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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator




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070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World




1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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 Rev. Heneage Elsley
Vicar of Burneston

Annotations on the Four Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles


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From Fifth Edition (1824)

Vol. 1 | Vol. 2 | Vol. 3

"Josephus seems to have been raised by Providence to verify, in his relation of the miseries accompanying the siege of Jerusalem, the prophecies of our blessed Lord relating to that dreadful catastrophe."

(On Matthew 12:32)
"Acts iii. 19, 20, and 2 Tim. i. 18, are quoted here by Whitby against purgatory, as relating to the day of judgment; but the text in Acts, at least, seems to refer to the relief gained by the Christians after the Jews were destroyed. So Grotius and Hammond on that text. But see Whitby on the place." (Annot. in Matt. xii. 32)

(On Matthew 12:43)
"'As each man is in a worse state on relapsing to evil, so this generation, numbers of whom have had strong convictions of my doctrine and miracles, shall, on resisting these good resolutions, and relapsing to unbelief, become more obdurate and abandoned than before; which was the case before the destruction of Jerusalem. See Josephus. The connection of the Gentiles and the " dry and barren places" seems overstrained. Macknight." (Annot. in loc.)

(On John 8:21)
"Ye shall die in your sins: from Ezek. iii. 19. Grotius. En te amartia (sing.) : in this your sin of incredulity and unbelief. Beza. The impending judgment of the destruction of Jerusalem shall cut you off in it. Macknight.' (Annot. in loc. )



THE Commentaries on the New Testament are too frequently esteemed perplexed and intricate. And doubtless the variety of the subjects on which they treat, with the length and minuteness of some of their disquisitions, added to the antiquated style and needless display of learning that occasionally prevail in them, render the observation not wholly unfounded. Much, however, of this appearance of difficulty may be removed, if some reasonable preparation be made, and previous diligence exerted: so far, at least, as to consider what are the principal objects which they investigate, with the authors to whom they refer; and in general, to bring to the perusal of them a moderate portion of useful knowledge on the less recondite parts of the subject. •*

The objects, to which the Annotators usually direct their attention, may be comprised under these three general heads:

I. The geography and history of the Holy Land, with whatever relates to the law of Moses and

the rites, customs, and traditions, of the Jewish nation.

II. The state and critical exposition of the text of

the New Testament.

III. The dispensation of Christ; and the rites which

he hath established.

Next to a pious and well-disposed mind, and a heart devoted to God, it may be reasonably expected that there be brought to these inquiries a competent skill in the Greek language. This is evidently essential. Where it is deficient, the first necessary step will be to acquire a reasonable facility in the construction and idioms of the Gospels, by very earnest application. Those of higher attainments in classical literature will find, that a proper attention paid to the style of the Evangelists, comparing it with that of the Septuagint, and noting the hebraisms and other peculiarities, will form a valuable preparation to their future labours.

Another easy and useful preparation may be, to review in a connected order the historical books of the Old Testament. The references from the Gospel to the whole course of the Jewish dispensation are so frequent, that it is of moment to have the material parts of this history fixed distinctly in the mind; observing the chronology, and noting a few of the most important events, to serve as land-marks in the long course of 4000years.

Of this whole period indeed, as more than 1500 years elapsed before the Flood, the latter half contains all that is important. This space of time may be divided, with sufficient propriety, into four equal which succeeded, with the origin of the Jewish people. At 1500 B. C. the departure from Egypt, followed by the delivery of the Law on mount Sinai, and the possession of the land of Canaan. At 1000 B. C. the building of the temple at Jerusalem, connected with the reigns of David and Solomon, and the subsequent division of the kingdom. And, lastly, the return from the captivity of Babylon under Zorobabel, 500 years before the advent of our Lord. In the space of about a century after this era of the return from the captivity, the history of the Jewish nation in the Old Testament is closed.

The events of the remaining 400 years, except for the short space of time contained in the books of the Maccabees, would have been left to the uncertain notices collected from the heathen writers, had not a Jewish author of distinguished excellence supplied the defect. This author is Josephus. He wrote, in twenty books, the Jewish Antiquities, or the history of the Jewish nation; and, in a separate work, the History also of the Jewish war, and the destruction of Jerusalem.

He was eminently qualified for both these performances. Of a studious and philosophic turn of mind, a priest himself, and attached to the sect of the Pharisees; he was intimately conversant with the rites of the Temple, and all the traditions and customs of his nation. Descended also by the maternal line from the Maccabean princes, and born in the first year of Caligula, or three or four years after the ascension of Christ, at a period when the events marked in our Saviour's prophecies of the destruction of the nation were approaching, his rank and abilities gave him a distinguished part in them. He had the chief command of the Jewish forces in Galilee, and was taken prisoner, after an obstinate defence, in the fortress of Jotapata, by Vespasian. Received into the favour of Titus, he was present with him at the siege of Jerusalem, and an eye-witness of all the miseries that befel that unhappy people. After the destruction of the city he retired to Rome, under the protection of the Emperor and of Titus. There he first wrote the history of the war, which he presented to these princes ; and Titus himself subscribed his name to the work, to give it the fullest authenticity; and ordered it (o^aj&ua-s'a-Sai), i. e. either to be read in public,. or to be deposited in a public library, to which all had access.

The Jewish Antiquities, or the history of the nation, was a later production. In it he details, in a grave and majestic style, the events recorded in the Scriptures of the Old Testament; and deduces the history from the period in which they conclude, to within four years of the dissolution of the state by the Romans.

The obligations which the Christian world owe to the writings of Josephus are very great. They are provided in them with an ample store of authentic information relative to the sacred rites, the manners and customs, the various sects and parties, the whole government and ceconomy, of the Jewish nation.

In Josephus they have also, with the geography of Palestine, a clear view and full recital of the historical events; the reception of, and submission to, the Macedonian conqueror; the tyranny of the Syrian princes who succeeded; and the successful efforts and emancipation of Judea by the Maccabean, or, as often styled, the Asmonean, family.

More particularly in the Gospel era, they have the reigns of Herod the Great, and of the numerous been lost in obscurity, receive in great measure a complete elucidation. .

The obligations which the Christian world owe to the writings of Josephus are very great. They are provided in them with an ample store of authentic information relative to the sacred rites, the manners and customs, the various sects and parties, the whole government and ceconomy, of the Jewish nation. Lastly, and above all, Josephus seems to have been raised by Providence to verify, in his relation of the miseries accompanying the siege of Jerusalem, the prophecies of our blessed Lord relating to that dreadful catastrophe.

On all these accounts, Josephus may be esteemed the most valuable commentator on the Gospels. There is no author from whom they are so frequently and copiously illustrated.

As knowledge derived from the original authors is so much superior to the detached fragments necessarily given in occasional quotations, the perusal of that part of his history, which forms the connection between the events of the Old and New Testament, may be particularly recommended. It is comprised in the latter part, from the eleventh to the twentieth book, of the Jewish Antiquities. This portion of Josephus was thought so estimable by Castellio, that he has inserted it in his classical Latin version of the Bible. It may be read, to save time, in Castellio's, or any other good translation; but its use is perpetually recurring in the Gospels. It gives a general insight into and command of all the historical events that are inserted in them; and no preparatory study will be found more instructive or important.

A modern work of great value and utility, on the same subject, will occur to every one's recollection— Dean Prideaux's Connection between the Old and New Testament, or rather between the sacred and profane history of that period. It includes a very wide range, and treats of almost every particular, relative not only to the history and chronology, but also to the Jewish literature, as the Chaldee paraphrases and Talmudic writings, and many other incidental topics. This ample variety of matter may


render the entire perusal of it not so expedient at the first entrance on these studies, though almost essential in the prosecution of them. The three last books, i. e. part ii. b. vii. viii. ix. or a little more, as from the year Bef. Chr. 63. comprehending almost the whole of what is contained in the seven concluding books of the Jewish Antiquities, may be read at present with great advantage.

Yet some more regular detail of these several subjects will greatly facilitate the reading of the Commentators. Amongst other elementary treatises; therefore, these three may be mentioned; containing, each of them, a clear and succinct account of most of the introductory subjects connected with the sacred writings, viz. Lamy's "Apparatus Biblicus, or Introduction to the Holy Scriptures; " Collyer's " Sacred Interpreter;" and " The New Version of St. Matthew by Beausobre and L'Enfant," with the Introduction that precedes it.

Of these, perhaps, for they are all good, that of Lamy, who was a French critic of great eminence, may have the preference.

After some one, however, of the above-mentioned works has been attentively perused, and not, it should seem, before, (the attainment of distinct and welldefined ideas being of singular consequence in the outset of any science), the Commentators themselves may be opened with reasonable expectation of improvement.


I. The first general head, under which the objects, to which.the Annotators direct the attention, may be ranked, has been stated to be

The geography and history of the Holy Land, 'with whatever relates to the customs and traditions of the Jewish nation.

THE geography of Palestine lies in a narrow compass. It comprises a tract of country of nearly two hundred miles in length, in its full extent, from the river of Egypt south of Gaza to the furthest bounds towards Damascus; and perhaps of more than a hundred in breadth, including Perea, from the Mediterranean sea eastward to the desert Arabia.

The first glance on the map will show Judea, once the tribe of Judah, with its metropolis Jerusalem, to the south. In the centre, Samaria,- the former inheritance of a half-tribe of Manasseh, and of the tribe of Ephraim, which last had the lead in Israel from Joshua to David: the country was afterwards repeopled by the Cutheans, 2 Kings xvii. In the north, the country of Galilee, where had resided the tribes of Issachar, Asser, Zabulon, and Naphthali, Matt. iv» 15. and whose inhabitants necessarily passed through Samaria in their way to Jerusalem. See note on John iv. 4 and 9. infra.

Beyond Jordan eastward is Perea. And north of Perea, and east of the lake of Tiberias, and of the sources of Jordan extending towards Damascus, lay four or five smaller districts, whose bounds are indistinct: Iturea, Batanea, Trachonitis, Auranitis, and Abilene. See note on Luke iii. i. infra. These countries were formerly possessed by the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the remaining half-tribe of Manasseh.

The face of the whole country of Palestine is represented as rocky and mountainous; yet uncommonly fruitful, and cultivated by the Jews with extreme assiduity and success. Some plains however of considerable extent intervene. As, i. That of Jordan; named the Aulon, or the Great Plain, by Josephus. 2. That of Samaria, or of Esdraelon, extending'from Scythopolis on the east, by Jezreel or Esdraelon, to the plain of Ptolemais or Acra on the west: this plain, including much of the lower Galilee and part of Samaria, is also, from its size, named the Great Plain by Josephus. 3. The plain of Acra, which is bounded by niount Carmel on the south, and a range of hills on the north; and is joined by a narrow valley to the plain of Samaria. 4. and lastly, The plain of Ramah, or of Joppa: a level country of great length from mount Carmel southward along the coast of the Mediterranean sea.

The principal cities in the Holy Land were: in Judea, Jerusalem, and Jericho famous for its palms. In Samaria, Neapolis the ancient Sichem, and Cassarea, or Strato's tower, a seaport rebuilt with great magnificence by Herod. In Galilee, Tiberias on the lake of that name, and Cassarea Philippi or Paneadis at the springs or source of the Jordan.

But the names of few places occur in the Gospels. Our blessed Lord was chiefly conversant on the borders of the sea or lake of Tiberias; whence he journeyed thrice in the year, on the great feasts, to Jerusalem. Capernaum therefore, supposed after his dereliction of Nazareth to have become his own city, or place of abode, Matt. iv. 13. Bethsaida, and the other towns near the lake, with Jerusalem and its adjoining villages, were the principal scenes of his miracles and ministry. And though he published the Gospel throughout all Galilee, even to the borders of Tyre and Sidon, Matt. xv. 21. and through Judea, John iii. 22. in Perea also, and Decapolis on the eastern side of Jordan, and in general throughout the Holy Land; yet, exclusive of those above alluded to, there may not be more than six or eight places distinguished in the Evangelists by his presence.

Of these are Bethabara beyond Jordan, the situation uncertain, probably in Perea; Jericho, and Bethlehem, when an infant, in Judea; Sichar or. Sichem, and the city of Ephraim, John xi. 54. and of Nain in Samaria; in Galilee, Cana, and Nazareth, and Cassarea Philippi.

The first planting of Christianity by St. Paul amongst the Gentiles, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, will furnish, however, a larger field for geographical inquiries.

Two authors are chiefly applied to in establishing the topography of the Holy Land. The first is Josephus. The other, Eusebius, in a tract De Locis Hebraicis, as translated and augmented by St. Jerom. Eusebius, A. D. 315. the ecclesiastical historian, was a native of Palestine, and long bishop of Cassarea in that country, and of distinguished learning and talents. St. Jerom, A. D. 378. whose active mind and uncommon erudition are sufficiently known, retired, for the last twenty or thirty years of hie life, to a monastery at Bethlehem, near Jerusalem. No authority, therefore, seems likely to be so satisfactory as that of an account furnished by these writers. The humble obscurity, however, of many of the places in question, and the distance of three or four hundred years from the events, have rendered some of their descriptions uncertain and inaccurate. 'To ascertain the boundaries of the adjoining countries, the ancient classical geographers, Strabo, Mela, and Solinus,1 and especially Pliny in his Natural History, are consulted..

The treatise of Strabo, in 17 books, a Greek writer, and native of Cappadocia, who flourished in the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, is the standard work on ancient geography.

Pomponius Mela, born in Spain, a Latin geographer of merit and elegance, wrote " Cosmographia," or, "De Situ Orbis," in three books, in the time of the emperor Claudius.

The Natural History of the elder Pliny, who flourished A. D. 70. and lost his life in exploring an eruption of Vesuvius, is an inexhaustible fund of ancient literature in all the branches connected with the subject. Not only in geography, but in the various particulars of natural history respecting the animals, plants, and other productions of Palestine, the Commentators frequently borrow their illustrations from his writings.

To Pliny is joined Theophrastus, who preceded him; a Grecian philosopher, and successor of Aristotle, Bef. Chr. 280. whose book of plants is occa* sionally cited.

Some gleanings are also gained in these points from the Jewish Rabbins.

'Of Solinus, see the article Grammarians, »t the end of this Introduction.

The descriptions of modern travellers, as of Sandys, Maundrel, Shaw, and some of later date, are another very amusing and instructive source of information on these subjects. Extracts from the principal of these narratives have been formed into a very judicious collection by Mr. Harmer. Much that is useful from Maundrel and Shaw will also be found in the dissertations prefixed to Macknight's Harmony of the Gospels.

All that relates to the climate, the buildings, customs, and modes of life, very similar to the ancient, the soil, the productions, and general state of the country, is given by these writers with sufficient exactness. But the modern topography, if it may be so called, of the Gospels, including many of the smaller towns mentioned there; the mountains also of Christ's temptation and transfiguration; and the holy places, or those at present shown as the scenes of his birth and sufferings; is founded on a very weak and obscure tradition, and intitled to no credence.

The geographical treatise, esteemed the guide on that subject, is Reland's Palestine (he flourished in Holland at the beginning of this century); and in natural history, animals, &c. the Hierozoicon of Bochart; a work of distinguished learning and high authority. Lightfoot also, who differs in opinion from Reland, has bestowed great pains in discussing the geography of the Holy Land.

Of the historical events, the following is a short and imperfect analysis.

On the return from the captivity, A. M. 3468. Bef. Chr. 535. the nation continued under the protection of the kings of Persia, for the space of two hundred years, till the dissolution of that empire.

In the former part of this period, governors, of the Jewish nation, were appointed by the Persian court; in the latter part of it, the high-priests were themselves deputed to that office.

Zorobabelj the first of these governors, who conducted the people from Babylon, rebuilt the Temple under an- express decree from Cyrus the Persian monarch. It was finished, after some delays, A. M. 3489. an account of which is given in the book of Ezra, ch. i.—vi. At this period flourished Haggai and Zechariah, two of the three latest prophets who wrote after the return from the captivity. See their prophecies in the Scripture, and Ezra v. r.

The book of Ezra is then silent on the events of more than fifty years; when it relates the coming of Ezra himself as governor from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes Longimanus, A. M. 3547. He reformed many abuses, especially in intermarriages with the neighbouring gentiles, and probably held the government ten or twelve years.

He was succeeded by Nehemiah, also sent from Babylon by Artaxerxes, A. M. 3559. who rebuilt the walls of the city, and exerted himself in a conti- . nuance of a similar reform, as related in the book of

his name, to A. M. S595. At which time, about 400 years before Christ, flourished also Malachi, the last of the prophets, being contemporary with Nehemiah, and adverting to the same events ; and the canon of the Old Testament was finally closed. As this was 127 years after the return from Babylon, it is obvious that the Nehemiah mentioned in Ezra to have accompanied Zorobabel was a different person. On all these points, Gray's key to the Old Testament may be consulted; a work of singular accuracy and utility, and indispensably necessary to the biblical student.

During this whole era, the Jews experienced much opposition from the Samaritans, who, sprung from the idolatrous nation of the Cutheans, yet in part conforming to the worship of the true God, 2 Kings xvii. 6. 24. 27. 41. had been desirous of sharing in the benefits of the decree of Cyrus, and of admission to the Temple at Jerusalem. The enmity caused by the refusal of the Jews was increased by the marriage of Manasseh, the brother of the high-priest, to the daughter of Sanballat, the governor of Samaria. For, on the reform introduced by Nehemiah, Manasseh retreated with his wife to Samaria: and Sanballat erected a temple for him on mount Gerizim, which became an asylum for the irregular and discontented part of the Jewish nation.

It is to be observed, that the error of Josephus here is great, when he apprehends that Sanballat survived to the Macedonian conquest. The truth is, that in many events at this earlier period this historian appears to have followed the traditionary accounts of the Jews, with which he nearly coincides, and. to have been led by them into many mistakes of chronology. See Prideaux, p. i. b. v. an. 458. prope fin. or his Index ad voc. Sanballat.

A. M. 3672. B. C. 331. Alexander received the Jews into his favour, and offered sacrifice at Jerusalem. On his death, and the subsequent partition of the empire amongst his generals, Seleucus, and his successors the Seleucidas, established themselves in Svria, and the Ptolemies in Egypt. The provinces of Ccelesyria and Palestine fluctuated between these two powers; but after the battle of Ipsus, Polyb. b. v. leg. 72. p. 893. they remained in the possession of the latter kingdom.

The Macedonian conquest spread the Grecian language throughout these regions. In the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about the year Bef. Chr. 254. A. M. 3749. the Septuagint version of the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek was made by the Alexandrine Jews for their own use. Or, if the seventytwo interpreters were employed by Ptolemy to translate the Pentateuch, doubtless the legend of their performing the work in separate cells, as related by Aristeas, and copied by Josephus, is an idle fable.

Ccelesyria and Palestine continued dependent on the Ptolemies, till they were wrested from jhem by Antiochus the Great, king of Syria. This and other causes produced a war, in which his son Antiochus Epiphanes conquered Egypt. He then turned his fury on the Jews, who had made rejoicings on a false report of his death, A. M. 3833. B. C. 170.; sacked . and plundered Jerusalem, polluted the Temple, and destroyed forty thousand of the inhabitants, 1 Macc. i. 20. 21. 2 Macc. v. 11. On a second invasion of Egypt, he was commanded to desist by the Romans; and on this occasion also he wreaked his vengeance on the Jews, abolished as far as in his power the worship of the true God, and consecrated the Temple to the Olympian Jupiter. 1 Macc. i. 44—64. 2 Macc. vi. 2.

The establishment of idolatrous worship throughout Judea excited the religious zeal of Mattathias, a priest in Modin, of the line or course of Joarib, 1 Chron. xxiv. 7. Joseph. Ant. xii. 8. who overthrew the idolatrous altar at Modin, and with his five sons, John, Simon, Judas, Eleazar, and Jonathan, took refuge in the strong holds or fastnesses in the wilderness. Here they were joined by all the Jews who were attached to their religion; and by degrees, after severe contests, succeeded in finally expelling the Syrians from their country.

This was the rise of the Asmonean family, so styled from an ancestor of the name of Asmoneus; or, of the Maccabees, as they, were also named from the first letters, it is said, of the Hebrew words that composed the motto of their standard.

Judas Maccabeus, who in the following year succeeded Mattathias, and who, on the death of the highpriest Alcimus, or Jacim, united the high-priesthood with the command of the state, with great judgment and prudence formed an alliance with the Romans, and, by the placing of the rising commonwealth under their protection, gave stability to his new government.

B. C. 161. To Judas succeeded his brother Jonathan. In his time, Onias, the son of a former highpriest, who had fled into Egypt from the Syrians, built a temple in Egypt, Bef. Chr. 149. similar to that at Jerusalem, under the auspices of Ptolemy Philometor.

B. C. 144. Jonathan was succeeded by Simon.

B. C. 135. On the death of Simon, the last of the brethren, the high-priesthood devolved on his son, John Hyrcanus, an able ruler; who subdued the Idumeans, and, inducing them to conform to the .Jewish religion, united them with the state. He took possession of Sichem, and destroyed the temple on mount Gerizim, and also the city of Samaria. But it is held by Prideaux, that the sect of Samaritans, being expelled from the city of Samaria by Alexander, on their murder of his governor Andronicus, had retired to Sichem; and that a Macedonian colony was then in Samaria. P. i. b. v. ann. 458. Comp. P. ii. b. v. ann. 130.

B. C. 107. Aristobulns, the son and successor of Hyrcanus, assumed the title of king.

B. C. 106. After him reigned his brother Alexander Janneus.

B. C. 79. Alexandra, the widow of Janneus, governed till her death, B. C. 70.; when in the year 63. Aristobulus the younger son having gained possession of the crown, .Pompey besieged and took the city of Jerusalem, restored Hyrcanus the elder brother, but forbade the use of the diadem, and made the nation tributary to the Romans.

This Hyrcanus, who reigned twenty-six years, was the last of the Asmonean family. For his prime minister, an Idumean of the name of Antipater, and a man of uncommon talents, rendered himself so necessary and acceptable to the Romans, especially to Julius Cassar, that he prevailed with them to bestow the government of Galilee on his son Herod; and Herod, marrying Mariamne the grand-daughter of Hyrcanus, at length by much violence, and by the favour of Mark Antony the triumvir, took possession of the kingdom of Judea.

B. C. 37. Herod the Great, thus established in Judea, reigned no less than thirty-four years. He died within the space of two years after the real time of the birth of Jesus Christ; and soon after the appearance of the eastern Magi, and his consequent slaughter of the infants at Bethlehem. It may be observed, that the common era of the birth of Christ, commencing probably about four years later than the real date of his birth, occasions some appearance of inaccuracy at this period. .

Herod had many wives, and a numerous race of descendants. He made a distribution of his dominions by his will; and Augustus Cassar confirmed the partition. To Archelaus, and Herod Antipas, his sons by Malthace, a Samaritan, he bequeathed—to the first, the kingdom of Judea, and to Antipas the tetrarchy of Galilee; whilst Philip, his son by Cleopatra, had the tetrarchy of Iturea and Trachonitis. He had given a place, in the succession to the kingdom,'to Herod Philip, his son by Mariamne, the daughter of Simon the high-priest; but the conspiracy of his son Antipater (whom he put to death) having been entered into by that Mariamne, he left Judea to Archelaus, and Herod Philip appears to have remained in a private station.

The names of these four princes appear in the Gospels. .

1, That of Archelaus occurs at an early period; when Joseph and Mary returned from Egypt, Matt. ii. 22. He held the kingdom about ten years; when he was deposed by Augustus for his tyranny and rapaciousness, and banished to Vienne in Gaul. Judea was from that time for the most part governed by a procurator from Rome, who was dependent on the governor of Syria, to which province Judea was annexed. ,

2. Herod Antipas continued the tetrarch of Galilee till the time of the ministry and passion of Jesus Christ. He is the Herod mentioned so frequently in the Gospels, sometimes with the honorary title of the king, to whom Christ was sent by the Roman governor Pilate. See Matt. xiv. 1, 3, 6. Mark vi. 14. Luke iii. 1, 19. ix. 7, 9. xxiii. 7—15. Acts iv. 27. He was at length banished, with his wife Herodias, to Lyons in Gaul. Jos. Ant. xviii. 9.

3. Philip, the tetrarch of Trachonitis, is only recorded by St. Luke iii. 1. as fixing with others the asra of the commencement of the Baptist's and Christ's mission.

4. Herod Philip had by his wife Herodias, Jos. Ant. xviii. 7. a daughter named Salome; and Herodias, being taken to wife, even in his lifetime, by Herod Antipas the tetrarch of Galilee, was the occasion of the death of John the Baptist, as related Matt. xiv. 3—10. Mark vi. 16—29. Luke iii. 19. Salome is supposed to have been the daughter who danced before the tetrarch.

In the Acts of the Apostles, appears also Herod Agrippa, a grandson of Herod the Great, and brother to the Herodias mentioned above. He was the son of Aristobulus, and the grandson of Herod and Mariamne the Asmonean princess, the grand-daughter of Hyrcanus. The emperor Caius Caligula made him tetrarch of Trachonitis and Abilene; and Claudius, to whom he had been attached when at Rome, on his elevation to the empire, added the kingdom of Judea. He slew James the apostle, Acts xii. 1,2. and was himself smitten of God at Cassarea, as related Acts xii. 20—23.

On his death, a Roman governor was again appointed in Judea •, but his son, Agrippa the second, succeeded to the tetrarchies of Trachonitis and Abilene. St. Paul pleaded his cause before this Agrippa and his sister Berenice, with Festus the Roman governor at Cassarea, Acts xxv. xxvi. whilst prior to that time, Acts xxiv. 24. he had reasoned of " the judgment to "come," before Felix the preceding governor, and his wife Drusilla, who was also a sister of this king Agrippa.


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