Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

not be long : for, having formerly, when describing the chamber Gezith, in the south-east corner of the court of Israel, mentioned the Council of Three, which held its sittings in an apartment adjoining to every synagogue, every lawful day, between the end of the morning prayers and the sixth hour; the Council of Seven, according to Josephus, or the Council of Twenty-three, according to the Talmud, which sat for the same length of time as the former court, in the gate of those cities which could boast of an hundred and twenty families at the least, and decided in causes of greater moment; and the Council of the Sanhedrin, which sat every lawful day, between the end of the morning and beginning of the evening sacrifice, and was the Supreme Court of the Jewish nation, it is needless to enter upon them again in this place. It will be sufficient, therefore, now to refer to the pentateuch, as the code of laws by which they were guided in their decisions; and to describe the sanctions, civil and ecclesiastical, by which they were enforced.

SECT. IV.

Civil Punishments among the Jews.

Ist. Inferior-as restitution, depriving them of their beards, destroying their

houses, imprisonment with various aggravations, confinement in the cities of refuge, wbipping, cutting off the hands and feet, putting out the eyes, fighting with wild beasts, slavery, selling children for their parent's debt, like for like. 20. Capital-strangling, hanging, stoning, burning, beheading, crucifixion, dashing to pieces, drowning, tearing to pieces, trampling to death, sawing asunder, murdering in the dungeon.--An account of eastern prisons the executioners of the law-and the ceremonies used before execution.

The civil punishments among the Jews were either inferior or capital.

The inferior were, 1. Restitution for theft, in certain

• Antiq. Lib. iv. cap. Bu

proportions.* 2. Depriving them of their beards. 3. Destroying their houses. 4. Imprisonment simply;d or aggravated by the dungeon ;e by fetters ;' by a wooden yoke round the neck ;5 by the stocks;h by hard labour ;' and by the bread of afliction, and water of affliction." 5. Confinement in the cities of refuge for man-slaughter, till the death of the high-priest.' 6. Whipping with a scourge of three cords, and thirteen strokes for one of fence, so as to give the culprit forty save one :" as it is particularly described in Part II. Sect. 13, near the end. 7. Cutting off the hands and feet.” 8. Putting out the eyes :o a custom very frequent still in the East. In Persia particularly, as I am informed by one who was an eye-witness, it is no unusual practice for the king to punish a rebellious city or province by exacting so many pounds of eyes, and his executioners accordingly go and scoop out from everyone they meet till they have the weight required. This is abundantly confirmed in many parts of Sir John Malcolm's History of Persia, and especially in vol. ii. ch. 19. p. 198, note. 9. Fighting with wild beasts, which was sometimes not mortal, as in the case of Paul ;P but oftener mortal. 10. Slavery till the sabbatical year, or till compensation was made for theft. 9 11. Selling children for their fathers' debts." 12. Tallio, or like for like, either literally,' or by compensation with money. In cases of bodily pains, therefore, the Hebrew doctors taught that the party offending was bound to a five-fold satisfaction. 1. The hurt in the loss of the

k

a Exod. xxn. 1-4. 62 Sam, 8. 4. Ezra vi, 11. Dan. ii. 5. iii. 29. d Gen xlii. 19.

e Jer. xxxviii. 6. Gen, xxxix. 20. Judg. xvi. 21. 8 Jer. xxvii, 2. xxviii, 13.

* Job xüi. 27. l'rov, vii, 22. Jer. xx. 2. i Judg. xvi. 21. 1 Kings xxii. 27. I Numb. XXXV. 25-28. m 2 Cor. xi. 24, 25. Judg. i. 6, 7. 2 Sam. iv, 12. 2 Macc. vii. 4.

Judg. xvi. 21. 1 Sam. xi. 2. 2 Kings xxv.7. Is. xlii. 7. Jer. xxxix. 7. P 1 Cor. xv. 32. 9 Exod. xxi. 2. + 2 Kings iv. 1. Matt. xvi. 25. • Exod. xxi. 23-25.

member. 2. The damage for the loss of labour. 3. The damage for the pain or grief occasioned by the wound. 4. The damage for the charge of curing it. And 5. For the blemish or deformity it occasioned. Hence Munster, on Exod. xxi., has rendered these five by the following words : Damnum, læsio, dolor, medicina, confusio. Such were the inferior civil punishments among the Jews.

The capital civil punishments were the following: 1. Strangling by two persons with a handkerchief: for the six following offences : adultery, striking of parents, man-stealing, old men who were notoriously rebellious against the law, false prophets, and those who prognosticated future events by using the names of idols. 2. Hanging till the person was dead;" or exposing the body after death on a gibbet, either till the evening, or till devoured by fowls and other ravenous beasts. We find a punishment of this kind inflicted on the heads of the people who had gone over to Baal-peor, in Num. xxv. 4; and on seven of Saul's sons for his having slain the Gibeonites. But these appear to have been as a national expiation, and were called “ hanging them before the Lord.” 3. Stoning, which was always without the city, in the manner following: When they came to within ten cubits of the place where the person was to be stoned, they exhorted him to confess, and give God the glory, that although he died by the hand of the law, his soul might be saved in the day of the Lord. When they came within four cubits of the place, they stripped him naked (but if a woman she retained her clothes,) and the witnesses who condemned him also stripped themselves of their upper garments. The place of exe

• Josh, viii. 29. Esther vii. 9, 10. b Josh. . 26. Josephus, War, iv. 5. 6 Gen, xl. 19. d 2 Sam. xxi, 9,

• Acts vii. 59. VOL. II.

N

cution was an eminence twice the height of a man, from whence he was thrown down by the first witness. If not dead, the other witness threw a large stone upon his breast: and after that the rest of the people stoned him tin he died. Those who were stoned were also hanged for some time on a tree, but generally taken down in the eveniug, and buried in the burying ground that was allotted by the magistrate for that purpose. For there were two burying places for common malefactors; the one for those who were slain by the sword, and strangled, and the other for those who were stoned and hanged. But it was not unusual for the relations, after some days, to carry them thence to the family sepulchre. The following nineteen offences subjected to stoning. Incest with a mother, or mother-in-law, or daughter-in-law; adultery with a betrothed virgin ; sodomy, bestiality, blasphemy, idolatry, offering to Moloch, he who had a familiar spirit, the wizard, the private enticer to idolatry, the public withdrawer to idolatry, magicians, profaners of the sabbath, cursers of father or mother, and the dissolute and stubborn son. 4. Burning-either by roasting in the fire, as Zedekiah and Ahab, by the king of Babylon, or in a furnace, or by pouring melted lead down their throats. The following ten offences subjected to it. The adultery of a priest's daughter, incest with a daughter, a son's daughter, a daughter's daughter, a wife's daughter, a wife's daughter's daughter, a wife's son's daughter, a a wife's mother, the mother of her father, and the mother of her father-in-law. 5. Beheading_which was the punishment affixed to the two following offences, viz. the voluntary man-slayer, and the inhabitants of a city that fell into idolatry. The same person who mentioned to the author of this work the scooping out so many pounds of eyes, as a Persian punishment, in the case of rebellion, also added, that for the same offence, a pyramid of heads, of a certain number of feet diameter, is sometimes exacted (like the two heaps which Jehu made of the heads of the seventy sons of Ahab, 2 Kings x. 8.) and so indifferent are the executioners to the distresses of others, that they will select a head of peculiar appearance, and long beard, to grace the summit of the

Lightf, Heb. and Talm, Exer. on Acts vii. 58, and viii. 1. b Jer. xxix. 22.

c Dan. jji. 23. d Gen, xl. 19. 2 Sam. ir. 7. 2 Kings x. 7. Matt. xiv. 8. 11.

pyramid. Sir John Malcolm in his history of Persia,“ says, that when Timour stormed Isfahan, it was impossible to count the slain, but an account was taken of seventy thousand heads, which were heaped in pyramids, as monuments of savage revenge.” We are shocked at the conduct of Herod, with respect to John the Baptist, when, at the request of the daughter of Herodias, he gave the good man's head in a charger, to gratify the malice that her mother entertained against him. But we have several instances in history, that such a conduct was not unusual. Thus, in the above-mentioned History of Persia, “ Seljook, king of Persia, in a fit of intoxication, ordered one of his slaves to strike off the head of his queen. The cruel mandate was obeyed, and the head of this beautiful but ambitious princess was presented in a golden charger, to her drunken husband, as he sat carousing with his dissolute companions." And in Rollin's Ancient History,“ we have something of the same kind mentioned of Artaxerxes Mnemon, king of Persia, who having been instigated against Tissaphernes, his viceroy in Asia Minor, by his queen Parysatis, ordered his head to be given her, “ ag an agreeable present to a princess, of her violent and vindictive temper.” Prideaux relates the same thing

a Vol. i. ch. 13.

5 Vol. 1 ch. 11.

• Book ix. ch. ii, sect. 3.

« НазадПродовжити »