תמונות בעמוד

Nehem. ix. 15. from hence some think the word promittere is derived, signifying, to engage by stretching out the hand ; and that from hence sprang the custom of stretching out and lifting up the hand when they took an oath. Thus also Virgil,

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.. Suspiciens cælum, tenditque ad sidera dextram.

Æn. xii. 196..

Thus Agamemnon swears in Homer :

TO orent Tpor areozebe naci brovon.

Il. vii. 412.

To all the gods his sceptre be uplifts.

1. No. 762.-xxxiii. 19. And of treasures hid in the sand.]

Scheuchzer, in his Physica Sacra, on the place, refers this to the river Belus, which ran through the tribe of Zebulon, and which, according to Strabo, Pliny, and Tacitus, was remarkable for furnishing the sand of which they anciently made glass. But it seems much more natural to explain the treasures hid in the sand, of those higly valuable murices and purpuræ or purple fish, which were found on the sea-coast near the country of Zebulon and Issachar, and of which those tribes partook in common with their heathen neighbours of Tyre, who rendered the curious dyes made from those shell-fish so famous among the Romans, by the names of Sarranum Ostrum, Tyrii Colores. See Goguet, Origin of Laws, part ii. b. 2. ch. 2. art. i. vol. ii. p. 95. Edinburgh.

No. 763.-xxxiv. 8. And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days.] It was usual in the East to mourn for such persons as were absent from home when they died, and were buried at a distance from their relations. Irwin relates (Travels p. 254.) that one of the

inhabitants of Ghinnah being murdered in the desert gave birth to a mournful procession of females, which passed through the different streets, and uttered dismal cries for his death. Josephus expressly declares it was a Jewish custom, and says that upon the taking of Jotapata it was reported that he (Josephus) was slain, and that these accounts occasioned very great mourning at Jerusalem. It was after this manner that the Israelites lamented the death of Moses. He was absent from them when he died, neither did they carry him to the grave, but they wept for him in the plains of Moab. The mourning for Aaron, who died in mount Hor, might probably be of the same kind. Numbers xx. 25.-29. HARMER, vol. iii. p. 392.

No. 764.-JOSHUA vii. 6.

And put dust upon their heads.

This was an expression of great grief, and of a deep sense of their unworthiness to be relieved. With this view it was a very usual practice with the Jews, 1 Sam. iv. 12. 2 Sam, i. 2.; it was also imitated by the Gentiles, as in the case of the Ninevites, Jonah iii. 6. Homer also describes Achilles lamenting the death of Patroclus, by throwing dust upon his head, and lying down in it. (Iliad 2. 23, 24.) Thus also Virgil:

- It scissâ veste Latinus, Conjugis attonitus fatis, urbisque ruina, Canitiem immundo perfusam pulvere turpans.

Æn. xii. 609.

Latinus tears his garments as he goes, ..
Both for his public and his private woes ;
With filth his venerable beard besmears,
And sordid dust deforms his silver hairs.


See also Oriental Customs, No. 100, and 433.

No. 765.—xvii. 16. , Chariots of iron.] This does not intimate that the chariots were made of iron, but that they were armed with it. Such chariots were by the ancients called currus falcati; and in Greek Spe gavo oupal. They had a kind of scythes of about two cubits long fastened to long axle-trees on both wheels : these being driven swiftly through a body of men made great slaughter, mowing them down like grass or corn. See Xenophon, Cyro-Pædia, lib. vi. Quintus Curtius, lib. iv. cap. 9.

No. 766.-xxiv. 30. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-Serah.]' This place is in Judges ii. 9. called Timnath-heres, because of the image of the sun engraven on his sepulchre, in memory of that famous day when the sun stood still till he had completed his victory. This is asserted by several of the Jewish authors. Memorials alluding to particular transactions in the lives of great men were frequently made use of to adorn their tombs. Tully has recorded concerning Archimedes, that a sphere and a cylinder were put upon his monument.

PATRICK, in loc.

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The alighting of those that ride is considered in the East as an expression of deep respect. ' Pococke tells us, (Trav. vol. i. p 35.) that they descend from their asses in Egypt when they come near some tombs there, and that Christians and Jews are obliged to submit to this.


H ARMER, vol. ii. p. 116.

No. 768.—iv. 19. And she opened a bottle of milk, and · gave him drink.] Jael certainly shewed her regard to Is

rael by destroying Sisera, but it is as certain that she did not do it in the most honorable manner-there was treachery in it: perhaps in the estimation of those people, the greatest treachery. Among the later Arabs, giving a person drink has been thought to be the strongest assurance of their receiving him under their protection. When Guy de Lusignan, king of Jerusalem, was taken prisoner, and was conducted before Saladin, he demanded drink, and they gave him fresh water, which he drank in Saladin's presence: but when one of his lords would have done the same, Saladin would not suffer it, because he did not intend to spare his life: on the contrary, advancing to him, after some expostulations, he cut off his head. DHerbelot, p. 371. .

HARMER, vol. i. p. 469.

No. 769.--v. 10. re that ride on white asses.] In this song. Deborah expressly addresses herself to those who sit in judgment, whom she describes as riding upon white asses. Officers of justice, it seems, form a part of the procession, and they are going up to the high place, as

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