Imatges de pàgina

the city by the narrow valley of Hinnom (Josh. xviii. 16. Jer. xix. 2.), where the lsraelites burnt their children in the fire to Moloch (Jer. vii. 31. and xxxii. 35.): thence made the emblem of hell, Gehenna, or the place of the damned. (Matt v. 22.xxiii.33. Markix.43.) Towards the west, and without the walls of the city, agreeably to the law of Moses" (Levit. iv.), lay Calvary or Golgotha, that is, the place of a skull (Matt. xxvii. 33.), so called by some from its fancied resemblance to a skull, but more probably, either because criminals were executed there, or perhaps because this place contained sepulchral caverns for the dead.” The southern quarter, originally “the city of David,” built on Asount Sion,” Josephus calls the upper city; and the house of Millo was what he calls the upper .#. In process of time the upper city spread downwards into the winding hollow way, which he calls the valley of the cheesemongers (Tyropaeum), and composed the lower city, by him termed* Acra. 3. We have no particulars recorded concerning the nature of the fortifications of Jerusalem, previously to the time of Nehemiah; though such there undoubtedly must have been, from the importance and sanctity of the city, as the metropolis of the country, and the seat of the Jewish worship. In the account of the rebuilding of the wall, under the direction of that pious and patriotic governor, ten gates are distinctly enumerated, viz. three on the south, four on the east, and three on the western side of the wall. The three gates on the south side were, 1. The Sheep Gate (Neh. iii. i.), which was probably so called from the victims, intended for sacrifice, being conducted through it to the second temple. Near this gate stood the towers of Meah and Hananeel. The Sheep Gate was also called the Gate of Benjamin.—2. The Fish Gate (Neh. iii. 3. xii. 39.), which was also called the first gate.—3. The Old Gate, also called the Corner Gate. (Neh. iii. 6. xii. 39. 2 Kings xiv. 18. Jer. xxxi. 38.) The gates on the eastern side were, 1. The Water Gate (Neh. iii. o near which the waters of Etam passed, after having been used in the temple-service, in their way to the brook Kedron into which they discharged themselves—2. The Horse Gate (Neh. iii. 28. Jer. xxxi. 40.), which is supposed to have been so called, because horses went through it in order to be watered.—3. The Prison Gate (xii. 39.), probably so called from its vicinity to the prison.—4. The Gate * (Neh. iii. 31.) e gates on the western side were, 1. The Palley Gate (Neh. iii. 13.), also termed the Gate of Ephraim, above which stood the Tower of Furnaces (Neh. iii. 11.xii. 38.); and near it was the Dragon Well (Neh. ii. 13.), which may have derived its name from the representation of a dragon, out of whose mouth the stream flowed that issued from the well.—2. The Dung Gate (Neh. iii. 13.), which is supposed to have received its name from the filth of the beasts that were sacrificed, being carried from the temple through this gate—3. The Gate of the Foutain (Neh. iii. 15.) had its name either from its proximity to the fountain of Gihon, or to the spot where the fountain of Siloam took its rise. We have no account of any gates being erected on the northern side." Previously to the fatal war of the Jews with the Romans, we are informed by Josephus, that the city of Jerusalem was surrounded by three walls on such parts as were not encompassed with imE. vallies, where there was only one wall. The first wall egan, on the north side, at the tower called Hippicus, whence it extended to the place called the Xistus, and the council-house, and it terminated at the western cloister of the temple. But, proceeding westward, in a contrary direction, the historian says, that it began at the same place, and extended through a place called Bethso, to the gate of the Essenes, then taking a turn towards the south, it reached the place called Ophlas, where it was joined to the eastern cloister of the temple. The second wall commenced at the gate Gennath, and encompassed only the northern quarter of the city, as far as the tower Antonia. The third wall began at the tower Hippicus, whence it reached as far as the north quarter of the city, passed by the tower Psephinus, till it came to the monument of Helena queen of Adiabene. Thence it passed by the sepulchres of the kings; and, taking a direction round the south-west corner, passed the Fuller's Monument, and joined the old wall at they valley of Kedron. This third wall was commenced by Agrippa, to defend the new part of the town; but he did not finish it apprehensions of incurring the displeasure of the emperor Claudius. His intention was to have erected it with stones, twenty cubits in length by ten cubits in breath; so that no iron tools or engines could make any impression on them. What Agrippa could not accomplish, the Jews subsequently attempted: and, when Jerusalem was besieged by the Romans, this wall was twenty cubits high, above which were battlements of two cubits, and turrets of three cubits, making in all an altitude of twenty-five cubits. Numerous towers, constructed of solid masonry, were erected at certain distances: in the third wall, there were ninety; in the middle wall, there were forty; and in the old wall, sixty. The towers of Hippicus, Phasaelus, and Mariamne, erected by Herod the Great, and dedicated to the memory of his friend, his brother, and his wife, were pre-eminent for their height, their massive architecture, their beauty, and the conveniences with which they were furnished. The circumference of Jerusalem, at the time Josephus wrote, was thirty

1 To this St. Paul delicately alludes in his epistle to the Hebrews (xiii. 12, 13.) where he says, that Christ, as a sacrifice for sin, suffered without the gate ; and when he exhorts the Hebrew Christians to go forth unto him without the camp, that is, out of Jerusalem, this city being regarded by the Jews as the ... Israel.

* These caverns are described by Dr. Clarke, particularly one that strikingly coincides with all the circumstances attaching to the history of our Saviour's tomb. See his Travels, vol. iv. p. 327. et seq. 8vo, edit.

* When Dr. Richardson visited this sacred spot in 1818, he found one part of Mount Sion supporting a crop of barley, another was undergoing the labour of the plough; and the soil turned up consisted of stone and lime mixed with earth, such as is usuall met with in the foundations of ruined cities. “It is nearly a mile in circumference, is highest on the west side, and towards the east falls down in broad terraces on the upper part of the mountain, and narrow ones on the side, as it slopes down towards the brook Kedron. Each terrace is divided from the one above it by a low wall of dry stone, built of the ruins of this celebrated spot. The terraces near the bottom of the hill are still used as gardens, and are watered from the pool of Siloam. They belong thiefly to the small village of Siloa, immediately opposite. We have here another remarkable instance of the special fulfilment of prophecy —Therefore shall Zion for your sakes be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps. (Micah, iii. o Dr. Richardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. p. 348. Jud #. Hale's Analysis of Chronology, vol. i. pp. 425—429. Josephus de Belf.

... lib. v. c. 4,

2. Qbservationes Philologics ac Geographicus. Amstelaedami, 1747, 8vo. pp. 1 Jolliffe's Letters from Palestine, p. 103. * Antiq. Jud. lib. xv. c. ix. § 3. De Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. xxi. § 1. et lib. v. c. iv. § 3. * Cicero contra Verrem, action. ii. lib. v. c. 12. (op. tom. iv. p. 96. ed. Bipont.) * Ibid. lib. v. c. 35. et 41. (tom. iv. pp. 125. 142.) * Compare Josephus, De Bell. Jud. lib. v. c. xv. § 5. c. xvii. § 8.

three furlongs, or nearly four miles and a half: and the wall of cir- V cumvallation, constructed by order of Titus, he states to have been . thirty-nine furlongs, or four miles eight hundred and seventy-five paces. At present, a late traveller states that the circumference of Jerusalem cannot exceed three miles." to go

4. During the time of Jesus Christ, Jerusalem was adorned with * numerous edifices, both sacred and civil, some of which are men-, tioned or alluded to. But its chief glory was the temple, described.

in a subsequent part of this volume; which magnificent structure occupied the northern and lower top of Sion, as we learn from the psalmist (xlviii. 2.) Beautiful for situation, the joy (or delight) of the whole earth, is Mount Sion. On her north side is the city of the great king. Next to the temple in point of splendour, was the very superb palace of Herod, which is largely described by Josephus;” it afterwards became the residence of the Roman procurators, who for this purpose generally claimed the royal palaces in those provinces which were subject to kings.” These dwellings of the . man procurators in the provinces were called Praetoria: Herod's palace therefore was Pilate's praetorium (Matt. xxvii. 27. John xviii. 28.); and in some part of this edifice was the armoury or barracks of the Roman soldiers that garrisoned Jerusalem,” whither Jesus was conducted and mocked by them. (Matt. xxvii. 27. Mark Xv. 16.) In the front of this palace was the tribunal, where Pilate sat in a judicial capacity to hear and determine weighty causes; being a raised pavement of mosaic work (Adoctorov), the evangelist informs us that in the Hebrew language it was on this account termed Gabbatha (John xix. 13.), i. e. an elevated place. In this tribunal the procurator Florus sat, A. D. 66; and, in order to punish the Jews for their seditious behaviour, issued orders for his soldiers to plunder the upper market-place in Jerusalem, and to put to death

such Jews as they met with; which commands were executed with savage barbarity.” On a steep rock adjoining the north-west corner of the temple stood the Tower of Antonia, on the site of a citadel that had been erected by Antiochus Epiphanes” in order to annoy the Jews; and which, after being destroyed by them,” was rebuilt by the Maccabean prince John Hyrcanus, B. c. 135." Herod the Great repaired it with great splendour, uniting in its interior all the conveniences of a magnificent palace, with ample accommodations for soldiers. This citadel (in which a Roman legion was always quartered) overlooked the two outer courts of the temple, and communicated with its cloisters by means of secret passages, through which the military could descend and quell any tumult that might arise during the great festivals. This was the guard to which Pilate alluded, as already noticed. (Matt. xxviii. 65.) The tower of Antonia was thus named by Herod, in honour of his friend Mark Antony: and this citadel is the castle into which St. Paul was conducted (Acts xxi. 34, 35.) and of which mention is made in Acts xxii. 24. As the temple was a fortress that guarded the whole city of Jerusalem, so the tower of Antonia was a fortress that entirely commanded the temple.” ides the preceding edifices, Josephus mentions a house or palace at the extremity of the upper city, which had been erected by the princes of the Asmonean family, from whom it was subsequently called the Asmonean Palace. It appears to have been the residence of the princes of the Herodian family (after the Romans had reduced Judaea into a province of the empire) whenever they went up to Jerusalem. In § palace, Josephus mentions Berenice and Agrippa as residing," and it is not improbable that it was the residence of Herod the tetrarch of Galilee when he went to keep the solemn festivals at that city; and that it was here that our Saviour was exposed to the wanton mockery of the soldiers, who had accompanied Herod thither, either as a guard to his person, or from ostentation. (Luke xxiii. 7–11.) 5. During the reigns of David and Solomon, Jerusalem was the metropolis of the land of Israel; but, after the defection of the ten tribes under Jeroboam, it was the capital of the kings of Judah, during whose government it underwent various revolutions. It was captured four times without being demolished, viz. by Shishak sovereign of Egypt (2 Chron. xii.), from whose ravages it never recovered its former splendour; by Antiochus Epiphanes, who treated the Jews with singular barbarity; by Pompey the Great, who rendered the Jews tributary to Rome; and by Herod, with the assistance of a Roman force under Sosius. It was first entirely destroyed

[ocr errors]

by Nebuchadnezzar, and again by the Emperor Titus, the repeated insurrections of the turbulent Jews having filled up the measure of their iniquities, and drawn down upon them the implacable vengeance of the Romans. Titus ineffectually endeavoured to save the temple: it was involved in the same ruin with the rest of the city. and, after it had been reduced to ashes, the foundations of that sacred edifice were ploughed up by the Roman soldiers. Thus fiterally was fulfilled the prediction of our Lord, that not one stone should be left upon another that should not be thrown down. (Matt. xxiv. 2.) The Emperor Adrian erected a city on part of the former site of Jerusalem, which he called Ælia &: it was afterwards greatly enlarged and beautified by Constantine the Great, who restored its antient name. During that Emperor's reign the Jews made various efforts to rebuild their temple, which however were always frustrated: nor did better success attend the attempt made A. D. 363 by the apostate emperor Julian. An earthquake, a whirlwind, and a fiery eruption compelled the workmen to abandon their design. - From the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans to the present time, that city has remained, for the most part, in a state of ruin and desolation; “and has never been under the government of the Jews themselves, but oppressed and broken down by a succession of foreign masters—the Romans, the Saracens, the Franks, the Mamelukes, and last by the Turks, to whom it is still subject. It is not therefore only in the history of Josephus, and in other antient writers, that we are to look for the accomplishment of our Lord's predictions:—we see them verified at this moment before our eyes, in the desolate state of the once celebrated city and temple of Jerusalem, and in the present condition of the Jewish people, not collected together into any one country, into one political society, and under one form of government, but dispersed over every region of the globe, and every where treated with contumely and scorn.” 6. The modern city of Jerusalem contains within its walls several of the hills, on which the ancient city is supposed to have stood; but these are only perceptible by the ascent and descent of the streets. When seen from the Mount of Olives, on the other side of the valley of Jehoshaphat, it presents an inclined plane, descending from west to east. An embattled wall, fortified with towers and a Gothic castle, encompasses the city all round, excluding however part of Mount Sion, which it formerly inclosed. Notwithstanding its seemingly strong position, it is incapable of sustaining a severe assault, because, on account of the topography of the land, it has no means of preventing the approaches ; an enemy; and,

* For a full view of the predictions of Jesus Christ concerning the destruction :Jerusalem, and their literal fulfilment, see Vol. I. Appendix No. IV. pp. 615–

* BP. Porteus's Lectures on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, vol. ii. p. 215.

« AnteriorContinua »