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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. Fennings (Fewish Ant. vol. ii. p. 252.) differs from this opinion, and prefers the conjecture of Heumánnus, 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 with care.
JENNINGS's Jewish Ant. vol. i. p. 471.
No. 1358.—¡i. 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.
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.- . 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
they had attained their thirtieth year, they were fully instituted in their office. Some have observed much the same degrees among the vestal virgins: thirty years they were bound to the strictest chastity; the first ten of which were spent in learning the mysteries of their profession: the second ten they ministered in holy things: and the last ten were employed in bringing up young novices. (Dionys. Halicarn. lib. 2.) is
JENNINGS's Jewish Ant. vol. i. p. 274.
** This is an allusion to that universal custom of the world of pouring wine or oil on the head of the victim immediately before it was slain: the apostle's emphatical word signifies, wine is just now pouring on my head;. I am just going to be sacrificed to pagan rage and superstition.”
BLACKWALL's Introduction to the Classics, p. 128.
No. 1363.-TITUS iii. 11, .
Knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth,
being condemned of himself.
« In order to induce the criminal to confess his crimes, they (the Jews) said to him, give glory to God, that is, confess the truth, and be your own judge. For the Jews were of opinion that criminals who confessed their crimes would partake in the happiness of a future state : and therefore they exhorted and pressed criminals not to draw down the hatred of God upon them, by obstinacy and stubbornness in concealing their crimes: St. Paul sometimes alludes to this custom; as when he says, happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth, Rom. xiv. 22. that is, who being convinced of the truth of a thing, is not weak enough to give testimony against himself, notwithstanding his conviction ; and when he says, that a heretic is condemned of himself, Titus iii. 11.”
LAMY's Apparatus Biblicus, p. 206.