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(1 Kings xiii. 32.) In the reign of Hoshea (B. C. 725), it was reduced to a heap of ruins. Esar-haddon repeopled it with idolatrous Cuthites, from Media or Persia; but these were driven out by Alexander the Great, and a colony of Macedonians planted in their stead: so that, though situated but a small distance from Jerusalem, it was always, more or less, the seat of idolatry. When the Jews were in prosperity, the Samaritans claimed relation to them, calling themselves Hebrews, and said they were descended from the tribe of Joseph; but when they were in trouble they disowned them, and called themselves Phoenicians: at all times, however, they preferred their own temple at Mount Gerrizim to the temple of Jerusalem, and the Jews would have no dealings with the Samaritans. (John iv. 9, 20.) There are still some remains of this people in the East, particularly at Shechem; and they have a copy of the Books of Moses in the Samaritan character, which they pretend to be the original Hebrew, and many learned men admit the claim; but there are various verbal differences between them, of which the most material are in the Chronology, which agrees much nearer to the Septuagint than to the Hebrew.
But there are two sects often named (though not in Scripture), in relation both to the ancient and modern Jews, namely, Rabbinists (Talmudists, or Cabbalists), and Karaites; the explanation of which will necessarily lead us back to the Jewish Schools, in the period which we have been considering.
The Jews, as every ancient nation, had a great number of traditions handed down from time immemorial, under the name of Moses, and supposed to contain unwritten revelations of the divine will, delivered verbally to him in the mount, and therefore called the oral law, which is considered by many of equal, and even of superior authority to the Scriptures. These are supposed to have been carefully collected by Ezra, or the Rabbins (or Rabbies) who succeeded him, and by them handed down to Rabbi Jehudah, surnamed Hakkadosh, or the Holy, who formed them into a volume, called the Mishna, about the close of the second century of the Christian era. But the fertile imaginations of the Rabbies could not rest here: they wrote commentaries on these traditions, which were called Gemara; and these, together with the Mishna above named, formed the Talmud, in which the modern Jews so much glory, and are therefore called Talmudists. Some of these, however, from the first, rejected both these traditions and the comments on them, and were therefore called Karaites (or Caraites), that is, men who adhered to the text of Moses, and its literal interpretation; whereas the comments of the Gemaru were almost wholly mystical and allegorical. The Gemaras of Jerusalem and of Babylon are, however, different; and as either became connected with the Mishna, it formed the Jerusalem, or the Babylonish Talmud; of which the latter is most generally in esteem with the Jews, as containing most of the marvellous and absurd. These latt
what the modern Jews call their Cahalla, and its professors and admirers are called Caballists; who carried their speculations from grammatical niceties into the regions of metaphysics, astrology, and magic. (See Allen's Modera Judaism, chap. v.)
The distinction between the Rabbinists and Karaites may be traced up to the ancient Jewish schools of Hillel and Shammai; or, as Josephus calls them, Pollio and Simeas. The former, according to the Rabbinists, was born in Babylonia, and came to Jerusalem at forty years of age, where, after a close application to the study of the Jewish laws, &c., at eighty he was chosen President of the Sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews, and lived (to make him a second Moses) to the venerable age of 120 years. The origin of this Sanhedrim the Rabbins carry up to the times of Ezra, and even Moses, but without any sufficient authority; for though it is certain Moses had a council of elders, or magistrates, to assist him (Num. xi. 16, &c.), we have every reason to believe it was not regularly continued; nor have we any trace of it in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah; but the most judicious writers, both Jewish and Christian, date its origin under the government of the Maccabees. The cele brated Hillel, above-mentioned, is known to have been contemporary with Herod the Great; as was also Shammai, who at one time took an active part against him. The latter is said to have been at first a scholar to Hillel, and afterwards Vice-President under him. The Jews consider him as next to his master in point of sacred learning, though they differed materially in their opinions; the former being considered as the head of the Mishnical doctors, and the latter as the chief of the Karaites. The latter were reduced to insignificance and obscurity, by a pretended voice from heaven in favour of the former: the Karaites, however, a few centuries after Christ, revived, upon the publication of the Talmuds, which, by their absurdities, led many to protest against them they still exist as a sect among the Jews in the East, and are by many considered, not only as the more rational, but also the more learned part of the Jewish nation.
The Masorets were a body of Jewish Scribes, which existed from about 450 years before Christ, to 1000 after. Their professed object was, to preserve the sacred Hebrew Text from loss, by counting the words, and even letters. They are also supposed to have invented both the vowel-points, and accents, in order to preserve as much as possible the pronunciation, to distinguish the same word, when used in different senses, and for sundry other important purposes. Their work is called the Masorah, which signifies
Christian writers, as well as Jewish, often make reference to the Targums on the Old Testament: it may be, therefore, acceptable to some of our
readers to explain their nature, especially as we have referred to them ourselves in some instances. The existing Targums are ten in number, containing paraphrases and expositions of different parts of the Old Testament. The principal of these are-1. The Targum of Onkelos, confined to the five books of Moses, and supposed to have been written by a disciple of the celebrated Hillel, above-mentioned it is preferred to all the others for the purity of its style, and its adherence to the true meaning of the Text.-2. The Targum of the Pseudo Jonathan, is also on the Pentateuch, but much inferior to the former, of little esteem, and certainly not written by Jonathan Ben Uzziel, as the title imports.-3. The Jerusalem Targum is also confined to the books of Moses-is much inferior in stile, and full of fables.-4. The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel on the Prophets: this is a genuine work, and ranks next to Onkelos, with whom he is reported to have been a fellow student. This work includes both the former and latter prophets. The other Targums are confined to particular books, and are of less note, and lower antiquity. (For a fuller account of these, see Horne's Crit. Introd., 4th edit. vol. 11. pp, 163–170.)
There are two other ancient Jewish authors frequently referred to by Christian writers, one of whom has furnished much of this Connecting Essay, namely, Flavius Josephus, who was born about A. D. 37, and early distinguished by his learning and zeal as a Pharisee. He had a command in the Jewish army against the Romans, and was taken prisoner by them; but he had the address so to ingratiate himself with Titus, the Roman general, that he became his friend and protector; under whose patronage he wrote the History of the Jewish War, Jewish Antiquities, &c. which have been well translated into English by Mr. Whiston.
Philo-Judæus, a Jew of Alexandria, of an illustrious and sacerdotal family, was sent by his countrymen to plead their cause before Caligula against Appion, about A. D. 40, or soon after, and wrote an account of their mission, and also of the sect of Essens, above mentioned, and became a zealous disciple of Plato, the philosopher.
PRINCIPAL PLACES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE.
ABARIM, a ridge of mountains between
Abel signifies mourning, and is applied
Abilene, the tetrarchy of Lysanias, of
Accho, a sea-port of Galilee; when re-
Aceldama, the field of blood; a certain
Achaia Proper, was a proviuce running
Achor, a valley near Jericho. See Josh.
Adam, a city (or town) near Jericho.
Adamah and Adami, two towns in the
Adria, a city of Italy, which gives its
Alexandria, a city of Egypt, built by
Amalekites, the children of Amalek,
Ammonites, a people like the preceding,
Amorites, a race of giants who peopled
Anathoth, a city of the Priests in the
Antioch, a city on the banks of the
Antioch, in Pisidia. Acts xiii. 14. There
Antipatris, a city in the road from Jeru-
Appii-forum. See Note on Acts xxviii. 15.
Arabia, an extensive country, reaching
Ararat, the mount on which the ark
Arimathea, a city between Lydda and
Armenia, a province of Asia, in which
Ashdod, or Azotus, a city of the Philis
Ashtaroth, a city of Moab, where that
Asia, one of the four quarters of the
Assyria, an ancient and immense em-
Athens, a celebrated city of Greece, the
Baul-peor, a mountain to which Balak
Babel, and Babylon; the former name
Bashan, the country of Og, which lies
Beersheba, a city of Syria, in the south
Berea, a city of Macedonia, in the neigh-
Bethesda, a pool in the east of Jerusa-
Bethabara, a village beyond Jordan,
Bethel, the place where Jacob was fa-
Bethlehem of Judah, the city of David
Bochim, a place of weeping. Judges
Roman Proconsul, and the metropolis of
Cæsarea-Philippi, was first called Le-
Calvary, the same as Golgotha, is sup-
Cana, a town of Galilee, where Jesus
Canaan, in its more contracted sense, as
Capernaum, a town on the sea of Galilee,
Cappadocia, a kingdom famous for
Carmel, a mountain on the west side of
Chinnereth, Lake of, the same as Gen-
Cilicia, a country of Asia Minor, having
Colosse, a city of Phrygia, not far from
Corinth, a rich and noble city of Achaia
Crete, an island in the Mediterranean.
Cush, the ancient Hebrew name for
Cyprus, a large island at the bottom of
Cyrene, a city of Lybia, in Africa. Acts
Dalmatia, a province of Illyrium, lying
Damascus, a very ancient, and for many
Dan, a city south of Lebanon, about a