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“ his own sheep by name,” and it is interesting to notice how appropriate the names are to the animals. Thus, should a sheep or a cow have a bad temper (or any other failing), it will be called the angry one, the malicious, or sulky, or wandering one; the killer of her young, the fiend; the mad one, the jumper, the limper, the dwarf, the barren, the fruitful, the short, the fat, the long, the tricky one. The cows also are named after some of their goddesses, particularly after the wives of Siva, Vishnoo, and Scandan ; thus Lechymy, Pārvati, and Valle, may be heard in every herd. To bulls are given the names of men and devils; as Vyraven, Pulliār, Māthan, &c. Before the sun shall have gained his meridian, the shepherds seek out a shady place, where they may make their flocks “ to rest at noon.” As the shepherd who mounted the throne of Israel carried his sling and his stone, so these generally have the same missiles by which they correct the wanderers, and keep off their foes: hence the dog is scarcely ever used in the tending or guiding of flocks. As was Jacob, so here the shepherds are often remunerated in kind, and therefore have not any other wages (except now and then a little cloth or rice); hence, often, a certain number of the rams are given as pay, and to this also the Patriarch may allude: “ The rams of thy flock have I not eaten.” In most of these particulars we see illustrations of Him who " is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel," who laid prostrate the “ roaring lion ” of hell, and who keeps us in safety, so that the foe cannot pluck us out of his hand.
12. 66 Who hath measured the waters in the hollow
of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span; and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure; and weighed the mountains in scales, and the
hills in a balance.” Here we have a vivid illustration of the dignified and gorgeous imagery of the East.
“ What man can take up the waters of the unknown dark ocean in his hands ? " " Whose
fingers are long enough to span the arch of heaven?” “ Who can bring together all the dust of the earth in measure ?” “Who can weigh the hills and mountains in scales ?” These figures largely show the insignificance of man.
15. — “ Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket,
and are counted as the small dust of the balance:
behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing." Here we have another allusion to the majesty of Jehovah, who is infinite in all his perfections. Dr. Boothroyd has, “ Behold, the islands he taketh up as an atom.” The Tamul translation has it any, i. e. atom; which is in harmony wi the figure, " The nations are as a drop,” and “small dust;" and the islands are like an atom in his hands.
XLII. 2. — “ He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause
his voice to be heard in the street.” (Matt. xii. 19.) When two or more people go along the streets, they speak in such a loud voice, that all who pass may hear. Has a person gained or lost a cause in a court of justice, he vociferates his story again and again to his companions, as he goes along the road. This practice may have arisen from the custom of the superior walking the first, which makes it necessary for him to speak in a loud voice, that those who are in the rear may hear his observations. Men of a boisterous temper, who wish to raise a clamour, or those who are the leaders in any exploit, always bawl aloud when they talk to their companions, as they go along the road.
14. — “ I will destroy and devour at once.” The He
brew has, instead of devour ; swallow, or sup up. (Hab. i. 9. “ They shall come all for violence: their faces shall sup up as the East wind.” Gen. xli. 6. “ And, behold, seven thin ears, and blasted with the East wind.” Exod. x. 13. 6 The Lord brought an East wind upon the land all that day, and all
that night; and when it was morning, the East wind brought the locusts.” (Ezek. xvii. 10. “ When the East wind toucheth it, it shall wither."
Jonah iv. 8.) The words devour, swallow, or sup, as used by Isaiah, and Habakkuk, evidently allude to the same thing. Jehovah had refrained himself, but now he was about to come forth and utterly destroy his enemies. When a king wishes to convey an idea that he will completely destroy his foes, he says, I will MULLUNGA-VAIN, i.e. “swallow them up.” Habakkuk says of the Chaldeans, “ Their faces shall sup up, as the East wind.” Of a man who has a savage face, it is said,
He has a MULLUNGERA-MUGGAM, a devouring face.” “ Look at that fellow's face, you may see he could swallow you." But the Chaldeans are compared to the destructive EAST wind; and, it is a fact, that the same wind is spoken of in similar terms in all parts of the East. Its name is ALLIKKERA-KĀTTU, i.e. the destroying wind, and so sure as it shall blow for any length of time, will vegetation be destroyed. How this is produced is, perhaps, amongst the inexplicable mysteries of nature. Its destructive qualities on vegetable nature in England are well known, and yet it would appear that not one time in a thousand can it blow in an uninterrupted current from the distant East, because there are always, so far as I have been able to observe, counter currents. Another fact is, that, however far East you may travel, it is still the same wind which brings destruction. The allusion, therefore, in Genesis (and other places) is illustrated by the continued malignity of that wind.
19. — “ Who is blind, but my servant? Or deaf, as my
messenger that I sent?» I think we are to understand this as alluding to the AGENT employed by the Lord, i.e. he was so absorbed with his message as to be blind and deaf to all other attractions. When the Yogee affects to deliver a message from the gods, or when he speaks of futurity, he is as one who is blind and deaf; and so insensible is he to external things, that whatever sights may pass before his vision, and whatever sounds may fall upon his ear, he appears to be altogether insensible to their power. The people say he is so full of the deity as to be unconscious of passing scenes.
XLIII. 24. “ Thou hast bought me no sweet cane." Dr. Boothroyd has “sweet reed.” Tamul, “sweet bark !" This probably means cinnamon, as we know that “ sweet bark” was used by Moses in the service of the sanctuary; and it is in connection with the sacrifices of the Most High that it is here mentioned by the prophet.
XLIV. 3. - "I will pour water upon him that is
thirsty.” This probably alludes to the way in which people bathe. They do not in general, as in England, plunge into a stream or river, but go near a well or tank; and then, with a little vessel, pour water on their heads and bodies. See the man who is weary, he calls for his neighbour, or servant, or wife, to accompany him to the well ; he then takes off his clothes (excepting a small strip round his loins), sits on his hams, and the individual who assists begins to “ POUR water” upon him, till he be refreshed, and exclaims, POTHAM, i. e. sufficient. In this way his body is invigorated, his thirst quenched, and he is made ready for his food.
a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right
hand ?” 66 That wicked fellow has now to eat dust or ashes." “ Begone, wretch ! for soon wilt thou have to feed on dust.” The man who is accused of a great crime, takes dust, or ashes, in his mouth, and thus swears that he is innocent
The idea seems to be, if I am guilty, may my mouth soon be filled with earth as in death. “ A lie in my right hand.” “ The right hand is the abode of truth.” The idols are often made with the right hand lifted up, to show that they are truth; and men thus swear, by lifting up the RIGHT hand. In the ninth and twentieth verses (inclusive) of this chapter, we have an admirable disquisition on the absurdity of idolatry; and neither can the maker of idols nor their worshippers say, there is “not a lie in my right hand.”
XLV. 10. 66 Woe unto him that saith unto his father,
What begettest thou? or to the woman, What
hast thou brought forth ?” Dr. Boothroyd has, “ to a mother, what dost thou bring forth ?” Unnatural as is this language, yet children often use it to their parents. Listen to a son who has been chided by his father for bad conduct, “ Why did you beget me? Did I ask you? Why reprove me for evil ? Whose fault is it ? Had you not begotten me, should I have been here?” The father replies, “ Alas ! for the day in which I became thy parent.” The mother says,
The mother says, “Why did I bear this dog? Have I given birth to a monkey? Yes! I am the mother of this ass."
20. Pray unto a god that cannot save.” Most of the prayers of the Hindoos consist in vain repetitions; but they also have some prayers replete with good sentiments. The following (which partakes also of the nature of an amulet) is addressed to the supreme Siva, and is taken from the book called Purramothara-Kāndam.
May Siva, who is at the head of all things, wisdom personified, the faultless incantation, the atom of atoms, and at the same time towering mountains, who is the beginning of all souls, suffer no evil to happen us in this world! May he who, taking the form of water, provides food for the