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Jo. xvii. 36. Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world : if Jerusalem.

my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants

Because ,כיון דחזו דנפישי להו רוצחין ולא יכלו למידן ,reason was this

opinion, that the Romans divested the council of their autbo-
rity, and took away from them the power of inflicting capital
punishments. And this argument is defended from that tradi-
tion of the Talmudists, which says,that the great council removed
from the room Gazith, where alone they could pass a sentence
of death, forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem ; from
which it is inferred, that the power of judging in cases of life
and death could not proceed, because the lesser councils were
not permitted to sit on capital judgments, unless the great
council was in its proper place, and capable of receiving
appeals; the room Gazith being near the Divine presence, half
of it within, and half without the holy place. In answer to
this assertion it is observed, “ But if this indeed be true, Ist,
What do then those words of our Saviour mean, They will deli-
ver you up to the councils? 2d, How did they put Stephen to
death? 3rd, Why was Paul so much afraid to commit himself
to the council, that he chose rather to appeal to Cæsar }”.
The Talmudists excellently well clear the matter, and the

, ,
they saw murderers so much increase, that they could not judge
them—they said therefore, it is fit that we should remove from
place to place, that so we may avoid the guilt of not judging
righteously in the room Gazith, which engaged them to do so.

The number and boldness of thieves and murderers were so
great, and the authority of the council so weak, that they neither
could nor dared put them to death."

And again it is said in another Talmudical tradition, “Since
the time that homicides multiplied, the beheading the beifer
ceased, Sotah, fol. 47. I.; so in the case of adultery: and since
the time that adultery so openly advanced under the second
temple, they left off trying the adulteress by the bitter water,
&c. Maimon. in Sotab. chap. iii. So that we see the liberty of
judging in capital matters was no more taken from the Jews by
the Romans, than the beheading of the heiser, or the trial of the
suspected wife by the bitter waters was taken away from them,
which no one will affirm."

“ The slothfulness of the council destroyed its own authority, the law slept while wickedness was in the height of its revels; and primitive justice was so out of countenance, that as to uncertain murders they made no search, and against certain ones they framed no judgment. The Sanhedrim, from mere inac-. tivity, or a foolish tenderness towards an Israelite, as a seed of Abraham, so far neglected to punish bloodshed, and other crimes, that wickedness grew so untractable, that the authority of the council trembled for fear of it, and dared not kill the killers. In this sense that saying must be understood, 'It is not lawful for us to put any man to death,' for it is evident, when they make this assertion, they do not deal fairly with Pilate; for their authority of judging had not been taken from them by the Romans, but lost by themselves, and despised by the people. Under these circumstances it was only exercised when there was no danger to be apprehended. They were bappy enough to use it when they had the opportunity of judging, persecuting, and torturing poor men and Christians; and they would certainly have condemned our Saviour to death, had they not feared the people, and if Providence had not otherwise determined it.”

Lightfoot mentions many other circumstances which took place after Judea had long been subject to the Roman yoke,

fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews : but Jerusalem.

now is my kingdom not from hence.
Jo. xviii. 37. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then ?

Jesus answered,
Mark xv. 2. and said unto him,
Jo. xviii.37. Thou sayest that I am king. To this end was I born,

and for this cause came I into the world, that I should
bear witness unto the truth Every one that is of the

truth heareth my voice.
38. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he

which clearly affirm the opinion, that the authority of the coun-
cil in capital matters was not taken away by the Romans; and
be agrees with Biscoe, in supposing that it was gradually, from
various causes, relinquished by the Jews themselves, and that it
imperceptibly lapsed into the bands of the Romans (e).

The Romans were always the ruling power wherever their
conquests extended. They varied in the privileges they granted,
but uniformly retained in their own hands the influence of thó
sword. The consequence would naturally be, that on all import-
ant occasions nothing could be done without their sanction or
connivanco. The Municipia and some provinces were certainly
allowed nominally to be governed by their own laws and cus-
toms : but this very permission seems to have introduced such
irrogularities into the government, that they petitioned to have
the anomalous privilege removed, and to become at once sub-
ject to the Roman laws. The reason evidently was, that the
power of the sword, the influence of the Roman name, and their
unavoidable interference in the government of their native
magistrates, had greatly interrupted, and oftentimes suspended,
the practice of their national laws: and such, as it appears to
me, was the situation of Judea, at the time of our Lord's con-
demnation. The power of life and death bad not been formally
abrogated by the Romans, but the grant which secured to the
Jews their own rights and privileges, had been gradually set
aside by the influence of the Roman authority, which had in
some measure superseded the Jewish magistracy (f ).

(a) Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. p. 116. (6) Oinep éloi nepi res kploeis, wuoi, fapà távtact"Iddales.-P. 896, b. 37. (c) Joseph. Antiq. xiv. 10. 2. Bell Jud. I. vi. 2. 4. (d) Kåv blaognunon riseis Tõrov, koláxeolar avatw.—De Bell Jad. 1. 2. c. 8. sect. ix. (e) Hebrew, and Talmud. Exercit. vol. ii. P. 248, 249. (f) See Bowyer's Critical Conj. p. 318. ; Doddridge; Rosenmuller; the discussion of Lardner, in his Credibility, &c. &c.' Lightfoot, in his Talmudical Exercitations apon the Acts, observes, on the occasion of the Sanhedrim granting letters to Paul, to go to Damascus, that the power of life and death was not yet taken from the Sanhedrim. Selden is of opinion that the power of the Sanhedrim to panish capitally was only much interropted and disused at the time of the crucifixion. Krebsias, quoted by Rosonmuller, is of opinion that the power of inflicting capital punishments, in cases of offences against religion, was left to the Jews, but in civil offences it was taken away-in criminibus autem aliis, e. g. seditionis, tumultus, perduellionis, et ad læsam majestatem Cæsaris pertinentibus, illud jus iis non fuisse concessum. Kuinoel has adopted also this conclasion of Biscoe-Mihi perplacet Angustini et Chrysostomi ratio, etiam Semlero probata, qua Judæorum verba v. 31. ad diem referantur hoc sensu : nobis non licet quenquam supplicio afficere ob re. ligionem diei festi; erat enim napaokevi) ToŬ haoxa, xix. 14–42. quam eamdem ob causam, neque prætorium ingressi erant coll. v. 28.Kuinoel in Joan. 19. 31.


had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and saith Jerusalem.

La. xxiii. 4. the Chief Priests and to the people, I find no fault in this

Jo. xviii. 38. I find in him no fault at all.
Mark xv. 3. And the Chief Priests accused him of many things : but
Mtsxvii.12. when he was accused of the Chief Priests and elders, he

answered nothing.

Then saith Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?

14. And he answered him to never a word. Mark xv. 4. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou

nothing? Behold how many things they witness against


5. But Jesus answered nothing :
Mtaxvii, 14, insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly,

MATT. xxvii. part of ver. 2. and 11.
2 -and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
11 --And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

MARK XV. part of ver. 1, 2, 3. 5.
1-and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And
he answering-Thou sayest it.

3 -he answered nothing.
5 -30 that Pilate marvelled.

LUKE xxiii, part of ver. 1. ver. 3. and part of ver. 4.
1 and led him unto Pilate.
3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the
Jews? and he answered him, and said, Thou sayest it.
4 Then said Pilate to-

JOIN xviii. part of ver. 33. 38.
33 -and said unto him, Art thou the king of the Jews?

Christ is sent by Pilate to Herod.

LUKE xxiii. 5-12.
La, xxiii,5.

And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up
the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning

from Galilee to this place.
6. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the

man were a Galilean.
7. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's

jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was

at Jerusalem at that time.
8. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad:

for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because
he had heard many things of him ; and he hoped to have

seen some miracle done by him.
9. Then he questioned with him in many words; bat be

answered him nothing.

Luxxiii.10. And the Chief Priests and Scribes stood and vehe, Jerusalem,

mently accused him.
ll. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and

mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and

sent him again to Pilate. 12.

And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together : for before they were at enmity between themselves.

Christ is brought back again to Pilate, who again declares

Him innocent, and endeavours to persuade the People to
ask Barabbas.
MATT. xxvii. 15-20. MARK XV. 6-11. LUKE xxiii.

13-19. JOHN xviii. 39.
Lu.xxiii.13. And Pilate, when he had called together the Chief

Priests and the rulers and the people,
14. Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me,

as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having
examined him before you, have found no fault in this

man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
15. No, nor yet Herod : for I sent you to him; and, lo,

nothing worthy of death is done unto him.

I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
Mtxxvii.16. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto

the people"

14 Some time before this reconciliation, Pilate had dedicated some shields of gold to Tiberius, and placed them in the palace of Herodium, The Jews, under the sanction of Herod, peti. tioned Pilate for their removal, but in vain. They determined therefore to appeal to Tiberius, and for this purpose sent a deputation to the emperor, at the head of which were the four sons of Herod. This act seems to have been the cause of their difference, as it was regarded by the Jews and by Herod as a violation of their religion : and Herod was not reconciled to Pilate till the Roman Governor, desirous not to assist the Jews in the condemnation of our Lord, acknowledged the power of Herod, by sending to his tribunal at Jerusalem the holy Jesus.

Dr. Townson justly observes, that it is probable both Pilate and Herod occupied different parts of the palace called Herodium, which some time before had been built by Herod the Great. It consisted of two distinct spacious buildings, one of which was named Cæsareum, and the other Agrippeum: it stood near the temple (a).

(a) Philo leg: ad Caium, vol. ii. p. 589. ed. Mangey ap Townson. See also Hale's Analysis, vol. ii. part ii.

15 Hottinger has written a treatise on this passage, de ritu dimittendi Řeum in festo Paschatis; which is bound up in the thirteenth volume of the Critici Sacri. He opposes the opinion of Whitby, that a prisoner was released only at the feast of the passover. He considers the custom (quoting Grotius and Ger. Vossius,) as contrary to the stern inflexibility of the Mosaic institutions ; erat siquidem divina per Mosen, lata lex xwpis ointip


Mark sv. 6. one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
Mtxxvii.16. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas,
Mark xv. 7. which lay bound with them that had made insurrection

with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
8. And the multitude crying aloud, began to desire him to

do as he had ever done unto them. Lu.xxiï.17. (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the

feast.) Mtxxvii.17.

Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate

said unto them, Jo.xviij.39. ye have a custom that I should release unto you one at

the passover: Mtxxvii.17. Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Je

sus which is called Christ? Jo. xviii. 39. will ye therefore that I release unto you the king of the

Jews? Mar. xv.10.

For he knew that the Chief Priests had delivered him

for envy.

Mtxxvii.19. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife

sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that
just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a

dream because of him.
20. But the Chief Priests and elders persuaded the multi-

tude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. Lu.xxiii.18. And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this

man, and release unto us Barabbas.
19. (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for
murder, was cast into prison.)

MATT. xxvii. ver. 18.
18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

MARK XV. part of ver. 6. and ver. 9. 11.
6 Now at that feast he released unto them,

9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews ?

11 But the Chief Priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.


Pilate three times endeavours again to release Christ.
MATT. xxvii. 21-23.


LUKE xxiii.
20-23. JOHN xviii. 40.
Lu.xxiii.20. Pilate,
Mtxxvii.21, the governor,
Lu.xxiii.20. therefore willing to release Jesus,

pūv sine omni misericordia, Heb. x. 28. nec cuiquam bomini
data ignoscendi potestas, non Regi, non Synedrio, non populo,
sect. x. and xx.

This deviation from their established law is a proof how much
the Levitical institutions bad been relaxed from their appointed
rigour and severity. The origin of this emancipation is unknown.

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