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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 Il. 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.
No. 1153.-ZEPHANIAH ii.,6.
And the sea-coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shep.
herds, and folds for flocks.
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
hawk, flitted near us: and a jackall cried mournfully, as if forsaken by his companions on the mountain."
No. 1155.-ii. 14. Flocks shall lie down in the midst of her, all the beasts of the nations : both the cormorant and the bittern shall lodge in the upper lintels thereof.] Knobs or chapiters, marg.
Chardin (tom. iii. p. 108.) describing the magnificent pillars that he found at Persepolis, tells us, that the storks (birds respected by the Persians) make their nests on the top of these columns with great boldness, and are in no danger of being dispossessed.
No. 1156.-ZECHARIAH i. 8.
A red horse.
The word here translated red signifies blood-red, not any kind of bright bay, or other colour usual amongst horses. But the custom of painting or dying animals for riding, whether asses or horses, explains the nature of this description. Tavernier, (Trav. p. 111.) speaking of a city which he visited, says, “ Five hundred paces from the gate of the city we met a young man of a good family, for he was attended by two servants, and rode upon an ass, the hinder part of which was painted red.” And Mungo Park informs us, that the Moorish sovereign Ali always rode upon a milk-white horse, with its tail dyed red. See also Zech. vi. 2. Rev. vi. 4.
Fragments Supp. to Calmet, No. 478.
No. 1157.-11.3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments.] It was usual, especially among the Romans, when a man was charged with a capital crime, and during his arraignment, to let down his hair, suffer his beard to grow long, to wear filthy ragged garments, and appear in a very dirty and sordid habit. Hence such were called Sordidati. When the accused person was brought into court to be tried, even his near relations, friends, and acquaintance, before the court voted, appeared with dishevelled hair, and clothed with garments foul and out of fashion, weeping, crying, and deprecating punishment. (Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. 1. iii. c. 5.) The guilty person sometimes appeared before the judges clothed in black, and his head covered with dust.
No. 1158.-iii. 8. I will bring forth my servant the branch.] The oak was very early made an object of idolatrous worship, Isaiah i. 29. and in Greece we meet with the famous oracle of Jupiter at the oaks of Dodona. In Gaul and Britain we find the highest religious regard paid to this tree and its mistelto, under the direction of the druids. The mistelto is indeed a very extraordinary plant, not to be cultivated in the earth, but always growing upon some other tree, as upon the oak or apple. The druids, says Pliny, (Nat. Hist. lib. xvii. C. 44.) hold nothing more sacred than the mistelto, and the tree on which it is produced, provided it be the oak. They make choice of groves of oaks on their own account, nor do they perform any of their sacred rites without the leaves of those trees, so that one may suppose that they are for this reason called by a Greek etymology druids. And whatever mistelto grows on the oak, they think is sent from heaven, and is a sign of God himself's having chosen that tree. This, however, is very rarely round; but when discovered is treated with great ceremony. They call it by a name which in their language signifies “the curer of all ills :” and having duly prepared their feasts and sacrifices under the tree, they bring to it two white bulls, whose horns are then for the first time tied. The priest, dressed in a white robe, ascends the tree, and with a golden pruning-hook cuts off the mistelto, which is received in a white sagum or sheet. Then they sacrifice the victims, praying that God would bless his own gift to those on whom he has bestowed it. Is it possible, says Mr. Parkhurst, (Heb. Lex. p. 50.) for a Christian to read this account without thinking of him who was the desire of all nations, of the man whose name was the branch, who had indeed no father on earth, but came down from heaven, was given to heal all our ills, and, after being cut off through the divine counsel, was wrapped in fine linen, and laid in the sepulchre for our sakes? The mistelto was a sacred