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cases, even where the offence was of a religious nature ; such as idolatry, blasphemy, witchcraft, facrilege, and the
or tree, were buried with him ab beth din, or father of the (65). They except, however, senate, at his right hand: the out of the cognizance of these reft sat on each lide, according courts of twenty-three, all ca- to their seniority, or merit. At ses, whether criminal or civil, each end was a clerk, or secre. which related to the high- tary, who took the depositions priest, to a whole tribe, and to in writing ; some add a third, false prophets ; which, they whose office was, to gather the pretend, were only to be tried votes of the court : at the feet by the grand council (66). To of the judges fat their disciples, this a learned author. thinks in three rows, or forms, whose that expoftulation of Christ to business was, to observe every allude (67), O Jerusalem! - thing that was said or done; thou that killeft the prophets(68). and these were chosen to succeed We own, indeed, this to have those on the bench, either at been the case of the fanhedrin, their death, or when they bein our Saviour's time, and even came unqualified by old age, or some time before, but not be any other impediment. The fore the captivity ; but how,or accused person was placed upon by what court or judges, these an eminent place in the court, extraordinary cases were to be that he might be easily seen by tried, is impossible to say ; un- all; and the witnesses ftood lefs we suppose,that it was done fronting him ; these were to by a general assembly of the be diligently examined, and whole nation, or, at least, of the their character inquired into ; heads of them; as we find it in and, if any flaw was found in several inftances (69).
it, they were set aside : but if We shall, however, conclude any was found to have given this note with an account of false evidence, the talion law was the form of the court of the his portion (70); that is, he twenty-three judges, according was condemned to the fame puto the Jewish doctors; because nishment as his evidence would it had a near resemblance, not have brought upon the innoonly to that of the fanhedrin, cent. The bruid, foterim, but, also, to those of other po- that is, the officers, or executionlite nations. They sat in the ers, were also to attend the form of an halfmoon s in the court constantly, with rods, and centre of it was the president, leathern scourges in their hands, whom they call you), nasi, or to execute the sentence of the prince; having the piny na 2x, judges : the accused person was
(65) Vid. præc. aff. 97,98, & seq. ad 111. (66) Vid. Mishrat, tract. 717777D, 6. I. (67) Cun. rep. Heb. l.i. c. 12.
(69), Vid. Joh. xxii. 11, & feq. Yudg. xx. 1, & seq. xxi. pal. Vid. & Milhn. ubi fup. Maimon in loc. & alb. Moj. Korz, Selden de Synedr. Goodwin's Mos, Š Aar. l.v. c. 3, & feq. Lamy, Čalm., disert. Sur la polise des Hebreux, & al. (70) Deut, xix. 18, 19.
like: for which reason the priests and Levites were appointed to assist, if not to preside in them. The next in authority to the magistrates, were natural parents; and these were to be honoured and obeyed in a most particular manner m (U). St. Paul observes, that this is the first
im Exod. xx. 12. Deut, v. 16, & alib.
- likewise allowed a counsellor to bound to honour the former, E plead for him, who was called whether we have
any substance 3'7-5y3, babal-rib, the master or not; and to work, in order to of the process, and he stood on be able to maintain them (75). his right-hand, and pleaded for This is a duty to which the him. Many expressions there Egyptians seem to have been are, in the psalms, in the pro- ftrangers, if what Herodotus phets, and other places of the says of them be true, that the Old Testament, that seem so sons were not bound to maintain plainly to allude to one or other their parents, unless they were of these judicial forms,as make willing; but that the daughters it more than probable, that they were obliged to it,whether wilwere in use long before the cap- ling or not (76). It likewise extivity. After a full hearing, the celled that of the Perfians, votes were gathered and exa- Greeks, Romans, and other pomined ; and according to them, lite people, in that it included the person was either absolved, both parents; whereas these or condemned, in words to this only, or, at most, principally, purpose: Thou, Simeon, art in- the father. This appears by the nocent ; thou, Judah, art guilty: Persian law mentioned by Ariand if the latter, and his crime ftotle, by the Roman digelts, and was capital, he was immedi- inftitutions mentioned by Epicately put into the executioner's tetus, Simplicius, Philo de lega
hands, and led to execution; tione, and others (77). We : but if the crime was such as shall obferve farther, that the
only deserved whipping, it was words of the promise annexed forthwith performed, before the to this command run thus in whole court (73).
the original: That they may (U) The Talmudists observe, prolong thy days, and so on. that the law lays a greater stress
From which the generality of upon honouring our parents, Jewish interpreters conclude than upon honouring God; be- the word they to relate to the cause we are only injoined to father and mother so honoured ; honour the latter with our sub- namely, that they might prostance (74); whereas we are long, by their prayers and bles.
(73) Vid. de bis Mishn. tra&t. Sanbedr. c. 5. Maim. M. Kotz, & al. sup. citat. Vid. & præc. affirm. fup. citat. (74) Prov. iii. 9.
(75) Rab, Simeon. Vid. præc. affirm. 112, & 113. (76) Herudot. l. ii. c. 25. Vid. Carler, barm. of N. and P. laws, c. 6.
(77) Idem ibid. Vol. III,
fings, It was
command with a promisen ; and the punishment of dif-
Of the first kind were the smaller sort of punishments; which were either, 1. Fines by way of compensation for wrongs, theft, and the like. 2. Selling for slaves those who were not able to pay their debts, or make fatisfaction for a wrong. 3. The talion law, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, Aripe for stripe, &c. Lastly, whipping; and this lalt was not to exceed forty lashes 9. The capital punishments were of four kinds; namely, stoning, burning, beheading, and strangling'. 1. Stoning was the most usual ; and when the law condemned a person to death, without naming the kind, this was always understood to be meant by it * (W). The crimes, which deserved this
Eph. vi. 2. • Exod. xxi. 15. 17. Levit. xx. 9.
P Deut. xxi. 18, & feq.
r Ex. Levit. xxiv. 14. & Num. xv. 35. 1 Kings xxi. 13.
* Vid. Deut. xvii. 7.
9 Ibid. xxv. 3.
fings, the life of their dutiful to be chosen (78). But it is more children. The words are indeed, probable, from the case of capable of either sense; but, if adultery, that stoning was the the Jews had taken them in punishment understood : for it this last in our Saviour's time, is faid, in Ezekiel (79), I will they would not have met with judge thee with the judgment of so severe a reproof from him wedlock-breakers, &c. And two for eluding that precept.
verses after, They shall font (W) Some modern Jews rathee cuith stones And it is ther think, that it was stran- plain,that the Jews understood gling, because it was an easier it in that sense in our Saviour's death; and that, in cases where time, by what they said to him the particular kind is not ex- when they brought the adul. pressed, the most favourable is teress before him (80).
(78) Vid. R. Salom, in Exod, xxi. 16. (79) Cl. xxvi. 38.40. (80) Jobs
death, death, were all kind of incest, sodomy, bestiality, ravishing a betrothed virgin, or her consenting to be defiled by another man; blafpheming, fabbath-breaking, witchcraft, idolatry, inticing others to idolatry, rebellious children, offering one's feed to Moloch, and some others of the like nature. For some of these lait, the criminal was likewise to be hanged, after he had been stoned to death, as we have seen in a former note; where we have also hinted something concerning the manner of this execution, and to which we have nothing to add, but that it was always done out of the city, as it was out of the camp during their abode in the wilderness : here, after he had confessed his fault, the witnesses came and laid their hands upon his head, and said aloud, Thy blood be upon thee, and threw the first ftone; and the rest of the spectators helped to dispatch him * (W). This, however, must be understood of regular cases'; for there were others of an irregular nature, wherein it was allowed to stone the criminal, such as a blafphemer, idolater, adulterer, upon the spot, without further trial. But these ought rather to be looked upon as zealous mobbings, though encouraged under the specious title of judgment of zeal, founded upon the action of Phim neas t, of which we shall Ipeak in the sequel of this hiKory.
2. BURNING. This punishment was used before Mofes, as appears by Judah’s condemning his daughter-in-law to the fames W. Some interpreters, indeed, think, that he meant no more than to have her burnt in the forehead, or ftigmatized her for her incontinency,but without any proof, as will be seen in the sequel. The Mofaic law condemned the daughters of priests to be burnt for incontinency *; and Achan was condemned to be stoned and burnt for sacrilege y. These are the only two places where that punilhment is mentioned. The Jews tell us, also, of some
* Deut. xvii. 7. + Num. xxv. 6, & seq. Xxxviii. 24. * Levit. xxi.g.
y Josh. vii. 28.
(W) The Talmudifts mention him down; and, if he did not another kind of stoning, by die by the fall, they threw stones precipitating a man from some upon him till he was dead. The considerable eminence, at least Mofaic law doth not, indeed, of the height of two men. One mention this kind of punishof the witnesses tied his hands ment; but we find it practised: behind him,and the other threw in our Saviour's time (81),
other crimes which were punished with it, particularly some kinds of incestu. They add, that it was twofold ; namely, burning with fire, and with melted lead poured down the criminal's throat.
3. BEHEADING. This, the Jewish doctors say, was a punishment appointed only for murderers, and for towns that were fallen into idolatry : but we find nothing like it to have been practised before the captivity, in a judicial
2 Vid. Mos. Korz, in tract. fanhedr. c. 1. GOODWIN's Mofa and Aar. 1. v. c. 7. fect. 13.
(X) It is true, indeed, that struck their parents. 2. MenAbimelech,one of Gideon's sons, stealers. 3. The priests that caused seventy of his brothers refused to conform to the deto be beheaded upon one stone termination of the court. 4. at Ophra (82); that the men False prophets, or those who of Samaria sent the heads of prophesied in the name of false the same number of Ahab's gods. 5. He that defiled anfons to the new king of Israel other man's bed ; and, 6. He (83); and that forty-two of that had criminal conversation Ahaziah's brethren were put to with a priest's daughter. These death, probably, in the same were executed as follows: they way, by the fame Jebu's or were immerged in dung up to ders (84): but it is plain, that the knees; two executioners none of these were done in a tied a napkin about their neck, judicial way. We find, like. and twisted it till they were wile, instances of persons being quite suffocated. All kinds of put to death by the sword: criminals were buried apart by thus Samuel killed the king of themselves, and on the same Amalek (85); in the same man- day, together with the instruner David ordered the messen- ments of their death, whatever ger of Saul's death to be slain they were, to blot out, as much (86); and Adonijah, Joab, and as possible, the remembrance of Shimei,were killed by Solomon's it (88). order, one of them at the very To these we may add some foot of the altar (87).
foreign punishments, which 4. Strangling. The text were afterwards adopted by makes no explicit mention of their kings : such were those this kind of death ; but the which David caufed to be in. Talmudists reckon fix forts of flicted on the Ammonites (89), criminals that were condemned and that which Manaseh put to it; namely, i. Those that the prophet Isaiah to, whom he
(82) Judg. ix. 5. (83) 2 Kings X. 7. (85) 1 Sam. xv. 33. (86) 2 Sam. i. 15. 4.0. (88) Træet. fanbedr. ubi fup.