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3. The lessons were from Numb. xxx. 2. to Numb. xxxiii. 1. and from Jer. i. 1. to Jer. ii. 4.

9. The fast of the fifth month, because the temple was first burnt by the Chaldees, and afterwards by the Romans, on this day; and because God on this day declared in time of Moses that none of those who came out of Egypt should enter into the land of promise. (Num. xiv. 29. 31.)

12. The book of Numbers is now finished; and from Jer. ii. 4. to Jer. ii. 29. is also read.

18. A fast, because in the time of Ahaz the evening lamp went out. Genebrard calls this lamp the Western Lamp.

20. Deuteronomy is begun and read from i. 1. to iii. 23. and the first chapter of Isaiah to verse 28.

21. Selden asserts that this was the day that all the wood which was wanted in the temple was brought into it; but others think that this was done in the next month.

24. A feast for the Maccabees having abolished that law of the Sadducees whereby sons and daughters inherited alike.

28. The lessons were from Deut. iii. 23. to Deut. vii. 12. and Isa. xl. to verse 27.

12. ELUL.

The TWELFTH month of the civil year, the SIXTH month of the ecclesiastical year; it has but twenty-nine days, and corresponds with part of our August and September.

1. The new moon.

3. The lessons were from Deut. vii. 12. to Deut. xi. 26. and from Isa. xlix. 14. to Isa. li. 4.

7. The dedication of the walls of Jerusalem by Nehemiah.

12. The lessons were from Deut. xi. 27. to Deut. xvi. 18. and from Isa. liv. 11. to Isa. lv. 4.

17. A fast, because of the death of the spies who brought up the evil report of the land of promise. (Numb. xiv. 36, 37.)

20. The lessons were from Deut. xvi. 18. to Deut. xxi. 10. and from Isa. li. 12. to Isa. lii. 18.

21. The festival of wood offering (xylophoria).

22. A feast in memory of the punishment of the wicked and incorrigible Israelites.

28. The lessons were from Deut. xxi. 10. to Deut. xxvi. 1. and Isa. liv. to verse 11. 29. This is the last day of the month, on which the Jews reckoned up the beasts that had been born, the tenths of which belonged to God. They chose this day to do it in, because the first day of the month Tisri was a festival, and therefore they could not tithe a flock on that day.

VI. In common with other nations, the Jews reckoned any part of a period of time for the whole, as in Exod. xvi. 35. An attention to this circumstance will explain several apparent contradictions in the sacred writings: thus, a part of the day is used for the whole, and part of the year for an entire year.

In Gen. xvii. 12. circumcision is enjoined to be performed when a child is eight days old, but in Lev. xii. 3. on the eighth day; accordingly, when Jesus Christ is said to have been circumcised when eight days were accomplished (Luke ii. 21.), and John the Baptist on the eighth day (Luke i. 59.), the last, which was the constant usage, explains the former passage. Abenezra, an eminent Jewish commentator (on Levit. xii. 3.), says, that if an infant were born in the last hour of the day, such hour was counted for one whole day. This observation critically reconciles the account of our Lord's resurrection in Matt. xxvii. 63. and Mark viii. 31. "three days after," with that of his resurrection "on the third day," according to Matt. xvi. 21.

Luke ix. 22., and according to fact; for, as our Lord was crucified on Good Friday, about the sixth hour, or noon, the remainder of that day to sunset, according to the Jewish computation, was reckoned as one day. Saturday, it is universally admitted, formed the second day; and as the third day began on Saturday at sun-set, and our Saviour rose about sun-rise on the following morning, that part of a day is justly reckoned for the third day: so that the interval was "three days and three nights," or three calendar days current, not exceeding 42 hours, and consequently not two entire days. This observation also illustrates 2 Chron. x. 5. 12.

In like manner, in some parts of the East, the year ending on a certain day, any portion of the foregoing year is taken for a whole year; so that, supposing a child to be born in the last week of our December, it would be reckoned one year old on the first day of January, because born in the old year. If this mode of computation obtained among the Hebrews, the principle of it easily accounts for those anachronisms of single years, or parts of years taken for whole ones which occur in sacred writ: it obviates the difficulties which concern the half years of several princes of Judah and Israel, in which the latter half of the deceased king's last year has hitherto been supposed to be added to the former half of his successor's first year.

"We are told," (1 Sam. xiii. 1. marg. reading) "a son of one year was Saul in his kingdom: and two years he reigned over Israel," that is, say he was crowned in June: he was consequently one year old on the first of January following, though he had reigned only six months, the son of a year. But, after this so following first of January he was in the second year of his reign; though, according to our computation, the first year of his reign wanted some months of being completed; in this, his second year, he chose three thousand military, &c. guards.

"The phrase (aro dierns) used to denote the age of the infants slaughtered at Bethlehem, (Matt. ii. 16.) "from two years old and under," is a difficulty that has been deeply felt by the learned. Some infants two weeks old, some two months, others two years, equally slain! Surely those born so long before could not possibly be included in the order, whose purpose was to destroy a child, certainly born within a few months. This is regulated at once by the idea that they were all of nearly equal age, being recently born; some not long before the close of the old year, others a little time since the beginning of the new year. Now, those born before the close of the old year, though only a few months or weeks, would be reckoned not merely one year old, but also in their second year, as the expression implies; and those born since the beginning of the year, would be well described by the phrase "and under," that is, under one year old;—some, two years old, though not born a complete twelvemonth

1 Dr. Hales, to whom we are partly indebted for the above remark, has cited several passages from profane authors, who have used a similar phraseology. (Analysis of Chronology, vol. i. pp. 121, 122.) Similar illustrations from Rabbinical writers are collected by Dr. Lightfoot (Hor. Heb. in Matt. xii. 40.) and by Reland (Antiq. Heb. lib. iv. c. 1.)

(perhaps in fact barely six months); others, under one year old, yet born three, four, or five months, and therefore a trifle younger than those before described: according to the time which Herod had diligently inquired of the wise men, IN their second year and UNDER."

VII. Besides the computation of years, the Hebrews first and the Jews afterwards, were accustomed to reckon their time from some remarkable æras or epochas. Thus, 1. From Gen. vii. 1. and viii. 13. it appears that they reckoned from the lives of the patriarchs or other illustrious persons: 2. From their departure out of Egypt, and the first institution of their polity (Exod. xix. 1. xl. 17. Numb. i. 1. ix. 1. xxxiii. 38. 1 Kings vi. 1.): 3. Afterwards, from the building of the temple (1 Kings ix. 10. 2 Chron. viii. 1.), and from the reigns of the kings of Judah and Israel: 4. Then from the commencement of the Babylonian captivity (Ezek. i. 1. xxxiii. 21. xl. 1.); and perhaps also from their return from captivity, and the dedication of the second temple. In process of time they adopted, 5. The æra of the Seleucida, which in the books of Maccabees is called the æra of the Greeks, and began from the year when Seleucus Nicanor attained the sovereign power, that is, about 312 years before the birth of Jesus Christ. This æra the Jews continued to employ for a thousand years. They were further accustomed to reckon their years from the years when their princes began to reign. Thus, in 1 Kings xv. 1. Isa. xxxvi. 1. and Jer. 1, 2, 3. we have traces of their antiently computing according to the years of their kings; and in later times, (1 Macc. xiii. 42. xiv. 27.) according to the years of the Asmonæan princes. Of this mode of computation we have vestiges in Matt. ii. 1. Luke i. 5. and iii. 1. Lastly, ever since the compilation of the Talmud, the Jews have reckoned their years from the creation of the world.

1 Calmet's Dictionary, 4tc. edit. vol. ii. Supplementary Addenda.

2 Schulzii Compendium Archæologiæ Hebraica, lib. i. c. 11. pp. 94-107. Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, book 5. vol. i. pp. 138-154. Calmet's Dictionary, articles Day, Week, Month, Year. Jahn, Archæologia Biblica, pp. 34-38. 156–162. Jennings' Jewish Antiquties, book iii. ch. i. pp. 296-308. See also Waehner's Antiquitates Hebræorum, part ii. p. 5. et seq.




1. Annual Payments made by the Jews for the support of their sacred worship.-I. Tributes paid to their own sovereigns.-III. Tributes and Customs paid by them to foreign powers.-Notice of the Money-changers.-IV. Account of the Publicans or Tax-Gatherers. I. As no government can be supported without great charge, it is but just that every one who enjoys his share of protection from it, should contribute towards its maintenance and support. On the first departure of the Israelites from Egypt, before any regulation was made, the people contributed, on any extraordinary occasion, according to their ability, as in the case of the voluntary donations for the tabernacle. (Exod. xxv. 2. xxxv. 5.) After the tabernacle was erected, a payment of half a shekel was made by every male of twenty years of age and upwards (Exod. xxx. 13, 14.), when the census, or sum of the children of Israel was taken: and on the return of the Jews from the Babylonian captivity, an annual payment of the third part of a shekel was made, for the maintenance of the templeworship and service. (Neh. x. 32.) Subsequently, the enactment of Moses was deemed to be of perpetual obligation, and in the time of our Saviour two drachmæ, or half a shekel, were paid by every Jew, whether native or residing in foreign countries: besides which every one, who was so disposed, made voluntary offerings according to his ability. (Mark xii. 41-44.) Hence vast quantities of gold were annually brought to Jerusalem into the temple, where there was an apartment called the Treasury (Taloquaxiov), specially appropriated to their reception. After the destrucion of Jerusalem, Vespasian by an edict commanded that the half shekel should in future be brought by the Jews, wherever they were into the capitol.3 In addition to the preceding payments for the support of their sacred worship, we may notice the first fruits and tenths, of which an account is found in Part III. Chap. IV. infra.


II. Several of the Canaanitish tribes were tributary to the Israelites even from the time of Joshua (Josh. xvi. 10. xvii. 13. Judg. i. 28. 33.), whence they could not but derive considerable wealth. The Moabites and Syrians were tributary to David (2 Sam. viii. 2. 6.): and Solomon at the beginning of his reign compelled the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, who were left in the country, to pay him tribute, and to perform the drudgery of the pub

1 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. vii. c. 6. § 6. Philonis Judæi Opera, tom. ii. p. 224. 2 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiv. e. 7. §2. Cicero, Orat. pro Flacco, c. 28. 3 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. vii. c. 6. § 6.

lic works which he had undertaken, and from which the children of Israel were exempted. (1 Kings ix. 21, 22. 33. 2 Chron. viii. 9.) But towards the end of his reign he imposed a tribute on them also (1 Kings v. 13, 14. ix. 15. xi. 27.), which alienated their minds, and sowed the seeds of that discontent, which afterwards ripened into open revolt by the rebellion of Jeroboam the son of Nebat.

III. Afterwards, however, the Israelites being subdued by other nations, were themselves compelled to pay tribute to their conquerors. Thus Pharaoh-Necho, king of Egypt, imposed a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. (2 Kings xxiii. 33. 35.) After their return from captivity, the Jews paid tribute to the Persians, under whose government they were (Ezra iv. 13. vii. 24.); then to the Greeks, from which, however, they were exonerated when under the Maccabees they had regained their liberty. In later times, when they were conquered by the Roman arms under Pompey, they were again subjected to the payment of tribute, even though their princes enjoyed the honours and dignities of royalty, as was the case with Herod the Great (Luke ii. 1-5.): and afterwards, when Judæa was reduced into a Roman province, on the dethronement and banishment of his son Archelaus, the Romans imposed on the Jews not only the annual capitation tax of a denarius, but also a tax on goods imported, or exported, and various other taxes and burthens. To this capitation tax the evangelists allude in Matt. xxii. 17. and Mark xii. 14. where it is termed voμiopa xnvσov (numisma census), or the tribute money. The Jews paid it with great reluctance; and raised various insurrections on account of it. Among these malcontents, Judas surnamed the Gaulonite or Galilean distinguished himself: he pretended that it was not lawful to pay tribute to a foreigner; that it was the badge of actual servitude, and that they were not allowed to own any for their master who did not worship the Lord. These sentiments animated the Pharisees, who came to Christ with the insidious design of ensnaring him by the question, whether it was lawful to pay tribute to Cæsar or not? Which question he answered with equal wisdom and regard for the Roman government. (Matt. xxii. 17-21.) With these sentiments the Jews. continued to be animated long after the ascension of Jesus Christ: and it should seem that some of the first Hebrew Christians had imbibed their principles. In opposition to which, the apostles Paul and Peter in their inimitable epistles strenuously recommend and inculcate on all sincere believers in Jesus Christ, the duties of submission and obedience to princes, and a conscientious discharge of their duty, in paying tribute. (Rom. xiii. 8. 1 Pet. ii. 13.)

To supply the Jews who came to Jerusalem from all parts of the Roman empire to pay the half-shekel with coins current there, the money changers (xoλusa) stationed themselves at tables, in the courts of the temple, and chiefly it should seem in the court of the

1 1 Mac. x. 29, 30. xi. 35, 36. xv. 5. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. 2. § 3. c. 4. § 9. c. 6. § 6.



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