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wbich people generally resorted to Jerusalem, and as it took place on the 1st of Tishri (about the middle of September), it is difficult to believe that anyone going up to it would not rather have chosen, or at least remained over, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles, which followed respectively, on the 10th and 15th days of that month. Lastly, the Feast of Wood Offering, which took place on the 15th Ab (in August) was a popular and joyous festival, when the wood needed for the altar was brought up from all parts of the country (comp. on that feast. The Temple and its Services,' &c., pp. 295, 296). As between these two feasts, we must leave the question undecided, only noting that barely six weeks intervened between the one and the other feast.
JEWISH VIEWS ABOUT THE DEMONISED.
ON THE JEWISH VIEWS ABOUT DEMONS' AND 'THE DEMONISED,' TOGETHER
WITH SOME NOTES ON THE INTERCOURSE BETWEEN JEWS AND JEWISH CHRIS
TIANS IN THE FIRST CENTURIES.
(See Vol. i. Book III. ch. xiv.)
It is not, of course, our purpose here to attempt an exhaustive account of the Jewish views on demons' and the demonised.' A few preliminary strictures are, however, necessary on a work upon which writers on this subject have too implicitly relied. I refer to Gfrörer's Jahrhundert des Heils (especially vol. i. pp. 378– 424). Gfrörer sets out by quoting a passage in the Book of Enoch on which he lays great stress, but which the critical inquiries of Dillmann and other scholars have shown to be of no value in the argument. This disposes of many pages of negative criticism on the New Testament which Gfrörer founds on this quotation. Similarly, 4 Esdras would not in our days be adduced in evidence of pre-Christian teaching. As regards Rabbinic passages, Gfrörer uncritically quotes from Kabbalistic works which he mixes up with quotations from the Talmud and from writings of a later date. Again, as regards the two quotations of Gfrörer from the Mishnah (Erub. iv. 1; Gitt. vii. 1), it has already been stated (vol. i. p. 481, note 4) that neither of these passages bears any reference to demoniac possessions. Further, Gfrörer appeals to two passages in Sifré which may here be given in extenso. The first of these (ed. Friedmann, p. 107 b) is on Deut. xviii. 12, and reads thus: “He who joins himself (cleaves) to uncleanness, on him rests the spirit of uncleanness; but he who cleaves to the Shechinah, it is meet that the Holy Spirit should rest on him.' The second occurs in explanation of Deut. xxxii. 16, and reads as follows (u. s. p. 136 6): 'What is the way of a “demon” (Shed)? He enters into a man and subjects him.' It will be observed that in both these quotations reference is made to certain moral, not to physical effects, such as in the case of the demonised. Lastly, although one passage from the Talmud which Gfrörer adduces (though not quite exactly) applies, indeed, to demoniacal possessions, but is given in an exaggerated and embellished form.
If from these incorrect references we turn to what Jewish authorities really state on the subject, we have :
1. To deal with the Writings of Josephus. In Antiq. vi. 8. 2, Josephus ascribes Saul's disorder to demoniac influence, which brought upon him such suffocations as were ready to choke him.' In Antiq. vi. 8. 2, the demon-spirit is said to enter into Saul, and to disorder him. In Antiq. viii. 2.5, Josephus describes the wisdom, learning, and achievements of Solomon, referring specially to his skill in expelling demons who caused various diseases. According to Josephus, Solomon had exercised this power by incantations, bis formulæ and words of exorcism being still
known in Josephus's days. In such manner a certain Eleazar had healed a 'demoniac' in the presence of Vespasian, his officers, and troops, by putting to his nostrils a ring that held a root of one of those mentioned by Solomon,' by which the demon was drawn out amidst convulsions of the demoniac, when the demon was further adjured not to return by frequent mention of the name of Solomon, and by “incantations which he [Solomon) had composed.' To show the reality of this, a vessel with water had been placed at a little distance, and the demon had, in coming out, overturned it. It is probably to this 'root 'that Josephus refers in War vii. 6. 3, where he names it Baaras, which I conjecture to be the equivalent of the form xqyia, boara, “the burning,' since he describes it as of colour like a flame, and as emitting at even a ray like lightning, and which it would cost a man's life to take up otherwise than by certain magical means which Josephus specifies. From all this we infer that Josephus occupied the later Talmudical standpoint, alike as it gards exorcism, magical cures, and magical preventions. This is of great importance as showing that these views prevailed in New Testament times. But when Josephus adds, that the demons expelled by Baaras were the spirits of the wicked," he represents a superstition which is not shared by the earlier Rabbis, and may possibly be due to a rationalising attempt to account for the phenomenon. It is, indeed, true that the same view occurs in comparatively late Jewish writings, and that in Yalkut on Is. 46 b there appears to be a reference to it, at least in connection with the spirits of those who had perished in the flood ; but this seems to belong to a different cycle of legends.
2. Rabbinic views. Probably the nearest approach to the idea of Josephus that “demons' were the souls of the wicked, is the (perhaps allegorical) statement that the backbone of a person who did not bow down to worship God became a Shed, or demon (Yebam. 122 a). The most common names for demons are spirits,' or unclean spirits' (ruach raah, ruach tumeah), Seirim (lit. goats), Shedim (Sheyda, a demon, male or female, either because their chief habitation is in desolate places, or from the word 'to fly about,' or else from “to rebel'), and Maszszikin (the hurtful ones). A demoniac is called Gebher Shedijin (Ber. R. 65). Even this, that demons are supposed to eat and drink, to propagate themselves, and to die, distinguishes them from the demons' of the New Testament. The food of demons consists of certain elements in fire and water, and of certain odours. Hence the mode of incantation by incense made of certain ingredients. Of their origin, number, habitation, and general influence, sufficient has been said in the Appendix on Demonology. It is more important here to notice these two Jewish ideas: that demons entered into, or took possession of, men ; and that many diseases were due to their agency. The former is frequently expressed. The evil spirit' constrains a man to do certain things, such as to pass beyond the Sabbath-boundary (Erub. 41 6), to eat the Passover-bread, &c. (Rosh ha-Sh. 28 a). But it reads more like a caustic than a serious remark when we are informed that these three things de prive a man of his free will and make him transgress: the Cuthæans, an evil spirit, and poverty (Erub. u. s.). Diseases—such as rabies, angina, asthma, or accidentssuch as an encounter with a wild bull, are due to their agency, which, happily, is not unlimited. As stated in App. XIII. the most dangerous demons are those of dirty (secret) places (Shabb. 67 a). Even numbers (2, 4, 6, &c.) are always dangerous, so is anything that comes from unwashen hands. For such, or similar oversights, a whole legion of demons is on the watch (Ber. 51 a). On the evening of the Passover the demons are bound, and, in general, their power has now been 1 I would here generally acknowledge my obligations to Dr. Brecher's tractate on the subject.
JEWISH VIEWS ABOUT MAGIC.
restricted, chiefly to the eves of Wednesday and of the Sabbath (Pes. 109 b to 112 b, passim). Yet there are, as we shall see, circumstances in which it would be foolhardiness to risk their encounter. Without here entering on the views expressed in the Talmud about prophecy, visions, and dreams, we turn to the questions germane to our subject.
A. Magic and Magicians. We must here bear in mind that the practice of magic was strictly prohibited to Israelites, and that—as a matter of principle at least-witchcraft, or magic, was supposed to have no power over Israel, if they owned and served their God (Chull. 7 b, towards the end). But in this matter also
-as will presently appear-theory and practice did not accord. Thus, under certain circumstances, the repetition of magical formulas was declared lawful even on the Sabbath (Sanh. 101 a). Egypt was regarded as the home of magic (Shabb. 75 a). In connection with this, it deserves notice that the Talmud ascribes the miracles of Jesus to magic, which He had learned during His stay in Egypt, having taken care, when He left, to insert under His skin its rules and formulas, since every traveller, on quitting the country, was searched, lest he should take to other lands the mysteries of magic (Shabb. 43 a; 104 b).
Here it may be interesting to refer to some of the strange ideas which Rabbinism attached to the early Christians, as showing both the intercourse between the two parties, and that the Jews did not deny the gift of miracles in the Church, only ascribing its exercise to magic. Of the existence of such intercourse with Jewish Christians there is abundant evidence. Thus, R. Joshua, the son of Levi (at the end of the second century), was so hard pressed by their quotations from the Bible that, unable to answer, he pronounced a curse on them, which, however, did not come. We gather, that in the first century Christianity had widely spread among the Jews, and R. Ishmael, the son of Elisha, the grandson of that High-Priest who was executed by the Romans (Josephus, War i. 2. 2), seems in vain to have contended against the advance of Christianity. At last he agreed with R. Tarphon that nothing else remained but to burn their writings. It was this R. Ishmael who prevented his nephew Ben Dama from being cured of the bite of a serpent by a Christian, preferring that he should die rather than be healed by such means (Abod. Sar. 27 b, about the middle). Similarly, the great R. Elieser ben Hyrcanus, also in the first century, was so suspected of the prevailing heresy that he was actually taken up as a Christian in the persecution of the latter. Though he cleared himself of the suspicion, yet his contemporaries regarded him for a time doubtfully, and all agreed that the troubles which befell him were in punishment for having listened with pleasure to the teaching of the heretics (Ab. S. 16 b, 17 a). The following may be mentioned as instances of the magic practised by these heretics. In Jer. Sanh. 25 d, we are told about two great Rabbis who were banned by a heretic to the beam of a bath. In return the Rabbis, by similar means, fastened the heretic to the door of the bath. Ilaving mutually agreed to set each other free, the same parties next met on board a ship. Here the heretic by magical means clave the sea, by way of imitating Moses. On this the Rabbis called upon him to walk through the sea, like Moses, when he was immediately overwhelmed through the ban of R. Joshua! Other stories of a similar and even more absurd character might be quoted. But if such opinions were entertained of Jewish Christians, we can scarcely wonder that all their books were ordered to be burnt (Bemid. R. 9), that even a roll of the Law written by a heretic was to be destroyed (Gitt. 45 b), and that Jewish Christians were consigned to
1 See more on this subject in vol. ii. pp. 193, 194. VOL. II.
eternal punishment in Gehinnom (Rosh. haSh. 17 a), from which even the token of circumcision should not deliver them, since an Angel would convert it into uncircumcision (Shem. R. 19).
But to return. Talmudic writings distinguish several classes of magicians. The Baal Obh, or conjuror of the dead, evoked a voice from under the armpit, or from other members of the dead body, the arms or other members being struck together, for the purpose of eliciting the sound. Necromancy might be practised in two different ways. The dead might be called up (by a method which scarcely bears description), in which case they would appear with the feet upwards. But this must not be practised on the Sabbath. Or again, a skull might, by magical means, be made to answer. This might be done on the Sabbath also (Sanh. 65 a and b). Or a demon might be conjured up by a certain kind of incense, and then employed in magic. A second class of magicians (called Videoni) uttered oracles by putting a certain bone into their mouth. Thirdly, there was the Chabar, or serpent charmer, a distinction being made between a great and a small Chabar, according as larger or smaller serpents were charmed. Fourthly, we have the Meonen, who could indicate what days or hours were lucky and unlucky. Fifthly, there was the searcher after the dead,' who remained fasting on graves in order to communicate with an unclean spirit; and, lastly, the Menachesh, who knew what omens were lucky and what unlucky (Sanh. 66 a). And if they were treated only as signs and not as omens, the practice was declared lawful (Chull. 95b)
In general the black art might be practised either through demons, or else by the employment of magical means. Among the latter we reckon, not only incantations, but magic by means of the thumb, by a knife with a black handle, or by a glass cup (Sanh. 67 b), or by a cup of incantation (Baba Mez. 29 b). But there was danger here, since, if all proper rules and cautions were not observed, the magician might be hurt by the demon. Such an instance is related, although the Rabbi in question was mercifully preserved by being swallowed by a cedar, which afterwards burst and set him free (Sanh. 101 a). Women were specially suspected of witchcraft (Jer. Sanh. vii. 25 d), and great caution was accordingly enjoined. Thus, it might even be dangerous to lift up fragments of bread (though not whole loaves) lest they should be bewitched (Erub. 64 b). A number of instances are related in which persons were in imminent danger from magic, in some of which they suffered not only damage but death, while in others the Rabbis knew how to turn the impending danger against their would be assailants. (Comp. for example Pes. 110 b; Sot. 22 a; Gitt. 45 a; Sanh. 67b). A very peculiar idea is that about the Teraphim of Scripture. It occurs already in the Targum Ps.-Jon. on Gen. xxxi. 19, and is found also in the Pirké de R. Elies. C. 36. It is stated that the Teraphim were made in the following manner: a firstborn was killed, his head cut off, and prepared with salt and spices, after which a gold plate, upon which magical formulas had been graven, was placed under his tongue, when the head was supposed to give answer to whatever questions might be addressed to it.
B. After this we can scarcely wonder, that so many diseases should have been imputed to magical or else to demoniac influences, and cured either by magical means or by exorcism. For our present purpose we leave aside not only the ques tion, whether and what diseases were regarded as the punishment of certain sins,
1 We have here only been able to indicate between Jews and Christians. Vay, the this most interesting subject. Much more practice of some early Christians to make remains to be said concerning Elieser b. Hyrca- themselves eunuchs is alluded to in the Talnus, and others. There seem even to have mud (Shabb. 152 a). been regular meeting places for discussion