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high esteem among them. Of these, the first, in order of time, is the Septuagint, procured at the request of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and valuable as being the sense which the Jews, in those days, put on the Scriptures. It differs often from our present translation, and not unfrequently serves to illustrate obscure passages. A full account of the history of this translation, and the controversy concerning it, may be seen in Prideaux Connect. A.A.C. 277.-The Apocrypha, so called from aroxpur]w, “ to hide,” because of the uncertainty and concealed nature of their original, were never admitted into the Jewish Canon, nor read in the Jewish synagogue. Hence the derivation of the name by some because they were removed aro TNS XPUNTNS, from the sacred chest, where the canonical books were placed. They have no title to be considered as inspired writings, a but they contain many excellent sentiments, and supply many historical facts, in the period between the end of the Old, and beginning of the New Testament.The writings of Josephus are valuable on many accounts. His Antiquities, which extend from the creation of the world till the fifty-sixth year of his age, or A. D. 93, are contained in twenty books, and give a commentary on the whole of the Old Testament, as well as supply the materials that were wanting to explain the latter period of the Jewish history. His wars of the Jews, in seven books, although placed second in the editions of his works, were written eighteen years

before his Antiquities; viz. in the thirty-eighth year of his own age, or A. D. 73; and contain a striking commentary on our Saviour's prophecy, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem : whilst his account of his own life, written A. D. 100, his two books against Apion,

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and his Discourse on the martyrdom of the Maccabees, are also useful, either for confirming facts formerly recorded, or exhibiting the state of Jewish sentiment and manners. The above may be called the ancient Jewish writers, or classic authors of the Jewish nation. As for the Hebrew Josephus, by Josippon ben Gorion, it is proved to be a forgery by Prideaux, in his Connect. vol. ii. preface.

Of the writings of the Rabbins, which are comparatively modern, the following are much valued : 1. The Midraschim, or Commentaries, from a word signifying to inquire, because the commentators sought the sense of Scripture. They are used in their synagogues, and are accounted of great authority and antiquity. 2. The Midraschim Rabbot, or Great Commentaries, which are also used in their synagogues, and are said to have been written by Nachmanides, who ought to have lived in the end of the third century; but the work bears evidence of a later date. 3. The Sentences of the Fathers, entitled Pirke Abbot, and those under the name of Rabbi Eliezer; but they are also less ancient than is commonly thought." 4th. The Mishnah hath always been in very high esteem, and the history of it is as follows: Before the birth of our Saviour, the Jews held, that there was a two-fold law given to Moses on Mount Sinai ; the written law, which is recorded in the Scriptures, and the oral law. This oral law, they say, was never committed to writing, but delivered by Moses, viva voce, first to Aaron and his sons, then to the Seventy Elders, and afterwards to any of the congregation, either in that or any future age, whose hearts were desirous to receive it. Holding them, therefore, to be both of divine original, they held themselves bound to observe

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them both alike: but in process of time, the latter came to have much the preference of the former; for an opinion arose, which afterwards universally prevailed, that the written law was in many places obscure, scanty, and defective, and could be no perfect rule to them without the oral law, which supplied its defects, and solved all its difficulties. Hence it was, that they observed the written law no otherwise than as it was interpreted by the oral law; verifying thereby our Saviour's observation, “That they made the commandment of God of none effect, by their traditions." Such is the account which the ancient Jews gave of the origin of their traditions, and something like this is entertained by the Jews even of the present day. But when we lay aside their high-sounding pretensions, and examine the matter impartially, we readily find that these favourite traditions can boast of no such divine original, for that the circumstance which gave rise to them was shortly this: After the death of Simeon the Just, which happened in the year before Christ 292, there arose a class of men called by the Jews “ The Mishnical doctors,” from the Chaldaic word “ Shanah,” which signifies to deliver by tradition, who made it their business ' to study and descant upon the traditions which had been received and allowed by Ezra, and the members of the great synagogue (as the one in which he presided was called,) and to draw inferences of their own from them; all which descants and inferences they engrafted into the stock of the ancient traditions, in order to obtain for them an equal authority. But this liberty, which the first Mishnical doctors took, did not die with them; for every successor in office always thought himself wise enough to add something of his own, till the traditions of the elders became a burden almost impossible for any memory to bear. Thus matters stood in the time of our Saviour; and they always became worse till the end of the second century, when, as a matter of necessity, it was judged proper to commit them to writing, and the honour was assigned to Rabbi Judah, the son of Simeon, head of the school, and president of the Sanhedrim, which were then at Tiberias, the sanctity of whose life was so generally acknowledged, that he had obtained the appellation of “Hakedush,” or “ Holy." Nor do they seem to have fixed upon an improper person; for the Mishnah (nlvo 700 seper meshniuth, or book of traditions) which he wrote, in consequence of this application, was instantly received with great veneration by the Jews, in all their dispersions, and commented upon by the learned, both in Judea and Babylon.

After the Mishna, the next book to be mentioned is

5. The Gemara, or supplement to the Mishna. There are two productions known by that name, those of Jerusalem and Babylon. They were both written in the Chaldee language, as being the best understood by the Jews, and are intended as commentaries on the Mishna.

The 6th book we shall mention is the Talmud. This is nothing else than the Mishna and Gemara united, like the text and its commentary. Accordingly, as there were two Gemaras, so there are two Talmuds, the Jerusalem and the Babylonish. The Jerusalem Talmud, consisting of the Mishna and Jerusalem Gemara, was written about A.D. 300; but it was considered imperfect, because containing the opinions of only a few of the Rabbins of that place; the Jews, therefore, at Babylon, endeavoured to supply the defect, and completed a larger one, about 200 years after, which is much

a See a full account of this Oral law in Prideaux Connect, A.A.C. 446; and a minute analysis of the Mishna, with the authors who have translated it into Latin, in the list of Hebrew, Chaldaic, and Arabic authors at the end of Spencer, De Legib. Hebr. Ritual.

preferred. This Babylonish Talmud, consisting of the Mishna, and Babylonish Gemara, was always in manuscript, till A.D. 1646, when it was published at Amsterdam in ten volumes : but the best edition is in six volumes, by Gul. Surenhusius, with notes by Maimonides and Bartenora, at Amsterdam, A.D. 1698.

7. The Targum is the Chaldee paraphrase on the Old Testament, or written law, as the Talmud is the paraphrase on the Oral law or traditions. It received its origin from the seventy years' captivity at Babylon, where the Jews learned the language of their masters : for, having returned home, they were better acquainted with the Chaldee than the Hebrew; and, therefore, Ezra and the other priests read the Scriptures in Hebrew, and explained them in Chaldaic. There are three paraphrases of peculiar note, viz. Onkelos on the Law, Jonathan Ben Uzziel on the prophets, and Joseph Cæcus on the Hagiographa. Others say, Onkelos on the Law, and Akila on the Prophets and Hagiographa. The style of Onkelos is simple, and resembling the Scriptures. He is said to have lived about the time of our Saviour. Jonathan Ben Uzziel was a disciple of Hillel the Elder, who was forty years old at the return from Babylon. But we hear nothing of Cæcus. Spencer makes Onkelos and Jonathan contemporaries with Hillel and Shammai, whose different opinions on many subjects the Talmud records. There is, however, internal evidence in the Targum, to believe it to have been written after A.D. 570, for it mentions the city of Constantinople in Num. xxiv. 19. 24., and Lombardy and Italy in Num. xxiv. 24. Now Constantinople was not known by that name till A.D. 328, when Constantine the Great removed the seat of his empire from Rome to

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