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1702. (Gen. xxii. 13.] BARTRAM found Grape-Vines of a peculiar species entangled in shrubs or under-growth on extensive open plains in America ; the bunches of fruit were very large, as were the grapes that composed them : when ripe. they are of various colors, and their juice sweet and rich. These grape-vines do not climb into high trees, but creep along from one low shrub to another, extending their branches to a great distance horizontally round about; and it is very pleasing to behold the clusters pendant from the viues, almost touching the earth ; indeed some of them lie on the ground.
Trav. p. 398.
1708. [Gen. xxiii. 9. The cave of Machpelah) As Machpelah signifies double, Junius, Munster, and others, have thought there were two apartments in this sepulchre; one for Sarah, the other for Abraham : the dead being thus separated, as the women were from the men in the Eastern parts.
1709. [-- 10. Ephron dwelt] Isheb (Hebr.), sat; implying that he sat in their council. He appears to have been a great ruler among the Hethites, as Abraham requested others to address him, v. 8.
Compelled for ever to wander, and not always being able to transport the whole of their provisions, the Laplanders place them in magazines erected in the midst of the woods, with four stakes supporting a roof. Urged by necessity, and to appease his hunger, a Laplander eats in these magazines whatever he chooses, but never carries any thing away. — At the distance of some paces from the cot of the Lapland-mountaineer stands a certain vessel, called in Lapland Lodavve, raised on beams set on end, where rein-deer skins, &c. are put upon cross-placed boughs of various trees.
Pinkerton's Coll. part ii.
pp. 374, 393.
The Arabs to this day hold their courts of justice in an open place, under the heavens, as in a field, or a market-place.
See NORDEN's Trav. in Egypt,
vol. ii. p. 140.
If we credit the account the Creeks give of themselves, this place (or site of a town on the Oakmulge fields) is remarkable for being the first town or settlement, when they sat down (as they term it) or established themselves, after their emigration from the west, beyond the Mississippi, Iheir original native country.
BARTRAM's Trav. p. 53.
1712. (13.) The Orientals seem to have had the same notion about burying places which prevailed among the Greeks and Romans, namely, that it was ignominious to be buried in another's ground; and therefore every family, the poorer sort excepted, had a sepulchre of their own, nor would suffer others to be interred in them.
1705. [Gen, xxiii. 2.] Kirjath-arba, the city of four ; namely (Ch. xiv. 24) Aner, Eshcol, Mamre; and Ephron, who in particular is said to have a city here, v. 10, 18.
1713. [ 15.] Four hundred shekels amount to twenty four pounds sixteen shillings and three-pence. Isai. vii. 23.
See No. 585.
1706. - 2-5.] In this way D' Arvieux, travelling with a party to an Emir’s camp, halted to dine under a tree at the entrance of a village; the shaik sent them eggs, butter, curds, honey, olives, and fruit.
Forbes' Oriental Memoirs,
vol. ii. p. 480.
1714. [-- 16. In the audience of the sons of Heth] Abraham could not purchase from Ephron the Hittite, but in a public city-gate, where certain governors and elders regularly attended to hear complaints, administer justice, make conveyances of titles and estates, and transact all the affairs of the place. (See Gen. xxxiv. 20. Ruth iv. I, &c.)
The shekel of silver being equivalent to three shillings of English money, Abraham paid for this his purchase sixty pounds sterling Gen. xxiv. 22.
Unider. Hist. vol. ii. p. 379.
1707. [4.] It is still a custom with the Mahometans, to pray at the tombs of their ancestors.
PIETRO DELLE VALLE. Pin.
kerton's Coll. vol. ix. p. 113.
1721. [Gen xxiv. 11.] To finish the day, in the evening the Moorish women in Barbary are still to fit themselves with a pitcher or goat-skin, and tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water. See No. 543, 538.
Shaw's Trav. p. 42).
1715. [Gen. xxii, 16.] The practice of weighing money is general in Syria, Egypt, and all Turkey. No piece, however effaced, is refused there: the merchant draws out his scales, and weighs it, as in the days of Abraham, when he purchased his sepulchre. In considerable payments, an agent of exchange is sent for, who counts paras by thousands, rejects pieces of false money, weighs all the sequins, either separately or together. (VOLNEY's Trav. vol. ii. p. 425.) - The merchants of Mocha, finding it too troublesome to count all the money, receive payment of great sums by weight, and the seraf, or broker of the Imam, often examines the weights of the other brokers, or merchants. See No. 586.
Niebuhr's Trav. vol. i. p. 191.
1722. [- - 19.) The Arabs are sometimes so distressed for water, that they quench their thirst from the bowels of the camels which they kill for the purpose. These aniinals, which never drink above twice or thrice in a year, and which eat only dried plants, have in general a prodigious quantity of water in their stomachs; but it is by no means pleasing to the taste.
1716. [-18. Before the city] In Arabia the walls of the ordinary houses are of mud mixed with dung; and the roof is thatched with a sort of grass which is there very common. Around by the walls within is a range of beds made of straw, on which, notwithstanding their simplicity, a person may either sit or lie commodiously enough. Such a house is not sufficiently large to be divided into separate apartments; it has seldom windows, and its door is only a straw mat. When an Arab has a family and cattle, he builds for their accommodation several such huts, and incloses the whole with a strong wooden fence. The cities of Arabia therefore, cannot in population be proportionate to their extent.
Ibid p. 255.
1723. [- 22.] Negem zahab (Hebr.), a nose-ring; universally worn by young women, through all parts of Arabia and Persia, in the left nostril.
Dr. A. CLARKE,
-53.) Keley (Hebr.), vessels, of instru. menis; given in the way of dowry.
Migdonoth (Ilebr.), exquisite fruits.
Ibid. - See Deut, xxxiii, 13,
14, 15, 16.
1717. (— 19, 20.] All sepulcbres, when once a body was interred therein, were esteemed as eligious and sacred, and were not to follow the possession of the field.
Abr. Phil. Trans. vol. viii. p. 65.
When an African lady of cousequence is in full dress, the gold about her person may be worth, altogether, from fifty to eighty pounds sterling.
1718. [Gen. xxiv. 2.) To embrace the thigh, in Poland, is the most customary mode of salutation.
PINKERTON's Coll. vol. i. p. 221.
1726. [-28. Her mother's house] Beth (Hebr.), apartment or lodging. — Thus, in the book of Esther (ii. 9) the house of the women was probably a part of the king's house. (See Univer. Hist. vol. iij. p. 598.) - Then the damsel ran to her mother's apartment, and told these things.
See No. 562.
In this way it was usual with the Antients in binding themselves by vow, to embrace the knees of their idols.
1727. [ — 29, 30.] In the East, and especially in Arabia, the elder brother is the second father of the family.
See Dr. GEDDES, on 1 Sam. xx. 29.
1720. [4.] Thus for sons the Father, or even the Mother, chose wives; as is indeed still the case in the East, where the young pair are, for the most part, unacquainted with each other before marriage, and come together merely in obedience to the will of their parents : compare Gen. xxi, 21. Exod. xxi. 9-11. Judg. xiv. 2 --4.
Smith's MICHAELIS, vol. i.
1728. [-50.] Thus in after-ages, the Athenian law, to legalize a marriage, required that the bride's father, or ber
1739. [ 25.] The complexion of the American Indians is of a reddish brown or copper-color; their hair long, lank, coarse, and black as a raven, reflecting also the like lustre at different exposures to the light.
Veils probably were at first assumed as a defence or protection against the sun, dust, &c. -- During a part of the year, it is not possible to go abroad into the streets of Pekin without having the face covered with a veil, op account of the sand with which the air is loaded. (St. Pierre's Studies of Nalure, vol. i. p. 211.) -- When ISBRAND IDEs arrived on the frontiers of China, at that part of the crest of the Asiatic Continent which is the most elevated, “ Every day,” says he, “at noon regularly, there blows a strong gust of wind for two hours together, which joined to the sultry heat of the sun, parches the ground to such
a degree, that it raises a dust almost insupportable." See No. 552.
Journey from Moscow to China,
1740. [30.] The Hebrew compound halhiteni, occurring only in this place, there is some doubt respecting its true interpretation. The Septuagint render the word geuson me, fac me gustare. The Samaritan reads give me much of it. The Arabic intimates that he asked for the thickest of the pottage.
See Univer, Hist. vol. ii. p. 125.
1747. (Gen. xxvii. 1.) Dr. Rush, in his Medical Inquiries and Observations, p. 312, mentions a case equally extraordinary : - Adam Riffle of Pennsylvania, about the 68th year of his age, without siekuess, it seetas, gradually lost his sight, and continued entirely blind for the space of twelve years; at the end of which period, his sight fully returned to its wonted vigor ; without the use of any appropriate means, and without any visible change in the appearance of his eyes.
See Sinclair's Code of Health,
dol. i. p 72.
29. Be lord over thy brethren] It does not appear that Jacob had more than one natural brother, therefore his brethren the priesthood must be meant.
See No. 521, 528, 893, 521, 892, 894, 518, 529, 932.
About the age of 36, remarks the ingenious Dr. WATERHOUSE, the lean man usually becomes fatter, and the fat man leaner. Again, between the years 43
4 and 50, his appetite fails, his complexion fades, and his tongue is apt to be furred on the least exertion of body or mind.
At this period his muscles become flabby, his joints weak, bis spirits droop, and his sleep is imperfect and unrefreshing. After suffering under these complaints, a year,
1764. [Gen. xxviii. 12.) And Jacob dreamed, and behold a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven : and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
In the cave of Mithra was a ladder with seven steps, representing the seven spheres of the planets, by means of which souls ascended and descended. And in the French king's library, there is a superb volume of pictures of the Indian gods, in which the ladder is represented with the souls of men mountivg it. John i. 51.
1765. (Gen. xxviii. 17.) This is none other but the house of God; and this is the gate of heaven.
From this, compared with other passages of Sacred Scripture, there is reason to conclude, that religion shifts her seat from place to place on the surface of the earth, regularly according to the precession of the equinoxes. - By the observations of Aristarchus, Eusodus, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Halley, and other excellent astronomers, antient and modern ; it is proved, that the axis of the earth rolls without ceasing, always parallel to itself, about the pole of the ecliptic, from which it is distant, in every place, twenty-three degrees and a balf, incluing to the plane of the ecliptic; and that the equinoxes by degrees proceed to the southern parts, having nothing to do with the ecliptic : — so that when the equinoxes come to the Tropic of Capricorn, there is a necessity of their proceeding further to the Antarctic Pole, and so afterwards by turning about to the Arctic.
Whence it comes to pass that, by little and little, and insensibly, different and different regions are placed under the axis, and the inhabitants of the zone, now frigid, are brought back and turned to the equi. noctial line; and, at length, the place of the Arctic Pole to the Antarctic, and the East to the West, which HERODOTUS (lib. ii. cap. 142), from the sacred authority and mysterious monaments of the Egyptian priests, testifies to have happened formerly twice ; – though one such conversion of the stars, and reduction of all parts into the same situation, requires a revolution of about thirty-six thousand years. In this we perceive an admirable providence, that the same part of the earth shonld not be condemned to so long a cold, but that each, and every region, might partake in its time, of all the aspects of the sun ; and, at the same time, of the benigu influences of that Sun of RighTEOUSNESS, which is a light to the Gentiles for Salvation unto the ends of the earth.
See TOLAND's Pantheisticon,
amount in number to twenty-eight, according to the Indian, to only twenty-seven, mansions. The expression occurs frequently in holy writ, often in the former sense, and some times even in the astronomical allusion of the word. In the forner acceptation we read, in Esther ii. 19, of the Jew Mordecai sitting in the King's Gate; in Lam. v. 14, that the elders have ceased from the Gate: and in Ruth iii. 2, it is used in a sense remarkably figurative ; all the GATE (that is house) of my people know thou art virtuous. In the second acceptation, the word as well as the attendant symbol itself, to our astonishinent, occur in the account of Jacob's vision of the Ladder whose TOP HEAVEN. A similar idea occurs in Isaiah Xxxviii. 10. I shall go to the Gates of the grave ; and in Matt. xviii. 18. The Gates of hell shall not prevail against it: nor is it impossible but our blessed Lord himself might speak in allusion to the popular notion of the two astronomical Gates celestial and terrestrial, when, in Matt. vii. 13, he said, Enter
ye in at the strait GATE ; for, wide is the Gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and
there be who go in thereat : because strait is the Gate and narrow is the way which leadcth unto life, and few there be that find it. These gates may, therefore, be considered as houses or spheres, through which the soul passes in her course to the centre of light and felicity.
See No. 532, 536. Maurice's Indian Antiquities,
The word Gate, which is a part of Asiatic palaces by far the most conspicuous and magnificent, and upon adorning of which immense sums are often expended, is an expression, that, throughout the East, is figuratively used for the mansion itself.
Indeed it seems to be thus denominated with singular propriety, since, as those who have resided in Asiatic regions well know, it is under those Gales that conversations are holden, that hospitality to the passing traveller is dispensed, and the most important transactions in commerce frequently carried on. Astronomy, deriving its birth in Asia, and exploring nature and language for new symbols, soon seized upon this allegorical expression as highly descriptive of her romantic ideas, and the title was transferred from terrestrial houses to the spheres. Hence, in the Arabian astronomy, those coustellations in the Heavens, nearest which the moon, during her monthly revolution, remains every nigbt, are called the Mansions of the Moon, which, according to the Arabian computation,
1757. [Gen. xxix. 2, 10. Watered the flocks] Dr. CHANDLER, in his Travels in the Lesser Asia, speaks of a goat's skin with the hair on made use of as a bucket, which was distended by a piece of wood, to which the rope was fixed ; and which was left at a well by a benevolent peasant (who had thence drawn water for them) for their use while he was absent.
See Harmer's Observations, vol. ii. p. 264. In the course of the day, Captain Keys went on shore to the dola's and found a considerable nuinber of skins filled with water, lying on the beach, and sheltered from the sun by a covering of mats. These, being sent on board, nearly completed the supply he wanted ; and the charge proved very reasonable, as the dola demanded only one dollar for twenty-seven skins.
Lord VALENIIA's Trad. in
1758. 1-2,4.] In Arabia, and other places, they cover up their wells of water, lest the sand, which is put into molion by the wiuds, sbould fill up and quite stop them.