« PreviousContinue »
Se&t. 8. HER OD the Great, & c. 239
28 Q. What Piece of Cruelty was Herod guilty of, when he heard that a child was born who was to be King of the Jews ? A. He slew all the young Childien in Betblehem, that he might be sure to destroy Christ, and that his own Posterity might be Kings of fudea.
29 Q. IV om did Herod design then for the Succesor to his Kingdom ? A. Antipater, his elder Son by Doris, a Wife which Herod had be. fore Mariamne; his Father had raised him to some Post of Honour upon his Displeasure with his other Sons, and he had been also active and busy himself towards procuring the Death of those two Brothers.
30 Q. Did Antipater succeed his Father in the Kingdom, according to Herod's present Design? A. Antipater longing for the Crown, and for his Father's Death, did really conlpire io poison him, and being convicted thereof, had a Sentence of Condemnation passed upon him; and it being confirmed by Augustus Cæfar, was executed by his Father's Approbation. This was the third Son whom Herod put to death.
31 Q. When, and in what Manner did Herod die ? A. In the seventieth Year of his Age, and five Days after the Execution of his Son Antipater, Herod himself died by a dreadful Complication of Diseases. He had a flow Fever, an Asthma, an Ulcer in his Bowels and his lower Parts, which bred Worms and Lice; he languished under extreme Pain and Torment till he expired, and seems to have been smitten of God in a · signal and terrible Manner for his Cruelty, and the multiplied Iniquities of his whole Life.
32 Q. What Instance of Cruelty was he guilty of even at his Death ? A. Knowing how much he was hated of the Jews, he concluded there would be no Lamentation for him, but rather Rejoicing when he died: and to prevent this, he framed a Project, one of the most horrid that could enter into the Heart of Man; he fummoned all the chief Jews over the whole Kingdom on Pain of Death to appear at Jericho where he then lay; he shut them up Prisoners in the Circus, or publick Place of Shews, he ordered and adjured his Sister Salome and her Hurband, who were his chief Confidents, to send in Soldiers as foon as he was dead, and put them all to the Sword ; " for this, said he, will pro" vide Mourners for my Funeral all the Land “ over,"
33 Q. Was this barbarous and bloody Command executed? A. His Sister Salome, as bad as she was, chose rather to break her Oath to him than execute lo horrid a Design, and therefore she released them all after his Death,
34 Q. What Pofterity did Herod leave behind hin? A. He had nine Wives, and such of his Pofterity as are named in Scripture, are these that follow, viz.
Archelaus bis Son, who succeeded him in the Kingdom of Judea and Samaria, Matth. ii. 22. Herod Antipas, Tetrarch or Governor of Galilee, who cut off yohn the Baptist's Head, Matth. xiv. 1, 3, 6. Philip, Governor of Iturca and Trache. nitis, Luke iji. I. and Herod Philip, who married · his own Niece Herodias, and had a Daughter by her called Salome, who danced well: But Herodias afterward left him to marry Herod Antipas his Brother, for which John the Baptist reproved this Herod Antipas, Luke iii, 19.
This Herodias, was Daughter of Herod's Son Ariftobulus, whom he put to death, and Sister of Herod Agrippa who flew the Apostle James, Acts xii. I, 2. and was afterwards smitten of God, at Cæfarea, ver, 20–23. Of this Herod Agrippa was born that King Agrippa the second, before whom Paul pleaded his Cause, AEts xxv. and xxvi. and his two Sisters were Drufilla, Wife to Felix the Governor, Aits xxiv. 24. and Bernice, who attended her Brother Agrippa to hear Paul plead. This Genealogy is borrowed from Dr. Prideaux,
35 Q. Did Archelaus continue long in his Government? A. He was guilty of many and great Instances of Tyranny, for which he was depored, and banished to a Town in France by the Roman Emperor, when he had reigned in Judea between nine and ten Years.
36 Q. How was Judea governed afterwards? A. The Romans were so much displeased with the evil Practices of Archelaus, that they reduced Yudea to the Form of a Roman Province, and ruled it afterward by Procurators or Governors, who were sent thither, and recalled at their Pleasure: The Power of Life and Death was taken out of the Hands of the Jews, and placed in the Roman Governor, and their Taxes were paid more directly to the Roman Emperor, and gathered by the Puba licans. .
37 Q. How did the Jews résent this? A The Pharisees, and the People under their Influence, thought it unlawful to acknowledge a King who was not a few, Deut. xvii. 15. From among thy Brethren shalt thou set a King over thee: And therefore, though they were constrained to pay Tribute to Cæfar, yet they scarce allowed it to be lawful: upon this Account they looked upon these
Publicans with greater Detestation than any of the Tax-gatherers in former Ages, while their Governor was of the Jewish Nation or Religion.
Note, Though Herod was an Idumean by Nation, yet all the Idumeans having received the Jewih Religion, Herod was so far counted a lawful Governor, as that they did not scruple paying Taxes to him.
38 Q. How was the -High-Priesthood carried on at this Time ? A. As Herod, had done before, lo the Roman Governors .continued to make HighPriests, and to depose them as often as they pleased, to answer their own Purposes.
39 Q. Who was High-Priest when our blessed Saviour was put to death? A. Gaiaphas, who was Son-in-Law to Annas, who had been himself HighPriest for fifteen Years, and was deposed by one of their Governors,
Note, Caiaphas was not immediate Succeffor to Annas, for there were three High-Priests came between them, who had been constituted in that Office, and deposed by the Romans: Hence it may come to pass, that in the Hi. itory of the Gospels we frequently read of several Chief Priests at the same time, and of Annas and Caiaphas being High-Priests at the Beginning of John the Baptiff's Ministry, Luke ïïi. 2. For, whether they had any concurring Power given them by the Romans or no, yet being still alive after they had been in that Office, they might have their Title given them by the People, and some of them had probably considerable Influence in the Jewish Affairs. In the Case of Annas and Caiaphas, Some suppose one to have been Head of the Sanbedrim, and to have chiefly managed in Civil Affairs, the other in Sacred ; others fancy one to have been the HighPriest, and the other the Deputy-High-Priest, or Sagan, who was always ready to perform the Office, if che High-Priest was indisposed or hindered: And some think they might rule alternately or together by Permision or Appointment of the Romans ; it is evident the facred Laws of Moses were not strictly observed at that time among them, nor long before
Note, This Annas is supposed to be the same Person with that Ananias, whom Paul did not seem to acknowledge for God's High-Prief, when he reproved him and called him, Thou whited Wall, Acts xxiii. 3-5.
40 Q. Who was Governor of Judea at that time? 1. Pontius Pilate; for Tiberius Cæfar (who had reigned two or three Years together with Augustus at Rome, and had after his Death succeeded him now nineteen Years in the Empire) had a few Years before made this Pilate Governor : he was a Man thoroughly prepared for all manner of Iniquity, which he executed through his whole Government, and gave further Proof of it in that unjust Sentence which he passed even against his own Conscience, for the Crucifixion of our Blessed Lord at the Request of the wicked Jews.
41 Q. What became of Pontius Pilate at last ? A. He was in a very Thort time recalled by the Roman Emperor for Misdemeanors in his Government, and was banished to Vienne in France, where he is reported to have put an End to his own Life by the Sword.
42 D. Did the Jews grow wiser and better afterwards ? A. They went on by Persecution and Rage against the Gospel of Christ, and the Profeffors of it, and by many other Crimes, to fill up the Measure of their Iniquities, till at last, upon their Insurrection against the Romans, they were exposed to the Fury of a conquering Army, their City and Temple were utterly destroyed, according to the Prophecy of Chrift, eleven hundred thousand of the People perished, and the Remains