תמונות בעמוד

this the prophecy refers, declaring that the crown of Judea should thenceforward be dependent and subordinate, as it was under the Persians, Greeks, and Romans. See Christian Observer, vol. i. p. 351.

No. 1121.-xxiv. 5. Take the choice of the flock, and burn also the bones under it.] The following account of a royal Arab camel feast will afford some illustration of the parable contained in this chapter. « Before mid-day a carpet being spread in the middle of the tent, our dinner was brought in, being served up in large wooden bowls between two men ; and truly to my apprehension load enough for them. Of these great platters there were about fifty or sixty in number, perhaps more, with a great many little ones ; I mean, such as one man was able to bring in, strewed here and there among them, and placed for a border or garnish round about the table. In the middle was one of a larger size than all the rest, in which were the camel's bones, and a thin broth in which they were boiled. The other greater ones seemed all filled with one and the same sort of provision, a kind of plum'broth, made of rice and the fleshy part of the camel, with currants and spices, being of a somewhat darker colour than what is made in our country.Philosophical Transactions abridged, part ii. cap. 2. art. 40.

The Hebrew word translated burn should have been rendered, as in the margin, heap. The meaning cannot be that the bones were to be burnt under the caldron, but that they were to be heaped up in it; for it is said, let them seethe the bones of it therein. With this interpretation the Septuagint translation of the passage agrees : and viewed in this light, the object is ascertained by the foregoing extract.

No. 1122.xxvii. 11. The men of Arvad with their

army. were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadim were in thy towers; they hung their shields upon thy walls round about.] The eastern soldiers in times of peace are disposed of about the walls of places, and particularly in the towers, and at the gates. Niebuhr tells us (p. 186.) that the foot-soldiers of the imam of Yemen have very little to do in times of peace, any more than the cavalry: some of them mount guard at the dela's (or governor's); they are also employed at the gates and upon the towers. Van Egmont and Heyman (Trav. vol. ii. p. 121.) give a similar account.

Sandys, speaking of the decorations of one of the gates of the imperial seraglio in Constantinople, tells us, that it is hung with shields and cimeters. Through this gate people pass to the divan, where justice is administered ; and these are the ornaments of this public passage.

HARMER, vol. ii. p. 517.

No. 1123.—-xxvii. 15. They brought thee for a present horns of ivory and ebony.] These articles were the produce of their own art and manufacture, and were given in exchange for such things as they wanted. It is well known how common and indeed indispensable presents were in the East. In some instances they were made use of to convey a particular meaning. Thus we read that the father Darius advanced into the country (of the Scythians), the greater hardships his army was exposed to. Just when it was reduced to the last extremity, there came a herald to Darius from the Scythian prince, with a bird, a mouse, a frog, and five arrows, for a present. The king desired to know the meaning of these gifts. The messenger answered, that his orders were only to deliver them, and nothing more, and that it was left to the Persian king to find out the meaning. Darius concluded at first, that the Scythians thereby consented to deliver up the earth and

water to him, which were represented by a mouse and a frog; as also their cavalry, whose swiftness was represented by the bird ; together with their own persons and arms, signified by the arrows. But Gobryas, one of the seven lords that had deposed the Magian impostor, expounded the ænigma in the following manner.' “ Know,” says he to the Persians, “ that unless you can fly away in the air like birds ; or hide yourselves in the earth like mice ; or swim in the water like frogs ; you shall in no wise be able to avoid the arrows of the Scythians.” ROLLIN's Anc. Hist. vol. iii. p. 31.'

No. 1124.—xxxii. 3. I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people, and they shall bring thee up in my net.] Herodotus (lib. ii. cap. 70.) relates that in his time they had in Egypt many and va- . rious ways of taking the crocodile. Brookes (Nat. Hist. vol. i. p. 332.) says, “ the manner of taking the crocodile in Siam is by throwing three or four nets across a river at proper distances from each other; that so if he break through the first, he may be caught by one of the others.”

No. 1125.-DANIEL i. 4.


CURTIUS (Hist. 1. vi. c. 5.) says, that in all barbarous or uncivilized countries the stateliness of the body is held in great veneration : nor do they think any capable of great services or actions, to whom nature has not vouchsafed to give a beautiful form and aspect. It has always been the custom of the eastern nations to choose such for their principal officers, or to wait on princes and great personages. Sir Paul Ricaut (Present State of the Ottoman Empire, b. i. c. 5. p. 13.) observes, “ that the youths that are designed for the great offices of the Turkish empire must be of admirable features and pleasing looks, well-shaped in their bodies, and without any defects of nature: for it is conceived, that a corrupt and sordid soul can scarce inhabit in a serene and ingenuous aspect; and I have observed not only in the seraglio, but also in the courts of great men, their personal attendants have been of comely lusty youths well habited, deporting themselves with singular modesty and respect in the presence of their masters ; so that when a pacha aga spahi travels, he is always attended with a comely equipag, followed by flourishing youths, well clothed and mounted, in great numbers.”

No. 112.-i. 15. And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat.] It is probable that there was nothing extraordinary or out of the common way in this circumstance. Sir F.Chardin observes, “ I have remarked this, that the countenances of the Kechichs are in fact more rosy and smooth than those of others, and that these people who fast much, I mean the Armenians and the Greeks, are notwithstanding very beautiful; sparkling with health, with a clear and lively countenance.” HÆRMER, vol. i. p. 357.

No. 1127.-ii. 5. Your houses shall be made a dunghill.] This was a common practice among the Romans. When any person was found plotting against the government, or guilty of treason, they were not only capitally punished, but their houses were pulled down, or the names of them changed. Thus the house of Caius Cassius was pulled down for his affectation of government, and for treason; and that of M. Manlius. Capitolinus, who was suspected of seizing the government, after he was thrown down from the rock, was made a mint of. That of Spurius Melius, for the same crime, after he had suffered, was by reproach called Æquimelium. Other instances are mentioned in Alex, ab Alx. Genial. Dier. 1. iii. c. 23. See 2 Kings X. 27.

No. 1128-ii. 48. Then the king made Daniel a great man.] For various purposes and services the eastern princes honoured and dignified men of wisdom and particular abilities: but they sometimes carried their attachment to a very singular excess ; even imprisoning them if they suspected them of an intention to retire. If they happened to escape, an embassy with presents and apologies sometimes followed the man of learning; and a peremptory demand was often made, where gentler methods had not the desired effect: a demand, however, seldom complied with, if the power of the sovereign with whom they had taken refuge bore any proportion to that of his competitor. See RiGHARDSON's. Dissert, on the Eastern Nations, p. 30.

[ocr errors][merged small]
« הקודםהמשך »