Imatges de pÓgina

But the most dreadful of all their punishments, though Excommunot a capital one, was excommunication, especially that nication, which they called thematta (Y), answering to the Syrian


is supposed, by several antient nadah, to feparate, or put from
fathers (90), to have caused to one : so that this word was in-
be fawn in two from the head differently used to express those
downward, with a wooden faw, that were separated for any un-
from the words of the apostle cleanness, or for any crime that
(91), Some were fawn afunder. came within this degree of ex-
The difficulty here is about the communication (93). The time
wooden faw, how it could be fit of its lafting was limited to 30
for such a purpose: but, allow- days; and yet the delinquent
ing the thing to be really fact, could either shorten it, by do-
and a tradition of it to have ing penance; or lengthen it, by
been preserved, we need but stubbornness, even to the end of
suppose the expression to be an his life, if he persisted in it. In
Hebraism, that is, a wooden this last case, they refused to
faw,for a faw with which wood circumcise his children; and, if
used to be fawn, which is a he died impenitent, the judge
common idiom in that tongue. ordered a stone to be thrown
This expression of cutting in into his coffin, or bier, to fhew
two, and cutting asunder, is, that he deserved to have been
indeed, frequent in the Old Te- stoned.
ftament, and in the apocryphal The second degree they cal.
book of Sufanna. We omit led in, cherem, anathema ;
some other punithments of the and this, they pretend, was more
like nature, which would only severe than the niddui, because
fill our readers with horror : it excluded the person from the
as for that of crucifixion, fuch fynagogue, and from all civil
as Christ suffered, though some commerce, which the other did
have fansied it to be implied in not. But we shall shew, in the
the words of Deuteronomy (92), fequel, that this word fignified
If a man be hanged on a tree, quite another thing, and was
bis body fall not remain all applicable to men and things
night on it, &c. yet it is gene- vowed to death or destruction
sally allowed to have been, not (94). And our learned Selden
a Jewish, but a Roman punish- has proved, that there were
ment, and so foreign to our really but two kinds of excom-

munication, the leffer and the (Y) The Jews reckon three greater ; and that the terms, kinds, or, rather, degrees of niddui, cherem, and fematta, excommunication. The first were used indifferently (95). they call 1172, niddui, from 77), The last, however, according

(90) Juftin. Mart. dialog.cont. Trypb. Orig. ex lib. apocr. Hieron. in Isa, & al. (91) Heb. xi. 37 (92) Dcut. xxi. 22. (93) Vid. inti al. Ezek. xviii. 6. (94) Vid. Levii. xxvii. 29. Fof. vii. 11, & feq. (95) De lynedi, vit, Hib. l.* 8.

maran-atta used by St. Paul), which fignifies, in both tongues, the Lord comes, or is at hand. Enoch, the seventh from Adam, is supposed the author of it, because St. Jude quotes that saying of his, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment ; and so oni: which must have been, at least, owing to some tradition among the Jews (Z).

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to them, was this, now, he- (Z) However, these fetch matta, which, they pretend, the original of it both from was proclaimed by the found those frequent expressions in of 400 trumpets, as, they say, the Mofaic writings, That foul it was done at the cursing of ball be cut off from Israel ; Meroz by Deborah. A person, and thou shalt put away evil fo excommunicated, was never from the midst of thee : and, to be received again into the more particularly, from the congregation; and fome pre- words in Deborah's song, Curse tend, that it was even lawful to ye Meroz, said the angel of the put him to death. For this rea- Lord; curse ye, bitterly the infon, they derive the word from habitants of it (98). But, withCV, sham, there; and 1700, out inquiring into the validity mattah, death: to which the of these subtil etymologies, we expression of St. John is sup- find a more express form of it posed to allude, There is a fin in Ezra and Nehemiah (99), unto death ; that is, according who excommunicated all those to them, a sin that deserves to that refused to repudiate their be devoted to death (96). But strange wives ; and exacted an all this is forced; and that oath from the people, to avoid which derives it from w, all affinity and co:nmerce with the name, and 1973, comes, or them. The same account of it is at hand; seems to us the most we find in Josephus, who adds, rational, and answers to the Sy- that the goods of the excom riae maran-atta, which bears municated person were to be the same sense. As for the confiscated to the holy treasury crimes to which these excom- (100). It is true, this was done munications were annexed, and after the captivity ; but we the manner of pronouncing need not doubt but they had them, or of absolving these precedents and laws for it bethat had incurred them, the fore that time: for it is said, reader may consult Selden and that it was performed in a legal Buxtorf in the places above way, and pursuant to the laws quoted, or the learned 7. Jam. of God. Hottinger (97), and others.

(96) 1 John v. 16. Vid. Bertram, de polit. Jud. c. 2. theol. de pænitent. p. 49, & feq. (98) Judg. v. 23. *.7, & feq. Nebem. xiii. 25. (100) Ant. l. xi. 6. 5.

(97) Dil bift.

(99) Ezra

Laws against murder. MOSES tells us, that, from the time of the Aood, Murder.

murder could not be expiated but by the death of the murderer P, whatever might be the punishment of it before that time. Under the law, God seems to express a much greater abhorrence against it: he not only forbad it in the decalogue 9, but appointed avengers to punish the guilty person where-ever they found him, and permitted him to be torn from the most venerable sanctuaries to condign punishments, as was lately hinted ; and exprefly forbad both the avenger and judges to make any composition, or to accept of any other recompence for the crimet; and these laws extended equally to Ifraelites, and to the strangers that dwelt amongst them u (A). We may also add anotheç institution, extremely proper to inspire the people with an uncommon horror against wilful murder ; namely, that for the expiation of an uncertain murder. It was as follows: As soon as the judges, who lived near the place where a man was found murdered, were informed of it, they were to examine what town was nearest to it, and to summon the elders of that city, who were thereupon obliged to bring an heifer that had never been yoked, and to drive her into a rough uncultivated valley, and there Atrike her head off : these, and the priests, were then to wash their hands over her, and to profess, that their hands had not shed this blood, neither their eyes seen it done i

P Gen. ix. 6. See vol. i. p. 259.

· Exod. xx. 13.

s Num. xxi. 12. Deut. v. 17. Levit. xxiv. 17. & alib. s Exod, xxi. 14.

1 Num. XXXV.

31, 32 Levit. xxiv. 2?.

XXXV. 19.

(A) The only cases, there. zeal, hintel under the last head, foré, in which one man might by which it was lawful for

any lawfully kill another, were, 1. number of men to fall upon a When the avenger of blood person who was caught in any found a manslayer out of his abominable fact; such as blafplace of refuge. 2. In a man's pheming, offering his feed to, own defence.

3, In defence of Moloch, and the like, and to a brother Ifraelite ; and, lastly, kill him upon the spot. Thus an infant might likewise be de- the Levites went out and killed froyed to preserve the life of three thousand of the worshipthe mother, but not vice versa. ers of the golden calf; and To these the Jews add that Phineas punished an abomi, Which they call the right of pable whoredom with death.

§ 4


after which, they were to pray to God not to lay it to thei charge w (B).

Laws against adultery, and all other unlawful com

merce of sexes. The trial of adultery, or waters oj

jealousy ; concerning marriage and levirate. Against T will scarcely be thought needful to inquire how far adultery. the words, Thou shalt not commit adultery >, excluded

all other carnal gratifications which were not confined within the bounds of lawful wedlock (C). It is sufficient to say, that inceft, rape, sodomy, and bestiality, are forbid by other express laws, under pain of death, as well as

w Deut. xxi. 1, & feq.

* Exod. xx. 14. Deut. v. 18.

(B) One may see, by all this (C) This is, indeed, the resolemn ceremony, and by all ceived opinion of many Jews the above-mentioned laws, what and Chriftians, who, by the word care was taken to deter them 9x), napb, understand all kind from the guilt of shedding in- of illicit coition, and unnatural nocent blood. It was for this lusts (1). Yet we beg leave to very reason,also, that God gave take notice, that some of the them several laws, whose only antients, on both sides, undertendency was, to divert them stood it of the breach of confrom cruelty: such were those jugal faith. Accordingly, we that forbad them to seeth a lamb find, by Philo and Tertullian, or kid in its mother's milk; to that some of the Greek copies kill the dam and her young, placed this law against adultery both in one day; to catch the before that against murder in old birds and their brood to- the decalogue; and these two gether; to muzzle the ox that great orators have taken the treadeth the corn; to refuse to pains to prove the former to be assist a neighbour's, or even an the more grievous crime of the enemy's beast, that sunk under two, and to describe the great its burden ; and many more of hurt it doth to human society ; the like nature, all highly pro- the latter concluding it to be per to inspire them with senti- the greater crime, because forments of humanity and good- bidden before murder (2). Hownature, which the slaughter they ever, it is certain, that Moses were going to make of so many has no-where given such a nations, justly doomed to it for weighty reason against that, as their wickedness, might other- he doth against this, when he wise have been apt to extinguish fays, For in the image of God in them.

created he man (3).

(1) Vid. Abenezr. in Exod. xx. & comment. fer. om. in loc. de pudicit, Vid. Carlton. concord. c. 7.

(3) Gen, ix. 6.

(2) Tertul.


adultery. As for fornication, though it was not made capital in some cases, yet was it forbid by several laws 2 : the difference was, that any woman who ventured to marry under the notion of being a virgin, and was proved to be otherwise, was to be stoned a ; whereas,if a man defloured a virgin, he was to pay her father fifty shekels of silver, and to marry her, without having it in his power to put her away, during her life b. Adultery was punishable with death in both parties, whether they were both married, or only the woman; but we cannot affirm the punishment of a married man to have been the same, who committed adultery with an unmarried woman: for, besides that the crime was not alike, with respect to society, it is plain, that Mofes was forced to indulge them, in some other particulars, as unjuHifiable as this ; such as polygamy, divorce, and the like ; which are justly condemned in the gospel.

HOWEVER, with respect to the wives, as there was a necessity, that they should be kept under strieter ties, to prevent strange mixtures in families; fo, in order to deter them from all unlawful liberties of that kind, as well as, perhaps, to prevent those that were innocent from being unjustly suspected and ill-treated by their jealous husbands, Moses was commanded to appoint the waters of jealousy, with the promise of a constant miracle, by which the guilty should be punished in a very dreadful manner, and the innocent cleared with applause. The ceremony was to be performed in the following manner c:

2. WHENEVER a man had conceived a mistrust of his Waters of wife's incontinency, he was to bring an offering for her, jealousy. peculiar to this case ; namely, a cake made of barley-meal, without oil or incense, and to put it into the hands of the priest: at the same time he brought his wife also, and declared what grounds he had for suspecting her : the priest then took the accused woman before the LORD, either to the tabernacle, or temple, uncovered her head (D), and


& seq.
xxii. 20, 21.

y Vid. Levit. xviii. paff. Ibid. xx. 10, & feq. Deut. xxii. 22,

a Deut.
2 Ibid. xxiii. 17, 18. Levit. xxi. 7.
b Ibid. ver. 28, 29.

c Num.v. 24, & seq.

(D) The Jews understand by with a packthread: others say, it, shaving her hair, or, at least, that her cloaths were exchang’d cutting the curls off. They add, for a black suit, in token of that they tore her cloaths down mourning; and, in this manto her breaft, and tied them ner, she was exposed to public

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