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Tacitus, ' to expel the Egyptian and Jewish rites. And a . decree of the senate was passed, that four thousand of the • Libertine race infected with that superstition, and who
were of a fit age, should be transported into the island of • Sardinia, and that the rest should depart Italy within a • time limited, unless they renounced their profane rites.""
Josephus says of the same affair, Tiberius ordered that • all the Jews should be expelled from Rome. And the • Consuls chose out four thousand of them, whom they sent into the island Sardinia.'
Suetonius says, That Tiberius sent the Jewish youth • into some of the most unhealthful provinces, and ordered • the rest of that nation, and all others of their religion, to • leave the city, upon pain of perpetual servitude.'y
Josephus and Suetonius expressly call those Jews, whom Tacitus calls men of the Libertine race. As there were so great numbers of these men at Rome, it is not at all unlikely, that they had a synagogue at Jerusalem.
I have said nothing new under this article. I have only followed Grotius and Vitringa, especially the latter; who, I think, bas given a just account of this matter; though, it is likely, some learned men may not be exactly of the same opinion.
V. We have mention made several times in the gospels and Acts of the Apostles, of the zeal of the Jews to make proselytes to their religion, and of several proselytes in particular. Matt. xxiii. 15, “ Woe unto you, scribes and pharisees, hypocrites; for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte.” Acts ii. 10, “ And there were dwelling at Jerusalem-strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes.” Acts vi. 5, “ And the saying pleased the multitude: and they chose [for deacons) Stephen, Philip, Nicanor, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch." Chap. xiii. 43, “ Now when the congregation [in the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia] was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes, fol. lowed Paul and Barnabas." Ch. viii. 26-28, “ And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying: Go-unto
Actum et de sacris Ægyptiis Judaicisque pellendis : factumque patrum consultum, ut quatuor millia libertini generis eâ superstitione infecti, quis idonea ætas, insulam Sardiniam veherentur, -cæteri cederent Italiâ nisi certum ante diem profanos ritûs exuissent. Tac. Ann. lib. ii. cap. 85.
* Κελευει παν το Ιεδαικον της Ρωμης απελαθηναι οι δε υπατοι, τετρακισχιλιας ανθρωπων εξ αυτων τρατολογησαντες, επεμψαν εις Σαρδω την νησον. Joseph. Antiq. lib. xviii. cap. 4. fin.
y Judæorum juventutem, per speciem sacramenti, in provincias gravioris cæli distribuit: reliquos gentis ejusdem, vel similia sectantes, urbe submovit, sub pænà perpetuæ servitutis, nisi obtemperâssent. Suet. Tiber. сар. .
the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza. And he arose and went: and behold a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning, and sitting in his chariot, read Esaias the prophet.”
Josephus in his second book against Apion says, “ We • choose not to imitate the institutions of other people : but
we willingly embrace all that will follow ours": But the history which Josephusa bas given us of Izates the king of the Adiabenes, who was converted to the Jewish religion about the fortieth year of the Christian æra, will throw a great deal of light upon this subject. And therefore I shall set it bere before the reader, though in as few words as I can.
• About this time,' says Josephus, Helene the queen of • the Adiabenes, and her son Izates, came over to the ob• servation of the Jewish customs. b It happened in this
manner. Monobazus, king of the Adiabenes, fell in love • with his sister Helene, and married her.' By this marriage he had a son, whom he called Izates. . But there was an • elder son called Monobazus, whom he had by Helene, be• side other sons by other wives.' However it was apparent to all, that Izates had his best affections, as if he had been an only son. The rest of the sons therefore envied bim. The father was sensible of it: And therefore lest any • mischief should happen, having given Izates considerable * presents, he sent him to king Abennerigus, who resided in • a fortress called Spasina, entrusting him with the care of • his son. Abennerígus received him very civilly, and • married his daughter to him.'
Some time after this Monobazus the father dies: the queen calls a council of her nobles, puts them in mind, • that they knew the king her husband had appointed her
son Izates his successor. They came into these measures ; Izates returned home, was received, and gained peaceable possession of his father's kingdom.
• But whilst Izates resided in the fortress Spasina, a Jew• ish merchant, whose name was Ananias, who was wont to • have access to the women of the court, [or the king's
wives,] taught them to worship God according to the Jew• ish manner.
By their means Ananias was introduced to
Ημεις δε τα μεν των αλλων ζηλον 8κ αξιομεν. Tος μεντοι μετεχειν των ημετερων βαλομενες ηδεως δεχομεθα. Cont. Αp. lib. i. sect. 36.
a Ant. lib. xx. cap. 2. Β Κατα τατον δε τον καιρον των Αδιαβηνων βασιλις Ελενη, και ο παις αυτης Ιζατης εις τα Ιεδαιων εθη τον βιον μετεβαλ. λον, δια ταιαυτην αιτιαν.
Ibid. sect. 1.
• Izates, and brought over him likewise to the same senti* ments. It happened also that Helene was taught by an• other Jew, and came over to their laws.'c
• When Izates was returned and seated upon the throne, understanding that his mother was highly pleased with • the customs of the Jews, he became extremely desirous to
enter fully into them. And understanding that he could • not be a perfect Jew unless he was circumcised, he was disposed to that also.'d His mother having had notice of these his intentions, dissuaded him from it fearing it should alienate bis subjects, and provoke them to rebel. She also informed Ananias what advice she had given her son. Ananias was of the same opinion with her, and told Izates, that if he persisted in this design he must necessarily leave him; for the people would impute this action to him, and it would not be safe for him to stay any longer in the country. He told him moreover, " That he might worship • God without circumcision, if he did but fully determine • to follow the Jewish institutions. For this was more important (or essential] than circumcision,"e
And having assured him that God would forgive him his not doing • what he declined only out of necessity, and for fear of his ' subjects, the king for a time submitted to what he said. • However he had not wholly abandoned his design. And
some time after this another Jew named Eleazar, coming • thither out of Galilee, who was reckoned to be very • skilful in the laws, he brought him to perfect his design. • For when he came in to wait upon the king, he found him • reading the law of Moses. And thereupon addressed • himself to him in this manner: “ You little think, 0 king, • how great an injury you offer to the laws, and in them to God. For you ought not only to read the laws, but, in the
first place, to do the things which are enjoined by them. • How long do you remain uncircumcised ? If you
have not yet read the law concerning circumcision, read it now, that you may know what impiety you are in.” The king having
καιρον ο Ιζατης εν τω Σπασινο χαραχι διετριβεν, Ιεδαιος τις εμπορος, Ανανιας ονομα, προς τας γυναικας εισιων το βασιλεως, εδιδασκεν αυτας τον θεον ευσεβειν, ως Ιεδαιοις πατριον ην και δη δι' αυτων εις γνωσιν αφικομενος το Ιζατη, κακεινον ομοιως συνανεπεισε---- -συνεβεβηκει δε και την Ελενην, ομοιως υφ' ετερο τινος Ιεδαια διδαχθεισαν, εις τας εκεινων μετακεκομισθαι νομες. Ibid. sect. 4.
την μητερα την εαυτ8 πανυ χαιρειν τοις Ιεδαιων εθεσιν, εσπευσε και αυτος εις εκεινα μετατιθεσθαι" νομιζων τε μη αν ειναι βεβαιως Ιεδαιος, ει μη περιτεμνοιτο, πραττειν ην ετοιμος. Ιbid. sect. 5.
Δυναμενον δε αυτον, εφη και χωρις της περιτομης το θειον σεβειν, ειχε παντως κεκρινε ζηλεν τα πατρια των Ιεδαιων" τετο ειναι κυριώτερον το επιτεμνεσθαι. Ιbid.
• heard these words, deferred the thing no longer, but going • into another chamber, and having called in a physician,
performed the commandment.' And then sending for his * mother, and the master Ananias, he told them, he had now • done the work. They were immediately seized with an
uncommon surprise and fear, Jest, if this matter came to • be public, the king should be in danger of losing his • kingdom. But God suffered not those things to come to pass which they feared. For though Izates was in many dangers, God preserved him and his sons, and opened a * way for their safety, when they were compassed with diffi
culties; manifesting thereby, that they who look up to • him, and trust to him alone, do not lose the fruit of their • piety.ph
This story may give occasion for many reflections. I put the reader in mind of soine of them only. We learn hence, that the Jews did sometimes gain over persons of distinction to their religion : we see here, in part, their methods of gaining proselytes. Here appear two distinct sentiments : Ananias did not absolutely insist upon circumcision, but Eleazar did. And it seems somewhat probable, that Josephus himself was on this side the question. Ananias dispensed with it only on account of a very great necessity : Eleazar is represented as most skilful in laws: and in the conclusion Josephus intimates, that Izates, by embracing circumcision, had entitled bimself to the special protection of providence.
St. Luke expressly has called Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch. I must therefore set down here one passage particularly for his sake. Josephus, speaking of the Jews at Antioch, says, “ They were continually bringing over a great number • of Greeks to their religion; they made them also in some measure a part of themselves.'i
* Αλλ' ει μηπω τον περι τοτε νομον ανεγνως, ιν' ειδης τις εσιν η ασεβεια, νυν αναγνωθι: ταυτα ακgσας ο βασιλευς, εχ υπερβαλετο την πραξιν, μετατας δε εις ετερον οικημα, και τον ιατρον εισκαλεσαμενος, το προσαχθεν ετελει και μεταπεμψαμενος την τε μητερα, και τον διδασκαλoν Ανανιαν, εσήμανεν αυτον πεπραχεναι 8ργον. .
Ibid. 8 Επιδεικνυς οτι τοις εις αυτον αποβλεπ8σι, και μονω πεπιςευκοσιν, , καρπος 8κ απoλλυται ο της ευσεβειας. Ιbid.
" And Josephus says, that afterward the king's brother Monobazus, and many of his relations, observing Izates, for his piety to God, blessed above all men, were induced to forsake their own rites and customs, and embrace those of the Jews. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 3. sect. l. And several of Izates' sons and brothers were within Jerusalem during the siege; and, when the city was taken, fell into the hands of Titus: who out of his great generosity gave them their lives, but put them in chains, and carried them bound to Rome. De Bell. lib. vi, cap. 6. sect. 4. Αει τε προσαγομενοι ταις θρησκειαις πολυ πληθος Ελληνων, κακεινες τροπο τινι μοιραν αυτων πεποιηντο. De B. J. lib. vii. cap. 3. sect. 3.
St. Luke has more than once spoke of women among the Gentiles who were worshippers of God. When Paul was at Philippi, he says, Acts xvi. 14, “ And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, k which worshipped God, heard us.” At Antioch in Pisidia, Acts xiii. 50, “ The Jews stirred up' the devout and honourable women--and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas." From the history I have just now given of Izates's conversion, it appears, that some women were brought to approve of the Jewish customs, and to worship God after the manner of the Jews. Josephus says moreover, that when the men of Damascus, [in the year 66,] bad formed a design to make away with all the Jews of that place, . They con• cealed their design very carefully from their wives, because • all of them, except a very few, were devoted to the Jewish * religion.'m It appears from a verse of Horace," that the Jewish zeal in making proselytes was very extraordinary, and much taken notice of: and they were censuredo as unkind to all who were not of their own religion.
CONCERNING THE JEWISH SECTS, AND THE SAMARITANS.
I. Of the principles of the Pharisees and Sadducees, and
their opposition to each other. II. The Sadducees members of the Jewish council. III. Of the Scribes and Lawyers. IV. Of the Herodians not mentioned by Josephus. V. Of the Essenes not mentioned by the Evangelists. VI. Of the Samaritans.
I. FROM the frequent mention of the pharisees and sadducees in the gospels and Acts of the Apostles, it is natural to conclude, that they were the prevailing sects Σεβομενη τον θεον. .
Τας σεβομενας. .
η Εδεδoικεσαν δε τας εαυτων γυναικας, άπασας πλην ολιγων υπηγμενας τη Ιεδαικη θρησκεια διο μεγισος αυτοις αγων εγενετο λαθειν εκεινας. . De Bell. lib. 2. cap. 20. sect. 2.
Ac, veluti, te,
Lib. i. Sat. iv. v. ult.
JUVEN. Satyr. xiv. v. 103, 104.