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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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GAMALIEL. 1 . The son of Pedahzur, and ‘prince of the children of Manasseh’ ( Numbers 1:10 ; Numbers 2:20 , etc.). 2. Gamaliel i ., the grandson of Hillel, was a Pharisee, and regarded as one of the most distinguished doctors of the Law of his age. He was a member of the Sanhedrin during the years of our Lord’s ministry. His views were tolerant and large-hearted; he emphasized the humaner side of the Law, relaxing somewhat the rigour of Sabbatical observance, regulating the customs of divorce so as the more to protect helpless woman, and inculcating kindness on the part of Jews towards surrounding heathen. The advice given by him to the chief priests ( Acts 5:34-40 ) in reference to their dealing with the Apostles shows similar tolerance and wisdom. At his feet St. Paul was brought up ( Acts 22:3 ).

The Clementine Recognitions absurdly state that by the advice of the Apostles he remained among the Jews as a secret believer in Christ. The Mishna deplores that ‘with the death of Gamaliel i. the reverence for Divine Law ceased, and the observance of purity and piety became extinct.’

Charles T. P. Grierson.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Gamaliel'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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