaff, the one tobe garnered, the other burned with fire unextinguished andinextinguishable. [1 This is the meaning of . The word occursonly in St. Matt. iii. 12; St. Luke iii. 17; St. Mark ix. 43,45 (?), but frequently in the classics. The question of'eternal punishment' will be discussed in another place. Thesimile of the fan and the garner is derived from the Easternpractice of threshing out the corn in the open by means ofoxen, after which, what of the straw had been trampled underfoot (not merely the chaff, as in the A.V.) was burned. Thisuse of the straw for fire is referred to in the Mishnah, asin Shabb. iii. 1; Par. iv. 3. But in that case the Hebrewequivalent for it is (Qash), as in the above passages, andnot Tebhen (Meyer), nor even as Professor Delitzsch rendersit in his Hebrew N.T.: Mots. The three terms are, however,combined in a curiously illustrative parable (Ber. R. 83),referring to the destruction of Rome and the preservation ofIsrael, when the grain refers the straw, stubble, and chaff,in their dispute for whose sake the field existed, to thetime when the owner would gather the corn into his barn, butburn the straw, stubble, and chaff.] Thus early in thehistory of the Kingdom of God was it indicated, that alikethat which would prove useless straw and the good corn wereinseparably connected in God's harvest-field till the reapingtime; that both belonged to Him; and that the finalseparation would only come at the last, and by His own Hand.

What John preached, that he also symbolised by a rite which,though not in itself, yet in its application, was wholly new.Hitherto the Law had it, that those who had contractedLevitical defilement were to immerse before offeringsacrifice. Again, it was prescribed that such Gentiles asbecame 'proselytes of righteousness,' or 'proselytes of theCovenant' (Gerey hatstsedeq or Gerey habberith), were to beadmitted to full participation in the privileges of Israel bythe threefold rites of circumcision, baptism, [2 For a fulldiscussion of the question of the baptism of proselytes, seeAppendix XII.] and sacrifice, the immersion being, as itwere, the acknowledgment and symbolic removal of moraldefilement, corresponding to that of Levitical uncleanness.But never before had it been proposed that Israel shouldundergo a 'baptism of repentance,' although there areindications of a deeper insight into the meaning of Leviticalbaptisms. [3 The following very significant passage may herebe quoted: 'A man who is guilty of sin, and makes confession,and does not turn from it, to whom is he like? To a man whohas in his hand a defiling reptile, who, even if he immersesin all the waters of the world, his baptism avails himnothing; but let him cast it from his hand, and if heimmerses in only forty seah of water, immediately his baptismavails him.' On the same page of the Talmud there are somevery apt and beautiful remarks on the subject of repentance(Taan. 16 a, towards the end).] Was it intended, that thehearers of John should give this as evidence of theirrepentance, that, like persons defiled, they soughtpurification, and, like strangers, they sought admissionamong the people who took on themselves the Rule of God?These two ideas would, indeed, have made it truly a 'baptismof repentance.' But it seems difficult to suppose, that thepeople would have been prepared for such admissions; or, atleast, that there should have been no record of the mode inwhich a change so deeply spiritual was brought about. May itnot rather have been that as, when the first Covenant wasmade, Moses was directed to prepare Israel by symbolicbaptism of their persons [a Comp. Gen. xxxv.] and theirgarments, [b Ex. xix. 10, 14.] so the initiation of the newCovenant, by which the people were to enter into the Kingdomof God, was preceded by another general symbolic baptism ofthose who would be the true Israel, and receive, or take onthemselves, the Law from God? [1 It is remarkable, thatMaimonides traces even the practice of baptizing proselytesto Ex. xix. 10, 14 (Hilc Issurey Biah xiii. 3; Yad haCh. vol.ii. p. 142 b). He also gives reasons for the 'baptism' ofIsrael before entering into covenant with God. In Kerith, 9 a'the baptism' of Israel is proved from Ex. xxiv. 5, sinceevery sprinkling of blood was supposed to be preceded byimmersion. In Siphre on Numb. (ed. Weiss, p. 30 b) we arealso distinctly told of 'baptism' as one of the three thingsby which Israel was admitted into the Covenant.] In that casethe rite would have acquired not only a new significance, butbe deeply and truly the answer to John's call. In such casealso, no special explanation would have been needed on thepart of the Baptist, nor yet such spiritual insight on thatof the people as we can scarcely suppose them to havepossessed at that stage. Lastly, in that case nothing couldhave been more suitable, nor more solemn, than Israel inwaiting for the Messiah and the Rule of God, preparing astheir fathers had done at the foot of Mount Sinai. [2 Thismay help us, even at this stage, to understand why our Lord,in the fulfilment of all righteousness, submitted to baptism.It seems also to explain why, after the coming of Christ, thebaptism of John was alike unavailing and even meaningless(Acts xix. 3-5). Lastly, it also shows how he that is leastin the Kingdom of God is really greater than John himself(St. Luke vii. 28).]




(St. Matt. iii. 13-17; St. Mark i. 7-11; St. Luke iii.21-23; St. John i. 32-34.)

The more we think of it, the better do we seem to understandhow that 'Voice crying in the wilderness: Repent! for theKingdom of Heaven is at hand,' awakened echoes throughout theland, and brought from city, village, and hamlet strangesthearers. For once, every distinction was levelled. Phariseeand Sadducee, outcast publican and semi-heathen soldier, methere as on common ground. Their bond of union was the common'hope of Israel', the only hope that remained: that of 'theKingdom.' The long winter of disappointment had notdestroyed, nor the storms of suffering swept away, nor yetcould any plant of spurious growth overshadow, what hadstruck its roots so deep in the soil of Israel's heart.

That Kingdom had been the last word of the Old Testament. Asthe thoughtful Israelite, whether Eastern or Western, [1 Itmay be said that the fundamental tendency of Rabbinism wasanti-sacrificial, as regarded the value of sacrifices incommending the offerer to God. After the destruction of theTemple it was, of course, the task of Rabbinism to show thatsacrifices had no intrinsic importance, and that their placewas taken by prayer, penitence, and good works. So againstobjectors on the ground of Jer. xxxiii. 18, but see theanswer in Yalkut on the passage (vol. ii. p. 67 a, towardsthe end) dogmatically (Bab. B. 10 b; Vayyikra R. 7, ed.Warsh. vol. iii. p. 12 a): 'he that doeth repentance, it isimputed to him as if he went up to Jerusalem, built theTemple and altar, and wrought all the sacrifices in the Law';and in view of the cessation of sacrifices in the'Athid.labho' (Vay, u.s.; Tanch. on Par. Shemini). Soon,prayer or study were put even above sacrifices (Ber. 32 b;Men. 110 a), and an isolated teacher went so far as to regardthe introduction of sacrificial worship as merely intended topreserve Israel from conforming to heathen worship (VayyikraR. 22, u. s. p. 34 b, close). On the other hand, individualsseemed to have offered sacrifices even after the destructionof the Temple (Eduy. viii. 6; Mechilta on Ex. xviii. 27, ed.Weiss, p. 68 b).] viewed even the central part of his worshipin sacrifices, and remembered that his own Scriptures hadspoken of them in terms which pointed to something beyondtheir offering, [2 Comp. 1 Sam. xv. 22; Ps. xl. 6-8; li. 7,17; Is. i. 11-13; Jer. vii. 22, 23; Amos v. 21, 22; Ecclus.vii. 9; xxxiv. 18, 19; xxxv. 1, 7.] he must have felt that'the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifersprinkling the unclean,' could only 'sanctify to thepurifying of the flesh;' that, indeed, the whole body ofceremonial and ritual ordinances 'could not make him that didthe service perfect as pertaining to the conscience.' Theywere only 'the shadow of good things to come;' of 'a new' and'better covenant, established upon better promises.' [1 Hebr.ix. 13, 9; x. 1; viii. 6, 13. On this subject we refer to theclassical work of Riehm (Lehrbegriff des Hebraerbriefes,1867).] It was otherwise with the thought of the Kingdom.Each successive link in the chain of prophecy bound Israelanew to this hope, and each seemed only more firmly weldedthan the other. And when the voice of prophecy had ceased,the sweetness of its melody still held the peoplespell-bound, even when broken in the wild fantasies ofApocalyptic literature. Yet that 'root of Jesse,' whence thisKingdom was to spring, was buried deep under ground, as theremains of ancient Jerusalem are now under the desolations ofmany generations. Egyptian, Syrian, Greek, and Roman hadtrodden it under foot; the Maccabees had come and gone, andit was not in them; the Herodian kingdom had risen andfallen; Pharisaism, with its learning, had overshadowedthoughts of the priesthood and of prophetism; but the hope ofthat Davidic Kingdom, of which there was not a single traceor representative left, was even stronger than before. Soclosely has it been intertwined with the very life of thenation, that, to all believing Israelites, this hope hasthrough the long night of ages, been like that eternal lampwhich burns in the darkness of the Synagogue, in front of theheavy veil that shrines the Sanctuary, which holds andconceals the precious rolls of the Law and the Prophets.

This great expectancy would be strung to utmost tensionduring the pressure of outward circumstances more hopelessthan any hitherto experienced. Witness here the readycredence which impostors found, whose promises and schemeswere of the wildest character; witness the repeated attemptsat risings, which only despair could have prompted; witness,also, the last terrible war against Rome, and, despite thehorrors of its end, the rebellion of Bar-Kokhabh, the falseMessiah. And now the cry had been suddenly raised: 'TheKingdom of Heaven is at hand!' It was heard in the wildernessof Judaea, within a few hours' distance from Jerusalem. Nowonder Pharisee and Sadducee flocked to the spot. How many ofthem came to inquire, how many remained to be baptized, orhow many went away disappointed in their hopes of 'theKingdom,' we know not. [2 Ancient commentators supposed thatthey came from hostile motives; later writers that curiosityprompted them. Neither of these views is admissible, nor doesSt. Luke vii. 30 imply, that all the Pharisees who come tohim rejected his baptism.] But they would not see anything inthe messenger that could have given their expectations a rudeshock. His was not a call to armed resistance, but torepentance, such as all knew and felt must precede theKingdom. The hope which he held out was not of earthlypossessions, but of purity. There was nothing negative orcontroversial in what he spoke; nothing to excite prejudiceor passion. His appearance would command respect, and hischaracter was in accordance with his appearance. Not rich noryet Pharisaic garb with wide Tsitsith, [1 Comp. St. Matt.xxiii. 5. The Tsitsith (plural, Tsitsiyoth), or borders(corners, 'wings') of the garments, or rather the fringesfastened to them. The observance was based on Numb. xv.38-41, and the Jewish practice of it is indicated not only inthe N.T. (u. s., comp. also St. Matt. ix. 20; xiv. 36) but inthe Targumim on Numb. xv. 38, 39 (comp. also Targ.Pseudo-Jon. on Numb. xvi. 1, 2, where the peculiar colour ofthe Tsitsith is represented as the cause of the controversybetween Moses and Korah. But see the version of this story inJer. Sanh. x. p. 27 d, end). The Tsitsith were originallydirected to be of white threads, with one thread of deep bluein each fringe. According to tradition, each of these whitefringes is to consist of eight threads, one of them woundround the others: first, seven times with a double knot; theneight times with a double knot (7 + 8 numerically = ); theneleven times with a double knot (11 numerically = ;) andlastly, thirteen times (13 numerically = ; or, altogether ,Jehovah One). Again, it is pointed out that as Tsitsith isnumerically equal to 600 ( ), this, with the eight threadsand five knots, gives the number 613, which is that of theCommandments. At present the Tsitsith are worn as a specialundergarment (the ) or on the Tallith or prayer-mantle, butanciently they seem to have been worn on the outer garmentitself. In Bemidbar R. 17, end (ed. Warsh, vol. iv. p. 69 a),the blue is represented as emblematic of the sky, and thelatter as of the throne of God (Ex. xxiv. 10). Hence to lookupon the Tsitsith was like looking at the throne of glory(Schurer is mistaken in supposing that the tractate Tsitsithin the Septem Libri Talmud. par. pp. 22, 23, contains muchinformation on the subject).] bound with many-coloured oreven priestly girdle, but the old prophet's poor raiment heldin by a leathern girdle. Not luxurious life, but one ofmeanest fare. [2 Such certainly was John the Baptist's. Somelocusts were lawful to be eaten, Lev. xi. 22. Comp. Terum. 59a; and, on the various species, Chull. 65.] And then, all inthe man was true and real. 'Not a reed shaken by the wind,'but unbendingly firm in deep and settled conviction; notambitious nor self-seeking, but most humble in hisself-estimate, discarding all claim but that of lowliestservice, and pointing away from himself to Him Who was tocome, and Whom as yet he did not even know. Above all, therewas the deepest earnestness, the most utter disregard of man,the most firm belief in what he announced. For himself hesought nothing; for them he had only one absorbing thought:The Kingdom was at hand, the King was coming, let themprepare!

Such entire absorption in his mission, which leaves us inignorance of even the details of his later activity, musthave given force to his message. [3 Deeply as we appreciatethe beauty of Keim's remarks about the character and views ofJohn, we feel only the more that such a man could not havetaken the public position nor made such public proclamationof the Kingdom as at hand, without a direct and objectivecall to it from God. The treatment of John's earlier historyby Keim is, of course, without historical basis.] And stillthe voice, everywhere proclaiming the same message, travelledupward, along the winding Jordon which cleft the land ofpromise. It was probably the autumn of the year 779 (A. U.C.), which, it may be noted, was a Sabbatic year. [1 The yearfrom Tishri (autumn) 779 to Tishri 780 was a Sabbatic year.Comp. the evidence in Wieseler, Synopse d. Evang. pp. 204,205.] Released from business and agriculture, the multitudesflocked around him as he passed on his Mission. Rapidly thetidings spread from town and village to distant homestead,still swelling the numbers that hastened to the banks of thesacred river. He had now reached what seems to have been themost northern point of his Mission-journey, [2 We read ofthree places where John baptized: 'the wilderness of Judaea',probably the traditional site near Jericho; Aenon, nearSalim, on the boundary between Samaria and Judaea (Conder'sHandbook of the Bible, p. 320); and Beth-Abara, the modernAbarah, 'one of the main Jordan fords, a little north ofBeisan' (u. s.).] Beth-Abara ('the house of passage,' or 'ofshipping'), according to the ancient reading, Bethany ('thehouse of shipping'), one of the best known fords across theJordon into Peraea. [3 It is one of the merits of Lieut.Conder to have identified the site of Beth-Abara. The wordprobably means 'the house of passage' (fords), but may alsomean 'the house of shipping,' the word Abarah in Hebrewmeaning 'ferryboat,' 2 Sam. xix. 18. The reading Bethaniainstead of Bethabara seems undoubtedly the original one, onlythe word must not be derived (as by Mr. Conder, whoseexplanations and comments are often untenable), from theprovince Batanea, but explained as Beth-Oniyah, the 'house ofshipping.' (See Lucke, Comment. u. d. Evang. Joh. i. pp. 392.393.).] Here he baptized. [a St. John i. 28.] The ford waslittle more than twenty miles from Nazareth. But long beforeJohn had reached that spot, tidings of his word and work musthave come even into the retirement of Jesus' Home-Life.

It was now, as we take it, the early winter of the year 780.[4 Considerable probability attaches to the tradition of theBasilideans, that our Lord's Baptism took place on the 6th or10th of January. (See Bp. Ellicott's Histor. Lect. on theLife of our Lord Jesus Christ, p. 105, note 2.] Jesus hadwaited those months. Although there seems not to have beenany personal acquaintance between Jesus and John, and howcould there be, when their spheres lay so widely apart?, eachmust have heard and known of the other. Thirty years ofsilence weaken most human impressions, or, if they deepen,the enthusiasm that had accompanied them passes away. Yet,when the two met, and perhaps had brief conversation, eachbore himself in accordance with his previous history. WithJohn it was deepest, reverent humility, even to the verge ofmisunderstanding his special Mission, and work of initiationand preparation for the Kingdom. He had heard of Him beforeby the hearing of the ear, and when now he saw Him, that lookof quiet dignity, of the majesty of unsullied purity in theonly Unfallen, Unsinning Man, made him forget even theexpress command of God, which had sent him from his solitudeto preach and baptize, and that very sign which had been himby which to recognise the Messiah. [a St. John i 33] [1 Thesuperficial objection on the supposed discrepancy between St.Matthew iii. 14 and St. John i. 33 has been well put aside byBp. Ellicott (u. s. p. 107, note).] In that Presence it onlybecame to him a question of the more 'worthy' to themisunderstanding of the nature of his special calling.

But Jesus, as He had not made haste, so was He not capableof misunderstanding. To Him it was 'the fulfilling of allrighteousness.' From earliest ages it has been a question whyJesus went to be baptized. The heretical Gospels put into themouth of the Virgin-Mother an invitation to go to thatbaptism, to which Jesus is supposed to have replied bypointing to His own sinlessness, except it might be on thescore of ignorance, in regard to a limitation of knowledge.[2 Comp. Nicholson, Gospel according to the Hebrews, pp. 38,92, 93.] Objections lie to most of the explanations offeredby modern writers. They include a bold denial of the fact ofJesus' Baptism; the profane suggestion of collusion betweenJohn and Jesus; or such suppositions, as that of His personalsinfulness, of His coming as the Representative of a guiltyrace, or as the bearer of the sins of others, or of acting insolidarity with His people, or else to separate Himself fromthe sins of Israel; of His surrendering Himself thereby untodeath for man; of His purpose to do honour to the baptism ofJohn; or thus to elicit a token of His Messiahship; or tobind Himself to the observance of the Law; or in this mannerto commence His Messianic Work; or to consecrate Himselfsolemnly to it; or, lastly, to receive the spiritualqualification for it. [3 It would occupy too much space togive the names of the authors of these theories. The views ofGodet come nearest to what we regard as the trueexplanation.] To these and similar views must be added thelatest conceit of Renan, [4 I must here, once for all,express my astonishment that a book so frivolous andfantastic in its treatment of the Life of Jesus, and sosuperficial and often inaccurate, should have excited so muchpublic attention.] who arranges a scene between Jesus, whocomes with some disciples, and John, when Jesus is contentfor a time to grow in the shadow of John, and to submit to arite which was evidently so generally acknowledged. But themost reverent of these explanations involve a twofoldmistake. They represent the Baptism of John as one ofrepentance, and they imply an ulterior motive in the comingof Christ to the banks of Jordan. But, as already shown, theBaptism of John was in itself only a consecration to, andpreparatory initiation for, the new Covenant of the Kingdom.As applied to sinful men it was indeed necessarily a 'baptismof repentance;' but not as applied to the sinless Jesus. Hadit primarily and always been a 'baptism of repentance,' Hecould not have submitted to it.

Again, and most important of all, we must not seek for anyulterior motive in the coming of Jesus to this Baptism. Hehad no ulterior motive of any kind: it was an act of simplesubmissive obedience on the part of the Perfect One, andsubmissive obedience has no motive beyond itself. It asks noreasons; it cherishes no ulterior purpose. And thus it was'the fulfilment of all righteousness.' And it was in perfectharmony with all His previous life. Our difficulty here lies,if we are unbelievers, in thinking simply of the Humanity ofthe Man of Nazareth; if we are believers, in makingabstraction of his Divinity. But thus much, at least, allmust concede, that the Gospels always present Him as theGod-Man, in an inseparable mystical union of the two natures,and that they present to us the even more mysterious idea ofHis Self-exinanition, of the voluntary obscuration of HisDivinity, as part of His Humiliation. Placing ourselves onthis standpoint, which is, at any rate, that of the Evangelicnarrative, we may arrive at a more correct view of this greatevent. It seems as if, in the Divine Self-exinanition,apparently necessarily connected with the perfect humandevelopment of Jesus, some corresponding outward event wereever the occasion of a fresh advance in the Messianicconsciousness and work. The first event of that kind had beenhis appearance in the Temple. These two things then stood outvividly before Him, not in the ordinary human, but in theMessianic sense: that the Temple was the House of His Father,and that to be busy about it was His Life-work. With this Hereturned to Nazareth, and in willing subjection to HisParents fulfilled all righteousness. And still, as He grew inyears, in wisdom, and in favour with God and Man, thisthought, rather this burning consciousness, was the inmostspring of His Life. What this business specially was, He knewnot yet, and waited to learn; the how and the when of Hislife-consecration, He left unasked and unanswered in thestill waiting for Him. And in this also we see the Sinless,the Perfect One.

When tidings of John's Baptism reached His home, there couldbe no haste on His part. Even with knowledge of all thatconcerned John's relation to Him, there was in the'fulfilment of all righteousness' quiet waiting. The onequestion with Him was, as He afterwards put it: 'The Baptismof John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?' (St. Matt.xxi. 25). That question once answered, there could be nolonger doubt nor hesitation. He went, not for any ulteriorpurpose, nor from any other motive than that it was of God.He went voluntarily, because it was such, and because 'itbecame Him' in so doing 'to fulfill all righteousness.' Thereis this great difference between His going to that Baptism,and afterwards into the wilderness: in the former case, Hisact was of preconceived purpose; in the latter it was not so,but 'He was driven', without previous purpose to that effect,under the constraining power 'of the Spirit,' withoutpremeditation and resolve of it; without even knowledge ofits object. In the one case He was active, in the otherpassive; in the one case He fulfilled righteousness, in theother His righteousness was tried. But as, on His first visitto the Temple, this consciousness about His Life-businesscame to Him in His Father's House, ripening slowly and fullythose long years of quiet submission and growing wisdom andgrace at Nazareth, so at His Baptism, with the accompanyingdescent of the Holy Ghost, His abiding in Him, and the heardtestimony from His Father, the knowledge came to Him, and, inand with [1 But the latter must be firmly upheld.] thatknowledge, the qualification for the business of His Father'sHouse. In that hour He learned the when, and in part the how,of His Life-business; the latter to be still farther, andfrom another aspect, seen in the wilderness, then in Hislife, in His suffering, and, finally, in His death. In manthe subjective and the objective, alike intellectually andmorally, are ever separate; in God they are one. What He is,that He wills. And in the God-Man also we must not separatethe subjective and the objective. The consciousness of thewhen and the how of His Life-business was necessarilyaccompanied, while He prayed, by the descent, and the abidingin Him, of the Holy Ghost, and by the testifying Voice fromheaven. His inner knowledge was real qualification, theforth-bursting of His Power; and it was inseparablyaccompanied by outward qualification, in what took place atHis Baptism. But the first step to all was His voluntarydescent to Jordan, and in it the fulfilling of allrighteousness. His previous life had been that of the PerfectIdeal Israelite, believing, unquestioning, submissive, inpreparation for that which, in His thirteenth year, He hadlearned as its business. The Baptism of Christ was the lastact of His private life; and, emerging from its waters inprayer, He learned: when His business was to commence, andhow it would be done.

That one outstanding thought, then, 'I must be about MyFather's business,' which had been the principle of HisNazareth life, had come to full ripeness when He knew thatthe cry, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand,' was from God.The first great question was now answered. His Father'sbusiness was the Kingdom of Heaven. It only remained for Him'to be about it,' and in this determination He went to submitto its initiatory rite of Baptism. We have, as we understandit, distinct evidence, even if it were not otherwisenecessary to suppose this, that 'all the people had beenbaptized,' [a St. Luke 21.] when Jesus came to John. Alonethe two met,probably for the first time in their lives. Overthat which passed between them Holy Scripture has laid theveil of reverent silence, save as regards the beginning andthe outcome of their meeting, which it was necessary for usto know. When Jesus came, John knew Him not. And even when Heknew Him, that was not enough. Not remembrance of what he hadheard and of past transactions, nor the overwhelming power ofthat spotless Purity and Majesty of willing submission, weresufficient. For so great a witness as that which John was tobear, a present and visible demonstration from heaven was tobe given. Not that God sent the Spirit-Dove, or heavenuttered its voice, for the purpose of giving this as a signto John. These manifestations were necessary in themselves,and, we might say, would have taken place quite irrespectiveof the Baptist. But, while necessary in themselves, they werealso to be a sign to John. And this may perhaps explain whyone Gospel (that of St. John) seems to describe the scene asenacted before the Baptist, whilst others (St. Matthew andSt. Mark) tell it as if only visible to Jesus. [1 The accountby St. Luke seems to me to include both. The common objectionon the score of the supposed divergence between St. John andthe Synoptists is thus met.] The one bears reference to 'therecord,' the other to the deeper and absolutely necessaryfact which underlay 'the record.' And, beyond this, it mayhelp us to perceive at least one aspect of what to man is themiraculous: as in itself the higher Necessary, with casualand secondary manifestation to man.

We can understand how what he knew of Jesus, and what he nowsaw and heard, must have overwhelmed John with the sense ofChrist's transcendentally higher dignity, and led him tohesitate about, if not to refuse, administering to Him therite of Baptism. [2 The expression (St. Matt iii. 14: 'Johnforbade Him') implies earnest resistance (comp. Meyer adlocum).] Not because it was 'the baptism of repentance,' butbecause he stood in the presence of Him 'the latchet of Whoseshoes' he was 'not worthy to loose'. Had he not so felt, thenarrative would not have been psychologically true; and, hadit not been recorded, there would have been seriousdifficulty to our reception of it. And yet, withal, in so'forbidding' Him, and even suggesting his own baptism byJesus, John forgot and misunderstood his mission. Johnhimself was never to be baptized; he only held open the doorof the new Kingdom; himself entered it not, and he that wasleast in that Kingdom was greater than he. Such lowliestplace on earth seems ever conjoined with greatest work forGod. Yet this misunderstanding and suggestion on the part ofJohn might almost be regarded as a temptation to Christ. Notperhaps, His first, nor yet this His first victory, since the'sorrow' of His Parents about His absence from them when inthe Temple must to the absolute submissiveness of Jesus havebeen a temptation to turn aside from His path, all the morefelt in the tenderness of His years, and the inexperience ofa first public appearance. He then overcame by the clearconsciousness of His Life-business, which could not becontravened by any apparent call of duty, however specious.And He now overcame by falling back upon the simple and clearprinciple which had brought him to Jordan: 'It becometh us tofulfil all righteousness.' Thus, simply putting aside,without argument, the objection of the Baptist, He followedthe Hand that pointed Him to the open door of 'the Kingdom.'

Jesus stepped out of the baptismal waters 'praying.' [a 1St. Luke iii. 21.] One prayer, the only one which He taughtHis disciples, recurs to our minds. [1 It seems to me thatthe prayer which the Lord taught His disciples must have hadits root in, and taken its start from, His own inner Life. Atthe same time it is adapted to our wants. Much in that prayerhas, of course, no application to Him, but is His applicationof the doctrine of the Kingdom to our state and wants.] Wemust here individualise and emphasise in their specialapplication its opening sentences: 'Our Father Which art inheaven, hallowed be Thy Name! Thy Kingdom come! They will bedone in earth, as it is in heaven!' The first thought and thefirst petition had been the conscious outcome of theTemple-visit, ripened during the long years at Nazareth. Theothers were now the full expression of His submission toBaptism. He knew His Mission; He had consecrated Himself toit in His Baptism; 'Father Which art in heaven, hallowed beThy Name.' The unlimited petition for the doing of God's Willon earth with the same absoluteness as in heaven, was Hisself-consecration: the prayer of His Baptism, as the otherwas its confession. And the 'hallowed be Thy Name' was theeulogy, because the ripened and experimental principle of HisLife. How this Will, connected with 'the Kingdom,' was to bedone by Him, and when, He was to learn after His Baptism. Butstrange, that the petition which followed those which musthave been on the lips of Jesus in that hour should have beenthe subject of the first temptation or assault by the Enemy;strange also, that the other two temptations should haverolled back the force of the assault upon the two greatexperiences He had gained, and which formed the burden of thepetitions, 'Thy Kingdom come; Hallowed be Thy Name.' Was itthen so, that all the assaults which Jesus bore onlyconcerned and tested the reality of a past and alreadyattained experience, save those last in the Garden and on theCross, which were 'sufferings' by which He 'was madeperfect'?

But, as we have already seen, such inward forth-bursting ofMessianic consciousness could not be separated from objectivequalification for, and testimony to it. As the prayer ofJesus winged heavenwards, His solemn response to the call ofthe Kingdom, 'Here am I;' 'Lo, I come to do Thy Will', theanswer came, which at the same time was also the predictedsign to the Baptist. Heaven seemed cleft, and in bodily shapelike a dove, the Holy Ghost descended on [1 Whether or not weadopt the reading in St. Mark i. 10, the remaining of theHoly Spirit upon Jesus is clearly expressed in St. John i.32.] Jesus, remaining on him. It was as if, symbolically, inthe words of St. Peter, [a 1 St. Pet. iii. 21.] that Baptismhad been a new flood, and He Who now emerged from it, theNoah, or rest, and comfort-bringer, Who took into His Ark thedove bearing the olive-branch, indicative of a new life.Here, at these waters, was the Kingdom, into which Jesus hadentered in the fulfilment of all righteousness; and from themhe emerged as its Heaven-designated, Heaven-qualified, andHeaven-proclaimed King. As such he had received the fulnessof the Spirit for His Messianic Work, a fulness abiding inHim, that out of it we might receive, and grace for grace. Assuch also the voice from Heaven proclaimed it, to Him and toJohn: 'Thou art ('this is') My Beloved Son, in Whom I am wellpleased.' The ratification of the great Davidic promise, theannouncement of the fulfilment of its predictive import inPsalm ii. [2 Here the Targum on Ps. ii. 7, which is evidentlyintended to weaken the Messianic interpretation, gives uswelcome help. It paraphrases: 'Beloved as a son to his fatherart Thou to Me.' Keim regards the words, 'Thou art my belovedSon,' &c., as a mixture of Is. xlii. 1 and Ps. ii. 7. Icannot agree with this view, though this history is thefulfilment of the prediction in Isaiah.] was God's solemndeclaration of Jesus as the Messiah, His public proclamationof it, and the beginning of Jesus' Messianic work. And so theBaptist understood it, when he 'bare record' that He was 'theSon of God.' [a St. John i. 34.]

Quite intelligible as all this is, it is certainlymiraculous; not, indeed, in the sense of contravention of theLaws of Nature (illogical as that phrase is), but in that ofhaving nothing analogous in our present knowledge andexperience. But would we not have expected thesupra-empirical, the directly heavenly, to attend such anevent, that is, if the narrative itself be true, and Jesuswhat the Gospels represent Him? To reject, therefore, thenarrative because of its supra-empirical accompaniment seems,after all, a sad inversion of reasoning, and begging thequestion. But, to go a step further: if there be no realityin the narrative, whence the invention of the legend? Itcertainly had no basis in contemporary Jewish teaching; and,equally certainly, it would not have spontaneously occurredto Jewish minds. Nowhere in Rabbinic writings do we find anyhint of a Baptism of the Messiah, nor of a descent upon Himof the Spirit in the form of a dove. Rather would such viewsseem, a priori, repugnant to Jewish thinking. An attempt has,however, been made in the direction of identifying two traitsin this narrative with Rabbinic notices. The 'Voice fromheaven' has been represented as the 'Bath-Qol,' or'Daughter-Voice,' of which we read in Rabbinic writings, asbringing heaven's testimony or decision to perplexed orhardly bestead Rabbis. And it has been further asserted, thatamong the Jews 'the dove' was regarded as the emblem of theSpirit. In taking notice of these assertions some warmth oflanguage may be forgiven.

We make bold to maintain that no one, who has impartiallyexamined the matter, [1 Dr. Winsche's Rabbinic notes on theBath-Qol (Neue Beitr. pp. 22, 23) are taken from Hamburger'sReal-Encykl. (Abth. ii. pp. 92 &c.).] could find any realanalogy between the so-called Bath-Qol, and the 'Voice fromheaven' of which record is made in the New Testament. Howeveropinions might differ, on one thing all were agreed: theBath-Qol had come after the voice of prophecy and the HolyGhost had ceased in Israel, [b Jer. Sot. ix. 14; Yoma 9 b;Sotah 33 a; 48 b; Sanh 11a.] and, so to speak, had taken,their place. [2 Hamburger, indeed maintains, on the ground ofMacc. 23 b, that occasionally it was identified with the HolySpirit. But carefully read, neither this passage, nor theother, in which the same mistranslation, and profanemisinterpretation of the words 'She has been more righteous'(Gen. xxxviii. 26) occur (Jer. Sot. ix. 7), at all bears outthis suggestion. It is quite untenable in view of thedistinct statements (Jer. Sot. ix. 14; Sot. 48 b; and Sanh.11a), that after the cessation of the Holy Spirit theBath-Qol took His place.] But at the Baptism of Jesus thedescent of the Holy Ghost was accompanied by the Voice fromHeaven. Even on this ground, therefore, it could not havebeen the Rabbinic Bath-Qol. But, further, this'Daughter-Voice' was regarded rather as the echo of, than asthe Voice of God itself [1 Comp. on the subject Pinner in hisIntroduction to the tractate Berakhoth.] (Toseph. Sanh. xi.1). The occasions on which this 'Daughter-Voice' was supposedto have been heard are so various and sometimes so shocking,both to common and to moral sense, that a comparison with theGospels is wholly out of the question. And here it alsodeserves notice, that references to this Bath-Qol increasethe farther we remove from the age of Christ. [2 In theTargum Onkelos it is not at all mentioned. In the TargumPseudoJon. it occurs four times (Gen. xxxviii. 26; Numb. xxi.6; Deut. xxviii. 15; xxxiv. 5), and four times in the Targumon the Hagiographa (twice in Ecclesiastes, once inLamentations, and once in Esther). In Mechilta and Siphra itdoes not occur at all, and in Siphre only once, in the absurdlenged that the Bath-Qol was heard a distance of twelve timestwelve miles proclaiming the death of Moses (ed. Friedmann,p. 149 b). In the Mishnah it is only twice mentioned (Yeb.xvi. 6, where the sound of a Bath-Qol is supposed to besufficient attestation of a man's death to enable his wife tomarry again; and in Abhoth vi. 2, where it is impossible tounderstand the language otherwise than figuratively). In theJerusalem Talmud the Bath-Qol is referred to twenty times,and in the Babylon Talmud sixty-nine times. Sometimes theBath-Qol gives sentence in favour of a popular Rabbi,sometimes it attempts to decide controversies, or bearswitness; or else it is said every day to proclaim: Such anone's daughter is destined for such an one (Moed Kat. 18 b;Sot. 2a; Sanh. 22 a). Occasionally it utters curious orprofane interpretations of Scripture (as in Yoma 22 b; Sot.10 b), or silly legends, as in regard to the insect Yattushwhich was to torture Titus (Gitt. 56 b), or as warningagainst a place where a hatchet had fallen into the water,descending for seven years without reaching the bottom.Indeed, so strong became the feeling against thissupersitition, that the more rational Rabbis protestedagainst any appeal to the Bath-Qol (Baba Metsia 59 b).]

We have reserved to the last the consideration of thestatement, that among the Jews the Holy Spirit was presentedunder the symbol of a dove. It is admitted, that there is nosupport for this idea either in the Old Testament or in thewritings of Philo (Lucke, Evang. Joh. i. pp. 425, 426); that,indeed, such animal symbolism of the Divine is foreign to theOld Testament. But all the more confident appeal is made toRabbinic writings. The suggestion was, apparently, first madeby Wetstein. [a Nov. Test. i. p. 268.] It is dwelt upon withmuch confidence by Gfrorer [3 The force of Gfrorer's attacksupon the Gospels lies in his cumulative attempts to provethat the individual miraculous facts recorded in the Gospelsare based upon Jewish notions. It is, therefore, necessary toexamine each of them separately, and such examination, itcareful and conscientious, shows that his quotations areoften untrustworthy, and his conclusions fallacies. None theless taking are they to those who are imperfectly acquaintedwith Rabbinic literature. Wunsche's Talmudic and MidrashicNotes on the N.T. (Gottingen, 1878) are also too oftenmisleading.] and others, as evidence of the mythical originof the Gospels; [b Jahrh. des Heils, vol. ii. p. 433.] it isrepeated by Wunsche, and even reproduced by writers who, hadthey known the real state of matters, would not have lenttheir authority to it. Of the two passages by which thisstrange hypothesis is supported, that in the Targum on Cant.ii. 12 may at once be dismissed, as dating considerably afterthe close of the Talmud. There remains, therefore, only theone passage in the Talmud, [a Chag. 15 a.] which is generallythus quoted: 'The Spirit of God moved on the face of thewaters, like a dove.' [b Farrar, Life of Christ, i. p. 117.]That this quotation is incomplete, omitting the mostimportant part, is only a light charge against it. For, iffully made, it would only the more clearly be seen to beinapplicable. The passage (Chag. 15 a) treats of the supposeddistance between 'the upper and the lower waters,' which isstated to amount to only three fingerbreadths. This is provedby a reference to Gen. i. 2, where the Spirit of God is saidto brood over the face of the waters, 'just as a dovebroodeth over her young without touching them.' It will benoticed, that the comparison is not between the Spirit andthe dove, but between the closeness with which a dove broodsover her young without touching them, and the supposedproximity of the Spirit to the lower waters without touchingthem. [1 The saying in Chag. 15 a is of Ben Soma, who isdescribed in Rabbinic literature as tainted with Christianviews, and whose belief in the possibility of thesupernatural birth of the Messiah is so coarsely satirised inthe Talmud. Rabbi Low (Lebensalter. p. 58) suggests that inBen Soma's figure of the dove there may have been a Christianreminiscence.] But, if any doubt could still exist, itwouldbe removed by the fact that in a parallel passage, [c Ber. R.2.] the expression used is not 'dove' but 'that bird.' Thusmuch for this oft-misquoted passage. But we go farther, andassert, that the dove was not the symbol of the Holy Spirit,but that of Israel. As such it is so universally adopted asto have become almost historical. [d Comp. the longillustrations in the Midr. on Song i. 15; Sanh. 95 a; Ber. R.39; Yalkut on Ps. 1v. 7. and other passages.] If, therefore,Rabbinic illustration of the descent of the Holy Spirit withthe visible appearance of a dove must be sought for, it wouldlie in the acknowledgment of Jesus as the ideal typicalIsraelite, the Representative of His People.

The lengthened details, which have been necessary for theexposure of the mythical theory, will not have been withoutuse, if they carry to the mind the conviction that thishistory had no basis in existing Jewish belief. Its origincannot, therefore, be rationally accounted for, except by theanswer which Jesus, when He came to Jordan, gave to thatgrand fundamental question: 'The Baptism of John, whence wasit? From Heaven, or of men?' [e St. Matt. xxi. 25.]




(St. Matt. iv. 1-11; St. Mark i. 12, 13; St. Luke iv. 1-13.)

The proclamation and inauguration of the 'Kingdom of Heaven'at such a time, and under such circumstances, was one of thegreat antitheses of history. With reverence be it said, it isonly God Who would thus begin His Kingdom. A similar, evengreater antithesis, was the commencement of the Ministry ofChrist. From the Jordan to the wilderness with its wildbeasts; from the devout acknowledgement of the Baptist, theconsecration and filial prayer of Jesus, the descent of theHoly Spirit, and the heard testimony of Heaven, to the utterforesakeness, the felt want and weakness of Jesus, and theassaults of the Devil, no contrast more startling could beconceived. And yet, as we think of it, what followed upon theBaptism, and that it so followed, was necessary, as regardedthe Person of Jesus, His Work, and that which was to resultfrom it.

Psychologically, and as regarded the Work of Jesus, evenreverent negative Critics [1 No other terms would correctlydescribe the book of Keim to which I specially refer. Howwidely it differs, not only from the superficial trivialitiesof a Renan, but from the stale arguments of Strauss, or thepicturesque inaccuracies of a Hausrath, no serious studentneed be told. Perhaps on that ground it is only the moredangerous.] have perceived its higher need. That at Hisconsecration to the Kingship of the Kingdom, Jesus shouldhave become clearly conscious of all that it implied in aworld of sin; that the Divine method by which that Kingdomshould be established, should have been clearly brought out,and its reality tested; and that the King, as Representativeand Founder of the Kingdom, should have encountered anddefeated the representative, founder, and holder of theopposite power, 'the prince of this world', these arethoughts which must arise in everyone who believes in anyMission of the Christ. Yet this only as, after the events, wehave learned to know the character of that Mission, not as wemight have preconceived it. We can understand, how a Life andWork such as that of Jesus, would commence with 'theTemptation,' but none other than His. Judaism never conceivedsuch an idea; because it never conceived a Messiah likeJesus. It is quite true that long previous Biblical teaching,and even the psychological necessity of the case, must havepointed to temptation and victory as the condition ofspiritual greatness. It could not have been otherwise in aworld hostile to God, nor yet in man, whose conscious choicedetermines his position. No crown of victory without previouscontest, and that proportionately to its brightness; no moralideal without personal attainment and probation. Thepatriarchs had been tried and proved; so had Moses, and allthe heroes of faith in Israel. And Rabbinic legend, enlargingupon the Biblical narratives, has much to tell of theoriginal envy of the Angels; of the assaults of Satan uponAbraham, when about to offer up Isaac; of attemptedresistance by the Angels to Israel's reception of the Law;and of the final vain endeavour of Satan to take away thesoul of Moses. [1 On the temptations of Abraham see Book ofJubilees, ch. xvii.; Sanh. 89 b (and differently but not lessblasphemously in Pirke de R. Elies. 31); Pirke de R. Elies.26, 31, 32 (where also about Satan's temptation of Sarah, whodies in consequence of his tidings); Ab. de R. N. 33; Ber. R.32, 56; Yalkut, i. c. 98, p. 28 b; and Tanchuma, where thestory is related with most repulsive details. As to Moses,see for example Shabb. 89 a; and especially the trulyhorrible story of the death of Moses in Debar R. 11 (ed.Warsh. iii. p. 22 a and b). But I am not aware of anytemptation of Moses by Satan.] Foolish, repulsive, and evenblasphemous as some of these legends are, thus much at leastclearly stood out, that spiritual trials must precedespiritual elevation. In their own language: 'The Holy One,blessed be His Name, does not elevate a man to dignity tillHe has first tried and searched him; and if he stands intemptation, then He raises him to dignity.' [a Bemidb. R. 15,ed. Warsh. vol. iv. p. 63 a, lines 5 and 4 from bottom.]

Thus far as regards man. But in reference to the Messiahthere is not a hint of any temptation or assault by Satan. Itis of such importance to mark this clearly at the outset ofthis wonderful history, that proof must be offered even atthis stage. In whatever manner negative critics may seek toaccount for the introduction of Christ's Temptation at thecommencement of His Ministry, it cannot have been derivedfrom Jewish legend. The 'mythical' interpretation of theGospel-narratives breaks down in this almost more manifestlythan in any other instance. [2 Thus Gfrorer can only hopethat some Jewish parallelism may yet be discovered (!); whileKeim suggests, of course without a title of evidence,additions by the early Jewish Christians. But whence and whythese imaginary additions?] So far from any idea obtainingthat Satan was to assault the Messiah, in a well-knownpassage, which has been previously quoted, [b Yalkut on Is.ix. 1, vol. ii. p. 56.] the Arch-enemy is represented asoverwhelmed and falling on his face at sight of Him, andowning his complete defeat. [1 Keim (Jesu von Naz. i. b, p.564) seems not to have perused the whole passage, and,quoting it at second-hand, has misapplied it. The passage(Yalkut on Is. lx. 1) has been given before.] On anotherpoint in this history we find the same inversion of thoughtcurrent in Jewish legend. In the Commentary just referred to,[a u. s. col. d.] the placing of Messiah on the pinnacle ofthe Temple, so far from being of Satanic temptation, is saidto mark the hour of deliverance, of Messianic proclamation,and of Gentile voluntary submission. 'Our Rabbis give thistradition: In the hour when King Messiah cometh, He standethupon the roof of the Sanctuary, and proclaims to Israel,saying, Ye poor (suffering), the time of your redemptiondraweth nigh. And if ye believe, rejoice in My Light, whichis risen upon you..... Is. lx. 1..... upon you only ....Is.lx. 2..... In that hour will the Holy One, blessed be HisName, make the Light of the Messiah and of Israel to shineforth; and all shall come to the Light of the King Messiahand of Israel, as it is written ..... Is. lx. 3..... And theyshall come and lick the dust from under the feet of the KingMessiah, as it is written, Is. xlix. 23...... And all shallcome and fall on their faces before Messiah and beforeIsrael, and say, We will be servants to Him and to Israel.And every one in Israel shall have 2,800 servants, [2 Thenumber is thus reached: as there are seventy nations, and tenof each are to take hold on each of the four corners of aJew's garment, we have 70 x 10 x 4 =2,800.] as it is written,Zech. viii. 23.' One more quotation from the same Commentary:[b u. s. 11 lines fur ther down.] 'In that hour, the HolyOne, blessed be His Name, exalts the Messiah to the heaven ofheavens, and spreads over Him of the splendour of His glorybecause of the nations of the world, because of the wickedPersians. They say to Him, Ephraim, Messiah, ourRighteousness, execute judgment upon them, and do to themwhat Thy soul desireth.'

In another respect these quotations are important. They showthat such ideas were, indeed, present to the Jewish mind, butin a sense opposite to the Gospel-narratives. In other words,they were regarded as the rightful manifestation of Messiah'sdignity; whereas in the Evangelic record they are presentedas the suggestions of Satan, and the Temptation of Christ.Thus the Messiah of Judaism is the Anti-Christ of theGospels. But if the narrative cannot be traced to Rabbiniclegend, may it not be an adaptation of an Old Testamentnarrative, such as the account of the forty days' fast ofMoses on the mount, or of Elijah in the wilderness? Viewingthe Old Testament in its unity, and the Messiah as the apexin the column of its history, we admit, or rather, we mustexpect, throughout points of correspondence between Moses,Elijah, and the Messiah. In fact, these may be described asmarking the three stages in the history of the Covenant.Moses was its giver, Elijah its restorer, the Messiah itsrenewer and perfecter. And as such they all had, in a sense,a similar outward consecration for their work. But thatneither Moses nor Elijah was assailed by the Devil,constitutes not the only, though a vital, difference betweenthe fast of Moses and Elijah, and that of Jesus. Moses fastedin the middle, Elijah at the Presence of God; [1 The Rabbishave it, that a man must accommodate himself to the ways ofthe place where he is. When Moses was on the Mount he livedof 'the bread of the Torah' (Shem. R. 47).] Elijah alone;Jesus assaulted by the Devil. Moses had been called up byGod; Elijah had gone forth in the bitterness of his ownspirit; Jesus was driven by the Spirit. Moses failed afterhis forty days' fast, when in indignation he cast the Tablesof the Law from him; Elijah failed before his forty days'fast; Jesus was assailed for forty days and endured thetrial. Moses was angry against Israel; Elijah despaired ofIsrael; Jesus overcame for Israel.

Nor must we forget that to each the trial came not only inhis human, but in his representative capacity, as giver,restorer, or perfecter of the Covenant. When Moses and Elijahfailed, it was not only as individuals, but as giving orrestoring the Covenant. And when Jesus conquered, it was notonly as the Unfallen and Perfect Man, but as the Messiah. HisTemptation and Victory have therefore a twofold aspect: thegeneral human and the Messianic, and these two are closelyconnected. Hence we draw also this happy inference: inwhatever Jesus overcame, we can overcome. Each victory whichHe has gained secures its fruits for us who are His disciples(and this alike objectively and subjectively). We walk in Hisfoot-prints; we can ascend by the rock-hewn steps which HisAgony has cut. He is the perfect man; and as each temptationmarks a human assault (assault on humanity), so it also marksa human victory (of humanity). But He is also the Messiah;and alike the assault and the victory were of the Messiah.Thus, each victory of humanity becomes a victory forhumanity; and so is fulfilled, in this respect also, thatancient hymn of royal victory, 'Thou hast ascended on high;Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts formen; yea, for the rebellious also, that Jehovah God, mightdwell among them.' [a Ps. lxviii. 18.] [2 The quotation inEph. iv. 8 resembles the rendering of the Targum (seeDelitzsch Comm. u. d. Psalter, vol. i. p. 503).]

But even so, there are other considerations necessarilypreliminary to the study of one of the most important partsin the life of Christ. They concern these two questions, soclosely connected that they can scarcely be kept quite apart:Is the Evangelic narrative to be regarded as the account of areal and outward event? And if so, how was it possible, or,in what sense can it be asserted, that Jesus Christ, setbefore us as the Son of God, was 'tempted of the Devil'? Allsubsidiary questions run up into these two.

As regards the reality and outwardness of the temptation ofJesus, several suggestions may be set aside as unnatural, andex post facto attempts to remove a felt difficulty. Renan'sfrivolous conceit scarcely deserves serious notice, thatJesus went into the wilderness in order to imitate theBaptist and others, since such solitude was at the timeregarded as a necessary preparation for great things. Weequally dismiss as more reverent, but not better grounded,such suggestions as that an interview there with the deputiesof the Sanhedrin, or with a Priest, or with a Pharisee,formed the historical basis of the Satanic Temptation; orthat it was a vision, a dream, the reflection of the ideas ofthe time; or that it was a parabolic form in which Jesusafterwards presented to His disciples His conception of theKingdom, and how they were to preach it. [1 We refrain fromnaming the individual writers who have broached these andother equally untenable hypotheses.] Of all such explanationsit may be said, that the narrative does not warrant them, andthat they would probably never have been suggested, if theirauthors had been able simply to accept the Evangelic history.But if so it would have been both better and wiser wholly toreject (as some have done) the authenticity of this, as ofthe whole early history of the Life of Christ, rather thantransform what, if true, is so unspeakably grand into aseries of modern platitudes. And yet (as Keim has felt) itseems impossible to deny, that such a transaction at thebeginning of Christ's Messianic Ministry is not onlycredible, but almost a necessity; and that such a transactionmust have assumed the form of a contest with Satan. Besides,throughout the Gospels there is not only allusion to thisfirst great conflict (so that it does not belong only to theearly history of Christ's Life), but constant reference tothe power of Satan in the world, as a kingdom opposed to thatof God, and of which the Devil is the King. [2 The formernotably in St. Matt. xii. 25-28; St. Luke xi. 17 &c. Theimport of this, as looking back upon the history of theTemptation, has not always been sufficiently recognised. Inregard to Satan and his power many passages will occur to thereader, such as St. Matt. vi. 13; xii. 22; xiii. 19, 25, 39;xxvi. 41; St. Luke x. 18; xxii. 3, 28, 31; St. John viii. 44;xii. 31; xiii. 27; xiv. 30; xvi. 11.] And the reality of sucha kingdom of evil no earnest mind would call in question, norwould it pronounce a priori against the personality of itsking. Reasoning a priori, its credibility rests on the samekind of, only, perhaps, on more generally patent, evidence asthat of the beneficent Author of all Good, so that withreverence be it said, we have, apart from Holy Scripture,and, as regards one branch of the argument, as much evidencefor believing in a personal Satan, as in a Personal God.Holding, therefore, by the reality of this transaction, andfinding it equally impossible to trace it to Jewish legend,or to explain it by the coarse hypothesis ofmisunderstanding,exaggeration, and the like, this onequestion arises: Might it not have been a purely inwardtransaction, or does the narrative present an account of whatwas objectively real?

At the outset, it is only truthful to state, that thedistinction does not seem of quite so vital importance as ithas appeared to some, who have used in regard to it thestrongest language. [1 So Bishop Ellicott, Histor. Lectures,p. 111.] On the other hand it must be admitted that thenarrative, if naturally interpreted, suggests an outward andreal event, not an inward transaction; [2 Professor Godet'sviews on this subject are very far from satisfactory, whetherexegetically or dogmatically. Happily, they fall far short ofthe notion of any internal solicitation to sin in the case ofJesus, which Bishop Ellicott so justly denounces in strongestlanguage.] that there is no other instance of ecstatic stateor of vision recorded in the life of Jesus, and that (asBishop Ellicott has shown), [3 U. s.p. 110, note 2.] thespecial expressions used are all in accordance with thenatural view. To this we add, that some of the objectionsraised, notably that of the impossiblity of showing from onespot all the kingdoms of the world, cannot bear closeinvestigation. For no rational interpretation would insist onthe absolute literality of this statement, any more than onthat of the survey of the whole extent of the land of Israelby Moses from Pisgah. [a Deut. xxxiv. 1-3.] [4 According toSiphre (ed. Friedmann p. 149 a and b), God showed to MosesIsrael in its happiness, wars, and misfortunes; the wholeworld from the Day of Creation to that of the Resurrection;Paradise, and Gehenna.] All the requirements of the narrativewould be met by supposing Jesus to have been placed on a veryhigh mountain, whence south, the land of Judaea and far-offEdom; east, the swelling plains towards Euphrates; north,snow-capped Lebanon; and west, the cities of Herod, the coastof the Gentiles, and beyond, the wide sea dotted with sails,gave far-off prospect of the kingdoms of this world. To Hispiercing gaze all their grandeur would seem to unroll, andpass before Him like a moving scene, in which the sparkle ofbeauty and wealth dazzled the eye, the sheen of armsglittered in the far distance, the tramp of armed men, thehum of busy cities, and the sound of many voices fell on theear like the far-off rush of the sea, while the restfulharmony of thought, or the music of art, held and bewitchedthe senses, and all seemed to pour forth its fullness intribute of homage at His feet in Whom all is perfect, and toWhom all belongs.

But in saying this we have already indicated that, in suchcircumstances, the boundary-line between the outward and theinward must have been both narrow and faint. Indeed, withChrist it can scarcely be conceived to have existed at such amoment. The past, the present, and the future must have beenopen before Him like a map unrolling. Shall we venture to saythat such a vision was only inward, and not outwardly andobjectively real? In truth we are using terms which have noapplication to Christ. If we may venture once more to speakin this wise of the Divine Being: With Him what we view asthe opposite poles of subjective and objective are absolutelyone. To go a step further: many even of our temptations areonly (contrastedly) inward, for these two reasons, that theyhave their basis or else their point of contact within us,and that from the limitations of our bodily condition we douot see the enemy, nor can take active part in the scenearound. But in both respects it was not so with the Christ.If this be so, the whole question seems almost irrelevant,and the distinction of outward and inward inapplicable to thepresent case. Or rather, we must keep by these two landmarks:First, it was not inward in the sense of being merelysubjective; but it was all real, a real assualt by a realSatan, really under these three forms, and it constituted areal Temptation to Christ. Secondly, it was not merelyoutward in the sense of being only a present assault bySatan; but it must have reached beyond the outward into theinward, and have had for its further object that ofinfluencing the future Work of Christ, as it stood out beforeHis Mind.

A still more difficult and solemn question is this: In whatrespect could Jesus Christ, the Perfect Sinless Man, the Sonof God, have been tempted of the Devil? That He was sotempted is of the very essence of this narrative, confirmedthroughout His after-life, and laid down as a fundamentalprinciple in the teaching and faith of the Church. [a Heb.iv. 15.] On the other hand, temptation without the inwardcorrespondence of existent sin is not only unthinkable, sofar as man is concerned, [b St. James i. 14.] but temptationwithout the possibility of sin seems unreal a kind ofDocetism. [1 The heresy which represents the Body of Christas only apparent, not real.] Yet the very passage of HolyScripture in which Christ's equality with us as regards alltemptation is expressed, also emphatically excepts from itthis one particular sin, [a Hebr. iv. 15.] notonly in thesense that Christ actually did not sin, nor merely in this,that 'our concupiscence' [b St. James i. 14.] had no part inHis temptations, but emphatically in this also, that thenotion of sin has to be wholly excluded from our thoughts ofChrist's temptations.'

To obtain, if we can, a clearer understanding of thissubject, two points must be kept in view. Christ's was real,though unfallen Human Nature; and Christ's Human was ininseparable union with His Divine Nature. We are notattempting to explain these mysteries, nor at present tovindicate them; we are only arguing from the standpoint ofthe Gospels and of Apostolic teaching, which proceeds onthese premisses, and proceeding on them, we are trying tounderstand the Temptation of Christ. Now it is clear, thathuman nature, that of Adam before his fall, was created bothsinless and peccable. If Christ's Human Nature was not likeours, but, morally, like that of Adam before his fall, thenmust it likewise have been both sinless and in itselfpeccable. We say, in itself, for there is a great differencebetween the statement that human nature, as Adam and Christhad it, was capable of sinning, and this other, that Christwas peccable. From the latter the Christian mindinstinctively recoils, even as it is metaphysicallyimpossible to imagine the Son of God peccable. Jesusvoluntarily took upon Himself human nature with all itsinfirmities and weaknesses, but without the moral taint ofthe Fall: without sin. It was human nature, in itself capableof sinning, but not having sinned. If He was absolutelysinless, He must have been unfallen. The position of thefirst Adam was that of being capable of not sinning, not thatof being incapable of sinning. The Second Adam also had anature capable of not sinning, but not incapable of sinning.This explains the possibility of 'temptation' or assault uponHim, just as Adam could be tempted before there was in himany inward consensus to it. [2 The latter was already sin.Yet 'temptation' means more than mere 'assault.' There may beconditional mental assensus without moral consensus, and sotemptation without sin. See p. 301, note.] The first Adamwould have been 'perfected', or passed from the capability ofnot sinning to the incapability of sinning, by obedience.That 'obedience', or absolute submission to the Will of God,was the grand outstanding characteristic of Christ's work;but it was so, because He was not only the Unsinning,Unfallen Man, but also the Son of God. Because God was HisFather, therefore He must be about His Business, which was todo the Will of His Father. With a peccable Human Nature Hewas impeccable; not because He obeyed, but being impeccableHe so obeyed, because His Human was inseparably connectedwith His Divine Nature. To keep this Union of the two Naturesout of view would be Nestorianism. [1 The heresy whichundulyseparated the two Natures.] To sum up: The Second Adam,morally unfallen, though voluntarily subject to all theconditions of our Nature, was, with a peccable Human Nature,absolutely impeccable as being also the Son of God, apeccable Nature, yet an impeccable Person: the God-Man,'tempted in regard to all (things) in like manner (as we),without (excepting) sin.'

All this sounds, after all, like the stammering of Divinewords by a babe, and yet it may in some measure help us tounderstand the character of Christ's first great Temptation.

Before proceeding, a few sentences are required inexplanation of seeming differences in the Evangelic narrationof the event. The historical part of St. John's Gospel beginsafter the Temptation, that is, with the actual Ministry ofChrist; since it was not within the purport of that work todetail the earlier history. That had been sufficiently donein the Synoptic Gospels. Impartial and serious critics willadmit that these are in accord. For, if St. Mark onlysummarises, in his own brief manner, he supplies the two-foldnotice that Jesus was 'driven' into the wilderness, 'and waswith the wild beasts,' which is in fullest internal agreementwith the detailed narratives of St. Matthew and St. Luke. Theonly noteworthy difference between these two is, that St.Matthew places the Temple-temptation before that of theworld-kingdom, while St. Luke inverts this order, probablybecause his narrative was primarily intended for Gentilereaders, to whose mind this might present itself as to themthe true gradation of temptation. To St. Matthew we owe thenotice, that after Temptation 'Angels came and ministered'unto Jesus; to St. Luke, that the Tempter only 'departed fromHim for a season.'

To restate in order our former conclusions, Jesus haddeliberately, of His own accord and of set firm purpose, goneto be baptized. That one grand outstanding fact of His earlylife, that He must be about His Father's Business, had foundits explanation when He knew that the Baptist's cry, 'theKingdom of Heaven is at hand,' was from God. His Father'sBusiness, then, was 'the Kingdom of Heaven,' and to it Heconsecrated Himself, so fulfilling all righteousness. But His'being about it' was quite other than that of any Israelite,however devout, who came to Jordan. It was His consecration,not only to the Kingdom, but to the Kingship, in theanointing and permanent possession of the Holy Ghost, and inHis proclamation from heaven. That Kingdom was His Father'sBusiness; its Kingship, the manner in which He was to be'about it.' The next step was not, like the first, voluntary,and of preconceived purpose. Jesus went to Jordan; He wasdriven of the Spirit into the wilderness. Not, indeed, in thesense of His being unwilling to go, [1 This is evident evenfrom the terms used by St. Matthew ( ) and St. Luke ( ). Icannot agree with Godet, that Jesus would have been inclinedto return to Galilee and begin teaching. Jesus had noinclination save this, to do the Will of His Father. And yetthe expression 'driven' used by St. Mark seems to imply somehuman shrinking on His part, at least at the outset.] orhaving had other purpose, such as that of immediate returninto Galilee, but in that of not being willing, of having nowill or purpose in the matter, but being 'led up,'unconscious of its purpose, with irresistible force, by theSpirit. In that wilderness He had to test what He hadlearned, and to learn what He had tested. So would He havefull proof for His Work of the What, His Call and Kingship;so would He see its How, the manner of it; so, also, would,from the outset, the final issue of His Work appear.

Again, banishing from our minds all thought of sin inconnection with Christ's Temptation, [a Heb. iv. 15.] He ispresented to us as the Second Adam, both as regarded Himself,and His relation to man. In these two respects, which,indeed, are one, He is now to be tried. Like the first, theSecond Adam, sinless, is to be tempted, but under theexisting conditions of the Fall: in the wilderness, not inEden; not in the enjoyment of all good, but in the pressingwant of all that is necessary for the sustenance of life, andin the felt weakness consequent upon it. For (unlike thefirst) the Second Adam was, in His Temptation, to be placedon an absolute equality with us, except as regarded sin. Yeteven so, there must have been some point of inward connectionto make the outward assault a temptation. It is here thatopponents (such as Strauss and Keim) have strangely missedthe mark, when objecting, either that the forty days' fastwas intrinsically unnecessary, or that the assaults of Satanwere clumsy suggestions, incapable of being temptations toJesus. He is 'driven' into the wilderness by the Spirit to betempted. [2 The place of the Temptation could not, of course,have been the traditional 'Quarantania,' but must have beennear Bethabara. See also Stanley's Sinai and Palestine, p.308.] The history of humanity is taken up anew at the pointwhere first the kingdom of Satan was founded, only under newconditions. It is not now a choice, but a contest, for Satanis the prince of this world. During the whole forty days ofChrist's stay in the wilderness His Temptation continued,though it only attained its high point at the last, when,after the long fast, He felt the weariness and weakness ofhunger. As fasting occupies but a very subordinate, we mightalmost say a tolerated, place in the teaching of Jesus; andas, so far as we know, He exercised on no other occasion suchascetic practices, we are left to infer internal, as well asexternal, necessity for it in the present instance. Theformer is easily understood in His pre-occupation; the lattermust have had for its object to reduce Him to utmost outwardweakness, by the depression of all the vital powers. Weregard it as a psychological fact that, under suchcircumstances, of all mental faculties the memory alone isactive, indeed, almost preternaturally active. During thepreceding thirty-nine days the plan, or rather the future, ofthe Work to which He had been consecrated, must have beenalways before Him. In this respect, then, He must have beentempted. It is wholly impossible that He hesitated for amoment as to the means by which He was to establish theKingdom of God. He could not have felt tempted to adoptcarnal means, opposed to the nature of that Kingdom, and tothe Will of God. The unchangeable convictions which He hadalready attained must have stood out before Him: that HisFather's business was the Kingdom of God; that He wasfurnished to it, not by outward weapons, but by the abidingPresence of the Spirit; above all, that absolute submissionto the Will of God was the way to it, nay, itself the Kingdomof God. It will be observed, that it was on these very pointsthat the final attack of the Enemy was directed in the utmostweakness of Jesus. But, on the other hand, the Tempter couldnot have failed to assault Him with considerations which Hemust have felt to be true. How could He hope, alone, and withsuch principles, to stand against Israel? He knew their viewsand feelings; and as, day by day, the sense of utterloneliness and forsakenness increasingly gathered around Him,in His increasing faintness and weakness, the seeminghopelessness of such a task as He had undertaken must havegrown upon Him with almost overwhelming power. [1 It was thiswhich would make the 'assault' a 'temptation' by vividlysetting before the mind the reality and rationality of theseconsiderations, a mental assensus, without implying anyinward consensus to the manner in which the Enemy proposed tohave them set aside.] Alternately, the temptation to despair,presumption, or the cutting short of the contest in somedecisive manner, must have presented itself to His mind, orrather have been presented to it by the Tempter.

And this was, indeed, the essence of His last three greattemptations; which, as the whole contest, resolved themselvesinto the one question of absolute submission to the Will ofGod, [1 All the assaults of Satan were really directedagainst Christ's absolute submission to the Will of God,which was His Perfectness. Hence, by every one of thesetemptations, as Weiss says in regard to the first, 'ruttelter an Seiner Volkommenheit.] which is the sum and substanceof all obedience. If He submitted to it, it must besuffering, and only suffering, helpless, hopeless sufferingto the bitter end; to the extinction of life, in the agoniesof the Cross, as a male-factor; denounced, betrayed, rejectedby His people; alone, in very God-forsakenness. And when thusbeaten about by temptation, His powers reduced to the lowestebb of faintness, all the more vividly would memory hold outthe facts so well known, so keenly realised at that moment,in the almost utter cessation of every other mental faculty:[2 I regard the memory as affording the basis for theTemptation. What was so vividly in Christ's memory at thatmoment, that was flashed before Him as in a mirror under thedazzling light of temptation.] the scene lately enacted bythe banks of Jordan, and the two great expectations of Hisown people, that the Messiah was to head Israel from theSanctuary of the Temple, and that all kingdoms of the worldwere to become subject to Him. Here, then, is the inwardbasis of the Temptation of Christ, in which the fast was notunnecessary, nor yet the special assaults of the Enemy either'clumsy suggestions,' or unworthy of Jesus.

He is weary with the contest, faint with hunger, alone inthat wilderness. His voice falls on no sympathising ear; novoice reaches Him but that of the Tempter. There is nothingbracing, strengthening in this featureless, barren, stonywilderness, only the picture of desolateness, hopelessness,despair. He must, He will absolutely submit to the Will ofGod. But can this be the Will of God? One word of power, andthe scene would be changed. Let Him despair of all men, ofeverything, He can do it. By His Will the Son of God, as theTempter suggests, not, however, calling thereby in questionHis Sonship, but rather proceeding on its admitted reality [3Satan's 'if' was rather a taunt than a doubt. Nor could ithave been intended to call in question His ability to domiracles. Doubt on that point would already have been afall.], can change the stones into bread. He can do miracles,put an end to present want and question, and, as visibly thepossessor of absolute miraculous power, the goal is reached!But this would really have been to change the idea of OldTestament miracle into the heathen conception of magic, whichwas absolute power inherent in an without moral purpose. Themoral purpose, the grand moral purpose in all that was ofGod, was absolute submission to the Will of God. His Spirithad driven Him into that wilderness. His circumstances wereGod-appointed; and where He so appoints them, He will supportus in them, even as, in the failure of bread, He supportedIsrael by the manna. [a Deut. viii 3.] [1 The supply of themanna was only an exemplification and application of thegeneral principle, that man really lives by the Word of God.]And Jesus absolutely submitted to that Will of God bycontinuing in His present circumstances. To have set himselffree from what they implied, would have been despair of God,and rebellion. He does more than not succmb: He conquers. TheScriptural reference to a better life upon the Word of Godmarks more than the end of the contest; it marks the conquestof Satan. He emerges on the other side triumphant, with thisexpression of His assured conviction of the sufficiency ofGod.

It cannot be despair, and He cannot take up His Kingdomalone, in the exercise of mere power! Absolutely submittingto the Will of God, He must, and He can, absolutely trustHim. But if so, then let Him really trust Himself upon God,and make experiment, nay more, public demonstration, of it.If it be not despair of God, let it be presumption! He willnot do the work alone! Then God-upborne, according to Hispromise, let the Son of God suddenly, from that height,descend and head His people, and that not in any profanemanner, but in the midst of the Sanctuary, where God wasspecially near, in sight of incensing priests and worshippingpeople. So also will the goal at once be reached.

The Spirit of God had driven Jesus into the wilderness; thespirit of the Devil now carried Him to Jerusalem. Jesusstands on the lofty pinnacle of the Tower, or of theTemple-porch, [2 It cannot be regarded as certain, that thewas, as commentators generally suppose, the Tower at thesoutheastern angle of the Temple Cloisters, where the Royal(southern) and Solomon's (the eastern) Porch met, and whencethe view into the Kedron Valley beneath was to the stupendousdepth of 450 feet. Would this angle be called 'a wing' ( )?Nor can I agree with Delitzsch, that it was the 'roof' of theSanctuary, where indeed there would scarcely have beenstanding-room. It certainly formed the watch-post of thePriest. Possibly it may have been the extreme corner of the'wing-like' porch, or ulam, which led into the Sanctuary.Thence a Priest could easily have communicated with hisbrethren in the court beneath. To this there is, however, theobjection that in that case it should have been. At p. 244,the ordinary view of this locality has been taken.]presumably that on which every day a Priest was stationed towatch, as the pale morning light passed over the hills ofJudaea far off to Hebron, to announce it as the signal foroffering the morning sacrifice. [3 Comp. 'The Temple, itsMinistry and Services,' p. 132.] If we might indulge ourimagination, the moment chosen would be just as the Priesthad quitted that station. The first desert-temptation hadbeen in the grey of breaking light, when to the faint andweary looker the stones of the wilderness seemed to takefantastic shapes, like the bread for which the faint bodyhungered. In the next temptation Jesus stands on thewatch-post which the white-robed priest had just quitted.Fast the rosy morning-light, deepening into crimson, andedged with gold, is spreading over the land. In the Priests'Court below Him the morning-sacrifice has been offered. Themassive Temple-gates are slowly opening, and the blasts ofthe priests' silver trumpets is summoning Israel to begin anew day by appearing before their Lord. Now then let Himdescend, Heaven-borne, into the midst of priests and people.What shouts of acclamation would greet His appearance! Whathomage of worship would be His! The goal can at once bereached, and that at the head of believing Israel. Jesus issurveying the scene. By His side is the Tempter, watching thefeatures that mark the working of the spirit within. And nowhe has whispered it. Jesus had overcome in the firsttemptation by simple, absolute trust. This was the time, andthis the place to act upon this trust, even as the veryScriptures to which Jesus had appealed warranted. But so tohave done would have been not trust, far less the heroism offaith, but presumption. The goal might indeed have beenreached; but not the Divine goal, nor in God's way, and, asso often, Scripture itself explained and guarded the Divinepromise by a preceding Divine command. [1 Bengel: 'Scripturaper Scripturam interpretanda et concilianda.' This is also aRabbinic canon. The Rabbis frequently insist on the duty ofnot exposing oneself to danger, in presumptuous expectationof miraculous deliverance. It is a curious saying: Do notstand over against an ox when he comes from the fodder; Satanjumps out from between his horns. (Pes. 112 b.) David hadbeen presumptuous in Ps. xxvi. 2, and failed. (Sanh. 107 a.)But the most apt illustration is this: On one occasion thechild of a Rabbi was asked by R. Jochanan to quote a verse.The child quoted Deut. xiv. 22, at the same time propoundingthe question, why the second clause virtually repeated thefirst. The Rabbi replied, 'To teach us that the giving oftithes maketh rich.' 'How do you know it?' asked the child.'By experience,' answered the Rabbi. 'But,' said the child,'such experiment is not lawful, since we are not to tempt theLord our God.' (See the very curious book of Rabbi Sooweyczgk, Die Bibel, d. Talm. u. d. Evang. p. 132.).] Andthus once more Jesus not only is not overcome, but Heovercomes by absolute submission to the Will of God.

To submit to the Will of God! But is not this to acknowledgeHis authority, and the order and disposition which He hasmade of all things? Once more the scene changes. They haveturned their back upon Jerusalem and the Temple. Behind arealso all popular prejudices, narrow nationalism, andlimitations. They no longer brethe the stifled air, thickwith the perfume of incense. They have taken their flightinto God's wide world. There they stand on the top of somevery high mountain. It is in the full blaze of sunlight thatHe now gazes upon a wondrous scene. Before Him rise, from outthe cloud-land at the edge of the horizon, forms, figures,scene, come words, sounds, harmonies. The world in all itsglory, beauty, strength, majesty, is unveiled. Its work, itsmight, its greatness, its art, its thought, emerge into clearview. And still the horizon seems to widen as He gazes; andmore and more, and beyond it still more and still brighterappears. It is a world quite other than that which theretiring Son of the retired Nazareth-home had ever seen,could ever have imagined, that opens its enlarging wonders.To us in the circumstances the temptation, which at firstsight seems, so to speak, the clumsiest, would have been wellnigh irresistible. In measure as our intellect was enlarged,our heart attuned to this world-melody, we would have gazedwith bewitched wonderment on that sight, surrenderedourselves to the harmony of those sounds, and quenched thethirst of our soul with maddening draught. But passivelysublime as it must have appeared to the Perfect Man, theGod-Man, and to Him far more than to us from His infinitelydeeper appreciation of, and wider sympathy with the good, andtrue, and the beautiful, He had already overcome. It was,indeed, not 'worship,' but homage which the Evil One claimedfrom Jesus, and that on the truly stated and apparentlyrational ground, that, in its present state, all this world'was delivered' unto him, and he exercised the power ofgiving it to whom he would. But in this very fact lay theanswer to the suggestion. High above this moving scene ofglory and beauty arched the deep blue of God's heaven, andbrighter than the sun, which poured its light over the sheenand dazzle beneath, stood out the fact: 'I must be about MyFather's business;' above the din of far-off sounds rose thevoice: 'Thy Kingdom come!' Was not all this the Devil's tohave and to give, because it was not the Father's Kingdom, towhich Jesus had consecrated Himself? What Satan sought was,'My kingdom come' a Satanic Messianic time, a SatanicMessiah; the final realisation of an empire of which hispresent possession was only temporary, caused by thealienation of man from God. To destroy all this: to destroythe works of the Devil, to abolish his kingdom, to set manfree from his dominion, was the very object of Christ'sMission. On the ruins of the past shall the new arise, inproportions of grandeur and beauty hitherto unseen, onlygazed at afar by prophets' rapt sight. It is to become theKingdom of God; and Christ's consecration to it is to be thecorner-stone of its new Temple. Those scenes are to betransformed into one of higher worship; those sounds tomingle and melt into a melody of praise. An endless train,unnumbered multitudes from afar, are to bring their gifts, topour their wealth, to consecrate their wisdom, to dedicatetheir beauty, to lay it all in lowly worship as humbleoffering at His feet: a world God-restored, God-dedicated, inwhich dwells God's peace, over which rests God's glory. It isto be the bringing of worship, not the crowning of rebellion,which is the Kingdom. And so Satan's greatest becomes toChrist his coarsest temptation, [1 Sin always intensifies inthe coarseness of its assaults.] which He casts from Him; andthe words: 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him onlyshalt thou serve,' which now receive their highestfulfilment, mark not only Satan's defeat and Christ'striumph, but the principle of His Kingdom, of all victory andall triumph.

Foiled, defeated, the Enemy has spread his dark pinionstowards that far-off world of his, and covered it with theirshadow. The sun no longer glows with melting heat; the mistshave gathered or the edge of the horizon, and enwrapped thescene which has faded from view. And in the cool and shadethat followed have the Angels [2 For the Jewish views onAngelology and Demonology, see Appendix XIII.: 'JewishAngelology and Demonology.'] come and ministered to Hiswants, both bodily and mental. He has refused to assertpower; He has not yielded to despair; He would not fight andconquer alone in His own strength; and He has received powerand refreshment, and Heaven's company unnumbered in theirministry of worship. He would not yield to Jewish dream; Hedid not pass from despair to presumption; and lo, after thecontest, with no reward as its object, all is His. He wouldnot have Satan's vassals as His legions, and all Heaven'shosts are at His command. It had been victory; it is nowshout of triumphant praise. He Whom God had anointed by HisSpirit had conquered by the Spirit; He Whom Heaven's Voicehad proclaimed God's beloved Son, in Whom He was wellpleased, had proved such, and done His good pleasure.

They had been all overcome, these three temptations againstsubmission to the Will of God, present, personal, andspecifically Messianic. Yet all His life long there wereechoes of them: of the first, in the suggestion of Hisbrethren to show Himself; [a St. John vii. 3-5.]of thesecond, in the popular attempt to make Him a king, andperhaps also in what constituted the final idea of JudasIscariot; of the third, as being most plainly Santanic, inthe question of Pilate: 'Art Thou then a King?'

The enemy 'departed from Him', yet only 'for a season.' Butthis first contest and victory of Jesus decided all others tothe last. These were, perhaps not as to the shaping of HisMessianic plan, nor through memory of Jewish expectancy, yetstill in substance the same contest about absolute obedience,absolute submission to the Will of God, which constitutes theKingdom of God. And so also from first to last was this thevictory: 'Not My will, but Thine, be done.' But as, in thefirst three petitions which He has taught us, Christ hasenfolded us in the mantle of His royalty, so has He Whoshared our nature and our temptations gone up with us,want-pressed, sin-laden, and temptation-stricken as we are,to the Mount of Temptation in the four human petitions whichfollow the first. And over us is spread, as the shelteringfolds of His mantle, this as the outcome of His royal contestand glorious victory, 'For Thine is the Kingdom, and thepower, and the glory, for ever and ever!' [1 This quotationof the Doxology leaves, of course, the critical questionundetermined, whether the words were part of the 'Lord'sPrayer' in its original form.


THE DEPUTATION FROM JERUSALEM, THE THREE SECTS OF THEPHARISEES, SADDUCEES, AND ESSENES, EXAMINATION OF THEIRDISTINCTIVE DOCTRINES. [1 This chapter contains, among othermatter, a detailed and critical examination of the greatJewish Sects, such as was necessary in a work on 'The Times.'as well as 'The Life,' of Christ.


(St. John i. 19-24.)

APART from the repulsively carnal form which it had taken,there is something absolutely sublime in the continuance andintensity of the Jewish expectation of the Messiah. Itoutlived not only the delay of long centuries, but thepersecutions and scattering of the people; it continued underthe disappointment of the Maccabees, the rule of a Herod, theadministration of a corrupt and contemptible Priesthood, and,finally, the government of Rome as represented by a Pilate;nay, it grew in intensity almost in proportion as it seemedunlikely of realisation. These are facts which show that thedoctrine of the Kingdom, as the sum and substance of OldTestament teaching, was the very heart of Jewish religiouslife; while, at the same time, they evidence a moralelevation which placed abstract religious conviction farbeyond the reach of passing events, and clung to it with atenacity which nothing could loosen.

Tidings of what these many months had occurred by the banksof the Jordan must have early reached Jerusalem, andultimately stirred to the depths its religious society,whatever its preoccupation with ritual questions or politicalmatters. For it was not an ordinary movement, nor inconnection with any of the existing parties, religious orpolitical. An extraordinary preacher, or extraordinaryappearance and habits, not aiming, like others, after renewedzeal in legal observances, or increased Levitical purity, butpreaching repentance and moral renovation in preparation forthe coming Kingdom, and sealing this novel doctrine with anequally novel rite, had drawn from town and countrymultitudes of all classes, inquirers, penitents and novices.The great and burning question seemed, what the realcharacter and meaning of it was? or rather, whence did itissue, and whither did it tend? The religious leaders of thepeople proposed to answer this by instituting an inquirythrough a trust-worthy deputation. In the account of this bySt. John certain points seem clearly implied; [a i. 19-28.]on others only suggestions can be ventured.

That the interview referred to occurred after the Baptism ofJesus, appears from the whole context.[1 This point is fullydiscussed by Lucke, Evang. Joh., vol. i. pp. 396-398.]Similarly, the statement that the deputation which came toJohn was 'sent from Jerusalem' by 'the Jews,' implies that itproceeded from authority, even if it did not bear more than asemi-official character. For, although the expression 'Jews'in the fourth Gospel generally conveys the idea of contrastto the disciples of Christ (for ex. St. John vii. 15), yet itrefers to the people in their corporate capacity, that is, asrepresented by their constituted religious authorities. [bComp. St. John v. 15, 16; ix. 18,22; xviii. 12,31.] On theother hand, although the term 'scribes and elders' does notoccur in the Gospel of St. John, [2 So Professor Westcott, inhis Commentary on the passage (Speaker's Comment., N.T., vol.ii. p. 18), where he notes that the expression in St. Johnviii. 3 is unauthentic.] it by no means follows that 'thePriests and Levites' sent from the capital either representedthe two great divisions of the Sanhedrin, or, indeed, thatthe deputation issued from the Great Sanhedrin itself. Theformer suggestion is entirely ungrounded; the latter at leastproblematic. It seems a legitimate inference that,considering their own tendencies, and the political dangersconnected with such a step, the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem wouldnot have come to the formal resolution of sending a regulardeputation on such an inquiry. Moreover, a measure like thiswould have been entirely outside their recognised mode ofprocedure. The Sanhedrin did not, and could not, originatecharges. It only investigated those brought before it. It isquite true that judgment upon false prophets and religiousseducers lay with it; [c Sanh. i. 5.] but the Baptist had notas yet said or done anything to lay him open to such anaccusation. He had in no way infringed the Law by word ordeed, nor had he even claimed to be a prophet. [3 Of this theSanhedrin must have been perfectly aware. Comp. St. Matt.iii. 7; St. Luke iii. 15 &c.] If, nevertheless, it seems mostprobable that 'the Priests and Levits' came from theSanhedrin, we are led to the conclusion that theirs was aninformal mission, rather privately arranged than publiclydetermined upon.

And with this the character of the deputies agrees. 'Priestsand Levites', the colleagues of John the Priest, would beselected for such an errand, rather than leading Rabbinicauthorities. The presence of the latter would, indeed, havegiven to the movement an importance, if not a sanction, whichthe Sanhedrin could not have wished. The only other authorityin Jerusalem from which such a deputation could have issuedwas the so-called 'Council of the Temple,' 'Judicature of thePriests,' or 'Elders of the Priesthood,' [a For cx. Yoma 1.5.] which consisted of the fourteen chief officers of the Butalthough they may afterwards have taken their full part inthe condemnation of Jesus, ordinarily their duty was onlyconnected with the services of the Sanctuary, and not withcriminal questions or doctrinal investigations. [1 Comp. 'TheTemple, its Ministry and Services,' p. 75. Dr. Geiger(Urschr. u. Uebersetz. d. Bibel, pp. 113, 114) ascribes tothem, however, a much wider jurisdiction. Some of hisinferences (such as at pp. 115, 116) seem to me historicallyunsupported.] It would be too much to suppose, that theywould take the initiative in such a matter on the ground thatthey would take the initiative in such a matter on the groundthat the Baptist was a member of the Priesthood. Finally, itseems quite natural that such an informal inquiry, set onfoot most probably by the Sanhedrists, should have beenentrusted exclusively to the Pharisaic party. It would in noway have interested the Sadducees; and what members of thatparty had seen of John [b St. Matt. iii. 7 &c.] must haveconvinced them that his views and aims lay entirely beyondtheir horizon.

The origin of the two great parties of Pharisees andSadducees has already been traced. [2 Comp. Book I. ch.viii.] They mark, not sects, but mental directions, such asin their principles are natural and universal, and, indeed,appear in connection with all metaphysical [3 I use the termmetaphysical here in the sense of all that is above thenatural, not merely the speculative, but the supersensuousgenerally.] questions. They are the different modes in whichthe human mind views supersensuous problems, and whichafterwards, when one-sidedly followed out, harden intodiverging schools of thought. If Pharisees and Sadducess werenot 'sects' in the sense of separation from the unity of theJewish ecclesiastical community, neither were theirs'heresies' in the conventional, but only in the originalsense of tendency, direction, or, at most, views, differingfrom those commonly entertained. [4 The word has received itspresent meaning chiefly from the adjective attaching to it in2 Pet. ii. 1. In Acts xxiv. 5, 14, xxviii. 22, it isvituperatively applied to Christians; in 1 Cor. xi. 19, Gal.v. 20, it seems to apply to diverging practices of a sinfulkind; in Titus iii. 10, the 'heretic' seems one who held ortaught diverging opinions or practices. Besides, it occurs inthe N.T. once to mark the Sadducees, and twice the Pharisees(Acts v. 17; xv. 5, and xxvi. 5).] Our sources of informationhere are: the New Testament, Josephus, and Rabbinic writings.The New Testament only marks, in broad outlines andpopularly, the peculiarities of each party; but from theabsence of bias it may safely be regarded [1 I mean onhistorical, not theological theological grounds.] as the mosttrustworthy authority on the matter. The inferences which wederive from the statements of Josephus, [2 I here refer tothe following passages: Jewish War ii. 8. 14; Ant. xiii. 5.9; 10. 5, 6; xvii. 2. 4; xviii. 1, 2, 2, 4.] though always tobe qualified by our general estimate of his animus, [3 For afull discussion of thecharacter and writings of Josephus, Iwould refer to the article in Dr. Smith's Dict. of Chr.Biogr. vol. iii.] accord with those from the New Testament.In regard to Rabbinic writings, we have to bear in mind theadmittedly unhistorical character of most of their notices,the strong party-bias which coloured almost all theirstatements regarding opponents, and their constant tendencyto trace later views and practices to earlier times. Without entering on the principles and supposed practices of'the fraternity' or 'association' (Chebher, Chabhurah,Chabhurta) of Pharisees, which was comparatively small,numbering only about 6,000 members, [a Jos. Ant. xvii. 2. 4.]the following particulars may be of interest. The object ofthe association was twofold: to observe in the strictestmanner, and according to traditional law, all the ordinancesconcerning Levitical purity, and to be extremely punctiliousin all connected with religious dues (tithes and all otherdues). A person might undertake only the second, without thefirst of these obligations. In that case he was simply aNeeman, an 'accredited one' with whom one might enter freelyinto commerce, as he was supposed to have paid all dues. Buta person could not undertake the vow of Levitical puritywithout also taking the obligation of all religious dues. Ifhe undertook both vows he was a Chabher, or associate. Herethere were four degrees, marking an ascending scale ofLevitical purity, or separation from all that was profane. [bChag. ii. 5, 7; comp. Tohor. vii. 5.] In opposition to thesewas the Am ha-arets, or 'country people' (the people whichknew not, or cared not for the Law, and were regarded as'cursed'). But it must not be thought that every Chabher waseither a learned Scribe, or that every Scribe was a Chabher.On the contrary, as a man might be a Chabher without beingeither a Scribe or an elder, [c For ex. Kidd. 33 b.] so theremust have been sages, and even teachers, who did not belongto the association, since special rules are laid down for thereception of such. [d Bekh. 30.] Candidates had to beformally admitted into the 'fraternity' in the presence ofthree members. But every accredited public 'teacher' was,unless anything was known to the contrary, supposed to havetaken upon him the obligations referred to. [1 Abba Saulwould also have freed all students from that formality.] Thefamily of a Chabher belonged, ss a matter of course, to thecommunity; [a Bekhor. 30.] but this ordinance was afterwardsaltered. [2 Comp. the suggestion as to the significant timewhen this alteration was introduced, in 'Sketches of JewishSocial Life,' pp. 228, 229.] The Neeman undertook these fourobligations: to tithe what he ate, what he sold, and what hebought, and not to be a guest with an Am ha-arets. [b Dem.ii. 2.] The full Chabher undertook not to sell to an 'Amha-arets' any fluid or dry substance (nutriment or fruit),not to buy from him any such fluid, not to be a guest withhim, not to entertain him as a guest in his own clothes (onaccount of their possible impurity), to which one authorityadds other particulars, which, however, were not recognisedby the Rabbis generally as of primary importance. [c Demaiii.3.]

These two great obligations of the 'official' Pharisee, or'Associate' are pointedly referred to by Christ, both that inregard to tithing (the vow of the Neeman); [d In St. Lukexi.42; xviii. 12; St. Matt. xxiii. 23.] and that in regard toLevitical purity (the special vow of the Chabher). [e In St.Luke xi. 39, 41; St. Matt. xxiii. 25, 26.] In both cases theyare associated with a want of corresponding inward reality,and with hypocrisy. These charges cannot have come upon thepeople by surprise, and they may account for the circumstancethat so many of the learned kept aloof from the 'Association'as such. Indeed, the sayings of some of the Rabbis in regardto Pharisaism and the professional Pharisee are morewithering than any in the New Testament. It is not necessaryhere to repeat the well-known description, both in theJerusalem and the Babylon Talmud, of the seven kinds of'Pharisees,' of whom six (the 'Shechemite,' the 'stumbling,'the 'bleeding,' the 'mortar,' the 'I want to know what isincumbent on me,' and 'the Pharisee from fear') mark variouskinds of unreality, and only one is 'the Pharisee from love.'[f Sot. 22 b; Jer. Ber. ix. 7.] Such an expression as 'theplague ofPharisaism' is not uncommon; and a silly pietist, aclever sinner, and a female Pharisee, are ranked among 'thetroubles of life.' [g Sot. iii. 4.] 'Shall we then explainaverse according to the opinions of the Pharisees?' asks aRabbi, in supreme contempt for the arrogance of thefraternity. [h Pes. 70 b.] 'It is as atradition among thepharisees [i Abhoth de R. Nathan 5.] to torment themselves inthis world, and yet they will gain nothing by it in thenext.' The Sadducees had some reason for the taunt, that 'thePharisees would by-and-by subject the globe of the sun itselfto their purifications,' [k Jer. Chag. 79 d; Tos. Chag. iii.]the more so that their assertions of purity were sometimesconjoined with Epicurean maxims, betokening a very differentstate of mind, such as, 'Make haste to eat and drink, for theworld which we quit resembles a wedding feast;' or this: 'Myson, if thou possess anything, enjoy thyself, for there is nopleasure in Hades, [1 Erub. 54 a. I give the latter clause,not as in our edition of the Talmud, but according to a morecorrect reading (Levy, Neuhebr. Worterb. vol. ii. p. 102).]and death grants no respite. But if thou sayest, What thenwould I leave to my sons and daughters? Who will thank theefor this appointment in Hades?' Maxims these to which, alas!too many of their recorded stories and deeds form a painfulcommentary. [2 It could serve no good purpose to giveinstances. They are readily accessible to those who havetaste or curiosity in that direction.]

But it would be grossly unjust to identify Pharisaism, as areligious direction, with such embodiments of it or even withthe official 'fraternity.' While it may be granted that thetendency and logical sequence of their views and practiceswere such, their system, as opposed to Sadduceeism, had veryserious bearings: dogmatic, ritual, and legal. It is,however, erroneous to suppose, either that their systemrepresented traditionalism itself, or that Scribes andPharisees are convertible terms, [3 So, erroneously,Wellhausen, in his treatise 'Pharisaer u. Sadduc.'; andpartially, as it seems to me, even Schurer (Neutest.Zeitgesch.). In other respects also these two learned menseem too much under the influence of Geiger and Kuenen.]while the Sadducees represented the civil and politicalelement. The Pharisees represented only the prevailing systemof, no traditionalism itself; while the Sadducees alsonumbered among them many learned men. They were able to enterinto controversy, often protracted and fierce, with theiropponents, and they acted as members of the Sanhedrin,although they had diverging traditions of their own, andeven, as it would appear, at one time a complete code ofcanon-law. [a Megill. Taan. Per. iv. ed. Warsh. p. 8 a.] [4Wellhausen has carried his criticisms and doubts of theHebrew Scholion on the Megill. Taan. (or 'Roll of Fasts') toofar.] Moreover, the admitted fact, that when in office theSadducees conformed to the principles and practices of thePharisees, proves at least that they must have beenacquainted with the ordinances of traditionalism. [5 Evensuch a book as the Meg. Taan. does not accuse them ofabsolute ignorance, but only of being unable to prove theirdicta from Scripture (comp. Pereq x. p. 15 b, which may wellmark the extreme of Anti-Sadduceeism).] Lastly, there werecertain traditional ordinances on which both parties were atone. [b Sanh. 33 t Horay 4 a.] Thus it seems Sadduceeism wasin a sense than a practical system, starting from simple andwell-defined principles, but wide-reaching in its possibleconsequences. Perhaps it may best be described as a generalreaction against the extremes of Pharisaism, springing frommoderate and rationalistic tendencies; intended to secure afooting within the recognised bounds of Judaism; and seekingto defend its principles by a strict literalism ofinterpretation and application. If so, these interpretationswould be intended rather for defensive than offensivepurposes, and the great aim of the party would be afterrational freedom, or, it might be, free rationality.Practically, the party would, of course, tend in broad, andoften grossly unorthodox, directions.

The fundamental dogmatic differences between the Phariseesand Sadducees concerned: the rule of faith and practice; the'after death;' the existence of angels and spirits; and freewill and pre-destination. In regard to the first of thesepoints, it has already been stated that the Sadducees did notlay down the principle of absolute rejection of alltraditions as such, but that they were opposed totraditionalism as represented and carried out by thePharisees. When put down by sheer weight of authority, theywould probably carry the controversy further, and retort ontheir opponents by an appeal to Scripture as against theirtraditions, perhaps ultimately even by an attack ontraditionalism; but always as represented by the Pharisees.[1 Some traditional explanation of the Law of Moses wasabsolutely necessary, if it was to be applied to existingcircumstances. It would be a great historical inaccuracy toimagine that the Sadducees rejected the whole (St.Matt. xv.2) from Ezra downwards.] A careful examination of thestatements of Josephus on this subject will show that theyconvey no more than this. [2 This is the meaning of Ant.xiii. 10. 6, and clearly implied in xviii. 1,3,4, and War ii.8. 14.] The Pharisaic view of this aspect of the controversyappears, perhaps, most satisfactorily because indirectly, incertain sayings of the Mishnah, which attribute all nationalcalamities to those persons, whom they adjudge to eternalperdition, who interpret Scripture 'not as does theHalakhah,' or established Pharisaic rule. [a Ab.iii. 11; v8.] In this respect, then, the commonly received ideaconcerning the Pharisees and Sadducees will require to beseriously modified. As regards the practice of the Pharisees,as distinguished from that of the Sadducees, we may safelytreat the statements of Josephus as the exaggeratedrepresentations of a partisan, who wishes to place his partyin the best light. It is, indeed, true that the Pharisees,'interpreting the legal ordinances with rigour,' [b Jos. Wari. 5.2.] [3 M. Derenbourg (Hist. de la Palest., p. 122, note)rightly remarks, that the Rabbinic equivalent for Josephus'is heaviness, and that the Pharisees were the or 'makersheavy.' What a commentary this on the charge of Jesus about'the heavy burdens' of the Pharisees! St. Paul uses the sameterm as Josephus to describe the Pharisaic system, where ourA.V. renders 'the perfect manner' (Acts xxii. 3). Comp. alsoActs xxvi. 5: .] imposed on themselves the necessity of muchself-denial, especially in regard to food, [c Ant. xviii. 1.3.] but that their practice was under the guidance of reason,as Josephus asserts, is one of those bold mis-statements withwhich he has too often to be credited. His vindication oftheir special reverence for age and authority [a Ant. xviii.1.3.] must refer to the honours paid by the party to 'theElders,' not to the old. And that there was sufficient groundfor Sadducean opposition to Pharisaic traditionalism, alikein principle and in practice, will appear from the followingquotation, to which we add, by way of explanation, that thewearing of phylacteries was deemed by that party ofScriptural obligation, and that the phylactery for the headwas to consist (according to tradition) of four compartments.'Against the words of the Scribes is more punishable thanagainst the words of Scripture. He who says, No phylacteries,so as to transgress the words of Scripture, is not guilty(free); five compartments, to add to the words of theScribes, he is guilty.' [b Sanh. xi. 3.] [1 The subject isdiscussed at length in Jer. Ber. i. 7 (p. 3 b), where thesuperiority of the Scribe over the Prophet is shown (1) fromMic. ii. 6 (without the words in italics), the one classbeing the Prophets ('prophesy not'), the other the Scribes('prophesy'); (2) from the fact that the Prophets needed theattestation of miracles. (Duet. xiii. 2), but not the Scribes(Deut. xvii. 11).]

The second doctrinal difference between Pharisees andSadducees concerned the 'after death.' According to the NewTestament, [c St. Matt xxii. 23, and parallel passages; Actsiv. 1, 2; xxiii. 8.] the Sadducees denied the resurrection ofthe dead, while Josephus, going further, imputes to themdenial of reward or punishment after death, [d War ii. 8.14.] and even the doctrine that the soul perishes with thebody. [e Ant. xviii 1. 4.] The latter statement may bedismissed as among those inferences which theologicalcontroversialists are too fond of imputing to theiropponents. This is fully borne out by the account of a laterwork, to the effect, that by successive misunderstandings ofthe saying of Antigonus of Socho, that men were to serve Godwithout regard to reward, his later pupils had arrived at theinference that there was no other world, which, however,might only refer to the Pharisaic ideal of 'the world tocome,' not to the denial of the immortality of the soul, andno resurrection of the dead. We may therefore credit Josephuswith merely reporting the common inference of his party. Butit is otherwise in regard to their denial of the resurrectionof the dead. Not only Josephus, but the New Testament andRabbinic writings attest this. The Mishnah expressly states[g Ber ix. 5.] that the formula 'from age to age,' or rather'from world to world,' had been introduced as a protestagainst the opposite theory; while the Talmud, which recordsdisputations between Gamaliel and the Sadducees [2 This isadmitted even by Geiger (Urschr. u. Uebers. p. 130, note),though in the passage above referred to he would emendate:'Scribes of the Samaritans.' The passage, however, impliesthat these were Sadducean Scribes, and that they were bothwilling and able to enter into theological controversy withtheir opponents.] on the subject of the resurrection,expressly imputes thedenial of this doctrine to the 'Scribesof the Sadducees.' In fairness it is perhaps only right toadd that, in the discussion, the Sadducees seem only to haveactually denied that there was proof for this doctrine in thePentateuch, and that they ultimately professed themselvesconvinced by the reasoning of Gamaliel. [1 Rabbi Gamaliel'sproof was taken from Deut. i. 8: 'Which Jehovah sware untoyour fathers to give unto them.' It is not said 'unto you,'but unto 'them,' which implies the resurrection of the dead.The argument is kindred in character, but far inferior insolemnity and weight, to that employed by our Lord, St. Matt.xxii. 32, from which it is evidently taken. (See book v. ch.iv., the remarks on that passage.)] Still the concurrenttestimony of the New Testament and of Josephus leaves nodoubt, that in this instance their views had not beenmisrepresented. Whether or not their opposition to thedoctrine of the Resurrection arose in the first instancefrom, or was prompted by, Rationalistic views, which theyendeavoured to support by an appeal to the letter of thePentateuch, as the source of traditionalism, it deservesnotice that in His controversy with the Sadducees Christappealed to the Pentateuch in proof of His teaching. [2 It isa curious circumstance in connection with the question of theSadducees, that it raised another point in controversybetween the Pharisees and the 'Samaritans,' or, as I wouldread it, the Sadducees, since 'the Samaritans' (Sadducees?)only allowed marriage with the betrothed, not the actuallywedded wife of a deceased childless brother (Jer Yebam. i. 6,p. 3 a). The Sadducees in the Gospel argue on the Pharisaictheory, apparently for the twofold object of casting ridiculeon the doctrine of the Resurrection, and on the Pharisaicpractice of marriage with the espoused wife of a deceasedbrother.]

Connected with this was the equally Rationalistic oppositionto belief in Angels and Spirits. It is only mentioned in theNew Testament, [a Acts xxiii.] but seems almost to follow asa corollary. Remembering what the Jewish Angelology was, onecan scarcely wonder that in controversy the Sadducees shouldhave been led to the opposite extreme.

The last dogmatic difference between the two 'sects'concerned that problem which has at all times engagedreligious thinkers: man's free will and God's pre-ordination,or rather their compatibility. Josephus, or the reviser whomhe employed, indeed, uses the purely heathen expression'fate' ( ) [3 The expression is used in the heathen(philosophical) sense of fate by Philo, De Incorrupt. Mundi.section 10. ed. Mangey, vol. ii. p. 496 (ed. Fref. p. 947).]to designate the Jewish idea of the pre-ordination of God.But, properly understood, the real difference between thePharisees and Sadducees seems to have amounted to this: thatthe former accentuated God's preordination, the latter man'sfree will; and that, while the Pharisees admitted only apartial influence of the human element on what happened, orthe co-operation of the human with the Divine, the Sadduceesdenied all absolute pre-ordination, and made man's choice ofevil or good, with its consequences of misery or happiness,to depend entirely on the exercise of free will andself-determination. And in this, like many opponents of'Predestinarianism,' they seem to have started from theprinciple, that it was impossible for God 'either to commitor to foresee [in the sense of fore-ordaining] anythingevil.' The mutual misunderstanding here was that common inall such controversies. Although [a In Jewish War ii. 8. 14.]Josephus writesas if, according to the Pharisees, the chiefpart in every good action depended upon fate [pre-ordination]rather than on man's doing, yet in another place [b Ant.xviii. 1. 3.] he disclaims for them the notion that the willof man was destitute of spontaneous activity, and speakssomewhat confusedly, for he is by no means a good reasoner,of 'a mixture' of the Divine and human elements, in which thehuman will, with its sequence of virtue or wickedness, issubject to the will of fate. A yet further modification ofthis statement occurs in another place, [c Ant. xiii. 5. 9.]where we are told that, according to the Pharisees, somethings depended upon fate, and more on man himself.Manifestly, there is not a very wide difference between thisand the fundamental principle of the Sadducees in what we maysuppose its primitive form.

But something more will have to be said as illustrative ofPharisaic teaching on this subject. No one who has enteredinto the spirit of the Old Testament can doubt that itsoutcome was faith, in its twofold aspect of acknowledgment ofthe absolute Rule, and simple submission to the Will, of God.What distinguished this so widely from fatalism was what maybe termed Jehovahism, that is, the moral element in itsthoughts of God, and that He was ever presented as inpaternal relationship to men. But the Pharisees carried theiraccentuation of the Divine to the verge of fatalism. Even theidea that God had created man with two impulses, the one togood, the other to evil; and that the latter was absolutelynecessary for the continuance of this world, would in somemeasure trace the causation of moral evil to the DivineBeing. The absolute and unalterable pre-ordination of everyevent, to its minutest details, is frequently insisted upon.Adam had been shown all the generations that were to springfrom him. Every incident in the history of Israel had beenforeordained, and the actors in it, for good or for evil,were only instruments for carrying out the Divine Will. Whatwere ever Moses and Aaron? God would have delivered Israelout of Egypt, and given them the Law, had there been no suchpersons. Similarly was it in regard to Solomon. to Esther, toNebuchadnezzar, and others. Nay, it was because man waspredestined to die that the serpent came to seduce our firstparents. And as regarded the history of each individual: allthat concerned his mental and physical capacity, or thatwould betide him, was prearranged. His name, place, position,circumstances, thevery name of her whom he was to wed, wereproclaimed in heaven, just as the hour of his death wasforeordered. There might be seven years of pestilence in theland, and yet no one died before his time. [a Sanh. 29 a.]Even if a man inflicted a cut on his finger, he might be surethat this also had been preordered. [b Chull. 7 b.] Nay,'wheresoever a man was destined to die, thither would hisfeet carry him.' [1 The following curious instance of this isgiven. On one occasion King Solomon, when attended by his twoScribes, Elihoreph and Ahiah (both supposed to have beenEthiopians), suddenly perceived the Angel of Death. As helooked so sad, Solomon ascertained as its reason, that thetwo Scribes had been demanded at his hands. On this Solomontransported them by magic into the land of Luz, where,according to legend, no man ever died. Next morning Solomonagain perceived the Angel of Death, but this time laughing,because, as he said. Solomon had sent these men to the veryplace whence he had been ordered to fetch them (Sukk, 53 a).]We can well understand how the Sadducees would oppose notionslike these, and all such coarse expressions of fatalism. Andit is significant of the exaggeration of Josephus, [2 Thosewho understand the character of Josephus' writings will be atno loss for his reasons in this. It would suit his purpose tospeak often of the fatalism of the Pharisees, and torepresent them as a philosophical sect like the Stoics. Thelatter, indeed, he does in so many words.] that neither theNew Testament, nor Rabbinic writings, bring the charge of thedenial of God's prevision against the Sadducees.

But there is another aspect of this question also. While thePharisees thus held the doctrine of absolute preordination,side by side with it they were anxious to insist on man'sfreedom of choice, his personal responsibility, and moralobligation. [3 For details comp. Hamburger, Real-Encykl. ii.pp. 103-106, though there is some tendency to 'colouring' inthis as in other articles of the work.] Although every eventdepended upon God, whether a man served God or not wasentirely in his own choice. As a logical sequence of this,fate had no influence as regarded Israel, since all dependedon prayer, repentance, and good works. Indeed, otherwise thatrepentance, on which Rabbinism so largely insists, would havehad no meaning. Moreover, it seems as if it had been intendedto convey that, while our evil actions were entirely our ownchoice, if a man sought to amend his ways, he would be helpedof God. [c Yoma 38 b.] It was, indeed, true that God hadcreatedthe evil impulse in us; but He had also given theremedy in the Law. [a Baba B. 16 a.] This is parabolicallyrepresented under the figure of a man seated at the partingof two ways, who warned all passers that if they chose oneroad it would lead them among the thorns, while on the otherbrief difficulties would end in a plain path (joy). [b Siphreon Deut. xi. 26, 53, ed. Friedmann, p. 86 a.] Or, to put itin the language of the great Akiba [c Ab. iii. 15.]:'Everything is foreseen; free determination is accorded toman; and the world is judged in goodness.' With this simplejuxtaphysition of two propositions equally true, butincapable of metaphysical combination, as are most things inwhich the empirically cognisable and uncognisable are joinedtogether, we are content to leave the matter.

The other differences between the Pharisees and Sadduceescan be easily and briefly summed up. They concern ceremonial,ritual, and juridical questions. In regard to the first, theopposition of the Sadducees to the excessive scruples of thePharisees on the subject of Levitical defilements led tofrequent controversy. Four points in dispute are mentioned,of which, however, three read more like ironical commentsthan serious divergences. Thus, the Sadducees taunted theiropponents with their many lustrations, including that of theGolden Candlestick in the Temple. [d Jer. Chag iii. 8; Tos.Chag. iii., where the reader will find sufficient proof thatthe Sadducees were not in the wrong.] Two other similarinstances are mentioned. [e In Yad, iv. 6, 7.] By way ofguarding against the possibility of profanation, thePharisees enacted, that the touch of any thing sacred'defiled' the hands. The Sadducees, on the other hand,ridiculed the idea that the Holy Scriptures 'defiled' thehands, but not such a book as Homer. [1 The Pharisees repliedby asking on what ground the bones of a High-Priest'defiled,' but not those of a donkey. And when the Sadduceesascribed it to the great value of the former, lest a manshould profane the bones of his parents by making spoons ofthem, the Pharisees pointed out that the same argumentapplied to defilement by the Holy Scriptures. In general, itseems that the Pharisees were afraid of the satiricalcomments of the Sadducees on their doings (comp. Parah iii.3).] In the same spirit, the Sadducees would ask thePharisees how it came, that water pouring from a clean intoan unclean vessel did not lose its purity and purifyingpower. [2 Wellhausen rightly denounces the strainedinterpretation of Geiger, who would find here, as in otherpoints, hidden political allusions.] If these represent noserious controversies, on another ceremonial question therewas real difference, though its existence shows how farparty-spirit could lead the Pharisees. No ceremony wassurrounded with greater care to prevent defilement than thatof preparing the ashes of the Red Heifer. [3 Comp. 'TheTemple, its Ministry and Services,' pp. 309, 312. The rubricsare in the Mishnic tractate Parab, and in Tos. Par.] Whatseem the original ordinances, [a Parah iii,; Tos. Par. 3.]directed that, for seven days previous to the burning of theRed Heifer, the priest was to be kept in separation in theTemple, sprinkled with the ashes of all sin-offerings, andkept from the touch of his brother-priests, with even greaterrigour than the High-Priest in his preparation for the Day ofAtonement. The Sadducees insisted that, as 'till sundown' wasthe rule in all purification, the priest must be incleanliness till then, before burning the Red Heifer. But,apparently for the sake of opposition, and in contraventionto their own principles, the Pharisees would actually'defile' the priest on his way to the place of burning, andthen immediately make him take a bath of purification whichhad been prepared, so as to show that the Sadducees were inerror. [b Parah iii. 7.] [1 The Mishnic passage is difficult,but I believe I have given the sense correctly.] In the samespirit, the Sadducees seem to have prohibited the use ofanything made from animals which were either interdicted asfood, or by reason of their not having been properlyslaughtered; while the Pharisees allowed it, and, in the caseof Levitically clean animals which had died or been torn,even made their skin into parchment, which might be used forsacred purposes. [c Shabb. 108 a.]

These may seem trifling distinctions, but they sufficed tokindle the passions. Even greater importance attached todifferences on ritual questions, although the controversyhere was purely theoretical. For, the Sadducees, when inoffice, always conformed to the prevailing Pharisaicpractices. Thus the Sadducees would have interpreted Lev.xxiii. 11, 15, 16, as meaning that the wave-sheaf (or,rather, the Omer) was to be offered on 'the morrow after theweekly Sabbath', that is, on the Sunday in Easter week, whichwould have brought the Feast of Pentacost always on a Sunday;[d Vv. 15, 16.] while the Pharisees understood the term'Sabbath' of the festive Paschal day. [e Men. x. 3; 65 a;Chag. ii. 4.][2 This difference, which is more intricate thanappears at first sight, requires a longer discussion than canbe given in this place.] Connected with this were disputesabout the examination of the witnesses who testified to theappearance of the new moon, and whom the Pharisees accused ofhaving been suborned by their opponents. [f Rosh haSh. i. 7;ii. 1; Tos. Rosh haSh. ed. Z. i. 15.]

The Sadducean objection to pouring the water of libationupon the altar on the Feast of Tabernacles, led to riot andbloody reprisals on the only occasion on which it seems tohave been carried into practice. [g Sukk. 48 b; comp. Jos.Ant. xiii 13. 5.] [3 For details about the observances onthis festival I must refer to 'The Temple, its Ministry andServices.'] Similarly, the Sadducees objected to the beatingoff the willow-branches after the procession round the altaron the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, if it were aSabbath. [a Sukk. 43 b; and in the Jerus. Talm. and Tos.Sukk. iii. 1.] Again, the Sadducees would have had theHigh-Priest, on the Day of Atonement, kindle the incensebefore entering the Most Holy Place; the Pharisees after hehad entered the Sanctuary. [b Jer. Yoma i. 5; Yoma 19 b; 53a.] Lastly, the Pharisees contended that the cost of thedaily Sacrifices should be discharged from the general Templetreasury, while the Sadducees would have paid it fromfree-will offerings. Other differences, which seem not sowell established, need not here be discussed.

Among the divergences on juridical questions, reference hasalready been made to that in regard to marriage with the'betrothed,' or else actually espoused widow of a deceased,childless brother. Josephus, indeed, charges the Sadduceeswith extreme severity in criminal matters; [c Specially Ant.xx. 9.] but this must refer to the fact that the ingenuity orpunctiliousness of the Pharisees would afford to mostoffenders a loophole of escape. On the other hand, such ofthe diverging juridical principles of the Sadducees, as areattested on trustworthy authority, [1 Other differences,which rest merely on the authority of the Hebrew Commentaryon 'The Roll of Fasts,' I have discarded as unsupported byhistorical evidence. I am sorry to have in this respect, andon some other aspect of the question, to differ from thelearned Article on 'The Sadducees,' in Kitto's Bibl. Encycl.]seem more in accordance with justice than those of thePharisees. They concerned (besides the Levirate marriage)chiefly three points. According to the Sadducees, thepunishment [d Decreed in Deut. xix. 21.] againstfalsewitnesses was only to be executed if the innocent person,condemned on their testimony, had actually sufferedpunishment, while the Pharisees held that this was to be doneif the sentence had been actually pronounced, although notcarried out. [e Makk. i. 6.] Again, according to Jewish law,only ason, but not a daughter, inherited the father'sproperty. From this the Pharisees argued, that if, at thetime of his father's decease, that son were dead, leavingonly a daughter, this granddaughter would (as representativeof the son) be the heir, while the daughter would beexcluded. On the other hand, the Sadducees held that, in sucha case, daughter and granddaughter should share alike. [fBaba B. 115 b; Tos. Yad.ii. 20.] Lastly, the Sadducees arguedthat if, according to Exodus xxi. 28,29, a man wasresponsible for damage done by his cattle, he was equally, ifnot more, responsible for damage done by his slave, while thePharisees refused to recognise any responsibility on thelatter score. [g Yad. iv. 7 and Tos. Yad.] [2 Geiger, andeven Derenbourg, see in these things deep politicalallusions, these things deep political allusions, which, asit seems to me, have no other existence than in the ingenuityof these writers.

For the sake of completeness it has been necessary to enterinto details, which may not posses a general interest. This,however, will be marked, that, with the exception of dogmaticdifferences, the controversy turned on questions of'canon-law.' Josephus tells us that the Pharisees commandedthe masses, [a Ant. xiii. 10. 6.] and especially the femaleworld, [b Ant. xvii. 2. 4.] while the Sadducees attached totheir ranks only a minority, and that belonging to thehighest class. The leading priests in Jerusalem formed, ofcourse, part of that highest class of society; and from theNew Testament and Josephus we learn that the High-Priestlyfamilies belonged to the Sadducean party. [c Acts v. 17; Ant.xx. 9.)] But to conclude from this, [1 So Wellhausen, u. s.]either that the Sadducees represented the civil and politicalaspect of society, and the Pharisees the religious; or, thatthe Sadducees were the priest-party, [2 So Geiger, u. s.] inopposition to the popular and democratic Pharisees, areinferences not only unsupported, but opposed to historicalfacts. For, not a few of the Pharisaic leaders were actuallypriests, [d Sheqal. iv. 4; vi. 1; Eduy. viii. 2; Ab. ii. B&c.] while the Pharisaic ordinances make more than amplerecognition of the privileges and rights of the Priesthood.This would certainly not have been the case if, as some havemaintained, Sadducean and priest-party had been convertibleterms. Even as regards the deputation to the Baptist of'Priests and Levites' from Jerusalem, we are expressely toldthat they 'were of the Pharisees.' [e St. John i. 24.]

This bold hypothesis seems, indeed, to have been inventedchiefly for the sake of another, still more unhistorical. Thederivation of the name 'Sadducee' has always been in dispite.According to a Jewish legend of about the seventh century ofour era, [f In the Ab. de R. Nath. c. 5.] the name wasderived from one Tsadoq (Zadok), [3 Tseduqim and Tsadduqimmark different transliterations of the name Sadducees.] adisciple of Antigonus of Socho, whoseprinciple of not servingGod for reward had been gradually misinterpreted intoSadduceeism. But, apart from the objection that in such casethe party should rather have taken the name of Antigonites,the story itself receives no support either from Josephus orfrom early Jewish writings. Accordingly modern critics haveadopted another hypothesis, which seems at least equallyuntenable. On the supposition that the Sadducees were the'priest-party,' the name of the sect is derived from Zadok(Tsadoq), the High-Priest in the time of Solomon. [4 Thistheory, defended with ingenuity by Geiger, had been of lateadopted by most writers, and even by Schurer. But not a fewof the statements hazarded by Dr. Geiger seem to me to haveno historical foundation, and the passages quoted in supporteither do not convey such meaning, or else are of noauthority.] But the objections to this are insuperable. Notto speak of the linguistic difficulty of deriving Tsadduqim(Zaddukim, Sadducees) from Tsadoq (Zadok), [5 So Dr. Low, asquoted in Dr. Ginsburg's article.] neither Josephus nor theRabbis know anything of such a connection between Tsadoq andthe Sadducees, of which, indeed, the rationale would bedifficult to perceive. Besides, is it likely that a partywould have gone back so many centuries for a name, which hadno connection with their distinctive principles? The name ofa party is, if self-chosen (which is rarely the case),derived from its founder or place of origin, or else fromwhat it claims as distinctive principles or practices.Opponents might either pervert such a name, or else give adesignation, generally opprobrious, which would express theirown relation to the party, or to some of its supposedpeculiarities. But on none of these principles can the originof the name of Sadducees from Tsadoq be accounted for.Lastly, on the supposition mentioned, the Sadducees must havegiven the name to their party, since it cannot be imaginedthat the Pharisees would have connected their opponents withthe honoured name of the High-Priest Tsadoq.

If it is highly improbable that the Sadducees, who, ofcourse, professed to be the right interpreters of Scripture,would choose any party-name, thereby stamping themselves assectaries, this derivation of their name is also contrary tohistorical analogy. For even the name Pharisees, 'Perushim,'separated ones,' was not taken by the party itself, butgiven to it by their opponents. [a Yad. iv. 6 &c.] [1Theargument as against the derivation of the term Sadduceewould, of course, hold equally good, even if each party hadassumed, not received from the other, its characteristicname.] From 1 Macc. ii. 42; vii. 13; 2 Macc. xiv. 6, itappears that originally they had taken the sacred name ofChasidim, or 'the pious.' [b Ps. xxx. 4; xxxi. 23; xxxvii.28.] This, no doubt, on the ground that they were truly thosewho, according to the directions of Ezra, [c vi. 21; ix. 1;x. 11; Neh. ix. 2.] had separated themselves (becomenibhdalim) 'from the filthiness of the heathen' (all heathendefilement) by carrying out the traditional ordinances. [2Comp. generally, 'Sketches of Jewish Social Life,' pp. 230,231.] In fact, Ezra marked the beginning of the 'later,' incontradistinction to the 'earlier,' or Scripture-Chasidim. [dBer. v. 1; comp. with Vayyikra R. 2, ed. Warsh. t. iii. p. 5a.] If we are correct in supposing that their opponents hadcalled them Perushim, instead of the Scriptural designationof Nibhdalim, the inference is at hand, that, while the'Pharisees' would arrogate to themselves the Scriptural nameof Chasidim, or 'the pious,' their opponents would retortthat they were satisfied to be Tsaddiqim, [3 Here it deservesspecial notice that the Old Testament term Chasid, which thePharisees arrogated to themselves, is rendered in the Peshitoby Zaddiq. Thus, as it were, the opponents of Pharisaismwould play off the equivalent Tsaddiq against the Pharisaicarrogation of Chasid.] or 'righteous.' Thus the name ofTsaddiqim would become that of the party opposing thePharisees, that is, of the Sadducees. There is, indeed, anadmitted linguistic difficulty in the change of the sound iinto u (Tsaddiqim into Tsadduqim), but may it not have beenthat this was accomplished, not grammatically, but by popularwitticism? Such mode of giving a 'by-name' to a party orgovernment is, at least, not irrational, nor is it uncommon.[1 Such by-names, by a play ona word, are not unfrequent.Thus, in Shem. R. 5 (ed. Warsh. p. 14 a, lines 7 and 8 fromtop), Pharaoh's charge that the Israelites were 'idle,' is,by a transposition of letters made to mean that they were.]Some wit might have suggested: Read not Tsaddiqim, the'righteous,' but Tsadduqim (from Tsadu,), 'desolation,'destruction.' Whether or not this suggestion approve itselfto critics, the derivation of Sadducees from Tsaddiqim iscertainly that which offers most probability. [2 It seemsstrange, that so accurate a scholar as Schurer should haveregarded the 'national party' as merely an offshoot from thePharisees (Neutest. Zeitgesch. p. 431), and appealed in proofto a passage in Josephus (Ant. xviii. 1.6), which expresslycalls the Nationalists a fourth party, by the side of thePharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes. That in practice theywould carry out the strict Judaism of the Pharisees, does notmake them Pharisees.]

This uncertainty as to the origin of the name of a partyleads almost naturally to the mention of another, which,indeed, could not be omitted in any description of thosetimes. But while the Pharisees and Sadducees were partieswithin the Synagogue, the Essenes ( or , the latter always inPhilo) were, although strict Jews, yet separatists, and,alike in doctrine, worship, and practice, outside the Jewishbody ecclesiastic. Their numbers amounted to only about4,000. [a Philo, Quod omnis probus liber, 12, ed, Mang. ii.p. 457; Jos. Ant. xviii. 1.5.] They are not mentioned in theNew Testament, and only very indirectly referred to inRabbinic writings, perhaps without clear knowledge on thepart of the Rabbis. If the conclusion concerning them, whichwe shall by-and-by indicate, be correct, we can scarcelywonder at this. Indeed, their entire separation from all whodid not belong to their sect, the terrible oaths by whichthey bound themselves to secrecy about their doctrines, andwhich would prevent any free religious discussion, as well asthe character of what is know of their views, would accountfor the scanty notices about them. Josephus and Philo, [3They are also mentioned by Pliny (Hist. Natur. v. 16).] whospeak of them in the most sympathetic manner, had, no doubt,taken special pains to ascertain all that could be learned.For this Josephus seems to have enjoyed specialopportunities. [4 This may be inferred from Josephus Life, c.2.] Still, the secrecy of their doctrines renders usdependent on writers, of whom at least one (Josephus) liesopen to the suspicion of colouring and exaggeration. But ofone thing we may feel certain: neither John the Baptist, andhis Baptism, nor the teaching of Christianity, had anyconnection with Essenism. It were utterly unhistorical toinfer such from a few points of contact, and these only ofsimilarity, not identity, when the differences between themare so fundamental. That an Essene would have preachedrepentance and the Kingdom of God to multitudes, baptized theuninitiated, and given supreme testimony to One like Jesus,are assertions only less extravagant than this, that One Whomingled with society as Jesus did, and Whose teaching, alikein that respect, and in all its tendencies, was so utterlyNon-, and even Anti-Essenic, had derived any part of Hisdoctrine from Essenism. Besides, when we remember the viewsof the Essenes on purification, and on Sabbath observance,and their denial of the Resurrection, we feel that, whateverpoints of resemblance critical ingenuity may emphasise, theteaching of Christianity was in a direction opposite fromthat of Essenism. [1 This point is conclusively disposed ofby Bishop Lightfoot in the third Dissertation appended to hisCommentary on the Colossians (pp. 397-419). In general, themasterly discussion of the whole subject by Bishop Lightfoot,alike in the body of the Commentary and in the threeDissertations appended, may be said to form a new era in thetreatment of the whole question, the points on which we wouldventure to express dissent being few and unimportant. Thereader who wishes to see a statement of the supposed analogybetween Essenism and the teaching of Christ will find it inDr. Ginsburg's Article 'Essenes,' in Smith and Wace'sDictionary of Christian Biography. The same line of argumenthas been followed by Frankel and Gartz. The reasons for theopposite view are set forth in the text.]

We posses no data for the history of the origin anddevelopment (if such there was) of Essenism. We may admit acertain connection between Pharisaism and Essenism, though ithas been greatly exaggerated by modern Jewish writers. Bothdirections originated from a desire after 'purity,' thoughthere seems a fundamental difference between them, alike inthe idea of what constituted purity, and in the means forattaining it. To the Pharisee it was Levitical and legalpurity, secured by the 'hedge' of ordinances which they drewaround themselves. To the Essene it was absolute purity inseparation from the 'material,' which in itself was defiling.The Pharisee attained in this manner the distinctive merit ofa saint; the Essene obtained a higher fellowship with theDivine, 'inward' purity, and not only freedom from thedetracting, degrading influence of matter, but command overmatter and nature. As the result of this higher fellowshipwith the Divine, the adept possessed the power of prediction;as the result of his freedom from, and command over matter,the power of miraculous cures. That their purifications,strictest Sabbath observance, and other practices, would formpoints of contact with Pharisaism, follows as a matter ofcourse; and a little reflection will show, that suchobservances would naturally be adopted by the Essenes, sincethey were within the lines of Judaism, although separatistsfrom its body ecclesiastic. On the other hand, theirfundamental tendency was quite other than that of Pharisaism,and strongly tinged with Eastern (Parsee) elements. Afterthis the inquiry as to the precise date of its origin, andwhether Essenism was an offshoot from the original (ancient)assideans or Chasidim, seems needless. Certain it is that wefind its first mention about 150 B.C., [a Jos. Ant. xiii. 5.9.] and that we meet the first Essence in the reign ofAristobulus I. [b 105-104 B.C.; Ant. xiii. 11. 2; War i. 3.5.]

Before stating our conclusions as to its relation to Judaismand the meaning of the name, we shall put together whatinformation may be derived of the sect from the writings ofJosephus, Philo, and Pliny. [1 Compare Josephus, Ant. xiii.5, 9; xv. 10. 4, 5; xviii. 1. 5; Jewish War, ii. 8, 2-13;Philo, Quod omnis probus liber, 12, 13 (ed. Mangey, ii.457-459; ed. Par. and Frcf. pp. 876-879; ed. Richter, vol. v.pp. 285-288); Pliny, N.H. v. 16, 17. For references in theFathers see Bp. Lightfoot on Colossians, pp. 83, 84 (note).Comp. the literature there and in Schurer (Neutest.Zeitgesch. p. 599), to which I would add Dr. Ginburg's Art.'Essenes' in Smith's and Wace's Dict. of Chr. Biogr., vol.ii.] Even its outward organisation and the mode of life musthave made as deep, and, considering the habits andcircumstances of the time, even deeper impression than doesthe strictest asceticism on the part of any modern monasticorder, without the unnatural and repulsive characteristics ofthe latter. There were no vows of absolute silence, brokenonly by weird chaunt of prayer or 'memento mori;' nopenances, nor self-chastisement. But the person who hadentered the 'order' was as effectually separated from alloutside as if he had lived in another world. Avoiding thelarge cities as the centres of immorality, [c Philo, ii.p.457.] they chose for their settlements chiefly villages, oneof their largest colonies being by the shore of the Dead Sea.[d Pliny, Hist. Nat. v. 16, 17.] At the same time they hadalso 'houses' inmost, if not all the cities of Palestine, [ePhilo, u.s. p. 632; Jos. Jewish War ii. 8. 4.] notably inJerusalem, [f Ant. xiii. 11.2; xv. 10. 5; xvii. 13.3.] where,indeed, one of gates gates was named after them. [g War v.4.2.] In these 'houses' they lived in common, [h Philo, u.s.p. 632.] under officials of their own. The affairs of 'theorder'were administered by a tribunal of at least a hundredmembers. [i War ii. 8.9.] wore a common dress, engaged incommon labor, united in common prayers, partook of commonmeals, and devoted themselves to works of charity, for whicheach had liberty to draw from the common treasury at his owndiscretion, except in the case of relatives. [a War ii. 8.6.] Everything was of the It scarcely needs mention that theyextended fullest hospitality to strangers belonging to theorder; in fact, a special official was appointed for thispurpose in every city. [b u. s. sections 4.] Everything wasof the simplest character, and intended to purify the soul bythe greatest possible avoidance, not only of what was sinful,but of what was material. Rising at dawn, no profane word wasspoken till they had offered their prayers. These wereaddressed towards, if not to, the rising son, probably, asthey would have explained it, as the emblem of the DivineLight, but implying invocation, if not adoration, of the sun.[1 The distinction is Schurer's, although he is disposed tominimise this point. More on this in the sequel.] After thatthey were dismissed by their officers to common work. Themorning meal was preceded by a lustration, or bath. Then theyput on their 'festive' linen garments, and entered, purified,the common hall as their Sanctuary. For each meal wassacrificial, in fact, the only sacrifices which theyacknowledged. The 'baker,' who was really their priest, andnaturally so, since he prepared the sacrifice, set beforeeach bread, and the cook a mess of vegetables. The meal beganwith prayer by the presiding priest, for those who presidedat these 'sacrifices' were also 'priests,' although inneither case probably of Aaronic descent, but consecrated bythemselves. [c Jos. War ii 8.5; Ant. xviii. 1. 5.] Thesacraficial meal was again concluded by prayer, when they putoff their sacred dress, and returned to their labour. Theevening meal was of exactly the same description, andpartaken of with the same rites as that of the morning.

Although the Essenes, who, with the exception of a smallparty among them, repudiated marriage, adopted children totrain them in the principles of their sect, [2 Schurerregards these children as forming the first of the four'classes' or 'grades' into which the Essenes were arranged.But this is contrary to the express statement of Philo, thatonly adults were admitted into the order, and hence only suchcould have formed a 'grade' or 'class' of the community.(Comp. ed. Mangey, ii. p. 632, from Eusebius' Praepar. Evang.lib. viii. cap. 8.) I have adopted the view of BishopLightfoot on the subject. Even the marrying order of theEssenes, however, only admitted of wedlock under greatrestrictions, and as a necessary evil (War,u. s. sections13). Bishop Lightfoot suggests, that these were not Essenesin the strict sense, but only 'like the third order of aBenedictine or Franciscan brotherhood.] yet admission to theorder was only granted to adults, and after a novitiate whichlasted three years. On entering, the novice received thethree symbols of purity: an axe, or rather a spade, withwhich to dig a pit, a foot deep, to cover up the excrements;an apron, to bind round the loins in bathing; and a whitedress, which was always worn, the festive garment at mealsbeing of linen. At the end of the first year the novice wasadmitted to the lustrations. He had now entered on the secondgrade, in which he remained for another year. After itslapse, he was advanced to the third grade, but stillcontinued a novice, until, at the close of the third year ofhis probation, he was admitted to the fourth grade, that offull member, when, for the first time, he was admitted to thesacrifice of the common meals. The mere touch of one of alower grade in the order defiled the Essene, and necessitatedthe lustration of a bath. Before admission to fullmembership, a terrible oath was taken. As, among otherthings, it bound to the most absolute secrecy, we canscarcely suppose that its form, as given by Josephus, [a Warii. 8.7.] contains much beyond what was generally allowed totranspire. Thus the long list given by the Jewish historianof moral obligations which the Essenes undertook, is probablyonly a rhetorical enlargement of some simple formula. Morecredit attaches to the alleged undertaking of avoidance ofall vanity, falsehood, dishonesty, and unlawful gains. Thelast parts of the oath alone indicate the peculiar vows ofthe sect, that is, so far as they could be learned by theoutside world, probably chiefly through the practice of theEssenes. They bound each member not to conceal anything fromhis own sect, nor, even on peril of death, to disclose theirdoctrines to others; to hand down their doctrines exactly asthey had received them; to abstain from robbery; [1 Can thispossibly have any connection in the mind of Josephus with thelater Nationalist movement? This would agree with hisinsistance on their respect for those in authority. Otherwisethe emphasis laid on abstinence from robbery seems strange insuch a sect.] and to guard the books belonging to their sect,and the names of the Angels.

It is evident that, while all else was intended assafeguards of a rigorous sect of purists, and with the viewof strictly keeping it a secret order, the last-mentionedparticulars furnish significant indications of their peculiardoctrines. Some of these may be regarded as onlyexaggerations of Judaism, though not of the Pharisaic kind.[2 I ventureto think that even Bishop Lightfoot lays too muchstress on the affinity to Pharisaism. I can discover few, ifany, traces of Pharisaism in the distinctive sense of theterm. Even their frequent washings had a different objectfrom those of the Pharisees.] Among them we reckon theextravagant reverence for the name of their legislator(presumably Moses), whom to blaspheme was a capital offence;their rigid abstinence from all prohibited food; and theirexaggerated Sabbath-observance, when, not only no food wasprepared, but not a vessel moved, nay, not even nature eased.[3 For a similar reason, and in order 'not to affront theDivine rays of light', the light as symbol, if not outcome,of the Deity, they covered themselves, in such circumstances,with the mantle which was their ordinary dress in winter.]But this latter was connected with their fundamental idea ofinherent impurity in the body, and, indeed, in all that ismaterial. Hence, also, their asceticism, their repudiation ofmarriage, and their frequent lustrations in clean water, notonly before their sacrificial meals, but upon contact evenwith an Essene of a lower grade, and after attending to thecalls of nature. Their undoubted denial of the resurrectionof the body seems only the logical sequence from it. If thesoul was a substance of the subtlest ether, drawn by certainnatural enticement into the body, which was its prison, astate of perfectness could not have consisted in therestoration of that which, being material, was in itselfimpure. And, indeed, what we have called the exaggeratedJudaism of the sect, its rigid abstinence from all forbiddenfood, and peculiar Sabbath-observance, may all have had thesame object, that of tending towards an external purism,which the Divine legislator would have introduced, but the'carnally-minded' could not receive. Hence, also, the strictseparation of the order, its grades, its rigorous discipline,as well as its abstinence from wine, meat, and all ointments,from every luxury, even from trades which would encouragethis, or any vice. This aim after external purity explainsmany of their outward arrangements, such as that their labourwas of the simplest kind, and the commonality of all propertyin the order; perhaps, also, what may seem more ethicalordinances, such as the repudiation of slavery, their refusalto take an oath, and even their scrupulous care of truth. Thewhite garments, which they always wore, seem to have been buta symbol of that purity which they sought. For this purposethey submitted, not only to strict asceticism, but to adiscipline which gave the officials authority to expel alloffenders, even though in so doing they virtually condemnedthem to death by starvation, since the most terrible oathshad bound all entrants into the order not to partake of anyfood other than that prepared by their 'priests.'

In such a system there would, of course, be no place foreither an Aaronic priesthood, or bloody sacrifices. In fact,they repudiated both. Without formally rejecting the Templeand its services, there was no room in their system for suchordinances. They sent, indeed, thank offerings to the Temple,but what part had they in bloody sacrifices and an Aaronicministry, which constituted the main business of the Temple?Their 'priests' were their bakers and presidents; theirsacrifices those of fellowship, their sacred meals of purity.It is quite in accordance with this tendency when we learnfrom Philo that, in their diligent study of the Scriptures,they chiefly adopted the allegorical mode of interpretation.[a Ed. Mang ii. p. 458.]

We can scarcely wonder that such Jews as Josephus and Philo,and such heathens as Pliny, were attracted by such anunworldly and lofty sect. Here were about 4,000 men, whodeliberately separated themselves, not only from all thatmade life pleasant, but from all around; who, after passing along and strict novitiate, were content to live under themost rigid rule, obedient to their superiors; who gave up alltheir possessions, as well as the earnings of their dailytoil in the fields, or of their simple trades; who held allthings for the common benefit, entertained strangers, nursedtheir sick, and tended their aged as if their own parents,and were charitable to all men; who renounced all animalpassions, eschewed anger, ate and drank in strictestmoderation, accumulated neither wealth nor possessions, worethe simplest white dress till it was no longer fit for use;repudiated slavery, oaths, marriage; abstained from meat andwine, even from the common Eastern anointing with oil; usedmystic lustrations, had mystic rites and mystic prayers, anesoteric literature and doctrines; whose every meal was asacrifice, and every act one of self-denial; who, besides,were strictly truthful, honest, upright, virtuous, chaste,and charitable, in short, whose life meant, positively andnegatively, a continual purification of the soul bymortification of the body. To the astonished onlookers thismode of life was rendered even more sacred by doctrines, aliterature, and magic power known only to the initiated.Their mysterious conditions made them cognisant of the namesof Angels, by which we are, no doubt, to understand atheosophic knowledge, fellowship with the Angelic world, andthe power of employing its ministry. Their constantpurifications, and the study of their prophetic writings,gave them the power of prediction; [a Jos. War ii. 8, 12;comp. Ant. xiii. 11. 2; xv. 10. 5; xvii. 13.3.] the samemystic writings revealed the secret remedies of plants andstones for the healing of the body, [1 There can be noquestion that these Essene cures were magical, and theirknowledge of remedies esoteric.] as well as what was neededfor the cure of souls.

It deserves special notice that this intercourse withAngels, this secret traditional literature, and its teachingconcerning mysterious remedies in plants and stones, are notunfrequently referred to in that Apocalyptic literature knownas the 'Pseudepigraphic Writings.' Confining ourselves toundoubtedly Jewish and pre-Christian documents, [2 BishopLightfoot refers to a part of the Sibylline books which seemsof Christian authorship.] we know what development thedoctrine of Angels received both in the Book of Enoch (alikein its earlier and in its later portion [b ch. xxxi.-ixxi.])and in the Book of Jubilees, [3 Comp. Lucius, Essenismus, p.109. This brochure, the latest on the subject, (thoughinteresting, adds little to our knowledge.]) and how the'seers' received Angelic instruction and revelations. Thedistinctively Rabbinic teaching on these subjects is fullyset forth in another part of this work. [1 See Appendix XIII.on the Angelology, Satanology, and Demonology of the Jews.]Here we would only specially notice that in the Book ofJubilees [a Ch. x.] Angels are represented as teaching Noahall 'herbal remedies' for diseases, [b Comp. also the SepherNoach in Jellinek's Beth. haMidr. part iii. pp. 155, 156.]while in the later Pirqe de R. Eliezer [c c. 48.] thisinstruction is said to have been given to moses. These twopoints (relaion to the Angels, and knowledge of the remedialpower of plants, not to speak of visions and prophecies) seemto connect the secret writings of the Essenes with that'outside' literature which in Rabbinic writings is known asSepharim haChitsonim, 'outside writings.' [2 Only afterwriting the above I have noticed, that Jellinek arrives atthe same conclusion as to the Essene character of the Book ofJubilees (Beth ha-Midr. iii. p. xxxiv., xxxv.), and of theBook of Enoch (u.s. ii. p. xxx.).] The point is of greatestimportance, as will presently appear.

It needs no demonstration, that a system which proceededfrom a contempt of the body and of all that is material; insome manner identified the Divine manifestation with the Sun;denied the Resurrection, the Temple-priesthood, andsacrifices; preached abstinence from meats and from marriage;decreed such entire separation from all around that theirvery contact defiled, and that its adherents would haveperished of hunger rather than join in the meals of theoutside world; which, moreover, contained not a trace ofMessianic elements indeed, had no room for them, could havehad no internal connection with the origin of Christianity.Equally certain is it that, in respect of doctrine, life, andworship, it really stood outside Judaism, as represented byeither Pharisees or Sadducees. The question whence theforeign elements were derived, which were its distinctivecharacteristics, has of late been so learnedly discussed,that only the conclusions arrived at require to be stated. Ofthe two theories, of which the one traces Essenism toNeo-Pythagorean, [3 So Zeller, Philosophie d. Griechen, ed.1881, iii. pp. 277-337.] the other to Persian sources, [4 SoBishop Lightfoot, in his masterly treatment of the wholesubject in his Commentary on the Ep. to the Colossians.] thelatter seems fully established, without, however, whollydenying at least the possibility of Neo-Pythagoreaninfluences. To the grounds which have been so conclusivelyurged in support of the Eastern origin of Essenism, [5 ByBishop Lightfoot, u.s. pp. 382-396 In general, I prefer onmany points such as the connection between Essenism andGnosticism &c., simply to refer readers to the classic workof Bishop Lightfoot.] in its distinctive features, may beadded this, that Jewish Angelology, which played so great apart in the system, was derived from Chaldee and Persiansources, and perhaps also the curious notion, that theknowledge of medicaments, originally derived by Noah from theangels, came to the Egyptians chiefly through the magic booksof the Chaldees. [a Sepher Noach ap. Jellinek iii. p. 156.][1 As regards any connection between the Essenes and theTherapeutai, Lucius has denied the existence of such a sectand the Philonic authorship of de V. cont. The latter we havesought to defend in the Art. Philo (Smith and Wace's Dict. ofChr. Biogr. iv.), and to show that the Therapeutes were not a'sect' but an esoteric circle of Alexandrian Jews.]

It is only at the conclusion of these investigations that weare prepared to enter on the question of the origin andmeaning of the name Essenes, important as this inquiry is,not only in itself, but in regard to the relation of the sectto orthodox Judaism. The eighteen or nineteen proposedexplanations of a term, which must undoubtedly be of Hebrewetymology, all proceed on the idea of its derivation fromsomething which implied praise of the sect, the two leastobjectionable explaining the name as equivalent either to'the pious,' or else to 'the silent ones.' But against allsuch derivations there is the obvious objection, that thePharisees, who had the moulding of the theological language,and who were in the habit of giving the hardest names tothose who differed from them, would certainly not havebestowed a title implying encomium on a sect which, inprinciple and practices, stood so entirely outside, not onlyof their own views, but even of the Synagogue itself. Again,if they had given a name of encomium to the sect, it is onlyreasonable to suppose that they would not have kept, inregard to their doctrines and practices, a silence which isonly broken by dim and indirect allusions. Yet, as we examineit, the origin and meaning of the name seem implied in theirvery position towards the Synagogue. They were the only realsect, strictly outsiders, and their name Essenes ('E , 'E )seems the Greek equivalent for Chitsonim ( ), 'theoutsiders.' Even the circumstance that the axe, or ratherspade ( ), which every novice received, has for its Rabbinicequivalent the word Chatsina, is here not withoutsignificance. Linguistically, the words Essenoi and Chitsonimare equivalents, as admittedly are the similar designationsChasidim ( ) and Asidaioi ('A ). For, in rendering Hebrewinto Greek, the ch ( ) is 'often entirely omitted, orrepresented by a spiritus lenis in the beginning,' while 'inregard to the vowels no distinct rule is to be laid down.' [bDeutsch, Remains, pp. 359, 360.] Instances of a change of theHebrew i into the Greek e are frequent, and of the Hebrew ointo the Greek e not rare. As one instance will suffice, weselect a case in which exactly the same transmutation of thetwo vowel-sounds occurs, that of the Rabbinic Abhginos ( )for the Greek ( ) Eugenes ('well-born'). [2 As otherinstances may be quoted such as Istagioth ( ) ( ) ( ), roof;Istuli ( ) ( ) ( ), a pillar; Dikhsumini ( ) ( ) ( ),cistern.

This derivation of the name Essenes, which strictlyexpresses the character and standing of the sect relativelyto orthodox Judaism, and, indeed, is the Greek form of theHebrew term for 'outsiders,' is also otherwise confirmed. Ithas already been said, that no direct statement concerningthe Essenes occurs in Rabbinic writings. Nor need thissurprise us, when we remember the general reluctance of theRabbis to refer to their opponents, except in actualcontroversy; and, that, when traditionalism was reduced towriting, Essenism, as a Jewish sect, had ceased to exist.Some of its elements had passed into the Synagogue,influencing its general teaching (as in regard to Angelology,magic, &c.), and greatly contributing to that mysticdirection which afterwards found expression in what is nowknown as the Kabbalah. But the general movement had passedbeyond the bounds of Judaism, and appeared in some forms ofthe Gnostic heresy. But still there are Rabbinic referencesto the 'Chitsonim,' which seem to identify them with the sectof the Essenes. Thus, in one passage [a Megill. 24 b, lines 4and 5 from bottom.] certain practices of the Sadducees and ofthe Chitsonim are mentioned together, and it is difficult tosee who could be meant by the latter if not the Essenes.Besides, the practices there referred to seem to containcovert allusions to those of the Essenes. Thus, the Mishnahbegins by prohibiting the public reading of the Law by thosewho would not appear in a coloured, but only in a whitedress. Again, the curious statement is made that the mannerof the Chitsonim was to cover the phylacteries with gold, astatement unexplained in the Gemara, and inexplicable, unlesswe see in it an allusion to the Essene practice of facing therising Sun in their morning prayers. [1 The practice ofbeginning prayers before, and ending them as the sun had justrisen, seems to have passed from the Essenes to a party inthe Synagogue itself, and is pointedly alluded to as acharacteristic of the so-called Vethikin, Ber. 9 b; 25 b; 26a. But another peculiarity about them, noticed in Rosh haSh.32 b (the repetition of all the verses in the Pentateuchcontaining the record of God in the so-called Malkhiyoth,Zikhronoth, and Shophroth), shows that they were not Essenes,since such Rabbinic practices must have been alien to theirsystem.] Again, we know with what bitterness Rabbinismdenounced the use of the externe writings (the SepharimhaChitsonim) to the extent of excluding from eternal lifethose who studied them. [b Sanh. x 1.] But one of the bestascertained facts concerning the Essenes is that theypossessed secret, 'outside,' holy writings of their own,which they guarded with special care. And, although it is notmaintained that the Sepharim haChitsonim were exclusivelyEssene writings, [2 In Sanh. 100 b they are explained as 'thewritings of the Sadducees,' and by another Rabbi as 'the Bookof Sirach' (Ecclus. in the Apocrypha). Hamburger, assometimes, makes assertions on this point which cannot besupported (Real-Worterb. ii. p. 70). Jer. Sanh. 28 aexplains, 'Such as the books of Ben Sirach and of BenLa'nah', the latter apparently also an Apocryphal book, forwhich the Midr. Kohel. (ed. warsh. iii. p. 106 b) has 'thebook of Ben Tagla' 'La'nah' and 'Tagla' could scarcely besymbolic names. On the other hand, I cannot agree with Furst(Kanon d. A.T. p. 99), who identifies them with Apollonius ofTyana and Empedocles. Dr. Neubauer suggests that Ben La'nahmay be a corruption of Sibylline Oracles.] the latter musthave been included among them. We have already seen reasonfor believing, that even the so-called Pseudepigraphicliterature, notably such works as the Book of Jubilees, wasstrongly tainted with Essene views; if, indeed, in perhapsanother than its present form, part of it was not actuallyEssene. Lastly, we find what seems to us yet another covertallusion [a In Sanh. x. 1.] to Essene practices, similar tothat which has already been noticed. [b Meg. 24 b.] For,immediatley after consigning to destruction all who deniedthat there was proof in the Pentateuch for the Resurrection(evidently the Sadducees), those who denied that the Law wasfrom heaven (the Minim, or heretics, probably the JewishChristians), and all 'Epicureans' [1 The 'Epicureans,' or'freethinkers,' are explained to be such as speakcontemptuously of the Scriptures, or of the Rabbis (Jer.Sanh. 27 d). In Sanh. 38 b a distinction is made between'stranger' (heathen) Epicureans, and Israelitish Epicureans.With the latter it is unwise to enter into argument.](materialists), the same punishment is assigned to those 'whoread externe writings' (Sepharim haChitsonim) and 'whowhispered' (a magical formula) 'over a wound.' [2 Both in theJer. and Bab.Talm. it is conjoined with 'spitting,' which wasa mode of healing, usual at the time. The Talmud forbids themagical formula, only in connection with this 'spitting', andthen for the curious reason that the Divine Name is not to berecorded while 'spitting.' But, while in the Bab. Talm. theprohibition bears against such 'spitting' before pronouncingthe formula, in the Jer. Talm. it is after uttering it.] Boththe Babylonian and the Jerusalem Talmud [c Sanh. 101 a; Jer.Sanh. p. 28 b.] offer astrange explanation of this practice;perhaps, because they either did not, or else would not,understand the allusion. But to us it seems at leastsignificant that as, in the first quoted instance, themention of the Chitsonim is conjoined with a condemnation ofthe exclusive use of white garments in worship, which we knowto have been an Essene peculiarity, so the condemnation ofthe use of Chitsonim writings with that of magical cures. [3Bishop Lightfoot has shown that the Essene cures were magical(u. s. pp. 91 &c. and p. 377).] At the same time, we are lessbound to insist on these allusions as essential to ourargument, since those, who have given another derivation thanours to the name Essenes, express themselves unable to findin ancient Jewish writings any trustworthy reference to thesect.

On one point, at least, our inquiry into the three 'parties'can leave no doubt. The Essenes could never have been drawneither to the person, or the preaching of John the Baptist.Similarly, the Sadducees would, after they knew its realcharacter and goal, turn contemptuously from a movement whichwould awaken no sympathy in them, and could only become ofinterest when it threatened to endanger their class byawakening popular enthusiasm, and so rousing the suspicionsof the Romans. To the Pharisees there were questions ofdogmatic, ritual, and even national importance involved,which made the barest possibility of what John announced aquestion of supreme moment. And, although we judge that thereport which the earliest Pharisaic hearers of John [a St.Matt. iii. 7.] brough to Jerusalem, no doubt, detailed andaccurate, and which led to the despatch of the deputation,would entirely predispose them against the Baptist, yet itbehooved them, as leaders of public opinion, to take suchcognisance of it, as would not only finally determine theirown relation to the movement, but enable them effectually todirect that of others also.




(St. John i. 15-51.) THE forty days, which had passed sinceJesus had first come to him, must have been to the Baptist atime of soul-quickening, of unfolding understanding, and ofripened decision. We see it in his more emphasised testimonyto the Christ; in his fuller comprehension of thoseprophecies which had formed the warrant and substance of hisMission; but specially in the yet more entireself-abnegation, which led him to take up a still lowlierposition, and acquiescingly to realise that his task ofheralding was ending, and that what remained was to pointthose nearest to him, and who had most deeply drunk of hisspirit, to Him Who had come. And how could it be otherwise?On first meeting Jesus by the banks of Jordan, he had feltthe seeming incongruity of baptizing One of Whom he hadrather need to be baptized. Yet this, perhaps, because he hadbeheld himself by the Brightness of Christ, rather thanlooked at the Christ Himself. What he needed was not to bebaptized, but to learn that it became the Christ to fulfilall righteousness. This was the first lesson. The next, andcompleting one, came when, after the Baptism, the heavensopened, the Spirit descended, and the Divine Voice ofTestimony pointed to, and explained the promised sign. [1 St.John i. 33.] It told him, that the work, which he had begunin the obedience of faith, had reached the reality offulfilment. The first was a lesson about the Kingdom; thesecond about the King. And then Jesus was parted from him,and led of the Spirit into the wilderness.

Forty days since then, with these events, this vision, thosewords ever present to his mind! It had been the mightiestimpulse; nay, it must have been a direct call from above,which first brought John from his life-preparation of lonelycommuning with God to the task of preparing Israel for thatwhich he knew was preparing for them. He had entered upon it,not only without illusions, but with such entireself-forgetfulness, as only deepest conviction of the realityof what he announced could have wrought. He knew those towhom he was to speak, the preoccupation, the spiritualdulness, the sins of the great mass; the hypocrisy, theunreality, the inward impenitence of their spiritual leaders;the perverseness of their direction; the hollowness anddelusiveness of their confidence as being descended fromAbraham. He saw only too clearly their real character, andknew the near end of it all: how the axe was laid to thebarren tree, and how terribly the fan would sift the chafffrom the wheat. And yet he preached and baptized; for,deepest in his heart was the conviction, that there was aKingdom at hand, and a King coming. As we gather the elementsof that conviction, we find them chiefly in the Book ofIsaiah. His speech and its imagery, and, especially, theburden of his message, were taken from those prophecies. [1This is insisted upon by Keim, in his beautiful sketch of theBaptist. Would that he had known the Master in the glory ofHis Divinity, as he understood the Forerunner in the beautyof his humanity! To show how the whole teaching of theBaptist was, so to speak, saturated with Isaiah-language andthoughts, comp. not only Is. xl. 3, as the burden of hismission, but as to his imagery (after Keim): Generation ofvipers, Is. lix. 5; planting of the Lord, Is. v. 7; trees,vi. 13; x. 15, 18, 33; xl. 24; fire. i. 31; ix. 18; x. 17; v.24; xlvii. 14; floor and fan, xxi. 10; xxvii. 27 &c.; xxx.24; xl. 24; xli. 15 &c.; bread and coat to the poor, lviii.7; the garner, xxi. 10. Besides these, the Isaiah referencein his Baptism (Is. lii. 15; i. 16), and that to the Lamb ofGod, indeed many others of a more indirect character, willreadily occur to the reader. Similarly, when our Lord wouldafterwards instruct him in his hour of darkness (St. Matt.xi. 2), He points for the solution of his doubts to thewell-remembered prophecies of Isaiah (Is. xxxv. 5, 6; lxi. 1;viii. 14, 15).] Indeed, his mind seems saturated with them;they must have formed his own religious training; and theywere the preparation for his work. This gathering up of theOld Testament rays of light and glory into the burning-glassof Evangelic prophecy had set his soul on fire. No wonderthat, recoiling equally from the externalism of thePharisees, and the merely material purism of the Essenes, hepreached quite another doctrine, of inward repentance andrenewal of life.

One picture was most brightly reflected on those pages ofIsaiah. It was that of the Anointed, Messiah, Christ, theRepresentative Israelite, the Priest, King, and Prophet, [aIs. ix. 6 &c.; xi.; xlii.; lii. 13 &c. [iii.]; lxi.] in Whomthe institution and sacramental meaning of the Priesthood,and of Sacrifices, found their fulfilment. [b Is. liii.] Inhis announcement of the Kingdom, in his call to inwardrepentance, even in his symbolic Baptism, that GreatPersonality always stood out before the mind of John, as theOne all-overtoppingand overshadowing Figure in thebackground. It was the Isaiah-picture of 'the King in Hisbeauty,' the vision of 'the land of far distances'[a Is.xxxiii. 17.] [1 I cannot agree with Mr. Cheyne (Prophecies ofIs. vol. i. p. 183), that there is no Messianic referencehere. It may not be in the most literal sense 'personallyMessianic;' but surely this ideal presentation of Israel inthe perfectness of its kingdom, and the glory of itshappiness, is one of the fullest Messianic picture (comp. vv.17 to end).] to him a reality, of which Sadducee and Essenehad no conception, and the Pharisee only the grossestmisconception. This also explains how the greatest of thoseborn of women was also the most humble, the most retiring,and self-forgetful. In a picture such as that which filledhis whole vision, there was no room for self. By the side ofsuch a Figure all else appeared in its real littleness, and,indeed, seemed at best but as shadows cast by its light. Allthe more would the bare suggestion on the part of theJerusalem deputation, that he might be the Christ, seem likea blasphemy, from which, in utter self-abasement, he wouldseek shelter in the scarce-ventured claim to the meanestoffice which a slave could discharge. He was not Elijah. Eventhe fact that Jesus afterwards, in significant language,pointed to the possibility of his becoming such to Israel(St. Matt. xi. 14), proves that he claimed it not; [2 This iswell pointed out by Keim.] not 'that prophet'; not even aprophet. He professed not visions, revelations, specialmessages. All else was absorbed in the great fact: he wasonly the voice of one that cried, 'Prepare ye the way!'Viewed especially in the light of those self-glorious times,this reads not like a ficitious account of a fictiousmission; nor was such the profession of an impostor, anassociate in a plot, or an enthusiast. There was deep realityof all-engrossing conviction which underlay such self-denialof mission.

And all this must have ripened during the forty days ofprobably comparative solitude, [3 We have in a previouschapter suggested that the baptism of Jesus had taken placeat Bethabara, that is, the furthest northern point of hisactivity, and probably at the close of his baptismalministry. It is not possible in this place to detail thereasons for this view. But the learned reader will findremarks on it in Keim, i. 2, p. 524.] only relieved by thepresence of such 'disciples' as, learning the same hope,would gather around him. What he had seen and what he hadheard threw him back upon what he had expected and believed.It not only fulfilled, it transfigured it. Not that,probably, he always maintained the same height which he thenattained. It was not in the nature of things that it shouldbe so. We often attain, at the outset of our climbing, aglimpse, afterwards hid from us in our laborious upward toiltill the supreme height is reached. Mentally and sprirtuallywe may attain almost at a bound results, too often lost to ustill again secured by long reflection, or in the course ofpainful development. This in some measure explains thefulness of John's testimony to the Christ as 'the Lamb ofGod, Which taketh away the sin of the world,' when at thebeginning we find ourselves almost at the goal of NewTestament teaching. It also explains that last strife ofdoubt and fear, when the weary wrestler laid himself down tofind refreshment and strength in the shadow of thoseprophecies, which had first called him to the contest. Butduring those forty days, and in the first meetings with Jesuswhich followed, all lay bathed in the morning-light of thatheavenly vision, and that Divine truth wakened in him theechoes of all those prophecies, which these thirty years hadbeen the music of his soul.

And now, on the last of those forty days, simultaneouslywith the final great Temptation of Jesus [1 This, of course,on the supposition that the Baptism of Jesus took place atBethabara, and hence that the 'wilderness' into which He wasdriven, was close by. It is difficult to see why, on anyother supposition, Jesus returned to Bethabara, sinceevidently it was not for the sake of any personal intercoursewith John.] which must have summed up all that had precededit in the previous days, came the hour of John's temptationby the deputation from Jerusalem. [2 This is most beautifullysuggested by Canon Westcott in his Commentary on thepassage.] Very gently it came to him, like the tempered windthat fans the fire into flame, not like that keen, desolatingstorm-blast which swept over the Master. To John, as now tous, it was only the fellowship of His sufferings, which hebore in the shelter of that great Rock over which itsintenseness had spent itself. Yet a very real temptation itwas, this provoking to the assumption of successively lowergrades of self-assertion, where only entire self-abnegationwas the rightful feeling. Each suggestion of lower office(like the temptations of Christ) marked an increased measureof temptation, as the human in his mission was more and moreclosely neared. And greatest temptation it was when, afterthe first victory, came the not unnatural challenge of hisauthority for what he said and did. This was, of all others,the question which must at all times, from the beginning ofhis mission to the hour of his death, have pressed mostclosely upon him, since it touched not only his conscience,but the very ground of his mission, nay, of his life. That itwas such temptation is evidenced by the fact that, in thehour of his greatest loneliness and depression it formed hisfinal contest, in which he temporarily paused, like Jacob inhis Israel-struggle, though, like him, he failed not in it.For what was the meaning of that question which the disciplesof John brought to Jesus: 'Art Thou He that should come, ordo we look for another?' other than doubt of his own warrantand authority for what he had said and done? But in thatfirst time of his trial at Bethabara he overcame, the firsttemptation by the humility of his intense sincerity, thesecond by the absolute simplicity of his own experimentalconviction; the first by what he had seen, the second by whathe had heard concerning the Christ at the banks of Jordan.And so, also, although perhaps 'afar off,' it must ever be tous in like temptation.

Yet, as we view it, and without needlessly imputing maliceprepense to the Pharisaic deputation, their questions seemedbut natural. After his previous emphatic disclaimer at thebeginning of his preaching (St. Luke iii. 15), of which theyin Jerusalem could scarcely have been ignorant, thesuggestion of his Messiahship, not indeed expressly made, butsufficiently implied to elicit what the language of St. John[1 'He confessed, and denied not' (St. John i. 20). CanonWestcott points out, that 'the combination of a positive andnegative' is intended to 'express the fulness of truth,' andthat 'the first term marks the readiness of his testimony,the second its completeness.'] shows to have been the mostenergetic denial, could scarcely have been more thantentative. It was otherwise with their question whether hewas 'Elijah'? Yet, bearing in mind what we know of the Jewishexpectations of Elijah, and how his appearance was alwaysreadily recognised, [2 See Appendix VIII: 'RabbinicTraditions about Elijah, the Forerunner of the Messiah.']this also could scarcely have been meant in its fullliterality, but rather as ground for the further questionafter the goal and warrant of his mission. Hence also John'sdisavowing of such claims is not satisfactorily accounted forby the common explanation, that he denied being Elijah in thesense of not being what the Jews expected of the Forerunnerof the Messiah: the real, identical Elijah of the days ofAhab; or else, that he denied being such in the sense of thepeculiar Jewish hopes attaching to his reappearance in the'last days.' There is much deeper truth in the disclaimer ofthe Baptist. It was, indeed, true that, as foretold in theAngelic announcement, [a St. Luke i. 17.] he was sent 'in thespirit and power of Elias,' that is, with the same object andthe same qualifications. Similarly, it is true what, in Hismournful retrospect of the result of John's mission, and inthe prospect of His own end, the Saviour said of him, 'Eliasis indeed come,' but 'they knew him not, but have done untohim whatsoever they listed.' [b St. Mark ix. 13; St. Matt.xvii. 12.] But on this very recognition and reception of himby the Jews depended his being to them Elijah who should'turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and thedisobedient to the wisdom of the just,' and so 'restore allthings.' Between the Elijah of Ahab's reign, and him ofMessianic times, lay the wide cleft of quite anotherdispensation. The 'spirit and power of Elijah' could 'restoreall things,' because it was the dispensation of the OldTestament, in which the result was outward, and by outwardmeans. But 'the spirit and power' of the Elijah of the NewTestament, which was to accomplish the inward restorationthrough penitent reception of the Kingdom of God in itsreality, could only accomplish that object if 'they receivedit', if 'they knew him.' And as in his own view, and lookingaround and forward, so also in very fact the Baptist, thoughDivinely such, was not really Elijah to Israel, and this isthe meaning of the words of Jesus: 'And if ye will receiveit, this is Elias, which was for to come.' [a St. Matt. xi.14.]

More natural still, indeed, almost quite truthful, seems thethird question of the Pharisees, whether the Baptist was'that prophet.' The reference here is undoubtedly to Deut.xviii. 15, 18. Not that the reappearance of Moses as lawgiverwas expected. But as the prediction of the eighteenth chapterof Deuteronomy, especially when taken in connection with thepromise [b Jer. xxxi. 31 &c.] of a 'new covenant' with a 'newlaw' written in the hearts of the people, implied a change inthis respect, it was but natural that it should have beenexpected in Messianic days by the instrumentality of 'thatprophet.' [1 Can the reference in St. Stephen's speech (Actsvii. 37) apply to this expected alteration of the Law? At anyrate St. Stephen is on his defence for teaching the abolitionby Jesus of the Old Testament economy. It is remarkable thathe does not deny the charge, and that his contention is, thatthe Jews wickedly resisted the authority of Jesus (vv.51-53).] Even the various opinions broached in the Mishnah,[c Eduy. viii. 7.] as to whatwere to be the reformatory andlegislative functions of Elijah, prove that such expectationswere connected with the Forerunner of the Messiah.

But whatever views the Jewish embassy might have entertainedconcerning the abrogation, renewal, or renovation of the Law[2 For the Jewish views on the Law in Messianic times, seeAppendix XIV.: 'The Law in Messianic Days.'] in Messianictimes, the Baptist repelled the suggestion of his being 'thatprophet' with the same energy as those of his being eitherthe Christ or Elijah. And just as we notice, as the result ofthose forty days' communing, yet deeper humility andself-abnegation on the part of the Baptist, so we also markincreased intensity and directness in the testimony which henow bears to the Christ before the Jerusalem deputies. [d St.John 1. 22-28.] 'His eye is fixed on the Coming One.'He isas a voice not to be inquired about, but heard;' and itsclear and unmistakable, but deeply reverent utterance is:'The Coming One has come.' [1 The words within quotations arethose of Archdeacon Watkins, in his Commentary on St. John.]

The reward of his overcoming temptation, yet with it alsothe fitting for still fiercer conflict (which two, indeed,are always conjoined), was at hand. After His victoriouscontest with the Devil, Angels had come to minister to Jesusin body and soul. But better than Angels' vision came torefresh and strengthen His faithful witness John. On the veryday of the Baptist's temptation Jesus had left thewilderness. On the morrow after it, 'John seeth Jesus comingunto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, Which takethaway the sin of the world!' We cannot doubt, that the thoughthere present to the mind of John was the description of 'TheServant of Jehovah,' [a Is. lii. 13.] as set forth in Is.liii. If all along the Baptist had been filled withIsaiah-thoughts of the Kingdom, surely in the forty daysafter he had seen the King, a new 'morning' must have risenupon them, [b Is. viii. 20.] and the halo of His glory shonearound the well-remembered prophecy. It must always have beenMessianically understood; [c Is. lii. 13 liii.] it formed thegroundwork of Messianic thought to the New Testament writers[d Comp. St. Matt. viii. 17; St. Luke xxii. 37; Acts viii.32; 1 Pet. ii. 22.] nor did the Synagogue read it otherwise,till the necessities of controversy diverted its application,not indeed from the times, but from the Person of theMessiah. [2 Manifestly, whatever interpretation is made ofIs. iii. 13-liii., it applies to Messianic times, even if thesufferer were, as the Synagogue now contends, Israel. On thewhole subject comp. the most learned and exhaustivediscussions by Dr. Pusey in his introduction to the catena ofJewish Interpretations of Is. liii.] But we can understandhow, during those forty days, this greatest height ofIsaiah's conception of the Messiah was the one outstandingfact before his view. And what he believed, that he spake,when again, and unexpectedly, he saw Jesus.

Yet, while regarding his words as an appeal to the prophecyof Isaiah, two other references must not be excluded fromthem: those to the Paschal Lamb, and to the Daily Sacrifice.These are, if not directly pointed to, yet implied. For thePaschal Lamb was, in a sense, the basis of all the sacrificesof the Old Testament, not only from its saving import toIsrael, but as that which really made them 'the Church,' [3To those persons who deny to the people of God under the OldTestament the designation Church, we commend the use of thatterm by St. Stephen in Acts vii. 38.] and people of God.Hence the institution of the Paschal Lamb was, so to speak,only enlarged and applied in the daily sacrifice of a Lamb,in which this twofold idea of redemption and fellowship wasexhibited. Lastly, the prophecy of Isaiah liii. was but thecomplete realisation of these two ideas in the Messiah.Neither could the Paschal Lamb, with its completion in theDaily Sacrifice, be properly viewed without this prophecy ofIsaiah, nor yet that prophecy properly understood without itsreference to its two great types. And here one Jewish commentin regard to the Daily Sacrifice (not previously pointed out)is the more significant, that it dates from the very time ofJesus. The passage reads almost like a Christianinterpretation of sacrifice. It explains how the morning andevening sacrifices were intended to atone, the one for thesins of the night, the other for those of the day, so as everto leave Israel guiltless before God; and it expresslyascribes to them the efficacy of a Paraclete, that being theword used. [a Pesiqta, ed. Buber, p. 61 b; comp. more fullyin Yalkut p. 248 d.] Without further following thisremarkable Rabbinic commentation, [b In i. p. 249 a.] whichstretches back its view of sacrifices to the Paschal Lamb,and, beyond it, to that offering of Isaac by Abraham which,in the Rabbinic view, was the substratum of all sacrifices,we turn again to its teaching about the Lamb of the DailySacrifice. Here we have the express statement, that both theschool of Shammai and that of Hillel, the latter more fully,insisted on the symbolic import of this sacrifice in regardto the forgiveness of sin. 'Kebhasim' (the Hebrew word for'lambs'), explained the school of Shammai, 'because,according to Micah vii. 19, they suppress [in the A.V.'subdue'] our iniquities (the Hebrew word Kabhash meaning hewho suppresseth).' [1 This appears more clearly in theHebrew, where both words ('lambs' and 'suppressors') arewritten exactly the same, . In Hillel's derivation it isidentified with the root = .] Still more strong is thestatement of the school of Hillel, to the effect that thesacrifical lambs were termed Kebhasim (from kabhas, 'towash'), 'because they wash away the sins of Israel.' [c Andthis with special reference to Is. i. 18.] The quotationjustmade gains additional interest from the circumstance, that itoccurs in a 'meditation' (if such it may be called) for thenew moon of the Passover-month (Nisan). In view of such cleartestimony from the time of Christ, less positiveness ofassertion might, not unreasonably, be expected from those whodeclare that the sacrifices bore no reference to theforgiveness of sins, just as, in the face of the applicationmade by the Baptist and other New Testament writers, moreexegetical modesty seems called for on the part of those whodeny the Messianic references in Isaiah.

If further proof were required that, when John pointed thebystanders to the Figure of Jesus walking towards them, withthese words: 'Behold, the Lamb of God,' he meant more thanHis gentleness, meekness, and humility, it would be suppliedby the qualifying explanation, 'Which taketh away the sin ofthe world.' We prefer rendering the expression 'taketh away'instead of 'beareth,' because it is in that sense that theLXX. uniformly use the Greek term. Of course, as we view it,the taking away presupposes the taking upon Himself of thesin of the world. But it is not necessary to suppose that theBaptist clearly understood that manner of His Saviourship,which only long afterwards, and reluctantly, came to thefollowers of the Lamb. [1 This meets the objection of Keim(i. 2, p.552), which proceeds on the assumption that thewords of the Baptist imply that he knew not merely that, buthow, Jesus would take away the sin of the world. But hiswords certainly do not oblige us to think, that he had theCross in view. But, surely, it is a most strange idea ofGodet, that at His Baptism Jesus, like all others, madeconfession of sins; that, as He had none of His own, He setbefore the Baptist the picture of the sin of Israel and ofthe world; and that this had led to the designation: 'TheLamb of God. Which taketh away the sin of the world.'] Thathe understood the application of His ministry to the wholeworld, is only what might have been expected of one taught byIsaiah; and what, indeed, in one or another form, theSynagogue has always believed of the Messiah. What wasdistinctive in the words of the Baptist, seems his view ofsin as a totality, rather than sins: implying the removal ofthat great barrier between God and man, and the triump inthat great contest indicated in Gen. iii. 15, which Israelafter the flesh failed to perceive. Nor should we omit hereto notice an undesigned evidence of the Hebraic origin of thefourth Gospel; for an Ephesian Gospel, dating from the closeof the second century, would not have placed in itsforefront, as the first public testimony of the Baptist (if,indeed, it would have introduced him at all), a quotationfrom Isaiah, still less a sacrificial reference.

The motives which brought Jesus back to Bethabara mustremain in the indefiniteness in which Scripture has leftthem. So far as we know, there was no personal interviewbetween Jesus and the Baptist. Jesus had then and therenothing further to say to the Baptist; and yet on the dayfollowing that on which John had, in such manner, pointed Himout to the bystanders, He was still there, only returning toGalilee the next day. Here, at least, a definite objectbecomes apparent. This was not merely the calling of Hisfirst disciples, but the necessary Sabbath rest; for, in thisinstance, the narrative supplies the means of ascertainingthe days of the week on which each event took place. We haveonly to assume, that the marriage in Cana of Galilee was thatof a maiden, not a widow. The great festivities whichaccompanied it were unlikely, according to Jewish ideas, inthe case of a widow; in fact, the whole mise en scene of themarriage renders this most improbable. Besides, if it hadbeen the marriage of a widow, this (as will immediatelyappear) would imply that Jesus had returned from thewilderness on a Saturday, which, as being the Jewish Sabbath,could not have been the case. For uniform custom fixed themarriage of a maiden on Wednesdays, that of a widow onThursday. [1 For the reasons of this, comp. 'Sketches ofJewish Social Life,' p. 151.] Counting backwards from the dayof the marriage in Cana, we arrive at the following results.The interview between John and the Sanhedrin-deputation tookplace on a Thursday. 'The next day,' Friday, Jesus returnedfrom the wilderness of the Temptation, and John bore hisfirst testimony to 'the Lamb of God.' The following day, whenJesus appeared a second time in view, and when the first twodisciples joined Him, was the Saturday, or Jewish Sabbath. Itwas, therefore, only the following day, or Sunday, [a St.John 1. 43.] that Jesus returned to Galilee, [2 This may beregarded as another of the undesigned evidences of theHebraic origin of the fourth Gospel. Indeed, it might also bealmost called an evidence of the truth of the wholenarrative.] calling others by the way. 'And the third day'after it [b St. John ii. 1.] that is, on the Wednesday, wasthe marriage in Cana. [3 Yet Renan speaks of the firstchapters of St. John's Gospel as scattered notices, withoutchronological order!]

If we group around these days the recorded events of each,they almost seem to intensify in significance. The Friday ofJohn's first pointing to Jesus as the Lamb of God, whichtaketh away the sin of the world, recalls that other Friday,when the full import of that testimony appeared. The Sabbathof John's last personal view and testimony to Christ issymbolic in its retrospect upon the old economy. It seems toclose the ministry of John, and to open that of Jesus; it isthe leave-taking of the nearest disciples of John from theold, their search after the new. And then on the firstSunday, the beginning of Christ's active ministry, the callof the first disciples, the first preaching of Jesus.

As we picture it to ourselves: in the early morning of thatSabbath John stood, with the two of his disciples who mostshared his thoughts and feelings. One of them we know to havebeen Andrew (v. 40); the other, unnamed one, could have beenno other than John himself, the beloved disciple. [4 Thisreticence seems another undesigned evidence of Johannineauthorship.] They had heard what their teacher had, ontheprevious day, said of Jesus. But then He seemed to thembut as a passing Figure. To hear more of Him, as well as indeepest sympathy, these two had gathered to their Teacher onthat Sabbath morning, while the other disciples of John wereprobably engaged with that, and with those, which formed thesurroundings of an ordinary Jewish Sabbath. [5 The Greek hasit: 'John was standing, and from among his disciples two.']And now that Figure once more appeared in view. None with theBaptist but these two. He is not teaching now, but learning,as the intensity and penetration of his gaze [1 The wordimplies earnest, penetrating gaze.] calls from him the nowworshipful repetition of what, on the previous day, he hadexplained and enforced. There was no leave-taking on the partof these two perhaps they meant not to leave John. Only anirresistible impulse, a heavenly instinct, bade them followHis steps. It needed no direction of John, no call fromJesus. But as they went in modest silence, in the dawn oftheir rising faith, scarce conscious of the what and the why,He turned Him. It was not because He discerned it not, butjust because He knew the real goal of their yet unconscioussearch, and would bring them to know what they sought, thatHe put to them the question, 'What seek ye?' which elicited areply so simple, so real, as to carry its own evidence. He isstill to them the Rabbi, the most honoured title they canfind, yet marking still the strictly Jewish view, as well astheir own standpoint of 'What seek ye?' They wish, yetscarcely dare, to say what was their object, and only put itin a form most modest, suggestive rather than expressive.There is strict correspondence to their view in the words ofJesus. Their very Hebraism of 'Rabbi' is met by the equallyHebraic 'Come and see;' [2 The precise date of the origin ofthis designation is not quite clear. We find it in threefolddevelopment: Rab, Rabbi, and Rabban, 'amplitudo,' 'amplitudomea,' 'amplitudo nostra,' which mark successive stages. Asthe last of these titles was borne by the grandson of Hillel(A.D. 30-50), it is only reasonable to suppose that the twopreceding ones were current a generation and more beforethat. Again, we have to distinguish the original and earlieruse of the title when it only applied to teachers, and thelater usage when, like the word 'Doctor,' it was givenindiscriminately to men of supposed learning. When Jesus isso addressed it is in the sense of 'my Teacher.' Nor canthere be any reasonable doubt, that thus it was generallycurrent in and before the time noted in the Gospels. A stillhigher title than any of these three seems to have beenBeribbi, or Berabbi, by which Rabban Gamaliel is designatedin Shabb. 115 a. It literally means 'belonging to the houseof a Rabbi,' as we would say, a Rabbi of Rabbis. On the otherhand, the expression 'Come and see' is among the most commonRabbinic formulas, although generally connected with theacquisition of special and important information.] theirunspoken, but half-conscious longing by what the invitationimplied (according to the most probable reading, 'Come and yeshall see' [3 Comp. Canon Westcott's note.]).

It was but early morning, ten o'clock. [4 The commonsupposition is, that the time must be computed according tothe Jewish method, in which case the tenth hour wouldrepresent 4 P.M. But remembering that the Jewish day endedwith sunset, it could, in that case, have been scarcelymarked, that 'they abode with Him that day.' The correctinterpretation would therefore point in this, as in the otherpassages of St. John, to the Asiatic numeration of hours,corresponding to our own. Comp. J. B. McLellan's NewTestament, pp. 740-742.] What passed on that long Sabbath-daywe know not save from what happened in its course. From itissued the two, not learners now but teachers, bearing whatthey had found to those nearest and dearest. The form of thenarrative and its very words convey, that the two had gone,each to search for his brother, Andrew for Simon Peter, andJohn for James, though here already, at the outset of thishistory, the haste of energy characteristic of the sons ofJona outdistanced the more quiet intenseness of John: [a v.41.] 'He (Andrew) first findeth his own brother.' [1 Thisappears from the word 'first,' used as an adjective here, v.41 (although the reading is doubtful), and from the impliedreference to some one else later on.] But Andrew and Johnequally brought the same announcement, still markedly Hebraicin its form, yet filled with the new wine, not only ofconviction, but of joyous apprehension: 'We have found theMessias.' [2 On the reading of the Aramaic Meshicha byMessias, see Delitzsch in the Luther. Zeitschr. for 1876, p.603 Of course, both Messias and Christ mean 'the Anointed.']This, then, was the outcome of them of that day, He was theMessiah; and this the goal which their longing had reached,'We have found Him.' Quite beyond what they had heard fromthe Baptist; nay, what only personal contact with Jesus cancarry to any heart.

And still this day of first marvellous discovery had notclosed. It almost seems, as if this 'Come and see' call ofJesus were emblematic, not merely of all that followed in Hisown ministry, but of the manner in which to all time the'What seek ye?' of the soul is answered. It could scarcelyhave been but that Andrew had told Jesus of his brother, andeven asked leave to bring him. The searching, penetratingglance [3 The same word as that used in regard to the Baptistlooking upon Jesus.] of the Saviour now read in Peter'sinmost character his future call and work: 'Thou art Simon,the son of John [4 So according to the best text, and notJona.], thou shalt be called [5 'Hereafter thou shalt win thename.' Westcott.] Cephas, which is interpreted (Grecianised)Peter.' [6 So in the Greek, of which the Englishinterpretation is 'a stone', Keyph, or Keypha, 'a rock.']

It must not, of course, be supposed that this represents allthat had passed between Jesus and Peter, any more than thatthe recorded expression was all that Andrew and John had saidof Jesus to their brothers. Of the interview between John andJames his brother, the writer, with his usual self-reticence,forbears to speak. But we know its result; and, knowing it,can form some conception of what passed on that holy eveningbetween the new-found Messiah and His first four disciples:of teaching manifestation on His part, and of satisfiedheart-peace on theirs. As yet they were only followers,learners, not yet called to be Apostles, with all of entirerenunciation of home, family, and other calling which thisimplied. This, in the course of proper development, remainedfor quite another period. Alike their knowledge and theirfaith for the present needed, and could only bear, the callto personal attachment. [1 The evidence for the greathistoric difference between this call to personal attachment,and that to the Apostolate, is shown, I should think beyondthe power of cavil, by Godet, and especially by CanonWestcott. To these and other commentators the reader must bereferred on this and many points, which it would be out ofplace to discuss at length in this book.]

It was Sunday morning, the first of Christ's Mission-work,the first of His Preaching. He was purposing to return toGalilee. It was fitting He should do so: for the sake of Hisnew disciples; for what He was to do in Galilee; for His ownsake. The first Jerusalem-visit must be prepared for by themall; and He would not go there till the right time, for thePaschal Feast. It was probably a distance of about twentymiles from Bethabara to Cana. By the way, two other discipleswere to be gained, this time not brought, but called, where,and in what precise circumstances, we know not. But thenotice that Philip was a fellow-townsman of Andrew and Peter,seems to imply some instrumentality on their part. Similarly,we gather that, afterwards, Philip was somewhat in advance ofthe rest, when he found his acquaintance Nathanael, andengaged in conversation with him just as Jesus and the otherscame up. But here also we mark, as another characteristictrait of John, that he, and his brother with him, seem tohave clung close to the Person of Christ, just as did Maryafterwards in the house of her brother. It was this intenseexclusiveness of fellowship with Jesus which traced on hismind that fullest picture of the God-Man, which his narrativereflects.

The call to Philip from the lips of the Saviour met, we knownot under what circumstances, immediate responsive obedience.Yet, though no special obstacles had to be overcome, andhence no special narrative was called for, it must haveimplied much of learning, to judge from what he did, and fromwhat he said to Nathanael. There is something special aboutNathanael's conquest by Christ, rather implied, perhaps, thanexpressed, and of which the Lord's words gives significanthints. They seem to point to what had passed in his mind justbefore Philip found him. Alike the expression 'an Israelitein truth, in whom is no guile' [a v. 47.], looking back onwhat changed the name of Jacob into Israel, and the evidentreference to the full realisation of Jacob's vision inBethel, [a v. 51.] may be an indication that this very visionhad engaged his thoughts. As the Synagogue understood thenarrative, its application to the then state of Israel andthe Messianic hope would most readily suggest itself. Puttingaside all extravagances, the Synagogue thought, in connectionwith it, of the rising power of the Gentiles, but concludedwith the precious comfort of the assurance, in Jer. xxx. 11,of Israel's final restoration. [b Tanchuma on the passage,ed. Warsh. p. 38 a, b.] Nathanael (Theodore, 'the gift ofGod,') had, as we often read of Rabbis, [1 Corroborative andillustrative passages are here too numerous, perhaps also notsufficiently important, to be quoted in detail.] rested forprayer, meditation, or study, in the shadow of thatwide-spreading tree so common in Palestine, the fig-tree. [2Ewald imagines that this 'fig-tree' had been in the garden ofNathanael's house at Cana, and Archdeacon Watkins seems toadopt this view, but, as it seems to me, without historicalground.] The approaching Passover-season, perhaps minglingwith thoughts of John's announcement by the banks of Jordan,would naturally suggest the great deliverance of Israel in'the age to come;' [c So in Tan chuma.] all the more,perhaps, from the painful contrast in the present. Such averse as that with which, in a well-known Rabbinic work, [dPesiqta.] the meditation for the New Moon of Nisan, thePassover month, closes: 'Happy is he that hath the God ofJacob for his help,' [e Ps. cxlvi 5; Pesiqta, ed. Buber, p.62 a.] would recur, and so lead back the mind to thesuggestive symbol of Jacob's vision, and its realisation in'the age to come.' [f Tanchuma,u. s.]

There are, of course, only suppositions; but it might wellbe that Philip had found him while still busy with suchthoughts. Possibly their outcome, and that quite inaccordance with Jewish belief at the time, may have been,that all that was needed to bring that happy 'age to come'was, that Jacob should become Israel in truth. In such casehe would himself have been ripening for 'the Kingdom' thatwas at hand. It must have seemed a startling answer to histhoughts, this announcement, made wth the freshness of newand joyous conviction: 'We have found Him of Whom Moses inthe Law, and the Prophets, did write.' But this additionabout the Man of Nazareth, the Son of Joseph, [3 This, as itwould seem, needless addition (if the narrative werefictitious) is of the highest evidential value. In anEphesian Gospel of the end of the second century it wouldhave been well-nigh impossible.] would appear a terribleanti-climax. It was so different from anything that he hadassociated either with the great hope of Israel, or with theNazareth of his own neighbourhood, that his exclamation,without implying any special imputation on the little townwhich he knew so well, seems not only natural, but,psychologically, deeply true. There was but one answer tothis, that which Philip made, which Jesus had made to Andrewand John, and which has ever since been the best answer toall Christian inquiry: 'Come and see.' And, despite thedisappointment, there must have been such moving power in theanswer which Philip's sudden announcement had given to hisunspoken thoughts, that he went with him. And now, as ever,when in such spirit we come, evidences irrefragablemultiplied at every step. As he neared Jesus, he heard Himspeak to the disciples words concerning him, which recalled,truly and actually, what had passed in his soul. But could itreally be so, that Jesus knew it all? The question, intendedto elicit it, brought such proof that he could not but burstinto the immediate and full acknowledgment: 'Thou art the Sonof God,' Who hast read my inmost being; 'Thou art the King ofIsrael,' Who dost meet its longing and hope. And is it notever so, that the faith of the heart springs to the lips, asdid the water from the riven rock at the touch of theGod-gifted rod? It needs not long course of argumentation,nor intricate chain of evidences, welded link to link, whenthe secret thoughts of the heart are laid bare, and itsinmost longings met. Then, as in a moment, it is day, andjoyous voice of song greets its birth.

And yet that painful path of slower learning to enduringconviction must still be trodden, whether in the sufferingsof the heart, or the struggle of the mind. This it is whichseems implied in the half-sad question of the Master, [a v.50 comp. the words to Peter in St. John xiii. 36-38; and tothe disciples, St. John xvi. 31, 32.] yet with full view ofthe final triumph ('thou shalt see greater things thanthese'), and of the true realisation in it of that glorioussymbol of Jacob's vision. [b v. 51.]

And so Nathanael, 'the God-given', or, as we know him inafter-history, Bartholomew, 'the son of Telamyon' [1 So, atleast, most probably. Comp. St. John xxi. 2, and the variouscommentaries.] was added to the disciples. Such was on thatfirst Sunday the small beginning of the great ChurchCatholic; these the tiny springs that swelled into the mightyriver which, in its course, has enriched and fertilised thebarrenness of the far-off lands of the Gentiles.




(St. John ii. 1-12.)

At the close of His Discourse to Nathanael, His firstsermon, Jesus had made use of an expression which receivedits symbolic fulfilment in His first deed. His firsttestimony about Himself had been to call Himself the 'Son ofMan.' [a St. John i 51.] [1 For a full discussion of thatmost important and significant appellation 'Son of Man,'comp. Lucke, u. s. pp. 459-466; Godet (German transl.) pp.104-108; and especially Westcott, pp. 33-35. The main pointis here first to ascertain the Old Testament import of thetitle, and then to view it as present to later Jewishthinking in the Pseudepigraphic writings (Book of Enoch).Finally, its full realisation must be studied in theGospel-history.] We cannot but feel that this bore referenceto the confession of Nathanael: 'Thou art the Son of God;Thou art the King of Israel.' It is, as if He would haveturned the disciples from thoughts of His being the Son ofGod and King of Israel to the voluntary humiliation of HisHumanity, as being the necessary basis of His work, withoutknowledge of which that of His Divinity would have been abarren, speculative abstraction, and that of His Kingship aJewish fleshly dream. But it was not only knowledge of Hishumiliation in His Humanity. For, as in the history of theChrist humiliation and glory are always connected, the oneenwrapped in the other as the flower in the bud, so here alsoHis humiliation as the Son of Man is the exaltation ofhumanity, the realisation of its ideal destiny as created inthe likeness of God. It should never be forgotton, that suchteaching of His exaltation and Kingship through humiliationand representation of humanity was needful. It was theteaching which was the outcome of the Temptation and of itsvictory, the very teaching of the whole Evangelic history.Any other real learning of Christ would, as we see it, havebeen impossible to the disciples, alike mentally, as regardsfoundation and progression, and spiritually. A Christ: God,King, and not primarily 'the Son of Man,' would not have beenthe Christ of Prophecy, nor the Christ of Humanity, nor theChrist of salvation, nor yet the Christ of sympathy, help,and example. A Christ, God and King, Who had suddenly risenlike the fierce Eastern sun in midday brightness, would haveblinded by his dazzling rays (as it did Saul on the way toDamascus), not risen 'with kindly light' to chase awaydarkness and mists, and with genial growing warmth to woolife and beauty into our barren world. And so, as 'it becameHim,' for the carrying out of the work, 'to make the Captainof Salvation perfect through sufferings,' [a Hebr. ii. 10.]so it was needful for them that He should veil, even fromtheir view who followed Him, the glory of His Divinity andthe power of His Kingship, till they had learned all that thedesignation 'Son of Man' implied, as placed below 'Son ofGod' and 'King of Israel.

This idea of the 'Son of Man,' although in its full andprophetic meaning, seems to furnish the explanation of themiracle at the marriage of Cana. We are now entering on theMinistry of 'The Son of Man,' first and chiefly in itscontrast to the preparatory call of the Baptist, with theasceticism symbolic of it. We behold Him now as freelymingling with humanity, sharing its joys and engagements,entering into its family life, sanctioning and hallowing allby His Presents and blessing; then as transforming the 'waterof legal purification' into the wine of the new dispensation,and, more than this, the water of our felt want into the wineof His giving; and, lastly, as having absolute power as the'Son of Man,' being also 'the Son of God' and 'the King ofIsrael.' Not that it is intended to convey, that it was theprimary purpose of the miracle of Cana to exhibit thecontrast between His own Ministry and the asceticism of theBaptist, although greater could scarcely be imagined thanbetween the wilderness and the supply of wine at themarriage-feast. Rather, since this essential differencereally existed, it naturally appeared at the verycommencement of Christ's Ministry. [1 We may, however, hereagain notice that, if this narrative had been fictitious, itwould seem most clumsily put together. To introduce theForerunner with fasting, and as an ascetic, and Him to Whomhe pointed with a marriage-feast, is an incongruity which nowriter of a legend would have perpetrated. But the writer ofthe fourth Gospel does not seem conscious of any incongruity,and this because he has no ideal story nor characters tointroduce. In this sense it may be said, that theintroduction of the story of the marriage-feast of Cana is initself the best proof of its truthfulness, and of the miraclewhich it records.] And so in regard to the other meaning,also, which this history carries to our minds.

At the same time it must be borne in mind, that marriageconveyed to the Jews much higher thoughts than merely thoseof festivity and merriment. The pious fasted before it,confessing their sins. It was regarded almost as a Sacrament.Entrance into the married state was thought to carry theforgiveness of sins. [a Yalkut on 1 Sam. xiii. 1 vol ii. p.16 d.] [1 The Biblical proofs adduced for attaching thisbenefit to a sage, a bridegroom, and a prince on entering ontheir new state, are certainly peculiar. In the case of abridegroom it is based on the name of Esau's bride, Machalath(Gen. xxviii. 9), a name which is derived from the Rabbinic'Machal,' to forgive. In Jer. Biccur. iii. p. 65 d, wherethis is also related, it is pointed out that the originalname of Esau's wife had been Basemath (Gen. xxxvi. 3), thename Machalath, therefore, having been given when Esaumarried.] It almost seems as if the relationship of Husbandand Bride between Jehovah and His people, so frequentlyinsisted upon, not only in the Bible, but in Rabbinicwritings, had always been standing out in the background.Thus the bridal pair on the marriage-day symbolised the unionof God with Israel. [2 In Yalcut on Is. lxi. 10 (vol. ii. p.57 d Israel is said to have been ten times called inScripture 'bride' (six times in Canticles, three times inIsaiah, and once in Jeremiah). Attention is also called tothe 'ten garments' with which successively the Holy Onearrayed Himself; to the symbolic priestly dignity of thebridegroom, &c.] Hence, though it may in part have beennational pride, which considered the birth of every Israeliteas almost outweighing the rest of the world, it scarcelywholly accounts for the ardent insistance on marriage, fromthe first prayer at the circumcision of a child, onwardsthrough the many and varied admonitions to the same effect.Similarly, it may have been the deep feeling of brotherhoodin Israel, leading to sympathy with all that most touched theheart, which invested with such sacredness participation inthe gladness of marriage, [3 Everything, even a funeral, hadto give way to a marriage-procession. or the sadness ofburial. To use the bold allegory of the times, God Himselfhad spoken the words of blessing over the cup at the union ofour first parents, when Michael and Gabriel acted asgroomsmen, [b Ber. R. 8.] and the Angelic choir sang thewedding hymn. [c Ab. deR. Nath. iv.] So also He had shown theexample of visiting the sick (in the case of Abraham),comforting the mourners (in that of Isaac), and burying thedead (in that of Moses). [d Sot. 14 a.] Every man who met it,was bound to rise and join the marriage procession, or thefuneral march. It was specially related of King Agrippa thathe had done this, and a curious Haggadah sets forth that,when Jezebel was eaten of dogs, her hands and feet werespared, [e 2 Kings. ix. 35.] because, amidst all herwickedness, she had been wont to greet everymarriage-procession by clapping of hands, and to accompanythe mourners a certain distance on their way to the burying.[f Yalkut on 2 Kings ix 35, vol. ii. p. 36 a and b.] And sowe also read it, that, in the burying of the widow's son ofNain, 'much people of the city was with her.' [g St. Lukevii. 12.]

In such circumstances, we would naturally expect that allconnected with marriage was planned with care, so as to bearthe impress of sanctity, and also to wear the aspect ofgladness. [4 For details I must refer to the Encyclopaedias,to the article in Cassell's 'Bible Educator,' and to thecorresponding chapters in 'Sketches of Jewish Social Life.']A special formality, that of 'betrothal' (Erusin Qiddushin),preceded the actual marriage by a period varying in length,but not exceeding a twelvemonth in the case of a maiden. [1Pesiq. R. 15 applies the first clause of Prov. xiii. 12 to along engagement, the second to a short one.] At thebetrothal, the bridegroom, personally or by deputy, handed tothe bride a piece of money or a letter, it being expresslystated in each case that the man thereby espoused the woman.From the moment of betrothal both parties were regarded, andtreated in law (as to inheritance, adultery, need of formaldivorce), as if they had been actually married, except asregarded their living together. A legal document (the ShitreErusin) fixed the dowry which each brought, the mutualobligations, and all other legal points. [2 The reader who iscurious to see these and other legal documents in extenso, isreferred to Dr. Sammter's ed. of the tractate Baba Metsia(notes at the end, fol. pp. 144-148).] Generally a festivemeal closed the ceremony of betrothal, but not in Galilee,where, habits being more simple and pure, that whichsometimes ended in sin was avoided.

On the evening of the actual marriage (Nissuin, Chathnuth),the bride was led from her paternal home to that of herhusband. First came the merry sounds of music; then they whodistributed among the people wine and oil, and nuts among thechildren; next the bride, covered with the bridal veil, herlong hair flowing, surrounded by her companions, and led by'the friends of the bridegroom,' and 'the children of thebride-chamber.' All around were in festive array; somecarried torches, or lamps on poles; those nearest hadmyrtle-branches and chaplets of flowers. Every one rose tosalute the procession, or join it; and it was deemed almost areligious duty to break into praise of the beauty, themodesty, or the virtues of the bride. Arrived at her newhome, she was led to her husband. Some such formula as 'Takeher according to the Law of Moses and of Israel,' [a Jer.Yeb. Md.] would be spoken, and the bride and bridegroomcrownedwith garlands. [3 Some of these joyous demonstrations,such as the wearing of crowns, and even the bridal music,were for a time prohibited after the destruction ofJerusalem, in token of national mourning (Sot. ix. 14). Onthese crowns comp. Wagenseil, Sota, pp. 965-967.] Then aformal legal instrument, called the Kethubah, was signed, [bComp. Tob. vii. 14.] which set forth that the bridegroomundertook to work for her, to honour, keep, and care for her,[4 I quote the very words of the formula, which, it will benoticed, closely agree with those in our own MarriageService.] as is the manner of the men of Israel; that hepromised to give his maiden-wife at least two hundred Zuz [5If the Zuz be reckoned at 7d., about 5l. 16s. 8d.] (or moreit might be), [6 This, of course, represents only theminimum. In the case of a priest's daughter the ordinarylegal minimum was doubled.] and to increase her own dowry(which, in the case of a poor orphan, the authoritiessupplied) by at least one half, and that he also undertook tolay it out for her to the best advantage, all his ownpossessions being guarantee for it. [1 The Talmud (Tos.Kethub.) here puts the not inapt question, 'How if thebridegroom has no goods and chattels?' but ultimatelycomforts itself with the thought that every man has someproperty, if it were only the six feet of ground in which heis to be buried.] Then, after the prescribed washing of handsand benediction, the marriage-supper began, the cup beingfilled, and the solemn prayer of bridal benediction spokenover it. And so the feast lasted, it might be more than oneday, while each sought to contribute, sometimes coarsely, [2Not a few such instances of riotous merriment, and evendubious jokes, on the part of the greatest Rabbis arementioned, to check which some were wont to adopt the curiousdevice of breaking valuable vases, &c.] sometimes wisely, tothe general enjoyment, [a Comp. Ber. 6 b.] till at last 'thefriends of the bridegroom' led the bridal pair to the Chederand the Chuppah, or the bridal chamber and bed. Here it oughtto be specially noticed, as a striking evidence that thewriter of the fourth Gospel was not only a Hebrew, butintimately acquainted with the varying customs prevailing inGalilee and in Judaea, that at the marriage of Cana no'friend of the bridegroom,' or 'groomsman' (Shoshebheyna), ismentioned, while he is referred to in St. John iii. 29, wherethe words are spoken outside the boundaries of Galilee. Foramong the simpler and purer Galileans the practice of having'friends of the bridegroom,' which must so often have led togross impropriety, [b Comp. Kethub. 12 a; Jer. Kethub, i. p.25 a.] did not obtain, [3 This, and the other greatdifferences in favour of morality and decency whichdistinguished the customs of Galilee from those of the restof Palestine, are enumerated in Jer. Kethub. i. 1, p. 25 a,about the middle.] though all the invited guests bore thegeneral name of 'children of the bridechamber' (beneChuppah). [c Comp. St. Matt. ix. 15.]

It was the marriage in Cana of Galilee. All connected withthe account of it is strictly Jewish, the feast, the guests,the invitation of the stranger Rabbi, and its acceptance byJesus. Any Jewish Rabbi would have gone, but how differentlyfrom Him would he have spoken and acted! Let us first thinkof the scenic details of the narrative. Strangely, we are notable to fix with certainty the site of the little town ofCana. [4 Two such sites have been proposed, that by Dr.Robinson being very unlikely to represent the ancient 'Canaof Galilee.'.] But if we adopt the most probableindentification of it with the modern pleasant village ofKefr Kenna, [5 Comp. the memoir on the subject by Zeller inthe Quarterly Report of the Palestine Explor. Fund (for 1869,No. iii., and for April 1878, by Mr. Hepworth Dixon); andLieut. Conder, Tent-Work in Palestine, vol. i. pp. 150-155.Zeller makes it five miles from Nazareth, Conder only threeand three-quarters.] a few miles north-east of Nazareth, onthe road to the Lake of Galilee, we picture it to ourselvesas on the slope of a hill, its houses rising terrace uponterrace, looking north and west over a large plain (that ofBattauf), and south upon a valley, beyond which the hillsrise that separate it from Mount Tabor and the plain ofJezreel. As we approach the little town through that smilingvalley, we come upon a fountain of excellent water, aroundwhich the village gardens and orchards clustered, thatproduced in great abundance the best pomegranates inPalestine. Here was the home of Nathanael-Bartholomew, and itseems not unlikely, that with him Jesus had passed the timeintervening between His arrival and 'the marriage,' to whichHis Mother had come, the omission of all mention of Josephleading to the supposition, that he had died before thattime. The inquiry, what had brought Jesus to Cana, seemsalmost worse than idle, remembering what had passed betweenHim and Nathanael, and what was to happen in the first'sign,' which was to manifest His glory. It is needless tospeculate, whether He had known beforehand of 'the marriage.'But we can understand the longing of the 'Israelite indeed'to have Him under his roof, though we can only imagine whatthe Heavenly Guest, would now teach him, and those others whoaccompanied Him. Nor is there any difficulty inunderstanding, that on His arrival He would hear of this'marriage,' of the presence of His Mother in what seems tohave been the house of a friend if not a relative; that Jesusand His disciples would be bidden to the feast; and that Heresolved not only to comply with the request) but to use itas a leave-taking from home and friends, similar, though alsofar other, than that of Elisha, when he entered on hismission. Yet it seems deeply significant, that the 'trueIsraelite' should have been honoured to be the first host of'Israel's King.'

And truly a leave-taking it was for Christ from formerfriends and home, a leave-taking also from His past life. Ifone part of the narrative, that of His dealing with HisMother, has any special meaning, it is that of leave-taking,or rather of leaving home and family, just as with this first'sign' He took leave of all the past. When he had returnedfrom His first Temple-visit, it had been in theself-exinanition of voluntary humility: to 'be subject to HisParents' That period was now ended, and a new one had begun,that of active consecration of the whole life to His'Father's business.' And what passed at the marriage-feastmarks the beginning of this period. We stand on thethreshold, over which we pass from the old to the new, to usea New Testament figure: to the marriage-supper of the Lamb.

Viewed in this light, what passed at the marriage in Canaseems like taking up the thread, where it had been dropped atthe first manifestation of His Messianic consciousness. Inthe Temple at Jerusalem He had said in answer to themisapprehensive question of His Mother: 'Wist ye not that Imust be about My Father's business?' and now when about totake in hand that 'business,' He tells her so again, anddecisively, in reply to her misapprehensive suggestion. It isa truth which we must ever learn, and yet are ever slow tolearn in our questionings and suggestings, alike as concernsHis dealings with ourselves and His rule of His Church, thatthe highest and only true point of view is 'the Father'sbusiness,' not our personal relationship to Christ. Thisthread, then, is taken up again at Cana in the circle offriends, as immediately afterwards in His publicmanifestation, in the purifying of the Temple. What He hadfirst uttered as a Child, on His first visit to the Temple,that He manifested forth when a Man, entering on His activework, negatively, in His reply to His Mother; positively, inthe 'sign' He wrought. It all meant: 'Wist ye not that I mustbe about My Father's business?' And, positively andnegatively, His first appearance in Jerusalem [a St. John ii.13-17, and vv. 18-23.] meant just the same. For, there isever deepest unity and harmony in that truest Life, the Lifeof Life.

As we pass through the court of that house in Cana, andreach the covered gallery which opens on the various rooms,in this instance, particularly, on the great reception room,all is festively adorned. In the gallery the servants moveabout, and there the 'water-pots' are ranged, 'after themanner of the Jews,' for purification, for the washing notonly of hands before and after eating, but also of thevessels used. [b Comp. St. Mark vii. 1-4.] How detailedRabbinic ordinances were in these respects, will be shown inanother connection. 'Purification' was one of the main pointsin Rabbinic sanctity. By far the largest and most elaborate[1 The whole Mishnah is divided into six Sedarim (Orders), ofwhich the last is the Seder Tohoroth, treating of'purifications.' It consists of twelve tractates(Massikhtoth), 126 chapters (Peraqim), and contains no fewerthan 1001 separate Mishnayoth (the next largest Seder,Neziqin, contains 689 Mishnayoth). The first tractate in this'Order of Purifications' treats of the purification ofvessels (Kelim), and contains no fewer than thirty chapters;'Yadayim' ('hands') is the eleventh tractate, and containsfour chapters.] of the six books into which the Mishnah isdivided, is exclusively devoted to this subject (the 'SederTohoroth,' purifications). Not to speak of references inother parts of the Talmud, we have two special tractates toinstruct us about the purification of 'Hands' (Yadayim) andof 'Vessels' (Kelim). The latter is the most elaborate in allthe Mishnah, and consists of not less than thirty chapters.Their perusal proves, alike the strict accuracy of theEvangelic narratives, and the justice of Christ'sdenunciations of the unreality and gross hypocrisy of thiselaborateness of ordinances. [1 Comp. St. Mark vii. 2-5; St.Matt. xxiii. 25, 26; St. Luke xi. 38, 39.] This the more so,when we recall that it was actually vaunted as a specialqualification for a seat in the Sanhedrin, to be so acute andlearned as to know how to prove clean creeping things (whichwere declared unclean by the Law). [a Sanh. 17 a.] And themass of the people would have regarded neglect of theordinances of purification as betokening either grossignorance, or daring impiety.

At any rate, such would not be exhibited on an occasion likethe present; and outside the reception-room, as St. John withgraphic minuteness of details relates, six of those stonepots, which we know from Rabbinic writings, [2 These'stone-vessels' (Keley Abhanim) are often spoken of (forexample, Chel. x. 1). In Yaday. i. 2 they are expresslymentioned for the purification of the hands.] were ranged.Here it may be well to add, as against objectors, that it isimpossible to state with certainty the exact measurerepresented by the 'two or three firkins apiece.' For,although we know that the term metretes (A.V. 'firkin') wasintended as an equivalent for the Hebrew 'bath,' [b Jos. Ant.viii. 2. 9.] yet three different kinds of 'bath were at thetime used in Palestine: the common Palestinian or'wilderness' bath, that of Jerusalem, and that of Sepphoris.[3 For further details we refer to the excursus onPalestinian money, weights, and measures, in Herzfeld'sHandelsgesch. d. Juden, pp. 171-185.] The common Palestinian'bath' was equal to the Roman amphora, containing about 5 1/4gallons, while the Sepphoris 'bath' corresponded to the Atticmetretes, and would contain about 8 1/2 gallons. In theformer case, therefore, each of these pots might have heldfrom 10 1/2 to 15 3/4 gallons; in the latter, from 17 to 251/2. Reasoning on the general ground that the so-calledSepphoris measurement was common in Galilee, the largerquantity seems the more likely, though by no means certain.It is almost like trifling on the threshold of such ahistory, and yet so many cavils have been raised, that wemust here remind ourselves, that neither the size, nor thenumber of these vessels has anything extraordinary about it.For such an occasion the family would produce or borrow thelargest and handsomest stone-vessels that could be procured;nor is it necessary to suppose that they were filled to thebrim; nor should we forget that, from a Talmudic notice, [cShabb. 77 b. So Lightfoot in loc.] it seems to have been thepracticeto set apart some of these vessels exclusively forthe use of the bride and of the more distinguished guests,while the rest were used by the general company.

Entering the spacious, lofty dining-room, [4 The Teraqlin,from which the otherside-rooms opened (Jer. Rosh haSh. 59 b;Yoma 15 b). From Baba B. vi. 4 we learn, that such anapartment was at least 15 feet square and 15 feet high.Height of ceiling was characteristic of Palestinian houses.It was always half the breadth and length put together. Thus,in a small house consisting of one room: length, 12 feet,breadth, 9 feet, the height would be 10 1/2 feet. In a largehouse: length, 15 feet, breadth, 12 feet, the height would be13 1/2 feet. From Jer. Kethub. p. 28 d we learn, that thebride was considered as actually married the moment she hadentered the Teraqlin, before she had actually gone to theChuppah.] which would be brilliantly lighted with lamps andcandlesticks, the guests are disposed round tables oncouches, soft with cushions or covered with tapestry, orseated on chairs. The bridal blessing has been spoken, andthe bridal cup emptied. The feast is proceeding, not thecommon meal, which was generally taken about even, accordingto the Rabbinic saying, [a Pas. 18 b.] that he who postponedit beyond that hour was as if he swallowed a stone, but afestive evening meal. If there had been disposition to thoseexhibitions of, or incitement to, indecorous and lightmerriment, [1 Thus it was customary, and deemed meritorious,to sing and perform a kind of play with myrtle branches (Jer.Peah 15 d); although one Rabbi was visited with sudden deathfor excess in this respect.] such as even the more earnestRabbis deprecated, surely the presence of Jesus would haverestrained it. And now there must have been a painful pause,or something like it, when the Mother of Jesus whispered toHim that 'the wine failed.' [2 St. John ii. 3, A.V.: 'whenthey wanted wine.'] There could, perhaps, be the less causefor reticence on this point towards her Son, not merelybecause this failure may have arisen from the accession ofguests in the persons of Jesus and his disciples, for whom noprovision had been originally made, but because the gift ofwine or oil on such occasions was regarded a meritorious workof charity. [b Baba B ix.]

But all this still leaves the main incidents in thenarrative untouched. How are we to understand the impliedrequest of the Mother of Jesus? how His reply? and what wasthe meaning of the miracle? It seems scarcely possible toimagine that, remembering the miraculous circumstancesconnected with His Birth, and informed of what had passed atJordan, she now anticipated, and by her suggestion wished toprompt, this as His Royal Messianic manifestation. [3 This isthe viewof many commentators, ancient and modern.] Withreverence be it said, such a beginning of Royalty and triumphwould have been paltry: rather that of the Jewishmiracle-monger than that of the Christ of the Gospels. Notso, if it was only 'a sign,' pointing to something beyonditself. Again, such anticipations on the part of Mary seempsychologically untrue, that is, untrue to her history. Shecould not, indeed, have ever forgotten the circumstanceswhich had surrounded His Birth; but the deeper she 'kept allthese things in her heart,' the more mysterious would theyseem, as time passed in the dull round of the most simple anduneventful country-life, and in the discharge of every-dayduties, without even the faintest appearance of anythingbeyond it. Only twelve years had passed since His Birth, andyet they had not understood His saying in the Temple! Howmuch more difficult would it be after thirty years, when theChild had grown into Youth and Manhood, with still the samesilence of Divine Voices around? It is difficult to believein fierce sunshine on the afternoon of a long, grey day.Although we have no absolute certainty of it, we have thestrongest internal reasons for believing, that Jesus had doneno miracles these thirty years in the home at Nazareth, [1Tholuck and Lucke, however, hold the opposite view.] butlived the life of quiet submission and obedient waiting. Thatwas the then part of His Work. It may, indeed, have been thatMary knew of what had passed at Jordan; and that, when shesaw Him returning with His first disciples, who, assuredly,would make no secret of their convictions, whatever these mayhave conveyed to outsiders, she felt that a new period in HisLife had opened. But what was there in all this to suggestsuch a miracle? and if it had been suggested, why not ask forit in express terms, if it was to be the commencement,certainly in strangely incongruous circumstances, of a Royalmanifestation?

On the other hand, there was one thing which she hadlearned, and one thing which she was to unlearn, after thosethirty years of the Nazareth-Life. What she had learned, whatshe must have learned, was absolute confidence in Jesus. Whatshe had to unlearn, was the natural, yet entirely mistaken,impression which His meekness, stillness, and longhome-submission had wrought on her as to His relationship tothe family. It was, as we find from her after-history, a veryhard, very slow, and very painful thing to learn it; [2Luthardt rightly calls it the commencement of a very painfuleducation, of which the next stage is marked in St. Lukeviii. 19, and the last in St. John xix. 26.] yet veryneedful, not only for her own sake, but because it was alesson of absolute truth. And so when she told Him of thewant that had arisen, it was simply in absolute confidence inher Son, probably without any conscious expectancy of amiracle on His part. [3 This meets the objection of Straussand others, that Mary could not have expected a miracle. Itis scarcely conceivable, how Calvin could have imagined thatMary had intended Jesus to deliver an address with the viewof turning away thought from the want of wine; or Bengel,that she intended to give a hint that the company shouldbreak up.] Yet not without a touch of maternalself-consciousness, almost pride, that He, Whom she couldtrust to do anything that was needed, was her Son, Whom shecould solicit in the friendly family whose guests they were,and if not for her sake, yet at her request. It was a trueearth-view to take of their relationship; only, an earth-viewwhich must now for ever cease: the outcome of Hismisunderstood meekness and weakness, and which yet, strangelyenough, the Romish Church puts in the forefront as the mostpowerful plea for Jesus' acting. But the fundamental mistakein what she attempted is just this, that she spake as HisMother, and placed that maternal relationship in connectionwith His Work. And therefore it was that as, on the firstmisunderstanding in the Temple, He had said: 'Wist ye notthat I must be about my Father's business?' so now: 'Woman,what have I to do with thee?' With that 'business' earthlyrelationship, however tender, had no connection. Witheverything else it had, down to the utter self-forgetfulnessof that tenderest commendation of her to John, in thebitterest agonies of the Cross; but not with this. No, notnow, nor ever henceforth, with this. As in His firstmanifestation in the Temple, so in this the firstmanifestation of His glory, the finger that pointed to 'Hishour' was not, and could not be, that of an earthly parent,but of His Father in Heaven. [1 Godet aptly says. 'His mottohenceforth is: My Father and I.'] There was, in truth, atwofold relationship in that Life, of which none other butthe Christ could have preserved the harmony.

This is one main point, we had almost called it the negativeone; the other, and positive one, was the miracle itself. Allelse is but accidental and circumstantial. No one who eitherknows the use of the language, [2 Comp. the passages from theclassics quoted by Wetstein in his Commentary.] or remembersthat, when commending her to John on the Cross, He used thesame mode of expression, [a St. John xix. 26.] will imagine,that there was anything derogatory to her, or harsh on Hispart, in addressing her as 'woman' rather than 'mother.' Butthe language is to us significant of the teaching intended tobe conveyed, and as the beginning of this further teaching:'Who is My mother? and My brethren? And He stretched forthHis hand toward His disciples, and said, Behold My mother andMy brethren!' [b St. Matt xii. 46-50.]

And Mary did not, and yet she did, understand Him, when sheturned to the servants with the direction, implicitly tofollow His behests. What happened is well known: how, in theexcess of their zeal, they filled the water-pots to the brim,an accidental circumstance, yet useful, as much that seemsaccidental, to show that there could be neither delusion norcollusion; how, probably in the drawing of it, the waterbecame best wine, 'the conscious water saw its God, andblushed;' then the coarse proverbial joke of what wasprobably the master of ceremonies and purveyor of the feast,[a Ecclus. xxxii. 1 2.] intended, of course, not literally toapply to the present company, and yet in its accidentalnessan evidence of the reality of the miracle; after which thenarrative abruptly closes with a retrospective remark on thepart of him who relates it. What the bridegroom said; whetherwhat had been done became known to the guests, and, if so,what impression it wrought; how long Jesus remained; what HisMother felt, of this and much more that might be asked,Scripture, with that reverent reticence which we so oftenmark, in contrast to our shallow talkativeness, takes nofurther notice. And best that it should be so. St. John meantto tell us, what the Synoptists, who begin their account withthe later Galilean ministry, have not recorded, [1 On theomission of certain parts of St. John's narrative by theSynoptists, and vice versa, and on the supposed differences,I can do no better than refer the reader to the admirableremarks of Canon Westcott, Introduction to the Study of theGospels, pp. 280 &c.] of the first of His miracles as a'sign,' [2 According to the best reading, and literally,'This did, beginning of signs, Jesus in Cana.' Upon a carefulreview the Rabbinic expression Simana (taken from the Greekword here used) would seem to me more fully to render theidea than the Hebrew Oth. But the significant use of the wordsign should be well marked. See Canon Westcott on thepassage.] pointing to the deeper and higher that was to berevealed, and of the first forth-manifesting of 'His glory.'[3 In this, the first of his miracles, it was all the morenecessary that He should manifest his glory.] That is all;and that object was attained. Witness the calm, gratefulretrospect upon that first day of miracles, summed up inthese simple but intensely conscious words: 'And Hisdisciples believed on Him.'

A sign it was, from whatever point we view its meaning, aspreviously indicated. For, like the diamond that shines withmany colours, it has many meanings; none of them designed, inthe coarse sense of the term, but all real, because theoutcome of a real Divine Life and history. And a real miraclealso, not only historically, but as viewed in its manymeanings; the beginning of all others, which in a sense arebut the unfolding of this first. A miracle it is, whichcannot be explained, but is only enhanced by the almostincredible platitudes to which negative criticism has sunk inits commentation, [4 Thus Schenkel regards Christ's answer toMary as a proof that He was not on good terms with Hisfamily; Paulus suggests, that Jesus had brought the wine, andthat it was afterwards mixed with the water in thestone-vessels; Gfrorer, that Mary had brought it as apresent, and at the feast given Jesus the appropriate hintwhen to have it set on. The gloss of Renan seems to me evenmore untenable and repulsive.] for which there assuredlyexists no legendary basis, either in Old Testament history,or in contemporary Jewish expectation; [1 Against this viewof Strauss, see Lucke, u. s. p. 477.] which cannot besublimated into nineteenth-century idealism; [2 So Lange, inhis 'Lifeof Christ,' imagining that converse with Jesus hadput all in that higher ecstasy in which He gave them to drinkfrom the fulness of Himself. Similar spiritualisation, thoughby each in his own manner, has been attempted by Baur, Keim,Ewald, Hilgenfeld, and others. But it seems more rational,with Schweizer and Weisse, to deny the historical accuracy ofthe whole, than to resort to such expedients.] least of allcan be conceived as an after-thought of His disciples,invented by an Ephesian writer of the second century. [3Hilgenfeld, however, sees in this miracle an evidence thatthe Christ of the fourth Gospel proclaimed another and ahigher than the God of the Old Testament, in short, evidenceof the Gnostic taint of the fourth Gospel.] But even theallegorical illustration of St. Augustine, who reminds usthat in the grape the water of rain is ever changed intowine, is scarcely true, save as a bare illustrattion, andonly lowers our view of the miracle. For miracle it is, [4Meyer well reminds us that 'physical incomprehensibility isnot identical with absolute impossibility.'] and will everremain; not, indeed, magic, [5 Godet has scarcely rightlymarked the difference.] nor arbitrary power, but power with amoral purpose, and that the highest. [6 If I rightlyunderstandthe meaning of Dr. Abbott's remarks on the miraclesin the fourth Gospel (Encycl. Britan. vol. x. p. 825 b), theyimply that the change of the water into wine was anemblematic reference to the Eucharistic wine, this view beingsupported by a reference to 1 John v. 8. But could this beconsidered sufficient ground for the inference, that nohistoric reality attaches to the whole history? In that caseit would have to be seriously maintained, that an Ephesianwriter at the end of the second century had invented thefiction of the miraculous change of water into wine, for thepurpose of certain Eucharistic teaching!] And we believe it,because this 'sign' is the first of all those miracles inwhich the Miracle of Miracles gave 'a sign,' and manifestedforth His glory, the glory of His Person, the glory of HisPurpose, and the glory of His Work.




(St. John ii. 13-25.)

It has been said that Mary understood, and yet did notunderstand Jesus. And of this there seems fresh evidence inthe circumstance that, immediately after the marriage ofCana, she and the 'brethren of Jesus' went with Him, orfollowed Him, to Capernaum, which henceforth became 'His owncity,' [a St. Matt. iv. 13; ix. 1; St. Mark ii. 1.] duringHis stay by the Lake of Galilee. The question, whether He hadfirst returned to Nazareth, seems almost trifling. It mayhave been so, and it may be that His brothers had joined Himthere, while His 'sisters,' being married, remained atNazareth. [b St. Mark vi. 3.] For the departure of the familyfrom Nazareth manyreasons will, in the peculiarcircumstances, suggest themselves. And yet one feels, thattheir following Jesus and His disciples to their new home hadsomething to do with their understanding, and yet notunderstanding, of Him, which had been characteristic ofMary's silent withdrawal after the reply she had received atthe feast of Cana, and her significant direction to theservants, implicitly to do what He bade them. Equally incharacter is the willingness of Jesus to allow His family tojoin Him, not ashamed of their humbleness, as a JewishMessiah might have been, nor impatient of their ignorance:tenderly near to them, in all that concerned the humanness ofHis feelings; sublimely far from them, in all connected withHis Work and Mission.

It is almost a relief to turn from the long discussion (towhich reference has already been made): whether those whobore that designation were His 'brothers' and 'sisters' inthe real sense, or the children of Joseph by an earliermarriage, or else His cousins, and to leave it in theindefiniteness which rests upon it. [1 In support of thenatural interpretation of these terms (which I frankly own tobe my view) not only St. Matt. i. 25 and St. Luke ii. 7 maybe urged, but these two questions may be put, suggested byArchdeacon Norris (who himself holds them to have been thechildren of Joseph by a former marriage): How could our Lordhave been, through Joseph, the heir of David's throne(according to the genealogies), if Joseph had elder sons? Andagain, What became of the six young motherless children whenJoseph and the Virgin went first to Bethlehem, and then intoEgypt, and why are the elder sons not mentioned on theoccasion of the vist to the Temple? (Commentary on the NewTestament, vol. i. p. 117.)] But the observant reader willprobably mark, in connection with this controversy, that itis, to say the least, strange that 'brothers' of Jesusshould, without further explanation, have been introduced inthe fourth Gospel, if it was an Ephesian production, if not afiction of spiritualistic tendency; strange also, that thefourth Gospel alone should have recorded the removal toCapernaum of the 'mother and brothers' of Jesus, in companywith Him. But this by the way, and in reference to recentcontroversies about the authorship of the fourth Gospel.

If we could only feel quite sure, and not merely deem itmost probable, that the Tell Hum of modern exploration marksthe site of the ancient Capernaum, Kephar Nachum, orTanchumin (the latter, perhaps, 'village of consolation'),with what solemn interest would we wander over its ruins. [1Robinson, Sepp, and, if I understand him aright, Lieut.Conder, regard Khan Minyeh (Tent-Work in Palest. vol. ii. pp.182 &c.) as the site of Capernaum; but most modern writersare agreed in fixing it at Tell Hum.] We know it from NewTestament history, and from the writings of Josephus. [aJewish War iii. 10. 8; Life 72.] A rancorous notice andcertain vile insinuations [2 The stories are too foolish, andthe insinuations too vile, to be here repeated. The second ofthe two notices evidently refers to the first. The 'heretic'Jacob spoken of, is the bete noire of the Rabbis. The impliedcharges against the Christians remind one of the description,Rev. ii. 20-24.] of the Rabbis, [b Midr. on Eccl. i. 8. andvii 26. ed. Warsh. vol. iii. p. 80 a and 97 a.] connecting itwith 'heresy,' presumably that of Christianity, seem also topoint to Kephar Nachum as the home of Jesus, where so many ofHis miracles were done. At the time it could have been ofonly recent origin, since its Synagogue had but lately beenreared, through the friendly liberality of that true andfaithful Centurion. [c St. Matt. viii. 5, &c.] But alreadyits importance was such, that it had become the station of agarrison, and of one of the principal custom-houses. Itssoft, sweet air, by the glorious Lake of Galilee, withsnow-capped Hermon full in view in the North, from adistance, like Mount Blanc over the Lake of Geneva; [3 Thecomparison is Canon Tristram's (Land of Israel, p. 427.).]the fertility of the country, notably of the plain ofGennesaret close by; and the merry babble, and fertilisingproximity of a spring which, from its teeming with fish likethat of the Nile, was popularly regarded as springing fromthe river of Egypt, this and more must have made Capernaumone of the most delightful places in these 'Gardens ofPrinces,' as the Rabbis interpreted the word 'Gennesaret,' bythe 'cither-shaped lake' of that name. [4 This is anotherRabbinic interpretation of the term Gennesaret.] The town layquite up on its north-western shore, only two miles fromwhere the Jordan falls into the lake. As we wander over thatfield of ruins, about half a mile in length by a quarter inbreadth, which in all probability mark the site of ancientCapernaum, we can scarcely realise it, that the desolatenessall around has taken the place of the life and beauty ofeighteen centuries ago. Yet the scene is the same, though thebreath of judgement has long swept the freshness from itsface. Here lies in unruffled stillness, or wildly surges,lashed by sudden storms, the deep blue lake, 600 or 700 feetbelow the level of the Mediterranean. We can look up and downits extent, about twelve miles, or across it, about sixmiles. Right over on the other side from where we standsomewhere there, is the place where Jesus miraculously fedthe five thousand. Over here came the little ship, itstimbers still trembling, and its sides and deck wet with thespray of that awful night of storm, when He came to the wearyrowers, and brought with Him calm. Up that beach they drewthe boat. Here, close by the shore, stood the Synagogue,built of white limestone on dark basalt foundation. North ofit, up the gentle slopes, stretched the town. East and southis the lake, in almost continuous succession of lovely smallbays, of which more than seventeen may be counted within sixmiles, and in one of which nestled Capernaum. All its housesare gone, and in one of which nestled Capernaum. All itshouse, are gone, scarce one stone left on the other: the goodCenturion's house, that of Matthew the publican, [a St. Markii. 15; comp. iii. 20, 31.] that of Simon Peter, [b St. Matt.viii. 14.] the temporary home which first sheltered theMaster and His loved ones. All are unrecognisable, a confusedmass of ruins, save only that white Synagogue in which Hetaught. From its ruins we can still measure its dimensions,and trace its fallen pillars; nay, we discover over thelintel of its entrance the device of a pot of manna, whichmay have lent its form to His teaching there [c St. John vi.49, 59.], a device differentfrom that of the seven-branchedcandlestick, or that other most significant one of thePaschal Lamb, which seem to have been so frequent over theSynagogues in Galilee. [1 Comp. especially Warren's Recoveryof Jerusalem, pp. 337-351.]

And this then, is Capernaum, the first and the chief home ofJesus, when He had entered on His active work. But, on thisoccasion, He 'continued there not many days.' For, already,'the Jews' Passover was at hand,' and He must needs keep thatfeast in Jerusalem. If our former computations are right,and, in the nature of things, it is impossible to beabsolutely certain about exact dates, and John began hispreaching in the autumn of the year 779 from the building ofRome, or in 26 of our present reckoning, while Jesus wasbaptized in the early winter following, [d A.D. 27.] [2Wieselerand most modern writers place the Baptism of Jesus inthe summer of 27 A.D., and, accordingly, the first Passoverin spring, 28 A.D. But it seems to me highly improbable, thatso long an interval as nine or ten months should have elapsedbetween John's first preaching and the Baptism of Jesus.Besides, in that case, how are we to account for the eight ornine months between the Baptism and the Passover? So far as Iknow, the only reason for this strange hypothesis is St. Johnii. 20, which will be explained in its proper place.] thenthis Passover must have taken place in the spring (aboutApril) of the same year. [a 780 A.U.C. or 27 A.D.] Thepreparations for it had, indeed, commenced a month before.Not to speak of the needful domestic arrangements for thejourney of pilgrims to Jerusalem, the whole land seemed in astate of preparation. A month before the feast (on the 15thAdar) bridges and roads were put in repair, and sepulchreswhitened, to prevent accidental pollution to the pilgrims.Then, some would select this out of the three great annualfeasts for the tithing of their flocks and herds, which, insuch case, had to be done two weeks before the Passover;while others would fix on it as the time for going up toJerusalem before the feast 'to purify themselves' [b St. Johnxi. 55.], that is, to undergo the prescribed purification inany case of Levitical defilement. But what must have appealedto every one in the land was the appearance of the'money-changers' (Shulchanim), who opened their stalls inevery country-town on the 15th of Adar (just a month beforethe feast). They were, no doubt, regularly accredited andduly authorised. For, all Jews and proselytes, women, slaves,and minors excepted, had to pay the annual Temple-tribute ofhalf a shekel, according to the 'sacred' standard, equal to acommon Galilean shekel (two denars), or about 1s. 2d. of ourmoney. From this tax many of the priests, to the chagrin ofthe Rabbis, claimed exemption, on the ingenious plea that inLev. vi. 23 (A.V.) every offering of a priest was ordered tobe burnt, and not eaten; while from the Temple-tribute suchofferings were paid for as the two wave loaves and theshewbread, which were afterwards eaten by priests. tence, itwas argued, their payment of Temple-tribute would have beenincompatible with Lev. vi. 23!

But to return. This Temple-tribute had to be paid in exacthalf-shekels of the Sanctuary, or ordinary Galilean shekels.When it is remembered that, besides strictly Palestiniansilver and especially copper coin, [1 Simon Maccabee hadcopper money coined; the so-called copper shekel, a littlemore than a penny, and also half and quarter shekels (about ahalf-penny, and a farthing). His successors coined evensmaller copper money. During the whole period from the deathof Simon to the last Jewish war no Jewish silver coins issuedfrom the Palestinian mint, but only copper coins. Herzfeld(Handelsgesch. pp. 178, 179) suggests that there wassufficient foreign silver coinage circulating in the country,while naturally only a very small amount of foreign coppercoin would be brought to Palestine.] Persian, Tyrian, Syrian,Egyptian, Grecian, and Roman money circulated in the country,it will be understood what work these 'money-changers' musthave had. From the 15th to the 25th Adar they had stalls inevery country-town. On the latter date, which must thereforebe considered as marking the first arrivals of festivepilgrims in the city, the stalls in the country were closed,and the money-changers henceforth sat within the precincts ofthe Temple. All who refused to pay the Temple-tribute (exceptpriests) were liable to distraint of their goods. The'money-changers' made a statutory fixed charge of a Maah, orfrom 11/2d. 2d. [1 It is extremely difficult to fix the exactequivalent. Cassel computes it at one-fifth, Herzfeld atone-sixth, Zunz at one-third, and Winer at one-fourth of adenar.] (or, according to others, of half a maah) on everyhalf-shekel. This was called qolbon. But if a person tendereda Sela (a four-denar piece, in value two half-shekels of theSanctuary, or two Galilean shekels), he had to pay doubleqolbon; one for his half-shekel of tribute-money, the otherfor his change. Although not only priests, but all othernon-obligatory officers, and those who paid for their poorerbrethren, were exempted from the charge of qolbon, it musthave brought in an immense revenue, since not only manynative Palestinians might come without the statutory coin,but a vast number of foreign Jews presented themselves onsuch occasions in the Temple. Indeed, if we compute theannual Temple-tribute at about 75,000l., the bankers' profitsmay have amounted to from 8,000l. to 9,000l., an immense sumin the circumstances of the country. [2 Comp. Winer'sReal-Worterb. I have taken a low estimate, so as to be wellwithin bounds. All the regulations about the Tribute andQolbon are enumerated in Sheqal. i. I have not givenreferences for each of the statements advanced, not becausethey are not to hand in regard to almost every detail, but toavoid needless quotations.]

But even this does not represent all the facts of the case.We have already seen, that the 'money-changers' in the Templegave change, when larger amounts than were equivalent to theTemple-tribute were proffered. It is a reasonable, nay, analmost necessary inference, that many of the foreign Jewsarriving in Jerusalem would take the opportunity of changingat these tables their foreign money, and for this, of course,fresh charges would be made. For, there was a great deal tobe bought within the Temple-area, needful for the feast (inthe way of sacrifices and their adjuncts), or forpurification, and it would be better to get the right moneyfrom the authorised changers, than have disputes with thedealers. We can picture to ourselves the scene around thetable of an Eastern money-changer, the weighing of the coins,deductions for loss of weight, arguing, disputing,bargaining, and we can realise the terrible truthfulness ofour Lord's charge that they had made the Father's House amart and place of traffic. But even so, the business of theTemple money-changers would not be exhausted. Through theirhands would pass the immense votive offerings of foreignJews, or of proselytes, to the Temple; indeed, they probablytransacted all business matters connected with the Sanctuary.It is difficult to realise the vast accumulation of wealth inthe Temple-treasury. But some idea of it may be formed fromthe circumstance that, despite many previous spoliations, thevalue of the gold and silver which Crassus [a 54-53 B.C.]carried from the Temple-treasury amounted to the enormous sumof about two and a half millions sterling. Whether or notthese Temple money-changers may have transacted other bankingbusiness, given drafts, or cashed those from correspondents,received and lent money at interest, all which was common atthe time, must remain undetermined. Readers of the New Testament know, that the noisy andincongruous business of an Eastern money-lender was not theonly one carried on within the sacred Temple-enclosure. Itwas a great accommodation, that a person bringing a sacrificemight not only learn, but actually obtain, in the Temple fromits officials what was required for the meat, anddrink-offering. The prices were fixed by tariff every month,and on payment of the stated amount the offerer received oneof four counterfoils, which respectively indicated, and, onhanding it to the proper official, procured the prescribedcomplement of his sacrifice. [1 Comp. 'The Temple and itsServices, &c.,' pp. 118, 119.] The Priests and Levites incharge of this made up their accounts every evening, andthese (though necessary) transactions must have left aconsiderable margin of profit to the treasury. This wouldsoon lead to another kind of traffic. Offerers might, ofcourse, bring their sacrificial animals with them, and weknow that on the Mount of Olives there were four shops,specially for the sale of pigeons and other things requisitefor sacrificial purposes. [b Jer. Taan iv. 8.] [2 M.Derenbourg (Histoire de Palest., p. 467) holds that theseshops were kept by priests, or at any rate that the profitswent to them. But I cannot agree with him that these were theChanuyoth, or shops, of the family of Annas, to which theSanhedrin migrated forty years before the destruction ofJerusalem. See farther on.] But then, when an animal wasbrought, it had to be examined as to its Levitical fitness bypersons regularly qualified and appointed. Disputes mighthere arise, due to the ignorance of the purchaser, or thegreed of the examiner. A regularly qualified examiner wascalled mumcheh (one approved), and how much labour was givento the acquisition of the requisite knowledge appears fromthe circumstance, that a certain teacher is said to havespent eighteen months with a farmer, to learn what faults inan animal were temporary, and which permanent. [a Sanh. 5b.]Now, as we are informed that a certain mumcheh of firstlingshad been authorised to charge for his inspection from four tosix Isar (1 1/4d. to about 2d.), according to the animalinspected, [b Bekhor. iv. 5.] itis but reasonable to supposethat a similar fee may have been exacted for examining theordinary sacrificial animals. But all trouble and difficultywould be avoided by a regular market within theTemple-enclosure, where sacrificial animals could bepurchased, having presumably been duly inspected, and allfees paid before being offered for sale. [1 It is certainthat this Temple-market could not have been 'on both sides ofthe Eastern Gate, the gate Shushan, as far as Solomon'sPorch' (Dr. Farrar). If it had been on both sides of thisgate, it must have been in Solomon's Porch. But thissupposition is out of the question. There would have been noroom there for a market, and it formed the principal accessinto the Sanctuary. The Temple-market was undoubtedlysomewhere in the 'Court of the Gentiles.'] It needs nocomment to show how utterly the Temple would be profaned bysuch traffic, and to what scenes it might lead. From Jewishwritings we know, that most improper transactions werecarried on, to the taking undue advantage of the poor peoplewho came to offer their sacrifices. Thus we read, [c Ker. i.7.] that on one occasion the price of a couple of pigeons wasrun up to the enormous figure of a gold denar (a Roman golddenar, about 15s. 3d.), when, through the intervention ofSimeon, the grandson of the great Hillel, it was brought downbefore night to a quarter of a silver denar, or about 2d.each. Since Simeon is represented as introducing his resolveto this effect with the adjuration, 'by the Temple,' it isnot unfair to infer that these prices had ruled within thesacred enclosure. It was probably not merely controvesialzeal for the peculiar teaching of his master Shammai, but amotive similar to that of Simeon, which on another occasioninduced Baba ben Buta (well known as giving Herod the adviceof rebuilding the Temple), when he found the Temple-courtempty of sacrificial animals, through the greed of those whohad 'thus desolated the House of God,' to bring in no lessthan three thousand sheep, so that the people might offersacrifices. [d Jerus. Chag. 78 a.] [2 It is, however, quitecertain that Baba ben Buta had not 'been the first tointroduce' (Dr. Farrar) this traffic. A perusal of Jer. Chag.78 a shows this sufficiently.]

This leads up to another question, most important in thisconnection. The whole of this traffic, money-changing,selling of doves, and market for sheep and oxen, was initself, and from its attendant circumstances, a terribledesecration; it was also liable to gross abuses. But wasthere about the time of Christ anything to make it speciallyobnoxious and unpopular? The priesthood must always havederived considerable profit from it, of course, not theordinary priests, who came up in their 'orders' to ministerin the Temple, but the permanent priestly officials, theresident leaders of the priesthood, and especially theHigh-Priestly family. This opens up a most interestinginquiry, closely connected, as we shall show, with Christ'svisit to the Temple at this Passover. But the materials hereat our command are so disjointed, that, in attempting to putthem together, we can only suggest what seems most probable,not state what is absolutely certain. What became of theprofits of the money-changers, and who were the real ownersof the Temple-market?

To the first of these questions the Jerusalem Talmud [a Jer.Sheq. i. 7, last 4 lines, p. 46 b.] gives no less than fivedifferent answers, showing that there was no fixed rule as tothe emp