A Commentary on the New Testament
from the Talmud and Hebraica

John Lightfoot
(1602-1675)

A Chorographical Century
Chapters 81-90

Chapter 81
Some history of Tiberias.
The Jerusalem Talmud was written there: and when.

Tiberias(1) was built by Herod the tetrarch in honour of Tiberius: and that in a common burying-place, or in a place where many sepulchres had been. Hence it was that the founder was fain to use all manner of persuasion, enticements, and liberality, to invite inhabitants. The very delightful situation of the place seemed to put him on to wrestle with such a difficulty and inconvenience, rather than not to enjoy so pleasant a soil and seat. For on this side, the sea washing upon it,—on that side, within a little way, Jordan gliding by it,—on the other side, the hot baths of Chammath,—and on another, the most fruitful country Gennesaret adjacent,—did every way begird this city, when it was built, with pleasure and delight.

It did every day increase in splendour, and became at last the chief city not only of Galilee but of the whole land of Israel. It obtained this honour, by reason of the university translated thither by Rabbi Judah, and there continued for many ages. It was ennobled by thirteen(2) synagogues: among which "the(3) ancient Serongian synagogue was one." It was famous also for the Sanhedrim sitting there; for the Talmudic Misna, perhaps, collected here by R. Judah; and for the Jerusalem Talmud, written there for certain. That very volume does openly speak the place where it was published: in which the words here, and hither, do most plainly design Tiberias, almost in infinite places. But there is a greater controversy about the time: it is agreed upon, by very many learned men, that this Talmud was written about the year of Christ 230: which I do indeed wonder at, when the mention of the emperor Diocletian, unless I am very much mistaken, does occur in it. Let us note the places:—

"When(4) the king Docletinus came hither [to Tiberias], they saw R. Chaija Bar Abba climbing a sepulchre to see him." This story is repeated in Nazir,(5) and he is there called Doclinus, by an error, as it seems, of the copiers.

"Dicletinus(6) gathered the rivers together, and made the sea of Apamia." And this story is recited in Chetuboth,(7) and there he is called Docletianus.

"Docletinus(8) had most fine gold, even to the weight of a Gordian penny."

"When(9) Docletianus came thither, he came with a hundred and twenty myriads."

"The(10) boys of R. Judah, the prince, bruised Diclot, the keeper of hogs, with blows. That king at length escaped, and coming to Paneas, sent for the Rabbins, &c. He said to them, Therefore, because your Creator worketh miracles for you, you contemn my government. To whom they said, We contemned Diclot the hog-herd; we contemned not Diocletianus the king." Hence arose a suspicion among some learned men, that this was not to be understood of Diocletian the emperor, but of some little king, I know not whom, of a very beggarly original: of which opinion I also was some time, until at last I met with something that put the thing past all doubt.

That you find in Avodah Zarah.(11) There inquiry is made by one, "What of the mart of Tsur?"—There is this inscription there, "I Diocletianus, the king, built this mart of Tsur [or Tyre], to the fortune of my brother Herculius, in eighty days." The very sound persuades to render Herculius, and the agreeableness of the Roman history, from which every one knows how near a king there was between Diocletian and Maximian Herculius.

Eusebius(12) mentions the travelling of Diocletian through Palestine; and all the Roman historians speak of his sordid and mean birth; which agree very well with the things that are related by the Talmudists.

These are all the places, unless I am much mistaken, where this name occurs in this Talmud, one only excepted, which I have reserved for this place, that, after we have discovered, by these quotations, that this was Diocletian the emperor, some years after him might be computed. That place is in Sheviith: "Diocletianus(13) afflicted the men of Paneas: they said therefore to him, We will depart hence: but a certain sophist said to him, Either they will not depart; or, if they do, they will return again: but if you would have an experiment of it, let two young goats be brought hither, and let them be sent to some place afar off, and they will at last come back to their place. He did so: for the goats were brought, whose horns he gilded, and sent them into Africa: and they, after thirty years, returned to their own place." Consider, that thirty years passed from this action of Diocletian, which if you compute even from his first year, and suppose that this story was writ in the last year of those thirty, you come as far as the ninth or tenth year of Constantine.

Mention also of king Sapor occurs, if I do not fail of the true reading. "A serpent,(14) under Sapor the king, devoured camels." Yea, I have I know not what suspicion, that "Lulianus the king," of whom there is mention in that very same place, does denote Julianus the emperor. "When Lulianus the king (say they) came thither, a hundred and twenty myriads accompanied him." But enough of this.

R. Judah, who first removed the university to Tiberias, sat also in Zippor for many years, and there died: so that in both places were very famous schools. He composed and digested the Mishnaioth into one volume. "For when he saw the captivity was prolonged" (they are the words of Tsemach David, translated by Vorstius), "and the scholars to become faint-hearted, and the strength of wisdom and the cabala to fail, and the oral law to be much diminished,—he gathered and scraped up together all the decrees, statutes, and sayings of the wise men; of which he wrote every one apart, which the house of the Sanhedrim had taught, &c. And he disposed it into six classes; which are Zeraim, Moed, Nezikin, Nashim, Kedoshim, Tahoroth." And a little after; "All the Israelites ratified the body of Mishnaioth, and obliged themselves to it: and in it, during the life of Rabbi, his two sons, Rabban Gamaliel and R. Simeon, employed themselves, in the school of the land of Israel: and R. Chaija, R. Hoshaia, R. Chaninah, and R. John, and their companions. And in the school of Babylon, Rabh and Samuel exercised themselves in it," &c.

Therefore it is worthy of examination, whence those differences should arise between the Jerusalem Misna, and the Babylonian,—differences in words, without number,—in things, in great number; which he that compares them will meet with every where. You have a remarkable example in the very entrance(15) of the Jerusalem Misna, where the story of R. Tarphon's danger among thieves is wanting, which is in that of Babylon.

Whether R. Judah composed that system in Tiberias or in Zippor, we are not solicitous to inquire: he sat in both, and enriched both with famed schools; and Tiberias was the more eminent. For "The(16) university of Tiberias was greater than that of Zippor."

Chapter 82
Tsippor

"Tsippor(17) is the greatest city of Galilee, and built in a very strong place."

"Kitron(18) (Judg 1:30) is Tsippor: and why is it called צפור Tsippor? Because it is seated upon a mountain כצפור as Tsippor, a bird."

"Sixteen(19) miles on all sides from Tsippor was a land flowing with milk and honey."

This city is noted in Josephus for its warlike affairs; but most noted in the Talmudists for the university fixed there, and for the learning, which Rabbi Judah the Holy brought hither, as we have said before. He sat(20) in this place seventeen years, and used most frequently to say this of himself, "Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and Judah lived in Tsippor seventeen years."

He(21) sat also in Beth-Shaarim, as also in Tiberias, but he ended his life in Tsippor. There is this story of his death; "The(22) men of Tsippor said, Whosoever shall tell us that Rabbi is dead, we will kill him. Bar Kaphra, having his head veiled, looked upon them and said, 'Holy men and angels both took hold of the tables of the covenant, and the hand of the angels prevailed, and they snatched away the tables.' They said to him, 'Is Rabbi dead?' He said, 'Ye have said.' They rent their garments after that manner, that the voice of the renting came as far as Papath, that is, the space of three miles. R. Nachman in the name of R. Mena said, 'Miracles were done on that day.' When all cities were gathered together to lament him, and that on the eve of the sabbath, the day did not waste, until every one was gone home, had filled a bottle with water, and had lighted up a sabbath-candle. The Bath Kol pronounced blessedness upon those that lamented him, excepting only one; who knowing himself excepted, threw himself headlong from the roof, and died."

"R. Judah(23) died in Tsippor, but his burial was in Beth-Shaarim: dying, he gave in command to his son, 'When ye carry me to my burial, do not lament me in the small cities through which ye shall pass, but in the great,'" &c. What say you to this, R. Benjamin? In you it is, "His(24) sepulchre is in Tsippor in the mountain, as also the sepulchre of R. Chaija, and Jonah the prophet," &c. Do you make up the controversy with your kinsmen now cited.

There were many synagogues in Tsippor. In the story but now alleged, concerning the death and burial of R. Judah, mention is made of eighteen synagogues that bewailed him; but whether all these were synagogues of Tsippor, or of other places, it is questioned, not without cause.

"The(25) synagogue of Gophna was certainly in Tsippor." There was also "The(26) synagogue of Babylon in Tsippor." There are also many names of famous doctors there.

"R. Honna(27) Rabba."
"R. Abudina(28) of Tsippor."
"R. Bar Kaphra(29) in Tsippor."
"R. Chaninah of Tsippor."(30) The mention of whom is most frequent above others.

A(31) controversy, risen at Tsippor, was determined before "R. Simeon Ben Gamaliel, and R. Jose."

Among many stories acted on this stage, which might be produced, we shall offer these only:—

"An(32) inquisition was sometime made after the men of Tsippor: they, therefore, that they might not be known, clapped patches upon their noses; but at last they were discovered," &c.

"One,(33) in the upper street of Tsippor, taking care about the scripts of paper fixed to the door-posts, was punished a thousand zuzees." These words argue some persecution stirred up in that city against the Jews.

"A(34) certain butcher of Tsippor sold the Jews flesh that was forbidden,—namely, dead carcases, and that which was torn. On one sabbath eve, after he had been drinking wine, going up into the roof, he fell down thence and died. The dogs came and licked his blood. R. Chaninah being asked, Whether they should drive away the dogs? 'By no means,' said he, 'for they eat of their own.'"

"Counsellors(35) and pagans in Tsippor" are mentioned.

And also "The(36) sons of Ketzirah, (or the harvest), of Tsippor."

Tsippor was distant from Tiberias, as R. Benjamin tells us in his Itinerary, "twenty miles."

זיפורין Zipporin with Zain (ז) is once writ in the Jerusalem Talmud; one would suspect it to be this city: "When(37) R. Akibah went to Zippor, they came to him, and asked, Are the jugs of the Gentiles clean?" A story worthy of consideration; if that Zipporin denote ours, was R. Akibah in Tsippor? He died almost forty years before the university was translated thither. But schools haply were there before a university.

In the Talmud, the story of "Ben Elam(38) of Tsippor" (once it is written, "in Tsippor")(39) is thrice repeated; who, when the high priest, by reason of some uncleanness contracted on the day of expiation, could not perform the office of that day, went in, and officiated.

Chapter 83
Some places bordering upon Tsippor. Jeshanah. Ketsarah. Shihin.

I. In the place, noted(40) in the margin, discourse is had of the legitimate mothers of the priests: among other things it is said, that no further inquiry be made, "If his father be enrolled in the catalogue of Jeshanah of Tsippor." The Gloss is, "There was a neighbour city to Tsippor, whose name was Jeshanah; and it was customary to enroll them who were fit to judge," &c. So that this 'Jeshanah' seems to be so near to Tsippor, that the records of Tsippor were laid up there.

II. "Towns(41) fortified from the days of Joshua: Old Ketsarah, which belongs to Tsippor; and Chakrah, which belongs to Gush; Calab; and Jodapath the old [Jotopata]; and Gamala," &c. The Gloss is, "Ketsarah is the name of a little city without Tsippor." Perhaps that which we cited above relates to this, "The sons of Ketzirah (or the harvest), of Tsippor."

III. "Sometime(42) a fire happened in the court of Josi Ben Simai in Shihin, and the inhabitants of Ketsarah, which belongs to Tsippor, came down to quench it; but he permitted them not, saying, 'Let the exactor exact his debt.' Presently a cloud gathered together above the fire; and rains fell, and put it out. The sabbath being finished, he sent money to every one of them."

Josephus(43) mentions also Garisimes, distant twenty furlongs from Tsippor.

In like manner, "Asamon,(44) a mountain in the middle of Galilee, which lies over against Tsippor."

Chapter 84
Usha

"The(45) Sanhedrim went from Jabneh to Usha, and from Usha to Shepharaam." The Gloss is, "To Jabneh in the days of Rabban Jochanan (Ben Zaccai); to Usha in the days of Rabban Gamaliel: but they went back from Usha to Jabneh: but in the days of Rabban Simeon they returned."

We do not apprehend the reason why Rabban Gamaliel went thither; whatsoever it were, either some disturbance raised by the Romans, or indignation that R. Eleazer Ben Azariah should be president with him, or some other reason,—certainly the abode there was but small, either Gamaliel himself returning to Jabneh after some time, or R. Akibah, who succeeded in his chair.

But after the war of Adrian, and the death of R. Akibah in that war, when Judea was now in disturbance by the Romans, Rabban Simeon, the son of Gamaliel, succeeding in the presidentship after Akibah, went with the Sanhedrim from Jafne to Usha, nor was there ever after any return to Jafne.

The(46) Talmudists remember us of very many things transacted at Usha. "When they intercalated the year in Usha, the first day, R. Ismael, the son of R. Jochanan Ben Brucha, stood forth, and said according to the words of R. Jochanan Ben Nuri. Rabban Simeon Ben Gamaliel said, 'We were not wont to do so in Jafne.' On the second day, Ananias, the son of Josi the Galilean, said according to the words of R. Akibah. R. Simeon Ben Gamaliel said, 'So we were wont to do in Jafne.'" This story is repeated in Rosh hashanah,(47) and Nedarim.(48)

"In(49) Usha it was decreed that a man should nourish his little children; that if a man make over his goods to his children, he and his wife be maintained out of them," &c.

It(50) was determined also in Usha concerning the burning the Truma, in some doubtful cases: of which see the place quoted.

But that we be not more tedious, let this story be for a conclusion: "The(51) wicked kingdom [of Rome] did sometime decree a persecution against Israel: namely, that every one preferring any to be an elder should be killed; and that every one that was preferred should be killed; and that the city in which any is preferred to eldership should be laid waste; and that the borders within which any such promotion is made, should be rooted out. What did Baba Ben Judah do? He went out, and sat between two great mountains, and between two great cities, and between two sabbath bounds, between Usha and Shapharaam, and ordained five elders, namely, R. Meir, R. Judah, R. Simeon, R. Josi, and R. Eliezer Ben Simeon. Rabh Oia added also R. Nehemiah. When this came to be known to their enemies, he said to the scholars, 'Fly, O my sons': they said to him, 'Rabbi, what will you do?' He said to them, 'Behold, I am cast before them as a stone which hath no movers.' They say, that they departed not thence, until they had fastened three hundred iron darts into him, and had made him like a sieve."

Chapter 85
Arbel. Shezor. Tarnegola the Upper.

"Arbel(52) a city of Galilee."—There is mention of it in Hosea 10:14. But there are authors which do very differently interpret that place, viz. the Chaldee paraphrast, R. Solomon, Kimchi: consult them.

It(53) was between Zippor and Tiberias.

Hence(54) Nittai the Arbelite, who was president with Josua Ben Perahiah.

The(55) valley of Arbel is mentioned by the Talmudists.

So also "The(56) Arbelite Bushel."

"Near(57) Zephath in Upper Galilee was a town named Shezor, whence was R. Simeon Shezori: there he was buried. There is the memory also of R. Ismael Shezorei, who perhaps was his brother."

In that scheme which we exhibited in the beginning of this work, out of the Jerusalem Gemarists, delineating the limits of the land under the second Temple, among other names of places, you observe the mention of a place called "The upper Tarnegola or Cock," &c. I render it "Geber, (or Gabara) the upper, which is above Caesarea." Why I render Tarnegola by Geber, those that are versed in the Talmudic writings will easily perceive; for in them 'a cock' is indifferently called in the Chaldee language Tarnegola, and by the Rabbins Geber. Nor is there an example wanting of this our rendering. For the Targum of Jonathan, in Numbers 33:35,36, renders Ezio-geber Cerac Tarnegola, "The city of the Cock." And he mentions this very place which we are now upon, Numbers 34:8; "Tarnegola at Caesarea." And the Targum of Jerusalem there reads "Tornegola of Caesarion." Now that Caesarea which they mean is 'Caesarea Philippi,' which is at the fountain of Jordan: and that Gabara is called "Gabara the upper," for distinction's sake, from other cities of the same name. Josephus calleth "Tiberias,(58) Sipphor, and Gabara," the three greatest cities of Galilee. He mentions also the town Gabaroth,(59) and Gabaraganei,(60) which are reckoned with the Gadarenes and Tyrians by him.

"From(61) Gabara of Caesarea and down-wards is as the land of Israel," in respect of the Demai, or tithing.

Chapter 86
The difference of some customs of the Galileans from those of Judea.

It is not impertinently questioned, with what inhabitants Galilee and Perea were first planted after the return out of Babylon, when you scarce find any mention of them in the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah, but of those only who inhabited Judea and the land of Benjamin. But whosoever they were, whether pure Israelites, or those that were more mixed, or some of the ten tribes, it is certain those that inhabited Galilee differed much from those that dwelt in Judea, in certain rites, and not a little in the dialect of their speech.

The Jewish pandect observe a various difference between them: out of which we produce these few instances instead of more:—

In the place noted(62) in the margin, it is discoursed concerning the form and manner of writing the donation of the marriage dowry. "So and so (say they) the people of Jerusalem writ, and the Galileans writ as those of Jerusalem: but the inhabitants of Judea something varied," &c. Where the Gemarists thus; "The Galileans' care was of reputation, not of money; the inhabitants of Judea, their care was of money, not of reputation," &c.

"The(63) wise men say, In Judea they did service works on the Passover-eves, until noon; in Galilee, not at all."

"The(64) wise men say, That the Trumah taken generally is bound in Judea, in Galilee is loosed. For the Galileans know not the Trumah of the Temple-chamber." The sense of the tradition is this, When any one pronounced a vow in general terms,—for example, saying thus, 'Let this be to me as the Trumah,' not naming what kind of Trumah,—a Galilean, so speaking, was loosed from his vow, because he, by reason of the distance of the place (as the Gloss tells us), knew not the Trumah of the holy treasury: but he that inhabited Judea, and spoke thus, was bound by his vow.

And in the same text is added, "If any vows generally by curses, he is loosed in Judea; he is bound in Galilee, because the Galileans do not know the curses of the priests." Where the Gloss is this; "There were no priests among the Galileans: therefore, when they cursed, they cursed to none but to God." And the Gemara of Jerusalem thus; "Because they were fastened to the curse of Achan, it is said, that they are bound: but in Judea, because they are not fastened to the curse of Achan, it is said that they are loosed."

"Rabbi Judah(65) saith, In Judea they made inquiry concerning the bridegroom and bride three days before the wedding: but in Galilee they did not so. In Judea they allowed the bridegroom and bride private company one hour before the wedding; but they did not so in Galilee. It was a custom in Judea that the married persons should have two friends, one of the family of the bridegroom, and the other of the family of the bride: but it was not so in Galilee. In Judea those friends slept in the same place where the bridegroom and bride slept: but in Galilee it was not so," &c.

Chapter 87
The dialect of the Galileans, differing from the Jewish.

"Surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech bewrayeth thee," Matthew 26:73. Let these passages, which are delivered by the masters, be instead of a comment:—

"To(66) the men of Judea who were exact in their language, their law is established in their hands. To the men of Galilee, who were not exact in their language, their law is not established in their hands."—The Gloss is, "They [the men of Judea] were exact in their language: so that their speech was pure, not corrupt."

"To the men of Judea, who are exact about their language, and appoint to themselves certain signs, their law is established in their hands: to the men of Galilee, who are not exact about their language, nor appoint to themselves signs, their law is not established in their hands." The Gloss is; "They were exact about their language, namely, in rendering the same words which they had heard from their masters. And because they were taught orally, by hearing after hearing, they appointed to themselves from them sign after sign. And because they were exact about their language, they knew how to appoint to themselves fit signs that they might not forget."

"The men of Judea learn from one master, and their law is established in their hands: the Galileans learn not from one master, and their law is not established in their hands." The Gloss writes, "The Galileans heard one master in one language, and another in another; and the diversity of the language, or pronunciation, confounded them so that they forgat." And a little after,

"R. Abba said, If any ask the men of Judea, who are exact about their language, Whether they say מעברין Maabrin with Ain (ע), or מאברין Maabrin with Aleph (א)? Whether they say עכוזו Acuzo (with Ain), or אכוזו Acuzo (with Aleph)? They all answer, There are some who pronounce it with Aleph, and there are others who pronounce it with Ain." And a little after:

"A certain Galilean said 'Whose is this lamb?' They answered him, O foolish Galilean, do you mean an 'ass' for riding, 'wine' to drink, 'wool' for clothing or a 'lamb' for killing?" The sense is, When the Galilean asked, "Whose is Immar, 'this lamb?'" he pronounced the first letter in the word Immar, so confusedly and uncertainly, that the hearers knew not whether he meant Chamar,—that is, an 'ass'; or Chamar, 'wine'; or Amar, 'wool'; or Immar, 'a lamb.'

"A Galilean woman when she should have said to their neighbour Come, and I will feed you with milk" [or some fat thing]: "said, My neighbour, a lion shall eat you." The Gloss is, "She distinguished not, but confounded the letters: for when she should say, Shelubti with Beth, which signifies a neighbour, she said Shelucti, with Caph (a barbarous word). For, 'come, and I will feed you with milk.'—she said words that imply a curse; as much as to say, Let a lion devour thee."

A certain woman appeared before a judge. She intended to say this, "My Lord, I had a picture, which they stole; and it was so great, that if you had been placed in it, your feet would not have touched the ground." But she so spoiled the business with her pronouncing, that, as the Glosser interprets it, her words had this sense, "Sir, slave, I had a beam; and they stole thee away; and it was so great, that if they had hung thee on it, thy feet would not have touched the ground."

Among other things, you see, that in this Galilean dialect the pronunciation of the gutturals is very much confounded; which however the Jews correct in the words alleged, yet it was not unusual among them, so that "the mystical doctors distinguished not between Cheth and He." They are the words of the Jerusalem Talmudists:(67)—and these also are the words of those of Babylon;(68) "The schools of R. Eleazar Ben Jacob pronounced Aleph Ain, and Ain Aleph."

We observed before(69) one example of such confusion of letters, when one teaching thus, "The waters of the marshes are not to be reckoned among those waters" (that make unclean), he meant to have it understood of the water of eggs: but he deceived his hearers by an uncertain pronunciation.

If you read the Samaritan version of the Pentateuch, you will find so frequent a changing of the gutturals, that you could not easily get a more ready key of that language than by observing that variation.

Chapter 88
Gilgal, in Deuteronomy 11:30: what the place was.

That which is said by Moses, that "Gerizim and Ebal were over-against Gilgal," Deuteronomy 11:30, is so obscure, that it is rendered into contrary significations by interpreters. Some take it in that sense, as if it were near(70) to Gilgal: some far(71) off from Gilgal: the Targumists read, "before Gilgal": while, as I think, they do not touch the difficulty; which lies not so much in the signification of the word Mul, as in the ambiguity of the word Gilgal. These do all seem to understand that Gilgal which the people of Israel took the first night after their passage over Jordan, Joshua 4:19; which, as Josephus relates, was distant only fifty furlongs from Jordan(72); but which the Gemarists guess to be fifty miles and more. For(73) "they say, the journey of that day was more than sixty miles, to wit, from Jordan to Gilgal." And this they say, that they may fix Gilgal near Gerizim and Ebal; where they think the people encamped the first night after their entrance into the land of Canaan, from those words of Moses, Deuteronomy 27:2, "In the day, wherein thou shalt pass over Jordan, thou shalt set thee up great stones, and shalt plaster them with plaster," &c. Now those stones, say they, are set up in Gerizim and Ebal. Hence is that of the Gemarists,(74) "The Lord said, I said, When ye shall pass Jordan, ye shall set up stones; but you have spread yourselves as far as sixty miles." And,(75) "Gerizim and Ebal were sixty miles distant from Jordan."

But certainly by that Gilgal, of which Moses in those words speaks, "Are not Gerizim and Ebal over-against Gilgal?" is to be understood some other than that which Joshua named by that name, Joshua 5:9. For when Moses spoke those words, the name of that Gilgal, near Jericho, was not at all: nor can that which is spoke in the book of Joshua concerning the nations of Gilgal, Joshua 12:23, be applied to that Gilgal, when it had obtained that name. Therefore, in both places, by Gilgal seems to be understood Galilee; and that as well from the nearness of the words,—for Gilgal, and Galil, are of the same root and etymology,—as from the very sense of the places. For when, in Joshua, some kings of certain particular cities in Galilee—Kedesh, Jokneam, Dor, &c.—are reckoned up, the king of the nations of Gilgal, or Galilee, is also added, who ruled over many cities and countries in Galilee.

So also the words of Moses may very well be rendered in the like sense, 'Are not those mountains, Gerizim and Ebal, beyond Jordan, over-against Gilgal, or Galilee?'

These things following strengthen our conjecture:—I. The version of the LXX, who render The nations of Gilgal, by Gei of Galilee. II. The comparing Josephus with the book of the Maccabees, in the story of Demetrius. "He pitched his tent (saith Josephus(76)), 'in Arbel, a city of Galilee'"; but, 1 Maccabees 9:2, "They went forth the way that leadeth to Galgala, and pitched their tents before Mesaloth, which is in Arbel." In one Arbel is in Galgala or Gilgal, in the other it is in Galilee.

Chapter 89
Divers towns called by the name of Tyre
(
ציר).

Besides Tyre, the noble mart of Phoenicia, we meet with various places of the same name, both in the Talmudists and in Josephus.

In(77) the place noted in the margin, they mention one Tyre, in the very borders of the land, which was bound to pay tithes; and another, in like manner in the borders, which was not bound: we shall hereafter produce their words. And in these examples which follow, and in very many others, which might be produced,—they leave it undecided, whether the discourse is of Tyre of Phoenicia, or of some other place of that name.

"Jacob Navoriensis(78) travelled to Tyre (לצור) and there taught some things, for which R. Chaggai would have him beaten."

"R. Mean(79) went to Tyre (לצור): whom R. Chaija Bar Ba found there; and going forward, he told R. Jochanan those things which he had taught."

"R. Issa(80) went to Tyre (לצור), and saw them drinking wine," &c.

Josephus thus writes of Hyrcanus, the brother of Simon the high priest:—"He(81) built a strong place between Arabia and Judea beyond Jordan: and called it Tyre."

The same author, of John Ben Levi thus: When he had endeavoured to retain the Giscalites, now attempting to shake off the Roman yoke, it was to no purpose: "for(82) the bordering people, the Gadarenes, the Gabaraganeans, and the Tyrians, having got together considerable forces, invade Giscala." You can scarcely suppose that these Tyrians came out of Tyre of Phoenicia, but from some other place of the same name.

Upon that reason that very many towns in the land of Israel were called by the name of Rama, namely, because they were seated in some high place; by the same reason very many are called by the name of Tyre (ציר), because they were built in a rocky place.

Chapter 90
Cana

We have little to certify as to the situation of this place: only we learn this of Josephus concerning Cana, that it was such a distance from Tiberias, as he could measure with his army in one night. For when word was brought him by letters, that the enemy Justus had endeavoured to draw away the Tiberians from their fidelity towards him, "I was then (saith he)(83) in a town of Galilee, called Cana: taking, therefore, with me two hundred soldiers, I travelled the whole night, having despatched a messenger before, to tell the Tiberians of my coming: and, in the morning, when I approached the city, the people came out to meet me," &c.

He makes mention, also, of Cana, in the same book of his own Life, in these words;(84) "Sylla, king Agrippa's general, encamping five furlongs from Julias, blocked up the ways with guards, both that which leads to Cana, and that which leads to the castle Gamala." But now, when Julias and Gamala, without all doubt, were beyond Jordan, it may be inquired whether that Cana were not also on that side. But those things that follow seem to deny this: for he blocked up the ways, "that by this means he might shut out all supplies that might come from the Galileans." Mark that, that might come from the Galileans; that is, from Cana, and other places of Galilee about Cana.

That Julias which Sylla received was Julias Betharamphtha (of which afterward), which was seated on the further bank of Jordan, there where it is now ready to flow into the sea of Gennesaret. Therefore, Cana seems, on the contrary, to lie on this side Jordan; how far removed from it we say not, but we guess not far; and it was distant such a space from Tiberias as the whole length of the sea of Gennesaret doth contain.

Next Chapter Chorographical Contents Table of Contents

Copyright 1997-2007 NOR/JCR