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We may conceive of the case in this manner. When Pilate, at the request of the Jews, had given leave, “that the legs of the two malefactors might be broken,” for hastening their death, and " that they might be taken away :” and when, at the request of Joseph of Arimathea, Pilate had also given leave “ for taking away the body of Jesus ;” the crucifixion was over, and the crowd would disperse. And the women, who before had stood at some distance, would come nearer, They must have been exceedingly solicitous about the disposal of the body of their beloved Lord, as no preparations had been made for his burial. And the coming of Joseph and Nicodenis, with their attendants, bringing a fine linen cloth, and rollers or bandages, and myrrh and aloes, must have afforded them much satisfaction. When the body was taken down from the cross, they would follow those who carried it away. Nor would tliey lose sight of the body, or at least of those who took care of it. They were not now agents, but spectators, or standers-by. But they would be as near to those, who were employed in embalming the body, or in swathing it withı rollers, as they could be, without interrupting them. And it may be well supposed, that Joseph and Nicodemus, and their attendants, whether their own servants, or perfumers and apothecaries, would be civil to them, and not be at all offended at the respect which they showed to Jesus.
Where the precious body was washed from the blood of the wounds, and embalmed, and wrapped up in ihe rollers, may not be easy for us to say : whether in a shed, or lodge of the garden, or in the sepulchre itself, or before the door, at the entrance of it. But this last seems to me as likely as any. Wherever it was done, the women were near the place, and saw, or at least knew what was done. “ They sat over against the sepulchre, and saw where, and how the body was laid :" and that a great stone was rolled at the door of it.
After which they went away: and when the sabbath was over, they bought spices, and came with them to the sepulchre early on the first day of the week. The reason of their so doing is differently assigned by learned Commentators.
Grotius and Beza" were of opinion, that our Lord's body was not anointed or embalmed: that is, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, did not make use of the spices, but laid them by in the sepulchre, intending to come again to complete the embalming. Lampe does not approve of that account. Nevertheless he is obliged to own, that " what was now performed, was done in haste. As Lucas Brugensis is not in many hands, I shall transcribe a part of what he says, for showing what these good women aimed at by their kind offices. And I shall refer to Theophylact, who speaks to the like purpose.
What these women intended to do, we cannot say particularly. Nor can it be reasonably .expected that we should be able to determine: because it cannot be supposed, that any now are fully acquainted with the various methods of embalming among the Jews, or the whole process of their embalming. But that there was somewhat wanting, somewhat left to be done by respectful and affectionate friends, may be argued from the shortness of time, and great haste, in which our Lord was embalmed and buried: and likewise from the concurring concern of several women, who may be justly supposed to have been as attentive, and as discreet
, and understanding, as any of their sex. And it has seemed to me, that our Lord foresaw, that, for want of opportunity, there would happen a defect in that respect, which might otherwise have been shown him at his death.
Of the woman that anointed Jesus at Bethany with precious ointment, he said to those who
• Cum aromatibus.'] Non unxerunt, ob temporis angus- e' Emerunt' a pharmacopolis “aromata,' vi exsiccandi et tias, sed aromata apposuerunt, uncturi primo commodo tem- fragrantiam addendi prædita ut 'ungerent Jesum morpore. Grot. in Jo. xix. 40.
tuum- Neque vero ignorabant, corpus Jesu a Nicodemo • Non est tamen pollinctum Christi cadaver, mulieribus non parce unctum fuisse, centum inquam libris myrrhæ et alioqui non accessuris post alterum diem ad illud ungendum. aloës, quæ præsentes adfuerant, cum ungeretur, quamquam Sed tumultuarie fuit, propter instantem, et quasi jam præsen- forte suis oculis non viderant. Sed habebat consuetudo, ut tem parasceven, in illo monumento proximo civitati positum, carissima capita, et quæ plurimi fierent cadavera, uon semel cum aromatibus a Nicodemo allatis, dilatâ in alterum a sepulto tantum ungerentur, sed sæpius, pluribusque continuis diebus, diem integrâ funeris pollincturâ Bez. in loc.
donec exsiccato, et absorpto vi aromatum omni reliquo hu. © Leviora sane sunt, quibus persuadere vult, Dominici cor- more, imo tabefactâ carne arida, et qu.:si æveâ redditâ, diu poris unctionem quidem susceptam esse, sed non datam exse- servari possent integra, et immunia a putrefactione, &e. Vid. cutioni. Larupe in Jo T. III. p 644.
Gen. L. 23. Luc. Brug. in Marc. xvi. Prius nullius est momenti, quia raptim et festinanter Jesum Theoph. in Marc. xvi. 1. esse unctum, facile concedimus. Id. ib.
were uneasy at the expence: Matt. xxvi. 12. “For in that she hath poured this ointment upon iny body, she did it for my burial,” Apo5 TO EVT2D125e Ma. Mark xiv. 8. “ She has done what she could. She is come before hand, to anoint my body to the burial.” €ıç TCV EVICI 120 Lok. John xii. 7. “Let her alone. Against the day of my burying has she kept this.” ES TYY Yu spev T8 EVTzΦιασμα με.
But learned interpreters say, that the original word, made use of by all the Evangelists, does not so properly denote burial, as the preparations made for burial, and particularly, the costly preparations made for persons of distinction.
The meaning therefore is : “In that she has poured this ointment upon my body, she has done it,” as it were, " for my embalming," or to embalm me. And this part of our Lord's apology for that pious woman may be paraphrased in this manner, as indeed it was formerly: You may • consider this anointing as an embalming of me. And it may so happen, that neither she, nor any others, shall have an opportunity to lay out all the rich spices and ointments upon me, when dead, which they may be disposed to make use of.”
Page 155. Diss. xxxvii. “Whom are we to understand by the Grecians and Hebrews mentioned, Acts vi. 1.
It will be worth the while to put down here the words of the text at length. “ And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.”
I am of opinion, that by Hebrews are meant native Jews, descendants of Abraham and Israel, and that by Grecians are meant proselytes to the Jewish religion. This I shall endeavour to make out by an induction of particulars, and by numerous quotations from the Old Testament.
Ebrew, or Hebrew. It is a very honourable, and the most ancient denomination of the Jewish people. Abraham himself is called “a Hebrew,” or “the Hebrew,” Gen. xiv. 13. as is Joseph in Egypt, Gen. xxxix. 14, 17. chap. xli. 12. The Hebrews are mentioned more than once in his history. Gen. xl. 15. and xliii. 32. In particular, the country inhabited by Jacob and his family, whence Joseph is brought, is called “the land of the Hebrews," Gen. xl. 15. God himself, when he sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, took upon himself this title and character, « The Lord God of the Hebrews," Ex. iii. 18. Which character is often mentioned in the accounts of Moses's appearances before Pharaoh. Ex. v. 3. vii. 16. ix. 1. x. 3.
I do not now inquire into the origin of this name, though the disquisition might be curious. I had rather, for the sake of brevity, refer to others. Whatever was the origin of the name, it was early known, and seems to have been peculiar to Abraham and his descendants, by Isaac and Jacob, when Moses was sent to conduct the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt. And “ the Lord God of the Hebrews,” and “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” are used as equivalent. Ex. iii. 6, 15, 16, 18. iv. 5.
It was a common denomination of the children of Israel, when they dwelt in Egypt: And
* Ad funerandum me : ' TIPOS TO EVTAçıa Out us. Vulg.et voculam prudenter hic, ut et in hac apud Marcum historiảo Erasmus, ' ad me sepeliendum,' male. Nam aliud est Gantsiv, addidit Syrus interpres. Et Johanni ijpepe evta qia que est. quam erta PKčerv: ut Latinis sepelire est sepulcro condere : dies quasi pollincturæ. Grot. in Matt. xxvi. 12. funerare vero pollincire, cadaver sepulcro mandandum, prius b See p. 230. curare, &c. Bez, ad Matt. xxvi. 12.
c Vid. Bochart. Geo. S. P. i. 1. 2. c. 14. Scalig. Not. in Habet me jam quasi pro mortuo, atque officium illud Græca Eusebii. p. 410. Voss. de Orig. Idol. I. 3. c. 44. p.. solenne modico tantum tempore antevertit. Hunc sensum 356. Br. Walton Proleg. ii. Huet. Dem. Ev. Prop. iv. cap. apertissime significat Marcus voce προελαζε. Ηic το εντα- 13. Jo. Cleric. Comm. in Gen. x. 21. xiv. 13. et Disserta, de ©:2541, pollincire, interpretandum est per si nevyiy voculæ,
Ling. Hebr. wizi tanquam : 'fecit quasi ad me pollinciendum.' Quam
" the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives”—And he said: “When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, if it be a son, ye shall kill him— And the midwives said unto Pharaohbecause the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women,” Ex. i. 15, 16, 19. When Pharaoh's daughter found Moses, she said: “ This is one of the Hebrews' children. Then said his sister unto Pharaoh's daughter: Shall, I go, and call thee a nurse of the Hebrew women?” Ex. ii. 6, 7. Afterwards, “ when Moses was grown, he went out unto his brethren, and espied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren-[And) when he went out the second day, behold two men of the Hebrews strove together,” ver. 11–13.
Hebrew, or Hebrews, is often used in the first book of Samuel, as equivalent to Israelites, or the people of Israel. 1 Sam. iv. 6, 9. xiii. 3, and elsewhere.
When the mariners in the ship said to Jonah, i. 8, 9. “What is thy occupation ? and whence camest thou? What is thy country? and of what people art thou ? He said unto them: I am an Hebrew. And I fear the Lord God of heaven, which made the sea and the dry land.”
This denomination is seldom found in the later books of the Old Testament. However, it is in Jeremiah, ch. xxxiv. The place is remarkable, and will be of use to us in the present inquiry: “ This is the word, that came unto Jeremiah from the Lord That every man should let his man-servant, and every man his maid-servant, being a Hebrew or Hebrewess, go free: that none should serve himself of them, to wit, of a Jew his brother - Then they obeyed, and let them go. Afterwards they caused them to return, and brought them into subjection for servants, and for handmaids Therefore the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying: Thus saith the God of Israel : I made a covenant with your fathers, saying: At the end of seven years, let yego every man his brother, an Hebrew, which has been sold unto thee
Let us therefore observe the laws, which are here referred to. Ex. xxi. 2, “ If thou buy a Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve thee: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.” Deut. xv. 12. “ If thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free froin thee.” Lev. xxv. 44–46. “ Both thy bond-men, and thy bond-niaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen, (or the nations that are round about thee. Of them shall ye buy bondmen, and bond-maids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they beget in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them for an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession. They shall be your bond-men for ever.
But over your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule one over another with rigour.”
By strangers sojourning among them," I understand proselytes, men circumcised after the manner of the Mosaic law. We here therefore see the great difference between the children of Israel, or native Jews and strangers, or proselytes. And in speaking of this matter, for preventing ambiguity, the words Hebrew and Hebrewess are used by Jeremiah, as certainly de. noting the descendants of Abraham and the other patriarchs.
In the laws, just transcribed from the books of Moses, there are clearly mentioned three sorts of persons : “ Hebrews, [or] Children of Israel,” that is, native Jews: then“ strangers sojourning among them,” or proselytes: lastly, “ heathens,” that
“ heathens,” that is, the nations, or Gentiles. The prophet demands liberty after six years servitude for the first only, not for any of the others. The law of Moses did not empower him to do more. And the command of God, by the prophet, certainly, is agreeable to his own laws, first delivered by the hand of Moses.
I shall just observe, as we go along, that Josephus says of himself, he was a Hebrew by birth. And Eusebius says of Moses, that he was a great divine, and a Hebrew of Hebrews. He also observes the antiquity of this name, and says, that. Joseph was a Hebrew of Hebrews, but there were yet no Jews. Which is very true. For the people of Israel were not called Jews, till about the time of the Babylonish captivity. After
After that, a man of any nation, who embraced the religion of the Jews, and was circumcised after the manner of Moses, became a Jew. But he never could be a Hebrew, that denomination being peculiar to the descendants of the ancient patriarchs. γενει 'Epalos. De B. J. l. i. pr. 1.
• Πλην αλλα και έτος Εραιος, εξ Εραίων, ει δε Ιδας, • Ο τοινυν μεγας θεολογος Μωσης, Εβραιος αν εξ Εραίαν, ότι μηδε ην πω τα Ιεδαιαν. . Ib. cap. 8. p. 312. Pr. Ev. 7. c. 7. p. 305.
• Josephus dates the origin of this name after their return from the Babylonish captivity. Ant. 1. 11. v.7.
ει και τις αλλος. κ. λ.
There are three places in the New Testament where this title is found. One is that of the text under consideration. Another is 2 Cor. xi. 22. “ Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites ? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham ? So am I.” The third is Philip. iii. 5. “ Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews." He was circumcised the eighth day; which is a proof, he was born of parents, who were themselves Jews, and punctually obeyed the law of Moses. However this might have been, and he have been no more than the child of a proselyte : He therefore proceeds, and says, he was of “ the stock of Israel,” or the seed of Jacob : and particularly, “ of the tribe of Benjamin,” an honoured tribe, upon divers accounts, particularly, as Benjamin was one of the sons of Jacob by Rachel, his wife, as she is styled in the catalogue of Jacob's family, which went into Egypt: but especially as this tribe had, in a great measure, preserved itself from idolatry. “ An Hebrew of the Hebrews,” or rather, “ an Hebrew of Hebrews :" meaning, that he was himself a Hebrew, and descended from Hebrews.
As Paul was a Hebrew, though born out of Judea, at Tarsus in Cilicia, where the Greek tongue was used, we are fully assured, that by the Grecians, cannot be meant Jews, who used the Greek language.
From all these texts, therefore, now alleged from the Old and New Testament, it appears, the denomination, or character, of Hebrew, is the privilege of birth, not of choice, or acquisition, or accidental circumstance. All descendants of Abraham the Hebrew, by Isaac and Jacob, wherever they are born, and whatever language they use, are Hebrews. Nor can any other men be Hebrews, but only they who are descended from Abraham. This, then, is the first consideration, tending to determine who these Grecians were.
To whom we now proceed.
Grecians, or Hellenists, as in the original. The word Grecians occurs thrice in our English version of the New Testament: here, and ch. ix. 29. and xi. 20. But it is well known to the learned, that in the second of these places the Alexandrian MS. has Greeks: which also is the reading in the third text, not only in the Alexandrian manuscript, but likewise in the Latin Vulgate, and several other versions. Whatever are the readings, it is apparent, that the same persons are not intended in the third and last text, as in the two former.
Various have been the sentiments of learned men concerning the Grecians, mentioned here, and in ch. ix, 29. The most prevailing opinions are these two. Some hereby understand Jews born out of Judea, who spake Greek, and used the Greek version of the Old Testament in their synagogues.
The other opinion is, that these Grecians were proselytes, or men of other nations, who had embraced the Jewish religion.
That the former are not here intended, has been, as I apprehend, sufficiently shown already. I therefore go on to support farther the opinion, that these Grecians were proselytes.
Which, I think, may be argued from the neglect they had met with. There arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected, nåpebewpar to, were overlooked, passed by, omitted, in the daily ministration. There was no regard had to them. There were no allowances or distributions made to them.
This may have been owing to two reasons, because they were few in number, and because they were despised. There may be some reason to think it was chiefly owing to this last.
The Jews of this time knew very well how to pay respect to proselytes of distinction, as they did to Helena, queen of the Adiabenes, and her son Ìzates. But for the most part native Jews, descendants of Abraham and the patriarchs, must have been preferred to proselytes. I cannot conceive any reason why any Jews should have been neglected, barely because they were born out of Judea, and used the Greek language. But proselytes might be overlooked because they were reckoned much inferior to Israelites. Proselytes were admitted to eat the passover, and to communion with Israelites in all religious privileges. But they were far from enjoying equal civil privileges with the children of Israel. This must be apparent from what was before alleged from the thirty-fourth chapter of Jeremiah, and parallel places.
* The sons of Rachel, Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benja- p. 226. et Lux Evangelii. cap. iv. p. 59, 60. et Wolf Curæ ad min," Gen. xlvi. 19.
Act. vi. 1. • Seven different opinions have been taken notice of by * llape Asw,58970.) 'despicerentur,' id est, negligerentur, et some learned writers. Vid. Fabr. Bib. Gr. l. 4. c. vi. T. III. contemnerenuur. Joach. Carner. in loc.
See Ex. xii 48, 49. Numb. ix. 14. and other places. VOL. v.
I beg leave to take notice of some other things relating to them from the Old Testament. When the Gibeonites had beguiled Joshua, and the elders, and their deceit was known, “all the congregation murmured against the princes :" however, as they had “ made a league with them, to let them live, and the princes of the congregation had sworn to them,” they would not falsify their oath. They gave them their lives, but took from them their lands, and made them slaves, or little better. As it is said Josh. ix. 26, 27, “ Joshua delivered them out of the hand of the children of Israel, that they slew them not. And he made them hewers of wood, and drawers of water for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord.”
And we are told, “ that Saul sought to slay them,” or endeavoured to extipate them, in “ his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah,” 2 Sam. xxi. 2. Which shows, that they were not beloved, and that this zeal of Saul was popular. But it was resented in the time of David.
This sort of men were employed in the laborious works for building the temple. 1 Chr. xxi. 2. “ And David commanded to gather together the strangers that were in the land of Israel. And he set masons to hew wrought stones to build the house of God.” And 2 Chr. ii. 17, 18. “And Solomon' numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering, wherewith David his father had numbered them. And they were found an hundred and fifty thousand, and three thousand, and six hundred. And he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens, and fourscore thousand to be hewers in the mountains, and three thousand and six hundred overseers, to set the people to work.”
The overseers I suppose to have been Israelites, the rest strangers or proselytes ; as they are called in the Greek version of the Seventy, and in St. Jerom's Latin version. Many of these strangers may have been remains of the Gibeonites; but I presume there were others besides.
Nethinims are mentioned, i Chr. ix. 2. “ Now the first inhabitants that dwelt in their possessions, in their cities, were the Israelites, the Priests, the Levites, and the Nethinims.” They, and Solomon's servants, are often mentioned in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. In the cata. logue of the people that returned from Babylon it is said, Ezr. ii. 58. “ All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred and ninety and two.” So also Neh. vii. 60. and Ezr. viii. 20. “ Also the Nethinims, whom David and the princes had appointed for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty.”
These Nethinims had been given the Levites, to serve them. Afterwards Solomon appointed more for the like service. These must have been strangers or proselytes. It is not to be thought that David, or Solomon, or any king of Israel, with the elders, had power to give Israelites to the service of the Levites. As some Jews said to our Lord: “ We be Abraham's seed, and never were in bondage to any man,” John viii. 33. No, they were free-born, and high-born, in comparison of other men ; though they were little concerned for the freedom of which our Lord was speaking. Says Patrick upon 2 Chr. ix. 2. • Ezra gives a good account of the Nethi- .
nims, ch. viii. 20, where he informs us, they were given by David to the Levites (which is the • original of their name :) as the Levites were given by God to help the priests: and therefore • in ali places they are mentioned with holy persons.'
I do not know whether these men may be called inferior clergy. They seem rather to have been servants to them. But however mean their original, or low and laborious their employ. ment may have been; the people of Israel were indebted to them for their zeal for the house of God. Many of them readily returned from Babylon to Judea, and performed their part for upholding the worship of God at his temple.
As all the land of Canaan was given to the twelve tribes, the children of Israel, and many of the regulations in the law of Moses were in their favour; it was foreseen, that strangers, who joined themselves to them, and came to sojourn among them, would lie under some disadvantage. God therefore, who wisely made those appointments of the law of Moses, regarding the descendants of Jacob, in his great goodness, made provisions likewise for strangers, that they might not be abused.
The people of Israel, to whom the laws of Moses were delivered, are charged in this manner. Ex. xxii. 20. “ Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him ; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt." Comp. Lev. xix. 33, 34, and Ex. xxiii. 12. “ Six days shalt thou do thy
* Και συνηγαγε Σαλωμον παντας τες ανδρας της προσηλυτες, τας εν γη Ισραηλ. κ. λ.. LΧΧ.
• Numeravit igitur Salomon omnes viros proselytos,' qui erant in terra Israël. Hieron.