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fifteen generations from Levi*, and consequently of eighteen generations from Abraham, inclusively.
The four deficient generations should be introduced between Obed, with whom the book of Ruth ends, and Jesse, the father of David, iv. 17.
2. From Solomon to Jechoniah, or Jehoiachin, and the Babylonish captivity, are counted only fourteen generations, inclusively, in Matthew, whereas there were eighteen; for Ahaziah, Joash, and Amaziah, ought to be inserted after Joram, and Jehoiakim after Josiah. These seem to have been omitted designedly.
In Luke's genealogy there are twenty generations from Nathan to Neri, inclusively. Doctor Barret reduces them to eighteen, by rejecting, as interpolations, the third and fourth, Mainan and Melea, which are omitted in some ancient manuscripts. This would equalize both.
3. From Salathiel to JESUS, inclusively, are fourteen gene
We are warranted, therefore, from the three pedigrees of Asaph, Heman, and Zadok, to reckon fifteen generations in that of David, which, added to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, gives eighteen in all. In Heman's, some manifest interpolations are omitted, between 6. Assir and 7. Elkanah, which are retrenched, as intimating repetitions, and as greatly enhancing the number of generations beyond those of the parallel lists. These interpolations, however, rather strengthen the opinion, commonly received, by reckoning more than fifteen.
rations in Matthew, and twenty-two in Luke. The former are too few, the latter too many; for if we suppose Salathiel (the first of the third class in both pedigrees) to have been born B.C. 595, two years after the captivity of his father Jechoniah, or Jehoiachin, who was then eighteen years old, and married at the time, 2 Kings xxiv. 8-15, and subtract therefrom, B. C. 5, the date of the Nativity, and divide the difference, 590 years, by the intermediate number of generations, thirteen in Matthew, and twenty-one in Luke, the former will give the average of generations, above forty-five years, too high for that period, the latter, twenty-eight years, rather too low. But if we assume eighteen generations in both, the quotient, near thirty-three years, approximates to the regular standard of generations. See Vol. I. p. 80. So that we are warranted, by the laws of nature, to add five generations to Matthew's numbers, and subtract three from Luke's, which will bring both to eighteen. This correction is independent of any precarious philological criticism, which we leave to determine, where the five generations are to be inserted in Matthew, and the three to be subtracted in Luke, for we have no scriptural data to assist us in this third series, as in the two foregoing.
4. The three joint series, therefore, so corrected, at eighteen generations a-piece, give fifty-four generations; to which, if we add the first nineteen in Luke's genealogy, from Adam to Abraham, exclusively, the sum seventy-three will give the number of generations from Adam to CHRIST, or seventy-two between Adam and CHRIST, which harmonizes sufficiently with the primitive statement of Irenæus, &c.
If it be asked why the interpolations are confined to Luke's genealogy? it may be answered, that in Matthew's, the whole number of generations being limited to forty-two, any interpolation could be easily detected; whereas in Luke's, the whole number not being specified, interpolations could not be detected, but by comparison with more correct copies. And perhaps some of the early Christians might have wished to include their own ancestors in the genealogy of CHRIST.
THE ROMAN ENROLLMENT, AND TAXING.
About the birth of John the Baptist, Augustus Cæsar issued a decree, that all the land* [of Judea and Galilee, under Herod's dominion] should be enrolled, [preparatory to a census, assessment, or taxing] Luke ii. 1. The occasion of this decree may be thus collected from Josephus.
In the latter end of Herod's reign, some time before he put his sons Alexander and Aristobulus to death, he had a quarrel with Obodas, king of Arabia, and Syllæus, his prime minister. He had lent Obodas sixty talents, for a limited time, and was disappointed of the stipulated payment; and Syllæus had harboured some banditti, who had fled to him for shelter, from Herod's province of Trachonitis, having been offended with Herod for refusing to let his sister Salome marry him, as her third husband, some time before. Herod complained of both these wrongs to the Roman presidents of Syria, Saturninus, and Volumnius, who decreed that the money should be repaid to Herod in a month's time, and the banditti that should be found in Arabia given up to him.
Before the expiration of the month, Syllæus went to Rome, without troubling himself about the performance. Herod, therefore, by the permission of Saturninus and Volumnius, marched an army into Arabia, to redress himself; defeated the banditti, and also a party of Arabs, under Nasebus, who came to their assistance, in which Nasebus, and about five and twenty of his men, were killed.
Intelligence of these proceedings having quickly reached Rome, Syllæus made his complaint to the emperor, drest in mourning, alleging that Herod had destroyed Nasebus, with 2500 of the chief of the Arabs, and plundered the country. Provoked at this, Augustus only enquired of his own, and Herod's
• Απογράφεσθαι πασαν την οικουμένην. Here, ἡ οικουμένη, does not signify "the world," as it is rendered in the English Bible, or "the Roman empire," as generally understood, but "the inhabited land” of Palestine, as contrasted with the uninhabited land, or desert, Exod. xvi. 35, which is there called, τηv oiкovμεvηy, by the Septuagint; and this was its proper signification in the earlier Greek classics, though in the later, Plutarch, &c. it was applied to the Roman empire. Thus Xenophon observes, Οικουμένη μεν γαρ χωρα πολλου αξιον κτημα· ερημη δ' ανθρωπων ουσα, ερημη και αγαθών γιγνεται. "For an inhabited country, indeed, is an acquisition worth much; but when destitute of inhabitants, it is destitute of value also." Cyropæd. 4.
friends who were then at Rome, whether Herod had marched an army into Arabia? And when they could not deny the fact, without further enquiry why he had done so, or for what provocation, the emperor wrote Herod a very angry letter, of which the substance was, that "having hitherto treated him as a friend, he would now treat him as a subject." And when Herod sent an embassy to clear himself, the emperor repeatedly refused to hear them, and so Herod was forced to submit to all the injuries (Tapavoμaç) offered to him. Ant. xvi. 9.
The chief of these was the degrading his kingdom to a Roman province. For soon after, Josephus incidentally mentions, that "the whole nation of the Jews took an oath of fidelity to Cæsar and the king jointly, except six thousand of the Pharisees, who, through their hostility to the regal government, refused to take it, and were fined for their refusal by the king; but that the wife of his brother, Pheroras, paid the fine for them." Ant. xvii. 2, 6. This was shortly before the death of Pheroras, and coincides therefore with the time of this decree of enrollment; and the oath was administered at the same time, according to the usage of the Roman Census, in which a return of persons, ages, and properties, was required to be made upon oath, under penalty of confiscation of the goods of the delinquents, as we learn from Ulpian. And the reason for registering ages was, that among the Syrians, males from fourteen years of age, and females from twelve, until their sixty-fifth year, were subject to a capitation, or poll-tax, by the Roman law. This was two drachmas a head, half a stater, or about fifteen pence of our currency. See the case of OUR LORD and Peter afterwards, where "a stater," the amount of both, was procured by a miracle, Matt. xvii.
Cyrenius, a Roman senator and procurator, or collector of the emperor's revenue, was employed to make the enrollment. This we learn from the joint testimony of Justin Martyr, Julian the apostate, and Eusebius; when Saturninus was president of Syria, to whom it is attributed by Tertullian, and in the thirty-third year of Herod's reign, or B.C. 5, the year of Christ's birth, according to Eusebius*.
Κωμη (Βηθλεεμ) τις εστιν εν τη χωρα Ιουδαίων, απέχουσα σταδίους τριακοντα πεντε Ἱεροσολύμων, εν ᾗ εγεννηθη Ιησους Χριστος, ὡς και μαθειν δύνασθε εκ των απογραφων των γενομένων επι Κυρηνίου του ύμετερου εν Ιουδαία πρωτου γενομένου επιτρόπου. Justin Martyr.
Cyrenius, whom Tacitus calls Quirinius, and describes as impiger militiæ et acribus ministeriis, " an active soldier and a rigid commissioner," was well qualified for an employment so odious to Herod, and his subjects; and probably came to execute the decree with an armed force. Without delay, therefore, "all (the inhabitants) went to be enrolled (anoуpapeσα) each to his own city. And Joseph also went up out of Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to Bethlehem, David's city, (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to enroll himself (aroypa‡aoda) with Mary, his betrothed wife, being great with child. And it came to pass, while they were there, the days of her delivery were accomplished, and she bore her first-born son, and swathed him, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn," Luke ii. 3—7.
By the wary policy of Roman jurisprudence, to prevent insurrections, and to expedite the business, all were required to repair to their own cities. Even in Italy, the consular edict commanded the Latin citizens "not to be enrolled at Rome, but all in their own cities." And this precaution was still more necessary in turbulent provinces, like Judea and Galilee. And the decree was peremptory, and admitted of no delay. Joseph therefore was obliged to go with Mary, notwithstanding her advanced state of pregnancy, to his family town, Bethlehem, where the SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD was born in a stable, and laid in a manger!
Thus did" the fierceness of man," or the anger of Augustus towards Herod," turn to the praise of GOD," and to the fulfilment of prophecy, that CHRIST should be born at Bethlehem, (Micah v. 2.) so far from his mother's residence; and that as SHILOH (the APOSTLE) he should come into the world when "the sceptre had departed from Judah," (Gen. xlix. 10.) for Judea was made a Roman province by the introduction of a Roman enrollment therein. Julian, the apostate, unwittingly objected this to CHRIST'S claim:
"This JESUS, proclaimed by you [Christians] was one of Cæsar's subjects. If ye disbelieve, I will prove it presently; or rather let it be told now; ye say then yourselves that he was enrolled, with his father and mother, in the time of Cyrenius*."
* Ο παρ' ὑμιν κηρυττόμενος Ιησους εἰς ην των Καίσαρος ὑπηκοων· ει δε απισ τείτε, μικρον ύστερον αποδείξω, μαλλον δη ηδη λεγέσθω φατε μεν τοι αυτον απο