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ing several miracles to raise the credit of their own (Z), whilst A the Jews, to reader it the more odious, trumped up a dou

ble fast, kept up in memory of it; of which, however, the Talmud makes no mention. This sect, therefore, as it is called by the latter, took its rife soon after the time of Jiiftin Martyr, and not before. And thus much for the first and second century. Jews We read nothing worth notice concerning them till the

faithful to revolt of Pescennius Niger, who, being proclaimed Emperor in Severus ■, Syria, in the beginningof Severus's reign f, and having tried |n vain to bring them over to his interest, proved a bitter enemy to them during his sliort-liv'd reign. Their firmness to the Emperor did not however meet with a suitable return from him; for we are told that he made war against them and the Samaritans, at his return from the Parthian war E; and that the senate, confounding what the father had done in Syria, and the son in Judea, order'd him a triumph over

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(Z) Thus we are told by Philo, who was one of them, (in Fit. Mof.J that the 70 elders, who were employed in this version had been confined all the time, each in a separate apartment, and, that when the work was finished, and brought to the king seated on his throne, and examined before him, there was sound such exact conformity between each other.as well as with the original, even to a letter, or point, that both he and the assembly were convinced that the Holy Ghost must have inspired them; and some ancient fathers have been so fully persuaded of it, particularly St. Austin, Hillary, and others, that where it differs, as it doth often, from the Hebreiv,

they have rather chosen to think both divinely inspired, and both in the right; tho' there be no visible way of reconciling them (iz).

On the other hand, the Hebraizing J'emus affirm (13), that the day on which that version was made, proved more fatal to their nation than that on which "Jercboetm set up the golden calves of Dan and Bethel; and that the sky was covered with darkness three whole days, in memory of which they appointed a fast-day on the 8th of the month Tbebet, answering to our December, to shew their abhorrence against those who had presumed to translate the sacred oracles into a strange and impure language,

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the latter h (A). He likewise kept up the laws against their making proselytes and going to Jerusalem, tho' he allowed them the liberty of circumcising their children during the first years of his reign '; but, at length, he. grew more and famild towards them, when he was apprised of their fidelity <vourd bj to him; or, which perhaps was a more prevailing motive, him; as he was beyond measure covetous, when he come to know that they had many rich and considerable persons among them who would be glad to buy his favour and protection upon his own terms. Accordingly we find them not only protected by him, but several of them raised to some high .,. posts; tho' he did not fail making them pay dear for the LA p0QS preference he shewed to them above the Christians, whom he grievously persecuted, by the heavy imposts he laid on them k. There was one clause however very much in their favour, in that Emperor's decree, viz. the liberty of refusing such places and offices as were rather burthensome than honourable, tho' they enjoyed by it all the privileges of Roman citizens; and this so puffed them up with pride and insolence, especially against the persecuted Christians, that Tertullian, who was then writing his apologetic, loudly complains of it' (B).

h Spartian in Sever. • Vid. TERTUL.Apologet. cap. 21. k Ulpian. in Sever. 'Apolog. ad Scapul.

(A) We are indeed told by hecouldnotbe found. And this Abulpharage, that on the very might be, very likely, what first year of Sevirus's reign, the gave occasion to that triumph, Jews waged a grievous war seeing they had stood so firm against the Samaritans, in which for him against his competitor, great numbers of both were (B) He mentions, among {lain (14). But, as no other other things, a Jiiv going along author hath mentioned it, it is the streets of Caitbere, and carmore likely that he only mis- rying the picture of a man in a took some skirmishes, which long robe with ass's cars, and Claudius, a captain of Jewish a book in his hand with this banditti had had with those inscription, the God of the ChrisSamaritans; for he was grown tians; which we chiefly nienso bold as to surprise the em- tion, because it.shews that the peror, and to salute him at the Jews had by that time spread head of his own free booters, themselves from Egypt into those as if he had been one of the farther parts of Afrit, and how tribunes of his army; and then rnsoltnt they were grown unfled away with them so far that der the favour os chat emperor.

(\\) AMpharag. Dytst. p. 79.

under Ca- It is very probable that they enjoyed the same privileges »caila- under his son Caracalla; at least we do not find any thing to the contrary; and as that Emperor, bad as he proved afterwards, had been brought up with one of them, for whom he expressed an uncommon affection (C), it is reasonable to suppose that he still retained so much kindness for them, as to leave them in possession of those franchises which his father had granted to them ; and, that they made Jpocry- ufe °f that quiet interval, in making their collection of trapbal books ditions both Jewish and Hellenist, which were by this time •wrote grown very numerous, and the teachers and writers of both about this not a few. Among the latter were the Pseudo-Esdras, the time. author of the additions to the book of Daniel those of the

histories of Tobitband Judith, of the book oiEnoch, the assumption of Moses, and some others of the fame apocryphal kind, concerning which, and the most probable time ot their being wrote, the reader may consult the authors mentioned in the margin m. Iochanan ^N t'lis ^"'"T flourished the famed R. Jochanan, the compiles g''eat disciple of Judah Hakkadojh, chief of the Amoraijm, or the Thai- commentators on the Mijhnah, and compiler of the Jerujamud. km Thalmitd. The time is variously conjectured by the learned; the most probable supposition is, that he was born about the latter end of the 2d century, or A. C. 184, or 185. Some writers pretend that he was chosen chief of the academy of Tiberias in the 15 th year of his age n; which is improbable, and contrary to the practice of the Jews; because his master was still alive, and R. Chanina, whom he appointed his successor, is affirmed by the Jewish chronologists to have enjoyed that dignity about ten years more: so that the soonest that he can be supposed to have mounted the chair, is about an. 225, and about the 40th of his age; by which time he had space and opportunity sufficient to finish his studies under those two masters, in order to

m Fabric Apocr. V. Test. Bartoloc Dodwel. de Cycl. Dissert, ix. Prid. Calmet. Basnag. & al. , « Vid. BarToloc ub. sup.

(C) This Jewiijb boy, who whipt for some misdemeanor,

had been brought up at court, that young prince, we are told,

and was Caracalla s play-fel- not only shed tears over him,

low, who was then about seven but was so concerned for him

years of age, having keen or- that he could not fee his father

dered by the emperor to be for several days (15).

(15 SpMttijti. in Car ami,

ft fit himself for his great work; in which fee was assisted by two other learned rabbies, viz. R. Samuel, and Rab or Rau, who had likewise been disciples of his two masters, Judah the Saint, and R. Chanina. This famed piece, commonly known by the name of the Hierosolymitan Thalmud, together with the occasion of its being written, and other particulars relating to it, the reader will find an account of in the margin (D). R.R.Ase, R. JOCHANAN is said by the Jewish writers to have and Ame, lived 95 years, and left two famed disciples, viz. R. Ase, disdples of mentioned in the last note, and the compiler of the Baby•A°r?anan' knijb Thalmud, and R. Ame, who boasted to have written A-c-279- 400 books;

R. jo

(D) The word Thalmud, signifies DoElrine, and is emphatically given to this work, as being a compleat system or body of it, or of the religion and morals of the Jews. They have two of that name and import, vix. this of Jerusalem, which is the shortest and more obscure of the two; as likewise the more ancient by near one century; and that of Babylon, of which we shall speak in its proper place. It is properly a comment upon the Mijhnah of Judah Hakkadojh; and the occasion of its writing was as follows:

Judah had scarce finished his own work, before he had the mortification to fee a collection of traditions quite different from his, published under his nose by one Rabbi Chua, with the Chaldee title of BaraZijtthoth, or Extravagant!, which was afterwards inserted in the Mijhnah, in order to make that piece more compleat. It had, indeed, two considerable defects, vix. 1 ft, It only collected the various traditions and sentiments of the Jewish doctors, without enquiring which of them was most to be preferred; which confirm the conjecture, that Judah had only collected what he found ready

written to his hand. And, 2dly, It was so concise as to be in some measure useless, because it reached but to few doubtful cases, in comparison of the many questions that began by this time to be in vogue among the Jews. To remedy these defects it was that those three great men wrote this comment upon it, which being compiled in Judea, and for the Jews that lived in those parts, as well as in the Hebrew then in use, was stiled the Gemarrah, or Per* seclion; and this and the Mishnah together made that which is called the Thalmud of Jerusalem.

Neither Jews nor Christians are agreed about the time of its being finished; some placing it about 150, others about 200, and Buxtorf 230 years after the destruction of Jerusalem (16) ; that is, about the 300th year of Christ. Its mentioning the emperor Dioclesian, shews that it mutt have been compiled in or after the reign of that emperor j but Morinus is of opinion, from several barbarous terms he has observed in it, which are of r'andalic or Gothic extract, that it did not appear till the 5thcentury (17). Thus much for the Jerusalem Thalmud; which, being still found not only too succinct, on account of the small number of cases and quotations from the Jeiuish doctors, as well as too obscure, by reason of the barbarous terms it had borrowed from other nations, gave birth to the Bakylonijh one, of which we are now going to speak.

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This last was compiled by Rabbi Ase, a very learned disciple of the great Jochanan, but who left the academy of Tiberias, and went to preside at that of Sora, near Babylon, where he continued in that dignity about 40 years, during which he compiled his Gemarrah,.of comment upon the Mishnah of Judab the faint; and from the place where he wrote it, it came to be stiled the Babylonish Thalmud, or, more probably perhaps, because it was done for the use of the Babylonish, or the Jews on the Other side Of the Euphrates. Ase did not live to finish it; but this was done by his sons; and some of his disciples gave the concluding hand to it; so that it became a vast body or collection of traditions, concerning the canon laws of the Jews, and of all the questions relating to the Jewish law, wherein the Mishnah is the text, and the Gemarrah the comment upon it.

The Jeivi in "general prefer this Babylonish Thalmu J, on account of its clearness and fulness; much above that of Jerusalem ; and tho' it is stuffed with ridiculous fables and stories, yet they will not suffer any one to call it in question without the censure of heresy. Insomuch that they even give this book the preference to the sacred ones; for these they com. pare to water, the Mishnah to wine, and the Gemarrah to the choicest wine f. They own all three to be equally of divine authority; but the last to be preferable in point of clearness, and without the help of which the former is but as a dead letter. We (hall dispense with giving a farther account of that voluminous work, and only observe that the learned Maimonides hath given us an excellent abridgement of it. in which he hath thrown out all that was puerile, and ridiculous, and confined himself to the collection pf the most material cases and decisions that are contained in it. This epitome, which he stiles Tad Khazachah, or Stronghand, is therefore much preferable to the Thalmud itself, as being one of the most compleat bodies of the Jcivish laws that ever was wrote; not so much on account of the die nity and importance of the subject, as of the clearness of

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