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months, or years, pro re nata) in their proper case, and another substantive serving as the material date, to which, or from which, the computation proceeds, the first observation that we may make is this: they are not strictly classical; that is, they are seldom, if ever, to be met with in the earlier Greek authors, such as Herodotus, Thucydides, or Xenophon*, but only in the later: the reason of which distinction is obvious; that they are not Greek idioms, but an imitation of the Roman. Of this idiom in the Latin writers the following are instances: Alterum...ante paucos triumphi; alterum post pauciores, amisit dies-Intra quinque consummati tanti operis dies-Ante quintum mensem divortii-Intra sextum adoptionis diem-Post biduum ...exortûs. Analogous to this is the use of the prepositions ante or post, either with their proper case, as Quadragesimum post annum-Ante tres et sexaginta annos-or adverbially dλws, as Biennio post-and the like ". The Greek construction answerable to this would be such as, καὶ μεθ ̓ ἡμέρας ἕξ——καὶ μεθ ̓ ἡμέρας ὀκτώ—πρὸ ... τούτων τῶν ἡμερῶν-—-πρὸ ἐτῶν δεκατεσσάρων —between which and the former, πρὸ ἓξ ἡμερῶν TOU Пárxa, and the like, it is manifest that, as to the principle of their construction, there can be no difference whatever.
The next observation which we may make is this:
*The only passage which I have met with in these historians, that seems to militate against the assertion in question, occurs at the beginning of the Hellenica of Xenophon, §. 2: μετ ̓ ὀλίγον δὲ τούτων: a passage
which on this very account I should agree with Kappen in considering suspicious, and should correct either by omitting the ToÚTwv, or adding as he proposes ὕστερον.
a Velleius Pat. i. 10. ii. 117. Suetonius, Claudius, 27. Galba, 17. Pliny, H. N. ii. 47. b Tacitus, Ann. xii. 27. xiii. 53. Suetonius, Augustus, 26.
e Mark ix. 2. John xx. 26. Acts v. 36. 2 Cor. xii. 2.
notices of time, so expressed, are not to be understood either inclusively, or exclusively, of both their extremes; but inclusively of the one, and exclusively of the other. This assertion is notoriously true of the Roman idiom in reckoning the days of the month; according to which Ante diem sextum kalendas (for instance) of January would denote the sixth day inclusive of the first of January; not December 26, but December 27. Nor is it less correct in reference to the application of the same mode of computation to historical notices of time; which is the proper rule to be followed in interpreting the text of St. John. I have illustrated the usage in question by the production of passages below first from Latin authors, and then from Greek; the effect of which must be to prove demonstratively that if St. John's reckoning is exclusive of the day of the arrival, it is inclusive of the day of the Passover; and if it is exclusive of the day of the Passover, it is inclusive of the day of the arrival and in either case, if the day of the Passover was the fourteenth of the Jewish Nisan, the day of the arrival was the eighth
* I. Bellum Carthagini jam ante biennium a prioribus consulibus illatum majore vi intulit. Velleius Pat. i. 12, 13.
Scipio, who is here alluded to, was consul U. C. 607. The former consuls, also alluded to, were Censorinus and Manilius, U. C. 605 or two entire years before U. C. 607.
II. The death of Cato is placed ante triennium quam Carthago deleretur, (Velleius Pat. i. 13. 12.) Censorino et Manilio coss: U. C. 605. Carthage was destroyed Coss. Lentulo et Mum
d Dio xxxvi. 25, 26.
Tried by the rule, which the instances in question are fully competent to establish, St. John's note of time,
second, U. C. 721, in the tenth year afterwards.
V. Biennio post. Ibid. twelfth consulship was U. C. 749-his thirteenth U. C. 752, in the third year after.
VI. Testamentum, L. Planco C.Silio consulibus (U.C. 766.) tertium nonas Aprilis, ante annum et quatuor menses quam decederet, factum. Ibid. 102. Augustus died XIV. kalendas Septembres, U.C. 767; one year, and part of a fifth month, after the date of his will.
VII. Post novem menses quam Tiberius excessit, xvIII. kalendas Januarias. Suetonius, Nero, 6. Tiberius died xvII. kalendas April. U. C. 790 e; whence to XVIII. kalendas Januar. in the same year, are nine months complete.
VIII. Intra sextum adoptionis diem. Suetonius, Galba, 17. It appears from Tacitus that this was on the sixth day itself f.
IX. Octo post annos. Tacitus, Ann. iv. 8. Drusus was poisoned U. C. 776, medio. Sejanus perished xv. kalendas Novemb. U. C. 7848, in the ninth year afterwards.
X. Octo post annos. Ibid. 29. Libo was condemned U.C. 769h: Serenus was banished U.C. 777: in the ninth year afterwards.
XI. Sextum post cladis annum. Ibid. i. 62. Quadragesimum post annum. Ibid. xii. 27. That the first of these notes of time means in the seventh year, and the second in the forty-first,
e Tiberius, 73. h Annales, ii. 27. nonaginta unum. 1
has been shewn elsewhere i.
XII. Ante annos nonagintak. Pliny, H. N. vii. 49. This means from U.C. 672 inclusive to U.C. 762 exclusive; that is, in the ninety-first year.
XIII. Τὸ σπέρμα βάλλοντας... μετὰ τέτταρας ἢ πέντε μῆνας ἀπαντᾷν Éπì Tòv depiσμóv. Diodorus Sic. i. 36. This means four months, or five, exclusive of the time of sowing.
XIV. Ο τε γὰρ Σατουρνῖνος πρὸ ἕξ που καὶ τριάκοντα ἐτῶν ἐτεθνήκει. Dio xxxvii. 26. Cf. Asconius in Orationem contra Pisonem. This is spoken of U. C. 691: from which to U.C. 654. Coss. C. Mario vi. L. Valerio Flacco, the year of the death of Saturninus, were thirty-seven years complete1.
XV. Μετὰ τριάκοντα ἡμέρας τῶν yáμov. Dio, lix. 28. That is, (vide cap. 23. ἵνα αὐτῷ παιδίον TрιakоveημEроv Tékŋ)—on the thirty-first day, inclusive of the day of the marriage; otherwise the child could not have been just thirty days, or one entire month, old at its birth.
XVI. Ἡρημένον μὲν πρὸ δέκα ἐτῶν 'Iẞnpías apgai. Dio, lviii. 8. This enemy of Sejanus was L. Arruntius. Tacitus, however m, and Dio are at variance, with respect to this fact in his history. According to the former, he had been kept back from his government ten years, U.C. 786 exeunte -two years after the death of Sejanus. According to the latter, he had been kept back from
f Historiæ, i. 29. g Annales, vi. 25. Dio lviii. 9. i Dissertation viii. Vol. i. 337, 338. k Harduin reads, Velleius Pat. ii. 12. Orosius, v. 17. m Tacitus, Ann.vi. 27. 48.
πρὸ ἓξ ἡμερῶν τοῦ Πάσχα, whatever may be meant by τὸ Πάσχα, cannot imply less than this: viz. that exclusive
it the same length of time, U.C. 784, the year of Sejanus' destruction, at least. If so, the time of his first appointment, as intended by Dio, was probably the occasion alluded to by Tacitus, U.C. 774, when others were appointed to provinces extra ordinem m. From that time to
U.C. 784 inclusive, the interval was eleven years.
XVII. Ωδε μέν...Ῥωμαῖοι. Καρχηδόνα κατέσκαψάν τε, καὶ συνῴκισαν αὖθις μετὰ ἔτη τῆς σκαφῆς ἑκατὸν καὶ δύο. _ Appian, De Rebus Punicis, viii. 136. Carthage was destroyed U. C. 6ο8: and a colony was again planted there U. C. 710.
XVIII. Μετὰ δέκα ἔτη τοῦ οἰκῆσαι ̓Αβραὰμ ἐν γῇ Χαναάν: Philo Judæus, i. 429. 1. 30. De Congressu ; which being taken from the ó. Gen. xvi. 3, is proved by a comparison with Gen. xii. 4, xvi. 16, to denote the eleventh year since the departure from Haran; or the eighty-fifth of the age of Abraham.
ΧΙΧ. Πρὸ μιᾶς, id est τὸ πρὸ τῆς ἑβδόμης: Ibid. ii. 113. 36. 114. 4. De Mose.
ΧΧ. *Η οὐκ ἠδύνατο πρὸ μιᾶς ἡμέ ρας, ἢ μετὰ μίαν ἡμέραν, τοῦ σαββάτου ἐνεργεῖν τοῖς γεννωμένους ; Justin Martyr, Dialogus, 191.1.9-Merà μίαν τῆς ἁλώσεως ἡμέραν: Bell. Jud. i. vii. 6—Πρὸ δυοῖν ἡμερῶν: Ibid. XXX. 1-Μετὰ μίαν ἡμέραν: Ibid. xxxii. 5—Πρὸ ἡμέρας μιᾶς: ii. viii. 9—Μετὰ μίαν ἡμέραν : iii. vii. 4Πρὸ μιᾶς ἡμέρας, and, Μετά...μίαν ἡμέραν.τῆς ἀνόδου: v. iii. 3. vi. ii.
8---Πρὸ τῆς παρελθούσης νυκτός : Ant. x. x.3----Πρὸ μιᾶς ἡμέρας: xiii. v. 7-Πρὸ μιᾶς ἡμέρας ἤ: xiv. xii. 4-Πρὸ μιᾶς ἡμέρας τῆς ἑορτῆς : XV. xi. 4-Μετὰ μίαν τῆς ἑορτῆς ἡμέραν : xviii. iv. 3—In all which instances the day after, or the day before, a certain date exclusive is meant alike.
XXI. Μετὰ δὲ ἡμέρας ἑπτά: Ant. iii. vi. 6—Every sabbath day. Μετὰ τὴν ἕκτην ἡμέραν : Contra Apionem, ii. 2—On the seventh day. Ποιεῖν δὲ καὶ τοῦτο μεθ ̓ ἑβδόμην ἐτῶν ἑβδομάδα. ταῦτα πεντήκοντα μέν ἐστιν ἔτη τὰ πάντα : Ant. iii. xii. 3—*Edeɩ yàp åpeîσθαι μετὰ ἑξαετίαν : xvi. i. 1-In the seventh year.
XXII. Ενδεκάτῳ μὲν ἔτει τῆς ̓Αλεξάνδρου τελευτῆς, ἐπὶ δὲ Ολυμπιάδος ἑβδόμης καὶ δεκάτης καὶ ἑκατοστῆς: Contra Apionem, i. 22. p. 1184. Alexander died Ol. 114. 1. B. C. 324. Olympiad 117. 1. answers to B.C. 312, and 324-12-312.
XXIII. Εθος εὔχεσθαι πρὸ τριάκοντα ἡμέρων ἧς ἀποδώσειν μέλο λουσι θυσίας: Bell. Jud. ii. xv.1Maimonides, De Cultu divinon; Nazareatus nunquam paucioribus triginta diebus conficiebatur. quocirca privatus sacerdos, qui sacra administrabat, tricesimo quoque die tonderetur oportebat-Quisquis dixerit, Ecce ego sum Nasiræus ! ille tondetur trigesimo primo die o. Upon which Bartenoras ; Tondetur trigesimo primo die, quia Nazyræatus absolutus est triginta dierum.
XXIV. Πρὸ τεσσάρων ἐτῶν τοῦ
m Annales, iii. 32. n De Ratione adeundi Templi, i. 11. ο Mishna iii. 154· 3·
of the date of the IIάoxa, the day of the arrival was the sixth day previously; inclusive of the day of the arrival, the date of the Ilárya was the seventh day
Toλépov: Bell. Jud. vi. v. 3. This is meant of U. C. 815 medio; and the war began U. C. 819 ineunte. Vide Dissertation xv. Vol. ii. 65.
XXV. Μετὰ ἑβδομήκοντα καὶ ἑκατὸν ἔτη τῆς ̓Ασσυρίων βασιλείας : Ant. xiii. vi. 7-Æræ Seleucidarum 171 ineunte : 1 Macc. xiii. 41. 51.
XXVI. Πρὸ ἐτῶν τεσσάρων ἂν κаржоν πроßáλy: Ant. iv. viii. 19 -that is, four full years; for for three years the fruit was altogether unholy P; in the fourth it was to be dedicated to God; in the fifth, but not until the fifth, it became free to the use of the owner.
XXVII. Μετὰ τεσσαρακοστὴν ¿dóμg μépav: Bell. Jud. iii. viii. 9-that is, (see cap.vii. 33,) on the forty-eighth.
XXVIII. Met' eikoσtòv dè kai EKTOV ÉVIAUTÓV: Jos. Vita, 3-that is, in his twenty-seventh year. For he was born in the first of Caius, U. C. 790: and it admits of proof that this journey of his to Rome was neither before U. C. 816, nor after U. C. 819 —that is, he went in U. C. 817, and returned in U. C. 818.
XXIX. Μετὰ ἔτη τέσσαρα ἢ τὸν ἀδελφὸν αὐτοῦ Ἰούδαν ἀποθαvei: Ant. Jud. xiii. ii. 3—According to the account of Josephus, Judas was made high priest upon the death of Alcimus, and four years after the death of Menelaus, B. C. 162. Æræ Seleucidarum, 150. If so, he
p Lev. xix. 23-25. the Appendix.
was made high priest B.C. 158: and he continued in office until his death, three years after. He died, then, upon this supposition at the earliest, B. C. 156. Jonathan, his brother, became high priest at the feast of Tabernacles, Æræ Seleucidarum 160, B. C. 152: from whence to the same time B. C. 156, there were just four years complete 4.
ΧΧΧ. Πρὸ ἐτῶν δεκατεσσάρων. 2 Cor. xii. 2. This date will be proved elsewherer to be intended of U. C. 808, as referred to U.C. 794, or the fifteenth year before it inclusive. In like manner Gal. iii. 17, ὁ μετὰ ἔτη τετρακόσια καὶ τριάκοντα γεγονὼς νόμος---must be understood of the 431st year, as the year in which the Law was given; the year after the exodus from Egypt; referred to the call of Abraham into Canaan s.
XXXI. Μετὰ τὰς ἓξ τοῦ ὅτε ἐβαπτίσθη ἡμέρας, τῇ ἕκτῃ γενομένης τῆς κατὰ τὸν ἐν Κανᾷ τῆς Γαλιλαίας γάμον οἰκονομίας. Origen, iv. 162. C. in Joannem Comin. tom. x. 2. This computation proceeds from the supposed day of our Saviour's baptism; whence to the day of the marriage feast inclusive, the interval would be seven days t.
For other examples of the same mode of speaking, or of computing time, see Artemidorus, Oneirocritica, iv. 2: iv. 34: iv. 44: v. p. 257: Ælian, De Natura Animalium, v. 52: vii. 23: xi. 14: xi. 19: xv. 26, &c.
xi. 2. xiii. ii. 1. 3. t John i. 29. 35.44.
q Ant. xii. x. 6. ix. 7. s Exod. xii. 40, 41.