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No. 1352.-viii. 19. Who was also chosen by the churches.] This choice was by the suffrage of the churches, performed by holding up hands. It was derived from an ancient custom of the Athenians in the choice of their magistrates. The candidates being proposed to the people, they shewed their choice by holding up their hands. He who had the most was declared duly elected. Thus there was a brother appointed by the suffrage of the churches to travel along with Paul, and convey their alms to the poor saints in Judæa. See also Acts xiv. 23.
No. 1353. GALATIANS iii. 28.
There is neither male nor female.
AMONG the heathens, females were not admitted to some of their sacred rites and ceremonies. As to the Jews, the males only were concerned in many things both of a civil and sacred nature. No female might be heir to an inheritance with a male : they had no share in the civil government, or in the priesthood; males were to appear three times a year before the Lord; but, according to their oral law, women and servants were exempted. The male Jews valued themselves very much because they were Israelites and not Gentiles, freemen and not servants; men and not women. Against these things the apostle makes his assertion in this passage.
GILL, in loc.
No. 1354.--EPHESIANS ii. 19.
Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citi
zens with the saints,
SOJOURNERS and strangers in Greece “were permitcd to dwell in the city, and follow their own business without disturbance, but could not be entrusted with any public office, give their votes in the assemblies, or have any share in the government; being obliged to sit still as spectators in a theatre, without intermeddling, or any way concerning themselves, with state affairs ; and patiently submit to the decrees enacted by the citizens, and observe all the laws and customs of the country. They were not allowed to act any thing, or manage any business, in their own names, but were obliged to choose out of the citizens one, to whose care and protection they would commit themselves, and whose duty it was to defend them from all violence and oppression." POTTER's Archæol. Græc. vol. i. p. 55.
: No. 1855.-iv. 8. And led captivity captive.] This is in allusion to the public triumphs of the Romans, in which captives were led in chains, and exposed to open view.
No. 1356.---. 14. Wherefore he saith, awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.] On the Jewish feast of the new moon they sounded the trumpets so much, that it was called a memorial of blowing trumpets.
The scripture no where assigns the reason of it; but Maimonides thinks it was instituted to awaken the people to repentance
ast the annual fast or great day of expiation, which followed nine days after. He makes the sound of the trumpet on this day to be in effect saying, “ shake off your drowsiness, ye that sleep, search and try your ways, remember your Creator and repent, bethink yourselves, and take care of your souls.” Some have supposed that the apostle refers to this use and meaning of blowing the trumpets in the passage now cited. Dr. Jennings (Fewish Ant. vol. ii. p. 252.) differs from this opinion, and prefers the conjecture of Heumannus, that the passage is taken out of one of those hymns of spiritual songs, which were in common use in the christian church in those times, and which are mentioned in a subsequent verse.
No. 1357.- COLOSSIANS ï. 18.
A voluntary humility, and worshipping of angels.
These expressions apply in a peculiar manner to the Essenes. For Josephus informs us that they had something very particular among them, relating to the angels. He says, (de Bello Judaic. lib. ii. c. 8.) that when they received any into their number, they made them solemnly swear that they would keep and observe the books of the sects, and the names of the angels withi
JENNINGS's Jewish Ant. vol. i. p. 471.
No. 1358.-ii. 21. Touch not, taste not, handle not.] The dogmata to which St. Paul refers in these words are such as the Essenes held. They would not taste any pleasant food, but lived upon coarse bread, and drank nothing but water: some of them would not taste any food at all till after sun-set; and if they were touched by any that were not of their own sect, they would wash themselves, as after some great pollution. Perhaps there might be a sodality of Essenes at Colossæ, as there were in many other places out of Judæa ; and that some of the Christians, too much inclined to Judaism, might also affect the peculiarities of this sect; which might be the reason why the apostle so particularly cautions against them.
JENNINGS's Jewish Ant. vol. i. p. 471.
No. 1359.-1 TIMOTHY i. 10.
For men stealers.
THERE were persons who made it their business to decoy servants and free-men, that they might steal and sell them for slaves. Against this practice there were particular laws enacted, Exod. xxi. 16. Deut. xxiv. 7. It was also condemned by the Flavian law among the Romans, and was not allowed of among the Greeks. The death with which such persons were punished, according to the Jews, was strangling.
No. 1360.-ii. 8. Lifting up holy hands.] The apostle alludes 'to a custom of the Jews, who always used to wash their hands before prayer. The account Maimonides gives is this : “a man must wash his hands up to the elbow, and after that pray. They do not make clean for prayer but the hands only, in the rest of prayers, except the morning prayer: - but before the morning prayer a man washes his face, his hands, and feet, and after that prays.”
No. 1361.-iii. 13. They that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree.) Some commentators have thought that in these words the apostle alludes to various degrees which subsisted among the Levites. . They passed through no less than four different degrees. From one month old to their twentieth year they were instructed in the law of God; from twenty to twenty-five, in the functions of their ministry; from thence to thirty they served a sort of apprenticeship, beginning to exercise themselves in some of the lower branches of the sacred service; and lastly, when