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the power of inflicting death. It may be said, that even in the case of blasphemy itself they were forced to apply to the Roman governor for justice against the offender, and could not execute it themselves.

We know the Jews were indulged the peculiar privilege of putting even Romans to death, if they went into the temple beyond the court of the Gentiles; and should we suppose they were permitted to do the same in case of blasphemy', and all other transgressions of the Mosaic law, to which was annexed that severe penaltym, the case before us does

ot in the least contradict that supposition. For the offender was a soldierupon duty, sent on purpose to plunder the town, where the sacred books were taken by him. How was it possible for the Jewish magistrates to apprehend him? How was it possible to obtain justice any otherwise than by the permission of the Roman governor, who was general of the forces, and had employed him among the rest in this expedition ? The reasons that are given as prevailing with the governor to comply with the request of the Jews herein, and put the soldier to death, evince that it was not done out of regard to

I Levit. xxiv. 16.

m Such as idolatry, incest, and the eating any part of a beast while it is yet living. Gemarah. Sanh. c. 7.9.5. in excerptis Coccei. Maimon. de Regibus, et rerum earum bellicis, c. 10. published by Dr. Prideaux under the title of De Jure Pauperis et Peregrini,

p. 144, &c.

• The offender, being a soldier, probably was a Roman citizen. We know that other, even the freest nations, were not permitted to punish Roman citizens. Whether it were granted to the Jews to do it in all cases wherein their laws reached foreigners, or whether they were allowed it in the single case only mentioned by Titus, we are wholly uncertain.

their laws, and in order to put them in execution ; far from it. Had he not been afraid of a general insurrection of the Jewish nation, the soldier had remained unhurt, and the law against blasphemy wholly neglected".

It is very remarkable how earnest the Jews were to have this man punished. Josephus says they were struck at the news of what the soldier had done, as if the whole country had been set on fire; that they flocked together to Cæsarea, where Cumanus the governor then was, as though called together by the sound of an instrument, or the voice of the common crier P; that they declared to him they colud not bear to live while their country laws were so basely treated Can it be thought that a people so zealous for the honour of their laws would have sat still, if the execution of them in all capital cases had been wholly taken from their own magistrates, and placed in foreigners, who, they could not but know, from their education under laws so contradictory to the Jewish, would be very remiss and negligent in punishing such who transgressed them?

ο ο Κούμανος, δείσας μη πάλιν νεωτερίσειε το πλήθος, συμβουλευσάντων και των φίλων, τον ενυβρίσαντα τους νόμους στρατιώτης πελεκίσας έπαυσε την στάσιν εκ δευτέρου μέλλουσαν εξάπτεσθαι. Αntig. 1. 20. C. 4. 5. 4, fin.

Ρ Ιουδαίοι δε, ώς όλης αυτούς της χώρας καταφλεγείσης, συνεχύθησαν, και καθάπερ οργάνω τινί τη δεισιδαιμονία συνελκόμενοι, εις εν κήρυγμα πάντες eis Kaloápelar étà Koúpavoy ouvé àpapor. De Bell. Jud. I. 2. c. 12. §. 2. 1. 38. I suppose Josephus means by Kýpurua nothing more than the news of what had happened, which, at the very first hearing, drew the people together to Cæsarea, as though it had been the voice of a common crier.

9 Ζήν γάρ ουχ υπομένειν των πατρίων αυτούς ούτω περιύβρισμένων. Αntig. 1. 20. C. 4. §. 4.

SECT. XI.

1

Other passages from Josephus, proving that the Jewish

magistrates had the power of putting persons to death in the execution of their own laws.

THERE is in the History of Josephus a plain and undeniable instance of the Jewish magistrates convening persons before them, sentencing them to death, and putting that sentence in execution. But, because there are exceptions made to it, from some of the circumstances attending it, I will lay the whole passage before the reader, that he may be the better able to form a judgment on what is said.

“ The younger Ananus, who was made high priest, was exceeding bold and daring. He was “ of the sect of the Sadducees, who are cruel above “ all the Jews in matters of judicature. Ananus,

being such a sort of a person, and thinking he had

a convenient opportunity, because Festus was dead, “ and Albinus was yet on the road, summons a coun“ cil, or court of judges, and bringing before them

(the brother of Jesus who is called Christ, his name “ was) James, and some others, he accused them as “transgressors of the law, and delivered them to be “ stoned. But such in the city who were esteemed “the most moderate and equitable, who best under“stood the laws, and were most punctual in obsery

ing them, were displeased at this, and sent pri“vately to king Agrippa, desiring him to write to “ Ananus, that he would no more do such things as " these; for that he had not done this first thing

rightly. And some of them met Albinus in his

way from Alexandria, and inform him that it was 6 not lawful for Ananus to summon a council with

“ out his consent. For this reason Albinus writes

angrily to Ananus, threatening to punish him: “ and king Agrippa took from him the high-priest“ hood".” This was Agrippa jun. king of Batanæa, Trachonitis, and several adjacent countries, who had no other authority in Judæa than that it was permitted him by the Roman emperor to confer or take away the high-priesthood as he pleased.

The passage I have now produced is said to be a proof that the Jewish magistrates had not the power of putting persons to death under a Roman governor; because Ananus chose the time of a vacancy, when, the governor being dead, the new one was not yet arrived, as the fittest opportunity to gratify his cruel disposition. He was blamed for what he did by those who were most exact in their knowledge and observance of the laws. It is expressly said he had no authority to act as he did. He was threatened for it by the new governor

Albinus, and was actually punished by king Agrippa, who deprived him of his high offices.

The truth of these several circumstances I readily acknowledge, but am so far from thinking they prove what they are brought for, that some of them appear plainly to me to evince the contrary. It is said, “ Those in Jerusalem who were most moderate, and “ who were accurate observers of the laws,” (which words, I take it, are a periphrastical description of thet Pharisees) “ were angry at what was done.”

Antiq. I. 20. c. 8. §. 1. 1. 34. * Lard. Cred. vol. 1. p. 156, 157.

* Όσοι δε έδόκουν επιεικέστατοι των κατά την πόλιν είναι, και τα περί τους νόμους ακριβείς, βαρέως ήνεγκαν επί τούτων. Αntig. 1. 20. c. 8. 5. 1. p. 897. 1. 2. "Αλλως τε και φύσει προς τας κολάσεις, επιεικώς έχουσιν οι

Why? Because Ananus had not herein acted opbūs, rightly, i. e. according to the Mosaic law. For so they write to king Agrippa, who was a Jew, and well skilled in the Jewish laws and customs. The Christian converts from among the Jews, and more especially those who resided in the land of Judæa, were at this time strict observers of the Mosaic laws'. And James, the brother of our Lord, was called the Just, most probably because of his remarkable adherence to and punctual observance of those laws'. How was it possible to condemn him, and such as he was, to death, without a manifest violation of the law of Moses ? This no doubt was one reason which inclined Agrippa to deprive Ananus of the high-priesthood. Ananus chose the opportunity when there was no Roman governor in Judæa as the fittest for his purpose. And why did he esteem it such ? Because he knew, that had he stayed till the new governor arrived, all those who were friends of the apostle, and of the others he put to death, together with those who were of a milder and more moderate disposition, would intercede with the governor to stop his proceedings. We read in the Acts of the Apostles, that the Pharisees, by their moderation, more than once delivered the Christians from the more violent counsels of the Sadducees.

It is very remarkable, that the persons who went

Papioaños. Ibid. 1. 13. c. 10. §. 6. p. 587, prop. fin. 01 Trepà tà πάτρια νόμιμα δοκούσι των άλλων ακριβεία διαφέρειν. Vita, 9. 38. p. 923, pr. Vid. et de Bell. Jud. I. 1. c. 5. §. 2. et l. 2. c. 8. §. 14, pr. u Acts xxvi. 3.

* Acts xxi. 21-24. y Euseb. E. H. I. 2. c. 1. et 23. Gal. ii. 12. ? Acts v. 33, 34, &c. and xxiii. 6, 7, &c.

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