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THE FIRST BOOK OF MACCABEES.
was then taken from their sight and was seen no more. Then they, lying prostrate for three hours, blessed God, and, rising up, told all his wonderful works." (Tobit xii.)
Here you have a curious mixture of Aryan and Shemitic elements. The angel Raphael, though he has a Shemitic name, appears as the chief of the seven angels, which recal the seven Persian Amshaspands, the pure spirits or angels whom Ormuzd created by Honover, his Word. On the other side, Asmodeus, though he has a Persian name, is God's instrument whereby to try Tobit and Sarah, even as Satan was for the trial of the virtue of Job. Moreover, the Shemitic element predominates, for God sends Raphael, and Raphael returns back to God, while Asmodeus is so subordinate to God that Raphael binds him in chains, and so puts a stop to his demoniacal doings. (Comp. Tobit ii. 12.)
The word devil presents itself in the first book of MACCABEES (i. 36), where, speaking of apostate Jews who, rendering aid to Antiochus Epiphanes, the Greek assailant and bitter enemy of the nation, took up a position on Mount Zion as a point of assault against brethren who were faithful to the religion of their forefathers, and whom they hoped to seduce and paganize, the author of this apocryphal history declares, "they became a great snare against the sanctuary and an evil devil in Israel." The term employed signifies a misleader. Such is the nature of the act here ascribed to the Hellenized Jews. But in this the only passage found in the Palestinian Apocrypha, it is a devil, and not the devil, that is offered to your reflections. And this devil, while not a hundredth part so black as the devil of the Church, receives his darkest tint from the adjective bad, implying that it was possible to be a devil without at least being so very malignant. This is a point that I have repeatedly drawn your attention to. But how is the term "a bad devil" used here? In a literal sense or figuratively? These apostates were in intention misleaders, seducers in reality, and may well be so characterized, without any reference to any system of demonology
DEMONOLOGY OF ALEXANDRIA.
or any demoniacal category. Different would have been the meaning did the Scripture present the term the devil. Then there might be a reference to the Persian Ahriman in a Judaical form. As it is, the import is so uncertain as to add little, if anything, to what I have already set before you.
The Jewish DEMONOLOGY OF ALEXANDRIA has a more serious character. It is free from the low and vulgar falsities with which that of Palestine is laden. It consists of two essential features. With the Alexandrine Jews, the demons are the false divinities of paganism. Proof of the statement is furnished by the Septuagint or Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. Every time that the Old Testament mentions the pagan idols, the Seventy translate the word by the Greek daiμórior, demon. (Ps. xcvi. [xcv. in the LXX.] 5, cvi. [cv.] 37.)
The same view is taken by the Alexandrine author of the second part of the Apocryphal BARUCH. "You have," the writer says to the Israelites whom he reproaches with their idolatry, "sacrificed to demons and not to God." This metamorphosis of the pagan divinities, thus, after the manner of the Persian Dews, turned into devils, arose from the repulsion and hate called forth in the Hellenistic Jews by the offensive idols of Egypt, in the midst of which they lived, and presents another version of "the fall of the angels." The notion, the origin of which is here offered, passed at a later day into the Church, and was patronized by nearly all the fathers.
A conception of a different order, though not less false and injurious, is indicated by the author of the Apocryphal book of WISDOM: "God created man for immortality; he made him in his own image. The envy of the devil introduced into the world death, which has become the universal inheritThose who declare themselves on his side experience the cruel effects" (ii. 23-25). This is the first time that you can find allusion to the story of the temptation of Adam and Eve by the serpent, and to its disastrous consequences. But
FIGURATIVE DEMONOLOGY OF THE APOCALYPSE.
here the fable stops, leaving a wide interval between itself and the orthodoxy of which it is the parent. Once mentioned in the writing of some unknown Alexandrine Jew, the devil does not recur even to the end. It must be admitted that as I was shunned by pure Hebrewism, I receive scant favour from its degenerate Egyptian form. The doctrine, too, of original sin, thus referred to, passes out of sight, as if ashamed of itself. The half-paganized and speculative author of Wisdom deduces no consequence therefrom. Nor after him does it re-appear in the writings of the Alexandrine Jews. Coming into existence at a somewhat degenerate time, the second account of creation would not find a favourable soil in Hebrewism, even when in later ages diluted and beclouded by pagan apocryphal speculation. It is unknown even to Philo, with all his love of mystic double senses. From Josephus it receives a sense very different from what is now accounted orthodoxy; for with him the serpent is a serpent, and the chief blame is thrown on Adam and Eve as wilfully disobeying God; but not a word is uttered of the alleged transmission of sin. While the notion of a personal devil is either disowned and kept in the back-ground among the superior writers of those days, it probably found some dark channel of transmission, for it presents itself again for the first time in the Apocalypse (xi. 7-9), which is one of the earliest books of the New Testament: "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven; and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan which deceiveth the whole world; he was cast out on to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." And yet, even here, the use thus made of certain names is nothing more than figures of speech borrowed from the demonology of the day, as the most suitable and forcible verbal descriptions of the pagan forces that under imperial Rome warred against the infant Church.
PHILO AND JOSEPHUS.
Not easily did I graft myself on the good and sound old stock of Hebrew thought.
The explanation of sin and death by the action of a bad principle or person was foreign to the Greek philosophy, at least in the sense in which it was understood by the author of the book of Wisdom. Accordingly there is no reason for surprise that it does not appear in PHILO. In his system. of religious metaphysics there is indeed a certain dualism; but it is the Greek dualism, that is, the opposition of spirit and matter, of activity and passivity, of being and not-being. And this dualism, although it is in reality connected logically with the dualism of moral good and evil, of Ormuzd and Ahriman, is an older and a milder form of the absolute dualism and ceaseless conflict fabled in ecclesiastical writers as existing and proceeding between God and myself.
Moreover, Philo attaches no metaphysical importance to the theory of demons. Only once does he mention it in his numerous pages (De Gigantibus, § 4); and the idea which he forms of it does not rise above the superstitions spread in Palestine as to evil angels. He fancies that their chief occupation lies in exciting impure desires in human beings.
From the middle of the second century before Christ to the day of the downfall of Jerusalem, demonology seems to have considerably gained substance and prominence in Palestine. Josephus, without once employing the word devil or the word Satan, speaks of demons frequently; and as his opinions on the subject were doubtless those of his fellow-Jews, you may hence conclude that notions of the kind were widely spread around him.
Referring to the multitude of magicians and conjurors that misled the people in the war against Rome, Josephus (J. War, II. xiii. 4) describes them in these words: “full of deceit and of a kind of divine impulse, eager for change and novelty, they seduced and maddened (demonized) the multitude."
This demonizing of the people has its parallel in the fury with
HOW TO CAST OUT DEMONS.
which his soldiers were stirred to mutual slaughter by Eleazar (J. War, VII. ix. 1). Such madness and such fury, though intense, is not what is commonly meant by devilish or demoniacal.
Passing from the verb dauwvav (to demonize), I come to the noun dapóvior (demon), and find that Josephus attributes the evil spirit which actuated Saul to the presence and terrible workings of "the evil spirit" and the demons which David cast out by the sweet tones of his lyre (J. War, VI. viii. 2, viii. 8). Here we seem to have demons before us as wicked spirits. The method of exorcism employed by David is superseded in Josephus by one of a less pure, and, I should add, less efficacious character.
The method of exorcism is described by the historian of the Jews in another passage (Antiq. VIII. ii. 5): "God enabled Solomon to learn that skill which expels demons. He also composed such incantations as alleviate distempers. Moreover, he left behind him the way to employ exorcisms, by which they drive away demons so that they can never return. This method of cure is of great force unto this day. I have seen a fellow-countryman of my own, by name Eleazar, releasing people who were demoniacal in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons and captains and the whole multitude of his soldiers."
The manner of cure was this: putting a ring bearing a root called Baaras (J. War, VII. vi. 3) to the nostrils of the demoniac, he thence drew the demon out of the possessed person, who fell down on the earth. Then he adjured the demon not to return, supporting his adjuration by the name of Solomon and by incantations. Wishing to persuade the spectators that he had the power of exorcising demons, he set a little way off a basin of water, and bade the demon, on leaving his victim, to overturn it, thereby shewing the people that he had left the man; and thus promoting the glory of Solomon. (Comp. Matt. xii. 27.) In a different place (J. War, VII. vi. 3), Josephus, describing another method of exorcism,