The Berean Expositor
Volume 28 - Page 126 of 217
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governors", he said, "my subjects would be pillaged without mercy; but if the same
prefect be continued for a number of years, he will plunder eagerly enough at first, but
when he has filled his coffers, his rapacity will lose its edge" (Josephus Ant. 18: 6: 5).
Consequently although his reign lasted twenty-three years, Tiberius made only one
change in the Procuratorship of Judĉa. Valerius Gratus was appointed in A.D.15, and
was replaced by Pontius Pilate in A.D.26.
Concerning the death of Christ during the reign of Tiberius, Tacitus writes:
"The author of that name (christian) or sect was Christ, Who was capitally punished in
the reign of Tiberius by Pontius Pilate."
Auctor nominis ejus Christus, qui Tiberio imperitante, per procuratorem Pontium
Pilatum, supplicit affectus erat (Ann. lib. 15: 100: 44).
There are quite a number of points of importance, with regard to Roman law and its
administration, associated with Pilate, but as a consideration of these will occupy all the
space we can devote to one article, we propose to reserve what must be said of Pilate for
another occasion.
The history of the Herods is a tale of tragedy, blood and intrigue, sufficient to justify
Shakespeare's phrase: "It out-Herod's Herod." But this again will require a separate
Pursuing our survey of Luke 3: 1, 2, the next point that calls for mention is the title
of "tetrarch". By derivation the word signifies the governor of the fourth part of a
province, and this was the original meaning. It was subsequently used, however, without
too close an adherence to the idea of a fourth part. In the reign of Tiberius, Herod's
kingdom was divided into three parts, and his three sons were made "tetrarchs".
Archelaus became tetrarch of Judĉa, Samaria and Idumĉa; Philip tetrarch of Trachonitis
and Iturea; and Herod tetrarch of Galilee and Perĉa. While originally the tetrarchs wore
no diadem, and did not bear the title of king, in course of time the title was allowed.
One further point demands our attention, namely, Luke's reference to "Annas and
Caiaphas being the High Priests". In his earlier essays Lightfoot suggests that Annas was
the "Nasi", or Head of the Sanhedrin, representing Moses, while Caiaphas represented
Aaron. Those who quote Lightfoot should remember, however, that he subsequently
"I was once of another mind, I confess; and supposed Annas to be called high priest,
because a priest, and head of the Sanhedrin, in which I was too credulous to Baronius, a
man far better skilled in Christian antiquity than in Jewish. But now I find that never any
such man was head of the Sanhedrin at all; and therefore, I am now swayed to believe,
that Annas is called high priest, as indeed having once been so, but now deposed, and
now sagan under Caiaphas" (Lightfoot's Works 9: 39).
The editors of the Companion Bible have adopted Lightfoot's earlier view, but have
apparently failed to note his own retraction (See marginal notes to Luke 3: 3,
John 18: 13, 24 and Acts 4: 6). The Sagan, to whom Lightfoot refers, was a priest