Sivut kuvina

'and broad: and there is the palace of Solomon. 'It is also very beautiful: there are gardens and 'orchards in it. Tilima is also a large city, in 'which dwell near a hundred thousand Jews.— 'Tilima is three days' journey from Kibar: and 'the people say, they are the tribes of Reuben and 'Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh: who were 'made captives by Salmaneser, king of Assyria. 'They went thither, and built large and strong 'cities. They wage war with all the kingdoms 'about them; and none can come near them,. 'because of eighteen days' travel in a desert en'tirely uninhabited. The city of Kibar also is 'very large, and the Israelites who dwell there are 'computed to befifty thousand.—The mountains 'of Nisbon lie near the river Gosan: and there 'sojourn in Persia people that come from thence, 'who are Israelites, and who report that on the 'mountains of Nisbon are four tribes of Israel, 'Dan, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali.—They are 'not in subjection to the Gentiles; but there is a 'prince set over them whose name is rabbi Joseph 'Immarkela, the Levite.' This country is said to be 'on the borders of India.' *

Another rabbinical geographer places some of these tribes in a different part of the world. 'Those four tribes, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and 'Asher, have. fixed themselves in the ancient 'Chavila;—and they have laid their hands on the 'necks of their enemies. Every year they wage 'war with seven kingdoms of seven different lan

-* Benjamin. Tudclens. Ilinerar. cit. in Stehelin, vol. ii. p. 142— >44

'guages,—which are beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. '—These tribes have gold, silver, and precious 'stones, sheep and oxen, camels and asses in 'abundance. They sow and reap, and dwell in 'tents; they travel and encamp in various places, 'their encampment extending four days' journey 'each way: nor do they pitch their tents in any 'place, except where there are fruits, pastures, 'and vines. The name of their king is Uzziel the 'son of Malchiel: and their great prince is Nikoli, 'of the children of Oliab. The name of their 'judge is Abdan, the son of Mishael, of the tribe 'of Asher.—The tribe of Issachar dwells in the 'mountains near the sea, at the extremity of the 'country of the Medes and Persians.—They are in 'subjection to no king, but God.—They have a 'judge and prince, whose name is Naashon.— e They speak Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian.— 'Near them are the children of Zebulun, who 'pitch their tents on the mountains of Paran.— 'Over against them, at the back of the mountains 'of Paran, is the tribe of Reuben.—The tribe of 'Ephraim and the half tribe of Manasseh are in 'the southern mountains.—The tribe of Simeon 'and half of the tribe of Judah are in the country 'of the Cuzarim; and their numbers are beyond 'all computation: they receive tribute from twenty 'five kingdoms."

The Talmud and several other Jewish writings speak of a river, named Sambation; which, they say, flows during the first six days of every week with a current so strong and rapid as to carry along with it, and throw up, sand and even stones; but which ceases and dries up at the commencement of the seventh day, and remains dry till the sabbath is over. The rabbies are not all agreed as to the situation of this river: some place it on the borders of Ethiopia; some, in India.' Menasseh Ben Israel says: 'The river Sambation is 'near the Caspian sea; and many ancient writers 'have asserted the same.''? The sand of this river is said to retain its turbulent quality on other days, and its habit of quiescence on the sabbath, even when it is removed into another country. Menasseh says: 'Rabbi Mordecai Japheh confirms this, by 'saying, that some one had a glass vessel full of 'that sand, which, during all the working days, 'was in perpetual motion, but rested on the 'sabbath. I, in like manner, do testify that, 'according to the testimony which I had from my 'father of blessed memory, and which is a certain 'truth; for it is impossible that a father should 'relate falsehoods to his children: he has often 'told me that in the city of Lisbon, in the kingdom 'of Portugal, there was a Moor who had a glass 'vessel full of that sand.—I have also been in'formed in relation to this matter by Rabbi Meir, 'a physician, that he had seen a Black-moor with 'a glass vessel, standing before a Turkish mosque

* Scpher Elilad Haddani, apod Bartuloc. Bib. Rab. t.i. p. 101—112.

* Talmud. God. Sanhedrin, p. 65. c. 2. Beresh. Rahba, parash. 11. Elias Thishites, ad vocem Sambation. Abraham Peritsol in Orchoth Olarn. cap. ix. xv. x\iv. Tsemach David, ad vorem Sambation. fit alii, apud Bartoloc. Bib. Rai1 torn. i. p. 100—119.

t Mikveh Israel, f. 40. c. 9. cit. in Stehclin, vol. ii. p. 154.

. ' in the city of Aleppo: but the judge, passing 'by, asked the Moor about it, and reproved him, 'saying he had done wrong in making a shew of 'that glass, because it was a confirmation of the 'Jewish Sabbath." The reader will remember that Menasseh lived as late as the seventeenth century.

If we were inclined to regard this fabulous river as a romance of superstitious ages, now become obsolete and no longer believed by the members of the synagogue, we are forbidden to entertain such an idea, by the express language of one of their prayers. 'On the sabbath that food (the manna) 'did not descend; the necromancers were not 'answered on that day: remember that on it the 'incomprehensible river resteth.' An explanatory note by the Editor says: 'This denotes the river 'IVD3DD (Sambation) said to rest on the sabbath 'from throwing up stones, &c. which it does all 'the week. See Sanhedrin, fol. 65. col. 2. Yalkut 'on Isaiah, fol. 52. 1. Pesikta, Tanchuma, sect. 'SBtfl ^D—See also Shalsheleth Hakkabala, and 'Juchsin.'—This passage and note are copied from page 81 of an Edition of "the Prayers for the Feast of Pentecost, in Hebrew and English, published in the year 1807, with the approbation and support of the principal members of the German Synagogue in London.

* Mikveh hracl, f. 38. c. 2. 0,U. p. t&••

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Traditions concerning Jesus of Nazareth : Toldoth

Yeshu.— Two Books with this Title..-- The Miracles of

Jesus said by the Jews to have been performed by the

Power of' the Shem-hamphorash :Absurdity of this


THE rabbies have employed all the means which enmity and ingenuity could supply, to perpetuate and strengthen the prejudices of their nation against the Christian religion. Among other hostilities, they have left no artifice untried to render the very name of its Founder an object of abhorrence. Finding his character unimpeachable by the testimony of truth, they have adopted the nefarious policy of his pharisaic and sadducean persecutors by resorting to the fabrications of falsehood. Unable to disprove or invalidate the histories of the evangelists, they have endeavoured to supplant them: and spurious narratives, which pretend to recount the circumstances of the birth, life, and death of Jesus of Nazareth, have been imposed upon the deluded members of the synagogue, from age to age, down to the present day.

In imitation of the superscription of St. Matthew's Gospel, one of these productions has been entitled Sepher Tuldoth Yeshu, or Jesthu* The Book of the Generation of Jesus. This has been published, the original Hebrew and a Latin version in

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