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duplicate instead of the original. He persisted to the last in the assertion that this duplicate was the only copy shown to the Prince of Wales and his party in 1862, and there seems reason to believe that this was really the case The fraud being detected, he, after much hesitation and a promise of liberal backshish, produced the genuine manuscript. It is wrapped in a cover of red satin embroidered with gold, and inclosed in a cylinder of silver, which opens on hinges.
Mr. Mills, who resided three months in Nablus in order to acquaint himself thoroughly with the Samaritans, says of it: “ The roll itself is of what we should call parchment, but of a material much older than that, written in columns twelve inches deep and seven and a half inches wide. The writing is in a fair hand, but not nearly so large or beautiful as the book copies which I had previously examined. The writing being rather
THE SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH.
small, each column contains from seventy to seventy-two lines. The name of the scribe is written in a kind of acrostic, and forms part of the tex through three columns, and is found in the Book of Deuteronomy. Whether it be the real work of the great grandson of Aaron, as indicated in the writing, I leave the reader to judge; the roll, at all events, has all the appearance of a very high antiquity, and wonderfully well preserved, considering its venerable age.”
One of the halves of the metal cylinder is very curious, and deserves more attention than it has received at the hands of Biblical archæologists. It is of silver, about two feet six inches long, by ten or twelve inches in diameter, and is
covered with embossed work with a descriptive legend attached to each portion. I procured a rubbing from Yacoub, and on my return to England found that it had been photographed by the Palestine Exploration Fund. Yacoub said that it was a plan of the Temple and its furniture; on examination, however, it proves to be the Tabernacle of the Wilderness. Mr. Van Straalen, successor to Mr. Deutsch at the British Museum, has been good enough to examine it for me, and reports that the letters are Samaritan, not later than the fourth century, and probably older. Some of the lettering he has been unable to decipher. The annexed engravings show the cylinder and a translation of the inscriptions, so far as they are yet read.
On the outer rim are a series of numbers running from one to sixty.
-- ---- -- - These probably refer to the posts, which appear to have been numbered so as to avoid confusion and delay in the crection of the Tabernacle on its arrival at the camping-ground. The instructions given to Moses “in the Mount,” were, that there should be twenty boards on each side, but at the corners were to be two boards additional. At the end, behind the most Holy Place, were to be six boards. Nothing is said about the entrance, which apparently was to be left open.' Posts, however, would be needed to sustain the framework with its covering. This would give 24+24+6+6= 60, the numbers shown in the plan.
We then find the names of the twelve tribes. These are given not according to patriarchal seniority or tribal precedence, but in the order of the encampment and march, as recorded in the Book of Numbers. Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon are on one side. These tribes formed the vanguard of the army, and were followed on the march by the Tabernacle itself. Then came Reuben, Simeon, and Gad. As soon as they “set forward” they were followed by the ark, which was thus in the midst of the people whether marching or camping. Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin come next; then Dan, Asher, and Naphtali bring up the rear.
In the Holiest of Holies we find the ark, with its crown or rim of beaten gold, upon which are the cherubim kneeling face to face, whilst their wings projecting behind them overshadow the mercy seat. On one side of the ark is the staff of Moses, on the other that of Aaron. The veil hangs; down in front concealing the mysterious recess. Immediately in front of the veil are the stations of the Levites. The altar of incense comes next, and then the table of shewbread with the candlestick “over against the table, on the side of the tabernacle, southward.". The spoons, bowls, and covers are marked in -the place indicated by Moses near the table. The entrance from the outer court was, as the Talmud describes it, not in the centre, but on the right-hand side.
The laver stands at “the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation," that the priests might wash as they entered into the Holy Place. Near it is the altar of burnt offering, with its “brazen grate of network of brass."; This grating or network has been the subject of much controversy amongst Biblical critics. The representation here given favours the view of those who suppose it to have been an inclined plane leading up to the altar. The censer is placed immediately over against the altar of burnt offering, that the priests might take the coals from the sacrifice, and therewith offer the incense of thanksgiving. The flesh-hooks, forks, knives, pans, and basins, are represented as arranged around the altar. The trumpets at the entrance are peculiar in form, and may throw some light upon a question much debated amongst students of the Talmud as to the shape of one which appears to Exod. xxvi. 15-25. ? Num. ii. 11-27.
3 Exod. xxv, 10-22. * Ibid. xl. 22-25. s Ibid. xxv. 29 ; xxxvii, 16.
6 Ibid. xl. 12, 30. ? Ibid. xxvii. 1-8. 8 Rev. viii. 3.
· Exod. xxxviii. 3.