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one and twenty Kings, from David toZedekiah; when they were all taken, and carried away to. Babylon.
After their Return from thence they refum'd their primitive Aristocracy, the High Priest, for the Time being, together with the Priests and Elders, presiding over their Affairs; till the Time of their Persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes; when Judas Maccabeus and his Deseendents, at first with the Title of Princes, then of Kings, took upon them the Administration of the Government, according to the original Plan.
When that Family was, extinct, the Race of the A/cahnites, tho' mere Strangers, and only Proselytes to Judai/m, stept into the Throne, and e-xercis'd; arbitrary Power. The Firjl of these was that Herod, in whose Reign our Saviour waa * Mat. ii. horn: who was succeeded by his Son Ar~
* Mat;, ii. i. That famous Prophecy of Jacob, concerning his. Son Judab, and relating to the Coming of our Saviour, [Gen. xlix. 1,0.1 being hereby fulfil?d; The Scepter fliall not depart from judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his Feet until Shikh come: And untq him; ihall the Gathering of the People be.
chelaus j and his other Son, Herod, was -jTetrarch of Galilee. Then, the Emperors of Rome, under whose Subjection they were, govern'd them by Procurators sent from thence, and recall'd after a certain Time. Of these, Pontius Pilate was one; in whose Procuratorship our Lord suffered: And Felix, and Fejlus, two others. And under these (with the Interposition of only one King more, made by Caligula, * Herod Agrippa, Grandson to the first Herod) they continued, till their City and Temple were finally destroy'd, by "Titus Vespasian; and themselves dispers'd all over the World; as they remain to this Day.
S E C T. IV.
Upon examining into Particulars, we find that this Government was of a three
's- Luke iii. I. This was He, by whose Order John the Baptiji was beheaded; and by whom, with his Men of War, Jesus Christ was mock'd and insulted, just before his Passion.
* Mention'd [Acts xii.] and/aid to be eaten of Worms. He was Father of that Agrippa, in whose Presence St. Paul pleaded his Cause [Acts xxv. and xxvi.j He was not King of Judæa, hut of Chalcidica, and some fiber neighbouring Provinces^
fold sold Nature. The first, being that which took in and related to the whole twelve Tribes in general: Within which, as it were, like another Wheel, there mov'd a
second; which was that of every particular Tribe: and within that again was included a third; which was that of every one of" those Cities belonging to each Tribe.
The first and principal of these was to be held in such City or Place as God himself, for the sake of his holy Worship,
- should appoint; (of which we (hall discourse hereafter;) which was to consist of the Prince or highest Magistrate, the Elders, Judges, and Counsellors; and was the Great Assembly of the States of the whole Nation. Of this firjl Part, for want of a Prince, Judge, or 'President, there was sometimes a Suspension, or Interregnum, as we may call it. Such, for Example, as when it is said; In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes. At which Time, however, we cannot but conclude, the other two Magistracies subsisted, an,c| kept Things in some sort of Order.
The second Branch of their Constitution, had one President or Chief, who was call'd the Head of the Tribe j and again, several others, who were Heads of Houses or Families; but of all them inferior and subject to the Head of the Tribe.
The third Branch was of the following Nature. Every City had a Senate or Common-Council of its own j who had the Hearing and Determination of all Causes relating to themselves j as likewise a chief Magistrate, who presided in all their public Assemblies, and look'd after the Execution of Justice. And to all these several Branches, and the respective Members of which they consisted, do those Passages refer, where it is said, that Joshua gather d Joshua all the tribes of"Israel /oShechem, and call'd for the elders of Israel, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers.
In Time of War, all Matters thereunto relating were manag'd by the chief President and Grand Council of the Nation; the several Heads of the Tribes and Families, and the chief Magistrates of the several Cities acting likewise in such Stations as were severally allotted them. Of which
we (hall take further Notice in its proper Place.
It may not be amiss, before we leave this Topic of Government, to observe, That the People of which it consisted, were of two Sorts; those who were of the Original Stock; and those of other Nations who were Naturaliz'd among them.
These latter are distinguished in Scripture by being call'd * Strangers, and Proselytes; in respect to their being originally of some other Country; and coming in to the Religion and Constitution of the Hebrews, by complying with those Conditions which were requisite to their Qualification.
The principal of these was Circumcision, For this was the Mark of the Covenant
* Septuag. Wr-fr'wvTA. Advena; which, in our Translation of the Old Testament, is generally render'd by she Word Stranger; in the New, by that of Proselyte; one according to the Jlebrew IdiomA the other according to the Greek.