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No. 874.-1 KINGS ii. 5.
And shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of
war upon his girdle that was about his loins, and in his shoes that were on his feet.
It is evident that David meant by these words to describe the violence of Joab, the effects of which seem to have been coincident with the sentiment of Abdollah, who " went out and defended himself, to the terror and astonishment of his enemies, killing a great many with his own hands, so that they kept at a distance, and threw bricks at him, and made him stagger; and when he felt the blood run down his face and beard, he repeated this verse, the blood of our wounds doth not fall down on our heels, but on our feet, meaning that he did not turn his back on his enemies.” OCKLEY's Hist. of the Saracens, vol. ii. p. 291. In like manner the blood shed by Joab fell on his feet, on his shoes; it was not inadvertently, but purposely shed: shed with ferocity, rather than valour. FRAGMENTS, No. 321.
No. 875.-ii. 10. So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of David.] In general the dead were buried out of the eastern cities : and as this was the usual practice, it was not departed from, but upon very particular occasions. It was a mark of distinguished honour to be interred within a city. “ Hali Dey, as a very eminent mark of distinction, was buried within an inclosed tomb within the city.” Hist. of the Piratical States of Barbary, p. 163. HARMER, vol. ii. p. 141.
No. 876.-ii. 23. And king Solomon sware by the Lord, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life.] Solomon considered it as a treasonable request, that Adonijah should desire to have David's wife. For, according to the custom of the Hebrews, no man who had been the servant of the king might serve any other master ; nor might any man ride upon the king's horse, nor sit upon his throne, nor use his sceptre ; much less might any private person marry the king's widow, who belonged only to his successor. Thus God gave David all the wives of Saul. 2 Sam. xii. 8. See Selden de Uxor. Heb. lib. i. cap. 10.
No. 877.-ii. 28. And caught hold of the horns of the altar.] That it was customary to fly to the altar as to a place of safety, is evident from this and various other passages of scripture. It was equally practised by the Jews and other nations. With the Greeks it certainly prevailed. Of the altar of Jupiter Hercæus it is said to one,
Odyss. xxii. 372. Pope.
The altar mentioned by Virgil was of the same nature : to this Priam fled at the taking of Troy. See Æn. ii.
• No. 878.-iv. 7. And Solomon had twelve officers over,
all Israel, who provided victuals for the king and his household.] These are doubtless to be considered as his general receivers; for “the revenues of princes in the East are paid in the fruits and productions of the earth; there are no other taxes upon the peasants.” · Chardin, MS.
HARMER, vol. ii. p. 284.
No. 879.viii. 31. And the oath come before thine altar in this house.] It was the custom of all nations to touch the altar when they made a solemn oath, calling
God to witness the truth of what they said, and to punish them if they did not speak the truth.
PATRICK, in loc.
N. 880.-viii. 63. And Solomon offered a sacrifice of peace-offerings which he offered unto the Lord, two and twenty thousand oxen, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep.] Such great sacrifices as this were imitated by the heathens in their hecatombs, which consisted of å hundred beasts of a kind. They are described by Julius Capitolinus in his life of the emperors Pupienus Maximus and Balbinus ; the last of whom, he says, was só transported with joy, that he offered a hecatomb. A hundred altars of turf were raised in one place ; at them a hundred swine and a hundred birds were killed.
Patrick, in loc.
No. 881.viii. 65. And at that time Solomon held a feast, and all Israel with him.] Such solemnities were usual among the heathen, when they celebrated the presence of any of their gods. This Ez. Spanheim (upon Callimachus's Hymn to Apollo, v. 13.) conjectures to have been derived from this famous festival of Solomon.
target projected in a sharpish point, as some of the shields afterwards used by the Greeks and Romans did : and we are informed by the writers on their military affairs, that this pointed protuberance was of great service to them, not only in repelling or glancing off missive weapons, but in bearing down their enemies : whence Martial has this allusion:
In turbam incideris, cunctos umbone repellet,
In crouds his pointed boss will all repell. VOL. II.
No. 883.-X. 20. There was not the like made in any kingdom.] In after ages we read of thrones very glorious and majestic Athenæus says, that the throne of the Parthian kings was of gold, encompassed with four golden pillars, beset with precious stones. The Persian kings sat in judgment under a golden vine, (and other trees of gold) the bunches of whose grapes were made of several sorts of precious stones.
To this article may be very properly annexed the following account of the famous peacock throne of the great mogul. “The great mogul has seven thrones, some set all over with diamonds; others, with rubies, emeralds and pearls. But the largest throne is erected in the hall of the first court of the palace ; it is, in form, like one of our field-beds, six feet long and four broad. I counted about a hundred and eight pale rubies in collets about that throne, the least whereof weighed a hundred carats ; but there are some that weigh two hundred. Emeralds I counted about a hundred and forty, that weighed some threescore, some thirty carats.
The under part of the canopy is entirely embroidered with pearls and diamonds, with a fringe of pearls round the edge. Upon the top of the canopy, which is made like an arch with four panes, stands a peacock, with his
tail spread, consisting entirely of sapphires and other - proper coloured stones: the body is of beaten gold,
enchased with numerous jewels; and a great ruby adorns his breast, to which hangs a pearl that weighs fifty carats. On each side of the peacock stand two nosegays, as high as the bird, consisting of various sorts of flowers, all of beaten gold enamelled. When the king seats himself upon the throne, there is a transparent jewel, with a diamond appendant, of eighty or ninety carats weight, encompassed with rubies and emeralds, so suspended that it is always in his eye. The twelve pillars also that uphold the canopy are set round with rows of
fair pearl and of an excellent water, that weigh from six to ten carats a piece. At the distance of four feet, upon each side of the throne, are placed two umbrellas, the handles of which are about eight feet high, covered with diamonds ; the umbrellas themselves being of crimson velvet, embroidered and fringed with pearl. This is the famous throne which Timur began and Shah Johan finished, and is really reported to have cost a hundred and sixty millions and five hundred thousand livres of . our money.” TAVERNIER's, Indian Travels, tom. iii. p. 331.
No. 884.-X. 21. And all king Solomon's drinkingvessels were of gold.] The magnificence of Solomon, particularly with respect to his drinking-vessels, has not been exceeded by modern Eastern princes. The gold plate of the kings of Persia has been much celebrated and is taken notice of by Chardin. He observes, that the plate of the king of Persia is of gold, and that very fine, exceeding the standard of ducats, and equal to those of Venice, which are of the purest gold. Shah Abas caused seven thousand two hundred marks of gold to be melted for this purpose. Now the two hundred targets of gold which Solomon made, weighed but little less than the drinking-vessels which Shah Abas made. 1 Kings X. 16. We may therefore believe that his royal drinking-vessels were of equal, if not greater weight.
HARMER, vol. i. p. 384.
No. 885.-xi. 3. And he had seven hundred wives, princesses ; and three hundred concubines.] It appears to have been the manner of eastern princes, to have a great number of wives, merely for pomp and state. Father la Compte tells us in his History of China (pt, i. p. 62.) that there the emperor hath a great nume