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of phytolacca, partook with the mustard plant in the denomination of sinapis, and hence may be, and probably is, the tree mentioned by that name in the New Testament.
This view received much attention, and was adopted in some important works of reference. But in 1829 appeared a posthumous tract by the Rev. P. W. Buckham, under the inaccurate title of Remarks on the Phytolacca Dodecandra, the Mustard Tree of the Scriptures,' in which the author, with much ability and curious research, applied himself to refute the view taken by Mr. Frost, and to re-establish the opinion which had previously prevailed.
He says, it would have been satisfactory to know on what authority it is stated that the Phytolacca dodecandra has the smallest seed of any tree growing in Palestine; since, although travellers mention several species of mustard as growing in Palestine and Syria, no one mentions the Phytolacca dodecandra, nor indeed any other species of phytolacca, except that Dr. Russel once mentions the American poke-weed (P. decandra), called by him P. Americana major fructu. Yet it appears that the plant in question was cultivated and common in Palestine; and it is also shown that mustard, the produce of the sinapis, was anciently used as a condiment with food, as at present. The analogy of natural properties, on which Mr. Frost insists, is not well established; nor can any notice be found of such a tree in the East, the sliced roots of which are applied to the purpose he mentions.
That the word divdeos, implying a tree or shrub, cannot be applied to a plant with an herbaceous stem, Mr. Buckham regards as fallacious, as does also Dr. Bloomfield. He adduces examples from ancient Greek writers, in which the word is applied to denote not only a tree or shrub, but an annual plant with an herbaceous stem.
We need not wonder to be told that the birds found a nestling place beneath the mustard plant, when in Job (xxx.7 they are said to shelter beneath the nettles. Besides, many plants which are only annuals with us are of several years' duration in eastern countries. Take, for instance, the Palma Christi (or Jonah's gourd); there are abundance of testimonials to prove the duration of this plant and the height which it attains. This instance, adduced by Mr. Buckham, we can confirm by our own observation, having seen, on the Tigris, trees of this species which have been standing long enough to mark and characterize the spots on which they grow.
The war of the New Testament and other Greek writings is agreed to be the same as the chardal, of the Rabbinical and other Oriental writers. We may then note how the former speak of the chardal in the instances cited by Lightfoot and Hammond. Thus the Babylon Talmud says, there was left to a man in Shechem, by his father, s mustard-tree having three boughs of chardal, and one of the number being taken was found to afford nine cabs of mustard, and its wood was sufficient to cover the shed of a potter. So, in the Jerusalem Talmud, R. Simeon Bea Chalaphta says, "A chardal tree was in my field, which I was wont to climb, as men climb into a fig-tree." Maimonides draws a comparison between the firmament and a grain of chardal, the one being of the greatest and the other of the smallest magnitude.
Mr. Buckham, to show to what size the sinapis will grow, under favourable circumstances, cites the following from Alonzo de Ovallo's Travels in Chili,' as given in Awnshaw and Churchill's Collection. "Mustard, turnips, mint, trefoil, and other plants, which I see are cultivated in Europe, do all grow wild in Chili, without serving to the use of life at all, otherwise than by the cattle feeding on them. The mustard-plant thrives so rapidly that it is as big as one's arm. and so high and thick that it looks like a tree. I have travelled many leagues through mustard groves, which were taller than horse and man; and the birds built their nests in them, as the Gospel mentions."
Agreeing with Mr. Buckham that it is impossible to be positive as to the particular species of sinapis intended, we have nevertheless preferred to give a representation of the Sinapis Orientalis. A representation of the whole plant we have not been able to obtain, and the present figure of a twig and the seed has only been found, after much search, in Schkuhr's Botanisches Handbuch. The seed is given of the natural size, in outline, and as magnified, in shadow.
"Be thou plucked up by the root."-The sycamine tree is one of the timber trees of the Holy Land: and, from having a larger and more extensive root than other trees, is hère alluded to as the most difficult to be rooted up. See Shaw's Travels,' p. 435.
12. "Ten men that were lepers.”—This was in a village, and lepers were not excluded from villages. We are indebted to Lightfoot for the information, that neither was the law for their exclusion understood to exclude them even from any towns but such as were already walled in the time of Joshua. To all which were afterwards built they had access. But under all circumstances, they were expected to keep their distance from persons who were clean, as well as from those who were unclean from any other cause than leprosy. A leper who transgressed the rules, or intruded into towns or places forbidden to him, was punished with forty stripes save one. Lepers might even enter the synagogues of such towns as we have mentioned: but they remained apart within a railed enclosure, and were the first to enter and the last to depart.
and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but I
afterward he said within himself, Though fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me. I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of
11 Thess. 5. 17.
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God. 28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
35 ¶And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging :
36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.
2 Or, as being righteous. Matt, 23. 19. • Matt, 19. 16.
Matt. 20. 17. 7 Matt, 20, 29.
Verse 11. "Prayed...with himself.”—We have already noticed that the Jews prayed silently in the Temple. "God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are."-R. Judah, in the Jerusalem Talmud, meutions three benedictions which the Jews were expected to repeat every day. "Blessed be thou, O God, who hast not made me one of the ignorant.-Blessed be thou, Ở God, who hast not made me a Gentile.-Blessed be thou, O God, who hast not made me a woman."-The two last, with many other daily benedictions, are included in the prayer-books of the modern Jews. In these a woman is directed to exchange the last cited clause for, “Blessed be thou, O God, who hast made me according to thy will."
12. "I fast twice in the week."-Not on the sabbath, as some of the ancient translators understood; for among the Jews the sabbath was not a fast-day, but a feast-day: so much so, indeed, that every person was expected to eat three meals on that day, not excepting even those who subsisted on alms. The fast days to which the Pharisee alludes, were the Mondays and Thursdays. The fasts on those days were not of imperative obligation: but it was accounted meritorious to observe them strictly; and their observance was not omitted by the Pharisees and others who laid claim to peculiar sanctity.
1 Of Zaccheus a Publican. 11 The ten pieces of money. 28 Christ rideth into Jerusalem with triumph: 41 weepeth over it: 45 driveth the buyers and sellers out of the temple: 47 teaching daily in it. The rulers would have destroyed him, but for fear of the people.
AND Jesus entered and passed through Je- this man to reign over us. richo.
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchæus, which was the chief among the Publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchæus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
man went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have
10 'For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17 And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.
18 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.
20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin:
21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?
24 And he said unto them that stood by Take from him the pound, and give it to
11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12 He said therefore, A certain noble-him that hath ten pounds.
1 Matt. 18. 11.
Matt. 25. 14.
3 Mina, here translated a pound, is twelve ounces and a half; which, according to 5s, the ounce, is 34. 2s, Ed.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he | for all the mighty works that they had hath ten pounds.)
26 For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.
27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
28 ¶ And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
29 'And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,
30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.
31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.
33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?
34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.
38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry
47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the Chief Priests and the Scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him,
36 And as they went, they spread their clothes in the way.
37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice
4 Matt. 13. 12. 5 Matt. 21. 1.
6 Matt. 21. 12. 7 Or, hanged on him.
Verse 2. Chief among the Publicans."-We have already mentioned the publicans. It may be proper to add that this employment in the collection of the revenue, was the only civil office in which native Jews were employed by the Romans. The office of chief of the publicans at so important a place as Jericho, must have been one of great importauce and responsibility, and, as we learn from the text, lucrative to him who held it. We may understand that Zaccheus was a sort of comptroller-general to whom the inferior publicans rendered their account, and was himself the responsible officer to whom the Romans looked. Or it may not be unlikely that he farmed the revenues of the district from the Romans. It is impossible to ascertain whether he presided over one particular branch of taxation, or over the whole generally the Jericho district. Besides the capitation tax, there were other taxes imposed by the Romans and collected by the publicans, such as tolls at gates, bridges, and ferries. The public works of the Romans were doubtless of great benefit to the community; but as they imposed taxes and tolls in return, the Jews, with a feeling perfectly oriental, would have preferred the inconvenience without the tax, to the convenience with it. The Talmud has the following:-"R. Judah, R. Joseph, R. Simeon, and R. Judah Ben Garis sitting together, R. Judah began and said, 'O how great are the works of this (Roman) nation: they build streets, and bridges, and baths.' R. Jose held his tongue and said nothing: but R. Simeon answered and said, Whatsoever they have built, they have built it for their own advantage. They have built bridges that they might gain a toll by them.' R. Judah went and told this to the Romans; who treated him with favour for having magnified their empie, but banished R. Jose to Cyprus, and condemned R. Simeon to death, but he escaped and remained concealed for thirteen years in a cave."
48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people 'were very attentive to hear him.
4. Climbed up into a sycomore tree."-The neighbourhood of Jericho was chiefly celebrated for its palm trees, whence the town is sometimes called in the Old Testament "the city of palms." Yet sycamores also abounded here. We read in the Talmud of " beams of sycamore of Jericho." It is also noticed that the men of Jericho permitted the
branches of trees devoted to sacred uses, and of carob trees and sycamore trees, to be cut down and used. Trees generally might be planted at twenty-five cubits distance from the walls of a town; but the carob and sycamore trees not nearer than fifty cubits. This restriction was on account of the large branches of these latter trees. (See Gill, in loc.) The sycamore, though found in Judea, no longer exists in the neighbourhood of Jericho.
12. "To receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”—We are not to understand that he went to receive a kingdom, in a different kingdom, but to be confirmed in the royal power over that country in which he lived. This is clear enough from verse 14, where we are told that, His citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us." The message was probably sent to that superior power to which the "nobleman" applied in order to obtain royalty. Some of our Lord's parables appear to be true histories, and others, in their incidental circumstances, have an evident regard to historical propriety. Mr. Horne rightly considers the present parable to belong to this latter class, observing-"In the parable of a nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return,' our Lord alludes to a case which no long time before had actually occurred in Judæa. Those who, by hereditary succession or by interest, had pretensions to the Jewish throne, travelled to Rome, in order to have it confirmed to them. Herod the Great first went that long journey to obtain the kingdom of Judæa from Antony, in which he succeeded; and having received the kingdom,' he afterwards travelled from Judæa to Rhodes, in order to obtain a confirmation from Cæsar, in which he was equally successful. Archelaus, the son and successor of Herod, did the same; and to him our Lord most probably alluded. Every historical circumstance is beautifully interwoven by our Saviour in this instructive parable."Întroduction,' vol. ii. p. 479. To this it may be added, that the character of an "austere man," &c., agrees well with that of Archelaus; who also at Rome found a powerful party of Jews opposed to his appointment-a party composed for the most part of persons opposed to kingly government, under existing circumstances, if not on principle, but who, feeling assured that a king would be appointed, were anxious that the appointment should fall on Herod Antipas (afterwards tetrarch of Galilee) rather than on Archelaus, who was by no means a popular person.
1 Christ avoucheth his authority by a question of John's baptism. 9 The parable of the vineyard. 19 Of giving tribute to Cæsar. 27 He convinceth the Sadducees that denied the resurrection. 41 How Christ is the Son of David. 45 He warneth his disciples to beware of the Scribes.
AND 'it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the Gospel, the Chief Priests and the Scribes came upon him with the elders,
2 And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?
3 And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer
4 The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?
5 And they reasoned with themselves, saying. If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?
6 But and if we say, Öf men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.
7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.
8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
9 Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.
10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the
1 Matt. 21. 23.
2 Matt. 21. 33.