and an impoverished diet; to all of which the Israelites were exposed, whilst under the Egyptian bondage.

and show himself to the priests, that he might be declared clean, and offer the sacrifice enjoined in that case; and, when purified, that he might be again admitted into civil society. (Matt. viii. 4. Lev. xiv. 11-32.)

It appears, also, from the Mosaic account, that in consequence of these hardships there was, even after the Israelites had quitted Egypt, a general predisposition to the contagious (7.) Lastly, As this disease was so offensive to the Israelform of leprosy, so that it often occurred as a consequence ites, God commanded them to use frequent ablutions, and of various other cutaneous affections. Eight different ble- prohibited them from eating swine's flesh and other articles mishes in the skin, which had a tendency to terminate in of animal food that had a tendency to produce this disease. this terrible disease, are enumerated by Moses, and describ- The peculiar lustrations which a person who had been ed by Dr. Good, to whose elaborate treatise the reader is healed of a leprosy was to undergo are detailed in Lev. xiv. referred. The effects of leprosy, as described by travellers-See an abstract of them in p. 134. of this volume. who have witnessed the disorder in its most virulent forms, are truly deplorable. The Mosaic statutes respecting leprosy are recorded in Lev. xiii. and xiv. Num. v. 1-4. and Deut. xxiv. 8, 9. They are in substance as follows:

(1.) On the appearance of any one of the cutaneous affections above noticed on any person, the party was to be inspected by a priest, both as acting in a judicial capacity, and also as being skilled in medicine. The signs of the disease, which are circumstantially pointed out in the statute itself, accord with those which have been noticed by modern physicians. "If, on the first inspection, there remained any doubt as to the spot being really a symptom of leprosy, the suspected person was shut up for seven days, in order that it might be ascertained, whether it spread, disappeared, or remained as it was; and this confinement might be repeated. During this time, it is probable that means were used to remove the spot. If in the mean time it spread, or continued as it was, without becoming paler, it excited a strong suspicion of real leprosy, and the person inspected was declared unclean. If it disappeared, and after his liberation became again manifest, a fresh inspection took place.


(2.) The unclean were separated from the rest of the people. So early as the second year of the Exodus, lepers were obliged to reside without the camp (Num. v. 1-4.); and so strictly was this law enforced, that the sister of Moses herself, becoming leprous, was expelled from it. (Num. xii. 14-16.) When the Israelites came into their own land, and lived in cities, the spirit of the law thus far operated, that lepers were obliged to reside in a separate place, which was called (nwr) BETH CHOPHSCHITH, or the house of uncleanness, and from this seclusion not even kings, when they became leprous, were exempted. (2 Kings xv. 5.) As, however, a leper cannot always be within doors, and may, consequently, sometimes meet clean persons, he was obliged, in the first place, to make himself known by his dress, and to go about with torn clothes, a bare head, and his chin covered; and in the next place, when any one came too near him, to cry out that he was Unclean. (Num. xiii. 45, 46.)"

(3.) Although a leper, merely meeting and touching a person, could not have immediately infected him, yet, as such a rencontre and touch would have rendered him Levitieally unclean, in order to prevent leprosy from spreading, in consequence of close communication, "it was an established rule to consider a leprous person as likewise unclean in a Levitical or civil sense; and, consequently, whoever touched him, became also unclean; not indeed medically or physically so, that is, infected by one single touch, but still unclean in a civil sense.

(4.) "On the other hand, however, for the benefit of those found clean, the law itself specified those who were to be pronounced free from the disorder; and such persons were then clear of all reproach, until they again fell under accusation from manifest symptoms of infection. The man who, on the first inspection, was found clean, or in whom the supposed symptoms of leprosy disappeared during confinement, was declared clean only, in the latter case, he was obliged to have his clothes washed. If, again, he had actually had the disorder, and got rid of it, the law required him to make certain offerings, in the course of which he was pronounced clean." 2

(5.) The leprous person was to use every effort in his power to be healed; and, therefore, was strictly to follow the directions of the priests. This, Michaelis is of opinion, may fairly be inferred from Deut. xxiv. 8.

(6.) When healed of his leprosy, the person was to go

Mr. Barker, the agent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, when at Damascus in the year 1825, describing the hospital of Christian lepers, says, "How afflicting was their situation and appearance! Some were without noses and fingers, being eaten up by the disease, and others were differently disfigured." Twenty-sixth Report of the Bible Society, App. p. 111. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 278-287.

2. The DISEASE with which the patriarch Joв was afflicted (ii. 7.) has greatly exercised the ingenuity of commentators, who have supposed it to be the contagious leprosy, the small pox, and the ELEPHANTIASIS, or Leprosy of the Arabians. The last opinion is adopted by Drs. Mead and Good, and by Michaelis, and appears to be best supported. This dreadful malady, which the ancient medical writer Paul of Egineta has accurately characterized as an universal ulcer, was named elephantiasis by the Greeks, from its rendering the skin of the patient like that of an elephant, scabrous and dark coloured, and furrowed all over with tubercles, loathsome alike to the individual and to the spectators. When it attains a certain height, as it appears to have done in this instance, it is incurable, and, consequently, affords the unhappy patient no prospect but that of long-continued misery."

3. The DISEASE OF THE PHILISTINES, mentioned in 1 Sam. v. 6. 12. and vi. 17., has been supposed to be the dysentery; but it was most probably the hæmorrhoids or bleeding piles, in a very aggravated degree. Jahn, however, considers it as the effect of the bite of venomous solpugas.4

4. The DISEASE OF SAUL (1 Sam. xvi. 14.) appears to have been a true madness, of the melancholic or attrabilarious kind, as the ancient physicians termed it; the fits of which returned on the unhappy monarch at uncertain periods, as is frequently the case in this sort of malady. The remedy applied, in the judgment of experienced physicians, was an extremely proper one, viz. playing on the harp. The character of the modern oriental music is expression, rather than science: and it may be easily conceived how well adapted the unstudied and artless strains of David were to soothe the perturbed mind of Saul; which strains were bold and free from his courage, and sedate through his piety.5

5. The DISEASE OF JEHORAM KING OF ISRAEL. This sovereign, who was clothed with the double infamy of being at once an idolater and the murderer of his brethren, was diseased internally for two years, as had been predicted by the prophet Elijah; and his bowels are said at last to have fallen out by reason of his sickness. (2 Chron. xxi. 12—15. 18, 19.) This disease, Dr. Mead says, beyond all doubt was the dysentery, and though its continuance so long a time was very uncommon, it is by no means a thing unheard of. The intestines in time become ulcerated by the operation of this disease. Not only blood is discharged from them, but a sort of mucous excrements likewise is thrown off, and sometimes small pieces of the flesh itself; so that apparently the intestines are emitted or fall out, which is sufficient to account for the expressions that are used in the statement of king Jehoram's disease.

6. The DISEASE WITH WHICH HEZEKIAH WAS AFFLICTED (2 Kings xx. 7. Isa. xxxviii. 21.) has been variously supposed to be a pleurisy, the plague, the elephantiasis, and the quinsey. But Dr. Mead is of opinion that the malady was a fever which terminated in an abscess; and for promoting its suppuration a cataplasm of figs was admirably adapted. The case of Hezekiah, however, indicates not only the limited knowledge of the Jewish physicians at that time, but also that though God can cure by a miracle, yet he also gives sagacity to discover and apply the most natural remedies.?

7. Concerning the nature of NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S MALADY (Dan. iv. 25, 26. 31-33.) learned men are greatly divided, but the most probable account of it is that given by Dr. Mead; who remarks that all the circumstances of it, as related by Daniel, so perfectly agree with hypochondriacal madness, that to him it appears evident that Nebuchadnezzar was seized with this distemper, and under its influence ran wild into the fields; and that fancying himself transformed into an ox, he fed on grass in the manner of cattle. For

Mead's Medica Sacra, pp. 1-11. (London, 1755.) Good's translation of Job, p. 22. Archæol. Bibl. § 185. Mead's Medica Sacra, p. 20-33. Mead's Medica Sacra, p. 35. Jahn's Archæol. Bibl. § 187. Medica Sacra, p. 37.

every sort of madness is a disease of a disturbed imagina-known to require any explanation. Physicians confess it to tion; under which this unhappy man laboured full seven be a disorder which is very difficult of cure. (Mark v. 26.)6 years. And through neglect of taking proper care of him- How does this circumstance magnify the benevolent miracle, self, his hair and nails grew to an excessive length; by wrought by Jesus Christ on a woman who had laboured which the latter, growing thicker and crooked, resembled the under it for twelve years! claws of birds. Now, the ancients called persons affected 10. The BLINDNESS of the sorcerer Elymas (Acts xiii. 6— with this species of madness xxxSpa (wolf-men) or xuvav- 12.) is in the Greek denominated axxus, and with great proSpuro (dog-men); because they went abroad in the night priety, being rather an obscuration than a total extinction of imitating wolves or dogs; particularly intent upon opening sight. It was occasioned by a thin coat or tunicle of hard the sepulchres of the dead, and had their legs much ulcer-substance, which spread itself over a portion of the eye, and ated, either by frequent falls, or the bites of dogs. In like interrupted the power of vision. Hence the disease is likemanner are the daughters of Proetus related to have been wise called ros, or darkness. It was easily cured, and mad, who, as Virgil says,sometimes even healed of itself, without resorting to any medical prescription. Therefore St. Paul added in his denunciation, that the impostor should not see the sun for a season. But the blindness of the man, of whose miraculous restoration to sight we have so interesting an account in John ix., was total, and being inveterate from his birth, was incurable by any human art or skill. See an examination of this miracle in Vol. I. pp. 104, 105.

- Implerunt falsis mugitibus agros.

With mimick'd mooings filled the fields.

For, as Servius observes, Juno possessed their minds with such a species of madness, that fancying themselves cows, they ran into the fields, bellowed often, and dreaded the plough. But these, according to Ovid, the physician Melampus,

per carmen et herbas

Eripuit furiis.3

Snatch'd from the furies by his charms and herbs.

11. Lastly, in the New Testament we meet with repeated instances of what are termed DEMONIACAL POSSESSION. The reality of such possessions indeed has been denied by some authors, and attempts have been made by others to account for them, either as the effect of natural disease, or the influence of imagination on persons of a nervous habit. But it is manifest, that the persons who in the New Testament are said to be possessed with devils (more correctly with demons) cannot mean only persons afflicted with some strange disease; for they are evidently here as in other places-particularly in Luke iv. 33-36. 41.-distinguished from the diseased. Further, Christ's speaking on various occasions to these evil spirits, as distinct from the persons possessed by them,-his commanding them and asking them questions, and receiving answers from them, or not suffering them to speak, and several circumstances relating to the terrible preternatural effects which they had upon the possessed, and to the manner of Christ's evoking them,particularly their requesting and obtaining permission to enter the herd of swine (Matt. viii. 31, 32.) and precipitating them into the sea; all these circumstances can never be accounted for by any distemper whatever. Nor is it any reasonable objection that we do not read of such frequent possessions before or since the appearance of our Redeemer upon earth. It seems, indeed, to have been ordered by a special providence that they should have been permitted to have then been more common; in order that He, who came to destroy the works of the Devil, might the more remarkably and visibly triumph over him; and that the machinations and devices of Satan might be more openly defeated, at a time when their power was at its highest, both in the souls and bodies of men; and also, that plain facts might be a sensible confutation of the Sadducean error, which denied the existence of angels or spirits (Acts xxiii. 8.), and prevailed among the principal men both for rank and learning in those days. The cases of the demoniacs expelled by the apostles were cases of real possession; and it is a well known fact, that in the second century of the Christian æra, the apologists for the persecuted professors of the faith of Christ appealed to their ejection of evil spirits as a proof of the divine origin of their religion. Hence it is evident that the demoniacs were not merely insane or epileptic patients, but persons really and truly vexed and convulsed by unclean demons."

Nor was this disorder unknown to the moderns; for Schenckius records a remarkable instance of it in a husbandman of Padua, who, imagining that he was a wolf, attacked, and even killed several persons in the fields; and when at length he was taken, he persevered in declaring himself a real wolf, and that the only difference consisted in the inversion of his skin and hair. But it may be objected to this opinion, that this misfortune was foretold to the king, so that he might have prevented it by correcting his morals; and, therefore, it is not probable that it befell him in the course of nature. But we know that those things, which God executes either through clemency or vengeance, are frequently performed by the assistance of natural causes. Thus, having threatened Hezekiah with death, and being afterwards moved by his prayers, he restored him to life, and made use of figs laid on the tumour, as a medicine for his disease. He ordered king Herod, upon account of his pride, to be devoured by worms. And no one doubts but that the plague, which is generally attributed to the divine wrath, most commonly owes its origin to corrupted air.5 8. The PALSY of the New Testament is a disease of very wide import, and the Greek word, which is so translated, comprehended not fewer than five different maladies, viz. (1.) Apoplexy, a paralytic shock, which affected the whole body-(2.) Hemiplegy, which affects and paralyzes only one side of the body; the case mentioned in Matt. ix. 2. appears to have been of this sort ;-(3.) Paraplegy, which paralyzes all parts of the system below the neck;-(4.) Catalepsy, which is caused by a contraction of the muscles in the whole or part of the body; the hands, for instance. This is a very dangerous disease; and the effects upon the parts seized are very violent and deadly. Thus, when a person is struck with it, if his hand happens to be extended, he is unable to draw it back: if the hand be not extended, when he is so struck, he is unable to extend it. It seems to be diminished in size, and dried up in appearance; whence the Hebrews were accustomed to call it a withered hand. The impious Jeroboam was struck with catalepsy (1 Kings xiii. 4-6.); the prophet Zechariah, among the judgments he was commissioned to denounce against the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock, threatens that his arm shall be dried up. (Zech. xi. 17.) Other instances of this malady occur in Matt. xii. 10. and John v. 3. 5.-(5.) The Cramp. This, in oriental countries, is a fearful malady, and by no means unfrequent. It originates from the chills of the night: the limbs, when seized with it, remain immoveable, sometimes turned in and sometimes out, in the very same position as I. when they were first seized. The person afflicted resembles a man undergoing the torture, Baviuere, and experiences nearly the same sufferings. Death follows this disease in a few days. Alcimus was struck with it (1 Macc. ix. 55-58.), as also was the centurion's servant. (Matt. viii. 6.)

9. The disease, which in Matt. ix. 20. Mark v. 25. and Luke viii. 43. is denominated an ISSUE OF BLOOD, is too well

See Aetius, Lib. Medicin. lib. vi. and Paul. Ægineta, lib. iii. c. 16. 2 Eclog. vi. 48. 3 Metamorph. xv. 325.

4 Observationes Medica Rar. de Lycanthrop. Obs. 1. Medica Sacra, pp. 58-61.



Jewish notions of death.-II. Mosaic laws relating to the dead.-III. Preparations for interment.-IV. Rites of sepulture.-Lamentations for the dead.-V. Notice of the tombs of the Jews.-Monumental inscriptions.-VI. Funeral feasts. Duration of mourning.

So strong was the love of life among the Hebrews, that instances of suicide are of extremely rare occurrence in the

Jahn's Archæologia Biblica, § 199.

For a summary of the evidence that the demoniacs, mentioned in the New Testament, were persons really possessed by evil spirits, see Bp. Newton's Works, vol. iv. pp. 526-301., and Mr. Townsend's Harmony of the New Test. vol. i. pp. 157-160.

history of that people. Saul, Ahithophel, and the traitor Judas | the humours, and by their inherent virtues to preserve it as are the only persons recorded to have laid violent hands upon themselves, in a fit of desperation. (1 Sam. xxxi. 4, 5. 2 Sam. xvii. 23. Matt. xxvii. 3-5.) In the last period of the Jewish state, however, the custom of the Romans appears to have greatly lessened the horror of suicide among the Jews; but that most terrible of all diseases, the leprosy, seems to have rendered its victims utterly regardless of life. (Job vii. 15.)

I. The Hebrews, in common with many other ancient nations, especially in the East, were accustomed to represent death by various terms which were calculated to mitigate the appalling image inspired by that last enemy of mankind. Hence they often called death a journey or departure. (Josh. xxiii. 14. 1 Kings ii. 2. Eccles. v. 15. ví. 6. Luke iì. 29.) Frequently also they compared it to sleep, and to rest after the toils of life were over (Gen. xlvii. 30. Job iii. 13. 17-19. Isa. xiv. 8. lvii. 2. Matt. ix. 29. xxvii. 52. John xi. 11. Acts vii. 60. 1 Cor. xi. 30. 1 Thess. iv. 13. 2 Pet. iii. 4. Rev. xiv. 13.); and it was a very common expression to say, that the party deceased had gone, or was gathered to his fathers or to his people. (Gen. xv. 15. xxv. 8. 17. xxxv. 29. xlix. 29. 33. Num. xx. 24. xxvii. 13. xxxi. 2. Deut. xxxii. 50. Judg. ii. 10. 2 Kings xxii. 20.)2

II. By the law of Moses a dead body conveyed a legal pollution to every thing that touched it, even to the very house and furniture,-which continued seven days. (Num. xix. 14, 15, 16.) And this was the reason why the priests, on account of their daily ministrations in holy things, were forbidden to assist at any funerals, but those of their nearest relatives (Lev. xxi. 1—4. 10—12.); nay, the very dead bones, though they had lain ever so long in the grave, if digged up, conveyed a pollution to any one who touched them. This circumstance will account for Josiah's causing the bones of the false priests to be burnt upon the altar at Bethel (2 Chron. xxxiv. 5.), in order that these altars, being thus polluted, might be held in the greatest detestation.3

III. After the principle of life was extinguished, the following ceremonies were performed by the Jews:

1. The eyes of the deceased were closed by the nearest of kin, who gave the parting kiss to the lifeless corpse: thus, it was promised to Jacob, when he took his journey into Egypt, that Joseph should put his hands upon his eyes (Gen. xlvi. 4.); and accordingly we read that, when Jacob expired, Joseph fell upon his face and kissed him. (Gen. 1. 1.) From the Jews, Calmet observes, this practice passed to the heathens, who gave the dying farewell kiss, and received their last sigh, in token of their affectionate union.

2. The next office was the ablution of the corpse, which (except when it was buried immediately) was laid out in an upper room or chamber. Thus, when Tabitha died, it is said, that they washed her body, and laid it in an upper chamber. (Acts ix. 37.) This rite was common both to the Greeks and Romans, in whose writings it is frequently mentioned. In Egypt, it is still the custom to wash the dead body several times.

3. The bodies of persons of distinction were embalmed: this process the Jews probably derived from the Egyptians, whose various methods of embalming their dead with spices and nitre are minutely described by Herodotus, and Diodorus Siculus. The patriarch Jacob was embalmed according to the Egyptian process: his remains lay in nitre thirty days, for the purpose of drying up all superfluous and noxious moisture; and during the remaining forty days, they were anointed with gums and spices, to preserve them; which unction, it appears from Gen. 1. 2, 3., was the proper embalming. The former circumstance explains the reason why the Egyptians mourned for Jacob threescore and ten days; the latter explains the meaning of the forty days, which were fulfilled for Israel.6

In later times, where the deceased parties were persons of rank or fortune, after washing the corpse, the Jews "emDalmed it, by laying all around it a large quantity of costly spices and aromatic drugs, in order to imbibe and absorb

1 Josephus, De Bell. Jud. lib. iii. c. 8. §§ 4-7. Pareau, Antiquitas Hebr. pp. 468, 469.

3 Home's Hist. of the Jews, vol. ii. p. 362. Michaelis has examined at length the reason and policy of the Mosaic statutes on this subject. Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 322-330.

4 Sophoclis Electra, verse 1143. Virgil, Æneid. lib. vi. 218, 219. Herodotus, lib. ii. cc. 86-88. tom. ii. pp. 131, 132. Oxon. 1809. rus Siculus, lib. i. cc. 91-93. edit. Bipont.

Paxton's Illustrations, vol. iii. p. 249. 2d edit.

long as possible from putrefaction and decay. Thus we
read that Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes,
about a hundred pounds weight, to perform the customary
office to the dear deceased. This embalming was usually
repeated for several days together, that the drugs and spices
thus applied might have all their efficacy in the exsiccation
of the moisture and the future conservation of the body.8
They then swathed the corpse in linen rollers or bandages,
closely enfolding and wrapping it in that bed of aromatic
drugs with which they had surrounded it. Thus we find
that Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus took the body of
Jesus and wrapt it in linen clothes with the spices, as the man-
ner of the Jews is to bury. (John xix. 40.) This custom we
behold also in the Egyptian mummies, round which, Theve-
not informs us, the Egyptians have sometimes used above a
thousand ells of filleting, besides what was wrapped about
the head. Thus, when our Lord had cried with a loud voice,
Lazarus, come forth it is said, the dead came forth, bound
hand and foot in grave-clothes. (John xi. 44.) We learn
from Scripture, also, that about the head and face of the
corpse was folded a napkin, which was a separate thing, and
did not communicate with the other bandages in which the
body was swathed. Thus we read, that the face of Lazarus
was bound about with a napkin (John xi. 44.); and when
our Lord was risen, Peter, who went into the sepulchre, saw
the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that had been folded
round his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wreathed
together in a place by itself, lying at some distance from the
rollers in which his body had been swathed, and folded up,
exactly in the state it was when first wrapped round his head."
(John xx. 7.)10

Besides the custom of embalming persons of distinction, the Jews commonly used great burnings for their kings, composed of large quantities of all sorts of aromatics, of which they made a fire, as a triumphant farewell to the deceased. In these they were wont to burn their bowels, their clothes, armour, and other things belonging to the deceased. Thus, it is said of Asa, that they made a very great burning for him (2 Chron. xvi. 14.), which could not be meant of his corpse in the fire, for in the same verse it is said, they buried him in his own sepulchre. This was also done at the funeral of Zedekiah. (Jer. xxxiv. 5.) And it was very probably one reason why, at the death of Jehoram, the people made no burning for him like the burning of his fathers (2 Chron. xxi. 19.), because his bowels being ulcerated by his sickness, they fell out, and to prevent the stench, were immediately interred or otherwise disposed of; so that they could not well be burnt in this pompous manner after his death; though as he was a wicked king, this ceremony might possibly have been omitted on that account also.

The burning of dead bodies in funeral piles, it is well known, was a custom prevalent among the Greeks and Romans, upon which occasion they threw frankincense, myrrh, cassia, and other fragrant articles into the fire: and this in such abundance, that Pliny represents it as a piece of profaneness, to bestow such heaps of frankincense upon a dead body, when they offered it so sparingly to their gods. And though the Jews might possibly learn from them the custom of burning the bowels, armour, and other things belonging to their kings, in piles of odoriferous spices, yet they very rarely, and only for particular reasons, burnt the dead bodies themselves. We are told, indeed, that the people of JabeshGilead took the bodies of Saul and his sons (from the place does not properly signify to bury. The note of Beza is accurate. Ad sepeliendum, malé. Nam aliud est TV quam Tv: ut Latinis funerandum ine, προς το ενταφιάσαι με. Vulg. et Erasmus, ad me sepelire est sepulchro condere: funerare vero pollincire, cadaver sepulchro mandandum prius curare. Beza ad Matt. xxvi. 12. Evracia est corpus ad funus componere, et ornamentis sepulchralibus ornare. Wetstein, in loc.

Habebat consuetudo, ut carissima capita, et quæ plurimi fierent cadavera, non semel tantum ungerentur, sed sæpius, pluribusque continuis immo tabefactà carne arida, et quasi æneâ reddità, diu servari possint diebus, donec exsiccato, et absorpto vi aromatum omni reliquo humore, integra et immunia a putrefactione. Lucas Brugensis, in Marc. xvi.

9 Asda Mevos-spis. Phavorinus explains Kep by calling them επιταφιοί δεσμοί, sepulchral bandages. Κειρια σημαίνει τα σχοίνια τα SVTaz. Etymol.

10 He went into the sepulchre, and then he plainly saw the linen clothes, Mova, alone, or without the body, and xv lying, that is, disturbed, and at full length, as when the body was in them. The cap, or napkin, also, which had been upon our Lord's head, he found separate, or at a little dis tance from the open coffin; but EVTSTUyMevov, folded up in wreaths, in Diodo- the form of a cap, as it had been upon our Lord's head. Dr. Benson's Life of Christ, p. 524. Wrapped together in a place by itself; as if the body had miraculously slipt out of it, which indeed was the real fact. Dr. Ward's Dissertations, p. 149. Harwood's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 135

Matt. xxvi. 12. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my funeral, #pos TO EVτAQIÑσNI M, to embalm me. The word


where the Philistines had hung them up), and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there (1 Sam. xxxi. 12.); but by this time their bodies must have been in such a state, that they were not fit to be embalmed; or, perhaps, they were apprehensive that if they should embalm them, and so bury them, the people of Bethshan might at some future time díg them up, and fix them a second time against their walls; and, therefore, the people of Jabesh might think it more advisable to recede from their common practice, and for greater security to imitate the heathen in this particular. Amos also speaks of the burning of bodies (vi. 10.); but it is evident from the words themselves, and from the context, that this was in the time of a great pestilence, not only when there were few to bury the dead, but when it was unsafe to go abroad and perform the funeral rites by interment, in which case the burning was certainly the best expedient.

In some cases the rites of sepulture were not allowed; and to this it has been thought that there is an allusion in Job xxvii. 19. It was the opinion of the pagan Arabs that, upon the death of any person, a bird, by them called Manah, issued from the brain, which haunted the sepulchre of the deceased, uttering a lamentable scream. This notion, also, the late professor Carlyle thinks, is evidently alluded to in Job xxi. 32., where the venerable patriarch, speaking of the fate of the wicked, says:—

He shall be brought to the grave,

And shall watch upon the raised up heap.1

The Jews showed a great regard for the burial of their dead; to be deprived of it was thought to be one of the greatest dishonours that could be done to any man: and, therefore, in Scripture it is reckoned one of the calamities that should befall the wicked. (Eccles. vi. 3.) In all nations there was generally so much humanity as not to prevent their enemies from burying their dead. The people of Gaza allowed Samson's relations to come and take away his body (Judg. xvi. 31.); though one would have thought that this last slaughter which he made among them might have provoked them to some acts of outrage even upon his dead body. But as he stood alone in what he did, none of the Israelites joining with him in his enterprises, they might possibly be apprehensive, that, if they denied him burial, the God of Israel, who had given him such extraordinary strength in his lifetime, would not fail to take vengeance on them in that case, and, therefore, they were desirous, it may be, to get rid of his body (as afterwards they were of the ark), and glad, perhaps, that any one would remove such a formidable object out of their sight. Jeremiah prophesied of Jehoiakim, that he should be buried with the burial of an ass (Jer. xxii. 19.), meaning that he should not be buried at all, but be cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem, exposed to the air and putrefaction above ground, as beasts are, which is more plainly expressed afterwards, by telling us, that his body should be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. (Jer. xxxvi. 30.) The author of that affecting elegy, the seventy-ninth psalm, when enumerating the calamities which had befallen his unhappy countrymen, particularly specifies the denial of the rites of sepulture, as enhancing their afflictions. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of heaven; the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. (Psal. lxxix. 2.)

IV. The RITES OF SEPULTURE were various at different times, and also according to the rank or station of the deceased.

the body of one who had been hanged on a tree should be taken down before night. The burial of Tabitha was delayed, on account of the disciples sending for the apostle Peter. (Acts ix. 37.)

2. The poorer classes were carried forth to interment lying on an open bier or couch, as is the universal practice in the East to this day, not screwed into a coffin. In this way the son of the widow of Nain was borne to his grave without the city: and it should seem that the bearers at that time moved with as much rapidity as they do at the present time among the modern Jews.2 The rich, and persons of rank, were carried forth on more costly biers. Josephus relates that the body of Herod was carried on a golden bier, richly embroidered; and we may presume, that the bier on which Abner was carried was more costly than those used for ordinary persons. (2 Sam. iii. 31.)

But whatever the rank of the parties might be, the superintendence and charge of the funeral were undertaken by the nearest relations and friends of the deceased. Thus, Abraham interred Sarah in the cave of Machpelah (Gen. xxiii. 19.); Isaac and Ishmael buried Abraham (Gen. xxv. 9.); Esau and Jacob buried Isaac (Gen. xxxv. 29.); Moses buried Aaron on Mount Hor (Num. xx. 29.); the old prophet laid the disobedient prophet in his own grave (1 Kings xiii. 30.); Joseph of Arimathea interred Jesus Christ in his own new tomb (Matt. xxvii. 59, 60.); and the disciples of John the Baptist performed the last office for their master. The sons and numerous relations of Herod followed his funeral procession. Sometimes, however, servants took the charge of interring their masters, as in the case of Josiah king of Judah. (2 Kings xxiii. 30.) Devout men carried Stephen to his burial. (Acts viii. 2.) The funeral obsequies were also attended by the friends of the deceased, both men and women, who made loud lamentations for the deceased, and some of whom were hired for the occasion. David and a large body of the Israelites mourned before Abner. (2 Sam iii. 31, 32.) Solomon mentions the circumstance of mourners going about the streets (Eccles. xii. 5.); who, most probably, were persons hired to attend the funeral obsequies, to wail and lament for the departed. From Jer. ix. 17. it appears, that women were chiefly employed for this purpose; and Jerome, in his commentary on that passage, says, that the practice was continued in Judæa, down to his days, or the latter part of the fourth century.5 In Jer. xlviii. 36., the use of musical instruments by these hired mourners is distinctly recognised; and Amos (v. 17.) alludes to such mourning as a well-known custom.

In the time of Jesus Christ and his apostles, the funeral dirges sung by these hired mourners were accompanied by musical instruments. "The soft and plaintive melody of the flute was employed to heighten these doleful lamentations and dirges. Thus we read, that on the death of the daugh ter of Jairus, a company of mourners, with players on the flute, according to the Jewish custom, attended upon this sorrowful occasion. When Jesus entered the governor's house, he saw the minstrels and the people wailing greatly. (Matt. ix. 23.) The custom of employing music to heighten public and private grief was not in that age peculiar to the Jews. We find the flute also employed at the funeral solemnities of the Greeks and Romans, in their lamentations for the deceased, as appears from numerous testimonies of classic authors." The same custom still obtains among the Moors in Africa, the Turks in Palestine, and the modern Greeks. "At all their principal entertainments," says Dr. Shaw, "and to show mirth and gladness upon other occasions, the women welcome the arrival of each guest, by squalling out for seve

1. Before the age of Moses, the funeral took place a few days after death. (Gen. xxiii. 19. xxv. 9. xxxv. 29.) In Egypt, a longer time elapsed before the last offices were performed 2 Not to detail the observations of the earlier travellers, it may suffice to for Jacob and Joseph, on account of the time which was adduce three instances from recent and intelligent English travellers.— requisite for the Egyptian process of embalming, in order At Cairo, says Mr. Carne, "we met an Arab funeral: about twenty men, that the corpse might be preserved for a long time. (Gen. friends of the deceased, advanced under a row of palm trees, singing in a mournful tone, and bearing the body. The corpse was that of a woman xlix. 29. 1. 3. 24-26.) As it is probable that the Israelites, neatly dressed in white, and borne on an open bier, with a small awning of when in Egypt, had been accustomed to keep their dead for red silk over it." (Letters from the East, p. 109.) At Baghtchisarai in the a considerable period, the Mosaic laws, respecting the un- the Christians: it "was simply wrapped round with a white cloth, laid upon Crimea, Dr. Henderson saw a corpse conveyed to the public cemetery of cleanness which arose from a dead body, would compel bier or board, and borne by four men to the grave. This mode of perthem to a more speedy interment. At length, after the forming the funeral obsequies obtains equally among the Jews, Christians, return from the Babylonish captivity, it became customary families, who naturally conform to the rite of their ancestors." (Biblical and Mohammedans in these parts, with the exception of the European for the Jews to bury the dead on the same day, and as soon Researches, p. 304.) Mr. Hartley observed a similar mode of interment as possible after the vital spark was extinguished. Jahn in Greece. The corpse is always exhibited to full view: it is placed upon affirms (but without assigning any authority for his asser- a bier which is borne aloft upon the shoulders, and is dressed in the best and gayest garments possessed by the deceased." (Researches in Greece, tion), that the Jews did this in imitation of the Persians; but it is more likely, that the custom arose from a superstitious interpretation of Deut. xxi. 22, 23., which law enjoined, that

1 Carlyle's Specimens of Arabian Poetry, p. 14. 2d edit.


p. 118.)

a Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvii. c. 8. §3. Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. 33. § 9. Holden's translation of Ecclesiastes, p. 171.

Dr. Blayney's translation of Jeremiah, p. 270. 8vo. edit.

6 Harwood's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 132. 134., where various pasages of classic authors are cited.

cession into the land of Canaan. (Gen. 1. 7-10.) At the burial of Abner, David commanded Joab and all the people that were with him to rend their garments, and gird themselves with sackcloth, and to mourn before Abner, or make lamentations in honour of that general; and the king himself followed the bier. (2 Sam. iii. 31.) All Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did honour to Hezekiah at his death. (2 Chron. xxxii. 33.) Much people of the city were with the widow of Nain, who was following her only son to the grave. (Luke vii. 12.) Josephus informs us that Herod was attended to Herodium (a journey of twenty-five days), where he had commanded that he should be interred, first, by his sons and his numerous relations; next, by his guards, and after them by the whole army, in the same order as when they marched out to war; and that these were followed by five hundred of his domestics, carrying spices."

ral times together, Loo! Loo! Loo!! At their funerals, | to do honour to his memory, and who accompanied the proalso, and upon other melancholy occasions, they repeat the same noise, only they make it more deep and hollow, and end each period with some ventriloquous sighs. The ana Lavras mona, or wailing greatly (as our version expresses it, Mark v. 38.), upon the death of Jairus's daughter, was, probably, performed in this manner. For there are several women, hired to act upon these lugubrious occasions, who, like the præfica, or mourning women of old, are skilful in lamentation (Amos v. 16.), and great mistresses of these melancholy expressions: and, indeed, they perform their parts with such proper sounds, gestures, and commotions, that they rarely fail to work up the assembly into some extraordinary pitch of thoughtfulness and sorrow. The British factory has often been very sensibly touched with these lamentations, whenever they were made in the neighbouring houses."2 The Rev. William Jowett, during his travels in Palestine, arrived at the town of Napolose, which stands on the site of Further, it was usual to honour the memory of distinthe ancient Shechem, immediately after the death of the guished individuals by a funeral oration or poem: thus governor. "On coming within sight of the gate," he relates, David pronounced a eulogy over the grave of Abner. (2 we perceived a numerous company of females, who were Sam. iii. 33, 34.) Upon the death of any of their princes, singing in a kind of recitative, far from melancholy, and beat- who had distinguished themselves in arms, or who, by any ing time with their hands. On our reaching the gate, it was religious actions, or by the promotion of civil arts, had suddenly exchanged for most hideous plaints and shrieks; merited well of their country, they used to make lamentations which, with the feeling that we were entering a city at no or mournful songs for them: from an expression in 2 Chron. time celebrated for its hospitality, struck a very dismal im- xxxv. 25. Behold they are written in the Lamentations, we pression upon my mind. They accompanied us a few paces, may infer that they had certain collections of this kind of but it soon appeared that the gate was their station; to which, composition. The author of the book of Samuel has prehaving received nothing from us, they returned. We learned served the exquisitively beautiful and affecting elegy which in the course of the evening that these were only a small de- David composed on occasion of the death of Saul and Jonatachment of a very numerous body of cunning women, who than; but we have no remains of the mournful poem which were filling the whole city with their cries, taking up a Jeremiah made upon the immature death of the pious king wailing with the design, as of old, to make the eyes of all Josiah, mentioned in the last-cited chapter: which loss is the inhabitants run down with tears, and their eyelids gush out the more to be deplored, because in all probability it was a with waters. (Jer. ix. 17, 18.) For this good service they masterpiece in its kind, since never was there an author would, the next morning, wait upon the government and more deeply affected with his subject, or more capable of principal persons, to receive some trifling fee." The Rev. carrying it through all the tender sentiments of sorrow and John Hartley, during his travels in Greece, relates, that, one compassion, than Jeremiah. But no funeral obsequies were morning, while taking a solitary walk in Ægina, the most conferred on those who laid violent hands on themselves: plaintive accents fell upon his ear which he had ever heard. hence we do not read that the traitor-suicide Judas was laHe followed in the direction from which the sounds pro-mented by the Jews (Matt. xxvii. 4.), or by his fellow-disceeded, and they conducted him to the newly-made grave of ciples. (Acts i. 16.) a young man, cut down in the bloom of life, over which a woman, hired for the occasion, was pouring forth lamentation and mourning and wo, with such dofeful strains and feelings, as could scarcely have been supposed other than sincere.

In proportion to the rank of the deceased, and the estimation in which his memory was held, was the number of persons who assisted at his funeral obsequies, agreeably to the very ancient custom of the East. Thus, at the funeral of Jacob, there were present not only Joseph and the rest of his family, but also the servants and elders (or superintendents of Pharaoh's house) and the principal Egyptians, who attended 1 Dr. Shaw conceives this word to be a corruption of Hallelujah. He remarks, Axxx, a word of the like sound, was used by an army either be fore they gave the onset, or when they had obtained the victory. The Turks to this day call out, Allah! Allah! Allah! upon the like occasion. Travels, vol. i. p. 435. note. (8vo. edit.)

2 Ibid. pp. 435, 436.

Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, p. 194. The mourning of the

Montenegrins bears a great resemblance to that of the oriental nations.
On the death of any one, nothing is heard but tears, cries, and groans from
the whole family the women, in particular, beat themselves in a frightful
manner, pluck off their hair and tear their faces and bosoms. The de-
ceased person is laid out for twenty-four hours, in the house where he ex-
pires, with the face uncovered; and is perfumed with essences, and
strewed with flowers and aromatic leaves, after the custom of the ancients.
The lamentations are renewed every moment, particularly on the arrival
of a fresh person, and especially of the priest. Just before the defunct is
carried out of the house, his relations whisper in his ear, and give him com-
missions for the other world, to their departed relatives or friends. After
these singular addresses, a pall or winding sheet is thrown over the dead
person, whose face continues uncovered, and he is carried to church: while
on the road thither, women, hired for the purpose, chant his praises, amid
their tears. Previously to depositing him in the ground, the next of kin tie
a piece of cake to his neck, and put a piece of money in his hand, after
the manner of the ancient Greeks. During this ceremony, as also while
they are carrying him to the burial-ground, a variety of apostrophes is
addressed to the defunct, which are interrupted only by mournful sobs,
asking him why he quitted them? Why he abandoned his family? He,
whose poor wife loved him so tenderly, and provided every thing for him
to eat! Whose children obeyed him with such respect, while his friends
succoured him whenever he wanted assistance; who possessed such beau-
tiful flocks, and all whose undertakings were blessed by heaven! When

the funeral rites are performed, the curate and mourners return home,
and partake of a grand entertainment, which is frequently interrupted by
jovial songs, intermixed with prayers in honour of the deceased. One of
the guests is commissioned to chant a "lament" impromptu, which usually
draws tears from the whole company; the performer is accompanied by
three or four monochords, whose harsh discord excites both laughter and
tears at the same time. Voyage Historique et Politique à Montenegro, par
M. le Colonel Vialla de Sommières, tom. i. pp. 275-278. Paris, 1820. 8vo.
• Hartley's Researches in Greece, pp. 119. 120

Among many ancient nations, a custom prevailed of throwing pieces of gold and silver, together with other precious articles, into the sepulchres of those who were buried: this custom was not adopted by the Jews. But in Ezek. xxxii. 27. there is an allusion to the custom which obtained among almost all ancient nations, of adorning the sepulchres of heroes with their swords and other military trophies. The prophet, foretelling the fall of Meshech and Tubal, and all her multitude, says that they are gone down to hell (or the invisible state) with their weapons of war; and they have laid their swords under their heads. In Mingrelia, Sir John Chardin informs us, they all' sleep with their swords under their heads, and their other arms by their sides; and they bury them in the same manner, their arms being placed in the same position. This fact greatly illustrates the passage above cited, since, according to Bochart and other learned geographers, Meshech and Tubal mean Mingrelia, and the circumjacent country.6

V. The most simple TOMBS or monuments of old consisted of hillocks of earth, heaped up over the grave, of which we have numerous examples in our own country. In the East, where persons have been murdered, heaps of stones are raised over them as signs; and to this custom the prophet Ezekiel appears to allude. (xxxix. 15.)7

The earliest sepulchres, in all probability, were caverns. Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah of Ephron the Hittite for a family burial-place. (Gen. xxiii. 8-18.) Here were interred Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah; here also Jacob buried Leah, and charged his sons to deposit his remains. (Gen. xlix. 29-32. 1. 13.) The ancient Jews seem to have attached much importance to interment in the sepulchre of their fathers, and particularly to being buried in the land of Canaan (Gen. xlvii. 30. xlix. 29. 1. 25.), in which affection for the country of their ancestors they are not surpassed by their descendants, the modern Jews. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvi. c. 8. § 3.

Harmer's Observations on Scripture, vol. iii. pp. 55, 56.
Shaw's Travels, vol. i. Pref. p. xviii.

The modern Jews, in the time of Rabbi Solomon Jarchi, buried their dead immediately, and put wooden props in the tombs by their side, by leaning on which they would be enabled to arise more easily at the resur rection of mankind from death. They further persuade themselves that all the bodies of Jews dying out of Palestine, wherever they may ba

« ElőzőTovább »