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The fruit makes its appearance before the leaves and flowers, carried to Jerusalem, and, according to Jerome, one of the and the foliage expands about the end of March. The fig gates of that city was from this circumstance denominated trees of Palestine are of three kinds :-1. The Untimely fig, the Fish-gate. The Dead Sea furnished abundance of salt for which puts forth at the vernal equinox, and before it is ripe curing their fish, for which purpose it was said to be superior is called the green fig, but when it is ripe the untimely fig. to every other kind of salt. (Sol. Song ii. 13. Jer, xxiv. 2. Hos. ix. 3.) It comes to ma- 3. Although we have no evidence that the Jews wrought turity towards the end of June (Matt. xxi. 19. Mark xi. 13.), any Mines of iron or copper; yet the researches of modern and in flavour surpasses the other kinds.--2. The Summer or travellers have ascertained that the mountains of Palestine dry fig: it appears about the middle of June, and is ripe in contain iron, particularly those whose summits and sides are August.–3." The Winter fig, which germinates in August, occupied by the industrious Druses. A vein of coal has also and does not ripen until about the end of November : it is been discovered : but there is no one to sink a mine. Report longer and of a browner colour than the others. All figs, says, that there was anciently a copper-mine at Aleppo, when ripe, but especially the untimely, fall spontaneously, which (M. Volney is of opinion) must have long since been (Nahum iii. 12.) The early figs are eaten, but some are dried abandoned. These facts, however, substantiate the accuracy in the sun, and preserved in masses, which are called cakes of of Moses in his description of the Promised Land,
,-as a figs in 1 Sam. xxv. 18. xxx. 12. 1 Chron. xii. 40. It is well land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains thou known that the fruit of these prolific trees always precedes mayest dig, copper (Deut. viii. 9.), as the Hebrew ought to be the leaves : consequently, when Jesus Christ saw one of them rendered, there being no such thing in nature as a brass mine. in full vigour having leaves (Mark xi. 13.), he might, accord- III. In perusing the Scripture accounts of this highlying to the common course of nature, very justly look for fruit, favoured country it ought to be considered that it was then and huply find some boccores or early figs, if not some winter inhabited by an industrious people, who knew how to improve figs likewise upon it. The parable in Luke xiii. 6–9. is every inch of their land, and by their good husbandry had founded on the oriental mode of gardening : and the method made even the most desert and barren places to yield some of improving the palm (whose bareness may be remedied in kind of production; so that the very rocks, which now appear the way there mentioned) is transferred to the fig tree. quite naked, then yielded either corn, pulse, or pasture.
The SYCAMORE TREE flourished in Palestine as well as in Every man had his own land to improve; and when, in adEgypt: its leaves are like those of the mulberry tree; and its dition to these facts, it is considered that a warm country will sweetish, watery, but somewhat aromatic and not disagree- support more people than a cold one, the people in southern able fruit, comes to maturity several times in the year, with- climates being satisfied with less food than in northern; and out observing any certain seasons. It resembles that of the that the dominions of David and Solomon comprised a greater fig tree in appearance, but differs from it in having no seeds extent of territory than many apprehend; we can be at no within. This tree does not grow from the seed, but is pro- loss to account for the vast multitude of inhabitants, which pagated by the branch : it produces abundance of fruit, which the Scriptures assert that Palestine anciently supported, espegrows in a peculiar manner,—not on the extremities of the cially when their statements of its fertility and population are houghs as in other trees, but near the trunk. It is a large confirmed by the testimonies of profane historians. tree, at:aining a considerable height, which circumstance will Thus, Tacitus describes the climate as dry and sultry; the account for Zacchæus's climbing up into a sycamore tree in natives as strong and patient of labour ; the soil as fruitful, order that he might see Jesus. Its timber appears to have exuberant in its produce, like that of Italy, and yielding the been anciently used in building: (Isa. ix. 10.) It affords a palm and balm tree. Libanus or Lebanon is stated to be the very grateful shade. From its fruit the Arabs extract an oil, loftiest mountain in the country, and to rise to a great height, which they sell to travellers, who keep it among their other affording a grateful shade under its verdant groves, and even holy things, and pretend that it possesses a singular virtue in in the ardent heat of that sultry region as being covered at curing wounds, for which reason they call it the oil of Zac- the top with perpetual snow. Justin confirms the account chæus, attributing its virtue to the stay which Zacchæus of Tacitus, respecting the exuberant produce of Palestine, its inade upon the tree! (Luke xix. 4.)
beautiful climate, its palm and fragrant balsam trees. The The PRICKLY PEAR, which most probably is the thorns palms of Judæa are celebrated by the elder Pliny; and Ammentioned in Hos. ii. 6., is a cumbrous shrub, which grows mianus Marcellinus commends the beauty of the country, and to a prodigious size, and affords one of the firmest and most its large and handsome cities.? But the most memorable secure fences imaginable.!
testimony is that of Josephus the Jewish historian, which 2. But the Holy Land was eminently distinguished for its appears in various parts of his writings. Not to multiply abundance of Cattle, to the management and rearing of unnecessary examples, we may state briefly, that after describwhich the inhabitants chiefly applied themselves. The hilly ing the boundaries of the regions of Upper and Lower Galicountry not only afforded them variety and plenty of pasture, lee, of Peræa and Samaria, he speaks of their fertility and but also of water, which, descending thence, carried fertility produce in the following terms :into the low lands and valleys. The most celebrated pasture The two Galilees have always been able to make a strong grounds were on each side of the river Jordan, besides those resistance on all occasions of war : for the Galileans are of Sharon, the plains of Lydda, Jamnia, and some others of inured to war from their infancy, and have always been very less note. The breed of cattle reared in Bashan, and on the numerous. Their soil is universally rich, and fruitful, and mountains of Gilead and Carmel, were remarkable for their full of plantations of all sorts of trees; so that its fertility insize, their strength, and fatness, to which there are frequent vites the most slothful to take pains in its cultivation. "Acallusions in the Scriptures. The cattle of the Israelites com- cordingly the whole of it is cultivated by its inhabitants, and prised every sort of animal that afforded either food or cloth- no part of it lies idle. Although the greater part of Peræa, ing, or was applicable to other useful purposes, as sheep, he continues, is desert and rough, and much less disposed for oxen, goats, camels, and asses. The last-mentioned animals the production of the milder sorts of fruits, yet in other parts were of a more handsome form than are seen in our colder it has a moist soil, and produces all kinds of fruits. Its plains climate ; hence they were chiefly used in travelling in this are planted with trees of all sorts; the olive tree, the vine, hilly country, even by persons of rank. Horses do not appear and the palm trees are principally cultivated there. It is also to have been in use, until after the establishment of the sufficiently watered with torrents, that issue from the mounmonarchy.. The various rivers, especially the Jordan, the tains, and with springs which never fail to run, even when Lake of Tiberias, and the Mediterranean Sea, afforded great the torrents fail them, as they do in the dog-days. Samaria variety and plenty of Fish, vast quantities of which were is entirely of the same nature with Judæa. Both countries
are composed of hills and valleys; they are moist enough for · Rae Wilson's Travels in the Holy Land, &c. vol. i. p. 177. 3d edition. For a particular account of the vegetable productions of the Holy Land, the agriculture, and are very fertile. They have abundance of reader is referred to the liero Botanicon of Celsius (Upsalæ, 1745–1747, in trees, and are full of autumnal fruit, both of that which grows two parts or vols. 8vo.); and for its zoology to the Ilierozoicon of Bochart wild, and also of that which is the effect of cultivation. (folio, Lug. Bat. 1714, or in three vols. ito. Lipsiz, 1793, and following They are not naturally watered by many rivers, but derive will find much useful inforination concerning the plants and animals of the their chief moisture from rain water, of which they have no Holy Land, in Professor Paxton's Illustrations of Scripture, part ii. vol. i, want. The waters of such rivers as they have, are exceedpp. 297—567. vol. ii. pp. 1–359.; and particularly in Dr. Harris's Natural History of the Bible, already referred to.
: "The whole of the scenery (says Dr. Richardson), since we entered : On the population of the Holy Land, see Michaelis's Commentaries on Palestine, amply confirms the language of Scripture, that this is a land flow the Laws of Moses, vol. i. pp. 98-110. ing with inilk and honey,-a land for flocks, and herds, and bees, and fitted • Taciti Historia, lib. v. c. 6. for the residence of men, whose trade, like the patriarchs of old, was in • Justin. Hist. Philipp. lib. xxxvi. c. 3. c Hist. Nat. lib. xiii. c. 6 caitle.” Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. p. 374.
Lib. xiv. c. 8. vol. I. p. 29. edit. Bipont.
ingly sweet; and in consequence of the excellence of their for the wickedness of them that dwe!l therein. (Psal. cvii. 34.) grass, the cattle reared in these countries yield more milkBut it has been through the instrumentality of this very than do those of other places.!
wickedness, the increasing wickedness of the inhabitants, On the division of the land of Canaan, we are informed that the awful change has been effected. Were good (Josh. xv. 20—62.) that not fewer than one hundred and twelve government,
and good manners to flourish in this walled cities fell to the lot of the tribe of Judah. Many cen- land for half a century, it would literally become again a turies afterwards, Josephus states that the regions of Samaria lund fwwing with milk and honey, the proper fruits of the and Judæa were very full of people, which he notices as the mountains, honey and wax, would be collected by the indusgreatest sign of their excellency; that in the two Galilees trious hee from myriads of fragrant plants: the plains, the the villages were extremely numerous and thickly inhabited; valleys, and the upland slopes, would yield corn for man, and that there also were great numbers of the larger cities, and pasturage for innumerable flocks and herds. Such a the smallest of which contained a population of fifteen thou- stupendous and delightful change might well gladden not sand souls. From the two small provinces of Upper and only every child of Israel, but the heart of every Christian."9 Lower Galilee alone, Josephus collected an army of more IV. Yet lovely as Palestine confessedly was, its beauty than one hundred thousand men. These statements abun- and the comforts it afforded were not unalloyed : among the dantly confirm the narratives of the sacred historian relative CALAMITIES of various kinds, which at different times visited to the fertility and vast population of the Holy Land. Com- the inhabitants, the pestilence, earthquakes, whirlwinds, the pare Num. xi. 21. Judg. xx. 17. 1 Sam. xv. 4. 1 Chron. devastations of locusts, famines, and the pestilential Simoom, xxvii. 4—15. 2 Sam. xxiv. 9. and 2 Chron. xvii. 14–19. demand to be distinctly noticed. Nor are the testimonies less satisfactory, which have been 1. Palestine is now, as it anciently was, often afflicted given by Maundrell, Shaw, Hasselquist, and other modern with the Plague; which makes its entrance from Egypt travellers, who have visited this country, and especially by and the neighbouring countries. This tremendous scourge Dr. Clarke, who thus describes its appearance between Na- is frequently mentioned in the Sacred Writings. From the polose or Sichem and Jerusalem :-"The road,” says he, insidious manner in which it is first introduced into a coun"was mountainous, rocky, and full of loose stones; yet the try, it is, perhaps, termed the pestilence that walketh in darkcultivation was every where marvellous: it afforded one of ness. (Psal. xci. 6.) the most striking pictures of human industry which it is pos- 2. This region, being mountainous and near the sea, is sible to behold. The limestone rocks and 'valleys of Judæa often shaken by EARTHQUAKES,10 from which, however, Jeruwere entirely covered with plantations of figs, vines,
and olive salem seems to have suffered little if at all. (Psal. xlvi. 2trees; not a single spot seemed to be neglected. The hills, 5.) Sometimes these earthquakes were accompanied by from their bases to their upmost summits, were entirely land-slips, in which pieces of ground, lying on a declivity, covered with gardens : all of these were free from weeds, and are removed from their place. To these (which occasionally in the highest state of agricultural perfection. Even the sides happen in the present day, Ir and which are not uncommon in of the most barren mountains had been rendered fertile by Barbary)12 the Psalmist alludes when he speaks of the mounbeing divided into terraces, like steps rising one above an- tains being carried into the midst of the sea (Psal. xlvi. 2.), other, whereon soil had been accumulated with astonishing of their skipping like rams, and the little hills like young sheep labour. Under a wise and beneficial government, the produce (Ps. cxiv. 4. 6.); and also the prophet Isaiah (xxiv. 20.) of the Holy Land would exceed all calculation. Its perennial when he says that the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkharvest; the salubrity of its air ; its limpid springs; its rivers, ard, and shall be removed like a cottage. These terrible conlakes, and matchless plains ; its hills and vales: all these, cussions have supplied the sacred prophets and poets with added to the serenity of its climate, prove this land to be in numerous figures, by which they have represented the condeed a field which the Lord hath blessed (Gen. xxvii. 27.): cussions and subversions of states and empires. See parGod hath given it of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the ticularly Isa. xxix, 6. liv, 10. Jer. iv. 24. Hag. ii. 6, 7.-22. earth, and plenty of corn and wine.";
Matt. xxiv. 7. Such being the state of the Holy Land, at least of that 3. TORNADOES or WHIRLWINDS, followed by thunder, lightpart of it which is properly cultivated, we can readily account ning, and rains, were also very frequent during the winfor the vast population it anciently supported : and although ter and cold seasons. Whirlwinds often preceded rain. In this country, generally speaking, by no means corresponds the figurative language of the Scriptures, these are termed with the statements we have of its former exuberant fertility the commandment and the word of God (Psal. cxlvii. 15, and population, yet this is no contradiction to the narrative 18.);13 and, as they are sometimes fatal to travellers who are of the sacred writers. The devastations of the Holy Land overwhelmed in the deserts, the rapidity of their advance is by the Assyrians, Chaldees, Syrians, Romans, Saracens, the elegantly employed by Solomon to show the certainty as well European crusaders, and Turks,-together with the oppres- as the suddenness of that destruction which will befall the sions of the inhabitants by the Turks in our own time (who impenitently wicked. (Prov. i. 27.). They are alluded to by not only do not encourage agricultural industry, but also ex- Isaiah, as occurring in the deserts which border on the south tort to the uttermost from the husbandmen), 8-to which are of Judæa (Isa. xxi. 1.); and they appear to blow from varito be added the depredations of robbers, and the predatory in- ous points of the compass. The prophet Ezekiel speaks of cursions of the Arabs,-all concur satisfactorily to account one that came from the north (Ezek. i. 4.); but more frefor the present state of this country; and, so far is it from quently, it blows from the south (Job xxxvii. 9.), in which contradicting the assertions of the Sacred Writings, that it case it is generally attended with the most fatal consequences confirms their authority; for, in the event of the Israelites to the hapless traveller. Mr. Morier, describing the whirlproving unfaithful to their covenant engagements with Jeho- winds of Persia, says, that they swept along the country, in vah, all these judgments were predicted and denounced different directions, in a manner truly terrific. “They carried against them (Lev. xxvi. 32. Deut. xxix. 22. et seq.); and away in their vortex sand, branches, and the stubble of the the exact accomplishment of these prophecies affords a per- fields, and really appeared to make a communication between manent comment on the declaration of the royal Psalmist, the earth and the clouds. The correctness of the imagery that a righteous God 'turneth a fruitful land into barrenness, used by the prophet Isaiah, when he alludes to this pheno
menon, is very striking: The whirlwind shall take them away Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. iii. c. 3, &$2, 3, 4,
as stubble. (Isa. xl. 24.) Chased as the choff of the mountains Ibid. lib. iii. c. 3. $4.
3 Ibid. lib. iii. c. 3. $2
before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. • The most important facts relative to the fertility of Palestine, recorded (Isa. xvii. 13.). In the Psalms (lxxxiii. 13.) we read, Make ví
. and vii. prefixed to the first voluine of his Harmony, and the testimonies pily illustrated by the rotatory action of the whirlwind, which by Manndrell and Dr. Shaw, are collected by Dr. Macknight in discourses them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. This is hap:: pp. 243-250.) Their accounts are corroborated by Mr. Buckingham, in his Travels among the Arab Tribes, p. 14).
Ibid. lib. ii. c. 20. $6.
Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, p. 309. 6 Travels, vol. iv. pp. 283–285.
10 The coast in general, and indeed the whole of Asia Minor, is still sub" In the north of Palestine," says a recent traveller," there are many ject to earthquakes. In 1759 there happened one, which caused the greatest beautiful and fertile spots, but not so in Judæa. The breath of Jehovah's ravages, destroying upwards of 20,000 persons in the valley of Balbec. For wrath seems in a peculiar inanner to have blasted and withered the terri- three months the shocks of it terrified the inhabitants of Lebanon so much, tory of the dangliter of Zion. What a change has been wrought in the land, that they abandoned their houses and dwelt under tents. (Volney's Tra. once flowing with
milk and honey!"-See the Journal of the Rev. J. Con- vels, vol. i. p. 283.) In the autumn of 1822 another tremendous earthquake, nor (who was in Palestine in the spring of the year 1820), in the Appendix or rather a succession of earthquakes, desolated this region. to the Rev.
Mr. Jowett's Christian Researches in the Mediterranean, p. 441. 11 See a description of one in the same work, vol. i. p. 278. (London, 1922. 8vo.)
19 Shaw's Travels in Barbary, &c. vol. i. pp. 277, 278. : Volney has given some painfully interesting details on the oppression 13 The Arabs, to this day, call them good news or messengers : and in the of the agricultural inhabitants of Palestine, by their barbarous masters, the Koran they are termed the sent of God, c. 77. p. 477. of Sale's translation, Turks. Travels in Egypt, &c. vol. ii. pp. 341-347
frequently impels a bit of stubble over a waste, just like a dreary plain on the coast of the East (or Dead) Sea, and wheel set in a rapid motion.”': From these phenomena, the others into the utmost (of Mediterranean) Sea. (Joel ii. 20.) sacred writers have borrowed many very expressive figures These predatory locusts are larger than those which someand allusions. Compare Psal. xviii. 8–15. xxix. 1–10. times visit the southern parts of Europe, being five or six lv. 8. Ixxxiii. 15. Isa. v.30. viii. 7, 8. xi. 15. xxviii. 2. xxix. inches long, and as thick as a man's finger. From their 6. Jer. xxiii. 19. Matt. vii. 25.
heads being shaped like that of a horse, the prophet Joel What tornadoes are on land water-spouts are at sea, the says, that they have the appearance of horses ; and on account vacuum being filled with a column of water, instead of earth, of their celerity they are compared to horsemen on full galsand, &c.—To this phenomenon the Psalmist refers. (xlii. 7.) lop (ii. 4.), and also to horses prepared for battle. (Rev. ix.
4. Frequently the country was laid waste by vast bodies ?.) The locust has a large open mouth ; and in its two jaws of migrating Locusts,
are one of the most it has four incisive teeth, which traverse each other like scisterrible scourges with which mankind can be afflicted. By sors, and from their mechanism are calculated to grasp and the prophet Joel (ii. 11.) they are termed the army of the cut every thing of which they lay hold. These teeth are so Lord, from the military order which they appear to observe: sharp and strong, that the prophet, by a bold figure, terms disbanding themselves and encamping in the evening, and in them the teeth of a great lion. (Joel'i. 6.). In order to mark the morning resuming their flight in the direction of the wind, the certainty, variety, and extent of the depredations of the unless they meet with food. (Nah. iii. 17. Prov. xxx. 27.) locusts, not fewer than eight pr nine different appellations, exThey fly in countless hosts (Jer. xlvi. 23. Judg; vi. 5.), só pressive of their nature, are given to them in the Sacred as to obscure the sun, and bring a temporary darkness upon Writings. the land. (Joel ii. 2. 10. Exod. x. 15.) The noise made by Such are the Scripture accounts of this tremendous scourge, them is compared to the noise of chariots (Joel ii. 5.): and which are corroborated by every traveller who has visited the wherever they settle, they darken the land. (Exod. x. 15.) East. The quantity of these insects (to whose devastations If the weather be cold, they encamp in the hedges, until the Syria, Egypt, and Persia, together with the whole middle sun rises, when they resume their progress (Nah. iii. 17.), part of Asia, are subject) is incredible to any person who climbing or creeping in perfect order. "Regardless of every has not himself witnessed their astonishing numbers. Their obstacle, they mount the walls of cities and houses, and enter numerous swarms, like a succession of clouds, sometimes the very apartments. (Jocl ii. 7–9.)2 They devour every extend a mile in length, and half as much in breadth, darken green herb, and strip the bark off every tree (Exod. x. 12. the horizon, and intercept the light of the sun. Should the 15. Joel i. 4.7. 10. 12. 16. 18. 20.), so as to render the land, wind blow briskly, so that the swarms are succeeded by which before was as the garden of Eden, a desolate wilder- others, they afford a lively idea of that similitude of the ness, as if it had been laid waste by fire. (Joel ii. 3.) The Psalmist (cix. 23.) of being tossed up and down as the locusts. noise made by them, when committing their ravages, is com- Wherever they alight, the land is covered with them for the pared to the crackling noise of fire among the dry stubble, or space of several leagues, and sometimes they form a bed six a mighty host set in battle array. (Ibid. 5.) So fearful are or seven inches thick. The noise which they make in the effects of their devastations, that every one was filled browsing on the trees and herbage may be heard at a great with dismay (Ibid. 6.), and vainly attempted to prevent distance, and resembles that of an army foraging in secret, them from settling on their grounds by making loud shouts or the rattling of hail-stones: and, whilst employed in (Jer. li. 14.), as the inhabitants of Egypt, and the Nogai devouring the produce of the land, it has been observed, that Tartars' do to this day. What aggravates this tremendous they uniformly proceed one way, as regularly as a disciplined calamity is, that when one host is departed, it is succeeded army upon its march. The Tartars themselves are a less by a second, and sometimes even by a third or a fourth, by destructive enemy than these little animals; one would which every thing that has escaped the ravages of the pre- imagine that fire had followed their progress. Fire itself, ceding is inevitably consumed by the last company: As indeed, consumes not so rapidly. Wherever their myriads Arabia is generally considered as the native country of these spread, the verdure of the country disappears as if a covering depredators, they were carried thence into Egypt by an east had been removed; trees and plants, stripped of their leaves wind (Exod. x. 13.), and were removed by a westerly wind and reduced to their naked boughs and stems, cause the (19.) which blew from the Mediterranean Sea (that lay to dreary image of winter to succeed, in an instant, to the rich the north-west of that country), and wafted them into the Red scenery of the spring: They have a government among Sea, where they perished. On their departure from a coun- them, similar to that of the bees and ants; and, when their try, they leave their fetid excrements behind them, which king or leader rises, the whole body follow him, not one pollute the air, and myriads of their eggs deposited in the solitary straggler being left behind to witness the
devastation. ground, whence issues in the following year a new and more When these clouds of locusts take their flight, to surmount numerous army. They are generally carried off by the wind any obstacle, or to traverse more rapidly a desert soil, the into the sea, where they perish ; and their dead bodies, putre- heavens may literally be said to be obscured by them. In fying on the shore, emit a most offensive, and it is said) Persia, as soon as they appear, the gardeners and husbandsometimes even fatal smell. The plague of locusts, pre- men make loud shouts, to prevent them from settling on their dicted by Joel, entered Palestine from Hamath, one of the grounds. To this custom the prophet Jeremiah, perhaps, northern boundaries, whence they are called the northern | alludes, when he says,-Surely I will fill thee with men as army, and were carried away by the wind, some into the with locusts, and THEY SHALL LIFT UP THEIR VOICE AGAINST i Morier's Second Journey, p. 202. Mr. Bruce, in his Travels to discover
THEE. (Jer. li. 14.) Should the inhabitants dig pits and the source of the Nile, 'was surprised by a whirlwind in a plain near that trenches, and fill them with water, or kindle fires of stubble river, which lifted up a cainel and threw
it to a considerable distance, with therein, to destroy them, rank presses on rank, fills up the such violence as to break several of its ribs : whirled himself and two of his trenches, and extinguishes the fires. Where these swarms servants off their feet, and threw them violently to the ground; and parily are extremely numerous, they climb over every thing in their leaving the other half standing: Mr. B. and his attendants were literally way, entering the inmost recesses of the houses, adhering to plastered with mud; if dust and Sand þad risen with the whirlwind in the the very clothes of the inhabitants, and infesting their food.5 same proportion, instead of mud, they would inevitably have been suffocated (Travels, vol. vi. p. 346.);-a disaster which the late enterprising tra.
Pliny relates that, in some parts of Ethiopia, the inhabitants veller Mr. Park with difficulty escaped, when crossing the great desert of lived upon nothing but locusts salted, and dried in the smoke; sions and water, his throat pained with thirst, and his strength nearly ex; of food. The modern Arabs catch great quantities of locusts, Sahara in his way to explore the sources of the Niger. Destitute of provi: and that the Parthians also accounted
them a pleasant article his parched mouth to receive the drops of rain which he confidently ex- of which they prepare a dish by boiling them with salt, and mense was the quantity raised into the air and wafted upon the wings of before a fire, or soak them in warm water, and without any pected, but it was instantly filled with sand drifted from the desert. So im mixing a little oil, butter, or fat; sometimes they toast them to turn his face to the west to prevent suffocation, and continued motion other culinary process, devour almost every part except the vinegar. The locusts which formed part of John the Baptist's breadth, and twelve feet above the surface of the earth, food®(Mark i. 6.) were these insects, and not the fruit of the travellers in the desert, when they perceive its approach, locust tree.
The Rev. Mr. Hartley, an English Clergyman, who visited Thyatira in wings.? They are also said to be sometimes pickled in June, 1826, thus describes the ravages of these destructive insects "lam s Volney's Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. i. p. 286. Harmer's Observaperfectly astonished at their multitudes. They are, indeed, as a strong tions, vol. iii. p. 319. Shaw's Travels, vol. i. pp. 340–343. Morier's Second people, set in battle array: they run like mighty men ; they climb the walls Journey, p. 100. Sir
Wm. Ouseley's Travels in Persia from 1810 to 1812, like men of war. I actually saw them run to and fro in the city of Thyatira ; vol. i. pp. 195-200. (4to. London, 1819.) Mr. Dodwell has given an intereselo they ran upon the wall; they climbed up upon the houses ; they entered into ing account of the ravages of the locusts in Greece; where, howerer, they the windous like a thief. (Joel ii. 5. 7.9.). This is, however, by no means are smaller than those of the Levant. See his Classical and Topographical one of the most formidable armies of locasts which are known in these Tour, vol. i. pp. 214, 215. countries." Missionary Register, July, 1827, p. 328.
& Pliny, Hist. Nat. lib. vi. c. 30. and lib. x. c. 28. 3 Light's Travels, p. 56. Belzoni's Narrative, p. 197.
* At Busheher (or Bushire) in Persia, Mr. Price saw" many Arab women • Baron De Tott's Memoirs, extracted in Hariner's Observations, vol. iii. employed in filling bags with locusts, to be preserved and eaten like
shrimps." Journal of the British Embassy to Persia, p. 6. London, 1825. foj
throw themselves on the ground, with their faces close to 5. The devastations caused by the locusts, together with the burning sands, and wrap their heads in their robes, or in the absence of the former and latter rains, were generally a piece of carpet, till the wind has passed over them. The followed by a scarcity of provisions, and not unfrequently by least mischief which it produces is the drying up their skins absolute Famine, which also often prevailed in besieged of water, and thus exposing them to perish with thirst in the cities to such a degree, that the starving inhabitants have deserts. When this destructive wind advances, which it been reduced to the necessity of devouring not only unclean does with great rapidity, its approach is indicated by a redanimals, but also human flesh... Compare
Deut. xxviii. 22— ness in the air; and, when sufficiently near to admit of being 42. 56, 57. 2 Sam. xxi. 1, 2 Kings vi. 25—28. xxv. 3. Jer. observed, it appears like a haze, in colour resembling the xiv. 15. xix. 9. xlii. 17. Lam. ii. 20. iv. 10. Ezek. v. 10— purple part of the rainbow, but not so compressed or thick. 12. 16. vi. 12. vii. 15.
When travellers are exposed to a second or third attack of 6. But the greatest of all the calamities that ever visited this terrible blast it produces a desperate kind of indifference this highly favoured country is the pestilential blast, by the for life, and an almost total prostration of strength. Camels Arabs termed the Şam wind, by the Persians, SAMOUŇ, by and other animals instinctively perceive its approach, and the Turks, Simoom or SAMIEL, and by the prophet Jeremiah, bury their mouths and nostrils in the ground. The effects a dry wind of the high places in the wilderness. (Jer. iv. 11.) of this blast on the bodies of those whom it destroys are It blows in Persia, Arabia, and the deserts of Arabia, during peculiar. At first view, its victims appear to be asleep: but the months of June, July, and August; in Nubia during if an arm or leg be smartly shaken or lifted up, it separates March and April, and also in September, October, and from the body, which soon after becomes black. In PerNovember. It rarely lasts more than seven or eight minutes, sia, in the district of Dashtistan a sam or simoom blew but so poisonous are its effects, that it instantly suffocates during the summer months, which so totally burnt up all the those who are unfortunate enough to inhale it, particularly if corn (then near its maturity), that no animal would eat a it overtake them when standing upright. Thevenot mentions blade of it, or touch any of its grain. The image of corn such a wind, which in 1658 suffocated twenty thousand men blasted before it be grown up, used by the sacred historian in in one night; and another, which in 1655 suffocated four 2 Kings xix. 26., was most probably taken from this or some thousand persons. As the principal stream of this pestilen- similar cause. The Psalmist evidently alludes (Psal. ciii. tial blast always moves in a line, about twenty yards in ) 15, 16.) to the desolating influence of the simoom.
POLITICAL ANTIQUITIES OF THE JEWS.
DIFFERENT FORMS OF GOVERNMENT, AND POLITICAL STATE OF THE HEBREWS, OR JEWS, FROM THE
PATRIARCHAL TIMES TO THE BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY.
1. Patriarchal Government.-II. Government under Moses-a Theocracy ;-its Nature and Design.-1. Notices of the Heads
or Princes of Tribes and Families.—2. Of the Jethronian Prefects or Judges appointed by Moses.—3. Of the Senate or Council of Seventy Assessors.-4. Scribes.—III. Government of the Judges.-IV. Regal Government instituted ;-1. The Functions and Privileges of the Kings ;-2. Inauguration of the Kings;—3. Chief Distinctions of Majesty ;-4. Scriptural Allusions to the Courts of Sovereigns and Princes explained.-V. Revenues of the Kings of Israel.-VI. Magistrates under the Monarchy.VII. Officers of the Palace.-VIII. The royal Harem.—IX. Promulgation of Laws.-X. Schism between the twelve Tribes ;—its latent Causes ;-the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah founded ;-their Duration and End.
-XI. Reasons why the Kingdom of Judah subsisted longer than that of Israel.-XII. State of the Hebrews during the Babylonish Captivity.
I. Of the forms of government which obtained among|(Gen. xxi. 14.) Further, the patriarchs could pronounce a somankind from the earliest ages to the time of Moses, we lemn blessing or curse upon their children, which at that time have but little information communicated in the Scriptures. was regarded as a high privilege and of great consequence. The simplicity of manners which then prevailed would ren- Thus Noah cursed his son Canaan (Gen. ix. 25.); Isaac der any complicated form of government unnecessary; and blessed Jacob (Gen. xxvii. 28, 29. 33.); and Jacob blessed accordingly we find that the PATRIARCHS, that is, the Heads his sons. (Gen. xlix.). On the decease of the father, the or Founders of Families, exercised the chief power and com- eldest son, by a natural right of succession, inherited the mand over their families, children, and domestics, without paternal power and dominion, which in those days was one being responsible to any superior authority. Such was the of the rights of primogeniture. To this right the sacerdotal government of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So long as they dignity, in the first ages, seems to have been annexed; so resided in the land of Canaan, they were subject to no foreign that the heads of families not only possessed a secular power, but tended their flocks and herds wherever they chose power, but also officiated as priests in the families to which to go (Gen. xiii. 6–12.), and vindicated their wrongs. by they belonged. (Gen. viii. 20. xii. 7, 8. xxxv. 1-3.) arms whensoever they had sustained any injury. (Gen. xiv.) Although the sons of Jacob exercised, each, the supreme They treated with the petty kings who reignied in different power in his own family, during their father's life (Gen. parts of Palestine as their equals in dignity, and concluded xxxviii. 24.), yet the latter appears to have retained some treaties with them in their own right. (Gen. xiv. 13. 18—24. authority over them. (Gen. xlii. 1–4. 37, 38. xliii. 1-13. xxi. 22–32. xxvi. 16. 27–33. xxxi. 44–54.).
1. 15–17.). Afterwards, however, as the posterity of Jacob The patriarchal power was a sovereign dominion: so that increased, in Egypt, it became necessary to have magistrates parents may be considered as the first kings, and children or governors, invested with more extensive authority; these the first subjects. They had the power of disinheriting their are termed Elders (Exod. iii. 16.), being probably chosen on children (Gen. xlix. 3, 4. 1 Chron. v. 1.), and also of account of their age and wisdom. The Shoterim or " officers punishing them with death (Gen. xxxviii. 24.), or of dis- of the children of Israel" (Exod. v. 14, 15. 19.) have been missing them from home without assigning any reason.
, Bruce's Travels, vol. vi. pp. 462, 463. 484. Harmer's Observations, vol. 1 Sir Win. Ouseley's Travels, vol. i. p. 197 Dodwell's Tour, vol. i. p. 215. i. pp. 94–96. Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c. vol. ii. Dr. Della Cella's Travels from Barbary to the Western Frontier of Égypt, p. 230. p. 78. Jackson's Account of the Empire of Marocco, pp. 51–54.
3 Morier's Second Journey, p. 43.
conjectured to be a kind of magistrates elected by them; but, | became motives to continrance in the true religion, instead from the context of the sacred historian, they rather appear of encouragements to idolatry:2 to have been appointed by the Egyptians, and placed over In the theccracy of the Hebrews, the laws were given to the Israelites in order to oversee their labour.'
them by God, through the mediation of Moses, and they II. On the departure of the Israelites from the land of were to be of perpetual force and obligation so long as their their oppressors, under the guidance of Moses, Jehovah was polity subsisted.' The judges by whom these laws were pleased to institute a new form of government, which has administered were represented as holy persons, and as sitting been rightly termed a TheoCRACY; the supreme legislative in the place of God (Deut. i. 17. xix. 17.): they were usually power being exclusively vested in God or in his ORACLE, who taken from the tribe of Levi; and the chief expounder of the alone could enact or repeal laws. The Hebrew government law was the high-priest. In this there was a singular proappears not only designed to subserve the common and gene- priety; for the Levites, being devoted to the study of the ral ends of all good governments ;-viz. the protection of the law, were (as will be shown in a subsequent page) the literati property, liberty, safety, and peace of the several members among the Israelites. In difficult cases of law, however, of the community (in which the true happiness and prospe- relating both to government and war, God was to be conrity of states will always consist), but also to set apart the sulted by Urim and Thummim; and in matters, which conHebrews or Israelites as a holy people to Jehovah, and a king- cerned the welfare of the state, God frequently made known dom of priests. For thus Moses is directed to tell the chil- his will by prophets whose mission was duly attested, and dren of Israel, Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, the people were bound to hearken to their voice. In all these and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto cases, Jehovah appears as sovereign king, ruling his people myself. Now, therefore, if ye will hear my voice indeed, and by his appointed ministers.3 keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me A subordinate design of this constitution of the Hebrew above all people; for all the earth is mine, and ye shall be unto government was, the prevention of intercourse between the me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation. (Exod. xix. 3, 4, Israelites and foreign nations. The prevalence of the most 5, 6.) We learn what this covenant was in a further account abominable idolatry among those nations, and the facility of it.' Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God, with which the Israelites had, on more than one occasion, your captains of your tribes, your elders and your officers, and adopted their idolatrous rites, during their sojourning in the all the men of Israel; that you should cnter into covenant with wilderness, rendered this seclusion necessary, in order to the Lord thy God, and into his oath which the Lord thy God secure the fundamental principle of the Mosaic law above maketh with thee this day; that he may establish thee to-day for mentioned :- and many of the peculiar laws will, on this prina people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as ciple, be found both wisely and admirably adapted to secure hé hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, this design. 4 to Abraham, Isaac, and to Jacob: for ye know, adds Moses, The form of the Hebrew republic was unquestionably dehow we have dwelt in the land of Egypt, and how we camé mocratical; its head admitted of change as to the name and through the nations which ye passed by; and ye have seen their nature of his office, and at certain times it could even subsist abominations and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, without a general head. When Moses promulgated his laws, which were among them, lest there should be among you, man, he convened the whole congregation of Israel,
to whom he is or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this repeatedly said to have spoken'; but as he could not possibly day from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of these be heard by six hundred thousand men, we must conclude nations. (Deut. xxix. 10–18.)
that he only addressed a certain number of persons who were From these passages it is evident that the fundamental deputed to represent the rest of the Israelites. Accordingly principle of the Mosaic Law was the maintenance of the in Num. i. 16. these delegates or representatives are termed doctrine and worship of one true God, and the prevention, or onzyn 1797 (KERUAY HOËDCH), that is, those wont to be called rather the proscription of polytheism and idolatry. The cove- the convention ; in our version called the renowned of the connant of Jehovah with the Hebrew people, and their oath by gregation; and in Num. xvi. 2. they are denominated wip which they bound their allegiance to Jehovah, their God and 12.7 *** (NESIAY ED?H KCRUAY MUOED), that is, chiefs King, was, that they should receive and obey the laws which of the community, or congregation, that are called to the conhe should appoint as their supreme governor, with a particu- vention, in our version termed, famous in the congregation, lar engagement to keep themselves from the idolatry of the men of renown. By comparing Deut. xxix. 10. with Josh. nations round about them, whether the idolatry they had seen xxiii. 2. it appears that these representatives were the heads while they dwelt in the land of Egypt, or that which they of tribcs or families, and judges and officers ; and Michaelis is had observed in the nations by which they passed into the of opinion that, like the members of our British House of promised land. In keeping this allegiance to Jehovah, as Commons, they acted in the plenitude of their own power, their immediate and supreme Lord, they were to expect the without taking instruction from their constituents.5 blessings of God's immediate and particular protection in the 1. Heads or Princes of TRIBES AND FAMILIES.-All the security of their liberty, peace, and prosperity, against all various branches of Abraham's descendants, like the ancient attempts of their idolatrous neighbours; but if they should Germans or the Scottish clans, kept together in a body acbreak their allegiance to Jehovah, or forsake the covenant cording to their tribes and families; each tribe forming a of Jehovah, by going and serving other gods, and worship- lesser commonwealth, with its own peculiar interests, and ping them, then they should forfeit these blessings of God's all of them at last uniting into one great republic. The protection, and the anger of Jehovah should be kindled same arrangement, it is well known, obtained among the against the land, to bring upon it all the curses that are writ-Israelites, who appear to have been divided into twelve great ten in the book of Deuteronomy. (xxix. 25—27.). The sub-tribes, previously to their departure from Egypt. By Moses, stance, then, of this solemn transaction between God and the however, they were subdivided into certain greater families, Israelites (which may be called the original contract of the which are called ninDOD (MISHPUCHOTH) or families, by way Hebrew government) was this:-If the Hebrews would vo- of distinction, and nign (BATEY ABOTH) or houses of father's luntarily consent to receive Jehovah as their Lord and King, (Num. i. 2. Josh. vii. 1.1.); each of whom, again, had their to keep his covenant and laws, to honour and worship him heads, which are sometimes called heads of houses of fathers, as the one true God, in opposition to all idolatry, then, and sometimes simply heads. These are likewise the same though God as sovereign of the world rules over all the na- persons who in Josh. xxiii. 2. and xxiv. 1. are called Elders, tions of the earth, and all nations are under the general care||Compare also Deut. xix. 12. and xxi. 1—9.) It does not of his providence, he would govern the Hebrew nation by peculiar laws of his particular appointment, and bless it with * Lowman on the Civil Goverminent of the Hebrews, pp. 8–10. See also a more immediate and particular protection; he would secure masterly observativus on the introduction of tenporal sanctions into the
Dr. Graves's Lectures on the Pentateuch, vol. ii. pp. 141-185. for some to them the invaluable privileges of the true religion, together Mosaic law. with liberty, peace, and prosperity, as a favoured people
3 Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. I pp. 190—196. above all other nations. This constitution, it will be ob- inan (Civil Government of the Hebrews, pp. 17–31.) las illustrated the wis.
• Ibid. vol. i. pp. 202-225. Bruning's Antiq. Heb. pp. 91-93. Mr. Low. served, is enforced chiefly by temporal sanctions, and with dues of this second design of the Jewish theocracy by several pertinent ex. singular wisdom; for temporal blessings and evils were at amples. that time the common and prevailing incitements to idolatry:
3 Commentaries on ibe Laws of Moscs, vol. j.
by twelve princes accor!. but by thus taking them into the Hebrew constitution, as ing to the number of Ishmael's sons (Gen. xxv. 16.); and the Bedouins their rewards to obedience and punishments for discbedience, they descendants have always preserved some traces of his patriarchal govern
is prince among people, who are all his kindred within a certain degree of 1 Pareau Antiquitas Hebraica, pp. 231-233.
afinity. Michaelis's Cornmentaries, vol. I. p. 232. Vol. II.