Page images
PDF
EPUB

anites must have made the subjugation of laying out of its towns little is known, ex the country by Joshua very difficult. Of the cept in the case of Jerusalem; and thos

[graphic][graphic]
[ocr errors]

place, though to some extent defined by the by fountains and wells, of which great care
nature of the ground on which it stands, was taken (J. W. iii. 7, 13. See CISTERNS,
has in the lapse of many centuries under. JERICHO, WATER).
gone great changes. At the present day, Palestine and its towns underwent enlarge
Oriental towns are in many cases spread ment and improvement under the Herods,
over a wide space and contain large open wben a considerable Greek population ex-
places, such as gardens, orchards, &c. Simi. isted in the land, giving rise to theatres,
lar in their ground-plan were Babylon and amphitheatres, gymnasia, race-courses, tem
Nineveh of old. At the gates of a city, the ples, and otner stately buildings (Joseph.
chief place of public resort, where justice Antiq xvi. 5, 2; xviii. 2, 1, 3; xx. 9, 4).
was administered and public meetings held, During the invasions, wars, and other esases
were unoccupied spaces, greater or less in of change, many towns must in earlier pe-
area (Neh. viii. 1, 16. 2 Chron. xxxii. 6. riods have been destroyed (Josh. vi. 24; xi.
2 Samuel xxi. 12. Job xxix. 7. Cant. iii. 2. 11), founded (Judg. i. 26. 1 Kings xvi. 24),
Ezra x. 9). Here were the general markets restored, enlarge?, strengthened, or beauti.
(2 Kings vii. 1). Besides those at the gale, fied (Judges xviii. 28. i Kings xii. 25; xv.
there may have been other squares, wide 17. 2 Chron. viii. 5); and in the Roman
places' or chief streets (Judg. xix. 15, 17, period, Palestine, in the number and beauty
20. Gen. xx. 2), also ordinary streets (Jer. of its towns, bore a comparison with the
xxxvii. 21. Job xviii. 17. Isaiah v. 25). finest portious of the civilised world; so
Streets in Eastern towns now are very nar. possible is it for outward splendour and
row; built so, it is said, for the sake of the national decay to co-exist! In the time of
shelter they thus afford against the burning Joshua, Canaan numbered 600 towns of
rays of the sun. If we may judge by those greater or less dimensions. In the days of
of Jerusalem, the Palestinian streets of old Josephus (Life, 45), Galilee alone contained
were by no means wide. The streets were 204. The names of towns, like other names
for the most part without pavement, and (see the article), were significant; though
probably always without sewers, so that they owing to the different races that inhabited
were either dusty or dirty (Ps. xviii. 42. Palestine, it is not always easy to discover
2 Samuel xxii. 43). Streets received their the signification. Such as contain Baal in
names from some peculiarity (Acts ix. 11), them may be considered as of Canaanite
or the goods made or sold in them (Jer. origin, and consequently very old. When
xxxvii. 21). The modern bazuars are streets towns of the same name existed, they were
filled with shops or booths, in each of which discriminated by the name of the tribe or
are exposed for sale wares of the same kind. district to which they severally belonged.
Jerusalem, as not itself abounding in foun. In the time of the Herods, many old towns
tains, had aqueducts even before the cap- received new names in honour of distin
tivity (Is. vii. 3 ; xxii. 9. 2 Kings xx. 20. guished Romans, as Diospolis, Neapolis,
Joseph. Antiq. xviii. 3, 2. J. W. ii. 17, 9). Sebaste, Cæsarea, Tiberias; few of which,
Other towns were for the most part supplied bowever, put an end to the old name, which

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of the peculiar condition of the church and lar mind; so that new and corrupt forms of circumstances of the writers. A tradition of opinion were readily introduced, accompatwenty years might, for all great practical nied with the sanction of divine truth. To purposes, preserve itself in purity. When. course of time, these Chaldaic interpretain the next twenty years, writing was placed tions were written down. Two learned Jews, by the side of tradition, the one would autben. Onkelos and Jonathan, formed them into a ticate the other, and the result be a higher body to which was given the name of Tar. kind of testimony than each could have ex- gums, and which, besides the Aramaic traps. clusively borne (Lukei. 1-4). And the final lation of the sacred text, contain remarks, voice of the church, given by the affixing of glosses, and explanations, transmitted from its seal to the canon, c'oses and attests the mouth to mouth, and taken down from the formation of a body of written evidence, superior lips of public teachers. To this expository to any other known in the whole of literary collection was given the name Midrash, from history, because divine. See the articles a Hebrew term originally signifying to seek CANON, EPISTLES, GOSPEL.

or 'investigate,' buc here, to expounder The defenders of Jewish tradition trace * set forth,' that is, divine truth, which is back its elements to the earliest periods of was held could be found only in the sacred their national history. Besides the written books. law, according to their statement, there al- Those who were engaged in these exposiways was oral instruction, which passed from tions bore the appellation of Midrashites, a father to son, was specially in the custody of kind of learned class, cousisting of pupils the priesthood, and, accumulating from nge and teachers, among whom instruction was to age, was at length consigned to writing. given chiefly by questions and answers (Luse The admission of the existence of some sort ii. 46), and with whom the natural quest of and degree of tradition in the early Jewish novelty, operating in connection with a fixed church, is not the admission of its trust- and limited circle of ideas, led to the utter. worthiness. And until we kuow as a fact ance and prevalence of opinions forced and what is now only advanced as a probability, unnatural, if not absurd, and to refinements, we cannot pronounce an opinion either in bair-splitting subtleties, and moral casuistry, favour or disfavour of the substance of the which overlaid and sometimes destroyed the alleged tradition; only we may remark that divine law, even while affecting to do it bodoctrines or facts which, in their passage nour (Matt. xv. 3). Traces of these corrupdown through many centuries, have no other tions are still found in the Mishna, or thai vehicle than the changeful one of oral com- portion of the Talmud in which are premunication, must, if small and simple at the served the traditions of the ancient Midrashfirst, become in the course of time so ample ites. The Talmud, or oral instruction, is the and so degenerate as to lose nearly the whole great national collection of Jewish tradition. of their value. In the transmission, a learned It consists of two portions—the Mishna, or body or sacerdotal caste would afford no gua. text, and the Gemara, or explauation. It is rantee of purity, especially if their interesis not easy to define the period to which the could be promoted by the character of the statements of the Talmud may with safety tradition which they transmitted ; and the be referred. The Mishna, as we now possess only security against corruption that could it, was formed, about 219 A. D., by Jehuda exist, would be the light of day and the force the holy. It treats in six classes, which con. of public opinion. But in Judaism the sanc. sist of some sixty pieces, of, I. Prayers and tuary was closed to the people, who could blessings, agriculture, sacerdotal qualities : exert no influence over a deposit which was 11. The sabbath, festivals, temple-dues ; III. held exclusively in the hands of the priests. Marringe laws and vows; IV. Duties, crimi. The written word would, indeed, have some nal procedure, morals, and the authority of restraint on the undue growth of tradition; the law; V. The temple sacrifices and priesus but it happened that the Sacred Scriptures rights; and VI. Clean and unclean. The became an almost sealed book for the people Gemara is said to extend down to the fifth at large at the very time when tradition be- century of our era. In the expositions which gan to make head. While in captivity in Baby. it offers are incorporated Hebrew fragments, lon, the people lost the power to read the such as narratives, poems, mystical explana. Scriptures in their original tongue. A trans- tions of the powers of letters, &e. There are lation became necessary. This translation iwo Gemaras—the Palestinian or Jerusalem, at the first was made by word of mouth, as and the Babylonian. the reader recited the Scriptures in the pub- Among the Midrashites was formed a spelic assembl, The ignorance which made a cial class, designated Kabbalists. The eartranslation necessary, reudered exposition liest Kabbala-that is, revealed mysteriesand explanations desirable.

These were was a collection of spiritual explanations, given vivá voce in the congregation. Hence which by degrees some of the Midrashites ordinary human elements were mixed with drew from the doctrines of the Chaldee, Per. Biblical instructions, and that with almost no sian, Greek, and especially the Dew Platonie power of check or correction from the popu. philosophy, and ascribed io the sacred books TOWN-CLERK, in the original (Acts xix. first publication of the gospel was of a nature 85), is grammateus, or 'writer. In the time

to give rise to tradition, by which we mean of the Greek independence that name was oral teaching under the infallible guidance given to the person who had care of the of the Spirit, claimed by the Apostles. public archives in a city, and who, in the It was solely by word of mouth that Jesus senate and assemblies of the citizens, wrote taught. It was solely to the mind of man, down their acts and determinations. But under Divine Providence, that he entrusted after the Romans, having conquered the 'the words of this life' By the same instruGreeks, gave to their towus a certain muni- ment, under attestations from eye-witnesses, cipal government, the grammateus, in the did the apostles, agreeably with the command Greek cities of Asia, was the highest muni- of their Divine Master (Matt. xxviii. 19, 20), cipal officer, as chosen by the people. That begin, after his ascension, that grand missuch magistrates had great authority, appears sionary enterprise which is to end in the salfrom the fact, that on inscriptions the year vation of the world (Acts i. 21, seq.; ii. 14, is indicated by their name, which is also seq.; iii. 12, seq.). borne by coins of the city over which they How long tradition, in this sense, lasted presided.

in the church it is uot easy to determine, TRACHONITIS, an unfruitful district of because no criterion has been agreed on Basban, formed of the two mountain ridges which may mark the line that divides tradicalled Trachone, in north-eastern Palestine, tion from the written word. If on the one bordering on Anti-Lebanon and the territory side the earliest Epistle may be regarded as of Dainascus, and towards the south extend- the limit, on the other, we can scarcely allow ing to Gilead, formed a part of the tetrarchy that tradition finished its task till the death of Pbilip, son of Herod the Great. It is now of the last of the apostles. From the death the rugged basait region of Ledsha (Luke of Jesus till the decree of the church at Jeiii. 1).

rusalem, perhaps the first Christian docu. TRADITION (L. trans, 'over,' and do, ment (Acts xv. 23), and the earlier Epistles 'I give') is the rendering, in Matt. xv. 2, of of Paul, a period of rather more than twenty a Greek term, paradosis ('giving from,' that years, tradition alone prevailed. Then came is, giving from hand to hand, or from mouth a mixed period— tradition and writing exist. to mouth), which in 1 Cor. xi. 2, is trans- ing side by side as common witnesses and lated 'ordinances.

' Tradition is, therefore, mutual help-fellows. This mixed period, cothe transmission of something from one to vering another space of about twenty years, another; in the case before us, the trans- saw the production of the greater part of the mission of a fact or doctrine from one man New Testament, namely, the rest of Paul's and one age to another. The channel of Epistles, those of Peter, and the three synopcommunication, left undetermined by the tical Gospels. Thence to the end of the cenetymology, may be either oral (1 Cor. xi. 2) tury is a second mixed period, in which was or written (Gal. i. 14), though tradition is produced the Gospel of Jobn. Thus withgenerally used of doctrines transmitted ori- in about seventy years from the death of ginally by word of mouth. The term is Christ, oral teaching passed into the writ. applied, I. to the additions made by the Jew- ten word. Not yet, however, bad tradi. ish doctors to the Mosaic laws and institu- tion accomplished its whole task; for the tions, which are strongly condemned (Matt. canon bad for the most part to be formed, xv. 2–9; compare Joseph. Antiq. xiii. 10, which from the death of John came gradu0); II. probably to long-established human ally into existenee under the evidence of errors (Col. ii. 8); III. to the precepts and faithful men and whole communities of beappointments of apostles (1 Corinth. xi. 2. lievers, who, or whose fathers, had received 2 Thess. ii. 15 ; iii. 6).

its contevts from their several authors. The scriptural usage of the word makes That the whole of what Jesus said and it clear that all tradition is not to be con. did was written downı, there are many evidemned. There was at the first a tradition dences to disprove, besides the testimony of in the church of Christ, which its members John, if the last chapter of his Gospel is were required to observe; that namely which from his pen (xxi. 25). But it is equally was spoken by Christ, or delivered by the

certain that these are lost pearls. A compaApostles who were infallibly guided by the rison of what is offered as ecclesiastical traHoly Spirit. Thus Paul in regard to the resur.

ditions with what is found in the New Testarection taught what he had learnt, and in ment, shows that if the latter is of Christ, the regard to the Lord's Supper transmitted former came from some other source. what he had received. Comp. 1 Tim. i. 18. The genuine tradition of the Christian In 2 Tim. ii. 2, the principle of tradition is church offers itself to our acceptance in a fully uttered when Paul says to his son in most trustworthy guise. The truth of this the Lord, “The things that thou hast heard remark comes forth of itself from the outline of me among many witnesses, the same com. of its history which we have given above. mit thou to faithful men, who shall be able Naturally was the tradition preserved. Natabo teush others also' Indeed, generally, the rally did the Christian documents arise out

of the peculiar condition of the church and lar mind; so that new and corrupt forms of circumstances of the writers. A tradition of opinion were readily introduced, accompatwenty years might, for all great practical nied with the sanction of divine truth. In purposes, preserve itself in purity. When. course of time, these Chaldaic interpretain the next twenty years, writing was placed tions were written down. Two learned Jews, by the side of tradition, the one would authen. Onkelos and Jonathan, formed them into a ticate the other, and the result be a higher body to which was given the name of Tar. kind of testimony than each could have ex- gums, and which, besides the Aramaic transclusively borne (Luke i. 1-4). And the final lation of the sacred text, contain remarks, voice of the church, given by the affixing of glosses, and explanations, transmitted frou, its seal to the canon, closes and attests the mouth to mouth, and taken down from the formation of a body of written evidence, superior lips of public teachers. To this expository to any other known in the whole of literary collection was given the name Midrash, from history, because divine. See the articles a Hebrew term originally signifying to seek' CANON, EPISTLES, GOSPEL.

or 'investigate,' but here, 'to expound' or The defenders of Jewish tradition trace 'set forth, that is, divine truth, which it back its elements to the earliest periods of was held could be found only in the sacred their national history. Besides the written books. law, according to their statement, there al- Those who were engaged in these exposiways was oral instruction, which passed from tions bore the appellation of Midrashites, a father to son, was specially in the custody of kind of learned class, cousisting of pupils the priesthood, and, accumulating from age and teachers, among whom instruction was to age, was at length consigned to writing. given chiefly by questions and answers (Luke The admission of the existence of some sort ii. 46), and with whom the natural quest of and degree of tradition in the early Jewish novelty, operating in connection with a fixed church, is not the admission of its trust- and limited circle of ideas, led to the utter. worthiness. And until we know as a fact ance and prevalence of opinions forced and what is now only advanced as a probability, unnatural, if not absurd, and to refinements, we cannot pronounce an opinion either in hair-splitting subtleties, and moral casuistry, favour or disfavour of the substance of the which overlaid and sometimes destroyed the alleged tradition; only we may remark that divine law, even while affecting to do it bodoctrines or facts which, in their passage nour (Matt. xv. 3). Traces of these corrupdown through many centuries, have no other tions are still found in the Mishna, or that vehicle than the changeful one of oral com- portion of the Talmud in which are premunication, must, if small and simple at the served the traditions of the ancient Midrash. first, become in the course of time so ample ites. The Talmud, or oral instruction, is the and so degenerate as to lose nearly the whole great national collection of Jewish tradition. of their value. In the transmission, a learned It consists of two portions—the Mishna, or body or sacerdotal caste would afford no guu. text, and the Gemara, or explauation. It is rantee of purity, especially if their interesis not easy to define the period to wbich the could be promoted by the character of the statements of the Talmud may with safety tradition which they transmitted ; and the be referred. The Mishna, as we now possess only security against corruption that could it, was formed, about 219 A. D., by Jehuda exist, would be the light of day and the force the holy. It treats in six classes, which con. of public opinion. But in Judaism the sanc. sist of some sixty pieces, of, I. Prayers and tuary was closed to the people, who could blessings, agriculture, sacerdotal qualities; exert no influence over a deposit which was II. The sabbath, festivals, temple-dues; III. held exclusively in the hands of the priests. Marringe laws and vows; IV. Duties, crimi. The written word would, indeed, have some nal procedure, morals, and the authority of restraint on the undue growth of tradition; the law; V. The temple sacrifices and priestly but it happened that the Sacred Scriptures rights; and Ví. Clean and unclean. Tbe became an almost sealed book for the people Gemara is said to extend down to the fifth at large at the very time when tradition be. century of our era. In the expositions which gan to make head. While in captivity in Baby. it offers are incorporated Hebrew fragments, lon, the people lost the power to read the such as narratives, poems, mystical explanaScriptures in their original tongue. A trans- tions of the powers of letters, &c. There are lation became necessary. This translation two Gemarag—the Palestinian or Jerusalem, at the first was made by word of mouth, as and the Babylonian. the reader recited the Scriptures in the pub- Among the Midrashites was formed a spelic assembl, The ignorance which made a cial class, designated Kabbalists. The car. translation necessary, rendered exposition liest Kabbala-that is, revealed mysteriesand explanations desirable.

These were was a collection of spiritual explanations, given viva voce in the congregation. Hence which by degrees some of the Midrashites ordinary human elements were mixed with drew from the doctrives of the Chaldee, Per. Biblical instructions, and that with almost no sian, Greek, and especially the new Platonie power of check or correction from the popu. philosophy, and ascribed to the sacreil books

[ocr errors]

as an inner and secret sense. From the Per- word as so many words of wbich they se. bian philosophy (see PaiLOSOPHY) they took verally form the commencement. Thus the the notion of great periodic changes, distin. three letters of the word Adam form the guishing the old and the new age as the initials of the three words Adam, David, world that now is,' and that which is to Messiah; which shows that by metempsy. come' (olam haseh and olam habah). The chosis Adam re-appeared in the persons of former was the times the Old Testament; David and the Messiah. The dogmatic the latter, the times of the Messiah. This Kabbala treats of angels and denious, and Messianic period the Kabbala found set their different classes; of the several diviforth in the laws, histories, usages, and per. sions or mansions of paradise and hell; of sons of the sacred writings; and it was its the transmigration of souls, and other mys. special business to discover the spiritual teries. The visions of Ezekiel furnished features of the future world in the outer and scope for this kind of mythological trifling. verbul import of the Old Testament. As the There God is exhibited as seated on a throne Kabbalists professed, under Divine guidance, environed by winged animals (i. 4, seq.), to deal with the hidden sense of the Divine whose figures bear a resemblance to others Word, so they had full scope for the indul- found on the ruins of Persepolis. These gence of a prolific imagination, which of probably are symbolical representations connecessity tended to abuse. In the lapse of nected with local beliefs. The Kabbalisis ages this abuse went on growing, until the call Ezekiel's vision Mercara, or chariot, professors of Kabbalistic skill laid claim to and find in it the court of the celestial King, an acquaintance with occult powers in natnre the throne of God surrounded by angels; and natural bodies, by which they could with which they have connected their doctransmute the baser into the precious me- trine of good aud bad spirits. The stars, Tals, and exert an irresistible coutrol over the different kingdoms of nature; the ele. bealth and sickness, life and death, nay, ments, men, the virtues and passions of over good and bad spirits. In earlier times men, are all under the influence of angels. their skill of mind was employed in specula- The lower world itself is filled with material tions on the Divine Essence, in which they genii, of both sexes, who hold a middle posiconstructed a species of philosophy which, tion between men and angels. The gooil fantastic as it seems in some of its features, angels are under the command of Metatron is scarcely less rash and groundless than (from the Greek meta thronon, 'near the what sometimes passes as the sober thoughts throne'), who is also called Sarhappanim, of Christian divines touching the attributes “angel of the divine countenance.' The devils of God. Borrowing from the Pythagorean are under the sway of Samael, that is Satan school the practice of dissertating on pow. and the angel of death. Besides the trans. ers attributed to certain numbers, they in- migration of souls partially received by them, dulged themselves in speculations in which the Kabbalists have another mystery, Ibbour, fancy furnished the text and the love of no. “inpregnation, that is, the union of two velty gave the comment.

souls in one body, wrought for the purpose The Kabbala comprises three elements, I. of giving succour and strength. Some of the symbolical; II. the dogmatic; III. the their more imaginative fables call to mind speculative or metaphysical. The symbolic passages in Dante and Milton. The speen. cal furnishes the means of finding in Scrip- lative Kabbala had for its aim the bringing ture an inner or mystic sense, different from into barmony monotheism and the act of creathe literal. It works by three operations: tion with the fundamental principle of ancient 1, themoura ; 2, geometria ; 3, notarikon. philosophy, Ex nihilo nihil fit; ‘From noThemoura (change, permutation) consists thing, nothing is made. All that exists is in the arbitrary transposition of the letters derived from God, the eternal source of lighi. of a word; or in the substitution of others, God is known only by bis manifestations ; so as to form a new term. Sheshach (Jer. God uot manifested, is a mere abstraction. Ixv. 26), the name of un unknown place, is This God is from all eternity. Hence he converted into Babel by a process which con. is called the ancient of days,' the bidden sists generally in substituting the last letter of the hidden,' also ‘nothing; and thus the of the Hebrew alphabet, T, for the first, A; world as created by him came from pothing. the last but one, Sh, for the second, B; and This nothing, whence came all things, is so forth; and vice versa. Geometria gives unity indivisible and infinite, or En-soph, exclusive attention to the numerical value of the cause of causes. The primal light of letters, and substitutes one word for another. God-nothing filled all space; it is space itself; Thus Mashiah (Messiah) consists in He. every thing virtually was in it; but to mani. brew of letters inaking in all 358. The fest itself it must create, that is, unfold itself same is the case with Mahshah, serpent ; by emanation. It therefore withdrew within whence it is concluded that the Messiah will itself in order to cause a void, which after. overcome or replace the serpent. Notarikon wards it gradually filled by light which varied unites the initial or final letters of several in brilliancy, and as it receded from the words, or considers the letters of a single centre, became more and more imperfect.

« PreviousContinue »