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which they rehearsed some passage out of the writings of Moses. On Mondays and Thursdays they read only the law, but on the fabbath, as also on fast days and fe tivals, they read the propbets, and that in the morning only; for in the afternoon they constantly read nothing else but the law. The Jews did not reckon among the prophetical writings the moral books of the holy scripture, otherwise called the Hagiographa, as the book of Job, the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclefiaftes, and the Song of Solomon; which were read in their synagogues only upon particular occasions. Neither did they rank among the prophets, the books of Ruth, Hefter, Ezra, Nehemiah, nor even that of Daniel (i), though they read some portions out of the four first on their folemn days. As for the Psalms of David, the greatest part of the prayers and thanksgivings that were used in the fynagogue being taken from thence, they dispensed with reading some passages extracted out of them. What they meant therefore by the prophets, was, the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles: These they supposed to have been written by prophets, and gave them the name of the former prophets. 2. In the second class they placed Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, with the twelve lesler prophets; all these they called the latter prophets. It is indeed amazing how Daniel came to be excluded from among the prophets, since there is no one book more prophetical in the whole Bible. Perhaps because it was not read in the synagogue, as being too hard to be understood by the people, it came by that. means insenably not to be placed among the prophets. However it be, by the law and the prophets, mentioned in the New Testament (k), we are to underland the five books of Moses, and the prophetical writirgs as here set down, though the Psalms seemed to be included in that division (i). The faine ceremonies before and after the reading of the prophets were used, as at the reading of the law, except that there were some additicnal tl.anligivings then repeated. The prophetical writings were not read over from one end to another ; but such parts of them were picked out, as had a relation to what was read before out of the law. To read the prophets, there was a particular person appointed difierent from liim that had read the law; and sometimes young men that were under age, were admitted to do it.
After the Hebrew language ceased to be the mother tongue of the Jews, the holy fcriptures were from that time forward interpreted in their fynagogues either in Greek or Chaldee; which afterwards gave rise to the
(i) And that for this reason ; because, says Maimonides, every thing that Danie! wrote, was not revealed to bim when he was awake, and had the ute of his reason, but in the night only, and in obscure dreal's. Or, according 10 others, because he lived more like a courtier than a prophet. All these are certainly very insignificant arguments.
(e) Matth. v. 17. vii. 12. xi. 13. xxii. 40. Aets xxvi. 2.
(1) Luke xxiv, 25, 27, 44. This last verse sı'ns according to the Jewith division of the h: ly scrip!ure into rhree parts: All things muft be fulfilled which are zuritten in the law, and in the prophets, and in the ffalms, &c. Where by the falins is meant the third part called Hagiographa.
Chaldee paraphrafes now extant (m). Some are of opinion, that this custom was established by Ezra; others, on the contrary, fix the beginning of it to the time of the Maccabees, which last is the most probable.
This way of interpreting scripture was performed in the following manner: The minister, (or any other person that was appointed to read). read one verse in the original Hebrew, if it was out of the law; and three verses together, when it was out of the prophets; then stopt to let the interpreter speak; who standing near him, rendered the whole in the vulgar tongue (n). This interpreter was reckoned by the Jews less honourable than the reader, undoubtedly out of respect to the original text. And even very young persons were admitted to this office, where nothing was wanting but a good memory (0). Here we must observe, that there were several places of scripture which it was not lawful to interpret; as the incest of Reuben (p), of Thamar (g), and Ammon, the blefing which used to be given by the Priest (r); and the latter part of the history of the golden calf (s); which last was omitted for fear of creating in the people an ill opinion of Aaron. And this no doubt was the reason why Josephus hath made no mention at all of the golden calf. St. Paul in his first epistle to the Corinthians (t), alludes to this custom of interpreting the scriptures in the synagogue, as we have observed on that place. The reading of the prophets, according to the Rabbins, was closed with the Prieli’s blelling; after which the congregation was dismissed, unless some body was to preach.
The afternoon service consisted, 1. in finging the cighty-fourth psalm, from the fifth verse to the end, and all the hundred and forty-fifth. During which the Sheliach Zibbor, or angel of the synagogue, stood up, while all the people sat down. 2. In rehearsing the prayer Cadisch. 3. In saying first in a low voice, and afterwards aloud, one of the prayers that had been said in the morning, with several other prayers and thanksgivings. 4. They concluded the service with the prayer Cadifch. The evening service was almost the same.
One of the principai ceremonies performed in the synagogue was circumcifion; though it was alfo done lometimes in private houses.
(m) Such are those of Onkelos, Jonathan, &c.
(n) Dr. Prideaux gives us the same account of this inatter, ubi fupra. But according to Lamy, the reader fofily whispered in the interpreter's ears, what he said, and this interpreter repeated aloud what had been thus whispered to him.
(o) Dr. Prideaux is not of the same opinion, for, faith he, “ learning " and skill in both languages (Heb. and Chall.) being requisite, when they “ found a man fit for that office, they retained him by a falary, and admitted “ him as a standing minister of the lynagogue.” Ibid,
(0) Gen. xxxv. 22. (9) xxxviii. 16. (r) Num. vi. 23 - 26. (s) Exod. xxxii. 21–25.
(1) 1 Cor. xiv.
Of Holy Perfons.
TTAVING dwelt longer upon the holy places of the Jews than
M was at first intended, we ihall endeavour to be as concise as possible in other matters, without omitting however any one thing efsential or necessary to our present design. The kings of head of those persons the
We may very properly set the kings of the Jews at the
" head of those persons they reckoned holy. The commonJense wealth of Israel was at first a theocracy, that is, governed by God; he was the ruler of it in a more especial manner than of the reit of the univerfe (a). He had regulated the government thereof, given it laws, and prescribed what rewards and punishments should be difpensed therein. The judges, by whom it was governed for a consider. able time, held their power and authority immediately from him. Now „what can a king do more than this? The ark of the covenant, with the cherubims that slood over the mercy feat, were the throne of this glorious monarch. God therefore being the chief and immediate goverror of the Israelites, wheneve; they committed idolatry, they not only offended against their maker and preserver, but also incurred the guilt of high treason, as acting against their lawful sovereign : which undoubtedly was the chief reason why their magistrates were ordered to punish every idolater with death. "The Israelites perceiving Samuel was broken with age, and moreover being disgusted at the administration of his sons, had the boldness to require a king like other nations (6). Which request being granted them, their government became monarchical and even abfolute : whereas before, under Moses and the Judges, it was limited. Saul, their first king, wore for the badges of his regal authority a crown or diadem, and a bracelet on his arm. We may frame some idea of these royal ensignis used by the kings of the Jews, from the insults of the soldiers over our Saviour Jesus Christ, when they treated him as a mock-king (c).
Though the administration of the Jewish government was in the hand of kings, yet God was looked upon as the supreme director of it, whilst the kingdom remained elective, as under Saul and David ; but when it once became hereditary under Solomon, the government was entirely managed by the kings. Notwithstanding this alteration, God was ftill reckoned the king of Israel (*); for which reason Jerusalem was filed the city of the great king (d). And the Jews, even when they were in subjection to their kings and the Roman emperors, valued themselves upon having had God for their king; and it was undoubtedly upon the account of this privilege they told Jesus Christ, that they
(a) Ifaiah xliv. 6. Pfalm lxxxiv. 4. (6) 1 Sam. viii. & xii. chap.
never were in bondage to any man (e). It was unlawful for them to chuse any one for their king, unless he was an Israelite, or, at least, an Idumean, those being looked upon by the Jews as their brethren; and therefore the Herods, though Idumxans by extraction, were admitted to the regal dignity. But a Woincin was absolutely excluded from the throne. So that Athaliah's reign was a downright ufurpation, and she was deservedly put to death for it. We find. Ala commended in holy scripture for having removed Maachah his mother from being queen (f ), when she had invaded the government. There is but one instance of a queen's reigning over Ifrae!, viz. Alexandra the daughter of Jannæus; but she cannot lo properly be faid to have ruled as the Pharisees, to whom she left the whole administration of affairs.
Anointing was a ceremony that also accompanied the coronation of the kings of Israel (g), and therefore they are frequently named in scripture the anointed (b). What sort of oil was used on this occasion, is not agreed among the Rabbins. Some afferting that it was the oil of hans ointment (i), which was made for the ancinting of the Priests. Others, on the cortrary, maintaining that it was a particular kind of boly oil made on purpose (k). This ceremony was performed either by a propbet, or the high-prici. One niay fee at length in the sacred writings the several duties incumbent on the kings of Israel (1), and the abuses they made of their power. Among the duties prescribed to them, there is this very remarkable oue, That as soon as they were fettled upon the throne, they were to write with their own hand a copy of the book of the law, which they were to carry about with them, and read therein all the days of their life, that they might learn to frar the Lord (m), and hare the divine laws constantly before their eyes, as models of those which they prescribed to their subjects. Hereby God gave them to understand, that they were not to look upon themselves as independent, and that their laws were subordinate to his; for when he appointed and set them up, he still reserved the supreme authority to himtelf.
The last thing we are to take notice of concerning the kings of Israel, is, That, according to the Rabbins, they were obliged to read publickly every seventh year at the feast of tabernacles, fome paflages out of Deuteronomy, in that part of the temple which was called the court of the women. This custom they ground upon Deuteronomy xxxi. 10- 13. though there is no mention at all made of a king in that place.
There were three orders of holy perfons that commonly ministered in the tabernacie, and afterware's in the nign-priert, the temple, the high-priest, tlie priesls, and the Levitis. The high-priest
3. 1 Kings : 2 Sam. xxiv. Ixxxix. 200cc Maimonides
() John viii. 33.
(f) 1 Kings xv. 13. (3) i Sam. %. 1. xvi. 13. i Kings i. 34. xix. 16. (6) 2 Sam. i. 14. 21. Píalm cv, 15. i bam. xxiv. 6. (i) Exod. xxx. 25.
() Pfalmi lxxxix, 20. (?) Deut. xvii. 16- 20. Sam. viii. 11- 17. See Maimonides Tract. Melakim.
(m) Deut. xvii. 19.
Sh-priest who thouhave been abfoluly president of thes
was otherwise called (n) the prief by way of eminence, and sometimes the head or chief of the high-priests, because the name of high-priests was given to the heads of the facerdotal families or courses. He was the greatest person in the state next the king; and was not only above the rest of the holy perfons, but was also deemed equal to the whole body of the people of Israel, because he represented it. His business was to perform the most sacred parts of the divine fervice, as will be shewn hereafter. He was likewise commonly president of the Sanhedrim ; but it doth not seem to have been absolutely necessary that it should be a high-priest who should preside over that body, and whenever one was chose to fill up that post, a greater regard was had to his personal qualifications, than to his office. Though the high-priesthood was elective, yet it was annexed to the family of Aaron (6), who was the first that was invested with this dignity. From Aaron it descended to Eleazar his eldest son, and afterwards to Ithamar his second ; after whose decease it returned again into the family of Eleazar by Zadock, and remained in it till the Babylonish captivity: Before which, as is commonly supposed, there were thirty high-priests successively, and from thence to the destruction of Jerusalem lixty, according to the computation of Josephus (P).
Under the first temple the high-priest was elected by the other priiks, or else by an affembly partly consisting of priests. But under the second temple they were frequently chosen by the kings. According to the law, they had their office for life. But this custom was very ill observed, especially about the time of our Saviour's birth, when the dignity and authority of the high-priest dwindled almost to nothing; that is, when it came to be purchased for money, or given without discretion and judgment, according to the caprice of those that had the supreme power in their hands, or else to those that had the people on their side ; by which means worthless men happened to be promoted to this honourable dignity, or else raw, unexperienced, and ignorant persons, and fometimes even those that were not of the sacerdotal race. While the tabernacle and first temple were standing, these four ceremonies were observed at the confecration of the high-priest. I. He was washed or purified with water (9). II. They put on him the priestly garments. Now besides those that he had in common with the rest of the prieits, these four were peculiar to him. I. The coat or robe of the ephod, which was made of blue wool, and on the hem of which were seventy-two golden bells separated from one another by as many artificial poingranates. 2. The epbod, which is called in Latin fuperhuinerale, because it was fastened upon the shoulders. This was like a waistcoat without sleeves, the hinder part of which reached down to the heels, and the fore part came only a little below the stomach. The ground of it was fine twisted linen, worked with gold and purple, after the Phrygian fashion (r). To
(n) Exod. xxix. 30. Nehem. vii. 6;. (0) Numb. iii. 10.
(1) The Phrygians are supposed to have been the first inventors of įmbroi dery.