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victim being eaten on the day of the full moon, which was the same on which the sacrifice was offered, for on no other day were they allowed to eat the flesh of pig. Poor people who had barely the means of subsistence, made a paste figure of a pig, which being baked, they offered as a sacrifice. The same kind of substitute was, doubtless, made for other victims, by those who could not afford to purchase them; and some of the small glass and clay figures of animals found in the tombs, have probably served for this purpose. 'On the fête of Bacchus, every one immolated a pig before the door of his house, at the hour of dinner; he then gave it back to the person of whom it had been bought. The Egyptians,' adds the historian, 'celebrate the rest of this fête nearly
in the same manner as the Greeks, with the exception of the sacrifice of pigs.?”
But even if the flesh was not that offered to idols, the people sinned greatly in treating with open contempt the positive command of God touching this matter—“The swine though he divide the hoof, and be cloven-footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean unto you. Of their flesh ye shall not eat, and their carcase ye shall not touch ; they are unclean unto you.” Reasons bearing closely on the public health in a climate like Palestine might be found for this prohibition. The frequent use of pork in warm, and even in temperate climates, renders men liable to several diseases of the skin.
The light, moreover, which modern science has shed on the habits of internal parasites (Entozoa) is highly suggestive when taken along with the Levitical command. The immature forms, known as Cysticerci
, of socalled riband entozoa, are known to abound in such rodents as the bare, and such pachyderms as the coney (Hyrax) and the sow. Swine's flesh known as “measly” is to be traced to the presence of these producing disease. As such cysticerci are known to reach their mature forms in the human body, abstinence from this kind of animal food in a climate where it might be hastily and imperfectly prepared, could not but be conducive to the public health. It is not, indeed, asserted that this aspect of the matter was in the mind of the Jewish lawgiver when these arrangements were made; but He who spake by Moses knew what was best for the social comfort of the people whom he had specially chosen as his own.
Swine's blood and flesh are again mentioned by Isaiah in the next chapter (ver. 3, 17), in which even greater distinctness is given to the promises of the change of dispensation and the bringing in of the Gentiles. The great and eternal God will then not look for a gorgeous ritual, similar to the tabernacle and temple service, as the mark of his presence with them. He will regard only the state of the heart. Thus the people are told that even the ancient sacrifices instituted at the command of God, would become to him like the worship offered to idols. “Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my foot-stool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the Lord: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. He that killeth an ox, is as if he slew a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as if he cut off a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, as if he offered swine's blood; he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol : yea they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations” (ver. 1-3). Apostate and unfaithful Israel chose the companionship and followed the practices of idolaters. Among other things they “ate swine's flesh” (ver. 17), and as a punishment they were to be visited with the judgments which fall on the worshippers of idols.
The same ideas of grossness and impurity are connected with the mention of this animal in other passages of Scripture. When Solomon characterizes the personal beauty, which is often found connected with low, or even depraved moral tastes, he says, “ As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion " (Prov. xi. 22). In the New Testament the case of those who, under the influence of the reflex power of gospel truth, had for a season taken to holy habits but had relapsed, is thus described—“It is happened unto
them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter ii. 22). Thus too in our Lord's discourse—“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you (Matt. vii. 6). The references in Matt. viii. 30; Mark v. 14; Luke xv. 15, 16, are equally suggestive.
“They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands” (lxv. 22). The promise is, in substance, that they shall long enjoy the work of their hands. The list given by De Candolle of the ages of certain trees may be taken as an illustration of this verse, though the computation in some of the instances given is necessarily very doubtful.
350 Cheirostemon platanoides,
400 Ivy (Hedera Helix),
450 Larch (Larix europæa),
576 Chestnut (Castanea vesca),
600 Orange (Citrus Aurantium), .
630 Some Palms (Ceroxylon and Cocos),
600-700 Olive (Olea europea), ·
700 Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis),
. 720 Cedar (Cedrus Libani),
800 Lime (Tilia europæa),
1076, 1147 Oak (Quercus robur),
810, 1080, 1500 Yew (Taxus baccata),
1214, 1458, 2588, 2880 Taxodium distichum,
3000 or 4000 Baobab (Adansonia digitata), about
. 5000 Israel in his blindness refused to regard the warning words of Jehovah: “They have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations” (lxvi. 5). They were to cling to the divinely appointed forms of outward worship, after those had served their day. Ceasing to be means of spiritual strength, these forms led them easily, in their desire for rest, into the practices of the heathen : “They did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not” (ver. 4). But their fall was to be the rise of the Gentiles. Zion was to rejoice in other children than the seed of Abraham according to the flesh : “Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things ? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once ?