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in sacrifices. The fatted calf (1 Sam. xxviii. 24. Luke xv. 23.) was stall-fed, with a special reference to a particular festival or extraordinary sacrifice.
their great flocks of cattle which made them in those primi- mentioned in Scripture, because they were commonly used tive times put such a price upon wells. These were possessions of inestimable value in a country where it seldom rained, and where there were but few rivers or brooks, and, therefore, it is no wonder that we read of so many contests about them.
In succeeding ages, we find, that the greatest and wealthiest men did not disdain to follow husbandry, however mean that occupation is now accounted. Moses, the great lawgiver of the Israelites, was a shepherd. Shamgar was taken from the herd to be a judge in Israel, and Gideon from his threshing-floor (Judg. vi. 11.), as were Jair and Jephthah from the keeping of sheep. When Saul received the news of the danger to which the city of Jabesh-gilead was exposed, he was coming after the herd out of the field, notwithstanding he was a king. (1 Sam. xi. 5.) And king David, from feeding the ewes great with young, was brought to feed Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance (Psal. Ixxviii. 71.); and it should seem, from 2 Sam. xiii. 23., that Absalom was a large sheep-owner. King Uzziah is said to be a lover of husbandry (2 Chron. xxvi. 10.); and some of the prophets were called from that employment to the prophetic dignity, as Elisha was from the plough (1 Kings xix. 19.), and Amos from being a herdsman. But the tending of the flocks was not confined to the men: in the primitive ages, rich and noble women were accustomed to keep sheep, and to draw water as well as those of inferior quality. Thus, Rebecca, the daughter of Bethuel, Abraham's brother, carried a pitcher, and drew water (Gen. xxiv. 15. 19.), as the women of Palestine still generally do: Rachel, the daughter of Laban, kept her father's sheep (Gen. xxix. 9.); and Zipporah, with her six sisters, had the care of their father Jethro's flocks, who was a prince, or (which in those times was an honour scarcely inferior) a priest of Midian. (Exod. ii. 16.) Repeated instances occur in Homer of the daughters of princes tending flocks, and performing other menial services.3
1. Among the larger animals kept by the Hebrews or Jews, NEAT CATTLE claim first to be noticed, on account of their great utility. They are termed collectively pa (BAKAR), and though they are of so small stature in the East, yet they attain to considerable strength. (Prov. xiv. 4.) The bulls of Bashan were celebrated for their strength. (Psal. xxii. 12.) The castration of bulls, or the males of the ox-tribe, as well as of other male animals, which was common among other nations, was prohibited to the Hebrews. (Lev. xxii. 24, 25.) Oxen were used both for draught and for tillage, as is still the case in the East: they were also employed in treading out the corn, during which they were not to be muzzled (Deut. xxv. 4.); and were driven by means of ox-goads (Judg. iii. 31.), which, if they resembled those used in more recent times in the East, must have been of considerable size. Calves, or the young of the ox-kind, are frequently
2. So useful to the Hebrews were ASSES, that the coveting of them is prohibited in the decalogue, equally with oxen: in the East they attain to a considerable size and beauty. Princes and people of distinction did not think it beneath their dignity to ride on asses (Num. xxii. 21. Judg. i. 4. v. 10. x. 4. 2 Sam. xvi. 2.); when, therefore, Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on an ass, he was received like a prince or sovereign. (Matt. xxi. 1-9.) The Hebrews were forbidden to draw with an ox and an ass together (Deut. xxii. 10.), probably because one was a clean animal, and, consequently, edible, while the other was declared to be unclean, and, consequently, unfit for food. The habits and speed of wild asses, which anciently were numerous in Arabia Deserta and the neighbouring countries, are described with great force and poetical beauty in Job xxxix. 5-8. MULES, which animals partake of the horse and ass, were probably unknown in the earlier ages. It is very certain that the Jews did not breed them, because they were forbidden to couple together two creatures of different species. (Lev. xix. 19.) They seem to have been brought to the Jews from other nations; and the use of them was become very common in the time of David, and they formed a considerable part of the royal equipage. (2 Sam. xiii. 29. xviii. 9. 1 Kings i. 33. 38. 44. x. 25. 2 Chron. ix. 24.) 3. HORSES were not used by the Jews for cultivating the soil: indeed, though they abounded in Egypt in the time of Moses (as may be inferred from Exod. ix. 3. xiv. 6, 7. 9. 23-28. xv. 4.), yet we do not find any mention of their being used before the time of David, who reserved only a hundred horses for his mounted life-guard, or perhaps for his chariots, out of one thousand which he captured (2 Sam. viii. 4.), the remainder being houghed, according to the Mosaic injunction. Solomon carried on a trade in Egyptian horses for the benefit of the crown.5
4. CAMELS are frequently mentioned in the Scriptures: anciently, they were very numerous in Judea, and throughout the East, where they were reckoned among the most valuable live stock. The patriarch Job had at first three thousand (Job i. 3.), and, after his restoration to prosperity, six thousand. (xlii. 12.) The camels of the Midianites and Amalekites were without number, as the sand by the sea-side for multitude. (Judg. vii. 12.) So great was the importance attached to the propagation and management of camels, that a particular officer was appointed in the reign of David to superintend their keepers; and as the sacred historian particularly mentions that he was an Ishmaelite, we may presume that he was selected for his office on account of his superior skill in the treatment of these animals. (1 Chron. xxvii. 30.)
1 Honourable as the occupation of a shepherd was among the Hebrews, Two species of camels are mentioned in the Scripture, viz. it was an abomination to the Egyptians (Gen. xlvi. 34.) at the time when 1. the Spa (GamaL) or commor camel, which has two bunches Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. From the fragments of the on its back, that distinguish it from, 2. the 3 (BaKar), or ancient historian Manetho, preserved in Josephus and Africanus, it appears that that country had been invaded by a colony of Nomades or Shepherds, dromedary, which has only one bunch. The dromedary is descended from Cush, who established themselves there, and had a suc remarkable for its fleetness. Both species are now, as well cession of kings. After many wars between them and the Egyptians, in as anciently, much used for travelling long journeys. The which some of their principal cities were burnt, and great cruelties were camels' furniture, mentioned in Gen. xxxi. 34., is most procommitted, they were compelled to evacuate the country; but not till they had been in possession of it for a period of nine hundred years. This alone bably the large seat or pack-saddle, invariably observed in was sufficient to render shepherds odious to the Egyptians; but they were the East upon the back of camels. When taken off, at the still more obnoxious, because they killed and ate those animals, particu-close of a journey, it would equally afford a place of conceallarly the sheep and the ox, which were accounted most sacred among thein. See Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Mythology, vol. vi. pp. 193-211. ment for the images, and a convenient seat for Rachel. The Arabs eat both the flesh and milk of camels, which, however, were forbidden to the Israelites, as being unclean animals. (Lev. xi. 4. Deut. xiv. 7.) A coarse cloth is manufactured of camels' hair in the East, which is used for making the coats of shepherds and camel drivers, and also for the covering of tents. It was, doubtless, this coarse kind which was worn by John the Baptist, and which distinguished him from those residents in royal palaces, who wore soft raiment. (Matt. iii. 4. xi. 8.)
2 From Hector's address to his horses, it appears that his wife, Andromache, though a princess, did not think it beneath her dignity to feed those animals herself. Iliad. viii. 185-189.
3 See particularly Iliad, lib. vi. 59. 78. Odyss. lib. vi. 57. xii. 131. The intelligent traveller, Maundrell, in his journey from Jerusalem to Aleppo, relates, that when he was near Jerusalem, he came to a certain place, where (says he) "the country people were every where at plough in the fields, in order to sow cotton: it was observable, that in ploughing, they used goads of an extraordinary size; upon measuring of several, I found them to be about eight feet long, and, at the bigger end, six inches in circumference. They were armed at the lesser end with a sharp prickle, for driving of the oxen, and at the other end with a small spade, or
we not from
5. Among the smaller cattle, GOATS and SHEEP were the paddle of iron, strong and massy, for cleansing the plough from the clay most valuable, and were reared in great numbers on account was with such a goad as one of these, that Shamgar made that prodigious of their flesh and milk; the latter animals were also of great slaughter related of him? I am confident that whoever should see one of value on account of their wool, which was shorn twice in the these instruments, would judge it to be a weapon, not less fit, perhaps fitter, than a sword for such an execution: goads of this sort I saw always year. Sheep-shearing was a season of great festivity. used hereabouts, and also in Syria; and the reason is, because the same (2 Sam. xiii. 23-27. i Sam. xxv. 2, &c.) Jahn enumerates single person both drives the oxen, and also holds and manages the plough; three varieties of sheep, but Dr. Harris specifies only two which makes it necessary to use such a goad as is above described, to avoid breeds as being found in Syria; viz. 1. The Bedouin sheep, 5 Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. ii. pp. 394, 395. In pp. 431-514. there is an elaborate dissertation on the ancient history and uses of horses. For the reason why the Israelitish sovereigns were prohibited from multiplying horses, see p. 43. of the present volume.
Travels, p. 110. In January, 1816, Mr. Buckingham observed similar goads in use, at Ras-elHin, in the vicinity of the modern town of Sour, which stands on the site of ancient Tyre (Travels in Palestine, p. 57.); and the Rev. Mr. Hartley, in March, 1828, met with the same kind of goads in Greece. (Missionary Register, May, 1830, p. 223.)
• Hartley's Researches in Greece, p. 232.
which differs little in its appearance from our common breed, | of such landmarks (Deut. xix. 14.), and denounced a curse except that the tail is somewhat longer and thicker; and, 2. against the person who removed them without authority. A breed which is of more frequent occurrence than the other, (Deut. xxvii. 17.) In giving this law, Moses reminded the and which is much more valued on account of the extraordi- Israelites, that it was God who gave them the land; thus nary bulk of its tail, which has been noticed by all travellers. insinuating that the landmarks should all in some sense be The ancient Hebrews, like the modern Arabs, were accus- sacred to the giver. Among the Romans, they actually were tomed to give names of endearment to favourite sheep held sacred. Indeed, they can be so easily removed, and, (2 Sam. xii. 3.); the shepherds also called them generally consequently, a man be so unobservedly deprived of his proby name, and the sheep knowing the shepherd's voice obeyed perty, that it becomes necessary to call in the aid of the fear the call (John x. 3. 14.), while they disregarded the voice of God to prevent it; and this Moses, who gave his laws by of strangers. They also appear to have numbered them divine command, did with peculiar propriety. (Jer. xxxiii. 13.), as the shepherds count their flocks in modern Greece, by admitting them one by one into a pen.2 It was the duty of the shepherds to conduct the flocks to pasture, and to protect them from the attacks of thieves and wild beasts (John x. 10-12.): for this purpose they were furnished with a crook (Psal. xxiii. 4.) and with a sling and stones. David was equipped with his shepherd's staff and sling when he went forth to encounter the Philistine giant Goliath. (1 Sam. xvii. 40.) And as it sometimes happened that the owners of large flocks made very hard bargains with their shepherds (as Laban did with Jacob, Gen. xxxi. 38-40.), Moses made various enactments in this respect which are equally characterized by their equity and humanity. In guarding and managing their flocks dogs were of great use; though these animals, being declared by the law of Moses to be unclean, were held in great contempt among the Jews. (1 Sam. xvii. 43. xxiv. 14. 2 Sam. ix. 8. 2 Kings viii. 13.) They had them, however, in considerable numbers in their cities, where they were not confined in the houses or courts, but were forced to seek their food where they could find it. The Psalmist compares violent men to dogs, that go about the city by night in quest of food, and growl if they be not satisfied. (Psal. lix. 6. 14, 15.) Being frequently almost starved, they devour corpses. (1 Kings xiv. 11. xvi. 4. xxi. 19.)
These regulations having been made in respect to the tenure, encumbrances, &c. of landed property, Joshua divided the whole country which he had occupied, first, among the several tribes, and, secondly, among individual Israelites, running it out with the aid of a measuring line. (Josh. xvii. 5-14. compared with Amos vii. 17. Mic. ii. 5. Psal. lxxviii. 55. and Ezek. xl. 3.) From this circumstance the line is frequently used, by a figure of speech, for the heritage itself. (See instances in Psal. xvi. 6. and Josh. xix. 9. Heb.)5 The fixing of every one's inheritance in the family to which it had been appropriated in the first division of Canaan was doubtless one great reason, which made the Jews chiefly follow husbandry and improve their estates; for though (as we have seen) an inheritance might have been alienated for a time, yet it always returned in the year of jubilee. being prohibited, also, to take any interest from their brethren for the use of money, and the strict injunctions laid upon them by Jehovah, with respect to their dealings and commerce with foreigners, deprived them so much of the ordinary advantages thence arising, that they were in a manner obliged to procure their living from the fruits and produce of the earth, the improvement of which constituted their chief care.
III. Although the Scriptures do not furnish us with any details respecting the state of agriculture in Judea, yet we may collect from various passages many interesting hints that will enable us to form a tolerably correct idea of the high state of its cultivation. From the parable of the vineyard let forth to husbandmen (Matt. xxi. 33, 34.) we learn that rents of land were paid by a part of the produce; a mode of payment formerly practised by the Romans, which anciently obtained in this country, and which is still practised by the Italians.8
When the sheep were pastured in the open country, the shepherds were accustomed to keep watch in turns by night. The shepherds to whom the glad tidings of the Messiah's advent were announced were thus employed. (Luke ii. 8.) The Jews, however, had sheepfolds, which were enclosures without roofs, surrounded by walls, with doors at which the animals entered: here they were confined both at the season of sheepshearing, as well as during the night. (John x. 1. The soil of Palestine is very fruitful, if the dews and vernal Num. xxxii. 16. 2 Sam. vii. 8. Zeph. ii. 6.) In Palestine and autumnal rains are not withheld: but the Hebrews, notflocks anciently were, as they still are, tended, not only by withstanding the richness of the soil, endeavoured to increase the owner, but also by his sons and daughters, as well as its fertility in various ways. With the use of MANURES, the servants. Consequently they were exposed to all the vicis-Jews were unquestionably acquainted. Doves' dung (2 Kings situdes of the seasons, which circumstance explains the vi. 25.) appears to have been very highly valued by the Jews, observation of Jacob, who, in remonstrating with the merce- as to this day it is by the Persians.9 Salt, either by itself nary Laban, says that in the day the drought consumed him, or mixed in the dunghill in order to promote putrefaction, is and the frost by night, and his sleep departed from his eyes. specially mentioned as one article of manure (Matt. v. 13. (Gen. xxxi. 40.)4 Luke xiv. 34, 35.); and as the river Jordan annually overflowed its banks, the mud deposited when its waters subsided must have served as a valuable irrigation and top-dressing, particularly to the pasture lands. It is probable that, after the waters had thus subsided, seed was sown on the wet soft ground; in allusion to which Solomon says, Cast thy bread corn or seed) upon the waters: for thou shalt find it again, with increase, after many days. (Eccles. xi. 1.) And Isaiah, promising a time of peace and plenty, says, Blessed are ye that sow besiae all waters, and send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass. (Isa. xxxii. 30.)
II. Moses, following the example of the Egyptians, made AGRICULTURE the basis of the state. He accordingly appointed to every citizen a certain quantity of land, and gave him the right of cultivating it himself, and of transmitting it to his heirs. The person who had thus come into possession could not alienate the property for any longer period than until the next jubilee: a regulation which prevented the rich from coming into the possession of large tracts of land, and then leasing them out to the poor, in small parcels;-a practice which anciently prevailed, and exists to this day in the East. The law of Moses further enacted, that the vendor of a piece of land, or his nearest relative, had a right to redeem the land sold, whenever they chose, by paying the amount of profits up to the year of jubilee (Ruth iv. 4. Jer. xxxii. 7 8.); and by a third law the Israelites were required (as was the case among the Egyptians after the time of Joseph, Gen. xlvii. 18-26.) to pay a tax of two-tenths of their income unto God; whose servants they were to consider themselves, and whom they were to obey as their king. (Lev. xxvii. 30, 31. Deut. xii. 17-19. xiv. 22-29.) The custom of marking the boundaries of lands by stones (though it prevailed a long time before Moses, Job xxiv. 2.) was confirmed and perpetuated by an express law, which prohibited the removal
1 The Icelanders to this day call their sheep by name (Dr. Henderson's Travels in Iceland, vol. i. pp. 189, 190.); so also do the modern Greeks. (Hartley's Journal of a Tour in 1828. Missionary Register, May, 1830, p. 223.)
2 Hartley's Researches in Greece, p. 238.
3 Pareau, Antiq. Hebr. pp. 412-416. Jahn et Ackermann, Archæol. Bibl. $$ 46-51. Harris's Nat. Hist. of the Bible, at the articles, Asses, Mules, Horses, Camels, Sheep, and Dogs.
Rae Wilson's Travels in the Holy Land, vol. i. p. 400. 3d edition.
In Egypt, such vegetable productions as require more moisture than that which is produced by the inundation of the Nile are refreshed by water drawn out of the river, and afterwards deposited in capacious cisterns. When, therefore, their various sorts of pulse, melons, sugar-canes, &c. all of
Jahn et Ackermann, Archæol. Bibl. § 55. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 373, 374.
6 See Plin. Epist. lib. ix. Ep. 37. Horat. Epist. lib. i. Ep. 14. 42. made in 1183, shows what proportion of the rent was paid in cows, sheep, The Boldon Book, a survey of the state of the bishopric of Durham, pigs, fowls, eggs, &c., the remainder being made up chiefly by manual
See Blunt's Vestiges of Ancient Manners and Customs in Modern
Italy, p. 220. London, 1823, 8vo.
The dung of pigeons is the dearest manure that the Persians use; and as they apply it almost entirely for the rearing of melons, it is probable, on that account, that the melons of Ispahan are so much finer than those of other cities. The revenue of a pigeon-house is about a hundred tomauns per annum; and the great value of this dung, which rears a fruit that is indispensable to the existence of the natives during the great heats of summer, will probably throw some light upon that passage in Scripture, where, in the famine of Samaria, the fourth part of a cab of doves' dung was sold for five pieces of silver. 2 Kings vi. 25." Morier's Second Journey through Persia, p. 141. See also Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Persia, vol. i. p. 451.
which are commonly ploughed in rills, require to be re- | drawn, frequently by one small cow, at most with two, and freshed, they strike out the plugs which are fixed in the bot- sometimes only by an ass. In Persia, Mr. Morier states tom of the cisterns: whence the water, gushing out, is con- that it is for the most part drawn by one ox only, and not unducted from one rill to another by the gardener, who is always frequently by an ass. In Egypt they plough with two ready, as occasion requires, to stop and divert the torrent, by oxen. The plough appears to have been furnished with a turning the earth against it by his foot, and at the same time share and coulter, probably not very unlike those which are opening, with his mattock, a new trench to receive it. A now in use. (1 Sam. xiii. 20, 21. Isa. ii. 4. Joel iii. 10. similar mode of irrigating lands obtains in the island of Cy- Mic. iv. 3.) "The plough in use at Nazareth is not moved prus1 and also in India. This method of imparting moisture upon wheels. The share, which is small, scarcely grazes and nourishment to a land, rarely, if ever, refreshed with rain, the earth; and it has only one handle or shaft, with a small is often alluded to in the Scriptures, where it is made the dis- piece of wood across the top, for the husbandman to guide it, tinguishing quality between Egypt and the land of Canaan. resembling the head of a staff or the handle of a spade. The For the land, says Moses, whither thou goest in to possess it, is man holds this in his right hand, with which he goads the not as the land of Egypt from whence ye came out, where thou the oxen. The whole machine is made so extremely light, sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot as a garden of that a person might with facility carry it in his arms. The herbs: but the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of share is covered with a piece of broad iron pointed at the hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven. end, so that it might be converted into a weapon of warfare. (Deut. xi. 10, 11.) This mode of irrigation is alluded to in In all probability, it is to this peculiarity that one of the proPsal. i. 3., where the good man is compared to a fruitful phets refers, when he calls on the nations to relinquish rural tree, planted by the rivers of water (PALGEY-MAYIM), Occupations, and converts their ploughs into instruments of that is, the streams or divisions of the waters, meaning those battle. (Joel iii. 10.) Another of the sacred writers has rewhich are turned on and off as above-mentioned by the culti-versed this recommendation, and applied it to the tranquillity vator. The prophet Jeremiah has imitated, and elegantly with which it is prophesied [that] the church shall be amplified, the passage of the Psalmist above referred to. ultimately blessed in the latter days. (Isa. ii. 4.)"9
From this image the son of Sirach has most beautifully illustrated the influence and the increase of religious wisdom in a well-prepared heart :
"I also came forth as a canal from a river,
And as a conduit flowing into a paradise.
I said, I will water my garden,
And I will abundantly moisten my border;
Ecclus. xxiv. 30, 31.
The method of managing the ground, and preparing it for the seed, was much the saine with the practice of the present times; for Jeremiah speaks of ploughing up the fallow ground (Jer. iv. 3.), and Isaiah of harrowing or breaking up the clods (Isa. xxviii. 24.); but Moses, for wise reasons, doubtless, gave a positive injunction, that they should not sow their fields with mingled seed.
The kind of grain sown by the Jews were fitches, cummin, wheat, barley, and rye. (Isa. xxviii. 25.) The cultivated fields were guarded by watchmen (as they still are in the East,) who sit upon a seat hung in a tree, or in a lodge or watch-tower made of planks, and keep off birds, beasts, and thieves. (Jer. iv. 16, 17. Isa. xxiv. 20.) It was lawful for travellers to pluck ears from the standing corn in another's field, and to eat them; but they were on no account to use a sickle. (Deut. xxii. 25. compared with Matt. xii. 1. Mark ii. 23. and Luke vi. 1.) Their corn fields were infested with a worthless kind of weed resembling corn (vv), in our version rendered tares; but it is evident that this is a differThe direction of it is in the hand of Jehovah, as the distri-ent production from our tare or vetch, which is a very useful bution of the water of the reservoir, through the garden by plant. It is supposed to have been the lolium temulentum, a
This gives us the true meaning of the following elegant proverb :
"The heart of the king is like the canals of waters in the hand of Jehovah; Whithersoever it pleaseth him, he inclineth it."
different canals, is at the will of the gardener.
Prov. xxi. 1.
Solomon mentions his own works of this kind :—
"I made me gardens and paradises;
And I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees,
I made me pools of water,
To water with them the grove flourishing with trees."
IV. In the first ages of the world, men were chiefly employed in digging and throwing up the earth with their own hands; but Noah advanced the art of husbandry (Gen. ix. 20.), and contrived fitter instruments for ploughing than were known before. This patriarch is called a man of the ground, but in our translation, a husbandman, on account of his improvements in agriculture, and his inventions for making the earth more tractable and fruitful. It was a curse upon the earth after the fall, that it should bring forth thorns and thistles: these obstructions were to be removed, which required much labour, and the ground was to be corrected by ploughing.
The earliest mention made in the Old Testament of a PLOUGH is in Deut. xxii. 10. where the Israelites are prohibited from ploughing with an ox and an ass together; a plain intimation that it had been customary with the idolatrous nations of the East to do so. In Syria, the plough is still
1 Rae Wilson's Travels, vol. i. p. 185. 3d edition.
2 Statham's Indian Recollections, p. 429.
3 Dr. Shaw's Travels in Barbary, &c. vol. ii. pp. 266, 267.
Dr. A. Clarke on Psal. i. 3. See also Burder's Oriental Literature,
vol. ii. p. 1.
and preservation of the waters of a
Bp. Lowth's Isaiah, vol. ii. pp. 24, 25. Maundrell (p. 88.) has given a description of the remains, as they are said to be, of these very pools spring, rising at a little distance from them; which will give us a perfect pools, they are three in number, lying in a row above each other; being
notion of the contrivance and of such
so disposed, that the waters of the uppermost may descend into the second, and those of the second into the third. Their figure is quadrangular; the breadth is the same in all, amounting to about ninety paces: in their length there is some difference between them; the first being one hundred and sixty paces long; the second, two hundred; the third, two hundred and twenty. They are all lined with wall, and plastered, and contain a great depth of water."
species of darnel growing among corn, to which it bears some resemblance. Bread, which may be made from a mixture of darnel ground with corn, will produce giddiness and sickness; an effect which the straw is known to have upon cattle.
There were three months between their sowing and their first reaping, and four months to their full harvest: their barley harvest was at the Passover, and their wheat harvest at the Pentecost. The reapers made use of sickles, and according to the present custom they filled their hands with the corn, and those who bound up the sheaves their bosom: there was a person set over the reapers (Ruth ii. 5.) to see that they did their work, that they had provision proper for them, and to pay them their wages; the Chaldees call him Rab, the master, the ruler, or governor of the reapers. Women were employed in reaping as well as the men; and the reapers were usually entertained above the rank of common servants, though in the time of Boaz we find nothing provided for them but bread and parched corn; and their sauce was vinegar (a kind of weak wine), which, doubtless, was very cooling in those hot countries. (Ruth ii. 14.) The poor were allowed the liberty of gleaning, though the landowners were not bound to admit them immediately into the field as soon as the reapers had cut down the corn and bound it up in sheaves, but after it was carried off: they might choose also among the poor, whom they thought most worthy or most necessitous. A sheaf left in the field, even though discovered, was not to be taken up, but to be left for the poor. (Deut. xxiv. 19.) The conclusion of the harvest, or carrying home the last load, was with the Jews a season of joyous festivity, and was celebrated with a harvest feast. (Psal. cxxvi. 6. Isa. ix. 3. xvi. 9, 10.) The corn being pulled, or cut, and carried in wagons or carts (Num. vii.
• Dr. Russel's History of Aleppo, vol. i. p. 73.
8 Dr. Richardson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 167.
9 Rae Wilson's Travels, vol. i. p. 401. 3d edition.
10 In crossing one of the plains of the Turcomans, "we passed," says Mr. Buckingham, a party of husbandmen gathering in the harvest, the greater portion of the grain being now fully ripe. They plucked up the
3-8. Isa. xxviii. 27, 28. Amos ii. 13.), was either laid up in stacks (Exod. xxii. 6.) or barns (Matt. vi. 26. xiii. 30. Luke xii. 18. 24.); and when threshed out, was stored in granaries or garners. (Matt. iii. 12.), David had storehouses in the fields, in the cities, and in the villages, and in the castles. (1 Chron. xxvii. 25.) V. After the grain was carried into the barn, the next concern was to thresh or beat the corn out of the ear, which process was performed in various ways. Sometimes it was done by horses (Isa. xxviii. 28.), as is the practice to this day among the Koords, and by oxen, that trod out the corn with their hoofs shod with brass. (Mic. iv. 12, 13.) This mode of threshing is expressly referred to by Hosea (x. 11.), and in the prohibition of Moses against muzzling the ox that treadeth out the corn (Deut. xxv. 4.), and it obtains in Persia2 and India to this day, where oxen are employed; as buffaloes are in Ceylon, asses in North Africa, and horses in Crim Tatary.4 Another mode of threshing was, by drawing a loaded cart with wheels over the corn, backwards and forwards; so that the wheels running over it, forcibly shook out the grain (Isa. xxviii. 28.); but the most common mode appears to have been that which is in use in this country, viz. by flails. Thus the fitches are said to be beaten out with a staff, and the cummin with a rod. In this manner Gideon and Araunah or Ornan threshed out their wheat (Judg. vi. 11. 1 Chron. xxi. 20.); for it is represented as their own personal action.
The threshing floors were places of great note among the ancient Hebrews, particularly that of Araunah the Jebusite, which was the spot of ground chosen by king David on which to build the altar of God (2 Sam. xxiv. 25.), and this was the very place where the temple of Solomon was afterwards erected. (2 Chron. iii. 1.) These floors were covered at the top to keep off the rain, but lay open on all sides, that the wind might come in freely for the winnowing of the corn; which being done, they were shut up at night, with doors fitted to them, that if any body lay there, he might be kept warm, and the corn be secured from the danger of robbers (Ruth iii. 6.): the time of winnowing, or separating the corn from the chaff, was in the evening, when the heat of the day was over, and cool breezes began to rise; for this purpose, they had the same implements which are in common use; for Isaiah speaks of winnowing with the shovel, and with the fun. (Isa. xxx. 24.) The grain, being threshed, was thrown into the middle of the threshing floor; it was then exposed with a fork to a gentle wind (Jer. iv. 11, 12.), which separated the broken straw and the chaff: so that the kernels, and clods of earth with grain cleaving to them, and the ears not yet thoroughly threshed, fell upon the ground. The clods of earth, as is customary in the East at the present day, were collected, broken in pieces, and separated from the grain by a sieve; whence the operation of sifting is, in prophetic language, a symbol of misfortune and overthrows. (Amos ix. 9. Luke xxii. 31.) The heap thus winnowed, which still contained many ears that were broken but not fully threshed out, was again exposed in the threshing-floor, and several yoke of oxen were driven over it, for the purpose of treading out the remainder of the grain. At length the grain, mingled with the chaff, was again exposed to the wind by a fan, which bore off the chaff, so that the pure wheat fell upon the floor. (Ruth iii. 2. Isa. xxx. 24.) In the figurative language of prophecy, this process is symbolical of the dispersion of a vanquished people (Isa. xli. 15, 16. Jer. xv. 7. li. 2.), and also of the final separation between the righteous and the wicked. (Job xxi. 18. Psal. i. 4. xxxv. 5. Matt. iii. 12. Luke iii. 17.) The scattered straw, as much at least as was required for the manufacturing of bricks and for the fodder of cattle, was collected; but the residue was reduced to ashes by fire: from this custom the sacred writers have derived a figurative illustration to denote the destruction of wicked men. (Isa. v. 24. xlvii. 14. Nah. i. 10. Mal. iv. 1. Matt. iii. 12.)
After the corn was threshed, it was dried either in the sun, or by a fire, or in a furnace. This is called parched corn (Lev. xxiii. 14. 1 Sam. xvii. 17. and xxv. 18.), and was corn by the roots, a practice often spoken of in the Scriptures, though reaping seems to be made the earliest and most frequent mention of." Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. i. p. 42.
1 Buckingham's Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. i. p. 418.
2 Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c. vol. ii. p. 90. See Turner's Embassy to Thibet, p. 184.
4 Ward's History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 320. Dr. Davy's Travels in the Interior of Ceylon, p. 275. (London, 1821), where a threshing-floor is delineated. Capt. Lyon's Tour in Mourzouk and Fezzan, p. 169. Mrs. Hollerness's Notes on the Crim Tatars, p. 97. (London, 1821.) See also Mr. Dodwell's Classical Tour in Greece, vol. ii. p. 10.
sometimes used in this manner for food without any farther preparation, but generally the parching or drying of it was in order to make it more fit for grinding. This process was performed either in mortars or mills, both of which are mentioned in Num. xi. 8. And Solomon speaks of the former, when he compares the braying of a fool in a mortar to the like practice used with wheat. (Prov. xxvii. 22.) But mills were chiefly employed for this purpose; and they were deemed of such use and necessity, that the Israelites were strictly forbidden to take the nether or upper mill-stone in pledge; the reason of which is added, because this was taking a man's life in pledge (Deut. xxiv. 6.), intimating that while the mill ceases to grind, people are in danger of being starved. The grinding at mills was accounted an inferior sort of work, and, therefore, prisoners and captives were generally put to it. To this work Samson was set, while he was in the prison-house. (Judg. xvi. 21.) There hand-mills were usually kept, by which prisoners earned their living. (Lam. v. 13.) The expression in Isa. xlvii. 2.-Take the mill-stones and grind meal,-is part of the description of a slave. In Barbary, most families grind their wheat and barley at home, having two portable mill-stones for that purpose: the uppermost of which is turned round by a small handle of wood or iron, that is placed in the rim. When this stone is large, or expedition is required, a second person is called in to assist; and it is in that country usual for the women alone to be thus employed, who seat themselves over-against each other with the mill-stones between them. This practice illustrates the propriety of the expression of sitting behind the mill (Exod. xi. 5.), and also the declaration of our Lord, that two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken and the other left. (Matt. xxiv. 41.) From Jer. xxv. 10. and Rev. xviii. 22., it appears that those who were occupied in grinding beguiled their laborious task by singing, as the Barbary women continue to do to this day.
VI. Palestine abounded with generous wine; and in some districts the grapes were of superior quality. The canton allotted to Judah was celebrated on this account; and it is, perhaps, with reference to this circumstance, that the venerable patriarch said of his son Judah,-He washed his garments IN WINE, and his clothes in the BLOOD OF GRAPES. (Gen. xlix. 11.) In this district were the vales of Sorek and of Eshcol; and the cluster which the Hebrew spies carried from this last place was so large as to be carried on a staff between two of them. (Num. xiii. 23.)
The Jews planted their vineyards most commonly on the south side of a hill or mountain, the stones being gathered out and the space hedged round with thorns or walled. (Isa. v. 1-6. compared with Psal. lxxx. 8-16. and Matt. xxi. 33.) A good vineyard consisted of a thousand vines, and produced a rent of a thousand silverlings, or shekels of silver. (Isa. vii. 23.) It required two hundred more to pay the dressers. (Song of Solomon viii. 11, 12.) In these the keepers and vine-dressers laboured, digging, planting, pruning, and propping the vines, gathering the grapes, and making wine. This was at once a laborious task, and often reckoned a base one. (2 Kings xxv. 12. Song of Solomon i. 6. Isa. lxi. 5.) Some of the best vineyards were at Engedi, or perhaps at Baal-hamon, which might not be far distant, and at Sibmah. (Song of Solomon i. 14. viii. 11. Isa. xvi. 9.) Vines also were trained upon the walls of the houses? (Psal. cxxviii. 3.), and purged or cleaned by lopping off every useless and unfruitful branch, and superfluous excrescence, in order that the fruitful branches might be rendered more productive. (John xv. 2.)8 The vines with the tender grapes gave Dr. Shaw's Travels in Barbary, vol. i. p. 416.
The sides of the sun-burnt hills near Nablous (the ancient Shechem)the mountains of the height of Israel-" seem peculiarly adapted for the training of vines. They are, however, almost totally neglected; forming, doubtless, a remarkable contrast to their state in the days of Israel's prosperity, when the drunkards of Ephraim (Isa. xxviii. 1. 3. 7.) prided themselves in the abundance and strength of their wines. How celebrated these parts once were for this article of produce we learn from several notices in the Old Testament: Gideon, by a happy comparison, thus dis parages his own services, in the presence of the Ephraimites-Is not the (Judg. viii. 2.) And the restoration of Israel is described, partly by their GLEANING of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? return to the rearing of vineyards, which should yield, as formerly they had done, an abundant vintage." (Jer. xxxi. 5.) Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, &c. p. 304.
The same mode of culture is practised in Persia to this day. Mr. Morier has given an engraving on wood illustrative of this custom, which beautifully elucidates the patriarch Jacob's comparison of Joseph to a fruitful bough, whose branches run over the wall. (Gen. xlix. 22.) Second Journey, p. 232.
In modern Greece the vine is cut or purged in the following manner : "Only two or three of the principal sprouts are perinitted to grow up from the root: the rest are cut off, and this practice is often called by the Greeks CLEANING." Rev. John Hartley's Journal of a Tour in Greece, in 1828. (Missionary Register, May, 1830. p. 225.)
a good smell early in the spring (Song of Solomon ii. 13.), | only their liquors, but dry things which are not apt to be as we learn, also, from Isa. xviii. 5. afore the harvest, that is, broken; by which means they are well preserved from wet, the barley harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape dust, or insects. These would in time crack and wear out. is ripening in the flower. It was also usual to erect tempo- Hence, when the Gibeonites came to Joshua, pretending that rary huts or sheds, made of boughs and reeds, to shelter the they came from a far country, amongst other things they servant who was employed to guard the fruit when nearly brought wine bottles old and rent, and bound up where they ripe from birds and other creatures of prey (Isa. i. 11.),' and had leaked. (Josh. ix. 4. 13.) Thus, too, it was not expeparticularly from the ravages of wild boars (Psal. Ixxx. 13.), dient to put new wine into old bottles, because the fermentawhich to this day are as destructive in Greece, as they tion of it would break or crack the bottles. (Matt. ix. 17.) anciently were in Palestine. As soon as the vintage was And thus David complains, that he is become like a bottle completed, these sheds were either taken down or suffered to in the smoke; that is, a bottle dried, and cracked, and worn perish. From this circumstance Job derives a beautiful out, and unfit for service. (Psal. cxix. 83.) These bottles simile, to illustrate the short duration of the prosperity of the were probably of various sizes, and sometimes very large; wicked. (xxvii. 18.) But it appears from Isa. v. 1, 2. Matt. for when Abigail went to meet David and his four hundred xxi. 33. and Mark xii. 1., that towers were erected for this men, and took a present to pacify and supply him, two hunpurpose, as they still are in some parts of Palestine.4 dred loaves, and five sheep ready dressed, &c. she took only Two bottles of wine (1 Sam. xxv. 18.); a very disproportionate quantity, unless the bottles were large. But the Israelites had bottles likewise made by the potters. (See Isa. xxx. 14. margin, and Jer. xix. 1. 10. xlviii. 12.) We hear also of vessels called barrels. That of the widow, in which her meal was held (1 Kings xvii. 12. 14.) was not, probably, very large; but those four in which the water was brought up from the sea, at the bottom of Mount Carmel, to pour upon Elijah's sacrifice and altar, must have been large. (1 Kings xviii. 33.) We read likewise of other vessels, which the widow of Shunem borrowed of her neighbours, to hold the miraculous supply of oil (2 Kings iv. 2-6.); and of the water-pots, or jars, or jugs, of stone, of considerable size, in which our Lord caused the water to be converted into wine. (John ii. 6.) Grapes, among the Israelites, were likewise dried into raisins. A part of Abigail's present to David was an hundred clusters of raisins (1 Sam. xxv. 18.); and when Ziba met David, his present contained the same quantity. (2 Sam. xvi. 1.; see also 1 Sam. xxx. 12. and i Chron. xii. 40.)" 7
"The vintage followed the wheat harvest and the threshing (Lev. xxvi. 5. Amos ix. 13.), about June or July, when the clusters of the grapes were gathered with a sickle, and put into baskets (Jer. vi. 9.), carried and thrown into the wine-vat, or wine-press, where they were probably first trodden by men and then pressed. (Rev. xiv. 18-20.) It is mentioned, as a mark of the great work and power of the Messiah, I have trodden the figurative wine-press alone; and of the people there was none with me. (Isa. lxiii. 3.; see also Rev. xix. 15.) The vintage was a season of great mirth. Of the juice of the squeezed grapes were formed wine and vinegar. The wines of Helbon, near Damascus, and of Lebanon, where the vines had a fine sun, were reckoned most excellent. (Ezek. xxvii. 18. Hos. xiv. 7.) The wines of Canaan, being very heady, were commonly mixed with water for common use, as the Italians do theirs; and sometimes they scented them with frankincense, myrrh, calamus, and other spices (Prov. ix. 2. 5. Song of Solomon viii. 2.): they also scented their wine with pomegranates, or made wine of their juice, as we do of the juice of currants, gooseberries, &c. fermented with sugar. Wine is best when old and on the lees, the dregs having sunk to the bottom, (Isa. xxv. 6.) Sweet wine is that which is made from grapes fully ripe. (Isa. xlix. 26.) The Israelites had two kinds of vinegar, the one was a weak wine, which was used for their common drink in the harvest field, &c. (Ruth ii. 14.), as the Spaniards and Italians still do; and it was probably of this that Solomon was to furnish twenty thousand baths to Hiram, for his servants, the hewers that cut timber in Lebanon. (2 Chron. ii. 10.) The other had a sharp acid taste, like ours; and hence Solomon hints, that a sluggard vexes and hurts such as employ him in business; as vinegar is disagreeable to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes (Prov. x. 26.); and as vinegar poured upon nitre spoils its virtue: so he that singeth songs to a heavy heart does but add to its grief. (Prov. xxv. 20.) The poor were allowed to glean grapes, as well as corn and other articles (Lev. xix. 10. Deut. xxiv. 21. Isa. iii. 14. xvii. 6. xxiv. 13. Mic. vii. 1.); and the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim was better than the vintage of Abiezer. (Judg. viii. 2.) The vineyard was not to be pruned and dressed in the Sabbatical year. (Lev. xxv. 3, 4.) The vessels in which the wine was kept were, probably, for the most part, bottles, which were usually made of leather, or goat-skins, firmly sewed and pitched together. The Arabs pull the skin off goats in the same manner that we do from rabbits, and sew up the places where the legs and tail were cut off, leaving one for the neck of the bottle, to pour from; and in such bags, they put up and carry, not
Isa. i. 8. And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers. "There is a small species of cucumber of which the natives of India are very fond..... Large fields of these are sometimes planted; which, when nearly arrived to maturity, require incessant watching to protect them from the attacks of inan and beast." Statham's Indian Recollections, p. 90.
2 Hartley's Researches in Greece, pp. 234, 235. 3 Dr. Boothroyd on Job xxvii. 18.
In the route between Jerusalem and the convent of Saint Elias (which is situated about an hour's distance from that city), Mr. Buckingham was particularly struck with the appearance of several small and detached square towers in the midst of the vine lands. These, his guide informed him, were used as watch-towers, whence watchmen to this day look out, in order to guard the produce of the lands from depredation. This fact will explain the use and intention of the tower mentioned in Matt. xxi. 33. and Mark xii. 1. Similar towers were seen by Captains Irby and Mangles, as they passed between numerous vineyards, some of which appeared to be antique. Travels in Egypt, &c. p. 342.
At one time the wine of Helbon (which place Strabo terms Chaly bon) was held in such repute, that it was appropriated exclusively to the use of the kings of Persia. Strabon, Geographia, tom. ii. p. 1043. edit. Oxon. Lebanon and its vicinity still produce excellent wine; at least a dozen sorts, all of which are cheap. Carne's Letters from the East, p. 239.
It was a curse pronounced upon the Israelites, that, upon their disobedience, they should plant vineyards and dress them, but they should neither drink of the wine nor eat the grapes, for the worms should eat them. (Deut. xxviii. 39.) It seems that there is a peculiar sort of worms that infest the vines, called by the Latins Volvox and Convolvulus, because it wraps and rolls itself up in the buds, and eats the grapes up, when they advance towards ripeness, as the Roman authors explain it.8
Besides other fruits that were common in Judæa, as dates, figs, cucumbers, pomegranates, they had regular plantations of olives, which were a very ancient and profitable object of horticulture. So early as the time of Noah (Gen. viii. 11.) the branches of the olive tree were, and since that time have been among all nations, the symbol of peace and prosperity. Oil is first mentioned in Gen. xxviii. 18. and Job xxiv. 11.; which proves the great antiquity of the cultivation of this tree. Olives, in Palestine, are of the best growth, and afford the finest oil; whence that country is often extolled in the Scriptures on account of this tree, and especially in opposition to Egypt, which is destitute of good olives. (Num. xviii. 12. Deut. vii. 13. xi. 14. xii. 17. xviii. 4.) The olive delights in a barren, sandy, dry, and mountainous soil; and its multiplied branches (which are very agreeable to the eye as they remain green throughout the winter) have caused it to be represented as the symbol of a numerous progeny,-a
7 Investigator, No. iv. pp. 307-309.-The pleasing and instructive Essay on the Agriculture of the Israelites (by the Rev. James Plumptre), in the first, third, and fourth numbers of this journal, contains the fullest account of this interesting subject extant in the English language. 8 Bochart. Hieroz. p. 3. 1. iv. c. 27.
On the cultivation of this valuable article of food in the East, Mr. Jowett has communicated the following interesting particulars. During his voyage to Upper Egypt, in February, 1819, he says, "We observed the people making holes in the sandy soil on the side of the river. Into these holes they put a small quantity of pigeons' dung and feathers, with the seed of melons or cucumbers. The value of this manure is alluded to in 2 Kings vi. 25. The produce of this toil I had an opportunity of seeing, in due season; that is the following month of June. Extensive fields of ripe melons and cucumbers then adorned the sides of the river. They grew in such abundance, that the sailors freely helped themselves. Some guard, however, is placed upon them. Occasionally, but at long and desolate intervals, we may observe a little hut made of reeds, just capable of containing one man; being, in fact, little more than a fence against a north wind. In these I have observed, sometimes, a poor old man, perhaps lame, feebly protecting the property. It exactly illustrates Isaiah i. 8. And the daughter of Zion is left ..... as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers. The abundance of these most necessary vegetables brings to mind the mur. murs of the Israelites; Num. xi. 5, 6. We remember..... the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick; but now our soul is dried away." Jowett's Researches in the Mediterranean, &c. p. 127.