By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Thousand Years of Jewish History - From the days of Alexander the Great to the Moslem Conquest of Spain
Author: Harris, Maurice H. (Maurice Henry), 1859-1930
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Thousand Years of Jewish History - From the days of Alexander the Great to the Moslem Conquest of Spain" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


Transcriber's note:

      Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

      Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

      Text enclosed by equal signs is in bold face (=bold=).

[Illustration: Map front endpaper "Palestine Before the War,
66 B.C.E."]

  "For a thousand years in thy sight,
  are but ... as a watch in the night"

  Psalms, xc, 4.

[Illustration: JERUSALEM BESIEGED BY TITUS. (See page 167.)]


From the Days of Alexander the Great to the Moslem Conquest of Spain

With Illustrations, Maps and Notes.

By the


Author of "People of the Book."
"History of the Mediæval Jews"
"Modern Jewish History"
"Selected Addresses," etc.


Revised and Enlarged

New York:
Bloch Publishing Co., 40 East 14Th St.,

Copyright, 1911
By Maurice H. Harris

Press of
Philip Cowen
New York


     "Wenn es eine Stufenleiter von Leiden giebt, so hat Israel die
     höchste Staffel erstiegen; wenn die Dauer der Schmerzen und
     die Geduld, mit welcher sie ertragen werden, adeln, so nehmen
     es die Juden mit den Hochgeborenen aller Länder auf; wenn eine
     Literatur reich genannt wird, die wenige klassische Trauerspiele
     besitzt, welcher Platz gebührt dann einer Tragödie, die
     anderthalb Jahrtausende währt gedichtet und dargestellt von den
     Helden selber?"

     --ZUNZ: _Die Synagogale Poesie des Mittelalters_.

When the impatient youth demands, like the heathen from Hillel, a
definition of Judaism, bid him "go and learn" the history of the
Jew. Let him follow the fascinating story from hoar antiquity, when
the obscure Hebrews, "leaving kindred and father's house," took a
bold and new departure for the land that God would show--the land
that would show God.

Point to the colossal figure of Moses on Sinai, "greatest of the
prophets," who gave the first uplifting impulse with his Ten
Words of Faith and Duty. Trace with him the soul struggle of this
"fewest of all peoples" to reach the truth of divinity--beginning
with a crude conception that became steadily more exalted and more
clarified with each successive age, until, at last, the idea is
realized of an all-pervading Spirit, with "righteousness and justice
as the pillars of His throne," the "refuge of all generations."

Make clear to him how the revelation of the divine will came to be
expressed in Law. And, how the preservation and development of this
Law, in the interpreting hands of prophets, scribes, rabbis, poets
and philosophers, became henceforth the controlling motif of the
history of the Jew, his _modus vivendi_, whether under Babylonians,
Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabians or Franks. Help him to see that
through it the Jew held in his keeping the religious fate of Orient
and Occident, that took from him their respective impressions of
Islamism and Christianity.

Let him see the "God-intoxicated" teaching his message by living it;
the Suffering Servant whose martyrdom brought healing to his smiters.

Then, perhaps, he may understand that no one definition can
completely express the Faith of the Jew and his place in the
divine economy. But with this glimpse of his history the grandeur
of his inheritance will sink into his consciousness, becoming
part of himself, and he will be thrilled with the tremendous
responsibility devolving upon him as a member of the priest-people,
the witnesses of God, whose mission was and is to "bring light to
the Gentiles--that salvation may reach to the ends of the earth."

Preface to the Revised Edition

The dual purpose of the revision of this work has been
simplification and amplification.

The language has been recast in parts and there have been added
sub-titles within each chapter, cross-references and an index. Ideas
such as "Religion as law," the Logos of Philo and the development of
Messianism have been made as simple as these subjects admit of.

In seeking illustrations to vivify the narrative it is unfortunate
that so little is available. Ah! if we had pictures of Hillel, of
Akiba the Martyr, of Judah the Saint, of the Jamnia Academy, of
the splendor of the Babylonian Exilarch. But this very absence of
pictures is in itself a bit of Jewish history.

This new edition contains quotations from the literature of the
periods covered, from the Apocrypha, Philo, Josephus and the Mishna.
Three chapters have been added, two on "Stories and Sayings of
the Sages of the Talmud" and one on "Rabbi Judah and his times."
Other chapters have been placed in more logical sequence. Both the
Chronological Tables and the Notes are fuller. A new feature has
been introduced in a "theme for discussion" at the close of each
chapter that may be found helpful to study circles and Chautauqua
societies. This has also been introduced in the recently issued
"Modern Jewish History."

The author expresses his grateful indebtedness to Dr. David de
Sola Pool for a most careful reading of the manuscript and for
many corrections and suggestions; also to Mr. Philip Cowen for
the aid rendered in collecting the illustrations. The author has
availed himself of writings that have appeared on this epoch since
the edition of 1904. He hopes he has succeeded in producing a more
readable book.


  Preface to revised edition                                     v.

  Introduction                                                   vi.

  Themes for Discussion                                        xiii.

  Maps and Illustrations                                        xii.

  Chronological Tables                                          xii.

  Index                                                          311



  Political Silence -- Religious activity -- The Bible Canon.
  Notes: Persian influence -- Judaism as law -- Bible
  books.                                                       17-25


  Alexander the Great -- Judea part of Greco-Egypt -- Joseph
  the Satrap. Note: Greek and Jew.                             26-32


  The High Priest's office sold -- Religious Persecution --
  Judas Maccabeus -- Feast of Hanukkah -- The Book of Daniel.
  Note: Immortality.                                           33-44


  Death of Judas -- Jonathan -- Death of Eleazar --
  Independence                                                 45-51


  I. Esdras -- II. Esdras -- Tobit -- Judith -- Additions to
  Esther -- Wisdom Literature: Wisdom of Solomon --
  Ecclesiasticus -- Baruch -- Song of the Three Holy
  Children -- History of Susanna -- Bel and the Dragon --
  Prayer of Manasses--I. Maccabees--II. Maccabees              52-66


  Egypt -- The Septuagint -- Onias and his temple              67-71



  Simon -- Hyrcanus I. -- Pharisees and Sadducees--Essenes     77-84


  Aristobulus -- Alexander Janneus -- Queen Salome
  Alexandra -- The "Pairs."                                    85-90


  Aristobolus II. -- Prayer of Onias -- Pompey takes
  Jerusalem.                                                   91-94


  Growth of Rome--From First Triumvirate to Empire--Herod
  enters on the scene--The last Hasmonean
  ruler.                                                      95-101


  Herod as man -- Herod as builder -- Herod as father.
  Note: Edom, type of Rome.                                  102-110


  Hillel as moralist -- Hillel as legislator -- Last
  days -- Shammai. Note: Law and equity.                     111-117


  Antipas and John the Baptist -- The last Herodian --
  Judea part of a Roman province.                            117-122



  Procurators in general -- Pilate in particular --
  Proselytes.                                                123-126


  The Messianic hope -- Jesus the man -- Jesus the
  Messiah -- Christianity--Teachings of Jesus. Note: The
  Crucifixion.                                               127-135


  Jew and Greek -- Jewish Missionaries.                      136-140


  His Bible Commentary -- His philosophy -- The Logos --
  His Ethics.                                                141-146


  The mad emperor Caligula -- Agrippa's youth -- Agrippa
  the king -- Agrippa slain -- Agrippa II.                   147-152


  The Zealots -- The Sicarii.                                153-156


  Revolution -- A peace party -- Josephus.                   157-160


  The North succumbs -- Rival parties in Jerusalem.          161-167


  Masada, the last fortress -- The remnant again.            168-171


  His early life -- Josephus vs. Jeremiah -- His "History
  of the Jews" -- "Contra Apion." Note: Josephus
  and Christianity.                                          172-180



  The Academy at Jamnia -- Prayer replaces sacrifice --
  Halacha and Agada.                                         183-189


  R. Gamaliel -- R. Joshua -- Ordination of rabbis --
  The Prayer Book.                                           190-196


  The development of Christianity -- Old and New
  Testaments -- Gnostics. Note: Jewish Scripture and
  Church doctrine.                                           197-200


  Proselytes again -- Revolt against Trajan -- Hadrian's
  "Promise."                                                 201-205


  Love and Law -- Akiba's Ethics.                            206-210


  Bar Cochba -- General Severus -- Martyrdom.                211-216


  Mair and Beruria -- Judah ha-Nasi -- Other famous
  teachers.                                                  217-221


  Written and Oral Law -- Quotations -- Amoraim.             222-228


  The Resh Galutha -- Rab and Samuel -- Babylonian
  Schools. Note: Patriotism and Judaism.                     229-238


  Rome's decline -- Why Christianity appealed to Romans --
  Judaism and Christianity contrasted -- The Calendar.       239-244


  Julian -- Two Roman Empires -- Goths and Vandal s--
  Persecution of the Jews.                                   245-249


  The Gemara -- The contents -- Talmudic Literature --
  Saboräim. Note: Law of the Talmud.                         250-255


  God -- Providence -- Prayer -- Righteousness -- Study of
  the Law -- Education in general -- Parents and children --
  Woman.                                                     256-263

  THE SAGES. (_continued._)

  Work -- Truth -- Justice and Honesty -- Kindness --
  Charity -- Humility and Patience -- Sin -- Repentance --
  Death and immortality -- Wit and Humor.                    264-279



  In the Byzantine Empire -- Laws of Justinian -- Jews
  again involved in war -- Rome's successors -- Italy --
  The Popes -- Slavery and trade.                            281-287


  Gaul and the Franks -- Vicissitudes in Spain.              288-292


  The land and the people -- Arabian Jews -- Jussef the
  Proselyte -- Samuel the chivalrous.                        293-298


  The Hegira.                                                299-304


  Christianity and Islam -- The Koran or the Sword -- The
  Spread of Islam -- Fall of Visigothic Spain.               304-310

List of Illustrations


  Jerusalem besieged by Titus              _Frontispiece_

  Antiochus Epiphanes                                  42

  Half Shekel, Simon Maccabeus                         50

  Shekel, Simon Maccabeus                              51

  Goat-skin water bottles                              66

  The Temple of Jerusalem                              74

  Ground plan of Temple Area                           75

  Coin of Johanan the High Priest                      84

  Coin of the Time of Alexandra                        87

  The Pool of Siloam                                   90

  Julius Caesar                                        97

  Coin of Antigonus on his accession                  101

  Emperor Augustus                                    105

  Coin of Agrippa I.                                  148

  Coin of Agrippa II.                                 152

  Battlement on a house-top                           160

  Emperor Titus                                       164

  Coin of the Reign of Titus                          166

  The Golden Candlestick (on Arch of Titus depicting
    carrying the spoil of Judea)                      169

  Flavius Josephus                                    173

  The Arch of Titus, raised to commemorate the
    overthrow of Judea                                180

  Brass Coin struck in Rome during reign of
    Vespasian, indicating Judea's overthrow           189

  Brass Coin of Nerva, marking the withdrawal of
    certain abuses in connection with the Jewish Tax  205

  Coin of the Second Revolt of Bar Cochba             216

  Map, Palestine Before the War, 66 B.C.E.          Front

  Map, The Diaspora                                  Back



  Under Persian Sway                                   17

  Greek and Jew                                        26

  Greco-Syria and the Maccabees                    33, 45

  The Hasmonean House                                  73

  Emperors and Procurators                       120, 152

  Rome and Jewry after Judea's overthrow              201

  Emperors and Rabbis                                 229

  The Talmud's compilation and Rome's fall            250

  In Christian Europe and Moslem Arabia               281

Themes for Discussion

  CHAPTER                                            PAGE

  I. Discuss the relations between _Judaism as
  law_ and Mendelssohn's statement that
  "Judaism is not a revealed religion but a
  revealed legislation."                               25

  II. What was the significance of the defeat of
  Persia by Greece for civilization in general
  and for the Jew in particular?                       30

  IV. Had the Hasmoneans the right to assume the
  office of High Priest?                               51

  V. Compare the treatment of wisdom in Proverbs
  (viii) and in Ecclesiasticus.                        66

  VI. Are there traces of Greek philosophy in the
  Septuagint?                                          71

  VII. Compare modern with ancient parties in
  Israel.                                              84

  VIII. Contrast the Wood Festival of ancient Judea
  with Arbor Day in modern America.                    90

  X. Single out great events in Israel influenced
  by, and influencing the Jews.                       101

  XI. Did Herod succeed or did he fail?               110

  XII. Is it possible, as Hillel said, to evolve the
  whole law from the Golden Rule?                     116

  XIV. Does official Judaism discourage conversion?
  Why did the Jews oppose a census on religious
  grounds?                                            126

  XV. Why cannot Jesus be accepted by the synagogue
  to-day?                                             135

  XVI. Why did most heathen converts to Judaism
  ultimately become Christians?                       140

  XVII. Why did rabbinic Judaism neglect Philo?       146

  XVIII. If Agrippa had lived and reigned as long
  as Herod----?                                       152

  XIX. Compare the Zealots of antiquity with to-day's
  Russian revolutionists; the Sicarii
  with the anarchists; the procurators with
  the Czar's local governors.                         156

  XX. Make clear the difference in principle between
  Judea's "Peace Party" and the
  "Royalist Party" among the American
  revolutionists.                                     160

  XXIII. Should Josephus be regarded as a traitor?    179

  XXIV. Whether the Temple's fall abolished or
  suspended animal sacrifice is a point of difference
  between Judaism's two schools to-day.               189

  XXV. In what respect did the "Academy" differ
  from a school?                                      196

  XXVI. Contrast the ancient gnostic with the modern
  agnostic.                                           200

  XXVIII. Should Akiba's method of law deduction be
  called casuistic?                                   210

  XXIX. What degree of pain or peril justifies
  disregard of ceremonial law?                        216

  XXX. Can the number of our duties be specified?     221

  XXXI. What is Revelation, and how did the sages
  apply it to the Oral Law?                           228

  XXXII. Is the Jew's first duty to his countrymen or
  to his coreligionists?                              238

  XXXIV. What right had the Byzantine Empire to
  the title "Roman"?                                  249

  XXXV. Compare Bible and Talmud as literatures.
  In what sense can it be said that the Talmud
  made the Jew?                                       255

  XXXVIII. In what respect did mediaeval slavery
  differ from Russian serfdom and from the bond
  service in the early colonial era of
  America?                                            287

  XXXIX. Why did the higher clergy oppose the mingling
  of Jews and Christians, and the lower
  favor it?                                           292

  XL. Why did Judaism not succeed as a proselytising
  religion?                                           298

  XLI. Should Mohammed be called a prophet?           303

  XLII. Amplify the probable consequences of the
  acceptance of Mohammed by the Jews.                 311





  =PERSIA=                        =JUDEA=                   =FAMOUS=
                   B.C.E.                    B.C.E.                  B.C.E

  Cyrus conquer             Return of Judah
    the Babylonians  538      from Exile        536
  Cambyses           529    Haggai and
  Darius             522      Zechariah,
    defeated at               prophets      520-516
    Marathon         490    Second Temple
  Xerxes             485      rebuilt          516        FLOURISHED
  Artaxerxes I              Esther and                  Gautama Buddha 500
    (Longimanus)     465      Mordecai         485      Confucius      500
                            Ezra goes to
                              Jerusalem with
                              second group
                              of exiles        458
                            Nehemiah's first
                              visit            444
                            Nehemiah Governor
                              of Judah         432      Socrates       430
                            Malachi the prophet
                              about            430
  Darius II          424                                Xenophon       400
  Artaxerxes II
  Artaxerxes III                                        Plato d.       347
  (Mnemon)           404
  (Ochus)            358
  Alexander, the Greek, overthrows the Persian Empire      332

The story covered by the early dates in this table is not yet
post-Biblical. It is already told in the later Books of Ezra,
Nehemiah, Haggai and Zechariah i-viii. The history of this volume
begins with the close of the life-work of these men.

The restoration of the Jews to Judea did not materialize as
gloriously as Isaiah of Babylon had prefigured in his sublime
addresses (Isaiah xl-xlvi.) Life's realizations very often
disappoint their anticipations. Cyrus, the Persian king, opened the
door; but only a poor remnant returned to a poor land. Even then,
enemies made their appearance, envious of the royal grant, and
plotted against their welfare. So it took many years to rebuild the
Temple and many more to rebuild Jerusalem and to reorganize a new
community. This service we owe to Nehemiah.

Political Silence.

After the chronicle of Nehemiah's service in placing the Jewish
settlement on a working basis, we are told hardly anything more of
the doings of Israel in this epoch. Either there was no further
historic incident of the Jews under Persian sway, or it has never
been told. There is a silence of about a hundred years after the
last chapter of Nehemiah, which is, roughly speaking, the last
chapter of Jewish history in the Bible. One reason for this silence
of course, is that the Jews had no separate political life. They
were a subject people; their State was gone. What there is to tell
can be disposed of in a few sentences.

We perhaps infer from the sixty-third chapter of Isaiah that they
suffered during the campaigns of the two Artaxerxes against Egypt.
We know that some were banished to the Caspian Sea because they
were implicated in a wide-spread insurrection against the fast
declining Persia, instigated by the different peoples settled around
the Mediterranean shore. We are told further that an upstart named
Bagoas heavily taxed the Jews and made a quarrel over the priesthood
an excuse to desecrate their Temple.

That is really all. When this intriguer attempted to place his own
candidate on the Persian throne the knell had been rung. Persia's
days were numbered. Like its Babylonian predecessor, it had been
"weighed in the balance and found wanting." The Greek forces of
Alexander were advancing and about the year 332 the Persian dynasty,
founded by Cyrus--let us say "The Great"--passed away.

Religious Activity.

But silent though the period was in external doings, it was a
stirring time in Israel for what we might call the experience of the
soul. When we turn to the religious life of the Jews, the epoch,
apparently so barren, is full of significance. Great achievements
are here disclosed behind the historian's silence.

To tell the religious story, we must go back to Ezra again--the Ezra
who came to Judea with the second group of Babylonian exiles and who
revived the religious life of the community (_People of the Book_,
vol. iii, ch. xxxiv), was the father of the _Scribes_. A scribe was
not merely, as the name might imply, one who copied the writings of
others, but one who expounded them. The Pentateuch, which contains
many codes of law in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy,
came to be called "the Law" as a whole. (Torah.) We shall learn how
this term later came to include the vaster code that was gradually
deduced from these Biblical books. In fact, from now on, _Judaism is
interpreted as law_.

How did it happen that the Jewish religion was accepted by its
observers as a Law? In ancient times Religion and State were one.
There was not that division between sacred affairs and secular
that we are familiar with to-day. Duty to God and the King were
allied; patriotism merged into piety. Hence the Pentateuch contains
laws touching civil as well as spiritual relations, and regulates
affairs both secular and sacred. For example, it contains laws
about kings, servants, agriculture, war, food, dress, courts of
justice, loans, inheritance, in fact every need that arose in the
civilization of the time. It contains the Decalogue, regulations
for festivals and sacrificial worship, duties to the poor, the
stranger, the dumb animal, the code of Holiness (Levit. xvii-xxvii),
and exhortations to noble living. It is beautiful to notice how the
moral pervades the secular and gives to all a sanctifying touch.

Thus the scribes of this latter day had to interpret Scripture for
the daily affairs of public life as well as for the regulation
of the holy seasons and the religious ceremonial in Israel's
semi-independent state. So the Sanhedrin (a Greek word), a body
of seventy members, was both a House of Legislature and an
ecclesiastical council. It numbered 70 like the Council of Elders
appointed by Moses (Exodus xxiv, 1).

Thus it happened when all political power was taken, from the Jews,
the presentation of religion through the forms of law very naturally

There is yet another reason for Judaism being interpreted as Law,
which touches the genius of Judaism. Judaism has always been less
a faith to be confessed than a life to be lived. The emphasis
was laid on deed rather than on dogma, on law rather than creed.
We shall later see (p. 133) that it was on this very distinction
that Christianity broke away from the parent religion to become a
separate Faith.

The reduction of religion to law had its abuses as well as its
excellences. It led to the multiplication of ceremonials. The laws
of ritual cleanliness, especially for the priests and of Sabbath
observance, were very voluminous and very minute. Perhaps too
much importance was laid on minor detail; there was little room
for voluntary and spontaneous action. On the other hand, too much
freedom in religious observance has its dangers and pitfalls too.
At its best the Jewish Law tended to sanctify every act of life
and to bring the humblest obligation into relationship with God.
But whenever a religion crystallizes into an institution, as it
inevitably must, the spirit occasionally gets lost in the form. Then
it becomes the function of the prophet to bring back the emphasis to
religion's vital issues.

Priest and Synagogue.

A further word on the religious life of post-exilic Israel. We must
remember at the start that Judea was a colony subject to Persia,
but enjoyed complete autonomy in the management of its internal
affairs. The head of the community was the High Priest. He not only
regulated all functions in the Temple (the religious centre), but
because religion and government could not be entirely separated,
as explained above, he exercised secular power too. As the
high-priesthood became a hereditary office it acquired quite a royal
distinction. This regal splendor and "temporal" power in the High
Priest's hands were to cause Israel much woe later and became one of
the causes of its downfall.

Distinct from the Temple, Houses of Prayer were springing up, called
Synagogues. The Synagogue gradually developed a distinct ritual,
and Sabbath readings from the Pentateuch and the Prophets became a
permanent institution. This is treated in fuller detail in chapter

The religious activities and conditions here described were not
limited to the Persian era, but continued in the Greek period that
immediately followed.

       *       *       *       *       *

A word about the literature of this Second-Temple or post-exilic
epoch. The most important of the later Biblical books are ascribed
to it, notably the Holy Writings, specified below.

       *       *       *       *       *

It was further the time of literary activity in editing Bible books
already written and deducing new law from Scripture. But nothing
of the Prophetic style of writing appeared. Haggai, Zechariah and
Malachi were the last, and already we miss in them the earlier
Prophetic grandeur. Ah, the days of prophecy were over! There were
no more great names. But there was a general body called "Men of the
Great Synagogue." "Synagogue" does not here mean House of Worship,
but a Council of Scholars, consisting of 120 members. Under this
title some noble masters of the Law contributed splendid literary
service, satisfied to sink their identity in this general term.

The Bible Canon.

A sacred collection of writings, accepted as books of authority on
religious life is called a _Canon_, a Greek word meaning rule. The
task of deciding what was worthy to be admitted into the Canon of
the Hebrew Scripture was a task of great responsibility. Nor was
it completed at one time. Begun by the Men of the Great Synagogue,
its final completion was postponed until nearly a century after the
Christian era.

The Bible Books were placed in three groups, namely: _Law_,
_Prophets_, _Holy Writings_. This sequence marked both the order
of their importance in rabbinic estimate and to some extent, the
sequence of their production. 1st, The Law consists of the five
books of the Pentateuch, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy. 2d, The Prophets fall into two groups: (a) the Former
Prophets, comprising the historical books--Joshua, Judges, First
and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, illustrative of the
divine guidance of Israel; (b) the Later Prophets, the Prophetic
Books proper: the three largest, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel; the
twelve smaller Prophets, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,
Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. 3rd,
The Hagiographa (Holy Writings), was a miscellaneous collections
of Scriptures, some written very late indeed. It included Psalms,
Proverbs, Job; five little books called Megilloth (Scrolls): Song of
Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes and Esther; Daniel, Ezra,
Nehemiah and First and Second Chronicles.

       *       *       *       *       *

These were doubtless selected from the larger library of Jewish
literature only after long discussion. All were well weighed before
being admitted into this sacred Canon. Some of those not chosen are
doubtless lost. Some found their way into another collection, known
as the Apocrypha, to be considered later.

       *       *       *       *       *

Enough is assuredly indicated here to show that the post-exilic
epoch was not a time of empty silence, but one of tremendous
activity--one of the most fruitful literary periods in our history.


_Persian Influence_:

Persian ideas unconsciously exercised their influence on Jews living
under Persian rule. As a result, conceptions of the future life and
retribution beyond the grave became more definite than in their
earlier Biblical presentation; the belief in angels and evil spirits
received further development.

_Judaism as Law_:

That Israel laid small stress on creed is further proved by the
late date of the formulation of any articles of faith. Even the
thirteen creeds of Maimonides (see _History Medieval Jews_, p. 157),
were drawn up rather to differentiate Judaism from Christianity and
Mohammedanism, than to explain its teachings to Jews.

Israel's detractors say that Judaism interpreted as Law tended
to blur moral distinctions. This is a superficial and erroneous
inference, for it quite as often re-inforced them and prevented
temporizing with duty.

Read "The Law and Recent Criticism," in the eleventh volume of
the _Jewish Quarterly Review_ (London, Macmillan) in reply to a
criticism against Judaism as Law; Montefiore, "_Bible for Home
Reading_," vol. ii, pages 12-18, on the Law; _Hibbert Lectures_,
1892, Montefiore, parts of chapters vi and ix on the Scriptures.
_Introduction Literature of the Old Testament._ Driver, (Scribner.)

_Bible Books_:

The order of the Bible Books in the Septuagint, which order is
followed by all Church translations of the Bible, differs from the
Hebrew order, as follows: 1st, the Writings precede the Prophets.
2d, Ruth, Lamentations, Daniel and Chronicles are taken from the
Writings and placed as follows: Ruth after Judges, Lamentations
after Jeremiah, Daniel after Ezekiel, Chronicles after Kings. 3d,
Job precedes Psalms.

  _Theme for discussion_:

Discuss the relation between _Judaism as law_, and Mendelssohn's
statement that "Judaism is not a revealed religion, but a revealed
legislation." See _Modern Jewish History_, p. 78.

Chronological Table.

                           B.C.E. |                                  B.C.E.
  Death of Alexander          323 | Onias I, High Priest                332
  Division of Alexander's         |
  Empire into four Kingdoms   323 | Judea part of Greco-Egyptian
                                  | realm (Ptolemaic)                   301
                                  | Simon the Just, High
  Ptolemy II, Philadelphus    285 | Priest                              300
                                  | The Septuagint (translation
                                  | of the Bible into
                                  | Greek) begun at Alexandria
                                  | about                               250
  Ptolemy III Euergetes       247 | Joseph, Governor of Palestine       230
  Ptolemy IV Philopator       222 | Judea part of Greco-Syrian
                                  | realm                               203
  Ptolemy VI Philometor       181 | Onias IV, builds a Temple
                                  | at Leontopolis, Egypt               160
                                  | Ben Sirach visits Egypt             132



Alexander the Great.

The Greeks and the Jews have been the greatest contributors toward
the higher civilization of mankind, the Greek in the intellectual
and artistic realm, the Jew in the religious and moral. Therefore
we discern the hand of Providence in bringing them together for
they influenced each other. The meeting of Greek and Jew is one of
the great events of history, greater than many of the battles that
have decided the fates of empires. Greece had already lived her
most thrilling epoch when the meeting began, but Plato, disciple of
the moral philosopher, Socrates, had but recently passed away and
Aristotle, profoundest philosopher of antiquity, still lived.

Macedonia had absorbed other Greek principalities and Alexander,
now sole master, carried his army eastward in the hope of founding
a universal empire. Whenever he conquered a land, he colonized
it with Greeks and thus spread Greek civilization. Egypt, Asia
Minor, Syria, Phoenicia, and ultimately Ethiopia and India fell
successively before his triumphant approach.

The Persian empire that had been fast decaying, was included in
the great array of conquests. Tired of the intriguing adventurer
placed over them in the last years, the Jews gladly welcomed the
conqueror. Legend weaves a pretty story of the Jewish High Priest,
Onias, going forth with a company clad in white to meet Alexander,
and that in this picture Alexander saw the fulfilment of a dream.
It is certain that the Jews hailed this change of masters and many
settled in several of the new Greek colonies he founded. In this
rise and fall of empires a new grouping of the countries took place.
The rebellious Samaritans were quelled and Alexander gave their land
to the Judeans, to whom he further showed his favor by freeing them
from taxation during the Sabbatic year. (see Lev. xxv.)

Another reason for Alexander's kindness to our ancestors may be the
fact that some Jews already settled in many places outside Judea
became his guides and interpreters when he entered the unfamiliar
realm of Asia. Indeed, this broad-minded conqueror was a second
Cyrus to the Jews; but there was no Isaiah now to immortalize his
advent in the grandeur of prophetic address, or to interpret his
triumphant advance in terms of divine purpose.

Judea Part of Greco-Egypt.

All too soon, in the midst of his ambitions, Alexander died.
Conflict among his generals followed, and the great empire was
dismembered. In one of the many wars which followed, the Jews
showed their religious fidelity by submitting to slaughter rather
than defend themselves on the Sabbath day. Finally, the empire
was divided into the following four kingdoms: The Greco-Syrian,
the Greco-Egyptian, the Thracian and the Macedonian. Greco-Syria,
including the greater part of Western Asia, with Persia as its
centre, was claimed by one of Alexander's generals named Seleucus.
He introduced the Seleucidan era named after him beginning with
the year 312. This calendar was used by the Jews when they later
came under Seleucidan sway; for this name, too, came to be applied
to the kingdom itself. Many Jews were invited to settle in the new
capital--Antioch, on its Mediterranean border. The next kingdom fell
to Ptolemy Lagos and included Egypt and the adjoining Asiatic lands,
one of which was Cælo-Syria, with boundaries from Lebanon to Egypt,
really corresponding to Palestine. Thus the Jews first came under
the Ptolemaic regime. It will be well to keep these geographical
divisions distinctly in mind. The remaining two divisions of the
empire, Thrace and Macedonia, hardly enter into this history.

The Jews did not suffer in the change of rule. They were as free
as before to live their own life, and with even greater political
independence than under Persian rule. The High Priest continued as
the head of the Jewish community, the centre of which was still
Jerusalem. Alexandria, a seaport named after the conqueror, was
made the capital of Greco-Egyptian kingdom. Many Jews settled
there, and it gradually became the most important Jewish community
outside of Palestine, both intellectually and religiously. If there
were Jews in Greek towns, so also were there Greeks in Jewish
towns. This meant a mingling of the two races and a lessening
of Jewish isolation. Alexander had brought the Greek tongue to
the East; it became the international language; and even the
commercial interchange of commodities brought necessarily with it an
interchange of ideas. The Orient was becoming Hellenized (p. 31).

The first man of achievement to hear from in this epoch was the
High Priest, Simon the Just. That he was called "The Just" tells
much in a word. Like Aristides the Good he really earned his title.
He rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem, ravaged by war, and improved
the water supply. Ben Sirach (one of the writers of the Apocrypha)
speaks of Simon in these words of exalted praise:

    How was he honored in the midst of the people
    In his coming out of the sanctuary!
    He was as the morning star in the midst of a cloud,
    And as the moon at the full;
    As the sun shining upon the temple of the Most High
    And as the rainbow giving light in the bright clouds:
    And as the flower of roses in the spring of the year,
    As lilies by the rivers of waters,
    And as the branches of the frankincense tree in the time of summer;
    As fire and incense in the censer,
    And as a vessel of beaten gold set with all manner of precious stones;
    And as a fair olive tree budding forth fruit,
    And as a cypress tree which groweth up to the clouds.
    When he put on the robe of honour,
    And was clothed with the perfection of glory,
    When he went up to the holy altar,
    He made glorious the precincts of the Sanctuary.

Here is one of his maxims: "The world rests on three pillars, on
the Law, on worship, and on Charity." He took a broad and moderate
view of life. When over-zealous souls would wish to impose upon
themselves the abnegations of the Nazarite (see Numbers vi) he
discouraged such extremes. "Why voluntarily renounce gifts that God
in his love has bestowed for our joy?" That voices the spirit of
Judaism. It is said that certain wondrous manifestations of Divine
grace ceased with his death. These are but legends, but they show
how much he was revered and loved.

Joseph the Satrap

Joseph, the nephew of Onias, a man of resources, was appointed
tax-gatherer of the Palestinian lands. A tax-gatherer was given a
military retinue to enforce his claims. It was a position of great
importance, and made him practically governor of all Palestine with
title of Satrap. He exercised his power with severity. Still he
brought wealth and improvement to Judea and awakened in the Jews a
greater confidence in themselves.

Certainly contact with the Greeks widened the horizon of the
Jews, furthered their culture, and gave them a taste for the
arts of architecture and sculpture. The Greeks also inculcated
love of freedom, the dignity of man, and intellectual research
in the realms of science and philosophy. But Greek civilization
had perils as well as advantages. Nor was it transplanted to the
East in its noblest form. The best of Greek thought was evolved in
Athens, not in Alexandria. Then too, the Greeks everywhere were
fond of conviviality, so often the stepping-stone to immorality.
That was why the prophets, from Samuel on so frowned upon
Canaanitish revelries. Some Jews quickly imitated this pagan
frivolity and dissipation. Joseph, the satrap, in order to please
Ptolemy Philopater, the Greco-Egyptian monarch, introduced the
festivities of Dionysus (Bacchus) into Jerusalem; these really meant
drunken orgies. Next he imported to the Jewish capital dissolute
dancing-women. These associations began to loosen the adherence of
the people to Judaism's strictly moral code. Epicureanism, that had
become a sanction for indulgence, was beginning to take its place.

Judea Part of Greco-Syria.

In the meantime the greed and ambition of kings changed the map
once more. Antiochus the Great, of Syria, seized Egypt and its
Asiatic possessions in 203. This transferred Judea from the Egyptian
to the Seleucidan rule. Warring nations had played battledore
and shuttlecock with the land of our ancestors since the year
600. Antiochus was checked by the newly rising power of Rome from
retaining all the Greco-Egyptian dominions, but Celo-Syria including
Judea remained under his sway. In the struggle some Jews sided with
the Egyptian and some with the Seleucidan party.

For Jews were beginning to differentiate; they were not any more
all of one mind either politically or religiously. Led by the
unfortunate example of Joseph and his successors, some Jews began
cultivating Hellenistic (from Hellas, Greece) habits to win favor
with their surroundings. A Jewish leader of the Greek faction
was one Joshua, who Grecized his name to Jason. This worldly man
encouraged his people to neglect their Jewish ideals in favor of
pagan standards of life. The safeguards built around the Jewish
Law by the teachers of old were ruthlessly overthrown. But these
traitorous extremes brought their own reaction. A pious party
sprang up to counteract them and it zealously determined to fulfil
the Jewish Law in its strictest interpretation. These were the
_Chassidim_ (Greek, Assidean), meaning the pious.

Here then were two extreme parties in Israel--one, the Hellenists,
whose mania for everything Greek made them almost traitors to the
Jewish cause; and on the other hand the Chassidim, who observed the
law with a rigidity greater than its own demands; and in the midst
the great bulk of the people, who tried to avoid the extremes of


_Greek and Jew_:

Read "Hebraism and Hellenism" in Matthew Arnold's _Culture and

Someone remarks, "The Greek praised the holiness of beauty: the
Jew the beauty of holiness." Heine writes: "The Greeks were only
beautiful youths, the Jews strong and steadfast men."

_Theme for discussion_:

What was the significance of the defeat of Persia by Greece for
civilization in general and for the Jew in particular?



                         B.C.E. |                               B.C.E.
  Seleucidan Era begins     312 | Judea under Greco-Syrian rule    203
                                | Uprising under Mattathias        168
  Antiochus III, the Great  223 | Judas Maccabee                   167
  Antiochus IV Epiphanes    175 | Book of Daniel written, about    166
                                | Temple re-dedicated--Hanukkah    165
  Antiochus V, Eupater      164 |

High Priest's Office Sold.

Antiochus was succeeded by his son of the same name, an eccentric
despot who claimed the title of Epiphanes, the "illustrious,"
though styled by his enemies Epimanes "the madman," and in rabbinic
literature _Harasha_, the "wicked." The rule of this ill-balanced
tyrant was to bring woe to Judea, for which their own internal
troubles were in a measure responsible. Indeed, it was these
discords that drew his attention to this particular province. The
Hellenists, who had grown to quite a party, sought his interference
in their behalf. Jason offered the king a bribe to make him High
Priest and depose Onias, his own brother. What a blasphemy on the
holy office to fight for its material powers! The pity was that
material power should be vested in a spiritual office, so the system
was wrong as well as the man.

Imitation of Greek life went on apace. Olympic games, _gymnasia_,
were now introduced into Judea. These games named from Olympia in
Macedonia, Greece, where they first took place, were also religious
festivals and were accompanied by sacrifices to the Greek god Zeus.
Yet they involved immoralities, so contradictory were some ancient
conceptions of religion.

Menelaus, another unscrupulous character, offered to Antiochus
a still higher bribe for the priesthood and thus obtained it,
regardless of the fact that it had already been sold to Jason. Like
master, like man.

Led from crime to crime, Menelaus became a traitor to his people.
He robbed the Temple of some of its treasures to pay his bribe and
then slew the deposed but worthy Onias because he had denounced the
sin. The outraged people rose against Menelaus, but an armed guard
provided by the king enabled him to hold his office by force, and
saved him for the time being.

At about this time (170) Antiochus IV, like his predecessor,
attempted to seize Egypt. Some patriotic Jews in Alexandria showed
active sympathy for the endangered nation. Therefore Antiochus
on his return from the expedition seized Jerusalem, aided by the
traitor Menelaus. This attack meant the slaughter of many souls and
the desecration and plunder of the Temple. Not content with this,
Antiochus spread slanders against Judaism to justify his excesses.
The rumor went forth, for example, that a golden headed ass was
found in the Temple.

Religious Persecution.

Next year his further attack on Egypt was checked by Rome, rapidly
becoming a great power. Again he vented his rage on the Jews and
determined to exterminate the Jewish religion by attacking their
most revered institutions, as the most complete means of erasing
their distinct individuality. The predecessors of Antiochus
Epiphanes had encouraged the spread of paganism among the Jews; but
he, less intelligent and more despotic, tried to force it upon them.
He did not realize that where persuasion may succeed, tyranny often
fails. Apollonius, his general, cowardly attacked Jerusalem on the
Sabbath day, when he knew religious scruples would prevent the Jews
defending themselves. So it proved. Many more were slain and the
women and children sold in slavery. A general plunder followed. The
paganizing of Judea became now his avowed policy. Therefore a decree
went forth forbidding the recognition of the God of Israel and His
Law and commanding the worship of Greek divinities--"gods that were
nothings," to quote Psalm xcvi. The Law was burned and the statue of
Jupiter set up in the Temple. Jewish ceremonial, Sabbath, festivals,
the Abrahamic rite, were replaced by the sacrifice of unclean
animals. At the same time other methods were employed completely to
subdue the people.

The same policy was applied against Jews in Higher Syria and
Phoenicia. But if some were weak enough to surrender their Faith,
many were prepared to remain staunch to it. Eleazar in Antioch met
a martyr's death. Hannah, a mother in Israel, taught her sons how
to die for conscience's sake. Here are the words with which she
exhorted them: "Doubtless the Creator of the world who formed the
generations of man will also of His own mercy give you breath and
life again as ye now regard not your own selves for His law's sake."
Martyrdom such as that found its counterpart in many scattered
places. Not succeeding by threats and persecutions Antiochus
once more resorted to arms. Again followed an unresisted Sabbath
slaughter. The walls of Jerusalem were leveled and Zion made a
fortress with a Syrian garrison. Greek colonists were transplanted
to Palestine for the purpose of Hellenizing Judea. The country was
placed under rigid surveillance. If a copy of the Law was found on
the monthly inspection the punishment was death. Participation in
the festivals of Dionysius was now a compulsion.

Yet many dared resist. From the worldly point of view, opposition
seemed madness, but religious zeal counts not the material cost.

In Modin, a town eighteen miles northwest of Palestine, lived
Mattathias, with his five sons, John, Simon, Judas, Eleazar and
Jonathan. Hither in the year 168 came officials of the tyrant with
promises of a large bribe to Mattathias if he would make offering to
an idol and with threats of punishment if he declined. Mattathias
was a leading townsman and his example would bring many followers.
Not only did he scorn the infamous proposal, but slew a coward
who prepared to obey. That act was casting down the gauntlet to
Antiochus; it was a declaration of war. With his brave sons around
him, the aged hero sent this message to the people: "Whoever is
zealous for the Lord and whosoever wishes to support the Covenant,
follow me." That became the rallying cry. The little band deposed
the Syrian overseer and the guard. Once more when attacked on
the Sabbath, the Jews submitted to slaughter. Then they came to
the realization that self-defense was their duty, even on that
holy day. Were they not fighting for a holy cause? They began at
first guerilla warfare on apostates and heathens. Avoiding regular
attacks, they would swoop down with a bold clash on a town to punish
and reform.

Judas Maccabeus.

Next year Mattathias died. Simon became the counselor and Judas
was chosen commander of the trusty band of revolutionists. He was
Israel's greatest warrior since David. The title given him was
transmitted to his party--_Maccabeus_, the Hammer. But a something
more than generalship was to decide this contest--_faith_. Judged by
material standards, resistance seemed like a forlorn hope, but the
intrepid bravery of this staunch band fighting _pro aris et focis_,
"for their altars and their hearths," increased the number of their
adherents and even won back the allegiance of some who had almost
drifted from the fold.

The first victory over the Syrians was small, but Appolonius, the
general who had been entrusted with carrying out the persecuting
laws, was slain. In a second engagement the "rebels" were attacked
at Beth Horon, north of Jerusalem, and Judas won here a still more
decided success over an army much larger than his own. Antiochus
became alarmed. He had not the means to raise a large army to meet
this unexpected opposition, because all his resources were taxed to
meet troubles in other quarters--Parthia, Armenia, Phoenicia.

Angered at the rebellion of this petty people, he now determined on
their extermination, Hellenists and all. He sent Lysias with full
power to Jerusalem to raze the city to the ground. To the Syrians
the Jewish defeat seemed so certain that slave-dealers with money
and chains followed the army, sure of a harvest in their repulsive
trade. A horror like unto that of Shushan in Esther's days spread
through the doomed city. But it raised champions, even among the
Hellenistic Jews, who were still attached to their Faith when the
decisive test came.

It was in the year 166 that Lysias, the viceroy of Antiochus, sent
an army of four thousand men into Judea under the generals Ptolemy,
Nicanor and Gorgias. But Judas Maccabeus had now a well organized
force, although it consisted of but six thousand men. Before the
struggle began he called a solemn assembly at Mizpah, where Samuel
had gathered Israel nine hundred years earlier, ordered a fast,
conducted a service of prayer and read the Law. In reading the
story of the Puritan war against Charles I of England and their
singing hymns before the battle, we are reminded of the religious
earnestness of these Maccabees. "When they saw the host coming
to meet them, they said to Judas, how shall we be able, being so
few, to fight against so great a multitude and so strong.... Judas
answered: with the God of heaven it is all one to deliver with a
great multitude or a small company." The usual proclamation of the
Mosaic Law (Deuteronomy xx), was now read, excusing certain classes
from the ranks; this reduced the army still more. Then the struggle
once more began. By a clever stratagem Judas Maccabeus met the
Syrian army on a plain near Emmaus, not far from the capital. With
the words of the Law on his lips and with an encouraging appeal to
fight for the holy cause, he gave the signal to advance. Defeating
the first contingent of the enemy before the main army came up, the
next battalion fled without fighting.

The moral effect of this decisive victory was most valuable,
apart from the fact that the booty obtained supplied arms to the
Maccabees--the "sinews of war" both in a literal and metaphoric
sense. But Lysias dared not be beaten. He therefore sent a big army
against Judas, whose force had meanwhile increased to some ten
thousand, proving again that nothing succeeds like success. The
Syrians chose a new route to Beth Horon, but only to meet the old
defeat. This was the turning point in the war. The struggle was not
over, but confidence was restored and a respite gained.

Feast of Hanukkah.

Judas Maccabeus marched to the capital and a sorry picture of
desolation met his gaze. His first work was to remove all signs of
idolatry and desecration. A new altar was built, the Temple was
repaired and cleaned and on Kislev the 25th in the year 165, it was
reconsecrated. The ceremony recalls Solomon's consecration of the
first Temple; not as splendid a ceremonial perhaps, but it meant
far more. Solomon's Temple had cost treasure, but this had cost
blood. It was more than a civil victory; it was that least, it was
a triumph of the divine cause expressed in Israel's mission. They
fought for Zion as an idea rather than Zion as a city--the "Zion
from which goeth forth the law." They proved again that ideals
can conquer battalions. This great lesson is always brought home
to us when we celebrate our festival of Hanukkah (re-dedication)
instituted by the Great Council--the successor of the "Great
Synagogue"--to celebrate the victory. The Syrian had been defeated.
He was the enemy without. But a greater foe had to be conquered,
the enemy within--religious indifference, that lurked among the
Hellenist worldlings and many faint-hearted souls throughout the

The legend runs that when Judas Maccabeus wished to consecrate the
Temple, but one flask of pure oil bearing the priestly seal had been
left after the enemy's ravage. It was a measure that would last for
a day, but--marvelous to tell--it served for eight, by which time
new oil was prepared. The story is immortalized in the second name
"Feast of Lights," given to the Hanukkah festival. The ceremony
of kindling lights begins with one on the first night, continues
with two lights on the second and thus progresses till the eighth
and last night is reached. What is the meaning of the ceremonial
and the story? It is the Maccabean victory told in symbol; for it
was a story of advance from strength to strength. First, Mattathias
stood alone for Judaism's cause, a solitary light. Next came his
sons; then a tiny army growing instead of lessening with each
conflict, from two thousand to six thousand, from six to ten, then
victory crowned their efforts; and with the conquest on the field
rose the faith in the hearts of the people in the same progressive
way. The tiny embers became a flame, and the flame burst into a
conflagration. This miracle is often found repeated in Israel's

The Feast of Lights is called a Minor Festival in our calendar, for
reasons accidental rather than intrinsic. It is hard to institute a
new observance after a religion is crystallized. It is still harder
to give it the old sanction. So the rabbis did not venture then
to place Hanukkah or Purim on a par with Passover, Pentecost and
Tabernacles. Yet in very truth Hanukkah is a great festival. None
question its authority--all are thrilled by its stirring story.

The Book of Daniel.

In seeking to realize this critical time of "storm and stress," we
shall be aided somewhat by taking a glimpse at its literature. For
here we see pictured the struggles and sufferings experienced and
the alternate hopes and fears that swayed the heart of the nation,
far better than in the record of the historian.

A work reflecting these times, the Book of Daniel, is perhaps the
latest of the Bible books. The book throws light on the epoch and
the epoch is the key to the book. Daniel is written in the form of
a revelation of events that were to happen centuries later, made
known through dream and vision to the God-fearing Daniel, one of the
Babylonian exiles. These visions are presented as foretelling the
main incidents after the exile. The pictures grow in detail as they
reach the Maccabean uprising (168 B.C.E.), showing that the author
probably belonged to this time.

The first picture is the dream of King Nebuchadrezzar, which
Daniel--who is as wise as he is good--is able to interpret. The
dream presented an image with a head of gold, breast and arms of
silver, the lower limbs of brass and iron mixed with clay. A stone
cut without hands destroyed the image and then grew to a mountain
that filled the earth. In the light of later events, it is thus
explained: The golden head was Babylon, the silver breast and arms
the kingdom of Media, the bronze trunk Persia, the lower limbs of
baser metal and clay represented the Greek empire, split up into
many principalities, thus bringing the picture down to the rule of
Antiochus Epiphanes. What did the "stone" represent? It expresses
the faith of the writer in Israel's eventual triumph and the spread
of Judaism over the world. But it was doubtless written when the
outcome was still uncertain, perhaps in the very height and heat of
the struggle.

The same march of events is later repeated in visions to Daniel
himself. The four empires are depicted in the figures of beasts that
give the same assurance of Israel's ultimate victory. "The greatness
of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people
of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom is an everlasting
kingdom and all dominions shall serve and obey Him."

In another vision our attention is focused on the events nearer
the Maccabean time. First a ram with two horns is the Medo-Persian
empire. Next a he-goat represents Greece, its horn Alexander the
Great. Four horns that uprose in its place are the four kingdoms
into which his empire was split--Macedonia, Thrace, Syria and Egypt,
while a little horn that overthrows Judah's sanctuary is none other
than Antiochus Epiphanes.

A last vision drops metaphor and mentions the kingdoms by actual
name. The persecutions under Antiochus are vividly depicted:

     "They shall profane the Sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall
     take away the continual burnt offering; and they shall set up
     the abomination that maketh desolate. And such as do wickedly
     against the covenant shall he pervert by flatteries; but the
     people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits. They
     that be wise among the people shall instruct many. Yet they
     shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil
     many days. Now when they shall fall they shall be helped with a
     little help (the Maccabees).... And some of them that be wise
     shall fall, to refine them and to purge and to make them white."


The last reference indicates the ennobling influence of martyrdom
touchingly depicted also in the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah.

The death of these noble souls deepened the belief of this writer in
the future life, as demanded by divine justice:

     "Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,
     some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting
     contempt. They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the
     firmament and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars
     for ever and ever."

The book was certainly written by a patriotic and pious author to
inspire his brethren during that dark struggle, to urge them to be
loyal to God and His Law with the staunch conviction that all would
come right in the end. It is an appeal to the faith and courage of
Israel, with Daniel held up as a thrilling exemplar. He is portrayed
as unswerving in his determination to be steadfast to the God of his
fathers; on one occasion daring a fiery furnace and on another a
lion's den, and his faith saves him from both perils.

Who can say how many may have been nerved to be loyal and to "wait
for God's salvation" by these impassioned pictures? So, next to
Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the Hanukkah story, let us enshrine in
our hearts and memories the unknown author of the Book of Daniel who
fed the faith and the courage of Israel in their days of sorrow and


_Birthday of the Maccabees_:

This was the title of a special day set aside by the Church to
commemorate the martyrdom of the Jewish mother and her seven sons.


Immortality. In addition to the quotation from Daniel on
immortality, here are appended further Biblical quotations that
express this belief: Isaiah xxvi, 19; xxv, 8; Ezekiel xxxvii,
1-14; Psalm xvi, 10, 11; xvii, 15; Proverbs xii, 28; Ecclesiastes
xii, 7. Montefiore, _The Bible for Home Reading_, Part II, section
v, chapter ii. Driver, "Daniel," _Cambridge Bible_, (Cambridge
University Press.)



           =SYRIA.=                 =JUDEA.=
                      B.C.E. |                                          B.C.E.
  Demetrius I, Soter     162 | Alliance with Rome                          161
                             | Judas Maccabeus died                        160
                             | Jonathan, High Priest and Tributary Prince  152
  Alexander Balas        150 |
  Demetrius II, Nicator  145 |
                             | Simon--Judea independent                142-135

This Temple consecration (forever memorable through the Feast of
Hanukkah) was the climax of the Maccabean story, but it was by no
means its close. But this event was chosen as the occasion for the
institution of the Festival of Hanukkah, not the independence--that
was won later. Israel took up arms to defend its Faith, not to
win back a separate nation. But its triumph for a spiritual cause
awakened the possibility of wresting Judea from the Syrian grasp.
For a while swords rested in their scabbards; but it was only an
"armed peace." Judas Maccabeus had to build new fortifications
against possible invasion. The petty nations around all looked on
with ill-concealed jealousy at Judah's victories. Those who in many
instances had become Syrian allies had now to be met on the field.
The alert and energetic Judas marched out once more and subdued the
Idumeans and Ammonites and won peace and security for his people
dwelling on their borders. Appeals from brethren whose possessions
had been despoiled and their families slain reached him from many
sides. With the aid of his brother Simon, whom he despatched to
Galilee while he marched to Gilead, these heathen raids were
suppressed. Jewish refugees were brought to Judea. So there were new
rejoicings at these victories on his return next year (164).

The fight for the restoration of the Jewish faith was now over, but
the fight for the restoration of the Jewish nation had only just

Not for very long was Judas allowed to rest. It is far easier to
take up the sword than to lay it down. The never-sleeping Syrians
were again in the field, defeating two of his generals. But
once more victory crowned his arms. In the same year Antiochus,
humiliated with defeats in Parthia and Persia as well as in Judea,
came to a sad end. The powerful monarch had now to

    "Meet face to face a greater potentate,
     King Death, Epiphanes, the illustrious."

His death left two rival governors for the regency of the Syrian

Death of Eleazar.

The obstinate Hellenist party within Israel had not yet learned
their lesson, and appealed to the new monarch, Antiochus Eupator,
to take up their cause. So war broke out again in 163. It was the
Sabbatic year, when nothing is sown and the land lies fallow. (See
Leviticus xxv.) So these circumstances added further embarrassment
to the usual evils of war. It meant scarcity of provisions and the
terror of long siege. A brave fight in the open field against large
odds brought reverse to the Maccabees. One of the brothers, Eleazar,
died on the field, a martyr to his bravery. He stabbed an elephant
supposed to bear the king, though like Samson, he fell in the
overthrow he designed. The army retreated before the second siege
was begun. Meanwhile Philip, the rival regent of Syria, raising
an army against Lysias, compelled this general's withdrawal from
Jerusalem. So Lysias concluded an honorable peace with the Judeans,
allowing them the religious liberty for which they had at first
taken up arms.

The blessings of peace were now theirs for a space. Judas Maccabeus
was made for the time being High Priest. He was not of the priestly
line, but the office involved the wielding of temporal as well as
spiritual authority. For the former, none more fitted than he.
Yet the more strict were not satisfied that it should pass from
the traditional priestly family! The Hellenist menace had not yet
disappeared, though Jason and Menelaus, its fathers, were now both
dead. This party now supported a new Syrian claimant for the throne
against the one endorsed by the Maccabees--Demetrius (162), whose
agent, Bacchides, appointed one of these very Hellenists, Alcimus,
as High Priest. Thus discord was sown anew in Israel.

Death of Judas.

The Syrians with large armies twice repulsed the small army of
Judas, but Nicanor, the cruel general of Demetrius, was slain in a
brilliant victory by the Jews. This brought such relief to the Jews
that "Nicanor Day" was celebrated in Judæa for some years as a day
of rejoicing. Judas was certainly at the head of the commonwealth
now, even though deprived of the High Priest's office. Hearing of
Rome's great power and recognizing that it exercised a kind of
sovereignty over Syria, Judas entered into an alliance with it, but
too late for its interference to be of aid. For with a meagre force,
discouraged by persistent war and overwhelming odds, he had now to
meet a large avenging army under Bacchides. With but a few hundred
men he went forth to meet the picked thousands of his foes, as brave
and as determined as the Greeks of Thermopylæ. When defeat was
certain he yet stood fighting and undaunted till wounded unto death.
So died a great man who had wrought salvation for Israel. He had
made Judah a nation of warrior heroes exalted by religious zeal. His
name, his spirit, continued to inspire them to determined resistance
against foes without and within. Their religious liberty gained
at such fearful cost, even Demetrius, though now holding Judea in
subjection, no longer dared defy.

"He put on a breast place as a giant and girt his warlike armor
about him. He battled like a lion and the wicked shrunk for fear of
him. He cheered Jacob by his mighty acts and his memorial is blessed


With Judas the Great and his brother John both dead, with Alcimus,
the Hellenist, High Priest, and with Syrian garrisons in the capital
and all the surrounding places, there was more or less conflict and
demoralization. The outlook was not promising. But Jonathan, another
of Mattathias' five sons, a worthy brother of Judas, kept the
Hasmonean party together. The obnoxious Alcimus died, and there was
no religious or political head for seven years. But confidence in
Jonathan quietly grew; until eventually he filled both offices. He
strengthened his forces sufficiently to withstand a new uprising and
even to make it advisable for the Syrians to sue for peace. So when
the Syrian throne was seized by a new claimant, Alexander Balas, he
realized sufficiently the importance of Jonathan to appoint him High
Priest and Tributary Prince in 152; though the deposed Demetrius,
who still maintained a partial sway, now sought Jonathan's aid too.
The tables were turned and Jonathan held something like a balance
of power. Jonathan showed his foresight in remaining loyal also to
Alexander Balas, his son, who became Antiochus VI. The Hellenist
party quietly died out; it never had the people behind it.

Loaded with honors, Jonathan was now given the golden clasp of
independence, and his brother Simon made a Syrian commander. Enemies
had become allies. Loyalty to the Syrians meant hard fighting again
for the Jews, but the opportunity was given now to strengthen the
defences of Jerusalem and to enable the city and the people to
recover from the ravages consequent on a long series of wars. Judea
had now an army of forty thousand men. They stood by Alexander Balas
when all deserted him. Even then concessions were obtained from the
new king, Demetrius II., showing that the Syrian power was broken.

The treachery of Tryphon, a general of the new king, led to
Jonathan's death and the massacre of a thousand of his men. Thus
passed another of the patriot brothers. It is hard to say to whom
Israel owed the greater debt, Judas or Jonathan. Judas saved the
nation at a perilous hour; Jonathan reorganized it and gave it an
abiding strength.


Simon, the last brother, now stepped forward to rally and save
Judea. This persistence (characteristic of the resolution of
this great family) where only the non-resistance of despair was
looked for, completely upset Tryphon's scheme and saved Judea from
disaster. Like Jonathan, Simon became at once by popular choice the
religious and civil head of his people with the title High Priest
included. He felt the time had come to throw off the weak rule of
the unreliable, vacillating Syrian power, though this was far beyond
the original expectation when the revolt began and far beyond its
aims. Yet the march of events made it a logical sequence. He decided
to recognize Demetrius II. against Tryphon on condition that Jewish
independence be recognized in turn. The terms were accepted--"We
release you from the crown which you owe us and we remit the taxes
that we laid on Jerusalem." Verily, the yoke of the heathen was
taken away from Israel.

The Seleucidan Era (see page 28) was now given up with the
Seleucidan sway, and the reckoning of years began anew from 142 with
the accession of Simon as High Priest, Commander of the Army and
Prince of the Nation. This marked again the independence of Judah,
that had been lost since the year 600 B. C. E., when Nebuchadrezzar
overthrew Jerusalem and its Temple and took the Jews into Babylonian



In the Jewish calendar to-day time is reckoned from the traditional
year of the world's creation.


Fighting first against the oppression of an overlord and winning
independence as an unexpected outcome--has many historic parallels.
In this way the American colonies threw off their allegiance to
Great Britain in 1776.

[Illustration: HALF SHEKEL, SIMON MACCABEUS, 141-135 B. C. E.]

The issuing of coins marked one of the rights of Judea's
independence. See illustrations of these coins, some of which are
still in existence.

_Theme for Discussion_:

Had the Hasmoneans the right to assume the office of High Priest?

[Illustration: A SHEKEL.

SIMON MACCABEUS, 141-135 B. C. E.]



In addition to the Book of Daniel there are other writings that
throw light on these times; notably the collection known as "The
Apocrypha." This is a Greek word meaning hidden or obscure. This
title as applied to their _use_ was to indicate that the books were
used for private circulation, rather than for reading at public
worship. This title as applied to their _origin_ was to indicate
that their authority as sacred scripture was not as certain as
that of the Bible books--to be included in the Canon of Scripture.
This last application has given a rather sinister meaning to the
word "apocryphal." But the collection is full of lofty religious
sentiment well worthy to be included in our most sacred treasures.

Like the Bible, this collection was not written all at one time, nor
in one land. It spreads over the period between 200 B.C.E. and 150
A.C.E., written therefore under Persian, Greek and Roman rule; some
in Judea, others in the Diaspora, lands of Jewish dispersion. While
the term covers some writings of non-Jewish scribes, the Apocrypha
proper includes the Jewish writings only, and only such will be
considered here.

These consist of fourteen books grouped in the following order:

  I Esdras,
  II Esdras,
  Additions to the Book of Esther,
  Wisdom of Solomon,
  Wisdom of Jesus, son of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus,
  Baruch (with epistle of Jeremiah),
  Song of the Three Holy Children,
  History of Susanna,
  History of Bel and the Dragon,
  Prayer of Manasses, King of Judah,
  I Maccabees,
  II Maccabees.

Some are narratives, some books of homilies and maxims, here and
there an apocalypse, i.e., prophetic vision. While the narratives
are not all histories, they are invaluable as revealing the inner
life of the people, their brave struggles, their deep convictions,
and their yearnings for better things. One idea seems common to all.
Each story is presented as an illustration of the temporal trials of
good men and women, like Tobit and Susanna, and the ultimate reward
of their fidelity; the edifying purpose throughout tending to foster
the faith and courage of the people in time of tribulation. In this
respect the apocryphal books resemble the book of Daniel, which
might be appropriately included in the collection.

While these books as a whole lack the freshness and originality and
the exquisite simplicity of the best Bible books, they show in some
respects an advance in thought and survey. There is more mysticism
in the apocryphal writings. Wisdom is personified, almost merging
into a being. Angels and spirits play a larger part. Immortality is
brought to the fore, and Asmodeus, a sort of devil, appears upon the
scene. Some of these ideas, such as the personification of wisdom
and the existence of a devil, were further fostered in Christianity
and developed into distinct doctrines, while the inherent
rationalism of Judaism gradually threw them off.

Now to consider briefly the books in detail:

I Esdras.

Esdras is a later version in Greek of the events told in the Books
of Ezra and Nehemiah, but it begins further back in the reign
of Josiah and carries the story through the exile down to the
re-dedication of the Second Temple. The author breathes into it some
later religious ideas of his own time. The following story quoted
from it is known as the "Dispute of the Courtiers":

     "Now King Darius made a great feast unto all his subjects and
     unto all that were born in his house, and unto all the princes
     of Medea and of Persia.

     "Then the three young men of the body-guard that kept the King's
     person, spake one to another: let every one of us say one thing
     which shall be strongest; and he whose sentences shall seem
     wiser than the others, unto him shall Darius the King give
     great gifts and great honors in token of victory. The first
     wrote, Wine is the strongest. The second wrote, The King is the
     strongest. The third wrote, Woman is the strongest: but, above
     all things, Truth beareth away the victory.

     "Then began the first, who had spoken of the strength of wine,
     and said thus: O sirs, how exceeding strong is wine. It causeth
     all men to err that drink it: it maketh the mind of the king and
     of the fatherless child to be all one; of the bondman and of
     the freeman, of the poor man and of the rich; it turneth also
     every thought into jollity and mirth, so that a man remembereth
     neither sorrow nor debt: and it makes every heart rich, so that
     a man remembereth neither king nor satrap: and when they are in
     their cups, they forget their love both to friends and brethren,
     and a little after draw their swords: but when they awake from
     their wine they remember not what they have done. O sirs, is not
     wine the strongest, seeing that it enforceth to do thus. And
     when he had so spoken, he held his peace.

     "Then the second, that had spoken of the strength of the King,
     began to say: O sirs, do not men excel in strength, that bear
     rule over the sea and land and all things in them? But yet is
     the King stronger: and he is their lord and hath dominion over
     them; and in whatsoever he commandeth them they obey him. If
     he bid them make war one against the other, they do it: and if
     he send them out against the enemies, they go, and overcome
     mountains, walls and towers. They slay and are slain, and
     transgress not the King's commandment. If they get the victory
     they bring all to the King, as well the spoil as all things
     else. Likewise for those that are no soldiers and have not to do
     with wars, but use husbandry, when they have reaped again that
     which they had sown, they bring it to the King, and compel one
     another to pay tribute unto the king. And he is but one man.
     If he command to kill, they kill; if he command to spare they
     spare; if he command to smite, they smite; if he command to
     make desolate, they make desolate; if he command to build, they
     build; if he command to cut down, they cut down; if he command
     to plant, they plant. So all his people and all his armies obey
     him: furthermore, he lieth down, he eateth and drinketh, and
     taketh his rest; and these keep watch round about him, neither
     may any one depart, and do his own business, neither disobey
     they him in _anything_. O, sirs, how should not the king be
     strongest, seeing that in such sort he is obeyed? And he held
     his peace.

     "Then the third, who had spoken of women, and of truth (this was
     Zorobabel) began to speak: O, sirs, is not the king great, and
     men are many, and wine is strong; who is it then that ruleth
     them or hath the lordship over them? Are they not women? Women
     have borne the king and all the people that bear rule by sea and
     land. Even of them came they: and they nourished them up that
     planted the vineyards from whence the wine cometh. These also
     make garments for men; these bring glory unto men; and without
     women, cannot men be. Yea, and if men have gathered together
     gold and silver and every goodly thing, and see a woman which is
     comely in favor and beauty, they let all those things go, and
     gape after her, and even with open mouth fix their eyes fast on
     her; and have all more desire unto her than unto gold or silver
     or any goodly thing whatsoever. A man leaveth his own father
     that brought him up, and his own country, and cleaveth unto his
     wife. And with his wife he endeth his days, and remembereth
     neither father, nor mother, nor country. By this also ye must
     know that women have dominion over you. Do ye not labor and
     toil and bring all to women? Yea, a man taketh his sword, and
     goeth forth to make outroads, and to rob and to steal, and to
     sail upon the sea and upon rivers; and looketh upon a lion; and
     walketh in the darkness.... Yea, many there be that have run out
     of their wits for women, and become bondmen for their sakes.
     Many also have perished, have stumbled, and sinned, for women.
     O sirs, how can it be but women should be strong, seeing they
     do thus? Then the king and the nobles looked one upon another:
     so he began to speak concerning truth. O sirs, are not women
     strong? Great is the earth, high is the heaven, swift is the
     sun in its course for he compasseth the heavens round about and
     fetcheth his course again to his own place in one day. Is he not
     great that maketh these things? Therefore great is truth and
     stronger than all things. All the earth calleth upon truth, and
     the heaven blesseth her: all works shake and tremble, but with
     her is no unrighteous thing; wine is unrighteous, the king is
     unrighteous, women are unrighteous, all the children of men are
     unrighteous, and unrighteous are all such their works; and there
     is no truth in them; in their unrighteousness also shall they
     perish. But truth abideth, and is strong forever; she liveth
     and conquereth for evermore. With her there is no accepting
     of persons or rewards; but she doeth the things that are just
     and refraineth from all unrighteous and wicked things; and all
     men do well like of her works. Neither in her judgment is any
     unrighteousness; and she is the strength, and the kingdom, and
     the power, and the majesty of all ages. Blessed be the God of
     truth. And with that he held his tongue. And all the people then
     shouted and said, Great is truth, and strong above all things."

II Esdras.

II Esdras is an entirely separate work, originally written in
Hebrew. It consists of a series of visions of the future of
Jerusalem, but it also takes up profound religious questions, as to
why man is created to suffer and sin. The answer it offers to these
queries is the salvation of the righteous after death. Its view of
life is severe and sad. Chapters i and ii and probably xv and xvi
are later editions by a Christian hand.


This is the story of the trials of a good man (Tobit--Goodness) in
the sad times of the overthrow of Israel by Assyria. He "walked in
truth and justice, fed the hungry and clothed the naked" and was a
strict observer of every precept of the Jewish Law. A particular
duty he took upon himself in those gloomy days of warfare was
the giving decent burial to those of his brethren slain in the
battle-field--daring the tyrant's edict against it. His property
was confiscated, yet he remained undeterred in fulfilling this holy
obligation. It was through this very duty, voluntarily undertaken,
that he accidentally lost his eyesight. But he never lost his faith
in God.

The story now turns from the trials of a good man to those of a good
woman--Sara. The spirit of evil, Asmodeus, slew her husband on the
very day of her marriage. Again her hand was sought in wedlock and
again her husband was snatched from her side. On seven occasions
this happened, making her the reproach of her neighbors.

Now kind Providence intervenes to aid its faithful servants.
God sends the angel Raphael, who restores the eyesight of Tobit
and brings about a marriage between his son Tobias and the much
tried Sara. This time the murderous scheme of Asmodeus is happily
frustrated. Tobit obtains his lost property and virtue is rewarded.

The following is a part of Tobit's prayer of thanksgiving:

    "And Tobit wrote a prayer for rejoicing, and said,
    Blessed is God that liveth for ever,
    And blessed is His kingdom.
    For he scourgeth, and sheweth mercy:
    He leadeth down to the grave, and bringeth up again:
    And there is none that shall escape his hand.
    Give thanks unto Him before the Gentiles, ye children of Israel.
    For he hath scattered us among them.
    There declare His greatness,
    And extol Him before all the living:
    Because He is our Lord,
    And God is our Father for ever.
    And he will scourge us for our iniquities, and will again shew mercy.
    And will gather us out of all the nations among whom we are scattered.
    If ye turn to him with your whole heart, and with your whole soul,
    To do truth before him,
    Then will He turn unto you,
    And will not hide His face from you,
    And see what He will do with you.
    And give him thanks with your whole mouth
    And bless the Lord of righteousness.
    And exalt the Everlasting King.
    I, in the land of my captivity, give Him thanks
    And shew his strength and majesty to a nation of sinners.
    Turn, ye sinners, and do righteousness before him:
    Who can tell if he will accept you and have mercy on you?
          . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    Rejoice and be exceeding glad for the sons of the righteous:
    For they shall be gathered together and shall bless the Lord of the
    O blessed are they that love thee;
    They shall rejoice for Thy peace;
    Blessed are all they that sorrowed for all thy scourges:
    Because they shall rejoice for thee,
    When they have seen all Thy glory:
    And they shall me made glad forever.
    Let my soul bless God the great King.
    For Jerusalem shall be builded with sapphires and emeralds and
          precious stones;
    Thy walls and towers and battlements with pure gold.
    And the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with beryl and
          carbuncle and stones of Ophir.
    And all her streets shall say, Hallelujah, and give praise,
    Saying, blessed is God, which hath exalted thee for ever."


This is the story of a good and beautiful woman, who, like Esther,
saved Israel from a tyrant by stratagem and bravery. Like Tobit, it
lays stress on obedience to the Law, of which deeds of kindness form
a part. Hence both belong to that period, whence so much emphasis
was placed on law enacted. Both Judith and Tobit might be called
historical romances.

Additions to the Book of Esther.

These additions introduce the religious note lacking in the biblical
Esther, which does not even mention God. A beautiful prayer is
ascribed to Esther, in which she, as a devout Jewess, opens her
heart to the Lord.

Wisdom Literature.

If Syrian paganism showed the influence of the Greek at his worst
on Jewish morals, Ben Sirach and Wisdom of Solomon are indications
of the influence of Greek thought at its best on Jewish thinkers.
Together with the Bible books of Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes,
they form a group called "Wisdom Literature." A large part of both
books is devoted to the value of wisdom, but it is that wisdom the
beginning of which is the fear of the Lord.


The Wisdom of Jesus (Greek for Joshua), Ben Sirach or Ecclesiasticus
is a commentary on the times. It was written about B.C.E. 180, in
Judea, before the persecution began under Antiochus, the Syrian who
was so little Greek and so largely pagan. It urges obedience to the
Law and Commandments and gives copious rules of conduct in every
relation of life.

Ben Sirach was a Jewish scribe. Some of his sayings are edited and
some are original. Here are a few quotations:

     Woe to the sinner that goeth two ways.

     Wine and music rejoice the heart, and the love of wisdom is
     above both.

     The knowledge of wickedness is not wisdom and the prudence of
     sinners is not counsel.

     They (the laboring class) maintain the fabric of the world; and
     in the handiwork of their craft is their prayer.

     He that sacrificeth of a thing wrongfully gotten, his offering
     is made a mockery.

     As one that slayeth his neighbor is he that taketh away his

     As God's mercy is great, so is His correction also.

     Before man is life and death, and whatsoever he liketh shall be
     given to him.

     There is a shame that bringeth sin, and there is a shame that is
     glory and grace.

     A slip on the pavement is better than a slip with the tongue.

     Depart from wrong and it shall turn aside from thee.

     He that keepeth the law bringeth offerings enough.

     He that requiteth a good turn offereth fine flour.

     If thou come to serve the Lord prepare for adversity.

     Let not reverence of any man cause thee to fall.

     Hide not thy wisdom in its beauty.

     Rejoice not over the death of thy greatest enemy but remember
     that we die all.

     Forsake not an old friend, for the new is not comparable to him.

     Unto the slave that is wise shall they that are free do service.

     The bee is little among such as fly; but her fruit is the chief
     of sweet things.

     Judge none blessed before his death.

     The rich man hath done wrong yet he threateneth withal. The poor
     man is wronged and he must entreat also.

     Blessed is he whose conscience has not condemned him.

     He that despiseth small things by small things shall he fall.

     Wisdom that is hid and treasure that is hoarded, what profit is
     there in both?

     He that setteth a trap shall be taken therein.

     He that revengeth shall find vengeance from the Lord.

     The stroke of the whip maketh marks in the flesh, but the stroke
     of the tongue breaketh the bones.

Wisdom of Solomon.

The influence of Greek ideas on Ben Sirach is slight, in Wisdom
of Solomon it is pronounced. Indeed, this latter book was written
in Greek, in Alexandria, the centre of Hellenist government. Its
date is about 100 B.C.E. Like most of the books of this collection,
it is ascribed to one of the great men of the Bible. Here King
Solomon exhorts the rulers of the earth to seek wisdom and to shun
idolatry. He expatiates on the influence of divine wisdom on life as
exemplified in the noble souls of Israel's great past. Here are some

     Beware of murmuring which is unprofitable: and refrain your
     tongue from back-biting: for there is no word so secret that
     shall go for nought.

     Honorable age is not that which standeth in length of time, nor
     that is measured by number of years.

     If riches be a possession to be desired in this life, what is
     richer than wisdom that worketh all things.

     Fear is nothing else but a betraying of the succours which
     reason offereth.

     For these men (idolators) there is but small blame, if they
     peradventure do but go astray while they are seeking God and
     desiring Him.

     Even if we sin, we are Thine. But we shall not sin, knowing that
     we have been accounted Thine; for to be acquainted with Thee is
     perfect righteousness.

     Court not death in the error of thy life. God made not death,
     nor delighteth He when the living perish, for He created all
     things that they might have being.

     Wisdom is the effulgence from everlasting light, and the
     unspotted mirror of the working of God and the image of His

  Surely vain are all men by nature who are ignorant of God,
  And could not out of the good things that are seen know Him that is:
  But deemed either fire or wind or the swift air,
  Or the circle of the stars, or the violent water, or the light of heaven,
  To be the gods which govern the world....
  For, if astonished at their power let them understand
  Through them how much mightier is He that made them....
  To know God is perfect righteousness,
  Yea, to know thy powers is the root of immortality.


This is a general collection of four different writings.

  (a) A Prayer of Israel in Exile (i-iii, 8.)

  (b) The fount of Wisdom (iii, 9-iv, 4.)

  (c) Consolation to Zion's Children (iv, 5-v, 9.)

  (d) The Epistle of Jeremiah.

  (e) The folly of idolatry (vi.)

Baruch was the secretary of Jeremiah. See Jer., chaps. xxxii, xxxvi,

Song of the Three Holy Children:

These "children" are none other than the three young men, who with
Daniel dared the fiery furnace in testimony of their faith. The song
is presumed to have been sung in the furnace. The book, then, is an
amplification of the Bible book of "Daniel." This amplification of
Scripture became more and more a favorite custom of the rabbinic
age. It is called _Agada_, i.e., story.

To quote:

     "At this time there is neither prince, prophet nor leader,
     burnt offering or place of sacrifice. Nevertheless, in a
     contrite heart and a humble spirit let us be accepted. Like as
     burnt offerings of bullocks and thousands of fat lambs may our
     sacrifice be in thy sight this day, and grant that we may wholly
     go after thee. For they shall not be confounded who put their
     trust in thee."

History of Susanna.

This is the story of a chaste woman whom wicked men tried to betray.
In the end both her purity and their sin are discovered.

Bel and the Dragon.

Like "The Song of the Three Holy Children" this also is an addition
to the story of Daniel. It is an _expose_ of the hypocrisy of the
priests of the Babylonian idol Bel.

Prayer of Manasses.

This is the Greek spelling of Manasseh, one of the last Kings
of Judah. It is a prayer ascribed to him in Babylonian exile.
This prayer might be introduced in the confessions of the Day of

I and II Maccabees.

The Books of the Maccabees are the classic authority on the
Maccabean uprising. The first Book gives a graphic picture of the
struggle and the events that led up to it. It is also our source for
the subsequent events which will be related in due course, carrying
the narrative down to 135 B.C.E. It is written from the strict
standpoint of the Chassidim. These, it will be remembered, were
the extremely pious party. It is couched in sober historic style.
Its value as authentic Jewish history cannot be over-estimated.
Written originally in Hebrew (or Aramaic), it has come down to us
unfortunately only in a Greek translation.

The second Book of Maccabees was written in Greek and is a
condensation of a larger work. It confines itself to the series of
events between 175 and 160. Though written in more ornate style, it
is less reliable; but it contains some interesting stories, such as
the martyrdom of Eleazer, Hannah and her seven sons. Like Daniel, it
is written to edify and inspire.



In most of the Apocryphal Books, the writers have but a vague
knowledge of the location of places, or the sequence of historical
events. Books are loosely assigned to ancient authors without
sufficient consideration of the historic possibility. But then the
exact science of history is late.


The discovery of fragments of the original Hebrew text of
Ecclesiasticus was made by Prof. Schechter and further additions by
Messrs. Neubauer and Cowley. See a number of articles in vols. x and
xii of the _Jewish Quarterly Review_. (Macmillan, London.)

_Wisdom Literature_:

Montefiore, _Bible for Home Reading_, Pt. ii, Section i, chaps. i-v.

Read "A Glimpse of the Social Life of the Jews in the Time of Jesus,
the son of Sirach." Schechter, _Studies in Judaism_, 2d series, J.
P. S. A.

_Theme for discussion_:

Compare the treatment of wisdom in _Proverbs_ (viii) and in




Having brought our story to the close of an epoch, we will pause
and glance at the status of the Jew in other lands. The dispersion
of Israel in a voluntary way had already begun, though Judea was
still the centre of gravity. So the sway of the High Priest reached
not only to the Palestinian provinces--Phoenicia, Samaria, Galilee,
Gilead, Edom and Philistia--but extended through parts of Asia Minor
and to lands on both banks of the Mediterranean Sea. These lands of
Jewish settlement outside of Palestine are called the Diaspora.


The land that next to Judea contained the largest number of Jews was
Egypt. Our narrative has been moving to and fro between these two
lands. In no country outside of Greece itself was the Greek spirit
so completely diffused as in Egypt. Alexandria, its new capital,
displacing Athens as the intellectual centre of the world, was
second in importance only to Rome. While the Greek civilization at
its worst was tinctured with an enervated orientalism and had much
in it debasing, yet the Greek spirit at its best also found its way
to Alexandria, and its influence was intellectually broadening and
elevating on the Jews resident there. Look back to Chapter ii.

Under this Greek regime the Jews were given equality at least
officially, in Egypt, and also in Cyrene (on the coast of the
adjoining country, Lybia). The Greek Egyptian royal house was
called the Ptolemaic, from Ptolemy, the family name of its kings.
Ptolemy Philometer was a contemporary of Antiochus Epiphanes, and
many Jews fled from Palestine to take refuge under his benevolent
sway. What a contrast for Israel between Egypt under the Ptolemies
and Egypt under the Pharaohs a thousand years earlier!

When settling in lands where they would find themselves a small
minority, Jews have usually concentrated in large cities. This has
been a source both of strength and of weakness. _Of strength_--for
when scattered in twos and threes in country places, the maintenance
of their religion and their historic consciousness would become
imperilled; while numbers closely grouped offer power of
achievement. Cities too, are the intellectual centres of a land.
_Of weakness_--for city dwellers lose the simplicity that goes with
country life in close contact with nature, which deepens faith; and
work on the soil in the open, aids in the building of character. So
here, in a land outside of Israel, we find Jews settling in one of
the great cities of the world.

The Delta, an Alexandrian district on the sea-coast, was wholly a
Jewish colony. The Jews participated in both the commercial and
intellectual activities of this famous capital of antiquity. They
exported grain, formed artisan guilds, and established schools which
were also their synagogues.

The Septuagint.

Interest in Israel was further manifested in its hearty endorsement
of the translation of the Jewish Scriptures into Greek given by
Ptolemy Philadelphus. But this translation was made first and
chiefly for the Jews themselves. Hebrew was growing more and more
of a strange tongue to the new generation in Alexandria and its
surroundings. Even in Palestine proper they no longer spoke Hebrew,
but Aramaic, a sister tongue. A translation of the Bible had already
been made in this language; it is called Targum. Indeed, the books
of Daniel and Ezra are written in Aramaic; so are some of the
prayers in our ritual.

This Greek translation was made, secondly, for the Greeks. It gave
the desired opportunity to the Jews to explain their faith and
literature to the people with whom they were now brought in friendly
contact, and would silence the slanders of ill-wishers such as the
Egyptian priest Manetho.

At first only the Pentateuch was translated, each book being
assigned to a different scholar. A pretty story that we must
not take too seriously says it was entrusted to seventy-two
persons, six from each tribe. The tradition survives partly in
name--Septuagint--(seventy), written lxx. The anniversary of this
really great event was commemorated by the Jews as a holiday. We
may say that this translation of our Scripture into this widely
spoken tongue was the beginning of the mission of the Jew to carry
God's Law to the Gentiles. The Greeks were among the great educators
of the world. Now that the Bible was revealed in their tongue, it
became the property of the world and its lessons reached the hearts
of many, scattered far and wide.

Onias and His Temple.

Onias, son of the Jewish High Priest of the same name, was the most
renowned of the Judean settlers in Alexandria. He was entrusted with
an army in one of Philometer's campaigns. He was likewise chosen
by the Judeans of Egypt as their Ethnarch (governor), to direct the
affairs of the Jewish community. Around him the people coalesced
into a strong body.

He conceived the idea of building a Temple for the benefit of
the Alexandrian Jews whom distance practically debarred from the
benefits of the Temple in Jerusalem. If justified at all, the right
to establish it was most naturally his as heir of the High Priest at
Jerusalem. Yet it was a bold step, a daring precedent, since only
one sanctuary, that at Jerusalem, had been recognized since the days
of Josiah. Such was the law. (See Deut. xii, verses 13-15.) The new
Temple was, not unnaturally, condemned by the Jews of Jerusalem.

We might say, if it was a daring innovation, it was abundantly
justified by the changed conditions. The Deuteronomy law was of
great value at the time instituted, in preventing the spread of
idolatrous notions through the ministrations of ignorant village
priests; but "new occasions bring new duties;" that was no longer to
be feared. Again, the two-and-a-half tribes in the days of Joshua
(see Josh. xxii) offered a precedent in building a second altar,
when nothing but the Jordan separated them from the rest of Israel.
Lastly, it was almost a realization of the exquisite Messianic
picture in Isaiah xix, 19-25, where an altar would be built in
Egypt, and Israel, Assyria and Egypt would be united under God's

So built it was, at Leontopolis, in old Goshen, land of early
Israel's sojourn, and near the famous Memphis. It received royal
sanction and aid; but it never acquired for Egyptian Jews the
validity and sanction of the Temple at Jerusalem.

Philometer's confidence was further shown in appointing Onias
Arab-arch, i.e., commander of the Arabian province Heliopolis, and
also custodian of the Nile ports.

In the following pages we shall see Egypt gradually losing power and
independence through the growth of Rome; but we will notice also
that through all these changes the status of the Jews remains almost
undisturbed--that unfriendly attacks are confined almost wholly to
literary slanders. But then, grave persecutions often began with the
pen throughout all Israel's history.


_The Septuagint_:

So many Hebrew terms and constructions were used in this Greek
translation that it became a modification of the language, a sort of

Schürer, _Jewish Life in the Times of Christ_, 2d Division iii,
(Scribner). This is a very valuable work on this era, but should be
accepted with reservation.

_Temple of Onias_:

A "mound of the Jews" recently unearthed near Leontopolis, doubtless
marks the ruins of the Temple of Onias.

Read articles "Alexandria" and "Diaspora," _Jewish Encyclopedia_,
Vols. i and iv respectively.


The fairest presentation of the Judaism of these times by a
non-Jewish author is Toy's _Judaism and Christianity_.

_Theme for Discussion_:

"Are there traces of Greek philosophy in the Septuagint?"
Freudenthal, _Jewish Quarterly Review_. Vol. ii.



     =Judea's Rulers and Teachers.=  |              =ROME.=
                              B.C.E. |                             B.C.E.
    Jose b. Joezer and Jose          | Final subjection of Carthage
    b. Jochanan                  170 | and Greece                      146
  Judea independent              142 |
  Simon, Prince                  142 | Pompey takes Syria and
    Joshua b. Perachia and           | closes the Seleucidan
    Mattai the Arbelite      140-110 | dynasty                          65
  John Hyrcanus I                135 |
  Aristobulus I                  105 | =Pompey takes Jerusalem=         63
  Alexander Janneus              104 |
    Judah b. Tabbai and Simon        | 1st triumvirate Caesar,
    b. Shetach                100-90 | Pompey and Crassus               60
  Salome Alexandra                78 | Caesar                           48
    Aristobulus II                69 |
    Shemaiah and Abtalion      65-35 |
  Hyrcanus II (tributary to       63 | 2nd triumvirate, Antony,
   Rome)                             | Octavius and Lepidus             44
  Antigonus                    46-37 | 1st Emperor, Augustus            30
    Hillel and Shammai            30 |             B.C.E.--14 A.C.E.
                        Herod         37--4 B.C.E.



A.: The colossal Royal Bridge, on arches, that spanned the Tyropoeon
valley from Mount Zion to Mount Moriah, and led eastward into the
Court of the Gentiles.

COURT OF THE GENTILES: The outer portions of the Temple area within
the walls. The dots in the dotted lines show the number and position
of the Corinthian columns forming colonnades that enclosed the
Court. Within these colonnades was the Royal porch on the south, and
Solomon's Porch on the east. In these porches the oxen, sheep, and
doves selected for sacrifices were sold, as in a market.

BEAUTIFUL GATE: The broad gate leading from Solomon's Porch into the
Court of Women.

B. B. B.: A terrace ten and a half feet high and fifteen feet broad,
which bounded the inner wall of the Sanctuary.

A. A.: The inner wall of the Sanctuary.

THE SANCTUARY consisted of the three courts: The Court of Women, the
Court of Israel, and the Court of Priests, beyond which were the
Holy and Most Holy Places, forming lower apartments of the Temple

C. C. C. C.: Four south-side flights of steps that led up to the
gates in the terrace that opened into the Courts above.

D. D. D. D.: Four north-side flights of steps that led up to the
gates on the north side.

E. E.: The thirteen money chests, forming the Treasury of the Temple.

F. F.: Courts and chambers within the Sanctuary.

G.: Nicanor Gate, leading from the Court of Women into the Court of

H.: The fifteen terrace steps on which the Levites stood when they
sung the fifteen "Psalms of Degrees" at the Feast of Tabernacle: and
in the door-way of the gate, all took place that was ordered to be
done "before the Lord."

J.: Twelve steps leading up to the Porch of the Temple.

B.: The two Tables, the one of marble, the other of gold, within the

THE HOLY PLACE contained the Tables of Shewbread, the Golden
Candlestick, and the Altar of Incense. In the "Holy of Holies" a
solitary stone marked the place where should have stood the ark,
which Nebuchedrezzar had taken away.--From _The Wonderful Story of




The new kingdom acquired _de jure_ (by treaty), must yet be fought
for to be maintained _de facto_. The citadel of Jerusalem, as
well as that key to the mountain passes, Gazara, had still to be
mastered. Successful in both enterprises, Israel could enjoy some
years of long needed peace. Simon furthered the religious as well as
the political welfare of his country. The people could till their
ground in peace and for a time at least "sit under their own vine
and their own fig-tree"; though it could not yet be said "there was
none to fray them away." Simon, moreover, "strengthened those who
had been brought low, the Law he searched out, and he beautified the
sanctuary." He used the time of quiet for building a haven at Joppa,
for enlarging the boundaries and for encouraging agriculture.

The office of High Priest, maintained hitherto in a hereditary
priestly family, had been gradually transferred to the Hasmonean
House, and hence now devolved on Simon. By this time the people had
become reconciled to the transfer. He renewed the treaty with Rome,
which had taken the place of Greece in becoming the greatest power
in the world and in deciding the fate of nations.

When Tryphon was slain, Antiochus turned against the Jews, but
was defeated by Simon's sons. Alas, Simon's fate was not to be
an exception to that of the rest of his warrior brothers. None
died a peaceful death. Simon, together with two of his sons, was
treacherously slain by his own son-in-law, Ptolemy, an unscrupulous
man, cruelly ambitious for the throne.

Hyrcanus I

John Hyrcanus, the oldest surviving son of Simon, became the next
Jewish ruler. So, imperceptibly a royal house had been created, and
the princely honor came to Hyrcanus by _hereditary succession_. In
just that way have all royal lines been created--starting with a
great deliverer, like Judas Maccabee. But the _title_, King, came
later. Hyrcanus had not only to rout the usurper Ptolemy before the
rulership could become his, but had also to resist the siege of
Antiochus VII., the next Syrian king, who would not yet renounce
Judea without another struggle. Peace was at last reached by
Hyrcanus agreeing to the payment of an indemnity and tribute for a
few outlying towns.

This first repulse showed that the new kingdom was not very strong
and that it owed its independence to Syrian weakness (due to the
continued conflicts of rivals and pretenders), rather than to
its own material power. But Syria's embarrassment was Judah's
opportunity. After Antiochus had been slain in a Parthian conflict,
John Hyrcanus, once secure, began a vigorous campaign to enlarge his
boundaries. Very soon he had incorporated the old land of the Ten
Tribes, now called Samaria. The complete conquest of the Samaritans
was undertaken toward the end of his life. Their famous temple on
Mount Gerizim was destroyed. Idumea (Edom) was also conquered and
Judaism imposed on it by force. But that kind of conversion was
always against the free and tolerant spirit of Judaism and against
its very genius. We shall later see that it brought its own
retribution and weakened the cause of Israel.

Pharisees and Sadducees.

Let us not forget that the rise of the Hasmoneans had come about in
a measure through a conflict for religious integrity between the
extreme pietists on the one hand, the Chassidim, and the worldly
Hellenists on the other, with varied shades of opinion in between.
These religious divergences had now crystallized into two schools
that acquired the names Pharisees and Sadducees. It is hard to say
just when these distinctions began. Perhaps they were always there;
for we meet the two groups--conservative and progressive--under
different names in all creeds and in nearly all eras. The division
is naturally inherent in the human temperament. It marks broadly the
two grand divisions into which all men become grouped in organized

Now let us consider in particular the distinctions that
differentiated these two parties in the Jewish State. The Sadducees
were largely composed of the priestly families; but the priestly
caste was not necessarily the religious class. It corresponded
rather to what we would call the aristocracy--we have seen that the
High Priest was also a prince. In this party, too, were largely the
military. They were faithful to the Mosaic Law, the Pentateuch,
which they rigorously enforced, but gave slight allegiance to the
later religious injunctions that came to be developed from the Law
by the Scribes; in so far they were religiously unprogressive. Still
in their attitude toward life in general, they did not approve of
holding aloof from the world, but encouraged a mingling with it and
entering into intimate commercial and political relations with
other nations. They regarded it their patriotic duty to aggrandize
the nation in every way and to make it a splendid power.

The name Sadducee is derived from Zadok, of the family of Aaron, the
chief priest of the time of Solomon's Temple, who thus gave his name
to the priestly house, "Sons of Zadok."

The Pharisees, while interpreting Biblical law more leniently in
certain respects than the Sadducees, were determined supporters
of all the mass of legal minutiæ that had been evolved from the
Law proper and which had become a "Second Law." These rites and
ceremonies that were added to the original Mosaic code (occasionally
by a rather forced deduction) they considered equally binding
with it. They called it the _Oral Law_ to distinguish it from the
_Written Law_, and the tradition was that it, too, was revealed to

In their political policy they equally diverged from the Sadducees,
believing in standing somewhat apart from the peoples about them.
They looked askance upon too intimate relations with the world at
large; for they believed it their duty to subordinate all interests,
national and commercial, to the religious, trusting the outcome
rather to divine providence than to the judgment of their statesmen
or the enterprise of energetic leaders.

Further, as against the priestly aristocracy, that wished to confine
all ecclesiastical functions to the priestly order, the Pharisees
were more democratic in that they desired to extend the privileges
of priestly sanctification and holiness to all. Purifying ablutions,
they claimed, were obligatory on the whole people. _Their_ meals
should also be consecrated, even as the repasts of the priests--so
that all Israel should be a "Kingdom of priests and a holy nation."
Hence, "Second Maccabees," the work of a Pharisee, declares, "Unto
_all_ are given the heritage, the kingdom, the priesthood and the

The chief characteristics of the Pharisees are expressed in
their name: _Pharash_, the Law expounders; _Pharash_, the
separatists--though the former is probably its true derivation.

The Pharisees, it will be seen, were the more pious, the Sadducees
the more worldly, though the Pharisees as a whole were not as pious
as the Chassidim had been, nor the Sadducees as worldly as the
Hellenists had been. The Sadducees further denied belief in bodily
resurrection or in judgment after death (though not necessarily
renouncing immortality), on the strength of the famous teaching
of Antigonus of Socho, "Be not as servants who serve the Master
for the sake of reward, but rather as those who serve the Master
without thought of reward." As distinct from the Pharisees they were
strong believers in free-will, that the destiny of men is in their
own hands. We might call the Sadducees the rationalists and the
Pharisees traditionalists.

Some Pharisees again did carry the fulfilment of rites and
ceremonies too far; a few, perhaps, were even ostentatious in
their piety. By strange mischance these few have transferred their
dubious reputation to all Pharisees as such. Most unjustly however,
for the Pharisees earned the confidence of the great bulk of the
people and were on the whole identified with them. So strangely has
that sinister repute persisted that "Pharisee" is to-day defined
in some dictionaries as self-righteous or hypocritical (see note).
How undeserved as describing those whose trust in God was absolute,
without reservation or misgiving. This is but one of many instances
where the world's verdict has been unjust to the Jew.


We meet also a third party nearer in sympathy to the Pharisees. The
old Chassidim, the extremists, had developed into an ascetic party
under the name of _Essenes_, with a similar meaning--pious. They
lived the life of a celibate brotherhood, holding the little they
allowed themselves, in common. They hardly affected the national
life of Israel, because they were too few and because they slighted
patriotic obligations. They practiced all the self-denial of the
Nazirites of old and sought to reach from cleanliness to godliness.
Another derivation of the name Essene is "bather," baptist, from
their frequent ablutions. Yet another is "healer."

The Hasmonean royalty--to what party did they belong? Well, we might
say that they began their career with all the religious enthusiasm
of the Pharisees, they closed it with the political outlook of the
Sadducees. This was something like an anti-climax.

John Hyrcanus perhaps represents the dividing line. He started on a
career of conquest simply to satisfy national ambition; though he
had forced Judaism on the Idumeans. In his later years, he rejected
many traditional observances of the Oral Law that completed his
estrangement from the Pharisees. Taking a material and external
survey, Hyrcanus left the Jews at the end of his life with an
independent State, that in power and extent was as great as Northern
Israel in its palmy days, as great perhaps as the realm of Solomon.
He could mint his own coins, on some of which, still in existence,
we find inscribed, "Jochanan, High Priest of the Commonwealth of
the Judeans." Yes, it was all very splendid! But surely the Jews
had learned by now the insufficiency of national glory that was
material and external, that that kind of splendor was apart from the
Jewish ideal, "not by might, not by power, but by my spirit, saith
the Lord." The age needed a Jeremiah again. Alas, the era of the
Prophets was over!



This was the family name of Mattathias, afterwards assumed by his

_Pharisees and Sadducees_:

Geiger, "_History of the Jews_," vol. i, chapter viii, translation.

The fact that Jesus of Nazareth condemned the false Pharisees--as
Micah condemned false prophets (see Matthew xxiii and Luke xi) has
much to do with their general condemnation in literature.

The Talmud is also bitter against the false Pharisees, the _Zebuim_,
the tainted ones, who do evil like Zimri and claim the goody reward
like Phineas. In its severe denunciation of the false Pharisees, it
divides them into six classes:

1. Those who do the will of God for earthly motives. 2. The
ostentatious who go with slow steps and say "Wait for me, I have a
good deed to perform." 3. Those who knock their heads against a wall
because in their looking up they fear they may see a woman. 4. Those
who pose as saints. 5. Those who say, "Tell me of another duty." 6.
Those who are pious because of the fear of God.

"Who are the genuine Pharisees?" asks the Talmud. "Those who do the
will of their Father in Heaven because they love Him."


Carlyle reminds us of the derivation of "King" from _Können_--the
man who "can"!


See _People of the Book_, vol. iii, p. 244.

_Theme for Discussion_:

Compare modern with ancient parties in Israel.





In Aristobulus, eldest son and successor of John Hyrcanus, we see
the Hasmonean further and further estranged from the generous
spirit that called them to the fore. Judas Maccabeus wished to be
the _Saviour_ of Judaism and the Jews, Aristobulus wanted only to
be their _king_. The story of Abimelech in the days of the Judges
and Jotham's parable come forcibly to mind (Judges ix). Aristobulus
began his reign by inprisoning his mother, to prevent her succession
to the throne, according to his father's wish, and likewise all
his brothers but one, on suspicion of their treason. Antigonus
was his favorite brother, and he shared the royal power with him.
The king was certainly unpopular with the people, who accused him
of being more Greek than Jew. Slander made him even worse than he
was, ascribing to him the death of his beloved brother Antigonus,
who was assassinated toward the close of his reign. He continued
his father's policy of conquest, and subdued portions of northern
Palestine, including Galilee, and, like his father again imposed
Judaism upon them. While in both instances the motive for the forced
conversion was probably ancestral pride, still it showed religious
zeal too--though not of the highest kind.

Alexander Janneus.

The widow of Aristobulus, Salome Alexandra, released her husband's
brother from prison at his death and by marrying Alexander Janneus,
the eldest, and appointing him to the office of High Priest she
allowed the kingly power to devolve upon him. Like his brother, he
was not a man of peace, but of war. He further increased Judea's
territory by conquest on the western Philistine side bordering on
the Mediterranean.

He was not the man to quiet the growing dissensions between
Pharisees and Sadducees, but rather to foment them. For the royal
Sadducean party was getting more and more estranged in policy and
aim from the national and religious aspirations of the people. There
was a not always silent protest against the warrior king officiating
as High Priest. At the Feast of Tabernacles, the people pelted him
with their citrons, which they were carrying together with palms
(_lulab and esrog_), symbols of the harvest, for this is also called
the Feast of Ingathering. This could not end without a tragedy, and
a large number were slain by his foreign mercenaries. (Royal body
guards were usually composed of foreigners.) This conflict grew
into a civil war, both sides in turn hiring foreign troops, and
resulted in a terrible decimating of Judah's numbers, the Pharisees
losing more largely. Such is one of the evils of uniting religious
authority with temporal power. The rebellion was finally put down,
but only with an iron hand.

This king, who could not be at peace, spent his last days in
fighting the Arabians, who were just beginning to be Judea's most
dangerous neighbor. But he inherited from his Maccabean ancestors
love of arms without inheriting their military genius. This meant
much wanton waste of life and some reverses. How vain this purpose
of spending blood and substance in extending his territorial sway
and making it nominally Jewish by force of arms, while fomenting
religious antagonism at home--always destructive of religion itself.
He left an even bigger State than his father, John Hyrcanus. Judea
now meant the whole seacoast (with the exception of Ascalon) from
Mount Carmel to Egypt and reached far east of the Jordan.

Queen Salome Alexandra.

The throne went by will to Alexander Janneus' widow, who, it
will be remembered, was also the widow of his elder brother,
Aristobulus. Upon her eldest son, Hyrcanus, Queen Salome bestowed
the high priesthood. Her sympathies, however, were entirely with
the Pharisees. The exiles came back and political prisoners were
released. The land enjoyed a pleasing contrast under her pious and
gentle sway. All the Pharisaic ordinances, abolished by the late
king, were reinstituted. Indeed, all religious interests were placed
in their hands. It was a prosperous, peaceful reign, and was later
looked back upon as a blessed day. In the stormy days that were to
follow, it might well seem in retrospect, a golden age.


The "Pairs."

We have seen that the priesthood and Temple were no longer the
religious centres around which the people rallied. The Jews had
outgrown the age of priestism, although the splendid ritual of the
sacrificial altar still continued. The religious guides and teachers
were the scribes, learned in the Law, who for sometime had been
presiding in couples. Hence they are called the "Pairs." The first
of each pair held the office of _Nasi_, Prince or President of the
Sanhedrin, and the second that of _Ab Beth Din_, Father of the Court
or Vice-President.

Here are their names with some of the most famous sayings attributed
to them:

     _Jose ben Joezer_--Let thy house be a meeting place for the
     wise. Cover thyself with the dust of their feet and quench thy
     thirst with their words.

     _Jose ben Jochanan_--Let thy house be opened wide and let the
     needy be thy household.

     _Joshua ben Perachia_--Procure for thyself an instructor,
     possess thyself of a worthy associate, and judge every man in
     the scale of merit.

     _Mattai the Arbelite_--Associate not with the wicked and flatter
     not thyself that thou canst evade punishment.

     _Jehudah ben Tabbai_--Constitute not thyself dictator to the

     _Simon ben Shetach_--Be guarded in thy words; perchance from
     them men may learn to lie.

     _Shemaiah_--Love labor and hate pomp and suffer thyself to
     remain unknown to the head of the State.

     _Abtalion_--Ye wise be guarded in your words; or you may be
     exiled to a place of evil waters (false doctrine) and your
     disciples may drink and die.

     _Hillel_ and _Shammai_, the last "Pair," will be treated in a
     separate chapter.

Simon ben Shetach flourished in this reign. He was brother-in-law of
the king, by whom he had been nevertheless imprisoned. But when the
queen came to the throne he was practically placed as the religious
head of affairs. Simon ben Shetach and his associate, Judah ben
Tabbai, reorganized the Council and hence were called "restorers
of the Law." From this time on the Pharisaic became the official
interpretation of Judaism.

In all large towns Simon ben Shetach established schools for young
men for the study of the Pentateuch and the laws interpreted from
it. As President of the Council, he was very severe on those who
infringed on the law. He has even been called the Judean Brutus,
as he did not spare his own son. He reinstituted many customs
that had been neglected during the Sadducean regime. Among these
was the joyous "Water Celebration" during Tabernacles, a trace
of which still survives in the ritual of _Shemini Atzereth_ (the
eighth day that follows and concludes the festival of Succoth).
The celebrations were accompanied by illuminations and torchlight
processions, religious music and dancing. The water drawing at the
Spring of Siloah was heralded by blasts of the priests' trumpets.
Another national custom revived was the summer "Wood Festival," on
Ab 15. It had relation to the use of wood at the altar fires, and
was a further opportunity for joyous unbending among the youths and

The Pharisees on the whole were the more democratic party, and
decided that the maintenance of the Temple should be borne by all
and not merely by voluntary offerings of the rich few. This new
law brought enormous revenues to the Temple which later became its
menace, attracting the covetous rather than the worshipful.


_Sayings of the Fathers_:

_Sayings of the Jewish Fathers_, chapter i. Taylor. Cambridge Press.
Translations and notes.

These sayings, which form one book of the Mishna, will be found in
the Sabbath Afternoon Service of the Jewish Prayer Book.

_Water Festival_:

For a vivid description see _Poetry of the Talmud_, Seckles.

_Theme for Discussion_:

Contrast the Wood Festival of ancient Judea with Arbor Day in modern
America. Mark the difference of purpose.

[Illustration: THE POOL OF SILOAM.]



Aristobulus II.

Even before the good Queen Salome died storm clouds began to darken
the horizon of Judah. Her second son, Aristobulus, inherited all
his father's fierceness and tyranny. The throne had been naturally
left to the elder brother, Hyrcanus, but the headstrong Aristobulus
seized the reins of power on the dangerous theory that he was
more fit to rule. Civil war began before the good queen had quite
breathed her last. Hyrcanus, the weak, yielded, and all might have
been well were it not for the interference of a new enemy who was
eventually to bring about the ruin of the Jewish State.

Antipater the Idumean.

It will be recalled that John Hyrcanus had conquered the Idumeans
and made them, seemingly, Jews. We shall now see the kind of Jews
they were. One of them, Antipater, was the local governor of
this Idumean province. He was a man who lusted for power and had
absolutely no scruples as to the means of gaining his ends. He saw
that if only he could place the weak Hyrcanus on the throne, he
might become a power behind it.

He began by insinuating himself into the favor of the Jewish
nobility, and, ostensibly, as a pleader for justice, emphasized the
evils of Aristobulus' usurpation. Letting that poison work, he came
to the innocent Hyrcanus and played upon his fears with a made-up
story of conspiracy against his life. Most reluctantly was Hyrcanus
persuaded to flee with him from Jerusalem to an Arabian prince,
Aretas. Aretas was induced to lend his aid in the expectation that
Hyrcanus, once in power, would restore the cities Alexander Janneus
had taken from the Arabians.

So unhappy Judah was plunged in war again to gratify the unworthy
ambitions of unworthy men and men not of their own people.
Aristobulus was defeated in battle by Aretas and was besieged in the
Temple Citadel.

Prayer of Onias.

An interesting incident is told at this juncture that recalls the
Bible story of Balaam. (Numbers xxii-xxiv.) In the party of Hyrcanus
there was a man, Onias, who, so said credulous rumor, had brought
rain in times of drought through his fervent prayer. He was now
brought into the camp and asked to invoke God's curse on Aristobulus
and his allies. But such prayer he considered blasphemous, therefore
he voiced his petition to heaven in these words: "O God, King of
the whole world, since those that stand now with me are Thy people
and those that are besieged are also Thy priests, I beseech Thee
that Thou wilt neither hearken to the prayer of those against these,
nor bring about what these pray against those." Alas, the temper of
warfare had not patience or appreciation with this sublime attitude.
The man was stoned. But in a sense his prayer was answered.

Pompey Takes Jerusalem.

For the Aesop fable of the two bears quarrelling over a find, thus
affording opportunity for a third to step in and seize it, was
here to be exemplified. Rome was ever on the watch to bring all
outlying provinces into her net. Pompey, her victorious general,
whose head Julius Caesar was later to demand, was just now making
his triumphant march through Asia. The warring brothers, Hyrcanus
and Aristobolus, appealed to his lieutenant. To leave the decision
with Rome was a dangerous precedent, for the power that could grant
a throne by its decision might also take it away. So, while the
decision was rendered in favor of Aristobulus, it was as vassal
rather than as independent king that he held his throne for some
two years. The real gainer was Rome. It had now the right to
revoke its decision; and it did. The people, disgusted with their
unworthy leaders who cared nothing for the nation, but only for
its honors--appealed to Rome to abolish the monarchy that had
been gradually introduced and restore the old regime of the High

But the headstrong Aristobulus dared resist even Rome and entrenched
himself against invasion. This was fatal both for him and Judea.
The temple mount was besieged. It was taken with frightful massacre
by lustful Romans. This was in 63. Pompey sacrilegiously entered
the Holy of Holies, in which to his surprise he found no idol;
a spiritual God was an unfamiliar concept to the pagan mind. He
curtailed the Jewish state and made it tributary. Aristobulus must
grace Pompey's triumph at Rome.

So much for the vain conquests of John Hyrcanus and Alexander
Janneus. They evaporated with a word from Pompey. Thus ended the
Judean independence for which the early Maccabees had fought so
nobly. It had endured but seventy-nine years. Over this tributary
State Hyrcanus II. was made High Priest. The kingship created by
the first Aristobulus was short-lived indeed. The scheming Antipater
had won, but graver issues were to be the outcome.



Growth of Rome.

Rome, from the city on the Tiber, had spread over all Italy. Then
gradually it mastered the lands on both sides of the Mediterranean.
Greece and Carthage were absorbed in the same year, 146 B.C.E. Soon
its tide of conquest reached Asia, and nearly all the lands in the
East conquered by Alexander--excepting Persia--were under its sway.
When Greco Syria--which had included Judea until the Maccabean
independence--fell before its arms, it was to be expected that the
never-satisfied Rome would not rest until the land of our fathers
had been added to its possessions. We have seen how an unhappy
series of events played into its hands and hastened this end. In
a sense Rome was becoming the "mistress of the world." Nor was
her sway as transitory as that of earlier world powers--Assyria,
Babylonia, Persia or Macedonia. It was to endure for many centuries
and it has left a lasting impress upon the world's civilization.

Already the Jewish captives that Pompey took to Rome, later freed
and called Libertini, formed together with earlier emigrants the
beginnings of an important Jewish community. Here later still we
find this Jewish colony on the Tiber quietly influencing Roman

Judea, with the rest of Palestine, was now placed under the general
supervision of Rome's Syrian governor. Internally its life was
not interfered with, but all temporal--that is political--power
was taken from the High Priest. His authority was confined to
the Temple. Both Aristobulus, who had escaped from Rome, and his
son, Alexander, made foolhardy attempts for the throne, which
only resulted in further curtailing of Judah's power. Yet another
desperate attempt was made for the throne. Alas, it only resulted in
thirty thousand of the defeated malcontents being sold into slavery.
This chafing against Rome's rule only brought its mailed hand more
fiercely against ill-fated Israel.

From First Triumvirate to Empire.

But Rome now entered upon its own period of civil war at home and
men lustful of power drenched this country in blood. In 60 B. C.
E. Julius Caesar, Pompey and Crassus divided the Roman possessions
between them and formed the First Triumvirate (Crassus given Syria,
plundered the Temple treasures). On the death of Crassus, Caesar,
ambitious for supreme power--the fatal weakness of this really great
man--crossed the river Rubicon that was the boundary of his province
of Gaul, made war on Pompey, who was soon slain, and held for a
brief time sole sway. In 44 Caesar was killed by Brutus and Cassius.
These in turn were overthrown by Cæsar's avenger, Marc Antony,
and a new Triumvirate was formed, consisting of Antony, Octavian
(Augustus) and Lepidus. These were as disloyal to each other as the
first group. Antony, seduced from his duty by the witchery of that
fatally beautiful woman, Cleopatra of Egypt, was finally defeated
and overthrown in the battle of Actium, 30. Octavian Augustus now
held the reins alone and the _Roman Empire_ was launched. Augustus,
the first emperor, reigned from 60 B.C.E. to 14 A.C.E.

[Illustration: JULIUS CAESAR]

These few outlines of Roman history will have to be kept in mind
to follow events in Judea, for much was to happen to storm-tossed
Israel between the first Triumvirate and the empire of Augustus.
Every change in government at Rome affected the land of Israel and
its people.

Indeed, in all their subsequent history no great event occurred in
the world without affecting the Jews in some way, and many of these
world events were in turn influenced by them.

When Pompey was killed in 48, that arch-conspirator, Antipater,
who had sided with him while in power, now with Hyrcanus, his
puppet, professed friendship for Caesar and helped him with Jewish
troops for his Egyptian campaign. Caesar extended favors to both.
Hyrcanus, as High Priest, was once more given political authority,
and Antipater was made Procurator of Judea. We have witnessed the
thin entering of the wedge; behold the Idumean now head of Jewish
affairs. Caesar now granted permission to rebuild the walls of
Jerusalem, and concessions and privileges were also conferred on
the Jews of Alexandria and Asia Minor, for Rome's sway reached far.
Caesar's good will made the rulership of Antipater tolerable for
a while and when the news of Caesar's death reached the Jews they
mourned him as a lost friend.

The political power granted to Hyrcanus as High Priest carried with
it the title of Ethnarch, which means governor of a province. But
all power was really exercised by Antipater who, as Procurator of
Judea, made his son Phasael governor of Jerusalem, and his son Herod
governor of Galilee. How this intruding stranger had tightened his
grip on the land of our fathers!

Herod Enters on the Scene.

Herod was to play an important role in Judah's fortunes. Already
as governor of Galilee, a youth of twenty-five, he showed his
masterfulness in the summary execution of a marauder. Summoned to
the Sanhedrin to answer for this action, he dared defy it. Why?
Because Cassius, now master of Syria (including Judea) at Caesar's
death, was put under obligation by the crafty Antipater and his
equally cunning son Herod. Together they succeeded in squeezing
money from Judæa for the maintenance of an army against Antony. Thus
the Jews were embroiled in Rome's conflicts to further the ambitions
of these Idumeans. As a result Herod was now made governor of
Celo-Syria (Palestine) and could snap his fingers at the Sanhedrin.
Judea, in fact, was a prey to anarchy brought about by conspiracies
and usurpations.

In 42 Brutus and Cassius were defeated at Philippi by Antony and
Octavian, and it seemed that an end had come to the fortunes of
Herod. Antipater had been slain, caught in a final act of heartless
duplicity against Hyrcanus. But Herod had the adroit cunning of
his father and knew how to desert a sinking ship and change his
allegiance to the man of rising fortunes. With plausible words Herod
made his peace with Antony. Nor did the complaints against him and
his brother by the Jewish nobility avail. On the contrary Antony
made them both _tetrarchs_--subordinate governors--of Judea at the
expense of the weak and aging Hyrcanus.

The Last Hasmonean Ruler.

Antigonus, a son of Aristobulus, taking advantage of a Parthian
uprising, made one more effort to seize the Jewish throne. He
succeeded. Herod was put to flight and Hyrcanus deposed altogether.
This last scion of the Hasmonean house held a brief royal sway from
40 to 37. He lacked the greatness of the earlier Maccabeans to hold
the nation; and, antagonized the Sanhedrin instead of attaching it
to him. Herod, after varied shifts, sailed to Rome, making an appeal
at headquarters. Deceiving all by his plausibility, he obtained an
appointment as "King of Judea" from Antony's senate. But for that
throne he must now fight "the man in possession." There followed
a series of engagements in which Jewish blood flowed freely. With
the aid of Rome, Herod was of course successful, ultimately taking
Jerusalem itself. Antigonus was put to death. Thus ended the
Hasmonean rule in Judea so gloriously begun a little over a century

_Theme for Discussion._

Single out great events in history influenced by and influencing the

[Illustration: COIN OF ANTIGONUS, 40 B. C. E.]



What had been the result of the attempt of Alexander Janneus to
force Judaism upon Idumea? It had begun by giving the Idumean
Antipater, from the intimate relations created, the opportunity to
make Hyrcanus his puppet, and ended by placing the Jewish crown upon
the head of Herod, who was absolutely un-Jewish in ancestry and
sympathies, and really a pagan at heart. Herod, in fact, delivered
Judea to Rome that he might be made its vassal king.

He had married Mariamne, the beautiful grand daughter of the weak
Hyrcanus--a stroke of policy, to be allied in marriage to Judah's
royal family.

Herod as Man.

Undoubtedly he was a man of power of a sort, born to command; but
there was no soft spot in his nature. He had all the instincts of a
tyrant, and neither scruple nor pity deterred him from carrying out
his passionate will and his insatiable ambition. He inherited all
his father's cunning, allied with fine judgment and untiring energy.
Though of undoubted bravery, he knew how to fawn before those in

The first dozen years of his reign were marked by storm and conflict
with enemies both without and within. The feelings of the Jews can
be imagined in having this alien thrust upon them by all-powerful
Rome and whose first act was to slay their patriots and confiscate
their property. Rebellion was put down with a merciless hand. Step
by step he carried out his relentless purpose and put to death all
the survivors of the royal line, the flower of the Jewish nobility,
and likewise every member (except Shemaiah and Abtalion) of the
Sanhedrin that had some years before censured one of his misdeeds.

Very unwillingly he appointed his wife's brother as High Priest.
It was a fatal distinction for the young man, for the people too
openly expressed their regard for this scion of the Hasmonean line.
What was the consequence? One day when refreshing himself in the
bath, he was held under the water till life was extinct. It was
called an accident! Alexandra, his mother, a hard woman, appealed
to Rome through Cleopatra to punish this murder. Herod was summoned
to answer for his conduct before Antony, but his plausible manner
aided by bribery won his acquittal. The tyrant marked his return by
the execution of another brother-in-law, to whom he had entrusted
Mariamne in his absence, and whom he jealously imagined disloyal.

That Antony at this time gave part of Palestine proper to Cleopatra,
including even a bit of Judea, and that Herod must bear it without
protest, showed on what slender tenure he held his throne. So
completely was he under Rome's control that Antony, to satisfy the
whim of Cleopatra who disliked Herod, commanded him to undertake a
campaign against the Arabians, while she secretly assisted them.

When Antony fell at Actium in 31 in that contest between continents,
Herod managed adroitly at the right moment to go over to the side
of the victorious Octavian Augustus. Before departing for Rome to
curry favor with the Emperor, he took a precaution, which only his
cruelty deemed necessary. He put to death his own kinsman, the aged
Hyrcanus, to whose weakness he in a measure owed his throne.

He returned in the good graces of Augustus, and received back all
the lands taken from him by Antony for Cleopatra. But before his
departure, he had repeated the order given prior to his previous
visit, that Mariamne should be put to death in case his cause should
take a fatal turn in Rome. Learning of this revolting plan in his
absence, she upbraided him on his return. This gave his envious
relatives opportunity to slander her and defame her honor. The
jealous Herod believed the calumny against his innocent wife--and
think of it--ordered her to be put to death, though, in his savage,
sensual way, he loved her. Remorse came too late, which wild
excesses could not drown. Soon her mother followed her to the block
on the better founded charge of conspiracy. More deeds of needless
bloodshed were perpetrated by his wanton command until every remnant
of the Hasmonean house was destroyed.

Herod as Builder.

Herod was a renowned builder. He wanted to have a splendid
capital with which he might dazzle Roman grandees and foreign
plenipotentiaries. Notice the bent of his mind--his conception of
a monarch--not a father of his people living up to such a maxim,
for example, as _ich dïen_ (I serve) but the possessor of glory and
with the power to play with the life and death of his subjects. He
must needs have grandeur without, though there was misery enough
within. He erected temples, amphitheatres and hippodromes. He built
for himself a palace that was a fortress too, with parks and gardens
around it. New cities were laid out, not for the honor of Israel
but for the honor of Augustus Caesar and named after him. Samaria
was rebuilt and renamed Sebaste. He rebuilt a city on the coast
and called it Caesarea, with a fine haven. One he named Antipatris
after his father, another after his brother, Phasaelis; Agrippaeum,
after Agrippa, and Herodium, a stronghold, after himself. Existing
fortresses were restored and strengthened. Nor did he neglect to
mark the outlying provinces with examples of his building passion.

[Illustration: EMPEROR AUGUSTUS.]

The old Temple, built in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, now looked
shabby among these fine edifices, and he determined to rebuild it.
This was one of his great achievements. There was no religious
motive whatever in the project, for he had built outside of
Jerusalem many heathen shrines. The purpose was wholly worldly. If
there is to be a Temple, let it be gorgeous to gratify my vanity!
It took many years to build and was not finished till long after
Herod's death. The whole circumference of the Temple, including the
fortress of Antonia connected with it, covered almost a mile. It
must have been magnificent, for a proverb arose, "He who has not
seen Herod's Temple has never seen anything beautiful." Yet, with
all his grandeur, he was but a subject king under the sway of the
Roman emperor. He could not make treaties or war without the consent
of the emperor, to whom he had to supply on demand troops and money.

The introduction of heathen games in theatres and race-courses, in
which the lives of gladiators and runners were lightly sacrificed to
gratify the brutal instincts of the spectators, deeply grieved the
Jews, imbued with the sanctity of human life. It was in such violent
antagonism to the ethics of Judaism. But what could they do? They
were in the power of this pagan tyrant.

He gathered in his capital, too, Greek litterateurs and artists. To
these scholars were given state positions of trust. But this was no
more an indication of love of culture than Temple building was love
of religion. Ostentation was at the root of both.

Yet the Pharisaic party (the great mass of the people) was too
strong for him to carry his paganizing influence as far as he
wished. He ungraciously yielded, out of prudence, now and then to
the religious sensibilities of the people. The building of the
sanctuary proper he entrusted to priests, nor were images placed
on the Jerusalem buildings. But the Roman eagle was later erected
over the Temple gate. For an attempt to remove it, forty-two young
men, zealous for the law, were burnt alive. The Jewish Sanhedrin was
shorn of all power.

He appointed unfit men as High Priests and removed them when they
did not do his bidding. That such appointments should be left in
his unsympathetic hands. Finally, the people were heavily taxed
to support heathen splendor of which they did not approve. So his
reign, so hateful to them, was maintained only by despotism and
force. An attempt was even made to assassinate him. The populace
had to be watched by spies. Yet in the year 25 he brought all his
energies to the fore to save the people from the consequences of
famine. Let us remember this in his favor; also that he used his
power to secure protection for Jews in the Diaspora.

Herod as Father.

By paying lavish court to the emperor and his son-in-law, Agrippa,
his territory was gradually doubled. A splendid kingdom viewed
superficially, but it brought no happiness to this unscrupulous man.
Peace in the home, domestic joy, these are the things that prowess
and power cannot buy. The story of how this barbarian had put to
death his favorite wife, Mariamne, has already been told. Her two
sons were now grown to man's estate. But Herod's sister, the wicked
Salome, who had plotted against their mother, now tried to fill
the king's mind with suspicions against her sons. In this purpose
she was aided by Antipater, son of Herod by another of his wives.
Learning that their mother had been put to death by their father's
mandate, they openly expressed their anger, which so increased the
king's suspicions, that he accused his sons before the emperor. The
mildness of Augustus could only postpone the eventual tragedy--the
execution of the young men by order of their own father.
Antipater--the real conspirator against Herod, though his favorite
son,--was at last detected, and of course executed also. Surely the
latter days of this king were bitter.

       *       *       *       *       *

These domestic troubles were aggravated by bodily disease and the
knowledge that he was hated by his people. Determined to be mourned
at all costs, he imprisoned some of the most distinguished men of
the nation with orders that they were to be killed at the moment of
his death. Thus would he obtain a mourning at his funeral! Was not
this the climax of savagery! This fiendish purpose was, however,
never carried out; so he died unwept and unmourned.

       *       *       *       *       *

He is called "Great" to distinguish him from some puny Herods that
followed in the fast dying Jewish State. We can call him "Great"
only in a bad sense--an awful example of the abuse of power in the
hands of an unscrupulous and blood-thirsty man.



Zirndorf, _Some Jewish Women_. (Jewish Pub. Soc.) Grace Aguilar,
_Women of Israel_.


In Talmudic literature "Edom" is often a disguised term for Rome,
because in the Bible story Esau is the rival of Jacob. When we
remember that Antipater and Herod were Idumeans (Edom) and that they
practically delivered Judea to Rome for the price of a crown, the
rabbinic usage is peculiarly appropriate.


In Stephen Phillip's dramatic poem of this name, the character is

_Theme for discussion_:

Did Herod succeed or did he fail?



Let us now take a glance at the religious life of Judah in this
reign. The picture is brighter. Hillel was made president of
the Sanhedrin in the year 30. A new direction was given to the
development of rabbinic Judaism under his guidance. He was the
greatest Jewish teacher since Ezra. Like Ezra he came from Babylon,
which had remained a Jewish centre since the exile, 600 B. C. E.,
and was to continue to be a Jewish centre for many centuries later.
Pleasing stories are told of the sacrifices made by this poor boy to
gratify his thirst for knowledge. Once he was almost frozen to death
while lying on the skylight to hear the discussion, since he was not
allowed to hear it from within. Ultimately he was placed at the head
of the Sanhedrin where at first he was a beggar at its doors. Great
as he was as an expounder of the Law, he is perhaps best known by
the sweetness of his character. None could put him out of temper, it
is said. This story is given as illustration. A man who ventured a
wager that he would rouse Hillel's wrath called thrice at the most
inopportune time asking the absurdest questions, and each time more
rudely than before. The attempt failed. On hearing the explanation
of this strange behavior, Hillel, unruffled to the last, said,
"Better that you should lose your wager than I my temper." He united
in himself gentleness and firmness.

Hillel as Moralist.

Many interesting instances are given of his evenness of disposition
that disarmed the violent and won many a convert to the fold,
where the brusqueness of his colleague--Shammai--often drove them
away. "Be patient like Hillel, not passionate like Shammai," ran
the saying. Thus Hillel became the peacemaker in those troublous
Herodian days. In this connection he taught, "Be of the disciples of
Aaron--loving and pursuing peace, loving mankind and bringing them
nigh to the Law." His consideration for others went so far that,
a man of standing, becoming suddenly poor, he provided him with a
horse and servant that he might still enjoy some of the comforts of
his earlier life.

He is the author of the famous Golden Rule in its earlier form,
uttered in reply to a heathen who would have him teach the whole
Law while he stood on one foot: "That which is hateful to thee
do not unto thy neighbor; this is the principle, all the rest
is commentary." Another heathen must needs be made a priest if
converted: Hillel gently showed him the prohibition of the Law. But
the instances show that proselytism was encouraged.

In the following maxims many phases of his character are revealed:

     "He who craves to raise his name, lowers it."

     "A name inflated is a name destroyed."

     "My humility is my pride, my pride my humility."

     "He who will not learn or teach deserves death."

     "He who does not progress, retrogrades."

     "Say not, 'when I have leisure I will study,' for you may never
     have leisure."

     "Study God's word; then both this world and the next will be

     "Trust not thyself till the day of thy death."

     "In a place where there is no man, strive to show thyself a man."

     "Judge not thy neighbor till thou art in his place."

     "If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am for
     myself alone, what am I? And if not now, when?"

Do you realize how much is contained in that last maxim? Unravel it
and you will see revealed his philosophy of life.

Hillel as Legislator.

So gentle, he was yet daring. When an old law was abused, he
ventured to modify it. The Law, for example, for release of debts
every seventh year, made particularly for the benefit of the poor
(Deut. xv), hampered the growth of trade in more complex times
and changed a generous purpose into an occasional embarrassment.
There is a gulf of difference between a loan to buy bread and a
loan for business enterprise. In the latter case Hillel allowed the
stipulation to be stated in the contract, called _prosbul_, that the
law of release was to be suspended.

To Hillel is due the important service of devising a logical system
of seven rules of deduction by which new laws to meet new needs
could be developed out of the fewer and more general principles in
the Bible code. It must be confessed that these deductions were
occasionally far-fetched. None the less the custom prevailed among
the rabbis to make laws for all exigencies in that way for many
centuries to come. The practice arose from the reverence paid the
five books of Moses that induced them to seek authority for every
regulation they found needful, in their pages. We might say it was a
virtue carried to the extreme of a fault. Hillel's method earned him
the title "Regenerator of the Law."

Last Days.

"Where goest thou, Master," said Hillel's disciples one day when he
hastened from the house of learning. "I go to meet a guest," Hillel
replied. "Who is this guest of whom thou so often speakest?" The
sweetness of the master's face deepened into earnestness. "My guest
is my soul. Too often in intercourse with the world must its claims
be pushed aside."

But the day came, as indeed it must, when the soul was summoned to a
greater tribunal than his own. The day of Hillel's death was a day
of mourning in Israel. "O, pious, gentle, worthy follower of Ezra,"
cried the sorrowing people. Contrast his death with Herod's.

Such was the love and esteem in which he was held by the scholars
of his own and later ages, that the presidency of the Sanhedrin was
kept in his family for four centuries (like a royal succession), and
in this way his memory reverenced for many generations.


In Hillel and Shammai, the "Pairs" referred to in chapter viii
reached their culmination. A teaching of Shammai ran, "Say little
but do much." These two men were the founders of two distinct
schools of interpretation of Jewish Law. They were as distinct
in their character as in their exposition of Scripture. Hillel
was broad, tolerant and original; Shammai--narrow, strict, and
conservative. (Hillel's opinions were usually accepted by later
generations.) Shammai was a pessimist saying "It were better not to
have been born." Hillel was an optimist, and said, "Being born, make
the most of life."

       *       *       *       *       *

To the Shammai school we owe the many stringent prohibitions with
regard to the Sabbath and to ecclesiastical purity. They objected
even to teaching the young, visiting the sick, or comforting
mourners on the Sabbath day. We are glad to state that Jewish
practice has taken the opposite view. The rabbis of the Shammai
school were not only severe in their religious decisions, but also
in the interpretation of patriotism and in their views of life
generally. Their gloomy philosophy is shown in Second Esdras: see
chap. v., on the Apocrypha. We might compare them with the first
Puritan settlers in America.

       *       *       *       *       *

This school, also unlike Hillel's, opposed the admission of
proselytes from the heathen. Yet in those stormy times, these severe
views against the heathen found the larger following. From these
doubtless came the band of Zealots whose fanatic hatred of Rome and
its institutions became almost a religion, and whose deeds, to be
told later, form a lurid chapter in Judah's closing days.


_Law and Equity_:

According to ancient Jewish law a city home sold could be redeemed
within a year. "But suppose the owner lock it up and depart." "Break
the lock and lodge the money with the court," said Hillel. He
touched a modern need in showing here that craft must not defeat the
benevolent purpose of the Law.

See Geiger's _History of Judaism_, vol. i, chap. viii.

Golden rule. See Tobit iv, 15.

_Sayings of the Jewish Fathers_, Taylor, pp. 34 to 37.

_Theme for Discussion:_

Is it possible as Hillel said, to evolve the whole law from the
Golden Rule?



The selfish Herod had split up his kingdom among his three
sons--Archelaus, Antipas and Philip. Before Rome had yet confirmed
the succession, and while a procurator was placed in temporary
charge, already the sons were intriguing against each other. Rome
carried out Herod's wishes, only that his sons were made tetrarchs
instead of kings. How steadily Rome moved toward its purposed end!

Archelaus was made tetrarch of Judea, Samaria, and Idumea. The
realm of Antipas was Galilee and Perea, the Jordan dividing the two
districts. To Philip was given the remaining provinces of Batanæa
and Trachonitis in northern Palestine. Look at the map in front of
this book.

A word on each of these principalities in the inverse order of
importance. Philip held a mild sway for thirty-seven years. There is
nothing to record in these outlying provinces, partly because they
were far removed from the Jewish centre of gravity.

Antipas and John the Baptist.

The realm of Antipas, often mentioned in the New Testament, was
a little nearer. His recognition of Judaism was only formal. He
inherited all his father's vices and like his father, too, he was
a great builder. He built Sepphoris in Galilee, and Tiberias on
the Lake of Gennesaret. In his reign and realm flourished John the
Baptist of Perea, and also Jesus of Nazareth in Galilee. As this
term, _Baptist_, was applied to the Essenes, because of their
frequent ablutions (see p. 82), John may have been a leader of that

We know that John preached in the wilderness in the neighborhood of
the Jordan, the centre of the Essenes. His bold words, in which he
denounced the king, led to his imprisonment, on political grounds,
as an agitator. His influence on the people was feared by Rome, for
it was hard then to separate religion and politics. It is sometimes
hard now. It is said he was finally put to death at the wish of a
dancer, Salome, but really to please her mother, Herodias, a wanton
woman, to marry whom Antipas had divorced his wife, the daughter of
an Arabian king. This not only involved him in a disastrous war,
but Herodias caused him eventually the loss of his government and
his freedom. For, aiming at a kingship at her instigation, he was
banished, and his tetrarchy given to Agrippa, of whom we shall hear
later on.

The Last Herodian.

To come now to Judea proper; together with Samaria and Idumea, it
was entrusted to the unfit Archelaus; like his father he, too, had
to secure his throne through bloodshed. Plots and counterplots with
the appearance of pretenders for the thrones of Judea and Galilee,
characterized this unhappy time. The Jews were disgusted with the
rule of Rome and its creatures, and some began open rebellion. The
Syrian governor finally quelled the revolt, but thousands were
slain. Had the Jewish malcontents been organized under trustworthy
leadership, something might have been achieved. As it was, it ended
in their more complete subjection.

There is little else to tell of the reign of Archelaus. Serious
charges were brought against this tyrant; so serious that the
emperor recalled him to Rome and deposed him. He had reigned ten
years, 4 B.C.E. to 6 A.C.E., thus crossing the dividing line of what
is called the Christian Era, from the tradition that it marked the
birth of Jesus of Nazareth; he was actually born four years earlier
than this date.

Herod had brought Judea so completely under Roman control, that
bit by bit all the old vested rights, privileges and local powers
had been taken from its Sanhedrin, its High Priest and its royal
family. Herod had practically sold Judea to Rome for the privilege
of subserving as its king. Its fate was now wholly in Rome's hands.

Judea Part of a Roman Province.

Leaving the outlying provinces under the rule of tetrarchs,
Rome now decided to govern Judea absolutely as a part of the
province of Syria. It sent out governors or, as they were called,
_Procurators_, to administer its affairs under the more immediate
direction of Syria. The Jews were now to be ruled by strangers who
had no understanding of their religion and no sympathy with their
traditions or social needs; by men possessed in fact, for the most
part, of an ill-concealed antagonism to the rites and obligations
that entered into the lives of conscientious Jews.

At its best Judea had been a Theocracy, i.e., a kingdom in which
religion, represented by the priesthood and the Sanhedrin, directed
the affairs of the nation. Roman rule, therefore, would be
revolutionary, even had the procurators been good men and had sought
to administer the province in kindness and equity. As a matter of
fact, they were nearly all tyrants, lustful for gain at any price
and absolutely indifferent to the welfare of the people under their
charge; even as we shall see, in many instances wantonly wounding
Judea's sensibilities to gratify their cruel pleasure. No wonder the
Jews were eventually goaded into a war of desperation.

As to the Jews in other lands under Roman sway, we find Augustus
Caesar well disposed to them. He placed the harbors of the Nile
under Judean Alabarchs (same as Arabarch). His kindness to the
Alexandrian Jews was in marked contrast with his severity toward
the Alexandrian Greeks. In the city of Rome he allowed the Jewish
settlers--Libertini--to observe their religion undisturbed, and to
build synagogues.

So in the deepening shadows there was a glimmer of light too.


For the relation of Baptism to the Essenes, read articles on those
topics in vols. ii and v, respectively, of the _Jewish Encyclopedia_.


Literally, governor of a fourth part of a province.



      =ROMAN EMPERORS AND=      |          =JEWRY.=
        =PROCURATORS.=          |
                           C.E. |                            C.E.
  =Augustus.=                   |
    Coponius                  6 | Archelaus, tetrarch of Judea,
    Marcus Ambibulus          9 | deposed                       *
    Annius Rufus             12 |
  =Tiberius.=                   | Philo, philosopher, born     16
    Valerius Gratus     5    15 |
    Pontius Pilatus          26 |
  =Caligula.=                   |
    Marcellus                36 | Death of Jesus of Nazareth   28
  =Claudius.=                   |
    Marullus              37-41 | Josephus, historian born     38
                 Agrippa, King      41-44



Procurators in general.

The Procurators fall into two groups, with a Jewish king
intervening. The table above is the first group of these
administrators of Judea. Their seat of government was Caesarea,
a city that had become Jerusalem's rival. The Jews had a certain
freedom under this regime. "The oath of allegiance to the Roman
emperor was more an oath of confederates than of subjects." The
Sanhedrin was still supposed to be the governing body for home
affairs with the High Priest as its president. But the arbitrary
appointment and removal of High Priests by the procurator, placed
these powers at the mercy of his caprice, and ultimately the Jews
were robbed of these prerogatives altogether. The procurator then
could always interfere with the carrying out of Jewish law. It is
important that these facts should be borne in mind in the events
of the next chapter. Even in religious offenses where the High
Priest with the Sanhedrin could pronounce the death sentence, the
confirmation of the procurator was required for the execution.
So heavily were the people taxed that the tax-gatherers (called
_publicans_) were looked upon with opprobrium. Doubtless many of
them dishonestly abused their power.

Still Judea was the only province in which the worship of the
emperor was not compulsory. The reason is obvious. To pagan
communities it was a command which they could obey complacently;
to the monotheistic Jews recognizing one sole spirit God, it was
simply impossible. It was attempted by the Emperor Caligula,
but failed. Even the local coinage bore no figure, nor were the
standards bearing the likenesses of the emperor tolerated, as such
was regarded as an offense by the strict interpreters of the second
commandment. One tyrant tried and failed to force these banners
on Judea. They violently opposed a census in the year 7 both on
religious and on political grounds, as they regarded it as an
infringement of their sacred rights and the precursor of slavery.
But Joezer, the High Priest, quieted them and induced them to submit.

Still, from such incidents the stern determination of the Jews
may be inferred. Judas of Gamala, a Galilean, and a religious
enthusiast, went about preaching the duty of rebellion and the sin
of submission. Gradually these malcontents formed themselves into a
new party of extremists--the _Zealots_, who believed in using the
sword against the heathen to hasten the Messianic realization. They
already began nursing the smouldering embers of rebellion.

Pilate in Particular.

Such was the status under the procurators in general. We will
treat in detail the regime of only one--Pontius Pilate. It is
characteristic of all, but especially eventful in many ways.

The Jewish historian, Josephus, and the Jewish philosopher, Philo,
have much to tell of his doings. From the trustworthy Philo we are
told that he was of "an unbending and recklessly hard character."
"He has been charged with corruptibility, violence, robberies,
ill-treatment of the people, continued executions without even the
form of trial, endless and intolerable cruelties."

On his first entry into Jerusalem he determined to outrage the
religious sensibilities of the people he was sent to protect, by
bidding his Roman soldiers hoist a flag with the Emperor's likeness.
They petitioned for its removal. He refused. For five days they
stood outside the palace urging their request. When the soldiers
with drawn swords stood ready to slay at his signal, the people
bared their necks, preferring death to toleration of this idolatrous
emblem. Such was the intensity of the Jews of these last years of
their national life, such was the stuff of which they were made.
Even tyrants reach limits beyond which they dare not pass. The
emblem was sullenly withdrawn.

At another time he appropriated the Temple treasures, sacredly
set aside for religious purposes, for the building of an aqueduct
to Jerusalem. This time he resorted to violence to quell the
opposition, many lives being sacrificed.

With the purpose only of annoying the people, he put up votive
shields inscribed with the emperor's name. But they appealed to
Tiberius who not only ordered them removed, but rebuked Pilate for
raising them.

On another occasion the Samaritans, to whom Gerizim had all the
sanctity that Sinai had for Israel, because the Mosaic Blessings
were announced from its heights (see Deut, xi, 29, Joshua, viii,
33), gathered there on a rumor that sacred vessels were hidden in
its soil. Pilate sent soldiers wantonly to slaughter them. This led
to his recall by Tiberius.


The Emperor Tiberius decided that it was kinder to the Jews to
appoint procurators for long terms than to make frequent changes.
It meant the greed of a smaller number to be satisfied. But, on the
whole, his attitude was less friendly than that of his predecessor,
Augustus. This may have been due to the fact that many Romans of
high birth had, unsolicited, accepted the Jewish faith, and had
sent gifts to the Temple at Jerusalem. Among these converts was
Fulvia, wife of a Roman senator. This led to the banishment from
Rome of many thousands of Jews to a dangerous climate. Here was the
beginning of a religious persecution.

The incident, however, shows that the worthier Romans were becoming
more and more distrustful of pagan cults and were looking for
something better. We shall see later how zealous Jews from Judea,
and more particularly from Alexandria, began making converts to
Judaism all through Asia Minor. The influence of these converts on
future events was farther reaching than their sponsors ever dreamed.


Read "A Procurator of Judea" in _Mother of Pearl_, by Anatole
France. Trans., N. Y., John Lane, 1908.

_Theme for discussion_:

(a) Does official Judaism discourage conversion?

(b) Why did the Jews oppose a census on religions grounds? See II.
Sam. xxiv, and article Census in _Jewish Encyclopedia_, vol. iii.



So far the rule of Pontius Pilate as it concerned Judea. But his
rule has become of wide import because of his relation to Jesus of
Nazareth, who was put to death during his administration, though
born in the province of Galilee governed by Herod Antipas. To
explain how a great religion sprang up around this Galilean Jew,
which came afterwards to regard him as its father, can be explained
only by a complete grasp of the political and religious aspirations
of the time.

The Messianic Hope.

The ominous mood in which the Jews realized their gradual
deprivation of country and independence indicated the stirring of
deep forces in their nature. Judea was to them a Holy Land, for
"from Zion had gone forth the Law." Love of country had become
part of their religion. Every political function had its religious
aspect. The Sanhedrin was at once a civil and a religious body, and
this dual characteristic pervaded all the civil institutions. So
the longing for the restoration of the royal line of Judah, i.e.,
the coming of the Messiah, expressed the religious as well as the
political hopes of the nation. Not that the word Messiah had any
peculiarly religious significance. It is the Hebrew word _M'sheach_,
meaning "Anointed (king)," and was applied in the Bible to Saul,
David, and even to Cyrus, the Persian, Isaiah xlv--1. In post-exilic
times the coming of the Messiah implied the re-establishment of the
throne in the Davidic line.

Many of the pious felt further that with a king once more on
an independent throne, the glorious pictures of the coming day
foretold by the Prophets and not attained in the first monarchy,
would be realized in the second. Such as "The Lord's house will
be established on the top of the mountains; all nations will
flock to it, saying, Come let us go up to the house of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways, we
will walk in His paths." (Isaiah and Micah.) Again, "The earth
will be full of knowledge of God as the waters cover the sea." The
conviction expressed by Jeremiah (chap. xxxi, 33-34) would then be
fulfilled, that all would "know the Lord from the least of them to
the greatest." One of the latest of the Prophets--Zechariah--had
foretold a day when "ten men would take hold of the garments of him
who was a Jew and would say, We will go with you, for we believe
that God is with you." So we might quote nearly every prophet from
Amos to Malachi, the last prophet, who said that the day of Judgment
would be heralded by the undying Elijah. A Jewish poet in Alexandria
voiced the same hope; heathendom would disappear and the kingdom of
God would be established.

Alas, the outlook for either the spiritual or the temporal
realization seemed farther removed than ever. Every now and then,
more particularly under the disturbing rule of the procurators,
a deluded enthusiast would appear upon the scene and claim that
he was a Messiah. Theudas was one who made this claim in the year
45. So desperate were the times that these agitators always found
followers. They were always ruthlessly put to death by Rome for the
claim of Messiahship, i.e., "King of the Jews," was treason against
Rome. Was not Judea a Roman province now?

Jesus the Man.

In chapter vii the Essenes have been mentioned. This sect, that
lived as a brotherhood in the vicinity of the Dead Sea, shared all
goods in common, condemned wealth and passed simple lives away from
the great world. They, too, looked for the coming of the Messiah.
But it was the religious climax of the prophets just quoted that
would follow the Messiah's advent--the ushering in triumph of an
independent nationality, that most appealed to them. This lofty view
was also shared by the more saintly among the Israelites in general;
nor was it ever entirely absent even from the popular view.

We have already heard of John the Baptist (Essene), who so stirred
the people by preaching that "the kingdom of God" was at hand;
this was the Messianic hope. He evidently inspired one youth, who
was in close sympathy with the Essene brotherhood, Joshua (Greek
Jesus) from Nazareth, in Galilee. Galilee, like the other provinces
in northern Palestine, was away from the learning and culture of
Jerusalem. It was the home of simple folk who spoke a corrupt
dialect, and who credulously accepted popular superstitions; such
as, every disease comes from an indwelling spirit or demon.

Of the life of the man Jesus who came from these surroundings
_little is really known_, but from a few bare facts very much has
been deduced and still more imagined. Apart from the fact that
he was the son of a carpenter, Joseph, we only hear of him about
two years before his death, and that occurred at the early age
of thirty-two. We find him preaching and expounding the Law and
sympathizing with the unfortunate classes.

Though by no means a profound scholar in the Law, he exhibited
fine moral perception and lived up to the pure ideals of the
strict, peace-loving Essene brotherhood. In his teachings or rather
preachings, he followed the models of the great prophets, laying
stress upon the spirit of religion and minimizing the value of
ceremonial. For there were formalists in those days as there were in
the days before the Exile. Indeed, every age reveals the experience
that the multitude is often more impressed by the ceremony than
the idea it is intended to convey--and gives more attention to the
outward, tangible form than to its inward, spiritual purpose, the
exaltation of life. Nor is that tendency confined to the ignorant
either. Religion so easily sinks into a mechanical routine unless
we keep vigilant watch. This lesson is preached by the moralists of
every age. It was preached by Jesus of Nazareth with rare power. He
had soon a large following, perhaps, too, for the reason that he was
now regarded as John the Baptist's successor.

Jesus the Messiah.

But it was not so much his ethical teaching, lofty though it was,
that brought him into prominence and caused the crowds to gather
about him, though a modern school of Christian apologetics lays
stress upon that now. It was partly because he was regarded as a
"healer," a power claimed by the Essenes; but chiefly because he was
regarded as the long-looked for _Messiah_ who would deliver Israel
from the thraldom of Rome and gratify their wildest expectations.
Whether he first of his own accord laid claim to this mysterious
title, or whether he was persuaded into it by his admirers, we
cannot gather from the few records that tell the events of his life.
For even the earliest of these records, the so-called Gospel of
Mark, was not written till nearly fifty years after his death, at a
time when startling opinions had already been formed about him; and
they do not agree even as to his parentage and birthplace. In fact,
once regarded as the Messiah, his biography was _recast_ to fit the
Messianic prophecies in the Scriptures! This made the Jesus of the
Gospels largely a mythical character.

Jesus could quite honestly have believed himself to be a Messiah
in some religious sense, though he was rather evasive when bluntly
questioned. For many sincere enthusiasts both before and since his
time have believed themselves specially chosen messengers of God
to bring redemption to their people. It will be seen at the end
of this volume that Mohammed, who flourished several centuries
later, believed himself to be sent by God to bring salvation to the
Arabians. In a sense he was; to call him an impostor, an earlier
practise of the Church, is uncharitable and untrue. In Israel's
history, since the days of the procurators not a century has passed
but some one has come forward claiming to be the Messiah. Some were
honest, though mistaken; some were mere adventurers.

Jesus probably accepted the Essene idea of the Messiah, that is,
he was less concerned with ushering in an earthly than a heavenly

This distinction was not clearly realized by the simple masses
of the people, groaning under a hated yoke; certainly it was not
realized by the Romans, who saw in every Messianic claim treason
against Rome, a plot to win independence for Judea again. On the
other hand, Jesus applying to himself on one occasion the term "son
of God"--that may mean so little or so much--awakened the alarm
and antagonism of the priesthood and lost for him many supporters.
So Jesus, who was probably innocent of any blasphemous assumptions
against Judaism and guiltless of any conspiracy against Rome to
seize the throne and be made "King of the Jews," was nevertheless
condemned to death like the Messiahs before him and was executed by
the Roman method of capital punishment, crucifixion. But unlike the
Messiahs before him--all mediocre men--his name has been treasured
ever since as one of the great religious teachers of the world.


For although he died without bringing the redemption which would
have proven his Messiahship, his followers did not lose faith in
him. His turning kindly to the poor and despised folk, even to the
sinful and degraded with his message of comfort, had won all hearts.
As they believed he had performed miracles in his life-time, so now
they tried to persuade themselves that a greater miracle had been
fulfilled in his death--that he had not really died, but had been
translated to heaven like Elijah or Enoch and that he would return
some day and complete his unfinished work. In those unlettered days
belief in the supernatural was very common. Among certain folk it is
not so uncommon to-day.

So these believers that Jesus was the Messiah became a new sect
called _Christians_. What does "Christian" mean? Christ (Christos)
is the Greek for Messiah. So the name Christians meant Messians, and
the name Jesus Christ means Jesus the Messiah. Though Jesus himself
did not speak Greek, but Aramaic, the Christian Scriptures were
written in Greek.

The Jewish Christians continued to live much as the Essenes before
them, like them assuming voluntary poverty and faithful as of old
to the Jewish Law. But in later years when many pagans joined this
sect, they introduced into it many idolatrous notions, borrowed
from the cults of Greece, Rome and Egypt. The man Jesus was exalted
into a divinity and worshipped as such. The shedding of his blood
at his execution was regarded as a sacrifice intended by God to
atone for the sins of mankind, based on the ancient idea that the
priest shed the blood of an animal in atoning for the sins of the
people; but the Hebrew prophets and some of the psalmists had all
condemned animal sacrifice as a means of atonement. This belief was
a stage of religion beyond which the Jews were advancing. It died
out altogether before the century was over--just when it was being
revived in this way by Christians.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next step which separated the Jews from the Christians was the
depreciation and ultimately the abrogation of the Jewish Law. This
was brought about by a later teacher, Paul, at first opposed to
Christians, but later their most eloquent advocate. This abandonment
of the Law, ultimately conceded by the early Messians, who had so
far still clung to it, severed their relationship with the parent
faith. Thus Paul made Christianity a new religion for the heathen

The process by which this Jewish sect became a new religion, most of
whose adherents came from the heathen world, was slow and gradual.
We shall refer to the different steps in the development of this
Faith as they occur, and we shall see how this sect, born in
Judaism, became its antagonist and persecutor in later days.


_Biography of Jesus_:

In recasting his life from the meagre data at hand his biographers
ascribed to him all of the miracles told of Elijah and Elisha--feeding
the multitude with a few loaves, curing the sick, reviving the dead
and being transported to heaven.

_Teachings of Jesus_:

He taught nothing heretical or startlingly new; he preferred to
emphasize the old. The phrases of "the Lord's Prayer" are biblical;
the Beatitudes (a group of Blessings in the New Testament) are
rabbinic; his communistic views, those of the Essene school.

The chief source of his teachings was the _Didache_, i.e., a summary
of the Faith used by the Synagogue for proselytes. It contained the
_Shema_ followed by "Thou shalt love the Lord God, etc.;" love thy
neighbor as thyself--Hillel's Golden Rule; the Ten Commandments; a
disquisition on "the two ways"--right and wrong.

He followed the rabbis in teaching largely by _Mashal_--parable.
Even the form "Ye have heard, etc., but I will go further yet,
etc.," is rabbinic.

_The Crucifixion_:

The reasons why the death of Jesus should not be attributed to the
Jews, may be summarized as follows. (See _Jewish Encyclopedia_, vol.

Crucifixion was not a Jewish, but a Roman method of capital
punishment. Prior to the open rebellion against Rome, 30-66 C. E.,
many Jews were crucified as rebels, and on very meagre evidence. A
Messiah in its eyes was a rebel; the inscription placed on the cross
was "King of the Jews."

"The mode and manner of Jesus' death undoubtedly point to Roman
custom and law as the directive power," though Jews may have
administered a soothing cup to lessen the suffering.

None of the well established measures of precaution were taken that
always preceded a Jewish execution. It is very doubtful whether
Jewish law would tolerate a three-fold execution at one time.

A Jewish execution on Friday is almost impossible. If Jesus died
on Nissan 14, the execution on the eve of a festival would be
irregular. If on Nissan 15 (Passover), the execution could not
be held. There is no corroboration of the custom to liberate a
condemned person on account of a holiday.

     Read _As Others Saw Him_, Joseph Jacobs; Macmillan.

     _Jesus of Nazareth_, Schlesinger. Albany.

     _Cradle of the Christ_, Frothingham.

     _The Religious Teaching of Jesus_, C. G. Montefiore, Macmillan,

Matthew, Mark and Luke are called Synoptic Gospels as distinct from
the Gospel of John, a later and more doctrinal work.

_Theme for discussion_:

Why cannot Jesus be accepted by the Synagogue to-day?



Jew and Greek.

Before resuming the story of Judea under the procurators, let
us take another survey of Jews and Judaism in lands outside of
Palestine. The voluntary dispersion still went on. The Jews were
now scattered over all the Roman Empire, which included Asiatic and
European lands from Syria to Spain. We also find our ancestors,
at the beginning of the Christian era, in Arabia and in Parthia,
an Asiatic kingdom south of the Caspian Sea. But, however widely
scattered, religion was the bond of union and Jerusalem the
spiritual centre. From distant lands many would from time to time
make pilgrimages to the Temple.

The attitude of the heathen world was on the whole not unfriendly
to the Jews. They were disliked for their rejection of the heathen
gods, for their aloofness, their stern morality, their sobriety, and
their material success; while their exclusiveness--partly but not
wholly justifiable--led to the erroneous supposition that they were
hostile to mankind. But the Jews of the Diaspora were less exclusive
and more tolerant than those of Judea. This was particularly true
of Alexandria, capital of Egypt, now part of the Roman Empire.
There had existed here--apart from occasional outbursts of racial
antagonism among the populace, a cordial interchange of ideas in
which the Jews met the Greeks more than half way. (chaps. ii and vi.)

The Jews admired the culture of the educated Greeks and felt drawn
toward the lofty philosophy of Plato, the nearest Greek approach to
the monotheism and morality of the Hebrews. The broadening effect
of this infusion of Greek thought, gave to Judaism in Alexandria a
distinct character, and it came to be known as Hellenistic Judaism,
and its espousers, Hellenistic Jews. We have used the term Hellenist
in an earlier chapter, in a bad sense as descriptive of Jews who
yielded to those Greek influences that were pagan, to the detriment
of Judaism. Here we apply the term in a good sense to those who were
open to Greek influences that were intellectual, to the advantage of
Judaism. We have already marked the effect of Greek thought in some
of the Apocryphal writings, particularly in the "Wisdom of Solomon."
Appreciating the metaphysics of the Greek philosophers, the Jewish
Hellenists were anxious to bring home to the Greeks and to others
the spiritual and moral truths of Judaism.

Jewish Missionaries.

But how to present the revelation of the Law and of the Prophets
in a manner that would most appeal to the Greeks? In their fervor
to make proselytes to the Law of Moses, they resorted to a strange
expedient. There existed among the Greeks women-seers called Sibyls,
who were supposed to foretell in mysterious oracles the destinies
of nations. So some Jewish writers cast the Bible teachings of God
and morality in the literary form of Sibylline oracles. Like the
Bible prophets, these Jewish Sibylline writers, warned those who
followed false views and bad lives, and promised salvation to those
who accepted the law of the God of Israel. They popularized the
teachings of the Mosaic law and so generalized it as to present
it as a religion for mankind. These writings exerted a salutary
influence on many followers of Greek thought.

The Hellenists went so far as to try to prove from Jewish Scriptures
many of the loftier ideas of Greek philosophy. In this way Judaism
was represented as anticipating the highest knowledge of the time.
In their enthusiasm, this reconciliation of Judaism and Greek
philosophy was occasionally carried further than conditions quite
warranted. The attempt was also made to explain every biblical law
allegorically, as though it was intended to convey ideas other than
those that appeared on the surface. Thus they read Greek philosophy
into the Bible. The habit of reading the science of the day into
the old Bible books still prevails. This poetic explaining away of
many injunctions of Scripture led in some instances to their actual
neglect. This was the dangerous extreme.

The assumption that Jews discourage proselytes has been refuted in
chaps. xii and xiv. It is certainly not true of the Alexandrian
Jews who were most zealous in their missionary efforts. They not
only felt that it was the mission of the Jew to carry his message
to the world; they did it. The translation of their Scriptures
into Greek, the presentation of the message of their faith in the
form of Sibylline oracles, and the allegorizing away of many of
their ceremonials were all employed for the bringing of Judaism to
the Gentile. So successful were their efforts, that just when the
Jewish state was dying, many heathens were seeking this Faith of
their own accord, attracted by its ethics and repelled by heathen
uncleanliness. Philo says that the adoption of Judaism by many
heathens immediately resulted in a marked moral improvement in their
lives. The number of female proselytes in Damascus, Asia Minor,
Egypt and Rome steadily grew. Pagan writers remark it. Josephus
writes:--"There is not any city of the Greeks or of the barbarians
... to which our custom of resting on the seventh day has not been
introduced and where our fasts and dietary laws are not observed."
He adds further how enthusiastically these converts fulfilled all
Jewish rites. A zealous Jewish missionary converted Helen, the queen
of Adiabene, a province on the Tigris, and all her family. She made
a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, sent valuable gifts to the Temple, and
helped the people in the time of famine.

So, although Judaism was a religion that imposed on its followers
severe restraints and, although the Jews were a very small people,
whom some heathens despised, still, many knocked at its doors to be
admitted into the fold, even for fifty years after its Temple was
destroyed and its nationality overthrown--tragedies which we shall
presently have to tell. Yes, many of the very people that overthrew
it--the Romans--accepted the Jewish faith. The Emperor Domitian made
severe laws against proselytes to Judaism, in order to discourage
the practice. Indeed, a cousin of the emperor, who was also a
senator and consul, together with his wife, accepted Judaism.

But ultimately the stream of converts was diverted to the new creed,
born of Judaism, Christianity--more particularly as in its second
stage it sent its missionaries to the heathen world proclaiming
that acceptance of Jesus as savior and divinity would bring
them salvation without conforming to the burdensome Jewish Law.
Furthermore it became a doctrine of the new religion that the death
of Jesus abrogated the Law. Thus, salvation made easy, brought
thousands to the fold. The Jewish missionaries had really simplified
the task for the Christian missionaries who followed later. They
prepared the soil.

This is looking a little further ahead to events yet to be related.
By that time the followers of the two religions had become people
of two different races: Judaism followed almost exclusively by Jews
who were Semites; Christianity by Aryans, Greeks, Romans and other
Europeans. This racial distinction became the final barrier which
completely separated them.


_Aryans and Semites_:

Not all Semites are Jews, for example the Arabians; nor are all
Aryans Christians p. e. the Persians. Religious and racial lines are
no longer identical.

_Theme for discussion_:

Why did most heathen converts to Judaism ultimately become



We are now ready to consider one to whom frequent reference has
been made--the greatest of the Alexandrian Jewish missionary
philosophers, styled the "noblest Judean of his age"--Philo-Judeus.
He was born in Alexandria of good family, about 15 B. C., just when
Herod was ruling and Hillel was teaching in Jerusalem. His brother,
Alexander, was given the influential post of farmer of taxes. Both
received the best education the times afforded in literature,
music, mathematics and natural science. Philo early showed a taste
for literature in general, and philosophy in particular. His
circumstances enabled him to devote himself to a literary life, for
which he was peculiarly gifted. He showed his warm interest in the
cause of his people in his journey to Rome as one of the ambassadors
to plead before the mad Emperor Caligula (to be told in the next
chapter). Of this whole incident he himself gives a graphic account
in his chronicles of the Jewish events of his time.

His Bible Commentary.

A many-sided genius, he was the best exponent of that Hellenistic
school that sought to harmonize the revealed religion of the Torah
with the conclusions of Greek philosophy. He was thoroughly versed
in both. His works, as those of all this school, were written in
Greek. While the form may be that of Plato, the spirit is that
of the prophets. In his commentary on Scripture, following the
allegorical method already referred to, he treats all the incidents
in Genesis, for example, as symbolic of human development and moral
truths underlying the historic facts on the surface. He did not,
however, go to the extreme of neglecting Jewish observance on the
strength of metaphoric interpretation. Indeed, he even rebuked those
who did. He writes "just as we must be careful of the body as the
house of the soul, so must we give heed to the letter of the written
laws. For only when these are faithfully observed, will the inner
meaning of which they are the symbols become more clearly realized."

But he warningly adds "If a man practice ablutions and
purifications, but defiles his mind while he cleanses his body ...
let him none the more be called religious."

In his interpretation of the Mosaic Law in the Pentateuch, he has
the education of the heathen chiefly in mind. He reveals the harmony
of its precepts with the laws of nature. He groups all duties under
the Ten Commandments. He points out with enthusiasm the humanity
of the Law, and completely refutes slanders against Judaism by
citing examples of its purity, breadth and philanthropy, such as
the Sabbatic year and the jubilee to eliminate poverty, the freeing
of slaves, the boon of the Sabbath for the servant, the social
equality in the festival rules, the restraints of the dietary laws,
the tenderness and consideration for all human needs in the code of
Deuteronomy. His contrasts are the severest condemnation of Greek
and Roman morals.

His Philosophy.

In his philosophy he again applies the allegorical method to the
Pentateuch. In this field of _Midrash_ (homiletic exposition) he
may have influenced the later rabbis of the Talmud, even though
rejected by them. He attempts to show that the lofty ideas found in
the Platonic, Stoic and Neo-pythagorean philosophies were already
taught in the Jewish Scripture. From Moses, the greatest teacher of
mankind, the Greek philosophers derived their wisdom. From Mosaic
Law comes the highest and truest religious revelation. Thus he
endeavored to win Jews to an appreciation of Greek literature, and
Greeks to an appreciation of Jewish Scripture.

Philo is the first Jew to present a complete system of philosophy,
yet he weaves it out of the Bible. Just a word about it. It is hard
to treat the philosophy of any one writer separately, for it is
usually linked with a whole chain of theories of earlier schools.
A deep believer in the spiritual God of his fathers, it was one
of the aims of his life to attain fuller knowledge of Him. While
in his treatment of the divine idea he shows the influence of the
Greek philosopher Plato, yet as Jew he brings to the philosophic
abstraction the religious warmth of a believer in the living God.

God alone is perfect, unchangeable, devoid of all qualities and
indefinable. Absolutely perfect, He cannot come in contact with
matter, which is defiling. How does Philo bridge the gap from
the spiritual God to the material world? God acts on the world
indirectly through intermediary causes or powers, which He first

The Logos.

These intervening powers he at times calls angels and at times
ideas. He uses a Greek word _logos_ meaning Reason. Whence comes
this _logos_ which we are to think of partly as a spirit and again
as a thought? It is a product; or as he expresses it in a Greek
idiom, a _child_ of divine intelligence. By means of this _logos_,
the perfect spiritual divinity creates the world.

This sounds unfamiliar, but the eighth chapter of Proverbs and some
of the books of the Apocrypha speak of Wisdom as though it were a
kind of being and that with it God laid the world's foundation. Of
course, this is only figurative. But later the fathers of the Church
put a new and startling construction upon Philo's Logos and read
into it a literalness he never intended. They changed the _logos_
into an actual human being. Unlike Philo they did not call it a
child of divine intelligence in the Greek idiomatic sense, but a
"son of God" in an actual and physical sense. It was then but a
step for the Church to declare that Jesus, its Messiah, was the
_Logos_! He was therefore a species of divinity too. It was not
till Christianity's second stage that Jesus of Nazareth was in this
way raised from a real man into an imaginary divinity. Thus the
link with Judaism was broken in the rejection of its fundamental
principle of monotheism--the belief in one indivisible God.

Philo is, of course, only unconsciously the cause of this doctrinal
change, for he did not come in contact with the new sect of
Christians and never mentions it, and this idea developed after his
day. In fact, the divinity of Jesus had already been adopted, and
Philo's writings were later construed to fit it.

His Ethics.

A word on his ethics. Evil is a necessary consequence of our free
will. Without it there could not be the contrast of good. Evil is
associated with the body which he depicts as the opponent of the
soul. The soul emanates from God like the _logos_, but attracted by
sensuous matter it descends into mortal bodies. This earthly body
then is the cause of evil. But Philo was too wise to infer from that
the duty of asceticism. He did not teach that man must suppress
his desires and passions and earthly longings, but that he should
suppress them. For this, man needs the help of God. The wise and
virtuous are uplifted out of themselves to a closer knowledge of
God, and God's spirit dwells in them. This is highest happiness.
While we cannot quite accept his theories, his conclusions ring true
with all the inspiring elements of lofty religion.


_The Logos_:

The Greek _logos_ also means Word. Just as Proverbs personifies
wisdom, so the Targum (Aramaic translation of the Bible) identifies
the "word of God" with the divine presence. Here again the Christian
mystic goes a step further and changes a metaphor into a fact. "The
Word of God became flesh; Jesus is that Word!" (Gospel of St John.)

In his popular but exhaustive work on _Philo-Judaeus_, (J. P. S. A.
1910) Norman Bentwich writes:

     "It is idle to try and formulate a single definite notion of
     Philo's Logos. For it is the expression of God in His multiple
     and manifold activity, the instrument of creation, the seat of
     ideas, the world of thought, which God first established as the
     model of the visible universe, the guiding providence, the sower
     of virtue, the fount of wisdom, described sometimes in religious
     ecstacy, sometimes in philosophical metaphysics sometimes in the
     spirit of the mystical poet."


Philo represents an important type, then new--a Jew loyal to his
faith when living in a non-Jewish atmosphere. Not all so nobly
withstood these surrounding allurements. His own brother drifted
from the fold. Philo wrote for indifferent Jews as well as for pagan

According to Montefiore, the Greek, according to Bentwich, the
Hebrew note in Philo, is the more pronounced.

_Greek Law and Jewish_:

Philo brings out the following contrast. The Greeks were bidden not
to refuse fire and water to those who needed it, but Judaism bids
its followers to give to the poor and weak all that life requires.

For examples of Philo's teaching read "Florilegium Philonis," by
Montefiore, _Jewish Quarterly Review_, Vol. vii; in the same volume,
"Philo Concerning the Contemplative Life," Conybeare; and in Vol. v,
"Latest Researches on Philo," Cohn.

_Theme for discussion_:

Why did rabbinic Judaism neglect Philo?



In taking up again the thread of Judea's story, let its relation to
the Roman State be clearly understood. It was under the immediate
supervision of the procurator. He in turn was subject to the higher
power of the governor of Syria. Both were answerable to the supreme
authority--the emperor at Rome. Though the Syrian governors came
little in contract with Judea, at times their intervention was
important. We may instance Vitellius, who deserves passing mention
in Jewish history. In contrast with the behavior of Pilate the
procurator, was his consideration shown for Jewish sensibilities
by this Syrian governor. "He was the noblest Roman of them all."
He exhibited an uncommon forbearance by remitting some burdensome
taxes; he sympathetically inquired into the needs of the people and
removed from the High Priesthood the unworthy Caiaphas in whose time
Jesus of Nazareth was executed. He also ordered Pilate to Rome to
answer for his misgovernment.

The Mad Emperor Caligula.

As to the emperors: Some of these gave no thought to the Jews apart
from appointing their procurators. With others the Jews came in
clashing contact. Such was the case with Caligula who donned the
purple in 37. This demented man believed himself to be a divinity,
so that obeisance to his image was not merely an act of allegiance,
but of worship. The consequences of this sacrilegious command to
worship him was the first felt by the Jews of Alexandria; for the
Ptolemaic and the Seleucid empires were both Roman now. An actual
persecution here took place in which the Jews were besieged in their
own quarter, the Delta. Their refusal to obey the emperor's childish
demand gave excuse to their tormentors to attack them under the
guise of patriotism. Patriotism may be the mantle for so many sins.
Synagogues were defiled and many persons were slain. Philo, now
advanced in years, led a deputation to Rome, to intercede for his
brethren. He made an eloquent plea, assuring the emperor of Jewish
loyalty. "They sacrifice for you daily an offering in the Temple."
"_For_ me," sneered Caligula, "not _to_ me." The deputation suffered
many indignities and returned dispirited.

[Illustration: COIN OF AGRIPPA I. 37-44 C.E.]

To Judea likewise came the same blasphemous demand with the threat
of similar punishment. At last the mad monarch ordered his image
to be set up in the Temple and entrusted the task to the Syrian
governor, Petronius, a man of the stamp of Vitellius. He did
his best to delay the wanton edict at the risk of the emperor's
displeasure. At last yielding to the agonized entreaty of the people
he imperilled his life by asking the emperor to revoke the order.
Agrippa, a Jewish favorite of Caligula, succeeded in persuading the
emperor to renounce the abortive project. Soon, however, he repented
and determined on its execution. But relief came to Alexandria and
Judea at one stroke--the emperor was murdered in 41.

The next emperor, Claudius, restored to the Alexandrian Jews all
the privileges that had been taken from them during the rule of his
predecessor, and their rights were more firmly established than
before. Religious freedom was now granted to the Jews throughout
the whole Roman empire. But best of all, he stopped the regime of
the procurators by appointing as king of Judea, one of their own

Agrippa's Youth.

Agrippa was the grandson of Herod the Great and Mariamne, thus
having both Idumean and Hasmonean blood in his veins. As a child
he was sent for his education to Rome. The influences of Rome were
not healthy. They made the lad luxurious and extravagant. Loaded
with debts he returned to Judea and was assisted by his uncle and
brother-in-law, Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee. After varied fortunes
he came again to Rome, befriended by Philo's brother Alexander.
Tiberius, emperor at that time, received him favorably and gave him
charge of his grandson. But still his extravagant habits continued,
and an incautious word sent him to prison, where he remained till
the emperor died in 37.

The next emperor, Caligula, who was mad enough to think himself
a divinity, was also sane enough to make Agrippa his friend and
even to be dissuaded by him from putting his statue in the Temple.
Agrippa's fortunes began now to rise. On the death of tetrarch
Philip and on the deposition of tetrarch Antipas, their Palestinian
provinces were bestowed on him (see p. 117). He was honored with the
titles of King and Praetor, and his iron chain was exchanged for
one of gold. So, like Joseph, he was transferred from a prison to
a throne. At Caligula's death he assisted Claudius in obtaining the
imperial crown. In grateful recognition, Judea, Samaria and Idumea
were added to Agrippa's dominions. And thus it happened that Judea
had a king again.

Agrippa the King.

His kingdom, uniting the various tetrarchies of Herod's three sons,
was now even vaster in area than that of his grandfather, Herod.
But he was a very different type of man. In spite of his Roman
associations, he possessed strong Jewish sentiment and decided to
become the father instead of the tyrant of his people.

The wild habits of his youth he laid aside and he hung up in the
Temple the golden chain that replaced his prison fetters, as a
mark of thankfulness and humility. His rule was a golden age for
Judea--all too brief. Though partly of alien blood, the Pharisees
said on one occasion, "Thou art our brother, Agrippa." He was
amiable, benevolent, grateful and showed a forgiving disposition.
His magnanimity changed opponents into friends.

He entered with hearty enthusiasm into all the ceremonial of
Judaism. The Mishna, explained in chap. xxxi, speaks of him in high
praise, and tells how he carried the first fruit offering to the
Temple with his own hand. He looked after the interests of Jews
and Judaism at home and abroad. Through his representation, some
statues that had been wantonly put in a Phoenician synagogue were
removed. Still, outside of Judea he permitted the amphitheatre with
gladiatorial combats, and bestowed gifts upon many Grecian cities
and upon some heathen towns of Palestine.

Rabbi Gamaliel.

The Sanhedrin was invested by him with new power and dignity, and
under the wise presidency of Rabbi Gamaliel, _hazaken_ (the elder),
a descendant of Hillel many liberal laws were made. Gamaliel showed
the same consideration to heathen as to Jewish poor. He was so
esteemed that the saying arose, "When Rabbi Gamaliel died, the
glory of the Torah passed away." One of his teachings ran: "Procure
thyself an instructor; avoid the possibility of doubt; and do not
tithe by conjecture."

Agrippa Slain.

Agrippa would fain have furthered the hopes of Israel in making
them more independent of Rome, but he was watched by envious eyes.
A conference of local vassal kings, called by him, was broken up
by the suspicious Syrian governor. He wished to strengthen Judea's
fortifications, but again the Syrian governor induced the emperor
to stop the work. In fact, many jealous Romans feared that a longer
continuance of his kingdom might develop into a menace against
Rome. So the assassin's knife was called into play! Suddenly at a
moment of triumphal glory, he was stricken down at the early age of
forty-five. The kindly disposed emperor would have given the kingdom
to his son, but he was dissuaded by his counselors. The old regime
of the hated procurators was restored once more.

Agrippa II.

It is true this son, called Agrippa II. was given a small dominion,
but with little independent power. He was also entrusted with the
superintendence of the Temple which he did not always exercise
wisely. He was well-disposed to the Jews, and even used his
influence at court to intercede in their favor; but he felt akin
with them far less than had his father. He imported wood for the
Temple use and employed the discharged workmen of the finished
Herodian Temple to pave the city with marble. At first, he did
all he could in his impotent way to prevent hostilities between
Rome and Judea, but his training had been Roman and his spirit was
pagan. He moved on the line of least resistance--that meant his
ultimate drifting toward victorious Rome. His was a weak nature
entirely under the control of his sister Berenice. She became later
a favorite of the Roman emperor Titus, who played so large a part in
Judea's last days.


Agrippa II. continued to hold his petty kingdom for some time after
Judea had fallen, and lived to read Josephus' history about it. He
was the Agrippa before whom Paul appeared, and to whom he indolently
said, "With little wouldst thou win me over to be a Christian."

Paul also appeared before a later procurator, Felix.

_Theme for discussion_:

If Agrippa had lived and reigned as long as Herod--?

[Illustration: COIN OF AGRIPPA II, 60 C. E.]



  =Roman Emperors and Procurators.= |           =Jewry.=
                             YEAR.  |                         YEAR.
  =Claudius=                    41  |
    Fadus                       44  |
    Tiberius Alexander          45  |  Theudas the Messiah       45
    Ventidius Cumanus           48  |
    Felix                       52  |
  =Nero=                        54  |  Death of Philo            55
    Festus                      60  |
    Albinus                     62  |
    Gessius Florus              66  |  Josephus Gov. of Galilee  66

Agrippa's death was a signal for general indignities by Greeks and
Romans throughout Palestine against the people who had lost their
defender. Burdensome taxation alone would have been borne; but each
in turn of the second group of procurators placed over them seemed
actuated by the wanton purpose of trampling upon everything the Jews
held sacred, holding their religion up to scorn, and forcing them
into rebellion through the madness of despair.

_Fadus_, the first of the second group, was the most harmless. A
deluded enthusiast named Theudas claiming to be the Messiah and to
be gifted with supernatural powers, was apprehended and put to death
together with many of his followers.

The Zealots.

_Tiberius Alexander_, the next procurator, was a nephew of Philo,
but unlike his uncle, had abandoned Judaism, and therefore was a
very unfit appointee. He found it necessary to put to death two sons
of the Zealot Judas, the Galilean. These Zealots already briefly
referred to were a group of irreconcilables that at times resorted
to desperate remedies. They were the advance guard of a revolution.
Rebellions continued to grow in gravity with each successive rule.
During the administration of Ventidius Cumanus a rebellion broke out
through the wanton indecency of a Roman soldier during the Passover
celebration. In putting down the insurrection Cumanus ordered many
thousands slain. On another occasion the Zealots started to lead
an attack against Samaria to punish the murder of some of their
brethren, for the base Cumanus allowed marauders to rove unmolested
on the payment of sufficient bribe. Against the Zealots, however, he
led an army, for their offenses were political, not moral. Through
the intervention of young Agrippa, Cumanus was banished.

But the worst Procurator was to follow--_Felix_. He goaded the
Jews beyond endurance. All the appointees to the procuratorship
had been bad, but the appointment of this man as Judea's ruler was
an outrage. He was a freedman, i. e., one from the low classes.
His tyranny in public and his lust in private life revealed his
base origin. How natural that Judah should come to hate Rome
when she was represented by such hateful creatures! How natural
that the rebellious element--the Zealots--should grow in number
and determination. These Felix punished with cruel recklessness,
resorting often to treachery to entrap them. By such doing he
fomented the evil. Rebellion was now rife and could no longer be

The Sicarii.

For a still more fanatical group now made their appearance--outcome
of these unhappy times. They were called _Sicarii_, from the short
dagger, _sica_, with which they secretly slew their opponents.
These political assassinations made Jerusalem unsafe. Felix was
even unscrupulous enough to make use of these desperate men to
slay the High Priest Jonathan, whose influence had brought about
his own appointment. His only crime against Felix was begging
him to administer his office more worthily, and his only crime
against the Sicarii was not sanctioning their outrages. These wild,
misguided men were religious enthusiasts of a frenzied sort, for
wanton injustice breeds such types. They would gather with crowds
of deluded followers in the wilderness, claiming a divine call to
overthrow Rome; Felix always had his cohorts ready to hew them
down. He knew no remedies other than bloodshed. In one instance an
Egyptian Jew appeared as a would-be deliverer. At once Felix ordered
a massacre. The leader escaped; some of his surviving followers
awaited his return as a Messiah, who would re-establish the throne
of David once more.

Gradually a large part of the nation was imbued with the spirit of
rebellion. The mismanagement of Felix also brought quarrels among
the priests. Conflict arose in Caesarea between Syrians and Jews as
to civic rights and privileges. Felix partially decided in favor
of the Syrians and again increased the disturbance by resorting
to slaughter. In return for large bribes he deprived the Jews of
Caesarea of their civic rights, which they had possessed from
the days when the city was founded. At last, having done all the
mischief he could, this creature was recalled in 60 by Emperor Nero.

His successor _Festus_, meant well, but could do little in this
demoralized state. Things had gone too far to be smoothed over. The
upheaval had to come. The Sicarii continued their assassinations,
regarding all the moderates as their enemies.

At the death of Festus and after an interval of anarchy, Albinus--a
second Felix--was appointed--a public plunderer, a bribe-taker from
all parties. Well-to-do criminals could buy their freedom from him;
only the poor remained in prison. The high-priesthood at this time
was held by a most unscrupulous man, Ananias, who took by violence
the tithes of the priests. At last Albinus secretly joined the
robber bands of Sicarii. When recalled in 62, he maliciously opened
all the prisons and set the malefactors free to fill the country
with lawless men. How the lives and fates and fortunes of these
hapless Judeans were bandied about to gratify the wanton lust of
these tyrants and scoundrels!

The last procurator, _Gessius Florus_, held the post till 66 and
then the storm burst. For the climax of outrageous rule was reached
in him. Josephus says that, compared with him, Albinus whom he
describes as "an arch-robber and tyrant," was a law-abiding citizen
and to be praised as a benefactor! Need we add more? He did not, as
Albinus, even hide his crimes. His plunderings were conducted by
wholesale. He was verily a partner of robbers. Surely the time for
Judah to strike a blow for freedom had come.

_Theme for discussion_:

Compare zealots of antiquity with to-day's Russian revolutionists,
the Sicarii with the Anarchists, the local governors with the




When Florus, after robbing the people, began openly to rob the
Temple, the last thread of endurance snapped. Called in bitter irony
a beggar, for whom forsooth alms must be collected, Florus took
a bloody revenge. A second wanton attack upon the long suffering
people by his arriving cohorts, compelled them to rise against the
Roman soldiers in self defense. They gained possession of the Temple
Mount and Florus at last, seeing the mischief he had effected,
fled to Caesarea. Agrippa tried hard to dissuade the people from a
hopeless struggle against Rome, but he was a man without influence.
The Temple offerings for the Roman emperor were stopped--that was,
so to speak, the official renunciation of their allegiance. The more
temperate could not restrain the masses from this determination.

A Peace Party.

These moderates, who represented the judicious, formed a "Peace
Party." Conflict arose between them and the advocates of war, in
which Agrippa who aided the former with his troops, had his palace
burned and his soldiers put to flight. Soon the fortress towers
held by the Roman soldiers had to yield and the garrison was slain.
The revolution extended to all the outlying towns in which Jews
and Gentiles fought against each other, and spread even as far as

The governor of Syria, Cestius Gallus, thoroughly alarmed, came to
Jerusalem with a picked army, but after a partial success he was
forced to retreat. So vigorously was he pursued by these dauntless
men, that only by leaving most of his baggage behind him--of great
value to the revolutionists--could he escape at all, and then with
but a remnant of his army. This unlooked for success left the Peace
Party in a hopeless minority. Roman allies could do naught but leave
the capital. The Jews now began to organize their forces and some of
the highest men in the city led in the defense.


At an assembly of the people Joseph ben Gorion and the High Priest
Ananus were given charge of Jerusalem itself. Two men of the
high-priestly family were sent as generals to Idumea. In Jerusalem
the walls were strengthened and the youths trained for soldiers.
Josephus, a man of but thirty years, later historian of this war and
known so far only as a scholar, was sent to Galilee. Here he was to
gather an army from among the people and to meet the first brunt of
Rome's experienced hosts as they would arrive via Syria. For the
time being he was the governor of Galilee and appointed greater and
lesser councils to strengthen the fortifications of all the cities.
He had further to meet the opposition to his appointment in the
province itself, chiefly by one John of Gischala, a leader bold and
violent. For Josephus was not entirely trusted. His attitude was
altogether too moderate to satisfy these determined rebels. In his
heart of hearts he realized the impossibility of success. That very
conviction at once unfitted him for leadership.

The Emperor Nero, hearing of the defeat of the governor of Syria,
entrusted the task of quelling the rebellion to the experienced
general, Vespasian. He at once sent a garrison of six thousand to
the important Galilean city, Sepphoris, which took possession before
the Jewish army arrived. As the Roman host approached Galilee,
Josephus' untrained soldiers retreated to the highlands, leaving the
whole Galilean plain in possession of Vespasian without his striking
a blow.

Josephus sent word to Jerusalem that if he was to meet the Romans,
he must have an army. The request came too late. His troops, such as
they were, retired to the fortress of Jotapata, north of Sepphoris.
Vespasian appeared before it and a desperate struggle followed.
Josephus was a skilful commander and his men showed dauntless
courage, but Rome on its side had all the experience of war together
with overwhelming numbers. The first attack failed and a siege
began. Josephus showed wonderful craft in obtaining food for his
garrison and in breaking the force of the Roman battering rams. But
these means could only delay the end; they could not change it. The
besieged were worn out by sleeplessness and starvation after holding
out for forty-seven days. The wall was scaled when the exhausted
watchmen were asleep. All were either slain or sold into slavery.
The city and its fortifications were levelled to the ground.

Josephus with forty companions escaped to a cave. Against his advice
to surrender, they all decided that they would die by their own
hands. Josephus by strategem alone managed to escape this fate.
He appeared before Vespasian and by adroit flattery was favorably
received into his camp.

_Theme for discussion_:

Make clear the difference in principle between Judea's "Peace Party"
and the "Royalist Party" among the American revolutionists in 1776.




The North Succumbs.

When Vespasian reached Tiberias, on the Sea of Galilee, the people
opened their gates and at the request of Agrippa--who had now wholly
thrown in his fortunes with the Romans--they were well treated. In
the meantime the army of Titus, son of Vespasian, took the city of

Glance for a moment at the map of Palestine, (front of book) so
that a mental picture may be formed of the territory involved in
the great struggle: Phoenicia, the Lebanon Mountains and Syria ran
across the north. Immediately south was the province of Galilee,
partly bordering on the Mediterranean and bounded on the east by
the province of Gaulonitis and Decapolis, the Jordan and the Sea of
Galilee being the dividing line. Batanaea lay to the east again of
Gaulanitis. Still farther south was Judea, with the Jordan dividing
it from Perea. Idumea lay in the extreme south.

Vespasian was still in the north and next attacked the strong
fortress of Gamala in Gaulonitis. But after an entrance was gained
into the city, the Jews fought so desperately that the Romans was
repulsed with severe loss and for a time were afraid to renew the
attack. But in a second determined sally it was taken. At the same
time Mount Tabor was taken by a Roman force. There was now left
in Galilee only one unconquered fortress to be taken--Gischala.
Its conquest was entrusted to Titus. Its gates were soon opened,
but its controlling spirit, John of Gischala, with his band of
Zealots escaped to Jerusalem. By the end of the year 67 all northern
Palestine was in the hands of the Romans.

Rival Parties in Jerusalem.

These defeats brought consternation to Jerusalem. The leaders, who
had been taken from the aristocracy, were blamed and deposed. Some
were imprisoned and leaders from among the people were put in their
place. But the change was not made without bloodshed. Alas, here was
the beginning of a civil conflict as well--war within war. Judea's
cup of misery was full. John of Gischala, the escaped Zealot, was
soon at the head of the extreme fanatic party. Fighting contingents
of malcontents came to Jerusalem from all over the country and
joined the Zealots, which thus became the ruling power. They threw
discretion to the winds. An ignorant man of the common people was
also chosen as High Priest though this office had always been in the
hands of the aristocracy.

The Idumeans were now invited to enter Jerusalem and join forces
with the Zealots. They began at once a bloody attack on the party
of law and order. The old leaders, men of high birth, were put to
death. Verily it was Judea's "reign of terror." After assisting
in all this mischief, the Idumeans departed. The new Christian
community also left Jerusalem, deserting their brethren in the
sore hour of need, and took refuge in a heathen city. The shrewd
Vespasian made no haste to attack the capital, hoping that the
opposing parties left to themselves would weaken each other and
make his task more easy. He contented himself with placing
fortified garrisons in the chief surrounding places.

[Illustration: EMPEROR TITUS.]

In the meantime Nero died, in the year 68. Galba was made emperor
only to be murdered a few months after. These events were watched by
Vespasian with keen eyes. The man who had the army with him might
win the purple. He therefore made a pause in the war.

Another wild Zealot, Simon Ben Giora, began a plundering expedition,
carrying devastation wherever he went. In 69, after a year's pause,
Vespasian vigorously renewed the struggle by subduing the remaining
outlying districts. There was now left for subjugation a few
fortresses and the capital.

Stopped from his robber raids by Vespasian's vigor, Simon ben
Giora was now hailed in Jerusalem. Here all was confusion and
demoralization. The reckless tyrant of Gischala had indulged in
terrible excesses. The people hoped that the admission of Simon
would rid them of John's bloodthirsty rule; but there was little
choice between them.

Although Vitellius was now made emperor of Rome, the armies in Egypt
and Palestine decided to nominate Vespasian. He hastened to Rome,
found Vitellius murdered, and his own candidature unopposed. So in
the year 70 he was acknowledged emperor by both east and west, and
the prosecution of the Judean war was left in the hands of his son,

In Jerusalem the reign of terror continued. There was now a third
war party under one Eliezar. Each regarded the two others as
enemies, and each held a certain portion of the city as jealously
against the others as against the Romans. Simon ben Giora held the
upper part of the lower city situated on one hill, and the whole
of the upper city situated on another hill called Acra. John of
Gischala was entrenched in the Temple Mount. Eleazar held the court
of the Temple, but soon overpowered by John was forced to join
forces with him. In the madness of their folly they played into the
hands of the Romans by destroying grain rather than let it fall into
the hands of their rivals.

Titus with an immense army appeared before the walls of Jerusalem in
the spring of the fatal year 70. Still he by no means carried all
before him. When we read of the brave and stubborn resistance of the
Jews in spite of the unfortunate conflicts within, we can better
realize how successful their resistance might have been had they
presented a united front to the enemy.

The situation of the city had its natural advantages. It was built
on two hills with a ravine between, while the Temple standing in
spacious grounds, surrounded on all sides by strong walls, was a
citadel in itself. Attached to it was the castle of Antonia. The
upper and lower divisions of the city had their own separate walls,
a town's main protection before the days of gunpowder. There was a
common wall around both divisions and a third around the suburb,

[Illustration: COIN OF THE REIGN OF TITUS, ABOUT 73 C. E.]

When the battering rams of Titus began attacking the outer walls in
three places, John and Simon stopped their feud and banded together
at last to meet the common enemy. It was only after desperate
fighting for many days that the Romans got possession of the first
wall. Five days later the second wall was taken, though the enemy
was held back for four days longer. Earth defenses were now built by
the legions of Titus against the different fortifications, but no
sooner were these built than they fell, undermined by the vigilant
Simon and John.

Titus now applied new measures of severity. A stricter siege was
maintained. The city was reduced to famine and poor creatures
stealing out to gather food were crucified in sight of the
defenders. Then he built a wall to shut off all possible escape and
so tried to starve them out. The sufferings of the besieged, vividly
portrayed by Josephus, were desperate indeed and led to still more
desperate remedies.


How history repeats itself! The antagonism of the masses to the
aristocracy, characteristic of the French Revolution, found its
precedent in Judea's war against Rome. But the motives were far from



Titus built new fortifications and this time the attempt to destroy
them was not successful. But no sooner had the last city wall fallen
under the catapults shot from the Roman battering rams than a second
wall appeared behind it, built by the foresight of John of Gischala.
After many attempts this wall was scaled. The Romans now reached
the Temple walls and took the Antonia tower, which they immediately

During all this time the daily sacrifices were continued in the
Temple. In the presence of the grim monsters, war and starvation,
this religious obligation was not forgotten. A proposition of
surrender was made at this dire hour, but the besieged would not
yield. For Titus chose an unfortunate ambassador--Josephus. He was
received with a storm of arrows, for he was regarded by the warriors
in Jerusalem as a traitor.

Now, within the narrower compass of the Temple site, the siege was
maintained, though it was but the beginning of the end. First,
ramparts were erected by Titus against its outer walls; but these
walls were so strong that he could only gain admittance by burning
down the gates. Terrifically did the Jewish soldiers, wasted by
famine, contest every inch of the ground, giving to the Romans many
a repulse. But overwhelming numbers told. Titus had decided to save
the Temple, but his vandal soldiers set it on fire. The attempts of
Titus to quench it were in vain. The beautiful structure of marble
and gold--monument of Herod's pride--was reduced to ashes. While
it was burning the Romans began an indiscriminate slaughter of men,
women and children.

John of Gischala and Simon ben Giora with a small band, now fell
back to the last refuge, the upper city. Their request for liberty
on condition of surrender was refused. The lower city was now burnt
and new ramparts built against the last stronghold. Yet it took some
weeks before entrance was finally forced, and the Romans continued
their savage work of burning and massacre.


(_From the Arch of Titus._)


The city was razed to the ground--a few gates of Herod's palace
and a piece of wall were alone left standing. The survivors were
sent to labor in unwholesome mines to gather wealth for their
despoilers. Some were reserved for Roman sport in the amphitheatre.
John, discovered in a subterranean vault and begging like a craven
for mercy, was imprisoned for life. Simon ben Giora graced the Roman

Thus fell the city of Jerusalem--the religious capital of the
world--in the year 70 C. E., on the same date it is said--the 9th of
Ab--on which it had fallen nearly seven hundred years earlier under
the attacks of the Babylonians. So the Fast of Ab commemorates the
double tragedy.

Masada, the Last Fortress.

The final work of conquest and the barbaric rejoicings, consisting
of forced gladiatorial combats between Jewish prisoners, together
with games and triumphs, continued some two years longer. There
were still three outlying strongholds to be conquered--Herodium,
Macharus, on the other side of the Dead Sea, and Masada, far to
the south. The first two soon fell, but Masada offered a stubborn
resistance which its natural position favored. Under Eleazar ben
Jair and some Sicarii the dauntless bravery of Jerusalem and
Jotapata was repeated. They determined not to die by the swords of
the Romans, so when the soldiers entered they found the little band
all slain by their own hands.

On the site of the old Temple there was subsequently built another,
dedicated to Jupiter Capitolinus, and, with a refinement of cruelty,
the Jews throughout the Roman dominions had to pay toward its
maintenance the taxes they had hitherto paid to the support of
their own beloved sanctuary. So ended the Israelitish nation that
under varied fortunes had continued unbroken, except during the
Babylonian captivity, since the days of Saul, i.e., for over a
thousand years.

Judea remained a separate Roman province, but was no longer a home
for the people whose possession it once was. So completely was it
levelled to the ground that there was nothing left to make those who
came there believe it had once been inhabited. Rebuilt at a latter
day, even the name was changed to Aelia Capitolina. But great names
cannot so easily be erased by the ruthless hand of man.

The Remnant Again.

What was now to become of the remaining Jews? What was their status
in the world? Nation, temple, independence were gone. Gone too were
their arms, their means, their nobility, and all political power.
Would it not seem that this must be the end, that their name and
identity must be ultimately merged with their surroundings? Such had
been the fate of other nations as completely conquered--Ammon, Moab,
Assyria, Phoenicia. But Israel was made of different stuff. Its
epitaph was not yet to be written.


In the history of Rome, the conquest of Judea occupies a small
place. It was only a little province in the East! But Greece, which
it had also conquered, was insignificant in size. Still Hellas and
Israel were the greatest intellectual and spiritual powers in the
world. Rome itself received its education from the one and its
religion from the other.



What literature did this sad period produce? There was neither
heart nor leisure to turn to poetry or philosophy, or even to write
a second "Lamentations." But in the prosaic field of history some
important works were produced by one individual, who hardly deserves
to be included in the fold of Israel--Josephus.

His Early Life.

He was born in Jerusalem in the year 38 C. E. under the regime
of the procurators; so he never knew an independent Judea. Of
studious bent, he was consulted (so he tells us) on points of law
at the early age of fourteen. At the age of 26 he went to Rome like
Philo, to intercede with the Emperor Nero for some of his brethren,
falsely charged by the procurator, Felix. His persuasive address
and political shrewdness won the day. He returned dazzled with the
splendor and magnitude of the city on the Tiber. He realized now the
impossibility of Israel undertaking a successful war against it.
Therefore he never should have been chosen to command one of Judea's

Josephus vs. Jeremiah.

After the war he sought and obtained the liberty of some of the
captives. But he was satisfied to receive Roman citizenship
from the hand of the emperor who had overthrown the Jewish
State--Vespasian, and even appended the emperor's first name,
Flavius, to his own. When we see him living at ease on a pension and
a tax-free estate given by Rome while his brethren were working in
the lead mines of Egypt or glutting the slave markets of Europe we
cannot but contrast his character with that of Jeremiah who had been
placed in similar circumstances some centuries earlier.

[Illustration: FLAVIUS JOSEPHUS.]

In the last days of the first nationality, when Babylonia was
thundering against the gates of Jerusalem, Jeremiah had belonged to
the Peace Party of his day, not for reasons of expediency, such as
actuated Josephus, but from intense religious conviction. (See vol.
iii, _People of the Book_, chap. xxviii.) Nebuchadrezzar, regarding
this attitude as friendly toward Babylon, had offered to Jeremiah
ease and liberty after Judah was laid in the dust. But he scorned to
receive gifts from the enemies of his country or to enjoy benefits
through their misfortune. Though Judah had rejected his advice and
even persecuted him for it, he made their lot his own, miserable
though it was. Like Moses, he died in the wilderness with the
generation who had brought that fate upon themselves, because they
lacked his faith.

History of the Jews.

Let us forget Josephus the soldier; let us remember Josephus the
scholar. Though in his last years he may possibly have lived as
pagan, he certainly wrote as Jew. He loved his people, but lacked
the magnanimity to share their misfortunes. This was his fatal
weakness. Posterity is grateful to Josephus for his History of
the Jews, called "Antiquities of the Jews" in twenty volumes, the
writing of which may have formed the chief occupation of his later
years. Perhaps he felt that he might yet serve Israel's cause in
this way. He begins his chronicle with the Bible records, which
he embellishes with many a Midrashic story such as that of Moses
being given choice of a plate of gold and of fire. He carries the
narrative right down to the procuratorship of Florus. Writing for
Greek and Roman readers, he sought to give them a better and truer
estimate of his people. Indeed, in all his works, he never loses an
opportunity to defend the honor of Israel. In his next work, "Wars
of the Jews," in seven books, he begins with Antiochus Epiphanes,
thus duplicating part of his history. But the first two books are
but introductory to his real theme, the war with Rome. This history
is not only his greatest work, but one of the greatest of antiquity.
He presents a vivid picture of the last scenes of Judea's death
struggle, of which he was an eye witness and in part an actual
participator. It is carefully and skilfully compiled and as a
contemporary record it is invaluable.

It was first written in his mother tongue, Aramaic, (p. 69), and
later rewritten in Greek. The work was endorsed by Vespasian, Titus
and Agrippa. It may be said that such a man was not of fine enough
character to be an impartial historian; but impartial historians
are quite a modern institution. All ancient historians took great
liberties both with events and numbers, and put speeches of their
own composition in the mouths of the leading characters.

In connection with this work we may mention his autobiography,
covering chiefly his questionable achievements as commander-in-chief
in Galilee in 66. It is his _apologia pro vita sua_.

Contra Apion.

To his merit, be it further said, he gladly became the advocate of
his people in the land of the Gentile, and jealously guarded their
reputation. Against the traducer, Apion, an Egyptian grammarian, he
launched a work in Israel's defense, "Josephus Against Apion," or
"The Great Age of the Jews," in the form of a letter to a friend. It
is in two books. In the first he replies to other traducers of the
Jewish people. For the bad fashion had come into vogue of inventing
absurd slanders against the Jews--a fashion, by the way, that has
not yet passed away.

He easily refutes the charges of Manetho that the Jews were expelled
from Egypt as lepers. "If lepers why should they have been kept so
long as slaves."

Of Apion, the offender, who gives title to the book, he says: His
writings show palpable ignorance and malevolent calumny; but as the
frivolous part of mankind exceeds the discerning, I find myself
under some kind of necessity to expose the 'errors of this man.' He
shows how Apion ridicules the Sabbath by misrepresenting its origin.

To the slander that Jews worship a golden ass placed in their holy
of holies, he replies that such charge could only have been brought
by an Egyptian, for they _do_ worship animals.

He dismisses the preposterous charge that Jews annually sacrifice
a Greek, with the information that at the time of Moses, "the Jews
knew not the Greeks." How old "the blood accusation" is!

But Josephus finds that the best and most dignified reply to all
aspersions on Israel lies in giving an outline of their law and
belief. This gives him an opportunity to testify to the faith that
is in him still. He writes:

     "There never was such a code of laws framed for the common good
     of mankind as those of Moses--for the advancement of piety,
     justice, charity, industry, regulation of society, patience,
     perseverence in well doing, even to the contempt of death

     "God is the source of joy and to Him they turn in all woe. This
     worship of the one God is combined with morals."

     "They weekly gather even their servants and children (on the
     Sabbath), having suspended work to read the Law, that they might
     know what to do."

He points out the sobriety of the Law, its strict chastity,
reverence for parents and elders, duties to the stranger, moderation
towards enemies, easement of prisoners, especially women, kindness
to animals and vigorous punishment of sin. It regards death, he
says, as a blessed means of being transported from this life to a
better. Hence Israel's record of martyrdom:

     "Such is our reputation that there is hardly a nation in the
     world that does not conform in some respect to our example."

     "How many there are of our captive countrymen at this day,
     struggling under exquisite torments because they will not
     renounce their laws nor blaspheme the God of their forefathers."

Like Philo, he regards Judaism as a universal religion that should
be accepted by all mankind.

His works are couched in simple and attractive style. Written in
Greek, they have been translated into all tongues. They were read
much by Christians of the Middle Ages, who regarded Josephus as a
second Livy; but till recent years he has been neglected by his own
people. But then so was Philo.



Justus of Tiberias also wrote a history of the Jewish War; it is now


Among writers in defense and appreciation of the Jews just a
little prior to Josephus, were Alexander Polyhistor, Strabo, the
geographer, and chiefly Nicolaus of Damascus.

_Josephus and Christianity_:

Josephus relates fully the story of John the Baptist, but does not
mention Jesus of Nazareth! This would seem to indicate that, prior
to the coming of Paul, Jesus left but a slight impression on his
age. This omission seems to have so disconcerted some members of the
Church that one actually inserted a paragraph about Jesus in the
History of Josephus. But the clumsy forgery was later discovered.

_Theme for discussion_:

Should Josephus be regarded as a traitor?

[Illustration: THE ARCH OF TITUS.






The Jews now belonged to no land, yet for that very reason, they, in
a sense, belonged to all lands. They were cosmopolitans, citizens of
the world. To follow their history after their dispersion by Rome,
we shall have to turn to all the settled parts of the globe. What
henceforth became the link to hold together their widely scattered
members and preserve them from being absorbed by their surroundings?
Their religion. Religions outlive states and spiritual bonds are
stronger than temporal. But now that Judaism's centre, the Temple,
was no more, now that the sacred capital, Jerusalem, the only
sanctioned place for sacrificial worship, was lost--how could they
maintain their continuity and what would become of their priesthood?
Just here will we witness the wonderful adaptability of Judaism in
the hands of this deathless race. It only awaited a genius to revive
the Faith, apparently in the throes of death, and to endow it with
new strength and vitality. The hero who undertook this sacred task
was named Jochanan ben Zakkai.

The Academy at Jamnia.

Jochanan ben Zakkai had been a leader in the Sanhedrin, in the last
days of Judea. When many were urging war he had stood for peace
and he became the exponent of the Peace Party. For he saw that the
madness of the Zealots in blindly plunging the country into conflict
could end only in ruin. He may have felt, too, that the fulfilment
of Israel's mission did not rely on national independence and
that it could preach its message in a way other than in bloody
conflict. So when the war was at its height, he managed to escape
from Jerusalem in a coffin, since the Zealots treated all peace
advocates as traitors. Welcomed by Vespasian, who saw the value
of so influential a pleader for surrender, he was allowed to ask
a favor. His reply showed that he was not of the Josephus, but of
the Jeremiah type. He asked naught for himself, but pleaded for the
privilege of establishing an _Academy_, where the principles of
Judaism might be taught. This small request was granted, perhaps
contemptuously at its apparent insignificance. Yet by that grant
Judaism was enabled to continue its development--aye, to outlive the
great Roman Empire at whose mercy it now stood.

_Jamnia_, a place near the Mediterranean and not far from Joppa, was
chosen as the seat of the new academy. Here came many who, being of
the conciliatory party, were left free and untouched by Rome at the
close of the War. Here Jochanan ben Zakkai summoned a Sanhedrin, and
by a bold stroke decided to continue the authoritative powers of
that body in spite of the tradition that to be effective, it must
sit in the "hewn stone hall" of the Jerusalem Temple.

Prayer replaces Sacrifice.

But he took a more daring step still. According to the Law, now that
the Holy City was taken, sacrifice was no longer possible; therefore
Jochanan ben Zakkai declared that it was no longer indispensable;
saying, charity is a substitute for sacrifice. Prayer, which
had been an accompaniment to sacrifice was now treated as an
independent mode of worship. The synagogue, which had in later years
existed side by side with the sacrificial Temple, now altogether
replaced it. Thus does genius adapt itself to altered conditions.

The change was revolutionary and marked a new era in Judaism's
development. The epoch of the Priest was over, the Altar was
outlived--one of the ideals of the Prophets was attained. Again
necessity was the teacher and adversity was found to "wear a
precious jewel in its head." Furthermore, the creation of a centre
of Jewish authority outside of Jerusalem freed Judaism from bondage
to a particular locality. Its complete fulfilment was now confined
neither to a city nor a nation. The whole earth could become its
legitimate home. This also had its moral value. To the simple-minded
it made clearer the idea that God was manifest everywhere; that
verily "the heaven was His throne and the earth His footstool." It
gave tangible application to the text, "In every place where I cause
my name to be remembered, I will come unto thee and bless thee."

So the survival of Judaism after the destruction of the sacrificial
Temple, after the loss of the sacred capital and the Holy Land,
and after the dispersion of the Jews throughout the world, made it
more manifest that it was indeed a perennial and a universal Faith.
Perhaps then even in this sad tragedy we may discern the hand of

It is true that some pious souls took a disconsolate view of the
outlook and, renouncing the world's joys, gave themselves up to
ascetic lives of penitence. A few drifted toward the new Christian
sect that was now severing all relations with Judaism, thinking it
doomed. But under the guidance of Jochanan ben Zakkai, the great
majority faced the future more hopefully and more bravely. The land
was gone, but the religion was saved. Henceforth its rallying centre
was to be--not a _Temple_, but a _Book_.

The Tannaim.

We have already seen that the Scribes interpreted the Bible in a way
to derive from it new laws to meet new needs, (pp. 19-20; 80-81.)
These deduced rules grew into a Second Law, more voluminous than
the first. The patient continuance of this process to meet all
religious, social and economic requirements of Israel's altered life
became now the chief work of the Jamnia Academy and of other schools
that sprang from it. To this work of laying bare "the whole duty of
man" the scholars now devoted themselves and regarded it as sacred
as divine worship. "The study of the Law," said they, "outweighs
all virtues." The first order of these great expounders were called
_Tannäim_ (_tanna_ means teacher). Very preciously did the students
who sat at the feet of the sages treasure their decisions (for they
were contained in no book) and handed them down from generation to

The people at large now learned to look to the Jamnia Sanhedrin,
for such it became, as their authority in all religious duties and
also for guidance in varied perplexities. In those days there was
no fixed calendar; the new month was ascertained by watching the
heavens for the new moon and from the date of its appearance the
Sanhedrin decided the festivals of each month for the community.
The new moon was announced from place to place by messengers and
fire signals on the hills. These could not reach distant places of
Jewish settlement far beyond Judea, and, in some cases the signals
were tampered with. So, as there was a doubt of one day as to the
new moon's appearance, they introduced the custom of observing an
additional day of each festival.

Halacha and Agada.

Jochanan ben Zakkai, then, revealed his greatness in boldly
abrogating institutions that had lost their application with the
Temple's fall, bridging the transition between epochs, just as
Samuel had done in his day. His great personality strengthened the
union between the dispersed Jews. Further, like his master Hillel,
he combined in his character gentleness and firmness (_suaviter
in modo, fortiter in re_) and like him, too, he also exercised an
elevating influence on his pupils by his ethical teachings. He
showed them how to search the Scriptures to discover its noblest
lessons. This was distinct from that branch of the Bible study
already referred to, enabling the student to evolve new rules and
new observances. The latter was judicial, the former homiletic.
These gradually came to form the two great divisions of the
scholarly activities of the Rabbis, the judicial division called
_Halacha_ (legal decision), the ethical styled _Agada_. This latter
word means narrative--for many a story, anecdote, moral maxim or bit
of history would be brought in to illustrate a legal point or to
relieve the tension of argument by a pleasing diversion. So Agada
implied much miscellaneous material and included everything not
strictly judicial.

       *       *       *       *       *

Here are some of the maxims of Jochanan ben Zakkai:

     "No iron tool was to be used on the altar, suggesting that
     religion's mission is peace."

     "If thou hast learnt much, do not boast of it, for that wast
     thou created."

     "Fear God as much as you fear man."

     "Not more?" asked his pupils in surprise? "If you would but fear
     him as much!" said the dying sage.


_Sacrificial Worship_:

The pupil has already been made familiar with the prophetic views
on sacrifice (see _People of the Book_, vol. iii). Here follow some
opinions of the Rabbis as to its relative place in Judaism:

     "The humble-minded is considered by God to have offered all the
     sacrifices, for it is said that the sacrifices of God are a
     broken spirit."

     "Acts of justice are more meritorious than all the sacrifices.
     Unless the mind is purified, the sacrifice is useless; it may be
     thrown to the dogs."

     "He who engages in the study of the Law, requires neither burnt
     offering nor meal offering."

     "A day in thy courts is better than a thousand," Psalm lxxiv.
     is thus explained: God said to David, "I prefer thy sitting and
     studying before me to the thousands of burnt offerings which thy
     son Solomon will offer on the alter."

     "He who prays is considered as pious as if he had built an altar
     and offered sacrifices upon it."

     "As the Altar wrought atonement during the time of the Temple,
     so after its destruction, the Table of the home."

With the abolition of sacrifice, the Paschal Lamb was indicated only
in a symbolic way by a lamb bone on the Passover table.

       *       *       *       *       *

R. Jochanan b. Zakkai asked his disciples: "Find out what is the
best thing to cultivate." The first replied a generous eye; the
second, a loyal friend; the third, a good neighbor; the fourth,
prudence and foresight; the fifth, Eliezar, a good heart. "I
consider R. Eliezar's judgment best, for in his answer all of yours
are included."

_Theme for discussion_:

Whether the Temple's fall suspended or abolished animal sacrifice is
a point of difference between Judaism's two schools today.





Jamnia was the first of many Palestinian schools; one was located at
Sepphoris, another at Tiberias, both in Galilee; another at Lydda
in the south not far from the Mediterranean. So the good work grew,
and under sadder auspices the thread of life was taken up again. A
new royalty, so to speak, was created in Israel. The first literal
royalty of the House of Judah had been overthrown by Babylon seven
hundred years earlier. After the restoration, the priests became the
monarchs of the state, exercising almost regal powers. Now in the
dispersion the teacher was king. Rabbi Simeon taught: "There are
three crowns: the crown of the Law, the crown of the priesthood, and
the crown of royalty; but the crown of a good name excelleth them

The head of the Academy was called Nasi (prince), also Patriarch.
His sway was voluntarily yet gladly accepted in matters both
religious and civil (as far as the management of internal affairs
was granted) by the congregations in Rome, Babylonia, Greece, Egypt
and the Parthian lands.

Rabban Gamaliel II.

The first Nasi at Jamnia was Rabban Gamaliel II. of the family of
Hillel, for Jochanan ben Zakkai had held a unique position, _sui
generis_, demanded by the exigencies of the time. But it was the
wish of all that the official position should remain in the House of

Gamaliel was noted both as scholar and man. He was so conscientious
that in farming his estate he would take no interest. He was
so expert as easily to master the astronomical and mathematical
knowledge needed for the regulation of the Jewish calendar. He
was a stern man, but these troublous times needed a firm hand,
religiously as well as civilly, for it was a period of unrest; the
air was full of schemes and fantastic notions. Even so, he was
perhaps too severe, and for a brief period during his thirty years
of Patriarchate, he was actually deposed; the incident will be
related presently. One indication of his severity was his frequent
imposition of _Niddui_--excommunication. The person so condemned had
to remain aloof from the community and live as one in mourning. He
was thus ostracised until the ban was removed.

As in the days when the Temple stood, there were still two
parties--Hillelites and Shammaites. Rabban Gamaliel, however,
endeavored to place himself above party, as the leader should.

The following incidents will show the temper of these Jewish
scholars: One Akabiah ben Mahallel was asked to recede from a
particular decision. It was even intimated by some that if he
would yield, he would be made _Ab Beth Din_ (Vice-President, next
in order to the Nasi). To this suggestion he answered, "I would
rather be a fool all my life than a rogue for one hour." Is not
that magnificent? Living aloof and asked by his son for a letter of
recommendation to his colleagues, the stern father refused. "Thine
own works must recommend thee."

Another famous teacher was Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, who opened the
school at Lydda. His weakness lay in the fact that he would never
trust his own judgment to deduce a rule. He accepted and taught
only what he had learned on the authority of his teachers. That
type of man has its value in the world and is like the priest, who
treasures past traditions. But we need originators too, who boldly
open up new highways; for if we mistrusted our own powers altogether
and walked only in the old paths, knowledge would not grow and the
world would not advance. Rabbi Eliezer taught: "Thy fellowman's
honor must be as dear to thee as thine own. Do not allow thyself to
be easily angered. Repent one day before thy death."

R. Joshua.

In contrast, let us single out a more interesting figure, a man
who left his impress on his age--Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah. Broad,
versatile and gifted, he as a youth had been a chorister in the
Temple, now laid waste. His mother, like Samuel's, destined him
for a religious life from his birth. Like a true genius, he
broke through many of the disadvantages that handicapped him and
became one of the Tannäim and the founder of a new academy at
Bekiim. He was miserably poor and eked out a scanty existence as a
needle-maker. For these great teachers received no emolument for
their labors in the religious Academy. It was a service of love.
They followed the principle laid down by Rabbi Zadok, "Do not use
the Law as a crown to shine therewith or a spade to dig therewith."
Rabbi Joshua was, however, so severely plain that a Roman emperor's
daughter, combining at once a compliment and an insult, asked why
so much wisdom should be deposited in so homely a vessel. Tradition
says he advised her to put her father's wine in golden jars with a
lamentable result, to prove that, good wisdom, like good wine, may
be best preserved in plain receptacles.

Many of the scholarly leaders belonged to the Jewish aristocracy,
that was still prized even in their fallen state. Joshua was a man
of the "common people." Yet that became for him a source of power,
as, being closer to the masses, he was the better able to influence
them, and he helped to bring the upper and lower classes closer
together. By his gentleness and moderation he prevented many a split
in Judaism that often threatened when divergence of view reached the
danger point.

Although, like Gamaliel, a great mathematician and astronomer,
he was modest and obedient and submitted to a humiliating ordeal
imposed by this stern Nasi because of a mistaken calculation as to
the date of a holy day. He must travel with purse and staff on the
very day, according to his error, Yom Kippur would have fallen. He
came. Gamaliel embraced him and said, "Welcome, my master and my
pupil; my master in wisdom and my pupil in obedience." Such examples
by great teachers were most beneficial to the people at large.

Very valuable to the cause, too, was his shrewd and common sense
that exposed the folly of extreme and fantastic views. "The Law,"
said he, "was not revealed to angels but to human beings." Some
misguided pietists would not partake of wine or meat because, now
that the Temple had fallen they could not be offered at its altar.
"Why not," said he, "abstain also from bread and water since they
too were used in the sacrificial service?" Nothing like ridicule at
times to explode fallacies.

Most important perhaps of all his service was his endeavor to close
the breach between Israel and the Romans, which the unforgiving
Shammaites would have widened. He advised a graceful submission to
the inevitable. In consequence he enjoyed the confidence of the
Roman rulers. Like Jochanan ben Zakkai, he turned out to be the man
of the hour; and when a little later Israel again sailed into stormy
seas, he was called to the helm.

Rabbi Ishmael ben Elisha deserves a brief mention as one of the
great Tannäim of this age who, avoiding strained interpretation,
explained the Law with logical common sense. He gladly devoted his
wealth to the maintenance of girls orphaned by the war. He too
founded a School and was destined, alas, to die a martyr's death.

Ordination of Rabbis.

These men and others like them assured the continuity of their
holy work by training students in the exploration of the Law and
transmitting to them the _Halachoth_ that they thus far deduced.
When proficient, they were ordained as teachers by the ceremony of
_Semicha_ (laying on of hands). This gave them right of membership
in the Sanhedrin and certain judicial functions, and also the title
of _rabbi_, introduced after the Temple's fall by Jochanan ben

Outside of Judea, schools were also being established in Babylon,
Parthia, Asia Minor and Egypt. In Alexandria a modest academy
replaced the pretentious Temple of happier days. But all turned
to Jamnia, where the Sanhedrin met as the centre of religious
authority. It was for the time being their spiritual capital. To
the presiding Nasi, Rome granted some civil jurisdiction in the
administration of internal Jewish affairs. So the Sanhedrin was
still quite a House of Legislature in its way.

The Prayer Book.

Here were regulated the institutions of Judaism and here was now
more completely formulated the ritual of prayer already inaugurated
in the synagogues while the Temple stood. Here is its outline:

(a) _The Shema_ the prayer beginning "Hear, O Israel," (Deut. vi.
4-9), was the centre of the first division of the service. It
was _preceded_ by two benedictions, the first expressing God's
providence seen in Nature, in the morning for the glory of light,
in the evening for the soft restfulness of night; the second God's
love for Israel manifested in the bestowal of the Law. The Shema
was _followed_ by another benediction voicing gratitude for divine
redemption. (b) The second division of the service was called
_Tefillah_, the "eighteen benedictions" prayer, containing a set
form of praises at the opening and close, with the central part
variable to fit the different occasions of week-days, Sabbath and
Holy Days. (c) The third section of the service was the reading from
the Pentateuch and the Prophets.

The Reader was no special official; any Israelite could "stand
before the Ark" where the scrolls were placed, and read the service.
Here again prevailed the idea that religious service was not to be
paid for. Prayer for the restoration of the Land and Temple was
now a fixed feature of every service. Perpetually to commemorate
the Temple's loss by outward signs, such as shattering a glass at
a wedding, became a duty in which patriotism and religion were
blended. Two of the fasts instituted in Babylon for the fall of the
first Temple were given a second sad sanction now, to commemorate
the downfall of the second.

As may be well understood, a long and disastrous war had demoralized
the masses, especially the country folk. The educated classes rather
held aloof from the _Am Haaretz_, "people of the soil," i.e., the
ignorant masses. This is rather surprising on the part of the
scholars, otherwise so conscientious and so benevolent. But the
times were rude and ignorance usually went hand in hand with many
evil practises.


_The Prayer Book_:

The ritual scheme given in this chapter was gradually amplified
by passages from Scripture especially Psalms, by additional
introductory and closing prayers and by poems for the Festivals.

See Singer translation of the old _Prayer Book_; also the _Union
Prayer Book_, closer to the ancient, shorter ritual.

In addition to complete services, the rabbis drew up a series of
Benedictions for daily occurrences. Darmesteter thus puts it:

     "Each day, each hour is unalterably arranged by regulations
     from on high ... benedictions before the meal, after the meal
     benedictions. At sight of the imposing phenomena of nature, of
     a storm, the sea, the first spring blossoms, thanksgivings.
     Thanksgiving for new enjoyment, for unexpected good fortune,
     on eating new fruits, at the announcement of a happy event.
     Prayers of resignation at the news of misfortune. At the tomb
     of a beloved being, set prayers; words all prepared to console
     the sorrow-stricken. Every emotion and every feeling, the most
     fugitive as well as the most profound, are foreseen, noted and
     embodied in a formula of prayer ... sanctifying the present hour
     and keeping one in perpetual communication with the divine."

_The Temple Fasts_:

Gedalyah's Fast (Tishri 3d); Tenth of Tebeth, 17th of Tammuz, 9th of
Ab. Only the last two apply to loss of Second Temple.

See _People of Book_, Vol. iii, p. 200.

_Theme for discussion_:

In what respect did the "Academy" differ from a school?



The Development of Christianity.

In the meantime the new religion that had sprung from Judaism was
entering its second stage of development. We have seen (p. 133) how
its adoption of pagan ideas tended to separate Jews from Christians
theologically. We will now see how the trend of events tended to
separate them socially. There were still two Christian sects--the
pagan Christians, many of them Greeks, to whom Jesus was the Son of
God, whose blood shed on the cross was an atonement for the sins of
mankind and whose coming abrogated the Law. These had small sympathy
with the Jews in spite of the fact that it was the lofty morality of
the Hebrew Scriptures that formed the backbone of the new Faith.

On the other hand there were the Jewish Christians, the original
group, but now the small minority, who remained Jews in all
respects, but clung to the belief that Jesus of Nazareth was the
Messiah, that he had risen from the grave and would come a second
time to gratify the hopes not fulfilled in his first advent. They
also fostered the belief that they could cure by miracles and drive
out demons by declaration of a formula of their faith; for Jesus had
also believed in this power of exorcism. They still maintained to
a degree the customs of the Essenes (from which body, perhaps they
may have been an outgrowth),--particularly the duty of voluntary
poverty. Indeed, the Sanhedrin seriously considered whether they
might not be regarded as Jews.

But when Judaism and Jews became discredited through loss of land
and Temple and Jews were taxed for the privilege of remaining loyal
to the former, these Jewish Christians began to drift away from a
people who had lost power and status in the world, and threw in
their lot with the controlling majority. Such is the way of the
world. Furthermore, some of the Jewish country folk, losing faith
in the validity of Judaism through the loss of its Temple, were
attracted to Christianity with its new scheme of salvation, in
which Jesus took the place which had been filled by the altar of
sacrifice. In this way many of the Gentile proselytes to Judaism in
Alexandria and Asia Minor went over to the new creed. So the loss of
the Temple with its priestly service had much to do with the spread
of Christianity.

Although great bitterness at first existed between the two Christian
sects, the pagan branch soon absorbed the small Jewish branch and
all too soon the Christians "knew not Joseph." For the antagonism of
Gentile against Jew was now transmitted to the new church and, sad
to say, it became a more bitter persecutor of the people from which
Jesus and Paul had sprung than most of the heathen nations had been.

Old and New Testaments.

New ceremonials grew up in the new faith. Passover was turned into
the Easter sacrificial service. The unleavened bread and wine were
supposed to be transformed in some mystic way into the flesh and
blood of the Savior (as Jesus was styled). Many Roman rites and
symbols were consciously or unconsciously taken up by the new creed
in the first few centuries of its foundation; for it grew less and
less Jewish as the years went on. Depreciation of Judaism became now
the accustomed tactics of the Church Fathers, for Christianity's
justification depended in some respects on the theory of Judaism's
insufficiency. Jews were said to be blind and obstinate in still
clinging to the Law, now that Jesus had come. This unfortunate
spirit of antagonism to the parent faith pervades the Christian
Scriptures and mars its ethical teachings. These Scriptures were
known as the _New Testament_, to distinguish them from the Jewish
Scriptures which were called the _Old Testament_; the theory being
that the testament or _covenant_ between God and Israel, there
recorded, was now obsolete and superseded by a "new" covenant in
which, as already explained, belief in Jesus, the Messiah, took
the place of obedience to the Law. Many passages from the Psalms
and Prophets were retranslated to fit the impression that they had
really foretold the coming of Jesus and the events of his life. The
whole Hebrew Bible in fact was treated as but a preparation for
Christianity's grand climax! Even the history of Israel was regarded
as but an allegorical picture of the life of the man of Nazareth.


We cannot pass this period of religious upheaval, without a word
about certain strange sects, neither wholly Jewish, Christian nor
pagan, but something of all, that arose at this time. They were
for the most part called Gnostics, from the Greek "know," claiming
to obtain through weird processes a clearer knowledge of God.
Very fantastic were the views of some on the problems of life and
sin. Some of the sects were led into all sorts of absurdities and
excesses. A few Jews were seduced by these fascinating heresies,
notably one Elisha ben Abuyah, learned in the Law though he was.
Having left the fold, he is said to have became a persecutor of his
people. The Rabbis only accounted for the sad change by a complete
revolution in his nature--so they called him _Acher_, "another man."

The Sanhedrin found it wise to prohibit the reading of such mystic
literature that would tend to lead youth astray from the sound and
healthy teachings of Judaism.


For an elucidating picture of the compromise of paganism with
Christianity by a Christian writer, read "Is Catholicism a Baptized
Paganism?" by Rev. Heber Newton, in the _Forum Magazine_, New York,

_Jewish Scripture and Church Doctrine_:

Isaiah (particularly ch. ix, 6-7 and ch. liii), was a favorite book
among Christian theologians from which to deduce the doctrines of
the church. Notice the quotations used in Handel's Oratorio "The
Messiah." Also Daniel, hence the prominent place among the prophets,
given it by the Church. Modern critics altogether abandon this
forced method of Biblical exegesis. (See Skinner's _Isaiah_ and
Driver's _Daniel_ (Cambridge Bible).

_Theme for discussion_:

Contrast the ancient gnostic with the modern agnostic.



     =Roman Emperors=      |          =Jewry=
  Titus                 79 | Jamnian Academy                 70
  Domitian              81 | Clemens, Roman proselyte,
                           |   put to death,                 95
  Nerva,                96 | Revolt of the Diaspora,        115
  Trajan,               98 | Aquila's Bible translation
                           |   about                        128
  Hadrian,             117 | Akiba, president of Sanhedrin  130
  Antoninus Pius,      138 | Bar Cochba insurrection,   132-135

Proselytes Again.

The Emperor Vespasian, who had permitted the institution of the
Jamnian Academy, was succeeded by his son Titus. Titus lived too
briefly after he became emperor to exert a decided influence
on Israel, but it could never forget that to his hand had been
entrusted the final overthrow of Judea. His brother Domitian,
however, the next emperor, was a tyrant and a degenerate. It is said
that at one time he contemplated the extermination of the Jews. The
Jewish tax (_Fiscus Judaicus_) was collected with needless cruelty
and indignity. He bitterly persecuted those Romans who in spite of
Israel's fallen fortunes, were still drawn to its Faith and made
severe laws against those who encouraged conversion. Proselytes
came in sufficient numbers to make the subject an important theme
of discussion in the Jewish Academy. It was probably in Rome itself
where the spread of Judaism most alarmed the emperor. Perhaps its
teachings reached the Romans through the Jewish prisoners of war.
Certainly many high born Romans were enthusiastically prepared to
make sacrifices for its cause. It is said that even Flavius Clemens
and his wife Flavia Domitilla, relatives of Domitian and possible
heirs to the throne, were pledged to Judaism. Clemens was put to
death and his wife was exiled. But a step, and Judaism might have
mounted the imperial throne of Rome and have exchanged destinies
with Christianity. Perhaps not even then, for its unbending
monotheism and strict Law brooked no easy compromise. However, it is
one of the might-have-beens of history.

One of the most famous proselytes was Aquila, a Greek of scholarship
and wealth. Dissatisfied with the later Greek translations of the
Bible, distorted to fit Christian doctrine, Aquila made a literal
translation from the Hebrew that so commended itself to the Rabbis
that it became the "authorized version," so to speak, for the
Synagogue. An Aramaic (p. 60) translation of the Bible, following
his model, was called after him _Targum Onkelos_--which means "a
translation like that of Aquila." It is often printed with the
Hebrew texts of Scripture to-day.

Revolt against Trajan.

It was the unhappy fate of Israel that the mischievous Domitian
should have reigned so long and that the good Emperor Nerva,
his successor, should have reigned so briefly. So although the
injunctions against proselytes were removed during the sixteen
months of Nerva's rule as soon as Trajan came to the throne many
anti-Jewish laws were restored. Like Alexander the Greek, Trajan the
Roman cherished the wild desire of conquering Asia. When he attacked
Parthia, the Jews living in semi-independence there became his most
vigorous opponents. In Babylon they stubbornly held the city of
Nisibis against his legions. No sooner had he subdued the lands on
the Euphrates and the Tigris than the Persian provinces revolted.

All the Jews of the Diaspora now seized the occasion to throw off
the hated Roman yoke. For they had never become reconciled to it;
and, their children, now grown to manhood, had been brought up
in the assurance that soon Judea would be won back again and the
Temple rebuilt. "Carthage must be destroyed" had been the Roman cry;
"Jerusalem must be rebuilt" was now the Jewish. In Egypt, in Cyprus,
a Mediterranean island, and in Cyrene, further west on the African
coast--they rose against their opponents. At first success came
to their arms, though much blood flowed on both sides; but there
could be no doubt of the ultimate outcome with Rome's overwhelming
numbers. Yet so vigorous was their resistance that the historian
Graetz ventures to think that, in spite of lacking cavalry and being
indifferently armed, had these three separate Jewish uprisings
been organized under one directing control it would have gone hard
with the Roman legions. As it was, their beautiful synagogue in
Alexandria was destroyed, all the Jewish inhabitants of Cyprus were
slain and the island forbidden them in the future. Many lives were
lost in other places of Jewish insurrection, including Judea itself.
The revolt certainly nipped in the bud Trajan's foolish ambition to
conquer all Asia, and he died in mortification at his failure.

Gamaliel was now dead and Rabbi Joshua had become Patriarch. The
reins of power could not have been entrusted to wiser hands, for he
seized the moment of the accession of the new emperor, Hadrian, to
counsel conciliation. Like Jochanan ben Zakkai, he saw the futility
of Israel wasting its strength in fighting with colossal Rome.
The Sanhedrin was removed from Jamnia to Oosha in upper Galilee.
Joshua's sway was less rigorous than that of Gamaliel. At a time
when many of his brethren felt nothing but hatred toward the
heathen, he uttered the famous dictum: "The virtuous of all peoples
have a share in the heavenly bliss of the life to come." This has
since been accepted by the House of Israel as the classic expression
of its attitude towards other religions.

The new emperor Hadrian also seemed at first inclined to a policy
of concession; but there was little choice, for revolt burst out in
all parts of the empire, from Asia Minor in the East to Britain in
the far West. The discouraged emperor gladly met many of his enemies
half way. Parthia was restored to the control of its own princes. In
Judea proper a cruel general, Quietus, was checked in his terrible
purpose of exterminating the Jews and was ultimately executed.

Hadrian's "Promise."

To win peace and adherents, Hadrian was willing to make many
fair promises at the opening of his reign that he had no serious
intention of fulfiling. One of these was an offer to the Jews to
rebuild their Temple, which they had exacted as the condition of
laying down their arms. Imagine the boundless joy with which this
news was received--a Cyrus come to power once more! Hebrew poets
sang of the glories that were to come. Christians and Samaritans
were much disconcerted at the news.

But as soon as Hadrian had obtained the mastery of the situation
and quiet was restored, he resorted to subterfuge. They might
rebuild their Temple, but not in the same place! He knew it was
that place or none. The Jews saw through the pretense; their hopes
were blasted. There was talk of war again, but the wise Rabbi Joshua
still counselled submission. So for many years the embers of revolt
slumbered in the breasts of the Jews, but did not die out, though as
long as Rabbi Joshua lived they did not break into flame.



Read the article on this subject in the _Jewish Encyclopedia_ for
fuller list of Roman proselytes. Notice here first, the different
degrees of proselytism; secondly, the attitude of the synagogue
toward the convert, favorable or unfavorable in different periods of
its history, varying with its changing relations with the outside
world. Based on the laws given to Noah (Genesis ix) the Tannäim
deduced seven Noachian rules, which they regarded as obligations
binding on all mankind. To these humane laws strangers living in
their midst must conform. For they felt this sense of responsibility
to those not of their religion.

[Illustration: BRASS COIN OF NERVA, 96 C. E.




Love and Law.

The man who now came to the fore was of a different mould--the
famous Rabbi Akiba. He was born in Palestine in the year 50 C. E.
that is, some 20 years before the Temple fell. Many a pretty legend
is woven around his life. Have you ever realized that it is only
around great men that legends most luxuriantly grow? Imagination
does not seek to picture incidents in the lives of the commonplace.
Not only poor, but ignorant, Akiba despised scholars and
scholarship. One day, so runs the story, this humble shepherd met
Rachel, the beautiful daughter of his master, Kalba Sabua, and fell
in love with her. Angry at his daughter's attachment for this boor,
the rich Kalba disinherited her. Her sweet self-sacrifice in sharing
poverty with him rather than wealth without him, roused the noblest
qualities dormant in Akiba's nature. She was determined to bear yet
further privation that he might become a scholar in the Law. For it
was to his ignorance, rather than to his poverty, that the father
had objected. Among no people was illiteracy so great a disgrace as
among the Jews, and among none did learning simply, confer so much
honor. So at her urgency, he reluctantly left his home to sit at
the feet of the Rabbis of the Schools. The chronicles of chivalry
furnish pretty stories of knights-errant hieing forth at the bidding
of fair ladies to make conquests in distant fields of battle. Akiba
went forth at Rachel's bidding; and is not the mastery of knowledge
a victory as renowned as that of war? A wonderful pupil he became,
for he had the gift of enthusiasm. But while he was winning renown
at the Academy, she, alone and at a distance, was battling with
poverty, at one time having to sell her hair to buy food for her
child. But still the self-sacrificing woman would not permit his

One day it was announced in the village in which she lived that
the great scholar, Rabbi Akiba, was about to visit it. He came,
surrounded by many disciples, and as the crowd of admirers gathered
about him, they pushed aside a poorly clad woman who tried to reach
his side. But espying her, he parted the crowd and caught her in his
arms. To the astonished spectators he declared, "All that I know I
owe to her, for she was my inspiration."

So far the romantic side of his life. On its literary side he was a
great _Tanna_, and famous scholars came from his School. His method
of interpreting new Law from old was based on the theory that no
word or particle in the Pentateuch was redundant; if any appeared
in the text that it seemed could be dispensed with, then it must
have some hidden significance. This changed the law of Moses from a
limited group of unvarying precepts to a living fount of continuous
tradition, and made the laws of the days of the Jewish monarchy
capable of modification and enlargement to fit Israel's life under
the Roman Empire. Interpretation that would produce new precepts to
meet the changing conditions of later times was undertaken by Hillel
(p. 113) but never before reduced to so complete a system as was
done by Rabbi Akiba. On such a principle there was no end of the
possible deductions from Scripture. Yet the Rabbis were too earnest
and too conscientious knowingly to abuse it. The theory worked in
the interest of progress. The institution of this method has earned
for Akiba the title of "father of rabbinic Judaism."

He further gave an impetus to the classification of the _Halachoth_
already begun before his day. This classification of the Oral Law
was called _Mishna_, or Second Law, of which we shall hear more
later on.

He, too, had a voice in fixing the canon of Scripture.

Akiba's Ethics.

Here follow some of his sayings:

     "How favored is man for he was created in the Image" (of God).

     "--Who slays a man sins against the devine image."

     "Take thy seat below thy rank until bidden to take a higher

     "God is merciful but He does not permit this mercy to impair His

     "Everything is foreseen, yet freedom of will is given to man."

There is also ascribed to him on doubtful authority the maxim,
"Whatever God doeth He doeth for the best."

There is a mystic note throughout his teachings; mark the following:

     "Everything is given in pledge ... the office is open, the
     broker gives credit; there is the ledger and the hand writes;
     whoever wishes to borrow may borrow, but the bailiffs daily
     exact; the judgment is fair; and everything is prepared for the

In the spirit of Hillel's Golden Rule he regarded the greatest
principle of Judaism the law "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as

He was always entrusted with tasks of delicacy and
consideration--the notification to R. Gamaliel that he had been
impeached, to R. Eliezar that he had been excommunicated. To the
latter he broke the disagreeable news in these words: "It seems your
brethren turn away from you."

Law and Faith.

Akiba established an Academy at Bene Barak. There was a wonderful
fascination about the man that attracted hundreds of students
to him--tradition says thousands. That was in part due to the
enthusiasm of his _faith_. An instance of his faith is illustrated
in his visit to Rome, with some of his colleagues, to intercede on
behalf of his people. They burst into tears at beholding Rome's
splendor, mentally contrasting it with Jerusalem's desolation. He
met their tears with a hopeful smile: "The present ruined condition
of our beloved land foretold by the Prophets, only assures me of the
fulfilment of their brighter prophecies of our ultimate triumph."

Alas, even faith may have its drawbacks! Akiba's deep conviction
that the restoration of Judea's independence was at hand, to be
effected by the advent of the Messiah, induced him to encourage the
revolt that was quietly but steadily spreading among his disaffected

Hadrian, little understanding the spirit of this people, reported
to the Senate after making a circuit through the Roman provinces,
that all was peace. He was both foolish and cruel enough to display
his absolute power and Israel's complete subjection, not only by
altogether withdrawing permission to rebuild the Jewish Temple,
but by ordering a heathen shrine to be reared on its site, thus
completely to paganize Jerusalem.

This was the last straw. The aged Rabbi Joshua went to implore the
emperor to desist from this wanton project, but in vain. It was one
of the last acts of the Patriarch's life. When he died it was said
good counsel ceased in Israel. Like Antiochus of old, Hadrian wished
to obliterate Judaism--and Christianity, too, for that matter,--and
make the idolatrous worship of Serapis universal.


_Masora_ is the technical term for the notes on the traditional
Scripture text by the Fathers of the Synagogue. The original text
has been thus preserved intact in these scrupulous and reverent
hands. See article, "Masora," Isidore Harris, _Jewish Quarterly
Review_, Vol. i.


The blessing that charity brings to the giver was a favorite idea of
Akiba--a _Mitzvah_!

Simon b. Shetach was called the "Restorer of the Law"; Hillel the
"Regenerator of the Law"; Akiba the "Father of Rabbinic Judaism."

In deciding the Canon of Scripture (p. 22), Akiba's influence kept
_Song of Songs_ and _Esther_ in the Bible, but unfortunately kept
_Ecclesiasticus_ out of it.

_Theme for discussion_:

Should Akiba's method of law deduction be called casuistic?



Bar Cochba.

Preparations for rebellion had been carefully planned for some
years. Arms had been stored in caves. Akiba was the inspiration of
the revolt, its Deborah, let us say. But who was to be its Barak?
The times created the man. A hero appeared to lead the forces of
Israel whom the multitude in admiration called Bar Cochba (son of
a star). This title may have been suggested by the name of his
birthplace, Koziba, but chiefly also because he was regarded by the
enthusiasts as the long-looked-for Messiah. This man, of colossal
strength and strategic resources, was going to make Rome feel the
power of a scorned people. Reinforcements came fast to the banner of
the supposed Messiah, scion of David's house, who was to throw off
the yoke of Rome and restore the throne of Judah. Soon he had half a
million men at his back.

The Roman governor, Tinnius Rufus, who is the Talmud's archetype of
cruelty, fled with his garrison. In the first year of the war fifty
fortresses and a thousand towns capitulated before the advancing
arms of Bar Cochba; for the presence of the beloved Akiba gave
confidence to all. We might say of him as was written of Moses,
"When Akiba raised his hand, Israel prevailed."

Hadrian, who first slighted the insurrection, had soon reason to
fear it. His best generals were dispatched to Judea only to be
repulsed. Already Bar Cochba was having coins struck with his
insignia. Alas the act was premature. King Ahab once said, "Let not
him boast who putteth on his armor as he who taketh it off." In the
meantime Roman prisoners of war were treated with great forbearance;
indeed some heathens, impressed with the enthusiasm of the Jews, had
joined their ranks.

General Severus.

Eventually, after Bar Cochba had held sway for two years without
cavalry and had repulsed every Roman army, Hadrian, alarmed,
summoned the great general, Julius Severus, from distant Britain.
The Jewish focus of operations was at Bethar, south of Caesarea,
and one mile from the Mediterranean, and fortifications had been
placed north, west and east to hold control of the country. Jezreel
commanded the centre.

Like Vespasian, the great general Severus, decided on siege rather
than attack. So he steadily cut off supplies and provisions and
also barbarously put to death all prisoners of war. There was no
Josephus to give us vivid details of this campaign, so we only know
its general result. The three great outlying fortresses on the
frontier were first mastered. The next battle took place on the
field of Jezreel. One by one the Jewish fortresses fell. The whole
Judean army was now concentrated in Bethar where the decisive battle
must be waged. It was the Jerusalem of this war. Severus resolved
to starve it out. For one year the Jews bravely held out against
the finest army of the age. At last some Romans found a way into
Bethar through a subterranean passage which some Samaritans, it is
said, betrayed. Then followed an awful carnage in which Roman horses
"waded to the nostrils in Jewish blood." More than half a million
souls were slain and thousands more perished by fire and hunger.
Yet so great were also the Roman losses that Hadrian in his message
of the campaign to the Roman senate, significantly omitted the
formula, "I and the army are well."

In the year 135 Bethar fell and tradition places it on the same date
so disastrous in Jewish annals--the 9th of Ab. The Roman soldiers
kept up a war of extermination against the scattered bands that
still held out. Many who had taken refuge in caves were brutally
massacred. All the Jews throughout the Roman Empire were made to
feel the weight of Hadrian's anger in heavy taxation. As though
wantonly to mark its complete desolation, the plow was passed over
Jerusalem. North of it was built a Roman city--Aelia Capitolina. On
the Temple Mount was erected a shrine dedicated to Jupiter, with
the vindictive purpose of obliterating the very name of Jerusalem.
(And it _was_ forgotten--for one hundred and fifty years.) No Jew
dared enter that city under penalty of death. But all this was but
preliminary to his real punishment of those who were called rebels
only because they failed. Keener sighted than Vespasian, who blotted
out the Nation but tolerated the Faith, Hadrian saw that there was
only one way to crush the Jew; that was by crushing his religion. To
that abortive purpose he now devoted himself with all the inhumanity
of a Pharaoh. To the cruel but cowardly Tinnius Rufus, who had fled
at the first alarm, that task was entrusted. Judaism was proscribed.
Obedience to its Law was declared a capital crime. Should they
commit physical or spiritual suicide was the dilemma that now faced
Israel. Was ever a people reduced to such straits?

Law and Life.

A few were ready for ignoble acquiescence and called it submitting
to the inevitable, forgetting that "inevitable" is an elastic
term that varies with our moral determination. Meeting secretly
in a garret, the Rabbis considered the momentous question of the
religious policy of this critical hour. They decided that while this
terrible decree lasted the people might disregard Jewish observances
under duress, since the Law was given, not that they should die, but
live by it. But fearing that their lenient proclamation might be
mistakenly applied to the fundamentals of religion and morals, they
made this safeguard: Even to save his life, no Jew must commit the
sins of _idolatry_, _adultery_, or _murder_. This vitally important
declaration, involving the all-compelling sanction of the second,
sixth and seventh commandments, became an abiding principle in

But many of the Rabbis themselves refused to take advantage of the
leniency they were willing to grant to others, and determined to
obey every injunction of Judaism. In particular they determined to
teach the Law to their disciples, on which the continuance of the
Jewish tradition depended--though they knew that death would be the
penalty of discovery. Roman spies were everywhere ready to pounce
upon any who committed the "crime" of fulfilling the precepts of
Judaism in obedience to the dictates of conscience. Some were only
fined, but others were put to death with tortures too cruel to tell.


There were ten famous martyrs among the teachers of the Law. One
of these, Chananyah ben Teradion, had the scroll of the Law he was
expounding, wound round him and was burnt in its flames--wet wool
being placed on his heart to prolong his agony. His executioner,
inspired by such lofty example of faith and courage, sought death
with him on the same pyre.

Another, Rabbi Judah ben Baba, gathered some of his disciples
about him in a lonely spot, to ordain them as rabbis by the rite
of _Semicha_, already explained. Roman soldiers discovered him. He
bade his pupils fly. They refused to obey until he pointed out that
having learnt from him important decisions of the Law, it was their
duty to live and teach them to others. Later they found him pierced
with three hundred lances.

Rabbi Akiba was among the martyrs and would not avail himself of the
temporary suspension of the ceremonial Law. Reproached for exposing
his life by teaching the Law he answered in a parable that has
since become famous, that of "The Fox and the Fishes." Seeing the
frightened fish swimming from nets set to entrap them, a crafty fox
on the bank called out, "Come up on land and escape the snares of
the sea." "Nay," advised the counsellor among the fish, "far wiser
will it be to remain in the water, your native element, even though
made perilous by the nets of men." Was not Judaism the _native
element_ of the Jew?

Soon this noble teacher was seized and cast into prison. Rufus
ordered him to be flayed to death by iron pincers. But religion
cannot be killed in that way. In the midst of his agonies, a
seraphic smile illuminated his face. "Daily," said he, "I have
recited the _Shema_, 'Love God with heart and soul and might,'
and now I understand its last phrase--'with all thy might,'--that
is even though He ask thy life; here I give Him my life." With
this wondrous recital of Israel's prayer, this sweet soul, whose
opinions may have brought him some opponents, but whose character
all loved, passed away. His parable of "The Fox and the Fishes"
contained a profound truth exemplified in himself; for, dying in his
native element, the Law, he lives immortally in the Jewish heart;
aye, through the inspiration of his death and that of others like
him, does Israel abide to-day. Here was another application of the
"suffering servant" in Isaiah's fifty-third chapter.

Thus ended Israel's last struggle for liberty. It severed, too, the
last link that yet united the Jewish Christians to the parent Jewish
body. For they said, "Why hold further relation with a community
completely crushed and discredited in the eyes of all the world?"
They believed that Judaism's collapse and disappearance was at hand.


Rome first despised the Judean revolt and then had to send its
greatest general to quell it. Compare the similar experience of
Britain with the Boers.

_Theme for discussion_:

What degree of pain or peril justifies disregard of ceremonial law?


     (Nearly all the illustrations of coins used in this book have
     been taken from Madden's "Coins of the Jews," London: Trübner &



Sorrowfully the Jews now took up the burden of life once more. In
spite of dreadful devastation and dreary outlook the faith and
spirit of the majority remained unbroken. Hadrian had tried to
eradicate Judaism, but he had failed. The defeated were still the
victors. In the year 138 Hadrian was succeeded by the more humane
Antoninus Pius. The religious persecution was stopped, Rome's normal
toleration of Judaism was resumed. The Sanhedrin was reopened at
Oosha, the Presidency being still retained in the family of Hillel.
Rabbi Simon, the Nasi, was the author of the maxim, "The world rests
on three pillars--Truth, Justice and Peace." Compare the "world's
three pillars" of Simon the Just. (p. 30).

Mair and Beruriah.

Rabbi Mair was a unique figure of this time. He is said to have
given one-third of his means to support poor students. Not at first
recognized because of his youth, he gave expression to the maxim,
"Look not at the vessel, but at that which it contains; for there
are new flasks full of old wine and old flasks which contain not
even new wine." Did not Rabbi Joshua express a similar sentiment?

Rabbi Mair was a broad man who gladly gathered knowledge from all,
Jew and non-Jew alike. Mark this bit of wisdom: "Who studies the
Law for its own sake is worth the whole world and is loved by God
and man." Is not the study of the Law _for its own sake_ the very
essence of religion? He would illustrate his lessons by fables in
the portrayal of which he was wonderfully gifted.

His wife, Beruria, is the most renowned--or perhaps the only
renowned--woman in Talmudic annals. We might compare her to the
Shunamite (II Kings, iv.), whom the Bible calls a "great" woman.
Great was Beruria in strength of character, in dignity and withal in
motherly affection. She was indeed a helpmeet to her husband and to
many of her people in a time of storm and stress. Her own parents
had been martyrs in the Hadrianic war. She was a scholar too. Her
keen penetration and at the same time her womanly tenderness are
revealed in her interpretation of the text, "Let sinners be consumed
out of the earth." (Psalms civ. 35). Not _sinners_, but _sin_.
Then indeed will be fulfilled the hope at the conclusion of the
text--"The wicked will be no more."

Her strength of character is perhaps best revealed in the pathetic
story told of the consoling way in which she broke to her husband
the terrible news of the death of their two sons. Some "jewels" had
been entrusted to her, which she so highly prized that it was hard
to give them up; what should she do? They must be returned said R.
Mair. In this way fortifying him with consolation for the sorrow
awaiting him in this double bereavement, she gently led him to the
chamber where the dead children lay.

Judah ha-Nasi.

As the epoch of the Tannäim opened, so now it closed, with a
remarkable man--Rabbi Judah, called _par excellence_ The Nasi, i.e.,
greatest of all. And no Nasi before him had been permitted to
exercise so much power over the Sanhedrin,--now located in Sepphoris
in Galilee.

Like so many of his predecessors, he devoted much of his wealth to
the maintenance of students of the Law, and fed the poor during
a famine. He came to be known as "the Saint." His most valuable
service was the complete codification of all the Halachoth that
had been gradually accumulating since post-Biblical time. While
similar collections had been made before his time, commenced by
Hillel, amplified by Rabbi Akiba and revised by Rabbi Mair, his
final editing of the previous work became the officially accepted
condensation of the Oral Law--the Mishna, superseding all earlier

It is treated in the following chapter.

Rabbi Judah, not only compiled the teachings of others, but he left
valuable maxims of his own:

     "Be as careful of the observance of a light precept as of a
     weighty one."

     "Balance the material loss involved in the performance of a
     precept against its spiritual compensation and the present
     desirable fruits of a sinful deed against the injury to thine
     immortal soul."

     "Know what is above thee: A seeing eye, a hearing ear, and that
     all thy actions are written in a book."

No Nasi received so much reverential regard from the people at
large. While he was dying, they gathered around his house, declaring
in the exaggeration of grief that they would slay the person who
would dare announce his death. At length there came forward Bar
Kappara, a man of broad scientific attainments and withal a man of
delicate imagination. In fact, he was a poet too, as may be judged
by the way in which he announced Rabbi Judah's death: "Angels and
mortals contended for the ark of the covenant; the angels have
conquered, the ark of the covenant is gone."

Other Famous Teachers.

Just a passing word on other great men of this epoch. Rabbi Jochanan
showed his breadth of view in encouraging the study of Greek and
opening up its great literature to Jewish youth, and particularly in
his recommendation of it for girls. This urging of the cultivation
of the female mind formed a pleasing contrast to the prevailing
practice--the comparative neglect of the education of women--which
practice survives in some of our communities to-day!

To this period also belonged that keen logician, Resh Lakish,
likewise renowned for his colossal strength and his scrupulous
honesty. He discerned that the Book of Job was not a history, but a
life problem put in the form of a story. He also taught that Hell
has no real existence. Not that he or his age altogether denied a
future retribution for the wicked. But Hell never appealed strongly
to the conviction of the Jew. Certainly the Synagogue does not teach
the doctrine of "everlasting punishment" to-day.

Another teacher, Rabbi Simlai, searched the Scriptures and
enumerated 613 ordinances of Judaism--365 negative and 248
affirmative precepts. He found them further reduced to eleven
principles in the 15th Psalm; in Isaiah xxxiii. to six; in Micah vi.
8 to three; in Isaiah lvi. to two; and in Amos v.-4 to one: "Seek
ye Me and ye shall live"; to one also in Habbakuk ii.-4. "The just
shall live by his Faith."

Nor must we forget that group of rabbis who, investigating the
religious and educational condition of various towns and finding in
one place no teachers, asked the magistrate to present the guardians
of the city. He marched forth the armed men. "No," said the rabbis,
"these are not the guardians, but the destroyers of a city. Its true
guardians are the teachers."

Let us mention in this group, too, Rabbi Abbahu, the last of the
great men of the Palestinian schools, renowned not so much as an
expert on the _Halacha_ as a keen _Hagadist_. This is another
way of saying that he was not so much a subtle jurist as a great
_preacher_. He was a student of human nature. His keen insight on
one occasion chose as the worthiest to pray for rain, a man bad by
repute, but who, he had discerned, was noble in character.


For complete enumeration of the 613 precepts, see article
"Commandments," _Jewish Encyclopedia_, vol. iv.

_Theme for discussion_:

Can the number of our duties be specified?



All the supplementary laws that grew up around the _written_ Codes
of the Bible were called, by distinction, the _Oral Law_. These
included the decisions of the Scribes (p. 19), the Pairs (pp. 87-8)
and the Tannäim (p. 186). Rabbi Judah the Nasi made a compilation of
all of these and called it The Mishna. Derived from the Hebrew verb
_shanah_, to learn or repeat, the Mishna is popularly known as the
Second Law. It became the recognized code for all legal decisions,
and the authorized text-book in all the schools.

It now took its place beside the Law of the Pentateuch, and just as
that first Law was a text for further development, so too we shall
see that this Second Law, containing Halachoth of the _Sopherim_,
the _Pairs_ and the _Tannäim_, became the parent of a vast growth
of precepts and prohibitions in the interpreting hands of the
generations now to follow.

The Mishna is divided into six groups (Sedarim) containing sixty
subdivisions (Mesechtas), as follows:


1, Introductory chapter on "Prayers"; 2, "Corners" of fields for the
poor (Levit. xix., 9-10); 3, Doubtful produce (whether tithed or
untithed); 4, Illegal mixtures (Deut. xxii. 9-11); 5, Sabbatic Year;
6, Priests' Tithes; 7, Levites' Tithes; 8, Secondary Tithes; 9,
Dough offerings (Numbers xv., 17-21); 10, Prohibited fruits of first
three years (Levit. xix., 23-25); 11, First fruits.


1, Sabbath; 2, Uniting localities to extend limit of Sabbath walk;
3, Passover; 4, Half-shekel tax (Ex. xxx., 11-16); 5, Day of
Atonement; 6, Tabernacles; 7, Festival regulations; 8, New Year; 9,
Fasts; 10, Purim; 11, Middle days of the Festivals; 12, Festival
Pilgrimage to Jerusalem.


1, Levirate marriage (Deut. xxv., 5-10); 2, Marriage contracts; 3,
Vows; 4, Nazarites (Numb. vi, and xxx); 5, The suspected sinner; 6,
Divorce; 7, Betrothal.


1, First division--general; 2, Second division--Suits between
master and servant, etc; 3, Third Division--Municipal and social
regulations; 4, The Sanhedrin and Criminal Law; 5, Punishment by
flogging; 6, Oaths; 7, Decisions between opposing traditions; 8,
Idolatry (crime as well as sin); 9, Ethics of the Fathers; 10,
Accidental Offences.


1, Sacrifices; 2, Meat offerings; 3, Slaughtered animals for food
only; 4, The first born sacrifice; 5 and 6, Redemption and Exchange
(see Levit. xxii); 7, Excommunication; 8, Profanation; 9, Temple
sacrificial services; 10, Temple arrangements; 11, Offerings of poor
(Levit. v, 1-10, and xii, 8).


1, Household furniture; 2, Tents and houses; 3, Leprosy; 4, The
"Red Heifer" purification (Numb. xix.); 5, Lesser defilements; 6,
Washing; 7, Periodic defilement; 8, Conditional impurities; 9, Open
wounds; 10, Personal purification; 11, Washing of the hands; 12,
Defilement of fruits.

About 150 authorities are quoted in the Mishna, involving about two
thousand statements. Here are a few specimen sentences:

     "From what time should we begin to read evening prayers
     (Shema)? From the hour when the priests enter to partake of
     their offering till the end of the first watch, according to R.
     Eleazer; (other) sages say till midnight. Rabban Gamaliel says,
     till dawn. Once it happened that his sons returned (late) from a
     feast. They said to him, 'We have not yet recited (the Shema).'
     He replied, 'If it is not yet dawn, the obligation to read it
     still abides; nay further, where the sages have said, 'till
     midnight,' their injunction extends it till dawn."--Opening
     paragraph of _Mishna_.

     R. Nechunjah b. Hakanah was accustomed to offer a short prayer
     on entering and leaving the Academy. His (disciples) asked the
     appropriateness of such prayer. He replied: "On entering I pray
     that no harm should happen through me, on departing I give
     thanks for my lot."

     "It is man's duty to offer a prayer at the occurrence of evil,
     just as he prays at good fortune; for Scripture says, 'Thou
     shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, with all thy
     soul and with all thy might,' 'With all thy heart'--with thy two
     inclinations of good and evil. 'With all thy soul' (life)--even
     though He (God) take thy life. 'With all thy might'--with all
     thy substance."--_Prayers_, i, 1.

     "On New Year all who enter the world, pass before Him (God)
     like sheep to be judged, as Scripture says: He fashioneth their
     hearts alike, He understandeth all their doings."

     "On six (different) months messengers are sent forth (to report
     on the occurrence of the New Moon); On Nisan on account of the
     Passover; on Ab, on account of the Fast (ninth); on Ellul, on
     account of New Year; on Tishri, to adjust the Festivals; on
     Kislev, on account of Hannukah; on Adar, on account of Purim.
     In the days when the temple stood they (the messengers) also
     went forth on Iyar, on account of Minor Passover" (see Numb. ix,

     The following are prohibited from testifying:--he who gambles
     with dice, he who lends money on usury, he who trains doves for
     racing purposes, he who traffics in the produce of the seventh
     year and slaves.--_New Year_, ii, 8.

Here is a specimen piece from Sanhedrin, with accompanying notes,
translated for a forthcoming work, _Library of Post-biblical Hebrew

     They (the Judges[1]) examined them (the witnesses) with seven
     searching questions: "In what sabbatical year? In what year? In
     what month? What date of the month? What day? What hour? What
     place?" R. Jose said, "What day. What hour? What place? Did you
     know him? Did you warn him?[2] In a case of idolatry, whom did
     he serve? And with what did he serve?"

     The more searching a judge is in his examinations, the more
     praiseworthy he is. It happened that the son of Zaccai
     examined (even) concerning the stems of the figs.[3] And what
     difference is there between investigations and examinations? In
     investigations if one should say, "I don't know," his testimony
     is worthless. In examinations, if one should say, "I don't
     know," and even two should say, "We don't know," their testimony
     stands. Whether in investigations or examinations, when they
     contradict each other, their testimony is worthless.

     One witness said, "on the second of the month," and another
     witness said, "the third of the month," their testimony stands;
     because one knows of the intercalary month, and another does not
     know of the intercalary month.[4] One said, "on the third," and
     another said, "on the fifth," their testimony is worthless. R.
     Judah said "it stands." One said, "on the fifth," and another
     said, "on the seventh," their testimony is worthless, because at
     the fifth (hour) the sun is in the east, and at the seventh the
     sun is in the west.

     And afterwards they introduce the second (witness[5]) and
     examine him. If both their statements agree, they open the case
     for the defense. If one witness says, "I possess information to
     clear him," or one of the disciples (of the Sanhedrin) says:
     "I possess information to condemn," they are ordered to keep
     silence. If one of the disciples says, "I possess information to
     clear him," they bring him up, and seat him between the judges,
     and he does not go down during the whole day.[6] If there be
     substantial information, they give him a hearing. And even when
     he (the accused) says, "I possess information for clearing
     myself," the judges give him a hearing; only there must be
     substantial information in his words. If the judges find him not
     guilty, they release him, but if not, they defer his verdict to
     the next day.[7]

  [1] Criminal cases were judged by a regularly constituted court of
  three-and-twenty qualified members.

  [2] No punishment could be inflicted if the culprit had not been
  warned that he was charged with a crime and forewarned as to its

  [3] The witnesses testified that the crime has been committed under
  a fig tree.

  [4] _i. e._, one knew that the preceding month was what is called
  a complete month, counting thirty days, and the days of the
  celebration of the New Moon (Rosh Hodesh) belonged to the following
  month; while the other believed that the preceding month was what is
  called a defective month, counting only twenty-nine days, and that
  the semi-holyday of the new moon was observed on two days, the first
  of which belonged to the preceding month.

  [5] It was forbidden to examine a witness in the presence of another

  [6] Even if his information is worthless, he remains seated besides
  the Judges, the whole day, in order not to degrade him before the

  [7] A verdict of guilty cannot be pronounced on the same day as that
  on which the trial was held.

While the Mishna is strictly a code only, still its underlying
structure is religious. The moral is everywhere impressed. One of
its sections is a Book of Morals called Ethics of the Fathers, iv.
9, from which rabbinic sayings have already been quoted. A complete
translation of this section will be found in the Sabbath Afternoon
Service of the Prayer Book.

We find no system of doctrines in the Mishna and no formulated
creed. A bad life is summed up in the general term--_epicurean_,
which probably meant sensual self-indulgence and scoffing
scepticism. The Jew is not asked to believe in God's existence. That
is taken for granted; atheism hardly came within his ken. He is
asked rather to shun anything that tends to polytheism. Revelation
and Resurrection are regarded as fundamental beliefs. He who denies
them will be deprived of future life. To withhold immortality from
him who disbelieves it we might call poetic justice.

While the ceremonial law was rigorous, its observance was saved from
being mechanical by the importance laid on sincerity of intention
and on inner devotion. Not the brazen serpent but the repentant
heart cured afflicted Israel in the wilderness, the Mishna reminds
us, pointing its moral with the quotation from the prophet Joel,
"Rend your hearts, not your garments." To go beyond the Law in the
keeping of one's word merits the highest praise. Many prohibitions
were imposed against actions not wrong in themselves, as barriers
against possible wrong. These formed a "fence around the Law."


The acceptance of the Mishna as the Canon of Jewish Law
curtailed--theoretically at least--the freedom of the rabbis who
now followed, in the evolving of new Law. This later group of
teachers was henceforth at liberty only to _expound_ the Mishna.
They are therefore called _Amoräim_, expounders, to distinguish them
from the Tannäim, that class of teachers who interpreted direct from
the Scriptures and whose work closed with the Mishna.

The Mishna tended still further to emphasize the legal character
of Judaism (p. 19). While it may have robbed the individual of
spontaneity of religious action, it strengthened the bulwarks of
moral law.


Another collection similar to the Mishna and arranged on the same
plan, was called _Tosephta_ (addenda). This contains for the most
part commentaries on Scripture and much of what has been called
Agada (p. 187).

Read article "Prof. Schürer on Life Under the Law," by Israel
Abrahams in _Jewish Quarterly Review_, vol. xi., and "The Law and
Recent Criticism," Schechter, vol. iii.

     "The Mishna is for the most part, free from the blemishes of
     the Roman code. There are fewer contradictory laws, fewer
     repetitions, fewer interpolations than in the digests: ...
     as regards a certain outspokenness in bodily things ... its
     language is infinitely purer than that of the mediaeval
     casuists."--E. DEUTSCH, _The Talmud_, J. P. S. A.

_Theme for discussion_:

What is Revelation, and how did the sages apply it to the Oral Law?
(See "Ethics of the Fathers," ch. i), Sabbath Afternoon Service,
Prayer Book.)

Chronological Table.

  =Emperors of Rome.=        | =Rabbis of the Academies.=
  Antoninus Pius         138 | Rabbi Mair and Simon b.
                             |   Yochai flourished       140
  Marcus Aurelius        161 | Jehuda ha-Nasi, Pres. of
                             |   Sanhedrin               165
  Commodus               180 | Jehuda ha-Nasi compiles
                             |   Mishna                  189
  Alexander Severus  222-235 | Rab opens Academy at
                             |   Sora                    220
  Diocletian             284 | Mar Samuel, Judge at
                             |   Nehardea, about         225
  Constantine            320 | Academy of Pumbaditha     247
                             | Rab Huna dies             297
  Constantius        337-363 |
                Neo-Persian Dynasty      226
         Constantine's anti-Jewish decrees      315
        Council of Nicea widens gulf between Judaism
                 and Christianity      325



Ever since the Bar Cochba war, the numerical centre of gravity of
the Jews had shifted to Babylonia, and soon after the compilation of
the Mishna in Palestine, Babylonia became the religious centre too.

This fertile country, in which history began, lay between the
Euphrates and Tigris, with the Persian Gulf at the south. The
name Babylon is sometimes used in Jewish annals to include the
surrounding lands, with a southwestern boundary, as far as the
Arabian Desert. This second "Land of Israel" had been a home for the
Jews since the first forced exile there in the year 600 B. C. E., in
the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel. From Babylon came both Ezra and
Hillel, though in the four centuries intervening between these two
men, we hear nothing of Jewish life in Babylon.

Babylon's Varied Rulers.

This land had varied fortunes. The home of the Babylonians--one
of the most important of the Semitic families and one of the most
ancient civilizations--it was conquered by Cyrus the Persian,
about 540 B. C. E. About the year 330 it was taken by Alexander
in his triumphant march through Asia and became part of the
Seleucidan Empire, (see p. 28). This brought into it something of
a Greek atmosphere. In the year 160 B. C. E. it was conquered by
Parthia--an Asiatic nation dwelling south of the Caspian Sea. This
regime continued for four centuries, though the Parthians exercised
no influence whatever on the Jews. In the year 226 A. C. E. a
Neo-Persian dynasty was re-established. This continued till the
coming of the Arabs in the seventh century--a later story.

During all these changes in the controlling power, the Jews
continued in Babylonia undisturbed. When Judea fell, in the year
70, almost an annihilating catastrophe to those at hand, their life
went on without a break, except that it brought to the new home a
large number of Jewish refugees. So that by the second century after
the Christian era, Babylon had become the centre of greatest Jewish
influence and activity. Trajan had tried to conquer the land, but
failed (p. 203). So Babylonian Jews remained out of the reach of the
Roman grasp.

Resh Galutha.

What was their status here? Since the time of Cyrus the government
had been Persian. Given almost complete political independence, the
Jews simply paid taxes to the ruling power. As Persia had granted to
the Jews the privilege of administering their own affairs in Judea
so, naturally, the same permission was granted in Babylonia. There
was this important difference. The head of the Judean community
had been the High Priest; those were the days when the Temple
stood. When we turn to Babylon in the century following Jerusalem's
overthrow, we find the governor of the Jewish community was called
Exilarch or _Resh Galutha_, Head of the Exile. _Galuth_ was a word
freighted with emotional meaning to our fathers.

The Resh Galutha, as distinct from the High Priest of an earlier
day, was entirely a civil functionary, and the office carried more
power. As Exilarch he was recognized by the government and occupied
a place among the Persian nobility. At first but collectors of
revenue, these officials were later treated as princes--perhaps as a
mark of gratitude for the Jewish support when Parthia was fighting
Rome. A good deal of pomp came to be associated with the office.
These Exilarchs were all chosen from the House of David, and so
represented a quasi-royalty. The line continued unbroken till the
eleventh century. They exercised complete judicial authority among
their own people. Unlike the Patriarch or Nasi of Judea, with whom
we may also compare them, they were not necessarily learned in the

The Jews of Babylonia were for the most part engaged in agriculture,
commerce and handicrafts, and even in work on the canals. Fortunate
indeed were they to have again secured a home beyond Rome's cruel
control, where, undisturbed, they might live their own life. In the
study of the Law they found inexhaustible material for intellectual
and religious activity. But how was religion taught and the
continuity of Judaism maintained in Babylonia?

At first they were entirely dependent on the Palestinian Academies
established in Jamnia and Lydda and other places after the fall of
Jerusalem, and were altogether subject to the Judean Sanhedrin. Many
students traveled to Palestine to study at its schools. But after a
time the community grew strong enough intellectually to establish
academies of its own. The heads of the Academies corresponded to the
Judean Patriarchs, only that all civil power was vested in the Resh
Galutha, above mentioned.

Step by step the Babylonian students increased in learning; and,
acquiring confidence, came to feel less the need of the guidance
of the parent authority. Soon this settlement further east claimed
independent jurisdiction. This was bitterly resented in Palestine.
The removal of the Sanhedrin to Jamnia had been the first wrench.
The second was the removal of the central authority from the Holy
Land altogether, to distant Babylonia. But Palestine could not stem
the tide. As the fortunes of the Jews declined there, its schools
declined with them. Steadily waned, too, the authority of the

Rab and Samuel.

Babylonian schools also produced great scholars, some as renowned
as those of Palestine. For reasons given on p. 227 they are all
_Amoräim_, not _Tannäim_. Let us mention first _Abba Areka_,
popularly called by his many disciples Rab (Rabbi), "_the_ teacher,"
who flourished in Babylonia a few years after the Mishna had been
compiled in Palestine. Apart from his duties as expounder of the
Law, the Resh Galutha appointed him to the position of supervisor
of weights and measures. Occasioned by this occupation to travel
in outlying districts, he discovered the ignorance of the remoter
congregations. This led to his establishment of the Academy of Sora
about the year 220. It continued a seat of Jewish study for eight
hundred years. Hundreds of pupils flocked to Rab's Academy. Some he
maintained from his own purse. At the same time the study hours were
arranged to give pupils the opportunity of earning their living.
Some lectures were delivered to the public at large. An Academy
almost as famous was established at Pumbeditha; another at Nehardea.

It was not only in the expounding of ritual and civil law to which
Rab devoted his energies, but also to raising the ethical standard
of the people. For the austere simplicity and purity of Jewish
life had sadly degenerated in Babylonia. Wonderfully salutary and
effective was the influence of Rab in his moral crusade. He made the
betrothal and marriage laws more strict and more decorous. He also
strengthened the authority of the Courts of Justice by resort to
excommunication of refractory persons. Deservedly was this modest
man called the Hillel of his day.

Usually associated with the name of Rab was the versatile _Mar
Samuel_, his contemporary. He was essentially the rationalist of his
age who discouraged with his hard common sense the dreamers who were
awaiting the speedy and miraculous coming of the Messiah. In Jewish
Law his ability chiefly was directed toward the interpretation of
civil jurisprudence, for which he was especially fitted. As judge of
the Court of Nehardea, he made a brilliant record. His most famous
decision and that which most affected the Jews, was expressed in the
phrase, _dina d'malchuthah dina_,--"The law of the land is the law
for us." This means that it is our duty as Jews to obey the laws of
the countries in which we live. This principle tended to reconcile
our fathers to the lands of their exile, taught them their true
relation to them, and was in the spirit of the message of Jeremiah
to the very first exiles in Babylon--"Seek the peace of the country
whither ye are exiled and pray to the Lord for its welfare." The
ultimate result of Samuel's dictum was that the better the Jew, the
better the patriot.

Samuel had the courage of his convictions. For when the Persian
king, Shabur I (under whose rule the Babylonian Jews were living),
was engaged in war against Asia Minor, many Jews fell, who were
fighting in the ranks on the opposing side. Yet he would not
countenance mourning for his fallen coreligionists since they had
fought against his king!

Babylonia, with its broad unbroken plains that gave such wide
survey of the heavens, had early become the cradle of astronomy,
and Babylonian Jews were expert in this science. So versed was
Samuel in the course of the stars that he once said, "The tracks of
the heavens are as familiar to me as the streets of Nehardea." His
astronomical knowledge enabled him to arrange a fixed calendar and
made Babylon further independent of Judea in deciding the dates of
the festivals. As already stated (p. 186) these had previously been
decided by the appearance of the New Moon in Palestine. Samuel was
also a renowned physician and applied rational remedies, when the
world of his day clung to superstitious nostrums. But medicine and
astronomy were characteristic accomplishments of the Jewish rabbis.
Samuel did not scorn to learn from the Persian sages. While greatly
esteemed, not all of his contemporaries realized how profound a
scholar he was. For in a sense he was a man in advance of his time.
We understand him better to-day.

With all his intellectual gifts, he was modest, self-denying and
wonderfully tender-hearted. He had many laws passed to safeguard the
interests of the poor and helpless, and, decided that the Court must
take orphans under its fatherly protection.

In the patriotic incident above mentioned, it was seen that he
practised what he preached. Here is another instance. He had laws
passed against exorbitant prices. When grain he had purchased
cheaply, rose in price, he still sold it cheaply to the poor. What a
needed lesson for our times! Here are two of his maxims:--

    "Deceive neither Jew nor pagan."
    "Respect the man in the slave."


What was the religion of Israel's Babylonian neighbors? The
Parthians were inclined toward Hellenism and exercised no religious
influence on the Jews. But when the Persians again gained
control of Babylonia (226 C. E.,) they brought with them their
own religion--Zoroastrism. Zoroaster or Zarathustra was a great
religious genius who flourished about 800 B.C.E. He reformed the old
cult of the _Magi_, i. e., a caste of Persian priests and sages.
His teachings are contained in the Parsee bible--the _Avesta_. The
cardinal doctrine of this faith was dualism; that is, it explained
the existence of evil in the world as the persistent conflict of
two great spirits--Ormuzd, spirit of light and good (God), and
Ahriman (devil), spirit of darkness and evil. In the process of ages
Ormuzd and good will prevail. The sun is the visible representation
of Ormuzd and fire the expression of his energy. So Ormuzd was
worshipped under the symbol of fire. This worship spread over a
large part of Asia. It did not deserve to be classed with the
idolatries of the heathen world that brought so many immoralities
in their train, for we see even while we must disagree with its
recognition of a devil, that it expressed exalted ideas and urged
its followers to live moral lives. But the rise of this Neo-Persian
dynasty, awakening new religious energy, led later to a passing
persecution of all non-fire-worshippers.

At the opening of the sixth century, Mazdak, a new zealot for the
religion of the Magi in Babylonia, tried to impose on all under
his rule certain dangerous doctrines of his own that tended to
undermine the moral foundations of society. Naturally the Jews,
always normally a chaste people, stoutly resisted. This meant fight.
Again must they lay down the book for the sword, or rather, take
up the sword for the cause of the Book. Led by the Resh Galutha
Mar Zutra II, they actually succeeded in throwing off the Persian
yoke altogether for some seven years; but they were, of course,
ultimately brought into subjection, and consequently many martyrs
were added to the Jewish roll of honor.

Babylonian Schools.

This incident carries us ahead of our narrative. To return:

The Babylonian schools--_Metibta_, as each was called (_Yeshiba_,
Hebrew), continued to grow until they drew far more students than
had been reached in Palestine, many of whom became great Amoraim.
Babylon, in fact, was now a very large Jewish colony regulated by
the laws of the Bible and Mishna as interpreted in the Academies.
Even the Resh Galutha was in later times often a Jewish scholar,
as for example, Mar Ukba. In addition to the _Resh Metibta_--head
of the School--there was a _Resh Kallah_, President of the General
Assembly--an institution not found in the Palestinian Academies.
These were for the benefit of visiting students and met twice a year
in the months of Adar and Elul.

Most renowned of Rab's successors was Rab Huna, who died in 297.
Following the recognized precedent, not to use the Law as a spade,
he earned his living by farming.

Reverence was shown to Judea now only in so far that the pious
desired to be buried there. Later persecutions in Roman provinces,
of which Judea was one, brought still more refugees to Babylonia.

The next generation of scholars we must pass over rapidly with
just a word. In Pumbeditha we may mention Rabba, who believed in
the saving sense of humor, and also set himself the more serious
occupation of classifying the Halachoth accumulated since the Mishna
had been compiled. He gave to his students this fine principle,--"He
who does good for reasons other than the good itself, it were
better he had never been born." The method of deduction as taught
in the Babylonian Schools was more subtle than that of Judea.
Its hair-splitting tendency in the next generation of Amoräim
occasionally degenerated into casuistry. But even that was the fault
of a virtue.


_Patriotism and Judaism._

Mar Samuel's theory and practice best answered the query of the
anti-Semite, Goldwin Smith, "Can Jews be Patriots?" The American
Jews had to face this problem in the Civil War of 1861, when they
fought in both the Union and the Confederate ranks.

       *       *       *       *       *

Read Dr. Mielziner's _Introduction to the Talmud_, (Bloch Publ.
Co.), chap. iv.

This book is particularly recommended in connection with the
chapters on Mishna, Talmud and the Academies.

Read Article "Babylonia," _Jewish Encyclopedia_, vol. ii.

_Theme for discussion_:

Is the Jew's first duty to his countryman or to his coreligionist?



Rome's Decline.

Now we must turn our glance westward again--to Rome. At the death
of Antoninus Pius in 161, two emperors reigned conjointly--Varus,
a degenerate, and Marcus Aurelius, a philosopher. The Roman Empire
was becoming steadily demoralized. It was at the mercy of a series
of degraded creatures who engaged in scandalous conflicts for the
bauble of royal power. At times the purple was offered to the
highest bidder.

But in 222 the throne came into the hands of the high-minded
Alexander Severus. Unlike most of his predecessors, he respected
Judaism, and Hillel's Golden Rule was inscribed on the walls of his
palace. So his reign meant thirteen pleasant years for the Jews--a
little break of sunshine through the lowering clouds.

After the death of Severus, degeneracy again set in and usurper
after usurper seized the throne. Rarely was the monotony of upstart
emperors broken by a better type of man such as Diocletian. The
demoralized condition of the State was reflected in the people at
large. Paganism, even at its best, had failed as a scheme of life.
Roman society was hopelessly corrupt and on the eve of collapse.
The people no longer believed in the supposed divinities Jupiter
and Apollo. The philosophers tried to explain them away as abstract
ideas. The ceremonies of the temple became mummeries. The augurs
(priests who were supposed to indicate the nature of events by the
flight and cries of birds) could not look each other in the face
without laughing.

The more earnest prayed for something better. Had Judaism not been
discredited and under a ban and its observers spurned as an alien
race, it might have been more largely sought--though its ceremonial
code was exacting, its moral code severe, and its sole spiritual God
seemed abstract and aloof to worshippers of divinities that could be
seen. Judaism made not an iota of concession to win a single pagan
to the fold. As it was, in spite of discouraging conditions, many
would-be proselytes knocked at the doors of the Synagogue.

Why Christianity Appealed to Romans.

But for many reasons, Christianity was in a better condition to make
converts. Most of its adherents had come through conversion, and
proselytism was a cardinal item in its program. The eagerness of the
Christians to bring a religious message to the heathen, deserves
high praise and must not be underrated, though they betrayed
weakness in being too ready to make concessions to pagan nations
for the sake of winning converts. The semi-idolatrous idea that
Jesus was at once man and God was a familiar conception to the pagan
mind. The dramatic picture of his dying on the cross to save mankind
appealed to their emotions. The treatment of the Hebrew expression
"holy spirit," as a being--a separate divinity, introduced a third
element into the God-idea--the "Holy Ghost," (old English: spirit.)
This made the Christian divinity a Trinity: God, the Father, Jesus
the Son, and the Holy Ghost. But a three-headed God, so revolting
to Jewish ideas, was quite a recognized theological notion in the
heathen world.

With these additions, so alluring to the pagan mind, the nobler
Jewish teachings, which were Christianity's ethical foundations,
were more readily accepted. Christianity became popular in Rome.
Its adherents were found in all ranks. When they were a small and
feeble group, the Roman emperors had persecuted them. But now, they
were in the majority. The tables were turned. Only minorities are
persecuted. Alas the Jews remained a minority.


Thus it was that an emperor named Constantine decided first
to give toleration to all cults and ultimately to adopt
Christianity--"partly from a genuine moral sympathy, yet doubtless
far more in the well-grounded belief that he had more to gain from
the zealous sympathy of its professors than to lose by the aversion
of those who still cultivated a languid paganism." This act made it
the religion of the empire. But since Rome was mistress of half the
civilized world, this acquisition of power and numbers at once gave
to the new Faith an eminence it has never lost. The effect of this
promotion was profound and lasting and vitally affected the destiny
of Israel.

Judaism and Christianity Contrasted.

The attitude of enthroned Christianity was at once inimical to the
parent Faith. At first sight it would seem that it might be more
kindly disposed to a religion to which it owed so much and to which
it was so closely related. Alas to confess it--for such is human
nature--the very closeness of the relationship was the cause of its
enmity. It regarded the very persistence of Judaism as a denial
of its theories and as a challenge to its claims. Christianity
declared the law abrogated; Judaism called it religion's keystone.
Christianity declared that the Messiah had come; Judaism maintained
he had not. Christians called Jesus a divinity--Son of God; the
Jews spurned this as blasphemy. The Church taught a Trinity; the
Synagogue made the indivisible Unity of God its cardinal principle.
Spiritual monotheism became for the Jew a passion.

The first act by which Christianity exercised its new power was to
prohibit Jews from making converts to Judaism and to reward those
who deserted it. Thus it conspired for the gradual elimination of
the Jewish Faith.

As its ranks rapidly swelled, Christianity continued to make
consciously and unconsciously more and more concessions to the
heathen beliefs and customs that were deeply rooted in the hearts of
people, who accepted the new creed more or less superficially. The
original Essene ideas from which it had sprung were completely lost
to view. Taking the imperial government as its model, the Church
reproduced Roman administration in its systematic organization,
even to its despotic demand of sole sway. It enforced a rigid
uniformity of doctrine; it organized a hierarchy of patriarchs and
bishops whose power was enforced by the State and whose provinces
corresponded with the administrative divisions of the Empire, the
emperor being head of the Church. In the year 325 a Council was
called at Nicæa (Asia Minor) to draw up the official creed of
Christianity. For it laid great stress on _belief_. This marked
another distinction from Judaism, which, so far, had formulated no
creed and had no particular theory of salvation. The Nicæan Council
condemned the doctrines of the followers of Arius, a Christian whose
idea of God was closer to Judaism, and declared the equal eternity
and divinity of the three persons of the Trinity, with more decided
emphasis. So the Arians were henceforth regarded as heretics. It
further decided, that the Festival of Easter (which was the Jewish
Passover readapted to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus) should
now be arranged independently of the Jewish calendar.

The policy of suppression directed against Judaism commenced
by Constantine was continued with greater ardor by his son,
Constantius. He forbade intermarriage and imposed the penalty of
death on Jews who made proselytes of Christian slaves. He even
prohibited their converting heathen slaves. Further prohibitive acts
followed. This hostile attitude was continued for centuries.

Thus the Jews in the Roman Empire were transferred from a heathen
to a Christian regime. Quietly they continued on the even tenor of
their way and prayed with greater fervency for the restoration of
their ancestral home and for the speedy coming of the Messiah; it
meant for them the coming of light and liberty.

The Calendar.

It became necessary for Hillel II., Palestinian Patriarch, in 359,
to establish a fixed calendar based on that of Samuel of Babylon,
(p. 234) to guide the people as to the time of celebrating New Moon
and Festivals, as in these troublous times they could not always
transmit the news obtained by observing the heavens. But the
"second" day of the Festivals, for lands outside of Palestine, now
no longer needed, was maintained as a matter of sentiment and is
maintained still in conservative Judaism.

This planning of a Jewish calendar by which the Festivals were
computed perpetually and yet kept in their natural seasons, was
a wonderful piece of astronomical and arithmetical ingenuity.
For a lunar year of twelve months is shorter than a solar year
of three-hundred and sixty-five and a quarter days. To average
the difference and thus prevent, for example, Passover eventually
occurring in Autumn and Tabernacles in Spring, an additional month
(second Adar) was added seven times in every nineteen years.
Further, the calendar had to be so devised that certain Festivals
should not fall on undesirable days--for example to prevent the Day
of Atonement falling on Friday or Sunday. This ancient calendar is
still our guide for the Jewish year.




But a brief check was made on Christian advance and its pitiless
attempt to suppress Judaism in the coming to the throne of Julian in
361. For this emperor did not endorse the new religion, but accepted
the old Roman cult of the Pantheon, though in its most idealized
form, preferring to purify instead of abolishing it. But it was too
late; it had been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Julian, whom the Church styled "the Apostate," was both tolerant
and philanthropic, and a man who fostered learning. As between
Christianity and Judaism, though bred in the former, to which he
continued to grant perfect freedom of observance, his inclination
turned rather toward the latter, and he held it in high esteem. He
removed the restrictive laws and special taxes against Judaism,
imposed by his predecessors. He even took steps for the rebuilding
of the Temple at Jerusalem. The Jews were transported with delight
and began at once sending contributions toward its erection with
greater zeal than was even shown, according to Scripture, by that
generation in the wilderness in their gifts toward the Tabernacle.
The Christians looked on with consternation, and regarded every
unfavorable interruption as the miraculous intervention of heaven.
Not a supposed miracle however, but a real event, brought the
project to nought. Julian died on the battlefield.

Two Roman Empires.

In the meantime Rome was failing fast. The conflict for the throne
on the death of each new emperor, showed that the Empire was
crumbling from within. Long before the days of Constantine armies
were electing their generals to the imperial dignity all over
the empire. The throne was propped up a little longer by gaudy
trappings, but this meant heavier taxation and further slavery.
Finally the overgrown and undermined body split in twain, each half
maintaining a separate existence. Byzantium, afterwards called
Constantinople, was the capital of the Roman Empire of the East,
while the city of Rome remained the centre of the Western half. The
division was finally completed in the year 395. Although both were
Christian, the duel empires were menaced by too many enemies from
without to have the leisure to renew the anti-Jewish laws--for a

Huns, Goths and Vandals.

The influx of "barbarians," as all people outside of Rome were
called, now came thick and fast. While some were absorbed in a
friendly way, impressed with Rome's grandeur, and even served in
its army, younger and healthier peoples looked contemptuously
upon the decaying Empire and sought to absorb it rather than be
absorbed. Even before the division, Julian had to keep off the
incursions of the Franks and Alemanni (Germans). Theodosius, called
the Great, bravely resisted the inflowing races, but he fought
against destiny and therefore fought in vain. Driven by the Huns, a
Scythian people from Tartary, under the leadership of Attila, the
Goths crossed the Danube into the Roman territory as refugees; but
cruelly treated, became enemies and began devastating the Western
division of the empire. Alaric in 410 had sacked the imperial
city itself. The Goths, to whom after much fighting, Rome granted
important concessions, also--like Rome--fell into two divisions--the
Ostragoths (Eastern), who settled on the Black Sea, and the
Visigoths (Western), who occupied Dacia from the Dnieper to the

These details make dry reading; but the break-up of the Roman Empire
after occupying the centre of the world's stage for four hundred
years, marks the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages. This
change of his environment was in a measure to change the Jew.

Let us complete this general survey. Already hordes of Suevi,
Burgundians, Alemanni and Vandals had invaded Gaul and set up a
Vandal Empire in Spain, where they contended with the Visigoths for
control. Genseric, called the scourge of God, invaded Africa in 429
and devastated the coast from Gibraltar to Carthage. It was he, by
the way, who seized the Temple vessels that Titus had taken from
Jerusalem. They had passed, like their first owners, through many
vicissitudes. Next, the Huns began laying waste the Western Empire,
though finally defeated by the Gothic king, Theodoric. At last
Odoacer, in 476, at the head of barbarian mercenaries, dethroned the
last emperor, and the Roman Empire of the West came to an end in
that year.

Persecution of the Jews.

In the meantime Christianity held the reins of power in the
surviving eastern half of the Roman Empire. Its Church Fathers
began to regard it as a part of their function to preach against
Judaism. The people at large followed by burning synagogues or
turning them into churches. But the Emperor Theodosius I. protected
the Jews. Later, Bishop Cyril cruelly drove them out of Alexandria
where they had had such an illustrious career since the days of
Alexander the Great. No redress was made to them for loss of home
and property. His disciples, following this barbarous precedent,
seized the cultured Hypatia, a teacher of Platonic philosophy, whose
rare learning had made her home a gathering place for students and
scholars,--and the fanatic crowd rent her limb from limb.

But it was a bigoted and savage age. In mentioning the cruelly
fanatic bishops, let us not forget the kind ones--Bishop Hilary of
Poictiers in Gaul, at whose funeral the sympathetic Jews expressed
their sorrow in the recital of Hebrew Psalms.

With Theodosius II, emperor of the eastern division of the Roman
Empire, who came to this Byzantine throne in 408, began the
systematic restraint of Judaism--the harsh discrimination against
Jews before the law. They were prohibited from building new
synagogues, from exercising jurisdiction between Christian and Jew,
and from owning Christian slaves. The bishops and clergy began
fomenting attacks in different localities, forcing baptism on some
by threat. Ultimately the Patriarchate of Judea, the office of Nasi,
was abolished in 425, after the Hillel family had enjoyed this
dignity for three and a half centuries.

Israel suffered, too, at the hands of Christian ascetics who went
to grotesque extremes and imposed absurd privations upon themselves
to express religious zeal. Some condemned themselves to stand on
pillars--hence called "pillar saints"; some to live as hermits in
the desert. But with them all Jewish persecution was deemed a kind
of piety, the logic being that Jewish beliefs were opposed to the
truth and the Jews were the enemies of God. The most famous of these
pillar saints was Simeon, surnamed Stylites, meaning pillar. As long
as the Roman Empire of the West lasted, Jews were excluded from
most public offices. The monies hitherto voluntarily contributed to
maintain the Patriarchate were, now that this Palestinian official
was deposed, demanded perforce to continue as a Jewish tax to aid a
hostile State. Thus did Christian Rome follow the precedent of pagan
Rome. This was the kind of treatment that they were now to meet in
all Christian lands, marking the beginning of the Jewish _Middle

Still Christian divines were glad enough to sit at the feet of
Jewish scholars and learn from them the Hebrew tongue. In this way
Jerome was enabled to make from the Hebrew a new translation of
the Bible into Latin. It was called the _Vulgate_ (Latin Vulgata,
for public use). It has remained the authorized translation of the
Catholic Church to this day.


_The Holy Roman Empire_, Bryce; chapter ii and iii. (Burt, New York.)

_Hypatia_, Kingsley.

On the Emperor Julian's relations with the Jews, especially with
regard to his proposition of rebuilding the Temple, see two articles
in the _Jewish Quarterly Review_ vols. v. and x.

_Theme for discussion_:

What right had the _Eastern_ (Byzantine) Empire to the title

Chronological Table.

              =JEWRY.=               |            =ROME.=
  Hillel II Introduces fixed         | Emperor Julian            361
    Calendar into Palestine     359  |
  Completion of Palestinian          | Division of Roman Empire  395
    Talmud                      409  |
  Extinction of Palestinian          | Rome sacked               410
    Patriarchate                425  |
  Death of Rabbana Ashi,             |
    editor of Talmud            427  | Fall of Western Roman
  Completion of Babylonian           |   Empire                  476
    Talmud                      500  |
  Persecution of Jews by             |
    Mazdak, the Persia          500  |



The times were becoming so uncertain in Babylonia as well as in
Palestine that the Jews felt it necessary now to collect and _write
down_ their varied traditions and laws to insure their preservation.
The sages could no longer trust the transmission by word of mouth;
they could no longer rely on their memories, marvelous though
these were. So they were reluctantly compelled to overcome their
sentimental objection to writing down these traditions--which,
as the very title, _Oral_ Law showed, should be transmitted from
mouth to mouth, inscribed, as it were, only on the tablets of
the mind. Perhaps, too, they felt that writing would crystallize
the _Halachoth_ at the point where they were transcribed, into
unchangeable decisions and prevent their further development. For
while unwritten, they were fluid and could be modified from age to
age. As a matter of fact, the writing down of the laws _did_ tend to
crystallize them, and thus retarded the progressive growth of Jewish

The Gemara.

The work of codifying and writing down the Oral Law was commenced by
Rabbana Ashi about the year 400. Placed at the head of the declining
Academy of Sora, he breathed new life into it. His knowledge won him
both esteem and authority such as had been granted to Rabbi Judah
ha-Nasi, compiler of the Mishna in Palestine about two hundred years
earlier. But Rabbana Ashi's was a vaster task--the compiling of all
supplementary laws that had grown out of the Mishna proper and from
all the Mishna collections in the course of two hundred years. It
included, too, the discussion and incidental material that developed
from every legal or moral problem, together with all the logical
steps that led to the final deduction. This vast after-growth or
commentary was called _Gemara_, which means completion. Together
with the Mishna, which formed the text, it was called the Talmud.
This commentary, Gemara, is far bulkier than the Mishna. Sometimes a
few lines of Mishna would call for pages and pages of Gemara.

For about half a century Rabbana Ashi and his disciples,
particularly Rabina, labored on this gigantic task. The completed
work was called the _Talmud Babli_ (Babylonian), as it was not only
written in Babylonia, but contained largely the decisions attained
in the Babylonian schools. Though do not forget that its Mishna text
was written in Palestine. The final touches were made about the year
500. It contains twelve folio volumes or 2,947 leaves.

A similar work had been done in Palestine about the year 400. This
Mishna commentary was called the Palestinian Talmud. Whether it
originally contained commentary on all the Mishna we cannot say; but
in the copies now extant there is only commentary to the first four
of the six sections of the Mishna and to a few additional chapters.
For this reason it is a less important work than the Babylonian
Talmud and but a quarter of its size. Indeed, when we speak of the
Talmud, we usually mean the Talmud Babli.

The Contents.

The two great divisions of _Halacha_ and _Agadd_ have already been
explained in the chapter on the Mishna (xxxi). These same two
classes of material, the legal and the narrative, characterize
the Gemara. It will be understood at once then that the Talmud is
not merely a code of laws for Jewish guidance, though primarily
that is its purpose. It gives us also, though incidentally, an
insight into the manners and customs of the Jews, their theological
views and general reflections on life; their hopes and their
sufferings for a period of some six hundred years--"A work in
which a whole people had deposited its feelings, its beliefs, its
soul." We have fragments of biography of Jewish scholars, bits of
inner history under Roman and Persian rule, homely philosophy of
the sages; glimpses too of their weaknesses and occasionally of
their superstitions--all the more reliable because unconsciously
portrayed. Interspersed between their legal discussions will be
found an anecdote, an abstract thought of the rabbi whose decision
is quoted, a bit of humor, a picture of Oriental civilization.
As direct outgrowth of many of their ritual arguments, we are
introduced to their science; astronomy and mathematics in the
drawing up of their calendar; botany in their agricultural laws;
hygiene, anatomy and physiology in the _shechita laws_ (slaughtering
animals for food); and natural history and medicine in various
laws. There is, of course, very unequal value in their data, and
naturally they shared some of the errors of their age.

The legal discussions in themselves reveal keen mental acumen,
subtle logic, "deductive reasoning raised to the highest power;"
they display a vivid sense of justice and philanthropy; and, touches
of harshness too--wrung from a patient and forgiving people in the
hour of agony.

The study of the Talmud was to become the chief occupation of the
Jews for many centuries. It was a world in itself in which they
lived, and in which they could forget the cruel world without. Its
study reacted on their character. First the Jew made the Talmud,
then the Talmud made the Jew.

Talmudic Literature.

Like the Bible, the Talmud produced a literature still vaster
than itself. While the _Gemara_ is a commentary, it needed later
commentaries to explain it to the student--for although so diffuse
in treatment, its language is terse. Frequently a letter stands
for a word and a word for a sentence. Therefore in editions of the
Talmud to-day, Mishna and Gemara together form the text and are
printed in the centre of each page, while commentaries in smaller
type are grouped around it. Since the days of printing all editions
are paged alike.


After the completion of the Talmud, the work of the Academies became
preservative rather than creative. While not adding to the laws now
gathered in the Talmud, the rabbis reviewed them and formulated
from them complete codes for practical application. This tended
to give a finality to the laws so far evolved, which had both its
good and bad side. This undertaking gave to this next school of
commentators the name of _Saboräim_--revisers or critics--the third
group of law expounders. (For first group, _Tannäim_, see p. 186;
for second group, _Amoräim_, see page 228). They edited the Talmud
and amplified it with _agadistic_ material and finally brought it
down into the form in which we have it to-day.


_Language of the Talmud_:

The Mishna is written in Hebrew, and so too are some of the
older quotations in the Gemara. Many Greek words are adopted, of
which _Sanhedrin_ is one; some Latin words too. But the bulk of
both Gemaras is written in a dialect of Aramaic--we might say
Jüdisch-Aramaic just as we speak of Jüdisch-Deutsch to-day.

       *       *       *       *       *

A knowledge of grammar was brought to Persia (Babylonia) from
Greece, which resulted in the important service of introducing vowel
points and accents. This tended to simplify the study of Hebrew
Scriptures and made the text more certain.

_Ethics of Talmud_:

The ethics of the Talmud have been touched upon incidentally in
preceding chapters, and at length in the two following. For a
systematic treatment, read Part iv., Outlines of Talmudic Ethics,
in Mielziner's _Introduction to the Talmud_. See also _Ethics of
Judaism_, Lazarus (translation), J. P. S. A.

Read "On the Study of the Talmud," _Studies in Judaism_, S.
Schechter, J. P. S. A. 1908, for rabbinic parallels with New
Testament teachings.

_The Law of the Talmud_:

In a note on the Mishna it was pointed out that it was free from
some defects of Roman law. This does not exclude the fact that
the rabbinic _halacha_ was largely indebted to Roman law. On this
Darmesteter says:

     "Certain departments of legislation, such as the laws on slavery
     and prescription ... are almost entirely inspired by Roman
     legislation. But all they borrow takes on modifications under
     the manipulation of the rabbis. The Jewish mind transformed the
     alien elements by impressing upon them its peculiar character.
     And from this vast crucible in which three centuries had melted
     down materials of diverse origin gathered by the schools, was to
     emerge the essentially uniform and homogeneous work of Talmudic
     legislation."--_The Talmud_, translated by Henrietta Szold, J.
     P. S. A.

_Themes for Discussion_:

(a) Compare Bible and Talmud as literatures.

(b) In what sense can it be said that "the Talmud made the Jew?"



     "Let me make the ballads of a people and I care not who makes
     the laws."

The maxims with which the rabbis occasionally endorsed their
decisions and the bits of humor with which they relieved the
tension of argument, may give a deeper insight into their character
than their laws. These morsels of homely philosophy and casual
reflections on human experience best reveal, too, their outlook
on the world and on life. So in its way the _Agada_ is quite as
precious a legacy from the Fathers as the _Halacha_.

The writing of parables of which some of the rabbis were masters,
is almost a lost art; it seems to have died out in literature. But
no moral is pointed so aptly as through a tale and no teaching
impressed so lastingly as through a story.

Many a Hebrew philosopher like Socrates, the Greek, and the yet
earlier prophet (_nabi_) would make the highway his school-house
and the passing crowd his disciples. Darmesteter suggests that the
lesson might have been conveyed in somewhat in the following way:

     "Who wishes to live long," cries an _Agadist_ in the open
     street; "who wishes to buy happiness?" The original questions
     attract a crowd demanding to know the orator's secret. "Thou
     desirest to live many days," he answers, "thou wishest to enjoy
     peace and happiness? Keep thy tongue from evil and thy lips
     from speaking guile. Seek peace and pursue it. Depart from the
     evil and do good." And paraphrasing these words of the Psalmist
     (Ps. xxxiv, 13-15), he developed his ideas in the midst of the
     attentive crowd.

The parables and maxims that follow have been gathered promiscuously
and are classified here under appropriate heads.


     "Show me your omnipresent God," said the Emperor Trajan to R.
     Joshua. "He cannot be seen, but let us try to look at one of his
     ambassadors," replied the rabbi, pointing to the midday sun.
     "I cannot," said Trojan, "the light dazzles me." "Can you then
     expect to gaze upon the resplendent glory of the Creator?"

     A Roman philosopher asked: "If your God dislikes idolatry, why
     does he not destroy the idols?" Quickly came the wise reply:
     "Shall He destroy the sun and the moon because the foolish
     worship them and thus injure the innocent also?"

     "Who denies idolatry may be called a Jew."

     "He who possesses knowledge of God's law without fear of Him,
     the Lawgiver, is like one to whom the inner keys of a treasury
     have been given, but the outer ones withheld."

     "God rejoiceth not at the fall of the wicked." When the angels
     were about to chant their morning hymn on the day the Egyptians
     were drowning, God stayed them: "The works of My hands are
     sinking in the deep and would you sing a song?"

     "Without God's law there would be neither heaven nor earth."

     "The aim of creation is man's fulfilment of God's will."

     "The consciousness of God's presence is the great teaching of

     "In all God's creation there is not a single object without a


     "Man should ever say: Whatever the All-merciful doeth is for the

     "Who hath bread for to-day and feareth for the morrow, is a man
     of little faith."

     "God adjusts the burden to the camel."

     "We cannot comprehend either the prosperity of the wicked or the
     suffering of the righteous."

     Rabbi Akiba was alone in the wilderness at night with but a
     lamp to study the Law, a rooster to waken him, and an ass to
     carry him. He was inhospitably driven from a village in which he
     asked shelter, and had to camp in the open fields. A wind blew
     out his light so that he could not study; a wolf destroyed his
     rooster; a lion devoured his ass. But at the occurrence of each
     calamity, he still said: "Praised be God, whate'er He does is
     for the best." Entering the village next morning, he found its
     inhabitants slain by robbers.

Complete the providential application.

     There is no mediator between Israel and God.

     "If misfortune befalls a man, let him not cry to Michael or
     Gabriel, but let him come unto Me: everyone who calls on the
     name of the Lord shall be saved."

     God scattered Israel through the world that the Gentile might
     learn the purity of Jewish teaching.


     "Prayer without devotion is body without breath."

     "Better little prayer with devotion than much, without."

     "He who asks God for his neighbor what he needs for himself, his
     own wants will be first answered."

     "Blessed be the mother who sends her children to the House of

(See prayer and sacrifice, page 188.)


     "Who gains the approval of good men, may hope for that of

     "One should conduct himself as carefully before man as before

     "What shall man do to live; kill his (lower) self. What shall
     man do to die; sustain his (lower) self."

     "The righteous are greater in death than in life."

     "A good man lost to his age is like a lost pearl. The pearl
     remains a pearl wherever it may be; only the owner feels its

     "Alas for him who mistakes branch for tree, shadow for

     "To him who lacks nobility of heart, nobility of blood is of no

     "Good men promise little and do much; wicked men promise much
     and no nothing."

     "There are three classes of friends of God; the wronged who seek
     not revenge; workers for the love of God; cheerful sufferers."

     "The righteous need no monuments, their deeds are their

     "Three names are given to a man: the first by his parents, the
     second by the world, the third by his works."

     "The best preacher is the heart, the best teacher time, the best
     book the world, the best friend God."

     "The greatest of heroes is he who turneth an enemy into a

The Study of the law.

     "Study is more meritorious than sacrifice."

     "A scholar is greater than a prophet."

     "The soul of man is the lamp of the Lord; the law is light.
     God's light (the Law), is in man's hands: man's light (the
     soul), is in God's hands. Respect His light and he will respect

     "The Gentile who studies the Law is as a High Priest."

     "Who studies the Law in private, it will proclaim him in public."

     "Scholars increase the world's peace. They are called builders
     for they are engaged in upbuilding the world."

     "I have learnt much from my teachers, more from my fellow
     students, most from my pupils."

     "The wise learn from all."

     "He only is free who engages in the study of the Law."

     "The aim of learning is moral perfection."

Education in General.

In the days when the Temple was still standing, education of the
young formed an important part in the life of the Jewish people.
They had schools in and out of Judea. Ignorance was despised. "A
fool cannot be pious," 'twas said. The studies to be undertaken
in accordance with the age of the children, the previous home
preparation, the number to a class, were all carefully planned.
The curriculum comprised law and morals deduced from Scripture
and rabbinic teaching, history, grammar, languages, according
to the time, Aramaic, Persian, Greek or Latin. Also to older
scholars--medicine, hygiene, astronomy, botany, zoology.

All Scriptural quotation of flowers were applied to children and
schools. "Teacher" was the highest title.

     "The world depends on the children in the school."

     "A city without school-children will be destroyed."

     "Touch not mine anointed." These are the school-children. "And
     to my prophets do no harm." These are the disciples of the wise.

     "You should revere your teacher even more than your father. The
     latter only brought you into this world; the former points the
     way to the next. But blessed is the son who has learnt from his
     father, and the father who has instructed his son."

     "Who does not educate his children is their enemy and his own."

     "Who is best taught? He who has learnt from his mother."

     "Who acquires knowledge without imparting it is like a myrtle in
     a desert."

     "Who are you whose prayer has alone been answered?" "I am a
     teacher of little children."

     "Bestow most care on the children of the poor, for from them
     will go forth the Law."

     "Pride is a sign of ignorance."

     "A single coin in a jar makes the most noise."

     "The rivalry of scholars advances science."

     "If thou acquireth knowledge what canst thou lack; if thou
     lackest knowledge what canst thou acquire!"

Parents and Children.

     "Three share a man: God, father and mother. When one honors
     mother and father, God says He dwells among them; and in
     honoring them one honors Him."

     "Blessed is the generation in which the old listen to the young;
     doubly blessed when the young listen to the old."

     "Do not threaten children with punishment you do not intend to

     "Only when a parent induces a child to commit sin, is
     disobedience justifiable."

     "Do not limit your children to your knowledge, for they were
     born in another age."

     Rabbi Eliezar pointed out to his disciples the example of Damah.
     His mother often abused him, yet all he would say on such
     occasions was: 'Enough, dear mother, enough.' Once the priests
     came to him to purchase a jewel. Finding his father resting
     against the casket in which it lay, he asked them to come
     later. They offered him a larger price. He replied, 'I would
     not disturb my father's rest for all the wealth of the world.'
     They waited. When his father woke he brought the jewel; they
     tendered him the larger sum offered the second time. He declined
     it, saying: 'I will not barter the satisfaction of having done
     by duty, for gold; give me what you first offered and I will be

     Albini allowed none of his five children to open the door for
     their grandfather or attend his wants. That privilege must be
     his. Once his father asked for water. On returning he found the
     old man asleep. So there he remained, glass in hand, until his
     father awakened.

     "Reverence mother and father by neither sitting in their seats
     nor standing in their places, by not interrupting their speech
     nor criticising their arguments and by giving heed to their

     "Support the aged without reference to religion, and the learned
     without reference to age."


The exalted place given to woman in Jewish teaching is in pleasing
and remarkable contrast with her inferior position in the orient
and throughout antiquity generally. In some respects she is made
subordinate in the Jewish law, and is given a comparatively passive
place in religious life; but on the whole the sages of the Talmudic
era nobly resisted the example of their environment, in the
reverence they paid to womanhood.

     "God gave more understanding to woman than to man."

     "All blessing in the household comes through the wife; therefore
     should her husband honor her."

     "Man should consult his wife, treating her as a companion not a
     plaything; making her what God intended, a help-meet for him."

     "Be careful not to cause woman to cry, for God counts her tears."

     "He who loves his wife as himself and honors her more than
     himself, will train his children rightly."

     Rab Jose: "I never call my wife _wife_, but _home_."

     "He who dependeth on his wife's earnings will be deprived of

     "Who is rich? Who has a good wife."

     "Culture in woman is better than gold."

     "Woman's sense of shame is deeper than man's."

     "He who has no wife is not a complete man."

     "Israel was redeemed from Egypt on account of the virtue of its





     "Work dignifies the worker."

     "He enjoys life who lives by the work of his hands."

     "Work is more pleasing in God's sight than ancestral merit."

     "Strip a carcass in the street and take pay for it, and say not:
     'I am a priest or a great man and this work is beneath me.'"

     The Fourth Commandment makes rest conditional on work.

     "God did not dwell in the midst of Israel till they had built a

     "Work must not be neglected for study."

     "He who says 'I have toiled and not found,' believe him not; he
     who says 'I have not toiled yet have I found,' believe him not."

     "Who does not bring his son up to a trade teaches him to be a

     "It is well to add a trade to your studies to be free from sin."

     "Position cannot honor the man; the man must honor the position."

     "Famine passes by the workman's door."

     "Artisans need not interrupt their labors to rise before the
     passing scholars."

     "Rather be a menial than a dependent."

Here is a characteristic bit of rabbinic _midrash_ on a Bible text:
"The dove returned ... and in her mouth an olive leaf" (Gen. viii,

     "She said to the Holy One: 'Rather let my food be as bitter as
     the olive, but received from Thy hands, than honey-sweet but
     dependent on the hand of man.'"

     "It is one's duty to support a slave crippled in his employ."

     "O, River Euphrates, why is thy current not heard? My deeds
     testify for me; what is sown at my shores will bloom in thirty

     "Judge by deeds not works."

     "Say little, do much."

     "Like a tree, man is known by his fruit."

     "Say not, 'I will do nothing,' because thou canst not do

     "One good deed leadeth to another."

     "Thy works commend thee; thy works repel thee."

     "He who makes another perform a deed, is greater than the doer."

     "A worthy action done in this world anticipates and leads the
     doer to the world to come."

     "When God said to Adam, 'Thorns and thistles shall it (the
     earth) bring forth for thee,' Adam wept and said: 'Lord of the
     world, shall I and my ass eat from the same crib?' But when God
     further said, 'by the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread,'
     Adam was cheered and comforted."


     "Truth is the seal of God."

     "Jerusalem was destroyed because of the lack of truth-telling

     "Who breaks his word is as one who worships an idol."

     "Thus is the liar punished: even when he speaks the truth, none

     "Truth is heavy, therefore few carry it."

Justice and Honesty.

     "Let justice pierce the mountain."

     "The judge who renders a true judgment for but one brief hour,
     is deemed as though he shared with God in the work of creation."

     "Judge every man in the scale of merit."

     "Judge not your neighbor till you stand in his place."

     "Woe to the generation whose judges must be judged."

     "Rabbi Phineas hospitably received two strangers. On departing
     they accidentally left behind them a few measures of barley.
     They returned a year later. 'Presumably our barley is spoilt by
     this time: never mind.' 'Nay,' said Phineas, leading them to his
     barn. He gave them five hundred measures of barley, the product
     of their few measures, which he had sown in his fields."

     He who lends on usury is compared to a shedder of blood.

     "Thy neighbor's honor and his possessions should be as dear to
     thee as thine own."

     "Be honest in trade: if goods are damaged, acknowledge it."

     "Credit and mutual trust should be the foundations of commerce."

     A prince once made a law that a receiver of stolen property
     should be hanged and the thief go free.

     "Not the mouse but the hole is the thief."

     "An Israelite must not deceive even an idolater."

     "Go to sleep without supper, but rise without debt."

     "Rabbi Simon bought a camel of an Ishmaelite and later
     discovered diamonds under its saddle. 'The blessing of God
     maketh rich,' said his overjoyed servant. 'Nay,' rebuked the
     rabbi: 'Return those diamonds; I bought a camel, not precious

     Alexander, the world conqueror, came across a simple people in
     Africa who knew not war. He lingered to learn their ways. Two
     citizens appeared before the chief with this point of dispute.
     One had bought a piece of land and discovered a treasure in
     it; he claimed that this belonged to the seller and wished to
     return it. The seller, on the other hand, declared that he sold
     the land with all it might contain. So he refused to accept the
     treasure. The chief, turning to the buyer, said: "Thou hast a
     son?" "Yes." And addressing the seller: "Thou hast a daughter?"
     "Yes." "Marry one to the other and make the treasure their
     marriage portion." They left content. "In my country," said the
     surprised Alexander, "the disputants would have been imprisoned
     and the treasure confiscated for the king." "Is your country
     blessed by sun and rain?" asked the chief. "Yes," replied
     Alexander. "Does it contain cattle?" "Yes." "Then it must be for
     the sake of these innocent animals that the sun shines upon it;
     surely its people are unworthy of such blessing."


     "Whoever showeth compassion is as the seed of Abraham."

     "Remove from the highway what might endanger the property of

     "To deserve mercy, practice it."

     A sage, meeting Elijah in the thoroughfare, asked him to reveal
     the worthiest in the passing throng. First he singled out a
     turnkey. "He was kind to his prisoners." Next he pointed out two
     tradesmen. The sage ran to them and said, "Tell me your saving
     works." They were surprised. "We are only poor workmen, said
     to be cheerful and good-natured; we sympathize with people in
     sorrow and we try to reconcile friends who have quarreled. That
     is all."

     "Be not cruel to inferiors."

     "Rather be thrown into a fiery furnace than bring anyone to
     public shame."

     "He who declines to tend the sick and he who hateth his
     neighbor, are as though they shed blood."

     "Even though thy left hand pushes from thee, let thy right hand
     draw towards thee."

     "Hospitality is a form of divine worship."

     "Cast no stone in the well from which thou hast drunk."

     "One should not partake of his own meal until his animals are
     first provided for."

     "He who has no mercy on dumb animals should himself suffer pain."

     While Moses was tending the flock of Jethro he noticed a lamb
     stray from the fold. He followed it; it did not stop until it
     reached a pool and there its slaked its thirst. "Thou dear
     innocent creature," said Moses, "had I but known thy wishes, I
     myself would have borne thee in my arms to the water." So he
     gently carried it back to the flock. Then was a voice heard from
     heaven exclaiming: "Moses, thou hast shown such compassion for
     the dumb sheep, thou art indeed worthy to be the shepherd of the
     flock of Israel."

     "Give me your blessing," said R. Nachman to R. Isaac. He
     replied, "Thy request reminds me of the story of a weary
     traveler, who, after the day's exhaustion reached a well-watered
     date tree. Refreshed by its fruit and rested in its shade, he
     gratefully desired to bestow upon it a blessing. 'What can I
     wish thee; thou already hast foliage, shade, fruit, water; I
     can but pray that thy offshoots may flourish like thee,' 'Now,
     R. Nachman, thou already hast learning, wealth, children; I can
     only wish that thy descendants may be blessed like thee.'"


     "Charity (righteousness) delivereth from death."

     "Charity is the salt of wealth."

     "He gives little who gives much with a frown, he gives much who
     gives little with a smile."

     "The truly beneficent seek out the poor."

     "He who closes the door on the poor may have to open it to the

     "Charity is greater than alms-giving; alms-giving is a duty to
     the poor only; charity both to rich and poor."

     "He who gives charity in secret is greater than Moses."

     "A miser is as wicked as an idolater."

     "Even he who depends on charity should practise it."

     Aben-Judah was the most generous of givers to the needy. But
     storm and pestilence swept away his wealth. There was left but a
     single field. In contented faith he maintained his family upon
     that. He only felt the pangs of poverty when the collectors
     of the poor called and he had nought to give. Then he and his
     wife decided to sell half their remaining field and hand the
     proceeds to the charity collectors. "May the Lord restore thee
     to thy former prosperity," said they and departed. Turning more
     assiduously than ever to the plough, that very day he unearthed
     a treasure. When the collectors called the next year he made up
     the deficiency of the year preceding. On receiving it they said:
     "Though many exceeded thy donation then, yet we had placed thee
     at the top of the list, knowing that thy small gift came from
     want of means, not from inclination."

     King Monobases (the son of Helen of Adiabene, who became a
     proselyte to Judaism, see p. 139), unlocked his ancestral
     treasures at a time of famine, and distributed them among the
     poor. His ministers rebuked him saying, "Thy fathers amassed,
     thou dost squander." "Nay," said the benevolent king, "they
     preserved earthly, but I, heavenly treasures; theirs could be
     stolen, mine are beyond reach; theirs were barren, mine are
     fruitful; they preserved money, I have preserved lives."

     Said R. Akiba to the not very charitable Tarphon: "Let me
     profitably invest some money for you." Tarphon handed his four
     thousand golden denars. Akiba distributed them among the poor,
     with the scriptural explanation, "He hath given to the needy,
     his righteousness endureth forever" (Ps. cxii, 9).

Humility and Patience.

     "Teach thy tongue to say: I do not know."

     "Meekness is better than sacrifice."

     "God teaches us humility. He chose but a low mount, Sinai, from
     which to promulgate the Decalogue; in a humble bush He revealed
     himself to Moses; to Elijah, in a still small voice."

     "Greatness flees from him who seeks it, and seeks him who flees

     "Rather be persecuted than persecutor."

     "An aged man, whom Abraham hospitably invited to his tent,
     refused to join him in prayer to the one spiritual God! Learning
     that he was a fire-worshipper, Abraham drove him from his door.
     That night God appeared to Abraham in a vision and said: I have
     borne with that ignorant man for seventy years; could you not
     have patiently suffered him one night?"

     "Seeking the highest good to bestow on Israel, God found nothing
     better than affliction." ("Sufferance is the badge of all our

     Rabbi Joshua always advised patience and submission, even under
     provocation (see pp. 193, 205.) Once he pointed his advice with
     the apologue of The Lion and the Crane: While devouring prey,
     the lion got a bone in his throat. He offered a great reward to
     whomever would remove it. The crane came forward, inserted his
     long neck down the lion's throat and extracted the bone. He then
     demanded his reward. "Reward indeed," said the lion; "was it not
     sufficient reward that I permitted your neck to escape my sacred

Make the application to Israel.

     A lover, called from the side of his plighted wife, sent letters
     to her, faithfully promising to return. Long she waited and
     many mocked and taunted her. But each time she read her lover's
     letters, her waning faith was strengthened.

     Suffering Israel is the maiden; the unseen God her faithful
     lover; and the Scriptural promises of redemption are His letters.

     (Compare Akiba story p. 209).


     "Put not yourself in the way of temptation, for even David could
     not resist it."

     "What the sages have forbidden on account of appearances, is
     forbidden even in one's innermost chamber."

     "Commit a sin twice and you will think it sin no more." The
     first step counts.

     "Evil passion is at first like a cobweb, and at last like a

     "The only indication of the Messiah's advent will be the
     disappearance of oppression."

     "Beware of evil's small beginnings; Jacob's favoritism towards
     Joseph led to Israel's Egyptian captivity."

     "What is the idol man carries within him--his evil passion."

     "Sinful thoughts are worse than sin."

     "A sinner is foolish as well as wicked."

     "The end does not justify the means."

     "He who deceives his neighbor would deceive God."

     "He who denies his guilt doubles his guilt."

     "Sin begets sin."

     "Ill weeds grow apace; neglect is their gardener."

     "Slander is a species of murder."

     "Arrogance is a kingdom without a crown."

     "The usurer will have no share in the future life."

     "He who can testify in his neighbor's behalf and does not, is a

     "It is sinful to hate but noble to forgive."

     "Say not 'sin cometh from God.' He giveth free choice of life
     and death."

     "The wicked, even while living, are called dead."

     R. Simeon said: The whole community must bear the blame of
     the individual sinner, emphasizing his lesson with this
     illustration:--Here is a boat-load of passengers. One proceeds
     to bore a hole through his seat, saying, "I am only piercing my
     own place." What happens? (Draw the inference.)


     "There is no repentance without reparation."

     "Better is an hour in repentance and good deeds in this world
     than all the world to come; though better is an hour of the
     world to come than the whole of this world."

     "Even when the gates of prayer are closed, the gates of tears
     are open."

     "When a man has turned from sin, reproach him no more."

     "One who has sinned and repented stands higher in God's favor
     than the completely righteous."

     "Repent one day before thy death." i.e. repent every day.

     "Improve thyself and then improve others."

     "Love those that reprove thee, hate those that flatter thee."

     "The love that shirks from reproof is no love."

     "He who does a worthy deed acquires an advocate."

     "As the ocean never freezes, so the gate of repentance is never

     "If you wish your fast to be acceptable to God let it be
     accompanied by acts of charity and good-will." (see Isaiah

     "He who says 'I will sin and repent, I will sin again and repent
     again,' will ultimately lose power to repent."

     A ship once anchored at a beautiful island waiting for a
     favorable wind. An opportunity was offered the passengers to
     go ashore. Some thought it safer not to leave the ship at all;
     the wind might rise, the anchor be raised and they would be
     left stranded. Others went to the island for a while to explore
     it, eat of its fruits and enjoy its beauties and returned to
     the ship refreshed and enlightened by the experience. A third
     group lingered rather long and scurried back as the ship was
     departing; but they lost their choice places on the boat for
     the rest of the journey. A fourth party indulged so freely in
     the island's pleasures, that it was hard to stir them when the
     ship rang its bell. "There is no hurry," so they lingered. Only
     after the last warning they made a wild rush, and had to clamber
     up the ship's sides; so they reached it, bruised and maimed;
     nor were their wounds quite healed at the close of the voyage.
     There was a fifth group alas, who drank so deeply and reveled
     so wildly that they heard neither bell nor warning. The ship
     started without them and at night-fall wild beasts emerged from
     their lairs and destroyed them.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Develop the analogy as a story of life.

Death and Immortality.

     "Weep for the living mourners, not for the dead."

     "Attempt not to comfort one when his dead lie before him."

     "None are responsible for their words in time of grief."

     "Trust not thyself till the day of thy death."

     "This world is the vestibule; the world to come the palace."

     To a denier of resurrection R. Gabiha said: "If what never
     before existed, exists, why may not that which once existed,
     exist again?"

     "The longest life is insufficient for the fulfilment of half
     man's desire."

     "One hour may win future life."

     "He who makes the sorrowful rejoice will partake of life

     "After death one is not accompanied by his gold or his jewels
     but by his knowledge (Torah) and his good deeds." (see note on
     Immortality p. 44.)

     Alexander reached the gate of Paradise. "Who is there," asked
     the guardian angel. "Alexander the Great." "We know him not,
     only the righteous enter here." Then he more humbly asked for
     a proof that he had reached the heavenly gate, and a piece
     of a skull was given to him! Alexander's sages proceeded to
     test it and finally placed it in one scale as a balance. They
     poured gold in the other scale, but the small bone weighed
     heavier. Alexander added his crown-jewels and diadem. The bone
     out-weighed them all. Then a sage placed a few grains of dust
     on the bone; up flew the scale! The bone was the setting of the
     eye. It is never satisfied until covered by the dust of the

Wit and Humor.

     "When the wine is in, the secret is out."

     "A man's character may be tested in his portion (generosity), in
     his potion (wine-cup), and in his passion."

     "If thou tellest thy secret to three persons, ten know it."

     "A light for one is a light for a hundred."

     "The sun will set without thy assistance."

     "The soldiers fight; the kings are heroes."

     "Life is lent, death is the creditor."

     "If speech in season is worth one piece of silver, silence in
     season is worth two."

     "Silence is good for wise men; how much more for fools."

     "Wisdom increaseth with age,--so does folly."

     "The poor who owe nought are rich; the old without ailment are
     young; the learned without religion are foolish."

     "Thy yesterday is thy past; thy to-day is thy future; thy
     to-morrow--is a secret."

     "Sufficient for the hour is its trouble."

     "Use thy best vase to-day; to-morrow it may be broken."

     Said an Athenian to a Hebrew lad:

     "Here is a _Pruta_ (a tiny coin); buy me something of which I
     may eat enough, leave some for my host and carry some home to my
     family." The boy brought _salt_.

     A would-be wit took an iron mortar to a tailor, saying: "Put a
     patch upon it." "I will, if you will make me some thread of this

     R. Gamaliel bade his servant bring him something good from the
     market. He brought--a tongue. To test his judgment, he was next
     asked to bring something bad; he brought--a tongue. "If good
     there is nothing better; if bad there is nothing worse."

     "Life and death are in the power of the tongue."

     "Why should I be slave," said the serpent's tail to its head;
     "let me lead." "Lead on." First it dragged the body into a
     miry ditch; no sooner did it emerge than it became entangled
     in a thicket. Bruised and torn the serpent was extricated only
     finally to be led into a furnace.

     "When the pitcher falls upon the stone, woe to the pitcher; when
     the stone falls upon the pitcher, woe to the pitcher; whatever
     mishap, woe to the pitcher."

     "Money, lacking for necessity, is found for superfluity."

     "Peace is the wisp of straw that bindeth the sheaf of blessings."

     "Discord is the cistern-leak whence drop by drop all the water

     R. Joshua met a little girl by the way and asked for some water.
     She handed him her pitcher, saying: "I will also draw some for
     the beast on which thou ridest." Quenching his thirst he said:
     "Daughter of Israel, thou hast followed the worthy example of
     Rebecca." "Rabbi," said she archly, "Thou hast not imitated the
     example of Eleazar" (Gen. xxiv 22).


All the Agada material scattered through the Talmud has been
gathered into one book called "The Eye of Jacob" (after the name of
its author). But popular collections more or less complete have been
made in modern tongues. Among these may be mentioned:--_Rabbinische_
Blumenlese by Leopold Dukes; _Parabeln, Legenden und Gedanken aus
dem Talmud_, by Ludwig Seligman; _Stories and Sayings from the
Talmud_, Katie Magnus; _Gems from the Talmud_ by Isidore Myers, the
quotations given in the original and translated into English verse:
_Hebrew Tales_, Hyman Hurwitz; _600 Talmudic Sayings_, Henry Cohen;
_Selections from the Talmud_, H. Polano.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Immortality of the Soul: Zillah._ H. L. Harris.



      =CHRISTIAN EUROPE.=         |    =MOSLEM ARABIA.=
  Anti-Jewish legislation by      | King Jussef of Yemen
    the higher clergy in          |   converted to Judaism       500
    Gaul                      525 | (Mar Zutra II, Martyr in
  Jews defend Naples for          |   Persia)                    520
    the Ostragoths            536 | Samuel Ibn Adija, hero
  Laws of Justinian           541 |   and poet, fl               540
                                  | Mohammed, born               570
  Jews persecuted by King         | =The Hegira=                   622
    =Sisebut=                 612 | Jews defeated at the Battle
                                  |   of the Foss                627
  Jews forbidden to enter         | Arabian Jewish tribes
    Jerusalem                 628 |   lose their independence    628
                                  | Mohammedans take Palestine   638
  Anti-Jewish edicts in           | Bostanai, Resh Galutha
    Spanish Peninsula         681 |   at Babylonia               639
                   Moslem Conquest of Spain, 711.



In the Byzantine Empire.

To turn again to the history proper. The production of the Talmud is
part of the story of Babylonian Israel. Except that fanatic outbreak
about the year 500 (p. 236) little occurred to disturb the even
tenor of their way. They were "happy" because they "had no history."

But life was going hard for their brethren elsewhere. Many were
settled in the lands of the Eastern half of the Roman Empire known
as the Byzantine. It included all ancient Rome's conquests in Asia,
Eastern Europe and Northern Africa. Our present Turkey forms the
bulk of it.

Yes, the status of the Jew was growing still more precarious. In
many Palestinian towns, notably Cæsarea and Antioch, insurrections
broke out, usually during the circus races. Ravages against the
Jews were actually endorsed by the emperor Zeno. Churches were
everywhere replacing synagogues in the land which had once been
theirs, and Jerusalem became an archbishopric where Jews were not
even _admitted_. Such are the changes of time!

Laws of Justinian.

Under Justinian, anti-Jewish legislation was systematized. He was
the emperor who became famous because of the Digest of Roman law,
accomplished in his reign, in the year 541. His theory was--"one
religion, one law, one state." Against the fulfilment of such an
ideal the Jews stood, so to speak, as an obstacle. Therefore the
laws of this Digest (or rather of his later Novellae) that concern
them, are severe. Among these, was the provision that Jewish
witnesses could not testify against Christians. Justinian, who
further made them bear the expense of the magistrate office without
its privileges, also forbade their celebrating Passover prior to
Easter! He even went so far as to prohibit the recital of the
_Shema_ since he regarded its declaration "God is one" as a protest
against the Trinity! This meddlesome intruder, furthermore, tried so
to modify the Synagogue service that it might encourage Christian

Altogether there was almost an unbroken monotony of suffering
under Byzantine rule. Judaism was made to cost its followers
dear. But their deep faith that Providence would ultimately usher
in a glorious dawn if they were but patiently loyal, saved them
from despair. Under the Byzantine rule at its best they were left
contemptuously to themselves and were granted a certain autonomy in
the management of their communal affairs.

Jews again Involved in War.

In the early part of the sixth century, Persia tried to wrest
Palestine from the Byzantine Empire. Jews must look on while others
fought for the country that was once theirs. Since Byzantium was
treating them so badly and Persia (which included Babylonia), was
treating their brethren humanely, the Jews settled in Palestine,
decided to support Persia with its arms. If successful, they could
live secure under its more tolerant sway. So under the leadership of
one Benjamin, Jews mustered an army once more.

The Persians, however, were ungrateful to these allies, and when
victory seemed to be theirs, not only refused to cede Jerusalem
according to promise and for which the Jews had so longingly hoped,
but even imposed oppressive taxes upon them, thus going back upon
their own record. How cruel the world is to minorities! Further
ill-treatment induced many to enlist under the banner of the
Byzantine emperor Heraclius in 627. By solemn treaty he promised
them immunity from all punishment for having taken up arms against

Fortune turned in his favor. Persia withdrew. The monks now urged
the triumphant emperor to extirpate the Jews from Palestine. He
reminded them of his solemn promise of protection made to them. They
told him that a promise to Jews need not be kept; and, that to slay
them would be an act of piety! Thus sanctioned, he began a severe
massacre. Further, those old edicts of Hadrian and Constantine
forbidding Jews to enter Jerusalem were once more enforced in 628.
But Judea was not long to remain in Christian hands.

Rome's Successors.

As already stated in chapter xxxiv, the Western half of the Roman
Empire had succumbed to Northern tribes by the year 476. The
Ostrogoths, led by Theodoric, became masters of Italy, the Visigoths
of Spain, the Franks and Burgundians of Gaul--the Gaul that had
been great Caesar's pride to conquer. Here we see the beginning of
the formation of the nations of Europe. They all accepted the Roman
system of law and government to a modified extent, and also that
which now became the Roman religion--Christianity. So the victors
became the disciples of the vanquished--a not unusual experience in
history. In each of these lands and under each of these peoples,
Israel was pretty well represented by the beginning of the sixth
century, and in each it had a distinct history. So, in continuing
our story we shall have to follow many strands. They were treated
better in these new European countries than in Byzantine lands--at
least at first.


The Ostrogoths, the new rulers in Italy, were _Arians_. (p. 243.)
The other group of Christians--the orthodox--called themselves Roman
Catholics. Catholic means universal. Christianity claimed to be
a universal Church and Rome had once claimed a universal Empire.
This religious monopoly, the theory that this church offered the
only saving creed, did sad mischief in the coming centuries. These
Arian Ostrogoths were kinder to the Jews than were the catholics.
The greater tolerance of the Arians may perhaps have been due to
the fact that their idea of God was a little closer to that of
the Jewish. But Arian Christians, always a small minority, soon
disappeared, just as in the early days of the church, Jewish
Christians were absorbed by pagan Christians. But as long as these
two divisions of Christendom lasted, they were very bitter against
each other. When a Byzantine army threatened the Ostrogoths,
the Jews loyally stood by those who, if they had not treated
them generously, had treated them justly. Later we find the Jews
defending the seacoast of Naples for the Ostrogoths in 536. Only
when overwhelmed by superior numbers did they at last surrender.
Thus Italy, once the country of which Rome was the capital, was
becoming the sport of nations. From the Ostrogoths it passed to the
Byzantine Empire. Then in 589 it was seized by a tribe from the Elbe
called Lombards. Its later story is told in the sequel to this book
(_History of the Mediaeval Jews_).

The Popes.

But through all these changes, the city of Rome remained the
religious centre of the Church as Jerusalem had been the religious
centre of Judaism.

The Roman _bishop_ (overseer) acquired power over all bishops in
other Christian centres, and became the head of the Church with
the title _pope_ (Greek-father). In the course of time these popes
exercised immense power, and we shall see kings trembling before
them. For they came to be regarded as the representatives of God on
earth. Whoever dared oppose their will was excommunicated, i.e.,
cut off. Then all shrunk from the person thus put under the ban
as from a person smitten with leprosy; for the superstitious age
regarded him as accursed and doomed. Very terrible was it when this
dangerous power was in the hands of an unscrupulous pope, which not
infrequently happened. But there were many good popes, too, and the
Jews found among them, as we shall see, friends as well as foes.

Gregory I, one of the earliest and also one of the greatest, would
not allow his bishops to molest the Jews, "whom God had found
worthy to be bearers of His truth"; though he offered the bribe of
remission of taxes for their conversion!

Slavery and Trade.

Slavery was still a recognized institution of society, due in part
to constant warfare, the daily business of life and to the custom of
enslaving prisoners of war. So slaves were in nearly every household
and in the fields, taking the place of the humble toilers of to-day.

So we find Jews holding them likewise. They often converted them to
Judaism and in all cases were kinder to them than most masters. But
Gregory vigorously objected--not to slavery, but to the enslaving
of Christians, and particularly to the possession of Christian
slaves by Jews. The Church greatly feared that by proselytizing
their slaves the Jews might increase their numbers. This was to be
prevented at any cost.

If the question were asked why Jews came to trade in slaves, the
answer would be because they were becoming traders in general, and
traffic in slaves was part of the commerce of the age. It is then
part of a larger question--how came the Jews to seek trade as a
means of livelihood? _First_, by the law of necessity. Most other
avenues of activity were being closed to them. Not permitted to own
lands, they could hardly be agriculturists. Gradually the army, the
public service and most of the professions were forbidden to Jews.

_Secondly_, on account of their dispersion through the world, which
had its compensating advantages. United to their brethren by close
fraternal ties, speaking a common tongue and moving frequently from
place to place, the exchange of commodities was facilitated. Then
having smaller opportunities of expenditure, and in any case of
moderate tastes, they naturally possessed ready means.

_Lastly_, their hard fate in lands of exile, the growing
precariousness of their position under fanatic powers, quickened
their wits in the life struggle and endowed them with the capacities
that earn success in trade. (We are not therefore surprised to
learn that the Jews invented bills of exchange.)

This is all there was to justify the medieval belief in the colossal
wealth of the Jews and the fantastic notions as to its acquisition.


_Slavery and the Jews_:

The humanity of the Hebrew slave laws is one of the commonplaces of
history. See Exodus xxi and Deut. xxiii.

The Slave Trade, chapter vi in _Jewish Life in the Middle Ages_,
Abrahams, J. P. S. A.

_Theme for discussion_:

In what respect did medieval slavery differ from Russian serfdom and
from the bond service in the early colonial era of America?



Gaul and the Franks.

The "wanderings of the Jews" have begun. The drift of the migration
is westward. They are gradually leaving the Orient and finding homes
in European lands. In Gaul, the land that is largely France to-day,
Jewish merchants from Asia Minor had found their way long before the
Christian era. After the fall of Judea, many Jewish prisoners and
slaves were brought thither. The first places of settlement were
Arles, Narbonne, Marseilles, Orleans and Paris. We find them in
Belgium too.

The successors of Rome in Gaul were Franks. The Franks (free men)
were a confederacy formed about 240 C. E. of tribes dwelling on the
lower Rhine and the Weser. The Frankish Empire, which extended far,
was not one central government, but was subdivided into several
monarchies. Under nearly all, the Jews enjoyed the rights of Roman

We find the Jewish industries varied, including agriculture and
all kinds of commerce (still in its infancy); in medicine they
had been early distinguished. Some were soldiers too, for the
restraints of the Church had not yet reached Western Europe. Even
when Christianity was first introduced by the warrior Clovis, Jews
and Christians mingled freely and held cordial relations; though the
Jewish dietary laws occasionally caused embarrassment and ill-will
when Jews sat at Christian tables. It was only the _higher_ clergy
who began to look upon these cordial relations with misgivings and
to discourage them. In this way hatred was _artificially fostered_
by the Church. Not till the beginning of the sixth century did
a Christian king of Burgundy begin to discriminate unfavorably
against the Jews, and to break off kindly relations by forbidding
Christians to sit at Jewish tables. Soon the Church Councils began
to issue severe anti-Jewish edicts. So in different provinces and
towns within the Frankish empire we find restrictions such as these
gradually introduced: Jews must not make proselytes; they must not
"insult" Christians by showing themselves in the streets on Easter;
they must not be permitted to serve as judges or as tax-farmers.

Their worst enemy at this early day was Bishop Avitus. He first
tried to convert the Jews by preaching Church doctrines to them.
Persuasion failing, he resorted to violence and incited a mob to
burn their synagogues. This was in the year 576. Their fanaticism
once fed, the masses fell upon the Jews and massacre began. Baptism
was accepted by several in order to save their lives--others escaped
to Marseilles.

Vicissitudes in Spain.

So far Gaul. Let us now turn to Spain or rather to the Peninsula,
for Portugal was not yet a separate kingdom, and what is now the
south of France was also included in the Roman territory taken
by the Visigoths. Where the Jews were early settled in the lands
of southern Europe, in very remote antiquity--too early even to
trace--they were brought there as slaves in considerable numbers
after the Judean War with Rome in 70, and were soon redeemed by
their sympathizing brethren. As in Gaul, so here, the Visigoths,
being of the broader Arian school, regarded the Jews with
cordiality and esteem, and their superior knowledge gained for them
public positions of honor and trust.

So we find the public-spirited Jews gratefully defending the passes
of the Pyrenees against the inroads of the Franks and Burgundians,
and winning distinction by their courage and trustworthiness. How
patriotic the Jew always becomes when given the barest tolerance, we
shall see right through his history!

Nor did they forget their religion, but became faithful disciples
of teachers sent them from the Babylonian schools. For their
well-wishing neighbors did not interfere with their complete
observance of the precepts of Judaism.

But as soon as the orthodox Christians--i.e., the Roman
Catholics--obtained the upper hand, the higher clergy, behaving
identically like those in Gaul, began to sow the seeds of mistrust
in the hearts of the people, and forbade close intercourse with
Jews, as sin. Anti-Jewish legislation soon followed, the unfair
discrimination to handicap the Jews in the race of life. They were
deprived of their public posts. How Jewish history repeats itself!

Their height of misery was reached when one Sisebut came to the
throne in 612. Jews were now prohibited from holding slaves, though
slaves were held by all others and formed a necessary class in the
restricted civilization of the age. The climax was reached when he
offered them the alternative of baptism or expulsion. Very many
preferred exile to apostacy. Some found the sacrifice of land, home
and possessions too great, and _externally_ submitted to a Faith
that cruel experience had taught them to abhor. Under his successor,
Swintilla, who repealed the harsh laws, the exiles returned to the
land and the apostates to Judaism. But the Church Council re-enacted
the unnatural command of forced baptism and the returned converts
were compelled to become Christians again. What sort of Christians
could they become under such conditions? But most cruel enactment
of all--to think that a religious council should have proposed
it--their children were torn from them and placed in monasteries
to become completely estranged from both their Faith and their
kindred. This hard law was mitigated however by the opposition of
the powerful Visigothic nobles.

The next king who occupied the throne offered the remaining Jews
the same alternative of exile or baptism. Again they submitted to
banishment. Once more they were allowed to return though under many
restrictions. But the forced converts were held in the Church with
an iron grip, while, strange contradiction, they had yet to pay the
Jewish tax! In secret and peril they still continued to observe
the Jewish festivals. But the spies of the Church soon discovered
this double life and compelled them to spend Jewish and Christian
holidays away from their homes and in the presence of the clergy.
After a few years in which this cruel vigilance was relaxed, King
Erwig won over the clergy to his support by reinstating this Jewish
persecution with more violence than all his predecessors. Now
baptism was demanded, with confiscation, mutilation and exile as the
penalties of its rejection. The Jewish Christians who had secretly
clung to Judaism right through, were placed under complete clerical
espionage. These abortive edicts were passed in 681. The next king,
Egica, "bettered the instruction" of his predecessor. Jews were now
forbidden to hold landed property, to trade with the Continent, or
to do business with Christians. In their despair, the Jews of Spain
entered into a conspiracy against this barbaric government. They
were discovered, and nearly all reduced to slavery.

But relief was to come from an unexpected source. A new religion,
Mohammedanism, had been brought to life and was becoming a great
power in the world. It was destined to change for centuries the fate
of the Jews of the Peninsula and transform an iron into a golden
age. But to understand this movement, we must turn to Asia once more
and look into the life of a new people--the Arabians.


This age produced nothing of a literary character except polemic
replies in Latin to works written at this time to prove Christianity
from the Jewish Scriptures.

_Theme for discussion_:

Why do you suppose the higher clergy opposed the mingling of Jews
and Christians and the lower, favored it?



The Land and the People.

The Peninsula of Arabia is bounded on the southwest by the Red
Sea, on the southeast by the Indian Ocean, on the northeast by the
Persian Gulf, and on the north touches the mainland of Palestine and
Syria, reaching to the Euphrates (see second map). So that we might
say it lies between three continents. It is divided by geographers
into three parts: 1. Arabia Felix (fortunate)--the largest--all the
land between the three seas. 2. Arabia Petraea (stony)--the end
adjoining the Peninsula of Sinai. 3. Arabia Deserta--the desert
between Palestine and the Euphrates. The old Ishmaelites used to
dwell in Arabia Deserta--a land scorched by burning sands, with
scant vegetation and brackish water. These Bedouins were brave,
hardy, and of simple habits, but restless and rapacious. The
description of the wild ass in the thirty-ninth chapter of Job well
fits their character.

The nature of the land made the building of cities and organized
society impossible. Conditions encouraged a lawless life, and
necessity, rather than choice, tempted the Bedouins to attack
merchant caravans. A French proverb runs, "To know all is to excuse
all." While not endorsing this dangerous maxim, we can see that
their home largely decided their character. We are all influenced
by surroundings in some degree. Yet some make the most of even hard
conditions and barren soil. Not so the Bedouins. They never rose to
greatness religiously--satisfied to worship stars and stones and to
gratify the wants of the hour. So they have not advanced. But of the
Arabs of central and southern Arabia we have a better story to tell.

Arabian Jews.

Long before the fall of the second Temple--probably before the fall
of the first--Jews found their way to Arabia. By the time they made
their presence felt there, we find them established in separate
groups or tribes.

There were many points of kinship between Jews and Arabians. The
Bible hints this in making Abraham the father of both peoples
through Isaac and Ishmael (Gen. xvii, 18-20). This tradition the
Arabs accepted from their Jewish neighbors. They certainly both
belonged to the same race--the Semitic. The Semites included
Assyrians, Chaldeans, Babylonians, Syrians, Phoenicians, Hebrews,
Arabs and Ethiopians. In spite of the religious divergence, the Jews
adapted themselves--externally at least--to the Arabian mode of
life. (It is a nice question in how far Jews should assimilate with
their surroundings and in how far stand aloof.) So, while the Jews
of southern Arabia engaged in commerce, those of the less civilized
north were agriculturists and wandering shepherds like their Bedouin
neighbors. Like them, too, some even formed robber bands; yet here
at least we meet a favorable variation in that the Jews were more
humane to their enemies. Further, the Jews adopted the patriarchal
status of society of their Arabian surroundings--not so dissimilar
to the social life depicted in Genesis--i.e., each group of families
lived under the guidance of one patriarch or Sheik; such were
Abraham and Jacob. The Sheik was a kind of king and his will was
obeyed as law by the particular group under his sway. For there was
no central government. In unsettled districts, hospitality becomes
the greatest virtue, because it represents the greatest need, and
its violation, the gravest crime. This is well illustrated in the
Genesis story (chapters xviii and xix) of the contrasted behavior of
Abraham and the people of Sodom.

The religious ideas of the Arabians while not gross were primitive.
They had a Holy City, later known as Mecca, near the Red Sea border,
in the centre of which was a black stone preserved in a Temple
called the Kaaba. This they no doubt worshipped as an idol. Indeed
three hundred idols were associated with this place. While fierce
in warfare, in which they frequently engaged, and remorseless in
revenge, they mitigated these rough tendencies by the institution of
four holy months, during which the taking of life was avoided.

The Jews as such were better educated than the Arabs, and may
have taught them writing, and were altogether looked up to as the
intellectual superiors of the Arabs. Far from interfering with
the religion of the Jews, the Arabs were rather prepared to take
the position of disciples. They adopted some Jewish rites and
accepted their calendar; moreover, the Jewish teaching exercised a
salutary influence on their character. Many converts came to Judaism
unsought, and when a Sheik accepted Judaism, the clan followed.
Naturally, under such favorable auspices the Arabian Jews lived up
to their religion with ardor and zeal, that is, as best as they
understood it. They were students of Jewish law and turned for
guidance probably both to Judea and Babylonia. They had their school
too at Yathrib, later called Medina--north of Mecca, near the Red
Sea. But the Bible was taught in Midrashic paraphrase, rather than
in the original Hebrew text.

Jussuf the Proselyte.

The most important convert to Judaism was Jussuf, the powerful king
of Yemen, in the southwestern quarter of the Peninsula--about the
year 500 A. C. E. The Jewish sages were invited to teach Judaism
to the people at large. The enthusiastic but unwise King Jussuf,
hearing that Jews were persecuted in the Byzantine Empire (p. 281),
put to death some of its merchants. This only paralyzed trade and
brought on war. So the Jews were hardly fortunate in their ally,
for he did not grasp the spirit of Judaism and tried to impose it
by force--i.e., by the sword. This recalls the forced conversions
of John Hyrcanus (p. 78). Yussuf stirred up enemies against himself
and the Jews in many surrounding lands; his foes at last completely
crushed him. Thus ended the ill-starred Jewish kingdom. Israel might
well exclaim, "heaven save us from our friends." No, Judaism was not
destined to spread in that way. "Not by force, not by power, but by
my spirit, saith the Lord."

Samuel the Chivalrous.

Like the Arabs, the Jews cultivated poetry and held it in high
esteem. Most renowned of these Jewish poets was Samuel Ibn Adiya.
His life is perhaps more interesting than his poetry, for it shows
how this stimulating environment at its best encouraged a fine
spirit of chivalry among the Jews.

For Samuel was also a powerful Sheik in whom the weak and
persecuted always confidently sought protection. One day a famous
Arabian poet and prince pursued by his enemies, sought refuge in
his castle. Going forth to seek the aid of the Byzantine emperor,
Justinian, he entrusted to Samuel his daughter and his arms.
No sooner had he gone than his enemies hastened to the castle,
demanding the arms from Samuel. But Samuel would not break his
promise, so the castle was besieged. Obtaining possession of one
of his sons, the savage enemies threatened to slay him unless the
father gave up the arms. It was an agonizing alternative to the
father, but he did not falter. "Do what you will, the brothers of
my son will avenge this deed." So at that awful cost, the trust was
kept. What wonder that an Arabian maxim should run "Faithful as
Samuel." Other poets sang his praise.

But we must pass quickly over the rest of this epoch till we reach
the end of the sixth century. By this time Judaism had widely spread
and Jewish colonies were found along the whole northwestern coast.
In Medina their numbers were particularly large--consisting of
three great tribes. They had built their own villages and fortified

It was in the year 570 that a man was born whose name, Mohammed, was
to ring through all Asia, and whom all broad minds now recognize as
one of the great religious teachers of mankind. Closely was his fate
linked to Israel's, for again was Judaism to inspire a prophet and
give birth to another world-religion.


Carlyle, in his _Heroes and Hero Worship_, says of the wild
Bedouin:--"He welcomes the stranger to his tent as one having right
to all that is there; were it his worst enemy he will slay his foal
to treat him, will serve him with sacred hospitality for three days,
will set him fairly on his way; and then, by another law as sacred,
kill him if he can."

_Theme for discussion_:

Win did Judaism not succeed as a proselytizing religion?



Mohammed, to name him by the title that he afterwards acquired, was
born in Mecca, five years after the Byzantine emperor Justinian, and
belonged to a branch of the powerful Koreish tribe. He began life
as a shepherd. At twenty-five he married Kedija, who had employed
him as camel-driver. Traveling extensively for her, he found his
fellow-countrymen in a condition of religious neglect. The old
star-worship and fetichism were losing their force, just as in more
classic lands the divinities of Olympus had lost their meaning,
some half dozen centuries earlier. Mohammed, given much to solitary
contemplation, yearned for something better. He became filled with
fine aspirations to uplift his fellowmen. For a period he led an
ascetic life, spending much time in prayer. In the solitudes of the
wilderness he experienced at times a strange exaltation. Others,
like himself, groping for religious truth, were brought in contact
with Jewish and Christian colonies in Syria and Babylonia. But the
idea of one sole God, _Allah_ (Arabic), he learned from Jewish
teachers. A highly nervous nature, he "dreamed dreams and saw
visions," and gave vent to his emotions in violent outbursts.

It was in about his fortieth year that he felt the divine call to
preach God to his benighted Arabian brethren after the manner of
the Hebrew Prophets, whose words had moved him deeply. He began
to feel that perhaps he was the ordained Messiah whom the Jews
awaited. He had learnt the Hebrew Scriptures in the more highly
colored _Midrashic_ form. From what he thus learned and from what
he gathered from some hermits and from a group of ascetic Arabians,
together with his own religious experience, he gradually evolved a
religion for his people that came to bear his name.

He did not reach these convictions without much anguish of soul his
spirit torn by doubt--the true experience of every deep religious
nature. First Kedijah, then his family, then a small circle of
adherents gathered about him, convinced of his divine mission. His
vigorous personality attracted many more. At first his purpose was
not to teach a new religion, but to reinforce the great truths
recognized by the noblest natures in all times, his own enthusiasm
contributing the only new element. The humbler classes were first
attracted, the higher holding aloof. Is that not always so? Guided
by his first teachers, the Jews, he saw the worthlessness of
idolatry and preached a strict monotheism. He also adopted many
Jewish rules, among them some of the dietary laws.

But gradually he made _himself_ the centre of his message. He had
some allies, but many opponents, especially as he denounced the
idols of the Kaaba and rode roughshod over many of the cherished
traditions and superstitions of the Arabians. Partly for this reason
and partly because the success of his preaching meant the withdrawal
of rich revenues derived from the pilgrims who came to the "holy
city" of Mecca, its people began to persecute him. His life was full
of peril. A breach with the Arabians was a breach with the world--a
living death. So, for a moment he temporized and was prepared to
make a quasi acknowledgment of the old divinities. But with the
conversion of his uncle and one Omar--a man like himself of great
force of character--he took a rigid stand again. He was put under
interdict by the Koreish, his own family tribe.

The Hegira

In the meantime he suffered much privation. Among the people of
Medina however, his preaching, in which he referred to the Jewish
Scripture for endorsement, received more kindly recognition; for
among them, Jewish teaching had, as it were, prepared the way.
This meant new converts. So in the year 622 Mohammed bade all his
followers emigrate with him to Medina. This was called the famous
_Hegira_ (flight), and marked the turning point in the movement.
Medina became a commonwealth and Mohammed its chief and judge.
All disputes, hitherto decided by combat, were now brought to
him for decision. Thus he began to build up a system of law and
justice. Here then he founded a religious settlement, and its whole
social tone was raised. He preached particularly against greed and
injustice. The bitter blood feuds were modified, property rights
were respected, and the position of woman elevated. He had long
since condemned the barbaric Bedouin practice of putting to death
newly born daughters. The whole life of the people of his community
was ordered with a kind of military precision in which the battle
cry was, "No God but one God."

Unfortunately he also proclaimed, "Who is not for me is against me."
This meant war against all outside his adherents.

The cardinal precepts of the New Faith were: 1. Confession of unity
of God; 2. Stated times of prayer; 3. Alms giving.

His most daring act perhaps was breaking with that fundamental
principle of Arabian life--blood relationship. The old Arabian
ethics had concentrated all duty within tribal boundaries. These
were now to be disregarded and a new brotherhood built up, that of
_Islam_ (submission)--a religious brotherhood that could disregard
even the holiest ties outside of it. Yet to ask his followers to
exchange kinship for faith was an unnatural demand. This long meant
bitter resistance; but Mohammed's determination prevailed.

His followers now became an army and a remorseless conflict was
waged with all who refused to come within the fold. This, brought
his arms against the Jews. Their strongly fortified castles were
taken one by one. Completely to break with the old regime he even
ordered his followers to attack the caravans in the "holy month of
truce, Ramadhan." This was a severe test of their faith. Victory
steadilly followed his aggressions and brought him many converts;
many deputations came in voluntarily, dazzled into conviction by his

In 630 he had conquered Mecca. This was called "The Conquest."
Although he compelled the inhabitants to give up their idols he
compromised so far as to retain the Kaaba and the Festival of
Mecca and to reinstate Mecca as a holy city. Abraham, now styled
an Arabian, was said to have worshipped the Kaaba stone and was
credited with being the father of the ritual. Fascinated by the
glamor of Mohammed's remarkable triumphs, adherents came to him
from all sides. What other creeds have taken centuries to attain,
he achieved in his lifetime. This too rapid success is one of the
defects of his movement. It grew too fast for excellence. So some
of his successes were failures, for to obtain them the spiritual was
occasionally sacrificed to the worldly.

As each new province came under his sway, its submission was to be
exemplified by proclamation of the _Mueddin_ for prayer, payment of
alms-tax and acceptance of the Moslem law. But in each instance the
internal tribal affairs were left untouched. In 632, in the eleventh
year of the Hegira, Mohammed died. But not till Arabia was at his
feet. He had founded a religion and a State.


_Islam_, the name given to this religion, and _Moslem_, to its
followers, are both derived from a word meaning 'submission' (to
God). _Musselman_ is another variant.

A Jew, _Waraka Ibn Naufel_, is said to have been Mohammed's chief
teacher and one of his strongest supporters.

_Theme for discussion_:

Should Mohammed be called a prophet?



Mohammed never forgave the Jews for their refusal to accept him
as "The Prophet" of God, superseding all others. He had accepted
so much from them--the fundamental idea of monotheism, the chief
points of the Calendar, the Sabbath, the Day of Atonement, much
of the Scripture and Midrashic narrative, and many details of the
ceremonial law. He asked of them so little--it seemed--to regard
him as God's chosen and supreme messenger to man, to all intents
and purposes the Messiah, whose advent was foretold in their
own Scriptures, and to whom they should henceforth look for the
interpretation of their Faith. But that "little" they could not
conscientiously give. For not even Moses, their only recognized
lawgiver, "greatest of their prophets," were they prepared to
regard quite in the way in which Mohammed asked allegiance. Their
hearts told them that this man was not sent by God on a mission to
them, however much he may have been sent to the Arabians. He was
not _their_ Messiah. So to accept him would be traitorous to their
traditions and to the teachings of the Scripture (Deut. xviii,
15-22). For the acceptance of Mohammed would have ultimately meant
the stultification of their religion and its submergence in a new
cult of which he would be the founder. At that rejection, his regard
for them turned to hate, and instead of allies, he chose to look
upon them as rivals, as enemies of the true Faith, Their endorsement
was the one thing needed for the complete confirmation of his
mission. Therefore, forgetting how much he owed to their spiritual
treasures, he became their persecutor.

Christianity and Islam.

How history was repeating itself! Was not this identically Israel's
experience with that other creed to which its religion had given
birth--Christianity? Its adherents likewise said to the Jews, "We
accept your Scriptures, ethics and divinity. Accept only from us
this individual Jesus, _greatest of all prophets_, the Messiah, in
whom all your prophesies have been fulfilled, who represents God's
new covenant with man." And because they refused, they were hated
and spurned.

From endeavoring to pattern his religion as closely as possible
after the Jewish example he now in sullen resentment sought by
arbitrary changes to emphasize its differences. Instead of turning
to Jerusalem in prayer, Mohammedans were told to turn to Mecca. He
changed the Jewish Yom Kippur (Ashura), which he had adopted, for
the holy month of Ramadhan. He altered the Sabbath from Saturday
to Friday, making it a day of worship, but not of rest. Here again
was an attitude towards Israel parallel with its experience with
Christianity; for after three hundred years the Church had changed
the Sabbath to Sunday and rearranged its calendar to make Easter
independent of Passover. Then like Christianity, too, he inserted in
_his_ Scripture--the Koran--unkind things and calumnies about the
Jews. Yet, on the whole, the Koran holds up many Bible characters as

There was a third parallel between these two daughters of Judaism.
Just as Christianity, to win the heathen to the fold, accepted into
its theology many heathen rites and even beliefs, so now Mohammed,
to win the allegiance of the heathen Arabs, accepted many of their
most cherished traditions. The Kaaba Stone--an idol--was still to
be regarded reverently in the new Faith. Lastly, Islam, like the
Church, also claimed to be the one true and universal Faith, (See
pp. 198-9). Judaism that had given birth to both, never made such

Mohammed's conception of the future life was not as spiritual as
that of Jews or Christians. In promising gross pleasure in the realm
beyond, he unconsciously gratified the expectations of sensual

The Koran or the Sword.

Let us hasten over the sad conflicts between Mohammed and the
Jews--his wars against their chiefs, until he had succeeded in
crippling their once powerful clans. The "Battle of the Foss," 627,
is one of the unfortunate blots on the reputation of this really
great man. Seven hundred Jews were gathered in the market-place
and offered the alternative of "the Koran or the sword." But the
Jews had been inured to martyrdom. There was no hesitancy in their
choice. The grim warrior-prophet carried out his savage threat
against them. They were all slain and the surviving women were sold.

All through Arabia this religious crusade was waged against them.
Thus fell the city of Chaibar, but no such ruthless massacre was
repeated. Many of the defeated Jews were even left in possession of
their lands. They continued their losing fight but little longer
against the triumphant advance of Mohammed. By the year 628, all the
Jewish tribes had lost their independence; the sword was taken from
them. So that era of arms and chivalry was now closed for the Jews
of Arabia.

A Jewish woman, Zainab, who won Mohammed's favor, tried to be a
Judith to her people and attempted to poison him. The dish was
hardly tasted by him, so the plot failed and she paid for her daring
with her life.

Spread of Islam.

Mohammed must be studied from the political side as founder of a
great State as well as from the religious side as founder of a
great creed. Indeed, he was a greater statesman than prophet. His
followers believed in him intensely and were united to him by ties
that death could no longer break. His fiery words embodied in the
Koran became their inspired Scripture. With his name upon their
lips, a crescent on their banner and the great watchword, "Allah is
God, and Mohammed is his Prophet," these fearless warriors carried
all before them. Islam became a great power in half a century, a
power that had come to stay. It is accepted by nearly two hundred
million souls to-day. Here was surely a great message--lifting the
Arab from the slough. We see here, as in the rise of Christianity,
the hand of Providence bringing light to the Gentiles.

Under Mohammed's successor Abu Bekr, there was a momentary
falling-off, but the movement rallied under the leadership of Omar
who followed the master's policy of spreading the new Faith by
conquest. At the head of the Mosque, (the Church of Islam) was now
an emperor--a caliph. Not so many years after Mohammed's death not
only was most of Arabia Moslem, but the sway of Islam had reached
Persia, conquered the land and superseded Zoroastrism. Syria and
Egypt were next wrestled from the Byzantian or Eastern Roman Empire.
Palestine had been taken from Persia by the Byzantines in 628 only
to be lost again in 638 and in both wars the long-suffering Jews
who saw their old home tossed from one conqueror to another, had
looked to the incoming enemies as deliverers, (pp. 282-3).

What changes had Jerusalem seen! When the Jewish Temple was
destroyed, it became a heathen capital--Aelia Capitolina, adorned
with a heathen shrine. In its Christian era it became a bishopric.
Under the Mohammedans a mosque held the place of honor. Such it
remains to-day.

Islam was now accepted in Asia, as Christianity had been accepted
in Europe, not by individuals, but by whole nations. Somewhat
intolerant at first against opposing creeds--some of the Mussulmen
were fanatics--it became later renowned for its breadth and
enlightenment. Very soon the Jews found the Mohammedans their
friends, against whom they had nothing to fear. Jewish poets began
to hail their advent. Even in Babylonia the Moslem sway was more
liberal than had been that of the Persian Magi in the latter years.
The political, social and religious status of the Jews was to remain
undisturbed; the same secular official was to be at their head
(pp. 231, 233). In fact, the Resh Galutha was given even heartier
endorsement, and was treated as a prince by the government, with his
civil and judicial powers increased, making the Jewish community
in Babylonia almost a State in itself. It was the Caliph Omar
who, in 638 raised Bostonai, a descendant of the House of David,
to the post of Resh Galutha (Exilarch). The academies at Sora and
Pumbeditha were continued without a break; their heads, called
_Geonim_ (Illustrious) had also certain powers and took equal
rank with the Resh Galutha. The Jews became loyal subjects of the
Mohammedan rulers, and when Caliph Ali's successor was deposed by
a rival house (for Islam had also now split into two wings), the
Jews came gallantly to his support. Here and there Moslem law in its
freshest and noblest expression reacted favorably even on Jewish
law. New religious movements in early stages of enthusiasm always
reach high moral levels. It will be borne in mind that the Jews in
all their past experience were necessarily influenced to a degree by
their environment, while remaining loyal in all essentials to the
traditional conception of Jewish life.

The ceremony of the inauguration of a Resh Galutha was henceforth
more impressive than ever. There was quite a little court about him.
Likewise the official organization of the two Academies was very
elaborate with their President, Chief Judge, Assembly of Teachers or
Senate, and their Greater and Lesser Sanhedrin. Their administration
left its lasting impress on all Jewish communities. All looked now
to Babylonia as their religious centre and gladly sent contributions
toward the maintenance of the Academies. The prestige of the
Babylonian community steadily grew with the extension of Mohammedan

Fall of Visigothic Spain.

It was the spread of this great power that was to bring relief to
the Jews of Spain, persecuted almost unto death. Verily the Moslem
was unto them as a savior--for his arrival brought liberty, light
and peace. After having subjected a large part of Asia, the sway of
Islam spread unresistingly westward. All the north coast of Africa
was soon under both its temporal and spiritual control. Christendom
was alarmed at the rise of this new star and the checking of the
advancing hosts from making inroad into Europe became now the first
duty of every Christian monarch. Any warrior who could throw them
back from his country's border at once sprang into fame.

In the meantime, however, none could withstand them. Nearer and
nearer they approached the borders of Spain. There the outrageously
treated Jews (pp. 291-2) awaited their arrival as any besieged city
at the mercy of a relentless foe awaits the coming of its army of
release. Already across the narrow Straits of Gibraltar on the
African side, they were making common cause with the Moslem and were
prepared for the invasion of the Peninsula.

The destined hour arrived. In the year 711 a great battle was fought
in Xeres, in which the last Visigothic king fell before the army
of Tarik. City after city--Cordova, Granada, Malaga, Toledo--fell
before them, the Jews rendering valuable aid from within. The
Mohammedans found they could not entrust their conquered towns into
more faithful hands than these Jewish allies. Thus the Jews were
raised at once from degration and thraldom to liberty and prestige.
A new light had dawned and under the broad and cultured regime of
the Moors, as these Western Mohammedans were called, a golden age
was now to dawn for the Jews of Spain.


_The Koran_:

The Moslem Scripture is called the _Koran_, meaning readings;
compare the derivation of _Karaites_. The Koran was not written by
Mohammed, who could not write, but it contains his teachings.

_Theme for discussion_:

Amplify the probable consequences of the acceptance of Mohammed by
the Jews.


  Abbahu, R., Agadist, 221.

  Ab Beth Din, office of, 88, 191.

  Academies, Palestinian, 190;
    Jamnia, 183;
    Sepphoris, 190;
    Tiberias, 190;
    Lydda, 191;
    Bekiim, 137, 192;
    Oosha, 217;
    Babylonian, 229;
    in the Diaspora, 194.

  Agada, narrative, 64;
    contrasted with Halacha, 187, 256;
    _note_, 277.

  Agrippa, last Jewish King, 147;
    kingdom vaster than Herod's, 150;
    father to his people, 150, 151;
    assassinated, 151;
    coin of, 148.

  Agrippa II., 152;
    coin of, 152.

  Akabiah b. Mehalalel, conscientiousness of, 191.

  Akiba, R., Tanna, 206;
    his wife's loyalty, 206, 207;
    classifies Halachoth, 207, 208;
    maxims, 208;
    supports Bar Cochba, 211;
    martyrdom, 215, 216.

  Alabarch or Arabarch, 120;
    Onias appointed, 71.

  Albinus, procurator, 156.

  Alexander the Great, 26, 27;
    his empire divided, 28;
    stories about, 28, 267.

  Alexander Janneus, reign of, 85-87;
    conflict with Pharisees, 86.

  Alexandria, capital of Greco-Egypt, 28;
    intellectual centre, 67, 68;
    Delta, Jewish quarter of, 68;
    school of, 136.

  Am-haaretz, the ignorant, 195.

  Amoraim, expounders of the law, 227.

  Antigonus, last Hasmonean ruler, 101;
    coin of, 101.

  Antiochus Epiphanes, 33;
    persecutes the Jews, 34-36;
    defeated by the Maccabees, 38;
    defeated in Parthia and Persia, 46;
    death of, 46;
    bust of, 42.

  Antipater, the Idumean, 91;
    made procurator of Judea, 99.

  Antipas, governor of Galilee, 117;
    beheads John the Baptist, 117.

  Antoninus Pius, 217;
    revokes Hadrian's laws against the practise of Judaism, 217.

  Antony, 103, 104.

  Apion, defamer of Israel, 177;
    "Contra Apion," 177.

  Apocalypse, prophetic vision, 53.

  Apocrypha, The, 52;
    contrasted with the Bible, 53.

  Apollonius attacks Jews on the Sabbath, 34, 35, 37.

  Aquila, proselyte, 202;
    translates Bible into Greek, 202.

  Arabia, Jews in, 294.

  Arabians, religion of, 295.

  Aramaic supersedes Hebrew, 69.

  Archelaus, tetrarch of Judea, 117, 118;
    deposed, 119.

  Arch of Titus, illustration, 180.

  Arians, Christian heretics, 284;
    tolerant to the Jews, 284.

  Aristobulus I., reign of, 85.

  Aristobulus II., 91-99.

  Aryans and Semites, _note_, 140.

  Ashi, R., begins compilation of the Talmud, 251.

  Assideans (Chassidim) 32.

  Augustus Caesar, well disposed towards Jews, 120;
    tetrarch, 120;
    bust of, 115.

  Avitus, Bishop, persecutes Jews, 289.

  Babylonia, geographical situation, 229;
    history of, 230;
    Jewish settlement in, 230, 231;
    schools of, 229;
    Jewish occupations in, 23;
    Babylonian Academies become independent of those of Palestine,
          232, 236.

  Bar-Cochba, a Messiah, 211;
    leads insurrection against Rome, 211, 212;
    defeated at Bethar, 213;
    coin of second revolt, 216.

  Baruch, book of, 63.

  Battlement on house-top, illustration, 160.

  Bedouins, character of, 293.

  "Bel and the Dragon," 64.

  Ben Sirach, see Ecclesiasticus.

  Beruria wife of R. Mair, 218, 219.

  Beth Horon, battle of, 38.

  Bethar, battle of, 213.

  Bible Canon, 22;
    order of books, 23;
    _ditto_, _note_, 24.

  Byzantine Empire = Eastern Roman Empire, 246;
    Jewish persecution in, 281, 282;
    conflict with Persia, 282, 283.

  Caesar, Augustus, well disposed towards Jews, 120.

  Caesar, Julius, 96, 97;
    shows good will to Jews, 99;
    Jews lament death of, 99;
    portrait, 97.

  Calendar, Jewish, fixed by Mar Samuel, 234;
    fixed by Hillel II., 243;
    "second day" of Festivals, 243, 244;
    Seleucidan era, 28;
    Hasmonean era, 50;
    _anno mundi_, _note_, 50.

  Caligula demands divine worship, 147, 148.

  Canon, the Bible, 22, 23.

  Candlestick, the golden, illustration, 169.

  Celo-Syria (Palestine), Judea province of, 31.

  Charity, Talmudic sayings on, 269, 270.

  Chassidim (Assidean), 32.

  Children and Parents, Talmudic sayings on, 261, 262.

  Christianity, first meaning of, 132;
    the first Christians (Jewish) 133, 197;
    development of, 133, 197;
    Christians, pagan, 197;
    ceremonial of, 198, 199;
    State Church of Rome, 239;
    why accepted by pagans, 139, 140, 240, 241;
    divergence from Judaism, 242;
    concessions to paganism, 242;
    Nicene Creed, 242, 243;
    pillar saints, 249;
    Christianity and Islam similar in their attitude to Judaism,
          241, 305, 306;
    its higher clergy less tolerant, 288, 289.

  Church, Judaism and the, 197;
    doctrine and Jewish Scripture, _note_, 200;
    persecutes Judaism and the Jews, 247-249, 288.

  City as dwelling place, strength and weakness of, 68.

  Claudius appoints Agrippa King of Judea, 150;
    grants religious freedom to Jews throughout the Roman Empire, 149.

  Cleopatra, 103, 104.

  Coins, Jewish, 50, 51;
    (see Illustrations.)

  Constantine, Roman Emperor, accepts Christianity, 241;
    persecutes Judaism, 243.

  Crucifixion, of Jesus, 132.

  Daniel, book of, 40-44;
    compared with Apocrypha, 53;
    Song of the Three Holy Children, 64.

  Death and Immortality, Talmudic sayings on, 272, 275.

  Delta, see Alexandria.

  Diaspora, The, 67, 132;
    revolt of, 202, 203;
    map of (back of book).

  Didache, _note_, 134.

  "Dispute of the Courtiers" (II. Esdras), 54-57.

  Domitian, Roman Emperor, 139.

  Ecclesiasticus, Book of, 60;
    quotations from, 60-62;
    _note_, 65.

  Edom = Rome, _note_, 110.

  Education, importance of, 221, 260;
    Talmudic sayings on, 261;
    schools established, 89, 260.

  Egypt, Greek spirit in, see Greco-Egypt;
    Jews in, 67-71.

  Eleazar, the martyr, 35.

  Eleazar, son of Mattathias, death of, 46.

  Eliezar b. Hyrcanus, loyal to traditional law, 191.

  Elisha b. Abuyah, 200.

  Emergency law under Hadrian's persecution, 214.

  Emperors of Rome, see Rome's Emperors.

  Esdras I., 54;
    "Dispute of the Courtiers," 54-57.

  Esdras II., 57.

  Essenes, The, 82, 129, 130, 131, 133;
    and Jesus, 129;
    and John the Baptist, 129.

  Esther, additions to the Book of, 60.

  Felix, procurator, 154.

  Festus, procurator, 155.

  Florus, procurator, 156, 157.

  Franks The, 288.

  Galilee, 129;
    taken by Romans, 162.

  Gamaliel, R., the Elder, 151.

  Gamaliel II., first Nasi, 190;
    characteristics of, 191;
    severity of, 193.

  Gaul, Jews in, 288.

  Gemara, see Talmud.

  Gnostics, The, 199.

  God, Talmudic sayings about, 257.

  Golden Rule, 112.

  Goths invade Rome, 246;
    fall into two groups, Ostragoths and Visigoths, 247.

  Greco-Egypt, Jews in, 28.

  Greece, Greek and Jew, 26;
    Alexander the Great, 26, 27;
    _note_, 32;
    civilization of, influence on Jews, 28, 30, 31, 67.

  Greco-Syria, Judea part of, 31.

  Greek and Jew, 26, 136;
    influence of Greek on Jew, 137;
    Greek law vs. Jewish, _note_, 145.

  Hadrian promises to rebuild Temple, 204;
    revolt against, 211-213;
    persecution by, 213-215.

  Halacha (legal decision,) 187.

  Hannah and her seven sons, 35.

  Hanukkah, Feast of, 39, 40;
    Re-dedication, 45;
    symbolism of the Lights, 39-40;
    why called a "minor Festival," 40.

  Hasmopeans, _note_, 83;
    their religious place, 82.

  Heathen, 115;
    attitude towards Jews, 136.

  Hegira, the, 301.

  Hellenism, 31.

  Hellenists, 32, 33, 37;
    Hellenist party disappears, 49;
    in good sense, 137, 138.

  Herod, the great, 107;
    governor of Galilee, 99;
    governor of Palestine, 100;
    made tetrarch of Judea, 100;
    made King by Roman Senate, 101;
    executes Sanhedrin, 102;
    executes his brother-in-law, 102;
    executes his wife and mother-in-law, 103, 104;
    executes his sons, 109;
    rebuilds the Temple, 107;
    erects strongholds, 106;
    lays out cities, 107;
    death of, 109;
    division of kingdom, 117;
    successors, 117.

  High Priest, functions and powers of, 21;
    heredity of, broken, 47;
    in Hasmonean House, 77.

  Hillel, 111;
    President of Sanhedrin, 111;
    contrasted with Shammai, 112, 115;
    maxims, 112, 113;
    as legislator, 113, 114, 116;
    _prosbul_, 113;
    last days of, 113, 114.

  Hillel II., Palestian Nasi, established fixed calendar, 243.

  Honesty, Talmudic sayings about, 266, 267.

  Humility, Talmudic sayings on, 270, 271.

  Humor of Talmudic sages, 275, 276.

  Huna, Rab, Babylonian Amora, 237.

  Huns under Attila invade Rome, 247.

  Hyrcanus, John, reign of, 78, 79;
    conquers Samaria and Idumea, 78;
    imposes Judaism on Idumea, 78, 79;
    coin of, 84.

  Hyrcanus II., Ethnarch and High Priest, 99;
    executed by Herod, 104.

  Idumea, 102;
    see Edom, _note_, 110;
    conquered by John Hyrcanus, 78;
    invited to join Zealots, 162.

  Immortality, doctrine of, in Daniel, 43;
    in other Bible books, _note_, 44;
    Talmudic savings on, 274, 275.

  Independence, won by the Maccabees, 50;
    Judean, compared with American, _note_, 50.

  Ishmael b. Elisha, R., Tanna, 194.

  Islam and the Jews, 304.

  Italy, passes into hands of Ostrogoths, 284.

  Jamnia, Academy of, 183, 190;
    a religious centre, 183, 194.

  Jason buys priesthood, 33.

  Jerome translates Hebrew Scriptures into Latin (Vulgate), 249.

  Jerusalem, taken by Pompey, 93;
    under Zealot leadership, 158;
    siege of, frontispiece, 161;
    prey of rival parties, 162;
    its physical situation, 161, 166;
    fall of, 168;
    effect of its overthrow, 171, 183-185;
    name changed to Aelia Capitolina, 213.

  Jesus of Nazareth, 127;
    birth, 116;
    as Messiah, 130;
    character of, 131, 132;
    crucified by the Romans, 132, _note_, 135;
    apotheosis of, 133, 144;
    teachings of, _note_, 134;
    unmentioned by Josephus, _note_, 179.

  Jochanan b. Zakkai, 183;
    exponent of "Peace Party," 183, 184;
    establishes an academy, 184;
    replaces sacrifice by prayer, 184, 185;
    maxims of, 187-189.

  John the Baptist, 118.

  John of Gischala, Zealot leader, 158, 162, 169.

  John Hyrcanus, see Hyrcanus, John.

  Jonathan succeeds his brother Judas Maccabeus as head of Judea, 48;
    High Priest and Tributary Prince, 48.

  Joseph, the Satrap, 30, 31.

  Josephus and his works, 172;
    governor of Galilee, 158, surrenders to Rome, 159;
    Rome's envoy to Jerusalem, 168;
    pensioner of Vespasian, 173;
    contrasted with Jeremiah, 174, 175;
    on proselytes, 139;
    "Antiquities of the Jews," 176;
    "Wars of the Jews," 176;
    "Contra Apion," 177;
    defends Jews against slander, 177, 178;
    shows humanity of the Jewish law, 178;
    silent on Jesus of Nazareth, _note_, 179;
    portrait, 173.

  Joshua b. Hananiah, R., 192;
    Tana, stories of, 192, 193;
    the counsellor, 193, 203;
    Patriarch, 202, 203.

  Joshua (Jason) 31-33.

  Jotapata fortress of Sepphoris, besieged and taken, 159.

  Judah, Rabbi, ha-Nasi, "the Saint," 217;
    Nasi, 218;
    compiles Mishna, 219, 221;
    maxims, 219;
    death, 219.

  Judah b. Baba, martyr, 215.

  Judaism, as law, 19, 20;
    _note_, 24;
    survives the Temple's destruction, 185;
    affirmative and negative precepts, 220.

  Judas Maccabeus, leads revolt against Antiochus, 36;
    defeats Lysias at Emmaus, 38;
    victory at Beth Horon, 37, 38;
    made High Priest, 47;
    subdues Idumeans and Ammonites, 45;
    makes treaty with Rome, 47;
    death on battlefield, 48.

  Judas of Gamala, Zealot, 124.

  Judea, a vassal state, 15;
    independent, 75;
    under Rome, 181;
    under Persian sway, 17;
    part of Greco-Egypt, 28;
    part of Greco-Syria, 31;
    fights for its faith, 33;
    fights for independence, 45;
    under Roman suzerainty, 95;
    under procurators, 119, 123, 153;
    war with Rome, 157, 168;
    a theocracy, 119.

  Judith, Book of, 59, 60.

  Julian, Roman Emperor, plans to rebuild the Temple for the
        Jews, 245;
    note on, 249.

  Jussuf, Arabian proselyte, 296.

  Justinian, laws of, discriminate against Jews, 282.

  Justice and Honesty, Talmudic sayings about, 266, 267.

  Kindness, Talmudic sayings on, 267, 268.

  "King, Strength of," 55;
    title, of, 78;
    _note_, 84, 85.

  Koran, _note_, 311.

  Law, The, Judaism as, 19-21;
    study of, 260;
    abrogated by the Church, 133;
    Greek vs. Jewish, _note_, 146;
    Josephus on, 178;
    three vital principles of, 214.

  Law and equity, _note_, 116.

  Logos, _note_, 145.

  Magi, religion of, 235.

  Maccabees, campaigns of, 37.

  Maccabees, I and II, books of, 64, 65.

  Maccabeus, Judas, see Judas Maccabeus.

  Mair, R., Tanna, 217-219;
    maxims, 217;
    his wife Beruria, 218, 219.

  Mariamne, 102.

  Mar Samuel, see Samuel.

  Martyrdom, under Antiochus (Greek-Syrian), 35, 36;
    under Hadrian (Roman), 214-216.

  Masora, The, _note_, 210.

  Massada fortress fails, 170.

  Mattathias, the patriot, resists Antiochus Epiphanes, 36.

  Mazdak, the Persian, persecutes the Jews, 236.

  Menelaus, a traitor, 33, 34.

  Messiah, development of the doctrine of, 127-129;
    Jesus regarded as, 130;
    two views of, 131.

  Metibta, Babylonian school, 236.

  Middle Ages, Jewish, 281.

  Midrash, 142, 143.

  Minor Festivals, so termed, 40.

  Mishna, The, 222;
    its 60 subdivisions, 222, 223;
    canon of Jewish law, 221;
    quotations from, 224-226;
    spirit of, 227.

  Missionaries, Jewish, 137, 138;
    Christian, 139.

  Mohammed, 299;
    early dreams, 299;
    Jews his chief teachers, 300;
    founds a new creed, 301;
    Hegira to Medina, 301;
    conquers Mecca ("the Conquest") 302;
    political and religious head of Arabia, 303;
    conquers Arabian Jews and slays 700, 306, 307;
    Arabia's "Prophet," 305.

  Mohammedanism, supersedes Arabian idolatry, 300;
    articles of Creed, 302;
    compromise with paganism, 305, 306;
    early form of, patterned after Judaism, 304;
    and Christianity similar in their attitude towards Judaism,
          241, 305, 306;
    "Koran or the sword," 306;
    rapid spread of, 307, 308;
    later attitude towards Jews, 308-310;
    reaches the Spanish Peninsula, 310.

  Nasi, office of, 190.

  Nazarites, 82.

  Nehemiah's service, 18.

  Nerva, Emperor, removes injunctions against proselytes, 202;
    coin concerning Jewish tax, 205.

  "New Moon," Feast of, how regulated, see Calendar.

  "Nicanor day," 47.

  Noachian laws, _note_, 205.

  Olympian games, 33, 107.

  Onias, High Priest, and Alexander, 28.

  Onias of Alexandria, builds a Temple, 69, 70;
    justification for, 70;
    _note_, 71.

  Onias, Prayer of, 92.

  Oral Law, The, 80.

  Ostragoths rule Italy, tolerant to Jews, 284.

  "Pairs," The, teachings of, 83.

  Pantheon, decline of, 245.

  Patience, Talmudic sayings on, 270, 271.

  Palestine, Academies of, 190;
    map of, front of book;
    taken by the Greeks, 28;
    Romans, 93;
    Persians, 282;
    again by Byzantines, 283;
    finally by the Moslems, 308.

  Parents and Children, Talmudic sayings on, 261, 262.

  Paul, Apostle, 93;
    abrogates the Law, 133;
    _note_, 152.

  Patriotism and Judaism, 234;
    _note_, 238.

  "Peace Party," The, 157.

  Persia, Jews under Persian sway, 17;
    political silence vs. religious activity, 18-22;
    Persian influence, _note_, 24;
    conquered by Greece, 18, 19;
    conflict with Byzantium, 282, 283;
    history of, 230;
    religion of, 235, 236.

  Pharisees, The, 80;
    contrasted with Sadducees, 80, 81;
    seven classes of, note, 83;
    slandered, 81.

  Philip, tetrarch of Batanea and Gaulonitus, 117.

  Philo, 141;
    on Pilate, 124, 125;
    on proselytes, 138;
    as expounder of Scripture, 141, 142;
    as philosopher, 142-144;
    theory of the Logos, 143, 144;
    ethics of, 144-145;
    pleads to emperor for Jews, 148.

  Pilate, the Procurator, 123;
    slaughters the Samaritans, 125;
    condemns Jesus of Nazareth to death, 127.

  Pompey takes Jerusalem, 93.

  Pool of Siloam, illustration, 90.

  Popes, dangerous power of, 285.

  Post-exilic literature, 22.

  Prayer of Manasses, 64;
    of Onias, 92.

  Prayer, supersedes sacrifice as sole mode of worship, 184, 185;
    Talmudic sayings on, 258;
    vs. sacrifice, 64.

  Prayer Book, The, 194, 195;
    _note_, 196.

  Priest, and Synagogue, 21;
    High P., functions and power of, 21.

  Procurators, first group, 123;
    last group, 153;
    their treatment of the Jews, 119, 122-124;
    their place in the Roman system, 147;
    Albinus, 156;
    Felix, 154;
    Festus, 155;
    Florus, 156, 157;
    Pilate, 123.

  Proselytes, Greek, 137, 138;
    Roman, 126, 137, 201, 202;
    Queen Helen of Adiabene, 139;
    Aquila, 202;
    Jussuf, King of Yemen, 296;
    by compulsion 78, 85;
    _note_, 205.

  Providence, Talmudic sayings on, 258, 259.

  Ptolemies, the, 68;
    Philadelphus, 68;
    Philometer 70, 71.

  Pumbeditha, Babylonian Academy, 237.

  Rab (Abba Areka), Babylonian Amora, 232;
    establishes Sora Academy, 233;
    moralist, 233.

  Rabbi, title of, 194.

  Rabba, classified Halachoth, 237.

  Religion as law, 19-21.

  Repentance, Talmudic sayings on, 273, 274.

  Resh Galutha, office of, 231;
    under Moslem sway, 309.

  Resh Lakish, expounder, 220.

  Righteousness, Talmudic sayings on, 259.

  Ritual of Prayer, 194-196.

  Rome, history from 146 B. C. E. to establishment of the Empire,
        95, 96;
    policy of, 93;
    Pompey takes Jerusalem, 92;
    suzerainty over Judea, 96;
    Judea under, 77;
    appoints procurators over Judea, 119;
    Judea's wars with, 57, 168;
    regime of, after Judea's overthrow, 201;
    revolt against Trajan, 202-204;
    suppresses the Bar Cochba revolt, 213;
    decline of the empire, 239;
    division of the Empire, 245;
    influx of barbarians, 246;
    western half of Empire succumbs to northern tribes, 247;
    successors, 283-285.

  Rome, Emperors of, that came in relations with the Jews: Antoninus
        Pius, 217;
    Augustus, 120, 126;
    Caligula, 147, 148;
    Claudius, 149, 150;
    Domitian, 139;
    Julian, 245;
    Hadrian, 204, 205, 209, 213;
    Nero, 159;
    Nerva, 202;
    Alexander Severus, 239;
    Tiberius, 125;
    Titus, 161;
    Trajan, 202, 203;
    Vespasian, 159, 161, 162, 165, 173, 184.

  Sabbatic year, 46.

  Saboräim, 3d group of law expounders, 253, 254.

  Sacrifice ceases with fall of Jerusalem Temple, 184-185.

  Sacrificial worship, _note_, 188.

  Sadduccees, 79;
    contrasted with Pharisees, 80, 81.

  Salome, Alexandra, reign of, 87;
    coin of her time, 87.

  Samuel, Babylonian Amora, 233;
    rationalist and jurist, 233, 234;
    "land's law is ours," 234;
    patriot, 234;
    astronomer and physician, 234, 235;
    maxims, 235.

  Samuel, Arabian Jewish hero, 296, 297;
    Sheik and poet, 296, 297.

  Samaritans, 125.

  Sanhedrin, 123, 127, 151;
    shorn of power, 108.

  Scribes, The 19, 20.

  Seleucidan regime, 28;
    era, 28.

  Semicha (ordination), 194, 215.

  Septuagint, The, 68, 69, 71.

  Severus, Alexander respects Judaism, 239.

  Severus, Julius, defeats Bar Cochba, 212, 213.

  Shammai, contrasted with Hillel, 112, 115;
    school of, 115;
    against proselytism, 115.

  Sicarii, The, 154, 155.

  Simlai, R., enumerates 365 negative and 248 affirmative
        precepts, 220.

  Simon b. Giora, Zealot leader, 165, 170.

  Simon, the Just, High Priest, 29, 30;
    Ben Sirach's description of, 29.

  Simon the Hasmonean, independent Prince of Judea, 50, 77, 78;
    makes treaty with Rome, 77;
    coins, 50, 51.

  Simon ben Shetach, 88, 89;
    establishes schools, 89.

  Sin, Talmudic sayings about, 271, 272.

  Slave trade and the Jews, 286.

  Slavery, a medieval institution, 286.

  Sibylline Oracles, Judaism expressed in, 137.

  "Song of the Three Holy Children," 64.

  Sora, Babylonian Academy, 233.

  Spanish Peninsula, 288;
    status of Jews before 6th century in, 289;
    their position in 7th century in, 290, 291;
    conquered by the Moslems, 292, 310.

  "Susanna, History of," 64.

  Synagogue, establishment of, 21;
    ritual, 19; "Men of the Great," 22.

  Syria (Roman) Judea province of, 119.

  Syrian governors, Vitellius, well disposed toward Jews, 147;
    Petronius risks life for Jews, 148;
    Cestius Gallus put to rout by Jews, 158.

  Talmud, The, 250;
    stories from 256, 264;
    codifying commenced, by R. Ashi, 251;
    Babylonian, 251;
    Palestinian, 252;
    the Gemara, 251;
    Halacha and Agada, 252, 253;
    literature on, 253;
    language of, _note_, 254;
    influenced by Roman law, _note_, 255.

  Tannäim, the first order of expounders, 186.

  Targum, 145.

  Tax, Jewish, 170.

  Teachers, value of, sayings about, 221.

  Temple, The, as a religious centre, 21;
    desecrated by Antiochus, 34;
    re-dedicated by the Maccabees, 45;
    invaded by Pompey, 93;
    rebuilt by Herod, 107;
    besieged by Rome, 168;
    destroyed by Rome, 170;
    heathen temple built on site, 171;
    religious consequence of its overthrow:
      Jewish, 183-185;
      Christian, 198;
    Fast, _note_, 196;
    as reconstructed by Chipiez, 74;
    ground plan of Temple area, 75;
    of Onias, 70;
    justification for a temple outside of Jerusalem, 70, 71.

  "Testaments, Old and New," significance of the title, 198, 199.

  Tetrarch, 120.

  Theocracy, defined, 119;
    Roman rule antagonistic to, 119.

  Theudas, a Messiah, executed, 153.

  Tiberius, Roman emperor, 125.

  Titus conducts war against Judea, 161, 166, 170;
    Arch of, illustration, 180;
    portrait, 164;
    Coin of the reign of, 166.

  Tobit, Book of, 57, 58;
    Prayer of, 58, 59.

  Traders, why Jews became, 286.

  Trajan, revolt against, 202, 203.

  Truth, strength of, 56, 57;
    Talmudic sayings about, 266.

  Vespasian, sent by Nero to quell Judean rebellion, 159;
    conquers Galilean plain, 161;
    conquers northern fortresses, 165;
    crowned Roman emperor, 173;
    grants permission to J. b. Zakkai to establish an Academy at
          Jamnia, 184;
    brass coin indicating Judea's overthrow, 189.

  Vulgate, The, Latin translation of the Scriptures, 249.

  Water Bottles, Goat-skin, illustration, 66.

  Water Festival (Sh'mini Atzereth,) 89.

  "Wine, Strength of," 54.

  Wisdom literature, 60.

  "Wisdom of Solomon," 62;
    quotations from, 62, 63.

  Wit and Humor of Rabbis, 275, 276.

  Woman, Jewish estimate of, 262;
    Talmudic sayings on, 263;
    strength of, 55, 56.

  Wood Festival, Ab 15th, 89.

  Work, Talmudic sayings on, 264, 265.

  Zealots, The, 124, 153, 154, 165.

  Zoroastrism, religion of Persia, 235, 236.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Map Back end paper "The Diaspora"]

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as

Missing page numbers are page numbers that were not shown in the
original text.

The illustrations have been moved so that they do not break up
paragraphs, thus the page number of the illustration might not match
the page number in the List of Illustrations.

Mismatched quotation marks are not corrected if it is not sufficiently
clear where the missing quotation mark should be placed.

In the Index, hyphenation has been changed from "goatskin" to

In the book the table of Contents lists the "Preface to revised
edition" as on page v and the Introduction as on page vi. In the
book, the Introduction comes before the Preface on unnumbered pages.

In the "Contents" for Chapter XLII, the transcriber has changed the
numbers from 305-311 to 304-310 to conform to the book.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Thousand Years of Jewish History - From the days of Alexander the Great to the Moslem Conquest of Spain" ***

Copyright 2023 LibraryBlog. All rights reserved.