Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and the neighbouring countries.* We have therefore these two persons in the situations in which Saint Luke places them; and also, that they were in these situations in the fifteenth year of Tiberius; in other words, that they continued in possession of their territories and titles until that time, and afterward, appears from a passage of Josephus, which relates of Herod, "that he was removed by Caligula, the successor of Tiberius ;t and of Philip, that he died in the twentieth year of Tiberius, when he had governed Trachonitis and Batanea and Gaulanitis thirty-seven years."‡

III. [p. 20.] Mark vi. 17. Herod had sent forth, and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison, for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife; for he had married her."

With this compare Joseph. Antiq. 1. xviii. c. 6. sect. 1.-"He (Herod the tetrarch) made a visit to Herod his brother.-Here, falling in love with Herodias, the wife of the said Herod, he ventured to make her proposals of marriage."¶

Again, Mark vi. 22. "And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in and danced

27

With this also compare Joseph. Antiq. 1. xviii. c. 6. sect. 4. "Herodias was married to Herod, son of Herod the Great. They had a daughter, whose name was Salome; after whose birth, Herodias, in utter violation of the laws of her country, left her husband, then living, and married Herod the te

*Ant. lib. xvii. c. 8. sect. 1.

fb. lib. xviii. c. 8. sect. 2.
See also Matt. xiv. 1-13.

The affinity of the two accounts is unquestionable; but there is a difference in the name of Herodias's first busband, which, in the evangelist, is Philip: in Josephus, Herod. The difficulty, bowever, will not appear considerable, when we recollect how common it was in those times for the same person to bear two names. "Simon, which is called Peter; Lebbeus, whose surname is Thaddeus; Thomas, which is called Didymus; Simeon, who was called Niger; Saul, who was also called Paul." The solution is rendered likewise easier in the present case, by the consideration, that Herod the Great had children by seven or eight wives; that Josephus mentions three of his sons under the name of Herod that it is nevertheless highly probable, that the brothers bore some additional name, by which they were distinguished from one another. Lardner, vol. ii. p. 897.

Th. c 5. sect. 6.

Lk iii. 19.

trarch of Galilee, her husband's brother by the fa ther's side."

IV. [p. 29.] Acts xii. 1. "Now, about that time, Hered the king stretched forth his hands, to vex certain of the church." In the conclusion of the same chapter, Herod's death is represented to have taken place soon after this persecution. The accuracy of our historian, or, rather, the unmeditated coincidence, which truth of its own accord produces, is in this instance remarkable. There was no portion of time, for thirty years before, nor ever afterward, in which there was a king at Jerusalem, a person exercising that authority in Judea, or to whom that title could be applied, except the three last years of this Herod's life, within which period the transaction recorded in the Acts is stated to have taken place. This prince was the grandson of Herod the Great. In the Acts, he appears under his familyname of Herod; by Josephus he was called Agrip. pa. For proof that he was a king, properly so called, we have the testimony of Josephus in full and direct terms:-" Sending for him to his palace, Caligula put a crown upon his head, and appointed him king of the tetrarchie of Philip, intending also to give him the tetrarchie of Lysanias." And that Judea was at last, but not until the last, included in his dominions, appears by a subsequent passage of the same Josephus, wherein he tells us, that Claudius, by a decree, confirmed to Agrippa the domimion which Caligula had given him; adding also Judea and Samaria, in the utmost extent, as possessed by his grandfather Herod.t

V. [p. 12. Acts xii. 19-23. "And he (Herod) went down from Judea to Cesarea, and there abode. And on a set day, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them: and the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man: and immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.

"He went

Joseph. Antiq. lib. xix. c. 8. sect. 2.
Here he celebrated shows

to the city of Cesarea.

Antiq. xviiii. c. 7. sect. 10.

t Ib xix. c. 5. sect. 1.

in honour of Cæsar. On the second day of the shows, early in the morning, he came into the theatre, dressed in a robe of silver, of most curious workmanship. The rays of the rising sun, reflected from such a splendid garb, gave him a majestic and awful appearance. They called him a god; and entreated him to be propitious to them, saying, Hitherto we have respected you as a man; but now we acknowledge you to be more than mortal. The king neither reproved these persons, nor rejected the impious flattery.-Immediately after this, he was seized with pains in his bowels, extremely violent at the very first.-He was carried therefore with all haste to his palace. These pains continually tormenting him, he expired in five days' time.”

The reader will perceive the accordancy of these accounts in various particulars. The place (Cesarea,) the set day, the gorgeous dress, the acclamations of the assembly, the peculiar turn of the flattery, the reception of it, the sudden and critical incursion of the disease, are circumstances noticed in both narratives. The worms mentioned by St. Luke, are not remarked by Josephus; but the appearance of these is a symptom, not unusually, I believe, attending the diseases which Josephus describes, viz. violent affections of the bowels.

VI. [p. 41.] Acts xxiv. 24. "And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul."

Joseph. Antiq. lib. xx. c. 6. sect. 1, 2. "6 Agrippa gave his sister Drusilla in marriage to Azizus, king of the Emesenes, when he had consented to be circumcised. But this marriage of Drusilla with Azizus was dissolved in a short time after, in this manner-When Felix was procurator of Judea, having had a sight of her, he was mightily taken with her. She was induced to transgress the laws of her country, and marry Felix.""

Here the public station of Felix, the name of his wife, and the singular circumstance of her religion, all appear in perfect conformity with the evangelist.

VII. [p. 46.] "And after certain days, king Agrippa and Bernice came to Cesarea to salute Festus." By this passage we are in effect told, the

Agrippa was a king, but not of Judea; for he came to salute Festus, who at this time administered the government of that country at Cesarea.

Now, how does the history of the age correspond with this account? The Agrippa here spoken of, was the son of Herod Agrippa, mentioned in the last article; but that he did not succeed to his father's kingdom, nor ever recovered Judea, which had been a part of it, we learn by the information of Josephus, who relates of him that, when his father was dead, Claudius intended at first, to have put him immediately in possession of his father's dominions; but that, Agrippa being then but seventeen years of age, the emperor was persuaded to alter his mind, and appointed Cuspius Fadus prefect of Judea and the whole kingdom;* which Fadus was succeeded by Tiberius Alexander, Cumanus, Felix, Festus. But that, though disappointed of his father's kingdom, in which was included Judea, he was nevertheless rightly styled King Agrippa, and that he was in possession of considerable territories bordering upon Judea, we gather from the same authority; for, after several successive donations of country," Claudius, at the same time that he sent Felix to be procurator of Judea, promoted Agrippa from Chalcis to a greater kingdom, giving to him the tetrarchie which had been Philip's; and he added moreover the kingdom of Lysanias, and the province that had belonged to Varus."

Saint Paul addresses this person as a Jew:"King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? Į know that thou believest." As the son of Herod Agrippa, who is described by Josephus to have been a zealous Jew, it is reasonable to suppose that he maintained the same profession. But what is more material to remark, because it is more close and circumstantial, is, that Saint Luke speaking of the father, (Acts xii. 1-3.) calls him Herod the king, and gives an example of the exercise of his authority at Jerusalem: speaking of the son, (xxv. 13.) he calls him king, but not of Judea; which distinction agrees correctly with the history.

Antiq. xix, c. 9. ao. fin.

† Ib. xx. De Bell lib. ii. De Bell. lib. ii. c. 12. ad fin.

VIII. [p. 51.] Acts xiii. 6. "And when they had gone through the isle (Cyprus) to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus, which was the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man."

The word, which is here translated deputy, sig. nifies proconsul, and upon this word our observation is founded. The provinces of the Roman empire were of two kinds; those belonging to the emperor, in which the governor was called proprætor; and those belonging to the senate, in which the governor was called proconsul. And this was a regular dis tinction. Now it appears from Dio Cassius,* that the province of Cyprus, which in the original distribution was assigned to the emperor, had been transferred to the senate, in exchange for some others; and that, after this exchange, the appropriate title of the Roman governor was proconsul. Ib. xviii. 12. [p. 55.] And when Gallio was deputy (proconsul) of Achaia."

The propriety of the title "proconsul" is in this passage still more critical. For the province of Achaia, after passing from the senate to the empe ror, had been restored again by the emperor Claudius to the senate (and consequently its government had becsme proconsular) only six or seven years before the time in which this transaction is said to have taken place. And what confines with strictness the appellation to the time is, that Achaia under the following reign ceased to be a Roman pro

vince at all.

IX. [p. 152.] It appears, as well from the gene. ral constitution of a Roman province, as from what Josephus delivers concerning the state of Judea in particular, that the power of life and death resided exclusively in the Roman governor; but that the Jews, nevertheless, had magistrates and a council, invested with a subordinate and municipal authority. This economy is discerned in every part of the Gospel narrative of our Saviour's crucifixion.

X. [p. 203.] Acts. ix. 31. "Then had the church.

* De Bell. lib. liv. ad. A. U. 732

† Suet. in Claed. c. 25. Dio, lib. lxi.

* Antiq. lib. zx, c. 8. sect. 5. c. 4, sect 2,

« ZurückWeiter »