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This also is an early testimony to the war, in which the Jewish people were subdued by those two great generals, Vespasian and Titus.
3. I shall now transcribe below another long passage from the same tract: a part of which shall be translated.
• When m Rabbi Meir died, there were none left to instruct men in wise parables.'
When Simeon, son of Gamaliel, died, there came locusts, and calamities were increased. When R. Akiba died, the glory of the law vanished away. Upon the death of Gamaliel the Aged, the honour of the law vanished, and there was an end to purity and sanctimony. When Rabbi Ishmael, son of Babi, died, the splendour of the priesthood was tarnished. When Rabbi [Judah] died, there was no more any modesty or fear of transgression. Rabbi Pinchas, son of Ishmael, said, When the temple was destroyed, all men were covered with shame, both wise men and nobles; and all now cover their heads: the bountiful are reduced to poverty, and the violent and slanderers prevail : nor is there any to explain the law, nor are there any who ask and in
m Mortuo R. Meir, defecere qui homines erudiebant (doctis] parabolis. Mortuo R. Simeone Filio Gamalielis, venerunt locustæ, et auctæ sunt calami. tates.--R. Ahibâ mortuo, decus legis evanuit.-Mortuo R. Gamaliele Sene, evanuit honor legis, simulque mundities et sanctimonia, intermortuæ. R. Ismaële filio Babi defuncto, occubuit splendor sacerdotii. Mortuo Rabbi [Judâ Sancto] cessavit modestia, et timor peccati. R. Pinchas F. J. ait diruto templo pudore suffusi sunt sapientes pariter et nobiles; obnubuntque capita. Liberales ad pauperiem sunt redacti, contra invaluerunt violenti, et calumniatores : nec superest explicans, nec quærens, nec interrogans. Cui ergo innitendum est nobis ? Patri nostro cælesti. R Eliezer, cognomento Magnus, ait: Ex quo templum devastatum est, cæpere sapientes similes esse scribis, scribæ Ædituis, Éditui vulgo hominum. Vulgus autem hominum, in pejus in dies ruit: nec quis rogans, aut quærens superest. Cui ergo innitendum ? Patri nostro cælesti. Paullo ante adventum Messiæ impudentia augebitur, et magna erit annonæ caritas. Vitis proferet fructum, sed vinum nihilominus care vendetur. Summum in orbe imperium obruetur opinionibus pravis, et nulli locum habebit correptio. Synagogæ convertentur in lupanaria, limites Judææ desolabuntur, et regio, quanta quanta est, devastabitur. Viri insignes oppidatim circuibunt, nec ulla humanitatis officia experientur. Fatebit sapientia magistrorum, a delictis sibi caventes spernentur, et veritatis magnus erit defectus. Juvenes confundent ora senum. Senes coram junioribus surgent. Filius irritabit patrem. Nata insurget adversus matrem, nurusque contra socrum. Denique, suos quisque domesticos inimicos habebit. Scilicet seculo isto canina facies erit, nec verebitur filius parentem. Cui ergo confidendum ? Patri cælesti.—R. Pinchas F. J. ait: Providentia causa alacritatis.
Timor sceleris ducit ad pietatem. Pietas causa est [* gratiæ '] S. Spiritus. Spiritus S. [ fideles '] facit participes resurrectionis mortuorum. Resurrectio mortuorum obtinget interventu Eliæ, cujus memoria sacra esto et
- Deus æternus benigne concedat ut adventu illius cito salvi sanique fruamur. Amen. Tr. de Uxore Adulterii suspectâ. num. 15. P. 3. p. 308, 309. Surenh
quire. What then shall we do? Let us trust in our heavenly Father. R. Eliezer, surnamed the Great, says, From the time that the temple was destroyed the wise men began to be like scribes, the scribes like sextons, and sextons like the vulgar; and the vulgar are continually degenerating from bad to worse : nor are there any who ask and inquire. What then shall we do? Let us trust in our heavenly Father. A short time before the coming of the Messiah impudence will be increased, and great will be the price of provisions. The vine will bear fruit; nevertheless wine will be sold at a high price. The supreme empire of the world will be overwhelmed with bad opinions : nor will there be room for any to correct them. Synagogues will be turned into brothel houses, and the whole land of Judea will be laid waste. Excellent men will wander from town to town, and experience no offices of humanity. The wisdom of the masters will be slighted, and all who strive to avoid transgression will be contemned, and great will be the dearth of truth. Young men will cover the faces of the aged with shame : and the aged will rise before the young. The son will dishonour the father: and the daughter will rise up against her mother: and the daughter-in-law against her motherin-law. And a man's enemies will be they of his own household. In a word, that age will have a canine appear
Nor will the son reverence the father. What then shall we do ? Let us trust in our heavenly Father.May the coming of Elias be hastened. And may the eternal God graciously vouchsafe that we may be preserved to that time. This
passage may deserve an attentive regard, and will require divers observations. But I shall take no particular notice of wbat is here said about the coming of Elias,' that not being reckoned certainly genuine.
1. In the first place, this passage ought to be compared with Jerom's commentary upon Is. ch. viii. 14, where n be mentions divers of the Jewish masters, who flourished and were very eminent about the time of our Saviour, and some while after; Sammai, Hillel, Meir, Akibas, Johanan the son
n Deus domus Nazaræi- duas familias interpretantur, Sammai et Hillel : ex quibus orti sunt scribæ et pharisæi, quorum suscepit scholam Akibas, quem magistrum Aquilæ proselyti autumant: et post eum Meir, cui successit Johanan filius Zachai: et post eum Eliezer, et per ordinem Delphon: et rursum Joseph Galilæus : et usque ad captivitatem Jerusalem Josue. Sammai igitur et Hillel non multo priusquam Dominus nasceretur, orti sunt in Judæâ, quorum prior. dissipator' interpretatur, sequens “ profanus:' eo quod per traditiones et devTepwoels suas legis præcepta dissipaverit, atque maculaverit, &c. In Is. cap. vii. T. 3. p. 79.
of Zachai, and some others. In another place be censures the numerous traditions, or secondary laws, of the phari
Undoubtedly Jerom was not unacquainted with Jewish traditions. But I cannot say that these passages amount to a proof that he had seen the volume of the Mishna.
2. Here is another testimony to the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem.
3. I suppose likewise that here is a reference to the disasters of the Jews, occasioned by the rebellion of Barchochebas in the time of Adrian. This I suppose to be intend- . ed in these words: . And the whole land of Judea will be laid waste, and excellent men will wander from place to place, and experience no offices of humanity. Moreover, in the passage tirst cited, the taking of the city Bither is inentioned as one of the most remarkable calamities that had befallen the Jewish people. It was the concluding event of the Jewish war with Adrian, about the
136. Which shows that the Mishna was not composed till some while afterwards.
4. Meir, the first rabbi here mentioned, is said to have been P one of the principal of the Jewish doctors after the destruction of Jerusalem.
5. Rabbi Akibas I was a man upon whose praises the Jewish writers enlarge mightily: and his sayings are often inentioned in the Mishna and the Talmud. He was a zeaJous follower of the impostor Barchochebas, who took upon him the character of the Messiah, in the time of Adrian, about the year of Christ 132; and he perished with him. This shows the temper of Akibas: and we can hence conclude how he stood affected to the Lord Jesus. The honourable mention here made of him shows also the temper of the compiler of this work, the Mishna.
6. Gamaliel the Aged is supposed to be Gamaliel, St. Paul's master, mentioned by him, Acts xxii. 3, and in ch, r. 34, to be one of the council, a pharisee, and doctor of the law, had in reputation with all the people.” From what is here said of him, in the passage now before us, he appears
• Quantæ traditiones pharisæorum sint, quas hodie vocant devTepWOELS, et quam aniles fabulæ, evolvere nequeo. Neque libri patitur magnitudo ; et pleraque tam turpia sunt, ut erubescam dicere. Ad Algas. Qu. x. T. 4. P. i.
P See Basnag. Hist. des Juifs, l. Ô. ch. x. sect. iv. &c. 9 Of Akibas may be seen Basnage Hist. des Juifs, liv. vi. ch. ix. sect. 1425. Vid. et Basnag. ano. 134. num. iii. Raymund. Martini Pug. Fidei, p. 256–264. Edzardi Avodazara, Vol. i. p. 162, 338. Lightfoot in the Fall of Jerusalem, sect. iv. vol. i. p. 366, 367. Dr. Sharpe's Argument for Christianity, p. 35.
to have been in great esteem with the Jewish people; and he is often mentioned in the Mishna. What is bere said of him, therefore, confirms the truth of what is said of himn in the book of the Acts. Moreover, we are hereby assured that Gamaliel never was converted to christianity, as some christians, especially of the church of Rome, have fondly and weakly imagined. And indeed from what St. Paul says, in the text before quoted, it may be argued that Gamaliel was still a firm Jew; otherwise it bad not been to the purpose to take notice of his education under him, in the critical circumstances which he was then in.
7. Of Rabbi, [Jehudah,] the compiler of the Mishna, here and elsewhere called Rabbi, or the master, without any other distinction, so much has been said already, that little more needs to be added now: It is here said that " when be died, tliere reinained no longer any modesty or fear of transgression. Maiinonides, in his character of Jehudah the Holy, did not omit' this particular. But here is somewhat which could not be said by himself: it must have been inserted after his death. Wagenseil therefore acknowledgeth thats there were some additions made to the Mishna. But he says there are not many, and they were soon made, and chiefly regard R. Jehudah himself, which I see no reason to contest. For I am willing to allow this volume to be a work of the second century. Nevertheless this manner of speaking may perhaps induce us to think that more hands than one were employed in compiling it.
8. Once more in the eighth place. This whole passage appears to me to be a disguised and invidious representation of the state of things under the gospel dispensation since the appearance of Jesus, whom his disciples and followers have received as the Messiab: and especially after the destruction of Jerusalem, when christianity prevailed and judaism declined.
For, (1.) The destruction of the Jewish temple is acknowledged. Nevertheless here are no tokens of repentance and humiliation, but complaints and reflections upon others. The times were bad. But the blame is all laid
(2.) The supreme empire of the world,' he says, ' will be,' or is overwhelmed with bad opinions :' meaning, as
" In summo etiam pietatis, et humilitatis, et abstinentiæ a voluptatibus gradu: uti etiam dixerunt: Ex quo mortuus est Rabbi, cessavit humilitas, et timor peccati. Maim. Porta Mosis, p. 35. .
Accessisse, post obitum Ř. Judæi, quasdam interpolationes, non negaverim : sed eæ paucæ sunt, ac mature fuerunt adjectæ, ipsumque R. Judam potissimum repiciunt. Wag. ib. p. 55. ,
I think, the christian religion, and the several sects and here: sies which arose in the second century, and soine of thein not far from the beginning of it.
(3.) Synagogues will be turned into brothel houses. He refers to the common reports among the vulgar, that the christians practised promiscuous lewdness in their religious assemblies. And he adopts the calumny
(4.) In what follows, the author adopts the words of our Lord, recorded, Matt. x. 35, 36, and Luke xii. 51–53; which words are also in Micah vii. 6, concerning the dissensions that would be in families; some cheerfully embracing his doctrine, whilst others obstinately rejected it, and were bitter towards those who received it. Which the compiler of this work represents as the utmost distress and misery, and as hitherto unknown and unparalleled wickedness.
(5.) And what do all the clamours of this paragraph mean concerning the ' failure' or dearth of truth, the multiplicity of bad opinions, whilst there was no room left for reproof or correction ? What is intended by the complaints that the wisdom of the inasters was slighted, that there was an end to purity and sanctimony, to modesty and the fear of transgression, and that the young covered the faces of the aged with shame, and the aged rose up to the young ? and the rest.
All these complaints, as seems to me, refer to the resolution and steadiness of the converts to christianity from judaisni and Gentilism, who judged for themselves, and admitted the evidences of the truth of the new religion, which overpowered their minds. Of which therefore they made an open profession, notwithstanding the sophistry, the entreaties, and the menaces of the world about them; many of whom were their superiors in age, learning, and outward circumstance and condition. Of all this we have in this
passage, as seems to me, a graphical description.
I cannot but understand this passage after this manner. And I refer these thoughts to the consideratiou of my read
This paragraph, if my interpretation be right, is very curious.
I am unwilling to enter into a controversy about the Mishnical tract . Avoda zara, de Cultu Peregrino'[of strange or idolatrous worship). I pay a great regard to the judgment of those learned men who say there is in it no reference to the christians. Nevertheless there seems to me a defect in their reasonings upon that point. I think that when the Mishna was compiled the christians were more numerous, more considerable, and of more consequence,