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(See vol. i. p. 89, note 3.)


On this point, especially as regarded images, statues, and coins, the views of the Rabbis underwent (as stated in the text) changes and modifications according to the outward circumstances of the people. The earlier and strictest opinions, which absolutely forbade any representation, were relaxed in the Mishnah, and still further in the Talmud.

In tracing this development, we mark as a first stage that a distinction was made between having such pictorial representations and making use of them, in the sense of selling or bartering them; and again between making and finding them. The Mishnah forbids only such representations of human beings as carry in their hand some symbol of power, such as a staff, bird, globe, or, as the Talmud adds, a sword, or even a signet-ring (Ab. S. iii. 1). The Commentaries explain that this must refer to the making use of them, since their possession was, at any rate, prohibited. The Talmud adds (Ab. S. 40 b, 41 a) that these were generally representations of kings, that they were used for purposes of worship, and that their prohibition applied only to villages, not to towns, where they were used for ornament. Similarly, the Mishnah directs that everything bearing a representation of sun or moon, or of a dragon, was to be thrown into the Dead Sea (Ab. S. iii. 3). On the other hand, the Talmud quotes (Ab. S. 42 b) a proposition (Boraita), to the effect that all representations of the planets were allowed, except those of the sun and moon' likewise all statues except those of man, and all pictures except those of a dragon, the discussion leading to the conclusion that in two, if not in all the cases mentioned, the Talmudic directions refer to finding, not making such. So stringent, indeed, was the law as regarded signet-rings, that it was forbidden to have raised work on them, and only such figures were allowed as were sunk beneath the surface, although even then they were not to be used for sealing (Ab. S. 43 b). But this already marks a concession, accorded apparently to a celebrated Rabbi, who had such a ring. Still further in the same direction is the excuse, framed at a later period, for the Rabbis who worshipped in a Synagogue that had a statue of a king, to the effect that they could not be suspected of idolatry, since the place, and hence their conduct, was under the inspection of all men. This more liberal tendency had, indeed, appeared at a much earlier period, in the case of the Nasi Gamaliel II., who made use of a public bath at Acco in which there was a statue of Aphrodite. The Mishnah (Ab. S. iii. 4) puts this twofold

1 The Vasi R. Gamaliel made use of re- the new moon) the beginning of the month. presentations of the moon in questioning But this must be regarded as a necessary ignorant witnesses with a view to fixing (by exception to the Mishnic rule.

plea into his mouth, that he had not gone into the domain of the idol, but the idol came into his, and that the statue was there for ornament, not for worship. The Talmud endorses, indeed, these arguments, but in a manner showing that the conduct of the great Gamaliel was not really approved of (Ab. S. 41b). But a statue used for idolatrous purposes was not only to be pulverised, but the dust cast to the winds or into the sea, lest it might possibly serve as manure to the soil ! (Ab. S. iii. 3). This may explain how Josephus ventured even to blame King Solomon for the figures on the brazen sea and on his throne (Ant. viii. 7. 5), and how he could excite a fanatical rabble at Tiberias to destroy the palace of Herod Antipas because it contained figures of living creatures' (Life 12)."


1 Following the insufficient reasoning of
Ewald (Gesch. d. Volkes Isr. vol. v. p. 83),
Schürer represents the non-issue of coins with
the image of Herod as a concession to Jewish
prejudices, and argues that the coins of the
Emperors struck in Palestine bore no effigy.
The assertion is, however, unsupported, and
St. Matt. xxii. 20 proves that coins with an
image of Cæsar were in general circulation.
Wieseler (Beitr. pp. 83–87) had shown that
the absence of Herod's effigy on coins proves
his inferior position relatively to Rome, and
as this has an important bearing on the
question of a Roman census during his reign,
it was scarcely fair to simply ignore it. The
Talmud (Baba K. 97 b) speaks of coins bear-
ing on one side David and Solomon (? their
effigies or their names), and on the other
• Jerusalem, the holy City. But if it be

doubtful whether these coins had respectively the effigies of David or of Solomon, there can be no doubt about the coins ascribed in Ber. R. (Par. 39, ed. Warshau, p. 71 b) to Abraham, Joshua, David, and Mordecai—that of Abraham being described as bearing on one side the figures of an old man and an old woman (Abraham and Sarah), and on the other those of a young man and a young woman (Isaac and Rebekah). The coins of Joshua are stated to have borne on one side a bullock, on the other a ram, according to Deut. xxxiii. 17. There could, therefore, have been no such abhorrence of such coins, and if there had been, Herod was scarcely the man to be deterred by it. On these supposed coins of David, &c., see the very curious remarks of Wagenseil, Sota, pp. 571, and fol. lowing.






(See Book I. ch. viii.)


The political connection of Israel with the Grecian world, and, with it, the conflict with Hellenism, may be said to have commenced with the victorious progress of Alexander the Great through the then known world (333 B.c.). It was not only that his destruction of the Persian empire put an end to the easy and peaceful allegiance which Judæa had owned to it for about two centuries, but that the establishment of such a vast Hellenic empire, as was the aim of Alexander, introduced a new element into the old world of Asia. Everywhere the old civilisation gave way before the new. So early as the commencement of the second century before Christ, Palestine was already surrounded, north, east, and west, with a girdle of Hellenic cities, while in the interior of the land itself Grecianism had its foothold in Galilee and was dominant in Samaria. But this is not all. After continuing the frequent object of contention between the rulers of Egypt and Syria, Palestine ultimately passed from Egyptian to Syrian domination during the reign of Seleucus IV.(187-175 B.c.). His successor was that Antiochus IV., Epiphanes (175–164), whose reckless determination to exterminate Judaism, and in its place to substitute Hellenism, led to the Maccabean rising. Mad as this attempt seems, it could scarcely have been made had there not been in Palestine itself a party to favour his plans. In truth, Grecianism, in its worst form, had long before made its way, slowly but surely, into the highest quarters. For the proper understanding of this history its progress must be briefly indicated.

After the death of Alexander, Palestine passed first under Egyptian domination. Although the Ptolemies were generally favourable to the Jews (at least of their own country), those of Palestine at times felt the heavy hand of the conqueror (Jos. Ant. xii. 1. 1). Then followed the contests between Syria and Egypt for its possession, in which the country must have severely suffered. As Josephus aptly remarks (Ant. xii. 3. 3), whichever party gained, Palestine was like a ship in a storm which is tossed by the waves on both sides.' Otherwise it was a happy time, because one of comparative independence. The secular and spiritual power was vested in the hereditary High-Priests, who paid for their appointment (probably annually) the sum of twenty (presumably Syrian) talents, amounting to five ordinary talents, or rather less than 1,2001. Besides this personal, the country

1 We do not here discuss the question, impression which his appearance had made, whether or not Alexander really entered and the permanent results which followed Jerusalem. Jewish legend has much to tell from it. of him, and reports many supposed inquiries 2 Comp. Herzfeld, Gesch, d. Volkes Isr. on his part or discussions between him and vol. ii. pussim, but specially pp. 181 and 211, the Rabbis, that prove at least the deep



paid a general tribute, its revenues being let to the highest bidder. The sum levied on Judæa itself has been computed at 81,9001. (350 ordinary talents). Although this tribute appears by no means excessive, bearing in mind that in later times the dues from the balsam-district around Jericho were reckoned at upwards of 46,8001. (200 talents), the hardship lay in the mode of levying it by strangers, often unjustly, and always harshly, and in the charges connected with its collection. This cause of complaint was, indeed, removed in the course of time, but only by that which led to far more serious evils.

The succession of the High-Priests, as given in Nehem. xii. 10, 11, 22, furnishes the following names: Jeshua, Joiakim, Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, Jonathan, and Jaddua, who was the contemporary of Alexander the Great. After the death of Jaddua, we have the following list :? Onias I. (Jos. Ant. xi. 8. 7), Simon 1. the Justs (Ant. xii. 2. 5), Eleazar, Manasseh (Ant. xii. 4. 1), Onias II., Simon II. (Ant. xii. 4. 10), Onias III., Jason (Ant. xii. 5. 1), Menelaus, and Alcimats (Ant. xii. 9. 7), with whom the series of the Pontiff's is brought down to the time of the Maccabees. Internal peace and happiness ceased after the death of Simon the Just in the beginning of the third century B.c.), one of the last links in that some what mysterious chain of personages, to which tradition has given the name of “the Great Assemblage,' or “Great Synagogue.'

Jewish legend has much that is miraculous to tell of Simon the Just, and connects him alike with events both long anterior and long posterior to his Pontificate. Many of these traditions read like the outcome of loving, longing remembrance of a happy past which was never to return. Such a venerable form would never again be seen in the Sanctuary (Ecclus. 1. 1-4), nor would such miraculous attestation be given to any other ministrations 5 (Yoma 39 a and b; Jer. Yoma v. 2 ; vi. 3). All this seems to point to the close of a period when the High-Priesthood was purely Jewish in spirit, just as the hints about dissensions among his sons (Jer. Yoma 43 d, at top) sound like faint reminiscences of the family—and public troubles which followed. In point of fact he was succeeded not by his son Onias, who was under age, but by his brother Eleazar, and he, after a Pontificate of twenty years, by his brother Manasseh. It was only twenty-seven years later, after the death of Manasseh, that Onias II. became High-Priest. If Eleazar, and especially Manasseh, owed their position, or at least strengthened it, by courting the favour of the ruler of Egypt, it was almost natural that Onias should have taken the opposite or Syrian part. His refusal to pay the High-Priestly tribute to Egypt could scarcely

"I have placed Johanan (Neh. xii. 22) before Jonathan, in accordance with the ingenious reasoning of Herzfeld, ii. p. 372. The chronology of their Pontificates is almost inextricably involved. In other respects_also there are not a few difficulties. See Zunz, Gottesd. Vortr. p. 27 and the elaborate discussions of Herzfeld, whose work, however, is very faulty in arrangement.

2 Happily no divergence exists as to their succession.

3 Some Christian and all Jewish writers assign the designation of "The Just' to Simon II. This is directly contrary to the express statement of Josephus. Herzfeld (i. 377) appeals to Aboth i. 2, 3, Men. 109 b, and Jer. Yoma vi. 3, but immediately relinquishes the two latter references as otherwise historically untenable. But surely no historical inference—for such it is—from Ab.

i. 2, 3 is worth setting against the express
statement of Josephus. Besides, Zun: has
rightly shown that the expression kite
must not be too closely pressed, as indeed its
use throughout the Perek seems to indicate
(Gottesd. Vortr. p. 37, Note).
4 Of this more in the sequel. He is callel :

, dves not seem necessarily to imply that he was actually a member of it.

5 It deserves notice that in these same Talmudic passages reference is also made to the later entire cessation of the same miracles, as indicating the coming destruction of the Temple.

6 Or as he is designated in the Talmud: Chonjah, Nechunjah, and even Nechunjon. Onias is a Grecianised form itself a signiticant fact.




have been wholly due to avarice, as Josephus suggests. The anger and threats of the king were appeased by the High-Priest's nephew Joseph, who claimed descent from the line of David. He knew how to ingratiate himself at the court of Alexandria, and obtained the lease of the taxes of Cæle-Syria (which included Judæa), by offering for it double the sum previously paid. The removal of the foreign tax-gatherer was very grateful to the Jews, but the authority obtained by Joseph became a new source of danger, especially in the hands of his ambitious son, Hyrcanus. Thus we already mark the existence of three parties: the Egyptian, the Syrian, and that of the sons of Tobias' (Ant. xii. 5. 1), as the adherents of Joseph were called, after his father. If the Egyptian party ceased when Palestine passed under Syrian rule in the reign of Antiochus III. the Great (223–187 B.C.), and ultimately became wholly subject to it under Seleucus IV. (187–173), the Syrian, and especially the Tobias-party, had already become Grecianised. In truth, the contest now became one for power and wealth, in which each sought to outbid the other by bribery and subserviency to the foreigner. As the submission of the people could only be secured by the virtual extinction of Judaism, this aim was steadily kept in view by the degenerate priesthood.

The storm did not, indeed, break under the Pontificate of Simon II., the son and successor of Onias II., but the times were becoming more and more troublous. Although the Syrian rulers occasionally showed favour to the Jews, Palestine was now covered with a network of Syrian officials, into whose hands the temporal power mainly passed. The taxation also sensibly increased, and, besides crownmoney, consisted of a poll-tax, the third of the field-crops, the half of the produce of trees, a royal monopoly of salt and of the forests, and even a tax on the Levitical tithes and on all revenues of the Temple. Matters became much worse under the Pontificate of Onias III., the son and successor of Simon II. A dispute between him and one Simon, a priest, and captain of the temple-guard,” apparently provoked by the unprincipled covetousness of the latter, induced Simon to appeal to the cupidity of the Syrians by referring to the untold treasures which he described as deposited in the Temple. His motive may have been partly a desire for revenge, partly the hope of obtaining the office of Onias. It was ascribed to a supernatural apparition, but probably it was only superstition which arrested the Syrian general at that time. But a dangerous lesson had been learned alike by Jew and Gentile.

Seleucus IV. was succeeded by his brother Antiochus IV., Epiphanes (175–164). Whatever psychological explanation may be offered of his bearing-whether his conduct was that of a madman, or of a despot intoxicated to absolute forgetfulness of every consideration beyond his own caprice by the fancied possession of power uncontrolled and unlimited-cruelty and recklessness of tyranny were as prominently his characteristics as revengefulness and unbounded devotion to superstition. Under such a reign the precedent which Simon, the Captain of the Temple, had set, was successfully followed up by no less a person than the brother of the High-Priest himself. The promise of a yearly increase of 360 talents in the taxes of the country, besides a payment of 80 talents from another revenue (2 Macc. iv. 8, 9), purchased the deposition of Onias III.—the first event of that kind recorded in Jewish history-and the substitution of his brother Joshua, Jesus, or Jason (as

1 In 1 Macc. x. 29-33 ; Jos. Ant. xii. 3. 3; xiii. 2. 3. In view of these express testimonies the statement of Ewald (Gesch. d. V. Ist. vol. iv. p. 373), to the effect that Palestine, or at least Jerusalem, enjoyed immunity

from taxation, seems strange indeed. Schürer (11. s. p. 71) passes rather lightly over the troubles in Judea before Antiochus Epiphanes.

? Herzfeld rightly corrects • Benjamin ’in 2 Macc. iii. 4. Comp. u. s. p. 218.

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