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CHAP. V.

The Manners of the Jews of later times. THESE later Jews were mingled with many nations. There were some of them settled in every country under heaven," as the Scripture says. Many came to dwell in Judea, or at least made some journeys of devotion thither, to sacrifice in the only temple where it was lawful to do so. Besides, there were always from time to time some Gentiles who were made converts. Thus the Jews were, properly speaking, no longer a people by themselves, using the same language and customs ; for many others began to unite under the same religion. The inhabitants of the Holy Land consisted of different nations, as Idumeans, and other Arabians, Egyptians, Syrians, and Greeks.

All the Jews still looked upon themselves as brethren, and assisted each other in whatever part of the world they were dispersed. They exercised hospitality towards such as travelled ; and relieved the poor in all provinces, but especially in Judea. As they that were at a distance could not pay their tenths and first-fruits in kind, nor come to the temple to make their offerings upon all festivals, they turned all these dues into money, and these

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contributions altogether made up a considerable sum ;" which each province sent annually to Jerusalem for the expense of sacrifices, and maintaining the priests and poor. This is the Jewish gold that Tully speaks of.

These collections continued many years after the destruction of the temple. The chief of the nation sent out senators at certain times, who commonly resided near him; and were called Apostles, that is to say, envoys. They went through the provinces to visit the synagogues; and had authority over such as presided there, and over the elders and ministers, and at the same time carried back the collections to the patriarch. But the Christian emperors forbad the continuance of it. The patriarchs came to this dignity by succession ; so that they were often infants.' But, before Jerusalem was destroyed, some of the heads of their nation resided in every province, who were called in Greek ethnarchs, and judged them by their own law. Those of Egypt are famous, among others.

In Judea the Jews were governed, as before, by a council of seventy-two elders, which they called Sanhedrin, from a Greek word corrupted :5 and these are the elders of the people mentioned in the Gospel." In every synagogue there was a head or

b

Joseph. Ant. xiv. 12.

< Pro Flacco. Epiph. Hær. xxx. n. 4, 7, 11. · Lib. iv. Cod. de Judæis.

? Hier. in Isaiah iii. 4. : Epiph. Hær. xxx. n. I. 7997730 Sanhedrin, from the Greek GUVEOplov, from ouy together, and sopa a seat, an assembly of counsellors.

* Luke xxii. 66, &c.

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ruler of it, as we see in the New Testament.' There were priests or elders, and deacons or servants, named hasanin, to take care of the synagogue, and present the book to the doctor who instructed them. There were also twenty-three judges in each city, as has been said before ; for it is to this time chiefly that all which the Talmud says concerning the form of judgments and the execution of justice must be referred."

The Jews of Judea always applied themselves to tillage, breeding of cattle, and all kinds of husbandry. There are medals still remaining, as old as the times of the Maccabees, upon which are to be seen ears of corn and measures,' to shew the fertility of the country, and the honour in which they held agriculture. Thus an antient writer describes to us the prosperity of Simon's government. Then did they till their ground in peace, and the earth

gave her increase, and the trees of the field their fruit : the antient men sat all in the streets consulting together for the good of the country, and the young men put on glorious and warlike apparel.

He provided victuals for the cities, and sent them in all manner of munition, so that his honourable name was renowned unto the end of the world. He made peace in the land, and Israel rejoiced with great joy. For every man sat under his vine and his fig tree, and there was none to disquiet them. And the author of Ecclesiasticus has not omitted taking notice of this duty. Hate not laborious work, neither husbandry, says he, which the Most High has ordained."

' Lake viii. 41.

* Cod. Sanbed. Maccoth. "Vales. in Euseb. vii. 10. Palad. Vita Chrysost. See the Shekel in the Prolegomena to Walton's Polyglott.

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There are some remains of old customs in every nation : there were still at that time husbandmen of good families in Italy and Sicily, and there will always be hunters in Germany.

Most of the parables in the Gospel are taken from a country life: the sower, the good seed, the tares, the vineyard, the good tree, the bad tree, the strayed sheep, the good shepherd ; and all this often spoken in cities, and in Jerusalem itself. Indeed, many parables shew us that trading with money was common among the Jews, and that there were bankers and usurers by profession. Many were publicans, that is, farmers of the tribute and revenues : but this was an office that drew upon them the public hatred. Joseph the son of Tobit is a notorious example, who got all the tribute of Syria and Phænicia awarded to him under Ptolemy Epiphanes, and acquired immense riches by it."

If there were bankers and tax-gatherers a mong the Jews, there is more reason to think there were wholesale and retail merchants ; both which are mentioned by the author of Ecclesiasticus, where he says he looked upon them as dangerous trades: A merchant can hardly keep himself from doing wrong, and a huckster shall not be freed from sin.'

- 1 Macc. xiv. 8, &c.

Joseph. Ant. tii. 4.

• Ecclus. vii. 15.

"Ecclus. xxvi. 29.

He goes to the source of the evil; and adds, That the desire of riches blindeth men, and makes them fall into sin; and that as a nail sticks fast between the joinings of the stones, so doth sin stick close betwixt buying and selling.' Thus did God call back His people to their antient customs, shewing them the powerful reasons that induced their fathers not to trade.

But they were not much better for His instructions; and since their atter reprobation they have always been departing farther and farther from the simple and natural way in which the Israelites lived. It is a long time since the Jews had any lands, or followed husbandry ; they live only by trade, and by the worst sort of it too. They are retailers, brokers, and usurers; their whole sub'stance consists only in money, and other moveables ; few of them have habitations of their own in any city.

Many profess physic, and have done so ever since the time of which I am speaking. The author of Ecclesiasticus shews it, who recommends the use of this art, and the composition of medicines.' There is mention made in the Gospel of a woman who had spent all that she had upon physicians. What the forementioned author says afterwards of the great leisure required for the study of wisdom seems to prove that the scribes or doctors made it their whole employment: but 'he shews at

4 Ecclus. xxvi. 2. 6 Luke viii. 43.

" Ecclus. Xxxviii. 1-15. " Ecclus. xxviii. 24.

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