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branch of the Pharisees: and their founder was Zadok the Pharisee, as much as Judas the Galilean.
Thirdly, it may very well be questioned whether, after the rise and dispersion of the party, U. C. 760, until near the time of the Jewish war, when it again started into being, the sect of the Zealots existed except in abeyance. The attempt of Judas was speedily followed by his death; and the reasoning of Gamaliel in the Acts necessarily supposes that both he and his followers had come to nothing. Had not this been notoriously the fact, his very example, as a case in point, would have made against him. At the time of our Saviour's trial before Pilate, he was plainly charged with maintaining the principles of Judas; but he was not himself called either a Zealot or a Galilean. In Josephus too, though certain of the sons or descendants of Judas may be alluded to at intermediate periods, and on distinct occasions, yet no overt act similar to the first insurrection, U. C. 760, in which any of his party or his family were concerned, can be found on record, prior to U. C. 819, when Manahem, a descendant of his, it is true, seized upon Masadas, and usurped the tyranny of his countrymen, at the outset of the Jewish
It was not, in fact, possible that in peaceful and quiet times such a sect could be tolerated for a moment. Their principles led directly to anarchy and insubordination. It was a point of conscience with them to disclaim the authority of the Roman emperor, or of his procurators; to withhold the payment of tribute; to resist, in short, the imposition of any foreign yoke, and to acknowledge no master but God. From the time, therefore, of the census of Quirinius and of
e Luke xxiii. 2.
f Ant. xx. v. 2. Bell. vii. viii. 1.
g Bell. ii. xvii. 8.
the mission of Coponius, the civil constitution of Judæa and this sect could not both subsist together; their principles on the one hand allowed of no compromise between liberty or death; the stability of the existing government on the other, none between its own entire ascendancy and their utter annihilation. If the Galileans had survived the first contest, the Roman yoke must have been for ever shaken off: if the Roman government triumphed, the Galileans must have perished in the struggle.
Fourthly, it is probable, from xiii. 31, that Jesus was at this very time in Galilee; and it is certain that he must have been somewhere in the dominions of Herod. This circumstance might account for the communication, xiii. 1 itself; but it supposes that the sufferers alluded to were inhabitants of Galilee. For where would a misfortune, which had happened to Galileans in particular, be so likely to excite an interest as in Galilee? and about whom were the people of Galilee so likely to feel an interest, as about their own countrymen ?
Fifthly, the reasoning, which our Lord grounds upon the communication made to him, must be decisive whom it refers to. He opposes these Galileans, who had perished, as a part, to the Galileans, who still survived, as a whole; and he urges the fact of what had befallen the part, as a warning of what might be expected by the whole. There can be no doubt that, in the latter instance, he means the people of Galilee; for he identifies them with his hearers at the time and consequently there can be as little that he meant them also in the former. In like manner, directly after h, he opposes a certain number of the inhabitants of Jerusalem to the rest of the people of the same city; and from the fact
h Ch. xiii. 4.
of what had befallen the former, he derives the same inference of what, unless they repented, might be expected by the latter. In each instance, a part is opposed to a whole; a less number to a greater; but each as of the same kind and both as included within the same complex. We may take it for granted therefore that the persons alluded to here were no partisans of Judas of Galilee; but strictly and properly Galileans.
Again, it seems equally reasonable to conclude that, whatever had befallen them in general, it was something which had befallen them recently. An event like this would naturally be talked about only as soon as it happened; and those who apprised our Saviour of it now, it is manifest, could not suppose that he was aware of it already. His own language is in favour of this conclusion: Think ye, that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, that they have suffered such things? When he is referring to a fact, of unquestionably more ancient date, his language is perceptibly different Or they, the eighteen, on whom the tower in Siloam fell,* and slew them, think ye that these were offenders, above all that were dwelling at Jerusalem ?
Again, whatever had befallen them in particular, it was something which had befallen them innocently; that is, they had not brought it upon themselves. The very construction, put upon their misfortune, seems to be a proof of this. If they had been anywise instrumental to it, it would not have been accidental; and if it had not been accidental, it could not have been construed
*That the pool of Siloah was close to the walls of Jerusalem from Nehemiah iii. 15: appears the first instance of the mention
of this pool, historically, which occurs in the Old Testament : though Isaiah refers to its waters, viii. 6.
into a judgment for sin. These men must have perished at a time, and in a manner, which humanly speaking would acquit them of all blame, as having drawn down their own death; and would resolve it solely into the controlling providence of God.
Again, there is no proof in contemporary history of any disturbance in Jerusalem, the scene of which was not principally, if not exclusively, the temple; and the time of which was not, still more invariably, about the period of some feast. Μάλιστα γὰρ ἐν ταῖς εὐωχίαις αὐτῶν στάσις ἅπτεται i. Such disturbances always took place when the Jews were assembled in greater numbers than usual: and they were never so assembled, except before and during the feasts k. Now the scene of the outrage upon these Galileans was manifestly the temple; for the outrage occurred in the midst of sacrifice; either of their sacrifices, or of the sacrifices themselves, according as we choose to render τῶν θυσιῶν αὐTOV. And if Pilate also was present at Jerusalem, the time when it happened was the time of some feast. Cæsarea, and not Jerusalem, was the seat of the civil government1; so that he would never be ordinarily resident at Jerusalem, except during the periods of the feasts; when, for the same reason that a guard was always kept stationed in Antonia, (ἔνοπλοι δὲ ἀεὶ τὰς ἑορτὰς παραφυλάττουσιν, ὡς μή τι νεωτερίζοι τὸ πλῆθος σvvηpoioμévov, that is, because the risk of extraordinary danger required extraordinary precaution to prevent it,) the supreme magistrate also took care to be on the spot.
Again, the case of Barabbas, as specified in each of
i Bell. Jud. i. iv. 3. k Ant. xvii. ix. 3. x. 2. xviii. ii. 2. xx. v. 3. Bell. ii. xii. 1. 1 Tacitus, end. xxv. 1-6. 13. Ant. Jud. xviii. iii. 1. iv. 3. v. 4. viii. 7. Bell. ii. xii. 2. 5. xiii. 7. xiv. 4. 6. XX. v. 3. Vide also Bell. v. v. 8.
Bell. ii. i. 3. iii. 1. Ant. Hist. ii. 79. Acts xxiii. 23— Bell. ii. ix. 2. 4. Ant. xx. m Bell. ii. xii. 1. Ant.
the Gospels, is a proof that, before the last Passover, there had been a tumult in the city, accompanied by bloodshed": for he was still in prison, on that account, at the time of our Saviour's condemnation: and the same case is equally a proof that the tumult itself was a recent occurrence; for though both he and his accomplices had been imprisoned, none of them had yet been executed, on that account. The bloodshed which had accompanied this disturbance, it is reasonable to suppose was the bloodshed of Roman soldiers, not of native Jews; in which case, nothing was more likely to have provoked the retaliatory vengeance of the governor. There is not the least ground for imagining that Barabbas, who seems to have been so popular a character notwithstanding the recent outrage, at the time of our Lord's crucifixion, had headed one party of Jews against another; or that the contest, which terminated in death to some, had lain between Jews on both sides, and not between Jews and the Roman military.
Again, at the time of our Lord's trial, not only Pilate, but Herod also, the tetrarch of Galilee, was in Jerusalem °. There is no reason to suppose that, before this, the latter was a regular attendant at the feasts on the contrary, if Luke xxiii. 8 be true, it follows demonstratively that he had not attended either the feast of Dedication, or the feast of Tabernacles, last; at both of which times Jesus had been in Jerusalem, teaching and performing miracles upon the spot. But, if he was now in attendance against his usage, he must have had express reasons to bring him there; especially as he was accompanied by a train of soldiers P; which, in a season of profound peace and tranquillity, like the
Luke xxiii. 19. Matt. xxvii. 16. Mark xv. 7. John xviii. 40. o Luke xxiii. 7. p Ib. 11.