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gird up your loins.” “Come, help me to gird this sāli, i.e. mantle or shawl, round my loins; I have a long way to run.” “ Poor fellow! he soon gave it up; his loins were not well girded.”
16. — “ Hast thou entered into the springs of the
ea ?” To a vain boasting fellow it is said, “ Yes, yes; the sea is only knee-deep to thee.” “ It is all true; thou hast measured the sea.”
34, 35. — “ Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds,
that abundance of waters may cover thee? Canst
thou send lightnings ?” This probably refers to thunder, and its effects in producing rain. It is said, “ Why, fellow, are you making such a noise ? Are you going to shake the clouds ? Is it rain you are going to produce?” " What is all this noise about? Is it rain you want?” “ Cease, cease your roaring; the rain will not come.” “ Listen to that elephant, rain is coming."
39.- “ Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion ? ” To a man who is boasting of the speed of his foot, or his prowess, it is said, “ Yes, there is no doubt thou wilt hunt the prey for the tiger.” When a person does a favour for a cruel man, it is asked, “ What! give food to the tiger ? ” “ O, yes; give milk to the serpent.” 66 Here comes the sportsman; he has been hunting prey for the tiger.”
XXXIX. 13.-“ Gavest thou the goodly wings unto
the peacocks ? ” These birds are exceedingly numerous in the East; and it gives a kind of enchantment to a morning scene, to see flocks of them together, spreading their beautiful plumage in the rays of the sun. They proudly stalk along, and then run with great speed, particularly if they get sight of a serpent;
and the reptile must wind along in his best style, or he will soon become the prey of the lordly bird.
A husband sometimes says to his wife, “ Come hither, my beautiful peacock. Had they not their beauty from you?” This bird is sacred to Scandan.
26. — “ Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom and stretch
her wings toward the south ?” It is considered an exceedingly fortunate thing to see a hawk or a kite flying in circles from left to right, towards the south. When the south wind blows, those birds may be seen making their way in circles towards that quarter ; but when they return, they fly in a direct line.
XLI. 19. — “Out of his mouth go burning lamps,
and sparks of fire leap out." It is common to say, “ See that angry fellow; the fire is flying out of his mouth.”
20. — “ Out of his nostrils goeth smoke.” 6 Look at the ferocious brute; from his nose, pugipurakuthu, the smoke flies.” To distend the nostrils is a sign of anger.
27. — “ He esteemeth iron as straw.” A man seeing a powerful elephant secrete himself, exclaims to him, “ Irrumbu-vikal-thān, iron is straw.” “ Why, brass to that man is as a decayed stick.”
XLII. 10. — “ The Lord turned the captivity of
Job.” Our idea of captivity seems to be principally confined to prisoners of war; but, in the East, adversity, great adversity, and many other troubles, are spoken of in the same way. Thus, a man formerly in great prosperity speaks of his present state as if he were in prison. “I am now a captive." “ Yes, I am a slave." If again elevated, “his captivity is changed."
11. “ Then came there unto him all his brethren, and
all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house; and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money,
every one an ear-ring of gold.” The custom alluded to of relations and friends giving relief to a person in distress, is practised in the East at this day. When a man has suffered a great loss by an accident, by want of skill, or by the roguery of another, he goes to his brothers and sisters, and all his acquaintances, and describes his misfortunes. He then mentions a day when he will give a feast, and invites them all to partake of it. At the time appointed they come, arrayed in their best robes, each having money, ear-rings, finger-rings, or other gifts suited to the condition of the person in distress. The individual himself meets them at the gate, gives them a hearty welcome, the music strikes up, and the guests are ushered into the apartments prepared for the feast. When they have finished their repast and are about to retire, they each approach the object of their commiseration, and present their donations, and best wishes for future prosperity.
A rich merchant in North Ceylon, named Siva Sangu Chetty, was suddenly reduced to poverty ; but by this plan he was restored to his former prosperity. Two money brokers, also, who were sent to these parts by their employer (who lived on the opposite continent), lost one thousand rix dollars, belonging to their master; they therefore called those of their caste, profession, and country, to partake a feast, at which time the whole of their loss was made up. When a young man puts on the ear-rings or turban for the first time, a feast of the same description, and
for the same purpose, is given to enable him to meet the expense of the rings, and to assist him in the future pursuits of life. When a young woman also becomes marriageable, the female relations and acquaintances are called to perform the same service, in order to enable her to purchase jewels, or to furnish a marriage portion. In having recourse to this custom, there is nothing that is considered mean; for parents who are respectable and wealthy often do the same thing. Here, then, we have another simple and interesting illustration of a most praiseworthy usage of the days of ancient Job.
women found so fair as the daughters of Job.” In the Scriptures the word fair may sometimes refer to the form of the features, as well as the colour of the skin: but great value is attached to a woman of a light complexion. Hence our English females are greatly admired in the East, and instances have occurred where great exertions have been made to gain the hand of a fair daughter of Britain.
The acmé of perfection in a Hindoo lady is to be of the colour of gold !
Psalm I. verse 3. — “ He shall be like a tree planted
by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit
in his season; his leaf also shall not wither.” Dr. Boothroyd has it, “ Like a tree planted by water streams ;” and Dr. A. Clarke, says, « The streams or divisions of waters."
This probably alludes to the artificial streams which run from the lakes or wells : by the side of these may be seen trees, at all seasons covered with luxuriant verdure, blossoms, or fruit, because the root is deriving continual nourishment from the stream; whilst at a distance, where no water is, may be seen dwarfish and unhealthy trees, with scarcely a leaf to shake in the winds of heaven.
II. 9. — “ Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's
vessel.” “ Begone! wretch,” says the infuriated man, “or I will dash thee to pieces as a kuddam,” i. e. an earthen vessel.
“ O Lord, heal me; for my bones are vexed." Dr. Boothroyd translates, “ For my bones are troubled.” The object of the expression appears to be, to show that the trouble has taken fast hold, it is deeply seated, my bones are its resting place. The Hindoos, in extreme grief or joy, say, o our BONES are MELTED; i. e. like boiling lead they are completely dissolved.
8. “ The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.” Silent grief is not much known in the East: hence, when the people speak of sorrow, they say its voice.
- Have I not heard the voice of his lamentation ?"