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§ 228, seclusion of Kings, Journeys, Etc. 281
The blood of the sacrifices, which were thus appropriated, was shed at the foot of the altar, and some parts of them burnt upon it.
§ 228. Seclusion of KINGs, Journeys, etc.
In the East, those, who sustain the office of kings, very rarely make their appearance in public, and to obtain access to them in any way, is a matter of great difficulty. Among the Persians, a person was forbidden to make his appearance, in the presence of a monarch, without being expressly invited, under the penalty of punishment with death, Est. 4: 11. Herod. III. 48. In more remote times, when kings had more to do personally in the management of their affairs, it may well be concluded, that they lived in less seclusion, and it is quite certain, that there was a very free access to the monarchs of the Jews, 2 Sam. 18; 4. 19: 7. 2 K. 22: 10. Jer. 38; 7. It was esteemed a good and propitious omen, if any one was so fortunate, as to behold the face of the king, Prov. 29:26. Is. 33: 17. The tropical expressions, therefore, “to see God,” must be understood to signify the same, as to experience his favour. When the kings of Asia perform long journeys, they are surrounded with a great and splendid retinue. When they journey into the Provinces, one runs before, who announces the approach of the distinguished guest, in order that the roads may be in readiness, and every thing else, that is necessary, may be prepared. The forerunner, on such an occasion, is denominated in the Persian “the joyful messenger.” Comp. Higan, evayyekwot is and Tsho, Mal. 3: 1. Is. 62: 10–12. The Talmudists contend, that God himself has such a forerunner. They call him, 15-ton, and jīnūton, Metation. They consult the following passages in respect to his existence and character, viz. Zech. 3:1, 3. 4: 5, et seq. Gen. 16:10–14. 22:15. Exod. 3: 4–20. 20: 2, 3. 23: 20–23. Is. 48: 16. 43: 14; and think, that they are at liberty to conclude from them, that METATRoN is supreme and uncreated, that in his character he approaches nearest to God himself, and is the same being, who anciently appeared to the patriarchs, and is expressly called God. Consult Buxtorf's Chaldaic, Talmudic, and Rabbinic Lexicon, col. 1192, 282 § 230. Titles of Kings, Etc.
and also the Appendix to my Hermeneutics, Fasc. I. p. 58– 63. The Hebrew kings, when they travelled, either rode on asses and mules, (2 Sam. 13:29. 17:23. 1 K. 1: 33–38.) or were carried on chariots, being preceded by the soldiers, who sustained the part of body-guards, 1 K. 1: 5. 2 K. 9:17, 21. 10: 15.
§ 229. The Royal PALAce AND GARDENs.
The monarchs of the East were accustomed to seek for glory by building magnificent palaces and temples, by hewing sepulchres out of stone, by planting gardens, and building fortifications; in a word, by doing any thing, which might tend to strengthen and ornament their cities, especially the one, which held the distinguished rank of a metropolis. Such were the associations of dignity, and worth, and elevation, connected with the metropolis, that a person was said “to ascend up into it,” or “to descend from it,” even though it were situated, as was the case with Babylon, upon a plain, 1 K. 12:27, 28. 22: 2. Ezra 7: 6, 7. Acts 8: 5, 15. 15: 2. 18: 22. 24:1, etc.
Among the edifices, upon which were expended much ingenuity and wealth, in order to render them suitably splendid, the royal palace deserves particular mention. The palace of the kings occurs, in the most ancient times, as well as at the present day, under the name of “the Gate,” 2 Sam. 15:2. Dan. 2:49. Est. 2: 19, 21. 3:2, 3. comp. Matt. 16. 18.
§ 230. WENERATIon PAID to KINGs, AND Titles which were BESTOWED UPON THEM.
It was contrary to the law of Moses for a man to speak ill of a Magistrate, even in a clandestine manner. Although this law was not enforced by a penalty, it was religiously observed; and kings, especially, were the objects of the greatest veneration, 1 Sam. 24: 4–15. 26:6—20. Those, who from a neglect to render that veneration, which was due to his character, had given offence to the king, were liable to be punished with death. Still there were not wanting regicides, especially in the kingdom of Israel, in which morals were more corrupted, than in that of Judah.
§ 230. Titles of KINGs, etc. 283
Magistrates are sometimes called gods, Doros, both in poetry, Ps. 82: 1, 6, 7, 188: 1, and sometimes in prose likewise, Exod. 4. 16. 7: 1. The Hebrew word etymologically means one, who is to be feared or venerated, and this is the ground of its application in the present instance. It is worthy of remark, however, that it is never applied to kings, except perhaps in Ps. 45: 7, 8. In other instances, the word jins, the Lord, #2, the king, njn, no on the anointed or inaugurated of Jehovah, are the usual appellations applied to a monarch, and the customary titles of address, 1 Sam. 12: 3–5. 24; 7–11. 26:9–11, 16, 23. 2 Sam. 19:21. 23: 1. Ps. 132: 17. The word rops, the anointed, is synonymous with #2, king. Accordingly we find in Is. 45: 1. the following expressions in regard to Cyrus, “ Thus saith the Lord to his ANointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden,” etc.
In poetry the king is sometimes denominated the son of God, a phraseology, which has its origin from 2 Sam. 7:14. and 1 Chron. 17: 13. We see in this an adequate and a satisfactory reason, why the inauguration of a king is called in poetry his birth, Ps. 2: 6–8, 12; and why a king, who, from any circumstance, is peculiarly exalted, is denominated the first-born of the kings of the earth, i. e. the most illustrious, Ps, 89: 27. Among the appellations of honour, usually bestowed upon monarchs, which have been mentioned, the MEssiah and the SoN of God were in a subsequent age particularly applied to Jesus, the memorable descendant of David, who had been so long predicted, John 1:41, 49. 4:25. Matt. 1: 16–18. 16: 16. Luke 4:41.
In many nations, it appears, that there existed a sort of appellative for their monarchs, which was applied indiscriminately to every individual, who sat upon the throne.
Appellatives for monarchs.
(1.) CesAR, a general name for king or emperor among the RoIIlains.
(2) ProLEMY, an appellative used in the same way among the more recent Egyptians.
(3.) AGAG. This was the common name for the kings of the Amalekites, 1 Sam. 15:20. comp. Num. 24; 7.
(4.) HAdad, Adad, or BEN HADAD, the name for the kings of Syria, 2 K. 8: 9. 1 K. 15: 18.
284 § 231. Duties of THE HEBREw MonARchs.
(5.) ABIMELEch, the same among the Philistines, Ps. 34: 1. Gen. 20: 2. 26:10, comp. I Sam. 21: 12. (6.) CANdAce, the usual appellation of the Ethiopian queens, Strabo, p. 281. Dio Cassius, Lib. IV. p. 525. comp. Acts 8:27. The word Phar Aoh, used so often in reference to the monarchs of Egypt, is not, as some might be induced to suppose, an appellative of this kind, nor the word DARius, which is applied in a similar way to those of Persia. The proper signification of both these words is no other than that of king or monarch, and this signification is of itself sufficient to account for the frequent recurrence of these words in connexion with the rulers of those nations. That my assertion in respect to DAR1Us is not without foundation, will appear by collating the Zendish word on: Darufesch, which is the same with the Persian N-No Dara, king. It is explained, however, in Herodotus (VI. 98.) by the word ágosums conqueror. Compare my Introduction to the Old Testament, P. II. § 57 and $ 66. We find in poetry, that kings are sometimes denominated shepherds ; and sometimes indeed the husbands of the state. The state on the contrary is called sometimes the wife of the king, sometimes a virgin, and sometimes the mother of the citizens. It is likewise represented, as a widow, and in some instances, as childless. Hence God, who was the king of the Hebrews, was the husband of the state, and we find that the Hebrew commonwealth, as might be expected from the general aspect of this language, is represented, as his spouse. Whenever, therefore, she became idolatrous, she was denominated, to keep up a consistency of language, an adulteress or fornicatress.
§ 231. The Duties of the Hebrew MonARchs.
At first, kings fulfilled those offices, which subsequently devolved upon the persons, who acted as generals, as judges, and as high priests, Gen. 14: 18, 19. This accounts for the circumstance, that the word in: signifies both a priest, and the supreme civil magistrate, Exod. 2: 16. 3: 1. It occurs with this last signification, as late as the time of David, 2 Sam. S: 18, comp. 1 Chron. 18; 19. In respect to the kings of the Hebrews, however, it appears, that they were not at liberty to assume, or to exercise the sacred functions, which were conferred upon the tribe of Levi, § 232. Extest of Royal power and prerogatives. 2S5
and upon the family of Aaron, 2 Sam. 15:1, et seq. 2 Chron. 26. 16, et seq. They had the oversight of them, nevertheless, so far as to see, that all things were done rightly, a privilege which was well used by David, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and Josiah, but abused by many others to the purpose of introducing idolatry. The Hebrews were accustomed to expect of their kings, the fulfilment of two offices at least, those of judge and chieftain ; both of which, they in truth did fulfil, either themselves, or with the assistance of other persons, whom they had chosen, 1 Sam. 8: 5. 12: 12. comp. 2 Chron. 26:21. Is. 16: 5. We learn, that kings employed generals to conduct their armies, as early as Genesis, (21: 22.) and that David, though a warriour, did not always go to battle. The Mosaic institutions themselves recognized the existence of a class of inferiour judges, and the only trouble, that was occasioned to the kings afterwards on the subject, was that of selecting them and seeing that they fulfilled their duty, I Chron. 23: 4. 26:29, et seq. 2 Chron. 19: 5–11. It was the duty of the king to try appeals from these judges. This, clearly, was a much better course, than if he had undertaken to try all the causes himself, or even the greater part of them, 2 Sam. 15: 2, et seq. 1 Sam. 17:9–19.
§ 232. Extent of the Royal Power AND PRERogatives.
It is known, that the kings of Asia at the present day exercise the most unlimited and arbitrary power, but this was not the state of things anciently in all instances, however it might have been in some : for the power of the Phenician and Philistine kings was restricted.
Moses himself, it seems, (Deut. 17: 14–20) imposed certain conditions upon the kings, who should afterwards arise in Palestine; and “the elders of Israel,” as they are termed, those, who from their rank had the principal management in the civil concerns of the nation, exacted conditions likewise in writing, respecting the manner, in which they should exercise the government, both from David and Saul, which they received with an oath for themselves and their successors, 1 Sam. 10:25. 2 Sam. 5:3. comp. 1 K. 12: 1–18. It may be added in confirmation of the fact, that the Power of the Hebrew kings was restricted, that the heads