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we touched but lightly on the internal condition of the city: and some further statement may be necessary, that the calamities of that fearful season may be duly understood.
We have already noticed, that the stored provisions of the city having been very wantonly wasted and consumed, in the previous rage of the factions against each other, and the town being full with the multitudes which had come to celebrate the Passover, the miseries of famine began to be experienced very soon after the Romans appeared before its walls. At the very first, many of the wealthier and more peaceable citizens endeavoured to escape from the place, foreseeing the miseries which too surely followed. They sold their property to any purchaser, at any price; and some swallowed their money, that they might not be plundered by the robbers. Such as succeeded in making their escape out of the town were permitted by the Romans to pass through their camp and proceed where they please But although John and Simon had the most pressing reasons to make them glad to get rid of useless hands and mouths. they slew without mercy, as friends to the Romans, all whom they detected in the attempt to escape.
The famine soon raged with terrible effect; and, as often happens under such circumstances, was soon attended by a grievous pestilence. Having ourselves had some experience of famine and pestilence in a besieged Eastern city, we can feel the full force of the statement made by Josephus, as to the conduct of the Zealots and robbers towards the citizens and strangers, whom they regarded with hatred and contempt as useless incumbrances, who had no right to the common blessings of life, and whose enjoyment of which was deemed a sort of fraud upon the active defenders of the place. Their atrocities against the people surpassed all bounds, as soon as they began themselves to feel or to dread the approaches of that scarcity which themselves had occasioned. They broke into the houses of the people in search of food. If they found none, as very generally was the case, they alleged that the inhabitants had provisions concealed, and scourged them severely to extort a disclosure: and if provisions were ultimately discovered, after the i5mates had denied that there were any, they were slain or tortured to punish their deception. While therefore those who had no food died of starvation, those who had a little ate their morsel in agony and fear. The man who looked in good health, or who kept his doors shut, was suspected of having provisions; his house was forcibly entered, and the inmates shamefully treated, without regard of age or sex, by the human wolves who were masters of the city, and who went about seeking what they might devour. The most wealthy inhabitants shared in the common calamity. The Zealots sought pretences against them, to cut them off; and pretences were easily found. They were dragged before the tyrants, and charged with an intention to betray the city, or to desert to the Romans: false witnesses appeared against them, and they were put to death. Others gave half, or the whole of their possessions for a measure of wheat, and those of the middling rank for one of barley; and this they were obliged to convey by stealth to the most private place in their house, where many ate it without any preparation, not daring to grind or dress it. lest the noise or smell should bring the rapacious Zealots to tear it from them. The few who did venture at some preparation seldom had patience to await its completion, but snatched the scarcely warm bread from the fire, and devoured it with greediness. Such a thing as a regular and distinct meal was not known in Jerusalem.
As the time passed on, these miseries increased. Every thing that could be tortured into a means of subsistencesuch as vermin, grass, and old leather-was held a luxury and sold at a high price. The eye of the tender and delicate woman began to be evil towards the fruit of her womb. There was one lady, called Miriam, who had taken refuge in the city at the beginning of the war. The factious Zealots, who lived now on the plunder of the helpless, had often visited her house, and carried off such provisions as she had been able to procure. Reduced to utter desperation, she entreated or endeavoured to provoke the mercy of death at their hands; but they refused it. In the madness of her despair and the agony of her famine, she took the child which clung to her bosom, slew him, and roasted the corpse. Having satiated her present hunger, she hid the remainder for future use. But the Zealots being attracted by the scent, rushed into her house, and threatened death unless she produced her store. She did produce it. She placed the remains of the child before them, and bade them eat and be satisfied. Even they were horrified at this: seized with sudden dread, they departed, trembling, from the house, leaving the mother in full possession of her horrid fare. The news of this awful transaction spread horror and consternation through the city; and the most sanguine began to despair of that deliverance from heaven which they had so long and vainly expected. Titus also heard of it, and called Heaven to witness, that he was innocent of the miseries suffered, and the atrocities committed, in the city to which he had so often offered peace in vain.
Immense multitudes of persons died of famine. The robbers, on breaking into the houses in search of provision or spoil, found numbers of the inmates lying dead or dying of hunger. They pillaged the corpses, and tore the last fragment of covering from both the dying and the dead. Nothing could move their savage hearts: they pierced the dead bodies, and goaded those who were expiring with their swords; but when some unhappy wretch, in the last languishings of famine, entreated death at their hands as a mercy, him they refused.
At first, those who died were interred by the public; but when the dead multiplied beyond measure, they were taken and thrown over the walls. Titus, on riding round the city, and observing the defiles filled with dead bodies, was struck with compassion, and called God to witness that the Jews were themselves the authors of their calamities. Even this last service to the dead and the living was at last neglected; and the dead were left to corruption in the chambers and the streets. In the latter were seen heaps of corpses, in different stages of decay; numbers of persons dying unheeded by the wayside; and the living crawling along like walking skeletons. When the Romans took the upper city, they were shocked to find numbers who had perished with hunger, lying in the upper chambers of every house they entered. But there was no wailing for the dead, no lamentations in the city. Josephus observes, with great force and truth, that famine confounded all natural feeling. Those who were about to die, looked with dry eyes and open mouths upon those who had departed before them. There was dead silence throughout the city.
Some idea of the dreadful mortality in the city may be derived from the circumstance related to the Romans by Manneus, a deserter from the city, that from the middle of April to the first of July, no less than 115,880 dead bodies were carried out from one gate of the city, where he had been stationed, besides those who were buried by their relatives. The number of those carried through the gates was subsequently stated by some deserters at 600,000; and the number of those disposed of in other ways could not be estimated.
It is necessary to add a few words concerning those who escaped from the city, or deserted to the Romans, or were made prisoners of war. Great numbers of the besieged, particularly of the poorer sort, were willing to run all hazards to escape from the miserable town: so strongly was this desire manifested, that many finding no other way of escape, leaped down from the walls; and others, under pretence of making an assault, went out and joined the Romans. The real deserters were not ill treated; but many of them were reduced to such a state by famine, that they perished from taking more food than their weak frames could bear. It being also at one time suspected by the soldiers that the deserters had swallowed their gold, they ripped open two thousand living deserters in one night, in search of money:
Titus, whose policy it was to encourage such desertions, prohibited the repetition of this inhuman act on pain of death: but it was still secretly practised, although very little gold was found. Those who attempted to escape to the open country, or who wandered out in search of herbs for their sustenance, were scourged and crucified if they resisted. The same was the fate of all who were taken prisoners, as well to terrify the besieged, as to glut the rage and hatred of the besiegers. A most horrid spectacle was exhibited around the city, by the numbers who hung dead, and those who still writhed under the protracted tortures of the cross. And so many were they that, as Josephus reports, room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies.
24. "They shall fall by the edge of the sword."-Lipsius took the trouble to collect the account, so far as stated by Josephus, of the numbers who perished during the whole war. The result affords a remarkable and very melancholy illustration of this prediction. On the authority of Josephus himself, we have corrected one item, by inserting 40,000 instead of 30,000 slain at Jotapa.
This account is independent of a vast unascertained number who perished in caves, woods and wildernesses, in the vaults and sewers of Jerusalem, in banishment, and in other ways. The number assigned to Jerusalem might seem incredible, did we not recollect the vast concourse which, at the commencement of the siege, had assembled in the city to celebrate the Passover. Josephus shows, by calculation from the number of lambs consumed, that about two millions and a half of people were usually present at Jerusalem on such occasions. As this institution was so peculiar, it was scarcely possible for the siege and destruction of any single city in the world to have been equally a national calamity, or attended with equal destruction of life. Hence, Josephus is justified in his belief, that the destruction at Jerusalem exceeded all the destructions which God or man ever brought upon the world.
"Shall be led away captive into all nations.”—The number of Jews taken by the Romans during the war amounted to about 97,000, besides 11,000 who were either starved through neglect, or starved themselves through sullenness and despair. Some of the youngest and handsomest were sent to Rome, to adorn the triumph of Titus; many were distributed to the several cities of Syria, where they perished in the theatres, being compelled to fight with wild beasts, and to engage in mortal combats with each other. The remainder of those above seventeen years of age were sent to labour in the Egyptian mines; and those under that age were sold for slaves. Besides this, and before the upper city was taken, there was a great multitude of deserters, who having not come over till the last extremity, and after Titus had declared that he would receive no more, were treated as captives. A great number of these, including many persons of consideration, were sold at the most trifling prices; but the remainder, consisting of 40,000 persons, chiefly of the lower orders, were liberated, because no one would take them at any price. Thus, at once, was fulfilled the prediction of our Saviour, as in this text, and that which Moses delivered about sixteen hundred years before" Ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you." There also, and in other passages of prophecy, this second bondage in Egypt was foretold. Indeed it is impossible to trace throughout the minute fulfilment of ancient and recent prophecy, in the awful transactions and crimes of this season, and yet resist the conviction that, in all these things, there was the hand of God punishing a most guilty people, and requiring from them all the righteous blood which had been shed from the foundation of the world-and more especially that me righteous blood of Christ, the weight of which they had invoked upon their own heads when they cried His blood be on us and on our children!" And from them and from their children that blood was most fearfully required. Even a thoughtful Jew, like Josephus, and a thoughtful idolater, like Titus, could not resist, and repeatedly declared their conviction that the nation was doomed of God. They saw how all things, even those that seemed the most favourable, wrought together for its ruin and destruction.
1 The Jews conspire against Christ. 3 Satan prepareth Judas to betray him. 7 The apostles prepare the Passover. 19 Christ instituteth his holy supper, 21 covertly foretelleth of the traitor, 24 dehorteth the rest of his apostles from ambition, 31 assureth Peter his faith should not fail: 34 and yet he should deny him thrice. 39 He prayeth in the mount, and sweateth blood, 47 is betrayed
with a kiss: 50 he healeth Malchus' ear, 54 he is
thrice denied of Peter, 63 shamefully abused, 66 and confesseth himself to be the Son of God. Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover.
1 Matt. 26. 2.
2 And the Chief Priests and Scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people.
3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve.
4 And he went his way, and communed with the Chief Priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them.
5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.
6 And he promised, and sought oppor
Matt. 26. 14.
tunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
7 Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the Passover must be killed.
8 And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the Passover, that we may eat.
9 And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare?
10 And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in.
11 And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guestchamber, where I shall cat the Passover with my disciples?
12 And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready.
13 And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the Passover.
14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
15 And he said unto them, "With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer:
16 For I say unto you, I will not any more cat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves :
18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
19¶And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
21 But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table.
22 And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed!
23 And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing.
And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
25 And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them
are called benefactors.
26 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
28 Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.
29 And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me;
30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, "Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 "And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
35 18And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, "And he was reckoned among the transgressors for the things concerning me have an end.
38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
39¶"And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
40 And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
41 And he was withdrawn from them
about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
45 And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow,
46 And said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. 47 ¶ And while he yet spake, "behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him.
48 But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? 49 When they which were about him saw
what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword?
50 And one of them smote the servant of the High Priest, and cut off his right
51 And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him.
52 Then Jesus said unto the Chief Priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves?
53 When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.
548Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the High Priest's house. And Peter followed afar off.
55 "And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.
56 But a certain maid beheld him as he
sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. 57 And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not.
58 And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.
59 And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilæan.
60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
63 And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.
20 Matt. 27.1.
64 And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? 65 And many other things blasphemously spake they against him.
66 20 And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the Chief Priests and the Scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,
67 Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:
68 And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go.
69 Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
70 Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, "Ye say that I am.
71 And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.
21 Mark 14. 62.
Verse 13. "Made ready the Passover."-The preparation required was to get the lamb killed and dressed, and to make ready the bitter herbs, the unleavened bread, and the wine. In the first instance, the company who agreed to eat the passover together, sent their lamb to the Temple, to be there slaughtered; for this might be done at no other place. The killing of the lamb was no sacerdotal act, but was performed by the person who brought it. The Temple court was generally full on such occasions, and nothing could be done unless fifty persons were present. While the slaying was in progress, the Levites sung the Psalms composing what was called the Lesser or Egyptian Hallel-so named from their beginning and ending with the word "Hallelujah "-in memory of the deliverance from Egypt. These Psalms were from the 13th to the 118th, both inclusive. This Hallel was sung on several occasions in the course of the year, and among others on the night of the passover, in the several paschal parties; and the four last of these psalms probably formed "the hymn" which was sung by our Lord's party before they went to the Mount of Olives (Matt. xxvi. 30). The blood of the lambs was sprinkled, in the usual way, by the priests in attendance, after which they were flayed and opened by the persons who brought them; the inward parts which the Law specifies, were then laid upon the altar, and the lambs taken away, together with the skins, which last became the perquisite of the landlord in whose house the passover was celebrated.
The particulars concerning the dressing of the lamb being fully given in the Law, need not be repeated in this note. in which we only desire such details as the Law does not specify. It is only needful to remind the reader, that the lamb was to be roasted whole, that not a bone of it was to be broken, and that it was to be entirely eaten on the passover night. The manner in which the Jews sat at this celebration, we shall notice under John xiii.; and now proceed to observe, that when all things were ready the feast began with small cups of red wine mingled with water, which every one drunk off, after thanks had been given. This preliminary grace was pronounced by the master of the family, if there were one, or, if not, by a proper person who, by his situation or character, or by the choice of the others, was appointed to preside and officiate. This presiding office, of course, was discharged by Christ in the present instance. Whether he did and said all that other persons filling his office were accustomed to do, there is no evidence to show. If he did, he also added other things which certainly no other person ever did or could say. The thanks before the wine was in the usual formulary, "Blessed be thou, O Lord, who hast created the fruit of the vine."
After the wine, the persons present washed their hands; and then the paschal supper was produced upon the table. This consisted of the lamb, the unleavened bread, and the bitter herbs. There was, besides these, a dish not prescribed in the Law of Moses, consisting of a thick sauce, composed by mixing and pounding sweet and bitter things togethersuch as dates, figs, raisins, vinegar, and other ingredients; intended as a memorial of the clay in which the Hebrew fathers laboured in Egypt. The unleavened bread consisted of two or three cakes, the eating of which was considered of such essential importance that it was offered even to sick persons and children, and if they could not eat it dry, it was sopped and macerated in some liquid, that they might at least eat as much as the quantity of an olive.
All things being thus prepared, the master (for so we will call him) takes some of the salad of bitter herbs, and after thanking God, who had created the fruit of the ground, he dipped it into the sauce, or, as some think, into wine or vinegar, and ate a small quantity, the rest of the company doing the same. This singular beginning of the meal was said to be intended to excite the curiosity of the children and lead them to require an explanation." However, an explanation was at all events given; for if there were no children, the wife inquired; and if there were no wife, the company inquired of one another; or if no inquiry were made, the master undertook, unasked, to explain the circumstances attending the deliverance from Egypt, which the feast commemorated. The explanation was short and impres sive; and after it was given, the company sung the 113th and 114th Psalms, commencing the Egyptian Hallel. Then a second cup of wine was taken in the same manner as before. The hands were then again washed; after which the master took two of the cakes of unleavened bread and broke one of them, laying the broken parts upon the whole one; after which he blessed God, who bringeth bread out of the earth. Here the thanks, we observe, followed, not preceded, the breaking of the bread, for which the reason was alleged, that this was the bread of poverty and affliction. The master, imitated by the others, then wrapped some of the bitter herbs in a piece of the broken cake, and dipping the whole in