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dny of atonement, from its decided tendency to bring on sleep.
BEAB(T. bacr, meaning hairy). — Of the existence of this animal in Palestine there is no longer any doubt. Bears are still found, though they are rare, in the mountains of Lebanon. In the time of the Crusades, they were numerous. The Syrian hear is of the brown species, which is very ferocious. There is therefore nothing but what is probable in David having to defend his flock from a bear, as well as a lion (1 Sam. xvii. 34, 85), though it is clear that the bravery he displayed was something uncommon. Nor was it extraordinary that two she-bears should come out of the wood, and tear forty-two of the children who mocked Elisha; while the Christian must confess that the curses which the prophet employed on the occasion were not likely to be specially carried into effect by the power of Him whose Son came expressly into the world to teach men to bless, and not curse (2 Kings ii. 23, 24). A bear robbed of her whelps became, in consequence of the ferocity natural to the beast, a proverbial description of ungovernable fury, not merely in Judea (2 Sam. xvii. 8. Prov. xvii. 12), but, according to Jerome, generally: 'Those'—we translate his words —' who have written on the nature of animals say, that among all wild beasts there is none so fierce as a bear when she has lost her young.' Without any unusual provocation, the temper of the animal is surly and quarrelsome; whence a bear became the figure of a capricious tyrant (Prov. xxviii. 15).
'A roaring lion and a prowling bear;
BEARD. — The beard, which may be regarded as a token of manhood, though some tribes are, from local causes, destitute of it, was worn either dressed or in its natural state by most ancient nations, yet appears to have either disappeared, or to have become less, among every people, with their approach to a higher degree of civilisation. With the Hebrews, as with Orientals generally, the beard was held in high respect. Perkins mentions the case of a Persian soldier who begged his good offices with the emir in behalf of his long beard, which was in danger of being clipped. The Arabs swear by their beard, and invoke blessings on it: —' God send his blessing on your beard' is an oriental wish of kindness. Friends express their good will by wishing on behalf of a father, that he may have a eon with a fine beard. Hence the loss of the beard was a sign of weakness, disgrace, or mourning (Isa.vii.20). With the Israelites, it was as customary to trim the beard among the duties of the toilette, u it was to wash and dress; without which
it was not thought becoming to enter the presence of a great man (Cen. xli. 14. 2 Sam. xix. 24). The beard was shorn, plucked, or neglected in time of trouble, as a token of disregard to personal appearance, or as a part of self-modification (Isa. xv. 2. Jer. xli. 5. Ezra ix. 3). As kissing was a customary ni >dc of salutation among the Jews (Matt. xxvi. 49), so it was usual to take hold of the beard respectfully with the right hand when the salutation was given (2 Sam. xx. 9). From the respect in which the beard was held, and the fact that slaves were not allowed to wear a beard, which was the sign of civil freedom, the degree of insult may be estimated that Hanun king of Amnion showed to David when he sent back the messengers of the Hebrew monarch with one half of their beards shaved off. Feeling themselves disgraced, these men did not venture into David's presence; but the king sent to them this message,—' Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return' (2 Sam. x. 1, tea.). This insult led to a war. In a similar manner, it is related that the Tartars, whose beards form a part of their religion, carried on against the Persians, whom they declared infidels, for differing from them in regard to this ambiguous ornament of man, a long, bloody, and destructive war. As the beard was held in so much respect among the Hebrews, the priests, who were to have every human quality in perfection, wore their beards, and wer* especially interdicted from marring the corners of their beards by shaving them off (Lev. xix. 27; xxi. 5). This prohibition, from the connection in which it stands, seems to have been occasioned also by a wish on the part of the legislator to discountenance idolatrous usages. The Persians at present usually clip the beard with shears, for a few years, until it acquires a heavy body. When they allow it to grow long, they are very particular in relation to the colour, and, if need be, paint it black every week or oftener, as Persian ladies paint their eyebrows. They follow this practice until age so wrinkles their faces, that even a black beard can no longer conceal its inroads; when suddenly they are equally partial to white beards, these being regarded as such invariable emblems of dignity and wisdom, that, in Persian and Turkish, the term while beard is a title which is appl'f" to venerated personages, often to magistrates, and carries with it great weight and authority, somewhat equivalent to tag' m English; and, in the Nestorian language, the same term corresponds with elder or preibyter, in the New Testament.
The cuts, which are here given, serve to show oriental features and head-dress, » well as the manner of wearing the beara. now prevalent in the East, In the uppe
B£I>S offer a subject on which the inhabitants of these colder climes have great need ■ °*re, in order to avoid ascribing their usages to orientals. The dryness and salubrity of the air, the dryness also of the •orface of the earth, and the general heat of the climate, rendered it generally safe and pleasant for the people of Syria to sleep even in the open air, andon the bare ground,at least with no other covering than the large outer rarment, which somewhat resembled a Scotch plaid, and was denominated Hyh. Accordugly, travellers, when wearied with their tWi jonmey, throw themselves with little preparation on the earth, and enjoy safe, eomfortable, and refreshing repose. If a pillow is needed, a stone serves for the purfote; and what was a cloak by day, becomes » blanket at night. The poor generally take
no further core. The floor of the apartment in which they ordinarily dwell, or the flat roof of their humble abode, answers all requirements in conjunction with the apparel worn by day, which is rarely put off, except with a view to bathe In houses of persons of more substance, tLe large room in which the family assembles by day becomes a dormitory by night, the male members of which, except the master who retires to an inner apartment, lay themselves down on the raised and cushioned platform, a divan or dais, which runs along the sides, and there, with or without more covering than their clothes, as the season of the year requires, experience the restorative effects of slumber. But though the reader must dismiss from his mind the idea of feather-beds, and layers of blankets, yet these general observances adL
These general remarks will afford the student aid in perusing the Sacred Scriptures. For instance, they throw light on the threat of Moses, that the frogs should go up into the bedchamber and the bed of the Egyptians (Exod. viii. 3). They also explain the words of Saul, who ordered the pretendedly sick David to be brought to him 'in the bed' that he might slay him; and how it was that the palsied man was brought to Jesus 'in a bed,' and was led down before the Saviour 'with his couch,' nnd when healed was bidden to take up his bed and walk (Luke v. 18, seq.). The phrase used in Amos iii. 12, 'the corner of a bed,' has scarcely any meaning according to our ordinary notions of beds; but the corner of a couch, or of a room having a dais, is the place of luxury; and this slight change renders the sense clear, and makes the words accordant with the tenor of the passage. In consequence of the large upper garment being used as a covering by night, Hoses kindly forbade that it should be taken in pledge (Exod. xxii. 20). The coverings of tapestry in which the rich and luxurious indulged (Prov. vii. 16) were not what we term bed-clothes, but beautifully wrought needle-work coverings for 6tately couches, which were either moveable or immoveable (Ezek. xxiii. 41). A suspended bed, resembling the sailor's hammock, was used by watchmen in gardens; which is intended in Isa. xxiv. 20 by the word rendered by King James's translators, 'cottage' The import of the passage thus becomes clear and consistent. The beds mentioned in the New Testament as used by the sick (Matt.
ix. 6. Mark ii. i; vi. 55. Luke v. IB. Arts v. 15) were moveable couches, more or less simple in their form, and easy to carry.
Beds are often nothing more than one or two stout coverings, in which the person is enveloped, who, thus clad, throws himself either on the floor of a room, the surface of the ground, or the flat roof of a house.
'We would gladly'— Robinson is speaking of his residence at Ramleh —' have slept upon the roof beneath the open sky, in preference to the close air of any room; but this privileged spot was already in possession of others. Beds were spread for us in our upper room, consisting of thick quilts underneath, and another quilt of silk, in which to wrap ourselves. But the night beneath a roof was hot, and the house, like all others in Palestine, not free from fleas; so that I did nothing but toss about in feverish halfslumber all night. I several times rose and looked out through the lattices, as the bright moonlight fell upon the group of sleepers on the roof, and envied their lot'
In Egypt, at present, the bed is prepared as it is wanted, and removed when its purpose has been answered. In the houses of persons of moderate wealth, the bed is made of a mattress, stuffed with cotton, about six feet long, and three or four feet in width, placed on a low frame; a pillow being put for the head, and a sheet spread over this and the mattress. In summer, the only covering is a fhin blanket; in winter a thick quilt stuffed with cotton is employed. Sometimes the mattress is placed on the floor without any frame, or two mattresses are laid one upon the other. A mosquito-curtain is suspended over the bed by means of four strings, which are attached to nails in the wall. The dress is seldom changed on going to bed. In winter many sleep with all their ordinary clothes on, except the ffibbch, or cloth coat; in summer they sleep almost or entirely unclad. In winter the bed is prepared in a small closet; in summer, in a large room. All the bed clothes are rolled up in the day time, and placed ou one side, or in the closet before alluded to. During the hottest weather, many people sleep upon the house-top, or in an uncovered apartment. The most common kind of frame for the bed is made of palm-sticks, a frame similar to which is still used in Palestine, and other neighbouring countries.
BEE. — The habits of this Utile animal are too well known to require to be detailed here.
Wild bees were, and still are, common in Palestine. They built in hollow trees, and clefts of the rocks. They flew in great •warms. As the honey which they made, snd deposited in various parts, was ample and rich, so it became a figure to describe abundance. Palestine was denominated a •land flowing with milk and honey' (Exod. iii. 8) ; and Israel is said (Deutxxxii. 13) to hare been made, through the bountiful goodness ofJehovah,' to suckhoney outof therock.' The copiousness of the supply of this native honey maybe learned from 1 Sam. xiv. 25,20. Sometimes the skeleton of decomposed animals afforded a home for a swarm, as in the ease of the lion which Samson killed. The passage, Judg. xiv. 8, has derived the difficulty which has occupied and puzzled many ecanmenlators, solely from the assumption, that the lion's carcass had produced the bees, that simply hived in the hollow made by the bones of his head, or those of his trunk. Theology has too many instances in which fancy or superstition has made difficulties, which neither learning nor common sense eemld solve. In such cases, a simple appeal to facts is the proper course.
The domestication of bees is too obvious a resource for obtaining a pleasant and salubrious aliment, not to be resorted to whereertr the animal abounds. Accordingly it is practised, at the present day, in Syria and Egypt. In the Talmud, mention is often
made of the keeping oi bees; and the Essanes gave particular attention to this useful creature. Under these circumstances, it is probable that bees were kept for domestic purposes in the earlier periods of Jewish history. High authorities have found a reference to a practice connected with keeping bees in Isa. vii. 18, where it is said, that Jehovah shall 'hiss for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. The practice to which we have referred, and which is well known in rural districts, is the guiding a young swarm to the desired spot by means of noises made often by domestic utensils. A usage of a similar nature, notwithstanding the ignorance of a writer in Kitto's 'Biblical Cyclopedia' (vol. i. 314), existed beyond a doubt in ancient times, according to the statement of £lun (Anim. v. 13), and the testimony of Cyril, in his comment on the words in question. These and other authorities show that it was, as it still is, customary to guide the motions of bees by certain noises; and the 'hiss' mentioned in Isaiah is, in the original, a word which imitates the sound made by the mouth for that purpose.
The comparison of the Assyrians, as enemies of the Israelites, to bees, will, with other Scriptural language, be understood in its full force, when the reader is aware that bees in the East are much more malignant, and their sting much more painful and injurious, than in these regions. Park speaks of the dismay caused among his people, by the attack of a swarm of bees, which they chanced to disturb, when flight alone probably saved the human beings from that destruction which fell on two asses. Whence appears the propriety of the words of Moses,—' The Amoritos came out against you, and chased you as bees do, and destroyed you in Seir, unto Hormah; comp. Ps. cxviii. 12. Near Acbala, in the north-western part of Palestine, Olin found 'the atmosphere vocal and almost darkened by an incredible number of bees. Their hives are cylinders, made of earth, about two or three feet in length, by eight or ten inches in diameter, having the entrances at one end. These were piled one upon another like logs of wood, in some instances forty or fifty together. The culture of bees would seem to be the chief business of the people, and I was reminded that honey was formeJy one of the staple products.'
BEELZEBUB (C. /ly-god — see Baal). The correct reading in Matt. x. 25. Mark iii. 22, is ' Beelzebul,' which signifies dunggod; the change of b into / having been made by a sort of play upon words, of which numerous instances occur in die later periods of Jewish history, in order to throw dishonour and contempt on the worship of Baal, and generally on all idol-worship. In process of time, and under the influence of a corrupt oriental philosophy, a system of 'doctrines of devils'—demons (1 Tim. iv. 1) was introduced and spread throughout Judea, and other western countries. This system made a complete infernal hierarchy, setting forth the rank, order, and attributes of each class, and giving names to their respective chiefs. Though not perfected till the Rabbins, after the days of our Lord, had applied to the subject their fancies teeming with dark creations,—yet something more than the outlines of this doctrine of demons was found in existence by our Lord, who, adopting the popular phraseology, speaks, in the passages above referred to, of Beelzebul, 'the prince of demons.' To the influence of these demons, various diseases, especially insanity, were ascribed. But a power which could wound, could also heal. Hence the Jews argued that our Saviour performed his miracles by the cooperation of Beelzebul, as at a later period the Fathers of the church maintained that the heathen oracles were inspired by the demons. The logic of this imputation was as bad as its philosophy. This Jesus showed by bringing into relief the absurdity of the supposition, that Satan would cast out Satan (Mark iii. 23). A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand (21). Beelzebul, as an evil power, must do evil, and could not be the prime agent in a work whose essential attribute was to heal and save.
BEER (H. a well), a town in Palestine (Judg. ix. 21. 2 Sam. xx. 14),about a day's journey north-west of Jerusalem, to which Jotham fled for fear of Abimelech, after he had delivered on Mount Gcrizini the speech which contained his famous apologue of the trees choosing a king. The meaning of the name shows its origin. That name is still borne by a small village, lying as above mentioned; a little to the west of which is a beautiful and copious fountain. The modern Beer does not contain more than a hundred and fifty low mean stone houses. It has, however, many marks of antiquity : — massive stones built into peasants' houses, or lying upon the earth, half-buried walls, and substructions, with mounds of rubbish. The walls and beautiful solid arches of a dilapidated church form the most conspicuous object. It is commonly ascribed to the empress Helena, and, from its size and Bumptiionsness, may have had its origin in her princely munificence. The tradition prevails that it was at Beer, Mary, on her return home to Nazareth, discovered that the child Jesus had been left behind; and the church marks the spot where, in the fulness of a mother's feelings, she turned hock in quest of her beloved son.
BEERSHEBA (H. well of the oath), a place forming the extreme southern boundary of Palestine (2 Sam. xvii. 11), which received iu name from the oath which
Abraham and Abimelech there swore in ratification of a covenant of peace (Gen. xxi. 31). At first it was consecrated to the worship of the Almighty; for .Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God (ver. 32); but in a degenerate period it was polluted by idolatry (Amos v. 5; viii. 14). It was in existence after the exile (Neh. xi. 27, 30), and in the time of Jerome. Robinson found on the skirts of the desert, in an open pasture country on the northern side of Wady esSeba, two deep wells, still called Bir es-Seba, the ancient Beersheba. The water in both wells is pure, sweet, and abundant. Ascending the low hills north of the wells, he found them covered with the ruins of former habitations, spreading over a space half a mile in length, ou which are scattered fragments of pottery. 'Here, then,'—we cite the words of Robinson, —' is the place where the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, often dwelt. Here Abraham dug, perhaps, this very well; and journeyed from hence with Isaac to Mount Moriah, to offer him np there in sacrifice. From this place Jacob fled to Padan-aram, after acquiring the birthright and blessing belonging to his brother; and here, too, he sacrificed to the Lord ou setting out to meet his son Joseph in Egypt. Here Samuel made his sons judges; and from here Elijah wandered out into the southern desert, and sat down under a shrub, just as our Arabs sat down every day and every night. Over these swelling hills the flocks of the patriarchs once roved by thousands, where now we found only a few camels, asses, and goats.'
Proceeding northward to Jerusalem, the path gradually ascends over an open tract, which, in ordinary seasons, is a fine grazing country: not a precipice, not a tree, is to be seen; nothing but grassy hills. Robinson thus describes this part:—'Fifteen minutes more brought us out upon a wide, open, grassy plain, suffering greatly indeed from drought (April 15), but in which many fields of wheat were scattered, looking beautifully iu their vesture of bright green. The ground, too, was in many places decked with flowers: among them was an abundance of low scarlet poppies. The morning was lovely, the sky perfectly serene, with a refreshing breeze from the S.W.; the air full of the sweet carols of birds.' He next travelled over a plain iu a course N.E. by E. having an undulating surface, no shrubs nor trees visible; nothing but grass, flowers, and green fields. On the east and north are hills and ridges, the beginning of the mountains of Judoh. The plain soon terminates, and you get among the hills, entering a Wady which leadj to Hebron. In this valley Robinson (April 13) found fields of grain, and a man ploughing with two heifers, in order