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t so they might deliver him unto the
3 But he perceived their craftiness, and
5 And he said unto them, Render there-
5 And they could not take hold of his is before the people: and they marvelled is answer, and held their peace.
7¶Then came to him certain of the Sadees, which deny that there is any resurion; and they asked him,
3 Saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, ay man's brother die, having a wife, and die without children, that his brother ld take his wife, and raise up sced unto brother.
There were therefore seven brethren : the first took a wife, and died without dren.
') And the second took her to wife, and ied childless.
And the third took her; and in like ner the seven also: and they left no Iren, and died.
Last of all the woman died also. -Therefore in the resurrection whose of them is she? for seven had her to wife.
4 Matt. 22. 16. 5 Or, of a truth. 6 See Matt. 18. 28.
34 And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage:
35 But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:
36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.
37 Now that the dead are raised, "even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.
38 For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.
39 Then certain of the Scribes answering said, Master, thou hast well said. 40 And after that they durst not ask him any question at all.
41 And he said unto them, 'How say they that Christ is David's son?
42 And David himself saith in the book of Psalms, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
43 Till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
44 David therefore calleth him Lord, how is he then his son?
45 Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples,
46 "Beware of the Scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;
47 Which devour widows' houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation.
7 Matt. 22. 23. 8 Exod. 3. 6. 9 Matt. 22. 42. 10 Psal. 110. 1.
11 Matt. 23. 5.
se 9. "Planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen."-See the note on chap. xvi. 5; to which, for the sake arness, we may add a few further particulars. We see the owner, “at the season," sends to receive the stipulated eat. onsisting of a portion of the produce. It becomes important to distinguish that the produce rent is now, in the payable in two different ways, which differ very much in their operation. In the one, the produce rent is an and adaptative proportion varying in different years, as the season may or may not have been favourable. Under an the rent is to a certain extent proportionate to, and fluctuates with, the tenant's means of payment. This perated very extensively among the Jews. In the other case, where the sovereign is proprietor of the soil, we say that a survey is made of cultivated lands at a given time, and the average quantity of produce being ascerd, the amount of the proportion which would then be payable as rent, is noted down, and continues to be claimed rall circumstances, even though, from the deterioration of the soil in the course of years, or the depopulation of parr districts, and decreased cultivation. the rate, which was originally fair, should become most heavy and oppressive. on the other hand, when the proportion was at first laid moderately, and the district in which it operates obtained, uently to its imposition, the advantage of improving influences, the tenant has a proportionable benefit in having it estimated by the ancient registers: and in the permanent and moderate rent, assuming the character of a ax, he finds himself more favourably circumstanced than under the fluctuations, uncertainties, and vexations of her system. This is of course said with respect to the fair operation of the respective principles; but unfortu, under the general decay of agriculture and population in Western Asia, the advantages which the latter might ce are seldom realized; and it may be said that there is something like a general conspiracy against the agriculenant, to deprive him of whatever benefit he might derive from the natural operation of any system of rent under he is placed. The fixed produce rent is that which prevails in the Turkish dominions; whereas the fluctuating exhibited in Persia and India. It appears from the Jerusalem Talmud (Demai, fol. 25, 1) that both systems
operated among the Jews. The fixed rent charge was not however exactly such in practice as we have stated, although the same in principle. There was of course no settled and general proportion, determined in ancient times, and under a different condition of cultivation. The tenant on taking the ground agreed to pay as rent, every year, and in all years alike, a certain quantity of produce, estimated at first on a principle of proportion, but not afterwards having any respect to the actual proportion of the produce which the ground might in any particular year afford. If the tenant found his bargain disadvantageous, he might endeavour to obtain a more favourable one from the proprietor. And that such alterations sometimes took place appears from the parable of the unjust steward.
If we look at the present parable more closely, particularly with the further details given in the parallel narrative in Matt. xxi., we shall see something like what is called the Metayer rent-being a produce rent, payable not only for the land but for the stock. The householder, before letting his land, plants it as a vineyard, hedges it round, digs a wine-press in it, and builds a tower; so that the tenant has nothing further to do than attend to the vines. For the outlay, the landlord of course expected to find compensation in an enhanced produce rent, which rent therefore had a combined character, being a return to the proprietor, not only for his land, but for the stock which he had supplied. That this was very common, perhaps supplies a further reason to explain how it happens that the proportion paid as rent from the produce was generally higher among the Jews than the simple ryot rent now is in the East. There, however, it is still common for the cultivator to obtain a grant of stock, for which he pays a further produce rent, ia addition to or apart from that which he pays for the land.
14. "Come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be our's."-There is perhaps some difficulty in discovering how the tenants could establish their claim to the inheritance in consequence of having slain the heir. The best way of finding some solution, is to ascertain how the tenant stood with respect to the term of his occupancy. We do not discover any notice of a specified term of years, as with us, during which the tenant can be neither deprived of the ground by the owner, nor can himself relinquish the engagement he has formed. The principle was probably that which still operates in the East, where long-established custom directs, that the tenant, and his heirs after him, shall have an abiding interest in the property, and shall not be ejected by the owner as long as he continues to pay his rent. Hence grounds often remain for many generations in the hands of the descendants of the original tenants. That this was the case among the Jews, seems to be strongly intimated in the present account, verse 16, "He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid." The giving the vineyard to others, doubtless implies that their heirs should not continue in occupation, else it would have been superfluous to mention the circumstance as following the destruction of the tenants. Supposing this to be the case, and the tenants having thus an enduring interest in the land, it is easier to understand how they expected to be able to assume the real inheritance of it, when there ceased to be an heir. It is not needful to suppose that in such a case the legal claim to the inheritance devolved on the tenant; though we cannot be sure that this was not the case. for we nowhere read that those estates which wanted an heir devolved upon the king (when there was one), and it could not devolve upon the hierarchy. And in the absence of such claims, it is possible that the hereditary tenant might be considered to have the best right to the inheritance. We should have been glad to obtain a more decisive, if not more satisfactory explanation on this subject. But we are able to derive no assistance from the existing customs of the East; for the crown being everywhere the supreme proprietor of the land, no estate ever wants an heir.
1 Christ commendeth the poor widow. 5 He foretelleth the destruction of the temple, and of the city Jerusalem: 25 the signs also which shall be before the last day. 34 He exhorteth them to be watchful.
AND he looked up, 1and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury.
2 And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.
3 And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:
4 For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that
5 And as some spake of the temple, how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts, he said,
6 As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
7 And they asked him, saying, Master, but when shall these things be? and what
1 Mark 18, 41. See Mark 12, 42,
sign will there be when these things shall come to pass?
8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.
9 But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by.
10 Then said he unto them, Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom:
II And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall
there be from heaven.
12 But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
13 And it shall turn to you for a testi
14 'Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
3 Matt. 24.1. • Matt, 24. 7. 5 Matt. 10. 19.
18 'But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls. 20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them which are in Judæa flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 ¶And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are
6 Matt. 10.30.
coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;
30 When they now shoot forth, ye sec and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.
31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. 33 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
37 And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives.
38 And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.
Verse 20. "Ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies."--It now becomes our duty to trace, briefly, the prominent circumstances attending the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans, in order to complete the sketch which we commenced under Matt. xxiv., and continued under Mark xiii.
When Titus advanced against Jerusalem, at the head of 60,000 men-Romans and auxiliaries-multitudes of Jews were collected in the city, from all quarters, to celebrate the feast of the Passover. This circumstance greatly enhanced the subsequent calamities of the siege; as such vast numbers soon consumed the provisions which remained in the city, and speedily produced the most horrible famine that ever history recorded. It was probably in contemplation of such a result, that Titus selected this time for his advance; as he would reasonably calculate that the siege would be shortened, by the besieged being obliged to surrender for want of food. He needed all the hope which might be derived from such a consideration; for the enterprise which he had undertaken was one of no ordinary difficulty. The city itself was strong from its situation; besides which, its fortifications were, for that age, of remarkable strength and of recent erection. The ancient walls had indeed been demolished by Pompey; and when Herod Agrippa undertook to repair the foundations and raise the walls, the governor of Syria took alarm, and obtained an order from Rome, prohibiting the continuance of the work. After Herod's death, however, the Jews purchased permission from the venal Claudius to resume the undertaking, and availed themselves of the advantage with such good effect, that the town came to be considered little less than impregnable. The walls and battlements were completed to the height of 25 cubits, and the breadth of 10 cubits, built with great stones twenty cubits long and ten broad, so that they could not be easily undermined, nor shaken by military engines. This was the outer wall (for there were two others), and it was strengthened with sixty strong and lofty towers. The two other walls were of corresponding strength; the second having fourteen towers, and the third eighty. Besides this, there were several castles of extraordinary strength, such as those of Hippicos, Phasael, Mariamne, and Antonia; not to mention the royal palace and some others, that were stately and well fortified. The Temple itself exceeded in strength; and from its situation, with its walls, towers, and other buildings, was at least equal to the strongest fortress then existing. The defenders were numerous, wanting no arms or warlike engines, invincibly obsti
nate, and brave to desperation. But, on the other hand, they wanted experience in the defence of towns, and in the use of the warlike engines which they had taken from the Romans; their stores of provisions were utterly inadequate, and in a course of rapid exhaustion; and they were at variance among themselves, and with the unwarlike multitudes in the city, who sighed for safety and peace. However, the party differences of the defenders were somewhat dininished, almost as soon as the Romans made their appearance, by the suppression of the party of Eleazer, which put John in sole possession of the Temple, and left him free to act with Simon against the Romans, and against Simon when the Romans intermitted their assaults. This was the principle of contest throughout the siege. The two great parties concurred in defence of the city; but when the urgent occasion had passed, they turned their arms against each other. Thus there was twofold war, and the life-blood of Jerusalem was drained without respite. John defended the Temple and the castle of Antonia, and Simon the rest of the city. The space which their previous devastations had cleared within the city served them for a field of battle against each other; from which. when occasion required, they unanimously hastened to act against the common enemy; after which their mutual hostilities were resumed, as if they had studied how to make their ruin more easy to the Romans.
When Titus arrived before the city, he made an ostentatious display of his forces, in battle array, in three divisions; the first and principal encamped at Scopas, about seven stadia from the city, northward; the second about three stadia behind; and the third eastward, on the mount of Olives. The first week, being the week of the Passover, he spent in making such arrangements as the survey which he had made showed to be necessary, and in preparing the ground for future operations. The ground between Scopas and the city was levelled and cleared, by the demolition of trees. houses, hedges, and even rocks, which supplied materials to raise, against the wall, banks on which the military engines were planted; and the overtures of peace having been rejected with insult and scorn, he commenced active operations the day after the ending of the Paschal week, being Sunday, April 22. And here it may be observed, that Titus was instructed to avoid the error which had proved fatal to Cestius, who had made an attack on the Sabbath, expecting that the Jews would not fight on that day, and learnt otherwise to his cost. Titus knew that their present principle was, that they might on that day resist assailing enemies, in self defence, but that they might not attack them if otherwise employed. Hence the Roman general adopted the policy of Pompey, who, without molestation, employed the Sabbaths in undermining the walls, raising mounts, and constructing military engines, preparatory to his attacks on the Sundays. This explains how it happened that the most important events of the war took place on the day following the Sabbath.
Three moveable towers having been erected on the banks, and the battering rams having been brought to bear on the wall in three different places, the assault began, and a cry of terror arose throughout the city at the noise and destruction occasioned by these machines. Simon planted on the wall the military engines taken from Cestius, but want of skill in the men, rendered them ineffective. The missiles from the towers soon cleared the wall and left the rams to work unimpeded. Simon and John, however, concurred in some desperate sallies, in one of which they set the engines on fire. But many of the men were taken by the Romans and crucified before the walls; and these demonstrations, however brave, were in general ineffectual. The first breach was made in the outer wall on Sunday. May 6; when the Romans, rushing in through the breach, opened the gates, and obtained possession of the New City, the Jews retiring behind the second wall. The Roman camp was then removed to the conquered ground, after the greater part of the outer wall had been demolished. The second wall was defended with desperate bravery; and frequent sallies were made on the besiegers. The Romans, however, gained possession of the wall in five days; but the Jews made so obstinate a resistance in the streets that they drove back the enemy and took possession of the breach, from which it took three days more to expel them.
Titus being thus master of the New and Lower cities, turned his attention to the tower of Antonia. And the stand here made by the besieged extorted the admiration of their enemies. John, who held the castle, dug a mine therefrom to the banks, by which they were destroyed; and two days after Simon assaulted the remaining banks, and set fire to the engines which were planted on them. The flames spread to the banks, which were chiefly constructed with felled trees, and destroyed them, obliging the Romans to retreat to their camp, where they had an obstinate and bloody conflict before they could drive back the Jews, who had pursued them.
After this, and in order that famine might accomplish all its work in the town, by the besieged being shut up more closely and precluded from all means of escape, Titus built a wall of circumvallation all around the city, fortified at due intervals with thirteen towers, in which strong guards were stationed. This vast work, which was about six miles in extent, was accomplished by the Roman soldiers in three days, through one of those exertions of concentrated energy || and application, which they alone, in that age, were capable of displaying.
Having accomplished this work, the Romans resumed their operations against Fort Antonia; which they took, without much difficulty: for the garrison, being exhausted by famine, made but a feeble defence. Titus ordered it to be entirely demolished, that the site might afford ground for the operations against the temple, which became the next object of attack. At this time (July 12th) the daily sacrifice ceased in the temple; as no one remained properly qualified to officiate.
Titus, always anxious to preserve the temple, sent Josephus on the last of his many embassies to the Zealots, inviting them to submission and peace; or, as an alternative, suggesting that John might, if he pleased, draw out his forces to battle, so that the temple and city might be preserved from destruction. John answered with bitter invectives, adding, that Jerusalem was God's own city, and he had no fear that it could ever be taken. Josephus in vain reminded him of the blood and abomination with which he had himself defiled the city and temple, and bade him recollect the ancient prophecies which had foretold their overthrow. It has been thought possible that Josephus had in view the prophecies of Christ, which could scarcely have been unknown to him; although some suppose that the concluding chapters of Zechariah supply the reference. This earnest conclusion is striking, taken in connection with the present prophecies: "It is God-it is God himself, who is bringing on this fire to purge the city and the Temple by the Romans; and who is about to pluck up this city, which you have filled with your pollutions." Josephus, indeed, everywhere manifests his conviction that God was with the Romans, and made use of them for the destruction of a guilty nation.
The temple now became the great object of interest to all parties. The Jews were for the most part confident that it never could be taken; and expected some extraordinary manifestation of Divine power for its preservation and the overthrow of the Romans. Titus was most anxious to preserve so magnificent a fabric, for the glory of the Roman empire: but most of the superior officers were of opinion that so strong a fabric should be destroyed, lest it might serve as a stronghold and rallying point to the Jews in their future rebellions; and the soldiers cared only for the prospects of rich plunder which it offered. The Jews were prepared to shed their last blood in its defence; and the Romans deemed all labour light for so rich a prize. And they had much labour; for before they could commence
their operations, it was necessary to construct banks against the walls for the towers and battering rams, and for this purpose, they were obliged to bring wood from a great distance, as all the trees, for twenty miles around Jerusalem, had already been destroyed. As it is not our object to detail minutely the military operations of the siege, we may pass over the circumstances which attended the destruction of the cloisters by fire, and the conquest of the outer court, which was achieved on the third of August and the following night. On the fourth a council of war was held to determine whether the Temple should be destroyed or preserved. Most of the officers were for the former alternative; but gave way, when they saw that their general was obstinately bent on its preservation. But such was not the will of God, who had doomed it to no common overthrow.
Titus being now in possession of the outer court, fixed on August 5th, for storming the Temple with all his army. But the night before, two desperate sallies were made by the Jews, and in driving them back the last time, the Romans rushed on after them into the inner court. One of the soldiers then seized a firebrand, and, mounting on the shoulders of a companion, cast it through a window communicating with the apartments on the north side of the sanctuary. The flames almost immediately burst forth; on beholding which, the Jews raised a cry of despair, and ran to extinguish them. Titus also hastened to the spot with his officers; and made every exertion for the same purpose, both by voice and action-he entreated, promised, threatened, and even struck his men with his staff; but for the time he had lost all authority and influence, and was not heeded by any. The soldiers who flocked from the camp, eagerly joined those already on the spot, in destroying the Jews, in increasing the flames, and in stripping the burning pile of its treasured wealth and ornaments. The general, seeing that the soldiers could not be induced to extinguish the flames, went into the holy place with his officers. while the fire was consuming the outer apartments and had not yet penetrated to the interior. He took out the golden candlestick, the incense-altar, and the table of shew-bread, with some other sacred furniture, which were afterwards paraded in his triumph at Rome. When he came forth, Titus made one more effort to induce the soldiers to put out the fire; but with as little success as before. On the contrary, they hastened to apply their brands to the sanctuary which he had quitted, and to every part of the sacred structure, till the flames burst forth with redoubled fury in all directions: and, finally, disappointed in the hope he had always cherished, the general withdrew to his quarters.
While the Temple burned, the soldiers cut down every Jew they encountered, and plundered whatever they could lay their hands on. The inner court, and especially the space about the altar, was covered with dead bodies, and blood flowed in streams down to the lower court. The gold plate of the gates and timber-work of the sanctuary, and the precious articles which it contained, afforded them rich spoil; so immense indeed was their booty from this and other spoliations, that gold in Syria speedily fell to one half its former value. In the confusion, the Zealots and robbers, who had the defence of the place, succeeded in forcing their way through the upper city, there to make their las stand. The plundering and butchering being over for the present, the Romans carried their standards around the burning Temple, and set them up before the eastern gate, where they offered sacrifices, and saluted Titus as Imperator." Thus was destroyed the glorious edifice of which our Lord foretold to his disciples, who pointed out its "goodly stones" with admiration, that "The days shall come in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down." (Chap. xxi. 6.)
Passing over some intermediate circumstances, we have now only to state, that the Upper city, on Mount Zion, the last refuge of the factions, was taken by the Romans on Sunday, September 2nd. Even the Zealots had now despaired; the fall of the Temple assured them that they were indeed abandoned by God. Many therefore, convinced that the upper city would be taken, went to hide themselves in the cellars, vaults, and sewers; others retired to the castle; and but few were left to offer a feeble resistance to the Romans. A breach was soon made, and the Jews fled; but, instead of hastening to the towers, which were very strong, and in which nothing but famine could have reduced them, they ran to the valley of Siloam, with the design of forcing their way into the open country, through the Roman wall. In this desperate undertaking they were joined even by the men already in the towers, which they hastily abandoned to join their flying comrades. But they were all repulsed by the Roman guards at the wall, and obliged to hasten for shelter to the vaults, caverns, sinks, and common sewers, hoping, as those who had resorted to such shelter in the first instance, that they should be able to preserve existence till the Roman forces were withdrawn from the desolated city. All the rest, whom the Romans could find, were put to death, with the exception of the most vigorous and beautiful, who were reserved, as captives, for future calamities worse than present death. The city was set on fire; but so great was the slaughter that the flames were kept under by the blood of the slain, and it was not till night that the conflagration became general.
After Titus had accomplished his mission of vengeance against a guilty people, he departed for Cæsarea, leaving however forces, under Terentius Rufus, to complete the work of devastation, and to explore the retreats of those who had hid themselves with much treasure. Great numbers were found and slain; and others came forth of their own accord, being no longer able to endure the extremity of famine. Among these were John and Simon. The former appeared first, and begged his life, which was granted. Simon, whose retreat was better stored with provisions, held out till the end of October, when he was seen upon the ruins of the Temple, arrayed in a white robe and purple mantle. The Romans were astonished at this apparition, but learning who he was, they took him and sent him in chains to Titus. He and John were reserved to adorn the triumphal pageant with which the conqueror entered Rome, and in which they appeared at the head of seven hundred captives, selected from the rest for the beauty of their personal appearance. After which, Simon was dragged through the imperial city with a rope around his neck, scourged severely, and then put to death, with some other Jewish leaders. John, whose life had been granted to him, was sent into perpetual imprisonment.
At Jerusalem, when there was no more blood to shed, and when the fire had done its work, the soldiers proceeded with the work of demolition, razing even to the ground all its noble structures, its walls and fortresses, its palaces, and towers. Nothing was left save a piece of the western wall, to serve as a rampart to the tenth legion, and the towers of Hippicos, Phasael, and Mariamne, to perpetuate the glory of the conqueror by evincing the strength and splendour of the city he had overthrown. That conqueror visited the spot on his return from Cæsarea, to embark for Rome at Alexandria; and when he saw that utter ruin of a city which he had always been anxious to preserve, and to the destruction of which he had been compelled by a power and by circumstances which he could not resist, he could not refrain from tears, cursing the wretches who had made him the unwilling author of the ruin which he witnessed. The Saviour of the world had wept there long before, foreknowing and foretelling the ruin which had now come to pass. And of His word not one jot nor one tittle fell to the ground. All was accomplished.
23. "There shall be great distress in the land."-The distress which prevailed in the land generally, at the time to which our Saviour refers, has been explained on former occasions. We may now add a few particulars concerning the distress within the city of Jerusalem, while besieged by Titus. Lest the preceding note should be too much extended,