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26
HISTORICAL FACTS.

Both writers agree in teaching, that the divine law prohibited a man to marry his wife's sister while she was living; and both are silent in regard to what might be done after her decease. The comment of Jonathan differs, in the words he uses, but little from the text itself.

Now, if the Jews had never doubted that it was lawful for a man to marry his sister-in-law after the death of his wife, is it not highly probable the fact would have been stated by one or both of these writers, when giving the meaning of the prohibition in Levit. 18: 18? Is not their silence proof to the contrary?

But if we were to admit it could be proved, that such an interpretation was put on the Levitical law by the Scribes and Pharisees, in our Saviour's time, what will the Puritan gain? Are we to bow to their judgment? Christians are as competent to interpret a written law as they were; for, although they were nearer to the time of the giving of the law than Christians of the present day, yet they were not nearer than Primitive Christians. Besides, let it be remembered that, between the time of these Jewish expounders of the law and its first publication,