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13.—" My punishment is greater than I can bear.”
The margin has, “ Mine iniquity is greater than
- be forgiven.” This form of speech is very common. Has a person committed a great crime; he will go to the offended individual, and piteously plead for mercy; and at intervals keep crying, “ Ah! my guilt is too great to be forgiven. My hopes are gone.'
14. — “ Every one that findeth me shall slay me.” It has been tauntingly asked, How could every one slay Cain? Has a man escaped from prison ; the people say, “ Ah! all men will catch and bring that fellow back.” Has a man committed murder; “ Ah! all men will kill that murderer.” This means, the feeling will be universal ; all will desire to have that individual punished.
15.-" The Lord said unto him, Therefore, whoso
ever slayeth Cain.” When people speak to each other on important or solemn subjects, they do not always use the personal pronoun, but the name of the person addressed is mentioned, apparently, that by-standers may have no doubt as to the individual intended. Suppose two persons
- the one called Muttoo, and the other Kandan — were disputing about something serious which had occurred. Muttoo would say, “It is well known to Kandan that I never made any such promise ; but Kandan has brought false witnesses to swear that I did say so." Has Chinnan done something for another which he fears another party will resent; he goes to the person for whom the favour was performed, and states his apprehensions. But the favoured individual will say, “ Fear not; for whosoever injures Chinnan, I will injure.”
VI. 4. — “ There were giants in the earth in those days;
and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men, which were of
old.” The Hindoos say that giants were generated in the following manner :- Brahma, the god (he who was also called Käsipar), had two daughters; the one called Athe, and the other called Tithe ; from the former came the gods, but from the latter the giants. Those giants or demigods were “nine cubits in height, and performed the most astonishing works :” and such is the opinion of the people, that wherever there has been a great effort of nature, whether in an earthquake, or a volcano, they say it was produced by
But leaving these notions out of the question, it is a fact, that in some of the stupendous works of art which still remain, it is impossible to account for the way in which some of the ponderous masses of stone were brought together, as the people do not at this day possess any machines of sufficient power to remove them.
Another general opinion, in reference to the stature of man, is, that in every age he is becoming less; and will do so until he become a prey to the most insignificant animals.
17.- “ Behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon
the earth." That the Hindoos have an account of the deluge, all who are acquainted with Eastern literature must admit. The translations by Sir William Jones from the Bhagavat, and other authorities, fully settle the matter. In the first volume of the Asiatic Researches may be seen the opinions on this subject.
In a Tamul book, also, called Bagavatham, which, I doubt not, is translated from the Sanscrit book Bhagavat, it is said, that one called Satyavathan, (i. e. the true-faced one) in the first age, which was called Kreatha, did one morning, after he arose, and after he had performed his ablutions and devotions, go to the place of the god, Vishnoo, and said the Treatha age and the flood are now come: what advice do you give to me? Then Vishnoo took a lotus leaf, like unto his own navel, and placed Satyavathan thereon. After this, Vishnoo assumed the form of a fish, to support and steer the leaf. The flood came, and in three and three quarters näliki, i. e, one hour and a half, the whole world was covered with water, and all living creatures were destroyed. When the waters were dried up, seven kinds of appearances (living creatures) came. In the third age, Satyavāthan was united to the navel of Vishnoo.
In that ancient book, the Scanda Purāna, it is said, “ The town of Kānchu is celebrated, because, when the food was upon the earth after the death of a Brahma (one of his deaths or incarnations), he, assuming the shape of a frog, escaped from the flood by catching hold of the branch of a mangotree.”
VII. 11.-6The windows of heaven were opened.” The margin has “the flood-gates of heaven were opened.” In the East, when the rain falls in torrents, the people say, " the heavens are broken."
VIII. 13. — “ Noah removed the covering of the
ark.” The native vessels in India have not decks like those in Europe, but strong laths are put on, which are well tied together, and then thatched over with cocoa-nut leaves, which can be removed at any time without difficulty. It can scarcely be believed, that so slight a covering will be a defence from the rain and sea; but, generally speaking, it is so. Some of these vessels carry upwards of two hundred tons.
IX. 13. “ I do set my bow in the cloud.” The rainbow is the bow with which Indran, the king of heaven, fought his foes. With it, having lightning for its string, he conquered the Assurs. Scandan, the son of Siva, was once injuring the holy mountains, by tearing up the forests, and destroying the animals; when the gods, hearing of his proceedings (not knowing he was the son of Siva), went and fought with him; but Scandan seized the bow of the king of heaven, and conquered them all.
A king once wrote to another sovereign, ordering him to deliver up the keys of his fortress : but the latter asked, “ What! has he got the bow of the king of heaven?”
When preparations are making for a marriage, or any other feast, passers-by, on seeing the arrangements, say, “ Ah ! here is the rainbow !” meaning, there is something to follow.
22. – 66 And Ham
the nakedness of his father.”
“ Ham or Chamn, brown, swarthy, black, deep black.”
says, “ Ham signifies burnt or black."
The Tamul for Ham is Cam, and the Sanscrit is “ Cham.” Cama or Chama is the Hindoo god of love. Cama signifies “ lechery, lasciviousness, an object of desire.” This god is the author of all sensual desires. The most impure work in the East commences with an invocation to him. Vishnoo, by many Oriental scholars, is believed to be the same as Noah. Cama is the son of Vishnoo !
Whilst reading the following, keep in mind the meaning of his name,“ burnt or black ;” also the object of his visit. — Cama once went into the presence of Siva without permission, and that at the time when he was lost in divine contemplation. The intruder, wishing to excite lascivious feelings, let fly one of his arrows. The god, enraged, sent fire from his frontal eye, and burnt him to ashes ; and ever after that he was invisible to all but his wife.
The regions of the South were appointed to Ham and his posterity, and the South wind is the chariot of Chama or Cama. Job says (xxxvii. 17.), “ Thy garments are warm by the south wind,” and great virtues are attributed to it. “ It brings heat to the body;” and many of the sages and kings, who wished to lead a chaste life, complained of its power. “It gives a clear voice, brings joy, and is good for marriages ;” and it is a fact, that during the continuance of this wind, nearly all marriages are made.
Calmet and his editors believe that Ammon, or Hammon, was a deification of Ham.*
29. — “ The days of Noah were nine hundred and
fifty years." In asking the age of a child or a man, the enquiry is not how many years, but, “Days how many ? ” — In speaking of a man who will die soon — “ Ah! in five years his days will be gone. That young man has grey hairs; to him how many days? he has seen twenty-six years.”
X. 9. —“ A mighty hunter before the Lord.” It is said of great heroes, also of those who are very zealous in their devotions, “they are mighty before the
XI. 7. — “ Confound their language.” The people of the East have nothing which corresponds with the scriptural account of the confusion of tongues. They say there were originally eighteen languages; and it may be worth while to preserve their names. Arigam, A'runam, Kalíngam, Konísigam, Kāmapósum, Kónāgnum, Kosālam, Peesavāgam, Cingaleese, Sínther, Chinese, Móorish, Teéravúdam, Tulāvam, Pappāram, Māthagam, Māradam, Pángam.
They also have eighteen kinds of books.
See Deut. iv. 16.— Lingam.