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in those countries of rich perfumes, could supply. Such was the punishment God threatened to send upon the haughty-daughters of Zion in the days of Isaiah : 66 And it shall come to pass, that instead of perfume there shall be ill savour; and instead of a girdle, a rent; and instead of well set hair, baldness; and instead of a sto. macher, a girding of sackcloth; and a sun-burnt skin instead of beauty."*
The description which Pietro della Valle gives of his own wife, an Assyrian lady, born in Mesopotamia, and educated at Bagdad, whom he married in that country, will enable the reader to form a pretty distinct idea of the appearance and ornaments of an oriental lady in full dress: “ Her eye-lashes, which are long, and, according to the custom of the east, dressed with stibium, (as we often read in the holy Scriptures of the Hebrew women of old; and in Xenophon of Astyages, the grandfather of Cyrus, and the Medes of that line), give a dark, and at the same time a majestic shade to the eyes.
“ The ornaments of gold, and of jewels for the head, for the neck, for the arms, for the legs, and for the feet, (for they wear rings even on their toes,) are, indeed, unlike those of the Turks, carried to great excess, but not of great value; for in Bagdad, jewels of high price either are not to be had, or are not used; and they wear such only as are of little value; as, turquises, small rubies, emeralds, carbuncles, garnets, pearls, and the like. My spouse dresses herself with all of them, according to their fashion ; with exception, however, of of certain ugly rings, of very large size, set with jewels, which, in truth, very absurdly, it is the custom to wear fastened to one of their nostrils, like buffaloes ; an ancient custom, however, in the east, which, as we find in the holy Scriptures, prevailed among the Hebrew ladies, even in the time of Solomon." These nose rings, in compliance to me, she has left off ; but I have not yet been able to prevail with her cousin, and her sisters, to do the same; so fond are they of an old custom, be it ever so absurd, who have been long habituated to it."
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE FROM THE MEALS AND PUBLIC
ENTERTAINMENTS OF THE EAST.
IN Greece and other countries, they had their morn. ing meal, consisting of bread and wine unmixed with water; but to eat and drink in the morning was considered in Israel as an act of debauchery; and Solomon pronounces a woe upon the land, when the people of rank and influence indulged in the pleasures of the table at such an unseasonable time: 66 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning." The Jews might, perhaps, take a slight repast like the Greeks, about sun rising, although this is very uncertain; but they neither sat down to meat, nor drank wine till after the morning sacrifice. The Syrians of the present day breakfast as soon as they get up in the morning, on a variety of solid food ;* which seems to indicate a change in the manners of the country in this instance. They dine about eleven o'clock in the forenoon in winter, and rather earlier in summer; and sup about five o'clock in the winter, and six in the summer. Their dinner is more sparing and short; their supper more rich and magnificent. Such also was the mode of living in the primitive ages of Greece and Rome; frugal and temperate, they thought it sufficient to take a moderate and hasty breakfast; and after the business and labour of the day was over, refreshed themselves with a plentiful meal. Io many parts of the New Testament, the supper is in like manner mentioned as the principal meal: “ Herod on his birth day, made a supper to his lords, high c... tains, and chief estates of Galilee ;f and in the parable, a certain man made a great supper, and bade many.s When Jesus visited Lazarus and his sisters, on his way to the passover, “they made him a supper.”||
† Potter's Antiq. vol. 2. p. 353. # Mark vi. 21. $ Luke xiv, 16. || John xii. 2.
* Russel's llist.
The entertainments among the Jews appear to have been all of one kind, provided at the expense of one man; we have no instance in Scripture of the speros so common among the Greeks; an entertainment made at the common charge of all present, in which every man contributed his proportion. The materials of which the Jewish entertainments consisted, were at first plain and simple; these were commonly bread and milk, and fruits and herbs. Sparing in the use of flesh, like all the nations of the east, the chosen people usually satisfied their bunger with bread, and quenched their thirst in the running stream. So necessary were bread and water to their subsistence, that under these two words they comprehended every species of food. Their bread was generally made of wheat or barley, or lentiles and beans. Bread of wheat flour, as being the most excellent, was preferred; barley bread was used only in times of scarcity and distress. It must pot however be omitted, that in making bread, barley was used before any other sort of corn ; for it is reported, says Artemidorus, that this was the first food which the gods imparted to mankind; and it was, according to Pliny, the most ancient sort of provision. But in more civilized ages, to use the words of the same author, barley bread came to be food of beasts only; yet it was still used by the poorer sort, who were not able to furnish their tables with better provisions; and in the Roman camp, as Vegetius has informed us, soldiers who had been guilty of any offence, were fed with barley, instead of bread corn. An example of this punishment is recorded in the history of the second Punic war:--The cohorts that lost their standards, had an allowance of barley assigned by Marcellus.* And Augustus Cæsar commonly punished the cohorts which gave way to the enemy, by a decimation, and allowing them no provision but barley.t So mean and contemptible, in the estimation of the numerous and well appointed armies of Midian, was Gideon, with his handful of undisciplined militia; but guided by the wisdom, and supported by the power of the living God, he inflicted a deserved * Liv. lib. 27.
and exemplary punishment on these proud oppressors. The meagre barley cake was put into the hand of Mi. dian by the God of armies, as a punishment for disobedience of orders, not to make a full end of his chosen people. “And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto á tent and smote it, that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel; for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host."*
In the first ages, they parched or roasted their grain; a practice which the people of Israel, as we learn from the Scriptures, long continued; afterwards they pounded it in a mortar, to which Solomon thus alludes: “ Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among wheat, with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.”+ This was succeeded by mills, simiĪar to the band-mills formerly used in this country ; of which there were two sorts : the first were large, and turned by the strength of horses or asses; the second were smaller, and wrought by men, commonly by slaves condemned to this hard labour, as a punishment for their crimes. Chardin remarks in his manuscript, that the persons employed are generally female slaves, who are least regarded, or are least fit for any thing else; for the work is extremely laborious, and esteemed the lowest employment about the house. Most of their corn is ground by these little mills, although they sometimes make use of large mills, wrought by oxen or ca. mels. Near Ispahan, and some of the other great cities of Persia, he saw water-mills; but he did not meet with a single wind-mill in the east. Almost every family grinds their wheat and barley at home, having two portable millstones for that purpose; of which the uppermost is turned round by a small handle of wood or iron, that is placed in the rim. When this stone is large, or expedition is required, a second person is Judg. vii. 13, 14.
† Prov. xxvii. 22.
called in to assist; and as it is usual for the women
ILLUSTRATIONS OF SCRIPTURE.
the first born in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of Pharaoh, that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born of the maid-servant, that is behind the mill.9* The manner in which the hand-mills are worked, is described in a clear and lively manner by Dr. Clarke, in his travels : “Scarcely had we reached the apartment prepared for our reception, when looking from the window, into the court-yard belonging to the house, we beheld two women grinding at the mill, in a manner most forcibly illustrating the saying of our Saviour: “ Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken and the other left.” They were preparing flour to make our bread, as it is always customary in the country when strangers arrive. The two women, seated upon the ground opposite to each other, hela between them two round flat stones, such as are seen in Lapland, and such as in Scotland are called querns. In the centre of the upper stone was a cavity for pouring in the corn; and by the side of this, an upright wooden bandle for moving the stove. As this operation began, one of the women opposite received it from her companion, who pushed it towards her, who again sent it to her companion; thus communicating a rotatory motion to the upper stone, their left hands being all the while employed in supplying fresh corn, as fast as the bran and flour escaped from the sides of the machine.”
When they are not impelled, as in this instance, to premature exertions by the arrival of strangers, they grind their corn in the morning, at break of day; the noise of the mill is then to be heard every where, and is often so great as to rouse the inhabitants of the cities from their slumbers; for it is well known they bake their bread every day, and commonly grind their corn as it is wanted. The noise of the millstone is therefore, with great propriety, selected by the prophet as
• Exod. zi. 5.