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distance to the paraousti ; who probably is esteemed a representative of the sun, or deity to which the victim is offered ; after which the sacrifice is made. “The Peruvians of quality, and those too of mean sort, would sacrifice their first-born to redeem their own life, when the priest pronounced that they were mortally sick.” More's Explanation of Grand Mystery, p. 86. And as the king of Moab when in distress took his firstborn son, that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt-offering, 2 Kings iii. 27. so “ Hacon king of Norway offered his son in sacrifice, to obtain of Odin the victory over his enemy Harald. Aune king of Sweden devoted to Odin the blood of his nine sons, to prevail on that god to prolong his life.” See MAILLETT's Northern Antiquities, vol. i. p. 134.
No. 1147.-vii. 19. Thou wilt cast all thy sins into the depths of the sea.] It is a custom with the modern Jews on new year's day to sound the horn, to invite the people to hearken with humility and attention to the judgments of God, and to thank him for his favour and support during the year which is just ended. This festival lasts two days, and all the people in the synagogue are to pray with a loud voice and in a humbler posture than usual. In Germany the Jews send their children to the grand rabbi to receive his benediction; and when they sit down to table, the master of the house takes a bit of bread, and dips it in honey, saying, may this year be sweet and fruitful ; and all the guests do the same. They seldom omit serving up a sheep's head at this entertainment, which they say is a mystical representation of the ram sacrificed instead of Isaac. The sounding of the horn is performed standing, where the law is read, the whole congregation remaining in the same posture. This is made of a ram's horn, being also a monument of Isaac's ram. It is vol. II.
crooked, as representing the posture of a man humbling himself. The time for blowing it is from sun-rise to sun-set. The ancient Jews upon the day of atonement discharged their sins upon a he-goat, which afterwards was sent into the desert. But the modern Jews, of Germany in particular, instead of a goat, now do it upon the fish. They go after dinner to the brink of a pond, and there shake their clothes over it with all their might. They derive this custom from the passage of the prophet Micah now above cited.
No. 1148.-NAHUM iii. 10..
They cast lots for her honourable men.
The custom of casting lots for the captives taken in war appears to have prevailed both with the Jews and Greeks. It is mentioned by another of the prophets, besides the one now referred to. Strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem. Obad. ver. 11. With respect to the Greeks, we have an instance in Tryphia odorus :
Shar'd out by lot, the female captives stand:
Destruction of Troy, Merrick, ver. 938.
No. 1149.--HABAKKUK i. 8.
Their horses also are swifter than the leopards.
LEOPARDS tamed and taught to hunt are, it is said, made use of in the East for that purpose, and seize the prey with surprising agility. Le Bruyn tells us (tom. ii. p. 154.) that he had often seen the bashaw of Gaza go to hunt jackalls, of which there are great numbers in that country, and which he took by means of a leopard trained to it from its youth. The hunter keeps it before him upon his horse, and when he meets with a jackall, the leopard leaps down, and creeps along till he thinks himself within reach of the beast, when he leaps upon it, throwing himself seventeen or eighteen feet at a time.
If we suppose that this way of hunting was in use in the time of the prophet Habakkuk, the image was sufficiently familiar to the common people.
HARMER, vol. ii. p. 438.
No. 1150.-*. 2. Make it plain upon tables.] Writing-tables were used in and before the time of Homer ; for he speaks (II. vi.) of writing very pernicious things upon a two-leaved table. They were made of wood, consisted of two, three, or five leaves, and were covered with wax; on this impressions were easily made, continued long, and were very legible. It was a custom amongst the Romans for the public affairs of every year to be committed to writing by the pontifex maximus, or high priest, and published on a table. They were exposed to public view, so that the people might have an opportunity of being acquainted with them. It was also usual to hang up laws approved and recorded on tables of brass in their market-places, and in their temples, that they might be seen and read. (Taciti Annales, l. xi. c. 14.) In like manner the Jewish prophets used to write, and expose their prophecies publicly on tables, either in their own houses, or in the temple, that every one that passed by might read them.
No. 1151.-ii. 16. --the cup of the Lord's right hand shall be turned unto thee.] In the entertainments of the ancients the cup was delivered towards the right hand ; express mention is made of this practice by Homer :
From where the goblet first begins to flow,
See also the II. b. i. 597.
This custom seems to be referred to in the words of the prophet.
· No. 1152.-iii. 9. Thy bow was made quite naked.] The oriental bows, according to Chardin, were usually carried in a case hung to their girdles; it was sometimes of cloth, but more commonly of leather. The expression in these words of the prophet must consequently be understood of the bow when out of the case.
HARMER, vol. ii. p. 513.
And the sea-coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shep.
herds, and folds for focks.
ABP. Newcome has remarked, that many manuscripts and three editions have a single letter in one of these words more than appears in the common editions ; which, instead of cherith, gives us a word which signifies caves; and he thus renders the words : and the sea-coast shall be sheep-cotes ; cuves for shepherds, and folds for focks. This translation will appear perfectly correct if it be considered, that the mountains bordering on the Syrian coast are remarkable for the number of caves in them. In the history of the crusades it is particularly mentioned that a number of persons retired with their wives and children, their flocks and herds, into subterraneous caves to find shelter from the enemy. (Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 781.) HARMER, vol. iii. p. 60.
No. 1154.-ii. 7. In the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening.] An extract from Dr. Chandler's Travels (p. 115.) furnishes a very lively comment on these words. “Our horses were disposed among the walls and rubbish (of Ephesus) with their saddles on ; and a mat was spread for us on the ground.
We sat here in the open air while supper was preparing; · when suddenly fires began to blaze up among the bushes,
and we saw the villagers collected about them in savage groups, or passing to and fro, with lighted brands for torches. The flames, with the stars and a pale moon, afforded us a dim prospect of ruin and desolation. A shrill owl, called cucuvaia from its note, with a night