44 "Eusebius here has in mind the passages Lev. iv. 5, Lev. iv. 16, and Lev. vi. 22, where the LXX. reads o iereuj o xristoj: The priest, the anointed one" (Closs). The Authorized Version reads, The priest that was anointed; the Revised Version, The anointed priest.
45 A few mss., followed by Laemmer and Heinichen, read here Nauh, but the best mss. followed by the majority of editors read Aush, which is a corruption of the name Oshea, which means "Salvation," and which Joshua bore before his name was changed, by the addition of a syllable, to Jehoshua=Joshua=Jesus, meaning "God's salvation" (Num. xiii. 16). Jerome (de vir. ill. c. I.) speaks of this corruption as existing in Greek and Latin mss. of the Scriptures, and as having no sense, and contends that Osee is the proper form, Osee meaning "Salvator." The same corruption (Auses) occurs also in Tertullian, Adv. Marc. iii. 16, and Adv. Fud. 9 (where the English translator, as Crusè also does in the present passage, in both cases departs from the original, and renders `Oshea,0' Ante-Nicene Fathers, Am. Ed. III. p. 334, 335, and 163), and in Lactantius, Institutes, iv. 17.
49 Isa. lxi. 1. Eusebius as usual follows the LXX., which in this case differs somewhat from the Hebrew, and hence the translation differs from the English version. The LXX., however, contains an extra clause which Eusebius omits. See Heinichen's edition, Vol. I. p. 21, note 49.
63 Eusebius here makes the reign of Augustus begin with the death of Julius Caesar (as Josephus does in chap. 9, §1, below), and he puts the birth of Christ therefore into the year 752 U.C. (2 b.c.), which agrees with Clement of Alexandria's Strom. I. (who gives the twenty-eighth year after the conquest of Egypt as the birth-year of Christ), with Epiphanius, Hoer. LI. 22, and Orosius, Hist. I. 1. Eusebius gives the same date also in his Chron. (ed. Schoene, II. p. 144). Irenaeus, III. 25, and Tertullian, Adv. 4Jud. 8, on the other hand, give the forty-first year of Augustus, 751 U.C. (3 b.c.). But all these dates are certainly too late. The true year of Christ's birth has always been a matter of dispute. But it must have occurred before the death of Herod, which took place in the spring of 750 U.C. (4 b.c.). The most widely accepted opinion is that Christ was born late in the year 5, or early in the year 4 b.c., though some scholars put the date back as far as 7 b.c.
The time of the year is also uncertain, the date commonly accepted in the occident (Dec. 25th) having nothing older than a fourth century tradition in its favor. The date accepted by the Greek Church (Jan. 6th) rests upon a somewhat older tradition, but neither day has any claim to reliability.
For a full and excellent discussion of this subject, see the essay of Andrews in his Life of our Lord, pp. 1-22. See, also, Schaff's Church Hist. I. p. 98 sq.
Quirinius is the original Latin form of the name of which Luke gives the Greek form kurhnioj or Cyrenius (which is the form given also by Eusebius).
The statement of Luke presents a chronological difficulty which has not yet been completely solved. Quirinius we know to have been made governor of Syria in a.d. 6; and under him occurred a census or enrollment mentioned by Josephus, Ant. XVII. 13. 5, and XVIII. 1. 1. This is undoubtedly the same as that referred to in Acts v. 37. But this took place some ten years after the birth of Christ, and cannot therefore be connected with that event. Many explanations have been offered to account for the difficulty, but since the discovery of Zumpt, the problem has been much simplified. He, as also Mommsen, has proved that Quirinius was twice governor of Syria, the first time from b.c. 4 (autumn) to b.c. 1. But as Christ must have been born before the spring of b.c. 4, the governorship of Quirinius is still a little too late. A solution of the question is thus approached, however, though not all the difficulties are yet removed. Upon this question, see especially A. M. Zumpt, Das Geburtsjahr Christi (Leipzig, 1869), and compare Schaff's Church Hist., I. 121-125, for a condensed but excellent account of the whole matter, and for the literature of the subject.
66 Eusebius here identifies the census mentioned by Josephus (Ant. XVIII. 1. 1) and referred to in Acts v. 37, with the one mentioned in Luke ii. 2; but this is an obvious error, as an interval of ten years separated the two. Valesius considers it all one census, and hence regards Eusebius as correct in his statement; but this is very improbable. Jachmann (in Illgen's Zeitschrift f. hist. Theologie, 1839, II. p. 35 sq.), according to his custom, charges Eusebius with willful deception and perversion of the facts. But such a charge is utterly without warrant. Eusebius, in cases where we can control his statements, can be shown to have been always conscientious. Moreover, in his Chron. (ed. Schoene II. p. 144) he identifies the two censuses in the same way. But his Chronicles were written some years before his History, and he cannot have had any object to deceive in them such as Jachmann assumes that he had in his History. It is plain that Eusebius has simply made a blunder, a thing not at all surprising when we remember how frequent his chronological errors are. He is guilty of an inexcusable piece of carelessness, but nothing worse. It was natural to connect the two censuses mentioned as taking place under the same governor, though a little closer attention to the facts would have shown him the discrepancy in date, which he simply overlooked.
67 The New Testament (Textus Rec.) reads laon ikanon, with which Laemmer agrees in his edition of Eusebius. Two mss., followed by Stephanus and Valesius, and by the English and German translators, read laon polun. All the other mss., and editors, as well as Rufinus, read laon alone.
71 Judas the Gaulonite. In Acts v. 37, and in Josephus, B. J. II. 8. 1 (quoted just below), and 17.8, and in Ant. XVIII 1.6 and XX. 5. 2, he is called Judas of Galilee. But in the present section Josephus gives the fullest and most accurate account of him. Gaulonitis lay east of the Jordan, opposite Galilee. Judas of Galilee was probably his common designation, given to him either because his revolt took rise in Galilee, or because Galilee was used as a general term for the north country. He was evidently a man of position and great personal influence, and drew vast numbers to his standard, denouncing, in the name of religion, the payment of tribute to Rome and all submission to a foreign yoke. The revolt spread very rapidly, and the whole country was thrown into excitement and disorder; but the Romans proved too strong for him, and he soon perished, and his followers were dispersed, though many of them continued active until the final destruction of the city. The influence of Judas was so great and lasted so long that Josephus (Ant. XVIII. 1. 1 and 6) calls the tendency represented by him the "fourth philosophy of the Jews," ranking it with Pharisaism, Sadduceeism, and Essenism. The distinguishing characteristic of this "fourth philosophy" or sect was its love of freedom. For an excellent account of Judas and his revolt, see Ewald's Geshichte des Volkes Israel, V. p. 16 sq.
72 Greek, Saddoxon; Rufinus, Sadduchum. He, too, must have been a man of influence and position. Later in the same paragraph he is made by Josephus a joint founder with Judas of the "fourth philosophy," but in §6 of the same chapter, where the author of it is referred to, Judas alone is mentioned.
74 Herod the Great, son of Antipater, an Idumean, who had been appointed procurator of Judea by Caesar in b.c. 47. Herod was made governor of Galilee at the same time, and king of Judea by the Roman Senate in b.c. 40.
78 The Idumeans or Edomites were the descendants of Esau, and inhabited the Sinaitic peninsula south of the Dead Sea. Their principal city and stronghold was the famous rock city, Petra. They were constant enemies of the Jews, refused them free passage through their land (Num. xx. 20); were conquered by Saul and David, but again regained their independence, until they were finally completely subjugated by John Hyrcanus, who left them in possession of their land, but compelled them to undergo circumcision, and adopt the Jewish law. Compare Josephus, Ant. XIII. 9. 1; XV. 7.9; B. J. IV. 5. 5.
79 On Africanus, see Bk. VI. chap. 31. This account is given by Africanus in his epistle to Aristides, quoted by Eusebius in the next chapter. Africanus states there (§11) that the account, as he gives it, was handed down by the relatives of the Lord. But the tradition, whether much older than Africanus or not, is certainly incorrect. We learn from Josephus (Ant. XIV. 2), who is the best witness upon this subject, that Antipater, the father of Herod the Great, was the son of another Antipater, or Antipas, an Idumean who had been made governor of Idumea by the Jewish king Alexander Jannaeus (of the Maccabaean family). In Ant. XVI. 11 Josephus informs us that a report bad been invented by friends and flatterers of Herod that he was descended from Jewish ancestors. The report originated with Nicolai Damasceni, a writer of the time of the Herods. The tradition preserved here by Africanus had its origin, evidently, in a desire to degrade Herod by representing him as descended from a slave.
80 Ascalon, one of the five cities of the Philistines (mentioned frequently in the Old Testament), lay upon the Mediterranean Sea, between Gaza and Joppa. It was beautified by Herod (although not belonging to his dominions), and after his death became the residence of his sister Salome. It was a prominent place in the Middle Ages, but is now in ruins. Of this Herod of Ascalon nothing is known. Possibly no such man existed.
82 Hyrcanus II., eldest son of the King Alexander Jannaeus of the Maccabaean family, became high priest upon the death of his father, in 78 b.c.; and upon the death of his mother, in 69 b.c., ascended the throne. He gave up his kingdom afterward (66 b.c.) to his younger brother, Aristobulus; but under the influence of Antipater the Idumean endeavored to regain it, and after a long war with is brother, was re-established in power by Pompey, in 63 b.c., but merely as high priest and governor, not with the title of king. He retained his position until 40 b.c., when he was driven out by his nephew Antigonus. He was murdered in 30 b.c., by command of Herod the Great, who had married his grand-daughter Mariamne. He was throughout a weak man, and while in power was completely under the influence of his minister, Antipater.