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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.


This Tryphon had formerly served King Alexander, as governor of
Antioch, but not having been employed during the present reign, and knowing
both the army and the people to be highly discontented, he thought this a
proper time to aim at the crown himself, which had long been the object of his
ambition. He, therefore, went into Arabia, and getting into his hands An-
tiochus, son of the late Alexander, brought him into Syria, and claimed for
him the kingdom. Upon this, all the soldiers which Demetrius had disbanded,
and many others, flocked around his standard, by which means he raised a
powerful army, and placed Antiochus upon the throne, with the surname of
Theos, or divine.

Tryphon also secured the interest of Jonathan, which was not difficult,
after the ungrateful treatment he had received from Demetrius; and artfully
persuaded him, with only 1000 of his own men, to accompany him to Ptole-
mais, where, upon entering, the garrison gates immediately were shut, Jonathan
made a prisoner, and the men who accompanied him put to death: yet, after
all this, he had the hypocrisy to send word to Simon, who had succeeded his
brother Jonathan in the command, that he detained Jonathan only for 100
talents, which he owed the King; and that upon being paid this sum, and receiv
ing Jonathan's two sons as hostages for his loyalty, he should be set at liberty.
The money was sent, together with the lads; but when he had got them in his
power, he murdered both the father and his sons; and, to conclude the tragedy,
the young King Antiochus also, declaring himself King of Syria, as doubtless was
his original intention. Simon, having procured the body of his brother, gave
it honourable interment in his father's sepulchre, and erected over it a stately
monument of white marble. (1 Mac. xii.; Jos. Antiq. bk. xiii. ch. 9, 10.)

Simon, when settled in his government, sent to treat with Demetrius,
who confirmed to him both the government and priesthood, with a release of
all taxes, tolls, and tributes, upon the condition of aiding him against the
usurper Tryphon. The Romans and Lacedemonians also renewed their treaties
with him. Having thus obtained the independent government of Judea,
Simon set himself upon measures of defence; but pulled down the fortress of
Jerusalem, that it might no longer be the retreat of faction and sedition. He
also took the city of Zion, drove out all the idolaters, and destroyed their idols.
In every thing, we are told, "he sought the good of his nation," so that "his
authority and honour always pleased them well;" for " he was honourable in
all his actions." (1 Macc. xiv. 4, 5.)

Simon, however, had a son-in-law of a most abandoned character, Pto-
lemy, the son of Abubus, who being in league with his enemies, (as is believed.)
when Simon came to Jericho, of which this man was governor, invited him and
his sons to a feast, and murdered them in the midst of their festivities. Not


only so, but he sent a party of assassins to Gazara, where resided Simon's son
John, surnamed Hyrcanus; but he, having heard what passed at Jericho, was
prepared to receive them, and after giving them their due reward, set off im-
mediately for Jerusalem, whither he understood the traitor had also sent persons
to take possession of the city. (1 Mac. xvi.; Jos. Ant. bk. xiii. ch. 12.)

John Hyrcanus succeeded his father Simon in all his honours, B. C. 135,
but what became of the wretch who murdered him, is unknown. Antiochus
having received from him an account of his too successful treason, thought
this a favourable opportunity to reduce Judea again under the Syrian yoke;
and, therefore, sent a large army thither, which, having driven Hyrcanus out
of the field, shut him up, with all his forces, within the walls of Jerusalem, and
there besieged them so closely, that they were obliged to surrender for want of
food: then, to procure their personal liberty, they were compelled also to give
up their arms, and to pay a heavy tribute.

Hyrcanus was, however, so far reconciled to the conqueror, that he accom-
panied him to the Parthian war; and returned home, at the end of the year,
loaded with military honours; while the immense army of Antiochus, which
stopped the winter, and filled the country, was in one fatal night destroyed
by the inhabitants, whom he had grievously oppressed. In the mean time,
Demetrius recovered his liberty, and afterwards, at his brother's death, his
kingdom: but pursuing the same tyrannical course, he became involved in
fresh troubles, by the insurrection of his subjects under Alexander Sabrina,
the pretended son of Alexander Balus, supported by Ptolemy Physcon, who
set him on the Syrian throne, and soon after, upon receiving offence, was as
active to pull him down again. (Jos. bk. xii. ch. 16).

During these commotions, Hyrcanus seized the opportunity to recover his
independence, and even to enlarge his territories. He built the tower of Baris,
fifty cubits high, and accessible only from the temple. He took several cities
that had been left without garrisons, owing to the drain of soldiers for the war.
B. C. 130, he subdued Shechem, the chief town of the Samaritans, and
destroyed their temple, which Sanballat had built about 200 years before, on
Mount Gerizim. He conquered the Idumeans (or Edomites), and compelled
them to become proselytes to the Jewish religion; he renewed his alliance
with the Romans, and obtained a decree of compensation to be granted from
the Syriaus. And lastly, growing into years himself, he sent his two sons,
Aristobulus and Antigonus, to besiege Samaria, which stood a year's siege
before it could be taken; and when taken, Hyrcanus ordered it to be so
destroyed, that it should never be rebuilt; and yet it was rebuilt before the
birth of Christ, and Herod restored it to its ancient splendour.


After the capture of Samaria, Hyrcanus engaged in no foreign wars, but towards the close of his life he was drawn into an unpleasant altercation with the Pharisees, who accused him of being the son of a strange woman, and not eligible to the priesthood; which, as it appeared to arise from personal enmity, and was not founded in fact, so provoked him, that he renounced the seet, and went over to the Sadducees. This was certainly a measure unworthy of his character, who was considered, not only as a hero, but as a wise and good governor, during the twenty-nine years he held the administration of public affairs. It does not follow, however, that he changed his religious principles: persons often change sides in religion, as well as politics, from motives of re sentment or personal pique, which should have no effect upon the judgment.

John Hyrcanus was succeeded both in his civil and ecclesiastical government by his eldest son Judas, otherwise called Aristobulus, the first Jew who wore a crown after the Babylonish captivity, whereby he changed the state into a monarchy, B. C. 107. He was a man of a sanguinary disposition, as appeared in his conduct toward his own mother and brethren; and in going to war with the Iturians, (descendants of Ismael), in order to convert them to the law of Moses. Vice, however, as well as virtue, is its own reward, for he died miserably under the pangs of bodily pain, augmented by the stings of a guilty con science, after a short and miserable reign of one year only. (Joseph. Jew. War, book i. chap. 3; Antiq. book xiii. chap. 19; book xx. chap. 8.)

He was succeeded by his brother Alexander Jannæus, who "out of prison came to reign." Being possessed with the military mania of the age, he engaged in a variety of wars, not only with the neighbouring states, but his own subjects; and thus he filled up a miserable and inglorious reign of twentysix years, and died at the age of forty-nine. His Queen, Alexandra, succeeded him, and gaining the Pharisees to her side, reigned nine years; but in the latter part of her reign, and during her last illness, her son, Aristobulus II., becoming dissatisfied with the conduct of the Pharisees, under whose advice she acted, took possession of the chief places of Judea. Upon her death, (B. C. 69), her eldest son, Hyrcanus, succeeded to the throue, and retained it peaceably two years, when he was opposed by his brother Aristobulus, to whom, after reigning a year and a half longer, he resigned the government, which he enjoyed about the same period; when, withdrawing into Jerusalem, he was besieged therein by Pompey, and taken prisoner. Hyrcanus was then again made High Priest and Prince of the Jews, but not allowed to wear the diadem. Judea was reduced to its ancient limits, and made tributary to Rome. Pompey, though now master of Jerusalem, meddled not with any of its sacred treasures.

B. C. 50, War broke out between Cæsar and Pompey; and in the follow


ing year, the decisive battle was fought upon the plains of Pharsalia, when
the latter being defeated, and soon after slain, the former became master of
the world. Two years after, when Alexandria was besieged and taken by
Cæsar, the celebrated Alexandrian library, above mentioned, was set on fire,
and great part of it was consumed; but whether designedly or by accident,
seems uncertain.

After various changes of fortune between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, in
the year B. C. 47, Julius Cæsar coming into Syria, confirmed the former in
the Priesthood; and upon the death of Julius Cæsar, the ambassadors of the
Jews were introduced into the Roman Senate, and obtained many privileges
for their nation. In the year 41 B. C., Herod and Phasael, the sons of Anti-
pater, were made Tetrarchs of Judea. In the following year, the latter com-
mitted suicide; but the former, flying to Rome for assistance (B. C. 40), obtained
a grant of the kingdom of Judea from the Senate, with orders from Mark
Antony, addressed to the governors of Syria, to assist him in obtaining it.
Herod accordingly, assisted by Socius, the Roman general, laid siege to Jeru-
salem, which was taken, with much bloodshed. Antigonus, Prince and High
Priest, was beheaded, by order of Mark Antony, and Herod put in full pos-
session of the kingdom, B. C. 37.

Ananel was about this time appointed High Priest; but, in the year 35
B. C., was superseded by Aristobulus, who, in one year afterwards, was
drowned by order of Herod, who thereupon re-appointed Ananel. In the war
which now broke out between Augustus and Mark Antony, Herod took part
with the latter; but the former obtaining the victory, Herod went to Rome, to
pay his court to Augustus, who confirmed him in the kingdom of Judea; and
next year, passing through Palestine, visited him, and was sumptuously

B. C. 28. Cæsar Octavianus (nephew to Julius Cæsar), with the consent
of the Senate and people of Rome, assumed the title of Emperor, whereby the
Roman government was changed from a Republic to a Monarchy, and he was
in the following year surnamed Augustus. The same year Herod put to death
his beautiful wife Mariamne, the daughter of Alexandra, in a fit of jealousy,
which it afterwards appeared was without foundation; and about twenty years
later, to pass over his intermediate cruelties, Herod condemned and put to
death two of his sons also.

In the intermediate space, however, Herod more commendably employed
himself in rebuilding, or in repairing and embellishing the temple, forty-six
years before the first passover of our Lord. (See our Exposition of John ii.
12-25.) But all Herod's erections were not of this religious character, for

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