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high. To him who is proudly interfering with the affairs of another it will be said, “ Why show your kombu (Horn) here?” “ What! are you a horn for me?” “ See that fellow, what a fine horn he has; he will make the people run.”
“ Truly, my lord, you have a great horn." 6 Chinnan has lost his money, ay, and his hornship too.” 66 Alas! alas! I am like the deer, whose horns have fallen off.”*
LXXVII. 2. — “ In the day of my trouble I sought
the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased
not.” The margin has, instead of sore, “ hand.” Ainsworth, “In the day of my distress I sought the Lord: my hand by night reached out and ceased not.” Dr. Boothroyd, “In the day of my distress I seek Jehovah : by night, my hand, without ceasing, is stretched out unto him.” Dr. A. Clarke says, “ My hand was stretched out,” i. e. in prayer. The Tamul translation, “My hands, in the night, were spread out, and ceased not.”
“ Ah !” says the sorrowful mother, over her afflicted child, “ all night long were my hands spread out to the gods on thy behalf.” In that position do they sometimes hold their hands for the night together. Some devotees do this with their right hand throughout the whole of their lives, till the arm becomes quite stiff.
* For an explanation of horn, see Bruce's Travels in Abyssinia, vol. iv. p. 411., where it is said, “ One thing remarkable in this cavalcade, was the headdress of the governors of provinces. A large broad fillet was bound on their forehead, and tied behind the head. In the middle of this was a horn, or conical piece of silver, gilt, about four inches long. This is worn in reviews or parades after victory. This, I apprehend, like other of their usages, is taken from the Hebrews, and the several allusions made in Scripture to it arise from this practice, &c. The crooked manner in which they hold their neck when the ornament is on their forehead, for fear it should fall forward, perfectly shows the meaning of speaking with a stiff neck, when the horn is held on high or erect like the unicorn."
10.-" And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remem
ber the years of the right hand of the Most High.” Dr. Boothroyd : “ Then I said, This is the time of my sorrow; but the right hand of the Most High can change it.”
I have shown that superior honour is given to the right hand. It is that with which men fight: the “sword arm," consequently protection, or deliverance, comes from that. David was in great distress; but, he asks, has “ God forgotten to be gracious ?” To this his heart replied, No! and he determined to believe in the right hand of the Most High, which had often delivered and defended him in days past, and which could again change all his circumstances.
The right hand is that which dispenses gifts; no Hindoo would offer a present with his left hand. A miser is said to have two left hands! “ Never, never shall I forget the right hand of that good man: he always relieved my wants.” “ Ah! the ungrateful wretch, how many years have I helped him ! he has forgotten my right hand.” “ Yes, poor fellow, he has lost all his property; he cannot now use his right hand.”
My children, my children,” says the aged father, “how many years have I supported you?, Surely you will never forget the right hand of your father.”
LXXVIII. 2. - -" I will open my mouth in a parable.” When a man finds a difficulty in making another understand him, he says, “ Well, relate an ugame," a parable; or, “ You shall hear a palla-mulli," an old saying.
64. 66 Their widows made no lamentation.” When the cholera morbus swept off such multitudes, the cries from every house had a fearful effect on the passersby; but, after some time, though the scourge remained, the people ceased to lament; asking, “Why should we mourn ? the Amma," i. e. the goddess, “is at her play.” Thus, instead of the shrieks and howls so common on such occasions, scarcely a sigh or a whisper was heard from the survivors,
66. - "He smote his enemies in the hinder part: he
put them to a perpetual reproach.” Dr. Boothroyd, “ And smote his enemies in the hinder parts, and he put them to perpetual disgrace.”
Some commentators think this alludes “ to the emerods inflicted on the Philistines ;” but the figure is used in reference to those who are conquered, and who consequently show their backs when running away. “I will make that fellow show his back,” means, “ I will cause him to run from me.” It is also considered exceedingly disgraceful to be beaten on
LXXX. 4. — “ How long wilt thou be angry ?” He
brew, “wilt thou smoke ?" Ainsworth, “ Jehovah, God of hosts; how long wilt thou smoke against the prayer of thy people ?"
Of an angry man, it is said, “He is continually smoking.” “ My friend, why do you smoke so to-day ?” “ This smoke drives me away; I cannot bear it.” “ How many days is this smoke to remain in my house?” 66 What care I for the smoke ? it does not hurt me.”
5. — “ Thou feedest them with the bread of tears." When a master or a father is
to his children or servants, “ Yes, in future you shall have rice, and the water of your eyes to eat.” “ You shall have the water of your eyes n abundance to drink.” “ Alas ! alas! I am ever drinking ears.”
13. The boar out of the wood doth waste it." Wild hogs are exceedingly numerous and destructive in the East: hence a fine garden will in one night be completely destroyed. The herd is generally led by old boars, that go along with great speed and fierceness. Should there be a fence, they will go round till they find a weak place, and then they all rush in. In travelling, sometimes a large patch of grass may be seen completely torn up, which has been done by the wild hog for the sake of the roots. These animals are also very ferocious, as they will not hesitate to attack either man or beast when placed in circumstances of difficulty. One of them once ran at a friend of mine, when travelling in his palankeen; but the creature, not calculating well as to the speed of the coolies, only just struck the pole with his tusk; but the hole he left behind in the hard wood was nearly half an inch deep.
LXXXI. 10. -" Open thy mouth wide, and I will
fill it.” “ My friend, you tell me you are in great distress : take my advice: go to the king, and open your mouth wide." "I went to the great man and opened my mouth, but he has not given me any thing.” “I opened my mouth to him, and have gained all I wanted.” Why open your mouth there? it will be all in vain.” Does a person not wish to be troubled,
says to the applicant, “ Do not say Ah, ah! here;” which means, do not open your mouth, because that word cannot be pronounced without opening the mouth.
LXXXIII. 13.-“ my God, make them like a
wheel; as the stubble before the wind.” The Septuagint has tpoxov, from tpoxos a wheel; and in Isa. xvii. 13. tpoxou is translated, like a rolling thing before the wind. Dr. A. Clarke thinks it refers to a wheel used for threshing; but it does not appear that any instrument of that kind was ever used for such a purpose in the East. Dr. Boothroyd and others say, “ like whirling chaff.”
The Tamul translation has, instead of wheel, soolu-kātu, i. e. whirlwind. This rendering is certainly worthy of being considered : “0, my God, make them like stubble before the whirlwind."
LXXXIV, 10. "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.” The margin has, “I would choose
rather to sit at the threshold.” Ainsworth, “I have chosen to sit at the threshold, in the house of my God.” And Dr. Boothroyd, “ Abide, or sit, at the threshold.”
I believe the word doorkeeper does not convey the proper meaning of the words, “ to sit at the threshold ;” because the preference of the psalmist was evidently given to a very HUMBLE situation, whereas that of a doorkeeper, in Eastern estimation, is truly respectable and confidential. The gods are always represented as having doorkeepers, who were of great dignity and power, as they also fought against other deities. In the heathen temples there are images near the entrance, called kõval-kāran, i. e. guards or doorkeepers. Kings and great men also have officers, whose business it is to stand at the door, or gate, as keepers of the entrance.
The most dignified native of Ceylon is the Maha Modeliar of the governor's gate, to whom all others must make obeisance. The word doorkeeper, therefore, does not convey the idea of humility, but of honour.
The marginal reading, however, “ to sit at the threshold,” at once strikes an Eastern mind as a situation of deep humility.
See the poor heathen devotee, he goes and sits near the threshold of his temple. Look at the beggar, he sits, or prostrates himself at the threshold of the door or gate, till he shall have gained his suit.
“ I am in great trouble; I will go and lie down at the door of the temple.” “ Friend, you appear to be very ill.”—“Yes !” “ Then go, prostrate yourself at the threshold of the temple.” “ Muttoo, I can get you the situation of a Peon; will you accept of it?” “Excuse me, sir, I pray you; I had better lie at your threshold than do that.” “Go, do that! it is far better for me to lie at the threshold as a common beggar.”
I think, therefore, the psalmist refers to the attitude of a beggar, a suppliant at the threshold of the house of the