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No. 1363 TITUS iii. 11,

. Knowing that he that is such is subverted and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

"In order to induce the criminal to confess his crimes, they (the Jews) said to him, give glory to God, that is, confess the truth, and be your own judge. For the Jews were of opinion that criminals who confessed their crimes would partake in the happiness of a future state: and therefore they exhorted and pressed criminals not to draw down the hatred of God upon them, by obstinacy and stubbornness in concealing their crimes: St. Paul sometimes alludes to this custom; as when he says, happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloxvetK, Rom. xiv. 22. that is, who being convinced of the truth of a thing, is not weak enough to give testimony against himself, notwithstanding his conviction; and when he says, that a heretic is condemned of himself Titus iii. 11."

Lamy's Apparatus Biblkus, p. 206.

No. 1364 HEBREWS ii. 15.

Anddeliver them who through fear of death tvere all their life-time subject to bondage.

The apostle describes the state of the Jews as a state of bondage through fear of death. The reason of this fear is given in the preceding verse; the devil had the power of death. Hence he was called the angel of death; and the destroying angel. They imagined that this destroying angel had a power over men even after death. The Midrash avers, that when a man is buried, the devil, the angel of death, comes and sits upon the grave, bringing with him a chain, partly of iron, partly of fire. Then causing the soul to return into the body, he breaks the bones, and torments variously both soul and body for a season. Thus one of their solemn prayers on the day of expiation is, that they may be delivered from this punishment of the devil in their graves. Their prayer to this purpose in their Berachoth is, "that it may please thee, good Lord, to deliver us from evil decrees or laws; from poverty, from contempt, from all kinds of punishment, from the judgment of hell, andfrom beating in the grave." A similar form of prayer is still in use among the Mahometans. Pjrie's Works, vol. iii. p. 151.

No. 1365.—v. 7. When he had offered up prayers and supplications.'\ The word for supplications signifies branches of olive trees covered with wool: {Harpocratian Lex. p. 152. Alex, ab Alex. Genial. Dier. 1. v. c. 3.) which such as sued for peace carried in their hands. Hence it came to signify supplications for peace.

Gill, in loc.

No. 1366.—vi. 16. An oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.] The manner in which an oath was taken amongst the Jews, and to which the apostle, writing to such, must be supposed to refer, was this: "He that swore took the book of the law in his hand, and stood and swore by the name of God, or by his surnames: the judges did not suffer any to swear but in the holy tongue: and thus he said, behold, I swear by the God of Israel, by him whose name is merciful and gracious, that I do not owe this man any thing." Herodotus says that the Arabians, when they swore at making covenants, anointed the stones with blood. Gill, in loc.

No. 1367.—vii. 26. And made higher than the heavens.] On the day of atonement the high-priest was carried to an upper chamber in the temple, called the chamber of abtines. In the account here given of the exaltation of Christ there may be an allusion to this circumstance. Gill, in loc.

No. 1368.—x. 35. Cast not away therefore your confidence.] By the confidence here spoken of may be intended a profession of faith, which ought to be bold and courageous, firm and constant: or it may signify the grace of faith in its full assurance, which, as a spiritual shield, Eph. vi. 16. ought by no means to be cast away. It was reckoned infamous in soldiers to cast away or lose their shield: with the Grecians it was a capital crime, and punished with death. {Alex, ab Alexand. Genial. Dier. 1. ii. c. 13.) Dr. Gill apprehends that the apostle may here allude to this circumstance.

No. 1369.—xiii. 15. By him let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God.] Among the Jews there vvaa a

Vol. ii. 3 D

sort of sacrifices, called peace-offerings. These were not intended to make peace with God but rather to preserve it. Burnt-offerings, sin-offerings, and trespass-offerings were all presented under the notion of some offence committed and some guilt contracted, which they were the means of removing. But in the peace-offerings, the offerer was supposed to be at peace with God; and the offering was made rather in a way of thankful acknowledgment for mercies received, or as accompanying vows for obtaining further blessings, or in a way of free devotion, as a means of continuing and preserving peace with God. Thus the peaceofferings were distinguished into sacrifices of thanksgiving, votive offerings, and voluntary or free-will offerings, Levit. vii. 11, 12. The sacrifice of thanksgiving is evidently referred to by the apostle in these words. Jennings's Jewish Ant. vol. i. p. 335.

No. 13/0—JAMES ii. 2.
A man with a gold ring.

By this circumstance the apostle describes a rich man. Among the Romans, those of the senatorian and equestrian orders were distinguished from the common people by wearing a gold ring. In time the use of them became promiscuous. The ancients used to wear but one.

No. 1371.—iv. 15. If the Lord will.] It was a custom among the Jews to begin all things with God. They undertook nothing without this holy and devout parenthesis, If God will. They otherwise expressed it, if the name please; or, if the name determine so. The phrase was so common that they abbreviated it, using a letter for a word. But this was not peculiar to the Jews; it was common with all the eastern people. Few books are written in Arabic, but they begin with the word Bismillah, in the name of God. With the Greeks the expression is <nn Qi*: with the Latins Deo volente. See Gregory's Works, p. 99.

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