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metaphor of fire is repeatedly used to signify temporal judgments or trials. The destruction of Babylon is thus predictedfire shall come down upon her from the Everlasting, long to endure.' 90 The several hardships which Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob sustained, are called their trial in the fire.' 91 Rejoicing in her victory over the Assyrians, Judith says, 'Wo unto the nations that rise up against my kindred! the Lord almighty will punish them in a day of judgment, putting fire and worms in their flesh; and they shall feel and weep forever.' These expressions, compared with those we have quoted from Ecclesiasticus, show the peculiar character of the Jewish phraseology.
150 B. C. 100 B. C. In this period, the two books of Maccabees are supposed to have been written. The former does not allude to a future state; and places the motives to faithfulness, as well as its rewards, in the fortune of the present life, especially in an honorable reputation, that shall descend to succeeding ages." But the second book, the work of some Egyptian Jews, marks a new era in the history of our subject: It recognizes the doctrine of future retribution, and of a resurrection from the dead. As its plan, however, is historical, these topics are only introduced incidentally in the course of the narrative, without an attempt at a full delineation; but the views of the authors, (for the history is fabulous,) may be gathered, with sufficient perspicuity, from the language which they ascribe to their heroes. Of seven Jewish brethren, put to death for their religion, by the Syrian king, the second says to the tyrant, Thou, like a fury, takest us out of the present life; but the King of the world shall raise us up, who have died for his laws, unto everlasting renewal of life.' The fourth, in his sufferings, says, 'It is good, being put to death by men, to look for hope from God, to be raised up again by him; as for thee, thou shalt have no resurrection to life.' The sixth is exhorted by the weeping mother, who is herself about to suffer death, to meet his doom courageously: Doubtless,' says she, the Creator of the world, who formed the race of man, and devised the beginning of all things, will also, in mercy, give you breath and life again, as ye now regard not yourselves, for his laws' sake. . . . Fear not this tormentor; but be worthy of thy brethren, and submit to death, that I may re
90 Baruch iv. 35. 91 Judith viii. 26, 27. 92 do. xvi. 17. 931 Macc. ii. 50-64, iii. 7, vi. 44, vii, 41, 42, ix. 10, 11.
ceive thee again, in mercy, with thy brethren.' The son then turns to the tyrant, and says, 'Our brethren, who have now suffered a short pain, are dead under God's covenant of perpetual life.' 94 On another occasion, a Jewish elder, who had thrown himself from a high tower into the midst of the besiegers, and rent open his body in the fall, plucked out his bowels, and taking them in both his hands, he cast them upon the throng, and calling upon the Lord of life and spirit to restore him those again, he thus died.' 95 Of course, it was the same body, with all its parts, that was to be restored. Here, then, we have at length found the hope, plainly expressed, (as it always is, when strongly felt,) of a future resurrection, for those at least who died in defence of the law. It seems, indeed, that this resurrection was not to be universal. The impious tyrant is reminded, on the other hand, that for him there will be no resurrection to life; and even the mother encourages her son to expect a renewal of breath and life, on condition only of devoting himself; and on this ground alone does she hope to receive him again, with his martyred brethren. From another passage, it appears, that the Jewish soldiers who, in seasons of persecution, fell in battle for their country, might expect a resurrection; but, then, it was requisite, in order either to secure them that privilege, or else to obtain for them present comfort, (which of these objects is not distinctly stated,) it was requisite that the survivors should pray for them, and make an offering for their transgression, that they might be delivered from their sin.96 Such is the broken sketch, which this book affords, of the doctrine of a resurrection. We must remember that its tenets can, with certainty, be attributed only to the Egyptian Jews. As to the divine retribution, the authors would seem, from the tenor of their appeals, to have thought that, in the general course of human experience, it was executed in this life. But in extraordinary cases, they carry it forward into the future state the great reward, particularly of an heroic death in behalf of the law, was, an ultimate reanimation of the body; the future punishment of impious and cruel monsters, was, so far as we can discover, only a denial of that favor; in which case, they would remain forever in Hades.97
94 2 Macc. vii. 9, 14, 23, 29, 36.
95 do. xiv. 46.
96 do. xii. 34-45. 97 It appears, from 2 Macc. vi. 23, that Hades, (here translated the grave, in our common version,) was still considered as the common receptacle of the dead, to which those who were afterwards to rise, descended, as well as others, at their decease.
90 B. C. A. D. 1.-To this time belongs the Wisdom of Solomon, so called, which, like several of the works last noticed, came from the Egyptian school. It was the production of some Jew, probably a native of Alexandria, and evidently a devotee of the Greek philosophy which there flourished. This he combines with the ancient doctrine of his own people, after the manner of the Eclectic sect; and so forms an accommodation of the two systems. The precise time at which the book was written, is uncertain; some bringing it down to the close of this century, some carrying it back towards the beginning, and others choosing to place it nearer the middle. On account of the peculiar character of its speculations, the want of systematic arrangement, and the mixture of ancient opinions with the later, it is very difficult to present, or even to conceive, a definite idea of the views it was intended to exhibit of the future state. One thing, however, is manifest: the doctrine of rewards and punishments after death, is here taught more fully than in the second of Maccabees. Still, the author seems to have admitted no resurrection of the body: an idea, which indeed would not have accorded well with his Platonic notions. He recognizes Hades as the place of the dead; and, for all that appears, as their perpetual abode. There, the righteous rest in peace, and enjoy immortality, judging the nations, and having dominion over the people. The Lord shall give them a glorious kingdom and a beautiful crown. When the godly die, their hope is full of the immortality reserved for them; but the wicked have no hope nor comfort in the day of their trial. They are called to give in the account of their sins; and they come with fear. They behold, in terror and hopeless regret, the righteous whom they had scorned on earth. Their habitation is in darkness, of which, the night that once fell on the Egyptians, is but a figure. The Almighty, in his wrath, shall turn all the elements against them; thunder-bolts from on high, and hailstones shall be discharged upon them; the sea shall rage against them, and a mighty wind blow them. away,99 Such is the difference in the future conditions of the two classes of mankind. The author, however, does not appear to have become so thoroughly imbued with his new doctrine, as to free himself altogether from the sentiments and phraseology of former ages. Sometimes he refers the whole plan of retribution to another life, and draws from thence the leading motives for our guidance in the present. Sometimes
as Wisdom i. 14; ii. 1, especially xvi. 18; xvii. 14. 99 Wisdom xviii. 21, and chapters ii.-v.
again, especially when surveying the Old Testament history, he expatiates only on the rewards of piety in the favors of this life, and a glorious renown; and illustrates the evil of transgression, by the temporal judgments executed on offenders.100 The Egyptians, in the time of the plagues, were judged in wrath and tormented'; the extirpation of the idolatrous Canaanites was a judgment worthy of God,' in which they suffered the extremity of damnation.'1
As related to these phrases, we may here introduce the only particular, requiring our notice, in another Jewish work, supposed to have been written about the Christian era: the apochryphal addition to the Book of Esther. The day of judgment is used for the time when God awards to men the retributions of his providence. In the signal avenging the Jews under king Ahasuerus, it is said that their case and that of their heathen foes 'came at the hour and time and day of judgment before God, among all nations; and so God remembered his people, and justified his inheritance.' 2
To sum up the whole from the Babylonish captivity to the end of the Old Testament, there is no proof that the Jews had altered their opinion concerning the future state, nor do we find an indication of such a change, for a long while after their subjection to the Greeks. Even when the sects of Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes had existed some time in Palestine, it is probable that they all retained the former views on this subject. Between the years 150 and 100 before Christ, we meet with the first avowed belief in a resurrection from the dead, and in a future retribution; but this is among the Egyptian Jews. In the century preceding the Saviour's birth, we find the latter opinion more fully developed, by a writer of the same school. There is no direct proof, however, that in Palestine it existed at all, during this period; but we must anticipate so far as to remark, that it is probable, from the state of the case, as we shall find it to have existed soon afterwards, that the Pharisees and Essenes began, at least, to favor that opinion, before the Christian era.
The various expressions which we have adduced from the Jewish productions of this period, and which manifestly belong with the controverted phrases of the New Testament, are habitually applied to the events of time. In the only instances in which Gehenna and its compound forms occur, nothing is
meant but simply the valley of Hinnom, a deep channel under the southern wall of Jerusalem. Fire appears to have been a favorite metaphor to represent temporal judgments and afflictions; but we do not find it used in connexion with the idea of future sufferings.
IV. From the Birth of Christ, to the Destruction of Jerusalem: From A. D. 1, to A. D. 70.
During the first century of the Christian era, the opinions of the Jews, especially those of Palestine, seem to have been in a state of rapid transition from the ancient standard to a mixture, peculiar to themselves, of Judaism, Greek and Oriental philosophy, and mysticism. The Cabbalistic jargon had been introduced, and the practice of allegorical interpretation was already common. Both of these whimsical schemes, so productive of innovation, were received from the Egyptian Jews, with whom those of Palestine, notwithstanding a longcherished jealousy, maintained a freer intercourse than formerly; the natural consequences of which, are too evident to need illustration.3
The only authorities for their sentiments, in this period, are the works of Philo Judæus, the New Testament, and Josephus. The Targum of Onkelos and that of Jonathan Ben Uzziel, which many of the learned have placed, on the strength merely of Jewish traditions, at or near the Christian era, are now generally supposed by the best critics to have been the productions of the third century. With regard to that of Onkelos, the question is wholly indifferent here, since it contains nothing relative to our subject. But the Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel presents some views of the future state that are not recognized in the unquestioned remains of this age, and that indicate a more advanced period in the development of the doctrine. There are several other Jewish works which the Rabbins sometimes ascribe to this century, such as the Pirke, Rabboth, Medraschim, &c.; but which the learned generally account of no authority, since some of them are much interpolated, and the earliest appear to have been composed as late as the end of the second, or beginning of the
3 Bruckeri Hist. Crit. Philosophiæ, Vol. ii. pp. 813, 814. Buhle, Lehrbuch der Geschichte der Philosophie, § 514, 515. Band 4. S. 144-147.
See Univ. Expositor, Vol. ii. p. 368. Notwithstanding Gesenius advogates the earlier date of these Targums, I see that other German critics continue to assign them to a later. See Kuinoel in Johan. p. 109. Lips. 1825.