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and the north, leading into central and southern Palestine, and that from Perea and the Jordan valley. Other roads came in from the trest, at Shechem. Thus, the site was public and accessible.
Another point is to be considered. The forerunner may have wished to avoid molestation on the part of Herod Antipas as well as from the Jewish hierarchy. Whether he had already aroused the Tetrarch's hostility by rebuking his connection with Herodias, we cannot certainly know; but it is not improbable. It is plain, however, from Josephus, whose account rather supplements than contradicts the gospel history, that Herod had long been disturbed by the popular uprising caused by the preaching of John; this fact of itself would incline the Baptist to select a situation for this stage of his work outside of Herod's dominions.
“ But it is difficult to believe,” Dr. Andrews objects (in his invaluable Life of Our Lord, p. 156), " that John, the preacher of the Law, could have entered Samaria to baptize, when, at a later period, the Lord forbade the Twelve to preach in any of its cities (Matt. X. 5).”
Similarly Godet asks : “ How should John have settled among the Samaritans? How would the multitude have followed him to the midst of this hostile people?" Weiss asserts positively: “It is in the nature of the case impossible that he had taken up his station in Samaria" (Leben Jesu, vol. ii., p. 408, note).
But, we ask, why should John abstain from occupying a Samaritan neighborhood? Known to the Samaritans to be under ban of the Jewish hierarchy, he would be all the more welcome. He was not so much the preacher of the Law, as the herald of the Messiah ; and the Samaritans, too, were awaiting a Messiah. Again, that John was stationed within the Samaritan limits does not imply that he came with a special mission to the Samaritans. It is not as if he entered a Samari
"I give the note in full. It illustrates, particularly the last remark, which I have put in italics, a tendency on the part of the distinguished author (it would be easy to and other examples) to neglect facts of geography and objective history that one would suppose easily accessible to him.
“ Das Joh. iii. 2; genannte Enon bei Salem, wo er taufte, ist uns gänzlich unbekannt; aber die Angaben der Kirchenväter weisen hoch in den Vorden hinauf.
“ Die gangbare Vorstellung, dass auch Johannes noch in Judäa wirkte, ist nach den Andeutungen unseres Evangelisten ganz unwahrscheinlich; dass er in Samaria seinen Standort nahm, ist von vorn herein unmöglich; so bleibt nur das galiläische oder peräische Gebiet übrig. lebrigens schliesst die Beinerkung, dass der Ort wasserreich war, keineswegs aus, dass derselbe im Jordanthal lag, da der Jordan schwerlich überall tief genug war, um darın su taufen."
tan community. To cross the vaguely-drawn boundary of Samaria involved no trespass or assumption of privilege, as would be the case in entering a territory of a European state or province. Particularly in the case of this ill-defined province, with its mixture of races, we are not to suppose that the Samaritans either actually occupied, or had jurisdiction over all the tracts 'between their towns. In ancient or in modern Palestine there was a constant interpenetration and intermingling of populations within very limited districts. An open-air encampment of a Jewish prophet for preaching and baptizing at the head of the Fâr'ah valley, might be in Samaria without trespassing upon a Samaritan community, or breaking down in any way the barrier between the two peoples. Our Lord, indeed, forbade the Twelve, at the time when he sent them forth during the imprisonment of John the Baptist, to enter into “any city of the Samaritans." But they were not forbidden to traverse their territory. He himself is mentioned as being among the Samaritans on two separate occasions during the last period of his ministry, the five or six months preceding his crucifixion (Luke ix. 51 sq., xvii. II 59.). Lange, indeed, supposes that a considerable part of this period was spent in the Samaritan borders.
Far too much stress has been laid in the interpretation of the gospel narrative on the hostility and supposed non-intercourse between Jews and Samaritans. “ Jews have no dealings with Samaritans," — the Evangelist's annotation to the question of the woman of Samaria, obviously means “no needless, friendly, or familiar intercourse with them." What Edersheim, a high authority on a question of this sort, says of Christ, applies also in measure to John the Baptist. “Such prejudices in regard to Samaria, as those which affected the ordinary Judean devotee, would, of course, not influence the conduct of Jesus. But great as these undoubtedly were, they have been unduly exaggerated by modern writers, misled by one-sided quotations from Rabbinical works" (Jesus the Messiah, i., p. 295). Also : "Samaria appears [i.c., in the Rabbis] merely as a strip intervening between Judea and Galilee, being the land of the Cuthæans. Nevertheless, it was not regarded like heathen lands, but pronounced clean” (p. 398). Again, of the Samaritans: “They were not treated as heathen, and their land, their springs, baths, houses, and roads were declared clean" (p. 400).
One more point specially concerns the broader interpretation of the gospel narrative, and this will conclude the discussion. Our Lord's two days' ministry in Sychar is unique. In the whole history it has no parallel. Among the Samaritans of this city he found a large, intelligent faith, such as met him nowhere else. He seems to have wrought no miracles; he was not even challenged to produce "a sign out of heaven"; faith followed the spoken word. Whence this faith, this intelligence? Who had instructed this people? Who had sown the seed that now sprang up into this white harvest? , If the Baptist had been for some time preaching in the immediate neighborhood, with in five miles distance, the question is answered. “Others had labo red,” as our Lord at the time reminds his disciples. Here in a remarkable manner John had fulfilled his prophetic mission, and, in the words of the angel, had made ready for his Lord“ a prepared people."
The Syriac Manuscript of the Union Theo
logical Seminary of New York.
PROF. ISAAC H. HALL, PH.D.
HIS MS. was obtained from the neighborhood of Mardin, in
Mesopotamia, by the Rev. Alpheus N. Andrus, and by him presented to the Union Theological Seminary in March, 1872. It consists, in its present shape, of 146 leaves of rather thick parchment, one of them a mere fragment, but each entire leaf being 7} x 54 inches in dimension. The present binding, very dilapidated, of which only fragments of the back and one (wooden board) side remain, is pretty certainly three centuries old. The middle portions of the MS. are in fair preservation, but toward each end many leaves are more or less decayed, discolored, and obscured by the action of water and dirt. Very few portions of it, however, present any serious difficulty in deciphering, though some of them require a little close and slow work.
The sheets are arranged in quiniones, or quires of five folios or ten leaves each. The writing is in two columns to the page, each column regularly 1 inches wide by 5 inches high, and the space between the columns about šof an inch wide. All these measurements vary somewhat, but the size of the written page is generally 5} x 3inches. The number of lines in a column is usually 24, but it varies from 21 to 26.
At present, the first three quires are gone ; the MS. now beginning with a fragment of the first leaf of quinio 4, in Matt. xx. 22.
This fragment, however, contains only portions of Matt. xx. 22, 23 ; xxi. 4-7. The real beginning is with Fol. 2, at Matt. xxi. 10. No gap then occurs till we pass Fol. 99, after which two leaves are missing, one the last leaf of quinio 13, and the other the first leaf of quinio 14, causing the loss of Luke xxxiii. 2 1 to xxxiv. 9 (latter part of the verse). Of these two missing leaves, the first has doubtless been cut away since the MS. came to America; the other was apparently lost by the natural wearing through of the outer folio of the quinio. The next break occurs in the last quire now present of the MS., the seventh and eighth leaves of the quinio being gone, carrying away John xxi. 17 (latter part of the verse) to the end of the Gospel, and of the Epistle of James from its beginning to ii. 2 (first part of the verse). The present end of the MS. is in James ii. 26, first four words of the verse ; to which a later hand has added the rest of the verse, occupying four lines in the lower margin. This later hand undoubtedly belongs to the same period as the present binding, or about three centuries ago. The addition seems to have been made merely to give a clean end to the already mutilated MS.
The MS. thus contained originally the four Gospels and the Epistle of James, and probably all of the Catholic Epistles used by the Syrians (James, i Peter, 1 John). If it contained no more than that (a supposition favored by the general make and size of the volume), the codex would have been complete with one more quinio ; and would have contained originally 19 quiniones, or 190 leaves, or 380 pages.
The writing is in the old Jacobite character, of a style which seems to be of the twelfth century. (Mr. Andrus, the giver of the MS. to the Seminary, considered it to be about 800 years old; but he seems to me to put it a century too early.) It is much later than the Beirût MS., which belongs to the same general style or class of writing ; for it intermingles much later forms of the letters, besides being written throughout in a later style. Rarely, except in lesson-numbers, a letter occurs in Estrangela. One line, at the bottom of a column (three words of Luke xxii. 29, Fol. 98, b. 2), is written entirely in the Estrangela.
Punctuation is used with the usual significance and insignificance of Syriac MSS. ; the end of a line or the beginning of a churchlesson note being often considered a sufficient indication of punctuation without any further marks. Often, the upper dot of a rish, the lower dot of a dolath, the point which denotes the feminine suffix pronoun, and the like, are made to do extra duty as a punctuation mark; being in such cases pushed forward from their normal positions - either to serve the purpose of a single punctuation dot, or part of a double one. In the case of final nun, a single dot so often coalesces with its heavy end in such ways that it is impossible to tell exactly what punctuation is intended. The red diamond with a black centre occurs frequently, marking rhetorical significance, or sone ecclesiastical or reference division, rather than any syntactical force. Where the diamond of four dots (two vertical red, two horizontal black) is used at the end of a line, the next line often has a red dot at the be