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2514. (Num. xviii. 15.] The first-born belonged not to his parents, till they had paid for his redemption.
See No. 998, 997.
2520. [Num. xix. 17.) This denotes that the infernal inflaence from Hades, combined with the celestial influence from Paradise, when falling jointly on a soul purify it from sin, when the soul is desirous of being delivered.
2515. [Num. xix. 2, &c.] The regulations before us were entirely necessary for a people, whose very degree and place in society were conditionally dependent on a scrupulous avoidance of all uncleanness.
Halhen's Preface to Gentoo
Laws, p. 60.
2521. [Num. xx. 8.) Filtering jars, as invented at the Serapeum in Canopus, were made by inixing wax with brickearth, and baking the vessei, till the wax consuming, test it porous.
See Month. Mag. for Feb. 1812, p. 41.
This heifer was undoubtedly a type of the impure humanity taken from the Virgin, and made a sacrifice for sin, when the Lord died on the cross. It then went to Hades never to return, whilst the interior and purified Human went to Paradise, and returned glorified with the Divine, at the resurrection.
2522. (19.) At Suez, says PITTS (p. UI), we paid a groat, ur sixpence a gallon, for fresh water
If the Israelites solicited from other nations a passage into Palestine, it was merely to come at their own property again : and when they passed the Jordan, and found the Canaanites in arms against them, the latter had no longer a legitimate cause to maintain, for they wanted to keep possession of the property of another people.
Smith's MICHAELIS, vol. i. p. 160.
Sce, on Deut. l. d.
Mr. Brenkenhoff has imported large quantities of camels and buffaloes from Asia, for the improvement of agriculture. The race of the latter thrive very well under the Prussian sky:- But the laziness of this animal renders all his other advantages of no account.
2523. - 21.] The land of Edom, situate between the Dead and the Red Sea, was in alter ages deuomated Aravia Petrea. See No. 769, 772.
Univer. Hist. vol. x. p. 14.
2518. (14.) This law seems to presuppose, that interment should take place before the seventh day, on which the Hebrews ended their deepest mourning. Whoever, from excessive attachment, thought to keep a corpse longer in his tent, continued unclean alouy with the tent, during the whole time it was kept.
Smith's MICHAELIS, vol. iii. p. 326.
2524. [Num. xxi. 6.) Nechashim seraphim (Hebr.): These flying fiery serpents, bred in Arabia and Egypt, are of a shining yellowish color like brass (verse 9), and by the motion of their wings, and vibration of their tails, reserberating the sun-beams, make a glorious appearance, Supposed to be the hydra.
Unider. Hist. dol. i.
124. pol, iii. p. 20.
2519. - 11 - 22.] After touching a dead boily, the Kamtschadales use the following purification. Going to the wood, they cut some rods, of which they make a ring, and creeping through it twice, they carry it back to the wood, and throw it towards the west. Those who have been employed in removing a corpse out of the hut where it expired, are obliged to catch two birds, one of which they burn, and then participate with the whole family in eating the other. Such purification is performed on the very day of defilement; for they must not epier any other hut, nor wili any person enter theirs, before they are purified.
The chersydrus was one of the most noxious species of serpents, subsisting, according to Nicander, on dust ; and found, if Cicero and Æhan may be credited, in vast numbers in the deserts of Lybia.
Mic. vii. 17. Gen. iii. 14. Univer. Hist. vol. xi, Isai. Ixv. 25.
p. 695. note (S).
In America, during summer, fire-flies appear every night. After a slight shower in an afternoon,
2534. [-20.) As revealed in an elementary body, God could be seen by Abraham, Moses, &c.; but where not so revealed, he could only be seen by the spirit of a man in the visions of the night.
See Num. xii. 6-8.
2527. Num. xxi. 6.] One night, says BERNIER (in the account of his Voy, to the East Indies), when there was not a breath of wind, and the air was so hot and stifling that we could scarcely breathe in the creek where we had retired out of the main channel, the bushes around us were so full of those little shining worms, that they seemed to be ou fire; and there arose flies here and there, which were like Aames, and frightened my seamen, who said, they were devils. Among the rest there arose two, that were very extraordinary : one was a great globe of fire, which in falling and spinning lasted above the time of saying a Pater-noster; and the other, which lasted about a quarter of an hour, was like a little tree all in a fame.
See No. 1001. See Pinkerton's Coll. part xxxii. p. 229.
Hannechasim has-seraphim (Hebr.). Saraph signifies simply to burn or flame.
2529. - 13.] Arnon discharges itself into the Black Sea.
Univer. Hist. vol. iii. p. 21.
2536. [Num. xxiii. 1.] The blessing of the bridegroom consisted of seven blessings.
See GILL on Matt. xxv. I.
2530. [-14.] From this and the following passages it would appear as if severał Books of Scripture were now utterly lost. Josh. 1. 13. 1 Kings xi. 41. 2 Kings i. 18. 2 Chron. ix. 29. — xii. 15. - XX. 34.
2537. [8.] From this and the 21st verse, it appears to have been Balaam's firm belief, that God's people could never be hurt, unícss they were seduced into sin.
See a testimony to this purpose, not only in the xiv. ch. following, but more remarkably in Judith v. 5—21.
From Chap. xxxi. 16, following, and Rev. ii. 14, it appears further, that Balaam wickedly seduced the Israelites to idolatry by the Midianitish Church-women.
Verses 20, 21. He hath blessed, and I cannot reverse it] Intimating, that it were in vain to expect God ever to desert his people, so long as they continued in their duty; and therefore the only way to hurt and distress them would be, to tempt them to idolatry and disobedience. See No. 2553.
JOSEPH. Antiq. b. iv. c. 6.
2531. [- 17.] It is a general practice when a plantation of mango-trees is made, to dig a well on one side of it. The well and the plantation are married, a' ceremony at wbich all the village attends. The well is considered as the husband ; its waters which are copiously furnished to the young trees during the first hot season, being supposed to cherish and impregnate them.
FORBES' Oriental Memoirs.
vol. iii. p. 56.
2632. [21.] This land, regained by the Israelites, originally belonged to the Moabites and Aininonites.
See Judg. xi. 13, &c.
2538. 9.] In 1768, a Bill was passed by the British Parliameut to naturalize the Jews; but after a few months it was repealed, the voice of the people demanding that the devoted nation should not be reckoned with them. - Thus, we may say, our last national deliberation concering that people, was influenced according to prophecy. - But it is predicted again, that Israet shall return to the LORL
their God. Agreeably to this, and to promote their conversion, let our nation proceed, without delay, to take away the reproach of the Jewish people; and annonnce the Christian Act in the most public and solemn manner, as an example to the rest of the world.
Christian Researches in Asia,
unfrequented retreats. “At least," says SPAREMAN, "they describe an animal exactly corresponding with the usual character of that creature, whose existence has been so much doubted by naturalists."
Also, in the proximity of the Cordilleras in South America, there is an animal called Danta or grand bestia, the size of a bullock, and very swift, its color generally white, and its skin very inuch valued for making buff leather ; which has, says Ulloa, in the middle of its head, a horu bending inward.
Voyage, Edit. 4th. vol. i. p. 362.
13. [Num. xxiii. 25.) To curse is to disinherit; and to bless is to settle in an inheritance.
2539. [Num. xxiii. 22.] The word rim (Hebr.), transJated unicorn, wherever it occurs in the Sacred Writings, will be found to be distinguished by its fierceness, its strength, or the prominency of its horn; properties, which all naturalists ascribe in an eminent degree to the rhinoceros. (BURTON.) After the elephant, says Buffon, the rhinoceros is the most powerful of all quadrupeds. He is at least twelve feet in height, and the circumference of his body is nearly equal to his length, Deprived of all feeling in the skin, he has nothing instead of a trunk, but a moveable lip, in which centers all his dexterity. This muscular and flexible lip, which can be leugthened six or seven inches, is indeed a sort of trunk, very incomplete, yet well calculated for strength and facility in gathering and dividing the grass into sinall quantities, as the elephant does with his trunk. Without being ferocious, or carnivorous, or even wild, he is nevertheJess untameable. He is of the nature of a hog, blunt and grunting, without intellect, without sentiment, and without tractableness. He fears neither the claws of the tyger nor the lion, nor even the fire and weapons of the huntsman. Yet his superiority consists solely in his strength, size, and in the offensive weapon which he carries on his nose, and which is peculiar to hiin. This weapon is a very hard horn, solid throughout, and so placed as to defend all his vulnerable parts, the muzzle, the mouth and the face from insult: so that, on account of this 'horn and the tremendous claws on his huge feet, the tyger more readily seizes the elephant than the rhinoceros, which he cannot attack in front, without incurring the danger of being instantly killed.
See Ps. xcii. 10. and Deut. xxxiji. 17.
2544. [Num. xxiv. 5-9.] This poetic prophecy, says Bp. Lowth, abounds in gay and splendid imagery copied immediately from the tablet of nature, and is chiefly conspicuous for the glowing elegance of the style, and the form and diversity of the figures.
2545. [-6.] No aloe-trees grow in Mesopotamia, which was Balaam's country; nor in the land of Moab, where these words were originally expressed. What we call the wood of aloes comes to us from the Iudies, and the best of it from Sunatra and Molucca. We should therefore translate Ahalim by tents, as the Septuagint, the Vulgate, the Syriac and the Arabic Versions have done.
The aloes is of a bad smell, and cannot enter among the perfumes which are mentioned in Ps. xlv. 8. Prov. vii, 17. and Cant. iv. 14 (See Prov. vii. 17). — See Essay for a New Translation, part ii. pp. 153, 155.
But the Indian calambac, which appears to be here meant, is the most resinous and fragrant of all woods. The Indians account it holy, and burn it as incense in their temples.
Of the Rhinoceros there are two species ; one with two borlis, the other with one- the unicorn.
See a Portuguese Manuscript trans
lated by Sir PETER Wyche, p. 42.
The rhinoceros, it is well known, is in strength next to the elephant, and in some respects more formidable.
2546. [-7.) Near Rosetta in Egypt, the land that is well watered produces three crops in each year; the first of clover, the second of corn, and the third of rice. The rice-grounds are inundated from the time of sowing nearly to harvest : the seed is commonly cast on the water. Eccles. xi. 1. CLARKE's Trav. in Greece, and the
That yellow-skinned nation, the Inise Hottentots, declare that the unicorn is found in some of their
The native Indians, or Gentoos, who inhabit Pondicherry, subsist chiefly on rice boiled in water, or formed into a paste which is baked on the coals.
Rees. For an idea of the antient Bucket, See No. 2184.
2553. [Num. xxv. 1, 2, &c.] It is said hy Jesus Christ in the Revelation, that Balaam taught Balak to cast this stumbling block before the Israelites, i. e. to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit fornication.
See Red, ii, 14.
2548. [Num. xxiv. 7.) His king shall be supremely exalted, and his kingdom shall be highly elevated.
See Dr. Dodd. - Agag] The Samaritan, Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic read Gog the Scythians, preferred by the Editors of Univer. Hisi.
See vol. iii. p. 24.
2554. (4. Hang them up] Let them be put on their trial, whether they be guilty or not. See Deut. xxviii. 66. Hosea xi. 7.
Gen. xl. 19. Essay for a New Translation, p. 69.
2549. [-17.] Bp. Newton applies the literal meaning of this prophecy to the person and actions of David.
See his Dissertations on the Pro
phecies, vol. i. p. 139.
At Paris, 80 late as the 7th of Jan. 1816, there were barnt in the square of Falais, different emblems of Buovaparte's Government, such as cockades, flags, prints and busts. Deut. xxi. 22. Esth. vii, 9.
Public Prints. It was a custom among the Jews at the Feast of Purim, or of Lots, instituted iu remembrance of Haman's wicked attempt to destroy them, to erect a gibbet, and hang upon it the figure of a man, which they called Haman. Esther ix. 13.
MARTIN's Magazine of Arts and
Sciences, vol. iii. p. 122. The Effigy of Count de Lavalette, who had escaped from prison after being condemned to suffer death, was burnt in Paris Jan. 1816, agreeably to an antient law of France. Josh. x. 22 — 27.
2550. [-20.] The kingdom of Amalek was bounded by Canaan on the north ; by Egypt, on the south ; by Edom, on the east; and on the west, by the deserts towards the sea, or by the inargin of the sea itself.
Univer. Hist.col.ii. p. 150.
2556. [-6. One of the children of Israel — led to his brethren &c.] With the cords of a husband, with bands of love, Hosea xi. 4. - These cords were the marriage yoke. 1 Kings xx. 31, 32.
N. B. Covenants between God and man, Ps. oxviii. 27; - between a king and his subjects, Ps. ii. 3; - between a master and his servant, Matt. xxiv. 51; and between a husband and wife, Hos. xi. 4, - were all formed by girdles, cords, and belts of wampum. JOSEPHUS says expressly, that Zimri had married Cozbi.
Antig. b. iv. chap. 6.
2551. - 21.] The Grecian fortresses are invariably placed on high and com
ommandiyg rocks ; in which excavatious were made, to serve as wells, and as grauaries. This rational mode of adapting the works of art to those of nature, obviated the necessity of ditches. — Vallies, ravines, and the beds of torrents, generally form their dykes and intrenchments, and the precipices above them are nearly as inaccessible as the walls which they support.
Archæologia, vol. xv. p. 323.
2552. [-24. Shalt afflict Eber] Shall afflict the other side of the River. (Hyde de rel. vet. Pers. p. 67.) When this prophecy came to be fulfilled, Ashur was reduced to its primitive bounds, and in subjection to Elam or the Persians ; as were also the Babylonians, and the inhabitants of Aram, or Mesopotamia : who, we think, say the Editors of the Univer. Hist. (vol. i. p. 259) are to be understood by Eber, or the other side of the Rider, that is, the Euphrates.
See No. 1006, 1003.
2567. [Num. xxvi. 59.] The Greeks, having no words ending in M, frequently expunged that letter from Oriental proper names, in order to accommodate them to their own language of which Maria, Gehenna, &c., are sufficient instances. See No. 831.
Unider. Hist. vol. xvi. p. 688.
2558. [Num. xxvii. 8-11.] The Jewish law of inheritances depended almost wholly on the following rules: 1. The children of the deceased succeeded to his property, and, on failure of thein, his father inherited. 2. The heir being dead, he was represented by his issne. 3. Males were preferred to females in equal degrees.
Works of Sir W. JONES,
vol. iy. p. 217.
2564. [Num. xxix. 12.) Dr. Bradley assumes the mean “precession of the equinoxes” to be oue degree in seventyone years and a half. According to this estimate, the Pla. tonic or great year (when the same stars whieh at present describe the equator, tropics, and polar circles, &c. by the earth's diurnal motion, will describe thein over again) would be equal to 25,740 solar years.
2559. [-14.] Every man must duly suffer for his sin however he repent and change.
Thus from the first, in the antient Hebrew republic, one supreme magistrate presided.
See Univer. Hist. vol. xvi. pp. 450, 457,
noles (I) & (N). Honor is of goodness; glory, of truth.
2565. (Num. XXX, 4, 5.) Thus fathers were to determine, what might be reasonable for their children, while under their care, to vow and promise ; because the vows made by such children signified nothing without a father's consent. And it appears from the case of Jephthah's daughter, that if a father vowed any thing in the name of his child, such father might be released from his yow, unless it were sanctioned and confirmed by the daughter's consent.
Judg. xi. 30, 31, &c. See Essay for a New TransSee No. 514, &c.
lation, p. 91.
2561. [-21.] What this Urim and Thummim was, has been the subject of great and extensive controversy : but if, without stating the grounds of it, I might briefly mention my opinion, says Michaelis, it was three very antient stones, which the Israelites before Moses' time used as lots; one of them marked with an affirmative ; a second, with a negative ; and the third, blank, or neutral; and which Moses commanded to be kept within what was called the chosch, or breastplate of the priest ; but which had no connexion with the twelve precious stones therein set.
See No. 2116, &c. Smith's Michaelis, vol. i. p. 261.
2666. [Num. xxxi.) According to the Mosaic law as laid down in this Chapter, when intruders were dispossessed or usurpers disinherited, the spoil in persons and cattle did not belong to the individuals who took it, but was collected, reckoned, and distributed, 1. To those who went against the enemy, one half; of which however, they had to give every five hundredth individual to the priests : 2. To all the other Israelites, the other half; but with the deduction of every fiftieth individual for the Levites. Whilst things inanimate belonged to the individual who seized them ; see v. 48, 54.
Smith's MICHAELIS, vol. iji, p. 51.
2562. (Num. Ixviii. 1.] The prophet Amos, in chap. v. 25, says, the Israelites brought no offerings to God in the wilderness during forty years.
Ibid. vol. ii. 415.
2567. [7.] Instead of "they slew”, we should read they cut (or circumcised) all the males. — The Israelites, it seeins, in forming their leagues with other nations BY CIRCUMCISION, always cut them with the sword, or with the edge of the sword.
See Gen. xxxiv. 25, 26.
2663. (Num. xxix. 7.] This solemn day of propitiation was wustituted among the Jews to preserve the memory of the pardou proclaimed to their forefathers by Moses on the part of God; who thereby remitted the punishment due for their worship of the golden calf.
2568. [ 10.] Among the Celtes, Gauls, and Scythians, it was an antient custom for every tribe to have a separate canton assigned to it, and to be governed by magistrates of its own election. These cantons weré by the Romans called pagi (ch. xxxii. 41), which took up more or less ground, according to the largeness of the tribe ; and,