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In another account it is recorded there were eight pillars of this description, and that they were put there by a great Rishi, or saint.
XXII. 4. — “Now shall this company lick up all that
are around about us, as the ox licketh up the grass." A native gentleman, who has many people depending upon him, says, “ Yes, they are all grazing upon me.” “ If I am not careful, they will soon graze up all I have.” Of people who have got all they can out of one rich man, and who are seeking after another, “ Yes, yes, they have done grazing there, and are now looking out for another place.” “ These bulls are grazing in every direction.”
6.-Come now - curse me this people.” The Orientals, in their wars, have always their magicians with them to curse their enemies, and to mutter incantations for their destruction. Sometimes they secretly convey a potent charm amongst the opposing troops, to cause their destruction.*
XXIII. 1.- “ Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here
seven altars, and prepare me here seven oxen and seven rams.” 3. “ Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt-offering, and I will go; peradventure the Lord will come to meet me, and whatsoever he sheweth me, I will tell thee; and he went to an high
place.” Before a king goes to battle, he makes a sacrifice to the goddess of the royal family (whose name is Veerma-Kāli), to ascertain what will be the result of the approaching conflict, and to enable him to curse his enemies.
In front of the temple are made seven altars, near to which
* In our late war with the Burmese, the generals had several magicians, who were much engaged in cursing our troops ; but, as they did not succeed, a number of witches were brought for the same purpose.
are seven vessels filled with water, upon each of which are mango leaves, and a cocoa-nut with its tuft on. Near to each altar is a hole containing fire. The victims, which may
be seven, or fourteen, or twenty-one, consisting of buffalos, or rams, or cocks, are brought forward. A strong man strikes off the head of the victim at one blow, and the carcass is thrown into the hole of fire, with prayers and incantations. The priest then goes into the temple, and offers incense, and after some time returns in a frantic manner, declaring what will be the result of the battle. Should the answer received be favourable, he takes a portion of ashes from each hole, and, throwing them in the direction of the enemy, pronounces upon them the most terrible imprecations.
The number seven also is generally attended to by the poor, , in their offerings; or, if they cannot do that, they have an odd number. Thus, seven areca-nuts, or limes, or plantains, or beetle-leaves, or seven measures of rice, will be presented.
In the month of September, nearly all families have an offering called Māliyum, for deceased relations, which consists of seven balls, made of sugar and plantains, which are afterwards given to the cow, or thrown into the well.
21. — “ The shout of a king is among them.” When people pass along the road, if they hear a great noise of joy or triumph, they say, “ This is like the shout of a king.” “ What a noise there was in your village last evening! why, it was like the shout of a king."
XXIV. 21. — “ Thou puttest thy nest in a rock.” A man who has concealed himself, when sought for by an officer, or his friends, is said to be in the hole of the rock.” “ I wonder in what nest that pigeon has concealed itself.”
XXV. 2.-" They called the people unto the sacrifices
of their gods." The anxiety which the Moabites manifested to have the Israelites to join them in the worship of their gods may be seen exemplified every day in the conduct of the modern heathen, in reference to their strong wish to have the English
present at their
The object appears to be to increase the admiration and zeal of the multitude, and the priests declare that the English make great offerings. I have no doubt money has often been given by the English to assist in defraying the expenses, and that in this way much harm has been done to Christianity.
XXXI. 50. — “ We have, therefore, brought an ob
lation for the Lord, what every man hath gotten of jewels, of gold, chains, and bracelets, rings, ear-rings, tablets, to make an atonement for our souls before
the Lord.” There is not a man in a thousand who does not wear an ear-ring or a finger-ring, for without such an ornament a person would be classed amongst the most unfortunate of
Some time ago a large sacrifice was made for the purpose of removing the cholera morbus, when vast numbers came together with their oblations. The people seemed to take the greatest pleasure in presenting their ear-rings, finger-rings, bracelets, and other ornaments, because they were dearer to them than money, and consequently were believed to be more efficacious in appeasing the gods.
When people are sick, they vow to give a valuable jewel to their god on being restored.
XXXIII. 55.- “ Pricks in your eyes, and thorns in
your sides.” 2 Cor. xii. 7. People in the East, in consequence of their light clothing, of the exposed state of their feet, and the narrowness of the paths, have a great dread of thorns. Those who carry the palankeen, or who travel in groups, often cry aloud, Mullu, mullu! A thorn, a thorn! The sufferer soon throws himself on the earth, and some one, famous for his skill, extracts the thorn.
Does a person see something of a distressing nature, he says,
66 That was a thorn in my eyes.” A father says of his bad son, “ He is to me as a thorn.” “ His vile expressions were like thorns in my body.” A person going to live in an unhealthy place, or where there are quarrelsome people, is said to be going to the thorny desert.”
CHAP. I. verse 44. — “ Came out against you, and
chased you as bees do.” It is said of numerous armies that they are like bees; and of a multitude, who go to chastise a few, “ Yes, they came upon us as bees.” To a person who has provoked a man of numerous connections, “ Yes, you will have them as bees upon you.” Of any thing which has come suddenly, and in great numbers, “ Alas, these things come as bees upon us."
III. 11.-“ For only Og, king of Bashan, remained of
the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron, is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon ? Nine cubits was the length thereof, and
four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man.” This is a very curious account of a giant king : his bedstead was made of iron, and we are able to ascertain its exact length, nine cubits, i. e. “ after the cubit of a man.” This alludes to the Eastern mode of measuring from the tip of the middle finger to the elbow, which will be found to be in general eighteen inches. Thus his bedstead was thirteen feet six inches in length, and six feet in breadth.
The hawkers of cloth very seldom carry with them a yard wand; they simply measure from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger, counting two lengths of that for a yard.
IV. 16. — “Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a
graven image, the similitude of any figure, the like
ness of male or female." “ Such as Baal Peor, and the Roman Priapus, Ashteroth or Astarte.” Dr. A. Clarke.
The prophet Ezekiel says, in his address to Jerusalem (xvi.