Imagini ale paginilor


darkness covers this people. He said to him : Dost thou intend to curse me ? He replied : It is said in Scripture Is. lx. 2. Rabbi Elieser taught: The days of the Messiah are forty years, according to Ps. xcv. 10. Rabbi Eleasar, the son of Asariah, said : Seventy years, according to Is. xxiii. 15, 'according to the days of a King,' the King there spoken of being the unique king, the Messiah. Rabbi said: Three generations, according to Ps. lxxii. 5. Rabbi Hillel said : Israel shall have no more Messiah, for they have had Him in the days of Hezekiah. Rabbi Joseph said: May God forgive Rabbi Hillel: when did Hezekiah live ? During the first Temple. And Zechariah prophesied during the second Temple, and said Zech. ix. 9. We have the tradition that Rabbi Elieser said: The days of the Messiah are forty years. It is written Deut. viii. 3, 4, and again in Ps. xc. 15 (showing that the days of rejoicing must be like those of affliction in the wilderness). Rabbi Dosa said : Four hundred years, quoting Gen. xv. 13 in connection with the same Psalm. Rabbi thought it was 365 years, according to the solar year, quoting Is. lxii. 4. He asked the meaning of the words: 'The day of vengeance is in My heart, Rabbi Jochanan explained them: I have manifested it to My heart, but not to My members, and Rabbi Simon ben Lakish : To My heart, and not to the ministering angels. Abimi taught that the days of the Messiah were to last for Israel 7,000 years (a Divine marriage-week), according to Is. lxii. 5. Rabbi Jehudah said, that Rabbi Samuel said, that the days of the Messiah were to be as from the day that the world was created until now, according to Deut. xi. 21. Rabbi Nachman said: As from the days of Noah till now, according to Is. liv. 9. Rabbi Chija said, that Rabbi Jochanan said : All the prophets have only prophesied in regard to the days of the Messiah ; but in regard to the world to come, eye has not seen, O God, beside Thee, what He hath prepared for him that waiteth for Him (Is. lxiv. 4). And this is opposed to what Rabbi Samuel said, that there was no difference between this world and the days of the Messiah, except that foreign domination would cease. Upon which the Talmud goes off to discourse upon repentance, and its relation to perfect righteousness.

Lengthy as this extract may be, it will at least show the infinite difference between the Rabbinic expectation of the Messiah, and the picture of Him presented in the New Testament. Surely the Messianic idea, as realised in Christ, could not have been derived from the views current in those times !





(Vol. i. Book II. ch. x. p. 246.)


PUTTING aside, as quite untenable, the idea of a regular Beth ha-Midrash in the Temple (though advocated even by Wünsche), we have here to inquire whether any historical evidence can be adduced for the existence of a Synagogue within the bounds of the Temple-buildings. The notice (Sot. vii. 8) that on every Sabbatic year lection of certain portions was made to the people in the Court,' and that & service was conducted there during public fasts on account of dry weather (Taan. ii. 5), can, of course, not be adduced as proving the existence of a regular Temple-Synagogue. On the other hand, it is expressly said in Sanh. 88 b, lines 19, 20 from top, that on the Sabbaths and feast-days the members of the Sanhedrin went out upon the Chel or Terrace of the Temple, when questions were asked of them and answered. It is quite true that in Tos. Sanh. vii. (p. 158, col. d) we have an inaccurate statement about the second of the Temple-Sanhedrin as sitting on the Chel (instead of at the entrance to the Priests' Court, as in Sanh. 88 6), and that there the Sabbath and festive discourses are loosely designated as a ‘Beth haMidrash' which was on the Temple-Mount.'1 But since exactly the same description-indeed, in the same words—of what took place is given in the Tosephta as in the Talmud itself, the former must be corrected by the latter, or rather the term • Beth ha-Midrash 'must be taken in the wider and more general sense as the place of Rabbinic exposition,' and not as indicating any permanent Academy. But even if the words in the Tosephta were to be taken in preference to those in the Talmud itself, they contain no mention of any Temple-Synagogue.

Equally inappropriate are the other arguments in favour of this supposed Temple-Synagogue. The first of them is derived from a notice in Tos. Succah. iv. 4, in which R. Joshua explains how, during the first night of the Feast of Tabernacles, the pious never saw sleep,' since they went, first to the Morning Sacrifice, thence to the Synagogue, thence to the Beth ha-Midrash, thence to the festive sacrifices, thence to eat and to drink, thence again to the Beth ha-Midrash, thence to the Evening Sacrifice, and thence to the joy of the house of waterdrawing”) (the night-feast and services in the Temple-Courts). The only other argument is that from Yoma vii. 1, 2, where we read that while the bullock and the goat were burned the High-Priest read to the people certain portions of the Law, the roll of which was handed by the Chaszszan of the Synagogue (it is not said which Synagogue) to the head of the Synagogue, by him to the Sagan, and by the Sagan to the High-Priest.? How utterly inconclusive inferences from these notices are, need

1 So also by Maimonides, Yad ha-Chas. the Law by the kings of Israel to the people, vol. iv. p. 241 a (Hile. Sanh. ch. iii.).

according to Deut. xxxi. 10. Will it be 2 A similar arrangement is described in argued from this that there was a Synagogue Sot. vii. 8 as connected with the reading of in the Temple in the early days of the kings?

APP. х

not be pointed out. More than this--the existence of a Temple-Synagogue seems entirely incompatible with the remark in Yoma vii. 2, that it was impossible for anyone present at the reading of the High-Priest to witness the burning of the bullock and goat—and that, not because the former took place in a regular TempleSynagogue, but because the way was far and the two services were exactly at the same time.' Such, so far as I know, are all the Talmudical passages from which the existence of a regular Temple-Synagogue has been inferred, and with what reason, the reader may judge for himself.

It is indeed easy to understand that Rabbinism and later Judaism should have wished to locate a Synagogue and a Beth ha-Midrash within the sacred precincts of the Temple itself. But it is difficult to account for the circumstance that such Christian scholars as Reland, Carpzov, and Lightfoot should have been content to repeat the statement without subjecting its grounds to personal examination. Vitringa (Synag. p. 30) almost grows indignant at the possibility of any doubt, and that, although he himself quotes passages from Maimonides to the effect that the reading of the Law by the High-Priest on the Day of Atonement took place in the Court of the Women, and hence not in any supposed Synagogue.

Yet commentators generally, and writers on the Life of Christ bave located the sitting of our Lord among the Doctors in the Temple in this supposed Temple-Synagogue !!

1 In a former book (Sketches of Jewish Life stitute for the Temple and its Services in the Time of our Lord ') I had expres- within the precincts of the Temple ; or bow sed hesitation and misgivings on the subject. could the respective services be so arranged These (as explained in the text), a fuller study as not to clash ; or, lastly, bare not the has converted into absolute certitude against prayers of the Synagogue, admittedly, taken the popularly accepted hypothesis. And what, the place of the Services and Sacrifices of the indeed, could have been the meaning of a Temple ? Synagogue, which, after all, stood as sub





(See Vol. i. Book II. ch. xi. p. 260, Note 2.)


ACCORDING to the Synoptic Gospels, the public appearance and preaching of John was the fulfilment of the prediction with which the second part of the prophecies of Isaiah opens, called by the Rabbis, the book of consolations.' After a brief general preface (Is. xl. i, 2), the words occur which are quoted by St. Matthew and St. Mark (Is. xl. 3), and more fully by St. Luke (Is. xl. 3–5). A more appropriate beginning of the book of consolations' could scarcely be conceived.

The quotation of Is. xl. 3 is made according to the LXX., the only difference being the change of the paths of our God’into . His paths. The divergences between the LXX. and our Hebrew text of Is. xl. 4, 5 are somewhat more numerous, but equally unimportant—the main difference from the Hebrew original lying in this, that, instead of rendering all flesh shall see it together,' we have in the LXX. and the New Testament, 'all flesh shall see the salvation of God.' As it can scarcely be supposed that the LXX. read yw' for 19n', we must regard their rendering as Targumic. Lastly, although according to the accents in the Hebrew Bible we should read, “The Voice of one crying: In the wilderness prepare,' &c., yet, as alike the LXX., the Targum, and the Synoptists render, “ The Voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare,' their testimony must be regarded as outweighing the authority of the accents, which are of so much later date.

But the main question is, whether Is. xl. 3, &c., refers to Messianic times or not. Most modern interpreters regard it as applying to the return of the exiles from Babylon. This is not the place to enter on a critical discussion of the passage; but it may be remarked that the insertion of the word “salvation ’in v. 5 by the LXX. seems to imply that they had viewed it as Messianic. It is, at any rate, certain that the Synoptists so understood the rendering of the LXX. But this is not all. The quotation from Is. xl. was regarded by the Evangelists as fulfilled, when John the Baptist announced the coming Kingdom of God. We have proof positive, that on the supposition of the correctness of the announcement made by John, they only took the view of their contemporaries in applying Is. lx. 3, &c., to the preaching of the Baptist. The evidence here seems to be indisputable, for the Targum renders the close of v. 9 ( say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God ! ') by the words Say to the cities of the House of Judah, the Kingdom of your God shall be manifested.'

In fact, according to the Targum,“the good tidings' are not brought by Zion nor by Jerusalem, but to Zion and to Jerusalem.



(See vol. i. Book II. ch. xi. p. 273.)


Only those who have made study of it can have any idea how large, and sometimes bewildering, is the literature on the subject of Jewish Proselytes and their Baptism. Our present remarks will be confined to the Baptism of Proselytes.

1. Generally speaking proselytes (Gerim) are distinguished as either the Gerey ha Shaar (proselytes of the gate) and Gerey Toshabh (í sojourners,' settled among Israel), or else as Gerey hazzedek (proselytes of righteousness) and Gerey habberith (proselytes of the covenant). The former are referred to by Josephus (Ant. xis.7.2), and frequently in the New Testament, in the Authorised Version under the designation of those who “fear God,' Acts xiii. 16, 26 ; are • religious,' Acts xii. 43;

devout, Acts xiii. 50: xvii. 4. 17; 'worship God,' Acts xvi. 14; xviii. 7. Whether the expression devout' and “feared God' in Acts x. 2, 7 refers to proselytes of the gate is doubtful. As the “proselytes of the gate' only professed their faith in the God of Israel, and merely bound themselves to the observance of the so-called seven Noachic commandments (on which in another place), the question of 'baptism’ need not be discussed in connection with them, since they did not even undergo circumcision.

2. It was otherwise with 'the proselytes of righteousness,' who became children of the covenant,“ perfect Israelites' (Yisraelim Gemurim), 'Israelites in every respect,' both as regarded duties and privileges. All writers are agreed that three things were required for the admission of such proselytes: Circumcision (Milah), Baptism (Tebhilah), and a Sacrifice (Korban, in the case of women: baptism and sacrifice) the latter consisting of a burnt-offering of a heifer, or of a pair of turtle doves or of young doves (Maimonides, Hilch. Iss. Biah xiii, 5). After the destruction of the Temple promise had to be made of such a sacrifice when the services of the Sanctuary were restored. On this and the ordinances about circumcision it is not necessary to enter further. That baptism was absolutely necessary to make a proselyte is so frequently stated as not to be disputed (See Maimonides, u.s. ; the tractate Massecheth Gerim in Kirchheim's Septem Libri Talm. Parvi, pp. 38-41, [which, however, adds little to our knowledge]; Targum on Ex. xii. 44; Ber. 47 b; Cherith. 9 a; Jer. Chag. i. 76 a; Yebam. 45 b, 46 a and b, 48 6,97 b; Ab. Sar. 57 a, 59 a, and other passages). There was, indeed, a difference between Rabbis Joshua and Elieser, the former maintaining that baptism alone without circumcision, the latter that circumcision alone without baptism, sufficed to make a proselyte, but the sages decided in favour of the necessity of both rites (Yebam. 46 a and b). The baptism was to be performed in the presence of three witnesses, ordinarily Sanhedrists (Yebam. 47 b), but in case of necessity others might act. The person to be baptized, having cut his hair and nails, undressed completely, made fresh pro

« ÎnapoiContinuați »