Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

endeavour to show, that they are not contradicted in the rest.

If I succeed in this attempt, here will be a good argument for the genuineness of these writings, and for the truth of the principal facts contained in them; distinct from the express and positive testimonies of christian writers, and the concessions of many others.

[blocks in formation]

OF PRINCES AND GOVERNORS MENTIONED IN THE

NEW TESTAMENT.

I. Herod. II. Archelaus. III. Herod the Tetrarch, and

Philip. IV. Herod the Tetrarch, and Herodias. V. Lysanias, Tetrarch of Abilene. . Herod (Agrippa.) VII. Felix and Festus. VIII. Felix and Drusilla. IX. Agrippa (the younger.) X. Bernice. XI. Sergius Paulus, deputy of Cyprus. XII. Gallio, deputy of Achaia.

The first thing I would observe is, that Josephus and heathen authors have made mention of Herod, Archelaus, Pontius Pilate, and other persons of note, whose names we meet with in the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles; and have delivered nothing material concerning their characters, posts, or honours, that is different from what the writers of the New Testament have said of them.

I. St. Matthew assures us that “ Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king,” Matt. ii. whom St. Luke styles expressly “the king of Judea,” Luke i, 5. Herod was the son of Antipater, who had enjoyed considerable posts of honour and trust under Alexander Iannæus, and 'Alexandra his wife and successor in the civil government of Judea, and their eldest Son Hyrcanus; who was high priest in his mother's lifetime, and after her death, had the civil power also united in him.

Nicolas of Damascus says, that Antipater was descended

6

from one of the chief of the Jewish families that returned into Judea from Babylon. But Josephus makes no scruple to declare, that Nicolas said this, only to flatter Herod, who came to be king of Judea; and that in truth he was an Idumean.a

These Idumeans were a branch of the ancient Edomites, who, as Dr. Prideaux b has observed, while the Jews were

in the Babylonish captivity, and their land lay desolate, • took

possession of as much of the southern part of it, as • contained what had formerly been the whole inheritance

of the tribe of Simeon, and also half of that, which bad • been the inheritance of the tribe of Judah ; and there • dwelt ever after,-till at length going over into the religion of the Jews, they became incorporated with them into the same nation.'

Josephus gives this account of their conversion. Hyrcanus took also Adora and Marissa, cities of Idumea: and having subdued all the Idumeans, he permitted them to * remain in the country, upon condition they would be cir• cumcised, and use the Jewish laws. Rather than leave • their native land, they received circumcision, and submit• ted to live in every respect as Jews. And from that time • they became Jews.'

This happened in the 129th year before the christian æra.d Consequently Herod was a Jew though not of the ancient stock of Israel.

Moreover Josephus calls Judea, Antipater's native country. And the Idumeans in the Jewish war promised to • defend the house of God (at Jerusalem) and fight, for their

common country. And the Jews themselves allowed Herod to be a Jew. Whilst Felix was procurator of Judea, • there arose a dispute between the Jews and Syrians that • dwelt in Cæsarea concerning the equal rights of citizenship. The Jews thought they ought to have the prefer

6

6

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Joseph. Ant. lib. 14. cap. 1. sect. 3. Edit. Huds. • Connection, Part. II. Book ii, p. 199. Oct. Edit. 1718.

Υρκανος δε και της Ιδουμαιας αιρει πολεις Αδωρα και Μαρισσαν" και απαντας τους Ιδεμαιες υπoχειριες ποιησαμενος επετρεψεν αυτοις μενειν εν τη χωρα, , ει περιτεμνειν τε τα αιδοια, και τοις Ιεδαιοις νομους χρησθαι 9ελοιεν οι δε πoθω της πατρικ γης και την περιτομης και την αλλην τε βια διαιταν υπεμειναν την αυτην Ιεδαιοις ποιησασθαι κακεινος αυτοις χρονος υπηρχεν WOTE Elval to Loutrov Isoaloiç. Ant. lib. 13. cap. 9. sect. 1.

d Prideaux's Conn. P. II. Book v. p. 307.

€ Και πρωτον μεν το τειχος ανεδειματο της πατριδος υπο Πομπηια κατεσραμpevov. de Bell. J. lib. i. c. 10. p. 979. v. 28. vid. etiam ibid. v. 21. ρηςομεν Ιδεμαιοι τον οικον το θες, και της κοινης πατριδος προπολεμησομεν ibid. lib. iv. p. 1180. v. 43.

Τη

• ence, because the founder of Cæsarea, Herod their king, was a Jew,'s

Herod obtained the crown of Judea upon occasion of a difference between two branches of the Asmonean fainily. Hyrcanus had been for a considerable time prince and high priest of the Jewish nation. But whilst the Roman empire was in an unsettled state after the death of Julius Cæsar, Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, brother of Hyrcanus, by means of some friends he had amongst the Jews, and by the assistance of the Parthians, made himself master of Jerusalem, and all Judea, and took Hyrcanus prisoner, who was put into the hands of the Parthians.h

Hereupon, Herod, who had been governor of Galilee under Hyrcanus, and whose interests had hitherto depended entirely upon him, set sail for Rome. AU he then aimed at, was to obtain the kingdom for Aristobulus, brother of his wife Mariamne, by his father, grandson of Aristobulus, and by his mother, of Hyrcanus. But the senate of Rome, moved by the recommendations of Mark Antony and some reasons of state, conferred the kingdom of Judea upon Herod.

Having had this unexpected success at Rome, he returned with all expedition to Judea ; and, in about three years' time, got possession of the whole country. Antigonus was taken prisoner, sent to Antony, and by him put to death at Herod's request. He (Herod) reigned after the death of • Antigonus thirty-four years, and from the time he was declared king by the Romans thirty-seven.''

He died of a very painful and loathsome distemper; insomuch that, as Josephus says, ' Some then pronounced it ' to be a judgment of God upon him for his many im' pieties.'"

II. St. Matthew informs us, that Joseph, having been sometime in Egypt, by divine direction, “ arose, and took the young child, and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Judea, in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither: notwithstanding, being warned of God in a

τον

Περι ισοπολιτειας. , Οι μεν γαρ Ιεδαιοι πρωτευειν ηξιαν, δια το κτισης της Καισαρειας Ηρωδην αυτων βασιλεα γεγονεναι το γενος Ιεδαιον. . Joseph. Ant. lib. xx. cap. 7. sect. 7. " In the year before the Christian æra, 40.

Joseph. Ant. lib. xiv. c. 14. de Bell. lib. i. c. 14.

k Ant. lib. xiv. cap. ult. de B. Jud. lib. i. | Ant. lib. xvii. 8. sect. 1. Ωσε τις επιθειαζοντας ποινην ειναι των σωφισων τα νοσηματα λεγειν. . de B. J. lib. i. cap. 33. p. 1041. v. 6. ɛlɛyero 8V ÚTO twv Jelačovrwv, kar δις ταυτα προαποφθεγγεσθαι σοφια προκειτο, ποινην τα πολλα δυσσεβες ταυTyv Ó Ococinonpaogeodai tapa 78 Baochews. Ant. lib. xvii. c. 6. sect. 5.

cap. 18.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »