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5. “ Shall one take up a snare from the earth, and
have taken nothing at all ?” I do not believe there is a reference here to any particular kind of trap. The Tamul translation has it, “ will the snare be taken if there is nothing in it ?” Mr. Benson says, “ It is not usual for the fowler or hunter to take up the snares he has laid till he has taken something in them !”
12. — “ As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the
lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria
in the corner of a bed.” The Tamul translation has this, “ In the place of the bed if one conceal himself,” i. e. in the place or corner where the bed is, if a person conceal himself under it, he shall be taken out; and so shall the children of Israel who have concealed themselves in Samaria be taken out; and so difficult shall it be for them to escape that it will be as easy to take the prey from the mouth of the lion.
IV. 2.-“ The Lord God hath sworn by his holiness,
that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with
fish hooks." I am at a loss to know why there is a distinction betwixt HOOKS” FISH Hooks.” I think it fanciful to explain it by saying it means “ two modes of fishing.” The Tamul translation has, instead of “ HOOKS,” kuradu, i. e. pincers, and it ought to be known that these were formerly much used in punishments. In the Hindoo hells this instrument is spoken of as being used to torture the inhabitants.
A man in his rage says, “ I will tear thee with pincers.” “ Alas ! alas ! I have been dragged away with pincers.” " Ah ! the severity of these troubles — they are like pincers." But it is said that hooks also were formerly used to stick into criminals when taken to the place of execution ; and there is
nothing very doubtful about this, because devotees often have large hooks fastened into their flesh, by which they are hoisted up on a
up on a long pole. “ Your posterity with fishhooks:" this figure is used in the East to show how people DRAW each other to any given place. Thus does a man wish to have a large party at some feast or ceremony he is going to make, he persuades a great man to say he will honour him with his company; and then he says to others, you are invited to meet such an illustrious guest, which causes numbers to come to the occasion. The man of rank in that case is called the fish hook; because, through him, the guests are
V. 8. — 6 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and
Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night
The Lord is his name.” In the preceding verses Israel is solemnly warned not to seek for idols; but for Him who made the starry heavens: “ the Lord is his name.” It is probable by the allusion to " the seven stars,” that a reference also is intended to that worship which was offered to them. These stars are by some supposed to be the Pleiades. Amongst the Hindoos six of them bear the name of Scandan, the son of the supreme Siva; because they are said to have been six virgins who suckled the hero who destroyed the Assurs. One of the Pleiades is not respected, because she was considered to be the servant of the rest. Lempriere says, " The Greeks believed those stars to be the seven daughters of Atlas; and they all, except Merope, who married Sisyphus, king of Corinth, had some of the immortal gods for their suitors. On that account, therefore, Merope's star is dim and obscure among the rest, because she married a mortal.”
But the " seven stars” or Orion may allude to the seven planets, after which the seven days of the week have their
And connected with the names of the days of the week there is a remarkable coincidence betwixt the East and the West. Some antiquarians look to the Saxon mythology for the derivation of the names of our days: but I submit that this is not looking to the most correct source. It is surely more natural to look to the Greeks and Romans, from whom the Saxons, in all probability, derived their ideas; and who, in order to meet the popular notions, gave to the days names of their own deities, to whom similar attributes had been assigned. The first day of the week amongst the Hindoos is called Nitu-kilamy, i. e. Sun-day! This orb is “the right eye” of the supreme Siva. Those who are afflicted with ophthalmia worship that luminary on Sunday. “ The Romans called this day Dies Solis, because it was dedicated to the worship of the Sun.”* The second is Tingle, i. e. Moon-day, which planet is believed to be the left eye of Siva, and represents Pārvati, his wife ; which, by the way, goes to confirm the old opinion, that “ The sun is the husband of the moon.” The Romans dedicated this day to the moon, and it was called Dies LuNÆ. The third Hindoo day is Sevi, i.e. Mars day; for the name of the same planet, which we also call Mars, is given to it. “ This day was called by the Romans Dies Martis, from its having been dedicated to Mars !” The fourth Hindoo day is Puthan, i.e. the name of the planet we call Mercury: he was at the head of all kinds of learning, and his name in Tamul implies News ! Romans dedicated Wednesday to Mercury, from which cause it was called Dies MERCURII, FERIA QUARTA." The fifth Hindoo day is Veyālen, which is the name of the planet we call Jupiter! He was the priest and counsellor of the gods. “ The Romans called Thursday Dies Jovis.” “ The thunderer Jupiter ;” which probably refers to the day in which he taught the gods to conquer the Assurs. The sixth Hindoo day is called Velle, which is the name of the planet
For the names of the Roman days, I am indebted to that curious work the Clavis Calendaria, by John Brady.
I am under great obligations to Henry Wreight, Esq. for free access to his valuable library.
we call Venus ! “ The Romans dedicated this day to Venus." Amongst the Orientals, however, that planet is of the masculine gender; he was the priest and counsellor of the wicked Assurs. The seventh Hindoo day is Sanne, i.e. the name of the planet we called Saturn !
“ The seventh day amongst the Romans was dedicated to Saturn, and called in honour of him Dies SATURNI, FERIA SEPTIMA." Who can account for these resemblances amongst nations so REMOTE except on the ground of one common origin? * From the importance, therefore, which was attached to the seven planets, some of which were objects of worship, it is probable that they, under the name of the “ seven stars” or Orion, are alluded to by the prophet. The children of Israel, therefore, were not to trust in idols, nor to venerate the stars and planets, but the great Creator : “ The Lord is his name.” « Maketh the day dark with night.” This probably refers to an eclipse of the sun, when the day is made dark by the concealment of his light. Again, the infinity of his power is alluded to, for be “ calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth.”
19. — “ Leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit
him." How extremely natural is this ! for serpents love to dwell in old walls: there they live in security, and there they deposit their eggs.
26. — “ But ye have borne the tabernacle of your
Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your
god.” I believe with Calmet that this Chiun is the Siva of the Hindoos; because his name is often written and pronounced in the same way, and because of the associations in this verse with Moloch and the “ star of your god ;” also because of
* By what names did the Assyrians and Egyptians call their days?
the reference in the preceding verse to the Israelites in the wilderness, in which Calmet believes allusion is made to those events.
" It will no doubt be observed that the Chiven of Amos is a term used many ages after the events to which the prophet refers, which are those connected with the history of Balaam, and the term in Numbers is not Chiven, but Baal Peor.” We find Israel joined himself unto Baal Peor, which was the Priapus of the Romans, and the Lingam of the Hindoo Siva. This Chiun and his family are more carried out in the cars and tabernacles than all the other gods put together : thus in time of sickness or any other public calamity, they are always taken out in procession. “ The star of your god.” The Ardra of Sir William Jones in the knee of Gemini is called Siva's star, and is painted on the car when the deity is taken out in procession. The Septuagint, however, has it ‘Papày, and the Acts of the Apostles 'Peupay. “ Ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch* and the star of your god Remphan.” (See on Isaiah xlvi. 7., also Deut. iv. 16.)
VI. 4. — “ That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch
themselves upon their couches." Ivory is so plentiful in the East, it is no wonder that the sovereigns had their beds made principally of that article. But why is there a distinction made in reference to beds and COUCHES ? I believe the latter word refers to the swinging cot, as the Tamul translation also implies. In the houses of the voluptuous these cots are always found, and many are the stories in ancient books of kings and queens who were swinging together in their cots. When a man affects great delicacy as to the place where he sleeps, it is common to say, “ You had better have a swinging cot.”
9, 10. — “ And it shall coine to pass, if there remain ten
men in one house, that they shall die. And a man's Moloch corresponds with Kāli or Durga, an incarnation of Parvate the wife of Siva.