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of phytolacca, partook with the mustard plant in the denomination of sinapis, and hence may be, and probably is, the tree mentioned by that name in the New Testament.
This view received much attention, and was adopted in some important works of reference. But in 1829 appeared a posthumous tract by the Rev. P. W. Buckham, under the inaccurate title of . Remarks on the Phytolacca Dodecandra, the Mustard Tree of the Scriptures,' in which the author, with much ability and curious research, applied himself to refute the view taken by Mr. Frost, and to re-establish the opinion which had previously prevailed.
He says, it would have been satisfactory to know on what authority it is stated that the Phytolacca dodecandra has the smallest seed of any tree growing in Palestine ; since, although travellers mention several species of mustard as growing in Palestine and Syria, no one mentions the Phytolacca dodecandra, nor indeed any other species of phytolacca, except that Dr. Russel once mentions the American poke-weed (P. decandra), called by him P. Americana major freeta. Yet it appears that the plant in question was cultivated and common in Palestine; and it is also shown that mustard, the produce of the sinapis, was anciently used as a condiment with food, as at present. The analogy of natural properties, on which Mr. Frost insists, is not well established ; nor can any notice be found of such a tree in the East, the sliced roots of which are applied to the purpose he mentions.
That the word diydgos, implying a tree or shrub, cannot be applied to a plant with an herbaceous stem, Mr. Buckham regards as fallacious, as does also Dr. Bloomfield. He adduces examples from ancient Greek writers, in which the word is applied to denote not only a tree or shrub, but an annual plant with an herbaceous stem.
We need not wonder to be told that the birds found a nestling place beneath the mustard plant, when in Job (1X1.7 they are said to shelter beneath the nettles. Besides, many plants which are only annuals with us are of several years' duration in eastern countries. Take, for instance, the Palma Christi (or Jonah's gourd); there are abundance of testimonials to prove the duration of this plant and the height which it attains. This instance, adduced by Mr. Buckham, we can confirm by our own observation, having seen, on the Tigris, trees of this species which have been standing loag enough to mark and characterize the spots on which they grow.
The ovatı of the New Testament and other Greek writings is agreed to be the same as the S771 chardal, of the Rabbinical and other Oriental writers. We may then note how the former speak of the chardal in the instances eited by Lightfoot and Hammond. Thus the Babylon Talmud says, there was left to a man in Shechem, by his father, s mustard-tree having three boughs of chardal, and one of the number being taken was found to afford nine cabs of mustard, and its rood was sufficient to cover the shed of a potter. So, in the Jerusalem Talmud, R. Simeon Bea Chalaphta says, “A chardal tree was in my field, which I was wont to climb, as men climb into a fig-tree.” Maimonides draws a comparison between the firmament and a grain of chardal, the one being of the greatest and the other of the smallest magnitude.
Mr. Buckham, to show to what size the sinapis will grow, under favourable circumstances, cites the following from Alonzo de Ovallo's Travels in Chili,' as given in Awnshaw and Churchill's Collection. “Mustard, turnips, mint, tre foil, and other plants, which I see are cultivated in Europe, do all grow wild in Chili, without serving to the use of life at all, otherwise than by the cattle feeding on them. The mustard-plant thrives so rapidly that it is as big as one's arm. and so high and thick that it looks like a tree. I have travelled many leagues through mustard groves, which were taller than horse and man; and the birds built their nests in them, as the Gospel mentions."
Agreeing with Mr. Buckham that it is impossible to be positive as to the particular species of sinapis intended, we have nevertheless preferred to give a representation of the Sinapis Orientalis. A representation of the whole plant se have not been able to obtain, and the present figure of a twig and the seed has only been found, after much search, in Schkuhr’s • Botanisches Handbuch. The seed is given of the natural size, in outline, and as magnified, in shadow.
“ Be thou plucked up by the root.”—The sycamine tree is one of the timber trees of the Holy Land: and, from having a larger and more extensive root than other trees, is here alluded to as the most difficult to be rooted up. See Shaw's Travels,' p. 435.
12. “Ten men that were lepers.”—This was in a village, and lepers were not excluded from villages. We are indebte i to Lightfoot for the information, that neither was the law for their exclusion understood to exclude them even from any towns but such as were already walled in the time of Joshua. To all which were afterwards built they had access. But under all circumstances, they were expected to keep their distance from persons who were clean, as well as fron those who were unclean from any other cause than leprosy. A leper who transgressed the rules, or intruded into towes or places forbidden to him, was punished with forty stripes save one. Lepers might even enter the synagognes of such towns as we have mentioned: but they remained apart within a railed enclosure, and were the first to enter and the last to depart.
and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me
of mine adversary. 3 Of the importunate widow. 9 Of the Pharisee and the Publican. 15 Children brought to Christ. afterward he said within himself, Though I
4 And he would not for a while: but 18 A ruler that would follow Christ, but is hin. dered by his riches. 28 The reward of them fear not God, nor regard man; that leave all for his sake. 31 He foresheweth 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me. his death, 35 and restoreth a blind man to his
I will avenge her, lest by her continua sight.
coming she weary me. And he spake a parable unto them to this 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unend, that men ought 'always to pray, and not just judge saith. to faint;
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which cry day and night unto him, though which feared not God, neither regarded he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them 3 And there was a widow in that city; / speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of
11 Thess. 5. 17.
man cometh, shall he find faith on the 25 For it is easier for a camel to go earth?
through a needle's eye, than for a rich man 9 And he spake this parable unto certain to enter into the kingdom of God. which trusted in themselves 'that they were 26 And they that heard it said, Who then righteous, and despised others :
can be saved ? 10 Two men went up into the temple to 27 And he said, The things which are pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a impossible with men are possible with God. Publican.
28 'Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus and followed thee. with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am 29 And he said unto them, Verily I say not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, unto you, There is no man that hath left adulterers, or even as this Publican.
house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes children, for the kingdom of God's sake, of all that I possess.
30 Who shall not receive manifold more 13. And the Publican, standing afar off, in this present time, and in the world to would not lift up so much as his eyes
unto come life everlasting. heaven, but smöte upon his breast, saying, 31 1 Then he took unto him the twelve, God be merciful to me a sinner.
and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Je14 I tell you, this man went down to his rusalem, and all things that are written by house justified rather than the other : 'for the prophets concerning the Son of man every one that exalteth himself shall be shall be accomplished. abased; and he that humbleth himself shall 32 For he shall be delivered unto the be exalted.
Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully 15 And they brought unto him also in- entreated, and spitted on: fants, that he would touch them : but when 33 And they shall scourge him, and put his disciples saw it, they rebuked them. him to death: and the third day he shall
16 But Jesus called them unto him, and rise again. said, Suffer little children to come unto me, 34 And they understood none of these and forbid them not: for of such is the king. | things: and this saying was hid from them, dom of God.
neither knew they' the things which were 17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall spoken. not receive the kingdom of God as a little 35 l’And it came to pass, that as he was child shall in no wise enter therein.
come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man 18 *And a certain ruler asked him,
say- sat by the way side begging: ing, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit 36 And hearing the multitude pass by, eternal life?
he asked what it meant. 19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest 37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazathou me good ? none is good, save one, that reth passeth by. is, God.
38*And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son 20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do of David, have mercy on me. not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not 39. And they which went before rebuked steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy | him, that he should hold his peace: but he father and thy mother.
cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, 21 And he said, All these have I kept have mercy on me. from my youth up.
40 And Jesus stood, and commanded 22 Now when Jesus heard these things, him to be brought unto him: and when he he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one was come near, he asked him, thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute 41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I in heaven: and come, follow me.
may receive my sight. 23 And when he heard this, he was very 42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sorrowful : for he was very rich.
sight: thy faith hath saved thee. 24 And when Jesus saw that he was very 43 And immediately he received his sight, sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they and followed him, glorifying God: and all that have riches enter into the kingdom of the people, when they saw it, gave praise
unto God. 2 Or, as being righteous.
& Matt, 23. 19,
* Matt. 19. 16.
Matt, 19. 27.
• Matt. 20.17
7 Matt, 20. 29.
Verse 11. “Prayed... with himself."-We have already noticed that the Jews prayed silently in the Temple.
“ God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are."— R. Judah, in the Jerusalem Talmud, mentions three benedictions which the Jews were expected to repeat every day. “Blessed be thou, O God, who hast not made me one of the ignorant.--Blessed be thou, O God, who hast not made me a Gentile.—Blessed be thou, O God, who hast not made me a woman.”—The two last, with many other daily benedictions, are included in the prayer-books of the modern Jews. Ia these a woman is directed to exchange the last cited clause for, “ Blessed be thou, o God, who hast made me according to thy will."
12. " I fast twice in the week.”-Not on the sabbath, as some of the ancient translators understood; for among the Jews the sabbath was not a fast-day, but a feast-·lay: so much so, indeed, that every person was expected to eat three meals on that day, not excepting even those who subsisted on alms. The fast days to which the Pharisee alludes, were the Mondays and Thursdays. The fasts on those days were not of imperative obligation: but it was accounted meritorious to observe them strictly; and their observance was nut omitted by the Pharisees and uthers who laid claim to peculiar sanctity.
man went into a far country to receive for 1 Of Zacchaus am Publicamente in T'Ce terapevac h13 And he called his ten servants
himself a kingdom, and to return. money. triumph: 41 weepeth over it: 45 driveth the delivered them ten Spounds, and said unto buyers and sellers out of the temple: 47 teaching them, Occupy till I come. daily in it. The rulers would have destroyed him,
14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a but for fear of the people.
message after him, saying, We will not have And Jesus entered and passed through Je- this man to reign over us. richo.
15 And it came to pass, that when he 2 And, behold, there was a man named was returned, having received the kingdom, Zacchæus, which was the chief among the then he commanded these servants to be Publicans, and he was rich.
called unto him, to whom he had given the 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he money, that he might know how much every was ; and could not for the
because he man had gained by trading. was little of stature.
16 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into pound hath gained ten pounds. a sycomore tree to see him : for he was to 17 And he said unto him, Well, thou pass that way.
good servant: because thou hast been faith5 And when Jesus came to the place, he ful in a very little, have thou authority over looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, ten cities. Zacchæus, make haste, and come down; for 18 And the second came, saying, Lord, to day I must abide at thy house.
thy pound hath gained five pounds. 6 And he made haste, and came down, 19 And he said likewise to him, Be thou and received him joyfully.
also over five cities. 7 And when they saw it, they all mur- 20 And another came, saying, Lord, bemured, saying, That he was gone to be hold, here is thy pound, which I have kept guest with a man that is a sinner.
in a 8 And Zacchæus stood, and said unto 21 For I feared thee, because thou art an the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my austere man: thou takest up that thou laygoods I give to the poor; and if I have edst not down, and reapest that thou didst taken any thing from any man by false ac- not sow. cusation, I restore him fourfold.
22 And he saith unto him, Out of thine 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked salvation come to this house, forsomuch as servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere he also is a son of Abraham.
man, taking up that I laid not down, and 10 'For the Son of man is come to seek reaping that I did not sow: and to save that which was lost.
23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my 11 And as they heard these things, he money into the bank, that at my coming added and spake a parable, because he was I might have required nine own with nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought usury? that the kingdom of God should immedi- 24 And he said unto them that stood by, ately appear.
Take from him the pound, and give it to 12 "He said therefore, A certain noble- him that hath ten pounds.
I Matt. 18. 11.
* Matt. 25. 14.
25 (And they said unto him, Lord, he for all the mighty works that they had hath ten pounds.)
seen; 26 For I
unto you, "That unto every 38 Saying, Blessed be the King that one which hath shall be given; and from cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in him that hath not, even that he hath shall heaven, and glory in the highest. be taken away from him.
39 And some of the Pharisees from among 27 But those mine enemies, which would the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke not that I should reign over them, bring thy disciples. hither, and slay them before me.
40 And he answered and said unto them, 28 | And when he had thus spoken, he I tell you that, if these should hold their went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. peace, the stones would immediately cry
29 'And it came to pass, when he was out. come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at 41 | And when he was come near, he bethe mount called the mount of Olives, he held the city, and wept over it, sent two of his disciples,
42 Saying. If thou hadst known, even 30 Saying, Go ye into the village over thou, at least in this thy day, the things against you ; in the which at your enter which belong unto thy peace! but now they ing ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet are hid from thine eyes. never man sat: loose him, and bring him 43 For the days shall come upon thee, hither.
that thine enemies shall cast a trench about 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Be-in on every side, cause the Lord hath need of him.
44 And shall lay thee even with the 32 And they that were sent went their ground, and thy children within thee; and way, and found even as he had said unto they shall not leave in thee one stone upon them.
another; because thou knewest not the time 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the of thy visitation. owners thereof said unto them, Why loose 45 And he went into the temple, and beje the colt ?
gan to cast out them that sold therein, and 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of them that bought; him.
46 Saying unto them, It is written, My 35 And they brought him to Jesus: and house is the house of prayer: but ye have they cast their garments upon the colt, and made it a den of thieves. they set Jesus thereon.
47 And he taught daily in the temple. 36 And as they went, they spread their But the Chief Priests and the Scribes and clothes in the way.
the chief of the people sought to destroy 37 And when he was come nigh, even him, now at the descent of the mount of Olives, 48 And could not find what they might the whole multitude of the disciples began do: for all the people 'were very attentive to to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice hear him.
7 Or, hanged on him. Verse 2. “ Chief among the Publicans.'-We have already mentioned the publicans. It may be proper to add that this employment in the collection of the revenue, was the only civil office in which native Jews were employed by the Romans. The office of chief of the publicans at so important a place as Jericho, must have been one of great importauce and responsibility, and, as we learn from the text, lucrative to him who held it. We may understand that Zaccheus was a sort of comptroller-general to whom the inferior publicans rendered their account, and was himself the responsible officer to whom the Romans looked. Or it may not be unlikely that he farmed the revenues of the district from the Romans. It is impossible to ascertain whether he presided over one particular branch of taxation, or over the whole generally . the Jericho district. Besides the capitation tax, there were other taxes imposed by the Romans and collected by the publicans, such as tolls at gates, bridges, and ferries. The public works of the Romans were doubtless of great benefit to the community ; but as they imposed taxes and tolls in return, the Jews, with a feeling perfectly oriental, would have preferred the inconvenience without the tax, to the convenience with it. The Talmud has ihe following:-“R. Judah, R. Joseph, R. Simeon, and R. Judah Ben Garis sitting together, R. Judah began and said, O how great are the works of this (Roman) nation: they build streets, and bridges, and baths.' R. Jose held his tongue and said nothing: but R. Simeon answered and said, "Whatsoever they have built, they have bhilt it for their own advantage. They have built bridges that they might gain a toll by them. R. Judah went and told this to the Rumans; who treated him with favour for having magnified their empire, but banished R. Jose to Cyprus, and condemned R. Simeon to death, but he escaped and remained concealed for thirteen years in a cave.”
4. “ Climbed up into a sycomore tree.”—The neighbourhood of Jericho was chiefly celebrated for its palm trees, whence the town is sonetimes called in the Old Testament the city of palms." Yet sycamores also abounded here. We read in the Talmud of " beams of sycamore of Jericho.” It is also noticed that the men of Jericho permitted the
4 Matt. 13. 12.
5 Matt. 21.1.
6 Matt, 21. 12.
branches of trees devoted to sacred uses, and of carob trees and sycamore trees, to be cut down and used. Trees generally might be planted at twenty-five cubits distance from the walls of a town; but the carob and sycamore trees not nearer than fifty cubits. This restriction was on account of the large branches of these latter trees. (See Gill, in loc.) The sycamore, though found in Judea, no longer exists in the neighbourhood of Jericho.
12. “ To receive for himself a kingdom, and to return."-We are not to understand that he went to receive a kingdom, in a different kingdom, but to be confirmed in the royal power over that country in which he lived. This is clear enough from verse 14, where we are told that, “ His citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will pot have this man to reign over us." The message was probably sent to that superior power to which the "nobleman” applied in order to obtain royalty. Some of our Lord's parables appear to be true histories, and others, in their incidental circumstances, have an evident regard to historical propriety. Mr. Horne rightly considers the present parable to belong to this latter class, observing—"In the parable of a nobleman who went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return, our Lord alludes to a case which no long time before had actually occurred in Judæa. Those who, by hereditary succession or by interest, had pretensions to the Jewish throne, travelled to Rome, in order to have it confirmed to them. Herod the Great first went that long journey to obtain the kingdom of Judæa from Antony, in which he succeeded; and having received the kingdom,' he afterwards travelled from Judæa to Rhodes, in order to obtain a confirmation from Cæsar, in which he was equally successful. Archelaus, the son and successor of Herod, did the same; and to him our Lord most probably alluded. Every historical circumstance is beautifully interwoven by our Saviour in this instructive parable.” • Introduction,' vol. ii. p. 479. To this it may be added, that the character of an “austere man,” &c., agrees well with that of Archelaus; who also at Rome found a powerful party of Jews opposed to his appointment-a party composed for the most part of persons opposed to kingly government, under existing circumstances, if not on principle, but who, feeling assured that a king would be appointed, were anxious that the appointment should fall on Herod Antipas (afterwards tetrarch of Galilee) rather than on Archelaus, who was by no means a popular person.
husbandmen beat him, and sent him away 1 Christ avoucheth his authority by a question of
empty. John's baptism. 9 The parable of the vineyard.
il And again he sent another servant: 19 Of giving tribute to Cæsar. 27 He convinceth and they beat him also, and entreated him the Sadducees that denied the resurrection. 41 shamefully, and sent him away empty. How Christ is the Son of David. 45 He warneth
12 And again he sent a third : and they his disciples to beware of the Scribes.
wounded him also, and cast him out. AND 'it came to pass, that on one of those
13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, days, as he taught the people in the temple, What shall I do? I will send my beloved and preached the Gospel, the Chief Priests
be they will reverence him when and the Scribes came upon him with the they see him. elders,
14 But when the husbandmen saw him, 2 And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, they reasoned among themselves, saying, by what authority doest thou these things ? This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that or who is he that gave thee this authority ? the inheritance may be our's.
3 And he answered and said unto them, 15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, I will also ask you one thing; and answer and killed him.
and killed him. What therefore shall the
lord of the vineyard do unto them? 4 The baptism of John, was it from hea- 16 He shall come and destroy these husven, or of men ?
bandmen, and shall give the vineyard to 5 And they reasoned with themselves, others. And when they heard it, they said, saying. If we shall say, From heaven; he will God forbid. say, Why then believed ye him not?
17 And he beheld them, and said, What 6 But and if we say,
is this then that is written, 8The stone which ple will stone us : for they be persuaded that the builders rejected, the same is become John was a prophet.
the head of the corner ? 7 And they answered, that they could not 18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone tell whence it was.
shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall 8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell fall, it will grind him to powder. I you by what authority I do these things. 19 | And the Chief Priests and the
9 Then began he to speak to the people Scribes the same hour sought to lay hands this parable; 'A certain man planted a vine- on him; and they feared the people : for yard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and they perceived that he had spoken this pawent into a far country for a long time. rable against them.
10 And at the season he sent a servant 20 And they watched him, and sent forth to the husbandmen, that they should give spies, which should feign themselves just him of the fruit of the vineyard : but the men, that they might take hold of his words,
1 Matt. 21, 23.
2 Matt. 21. 33.
3 Psal. 118, 22.