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which were to be cast unto the moles and the bats: the offensive allusions in both places are nearly related, and show with what sovereign contempt the gods were to be treated. The indecent reference may be heard in every street and bazār, from the mouths of people of every class, and even children, who, so far from being reproved, are only laughed at. When females quarrel, they often call each other toomy-cheely, and, strange to say, men do the same thing. Thus were the “ images of gold” to be cast away, “ as a menstruous cloth,” saying, “ Get thee hence.”.
24. — “Shall eat clean provender, which hath been
winnowed with the shovel and with the fan." Those who form their opinion of the latter article by an English Fan, will entertain a very erroneous notion. That of the East is made of the fibrous part of the palmirah or cocoa tree leaves; it measures about a yard each way, and is of the annexed shape. Thus may be seen the farmer wafting away the chaff from the corn, having the round part of the fan in his hand : and thus may be seen the females in the morning, tossing in the air the husk from their rice. (See on Jer. xv. 7.)
29. — “ Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept.” (Job xxxv. 10.
66 Who giveth songs in the night.” Psa. xlii. 8.; lxxvii. 6.) Music is considered far more enchanting at night than at any other period; “ it gives cheerfulness to darkness, and pleasure to the heart.” Their favourite proverb is, “ the day SONG is like the flower of the gourd,” i. e. devoid of smell. Nothing is more common than for adults to sing themselves to sleep : thus, as they recline, they beat a tabret and chant the praises of their gods, till through heaviness they can scarcely articulate a word. At other times the mother or wife gently taps the instrument, and in soft tones lulls the individual to repose. In the night, should they not be able to sleep, they have again recourse to the same charm, and not until they shall have fairly gone off in fresh slumbers, will their companions have any rest. Hence in passing through a village or town at midnight, may be heard people at their nightly song, to grace the festive scene, to beguile away their time, to charm their fears, or to procure refreshing sleep. The Jews then were to be delivered from the proud Assyrian's yoke, and again to have their pleasant song in the night.
32. — “ And in every place where the grounded staff
shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.” (The margin has, instead of “ every place where the grounded staff shall pass," " every passing of the rod founded :" and, instead of “ lay upon him," "cause to rest upon
Dr. Boothroyd has, “ And wherever shall pass the rod of correction." Dr. Adam Clarke, “ The rod of his correction." The following is a free translation of the Tamul version :“ It shall come to pass in all places, after the great battle against the fixed (grounded) sceptre, the Lord will give rest; therefore shall it be celebrated with tabrets and harps."
Whose staff or sceptre was this ?--Jehovah's. s grounded,” rooted, strongly fixed. Who were to fight against this sceptre?—The proud Assyrians, “ in battles of shaking.” What was to be the result of the contest?- The Tamul says, “ The Lord will give rest.” How would the feelings of the emancipated Jews be shown ?-By songs and musical instruments. They were to have “ a holy solemnity,” and their nightly song, and to go forth with tabrets and harps, in joyful exultation over the fallen foe. A place was prepared for the wicked monarch, the “son of the morning;" he was now to be “cut down to the ground,” and to “be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” “For
Tophet is ordained of old, yea, for the king it is prepared ; he hath made it deep and large : the pile thereof is fire and much wood (Boothroyd, fiery pyre): the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.” Have we here
any allusion to the immense sacrifices of the Assurs, in which the pits were said to be miles in depth ; where they offered hecatombs of animals, and into which many of their chiefs heroically sprang, and were destroyed, or restored by the supreme god of their mythology?
XXXII. 2. — An hiding-place from the wind -as
rivers of water in a dry place." “ Ah! that benevolent man, he has long been my shelter from the wind; he is a river to the dry country.”
XXXIII. 11. — “ Ye shall conceive chaff; ye shall
bring forth stubble.” When married females quarrel, they often say, “ Yes, thy womb shall give children, but they shall all be as chaff.”
Yes, barren one, you may have a child, but it will be blind and dumb." " True, true, you will bring forth a pămbuvethe," i.e. a generation of serpents.
XXXIV. 11. But the cormorant and the bittern
shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.”
refers to the DESOLATION of the enemies of God. Their splendid palaces were to be overgrown with thorns, and dragons were to find there their habitation; and the owl also, “the fearful bird of night,” was there to have her dwellingplace. (See on Chap. xii. 21.) 66 He shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness.” This is confessedly a very difficult passage: Dr. Boothroyd translates, “ He shall stretch over her the line of desolation, and let fall the plummet of emptiness.” The Tamul translation has it, “ Upon that he will hold (stretch) the thread of the open place, and the hanging of emptiness.” Does not this refer to the spider, which was also to occupy the forsaken mansions of the great! There was she to stretch out her thread and hanging of emptiness. It accords well with Oriental sentiments to associate the spider with ruins and neglected places: hence the expressive couplet on desolation, quoted by Dr. A. Clarke (from Sir Wm. Jones), on Zeph. ii. 14. : - “ The spider holds the veil in the palace of Cæsar: the owl stands sentinel in the watchtower of Afrasiab.” (See on Zeph. ii. 14.)
XXXVIII. 12. — “ Mine age is departed, and is re
moved from me as a shepherd's tent.” The shepherds of the East are often obliged to remove their flocks to distant places to find pasturage; hence their habitations are exceedingly light, in order to be the more easily removed. The “ lodge in a garden of cucumbers,” and the frail resting place of the shepherd, greatly resemble each other.
17. — “ Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.” Jeroboam preferred “molten images” to the true God, and therefore the Lord said unto him by Ahijah, thou “ hast cast me behind thy back.” The Levites said of the children of Israel, they “rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs." The Lord said of the wicked cities of Samaria and Jerusalem, “ Thou hast forgotten me, and cast me behind thy back.” This metaphor, to cast behind the back, is in common use, and has sometimes a very offensive signification. The expression is used to denote the most complete and contemptuous rejection of a person or thing. “ The king has cast his minister behind his back," i. e. fully removed him, treated him with sovereign contempt. " Alas! alas ! he has thrown my petition behind his back; all my efforts are defeated.”
“ Yes, man, I have forgiven you; all your
crimes are behind my back : but take care not to offend me again.”
XL. 11. — “He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; he
shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that
are with young.” The shepherds of antiquity were "an abomination unto the Egyptians,” and so they are among the Hindoos : and as the Egyptians would not eat with the Hebrews, so neither will the various castes of India eat with their shepherds. The pastoral office in the East is far more responsible than in England, and it is only by looking at it in its various relations and peculiarities, as it exists there, that we gain a correct view of many passages of Scripture. Flocks at home are generally in fine fields, surrounded by hedges or fences; but there they are generally in the wilderness, and were it not for the shepherds would go astray, and be exposed to the wild beasts. As the sons of Jacob had
go to a great distance to feed their flocks, so still they are often absent for one and two months together, in the place where there is plenty of pasturage. In their removals, it is an interesting sight to see the shepherds carrying the lambs in their bosoms, and also to witness how gently they “ lead those that are with young.” Another interesting fact is the relationship which exists betwixt the pastor and his flock; for being so much together, they acquire a friendly feeling : hence the sheep “ know his voice, and a stranger will they not follow.” Does he wish to remove to another place, he goes to such a distance as that they can hear his voice, and then he imitates the noise made by a sheep, and immediately they may be seen bounding along to the spot where he is. Thus" he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” But another way of leading a flock, especially where there are goats, is to take the branch of a tree and keep showing it to them, which causes them to run along more cheerfully. He also calleth