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in the form of reddish sand, and was much used by the Romans in his time, as a Paint, and formerly applied to SACRED! purposes.” — Calmet.
“ Verrius, quoted in Pliny, tells us, that on high festival days there was a ceremony, and a kind of prodigality in painting the face of JUPITER with VERMILION !” The “ ideal meaning (says Parkhurst) was uncertain,” and yet the colour was greatly used by the ancient idolaters, and is equally so by those of the present day; and I think it more than probable, that the ideal meaning of this time is the same as that of antiquity. “ Quicksilver and sulphur unite in certain proportions, and form the paint called vermilion.” Siva, the supreme, claims quicksilver as his property; and in the medical books it is called Siva's otepu.c. Sulphur is the property of the goddess Pārvati, the consort of Siva, and it is called her otepuae. These two, joined together, form the sāthelingam, i. e. vermilion! The ideal meaning, therefore, is not doubtful. Looking, then, at this FAVOURITE COLOUR of ancient and modern idolaters, at the individuals by whom worn, at the meaning attached to it, and the ideas excited; considering, also, the abominable UNION which Israel formed with the heathen, and at the term whoring as applied in the Scriptures to the Israelites for following strange gods; we probably gain an additional idea, which is worthy of being retained, of those Jewish sins which were as scarlet, but which, if repented of, were to be white as snow.
II. 6. — “ Thou hast forsaken thy people, the house of
Jacob, because they be replenished from the East, and are soothsayers like the Philistines." Margin,
more than the East." Dr. Boothroyd—“ because they are filled with diviners from the East.” What! were the descendants of Jacob replenished in their heathenish pursuits from the idolatrous East? So says the prophet!
In an essay on the sacred Isles of the West, by Captain Wilford, he says, “ This passage I conceive to allude to Hindoos, from the very forcible expression of, from the East, from beyond the East, or from the remotest parts of the East. The prophet did not mean the Chaldeans, who were well known to him, as he repeatedly takes notice of them.” From what part could they be so well replenished ? Is it not in our nature to consider any article the most genuine, which is imported in a direct way from the place where it is produced ? The East still continues to send her diviners and jugglers to all the contiguous isles and nations.
8.-" Their land also is full of idols." This is a true and literal description of India : the traveller cannot proceed a mile, through an inhabited country, without seeing idols and vestiges of idolatry in every direction. See their vessels, their implements of husbandry, their houses, their furniture, their ornaments, their sacred trees, their DOMESTIC and public temples; and they all declare that the land is full of idols.
20, 21. “ In that day a man shall cast his idols of
silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the
tops of the ragged rocks.” This, no doubt, refers to the total destruction of idolatry. “ To the bats” (Vavāls), those of the smaller species; as the larger are eaten by the Hindoos, and were also used as an article of food by the Assyrians. The East may be termed the country of bats; they hang by hundreds and thousands in caves, ruins, and under the roofs of large buildings. To enter such places, especially after rain, is most offensive. I have lived in rooms where it was sickening to remain, on account of the smell produced by those creatures, and whence it was almost impossible to expel them. What from the appearance of the creature, its sunken diminutive
its short legs (with which it cannot walk), its leather-like wings, its half hairy oily skin, its offensive ordure ever and anon dropping on the ground, its time for food and sport; darkness, “when evil spirits also range abroad,” makes it one of the most disgusting creatures to the people of the East. No wonder, then, that its name is used by the Hindoos (as by the prophet) for an epithet of contempt. When a house ceases to please the inhabitants, on account of being haunted! they say (and also do) give it to the bats. “ Alas! alas ! my wife and children are dead; my houses, my buildings, are all given to the bats.” “The bats are now the possessors of the once splendid mansions of royalty.” People ask, when passing a tenantless house, “ Why is this habitation given to the bats ?” “Go, miscreant, go, or I will give thee to the bats.”
“ The old magician has been swearing we shall all be given to the bats.”
But why are MOLES associated with bats? what is there about THEM to cause them to be so offensive? They are, I believe, never spoken of with contempt; nor is there an allusion, like that of the text, ever made to them. The word translated mole is confessedly of uncertain meaning. Calmet — “ Idols shall be thrown to the moles.” But the original word here is not CHOLED, but, as it stands in the printed copies, in two words, 1179 791 CHAPHAR PHARUT. Since, then, the word CHAPHAR explicitly means to sink, and this is its proper idea, why not accept it here also, and dismiss the mole from this passage, considering CHAPHAR PHARUT as a duplication, an emphatical augmentation of the original idea ? - sinks, deep sinks; - the deepest of cavities. Dr. Harris and others say, some understand not an animal, but “ a deep sink or subterranean vault.” Where, then, many learned men differ, may we not think for ourselves ? especially as we have facts and verbal allusions to countenance another opinion. The Tamul translation of the word in Isaiah, which we render mole, is MOON-CHEURU, a disgusting animal, which the English call musk rat, though it differs much from the Sorex moschatus of Dr. Pallas, and also from the Mus zibethicus of M. Sarrazin. The Orientals have a great abhorrence of this creature, and
neither cats nor dogs will bite it, so offensive is the odour. The serpent, which lives on rats, is afraid or disgusted with this animal; for, on seeing it, it immediately gets out of the
It has something of the shape and appearance of a mole; its eyes are small, its nose is elongated, its skin and hair appear as if full of mange; like the bat, it also delights in darkness, as it then seeks for food, and other enjoyments; it loves to dwell in vaults, caves, sinks, or amongst rubbish. Wherever you find the bat, there in general will be found the moon-cheuru, for it is said to be attracted by the ordure of the former: so strong is its odour, that in Passing through a room it leaves a stench behind, and in simply WALKING OVER A BOTTLE it will spoil that which it contains. The people say it is not generated according to the usual course of nature, but produced by FILTH. Call a man moon-cheuru, and if he dare, and can, he will instantly knock you down. “ Get out of my way, thou abominable moon-cheuru ; I smell thee: go live with that filthy creature, it is thy relation. Didst thou not come into the world in the same way as the moon-cheuru? Po, po," i.e. go, go. The exasperation produced by such observations amounts almost to madness. Since then, several learned men believe the English word mole is not the proper rendering of the original, as there is not a natural association betwixt the mole and the bat; since there is a companionship and similarity betwixt the moon-cheuru and the bat; as they are both referred to for epithets of contempt and RUIN; as the LEARNED Danish (and other) translators of the Scriptures in Tamul) have selected that animal, as the one meant by the prophet ; I also think it probable the moon-cheuru, and not the mole, is the one intended. (See on Isa. xxx. 22.)
III. 15. — “ Grind the faces of the poor. ” “ Ah! my lord, do not thus crush my face: alas ! alas ! my nose and other features will soon be rubbed
Is my face to be made quite flat with grinding ? My heart is squeezed, my heart is squeezed. That head man has been grinding the faces of all his people.”
16. — “Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters
of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched-forth necks, and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as
they go, and making a tinkling with their feet.” In this, and the next eight verses, we have an accurate description of the ornaments and manners of a Hindoo dancing girl. These females are given by their parents, when they are about seven years of age, to the temples, for the purposes of being taught to sing the praises of the gods; of dancing before them, during some of their services, or when taken out in procession; and to be given to the embraces of the priests and people. Near the temples and the topes, i. e. groves, are houses built for their accommodation, and there they are allowed to receive their paramours. When they become too old for the duties of their profession, their business is to train the young ones for their diabolical services and pleasures.
6 Walk with stretched-forth necks." When the females dance, they stretch forth their necks, and hold them awry, as if their heads were about to fall off their shoulders. wanton eyes.” The margin, “ deceiving with their eyes.” As the votaries glide along, they roll their eyes (which are painted), and cast wanton glances on those around. Walking and mincing ; ” margin, “ tripping nicely.” Some parts of the dance consist of a tripping or mincing step, which they call tatte-tatte. The left foot is put first, and the inside of the right keeps following the heel of the former. “ Making a tinkling with their feet.”
This sound is made by the ornaments which are worn round their ankles. The first is a large silver curb, like that which is attached to a bridle; the second is of the same kind, but surrounded by a great number of small BELLS; the third resembles a bracelet; and the fourth is a convex hoop, about two inches deep.
17. — “ Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the
crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts."