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fants in Judea was a thing well known in Macrobius's time, and was not contested by heathens.

If we could be assured, that Macrobius transcribed this whole passage, not only the jest itself, but the occasion of it likewise, from some more ancient author, it would be a proof, that this event was well known in that author's time also. And we should have a great deal of reason to suppose that author was a heatben, because it is most likely that Macrobius, a bigoted heathen himself, y did not much deal in christian writers.

But it is possible, that Macrobius found only the jest in his author, and added the occasion, having collected it from the common discourse of the christians of his time, who frequently spoke of this cruel action of Herod. There is some reason to suspect this, because it is very likely, that Augustus’s reflection upon Herod was occasioned by the death of one of those sons whom Josephus has mentioned ; and that it has no relation at all to ihe slaughter of the infants at Bethlehem. This suspicion may be farther strengthened by the great agreement of Macrobius with St. Matthew, in the words he uses concerning the children." Macrobius being ignorant of Herod's story, and having heard of the slaughter of the infants, when he met with this jest in some author, concluded there bad been some young child of Herod put to death together with them.

I am content therefore to leave it a doubtful point, whether Macrobius transcribed this whole passage, or the jest only, from some more ancient author.

Úpon the whole then, there lies no objection against this relation of St. Matthew : there is nothing improbable in the thing itself, considering the jealous, cruel temper of Herod. The silence of Josephus, or of the ancient Greek and Roman historians, can be no difficulty with any reasonable person. This fact is confirmed by the express testimony of very early christian writers, and by Macrobius, a heathen author, in the latter end of the fourth century; from whom it appears, that this event was not then contested, and that it was even better known, than the fate of those sons of Herod, whom Josephus says he put to death at mau's estate.

II. An objection of the like sort with that we have been considering, inay be made against St. Luke, who says, ch.

y This is very evident from his works : and the reader may see a full proof of it in the Rev. Mr. Masson's Slaughter of the Children in Bethlehem, as an historical Fact, vindicated, sect. 3.

? Children witbin two years of age, which Herod king of the Jews commarded to be lain.

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xiii. 1, “ There were present at that season, some that told himn of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate bad mingled with their sacrifices." It has been thought strange by some, that Josephus bas made no mention of this event.

In answer to this objection, I shall transcribe a passage of Josephus. • Judas the Galilean introduced a fourth sect • among the Jews. In all other things they agree with the ' pharisees, but they have an invincible love of liberty, and acknowledge God alone their lord and governor : nor can any kind of death, or any punishments of their friends and relations, make them call any man lord. As many have • been witnesses of their immoveable firinness, I shall

say no more upon

this bead; not out of a fear lest my accounts • should be thought incredible, but rather because it is not easy fully to represent their contempt of all kinds of sufferings.

Perlaps the Galileans mentioned by St. Luke were some of the followers of the before-mentioned Judas.' Josephus says, be bas omitted the greatest part of the sufferings of that sect. I think it is not difficult to guess the reason. Judas's principles were very popular among the Jews, but in the opinion of the Romans they were criminal, as being inconsistent with subjection to their government. And it was next to impossible for Josephus to give a particular account of all transactions in Judea relating to this matter, without offending the Jews, his countrymen, on the one hand, or the Romans on the other.

But whether the Galileans in St. Luke were inen of this principle is not certain, nor is it material. For though they were not, the passage just transcribed from Josephus may satisfy us, that many remarkable events have been onnitted by bim upon some account or other,

δεδοικα μη εις απισιαν ύποληφθη τι των λεγομενων επ' αυτοις, τουναντιον δε μη ελασσονως τα εκεινων καταφρονηματος, δεχομενο την ταλαιπωριαν της αλγηδονος, ο λογος αφηγηται. Αnt. 1. xviii. c. 1. sect. 6.

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CHAP. III.

AN OBJECTION AGAINST THE FIFTEENTH YEAR OF THE

REIGN OF TIBERIUS, COMPARED WITH THE

AGE OF JESUS AT HIS BAPTISM.

1. The objection stated. 11. The first solution : That St.

Luke by the fifteenth of Tiberius, might intend the fitteenth of his proconsular porcer, not of his sole empire after the death of Augustus. ill. l'he consistence of other notes of' time in the Gospels with this supposition. IV. The second solution: That the age of thirty years ascribed to Jesus at his baptism may be understood with latitude.

ST. LUKE says, chap. iii. 1, 2, “ Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsur, Pontius Pilate being goverpor of Judea,—the word of God came unto John the sou of Zacharias in the wilderness.--Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened : And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased. And Jesus bimself-began to be about thirty years of age,ver. 23.

Against this account of St. Luke this objection may be formed. St. Matthew says expressly, that Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king." Though Jesus was born but a month or two before the death of Herod, he would be at least thirty-one years of age at bis baptism. But if Jesus was born above a year, much more, if above two years before Herod's death"; then the age of thirty years here ascribed to him at his baptism, is absolutely inconsistent with the notes of time mentioned at the cominencement of John the Baptist's ministry; even allowing that the word of God caine to John in the very beginning of the fifteenth year of Tiberius, and that Jesus was baptized a few months after.

Before I state this objection at length, I would observe, that the true genuine meaning of these words, “ Jesus bimselfa began to be about thirty years of age,” is not that he then entered the thirtieth year of bis age, but that Jesus was about thirty years of age when he began bis ministry: or, when he thus began to show himself publicly. This, I think, is now the general opinion of learned men: so the Greek word of this text is used by St. Luke in other places. Thus the high priests and others charge Jesus before Pilate, saying, Luke xxiii. 5, “ He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning [apgauevos, having begun] from Galilee to this place.” St. Peter, in the debate concerning the choice of an apostle in the room of Judas, says, Acts i. 21, 22, “ Wberefore of these men, which have accompanied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto the same day that he was taken from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.”

* Και αυτος ην ο Ιησες ώσει ετων τριακοντα αη χομενος, ων, κ. λ.

I come now to the objection : Augustus died, and Tiberius succeeded him, the 19th of August, A. U. 767, Julian year 59, A. D. 14. Therefore the fifteenth of Tiberius began the 19th Aug. A. U. 781, A. D. 28. Herod diede before the passover in A. U. 750, Jul. year 42, or else before the passover in A. U. 751, Jul. year 43. If then John the Baptist began to preach in the beginning of the fifteenth of Tiberius, in the latter end of A. U. 781, and Jesus be supposed to have been baptized by John a few months after, on the 6th of January of the year following, viz. A. U. 782, Jesus must have been in the 32d year of his life, if Herod died in the spring, A. U. 751, and if Jesus was born the 25th Decemb. preceding, viz. A. U. 750. But if Herod died, A. U. 750, and Jesus was born the 25th Decemb. before, viz. A. U. 749, then he would be at bis baptism in the 330 year of his age.

But it may be made appear several ways, that Jesus was born above a year, probably above two years before Herod died.

1. This may be inferred from the evangelists themselves. For it is very probable, that Herod lived a year or more after the murder of the infants. The wise inen baviog worshipped Jesus, when they were departed, Matt. ii. 13, 14, “ Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a Dr. Clarke's Paraphrase.

© Lucæ mentem Jansenius (Con. cap. 14.] optime assecutus est, quam sic exprimit: Sensus erit, et ipse Jesus erat fere triginta annorum, cum jam suscepto baptismo auspicaretur deinde munus suum. Bas. ann. Pol. Ecc. ant. D. 5. n. 28. vid. et Anton. Cappell. de Cænâ Christi supremà. Sect. 12. c. 23. Mr. Whiston's Short View of the Harmony, &c. p. 136.

4 Εν εισηλθε και εξηλθεν εφ' ημας ο Κυριος Ιησες, αρξαμενος απο το βαπτισματος Ιωαννε.

* See the Appendix.

dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and bis mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word : for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and bis niother by night, and departed into Egypt. And was there until the death of Herod.” The direction given to Joseph by the angel, may afford ground to suppose, that Joseph was to make some stay in Egypt, at least some months, or more than a few weeks or days: wbich, from what follows, appears to have been " till the death of Herod.”

Moreover, St. Matthew says, ch. ii. 19, 20, that " when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream in Egypt, saying, Arise, take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel : for they are dead which sought the young child's life."

It being known from Josephus, that Antipater died but five days before his father Herod, it may be inferred from the use of the plural number, that Antipater is meant by the angel as well as Herod, and that he had been concerned in the design to put Jesus to death, and that his cruel intentions were one cause of Joseph's removal out of Judea into Egypt. But Antipater could have no influence on bis father's counsels for ten months or more before Herod djed, as will appear presently : therefore the murder of the infants happened, most probably, a year before the death of Herod.

It may likewise be concluded from St. Matthew's account, that Jesus was born near two years before the murder of the infants. For thus he says, ch. ii. 1, 2, “ Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ? for we have seen bis star in the east, and are come to wor. ship him.” Ver. 7. “ Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently, what time the star appeared.”

The wise men having been to worship the child, and departing into their own country without coming back to Jerusalem, Ver. 16, “ Then Herod, when he saw he was inocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.” Jesus was born before the wise men came, for their ques

“ Where is be that is born ?” They knew he was

tion was,

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