« VorigeDoorgaan »
the scientific classification of the animal kingdom. The first class in this division is that of Polypi, under which several families are ranked. One of them is the Corticidæ, or bark-covered corals, which includes the genera, Corallium, Isis, and Gorgonia (Plate XXXVII., figs. 6, 9). Several other well-known forms are ranked under this class, as Meandrina, fig. 1; Tubipora, figs. 2, 3, 4; Astræa, fig. 5; Caryophylla, fig. 7; Oculina, fig. 8. All these would be within reach of Syria, either from the Great Sea, or through Arabia, from the Indian
But the red coral (Isis nobilis) was the species most highly prized. It is found in the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, and in different parts of the south coasts of Asia. The labours of the so called coral.. worms in rearing pile on pile of calcareous matter until it rises above the surface of the water, and in time forms great islands, have ever attracted to them the interest of the naturalist, and the glowing admiration of the poet :
"Compared with this amazing edifice,
Raised by the weakest creatures in existence,
What are they? miniatures of art!" The contributions from the land of Israel proper to the merchandise of Tyre are named in ver. 17—“Judah, and the land of Israel, they were thy merchants: they traded in thy markets wheat of Minnith and Pannag, and honey, and oil, and balın. The site of Minnith has not been identified. We learn from Judges xi. 33, that it belonged to the Ammonites. The soil in the neighbourhood of Minnith must have been peculiarly favourable for the cultivation of wheat. Hence the Hebrews, when they took final possession of Ammon, carried their wheat to the market of Tyre.
One of the outstanding features of Palestine was its peculiar suitableness for the cultivation of wheat. See under Deut. viii. 8. Early mention is made of different varieties of this most highly esteemed cereal. Thus we have “wheat,” Judges vi. 11, “finest of the wheat,” Ps. cxlvii. 14,
principal wheat,” Isa. xxviii. 25, and here “wheat of Minnith.” See under Ps. lxxxi. 16.
"Pannag" is named only in this passage. The uncertainty of its