« AnteriorContinuar »
of his children. This Mattathias was the first of that renowned family called the Asmonæn. We find the word translated princes in Ps. Ixviii. 31, (D'lavn) and they may have obtained that name, first, because, as princes, they had power and prevailed over the enemy of the Jewish name; and, secondly, because they afterwards united the princely dignity to the sacerdotal, and were thus both kings and priests to God and his people.
After the death of Mattathias, his eldest son Judas, surnamed Maccabæus, undertook the cause of religion and liberty with consummate valour and ability, but at length was slain. He obtained the name of Maccabæus from 239, Mcbi, the four first letters in the words inscribed on his standard. The words were these in Exod. xv. 11, which, in our translation, are rendered, “Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?” This Judas was the seventeenth high priest. He enjoyed it six years, dying A.A.C. 160. The eighteenth was his brother Jonathan, who was appointed to that sacred office by Alexander, the son of Antiochus, and confirmed in it by Antiochus, the son of Alexander. He performed many valiant acts, but, at length, was treacherously slain by Tryphon,' in Ptolemais, A.A.C. 143, after being high priest seventeen years. The nineteenth high priest was Simon, the brother of Jonathan. He was chosen their leader after his brother's death, and greatly advanced the cause of freedom; but was at length slain treacherously by Ptolemy, or Abubus, his own son-inlaw,' A.A.C. 135, after being high priest eight years. The twentieth high priest was John, also called Hyrcanus, or Hyrcanus Jannai. He sacked Samaria, destroyed the temple at Gerizim, slew many of the wise men at
Antiq. xii. 6. Joseph. Antiq. xii. 7—12. 1 Macc. iji, iv. till ix. xviii.
Antiq. xiii. 1-6. 1 Macc. ix. 29, &c. His death is mentioned, ch, xii. 48. di Macc. xiii, 8. Antiq. xiii. 6. • 1 Macc. xvi. 12. 16. Antiq. xii. 7.
Jerusalem, was twenty-nine years high priest, and died a Sadducee, A.A.C. 106," which then only meant a rejecter of the Divine authority of the traditions of the elders, and an adherent to the Scriptures alone as the rule of faith and duty. But as the pharisees were then become a numerous and popular sect, his leaving them was the occasion of many disturbances. The twenty-first high priest was Judas, otherwise called Aristobulus, the son of John Hyrcanus. He first assumed the name of king, and reigned one year, dying A.A.C. 105. The twenty-second high priest was Alexander Janneus, the brother of Aristobulus. He also had the name of king; was engaged in many wars, and at last died of a quartan ague, A.A.C. 78, after reigning twenty-seven years. The twenty-third high priest was Hyrcanus, the son of Alexander, who appears to have been fonder of retirement than of power; and, accordingly, his mother, Alexandra, through the aid of the pharisees (whom her husband, on his death-bed, advised her to consult on all occasions, as being well aware of their malice and their power,) kept possession of the kingdom for her family, and reigned prudently as regent for her son nine years." But she dying, and Hyrcanus assuming the reins of government, he was driven both from the crown and mitre in three months by his brother Aristobulus, after having enjoyed the high priesthood nine years. His pontificate, therefore, at that time, ended A.A.C. 69, and Aristobulus became the twenty-fourth high priest, as well as prince of the Jews.
But in persons of such equal rank, the fire, although smothered, was not extinguished; for Hyrcanus and he both applying to the Romans, gave these ambitious peo
ple a pretext for entering Judea, and thus subjected it to the Roman yoke. Aristobulus, as being the most dangerous to be trusted, was carried by Pompey to Rome, with the greater part of his family, A.A.C. 63, after being high priest and prince six years : and Hyrcanus was restored to the sacerdotal dignity, which he enjoyed twenty-four years, or till A.A.C. 40.*
The twenty-fifth high priest was Alexander, the son of Aristobulus, who escaped the hands of Pompey when the rest of his family were made prisoners, and entering Judea, raised commotions in several places; but, affecting the kingdom as the birth-right of his family, he was twice vanquished by Gabinius. Thus were there two high priests at the same time, viz. Hyrcanus the uncle, supported by the Romans, and Alexander the nephew, countenanced by the Jews. The twenty-sixth high priest was Antigonus, another son of Aristobulus, who escaped from Rome; and first by the help of the king of Tyre, and then by means of the Parthians, endeavoured to wrest the high priesthood and civil power from Hyrcanus his uncle. Success in part favoured his plan; for, getting his uncle into his power, he caused his ear to be cut off, that, by being thus maimed, he might be incapable of the office, and then procured the mitre for himself: but discord among relatives is seldom productive of any good. Accordingly, Antony, having made him his prisoner, treated him as an intruder, brought him to Antioch, A.A.C. 37, and, after whipping and crucifixion, decapitated his corpse. Antigonus held the dignity of high priest and prince three years. The twentyseventh high priest was Anaelus, an inferior priest, sent for out of Babylon by Herod. But this offended Alex
Antiq. xiv. 1-4; XX. 8.
6 Ib, xiv, 5. - Ib. xiv. 12; xv. 1. Dion. Cassius, lib. xlv.
andra, the daughter of Hyrcanus, and wife to Alexander, the son of Aristobulus; it also piqued Mariamne, Herod's wife, and Alexandra's daughter: and, therefore, both mother and daughter conspiring together obtained the deposition of Anaelus, and procured Aristobulus, their own son and brother, to be elected in his room.* Aristobulus then, the son of Hyrcanus, and Alexandra, and brother of Mariamne, was the twenty-eighth high priest. He was only between fifteen and sixteen years old when chosen, and was possessed of uncommon beauty and elegance; but, after enjoying his elevation for little more than a year, he was drowned by Herod's policy while swimming, and Anaelus was restored. The twenty-ninth high priest was Jesus, the son of Favens, who was removed from it afterwards by Herod. The thirtieth was Simon, the son of Boethus, an ordinary priest; but Herod having married his daughter, a very beautiful woman, raised him afterwards to the office of high priest. The thirty-first was Matthias, the son of Theophilus. He was appointed to the office by Herod, in consequence of the deposition of Simon, whom Herod suspected of being privy to the designs of his own son Antipater. The thirty-second was Jozarus, the son of Boethus, and brother of Simon, the thirtieth high priest; Matthias having lost the favour of that suspicious and volatile prince. The thirty-third was Eleazar, the brother of Jozarus, who was appointed by king Archelaus, after the deposition of his predecessor. The thirty
5 fourth was Jesus, the son of Sie, by whose intrigues Eleazar was deprived of the priesthood. The thirtyfifth was Jozarus again, who was high priest in Judea when it was taxed under Cyrenius, and, consequently,
Antiq. xv. 2.
b lb. xv. 3.
( lb, xv.9.
d Ibid. h Ibid.
was the person who held that high office when Christ was born. Josephus tells us, that when the people were ready to rebel he had such influence with them as to dissuade them from so rash a conduct.
On the removal of Jozarus, Ananus, the thirty-sixth high priest, was made by Cyrenius. On his deposition, Ishmael, the thirty-seventh high priest, was promoted by Valerius Gratus ; and on his removal, Eleazar, the son of Ananus, was the thirty-eighth : he was promoted by the same Valerius, but enjoyed it only for one year.“ The thirty-ninth was Simon, the son of Kamith, who was advanced by the same Valerius Gratus. The fortieth was Caiaphas, who was also called Joseph. He also was a creature of Gratus; and all these changes happened in the space of eleven years. The christian reader is well acquainted with Caia phas's name from the gospel history;s where Annas, or the Ananus formerly mentioned as the thirty-sixth high priest, is said to be joined with him in the high priesthood ;- not that he was really so at that time, but because he was formerly in office, and still living. This leads us to the reason why he sent our Saviour to Caiaphas, and did not pass judgment on him himself. The forty-first high priest was Jonathan, the son of Annas, or Ananus : he was raised to the office by the influence of Vitellius, in the room of Caiaphas, who had been dismissed, but did not long enjoy his dignity, being removed by Vitellius, to give place to Theophilus, his brother, who was the forty-second high priest.' The forty-third high priest was Simon, called also Kantheras, or a cup; but for what reason it is impossible now to ascertain. By Josephus he is called the son of Boethus, whose daugh
Antiq. xviii. 1.
« Ibid. & Matt. xxvi. 3. 57. John svii, 14. Acts iv. 6. h Luke iii. 2. i John xviii, 13. 24.
Joseph. Antiq xviii. 4. ! Ib, xvüi. 5.