« FöregåendeFortsätt »
· TRIAL. The forms of trial in the East have Jerusalem, said, that when he was a little boy, he saw a varied very little since the patriarchal times. The priest's daughter who had been convicted of harlotry, case is generally stated by the injured person or burned at a stake with fagots. But the Rabbins say, prosecutor, and his witnesses give their testimony that must have been when the sanhedrim was chiefly orally; the accused or defendant makes an oral reply, composed of Sadducees, who were more severe than the and the matter is at once decided either by a single Pharisees, and who followed the exact letter of Scripture. judge or by the council. Among the Jews it was | The next capital sentence, and the most usual, was customary for the spectators of a trial to give their stoning; as in the cases of an idolater, blasphemer, opinions and try to influence the verdict; we learn from adulterer, wizard, and wicked and rebellious son. As Homer, in his description of the ornaments on the a mark of infamy in particular instances, a heap of shield of Achilles, that a similar practice prevailed in stones was raised over the grave of the person who had ancient Greece during the heroic ages:
suffered the punishment, as in the case of Achan. There in the forum swarm a numerous train,
(Josh. 7. 26.) Stones were also heaped over the grave The subject of debate, a townsman slain,
of Absalom to show that he had deserved to be stoned One pleads the fine discharged, which one denied, for his rebellion to his father. (2Sam. 18. 17.) And bade the public and the laws decide;
A similar custom obtained amongst the Arabs, and The witness is produced on either hand,
traces of it exist to this day among European nations, For this or that the partial people stand; The appointed heralds still the noisy bands,
in the custom of raising a heap on the spot where a And form a ring with sceptres in their hands;
murder has been committed, each passer by flinging a On seats of stone within the sacred place
stone upon it. The reverend elders nodded o'er the case,
Strangling was another capital sentence: it was Alternate each the attesting sceptre took,
inflicted on murderers. The Rabbins always underAnd rising solemn each his sentence spoke.
stand that when the words “the death” were used As the Jews possessed a written code of laws, very indefinitely, without description of the kind of death, little discretion was left to the tribunals in pronouncing they were permitted to construe it in the most merciful sentence, and in fact, the sentences for each crime were manner, and to use strangling (not hanging up alive). so firmly established in the criminal legislation of the But when the Scripture added “his blood be on his Mosaic law, that some have doubted whether a power of head,” they were obliged to understand it of stoning. mitigation and pardon was conceded to the judges or Hanging a criminal alive on a gibbet, or tree, was not even to the sovereign. We shall therefore give a list of practised among the Jews, but hanging up the dead the sentences which were ordained to be pronounced on body after execution, as a mark of infamy. This was those who were convicted on trial of certain specified done only in cases of great crimes. (Deut. 21. 22.) “If crimes.
a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be Sentence of death was pronounced in the following cases: to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:” here viz., blasphemy,(Levit. 24. 23,) in which we may include the death precedes the hanging, and this death the profaneness and sacrilege. (Levit. 7. 21; 19. 8.) Idolatry, Jewish doctors understand to be stoning, which they (Levit. 20. 12; Deut. 13. and 17,) in which is included say is indicated by the expression “worthy of death." Sabbath-breaking. (Exod.31.14; Numb. 15. 32,35.) See And the word yon chatlah, is put to designate a great art. SABBATH. Also, false prophesying. (Deut. 13. 5; and remarkable degree of wickedness, conformable to 18. 20.) Murder, (Numb. 35. 16-21,) under which head Hosea, (12. 8,) “In all my labours they shall find none comes keeping a vicious ox that gores a man to death. iniquity (1'y gnain) in me that were sin,” non chatlah, (Exod. 21. 29.) But this capital sentence was not where sin is shown as a higher degree of evil than irremissible, it might be commuted for a sum of money. iniquity. Deuteronony 21. 23, continues, concerning Contumacious rebellion against lawful and constituted the hanging up of the dead criminal, “ His body shall authorities; as when a man obstinately refused obedience not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in to a supreme court of judicature or sanhedrim, (Deut. anywise bury him that day, for he that is hanged is 17. 12;) and when a son determinedly and malignantly accursed of God.” The above shows why he was persisted in rebellion against his parents, or uttered accursed; not because he was hanged, but because his curses against them. (Levit. 20. 9; Deut. 21. 18.) crime was of so great and cursed a degree, that he was Adultery. (Levit. 20. 10.) Foul crimes. (Levit. 20.) hanged up a spectacle of infamy after death; and this Witchcraft. (Levit. 20. 6.)
explains Galatians 3. 13: “Christ hath redeemed us The highest capital sentence was burning; but this from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, was only adjudged in case of a particular incest, (Levit. for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a 20;) and in that of the priest's daughter being a harlot, tree;" shewing that in the nature of the death Christ (Levit. 21. 9,) and was sentenced in her case only, to died for us, he suffered not only the greatest pain, but show how heinous a crime was the bringing shame on the greatest ignominy, according to the views of the the priesthood, (for other offenders in this kind of sin Old Testament, not according to the views of the were stoned, which was a lesser punishment.) The Gentiles as some write, because crucifixion was an Rabbins generally do not understand this execution to ignominious punishment among the Romans (with mean burning at the stake with fagots, according to whose customs and manners Christ had nothing to do), our received idea of the punishment. They say, the but because it was infamous among the Jews for a dead body was not burned with fire, but the criminal was body to be hanged up for any time. The verse of buried up to the knees, and then a handkerchief placed Deuteronomy above quoted, commanding the body to. round the neck was tightly pulled by the witnesses till be taken down before night and buried, “lest the land the person gaped, when molten lead was poured down be defiled," meant, according to the Rabbins, to do the throat, which the Jews considered a more expeditious, away the memory of the foul crime as soon as the end and consequently a more merciful kind of death than | of the exposure was answered. Wherefore, says the the lingering one of burning. We find no authority in treatise Sanhedrim, the instrument of punishment and Scripture for this tradition; which, however, is a the tree itself was to be burned, that no memorial of so universal thing among the Talmudists. Rabbi Eleazar foul a thing be left in the world. So, for the complete Ben Zadoc, who lived at the time of the destruction of fulfilment of all types and all Scriptures, the body of
Christ was taken down so early in the evening that I apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile Pilate marvelled whether he could be already dead. raiment, and ye have respect to him that weareth the (Mark 15. 44.)
gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good Abarbinel says, another reason why the body was not place, and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here to remain any time hanging up (Deut. 21. 25,) was that under my footstool; are ye not then partial in your. the land should not be defiled by the effluvium of putre- selves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?" faction,
To resume: if the parties were allowed to sit during N.B.- We have said that the Jews did not sentence trial, they were obliged to stand while sentence was criminals to be hanged up alive, and must observe that pronounced. After the accusation was made, the the case of the king of Ai, (Josh. 8. 29,) and the five accused was called upon for his defence. (As Nicokings, (Josh. 10. 26,) were no exceptions, for they were demus reminded the chief-priests, “Doth our law judge not Hebrews, and not dealt with according to Hebrew any man before it hear him?” John 7.51.) Scripture law.
does not tell us what was the form of oath used; but Slaying with the sword (putting to death by military that there was some, we learn from 1 Kings 8. 31: “If execution) was the sentence pronounced by the Jewish a man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be grand court of judicature against an idolatrous city, laid upon him to cause him to swear." Also Leviticus (Deut. 13. 15,) but this cannot be cansidered a sentence 5. 2. It appears from 2Chronicles 18. 15, that an adjuof the regular criminal law.
ration in the name of the Lord was pronounced to the Burning, stoning, strangling, and slaying with the parties, to elicit from them the truth; so, in Matthew sword, were the only capital sentences properly Jewish; 26. 63, when Jesus at first remained silent, the highbut by degrees other modes of inflicting death crept in priest adjured him in the name of the Living God, upon amongst them, from their intercourse with foreigners, | which Christ immediately made answer. The Rabbins such as beheading, drowning, bruising to death in a say that no man could decline the oath of testimony mortar, sawing asunder; but when any of these was before the Sanhedrim; but they made a distinction inflicted, it was not by judicial sentence, but by an between cases concerning pecuniary matters, and capital arbitrary decree of cruelty or tyranny. As John offences; in the former, a man was not obliged to give Baptist was beheaded in prison, without trial; and the testimony, unless summoned as a witness; in the latter, Rabbins say Manasseh, the wicked king, caused Isaiah he was obliged to go of his own accord to make known to be sawn asunder, which was accomplished by putting any capital offence of which he had been aware. the sufferer between two planks, and then sawing up In Numbers 5. 19-21, a very strong form of adjurathrough them, to which death St. Paul alludes (Heb. tion was used to the woman suspected of adultery when 11.37;) speaking of martyrs, he says, “some were sawn the priest presented her with the water of jealousy. The asunder.”
following part of the adjuration, “ The Lord make thee Drowning is alluded to by Our Saviour, (Matt. 18.6,) a curse and an oath among the people,” is explained by “Whoso shall offend one of these little ones that believe Rabbi Solomon Jarcbi to mean, that if the woman was in me, it were better for him that a mill-stone were found guilty, and the judgment of the Lord was inflicted hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the on her, her name should become a word of adjuration depth of the sea.”
and execration, as “ The Lord do unto me, as he did to The revolted Galileans thus destroyed the partisans of such a woman, if,” &c. Herod. (See Joseph. Antiq., book 14, chap. 15.)
In the latter times of the Jews some dreadful Bruising in a mortar is alluded to by Solomon, (Prov. forms of execration were in use (according to Chry. 27. 22,) “Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a sostom) in the synagogues, to compel the disclosure mortar, among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his of the truth. One witness was not sufficient in capital foolishness depart from him.”
indictments, but two or three credible ones were requiThe mode of judicial proceeding was as follows, viz., site to convict. (Numb. 35. 30; Deut. 17. 6,7.) the accuser made his statement to the judges, and they The Talmudists say, when a case was difficult, it was sent officers with him to bring the offending party; thus not to be concluded in the one day, but the examination the Sanhedrim sent a band from the Temple-guard with should be resumed next day. The treatise Sanhedrim Judas, to seize Our Lord. When the parties were in particularly forbids that cases involving a capital crime the place of judgment, they stood before the judges, should be heard in the night, a law that was grossly who were seated. A judge might on some occasions | violated in the case of Our Lord. The sentence of conallow the parties to sit; but the Rabbinical Law pro demnation was in these words: “He is guilty of death." hibits him from showing favour to one above another; (Matt. 26. 66.) Sentence could only be pronounced by if one were permitted, so must be the other. (Lev. day, and executed by day. 19. 15.) “Thou shalt not respect the persons of the | The Rabbins say, that when a man was led to execupoor, nor honour the persons of the mighty.” Rabbition an officer preceded him, proclaiming, “This man Levi explains, the judge shall not bid the great man sit is going to execution for having committed such a crime, down while the meaner stands, but both shall be as if at such a time, in such a place; and such persons are witthey were in the presence of the Divine Majesty. Mai- nesses. If any man can advance aught in his favour, let monides says, if two parties appear in a cause, one him go and shew it forth in the midst (i.e., of the court)." richly and the other poorly clad, say to the first, Either Wherefore a person stood at the door of the council, give your adversary such garments as you wear, or with a handkerchief, or white linen cloth; at some apparel yourself like him, that you may be both alike; distance sat a man on horseback. If any witness came and then appear in the court of judgment. By no forward in favour of the criminal, the person holding means let the one sit and the other stand; let both be the handkerchief waved it, and the mounted man, on commanded to stand; or, if it please the judge to allow that signal, galloped off, and brought back the criminal them both to sit, let not one of them sit in a high | for a rehearing; and even if anything occurred to the place, and the other in a low; but both on the same recollection of the criminal which might be favourable bench, one by the side of the other. This passage from to him, he could cause himself to be brought back, even Maimonides illustrates James 2. 2-4: “For if there four times, for a rehearing. When arrived at the place come into your assembly a man gold ring in goodly of execution, which should be without the city, the
witnesses against him laid their hands upon him (a | the Lord;” which indicates a most fearful doom, extendcustom which originated from Levit. 24. 14), and then ing to soul as well as body. The sentence of bodily acted as executioners. (Deut. 17.7; Acts 7. 58,59.) death alone was denounced against any of the people But previously to his being put to death, a cup of wine, who polluted the holy things, (Numb. 18. 19;) but in mingled with incense, was given to stupefy his senses the priesthood the greater penalty is denounced, because and blunt the feeling of pain; which custom is alluded to the crime was greater in them to profane these holy in Proverbs 31. 6: “Give strong drink unto him that is things, for whose sacred preservation they were espeready to perish.” This explains why the cup of wine cially consecrated. It was a breach of a holy trust, and mingled with myrrh was offered to Christ at his cruci treason against the divine Majesty. Thus the sentence fixion, (Mark 15. 23,) and refused by him, that he for immorality in a priest's daughter was burning, the might suffer to the utmost, and make his sacrifice highest capital penalty; in any layman's daughter it was perfect.
a less grievous mode of death, viz., stoning. Capital convicts were said to be put to death for Thus we bave seen the different degrees of cutting off: their own sins, (Deut. 24. 16; 2Kings 14. 6;) they died 1, cutting off from the people, or from Israel, death; a violent death for their own sin, not a natural death 2, utterly cutting off, both personal death and extincfor Adam's sin. The Talmudists say it was not lawful tion of name and lineage, (a severe penalty among the to execute a capital sentence on a holy day, (Matt. | Jews); 3, cutting off from the presence of the Lord; a 25. 4,5;) but they said there was an exception to this fearful doom to soul and body. When a sentence of law in the case of the contumacious and refractory | judicial death is implied by cutting off, and the offence person who set at nought the decrees of the judicature, came under the cognizance of the judge, we may infer (Deut. 17. 12,13,) whom Rabbi Akkiba says was to be that he pronounced sentence of simple death, or deatlı kept in custody till the next great festival (of Pentecost and excommunication; but where the offence was conor Passover), when all the males of the nation would be cealed from the knowledge of man, we are to underassembled, and then to be executed as a public example, stand that God would execute judgment himself. " that all the people might hear and fear, and do no 1 In cases of offences that were not capital, the senmore presumptuously.” But Rabbi Jehuda says the tence, in many respects, lay at the discretion of the execution was not delayed; but letters announcing it, I judges, either as to the nature and quantum of the and the cause of it, were sent about among all the tribes, punishment to be inflicted. In every case where a proto make it public.
hibition is made, but no penalty named, the judge could The meaning of the sentence of “ cutting off from his choose the punishment; as in the case of scandalous and people,” frequently used in Scripture, has been disputed. | libellous words spoken against people in authority, The Jewish doctors generally agree that it means punish (Exod. 22. 28;) scandalous reports, (Exod. 23. 1;) ment inflicted by God himself; but of what kind they ordinary cases of false witness, (Exod. 23;) false are divided among themselves. Some say it was the weights and measures. (Deut. 25.) When the nature shortening of the criminal's life; others that it was of the punishment is named, as in fines, &c., but the making him childless, so that his name and family were amount undefined, the latter was left to the judge's cut off from the nation; Maimonides affirms that it was discretion. annihilation, extinction of soul and body; Abarbinel, The sentence of excommunication the Jews underthat it was forfeiture of salvation.
stood to be implied in the word “cursed," as in DeuteThe meaning may, however, be gathered from the ronomy 19. In the later times, after the return from context in the places where it occurs. The cutting off Babylon, the Jews distinguished three degrees of excomof the uncircumcised child, (Gen. 27,) is obviously by munication. The first called "7) niddui, from 77) or natural death; as in Exodus 41. 36, that “the land perish 72 niddu, to separate, as a thing unclean. The sentence not through famine," is in the Hebrew, “be not cut off of niddui or niddai caused the offender to be looked through famine.” In Exodus 31. 14, the Sabbath- upon as polluted; he was not allowed to approach any breaker is to be “cut off from his people," and verse 15 one within four cubits; he might stand in the synaexplains “ to be put to death."
gogue, separated that space from the rest, and hear the Numbers 15. 30,31, “That soul shall be utterly cut reading and the expositions, but not join in the prayer. off because he hath despised the word of the Lord, and To this Our Lord alludes, (Luke 6. 22,) - Blessed are hath broken his commandment.” “ That soul shall be ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall sepautterly cut off; his iniquity shall be upon him." These rate you from their company, for the Son of man's sake.” words indicate a higher degree of penalty for great pro- This sentence continued in force for thirty days, unless faneness and wilful sin. “His iniquity shall be upon shortened by repentance. him,” enforces the idea of some great crime; and the | The second degree of excommunication was called utterly cutting off, something more than death, probably in cherem, anathema, from On cherem, to curse, extinction of posterity, whereby the offender's name and devote to destruction. This prevented the criminal from lineage, as well as life, were extinguished. “Ile who entering the synagogue at all, and denied him all relidefiles the Tabernacle of the Lord is to be cut off from gious rites. To this Jesus alludes, (John 16. 2.) “ They Israel," (Numb. 19. 13,) which is explained, (Numb. shall put you out of the synagogues;" it is also called 18. 32,) “Neither shall ye pollute the holy things of casting out of the synagogues, in other places. (John Israel, lest ye die.” This also explains the cutting off 9. 31,35.) The highest sentence of excommunication from his people him who should make any sacrilegious pronounced against the incorrigible was that called nase of the holy oil, (Exod. 30. 33,38;) and the cutting sham-atha, or more commonly maran-atha, a Syriac off for eating the peace-offering in a state of unclean- | phrase, meaning “the Lord comes.” This signified that ness, (Levit. 7. 20;) offering sacrilegious sacrifices, and the offender being cut off from society, from religious eating blood, because blood was the sprinkling for atone- service and communion, and held detestable, was m ent. (Levit. 17. 4,10.) Cutting off from the people | deserving of the highest punishment that it was in the for unclean sins, is explained to be death. (Levit. 20.) power of man to inflict, and therefore his further doom
In Leviticus 22. 3, the sentence pronounced against was now left to the day of judgment, or the Lord's any of the priesthood who should pollute the holy things coming, when he had nothing but perdition to expect. is, “That soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am | To this St. Paul refers, (1 Cor. 16. 22,) “If any man
love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be anathema TRIBE, Jau shebet, which primarily means a maranatha.” When the sentence of anathema mara- | rod, or sceptre; also 100 matteh, primarily a rod. The natha was pronounced in the synagogues, all the candles designation of tribe is applied to each collective body of that were lighted were extinguished, (a practice followed | families descended from each of the twelve sons of in excommunications in the Roman Catholic church,) to Jacob; as the tribe, or descendants, of Reuben, the tribe show that the offender was excluded from the light of of Judah, &c. The name is given, as above, from a rod. heaven; his goods were proclaimed confiscated, his sons or sceptre, because the heads of the tribes bore rods, a denied circumcision, and when he died a stone was ensigns of their tribual authority, (Numb. 17. 2;) hence is placed on his coffin, and stones heaped on his grave to derived the sceptre, wand, or truncheon, among moderns, show that he deserved to be stoned; and instead of as an ensign of power, or a badge of office. The word mourning for him at his decease, his nearest kin dressed un matleh, rod, is derived from 1703 natah, to stretch themselves in white, and made feasts, with every sign of out, to extend; because the families stretched out and joy, that the evil thing was taken away from among extended themselves from their parent stock. The tribes them. According to Proverbs 11. 10, “ When the | of Israel are called throughout Scripture the twelve wicked perish there is shouting," 727 rinneh, (a singing tribes, because the sons of Jacob, their progenitors, were for joy.) To this custom Our Lord alludes (Luke 6.23,) twelve, thus in order of birth: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, “Rejoice ye in that day (when his followers were excom- Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulon, municated for his sake,) and leap for joy." The 22d Joseph, and Benjamin. (Gen. 29. 30-35.) and 23d verses of the 6th chapter of St. Luke, contain The tribes were, however, in point of fact, thirteen, for a benediction on those Jews who incurred the three sen- | the tribe of Joseph was divided into two, Manasseh and tences of excommunication on account of their faith in Ephraim; but, as the tribe of Levi received no inOur Lord, and a declaration that they (the excommuni heritance in Canaan, being separated for the priesthood, cated,) had more need to rejoice rather than their mis- | the tribes were but twelve, in a geographical point of taken kinsmen, at their death. “Blessed are ye when view. (Deut. 18. l; Josh. 13. 14; Deut. 10. 8.) Also men shall hate you, and separate you from their com when the tribes were numbered in the wilderness, the pany (by the niddui), and shall reproach you (by the tribe of Levi was forbidden to be included in the census, curse of the cherem or anathema,) and cast out your because they were not men-at-arms, but priests to God. name as evil, (by the anathema devoting you to evil), (Numb. 1. 47-49.) for the Son of man's sake, rejoice ye in that day, (as the kindred of the excommunicated do at his death,) for
The Tribes and their Founders. great is your reward in heaven.”
1. 12189 Reuben, first son of Jacob and Leah. The After the return from Babylon we find three sen- name signifies the son of seeing, i. e. of the Lord's tences mentioned which were not in use before, (Ezra seeing Leah's affliction, because she was despised of 7. 26,) banishment, confiscation of goods, imprisonment, Jacob. (Gen. 29. 32.) Reuben was born about decrees of a foreign king, Artaxerxes. When imprison- | 1758 B.C.; he committed a heinous sin against his ment was used by the Jews, it was only to keep the father, (Gen. 35. 22,) for which he forfeited his primo. offender in ward till sentence was executed upon him. genitureship. But when the rest of the brethren plotted
Psalm 17. 1,2, “Hear the right, O Lord, let my. sen- to kill Joseph, Reuben dissuaded them from fratricide, tence come forth from thy presence.” Sentence, the and wished to deliver him safely out of their hands. Hebrew word is wovo mishpat, the meaning is, Let me (Gen. 37. 21,22,29.) be judged by thee; so Jeremiah 6. 12, “Now also will When Jacob, on his death-bed, spake in prophecy I give sentence,” (Heb. “utter judgment against thee.") | concerning his sons and their descendants, (Gen. 29.) (Prov. 16. 10,)“ A divine sentence is in the lips of the he reproached Reuben for the crime above alluded to, king, and his mouth transgresseth not in judgment." | and pronounced that he should not excel; he should not The Hebrew word for sentence is ODD kesem, divina- | be the leader and head of Israel, though the first-born. tion, used here in a good sense for sagacity, an extraor The Jerusalem Targum says, that for Reuben's sin, the dinary spirit of discernment, penetration; the king is first birth-right (the richest blessings) were given to Solomon himself, and the divine sentence, or divination, | Joseph, (1 Chron. 5. 1,) the kingdom to Judah (11 refers to that extraordinary wisdom, “the wise and David's family afterwards), and the priesthood to Leti. understanding heart,” (1 Kings 3. 12,) which God gave | Moses, in his blessing on the tribes, (Deut. 49.) saja, him, “ to discern judgment,” (ver. 12,) so that his mouth “ Let Reuben live, and let not his men be few," (as our transgressed not in judgment. (Eccles. 8. 11,) “Because | version gives it); let him live among the tribes, and not sentence against an evil wish is not executed speedily, be annihilated from Israel, because he desired to protherefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in serve the life of Joseph. The Targum of Jonathan them to do evil.” Sentence here is 90X asar, a step or paraphrases, “Let Reuben live in this world, and not die proceeding, meaning that the Lord does not proceed the death of the wicked in the world to come. The speedily to punish the wicked against whom his sentence latter part of the sentence in our version, “let not. is long gone forth, but delays his judgment and is long- men be few," is contrary to the Hebrew test, which suffering, the ungodly man becomes hardened in his omits the word “not," "let his men be few:" and to apparent impunity, wherefore in the Hebrew the word | tribe never was as numerous, or considerable, as others “proceeding”is most appositely used instead of“sentence,” | The Vulgate translates “ sit parvus in numero," " let! which our version applies, by which the force and bear be small in number.” The Septuagint, however, has 2'; ing of the text is much obscured.
Eow ous ev api@uw, “let him be great in number,
Yet, as we have observed above, the Reubenites did... TRIALS. Painful circumstances into which per- | equal the numbers of some of the other tribes. sons are brought by divine providence with a view to | they were valiant men, and were appointed to go ona illustrate the perfections of God, bring to light the real armed before their brethren across the Jordan, on en character of those who are thus tried, and by the | ing Canaan, to be the first to oppose any enemies influence of temporal suffering, which shows the transitory (Numb. 32. 17; Josh. 1. 14, and 4. 12.) Some or nature and uncertain tenure of all earthly advantages, to tribe of Reuben were concerned in the rebellion of promote their eternal and spiritual interests. C.
against Moses and Aaron. (Numb. 16.) The Reubenie
alone, of all the tribes, were abettors of the dissatisfied | wherefore he was included in the penalty of Jacob, “I will Levites, of the family of Kohath, which may be accounted divide them in Israel, and scatter them in Jacob.” Levi for by the tribe encamping on the south side of the obtained no separate inheritance in Canaan, but received tabernacle next to the Kohathites. Rabbi Solomon Jarchi cities amongst the other tribes, and was dedicated to the observes on this, “Woe to the wicked, and woe to his priesthood. The name of Levi is not engraven on the neighbour.” The Reubenites are commended as men of stones of the high-priest's breast-plate, because Levi was valour, (1 Chron. 5. 18;) yet did they shun to go with represented by the high-priest himself. Deborah and Barak against Sisera, apparently both on Moses, in his prophetic blessing of the tribes, says of account of divisions among their councils, and on ac Levi: “Let thy Thummim and thy Urim be with thy count of their being devoted to the care of their cattle, Holy One, whom thou didst prove at Massah, and with which is lamented in the Song of Deborah and Barak. whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah." (Judges 5. 15,16.)
The Chaldee Paraphrase renders this: “Urim and Reuben's tribe was placed on Mount Ebal, (Deut. Thummim (the mysteries of lights and perfections in 27. 13,) along with the four sons of the handmaids, and the high-priest's breast-plate) thou didst put on the man Zebulon, the youngest son of Leah, (who by their birth (Levi) that was found holy before thee, whom thou were inferior to Reuben, as the first-born, had he not temptest with temptation, and he was found perfect; lost his privileges,) to pronounce the curses of the Law, thou provedst him at the waters of contention, and he a less honourable office than that of reciting the blessings was found faithful.” For the Levites, as Rabbi Solomon on Mount Gerizim.
Jarchi observes, did not murmur with the rest of the Reuben's portion in Canaan, when the tribes received Israelites. Wherefore, in Malachi 2. 5, the Lord says their inheritance, was beyond Jordan, having the brook of Levi: “My covenant was with him of life and peace; of Arnon south, that of Jazer north, the mountains of , and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared Gilead on the east, and the Jordan on the west.
| me, and was afraid before my name." The Reubenites, with the Gadites, Manassites, and | And Moses continues: “Who said unto his father Naphthalites, were the first carried away into captivity and his mother, I have not seen him: neither did he by the Assyrians. (1Chron. 5. 26.)
acknowledge his brethren, nor knew his own children.” II. wow Simeon, second son of Jacob and Leah. Because the Levites were zealous for the Lord in the His name signifies “hearing;" because Leah said that the idolatry of the golden calf, (Exod. 21.,) and slew every Lord heard she was hated. Born 1758 B.C. Tradition man his brother, and his companion, and his neighbour. represents him as a man of an intrepid, but severe and Also, the high-priest was not permitted to make himself inflexible, temper; and as having been the most cruel to unclean by mourning for his father, mother, brethren, or Joseph, and most anxious to slay him when he fell into children. the power of his brethren, (Gen. 37.,) which was the Moses blesses the tribe of Levi, saying that they reason that Joseph treated him with greater severity shall teach Jacob judgments, and Israel the Law; and than the rest in Egypt, (Gen. 43. 24,) and put him in offer incense and burnt-offering; which was all fulfilled prison.
in the Levitical priesthood, as were the succeeding blessSimeon associated himself with Levi in the cruel ings in ver. 11 of Deuteronomy 33. slaughter of the Shechemites, (Gen. 34.,) wherefore Jacob The prophecies had a literal fulfilment in the Jewish, said, “Simeon and Levi are brethren,” (Gen. 49.5,) not and a spiritual in the Christian dispensation. Thus merely in blood, but in disposition; wherefore the after the literal fulfilment, Levi had a spiritual one in patriarch denounced on them, “I will divide them in being a type of Christ. He was the holy one, (Deut. Jacob, and scatter them in Israel;" which was fulfilled 23. 8,) so called in Psalm 16. 10, and Acts 13. 35, on in Simeon receiving no regular and distinct inheritance whom were the lights and perfections, (Urim and Thumin the Holy Land, but only a district dismembered out mim,) which the Levitical priesthood lost in the Babyof Judah, (Josh. 19. 1-9;) wherefore Judah and Simeon lonish captivity, but which Christ restored in the Gospel. (the tribes) mutually aided each other afterwards to Christ was the almighty power contended against by the enlarge their borders. (Judges 1. 3-17.) And a com- Israelites in the wilderness, (1 Cor. 10. 9,) and Christ pany of them removed a long way from their brethren, acknowledged for his kindred only those who did the and settled in Mount Seir. (1Chron. 4. 42.) It is a will of God, saying, (Matt. 12. 46,50,) “Who is my tradition of the Rabbins, and some of the ancient mother, and who are my brethren? whosoever shall do Christian Fathers, that the Simeonites were scattered the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is about among the other tribes in the capacity of school- my brother, and sister, and mother.” Christ teaches his masters.
people judgments and law; offered himself up as a sacriSimeon is not mentioned by Moses in his prophecyfice for sin, and now liveth to make intercession for us, of the tribes. (Deut. 33.) But some copies of the (Heb. 7. 35,) which intercession was typified by the Greek Version join him to Reuben, at the outset. burning of incense. Wherefore God has accepted the “ Let Reuben live and not die, and let Simeon be many work of his hands (his ministry), and smitten his enemies. in number."
(Deut. 33. 9.) The Simeonites are mentioned as men of valour. The tribe of Levi had the privilege of intermarrying (1 Chron. 11. 25.) Of this tribe was Zimri, who was with the noble and royal tribe of Judah, as well as with ringleader in the sin concerning the Midianitish women. any of the other tribes. There was a tradition that the (Numb. 25. 14.) Judith, the courageous widow of Messiah should descend from Levi as well as from Bethulia, was likewise of this tribe. (Judith 9. 2.) The Judah; and it was an opinion among the ancient Chrisportion of Simeon had the tribe of Dan to the north, tians that the Virgin Mary descended by her mother Arabia Petrea to the south, the Mediterranean to the from Levi. We know from Scripture that she was west, and Judah to the east.
cousin to Elizabeth, (mother of John the Baptist), who III. 995 Levi, third son of Jacob and Leah, born was of the tribe of Levi. (This tribe gave rise to many 1756 B.C. His name signifies "joined,” because his eminent and remarkable persons, and amongst others, the mother hoped that her husband would be joined to her Maccabees.) in affection, having borne him three sons. Levi was IV. 17717Judah, fourth son of Jacob and Leah, joined with Simeon in the slaughter of the Shechemites, born 1755, B.C.; his name signifies “praise.” At the time