« VorigeDoorgaan »
which fell to their lot, which Moses and Josephus represent as the richest of all Judea.
Essay for a New Translation,
part ii, p. 43.
630. (Gen. xlix. 11. The choice vine] The vine of Sorek.—This Sorek, where Delilah lived (Judg. xvi. 4) was a village or small town, about three quarters of a mile distant from Eshcol, the Grape ; so named from the enormous cluster of grapes, brought back by the spies as a proof of the fertility of the Promised Land, Num. xiii. 23. (See BOCHART, Hieroz. tom. i. lib. iii. cap. 13.)- The Hebrew word, says GEDDES, denotes a particular vine of which the grapes are of a yellowish color, and have no stones.
637. (Gen. xlix, 26. That was separate]—The nazir in Persia, is the principal officer of the Shah's household : he is both lord-treasurer and steward, and it is with this gentleman that all ambassadors and foreigners transact their affairs. -When the Shah goes out, this lord marches before him with a great staff, covered with gold and precious stones.
PINKERTON's Voy. and Trav.
part xxxvi. p. 215.
In those Eastern countries the vines have large stems. CHARDIN saw some in Persia, which lie could hardly grasp. After the vintage is over, the cattle feed on the leaves and tendrils.--In the tribe of Judah, we find the vine-renowned vale of Eshcol, the vineyard of Eugedi, and the rich pastures where Nabal kept his numerous flocks.
Dr. GEDDES' Critical Remarks, p. 150.
638. (Gen. xlix. 27.]
In the morning he shall devour the prey,
And for the evening he shall divide the spoil. It is thus usual, say the naturalists, for wolves, to glut themselves with a part of their food, and to bury the remainder in the earth for another feast.
Bib. Research. vol. ij.
An oak, antient and decayed, that stood in a dry soil, has been known, in the midst of summer, after a drought of three months, to discharge through an aperture made in one of its knots, some tons of sap in a few days.
Act. Erud. Leips, 1668, p. 204.
633. (Gen. xlix. 22.] In North America, the wild vines are made to run up the walls, like ivy-trees.
See Kalm.-Pinkerton's Col.
part liii. p. 423.
639. (Gen. xlix. 33.] And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, und was gathered to his people.
Thus Indians die almost without any pain, in the manner of consumptive persons : they extinct like a lamp exhausted of its oil.
BARTOLOMEO, by Johnston, p. 411.
634. (Gen. xlix, 13.] Zebulon's lot extended from the Mediterranean on the west, to the lake of Gennesaret on the east side.
Univer. Hist. vol. ii. p. 443.
Hence we learn that, in the days of Jacob, there were ships on the Mediterranean.
640. [Gen. I. 2.] That Joseph's household-physicians are EMERSON. represented as a number, will not appear strange when we
learn from HERODOTUS, that, in Egypt, every distinct dis
temper had its own physician, who confined himself to the 635. (Gen. xlix. 14.] The lot of Issachar lay in a fine study and cure of that, and meddled with no other : So that vale between those of Zebulon and Manasseh, naturally di- all places were crowded with physicians : For one class had vided from both by a chain of high ground. Here he might the care of the eyes, another of the head, another of the be at ease, like the noble ass of Judea in a well-served teeth, another of the belly, and another of occult disstall.
tempers. Dr. GEDDES.
Herod, lib. i. cap. 65.
Asphaltum, or Jeu's' pitch, is said to be the same substance which the Egyptians used in embalming their mummies, and it was called by them mumia mineralis.
Watson's Chem, vol. iii. p. 4.
636. (Gen. xlix. 21.) Naphtali or the Naphtalites shall be like a tree having grafts, which shoot out pleasant branches. (BOCHART.) - Jacob compares this tribe to a tree, as he does that of Joseph, in the verse following ; either because of its fruitfulness,-Naphtali having brought but four children to Egypt, Gen. xlvi. 24, which produced more than fifty thousand in less than two hundred and fifteen years, Num. i. 41, 42; or on account of the fruitfulness of the country
642. (Gen. I. 2, 3.) Among the Egyptians there were three different methods of embalming the dead. One used for the lower class of people, was performed by cleansing the 645. (Gen. 1. 25, 26.] The inbabitants of Benin, an extensive belly with injected lotions, and laying the corpse in salt for kingdom of west Africa, have such attachment for their seventy days. A second mode was effected, without dis- own country, that those who die in other provinces are pre. section, by syringing the body with oil of cedar, and laying it served for years, till they can be conveyed for burial to their in nitre the said number of days. The third method, which native soil. was truly exquisite and the most expensive, was performed upon persons of distinction, like the patriarch Jacob, in the following manner :- After evacuating the head, "a person 646. (Gen. 1. 2.) Part of a Mummy, carelessly laid by in called the paraschistis cut open the left side of the belly, and a damp cellar at London, was so completely flesh that it instantly quitted the house with all possible speed, being began there to sinell like very carrion, though it was at least pursued with stones and imprecations by the spectators, who three thousand years old. deemed it a heinous crime to wound or otherwise offer violence
Dr. LISTER.—Pinkerton's Voy. and to a dead body ; but the embalmers were highly respected,
Trav. part xiv. p. 40. and admitted by the priests, as persons of eminent sanctity, into the most sacred parts of the temples. When these came to perform their office, one of them drew out all the intes- 647. (Gen. I. 26.] Antique coffins of stone, and of sycatines, and another cleansed the entrails, washing them with inore wood, are still to be seen in Egypt. It is said that wine of palms, and perfuming them with several aromatic some were formerly made of a kind of pasteboard, formed drugs; all the cavities were then filled with pounded myrrh, by folding and glueing cloth together a great number of cassia, &c. The incision being sewed up, the corpse was times; these were curiously plastered and painted with carefully anointed for thirty days, and laid in nitre forty hieroglyphics. days ; so that in the whole, they mourned seventy days in
THEVENOT, part i. p. 137. Egypt, as Moses observes. At the expiration of this term, every part was covered with fillets of fine linen, overspread with gum, and incrusted with the most exquisite perfumes ; 648. [Gen. I. 3.) Among the Tartars, nothing equals the and this was done so variously that the very hairs on respect paid by children, of all ages and conditions, to their the brows and eyelids remained uninjured, and the coun- | fathers, who are considered as the kings of their families. tenance was preserved so admirably, as to be easily recog- They must lament such a father many days, and deny themnized. The embalmers having thus prepared the body, deli- selves all sorts of pleasure during the whole time. They vered it to the relations, who put it in a wooden coffin, and inust also spare neither trouble nor expense to render his placed it in an upright position, either in a sepulchre or in one funeral honourable, and his tomb venerable. of their owu apartments; for many of the Egyptians kept
See Modern Univer. Hist. vol. iv. p. 304, their dead at home, esteeming it a great pleasure to behold the lineaments of their ancestors, in this state of preservation.”
Mavor. 649. (Gen. I. 26.) As soon as Timur's death was known
in the court, the empresses (the court-ladies) tore their faces
and hair; the court-lords rent their clothes, and, flinging 643.
“Some affirm, that embalming became ne- themselves on the ground, passed the night in grief. Next cessary in Egypt from the inundations of the Nile, the waters morning the body was washed, and embalmed with camphor, whereof drowning all the flat country near two months, the musk, and rose-water; then wrapped in linen, and laid in a people were obliged all this while to keep the dead in their coffin of ebony. houses, or remove them to rocks and eminences, which were
Ibid. vol. v. p. 371, often very distant. To which we may add, that although bodies were buried before the inundation, yet that would throw them up again ; a sandy moist soil not being strong enough 650. (Gen. 1. 25.) The Egyptian legislature ordained, That to retaiu them against the action of the water."
no person should obtain burial till a rigorous examination had See CASSIAN. Collat. 15. c. 3. passed into his conduct when living ; for this purpose the
corpse was ordered to be carried into an island in the lake
Moris, where the people sat as judges upon it, and decreed, 644.
The danger of such disinterment will or denied it burial, according as the character came out good suggest also a reason for the erection of those pyramids in or bad. The boatman who was first employed in carrying Egypt, which are generally supposed to have been designed dead bodies over to this solemn trial, being named Charon, før sepulchres and monuments of the dead. DIODORUS in- has given origin to the poetical fable of Charon ferrying forms us that Chemmis and Cephron intended the first and souls over the Styx, or from this world to the next. the second pyramids for their own sepulchres, though it hap
Dr. W. ALEXANDER's Hist. of Women, pened that their design was frustrated : all those near Mem.
vol. i. p. 225. phis are, in fact, supposed to havo been royal sepulchres, and the tomb, which may still be seen in the greatest pyramid, fully establishes such an opinion,
to dip their children, as soon as born, into them, in order to knit and harden their limbs.
See Relig. des Gaul. I. iv. c. 27.
The Israelites, it seems, were washed in salted water.
See Ezek. xvi. 4.
651. (Exod. i. 16.) And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, and said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools, if it be a son, then ye shall kill him ; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live.
Stools, abenim (Hebr.), the lavers or stone troughs, Exod. vii. 19.—The kings of Persia are so afraid of being deprived of that power which they abuse, and are so apprehensive of being dethroned, that they destroy the children of their female relations, when they are brought to-bed of boys by putting them into an earthen trough, where they suffered them to starve (probably in the water).
Thevenot, part ii. p. 98.
657 (Exod. i. 16.) The Lacedemonians, says PLUTARCH, washed the new born infant in wine, meaning thereby to strengthen it.
Life of Lycurgus.
MOSES IN THE ARK OF BULRUSHES.
658. [Exod. ii. 5.) And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river's side: and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.
The occurrence probably took place at the time when the Nile annually begins to overflow the country. -Irwin relates, that looking out of his window in the night, he saw a band of damsels proceeding to the river side with singing and dancing, and that the object of their going thither was to witness the first visible rise of the Nile, and to bathe in it.
Trav. pp. 229, 259.
653. (Exod. i. 15, 16.) The Targum of Jonathan names the two famous antagonists of Moses, Jannes and Jambres, as foreboding much misery to the Egyptians, and much happiness to the Israelites, from the rearing of Moses. This being told the king, he commanded, says JOSEPHUS, " that the Egyptian midwives should watch the labors of the Hebrew women, and observe what is born; for those (Egyptians) were the women who were enjoined to do the office of midwives to them.”
Antiq. b. i. ch. ix. § 2.
659. [Exod. ii. 3. An ark of bulrushes ]—To succour the elevated Lands in Egypt, the cultivators draw water from the Canals “in wicker baskets of so fine a texture that not a drop of the liquid runs through.” Mavor.--Was not the Ark, containing the child Moses, one of these baskets ? or was it not, at least, formed of the same materials; and of thg same texture ?
654. (Exod. i. 19.] The American Indians have among them no midwives; their climate, or some peculiar happiness in their constitutions, rendering assistance at childbirth unnecessary. See No. 227, &c.
Carver's Trav. p. 151.
The Papyrus grows on the banks of the Nile, and in marshy lands. Its stalk, which rises to the height of ten cubits, is triangular, and terminates in a crown of small filaments, resembling hair, which the Antients used to compare to a Thyrsus. The pith of this reed served the inhabitants for food; the woody part, for the building of vessels. For this purpose the Egyptians made it up, like rushes, into bundles; and, by tying these bundles together, gave their vessels the necessary shape and solidity.
WINCHELMAN's Herculan. p. 82.
The Gentoo women, at their labors, sel. dom call midwives; it is a profession only in esteem among the rich and lazy.
Dr. FRYER, quoted by FORBES,
vol. iji. p. 256.
666. (Exod. i. 22.) We are told that formerly, those Germans who lived nearest the Rhine, or other rivers, used
The sedge called sari, as we learn from Theophrastus and Pliny, grows on the marshy banks of the Nile, and rises to the height of almost two cubits.
Soe Plin. lib. xiii. c. 23.
662. [Erod ii. 10.] The Egyptians call water by the he is always assisteu by a council of the most respectable memname of Mo, and such as are saved out of it by the name of bers of his tribe. The punishments that he can inflict are Uses : So, by putting these two words together, they imposed fines and stripes, and above all, excommunication, or loss of this name (Moses) upon him.
caste : which, to a Hindoo, is the most terrible of all punish. Joseph. Antiq. b. ii. c, ix. § 6. ments. These hereditary chiefs, also, assisted by their coun
cil, freqnently decide civil causes, or disputes among their
tribe; and when the business is too intricate or difficult, it is 663
Ye will find all those who adopt children, generally referred to the hereditary chief of the ruling tribe of do so either because they have no lawfully-begotten children the side or division to which the parties belong. In this case, of their own, or compelled by poverty to adopt foreigners, he assembles the most respectable men of the division, and setthat they may obtain some benefit from those who through tles the dispute ; and the advice (the arbitration) of these them are made citizens of Athens.
persons is commonly sufficient to make both parties acquiesce Dion. HALICARNASSENSIS.
in the decision. These courts have no legal jurisdiction ; but their influence is great, and many of the ablest amildars
(or officers of justice, police, and revenue) support their deci664. By this adoption, Moses became rightful
sions by the authority of government. heir to the throne of Pharaoh. See Heb. xi. 24-26.
See No 243. PINKERTON's Coll. vol. viii. pp. 607, 633, See No. 459.
At Cairo and in all the other cities of the East, every trade has a head who is entrusted with authority over them, knows every individual of the body to which
he belongs, and is in some measure answerable for them to goMOSES SLAYING THE EGYPTIAN.
verument.–At Tripoli in Barbary, the black slaves choose
a chief who is acknowledged by the regency; and is a 665, Exod. ii. 11, 12.) And it came to pass when Moses
mean by which the revolt or elopement of those slaves is was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked often prevented. on their burdens : and he spied an Egyptian smiting a
NIEBUHR's Trav. vol. i. p. 84. Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
We learn from ÆLIAN, that the Egyptian Moses sketched the Egyptian, then effaced priests were also judges. him, in the sand. This will be understood, when it is known,
See his Var. Hist. lib. xiv. c. 33. that in antient times, judges, in the act of finding guilty, wrote the culprit's name in the sand spread on a table before them for the purpose, and that the writing then used in 669.
Clemens Alexandrinus, Strom. 1. reports Egypt was hieroglyphic, or the hasty sketching of such out of the Books of the Priests, that an Egyptian was slain outlines as were characteristic of the objects intended to be by the Words of Moscs. described ; and further, that when the person so written and
Hugo Grotius, on the Truth of convicted was pardoned in mercy, his name or hieroglyphic
the Christian Religion by was immediately cancelled or obliterated so as to be hid, or
Le Clerc, p. 62, and Nota no longer to appear in the sand.-In Moses, this act of judgment and mercy was the prophetic sign he had been instigated to give of his being designed by Providence to be the future deliverer of the Hebrews from their unjust oppressors
670. T John viii. 10.) At Athens in the court of the
Areopagus, when a case had been fully heard, the judges gave the Egyptians.
their decision by throwing down their fint pebbles, on two The word Exod. jj. 12, translated slew, is in Exod. ix. 25,
boards or tables, one of which was for the condemnation, rendered smote, and in Deut. xxv. 2, to be beaten.
the other for the acquittal of the person in question, Dr. Taylor's Hebrew Concordance.
See Dr. A. CLARKE's Notes,
on Acts xviig 19. 666 (Exod. ii. 14.] In every part of India with which I am acquainted, says BUCHANAN, wherever there is a considerable number of any one caste or tribe, it is usual to have a 671. (Exod. ii. 12 ] The Cadies in the East, still deter: head man, whose office is generally hereditary. His powers mine suits by writing their sentences, which then have a con. are various in uifferent sects and places : but he is commonly
clusive power. intrusted with the authority of punishing all transgressions
See 2d Hund. of Frag. to CALMET'S; against the rules of the caste. His power is not arbitrary : as
Dict. p. 36.
- 672. [Gen, xlix. 2.) The Egyptian writings did not consist of syllables put together, but of figures that related to the things they were to express ; for they wrote or drew the figure of a hawk, a crocodile, a serpent, the eye, hand, or face of a man, and the like. A hawk signified all things that were to be done expeditiously, (I should rather think expedition itself) because it is the swistest of birds. The crocodile signified malice; the eye expressed both an observer of justice, and a keeper of any person ; the right-hand, with the fingers extended, signified any one's getting his livelihood; the left hand shut, the preserving and keeping of any
PocockE's Trav. in Egypt.-Pin
kerton's Coll. part Ixi. p. 353.
677. [Judg. vi. 21.) The following extract will prove, that fire can prey upon exhalations, without consuming the materials from which the exhalations transpire.—“ In the neighbourhood of Baku, on the Caspian Sea, is a phenomenon of a very extraordinary nature, called the everlasting fire, to which a sect of Iudians and Persians, called Gaurs, pay religious worship.
“It is situated about ten miles from the city of Baku, in the province of Shirvan, on a dry rocky spot of ground. Here are several antient temples built with stone, and supposed to have been all dedicated to fire; and among others there is a little temple in which the Indians now worship. Near the altar is a large hollow cane, from the end of which issues a blue flame, in color and gentleness resembling a lamp, but seemingly more pure.
“At a short distance from this temple is a low cliff of a rock, in which there is a horizontal gap, two feet from the ground, near six feet long, and about three feet broad, out of which issues a constant flame of the color and nature just described. When the wind blows, it sometimes rises to the height of eight feet, but is much lower in calm weather.
“The earth round this place, for more than two miles, has this extraordinary property, that by taking up two or three inches of the surface, and applying a live coal to it, the part so uncovered immediately takes fire, almost before the coal touches the earth. The fame makes the soil hot, but does not consume it, nor affect what is near it with any degree of heat. This lambent flame may be extinguished in the same manner as that of spirits of wine. It smells sulphureous, like naptha, but is not very offensive”.
SMITH.-Phil. Trans. R. S. vol. is. p. 503,
There is little doubt that Chinese writing was, originally, weither more nor less than a sketch of the objects which it was wished to speak of: but this method, which would serve when it related to visible things, such as a tree, a hird, or a house, was inadequate to convey an expression of abstract ideas. It was therefore requisite to make signs, which were purely arbitrary, and which had no reference to the thought intended to be depicted. See No. 399.
BRETON's China, vol. ij. p. 29.
674. (John viii. 6.] In India, I beheld children, says PETER DELLA VALLE (p. 40), writing their lessons with their fingers on the ground, the pavement being for that purpose strewed all over with very fine sand. When the pavement was full, they put the writing out, and, if need were, strewed new sand from a little heap they had before them, wherewith to write farther. See Jerem. xvii. 13.
THE BURNING BUSH.
675. [Exod. jii. 2.) And the angel of the Lord appeared 'unto Moses in a flame of fire, out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
JOSEPHUS says, this bush was a thorn-bush ; probably the Arabian thorn called Sittim ; a wood ever after selected to stand " in the Presence,” and to constitute the most sacred utensils of Jewish worship.
Antiq. b. ii. ch. xii. § 1.
678. [Exod, iii. 3.] In August, 1751, after very hot weather, followed by sudden rain, the cliffs near Charmouth, in the western parts of Dorsetshire, began to smoke, and soon aster to buru with a visible but subtle flame; the same phenomena were observed at intervals, especially after rain, till winter, the flame however was not visible by day, except the sun shone, when the cliffs appeared at a distance as if covered with pieces of glass which reflected the rays : at night the Aame was visible at a distance, but when the spectator drew near, he could perceive smoke only, and no flame: a similar flame has been seen rising from the lodes, or veins of the mines in Cornwall, with this difference, that when the spectator approached, the flame did not disappear, but seemed to surround him, yet did him no harm, and in four or five minutes seemed to sink into the ground. Upon examining Charmouth cliffs, a great quantity of martial pyrites were found, with marcasites that yielded near a tenth of common sulphur, of coruua ammonis, and other shells, and the belemnites, all crusted with pyritical matter : these substances were found not in regular strata, but interspersed in large masses through the earth, which consisted of a dark-coloured loam, impregnated with bitumen to the depth of forty feet; there was also found a dark-coloured substance like coal cinder, which being powdered and washed, and the water being slowly evaporated to a pellicle, its salts, which shot into crystals, appeared to be a martial vitriol. Mr. STEPHENS laid about