KJV Study Bible

Home | Resources | Polyglot Old Testament | Polyglot New Testament | Bible Encyclopedia | Dictionary
Go to book
  Chapter    
Commmentaries
Search
  

Preface
[A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]
Search Article
 

COMPREHENSIVE CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY BIBLE ENCYCLOPAEDIA
Edward Robinson

[1] [2]

Next Page >>

V. ALEXANDER

V. ALEXANDER, son of Jason, was sent to Rome, to renew friendship and alliance between the Jews and Romans : he is named in the decree of the senate directed to the Jews, in the ninth year of Hircanus's pontificate, A. M. 3935 ; B. C. 69. Jos. Ant, xiv. 16.

V. ARISTOBULUS

V. ARISTOBULUS, son of Alexander, and grand- son of Aristobulus, second son of Alexander Jannseus, was the last of the Asmonaean family. Herod, his brother-in-law, exerted himself to prevent his pos- sessing the high-priesthood, but being overpowered by the solicitations of his wife, Mariamne, and his mother-in-law, Alexandra, he invested Aristobulus with this dignity, who was then but seventeen years of age. He resolved, however, to procure his de- struction, and had him drowned, while he was bathing near Jericho, A. M. 3970, ante A. D. 34. Jos. Ant. xv. c. 2, 3 ; xvi. 3.

V. AZARIAH

V. AZARIAH, the father of Seraiah, the last high-priest before the captivity, 1 Chron. vi. 14.

V. CLEOPATRA

V. CLEOPATRA, the last queen of Egypt, and daughter of Ptolemy Auletes, celebrated for her beauty and accomplishments. When Cleopatra passed through Judea, in her return from a jour- ney she had made with Antony to the Euphrates, Herod received her with all imaginable magnificence. Cleopatra killed herself by the sting of an asp, A. M. 3974.

V. JONATHAN

V. JONATHAN, a scribe, and keeper of the pris- ons in Jerusalem under Zedekiah, Jer. xxxvii. 15, 20. He was very severe to the prophet Jeremiah, who therefore earnestly desired Zedekiah that he might not be sent back into that dungeon, where his life was in danger. VI. JONATHAN BEN UZZIEL, see Targum.

V. MATTHIAS

V. MATTHIAS, a Jew, of the party of the Mace- donians, or Syrians, sent by Nicanor to Judas Mac- cabseus, with proposals of peace, 2 Mac. xiv. 19.

V. RIMMON

V. RIMMON, the father of Baanah and Rechab, the murderers of Ishbosheth, 2 Sam. iv. 5, 9.

V. SHALLUM

V. SHALLUM, son of the high-priest Zadok, and uncle of Hilkiah the high-priest, 1 Chron. vi. 12, 13. He is called Meshallum in 1 Chron. ix. 11. He lived in the time of Hezekiah or of Ahaz. He seems to be the Salom of Baruch i. 7.

V. SHEBA

V. SHEBA, a city of Simeon, Josh. xix. 2.

V. ZACHARIAH

V. ZACHARIAH, or Zacharias, a priest of the family of Abia, father of John the Baptist, and hus- band to Elisabeth, (Luke i. 5, 12, &c.) with whom he was righteous before God, walking in all the com- mandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. They had no child, because Elisabeth was barren, and they were both well stricken in years ; but about fifteen months before the birth of Christ, as Zacha- riah was waiting his week, and performing the func- tions of priest in the temple, "there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zachariah saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zachariah ; for thy prayer is heard ; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And Zachariah said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this ? For I am an old man, and my wife well strick- en in years. And the angel answering said unto him, am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God ; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad tidings. And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believedst not my words, which yet shall be fulfilled in their season." See Annunciation. The people were waiting till Zachariah came forth uut of the holy place ; and they were surprised at his long delay. But when he came out, he was not able to speak ; and by his making signs to them, they found that he had seen a vision, and had become dumb. When the days of his ministry were com- pleted, that is, at the end of about a week, he return- ed to his own house ; and his wife- Elisabeth con- ceived a son, of whom she was happily delivered in its due time. Her neighbors and relations assembled to congratulate her on this occasion ; and on the eighth day they circumcised the child, calling his name Zachariah, after the name of his father ; but Elisabeth interposed, and directed his name to be called " John." They then desired a token from his father, who, making signs for a tablet, wrote on it, " His name is John." At this instant his tongue was loosed ; he praised Go«l ; and, being filled with tho Holy Ghost, he prophesied, by a canticle, which Luke has preserved, chap. ii.

VASHTI

VASHTI, a wife of Ahasuerus, divorced by him, in favor of Esther. See Esther, and Ahasuerus.

VEIL

VEIL, see Veil. MARS' HILL. Our translators have entirely spoiled the narrative of the historian in Acts xvii. 19, 22, by rendering " they took Paul, and brought him unto Areopagus .... then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill." Now as Mars' hill is Areopagus trans- lated, and as both Areopagus and Mars' hill signify the same place, the same mine ought to have been preserved in both verses ; m which case the narra- tive would have stood thus . β€” "They took Paul, and brought him before the cort of the Areopagites," or the court which sat o:< Areopagus. . . . "and Paul stood in the midst before the court of the Areopa- gites, aiiu said, Ye chief men of Athens." (See Are- opagus.) The propriety of the apostle's discourse is greatly illnstrated by considering the important, the senatorial, and even the learned, character of his auditors.

VEIL

VEIL, a kind of scarf or mantle, with which females in the East cover the face and head. In the history of Abimelech and Sarah, (Gen. xx. 16.) the veil is by some supposed to be described by the circumlocution of " a covering to the eyes." [But the phrase " covering to the eyes " refers evidently to the money given by Abimelech, viz. the thousand pieces of silver, which were to be a covering to the eyes of others, i. e. an atoning present, a testimony of her innocence in the eyes of all. See Abime- lech I. R. It is related of Moses, (Exod. xxxiv. 33.) that after coming down from the mount, "the skin of his face shone ; " so that, in order to quiet the minds of the people, " he put a veil over his face." This veil is called nrac, masveh, and seems to denote not a close texture, but a loosely woven, or open net-work ma- terial. This idea shows the propriety of the appli- cation of a like word in Isa. xxv. 7, " The Lord shall take away, in this mountain, the superficial wrapper, covering close up, which is upon all nations, whereby they are totally precluded from correct knowledge of God ; as well as the veil of a looser texture, (masveh,) the spreading spread over all people ; which permits some small glimpse (by natural conscience, Rom. ii. 14, 17) of the divine excellences to pass through it ; affording, not a clear view, but a confused perception, to those who wish to examine beyond it. This seems to be the very idea of the apostle, 2 Cor. iii. 12, 13 : β€” " We use great openness, and plainness of speech, in discovering the gospel to you ; not as Moses did, who put a net-work veil over his face, so that Israel could not look steadfastly β€” to the end β€” fully β€” thoroughly, entirely, into that which was to be abolished : they could see a part, but not the whole ; they saw it as it were through the meshes of the net- work, but not clearly, distinctly ; they discerned ill- definedly, not, as you may do, punctually, for we do not use the slightest prevention of sight ; β€” and this veil, which admits but such imperfect views of things, continues still upon their heart, but shall be removed; so that they shall see all things clearly, when that heart shall turn to the Lord." [The distinction here made exists only in the fancy of the writer. R. There is a kind of veil or garment mentioned in Ruth iii. 15, named nn^ac, mitpahhath, which, by tho expression of Boaz, it should seem, Ruth wore upon her person. It appeal s also not to have been very large, as Ruth held it open, to receive six measures of barley. Besides, as she carried this quantity, it could not have been extremely heavy, and yet it is most likely Boaz neai-ly or altogether filled it. A word, very closely allied to this, if not the very same, with a Chaldee variation, is used, Ezek. xiii. 18, to denote a veil, (Eng. trans, "kerchief" from the French couvre-chef,) which is expressly said to be worn on the head; consequently, it is not the neck couvre-chef of our females ; as otherwise might have been thought. β€” " Wo to the women who adapt cushions to all reclining arms, and who compose veils (nnoop) to be worn upon the head of females of all statures, in order to render them more alluring, for purposes of voluptuousness, to hunt souls β€” persons : .... I will tear away the pillows from your lolling arms ; your kerchiefs also will I tear, that they may no longer adorn you ; and will let go the (male) souls β€” persons, whom you have hunted, and caught in your toils." q. d. "Some of my people you w.orry and seduce by voluptuous attractions and solicitations; others you chase and pursue, till they are terrified, to answer your criminal purposes : but from both these methods of attack will I deliver them ; and I will punish you." t 912 ] E II From this use of this kind of veil, it appears that it Was esteemed a very ornamental part of the head- dress ; and herein it agrees with the directions of Naomi to Ruth, to dress herself to advantage. It was, perhaps, not, therefore, a veil to be taken off and put on, but was constantly worn on the head, and has, possibly, its representatives in the modern caps or tur- bans of our young women. We read, Gen. xxiv. 65, that R< bekah, seeing Isaac advancing towards her, covered herself with a veil, or rather with the veil, (Β«i>jjsn, hats-tsdiph,) either, (1.) that which it was customary for brides to wear, or, (2.) that which had been provided for her at home: if these ideas may coalesce into one, then this was provided at home, for Rebekah to wear as a bridal veil. That it was used for that purpose in her inten- tion, is certain ; but was it adopted on account of haste ? or was it that veil which due formality required ? This question is rendered perplexing, by the same Word being used in the history of Tainar, who " put away the garments of her widowhood, and covered up herself in a tsdijih;" whence, it seems, this was not a widow-like dress, or dress of grief, but of joy ; yet it could hardly be the regular bridal veil, (notwithstanding Mr. Manner thinks it was,) for what could i_ny observer, or bystander, think might induce a bride to sit as Tamar sat, " like a harlot, by the way side?" β€” Besides, could Judah think her a bride, and yet make such proposals as he did to her ? It is, therefore, likely, that this veil was worn by Chaldean women, or stranger women β€” foreigners to the country of Canaan ; hence it seems to be certain, that Rebekah brought with her that kind of veil which in her own country would have been esteemed honorable, on any occasion ; and Ta- mar, (a Canaanitess,) by wearing such a veil, appeared to Judah to be a foreignerβ€” a stranger-woman β€” who had strayed from her associates, or whose living de- pended on the disposal of her person. [Another Hebrew word rendered veil in the Eng- lish version, is mi, rddid, which, however, seems properly to denote a fine upper garment or mantle, which females were accustomed to throw over their other garments when they went out. Cant. y. 7 ; Isa. iii. 23. The Greek word lio'valu, power, which is also thus translated in 1 Cor. xi. 10, seems there more properly to be put for emblem of power or of honor and dignity, i. e. a veil. This, Paul says, should be worn by females in the churches, on account of the angels. Who are these ? Some say, the angels of the churches, i. e. the bishops. Others, better, the messengers, i. e. spies of the heathen, evil-minded per- sons, who frequent the assemblies in order to spy out irregularities. Others, still, take angels in the usual sense, and consider Paul as representing the angels of heaven as beholding with deep interest the devo- tions of Christian assemblies. R. These remarks will have prepared the way for noticing some of the eastern ideas attached to the veil. In the first place, it is proper to notice the affront committed against a female in the East, by lifting up her veil. We might quote from Schultens, who shows, from Arabian writers, that the image of tear- ing or taking aivay the veil expresses the unhappy state of eastern virgins, when affronted, violated and insulted. So Cabihah, the mother of Khalife Motaz, complained of Saleh, the Turkish chief, " He has torn my veil ;" to express with decency, " He has dishonor- ed me : " but we rather appeal to the story of Susanna, ti me Apocrypha, as best adapted to the following illustration. The writer notices as an act of ill treatment, " Now Susanna was a very delicate woman, and beauteous to behold; and these wicked men commanded to uncover her face, (for she was covered,) that they might be filled ivith her beauty. Therefore, her friends, and all that saw her, wept;" i. e. the elders unveiled her from impure motives. Many have been the inquiries to which the precept of our Lord in Matt. v. 28, has given occasion : " Who- soever lookcth on a woman, to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Great stress has usually been laid on the motive, and very justly ; but Lardner and others insist, that ywMxa must be taken for a married woman, as is common enough ; nevertheless, the true import of the passage, Mr. Taylor thinks, can only be under- stood, by considering the closely covered state of the eastern women, under their veils, in which, being totally concealed, they offer no occasion of being looked upon; but would take it as the greatest in- solence β€” as nothing short of the greatest insolence could dictate the offence β€” should their veils be drawn aside. Understand, therefore, the passage thus: "You have heard that it was said in ancient times, Thou shalt not commit adultery : but I say to you, that my purer principles forbid the most remote ad- vance toward that crime, any commencement of what may lead to it ; whoever removes the veil, to look on any woman, (whether married or unmarried, whether of rigid or of easy virtue,) if he violate modesty by such a liberty for excitative purposes, he has sullied his spiritual purity, and is guilty." Is not this the true import of the term to look on, on which the question turns? [But does not this minuteness of meaning detract much from the force of our Lord's precept ? Cannot a man, according to our Lord's idea, just as much commit adultery or fornication in his heart by casting his eyes upon a woman to lust after her, or even in thinking of her, as by actually tearing away her veil to look upon her ? Away, then, with such trifling ! R. In the Fragments from which these remarks are selected, and some others which follow, (Nos. 159 β€” 165,) are collected from various travellers the most ample accounts of the forms of eastern veils, and of the manner in which they are worn. From these accounts it is manifest that it is a most important part of female dress, and is frequently alluded to, where not distinctly or apparently spoken of in Scripture. of the Scriptures. Our attention must be confined, in this article, to those which are more usually denominated the Ancient Versions. These are the following: The Greek versions, of which the Septuagintoi- Alexandrine version is the chief ; the Latin versions, viz. the Vulgate and Itala; the Chaldee versions, or Targums ; the Samar- itan version ; the Peshito and other Syriac versions ; and the Arabic versions. After the Hebrew had ceased to be spoken, and had become a dead language, in the second century before Christ, and still more after the spread of Chris- tianity, translations of the Hebrew Scriptures into the prevailing languages of the age, became a thing of necessity, both to Jews and Christians, in Palestine and in other countries. Accordingly, almost every language then current received at least one version, which became of ecclesiastical authority, and was used instead of the original Hebrew text. In this way, there arose,almost contemporaneously, the Alex andrine version for the Grecian and Egyptian Jews, and the earliest Chaldee versions for those who dwelt r 913 1 In Palestine and Babylonia. After the introduction of Christianity, the Christians adopted at first the Septuagint ; but in the second century there ap- peared three or four other Greek versions from the hands of Jewish and Christian translators, the object of which was to supersede the Septuagint. In this, however, they did not succeed ; and these works are now lost. About the same time, the Syrian Christians made the Syriac version ; and the Latin Christians procured a Latin version of the Septuagint, which at the close of the fourth century gave place to the ver- sion of Jerome, the present Vulgate. After the wide extension of the Arabic language in the seventh century, both Jews and Christians began to translate the Scriptures into Arabic also ; the Jews out of the original Hebrew, and the Christians from the Sep- tuagint. Indeed, this latter is the case with all translations of the Old Testament, made by the Chris- tians, into the oriental languages. The versions of the Scriptures are usually divided into the immediate, or those made directly from the original text, and the mediate, or those made from other versions. The latter are also sometimes called daughters of the former. It is only those of the first species which have any hermeneutical value ; those of the latter kind can only serve for aid in the verbal criticism of the versions from which they have flowed, and are indeed of no special importance, even here, except in the case of the Septuagint, the text of which has been so much corrupted. The ancient translators possessed neither grammati- cal nor lexicographical helps, and followed, therefore, every where, exegetical tradition. As their object, too, was always practical, rather than a learned or scientific one, they are often apt to fail in the requi- site degree of exactness ; and sometimes also they interweave their own views and impressions in their versions. This last circumstance renders these ver- sions less available as it respects exegesis ; but makes them so much the more important as historical docu- ments, in regard to the views of the age and of the sect to which they belong. Septuagint, or Alexandrine Version. The Septua- gint, or the version of the LXX, or the Alexandrine version, is undoubtedly the oldest of all the Greek, or, indeed, of all the versions whatever of the Old Tes- tament. There vvas, it is true, a legend among the Fathers, that there had existed an earlier Greek ver- sion, in which Plato had read the Bible ; but this is assuredly without foundation, and was suggested by the Fathers, in order to afford ground for the assump- tion, that Plato and the Greek philosophers had bor- rowed from Moses. (Clem. Alexandr. Stromata, i. p. 526, ed. Potter.) The origin of this version, like that of the canon, in some degree, is veiled in Jewish legends; according to which Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, from 284 to 246, B. C. having formed the wish, through the advice of his librarian, Deme- trius Phalerius, to possess a Greek translation of the Mosaic writings for the Alexandrine library, sent an embassy to Jerusalem for this object, and obtained a Hebrew manuscript, and 72 learned Jews to translate it. These all labored together in the translation, which, after mutual consultation, they dictated to Demetrius. This legend is given in an epistle said to have been written by Aristseus to his brother in Alexandria, but which is spurious. Josephus also re- lates the story, lib. xii.2. 2 β€” 14. The pretended epis- tle of Aristseus is found in Van Dale's Diss. sup. Aristaeum, Amst. 1705 ; in H. Hody de Biblior. Text, originalibus, Ox. 1705 ; in Josephi Opp. ed. Haver- camp. Amst. 1726. The legend, as transmitted to us by the Fathers, is far more romantic. According to Justin Martyr, the 72 interpreters were distributed into as many separate cells, in which they were con- fined until they had completed each his separate translation, or 72 in all ; and these, when afterwards compared, were found to agree verbatim throughout. If, now, we leave out of view these later fabulous additions, still, even the earlier narrative of the Jews is full of improbability. An Egyptian monarch would hardly have thought it necessary to send an embassy to Jerusalem to obtain a manuscript ; and the circumstance as related savors strongly of Jew- ish national self-complacency and pride. The most probable supposition is, that after the Jews had in great numbers settled down permanently in Egypt, and had, by degrees, forgotten in a great measure the Hebrew language, a Greek version of their Scrip- tures, and especially of the Law, or Pentateuch, be- came necessary for the use of their public worship in their synagogues and temple. (See Alexandria, p. 43.) This would be, in all probability, prepared under the authority of the Sanhedrim, which con- sisted of 72 members'. Or this number, moreover, is a sort of round number, and might be used merely to denote a version made by many interpreters. Such a version would not improbably be received by De- metrius into the library ; for we know that he set on foot a collection of all known codes of law, with reference to a new code contemplated by Ptolemy Lagus. The translation of the other books, besides the Pentateuch, seems to have taken place gradually, between this time and the birth of Christ. Of the book of Esther, it is said, in a note at the end, that it was translated under Ptolemy Philomator. The book of Daniel seems to have been translated last of all ; on which account it is, perhaps, that this book is not contained at all in our manuscripts of the Sep- tuagint. The translation of Daniel, in our editions, is that of Theodotion. The genuine Alexandrine version of Daniel was first discovered in the pre- ceding century, and published at Rome, 1772, reprinted Gottingen, 1773. The character of this version is different, according to the different books. It is easy to distinguish five or six different translators. The Pentateuch is best translated, and exhibits a clear and flowing Greek style; though it seems to have been made from a different and interpolated original text. The next in rank is the translator of Job and Proverbs ; he indeed often misses the true sense, but still gives every where a good idea, and his style is like that of an original writer. The Psalms and the prophets are translated worst of all ; often, indeed, without any sense. The version of Ecclesiastes is dis- tinguished by an anxious literal adherence to the original. β€” Indeed, the real value of the Septuagint, as a version, stands in no sort of relation to its reputa- tion. All the translators engaged in it appear to have been wanting in a proper knowledge of the two languages, and in a due attention to gram- mar, etymology and orthography. Hence they often confound proper names, and appellations, kindred verbs, similar words and letters, etc. and this in cases where we are not at liberty to conjecture various readings. The whole version is rather free than literal ; the figures and metaphors are resolved, and there are frequent allusions inserted to later times and later Jewish dogmas ; e. g. Isa. xiii. 21 ; ix. 12 ; xix. 18, 25 ; xxxiv. 14. Not unfrequently, too, particular references and allusions to Egypt, and [ 914 ] Egyptian antiquities, are inserted ; e. g. Isa. xix. The Greek of the Septuagint is that of the Jews in Egypt, a branch of the later Greek of the common people, and called usually ', tsdwi'^ the common, or also the Macedonic- Alexandrine dialect. This common dialect, or vulgar language, spread itself, after the time of Alexander, over all the nations which spoke Greek, and was distinguished from the Attic, &c. hy the circumstance, that it adopted much from the aucient Doric. It was first used as the language of hooks, in the version of the LXX, and is, hence, often called the Alexandrine dialect. From the mixture of Hebraisms which it received in the mouths of the Jews, who spoke Greek, i. e. the Hellenistic Jews, it is also named the Hellenistic dialect. The New Testament is written in the same dialect, hut in a purer form. It is also the language of the Apoc- rypha and of some of the Fathers. The chief phi- lological helps for the study of the Septuagint, are the concordance of Tromm, and the lexicons of the Old Testament by Biel and Schleusner. The authority of this new version soon became so great, as to supersede the use of the original Hebrew among all those Jews who spoke Greek. In the Egyptian synagogues, indeed, the original Hebrew was still read along with the Greek version, but the common people no longer understood it. Even scholars, like Philo, no longer understood the national mother tongue, and held entirely to the Greek translation. In Palestine also, this became by degrees current, and was used along with the Chal- dee versions, especially by the more learned, who were acquainted with Greek. This appears even in Josephus, and from the New Testament. In both, the version of the LXX seems to lie at the founda- tion ; though the citations do not always accord with it, and the writers sometimes (e. g. Matthew) seem to have had the original before them. (On the citations from the O. T. see Sureuhusius, pipiog xara).1.ayT^, Amst. 713 ; also the Tracts of Owen and Randolph, as published at Andover, 1827.) From the Jews the reputation and authority of the Septuagint passed over to the Christians, who employed it with the same degree of credence as the original. It became of course the point of appeal in the controversies be- tween Jews and Christians, and hence began to lose its consequence in the eyes of the former. As in those controversies the Jews often found themselves worsted, they declared diat this lay solely in the Greek translation, and carried their appeal to the He- brew original, and also to other versions, which they said were more literal. The Talmudists, among whom the ancient hatred against the Greek again awoke, proclaimed a curse upon the Greek law, or Penta- teuch, and appointed a fast upon the day on which they supposed the translation to have been suggested. The Text of the Septuagint has suffered greatly. Through the multitude of copies, which the very general usage rendered necessary, and by means of ignorant critics, the text of this version, in the third century, had fallen into the most lamentable state. In order to remedy this evil, Origen set himself to obtain a corrected text by means of a comparison of the original Hebrew and the other Greek versions. The plan which he adopted was, to place the original text and the different versions in parallel columns ; by which means, also, he was able to give to the Christians, in their polemics with the Jews, the benefit of all the versions of the Old Testament in one view. This work was the celebrated Hexapla of Origen, 'QanXa sc. pifllia, i. e. the Bible in six col- umns. It contained, besides the Hebrew text and the

VERSION

VERSION, see Versions. SYRO-PIICENICIA is Phenicia properly so called, but which, having by conquee'. been united to the kingdom of Syria, added its old name, Phenicia, to that of Syria. The Canaanitish woman is called a Syro-phenician, (Mark vii. 26.) because she was of Phenicia, then considered as part of Syria. Mat- thew, who is by some supposed to have written in Hebrew or Syriac, calls her a Canaanitish woman, (Matt. xv. 22.) because that country was really peopled by Canaanites, Sidon being the eldest son of Canaan, Gen. x. 15. See Phenicia. TABERNACLE is always mentioned in connection with Megiddo, except in Josh. xxi. 25. The infer- ence is, that they lay near each other. (See Me- giddo, and see a full description of the topography of the region, in the Bibl. Repository, vol. i. p. 598, 603.) *R.

VETCHES

VETCHES, see Fitches.

VI. ALEXANDER

VI. ALEXANDER, son of Theodoras, was sent to Rome, by Hircanus, to renew his alliance with the senate. He is named in the decree of the senate, addressed to the magistrates of Ephesus, made in the consulship of Dolabella; which specified that the Jews should not be forced into military service, because they could not bear arms on the sabbath day, nor have, at all times, such provisions in the armies as were authorized by their law. Jos. Ant. xiv. 17.

VI. ARISTOBULUS

VI. ARISTOBULUS, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne, and brother of Alexander. See Alexander, VII.

VI. AZARIAH

VI. AZARIAH, son of the high-priest Zadok ; but we do not read that he succeeded his father, 1 Kings iv. 2.

VI. SHALLUM

VI. SHALLUM, son of Korah, 1 Chron. ix. 19, 31. He was spared in the desert, when the earth opened and swallowed up his father, Numb. xvi. 31. His descendants had an office in the temple, to take care of the cakes that were fried there. β€” There are several other persons of the same name mentioned in the Old Testament ; but nothing is known of them.

VI. SHEBA

VI. SHEBA, son of Bichri, of Benjamin, a turbu- lent fellow, who, after the defeat of Absalom, when the tribe of Judah came to David, and brought him over the river Jordan, on his way to Jerusalem, soundea a trumpet, and proclaimed, "We have no share in David." Israel, in consequence, forsook David, and 844 ] followed Sheba, 2 Sam. xx. 1, &c. When the king arrived at Jerusalem, he sent Abishai in pursuit of the traitor. Joab also took soldiers, and, crossing the country north of Jerusalem, he arrived at Abel-beth- maacah, a city at the entrance of the pass between Libanus and Anti-libanus, to which Sheba had re- tired. Joab besieged the place ; but a discreet woman inhabiting the city, having persuaded the people to cut off Sheba's head, and to throw it over the wall, Joab and his army retired.

VIALS

VIALS, see Censer, p. 267. VINE. Of this valuable and well-known plant there are several species, and there are many refer- ences to it in the sacred writings. It grew plentifully in Palestine, and was particularly fine in some of the districts. The Scriptures celebrate the vines of Sorek, Sibmah, Jazer and Abel ; and profane authors mention the excellent wines of Gaza, Sarepta, Liba- nus, Sharon, Ascalon and Tyre. The grapes of Egypt being particularly small, we may easily conceive of the surprise which was occasioned to the Israelites by witnessing the bunch of grapes brought by the spies to the camp, from the valley of Eshcol, Numb. xiii. 24. The account of Moses, however, is confirmed by the testimony of several travellers. Doubdan assures us, that in the valley of Eshcol were bunches of grapes often and twelve pounds. Forster tells us, that he was informed by a Religious, who had lived many years in Palestine, that there were bunches of grapes in the valley of Hebron, so large that two men could scarcely carry one. (Comp. Numb. xiii. 24.) And Rosenmiiller says, "Though the Mahom- edan religion does not favor the cultivation of the vine, there is no want of vineyards in Palestine. Besides the large quantities of grapes and raisins which are daily sent to the markets of Jerusalem and other neighboring places, Hebron alone, in the first half of the eighteenth century, annually sent three hundred camel loads, that is, nearly three hundred thousand weight of grape juice, or honey of raisins, to Egypt. Bochart informs us that a triple produce from the same vine is gathered every year. In March, after [ 917 ] the vine has produced the first clusters, they cut away from the fruit that wood which is barren. In April a new shoot, bearing fruit, springs from the branch that was left in March, which is also lopped ; this shoots forth again in May, loaded with the latter grapes. Those clusters which blossomed in March come to maturity and are fit to be gathered in August ; those which blossomed in April are gath- ered in September ; and those which blossomed in May must be gathered in October. In the East, grapes enter very largely into the provisions at an entertainment. Thus, Norden was treated by the aga of Essuaen with coffee, and some bunches of grapes of an excellent taste. To show the abundance of vines which should fall to the lot of Judah in the partition of the promised land, Jacob, in his prophetic benediction, says of this tribe, he shall be found β€” Binding his colt to the vine, And to the choice vine, the foal of his ass. Washing his garments in wine, His clothes in the blood of the grape. Gen. xlix. 11. It has been shown by Paxton, that in some parts of Persia, it was formerly the custom to turn their cattle into the vineyards after the vintage, to browse on the vines, some of which are so large, that a man can hardly compass their trunks in his arms. These facts clearly show, that according to the prediction of Ja- cob, the ass might be securely bound to the vine, and without damaging the tree by browsing on its leaves and branches. The same custom appears, by the narratives of several travellers, to have generally pre- vailed in Lesser Asia. Chandler observed, that in the vineyards around Smyrna, the leaves of the vines were decayed or stripped by the camels, or herds of goats, which are permitted to browse upon them, after the vintage. When he left Smyrna, on the 30th of September, the vineyards were already bare ; but when he arrived at Phygella, on the 5th or 6th of Oc- tober, he found its territory still green with vines ; which is a proof that the vineyards at Smyrna must have been stripped by the cattle, which delight to feed upon the foliage. This custom furnishes a satisfactory reason for a regulation in the laws of Moses, the meaning of which has been very imperfectly understood, which pro- hibits a man from introducing his beast into the vine- yard of his neighbor. It was destructive to the vine- yard before the fruit was gathered ; and after the vintage it was still a serious injury, because it deprived the owner of the fodder, which was most grateful to his flocks and herds, and perhaps absolutely requisite for their subsistence duringthe winter. These things considered, we discern, in this enactment, the justice, wisdom and kindness of the great Legislator : and the same traits of excellence might, no doubt, be dis- covered in the most obscure and minute regulation, could we detect the reason on which it is founded. But if the vine leaves were generally eaten by cat- tle after the winter was over, how, says Mr. Harmer, " could the prophet (Isa. xxxiv. 4.) represent the drop- ping of the stars from heaven, in a general wreck of nature, by the falling of the leaf from the vine ? If they were devoured by the cattle they could not fall." The answer is easy : the prophet refers to the char- acter of the vine-leaf, not to any local custom ; noi- ls it reasonable to suppose that the leaves of every vineyard were so regularly and completely consumed, that the people had never seen them showering from the branches by the force of the wind ; or the nipping colds in the close of the year. (Paxton, vol. i. p. 180.) The law enjoined that he who planted a vine should not eat of the produce of it before the fifth year, Lev. xix. 24, 25. Nor did they gather their grapes on the seventh year : the fruit was then left for the poor, the orphan and the stranger. A traveller was permitted to gather and eat grapes in a vineyard, as he passed along, hut was not permitted to carry any away, Deut. xxiii. 24. In John xv. our Lord declares himself to be the "true vine." Doddridge, after Wetstein, has sup- posed that the idea might be suggested by the sight of a vine, either from a window or in some court by the side of the house ; but this is controverted by Harmer, who remarks, that there were no gardens in Jerusalem, and that it is not likely there were vines about the sides of the houses. Harmer's assertion, however, is set aside by Dr. Russell, who states, that it is very common to cover the stairs leading to the upper apartments of the harem with vines. This fully explains the beautiful metaphor in Ps. cxxviii. β€” " Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house," β€” with which Mr. Harmer is so much embar- rassed : but whether such a vine gave rise to our Sa- viour's discourse, is a matter of great doubt. The intention of the similitude is that which it is most im- portant for us to attend to and understand ; which is, that no fruit can be expected from professing Chris- tians, either in their personal or official character, but by perseverance in the appointed way, and in com- munion, by faith and love, with him who is the source of all that is good in man. Rosenmiiller has a long article on the parable, which Dr. Wait has translated in his "Repertorium Theolo- gicum," and of which the following is the substance. After having remarked that the whole of the dis- courses in John xiii. β€” xviii. were not delivered in one place, and in an unbroken connection, he proceeds to show that the comparison of our Lord was not to a real or natural vine, since John always uses the adjec- tive aXtj&irog, true, in opposition to something false, counterfeit, and not genuine ; e. g. iv. 23 ; i. 47 ; viii. 31. " But what is the opposition in this passage, where Christ is denominated ' auTreXoc >; &lrj&iv>} ? It would be, according to the preceding expositions, a natural or real vine : β€” yet it will be urged, that this would have far greater claims to the aunsXof aXij-9-ivy than Christ, who only compared himself to such, and merely represents himself as an image of it. Since then he calls himself ' the true vine,' he must neces- sarily have had a certain object in contrast, which represented a vine without being a natural or real vine, between which also and himself a most signifi- cant analogy existed." What this probably was, he proceeds to show. In the temple at Jerusalem, above and round the gate, seventy cubits high, which led from the porch to the holy place, a richly carved vine was extended as a border and decoration. The branches, tendrils and leaves were of the finest gold ; the stalks of the bunches were of the length of the human form, and the bunches hanging upon them were of costly jewels. Herod first placed it there ; rich and patriotic Jew3 from time to time added to its embellishment, one contributing a new grape, another a leaf, and a third even a bunch of the same precious materials. If to compute its value at more than 12,000,000 of dollars be an exaggeration, it is nevertheless indisputable, [ 918 1 that this vine must have had an uncommon impor- tance and a sacred meaning in the eyes of the Jews. With what majestic splendor must it likewise have appeared in the evening, when it was illuminated by tapers! " If. then, Jesus, in the evening, after having cele- brated the passover, again betook himself to the temple with his disciples, what is more natural, than, as they wandered in it to and fro, that above every thing this vine blazing with gold and jewels should have attract- ed their attention ? that, rivetted by the gorgeous magnificence of the sight, they were absorbed in wonder and contemplation respecting the real import of this work of art? Let us now conceive that Jesus at this moment, referring to this vine, said to his dis- ciples, " I am the true vine " β€” how correct and striking must his words then have appeared ! β€” how clearly and determinately must then the import of them have been seen ! The Jews accounted the vine the most noble of plants, and a type of all that was excellent, powerful, fruitful and fortunate. The prophets, therefore, com- pared the Jewish nation and the Jewish church to a great vine, adorned with beautiful fruit, planted, tended and guarded by God, Jer. ii. 21 ; Ezek. xix. 10, seq. ; Ps. lxxx. 9, 15, seq. God was the dresser of the vine- yard ; Israel was the vineyard and vine ; (Isa. v. 1, seq. ; xxvii. 2, seq. ; Hos. x. 1.) every true Israelite, especially the heads and chiefs of the people, were the branches ; (Isa. xvi. 8 ; Ezek. xix. 10.) the might and power of the nation were the full swelling bunches. The basis of the metaphor was ever the idea, that "Israel is the first, the most holy nation on the earth, that God himself is the founder and protector of it." The curiously-wrought and splendid vine, above described, which Herod introduced into the temple, was a symbol of this peculiar, proximate and joyful relation in which God stood to Israel. The patriotic Jews, as they looked at it, thought with joy and pride β€’ of the high dignity and preeminence of their people. To go out and to enter under the vine, was a phrase, by which they denoted a peaceful, fortunate and con- tented life. Hence this ornament, extended over the entrance to the holy place, was as striking and full of meaning, as it was edifying to the orthodox Jews ; hence, each contributed his own to increase its mag-, nificence, and thus authenticate himself, as a worthy member of this holy and glorious nation. Jesus having thus depicted himself as the individual who was prefigured by this vine, the ideas which he would express by this parable, could not have been misunderstood. This parable, therefore, more immediately concerns the apostles. Jesus does not merely represent him- self under the metaphor of a vine in the more con- fined sense of a teacher, but in the more exalted and comprehensive one of the Messiah sent from heaven to found a new kingdom of God. He considers his apostles as the branches in him, not merely as disci- ples and friends, but as deputies and assistants chosen and called by him to found and extend his kingdom. The connection which he would maintain between himself and them, consists not merely in love and friendship, but in the true execution of his commands, grounded on a faith in his exalted nature and dignity. The fruits which he expects from them are not mere- ly faith and virtue, w%ich are the concerns of all Christians, but important services in the extension of Christianity. And he incites them to perform them by a promise of divine grace and assistance. The expression of " sitting every man under his own vine," (1 Kings iv. 25 ; Mic. iv. 4.) probably alludes to the delightful eastern arbors, which were partly composed of vines. Norden speaks of vine- arbors as being common in the Egyptian gardens : and the Pnenestine pavement, in Shaw's Travels, gives us the figure of an ancient one. The expression is intended to refer to a time of public tranquillity and of profound peace. In the passage of Isaiah to which we just now re- ferred, there is mention made of a wild grape, which requires notice : " And he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes," Isa. v. 2. Jeremiah uses the same image, and applies it to the same purpose, in an elegant paraphrase of this part of Isaiah's parable, in his flowing and plaintive manner β€” But I planted thee a sorek, a scion perfectly genuine ; how then art thou changed, and become to me the degenerate shoots of the strange vine ! chap, ii. 21. By these wild grapes, or poisonous berries, c^snso, we must understand not merely useless, un- profitable grapes, such as wild grapes, but grapes offensive to the smell, noxious, poisonous. By the force and intent of the allegory, to good grapes ought to be opposed fruit of a dangerous and pernicious quality ; as, in the explication of it, to judgment is op- posed tyranny, and to righteousness oppression. Ge- phen, the vine, is a common name or genus, including several species under it ; and Moses, to distinguish the true vine, or that from which wine is made, from the rest, calls it gephen hayayin, the wine-vine, Num. vi. 4. Some of the other sorts were of a poisonous quality, as appears from the story related among the miraculous acts of Elisha: "And one went out into the field to gather pot herbs, and he found a field-vine, and he gathered from it wild fruit, his lap full ; and he went and shred them into the pot of pottage, for they knew them not. And they poured it out for the men to eat; and it came to pass as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out and said, There is death in the pot, O man of God ! and they could not eat of it. And he said, Bring meal ; and he threw it into the pot. And he said, Pour out for the people, that they may eat. And there was nothing hurtful in the pot," 2 Kings iv. 39-41. From some such poisonous sorts of the grape kind 1 , Moses has taken those strong and highly poetical im- ages, with which he has set forth the future corrup- tion and extreme degeneracy of the Israelites, in an allegory which has a near relation, both in its subject and imagery, to this of Isaiah, Deut. xxxii. 32, 33 - " Their vine is from the vine of Sodom, And from the fields of Gomorrha : Their grapes are grapes of gall ; Their clusters are bitter : Then- wine is the poison of dragons, And the cruel venom of aspics." " I am inclined to believe," says Hasselquist, " that the prophet here (Isa. v. 2, 4.) means the hoary night- shade, solarium incanum ; because it is common in Egypt, Palestine and the East ; and the Arabian name agrees well with it. The Arabs call it aneb el dib, that is, wolf-grapes. (The oipisa, says Rab Chai, is a well-known species of the vine, and the worst of all sorts.) The prophet could not have found a plant more opposite to the vine than this; ior it grows much in the vineyards, and is very pernicious to them, wherefore they root it out : it likewise resem- bles a vine by its shrubby stalk.' (Travels, p. 289.} But see Grapes, Wild, p. 471. [ 919 ] The following scriptural account of the cultivation of the vine, the vintage and the wines of Palestine, which will doubtless be acceptable to the reader, is taken from the " Investigator." The Jews planted their vineyards most commonly on the south side of a hill or mountain, the stones being gathered out, and the space hedged round with thorns, or walled, Isa. v. 1 β€” 6 ; Ps. lxxx. and Matt, xxi. 33. A good vineyard consisted of a thousand vines, and produced a rent of a thousand stlverlings, or shekels of silver, Isa. vii. 23. It required two hun- dred more to pay the dressers, Cant. viii. 11, 12. In these, the keepers and vine-dressers labored, digging, planting, pruning and propping the vines, gathering the grapes and making wine. This was at once a laborious task, and often reckoned a base one, 2 Kings xxv. 12; Cant. i. 6; Isa. lxi. 5. The vines with the tender grapes gave a good smell early in the spring, (Cant. ii. 13.) as we learn also from Isa. xviii. 5, afore the harvest, that is, the barley-harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower. The Vintage followed the wheat harvest and the thrashing, (Lev. xxvi. 5 ; Amos ix. 13.) about June or July, when the clusters of the grapes were gath- ered with a sickle, and put into baskets, (Jer. vi. 9.) carried and thrown into the wine-vat, or wine-press, where they were probably first trodden by men, and then pressed, Rev. xiv. 18 β€” 20. It is mentioned as a mark of the great work and power of the Messiah, that he had trodden the figurative wine-press alone ; and of the people there was none with him, Isa. lxiii. 3 ; Rev. xix. 15. The vintage was a season of great mirth. Of the juice of the squeezed grapes , were formed wine and vinegar. The Wines of Canaan, being very heady, were generally mixed with water for common use, as among the Italians ; and they sometimes scented them with frankincense, myrrh, calamus and other spices; (Prov. ix. 2, 5; Cant. viii. 2.) they also scented them with pomegranates, or made wine of their juice as we do of the juice of currants, gooseberries, &c. fermented with sugar. Wine is best when old, and on the lees, the dregs having sunk to the bottom, Isa. xxv. 6. Sweet wine is that which is made from grapes fully ripe, Isa. xlix. 26. The Israelites had two kinds of vinegar: the one was a weak wine, which was used for their common drink in the harvest field, (Ruth ii. 14.) as the Spaniards and Italians still do ; and it was probably of this that Solomon was to fur- nish twenty thousand baths to Hiram for his servants, the hewers that cut timber in Lebanon, 2 Chron. ii. 10. The other had a sharp acid taste, like ours ; and hence Solomon hints, that a sluggard hurts and vexes such as employ him in business, as vinegar is disagreeable to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes ; (Prov. x. 26.) and as vinegar poured upon nitre spoils its virtue, so he that singeth songs to a heavy heart, does but add to his grief, chap. xxv. 20. The poor were allowed to glean grapes, as well as corn, and other articles; (Lev. xix. 10 ; Deut. xxiv. 21 ; Isa. iii. 14; chap. xvii. 6; xxiv. 13 ; Micah vii. 1.) and we learn that the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim was better than the vintage of Abiezer, Judg. viii. 2. The vessels in which the wine was kept were prob- ably, for the most part, bottles, which were usually made of leather, or goat-skins, firmly sewed and pitched together. (See Bottles.) The Arabs pull the skin off goats in the same manner that we do from rabbits, and sew up the places where the legs and tail were cut ofl, leaving one for the neck of the bottle, to pour from ; and in such bags they put up and carry, not only their liquors, but dry things which are not apt to be broken ; by which means they are well preserved from wet, dust or insects. These would in time crack and wear out. Hence, when the Gibeonitescame to Joshua, pretending that they came from a far country, amongst other things they brought wine bottles, old and rent, and bound up where they had leaked, Josh. ix. 4, 13. Thus, too, it was not expedient to put new wine into old bottles, because the fermentation of it would break or crack the bot- tles, Matt. ix. ]7. And thus David complains, that he had become like a bottle in the smoke ; that is, a bottle dried and cracked, and worn out, and unfit for service, Ps. cxix. 83. These bottles were probably of various sizes, and sometimes very large ; for when Abigail went to meet David and his 400 men, and took a present to pacify and supply him, 200 loaves and five sheep, ready dressed, &c. she took only two bottles of wine, (1 Sam. xxv. 18.) a very disproportionate quan- tity, unless the bottles were large. But the Israelites had bottles likewise made by the potters. (See Isa. xxx. 14, marg. ; Jer. xix. 1, 10 ; ch. xlviii. 12.) We hear also of vessels called barrels. That of the widow, in which her meal was held, (1 Kings xvii. 12, 14.) was not, probably, very large ; but those four in which the water was brought up from the sea, at the bottom of mount Carmel, to pour upon Elijah's sacrifice and altar, must have been large, 1 Kings xviii. 33. We read also of the water-jugs, or jars of stone, of con- siderable size, in which our Lord caused the water to be converted into wine, John ii. 6. See Bottles. Grapes were also dried into raisins. A part of Abigail's present to David was 100 clusters of raisins (1 Sam. xxv. 18.) and when Ziba met David, his pres- ent contained the same quantity, 2 Sam. xvi. 1 ; 1 Sam xxx. 12 ; 1 Chron. xii. 40.

VII. ALEXANDER

VII. ALEXANDER, son of Herod the Great and Mariamne. The history of this prince can hardly be separated from that of Aristobulus, his brother, and companion in misfortune. After the tragical death of their mother, Mariamne, Herod sent them to Rome, to be educated in a manner suitable to their rank. Augustus allowed them an apartment in his palace, intending this mark of his consideration as a compliment to their father Herod. On their return to Judea, the people received the princes with great joy ; but Salome, Herod's sister, who had been the principal cause of Mariamne's death, apprehending that if ever the sons of the lat- ter possessed authority, she would feel the effects of their resentment, resolved, by her calumnies, to alienate the affections of their father from them. This she managed with great address, and for some time discovered no symptoms of ill-will. Herod married Alexander to Glaphyra, daughter of Arche- laus, kiug of Cappadocia, and Aristobulus to Bere- nice, daughter of Salome. Pheroras, the king's brother, and Salome, his sister, conspiring to destroy these young princes, watched closely their conduct, and often induced them to speak their thoughts freely and forcibly, concerning the manner in which Herod had put to death their mother, Mariamne. Whatever they said was immediately reported to the king, in the most odious and aggravated terms, and Herod, having no distrust of his brother and sis- ter, confided in their representations, as to his sons' intentions of revenging their mother's death. To check, in some degree, their lofty spirits, lie sent for his eldest son, Antipater, to court, β€” he having been brought up at a distance from Jerusalem, because the quality of his mother was much inferior to that of Mariamne β€” thinking that by thus making Aristo- bulus and Alexander sensible that it was in his pow- er to prefer another of his sons before them, they would be rendered more circumspect in their con- duct. The contrary, however, was the case. The presence of Antipater only exasperated the two princes, and he at length succeeded in so entirely alienating his father's affection from them, that Herod carried them to Rome, to accuse them before Augustus, of designs against his life, B. C. 11. But the young princes defended themselves so well, and affected the spectators so deeply with their tears, that Augustus reconciled them to their father, and sent them back to Judea, apparently in perfect union with Antipater, who expressed great satisfaction to see them restored-to Herod's favor. When returned to Jerusalem, Herod convened the people in the temple, and publicly declared his intention, that his sons should reign after him ; first Antipater, then Alexander, and afterwards Aristobulus. This dec- laration exasperated the two brothers still further, and gave new occasion to Pheroras, Salome, and Antipater, to represent their disaffection to Herod. The king had three confidential eunuchs, whom he employed even in affairs of great importance. These were accused of being corrupted by the money of Alexander, and being subjected to the rack, the ex- tremity of the torture induced them to confess, that they had been often solicited by Alexander and Aristobulus to abandon Herod and join them and their party, who were ready for any undertaking, in asserting their indisputable right to the crown. One of them added, that the two brothers had conspired to lay snares for their father, while hunting ; and were resolved, should he die, to go instantly to Rome, and beg the kingdom of Augustus. Letters were produced likewise from Alexander to Aristo- bulus, wherein he complah ^d that Herod had given fields to Antipater, which produced an annual rent of two hundred talents. This intelligence confirmed the fears of Herod, and rendered him suspicious of all persons about his court. Alexander was put under arrest, and his principal friends to the torture. The prince, how- ever, was not dejected at this storm. He not only denied nothing which had been extorted from his friends, but admitted even more -than they had al- leged againts him ; whether designing to confound the credulity and suspicions of his father, or to in- volve the whose court in perplexities, from which they should be unable to extricate themselves. He conveyed letters to the king, in which he represent ed that to torment so many persons on his account was useless ; that, in fact, he had laid ambuscades for him; that the principal courtiers were his ac complices, naming, in particular, Pheroras, and his most intimate friends; adding, that Salome came secretly to him by night, and that the whole court wished for nothing more than the moment when they might be delivered from that pain in which they were continually kept by his cruelties. [ 42 ] In the mean time, Archelaus, king of Cappadocia, and father-in-law of Alexander, informed of what was passing in Judea, came to Jerusalem, for the purpose of effecting, if possible, a reconciliation be- tween Herod and his son. Knowing the violence of Herod's temper, he feigned to pity his present situation, and to condemn the unnatural conduct of Alexander. The sympathy of Archelaus produced some relentings in the bosom of Herod, and finally led to his reconciliation with Alexander, and the de- tection of the guilty parties. But this calm did not long continue. One Eurycles, a Lacedemonian, having insinuated himself into Herod's favor, gained also the confidence of Alexander; and the young prince opened his heart freely, concerning the grounds of his discontent against his father. Eury- cles repeated all to the king, whose suspicions against his sons were revived, and he at length or- dered them to be tortured. Of all the charges brought against the young princes, nothing could be proved, except that they had formed a design to re- tire into Cappadocia, where they might be freed from their father's tyranny, and live in peace. Herod, however, having substantiated this fact, took the rest for granted, and despatched two envoys to Rome, demanding from Augustus justice against Alexander and Aristobulus. Augustus ordered them to be tried at Berytus, before the governors of Syria, and the tributary sovereigns of the neigh- boring provinces, particularly mentioning Arche- laus as one ; and giving Herod permission, should they be found guilty, to punish them as he might deem proper. Herod convened the judges, but basely omitted Archelaus, Alexander's father-in- law ; and then, leaving his sons under a strong guard, at Platane, he pleaded his own cause against them, before the assembly, consisting of 150 persons. Af- ter adducing against them every thing he had been able to collect, he concluded by saying, that, as a king, he might have tried and condemned them by bis own authority; but that he preferred bringing them before such an assembly to avoid the imputa- tion of injustice and cruelty. Saturnius, who had been formerly consul, voted that they should be punished, but not with death ; and his three sons voted with him : but they were overruled by Volum- nius, who gratified the father, by condemning his sons to death, and induced the rest of the judges to join with him in this cruel and unjust sentence. The time and manner of carrying it into execution were left entirely to Herod. Daniascenus, Tyro, and other friends, interfered, in order to save the lives of the unfortunate princes, but in vain. They remained some time in confinement ; and, after the report of another plot, were conveyed to Sebaste, or Samaria, and there strangled, A. M. 3390, one year before the birth of J. C. and four before the usual computation of A. D. Joseph. Ant. xv. xvi. The reader is requested to pay particular attention to this history of the behavior of Herod to his two sons, because it has a strong connection with the gospel histories of the massacre of the infants β€” for the king who could slay his own sons, would not scruple to slay those of others ; and it suggests good reasons for the alarm of the whole city, and of the priests, from whom Herod inquired where the Mes- siah should be born ; also, for the flight of Joseph and Mary into Egypt, and for their fear of returning again into Judea, under the power of his successor, who, as they supposed, might very probably inherit this king's cruel and tyrannical disposition.

VII. AZARIAH

VII. AZARIAH, captain of Solomon's guards, 1 Kings iv. 5.

VII. JONATHAN

VII. JONATHAN, surnamed Apphus, son of Mattathias, and brother of Judas Maccabaeus, was, after the death of Judas, appointed general of the troops of Israel, and, after a number of feats of valor, was basely killed by Tryphon, ante A. D. 144, 1 Mac. ii. &c. There are several other persons of this name mentioned in Scripture, but they have no important relation to such events as we are required to notice.

VIII. ALEXANDER

VIII. ALEXANDER, a Jew, apparently an ora- tor, mentioned Acts xix. 33. The people of Ephe- sus being in uproar, and incensed against the Jews for despising the worship of Diana, the Jews put Alexander forward, to plead their cause, and proba- bly to disclaim all connection with Paul and the Christians. The mob, however, would not hear him.

Next Page >>

Home | Resources