Early Church Fathers
84 In 63 b.c., when Pompey's curiosity led him to penetrate into the Holy of Holies. He was much impressed, however, by its simplicity, and went away without disturbing its treasures, wondering at a religion which had no visible God.
85 Aristobulus II., younger brother of Hyrcanus, a much abler and more energetic man, assumed the kingdom by an arrangement with his brother in 66 b.c. (see note 9, above). In 63 b.c. he was deposed, and carried to Rome by Pompey. He died about 48 b.c. Eusebius is hardly correct in saying that Aristobulus was king and high priest by regular succession, as his elder brother Hyrcanus was the true heir, and he had assumed the power only because of his superior ability.
86 The real independence of the Jews practically ceased at this time. For three years only, from 40 to 37 b.c., while Antigonus, son of Aristobulus and nephew of Hyrcanus, was in power, Jerusalem was independent of Rome, but was soon retaken by Herod the Great and remained from that time on in more or less complete subjection, either as a dependent kingdom or as a province.
87 40 b.c., when Antigonus, by the aid of the Parthians took Jerusalem and established himself as king there, until conquered by Herod in 37 b.c. Hyrcanus returned to Jerusalem in 36 b.c., but was no longer high priest.
88 Compare Isa. ix. 2; Isa. xlii. 6; Isa. xlix. 6, etc.
89 Eusebius' statement is perfectly correct. The high priestly lineage had been kept with great scrupulousness until Hyrcanus II., the last of the regular succession. (His grandson Aristobulus, however, was high priest for a year under Herod, but was then slain by him.) Afterward the high priest was appointed and changed at pleasure by the secular ruler.
Herod the Great first established the practice of removing a high priest during his lifetime; and under him there were no less than six different ones.
90 Josephus, Ant. XX. 8.
91 Archelaus, a son of Herod the Great by Malthace, a Samaritan woman, and younger brother of Herod Antipas. Upon the death of his father, b.c. 4, he succeeded to the government of Idumea, Samaria, and Judea, with the title of Ethnarch.
92 After the death of Archelaus (a.d. 7), Judea was made a Roman province, and ruled by procurators until Herod Agrippa I. came into power in 37 a.d. (see below, Bk. II. chap. 4, note 3). The changes in the high priesthood during the most of this time were very rapid, one after another being appointed and removed according to the fancy of the procurator, or of the governor of Syria, who held the power of appointment most of the time. There were no fewer than nineteen high priests between the death of Archelaus and the fall of Jerusalem.
93 Josephus, Ant. XV. 11. 4.
94 Dan. ix. 26.
95 It is commonly assumed that Eusebius refers here to the Dem. Evang. VIII. 2 sq., where the prophecies of Daniel are discussed at length. But, as Lightfoot remarks, the reference is just as well satisfied by the Eclogoe Proph. III. 45. We cannot, in fact, decide which work is meant.
96 "Over against the various opinions of uninstructed apologists for the Gospel history, Eusebius introduces this account of Africanus with the words, thn peri toutwn katelqousan." (Spitta.)
97 On Africanus, see Bk. VI. chap. 31. Of this Aristides to whom the epistle is addressed we know nothing. He must not be confounded with the apologist Aristides, who lived in the reign of Trajan (see below, Bk. IV. c. 34). Photius (Bibl. 34) mentions this epistle, but tells us nothing about Aristides himself. The epistle exists in numerous fragments, from which Spitta (Der Brief des Julius Africanus an Aristides kritisch untersucht und hergestellt, Halle, 1877) attempts to reconstruct the original epistle. His work is the best and most complete upon the subject. Compare Routh, Rel. Sacroe, II. pp. 228-237 and pp. 329-356, where two fragments are given and discussed at length. The epistle (as given by Mai) is translated in the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. ed. VI. p. 125 ff.
The attempt of Africanus is, so far as we know, the first critical attempt to harmonize the two genealogies of Christ. The question had been the subject merely of guesses and suppositions until his time. He approaches the matter in a free critical spirit (such as seems always to have characterized him), and his investigations therefore deserve attention. He holds that both genealogies are those of Joseph, and this was the unanimous opinion of antiquity, though, as he says, the discrepancies were reconciled in various ways. Africanus himself, as will be seen, explains by the law of Levirate marriages, and his view is advocated by Mill (On the Mythical Interpretation of the Gospel, p. 201 sq.); but of this interpretation Rev. John Lightfoot justly says, "There is neither reason for it, nor, indeed, any foundation at all."
Upon the supposition that both genealogies relate to Joseph the best explanation is that Matthew's table represents the royal line of legal successors to the throne of David, while Luke's gives the line of actual descent. This view is ably advocated by Hervey in Smith's Bible Dictionary (article Genealogy of Jesus). Another opinion which has prevailed widely since the Reformation is that Luke gives the genealogy of Mary. The view is defended very ingeniously by Weiss (Leben Jesu, I. 205, 2d edition). For further particulars see, besides the works already mentioned, the various commentaries upon Matthew and Luke and the various lives of Christ, especially Andrews', p. 55 sq.
98 Eusebius makes a mistake in saying that Africanus had received the explanation which follows from tradition. For Africanus himself says expressly (§15, below) that his interpretation is not supported by testimony. Eusebius' error has been repeated by most writers upon the subject, but is exposed by Spitta, ibid. p. 63.
99 The law is stated in Deut. xxv. 5 sq.
100 Nathan was a son of David and Bathsheba, and therefore own brother of Solomon.
101 Melchi, who is here given as the third from the end, is in our present texts of Luke the fifth (Luke iii. 24), Matthat and Levi standing between Melchi and Eli. It is highly probable that the text which Africanus followed omitted the two names Matthat and Levi (see Westcott and Hort's Greek Testament, Appendix, p. 57). It is impossible to suppose that Africanus in such an investigation as this could have overlooked two names by mistake if they had stood in his text of the Gospels.
102 We know nothing more of Estha. Africanus probably refers to the tradition handed down by the relatives of Christ, who had, as he says, preserved genealogies which agreed with those of the Gospels. He distinguishes here what he gives on tradition from his own interpretation of the Gospel discrepancy upon which he is engaged.
104 genoj. "In this place genoj is used to denote family. Matthan and Melchi were of different families, but both belonged to the same Davidic race which was divided into two families, that of Solomon and that of Nathan" (Valesius).
105 All the mss., and editions of Eusebius read triton instead of uion here. But it is very difficult to make any sense out of the word triton in this connection. We therefore prefer to follow Spitta (see ibid. pp. 87 sqq.) in reading uion instead of triton, an emendation which he has ventured to make upon the authority of Rufinus, who translates "genuit Joseph filium suum," showing no trace of a triton. The word triton is wanting also in three late Catenae which contain the fragments of Africanus' Epistle (compare Spitta, ibid. p. 117, note 12).
106 kata logon. These words have caused translators and commentators great difficulty, and most of them seem to have missed their significance entirely. Spitta proposes to alter by reading kata logon, but the emendation is unnecessary. The remarks which he makes (p. 89 sqq.) upon the relation between this sentence and the next are, however, excellent. It was necessary to Africanus' theory that Joseph should be allowed to trace his lineage through Jacob, his father "by nature," as well as through Eli, his father "by law," and hence the words kata logon are added and emphasized. He was his son by nature and therefore "rightfully to be reckoned as his son." This explains the Biblical quotation which follows: "Wherefore"-because he was Jacob's son by nature and could rightfully be reckoned in his line, and not only in the line of Eli-"it is written," &c.
107 Matt. i. 6.
108 See Rev. John Lightfoot's remarks on Luke iii. 23, in his Hebrew and Talmudical Exercitations on St. Luke.
109 This passage has caused much trouble. Valesius remarks, "Africanus wishes to refer the words wj enomizeto (`as was supposed0'') not only to the words uios =Iwshf, but also to the words tou Hli, which follow, which although it is acute is nevertheless improper and foolish; for if Luke indicates that legal generation or adoption by the words wj enomizeto, as Africanus claims, it would follow that Christ was the son of Joseph by legal adoption in the same way that Joseph was the son of Eli. And thus it would be said that Mary, after the death of Joseph, married his brother, and that Christ was begotten by him, which is impious and absurd. And besides, if these words, wj enomizeto, are extended to the words tou Hli, in the same way they can be extended to all which follow. For there is no reason why they should be supplied in the second grade and not in the others."
But against Valesius, Stroth says that Africanus seeks nothing in the words wj enomizeto, but in the fact that Luke says "he was the son of," while Matthew says "he begat." Stroth's interpretation is followed by Closs, Heinichen, and others, but Routh follows Valesius. Spitta discusses the matter carefully (p. 91 sq.), agreeing with Valesius that Africanus lays the emphasis upon the words wj enomizeto, but by an emendation (introducing a second wj enomizeto, and reading "who was the son, as was supposed, of Joseph, the son of Jacob, who was himself also the son, as was supposed,-for this he also adds,-of Eli, the son of Melchi") he applies the wj enomizeto only to the first and second members, and takes it in a more general sense to cover both cases, thus escaping Valesius' conclusions expressed above. The conjecture is ingenious, but is unwarranted and unnecessary. The words which occur in the next sentence, "and the expression, `he begat0' he has omitted," show that Africanus, as Stroth contends, lays the emphasis upon the difference of form in the two genealogies, "Son of" and "he begat." The best explanation seems to me to be that Africanus supposes Luke to have implied the legal generation in the words "the Son of," used in distinction from the definite expression "he begat," and that the words wj enomizeto, which "he also adds," simply emphasize this difference of expression by introducing a still greater ambiguity into Luke's mode of statement. He not only uses the words, the "Son of," which have a wide latitude, admitting any kind of sonship, but "he also adds," "as was supposed," showing, in Africanus' opinion, still more clearly that the list which follows is far from being a closely defined table of descent by "natural generation."
110 This seems the best possible rendering of the Greek, which reads thn anaforan poihsamenoj ewj tou =Adam, tou qeou kat= analusin. oude anapodeikton k.t.l.,, which is very dark, punctuated thus, and it is difficult to understand what is meant by kat= analusin in connection with the preceding words. (Crusè translates, "having traced it back as far as Adam, `who was the son of God,0' he resolves the whole series by referring back to God. Neither is this incapable of proof, nor is it an idle conjecture.") The objections which Spitta brings against the sentence in this form are well founded. He contends (p. 63 sqq.), and that rightly, that Africanus could not have written the sentence thus. In restoring the original epistle of Africanus, therefore, he throws the words kat= analusin into the next sentence, which disposes of the difficulty, and makes. good sense. We should then read, "having traced it back as far as Adam, the Son of God. This interpretation (more literally, `as an interpretation,0' or `by way of interpretation0') is neither incapable of proof, nor is it an idle conjecture." That Africanus wrote thus I am convinced. But as Spitta shows, Eusebius must have divided the sentences as they now stand, for, according to his idea, that Africanus' account was one which he had received by tradition, the other mode of reading would be incomprehensible, though he probably did not understand much better the meaning of kat analusin as he placed it. In translating Africanus' epistle here, I have felt justified in rendering it as Africanus probably wrote it, instead of following Eusebius' incorrect reproduction of it.
111 The Greek reads: paredosan kai touto, "have handed down also." The kai occurs in all the mss. and versions of Eusebius, and was undoubtedly written by him, but Spitta supposes it an addition of Eusebius, caused, like the change in the previous sentence, by his erroneous conception of the nature of Africanus' interpretation. The kai is certainly troublesome if we suppose that all that precedes is Africanus' own interpretation of the Biblical lists, and not a traditional account handed down by the "relatives of our Lord"; and this, in spite of Eusebius' belief, we must certainly insist upon. We may therefore assume with Spitta that the kai did not stand in the original epistle as Africanus wrote it. The question arises, if what precedes is not given upon the authority of the "relatives of our Lord," why then is this account introduced upon their testimony, as if confirming the preceding? We may simply refer again to Africanus' words at the end of the extract (§15 below) to prove that his interpretation did not rest upon testimony, and then we may answer with Spitta that their testimony, which is appealed to in §14 below, was to the genealogies themselves, and in this Africanus wishes it to be known that they confirmed the Gospel lists.
112 See above, chap. VI. notes 5 and 6.
113 We should expect the word "temple-servant" again instead of "priest"; but, as Valesius remarks, "It was possible for the same person to be both priest and servant, if for instance it was a condition of priesthood that only captives should be made priests." And this was really the case in many places.
114 Appointed by Julius Caesar in 47 b.c. (see chap. VI. note 1, above).
115 He was poisoned by Malichus in 42 b.c. (see Josephus, Ant. XIV. 11. 4).
116 Appointed king in 40 b.c. (see chap. VI. note 1, above).
117 The ethnarch Archelaus (see chap. VI. note 18) and the tetrarchs Herod Antipas and Herod Philip II.
118 Cf. Dion Cassius, XXXVII. 15 sqq. and Strabo, XVI. 2. 46.
119 It was the custom of the Jews, to whom tribal and family descent meant so much, to keep copies of the genealogical records of the people in the public archives. Cf. e.g. Josephus, De Vita, §1, where he draws his own lineage from the public archives; and cf. Contra Apion. I.7.
120 axri proshlutwn. Heinichen and Burton read arxiproshlutwn, "ancient proselytes." The two readings are about equally supported by ms. authority, but the same persons are meant here as at the end of the paragraph, where proshlutouj, not arxiproshlutouj, occurs (cf. Spitta, pp. 97 sq., and Routh's Reliquioe SacroeII. p. 347 sq., 2d ed.).
121 Achior was a general of the Ammonites in the army of Holofernes, who, according to the Book of Judith, was a general of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, and was slain by the Jewish heroine, Judith. Achior is reported to have become afterward a Jewish proselyte.
122 The Greek reads eneprhsen autwn taj anagrafaj twn genwn, but, with Spitta, I venture, against all the Greek mss. to insert pasaj before anagrafaj upon the authority of Rufinus and the author of the Syriac version, both of whom reproduce the word (cf. Spitta, p. 99 sq.). Africanus certainly supposed that Herod destroyed all the genealogical records, and not simply those of the true Jews.
This account of the burning of the records given by Africanus is contradicted by history, for we learn from Josephus, De Vita, §1, that he drew his own lineage from the public records, which were therefore still in existence more than half a century after the time at which Herod is said to have utterly destroyed them. It is significant that Rufinus translates omnes Heboeorum generationes descriptoe in Archivis templi secretioribus habebantur.
How old this tradition was we do not know; Africanus is the sole extant witness of it.
123 touj te kaloumenouj geiwraj. The word geiwraj occurs in the LXX. of Ex. xii. 19, where it translates the Hebrew rn
The A. V. reads stranger, the R. V., sojourner, and Liddell and Scott give the latter meaning for the Greek word. See Valesius' note in loco, and Routh (II. p. 349 sq.), who makes some strictures upon Valesius' note. Africanus refers here to all those that came out from Egypt with the Israelites, whether native Egyptians, or foreigners resident in Egypt. Ex. xii. 38 tells us that a "mixed multitude" went out with the children of Israel (epimiktoj poluj), and Africanus just above speaks of them in the same way (epimiktwn).
124 desposunoi: the persons called above (§11) the relatives of the Saviour according to the flesh (oi kata sarka suggeneij). The Greek word signifies "belonging to a master."
125 Cochaba, according to Epiphanius (Haer. XXX. 2 and 16), was a village in Basanitide near Decapolis. It is noticeable that this region was the seat of Ebionism. There may therefore be significance in the care with which these Desposyni preserved the genealogy of Joseph, for the Ebionites believed that Christ was the real son of Joseph, and therefore Joseph's lineage was his.
126 "Judea" is here used in the wider sense of Palestine as a whole, including the country both east and west of the Jordan. The word is occasionally used in this sense in Josephus; and so in Matt. xix. 1, and Mark x. 1, we read of "the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan." Ptolemy, Dion Cassius, and Strabo habitually employ the word in the wide sense.
127 mnhmhj. These words are not found in any extant mss., but I have followed Stroth and others in supplying them for the following reasons. The Greek, as we have it, runs: kai thn prokimenhn genealogian ek te thj biblou twn hmerwn k.t.l. The particle te indicates plainly that some phrase has fallen out. Rufinus translates ordinem supra dictoe generationis partim memoriter partim etiam ex dierum libris in quantum erat perdocebant. The words partim memoriter find no equivalent in the Greek as we have it, but the particle te, which still remains, shows that words which Rufinus translated thus must have stood originally in the Greek. The Syriac version also confirms the conclusion that something stood in the original which has since disappeared, though the rendering which it gives rests evidently upon a corrupt text (cf. Spitta, p. 101). Valesius suggests the insertion of apo mnhmhj, though he does not place the phrase in his text. Heinichen supplies mnhmoneusantej, and is followed by Closs in his translation. Stroth, Migne, Routh, and Spitta read ek mnhmhj. The sense is essentially the same in each case.
128 It has been the custom since Valesius, to consider this "Book of daily records" (bibloj twn hmerwn) the same as the "private records" (idiwtikaj apogpafaj) mentioned just above. But this opinion has been combated by Spitta, and that with perfect right. The sentence is, in fact, an exact parallel to the sentence just above, where it is said that a few of the careful, either by means of their memory or by means of copies, were able to have "private records of their own." In the present sentence it is said that "they drew the aforesaid genealogy (viz., `the private records of their own0') from memory, or from the Book of daily records" (which corresponds to the copies referred to above). This book of daily records is clearly, therefore, something other than the idiwtikaj apografaj, but exactly what we are to understand by it is not so easy to say. It cannot denote the regular public records (called the archives above), for these were completed, and would not need to be supplemented by memory; and apparently, according to Africanus' opinion, these private records were made after the destruction of the regular public ones. The "Book of daily records" referred to must have been at any rate an incomplete genealogical source needing to be supplemented by the memory. Private family record books, if such existed previous to the supposed destruction of the public records, of which we have no evidence, would in all probability have been complete for each family. Spitta maintains (p. 101 sq.) that the Book of Chronicles is meant: the Hebrew Mmd dbde
words or records of the days. This is a very attractive suggestion, as the book exactly corresponds to the book described: the genealogies which it gives are incomplete and require supplementing, and it is a book which was accessible to all; public, therefore, and yet not involved in the supposed destruction. The difficulty lies in the name given. It is true that Jerome calls the Books of Chronicles Verba Dierum and Hilary Sermones Dierum, &c.; but we should expect Africanus to use here the technical LXX. designation, Paraleipomenwn. But whatever this "Book of daily records" was, it cannot have been the "private records" which were formed "from memory and from copies," but was one of the sources from which those "private records" were drawn.
129 Compare note 3, above. Africanus' direct statement shows clearly enough that he does not rest his interpretation of the genealogies (an interpretation which is purely a result of Biblical study) upon the testimony of the relatives of the Saviour. Their testimony is invoked with quite a different purpose, namely, in confirmation of the genealogies themselves, and the long story (upon the supposition that their testimony is invoked in support of Africanus' interpretation, introduced absolutely without sense and reason) thus has its proper place, in showing how the "relatives of the Saviour" were in a position to be competent witnesses upon this question of fact (not interpretation), in spite of the burning of the public records by Herod.
130 The law to which Eusebius refers is recorded in Num. xxxvi. 6 Num. xxxvi. 7. But the prohibition given there was not an absolute and universal one, but a prohibition which concerned only heiresses, who were not to marry out of their own tribe upon penalty of forfeiting their inheritance (cf. Josephus, Ant. IV. 7. 5). It is an instance of the limited nature of the law that Mary an Elizabeth were relatives, although Joseph and Mary belonged to the tribe of Judah, and Zacharias, at least, was a Levite. This example lay so near at hand that Eusebius should not have overlooked it in making his assertion. His argument, therefore in proof of the fact that Mary belonged to the tribe of Judah has no force, but the fact itself is abundantly established both by the unanimous tradition of antiquity (independent of Luke's genealogy, which was universally supposed to be that of Joseph), and by such passages as Ps. cxxxii. 11, Acts ii. 30, Acts xiii. 23, Rom. i. 3.
133 oia qew proskunhsai. Eusebius adds the words oia qew, which are not found in Matt. ii. 2 Matt. ii. 11, where proskunhsai is used.
134 Mic. v. 2.
135 Matt. ii.
136 Herod's reign was very successful and prosperous, and for most of the time entirely undisturbed by external troubles; but his domestic life was embittered by a constant succession of tragedies resulting from the mutual jealousies of his wives (of whom he had ten) and of their children. Early in his reign he slew Hyrcanus, the grandfather of his best-loved wife Mariamne, upon suspicion of treason; a little later, Mariamne herself was put to death; in 6 b.c. her sons, Alexander and Aristobulus, were condemned and executed; and in 4 b.c., but a few days before his death, Antipater, his eldest son, who had been instrumental in the condemnation of Alexander and Aristobulus, was also slain by his orders. These murders were accompanied by many others of friends and kindred, who were constantly falling under suspicion of treason.
137 In the later books of the Antiquities and in the first book of the Jewish war.
138 Josephus, Ant. XVII. 6. 5.
139 B. J. I. 33.5 and 6.
140 poinhn einai ta noshmata legein. Josephus, according to the text of Hudson, reads poinhn einai twn sofistwn ta noshmata legein, which is translated by Traill, "pronounced his maladies a judgment for his treatment of the Sophists." Nicephorus (H. E. I. 15) agrees with Eusebius in omitting the words twn sofistwn, but he is not an independent witness. Whether Hudson's text is supported at this point by strong ms. authority I do not know. If the words stood in the original of Josephus, we may suppose that they were accidentally omitted by Eusebius himself or by one of his copy. ists, or that they were thrown out in order to make Josephus' statement better correspond with his own words in Ant. XVII 6, quoted just above, where his disease is said to have been a result of his impiety m general, not of any particular exhibition of it.On the other hand, the omission of the words in Ant. XVII. 6 casts at least a suspicion on their genuineness, and if we were to assume that the words did not occur in the original text of Josephus, it would be very easy to understand their insertion by some copyist, for in the previous paragraph the historian has been speaking of the Sophists, and of Herod's cruel treatment of them.
141 Callirhoë was a town just east of the Dead Sea.
142 thn Asfaltitin limnhn. This is the name by which Josephus commonly designates the Dead Sea. The same name occurs also in Diodorus Siculus (II. 48, XIX. 98).
143 Salome was own sister of Herod the Great, and wife in succession of Joseph, Costabarus, and Alexas. She possessed all the cruelty of Herod himself and was the cause, through her jealousy and envy, of most of the terrible tragedies in his family.
144 Alexander, the third husband of Salome, is always called Alexas by Josephus.