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to be bound up in the bundle of life — nothing was harm him.
35. — “I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted
thy person.” Gen. xix. 21. “I have accepted thee.” The Hebrew has, “accepted thy face.” Job xlii. 8. “ Him will I accept.” Hebrew, “ his face or per
son.” Verse 9. “ The face of Job.” Does a person ask a favour of his superior; it will not be, in general, said in reply, “I grant your request;" or, “You shall have your desire:” but, Nan un muggatti parttain, “I have seen thy face.” Has a man greatly offended another, and does he plead for mercy ; the person to whom offence has been given
“ I have seen thy face;" which means, that he is pardoned. Should a friend enquire, “ Well, what punishment do you intend to inflict on that fellow ?” he will reply, “ I have seen his face.” In applying for help, should there be a denial, the applicant will ask, “In whose face shall I now look ?” When a man has nearly lost all hope, he says, " For the sake of the face of God grant me my request.”
XXVI. 11. “ His bolster and the cruse of water.” Thus did Saul sleep, with his head on the bolster, and a vessel of water by his side; and in this way do all Eastern travellers sleep at this day. The bolster is round, about eight inches in diameter, and twenty in length. In travelling, it is carried rolled up in the mat on which the owner sleeps. In a hot climate, a draught of water is very refreshing in the night; hence a vessel filled with water is always near where a person sleeps.
19. — “ Accept an offering.” The Hebrew has, for ac
Valuable gifts are said to have a pleasant smell. also, of great property, “ has an agreeable smell.” Why are you taking this small present to the great man? it has not
A nian, "
a good smell.” “Alas ! I have been with my gifts to the Modeliar, but he will not smell of them;" which means, he will not accept them.
20.-" The king of Israel is come out to seek a flea.” Thus did David compare himself to a flea, to show his insignificance before the king. When a man of rank devotes his time and talents to the acquirement of any thing which is not of much value, it is asked, “Why does he trouble himself so much about a flea ?” In asking a favour, should it be denied, it will be said, “ Ah ! my lord, this is as a flea to you." “ Our head man gave me this ring the other day, but now he wishes to have it again ; what is this ? it is but a flea.”
When poor relations are troublesome, the rich say, “ As the flea bites the long-haired dog, so are you always biting me.” Should an opulent man be reduced to poverty his FRIENDS forsake him, and the people say, “ Yes, the same day the dog dies the fleas leave him.”
XXVII. 12.-“ Utterly to abhor.” The Hebrew has
for abhor, “ stink.” It is said of a man who is hated by another, “ Ah ! how he stinks in his nose.” When a person comes amongst those he dislikes, he exclaims, “ What a stink!” It is indeed a bitter sarcasm for a man to rise from company and say, “ I must be off, there is a stink here."'*
XXVIII. 2. — “ Therefore will I make thee keeper of
mine head.” The head is always spoken of as the principal part of the body, and when a man places great confidence in another, he
This mode of speaking is had recourse to when addressing those of inferior castes. There was in a certain cutchery an officer taken from the fisher caste, which is lower than most others. A high caste man went to the cutchery for a stamp, when the officer told him to get out of his way, that he was very busy. “ Yes," said the man of caste, “ I will get out of your way; I smell fish ! ”
says, I will make him the keeper of my life or head.” An injured man expostulating with another, to whom he has been kind, asks, “ Why is this ? have I not been the keeper of your life.” A good brother is called, “ the life-keeping brother.”
But any thing valuable also is spoken of as being on the head.
20. — “ Then Saul fell straightway all along on the
When people are under the influence of great sorrow or fear they always do the same thing, and roll themselves along, making bitter lamentations. And when men have escaped great danger, they roll themselves on the earth to the distance of a quarter of a mile, after the car of the temple, in performance of their vow.
23. — “ He refused, and said, I will not eat.” Saul, no doubt, on account of his sorrow and fear, refused to eat, as do others under similar circumstances at this day. But when people are angry also they decline taking their food. Should the wife not bring the dinner to her lord ! at the proper time, or should it not be properly prepared, he declares he will not partake of it, and that he has made up his mind to die of hunger. She entreats him by the love she bears for him, she touches his feet with her hands, and strokes his chin, but no ! he has made up his mind; die he will. - She shall have no more trouble.” The afflicted woman then runs to call the mother or sisters of her inexorable lord, who has determined to commit suicide by starvation. They all come round him, but his eyes are fixed on the ground, and there are the viands just as left by his weeping wife. Then commence their tender entreaties, backed by the eloquence of tears; the mother, the sisters, the wife, all beseech him to take a little, and then the matron, from whose hand he has often been fed before, puts a little into his mouth, and it is merely to please them he begins to eat.*
24 & 25.
oman had a fat calf in the house, and she hasted and killed it, and took flour and
kneaded it. — And she brought it before Saul.” This calf was killed, dressed, cooked, and eaten in as short a time as possible; which might be called for from the necessity of the guest. But it is evident from other passages that it was a custom to kill, cook, and eat an animal in a very short time. The heat of the climate certainly prevents flesh from being kept many hours, but there is no need to put the animal on the fire whilst its flesh is still warm. The people affect to be disgusted with us for keeping fowls six or eight hours before they are cooked, and say we are fond of eating chettareyche, i. e. dead flesh. There are some Englishmen who become so accustomed to these things, that they have the chicken grilled, and on their table, which a quarter of an hour before was playing in their yard.
XXX. 16.—“ Eating, and drinking, and dancing.” This is said of the Amalekites, after they had spoiled Ziklag. Parkhurst says, under 2n on the above, also on 1 Kings, xii. 32., “ It plainly denotes dancing round in circles ;” and he believes the word “is applied to the celebration of religious feasts, whether in honour of the true God, or of idols,” and he cites several passages in support of his opinion. When the heathen worship their demon gods, they dance in circles round the sacrifices, throw themselves into the most violent contortions : the arms, head, and legs, appear as if they were in convulsions. They throw themselves suddenly on the ground, then jump up and again join in the circular dance.
Some husbands will not for years eat any thing brought by their wives.
21.-" He saluted them.” Hebrew, “ asked them how
they did.” It is in the East, as in England, a common mode of salutation to enquire after the health. They do not, however, answer in the same unhesitating way. When a man has perfectly recovered from a fit of sickness, he will not say, “ I am quite well,” because he would think that like boasting, and be afraid of a relapse ; he would, therefore, say, “I am a little better—not quite so ill as I was :” sometimes, when the question is asked, he will reply, “ Can you not see for yourself? what answer can I give ?” To say you look well, or have become stout, is very annoying.
A short time after my arrival in Ceylon a very stout Brahmin paid me a visit, and on my saying he looked remarkably well, he fell into a great rage and left the room. I explained to him afterwards that I did not mean any offence, and he said it was very unfortunate to be addressed in such language.