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as the tranfmigration of fouls, for inftance. We find fome steps of this notion even in the New Teftament, as in St. Luke xvi. 23. where there is an account of the abode of departed fouls, conformable to the Grecian Philofophy, and in St. John ix. 2. where we find an allufion to the præexistence, and tranfmigration of fouls. It is moreover evident from the apocryphal writings (s), from Philo (t), Jofephus (u), and the Thalmudifts, that the Jews, especially the Pharifees, had learned and followed the Grecian Philofophy, ever fince their converfing with the Greeks under Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and Seleucide his fucceffors, who reigned in Egypt and Syria. After the death of this illuftrious monarch, the administration of the common-wealth of Ifrael came into the hands of the high-priefts, and was fometimes protected, and at other times oppreffed by the kings of Egypt, and Syria its neighbours, who became fucceffively mafters of it. Ptolemy Lagus (x) king of Egypt and fucceffor of Alexander the Great, furprised Jerufalem, and carried feveral thoufands of Jerus with him prifoners into Egypt, where they were followed by feveral others, who were induced to go thither, upon account of the great truft which Ptolemy repofed in them. Ptolemy Philadelphus had a great kindness for them, and gave several thousands leave to return into their own country. They underwent very great hardfhips, during the long and continual wars between the kings of Egypt and Syria. But their religion and state never were in fo great danger, after their return from the Babylonifh captivity, as under Antiochus Epiphanes. What a terrible perfecution that cruel and impious prince raised against them, is fo well known, that we need not give an account of it here; nor of the valour nor heroic zeal of the Maccabees, who then freed them from it. A few years after, the regal authority and the priesthood were united in Ariftobulus, the fon of Hyrcanus (y), who had fhaken off the yoke of the Macedonians, destroyed the temple of Gerizim, facked feveral towns in Syria, and forced the Idumæans to be circumcifed, for which reason they were thenceforward looked upon as Jews. We may obferve by the by, that it came likewife to pafs about the fame time that Onias, exafperated at seeing the high-priesthood given to Alcimus, who was not of the facerdotal race, went into Egypt, and got Ptolemy Philometor's leave to build a temple there upon the model of that at Jerufalem. Thus the Jews came to have three temples, that rivalled one another, one at Jerufalem, another at Gerizim in Samaria, built by the permiffion of Darius, and afterward of Alexander the Great; and that of Onias in Egypt.
The Jewish ftate remained in this condition till the time of Pompey the Great, who deprived Hyrcanus of his crown, leaving him however in poffeffion of the priesthood, and invefted with princely power, and made the Jews tributary to the Romans (z). Thus did the Jews forfeit their liberty, by means of the factions
(s) Wisdom vii. 17.
(z) Jof. de Bell. Jud. 1. ii. 12.
(t) Philo paffim.
of thofe very Afmoneans, whofe valour had procured it for them before (a). JULIUS CESAR having defeated Pompey, he Concerning the Hecontinued Hyrcanus high-priest, and gave the go- rods, and first of vernment of Judea to Antipater, an Idumaan by Herod the Great. birth, but a Jewish Profelyte, and the father of Herod, firnamed the Great (b), who was afterwards king of the Jews. Antipater divided Judea between his two fons, beftowing upon Phafael, who was the eldest, the government of Jerufalem; and that of Galilee, upon Herod, his fecond fon: who, being naturally bold and active, was not long without fhewing the greatnefs of his mind; for he cleared his country of the robbers it was infefted with, and fignalized his courage against Antigonas the competitor of Hyrcanus in the priesthood, who was fet up by the Tyrians. Mark Anthony ratified thefe regulations of Antipater, and gave his two fons the name of Tetrarchs, or Princes (c). In the mean time, the Parthians having invaded Judea, carried away captive Hyrcanus, and Phafael, Herod's brother (d). "Whereupon Herod, giving up all for loft, fled to Mark Anthony at Rome, who, with the consent of the Senate, beftowed upon him the title of King of Judea (e), which he defigned to beg for Ariftobulus the brother of Mariamne, and grandfon of Hyrcanus, of the Afmonean family. He kept himself in poffeffion of this dignity by the help of the Roman arms, notwithstanding the faction of Antigonus, who had the greatest part of the Jewish nation on his fide (f). The intestine war that happened upon this occafion, and lafted for about three years, brought Judea to the very brink of destruction: Jerufalem was taken, the temple plundered and ravaged, and a dreadful flaughter enfued on both fides. Though Herod got the better, yet he was not well fettled on his throne, fo long as he had the difpleafure of Auguftus to fear, after the overthrow of Mark Anthony, with whom he had fided. However he was continued by Auguftus in his government of Judea.
If this prince may be faid to have had any good qualities, his vaft magnificence in buildings must be reckoned as one. This manifeftly appeared in his founding or repairing of feveral cities (g), to which he gave the names of Auguftus Cæfar, and Agrippa; as for instance, Samaria which he called Sebafte (b), that is Augufta; Turris Stratonis (i) which he named Cæfarea, different from that other Cafarea which Philip the Tetrarch honoured with that name out of respect to Tiberius Cæfar, and which for that reafon is ftiled in the New Teftament Cæfarea Philippi (k). But the greatest glory and ornament of Herod's reign, in this refpect, was the building of the temple of Jerufalem anew, which had been rebuilt about five hundred years before by Zerubbabel. The reafon he alledged for this undertaking, was, that the fecond temple was fixty cubits
(a) Jof. de Bello Jud. 1. i. c. 5.
(6) Jof Antiq. xiv. 2. 12.
(c) Id. Antiq. xiv. 23. &. de Bell. Jud. 1. ii. 8. (d) Id. Antiq. xiv. 25.
(ƒ) Dio. Hist. 1. 49. p. 463.
(b) Id. Antiq. I. xv. c. II. (4) Matt, xvi. 13.
(e) Id. ibid. c. 26.
(g) Jof. de Bell. Jud. 1. i. c. 16. (7) Id. ibid. & c. 13.
cubits lower than o Salomen's (1). When he acquainted the Jews with his defign, they were alarmed at it, thinking that it would be both difficult and dangerous to put fuch a thing in execution, and moreover judging it unlawful to meddle with a temple which God had reftored to them in fo wonderful a manner. Befides, they were afraid that the divine fervice would have been interrupted for a confiderable time, while this new temple was a building. But Herod removed their fears, by affuring them that the old temple fhould remain untouched, till all the -materials of the new one were got realy. And accordingly it appears from hiftory, that the divine fervice was performed all the time the new one was building, or rather the old one repairing. Jofephus obferves (m), that Herod" durft not prefume to enter into the holy place himself becaufe not being a prieft, he ftood prohibited by the law; but that he "committed the care of this part of the work to the priests themselves:" from whence it plainly appears, that place was not pulled down, but only fome alterations made in it. The fame is further evident from the gospel () wherein it is faid, that Jofeph and Mary went to Jerufalem every year at the feast of the pallover, which was celebrated in the temple, and that they went thither with Jefus Chrift, according to custom (0). Had there been any interruption in that matter, the Evangelift could not have used that expreffion. And therefore the Jews never make mention of any more than two temples, looking upon Herod's, only as Zerubbabel's repaired, though it might justly have been reckoned a new temple, both upon the account of the magnificent buildings he added to it, and the rich materials he used; which whilft the difciples of Jefus Chrift were once admiring (0), he took an occafion from thence of foretelling the ruin of that temple. This magnificence the prophet Haggai (p) had an eye to, when he declared that the glory of this latter houfe was to be greater than that of the former. But, notwithstanding all the beauty and fumptuoufnefs of Herod's temple, this prophecy was not fulfilled but by Jefus Chriff's coming into it; He, who was the true temple of God, and of whom that of ferufalem was no more than a very imperfect figure, as St. Paul (a) and Jefus Chrift himself (r) do intimate. How noble foever the defcriptions are (s) which the Jews have given us of Herod's temple, yet they unanimoutly agree (t) that there were feveral things wanting in it, as well as in that of Zerubbabel, which were the chief glory of the firft temple; that is, the Ark of the covenant, wherein were put the two tables of the law, with the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod that budded; the Urim and Thummim; the cloud, or Shecinah, which was a token of the divine Prefence; the Spirit of prophecy; and the holy anointing oil. Of all these there were but faint reprefentations, and imperfect copies in the fecond temple, as is owned by the Rabbins themselves. And therefore Haggai's prophecy was applied to the Meffiab by the ancient Jewish doctors ("), who fay, that the glory of the fecond temple
(2) Luke ii. 41, 42.
(7) Jof. Antiq. 1. xv. c. 14.
temple confifted in this, that it was honoured with the Meffiah's prefence. Jofephus tells us (x), that Herod fet about this work in the eighteenth year of his reign; and finifhed it in the space of nine years and a half. Which muft neceflarily be understood of the walls and main body of the building, and not of all its parts and ornaments, fince the fame hiftorian relates in another place, that it was not quite finished till the time of Agrippa the Younger, the grandfon of Herod, that is about fixty years after the birth of Jefus Chrift, We have no reason therefore to be furprifed at what the Jews told JESUS CHRIST (y), that this temple was forty and fix years in building, fince if we reckon from the eighteenth year of the reign of Herod, [when he undertook to rebuild the temple,] to the thirtieth year of Jefus Chrift, [in which this difpute happened between him and the Jews] we fhall find just forty-fix years. It is more natural to put this. fenfe upon the words of the Jews, than, as others have done, to compute thofe forty-fix years from the order given by Cyrus for rebuilding the temple, to the finishing of it; because by this laft calculation those years cannot well be made out.
Jofephus relates that the people were overjoyed to fee the work compleated, and that they offered numberlefs facrifices upon that occasion, How great a fhew foever there might be of religion in this undertaking, yet it could by no means make amends for the miferies which that unhappy people fuffered from the impieties, and above all from the cruelties of Herod. If he built a temple in honour of the true God, he erected feveral, on the other hand, to falfe deities, in order to ingratiate himself with Auguftus and the Romans (z). But his prevailing character was an extreme inhumanity, and the most enormous cruelty.
Though Jofephus hath extolled, as much as poffible, the good qualities of Herod, yet he could not conceal his crimes and vices, and above all his horrid cruelty. He imbrued his hands in the blood of his wife, of his children, and of the greatest part of his family: Of fo restless and jealous a temper was he, that he fpared neither his people, nor the richest and most powerful of his fubjects, nor even his very friends (a). He was naturally fo fufpicious, that he put the innocent to the torture for fear the guilty fhould efcape (b). It is justly wondered at that Jofephus fhould make no mention of the flaughter of the infants at Bethle hem (c), which was done by Herod's order, not long after our Saviour's, birth. To account for this omiffion, fome learned men have imagined, that this maffacre having been done privately from house to house by a few foldiers, it made no great noife, or else was not fet to Herod's account (d). But it is moft probable that Jofephus knew nothing of it, fince he found it not in the memoirs of Nicolaus Damafcenus, an historian of those times; whom he himself charges with having palliated and difguifed
(*) Jof. Antiq. I. xv. c. 14.
(z) Jofeph. Ant. 1. xv. c. 12, 13.
(y) John ii. 20.
(c) Matth, ii, 16,
(a) Jof. Ant. L. xi. cap. 11. & de Bell, Jud. 1. i. p. 17.
(6) Id. ibid. p. 19.
(d) Lami Harm, Evang. p. 54,
guifed the most notorious and extravagant cruelties of Herod (e). It feems however not to have been unknown to a heathen author (ƒ), who fpeaks of it (though confusedly,) in the following manner: "Auguftus "having been informed, that among fome children, which Herod had ordered "to be killed i Syria, (he fhould have faid Judea) he did not fpare one of “his own fors, faid, That it was much better to be Herod's fwine, than his fon," alluding to the Jewith cuftom of not eating fwine's flesh. However this be, as Herod was a few, he could not be the author of fo barbarous a cruelty without making himself guilty of the utmost impiety, fince he did it with a defign to cut off the Meffiah, being fully fatisfied by the answer which he received from the chief priests and elders (g), that the new-born infant was the promised Chrift.
His end, and a very difinal one, being a visible punishment of his wickednefs, clofely followed this horrid butchery. He died as he had lived, contriving nothing but mifchief, and framing the most bloody and inhuman defigns (b). His death was looked upon as a very happy deliverance, and the tidings of it received with the utmost joy and fatiffaction; which that vile monster well forefeeing, he had ordered all the chief men of the city to be barbarously murdered before he died, that there might be a general mourning at his death (i). A Jewish doctor, supposed to be pretty ancient, affirms that the day of his death was kept by the Jews, as a feftival (k). The learned are not agreed about the year of his death; but thus much is certain, that he died 34 years after the expulfion of Antigonus, and in the 37th year from his being declared king of the Jews by the Romans (1). We fhall have occafion to examine this more particularly hereafter, when we come to treat of the chronology of the New Testament.
After having spoken of Herod the Great, it is proper Of the pofterity that we fhould next give an account of his fons and grandfons, as far as is requifite for the understanding the New Teftament. We find three of his fons mentioned there, between whom, by his last will and teftament, he divided his dominions; viz. ARCHELAUS, to whom he gave the kingdom of Judea, together with Idumaa, and Samaria; HEROD Antipas, or Antipater, whom he appointed Tetrarch or governor of Galilee and Perea; and PHILIP, whom he made likewife Tetrarch of Ituraa, Batanea, Trachonitis, Auranitis, and fome other countries. It was neceflary that Herod's will thould be ratified by Auguftus Cafar, and it was accordingly done, excepting this, that he
(e) Jof. Ant. 1. xvi. p. 11. (g) Matt. ii. 4, 5, 6.
(f) Macrob. Saturn. ii. 4.
(b) Jof. Ant. L. xvii. cap. 8. He was parched up with a faint, inward fever, that almoft burnt his heart out, and yet scarce fenfible to the touch. He was tormented with an infatiable appetite, ulcers and cholicks in his bowels; phleg matick tumors in his feet and groin ; asthmas, cramps; &c.
(i) Id. ibid.
() Megillath Taanith ap. Uffer. Ann. p. 535. Lami Appar. Chron.