Imatges de pàgina

laws we find relating to this year, such as that those
fervants who were released in it, should not go away
empty; but that a compensation fhould be made to
them for their fervice.f; that they should not with-
draw any needful asliftance from their poor brethren,
by reason of the nearness of the seventh year 8 ; with
some others relating to the opening of their fields, or-
chards, and vineyards, to all comers, and the like (M).
Among these was that remarkable one of reading the
law before all the people, on the day of Pentecoft. For
as they were to abstain from all works of husbandry,
there is no doubt but there was a greater concourse to
hear it than could have been at any other intermediate

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The reasons and excellence of these laws, as well as those that relate to the jubilee, are obvious to every one, veing extremely proper to breed up a faithless and stubborn nation, in a constant dependence upon, and subjection to the divine providence; and to inspire them with sentiments of mercy and beneficence towards their poor brethren, fervants, flaves, and strangers, by reminding them of their Egyptian flavery; which is assigned as one of the reasons of

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f Deut, xv. 13, &{ eq.

g Ibid. ver. 7, & feq.

been taken


years in the any of these, we may reasonconquest and dividing of the ably suppose, that they made land, the seventh proved, in all what provision they could arespects, a year of reft, secing gainst that time, of such things they refted from their conquests, as could be easily preserved, and peaceably enjoyed the fruit such as corn, wine, oil, olives, of them, and of the conquered raisins, figs, dates, pulse, and land.

the like; and as to herbs, roots, (M)-It may be, perhaps, afk- fruits, and all kind of niso, ed, what they lived upon during or things of spontaneous growth, that year, if they must relin- they might gather them in their quish the product of all their own or any other ground : tho' lands to the poor? But it must even this, some of their rigid be remembred, that they were scribes pronounce unlawful, not allowed to take as much out of so much because the law exit as was sufficient for them- prelly forbids it, as for fear of selves and their families (47). transgressing by too great a liHowever, as some of them berty (48). made a scruple to touch even

'147) Levit. xxv. 6. cap, ri.

(48) Vide Ben Maim, ubi fupra, tract. niyaw,

fallow every

this institution); to which we may add another, namely, the great advantage which the land received by being left


year. However, the generality of the Jews, and a great number of Christians both antient and modern, have looked upon the main design of these institutions to be typical of the millennium, or thousand years reft ; for, as the Pentateuch consecrates the seventh day, the seventh year, and the seven times seventh year, to rest, they conclude, that the world will last fix thousand years in the state we see it in; or, as R. Elias, in the Talmud, expreffes it, two thousand years without the law, two thousand under the law, and two thousand under the Messiani; after which comes the grand fabbath of one thousand years : but this is too nice a point for us, and which we willingly refer to the divines ; only wę beg leave to observe, from a modeft hint of the learned Mr. Mede k, that as long as we persist in denying the second appearance of CHRIST upon earth, in as glorious a manner as his first was obscure, we shall hardly be able to convince the Jews, that he is the true promised MESSIAH ; because we can give no tolerable reason why the propheçies concerning his humiliation and sufferings fould be understood in a literal, and those of his exaltation and glorious reign in a spiritual sense. Whereas were the doctrine of the millennium, which is far from being anti-evangelical in any but a Jewish and carnal fense, generally received, it would effectually answer one of their Itrongest objections, without casting the least reflection on the Christian religion, whilft the Jews were left at their liberty to take it in as grofs, and we in as fpiritual and refined a sense as we Saw fit...

Laws relating to the jubilee. THIS

HIS isolemnity is the last, and most confiderable, that Jubilee

God injoined to the Ifraelites. It was to be cele jear. brated every fiftieth year, and had this advantage over that of the seventh, that it released all faves that had refused their liberty; annihilated all debts; and restored to every man all his lands, houses, wife, children, and pofsefhons, however alienated; and every Hebrew fervant or slave to his own tribe and family, liberty and property, how, and upon what account soever he had been deprived of them,

i Tract. Sanhedr. f. Helec. Vide HOSPIN Goodw, MŁr. Munst. & al. k Clav. Apocalypt. ad fin. 1 Levit. xxv. 8; & feq.

m' Ibid. ser. 28, 41, & alib.


b Ibid. ver. 15.


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during those 50 years: for this reason it is that we think, after many commentators, that it was called Jubilee, or Yobel, because it restored every thing to its pristine ftate (O). However, it must be observed, that this privilege extended no further than to the original Ifraelites, or to those who had been incorporated into their religion and commonwealth by circumcision ; thefe, indeed, might claim the benefit of it, though they had been sold for slaves for any crimes, even by the sentence of the grand fanhedrin"; but, as for the Gentiles, they were wholly excluded from it o.

Some think that the Israelites were wont to reckon by jubilees, as the Greeks did by olympiads, the Romans by luftra, and the Christians by indictions P; and probably they did so, because they were always to have regard to that year in all bargains of lands, houses, and the like, which generally fold for more or less, according to their nearness to, or distance from it 4. As for the poffeffions of the priests and Levites, they had certain privileges and immunities, which shall be spoken of in a more proper placer.

During the whole twelve months alļ kind of agriculture was expresly forbid, the poor had the benefit of the Harvest and vintage, and of all the product of that year ; and all other things of that nature went on after the same manner, as they did in the fabbatic year. The beginning of it was, by God's own appointment, fixed to the seventh month Tifris, which is about the time of the au.tumnal equinox; but in what year, after they entered into

u Levit. ver. 40.

• Ibid. ver. 46. Vide MAIMON. tract. , .

P Hospin. orig. feft. c. 9. Goodw. Hot. 9 Levit. xxv. 27, & seg.

? Ibid. ver. 32, & feq.

$ Ibid. ver. 8, 9.


.c ,צברים


(0) Authors are fallen into back, &c. which is what the various opinions about the ety- jubilee did. The reader may mon of this word, concerning see that word occur in many which the reader may consult places of Scripture, and partithe authors quoted in the mar- cularly in the Psalms, where, gin (55); but we prefer that among others, he will find this which derives it from the ob- expression : 1719 visai, folete root ha', yabal, in hi- robilu fai lammorab, Bring prephil, 5 217, bobil, which figni- fents to bim that is to be feared Fies, to recal, restore, bring (56).

(55) Rabbin. fer. omn. Vide Kimcb. in rad. fub vor. 521', Goodw. Mey. Hunt & s. Bocbart. bicrom. Beckius annot. in Maimon. foemilab veyobel, note 5. Sorawin, Horring. @ 5. (56) Psalm lxxvi. ver, penak, vide & Job x. 19. sabi. 30, 32, Jerem, xxi. 9, & alia


the land of Canaan, they celebrated the first jubilee, and whether from the beginning of every forty-ninth, or fiftieth year, is not easy to determine. As to the former, the Jews begin to reckon the first of the fifty years from the fourteenth after Joshua's paffing the Fórdan. How their computation ran, according to the learned Maimon, Philo, and Jofephus, the reader may see in the margin « (Q),

THE • Ubi sup. c. 10. ex vers. Becam.

(Q) “ From their entrance “ batic ones.” Thus far Maj. " into Canaan to their being mon; but here it must be ob. “ carried out of it, are seven- served, that he has followed " teen jubilees; and the year the reckoning of Josephus, Philo, " in which they went into and of all the Jews, who not “ captivity, and the temple only place the first fabbatic "was destroyed, was the fe- year, and consequently the ju“ venth, or fabbatic year, and bilee, seven years later than “ the thirty-sixth of the 18th Usher and Cuneus, namely, jubilee, which they prove from the fourteenth year after

thus : the first temple stood their entrance into Canaan, but 110 years, after which there allow fifty complete years to

was an end of that epocha; every jubilee; whereas that " the land then did lay waste primate, and with him a great " seventy years, and then the number of learned Christians a second temple was built, (1), think that it was cele" which fopd likewise 120 brated every forty-ninth year,

years. In the seventh year as we shall see presently. How. “after its restoration, Ezra ever, as he has here rectified “ went up to Jerusalem; and the Jewish chronology in some “ from this time began a fe- other respects, so he reckons “cond epocha. On the thir- but the same number of ju" teenth after the rebuilding bilees that Maimon doth before '" of the temple, they cele the destruction of the temple ; " brated the second labbatic as the reader may see in the

year; and seven weeks of table at the end of his annale years, or forty-nine years, under the word Jubile.

being elapsed, they conse- The first of them he fixes “ crated the fiftieth ; for tho' on the 3318th year of the Jun

they did not celebrate the lian period, which is the " jubilee after their return 2609th of the world, or 1396 " from the captivity, never- years before Christ, and the ." theless they continued to feventeenth or last before the

compute the years of it, in captivity in 4102 of the Ju" order to celebrate the fab- lian period, 3393 of the world,

(1) Huge Cardinal. Gerard, Mercat. in obrenol. Jos. Scaliger, Petavo Cotuis, Lansberg, Capel, Cunaus, Spanbeim Jud. Li Chers, & al. mule.


The next controverted point is, whether it was ce, lebrated in the forty pinth, or fiftieth year. We have already given a list of the principal authors who are for the former; those who declare for the latter (without reck, oning Philo, Jofephus, the Targums, and all the Yews in general, Karaites as well as Talmudists), are ftill more considerable. Ti Among these we may reckon some of the fathers y, and a great number of moderns 2 (R). ;

THIS Y EUSEB. S. JEROM, AUGUST. Grec. Mag. ISIDOR, & al. 2 Tostat. BONFRER. FAGius, JUNIUS, Drusius, Villet. HOTTINGER; SCHINDLER, Ppeip, Heidekker, LEWSDEN, CALMET, & al.

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and 612 before ChrisT.' As (R) The truth is, that ei-
for the remainder, which he ther hypothesis may be defend-
has carried down to the thirted from the different expreffions
treth, or to the year of the which Moses makes use of in
world 4030, they are only the inftitution of it ; and, on
added in order to make a com- the other hand, there are cer-
plete calculation of them to the tain difficulties in each of them,
thirtieth year of Christ, or which cannot be cafily folved.
to the beginning of the gospel. We Thall content ourselves with
For it is plain, as Maimon ob- a bare hinting at them. In
ferves in the place above quoted, one piace he exprefly com-
that the Jews observed no -ju- mands them co number feveh
bilee after their return from fabbaths of years, or forty-and-
the Babylonish captivity, either nine years; and on this laft to
with respect to the cessation of proclaim the jubilee by the
agriculture, the reftitution of found of the trumpet (2) j and
lands, manumission of laves, in the very two following
or any of those ends for which vérfes he fays, that the fiftieth
it had been instituted: Nei- year shall be that of the jubilée.
ther, indeed, was it practica- The grand obječtion against
ble ; for the seventy years cap- the first of these is, that if
tivity having quite obliterated Mofes had meant, that the for-
the memory and pretension to ty-ninth should be the jubilee
their forefachers tand every year, there would have been
one, at their return, fettled no neceflity for his forbidding
himself as well as he could, in all kind of agriculture, and
the confusion that then reigned, the like, on that year, fince
after which their affairs took that was forbid of courfe by
the quite new face in Judea'; its being likewise the fabbatic
whilft a very confiderable num- year ; for seven times feven
ber of their brethren chose to make forty-nine.
continue in the place of their On the other hand, it is ob-

jected, that if the fiftieth year
(2) Lewit, xxv. &, se

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