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authority inferior to those of Moses; but they utterly rejected the traditions of the Rabbins. This we consider to be the truth as to many of them, though the far greater part were probably deeply sunk both in infidelity and vice. la fact, it does not appear from the Gospel, that the Sadducees were more hostile to our Saviour and his doctrines, than were the Pharisees: nor were "publi cans and sinners," of the worst class, further from the kingdom of heaven, than those who sought, by their own merits, to justify and save themselves.

There was a third sect, however, called Essens, of which Josephus gives a much fuller account than of the other two. He describes them as a plain, simple, and virtuous people, full of devotion and good works; but they were recluse, and lived in separate communities. Their devotion was, however, mingled with superstition, and their faith with some mystical notions, at this distance of time hard to be understood. They admitted no members inte their society, but on a long probation and trial: and those which approved of marriage (which many did not), took even their wives first upon that principle. This sect appears not to be mentioned or alluded to in the Scriptures; though some think that John the Baptist was probably educated amongst them in the wilderness.

In the New Testament, we read also of two Greek Philosophic sects, namely, the Epicureans and Stoics, both mentioned in Acts xvii. 18, where their distinguished principles will be noticed; as also who the Grecians or Hellenists, and Libertines were (which were not properly sects), on Acts vi. 1, 9.

There are several other denominations of persons which have been taken for sects, but without sufficient ground. The Scribes were, in the first instance, only Transcribers of the sacred Books; but from their being peculiarly conversant with them, they were considered as men of learning; they became teachers and professors of the Mosaic law, and were therefore called Lawyers, though the latter term probably included the students, as well as the professors. The Herodians were the political adherents and flatterers of Herod the Great ; the Gaulonites, or Galileans, were, on the other hand, among his bitterest enemies, as protesting against all subjection to any foreign power. (See Exposition of Luke xiii. 1, &c.) Some of these were also called Zealots, from their affected zeal for their rights and liberties; and these, indeed, rendered themselves particularly conspicuous in the last destruction of Jerusalem. The Rechabites, and Nazarites, were persons under particular vows, as will be found explained where those terms occur.

The Samaritans were, properly, the inhabitants of Samaria. This city was built by Omri, King of Israel, about 925 B. C. (1 Kings xvi. 23, 24) = though it is probable that the district might be called by that name before.


(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 latter form


what the modern Jews call their Caballa, 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 bor 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 insig nificance 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 "tradition."

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.




ABARIM, a ridge of mountains between the rivers Arnon and Jordan, including Nebo and Pisgah. See Deut. xxxii. 49, 50; xxxiv. 1; compared with Numb. xxxiii. 47.

Abel signifies mourning, and is applied to several places remarkable for great lamentation; as Abel-Misraim, the mourning of the Egyptians; Gen. L. 11.

Abilene, the tetrarchy of Lysanias, of which Abila was the capital. Luke iii. 1.

Accho, a sea-port of Galilee; when rebuilt by Ptolemy Philadelphus, it was called Ptolemais, and is now called Acre, or St. John d'Acre.

Aceldama, the field of blood; a certain field without the south wall of Jerusalem. Compare Matt. xxvii. 7, 10; Acts i. 19.

Achaia Proper, was a province running westward along the bay of Corinth; but the term Achaia is often used to include the whole of Greece.

Achor, a valley near Jericho. See Josh. vii. 1-26; xv. 7.

Adam, a city (or town) near Jericho. Josh. iii. 16.

Adamah and Adami, two towns in the tribe of Judah. Josh. xix. 33, 36.

Adria, a city of Italy, which gives its name to the Gulf of Venice, or Adriatic Sea. It was formerly given to the whole of the Mediterranean. Acts xxvii. 27.

Alexandria, a city of Egypt, built by Alexander the Great, and made the capital of the kingdom under the Ptolemies.

Amalekites, the children of Amalek, which dwelt in Arabia Petræa; but frequently wandering like the Arabs. See Gen. xxxvi. 12, 16; 1 Chron. i. 36; 1 Sam. xv. 5, 7.

Ammonites, a people like the preceding, who inhabited, in distinct tribes, probably, the mountains of Paran and Gilead. See Josh. xiii. 25; Judges xi. 13-23.

Amorites, a race of giants who peopled the mountains west of the Dead Sea, and some parts of the east. Numbers xiii. 29; Josh. v. 1.

Anathoth, a city of the Priests in the tribe of Benjamin, about three miles north from Jerusalem. 2 Kings ii. 16.

Antioch, a city on the banks of the Orontes, the metropolis of Syria, and, according to Josephus, the third city of the Roman empire. See Acts xi. 26.

Antioch, in Pisidia. Acts xiii. 14. There were several other cities of this name not mentioned in Scripture.

Antipatris, a city in the road from Jerusalem to Cæsarea, and 17 miles from Joppa, according to Josephus. Acts xxiii. 31.

Appii-forum. See Note on Acts xxviii. 15. Ar, Areopolis, or Ariel of Moab, a chief city of the Moabites, on the south of the river Arnon. Numb. xxi. 28.

Arabia, an extensive country, reaching from the Euphrates to Egypt, and from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf. It is usually divided into three parts-1. Arabia Deserta, lying nearly to the east of Judes, and whose inhabitants dwell in tents. 2. Arubia Petræa, or the rocky, including mount Sinai. 3. Arabia Felix, or the Happy; so called from its fertility: this was the southern part of Arabia.

Ararat, the mount on which the ark rested. Gen. viii. 4.

Arimathea, a city between Lydda and Joppa, or, as others think, between Joppa and Jerusalem. Luke xxiii. 50.

Armenia, a province of Asia, in which are the sources of the Tigris and Euphrates; and, as many think, it included Eden. See Gen. ii. 10, &c.

Ashdod, or Azotus, a city of the Philistines. Josh. xi. 22; xv. 46; 1 Sam. v. 1.

Ashtaroth, a city of Moab, where that idol was worshipped, allotted to the half tribe of Manasseh. Deut. i. 4; Josh. ix. 10.

Asia, one of the four quarters of the world, as they are usually called; but, in the New Testament, usually confined to Asia Minor, or the Proconsular Asia, comprising Phrygia, Mysia, Caria, and Lydia, in which were planted the seven churches mentioned in the Revelation of St. John.

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