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volt from the Romans. Antiq. I. 20. C. 5. §. 2.
Sedition now spread itself through the whole country. 'Ετράποντο δε πολλοί προς ληστείαν διά την άδειαν και κατά πάσαν την χώραν άρπαγαί τε ήσαν, και των θρασυτέρων επαναστάσεις. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. C. 12. 8. 5. 1.
35. Felix the governor took daily many impostors and robbers, and put them to death. Antiq. 1. 20. C. 7. §. 5. de Bell. Jud. I. 2. c. 13. 9. 2, fin. et §. 4, 5. The impostors were such who, pretending to shew signs and wonders, drew multitudes after them into the wilderness, in order to raise a rebellion. Antiq. I. 20. c. 7. $. 6, pr. Πλάνοι γάρ άνθρωποι και απατεώνες, προσχήματι θειασμού, νεωτερισμούς και μεταβολές πραγματευόμενοι, δαιμονών το πλήθος ανέπειθον. De Bell. Jud. I. 2. C. 13. 9. 4. The robbers were little armies, which excited the people to rebel, threatening with death those who submitted to the Romans, burning and plundering such houses and villages whose inhabitants refused to come into their measures. Πάλιν δε οι λησται τον δήμον εις τον προς Ρωμαίους πόλεμον ήρέθιζον, μηδέν υπακούειν αυτούς λέγοντες, και τας των απειθούντων κώμας εμπιπράντες διήρπαζον. Αntig. 1. 20. C. 7. 8. 6, fin. Μεριζόμενοι γάρ εις την χώραν κατά λόχους, διήρπαζόν τε τας των δυνατών οικίας, και αυτούς ανήρουν, και τας κώμας ενεπίμπρασαν ώς τε της απονοίας αυτών πάσαν την Ιουδαίαν αναπίμπλασθαι. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. C. 13. 5. 6. These robbers were of the sect of Judas the Galilæan. Compare the places last quoted with Antiq. 1. 18. c. 1. 5. 1. 1. 16, &c. Ληστηρίων δε μεγάλων επιθέσεσι και διαφθοραίς ανδρών των πρώτων. L. 20. 'Ανοία τε τη εντεύθεν ήρξατο νοσεϊν το έθνος. Ιbid. δ. 6, in. The Sicarii were also of the same sect. De Bell. Jud. l. 7. c. 8. §. J. et c. 10. §. 1. Under Festus this people increased. He took many of them, and put them to death. Antiq. I. 20. C. 7.9. 10. et de Bell. Jud. 1. 2. c. 14. 8. 1, pr.
Under Albinus they increased yet more; for those of them who were taken and in prison he dismissed for money. He also took money of and encouraged the seditious, and was himself ώσπερ άρχιληστής. Ιbid. At his leaving the province he made a general gaol-delivery, putting to death some who were most obnoxious, and taking money for the release of all the rest ; so that the country was filled with robbers. Antiq. 1. 20. c. 8. §. 5. Gessius Florus, who succeeded him, gave license to all to commit robberies as they pleased, so they brought him part of the plunder. De Bell. Jud. 1. 2. C. 14. 5. 2. Αntig. 1. 20. C. 10. §. 1. He crucified Jews who were Roman knights. De Bell. Jud. I. 2. c. 14. §. ult. fin. It is not said what was their crime,
SECT. XII. Passages from the Talmud, proving that the Jewish ma
gistrates had the execution of their own laws in capital cases under the Romans ; and the Talmudical account very consistent with the History of Josephus.
THERE is an instance also in the Talmud, of a priest's daughter who was burnt for playing the harlot; which, according to the best calculation that can be made, must have fallen out under the Roman governors'. And it is expressly said in the Gemara, that the four capital punishments inflicted by the Jewish council or magistracy were in use during the forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem 8. And I cannot but think, if we will allow of the explication of the learned Selden, that the Talmudical expression mentioned in the beginning of this chapter, when compared, will be found very exactly to agree with the History of Josephus. According to Selden the Talmudists say, “ That capital judg“ments were” (not wholly taken away from them, as some have understood the expression, but) “ greatly “ interrupted for forty years before the destruction “ of the temple.” Had they been taken away by Judæa's being made a Roman province, they must have fixed the date much earlier, and said they had been taken away sixty years before the destruction mentioned. When they say forty years, it is evident the time fixed falls under the government of Pontius Pilate; and agreeably hereto Josephus speaks of him as the first Roman governor who broke through the Jewish laws h. And Agrippa in Philo expressly tells us, he was guilty of corruption, the receiving of bribes to pervert justice being the first laid to his charge, among several other the greatest crimes of which a governor can be accused. Of Cuspius Fadus, and Tiberius Alexander, the two first governors sent by the emperor Claudius, Josephus says that they acted nothing contrary to the Jewish customs k. Cumanus, who succeeded, took money of the Samaritans to protect those who had murdered the Galilæans! Felix, being reproved by Jonathan the high priest, for his injustice in the administration of the Jewish affairs, employed robbers to murder him, who being countenanced and encouraged by this wicked governor for the service they had herein done him, numberless murders were committed by them afterwards with impunity m. Albinus dismissed all malefactors for money, and
most probably the pretence was treason. So great was his cruelty, that it was the immediate occasion of the war which broke out in the second year of his government. Antiq. I. 20. C. ult. §. 1, fin. De Bell. 1. 2. C. 14. g. 4, pr.
i Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 249.
8 Quod magis est dicendum de quadraginta illis qui excidium anteverterunt annis, quibus etiam quatuor pænæ capitales in usu. Thosiph ad tit. Abodah zarah, c. 1. fol. 8. 2. quoted by Selden de Syned. I. 2. c. 15. §. 11. p. 1563.
h Antiq. I. 18. c. 4. (Hud. 3. Hav.) §. 1, 2.
Τας δωροδοκίας, τάς ύβρεις, τας αρπαγάς, τας αικίας, τας επηρείας, τους ακρίτους και επαλλήλους φόνους, την ανώνυτον και αργαλεωτάτην ωμόTYFC OEGEN BÓrtes. Leg. ad Caium, p. 1034, C.
k of, μηδέν παρακινούντες των πατρίων ετών, εν ειρήνη το έθνος διεφύhatay. De Bell. Jud. I. 2. C. II. 9. 6. 1. 31.
1 Ο δε χρήμασι πεισθείς υπό τών Σαμαρέων ολιγώρησεν, In cod. Busb. Χρήμασι πολλούς αποτυφλωθείς υπό τών Σαμαρέων, κακείνοις μάλλον πεισθείς, την εκδίκησιν ώλιγώρησεν. Αntig. 1. 20. C. 5. 5. 1. 1. 24.
m Antiq. l. 20. c. 6. §. 5. p. 893. The corruption of this governor is more than hinted Acts xxiv. 26.
Gessius Florus was sharer with such in their unlawful gains ". From this account of Josephus, I think, we may easily see the true reason of the interruption given to the proceedings of the Jewish magistrates in capital causes for forty years before the destruction of the temple. It was owing to the corruption and maladministration of several of the Roman governors who took bribes, or shared the plunder, in order to protect criminals from justice o.
The Talmudists, and other Jewish writers, tell us, that the great council sat in a room of the temple called Gazith P; that in the trial of capital causes they were obliged to sit in this room, and could condemn no one to death in any other place 9; that the lesser councils, which had the power of judging in cases of life and death, could not proceed therein, unless the great council sat in the room Gazith'. The reason of this is supposed to be, because there lying an appeal from the lesser councils to the greater one, if that, by not sitting in its proper place, was incapable of determining capital causes, the appeal was hereby prevented. And it was not
n De Bell. Jud. I. 2. C. 14. §. 1. et 2,
• It was not in Judæa alone that governors sent from Rome, when corrupt and wicked, followed this practice. Verres is accused of the sante, Cum prædonum duces accepta pecunia dimiserit. Cic. in Ver. I. 1. c. 4. (9, fin.) p. 269, a.
p Misna tit. Middoth, cap. 5. Maimon. Halach. Sanhed. c. 14. in Seld. de Syned. 1. 2. c. 15.9.4. Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 61, 612.
9 Gloss. ad tit. Aboda zara, c. 1. fol. 8, 1. ad Gemara, ibid. et ad tit. Sanhed. cap. 5. fol. 41. 1.
Maimon. Halach. Sanhed. c. 14. Cotzenzis Præcept. affirm. 102. in Seld. de Syned. I. 2. c. 15. §. 6. Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 248,
permitted that the lesser councils should sit on capital judgments, unless the great council was in its proper place, and so capable of receiving appeals from them.
It is said in the Talmud, that the great council, or sanhedrim, removed from the room Gazith forty years before the destruction of the temple t; and this removing, all judicial proceedings in matters of life and death of course ceased throughout the whole country, I mean among the Jewish magistrates. This removal of the great council is represented by the Talmudists, and all the Jewish writers, as a voluntary thing"; not a thing imposed upon them by the authority of the Roman emperors, or enjoined them by the governors; but a matter of their own choice, which for certain reasons they judged expedient. Nor is there the least intimation given that they departed with an intention not to return; on the contrary, it is expressly said, when occasion served, they did return *. The reason that is given for this their voluntary removal is the frequency of murders, which they were not able longer to restrain by their judicial sentences". It is
It is very certain, as
$ Seld. ibid. §. 6, fin.
i Gemara Bab. a, tit. Sanhed. c. 5. fol. 41. a. et ad tit. Sabboth, c. 1. fol. 15. 1. et ad tit. Aboda zara, c. 1. fol. 8. 2. Cotzenzis Præcept. affirm. 102. in Seld. ibid. §. 8.
u Gemara Bab. ad tit. Aboda zara cap. 1. fol. 8. 2. Abrah. Zacut. Sepher Juchasin, fol. 21. 1. et fol. 26. 2. in Selden. Ibid. §. 10.
x H Thy Thosiphtha ad tit. Chetuboth. c. 3. fol. 30, 31. et ad tit. Aboda zara, c. 1. fol. 8. 2. et ad Gemara Bab. tit. Sanhed. c. 4. fol. 37. 2. in Seld. Ibid. §. 11. Lightfoot, vol. 2. p. 613.
y Gemara Bab. tit. Aboda zara, c. 1. fol. 8. 2. Abr. Zacut. Sepher Juchasin, fol. 21. 1. in Seld. Ibid. c. 10. pr. et fin.