« PreviousContinue »
vested with a subordinate and municipal authority. This economy is discerned in every part of the Gospel narrative of our Saviour's crucifixion.
X. [p. 203.] Acts, ix. 31. "Then had the churches rest throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria.” This rest synchronizes with the attempt of Caligula to place his statue in the temple of Jerusalem; the threat of which outrage produced amongst the Jews a consternation, that, for a season, diverted their attention from every other object 18.
XI. [p. 218.] Acts, xxi. 30. "And they took Paul and drew him out of the temple; and forthwith the doors were shut. And as they went about to`kill him, tidings came to the chief captain of the band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. Then the chief captain came near, and took him, and commanded him to be bound with two chains, and demanded who he was, and what he had done? and some cried one thing, and some another, among the multitude: and when he could not know the certainty for the tumult, he commanded him to be carried into the castle. And when he came upon the stairs, so it was that he was borne of the soldiers for the violence of the people."
In this quotation we have the band of Roman soldiers at Jerusalem, their office (to suppress tumults), the castle, the stairs, both, as it should seem, adjoining to the temple. Let us inquire whether we can find these particulars in any other record of that age and place.
Joseph. de Bell. lib. v. c. 5, sect. 8. was situated at the angle of the western and northern porticoes of the outer temple. It was built upon a rock fifty cubits high, steep on all sides.-On that
18 Joseph. de Bell. lib. xi. c. 13, sect. 1. 3, 4.
side where it joined to the porticoes of the temple, there were stairs reaching to each portico, by which the guard descended; for there was always lodged here a Roman legion; and posting themselves in their armour in several places in the porticoes, they kept a watch on the people on the feast-days, to prevent all disorders; for, as the temple was a guard to the city, so was Antonia to the temple."
XII. [p. 224.] Acts, iv. 1. "And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them." Here we have a public officer, under the title of captain of the temple, and he probably a Jew, as he accompanied the priests and Sadducees in apprehending the apostles. "And at
Joseph. de Bell. lib. ii. c. 17, sect. 2. the temple, Eleazar, the son of Ananias, the high priest, a young man of a bold and resolute disposition, then captain, persuaded those who performed the sacred ministrations, not to receive the gift or sacrifice of any stranger.
XIII. [p. 225.] Acts, xxv. 12. "Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, Hast thou appealed unto Cæsar? unto Cæsar shalt thou go." That it was usual for the Roman presidents to have a council, consisting of their friends, and other chief Romans in the province, appears expressly in the following passage of Cicero's oration against Verres:-" Illud negare posses, aut nunc negabis, te, concilio tuo dimisso, viris primariis, qui in consilio C. Sacerdotis fuerant, tibique esse volebant, remotis, de re judicatâ judicâsse?"
XIV. [p. 235.] Acts, xvi. 13. "And (at Philippi) on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river
side, where prayer was wont to be made," or where a оσεʊуη, oratory, or place of prayer was allowed. The particularity to be remarked is the situation of the place where prayer was wont to be made, viz. by a river side.
Philo, describing the conduct of the Jews of Alexandria, on a certain public occasion, relates of them, that "early in the morning, flocking out of the gates of the city,' they go to the neighbouring shores (for the TρоσEUɣaι were destroyed), and standing in a most pure place, they lift up their voices with one accord 19."
Josephus gives us a decree of the city of Halicarnassus, permitting the Jews to build oratories; a part of which decree runs thus:-" We ordain that the Jews who are willing, men and women, do observe the sabbaths, and perform sacred rites according to the Jewish laws, and build oratories by the sea side 20:
Tertullian, among other Jewish rites and customs, such as feasts, sabbaths, fasts, and unleavened bread, mentions" orationes litorales," that is, prayers by the river side 21.
XV. [p. 255.] Acts, xxvi. 5. "After the most straitest sect of our religion, I lived a Pharisee."
Joseph. de Bell. lib. i. c. 5, sect. 2. "The Pharisees were reckoned the most religious of any of the Jews, and to be the most exact and skilful in explaining the laws."
In the original there is an agreement not only in the sense, but in the expression, it being the same Greek adjective which is rendered "strait" in the Acts, and "exact" in Josephus.
XVI. [p. 255.] Mark, vii. 3, 4. and all the Jews, except they wash, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders; and many other things there be which they have received to hold."
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiii. c. 10, sect. 6. "The Pharisees have delivered to the people many institutions, as received from the fathers, which are not written in the law of Moses.".
XVII. [p. 259.] Acts, xxiii. 8. "For the Sadducees say, that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both."
Joseph. de Bell. lib. ii. c. 8, sect. 14. "They (the Pharisees) believe every soul to be immortal, but that the soul of the good only passes into another body, and that the soul of the wicked is punished with eternal punishment." On the other hand (Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 1, sect. 4), "It is the opinion of the Sadducees, that souls perish with the bodies.”
XVIII. [p. 268.] Acts, v. 17. "Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and were filled with indignation." St. Luke here intimates, that the high priest was a Sadducee; which is a character one would not have expected to meet with in that station. The circumstance, remarkable as it is, was not however without examples.
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiii. c. 10, sect. 6, 7. "John Hyrcanus, high priest of the Jews, forsook the Pharisees upon a disgust, and joined himself to the party of the Sadducees." This high priest died one hundred and seven years before the Christian era.
Again (Antiq. lib. xx. c. 8, sect. 1), "This Ananus the younger, who, as we have said just now, had received the high priesthood, was fierce and haughty
in his behaviour, and, above all men, bold and daring, and, moreover, was of the sect of the Sadducees." This high priest lived little more than twenty years
after the transaction in the Acts.
XIX. [p. 282.] Luke, ix. 51. "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before his face. And they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem."
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xx. c. 5, sect. 1. "It was the custom of the Galileans, who went up to the holy city at the feasts, to travel through the country of Samaria. As they were in their journey, some inhabitants of the village called Ginea, which lies on the borders of Samaria and the great plain, falling upon them, killed a great many of them."
XX. [p. 278.] John, iv. 20. "Our fathers," said the Samaritan woman, "worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
Joseph. Antiq. lib. xviii. c. 5, sect. 1. "Commanding them to meet him at mount Gerizzim; which is by them (the Samaritans), esteemed the most sacred of all mountains."
XXI. [p. 312.] Matt. xxvi. 3. "Then assembled together the chief priests, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas." That Caiaphas was high priest, and high priest throughout the presidentship of Pontius Pilate, and consequently at this time, appears from the following account:-He was made high priest by Valerius