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particular cases? David went up the Mount of Olives, as a mourner and a fugitive; and Absalom, fleeing in battle, might have lost his cap or bonnet. It is certain, that the (TSANIPH), or turban, was common both to men and women. (Job xxix. 14. Isa. iii. 23.) Long hair was in great esteem among the Jews. The hair of Absalom's head was of such prodigious length, that in his flight, when defeated in battle, as he was riding with great speed under the trees, it caught hold of one of the boughs; in consequence of which he was lifted off his saddle, and his mule running from beneath him, left him suspended in the air, unable to extricate himself. (2 Sam. xviii. 9.) The plucking off the hair was a great disgrace among the Jews; and, therefore, Nehemiah punished in this manner those Jews who had been guilty of irregular marriages, in order to put them to the greater shame. (Neh. xiii. 25.) Baldness was also considered as a disgrace. (2 Sam. xiv. 26. 2 Kings ii. 23. Isa. iii. 24.) On festive occasions, the more opulent perfumed their hair with fragrant unguents. (Psal. xxiii. 5. Eccl. ix. 8. Matt. vi. 17. xxvi. 7.) And it should seem, from Cant. v. 11., that black hair was considered to be the most beautiful.
The Jews wore their beards very long, as we may see from the example of the ambassadors, whom David sent to the king of the Ammonites, and whom that ill-advised king caused to be shaved by way of affront. (2 Sam. x. 4.) And as the shaving of them was accounted a great indignity, so the cutting off half their beards, which made them still more ridiculous, was a great addition to the affront, in a country where beards were held in such great veneration.
In the East, especially among the Arabs and Turks, the beard is even now reckoned the greatest ornament of a man, and is not trimmed or shaven, except in cases of extreme grief: the hand is almost constantly employed in smoothing the beard and keeping it in order, and it is often perfumed as if it were sacred. Thus, we read of the fragrant oil, which ran down from Aaron's beard to the skirts of his garment. (Psal. cxxxiii. 2. Exod. xxx. 30.) A shaven beard is reputed to be more unsightly than the loss of a nose; and a man who possesses a reverend beard is, in their opinion, incapable of acting dishonestly. If they wish to affirm any thing with peculiar solemnity, they swear by their beard; and when they express their good wishes for any one, they make use of the ensuing formula-God preserve thy blessed beard! From these instances, which serve to elucidate many other passages of the Bible besides that above quoted, we may readily understand the full extent of the disgrace wantonly inflicted by the Ammonitish king, in cutting off half the beards of David's ambassadors. Niebuhr relates, that if any one cut off his beard, after having recited a fatha, or prayer, which is considered in the nature of a vow never to cut it off, he is liable to be severely punished, and also to become the laughing-stock of those who profess his faith. The same traveller has also recorded an instance of a modern Arab prince having treated a Persian envoy in the same manner as Hanun treated David's ambassadors, which brought a powerful army upon him in the year 1765.2 The not trimming of the beard was one of the indications by which the Jews expressed their mourning. (2 Sam. xix. 24.)
"All the Grecian and Roman women, without distinction, wore their hair long. On this they lavished all their art, disposing it in various forms, and embellishing it with divers ornaments. In the ancient medals, statues, and basso-relievos, we behold those plaited tresses which the apostles Peter and Paul condemn, and see those expensive and fantastic decorations which the ladies of those times bestowed upon their head-dress. This pride of braided and plaited tresses, this ostentation of jewels, this vain display of finery, the apostles interdict, as proofs of a light and little mind, and inconsistent with the modesty and decorum of Christian women. St. Paul, in his first Epistle to Timothy, in the passage where he condemns it, shows us in what the pride of female dress then consisted. I will, says he, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety, not with BROIDERED HAIR, or GOLD, or PEARLS, or COSTLY ARRAY: but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works, (1 Tim. ii. 9.) St. Peter in like manner ordains, that the adorning of the fair sex should not be so much that outward adorning of PLAITING the hair, and of wearing of GOLD, or PUTTING ON OF APPAREL: but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight Rae Wilson's Travels in the Holy Land, &c. vol. i. p. 147. 3d edition. > Descript de l'Arabie, p. 61.
of God of great price. (1 Pet. iii. 3.)3 On the contrary, the men in those times universally wore their hair short, as appears from all the books, medals, and statues that have been transmitted to us. This circumstance, which formed a principal distinction in dress between the sexes, happily illustrates the following passage in St. Paul (1 Cor. xi. 14, 15.) : Doth not even nature itself teach you, that if a MAN have LONG HAIR it is a SHAME to him. But if a WOMAN have LONG HAIR it is a GLORY to her for her hair is given her for a covering. "The Jewish and Grecian ladies, moreover, never appeared in public without a veil. Hence St. Paul severely censures the Corinthian women for appearing in the church without a veil, and praying to God uncovered, by which they threw off the decency and modesty of the sex, and exposed themselves and their religion to the satire and calumny of the heathens. The whole passage beautifully and clearly exhibits to the reader's ideas the distinguishing customs which then prevailed in the different dress and appearance of the sexes." (Compare 1 Cor. xi. 13-16.)
V. Their legs were bare, and on the feet they wore SANDALS, or soles made of leather or of wood, and fastened around the feet in various ways, after the oriental fashion. (Gen. xiv. 23. Exod. xii. 11. Isa. v. 27. Mark vi. 9. John ì. 27. Acts xii. 8.) As luxury increased, magnificent sandals constituted, in the East, a part of the dress of both males and females, who could afford such a luxury. (Cant. vii. 1. Ezek. xvi. 10.) The sandals of Judith were so brilliant, that, notwithstanding the general splendour of her bracelets, rings, and necklaces, these principally succeeded in captivating the ferocious Holofernes. (Judith x. 4. xvi. 9.)5 On entering a sacred place it was usual to lay them aside (Exod. iii. 5. Josh. v. 15.), as is the practice among the Mohammedans in the East to this day. When any one entered a house, it was customary to take off the sandals, and wash the feet. (Gen. xviii. 4. xix. 2.) A similar custom obtains in India at the present time. Among persons of some rank it was the office of servants to take off the sandals of guests, and (after washing their feet) to return them to the owners on their departure. (Matt. iií. 11. Mark v. 7. Luke iii 16. John xiii. 4, 5. 14-16. 1 Tim. v. 10.) Persons, who were in deep affliction, went barefoot (2 Sam. xv. 30. xix. 24. Isa. xx. 2-4.); which, under other circumstances, was considered to be ignominious and servile. (Deut. xxv. 9, 10. Isa, xlvii. 2. Jer. ii. 25.)
VI. SEALS OF SIGNETS, and RINGS, were commonly worn by both sexes.
Pliny states that the use of Seals or Signets was rare at the time of the Trojan war; but among the Hebrews they were of much greater antiquity, for we read that Judah left his signet as a pledge with Tamar. (Gen. xxxviii. 25.) The ancient Hebrews wore their seals or signets, either as rings on their fingers, or as bracelets on their arms, a custom which still obtains in the East. Thus the bride in the Canticles (viii. 6.) desires that the spouse would wear her as a seal on his arm. Occasionally, they were worn upon the bosom by means of an ornamental chain or ligature fastened round the neck. To this custom there is an allusion in Prov. vi. 21. The expression to set as a seal upon the heart, as a seal upon the arm (Cant. viii. 6.), is a scriptural expression denoting the cherishing of a true affection; with the exhibition of those constant attentions which bespeak a real attachment. Com
Mr. Emerson's account of the dress of the younger females in the house of the British consul in the Isle of Milo, in the Levant, strikingly illustrates the above-cited passages of St. Peter. He describes their hair as being PLAITED into long triple bands, and then twisted round the head, or left to flow gracefully behind them. They also wore four or five gowns interlaced with strings of zechins, mahmoudis, and other COLDEN COINS, and other GARMENTS, HEAPED ON with less taste than profusion, and all are secured at the waist by a velvet stomacher, richly embroidered, and glit tering with gilded spangles. (Emerson's Letters from the Egean, vol. ii.
Harwood's Introd. to the New Test. vol. ii. pp. 101-103.
the island of Ceylon in particular, "the shoes of brides are made of velvet, $ Dr. Good's Sacred Idyls, pp. 147. 172. In the East generally, and in richly ornamented with gold and silver, not unlike a pair in the tower [of London] worn by queen Elizabeth." Callaway's Oriental Observ. p. 47. tions on this subject:-"I never understood the full meaning of our Lord's • An intelligent oriental traveller has the following instructive observawords, as recorded in John xiii. 10., until I beheld the better sort of natives return home after performing their customary ablutions. The passage reads thus: He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.' Thus, as they return to their habitations barefoot, they necessarily contract in their progress some portion of dust on their feet; and this is universally the case, however nigh their dwellings may be to mount a low stool, and pour a small vessel of water over their feet, to cleanse them from the soil they may have contracted in their journey homewards; if they are of the higher order of society, a servant performs it for them, and then they are clean every whit."" Statham's Indian Recollections, p. 81. London, 1832. 12mo. "Nat. Hist. lib. xxxiii. c. 1.
When therefore they return, the first thing they do is to
pare also Hag. ii. 23. Jer. xxxii. 24. The Ring is mentioned in Isa. iii. 21., and also in the parable of the prodigal, where the father orders a ring for his returning son (Luke xv. 22.), and also by the apostle James. (ii. 2.) The compliment of a royal ring was a token that the person, to whom it was given, was invested with power and honour: thus Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's. (Gen. xli. 42.) And Ahasuerus plucked off his ring from his finger, and bestowed it on Haman (Esther iii. 10.), and afterwards on Mordecai. (viii. 2.)
VII. Although the garments anciently worn by the Jews were few in number, yet their ornaments were many, especially those worn by the women. The prophet Isaiah, when reproaching the daughters of Sion with their luxury and vanity, gives us a particular account of their female ornaments. (Isa. iii. 16-24.) The most remarkable were the following:
1. The NOSE JEWELS (ver. 21.), or, as Bishop Lowth translates them, the jewels of the nostril. They were rings set with jewels, pendent from the nostrils, like ear-rings from the ears, by holes bored to receive them. Ezekiel, enumerating the common ornaments of women of the first rank, distinctly mentions the nose_jewel (Ezek. xvi. 12. marg. rendering); and in an elegant Proverb of Solomon (Prov. xi. 22.) there is a manifest allusion to this kind of ornament, which shows that it was used in his time. Nose jewels were one of the love-tokens presented to Rebecca by the servant of Abraham in the name of his master. (Gen. xxiv. 22. where the word translated ear-ring ought to have been rendered nose jewel.)2 However singular this custom may appear to us, modern travellers attest its prevalence in the East among women of all ranks.3
2. The EAR-RING was an ornament worn by the men as well as the women, as appears from Gen. xxxv. 4. and Exod. xxxii. 2.; and by other nations as well as the Jews, as is evident from Num. xxxi. 50. and Judg. viii. 24. It should seem that this ornament had been heretofore used for idolatrous purposes, since Jacob, in the injunction which he gave to his household, commanded them to put away the strange gods that were in their hands, and the ear-rings that were in their ears. (Gen. xxxv. 2. 4.) It appears that the Israelites themselves in subsequent times were not free from this superstition; for Hosea (ii. 13.) represents Jerusalem as having decked herself with ear-rings to Baalim.
3. PERFUME BOXES (in our version of Isa. iii. 20. rendered tablets) were an essential article in the toilet of a Hebrew lady. A principal part of the delicacy of the Asiatic ladies consists in the use of baths, and the richest oils and perfumes: an attention to which is in some degree necessary in those hot countries. Frequent mention is made of the rich ointments of the bride in the Song of Solomon. (iv. 10, 11.) The preparation for Esther's introduction to king Ahasuerus was a course of bathing and perfuming for a whole year: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with sweet odours. (Esth. ii. 12.) A diseased and loathsome habit of body, which is denounced against the women of Jerusalem
And there shall be, instead of perfume, a putrid ulcer-
instead of a beautiful skin, softened and made agreeable with
4. The TRANSPARENT GARMENTS (in our version of Isa. iii. 23. rendered glasses) were a kind of silken dress, transparent like gauze, worn only by the most delicate women, and by such as dressed themselves more elegantly than became women of good character. This sort of garments was wards in use both among the Greeks and Romans.6
5. Another female ornament was a CHAIN about the neck (Ezek. xvi. 11.), which appears to have been used also by the men, as may be inferred from Prov. i. 9. This was a general ornament in all the eastern countries: thus Pharaoh is said to have put a chain of gold about Joseph's neck (Gen. xli. 42.); and Belshazzar did the same to Daniel (Dan. v. 29.); and it is mentioned with several other things as part of the Midianitish spoil. (Num. xxxi. 50.) Further, the arms or wrists were adorned with bracelets: these are in the catalogue of the female ornaments used by the Jews (Ezek. xvi. 11.), and were part of Rebecca's present. They were also worn by men of any considerable figure, for we read of Judah's bracelets (Gen. xxxviii. 18.), and of those worn by Saul. (2 Sam. i. 10.)
6. We read in Exod. xxxviii. 8. of the women's LOOKING GLASSES, which were not made of what is now called glass, but of polished brass, otherwise these Jewish women could not have contributed them towards the making of the brazen laver, as is there mentioned. In later times, mirrors were made of other polished metal, which at best could only reflect a very obscure and imperfect image. Hence St. Paul, in a very apt and beautiful simile, describes the defective and limited knowledge of the present state by that opaque and dim representation of objects, which those mirrors exhibited. Now we see si crgov by means of a mirror, darkly; not through a glass, as in our version of 1 Cor. xiii. 12.; for telescopes, as every one knows, are a very late invention. 7. To the articles of apparel above enumerated may be added FEET RINGS. (Isa. iii. 8. in our version rendered TINKLING ORNAMENTS about the feet.) Most of these articles of female apparel are still in use in the East. The East Indian women, who accompanied the Indo-Anglican army from India to Egypt, wore large rings in their noses, and silver cinctures about their ankles and wrists, their faces being painted above the eyebrows. In Persia and Arabia, also, it is well known that the women paint their faces and wear gold and silver rings about their ankles, which are full of little bells that tinkle as they walk or trip along. Cingalese children often wear rings about their ankles; Malabar and Moor children wear rings, hung about with hollow balls, which tinkle as they run. The licensed prostitutes whom Dr. Richardson saw at Gheneh (a large commercial town of Upper Egypt) were attired in a similar manner.9
8. As large black eyes are greatly esteemed in the East, the oriental women have recourse to artificial means, in order to impart a dark and majestic shade to the eyes. Dr. Shaw informs us, that none of the Moorish ladies think themselves completely dressed, until they have tinged their eyelids with al-ka-hol, that is, with stibium, or the powder of lead ore. As this process is performed "by first dipping into this powder a small wooden bodkin of the thickness of a quill, and then drawing it afterwards through the eyelids, over the ball of the eye, we have a lively image of what the prophet Jeremiah (ív. 30.) may be supposed to mean by renting the eyes (not as we render it, with painting, but) with D, lead ore. The sooty colour which in this manner is communicated to the eyes is thought to add a wonderful gracefulness to persons of all complexions. The practice of it, no doubt, is of great antiquity for, besides the instances already noticed, we find, that when Jezebel is said to have painted her face (2 Kings ix. 30.), the original words are, i. e. she adjusted, or set off, her eyes with the powder of lead ore. So likewise Ezek. xxiii. 40, is to be understood. Keren-happuch, i. e. the horn of pouk or lead ore, the name of Job's
The 'EGOTрor, or metallic mirror, is mentioned by the author of the apocryphal book of the Wisdom of Solomon (vii. 26.); who, speaking of Wisdom, says that she is the brightness of the everlasting light and image of his goodness. The author, also, of the book of Ecclesiasticus, ̓ΕΣΟΠΤΡΟΝ καλιδωτον the unspotted MIRRon of the power of God and the after-exhorting to put no trust in an enemy, says, Though he humble himself and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him; and thou shalt be unto him ὡς εκμέμηχως ̓ΕΣΟΠΤΡΟΝ, as if thou hadst wiped a Minor, and thou shalt know that his RUST hath not altogether been wiped away. (Ecclus. xii. 11.) The mention of rust in this place manifestly indicates the metallic composition of the mirror; which is frequently mentioned in the ancient classic writers. See particularly Anacreon, Ode xi. 3. and xx. 5, 6. Dr. A. Clarke, on 1 Cor. xiii. 12.
1 Schroeder has treated at great length on the various articles of female apparel mentioned in Isa. iii. 16-24. in his Commentarius PhilologicoCriticus de Vestitu Mulierum Hebræaum. Lug. Bat. 1735. 4to. 2 Bp. Lowth on Isaiah, vol. ii. p. 47.
Ibid. vol. ii. p. 48. Harmer's Observations, vol. iv. pp. 316-320. In the East Indies, a small jewel, in form resembling a rose, ornaments one nostril of even the poorest Malabar woman. Callaway's Oriental Observations, p. 48.
It is probable that the ear-rings, or jewels, worn by Jacob's household, had been consecrated to superstitious purposes, and worn, perhaps, as a kind of amulet. It appears that rings, whether on the ears or nose, were first superstitiously worn in honour of false gods, and probably of the sun, whose circular form they might be designed to represent. Maimonides mentions rings and vessels of this kind, with the image of the sun, moon, &c. impressed on them. These superstitious objects were concealed by Jacob in a place known only to himself. Grotius on Gen. Xxxv. 4. Calmet's Dictionary, vol. ii. voce Ring. Bp. Lowth's Isaiah, vol. ii. pp. 49, 50. • Ibid. p. 49.
Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. v. p. 320. 8vo. edit. Morier's Second Journey in Persia, p. 145. Ward's History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. pp. 329. 333. Callaway's Oriental Observations, pp. 47, 48.
"This is the only place in Egypt where we saw the women of the town decked out in all their finery. They were of all nations and of all complexions, and regularly licensed, as in many parts of Europe, to exercise their profession. Some of them were highly painted, and gorgeously attired with costly necklaces, rings in their noses and in their ears, and bracelets on their wrists and arms. They sat at the doors of the houses, and called on the passengers as they went by, in the same manner as we read in the book of Proverbs." [vii. 6-23] (Richardson's Travels, vol. i. p. 260.) The same custom was observed by Pitis, a century before, at Cairo. See his account of the Mahometans, p. 99.
youngest daughter, was relative to this custom or practice." The modern Persian, Egyptian, and Arab women, continue the practice of tinging their eyelashes and eyelids.2 It was a particular injunction of the Mosaic law that the women shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment. (Deut. xxii. 5.) This precaution was very necessary against the abuses which are the usual consequences of such disguises. For a woman drest in a man's clothes will not be restrained so readily by that modesty which is the peculiar ornament of her sex; and a man drest in a woman's habit may without fear and shame go into companies where, without this disguise, shame and ear would hinder his admittance, and prevent his appearing. In hot countries, like a considerable part of Palestine, travellers inform us, that the greatest difference imaginable subsists between the complexions of the women. Those of any condition seldom go abroad, and are ever accustomed to be shaded from the sun, with the greatest attention. Their skin is, consequently, fair and beautiful. But women in the lower ranks of life, especially in the country, being from the nature of their employments more exposed to the scorching rays of the sun, are, in their complexions, remarkably tawny and swarthy. Under such circumstances, a high value would, of course, be set, by the eastern ladies, upon the fairness of their complexions, as a distinguishing mark of their superior quality, no less than as an enhancement of their beauty. We perceive, therefore, how natural was the bride's self-abasing reflection in Cant. i. 5, 6. respecting her tawny complexion (caused by exposure to servile employments), among the fair daughters of Jerusalem; who, as attendants on a royal marriage (we may suppose), were of the highest rank.3
VIII. To change habits and wash one's clothes were ceremonies used by the Jews, in order to dispose them for some holy action which required particular purity., Jacob, after his return from Mesopotamia, required his household to change their garments, and go with him to sacrifice at Bethel. (Gen. XXXV. 2, 3.) Mosès commanded the people to prepare themselves for the reception of the law by purifying and washing their clothes. (Exod. xix. 10.) On the other hand, the RENDING OF One's CLOTHES is an expression frequently used in Scripture, as a token of the highest grief. Reuben, to denote his great sorrow for Joseph, rent his clothes (Gen. Xxxvii. 29.); Jacob did the like (ver. 34.); and Ezra, to express the concern and uneasiness of his mind, and the apprehensions he entertained of the divine displeasure, on account of the people's unlawful marriages, is said to rend his garments and his mantle (Ezra ix. 3.); that is, both his inner and upper garment: this was also an expression of indignation and holy zeal; the high-priest rent his clothes, pretending that our Saviour had spoken blasphemy. (Matt. xxvi. 65.) And so did the apostles, when the people intended to pay them divine honours. (Acts xiv. 14.) The garments of mourners among the Jews were chiefly sackcloth and haircloth. The last sort was the usual clothing of the prophets, for they were continual penitents by profession; and therefore Zechariah speaks of the rough garments of the false prophets, which they also wore to deceive. (Zech. xiii. 4.) Jacob was the first we read of that put sackcloth on his loins,
1 Dr. Shaw's Travels, vol. i. p. 413.
2 Harmer's Observations, vol. iv. p. 334. Shaw's Travels, vol. i. p. 414. Morier's Second Journey, pp. 61. 145. The eyes of the wife of a Greek priest, whom Mr. Rae Wilson saw at Tiberias, were stained with black powder. (Travels in the Holy Land, &c. vol. ii. p. 17.) "The Palmyrene women are the finest looking women of all the Arab tribes of Syria. ...... Like other Orientals of their sex, they dye the tips of the fingers and the palms of their hands red, and wear gold rings in their ears: and the jet-black dye of the hennah for the eyelashes is never forgotten; they imagine, and, perhaps, with truth, that its blackness gives the eye an additional languor and interest." Carne's Letters from the East, p. 592. > Fry's Translation of the Song of Solomon, p. 36.
as a token of mourning for Joseph (Gen. xxxvii. 34.), signifying thereby that since he had lost his beloved son he considered himself as reduced to the meanest and lowest condition of life.
IX. A prodigious number of sumptuous and magnificent habits was in ancient times regarded as a necessary and indispensable part of their treasures. Horace, speaking of Lucullus (who had pillaged Asia, and first introduced Asiatic refinements among the Romans), says, that, some persons having waited upon him to request the loan of a hundred suits out of his wardrobe for the Roman stage, he exclaimed-"A hundred suits! how is it possible for me to furnish such a number? However, I will look over them and send you what I have."-After some time, he writes a note, and tells them he had FIVE THOUSAND, to the whole or part of which they were welcome.4
This circumstance of amassing and ostentatiously displaying in wardrobes numerous and superb suits, as indispensable to the idea of wealth, and forming a principal part of the opulence of those times, will elucidate several passages of Scripture. The patriarch Job, speaking of riches in his time, says,-Though they heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay. (Job xxvii. 16.) Joseph gave his brethren changes of raiment, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. (Gen. xlv. 22.) Naaman carried for a present to the prophet Elisha ten changes of raiment, that is, according to Calmet, ten tunics and ten upper garments. (2 Kings v. 5.) In allusion to this custom our Lord, when describing the short duration and perishing nature of earthly treasures, represents them as subject to the depredations of moths. Lay not up for yourselves TREASURES on earth, where moth and rust do corrupt. (Matt. vi. 19.) The illustrious apostle of the Gentiles, when appealing to the integrity and fidelity with which he had discharged his sacred office, said, I have coveted no man's gold, or silver, or APPAREL. (Acts xx. 33.) The apostle James, likewise (just in the same manner as the Greek and Roman writers, when they are particularizing the opulence of those times), specifies gold, silver, and garments, as the constituents of riches:Go to now, ye rich men; weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your gold and silver is cankered, and your GARMENTS are moth-eaten. (James v. 1. 3. 2.) The fashion of hoarding up splendid dresses still subsists in Palestine. It appears from Psal. xlv. 8. that the wardrobes of the East were plentifully perfumed with aromatics; and in Cant. iv. 11. the fragrant odour of the bride's garments is compared to the odour of Lebanon. With robes thus perfumed Rebecca furnished her son Jacob, when she sent him to obtain by stratagem his father's blessing. And he (Isaac) smelled the smell (or fragrance) of his raiment and blessed him, and said, See! the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed. (Gen. xxvii. 27.) In process of time, this exquisite fragrance was figuratively applied to the moral qualities of the mind; of which we have an example in the Song of Solomon, i. 3.
Like the fragrance of thine own sweet perfumes
Horat. Epist. lib. i. ep. 6. ver. 40-44.
JEWISH CUSTOMS RELATING TO MARRIAGE.
1. Marriage accounted a sacred Obligation by the Jews.-II. Polygamy tolerated.—Condition of Concubines.-III. Nuptial Contract, and Espousals.-IV. Nuptial Ceremonies.-V. Divorces.
I. MARRIAGE was considered by the Jews as a matter of more speedy peopling of the world, yet it is certain there is the strictest obligation. They understood literally and as a no such toleration under the Christian dispensation, and, precept these words uttered to our first parents, Be fruitful, therefore, their example is no rule at this day. The first who and multiply, and replenish the earth. (Gen. i. 28.) Their violated this primitive law of marriage was Lamech, who continual expectation of the coming of the Messiah added took unto him two wives. (Gen. iv. 19.) Afterwards we read great weight to this obligation. Every one lived in the hopes that Abraham had concubines. (Gen. xxv. 6.) And his that this blessing should attend their posterity; and therefore practice was followed by the other patriarchs, which at last they thought themselves bound to further the expectance of grew to a most scandalous excess in Solomon's and Rehohim, by adding to the race of mankind, of whose seed he was boam's days. The word concubine in most Latin authors, to be born, and whose happiness he was to promote, by that and even with us at this day, signifies a woman, who, though temporal kingdom for which they looked upon his appear-she be not married to a man, yet lives with him as his wife; but in the Sacred Writings it is understood in another sense. There it means a lawful wife, but of a lower order and of an inferior rank to the mistress of the family; and, therefore, she had equal right to the marriage-bed with the chief wife; and her issue was reputed legitimate in opposition to bastards: but in all other respects these concubines were inferior to the primary wife: for they had no authority in the family, nor any share in household government. If they had been servants in the family before they came to be concubines, they continued to be so afterwards, and in the same subjection to their mistress as before. The dignity of these primary wives gave their children the preference in the succession, so that the children of concubines did not inherit their father's fortune, except upon the failure of the children by these more honourable wives; and, therefore, it was, that the father commonly provided for the children by these concubines in his own lifetime, by giving them a portion of his cattle and goods, which the Scripture calls gifts. Thus Sarah was Abraham's primary wife, by whom he had Isaac, who was the heir of his wealth. But besides her, he had two concubines, Hagar and Keturah; by these he had other children whom he distinguished from Isaac, for it is said, He gave them gifts, and sent them away while he yet lived. (Gen. xxv. 5, 6.) In Mesopotamia, as appears from Gen. xxix. 26., the younger daughter could not be given in marriage "before the first-born" or elder, and the same practice continues to this day among the Armenians, and also among the Hindoos, with whom it is considered criminal to give the younger daughter in marriage before the elder, or for a younger son to marry while his elder brother remains unmarried.3
Hence celibacy was esteemed a great reproach in Israel; for, besides that they thought no one could live a single life without great danger of sin, they esteemed it a counteracting of the divine counsels in the promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. On this account it was that Jephthah's daughter deplored her virginity, because she thus deprived her father of the hopes which he might entertain from heirs descended from her, by whom his name might survive in Israel, and, consequently, of his expectation of having the Messiah to come of his seed, which was the general desire of all the Israelitish women. For the same reason also sterility was regarded among the Jews (as it is to this day among the modern Egyptians) as one of the greatest misfortunes that could befall any woman, insomuch that to have a child, though the woman immediately died thereupon, was accounted a less affliction than to have none at all; and to this purpose we may observe, that the midwife comforts Rachel in her labour (even though she knew her to be at the point of death) in these terms, Fear not, for thou shalt bear this son also. (Gen. xxxv. 17.)
From this expectation proceeded their exactness in causing the brother of a husband, who died without issue, to marry the widow he left behind, and the disgrace that attended his refusing so to do; for, as the eldest son of such a marriage became the adopted child of the deceased, that child and the posterity flowing from him were, by a fiction of law, considered as the real offspring and heirs of the deceased brother. This explains the words of Isaiah, that seren women should take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach. (Isa. iv. 1.) This was the reason also why the Jews commonly married very young. The age prescribed to men by the Rabbins was eighteen years. A virgin was ordinarily married at the age of puberty, that is, twelve years complete, whence her husband is called the guide of her youth (Prov. ii. 17.), and the husband of her youth (Joel i. 8.); and the not giving of maidens in marriage is in Psal. lxxviii. 63. represented as one of the effects of the divine anger towards Israel. In like manner, among the Hindoos, the delaying of the marriage of daughters is to this day regarded as a great calamity and disgrace.2
III. No formalities appear to have been used by the Jews--at least none were enjoined to them by Moses-in joining man and wife together. Mutual consent, followed by consummation, was deemed sufficient. The manner in which a daughter was demanded in marriage is described in the case of Shechem, who asked Dinah the daughter of Jacob in marriage (Gen. xxxiv. 6-12.); and the nature of the contract, together with the mode of solemnizing the marriage, is described in Gen. xxiv. 50, 51. 57. 67. There was, indeed, a previous espousal1 or betrothing, which was a solemn promise of marriage, made by the man and woman each to the other, at such a distance of time as they agreed upon. This was sometimes done by writing, sometimes by the delivery of a piece of silver to the bride in presence of witnesses, as a pledge of their mutual engagements. We are informed by the Jewish writers that kisses were given in token of the espousals (to which custom there appears to be an allusion in Canticles i. 2.), after which the parties were reckoned as man and wife.5" After such espousals were made (which
Scripture, vol. iii. p. 129. 2d edit. Hartley's Researches in Greece and the
II. From the first institution of marriage it is evident that God gave but one woman to one man; and if it be a true, as it is a common, observation, that there are every where more males than females born in the world, it follows that those men certainly act contrary to the laws both of God and nature who have more than one wife at the same time. But though God, as supreme lawgiver, had a power to dispense with his own laws, and actually did so with the Jews for the 1 The most importunate applicants to Dr. Richardson for medical advice were those who consulted him on account of sterility, which in Egypt (he says) is still considered the greatest of all evils. "The unfortunate couple "Before the giving of the law (saith Maimonides), if the man and woman believe that they are bewitched, or under the curse of heaven, which they had agreed about marriage, he brought her into his house and privately fancy the physician has the power to remove. It is in vain that he declares married her. But, after the giving of the law, the Israelites were comthe insufficiency of the healing art to take away their reproach. The par-manded, that if any were minded to take a woman for his wife, he should ties hang round, dunning and importuning him for the love of God, to pre-receive her, first before witnesses, and henceforth let her be to him to scribe for them, that they may have children like other people. Give me wife,-as it is written, 'If any one take a wife. This taking is one of the children, or I die,' said the fretful Sarah to her husband; Give me child- affirmative precepts of the law, and is called 'espousing." Lightfoot's ren, or I curse you,' say the barren Egyptians to their physicians." Dr. Hora Hebr. on Matt. i. 18. (Works, vol. xi. p. 18. 8vo. edit. 1823.) Richardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. p. 106. A nearly similar scene is described by Mr. R. R. Madden, who travelled in the East between the years 1824 and 1827. Travels in Turkey, &c. vol. ii. p. 51. 2 Ward's History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 327. Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. vii. p. 329. Home's History of the Jews, vol. ii. pp. 350, 351.
5 Dr. Gill's Comment. on Sol. Song i. 2. The same ceremony was prac tised among the primitive Christians. (Bingham's Antiquities, book xxii. c. 3. sect. 6.) By the civil law, indeed, the kiss is made a ceremony, in some respects, of importance to the validity of the nuptial contract. (Cod. Justin. lib. v. tit. 3. de Donation. ante Nuptias, leg. 16.) Fry's Translation of the Canticles, p. 33.
was generally when the parties were young) the woman con- numerous and important; and, on account of those, the Baptinued with her parents several months, if not some years (at tist compares himself to the friend of the bridegroom. (John least till she was arrived at the age of twelve), before she iii. 29.) The offices of the paranymph were threefold-before was brought home, and her marriage consummated. That-at-and after the marriage. Before the marriage of his it was the practice to betroth the bride some time before the friend it was his duty to select a chaste virgin, and to be the consummation of the marriage is evident from Deut. xx. 7. medium of communication between the parties, till the day of Thus we find that Samson's wife remained with her parents marriage. At that time he continued with them during the a considerable time after espousals (Judg. xiv. 8.); and we seven days allotted for the wedding festival, rejoicing in the are told that the Virgin Mary was visibly with child before happiness of his friend, and contributing as much as possible she and her intended husband came together. (Matt. i. 18.) to the hilarity of the occasion. After the marriage, the paraIf, during the time between the espousals and the marriage, nymph was considered as the patron and friend of the wife the bride was guilty of any criminal correspondence with and her husband, and was called in to compose any differanother person, contrary to the fidelity she owed to her bride- ences that might take place between them. As the forerungroom, she was treated as an adulteress; and thus the holy ner of Christ, the Baptist may be well compared to the paraVirgin, after she was betrothed to Joseph, having conceived nymph of the Jewish marriages. One of the most usual comour blessed Saviour, might, according to the rigour of the parisons adopted in Scripture to describe the union between law, have been punished as an adulteress, if the angel of the Christ and his Church is that of a marriage. The Baptist Lord had not acquainted Joseph with the mystery of the was the paranymph, who, by the preaching of repentance and incarnation.2 faith, presented the church as a youthful bride and a chaste virgin to Christ. He still continued with the bridegroom, till the wedding was furnished with guests. His joy was fulfilled when his own followers came to inform him that Christ was increasing the number of his disciples, and that all men came unto him. This intelligence was as the sound of the bridegroom's voice, and as the pledge that the nuptials of heaven and earth were completed. From this representation of John as the paranymph, of Christ as the bridegroom, and the Church as the bride, the ministers and stewards of the Gospel of God may learn, that they also are required, by the preaching of repentance and faith, to present their hearers in all purity to the head of the Christian church. It is for them to find their best source of joy in the blessing of the most Highest on their labours-their purest happiness in the improvement and perfecting of the Church confided to their care."9
Among the Jews, and generally throughout the East, marriage was considered as a sort of purchase, which the man made of the woman he desired to marry; and, therefore, in contracting marriages, as the wife brought a portion to the husband, so the husband was obliged to give her or her parents money or presents in lieu of this portion. This was the case between Hamor, the father of Shechem, and the sons of Jacob, with relation to Dinah (Gen. xxxiv. 12.); and Jacob, having no money, offered his uncle Laban seven years' service, which must have been equivalent to a large sum. (Gen. xxix. 18.) Saul did not give his daughter Michal to David, till after he had received a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. (1 Sam. xviii. 25.) Hosea bought his wife at the price of fifteen pieces of silver, and a measure and a half of barley. (Hos. iii. 2.) The same custom also obtained among the Greeks and other ancient nations; and it is to this day the practice in several eastern countries, particularly among the Druses, Turks, and Christians, who inhabit the country of Haouran, and also among the modern Scenite Arabs, or those who dwell in tents.5
IV. It appears from both the Old and New Testaments, that the Jews celebrated the nuptial solemnity with great festivity and splendour. Many of the rites and ceremonies, observed by them on this occasion, were common both to the Greek and Romans. We learn from the Misna, that the Jews were accustomed to put crowns or garlands on the heads of newly married persons; and it should seem from the Song of Solomon (iii. 11.), that the ceremony of putting it on was performed by one of the parents. Among the Greeks the bride was crowned by her mother; and among them, as well as among the Orientals, and particularly the Hebrews, it was customary to wear crowns or garlands, not merely of leaves or flowers, but also of gold or silver, in proportion to the rank of the person presenting them; but those prepared for the celebration of a nuptial banquet, as being a festivity of the first consequence, were of peculiar splendour and magnificence. Chaplets of flowers only constituted the nuptial crowns of the Romans. Some writers have supposed that the nuptial crowns and other ornaments of a bride are alluded to in Ezek. xvi. 8-12.
We may form some idea of the apparel of the bride and bridegroom from Isa. lxi. 10., in which the yet future prosperous and happy state of Jerusalem is compared to the dress of a bride and bridegroom. The latter was attended by numerous companions: Samuel had thirty young men to attend him at his nuptials (Judg. xiv. 11.), who in Matt ix. 15. and Mark ii. 19. are termed children of the bride-chamber. every wedding two persons were selected, who devoted themselves for some time to the service of the bride and bridegroom. The offices assigned to the paranymph, or "w, The same practice obtains in the East Indies to this day. Ward's His
tory of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 334.
Further, it was customary for the bridegroom to prepare garments for his guests (Matt. xxii. 11.), which, it appears from Rev. xix. 8., were white; in these passages the wedding-garment is emblematical of Christian holiness and the righteousness of the saints. It was also usual for the bridegroom, attended by the nuptial guests, to conduct the bride to his house by night, accompanied by her virgin train of attendants, with torches and music and every demonstration of joy. To this custom, as well as to the various ceremonies just stated, our Saviour alludes in the parables of the wise and foolish virgins (Matt. xxv. 1-12.), and of the wedding-feast, given by a sovereign, in honour of his son's nuptials. (Matt. xxii. 2.) In the first of these parables ten virgins are represented as taking their lamps to meet the bridegroom; five of whom were prudent, and took with them a supply of oil, which the others had neglected. In the mean time, they all slumbered and slept, until the procession approached; but, in the middle of the night, there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh! Go ye out to meet him.10 On this, all the virgins arose speedily to trim their lamps. The wise were instantly ready; but the imprudent virgins were thrown into great confusion. Then, first, they recollected their neglect: their lamps were expiring, and they had no oil to refresh them. While they were gone to procure a supply, the bridegroom arrived: they that were ready went in with him to the
"Smaller circumstances and coincidences sometimes demonstrate the truth of an assertion, or the authenticity of a book, more effectually than more important facts. May not one of those unimportant yet convincing coincidences be observed in this passage? The Baptist calls himself the friend of the bridegroom, without alluding to any other paranymph, or "At 1. As the Jews were accustomed to have two paranymphs, there seems, at first sight, to be something defective in the Baptist's comparison. But our Lord was of Galilee, and there the custom was different from that Townsend's Harmony of the New Testament, vol. i. of any other part of Palestine. The Galileans had one paranymph only." p. 132.
Calmet, Dissertations, tom. i. p. 279. Pareau, Antiq. Hebr. p. 440.
• Potter's Greek Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 279.
Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, &c. pp. 298. 385. De la Roque, Voyage dans la Palestine, p. 222. See several additional instances in Burder's Oriental Literature, vol. i. pp. 56-59. Young girls, Mr. Buckingham informs us, are given in marriage for certain sums of money, varying from 500 to 1000 piastres, among the better order of inhabitants, according to their connexions or beauty; though among the labouring classes it descends as low as 100 or even 50. This sum being paid by the bridegroom to the bride's father adds to his wealth, and makes girls (particularly when handsome) as profitable to their parents as boys are by the wages they earn by their labour. Buckingham's Travels among the Arab Tribes, pp.
Dr. Good's translation of Solomon's Song, p. 106.
ostendit, quale inter ipsum et Christum discrimen intercedat. Se ipsum
Townsend's Harmony of the New Test. vol. i. p. 132.
10 The Rev. Mr. Hartley, describing an Armenian wedding. says, "The large number of young females who were present naturally reminded me of the wise and foolish virgins in our Saviour's parable. These being friends of the bride, the virgins, her companions (Psal. xlv. 14.), had come to meet the bridegroom. It is usual for the bridegroom to come at midnight; so that, literally, at midnight the cry is made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh! Go ye out to meet him. But, on this occasion, the bride. groom tarried: it was two o'clock before he arrived. The whole party then proceeded to the Armenian church, where the bishop was waiting to receive them; and there the ceremony was completed." Researches in Greece and the Levant, p. 231.