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the Gemara, upon Avoda Sara, in Bereitha, it is said : No inan may converse with heretics, nor receive medicines from them, though the disease be mortal and desperate. Of this there is an example in the son of Dama, nephew to R. Islimael by his sister: When he had been bit by a serpent, James of Shechania [a disciple of Jesus] came to heal bim ስ; but R. Ishmael did not allow it to be done. The son of Dama said to R. Ishmael : 0 Rabbi Ishmael, my uncle, let me be healed by him: I will allege a text out of the law which allow's of it. But before he had finished all he would say, he expired. Then Ishmael pronounced this speech over bim : Thou art happy, 0 son of Dama: for thy body has remained pure, and thy soul also has gone pure out of it: and thou hast not transgressed the words of thy brethren.'
This is supposed to be an acknowledgment of the power of working miracles in the name of Jesus, at the same time that it shows the virulent temper of the Jewish doctors against him and his disciples.
There is another like instance alleged from the Jerusalem Talmud : “Ao child of a son of Rabbi Joses, son of Levi, swallowed somewhat poisonous. There came a man who pronounced some words to him in the name of Jesus, son of Pandira, and he was healed. When he was going away, R. Joses said to him: What word did you use ? he answered, Such a word. R. Joses said to him: Better had it been for him to die, than to hear such a word. And so it happened, that is, he instantly died.'
serpens, venit Jacobus Secaniensis ad sanandum ipsum. Sed non permisit ei R. Ismaël. Dicebat quideni filius Dainæ ad R. Ismaëlem: 0 Rabbi Ismaël frater [i. e. cognate, avuncule] mi! Sine ipsum, ut saner ab ipso. Afferam enim textum e Lege, qui id concedat. Sed nondum absolverat omnia, quæ constituerat dicere, cum jam efflaret animam, atque moreretur. Tum R. Ismaël sequentem super ipsum conciunculam habuit. Beatus es, o fili Dama! quod corpus tuum manserit mundum, etiamque anima tuo corpore exierit munda, neque fueris transgressus verba sociorum tuorum, &c. Edzard. Avoda Sara. Vol. i. p. 312. Conf. Martini Pug. Fidei, P. 2. cap. 8. p. 289.
» Memorabile hujus rei exemplum occurrit, Cod. Abhoda zara f. 27. 2. de R. Ismaële vetante aliquem sanari in nomine Jesu—Exemplo est B. DamaInsignis sane historia, et præclarum veritatis evangelicæ testimonium, ab ipsis Judæis dictum. J. Rhenford. Diss. de Redemtione Marcosiorum et Heracleonit. sect. 1. p. 215.
• Item in lib. Sabbat Jerosolymitano, distinctione Shemona ScheratzinFilius filii R. Jose filii Levi glutiverat toxicum scilicet, vel aliud morbiferum. Venit itaque vir quidam, et conjuravit ei in nomine Jesu Pandirini, et sanatus est, sive quievit. Cumque exivisset, ait ei, Quomodo conjurâsti euin ? Ait ei, Tali verbo. Ait ei: Remissius fuisset ei, si mortuus fuisset, ut non audivisset verbum tale. Et factum est sic ei: id est, statim mortuus est. Pug. Fid. ib.
Another P proof this of the power of miracles inherent in the disciples of Jesus, and at the same time a mark of the malignity of the Jewish rabbius.
That passage I have transcribed as it is in the Pugio Fidei : I shall now 9 put it down below as it stands in Edzardi Avoda zara.
7. It will certainly be worth the while to take a testimony froin these writers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and the temple there. I shall therefore transcribe and translate al. most word for word a long passage out of the Babylonian Talmud, in the title Gittin, chapter Hannisah.
* This r is the tradition. Rabbi Eliezer said: Go, and see
P Si quis diligenter advertat has duas traditiones, in nomine Domini nostri Jesu Christi fuisse facta miracula judaïcarum scripturarum testimonio com . probabit. Raym. Martin. ib.
9 Similis textus est in Talmude Hierosolymitano : Avoda S. Fol. 40. 4. et Schabb. fol. 14. 4. med.–Nepos R. Josuæ filii Levi laborabat ab absorpto : [id est, diglutiverat aliquid, quod ipsi in gutture hærebat, et suffocationem minabatur.] Venitque quidam, qui illi clam insusurravit, (id est, jussit ipsum convalescere,] in nomine Jesu filii Pandiræ. Unde confestim respiravit. Quando autem egressus est inde, dixit ad eum R. Josua filius Levi: Quid insusurrâsti ei? Respondit ille: Vocem hanc [i. e. nomen Jesu]: Tum R. Josua: Præstitisset ipsum fuisse mortuum, et non audivisse nonien illud. Atque hoc ipsum etiam ei [haud longe post] contigit. Edzard. Avoda zara. Vol. 2. p. 311, 312.
Traditio est. Dixit R. Elieser : Exi, et vide quanta est virtus pudoris, quia ecce Deus sanctus et benedictus juvit Barkamtza, et destruxit domuin suam, et exussit templum suum, et desolavit Jerusalem–Ivit Romam, et dixit Neroni Cæsari : Judæi rebellârunt contra te. Dixit ei : Quis dicit? Dixit ei, Mitte illis sacrificium. Videbis, si illi offerent. Ivit filius Kamtza, et misit per manus ejus vitulam trimain. Ipse autem rediens impressit in eâ maculam in orâ labii ejus. Alii dicunt, quod in pupillâ oculi ejus maculam impressit: secundum aliquorum opinionem est macula, et secundum opinionem aliorum non est macula. Rabbini censebant itaque illam sacrificandam propter pacem regni. Dixit eis R. Zacharias filius Onkelos : dicetur, Maculata offeruntur super altare. Voluerunt occidere eum, ne iret, et diceret. Dixit eis R. Zacharias, dicens: Mittens maculam in Sanctuarium occidetur. Dixit R. Jochanan: Superstitio R. Zachariæ destruxit domum nostram, et combussit templum nostrum, et urbem nostram evertit, et fecit ut nos e terrâ nostrâ captivi duceremur. Misit itaque Bar-Kamtza super his ad Neronem Cæsarem. Quando venit, jecit sagittam ad orientem. Cecidit ad Jerusalem ad occidentem-Dixit puero. Lege mihi versum tuum. Dixit ei Ezech. xxv, 14.—Dixit Nero: Deus sanctus, benedictus, vult per me destruere domum suam. Misitque contra illos Vespasianum, qui venit, et obsedit Jerusalem tres annos, et dimidium. Interim venit nuntius ad eum, dicens illi: Surge, quia mortuus est Nero Cæsar, et consenserunt tibi optimates Romanorum, ut te constituant principem—Ivit, et misit Titum impium filium suum-Hic est Titus impius, qui hlasphemavit, et maledixit contra Justum, i. e. Deum. Quid fecit? Cepit meretricem in manu suâ, ei ingressus in Sancta Sanctorum stravit librum legis, et transgressus est super illum transgressionem. Et accepit gladium, et dirupit vela, et factum est miraculum. Et fuit sanguis erumpens et exiens. Et putavit occidisse ipsam substantiain Dei sancti benedicti, i, e. ipsum Deum.Quid fecit? Accepit veli, et fecit illa sicut saccum, et adduxit omnia vasa quæ erant in Sanctuario, et posuit illa in illo. Et collocavit illa in navi, ut iret, et gloriaretur in urbe suâ
how the blessed and holy God helped Bar-kamtza, and he destroyed his house, and burnt up his temple, and made Jerusalem desolate.' [Here is inserted an account of a trifling discourse and difference between some rabbius.] Whereupon he [Bar-kamtza] went to Rome, and said to the emperor Nero, The Jews have rebelled against thee. Who says this? said the emperor. Kamtza answered : Send to them a sacrifice; see if they will offer it. Bar-kamtza returned. Nero sent by him an heifer, three years old. As he was going he made a blemish in the mouth of it; others say in the pupil of its eye: according to the opinion of others it was no blemish. The rabbins therefore thought it ought to be offered for preserving the peace of the nation. But Rabbi Zacharias, son of Onkelos, said: Shall blemished sacrifices be offered upon the altar? He that brings blemished sacrifices into the sanctuary ought to be put to death. R. Jochanan said: The superstition of R. Zacharias has destroyed our house, and burnt up our temple, and overthrown our city, and caused us to be led captive out of our land. Bar-kaintza therefore sent an account of these things to Nero—Nero said; The great and blessed God has determined by me to destroy his house. And he sent against them Vespasian, who came and besieged Jerusalem three years and a half. In the mean time there came a messenger to him, who said : Arise, for the emperor Nero is dead, and the nobles of the Romans have agreed to make thee emperor. He went and sent the impious Titus his son-This is the impious Titus, who blasphemed the Most High, even God himself. What did he do? He took a harlot into the holy of holies, and there lay with her: and he took a sword and cut the veils; at the same time there was a miracle, for blood burst out: he thought he had killed God himselfWell, what did he? He took the veils and made a sack of them, and put into it all the vessels of the sanctuary: and then put them in a ship, that he might go and triumph in his city—There stood against him a dragon, that he might
-Stetit contra draco, vel tempestas, in mari, ut demergeret illum in mari. Dixit: Puto ego, quod Deus horum nullam habet potentiam nisi in mari : Venit Pharao et subinersit eum in mari. Stat etiam contra me, ut me submergat. Si fortis est, ascendat in siccam, et faciat bellum mecum. Exivit filia vocis, et dixit ei, Impie fili impii, fili filii impii Esau: Creatura vilis est mihi in mundo meo, et culex est nomen ejus. Ascende in siccam, et bellum contra illam geres. Statim innuit Deus mari, et quievet. Ascendit in siccam, et venit culex, et ingressus est in nasum ejus, et perforavit illi cerebrum septem annis, et occidit illum. Ex libro Gittin, capite Hannisakin, ap. R. Martin, Prig. Fid. P. 3. cap. xxi. p. 703, 704.
drown him in the sea. He said, I think the God of these inen has no power but in the sea. Pharaoh arose, and he drowned bim in the sea. He has a mind to destroy me in the like manner: if he has power, let him come upon the dry land and inake war with me. There went forth a voice and said to him: 0 impious son of the wicked man, O son of the impious son of Esau, there is a contemptible creature in my world, called a gnat: go upon the dry land, and you shall make war against it. God presently rebuked the sea, and it was calm. He went out upon the dry land, and the gnat came, and entered into his nose, and gnawed his brain seven years, and killed him.'
J. De Voisin, in his notes upon this passage, particularly the last words of it, quotes some Jewish authors who say, · The S story of the fly is not to be understood literally, but
mystically, and allegorically, intending to insinuate in men's * minds a persuasion of the power of God, and that he is • able to abase those who rise up against him, and to punish • the proudest of men by very contemptible creatures. Nor is it any wonder that some should be ashamed of this silly story of the fly getting up a man's nose, and dwelling there seven years.
But men of true wisdom can find out more cleanly allegories than this, when they are disposed to make use of that kind of instruction.
Nor bas Voisin alleged any Jewish authors, who condemn the horrible story of Titus detiling the sanctuary of the temple with lewdness: though Martini has alleged another Jewish writing in great repute, where t the same story is told with all the same horrible, or yet more horrible, circumstances of filthiness, if such there can be: nor is the concluding part of that narrative of the Talmud there omitted. But I presume the
s Alii asserunt illud de culice, sive muscâ ejusmodi, non juxta literalem sensum intelligendum esse, sed sensum habere mysticum-Itaque poteris de historiâ Titi libere pronuntare, quod narratio ejus nihil aliud sit, quam inventio, sive fabula, atque modus doctrinæ usitatus apud eruditos ad stabiliendum in corde plebis, quod magnus est Dominus noster, et potentissimus, ad retribuendum illis qui contra ipsum insurgunt; sed in primis ad puniendum superbos etiam per minimam creaturam. Ap. Pugion. Fid. p. 714.
· Hucusque Talmud. Legitur quoque in Midrash Kohelet super illud Eccles. cap. v. 8. Dixit Deus sanctus benedictus prophetis : Quid vos putatis, quod si vos non eatis in missionem meam, non sit mihi alius nuntius ? In omni ego do missionem vel legationem meam, etiam per serpentem, vel scorpium, vel culicem, vel ranam. Titus impius ingressus est in Sancta Sanctorum, quando destruxit domum Sanctuarii, et gladius ejus districtus in manu suâ, et dirupit duo vela, et accepit duas meretrices in manu illarum, et coivit cum illis, cum unâ super altare, cum alterâ super librum legis, et exivit et gladius ejus plenus sanguine. Et incepit blasphemare, et exsecrari. Quid fecit ? Collegit omnia vasa Sanctuarii, et posuit illa in sacco, et descendit ad navem. Et reliqua, sicut modo ex Talmude citata sunt. Ibid. p. 704, 705.
Divine Being never arms his feeble creatures to destroy or annoy men for no fault at all; for none, but such as are only imputed to them by those who give a loose to their tongues, to lie and calumniate as they please : for Titus, when he went into the temple at Jerusalem all in flames, neither committed lewdness there, nor did he blaspbeme the Deity.
Behold then the temper, the incorrigible temper, of the Jewish people, and their rabbins, the Talmudical writers. Their temple had been burnt up, their city destroyed, their land laid waste, and they carried into captivity: but, instead of repenting, they revile him who, under God, had been the instrument of their chastisement; a prince, who, as good authority says, was as remarkable for the humanity, the compassion, and equity, in his manner of subduing them, as for his military skill and courage. Who then are the men who exalt themselves against God?
But I may no longer indulge myself in such reflections as these. Let us attend for our own benefit. Here is a testimony to the destruction of Jerusalem from Talmudical writers: they agree very much with Josephus in their account of the origin of the war. He says that . Eleazar, u • then captain at the temple, persuaded those who officiated * in sacred things, not to accept the gift or sacrifice of a stran
ger: which was the occasion of the war.' The Talmudists say the same thing in different words, after their manner. According to this account also, the war broke out near the end of the reign of Nero, who sent Vespasian general into Judea. Whilst Vespasian was there, carrying on the war, Nero died, and he was chosen to succeed him. When he was chosen emperor at Rome, he sent Titus to carry on the war in Judea : the issue of which was that the temple was burnt up, their city destroyed, and their whole government overthrown, and they carried into captivity. Moreover, as they here own, Titus was in possession of the veils and sacred vessels of the temple, which he took with him to adorn his triumph at Rome. All this (though they relate not particularly the distresses of the siege of Jerusalem) is said, not very differently from Josephus, and more agreeably to him in some respects, than by Josippon, who afterwards wrote at length the history of the war, as we shall see by and by.
u De B. J. 1. 2. cap. 17. sect. 2. p. 192.