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command you,” Deut. iv. 1, 2, xii. 32. Indeed, particular districts, supported the decisions of the without the sanction of Jehovah, as revealed by prince in civil or criminal inquiries, and, finally, Urim and Thummim, no measure of importance commanded under him in the field of battle. could be undertaken. It is only by taking this These heads of tribes and heads of families conview of the Hebrew government that we can stituted the national senate, whose deliberations understand the reason of various prescribed lav guided the administration of affairs in all cases of and institutions, under that dispensation. Thus, difficulty or hazard, and thus formed the bond of we must regard the tabernacle and temple as the federative state. See Judg. xx. 2, &c. During palace of the great King; the priests and Levites this period of the Hebrew history, the supreme as his attendants; the sacrifices, the libations of power was occasionally exercised by judges, who wine, and the shew-bread, as the daily provision appear to have been raised up by God, as occasion for his household ; and the mercy-seat as his royal required, to deliver the people from the hand of throne. Nevertheless, it must not be forgotten, an oppressor, and upon whom they conferred, in that God was the king of Israel in a spiritual as consequence, the highest functions of the governwell as in a temporal sense. The one tended to ment. strengthen the other; and they jointly opposed a 5. The period during which the theocracy constrong barrier against the introduction of idolatry, tinued has been a subject of dispute. Some by restricting the intercourse of the Israelites with writers are of opinion that it terminated when the foreign nations, and making polytheism a crime Israelites unadvisedly asked for and obtained a against the state.

king; while others, with more reason, maintain 4. The first events that occurred after the de- that it continued until the coming of the Messiah. mise of Joshua appear to establish the fact, that The Jewish monarchs appear only to have been to every tribe was committed the management of viceroys, bound to govern by certain laws, and its own affairs, even to the extent of being en accountable for their conduct to Jehovah, the titled to wage war and make peace, without the supreme magistrate in the state. They were raised advice or sanction of the rest. It seems evident, up and displaced under the immediate direction that as soon as the people found rest for the sole of God; whilst a succession of prophets was 'estaof their foot, in the land of which they had, under blished, to perpetuate the intercourse between the direction and by the aid of the Lord, taken Jehovah as sovereign, and the Jews as his peculiar possession, they were eager to return to their people. Hence, the changes which the Hebrew ancient and patriarchal form of society; which government underwent at various times only inthey were permitted to do, under such modifi- terrupted, and did not destroy, the theocratic recations as rendered it compatible with that theo- lation subsisting between God and the seed of cratic character to which we have referred. In Abraham.+ every tribe there was a chief, called the prince of 6. After the division of the twelve tribes, the the tribe, or the head of thousands; and under two kingdoms were governed by their respective him were the princes of families, or commanders sovereigns, till the times of the Assyrian and of hundreds.* It is probable that the first-born Babylonian captivities. On the return of the two of the senior family of each tribe was usually tribes from Babylon, they were ruled by Zerubreceived as the prince of that tribe, and that the babel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, for a period of one eldest son of every subordinate family succeeded hundred and twenty-eight years, B. C. 408. From his father in the honours and duties which be- the death of Nehemiah till the year B. C. 166, longed to the rank of a patriarch. The heads of they subsisted as a commonwealth, governed by the respective tribes presided over their affairs, the high-priest and the council of seventy-two; administered justice in all ordinary cases, and led and were successively tributary to the Persians, the troops in time of war. In the discharge of Greeks, Macedonians, Egyptians, and Syrians. these duties they were assisted by the subordinate Under the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes, the officers, the chiefs of families, who formed the Jews were miserably persecuted, and compelled to council in such matters of policy as affected their take up arms in their own defence. Judas and

his valiant brothers maintained a religious war for twenty-six years, with five of the Syrian kings; re-established the independence of their country. degree of perfection, viewed in relation to the For a period of one hundred and twenty-nine character of the people and the purposes of their years the Jews maintained their liberty under a social organization. Jehovah was himself the succession of the Asmonean princes, when they Lawgiver, as also the Judge, in all cases of appeal were rendered tributary to the Roman empire. and of difficulty: the statutes and the judgments During this period the Herodian family was in- were his; and there was no authority in Israel, vested with the government of Judea, the last of either to amend the one or alter the other. To whom was Agrippa, whose death is recorded Acts administer the laws thus promulgated, and execute xii. 21–23. On the death of Herod the Great, the judgments thus pronounced, constituted the however, the Jewish kingdom may be said to business of those subordipate judges who, under have expired; for it was shortly afterwards re- God, the supreme magistrate in the state, were duced to the form of a Roman province, and was appointed and clothed with judicial functions. governed by procurators sent from Rome. We proceed to notice, in detail, the various

and after destroying 200,000 of their enemies, * The land having been divided by lot among the twelve tribes, tach tribe was put in possession of a separate district or province, in such manner that, to use the words of Lowman, each tribe may be said to bave lived together in one and the + On this subject the reader may consult Michaëlis on the same connty, and each family in one and the same hundred; Laws of Moses, vol. i., p. 188, &c.; Jennings's Jewish Antiq., so that every neighbourhood were relations to each other, and p. 94; Warburton's Divine Legation, b. V., 8. 8; and Jahn, of the sanie families, as well as inhabitants of the same place. Archæol. Bib. § 213—222.

7. We may not close this section without no- branches of this subject. ticing the funds appropriated to the maintenance of the Jewish kings ; but our information here is meagre and unsatisfactory. Michaëlis conceives § 1.-Courts of judicature and legal proceedings. them to have been derived from the following sources : (1) Voluntary offerings, or presents, 1 1.-1. Our information respecting the judicial Sam. x. 27, xvi. 20. (2) A tithe of all the pro- tribunals amongst the Hebrews is not very duce of the fields and vineyards* (1 Sam. viii. satisfactory; the notices of them in the writings 15), and probably a tax in money, 1 Kings x. 14. of Moses are very imperfect; and the Jewish rab(3) The royal demesne, consisting of unappropri- bins and the generally acute historian, Josephus, ated lands, or the property of state criminals, are strangely at variance. It appears, however, 1 Kings xxi. 15; 1 Chron. xxvii. 28. (4) The that every city had its elders, who formed a court produce of the royal flocks, of which there seem of judicature, with the power to determine lesser to have been very large ones under the care of matters in their respective districts (see Deut. xvi. Arabian herdsmen, 1 Chron. xxvii. 29–31. (5) 18, xvii. 8, 9, xxi. 1-9). According to the rabThe moving of the best grass of the public pas- bins, every city which contained a hundred'inhatures. (6) The plunder and tribute of the con-bitants

, possessed a court of judicature, consisting quered nations, 2 Sam. viii. 1–14; 1 Kings iv. of three judges; but all cities with a larger popu21; 1 Chron. viii. 1-11; Ps. Ixxii. 10. (7) The lation had, according to Maimonides and others, customs paid by foreign merchants, who passed twenty-three of these officers. Josephus, on the through the dominions of Solomon (1 Kings x. other hand, states that in every city Moses or15), and also the produce of the extensive mer- dained seven judges of known integrity and virtue, chandise which he carried on, 1 Kings ix. 28, to whom two ministers were added, out of the x. 10, 14, 15, 28, 29.

tribe of Levi: so that each city had nine judicial

functionaries, seven laymen, and two Levites. SECTION II.

Leaving these discrepancies, which are, after all,

of no very great consequence, we may speak with JURISPRUDENCE, AND FORMS OF LEGAL PROCEDURE. confidence as to the duties and obligations of these

administrators and executors of the law. The Perfection of the Jewish Law-Courts of Judicature and Legal Hebrew legislator, as the prime minister of Je

Proceedings; Tribunals; Judicial Procedure ; the Sacred Lot; Judicial Usages of the Romans - The Criminal Law of hovah, enjoined upon them the strictest imparthe Hebrews- The Civil Law—Modes of Punishment, and tiality, in the discharge of their judicial functions, the Treatment of Prisoners.

and prohibited the taking of gifts by them, under

any circumstances that they might be offered It is evident, from what we have said in a (Exod. xxiii. 8) ; reminding them, that as a judge former section, as to the source of law amongst sits in the seat of God, no man should have any the Hebrews, that the science of jurisprudence pre-eminence in his estimation, and neither ought must, in all respects, have been in the very highest he to be afraid of any man in administering the

law (Exod. xxiii. 6, 7; Lev. xix. 15; Deut. i.

17, xxi. 18—20). * Sir John Malcolm states, that in India the same proportion 2. The numerous references to the "gate of the is mentioned in their sacred books, as having been established at the commencement of monarchy, for the support of the suonarch. Memoir on Central India, Vol. ii., p. 2.

Conment. on the Laws of Moses, vol i., pp. 299–307. Antiquities, b. iv., chap. 14; Wars, b. i., chap. 20.

“But I

city” that occur in the Old Testament, show, as respective heinousness of their crimes. Fleury remarks, that here the seat of justice say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his was originally set up. As the Israelites were all brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the husbandmen, who went out in the morning to judgment; whosoever shall say to his brother, their work, and did not return till the evening, the Raca, shall be in danger of the council ; but whogate of the city was the place where they most soever shall say, Thou fool

, shall be in danger of frequently met; and we must not be astonished hell fire,” Matt. v. 22. That is, Whosoever shall to find that the people laboured in the fields and indulge causeless and unprovoked resentment dwelt in the towns. These were not cities like against his Christian brother, shall be punished our provincial capitals, which can hardly subsist with a severity similar to what is inflicted by a on what is supplied to them by twenty or thirty court of judgment; he who shall suffer his passions leagues of the surrounding soil. They were the to transport him to greater extravagances, so as to habitations for as many labourers as were necessary make his Christian brother the object of derision to cultivate the nearest fields; hence, as the coun- and contempt, shall be exposed to a punishment try was very populous, the towns were very thickly still severer, corresponding to what the council imscattered. For a similar reason, among the Greeks poseth ; but he who shall load his fellow-Christian and Romans, the scene of meeting for all matters with odious names and abusive language, shall of business, was the market-place, or forum, be- incur the secerest degree of all punishments, adecause they were all merchants.* The judges took quate to that of being burnt alive in the valley their seats immediately after morning prayers, and of Hinnom.|| continued till the end of the sixth hour, or twelve II. Of judicial procedure, or form of process, as o'clock. See Gen. xxiii. 10, 18, xxxiv. 24; we call it, our information is still more scanty Deut. xvi. 18; Ruth iv. 1–10, &c.

than with regard to the courts of judicature. 3. It appears, by Deut. xvii. &–11, that ap- 1. In the early period of the Hebrew commonpeals lay from these local courts to a supreme wealth, judicial procedure was no doubt very tribunal. But the earliest mention of any such summary, as it still continues to be in many parts tribunal is under the reign of Jehoshaphat, and of Asia; and therefore very few rules are prewhich, it is expressly stated, was erected for the scribed for conducting it. Of advocates such as decision of such cases, 2 Chron. xix. &ll. The ours, there is no appearance in any part of the Jewish writers insist that this was the Sanhedrin, Old Testament. Every man managed his own to which there are so many allusions in the New cause; of which an instance is furnished in 1 Testament, and which they also assert to have Kings iïi. 15—28. From a passage in Job xxix. existed from the time of Moses, and to have pos- 15–17, Michaëlis infers that men of wisdom and sessed the supreme authority in all civil matters. influence might be asked for their opinions in diffiOf this, however, there is not a vestige of proof: cult cases, and that they might also interfere to indeed, this assembly seems not to have been in- assist those who were not capable of defending stituted till the time of the Maccabees. After themselves against malicious accusers. this period, it is frequently spoken of as the hortation in Isai. i. 17 he also thinks to have a supreme judicial tribunal. It consisted of seventy, reference to such a practice. seventy-one, or seventy-two members, chosen from 2. In criminal cases, the judge's first business among the chief priests, Levites, and elders of the was to exhort the accused person to confess the people (of whom the high-priest was the pre- crime with which he stood charged, “ that he sident), and took cognizance of the general affairs might have a portion in the next life.” Thus of the nation. It gave judgment, however, only Joshua exhorted Achan to “make confession, and in the most important causes, reserving inferior give glory to the Lord God of Israel," Josh. vii. matters for the lower courts; appeals from which, 19. The oath was then administered to the as we have before stated, lay here. I

witnesses (Lev. v. 1),ş who offered their evidence 4. By images taken from these Jewish courts, against him; after which the accused was heard sur Lord, in a very striking manner, represents the in defence,” John vii. 51. In matters where life different degrees of future punishment to which wicked men will be doomed, according to the

|| Boume's Sermons, vol. i., p. 393. See also Lamy, b. i.,

c. 12; Macknight and others on the place; and Harwood's * Meurs des Israelites, xxv.

Introduction, vol. ii., pp. 188, 189. + Lewis, Orig. Heh., lib. i. 6.

$ In general the person to be sworn did not pronounce the Godwyn's Moses and Aaron, b. v.; Lightfoot's Prospect formula of the vath; be only heard it pronounced, subjecting of the Temple, chap. xxii. ; Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, b. i., bimself to the curse it contained, by pronouncing Amen. See chap 12; Michaelis on the Laws of Moses, vol. i., p. 247, &c. Mait. xxvi. 63.

The ex

was concerned, one witness was not sufficient put no man to death without the consent of the (Numb. xxxv. 30; Deut. xvii. 6, 7, xix. 15); governor (John xviii. 31), though they had the but in those of lesser moment, particularly those power of inflicting inferior punishments, and in merely relating to money and value, it seems that most other respects lived according to their own a single witness, if unexceptionable, and upon laws. Hence the allusions to the Roman law, oath, was enough to decide between the plaintiff mode of trial, &c., in the New Testament, are and defendant. From the account of our Saviour's numerous, and demand consideration. The foltrial before the supreme council, we see that lowing sketch is chiefly compiled from Dr. Harwitnesses were examined separately, and without wood, who has availed himself of the best authohearing each other's declaration, and that it was rities in the consideration of the subject. necessarily in the presence of the accused. This 1. The Roman law, in conformity to the first is evident from the contradiction in the evidence principle of nature and reason, ordained that no of the two witnesses brought against the Redeemer one should be condemned and punished without (Mark xiv. 15), which would doubtless have a previous public trial. This obtained not only been avoided, had they been admitted into court in Italy, but also in the provinces ; and hence together.

there are several allusions to it in the New Testa3. Sentence having been pronounced on a ment. Paul, who, with the rest of the apostles, person found guilty of a capital crime, he was availed himself of every legal method which the hurried away to the place of execution ; and in usages and maxims of the times had established, cases where the punishment of stoning was in- to avoid persecution, and extricate himself from flicted, the witnesses were compelled to take the calamity and suffering, on several occasions pleaded lead, Deut. xvii. 7, Acts vii. 58, 59. It was also this privilege with success. When Lysias, the customary for the judge and the witnesses to lay Roman tribune, ordered him to be conducted into their hands on the criminal's head, saying, “Thy the castle, and to be examined by scourging, he blood be upon thine own head.” To this usage, said to the centurion, as the soldiers were fastenwhich was a declaration of the justice of the ing him with thongs to the pillar for this purpose, sentence, the Jews alluded, when they said with “ Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a reference to our Lord, “ His blood be upon Roman, and uncondemned ?" Acts xxii. 25. The us and our children,” Matt. xxvii. 25. In Matt. centurion, upon hearing this, reported it to the xxvi. 39, 42, where our Lord says, “ Father, if it tribune, who, upon hearing the fact from the be possible, let this cup pass from me," there is apostle himself, immediately set him at liberty, an allusion to the practice which obtained among much alarmed for having thus bound a Roman the Jews, of giving the malefactor a cup of wine, citizen. In like manner, when Paul and Silas in which there was infused a grain of incense, for were treated with such indignity at Philippi, by the purpose of intoxicating and stupifying him, the multitude, countenanced by the magistrates that he might be the less sensible of pain.* were beaten with rods—thrown into the public

III. For the purpose of deciding in disputed | jail, and their feet made fast in the stocks-Paul cases of property, where no other means of de said to the lictors whom the magistrates had sent cision remained, recourse was had to the sacred to set them at liberty, “ We are Roman citizens ; lot, which was regarded as the determination of your magistrates have ordered us to be publicly God, Prov. xvi. 33, xviii. 18. It was for this scourged without a legal trial—they have thrown purpose that the Urim and Thummim was em

us into a dungeon—and would they now have us ployed; which was also used in criminal cases, for steal away in a silent and clandestine manner ? the purpose of discovering the guilty, but never No! let them come in person, and conduct us out for convicting them.

themselves." The lictors returned, and reported IV. We have already noticed the subjugation this answer to the magistrates, who were greatly of Judea by the victorious arms of the Romans, alarmed when they understood that Paul and his and the administration of the law by procurators companion were Roman citizens. They thereor governors sent thither from Rome. During fore went in person to the jail, addressed them the time of the New Testament history, the with great civility, and begged them in the most Roman tribunal was of necessity the last resort, respectful terms that they would quietly leave the in cases of a criminal nature : the Jews could town, Acts xvi. 37–39.

2. The conduct of the tribune Lysias toward

the apostle was of the most humane and honourable * Godwyo's Moses and Aaron, b. V., c. 6.

description. On one occasion he rescued him + Michaelis on the Laws of Moses, vol. iv., pp.

from an infuriated mob, who were about to inflict

313-362; Lamy's App. Bib., b. i., c. 12.

violence on his person, Acts xxi. 27–36. And afterwards, when about forty Jews associated and remain in custody at Cæsarea, but that any perbound themselves with an oath that they would sons whom they had fixed upon, might go down neither eat nor drink till they had assassinated along with him, and produce at his tribunal what him, Lysias, to secure the person of the apostle they had to allege against the prisoner, Acts xxv. from their determined fury, ordered seventy horse- 1–5. How importunate and urgent the priests men and two hundred spearmen to escort the and principal magistrates of Jerusalem were with prisoner to Cæsarea, where the procurator resided; Felix, when in this capital, to pass sentence of writing a letter, in which he informed the governor death upon the apostle, merely on their impeachof the vindictive rage of the Jews, from whose ment, appears from what the procurator himself violence he had snatched the prisoner, and whom told king Agrippa and Berenice : “I have here,” he afterwards* discovered to be a Roman citizen. said he, “a man whom my predecessor left in In consequence of this epistle, Felix gave the custody, when he quitted this province. During a apostle a candid reception; when he read it, he short visit I paid to Jerusalem, upon my arrival, turned to him and said, “When your accusers I was solicited by the priests and principal magiscome hither before me, I will give your cause an trates to pass sentence of death upon him. To impartial hearing.”+ And, accordingly, when the these urgent entreaties I replied, that it was not high-priest Ananias, and the Sanhedrin, went customary for the Romans to gratify any man down to Cæsarea, with the orator Tertullus, whose with the death of another—that the laws of Rome eloquence they had hired to aggravate the apostle's enacted that he who is accused should have his crimes before the procurator, Felix, though a man accuser face to face ; and have license to answer of a mercenary and profligate character, did not for himself concerning the crimes laid against depart from the Roman honour in this regard, him.” Acts xxv. 14—16. would not violate the usual processes of judgment 3. It appears, also, from numberless passages in to gratify this body of men, though the most the classics, that a Roman citizen could not legally illustrious personages of the province he governed, be scourged, a punishment which was deemed by condemning the apostle unheard, and yield to the last degree dishonourable, and the most ing him, friendless as he was, to their fury, merely daring indignity and insult upon the Roman on their impeachment. He allowed the apostle name. To this privilege of Roman citizens, there to offer his vindication, and exculpate himself are references in the New Testament. Paul pleads from the charges they had alleged against him; this immunity, Acts xxii. 25: "Is it lawful for and was so far satisfied with his apology as to you to scourge a Roman?” So, also, at Philippi give orders for him to be treated as a prisoner at he told the messengers of the magistrates: “They large, and for all his friends to have free access have beaten us openly, uncondemned, being to him ; disappointing those who thirsted for his Romans," Acts xvi. 37. Neither was it lawful blood, and drawing down upon himself the re- for a Roman citizen to be bound, to be examined lentless indignation of the Jews, who, undoubt-by the question, or to be the subject of any ingeedly, from such a disappointment, would be insti- nious and cruel arts of tormenting to extort a gated to lay all his crimes and oppressions before confession from him. These punishments were emperor. The

strict honour in observing deemed servile ; torture was not exercised but the usual forms and processes of the Roman upon slaves. || This will illustrate what Luke tribunal appears

in Festus, the successor of Felix. says, concerning Lysias the Tribune. This officer, Upon his entrance into his province, when the not knowing the dignity of his prisoner, had, in leading men among the Jews waited upon him to violation of this privilege of Roman citizens, congratulate him

upon his accession, and took given orders for the apostle to be bound and exthat opportunity to inveigh with great virulence amined with thongs, Acts xxii. 24, 25. When and bitterness against the apostle (Acts xxv.), he was afterwards informed by his centurion that soliciting it as a favour that he would send him Paul was a freeman of Rome, the sacred historian to Jerusalem-designing, as it afterwards ap- observes, that, upon receiving this intelligence, the peared, had he complied with their request, to chief captain was afraid, after he knew that he have hired ruffians to murder him on the road – was a Roman, and because he had bound him, Festus told them it was his will that Paul should ver. 29.



* "I have since learned that he is a Roman citizen.” The participle is in the second aorist.

† Ilear it through; give the whole of it an attentive examination.

Cicero in Verrem, lib. v., 162, 163; Appian. Bell. Civil., lib. ii., p. 731, Toilii, &c.

|| Cicero in Verrem, lib v. 170; Dion. Cassius, lib. lx., p. 953. Reimar, &c.

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