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carried to Jerusalem, and, according to Jerome, one of the gates of that city was from this circumstance denominated the Fish-gate. The Dead Sea furnished abundance of salt for curing their fish, for which purpose it was said to be superior to every other kind of salt.
The fruit makes its appearance before the leaves and flowers, and the foliage expands about the end of March. The fig trees of Palestine are of three kinds :-1. The Untimely fig, which puts forth at the vernal equinox, and before it is ripe is called the green fig, but when it is ripe the untimely fig. (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 haply 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,3 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 boughs as in other trees, but near the trunk. It is a large confirmed by the testimonies of profane historians. tree, attaining a considerable height, which circumstance will account for Zacchæus's climbing up into a sycamore tree in order that he might see Jesus. Its timber appears to have been anciently used in building. (Isa. ix. 10.) It affords a very grateful shade. From its fruit the Arabs extract an oil, which they sell to travellers, who keep it among their other holy things, and pretend that it possesses a singular virtue in curing wounds, for which reason they call it the oil of Zacchæus, attributing its virtue to the stay which Zacchaeus made upon the tree! (Luke xix. 4.)
The PRICKLY PEAR, which most probably is the thorns mentioned in Hos. ii. 6., is a cumbrous shrub, which grows to a prodigious size, and affords one of the firmest and most secure fences imaginable.1
lee, of Peraa and Samaria, he speaks of their fertility and produce in the following terms:
Thus, Tacitus describes the climate as dry and sultry; the natives as strong and patient of labour; the soil as fruitful, exuberant in its produce, like that of Italy, and yielding the palm and balm tree. Libanus or Lebanon is stated to be the loftiest mountain in the country, and to rise to a great height, affording a grateful shade under its verdant groves, and even in the ardent heat of that sultry region as being covered at the top with perpetual snow. Justin confirms the account of Tacitus, respecting the exuberant produce of Palestine, its beautiful climate, its palm and fragrant balsam trees. palms of Judæa are celebrated by the elder Pliny; and Ammianus Marcellinus commends the beauty of the country, and its large and handsome cities. But the most memorable 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 hillying the boundaries of the regions of Upper and Lower Galicountry not only afforded them variety and plenty of pasture, but also of water, which, descending thence, carried fertility into the low lands and valleys. The most celebrated pasture grounds were on each side of the river Jordan, besides those of Sharon, the plains of Lydda, Jamnia, and some others of less note. The breed of cattle reared in Bashan, and on the mountains of Gilead and Carmel, were remarkable for their size, their strength, and fatness, to which there are frequent allusions in the Scriptures. The cattle of the Israelites comprised every sort of animal that afforded either food or clothing, or was applicable to other useful purposes, as sheep, oxen, goats, camels, and asses. The last-mentioned animals were of a more handsome form than are seen in our colder climate; hence they were chiefly used in travelling in this hilly country, even by persons of rank. Horses do not appear to have been in use, until after the establishment of the monarchy. The various rivers, especially the Jordan, the Lake of Tiberias, and the Mediterranean Sea, afforded great variety and plenty of FISH, vast quantities of which were 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 reader is referred to the Iliero-Botanicon of Celsius (Upsala, 1745-1747, in two parts or vols. 8vo.); and for its zoology to the Hierozoicon of Bochart (folio, Lug. Bat. 1714, or in three vols. 4to. Lipsie, 1793, and following years.) The reader who may not be able to consult these elaborate works, will find much useful inforination concerning the plants and animals of the Holy Land, in Professor Paxton's Illustrations of Scripture, part ii. vol. i. pp. 297-567. vol. ii. pp. 1-359.; and particularly in Dr. Harris's Natural History of the Bible, already referred to.
2 "The whole of the scenery (says Dr. Richardson), since we entered Palestine, amply confirms the language of Scripture, that this is a land flowing with inilk and honey,-a land for flocks, and herds, and bees, and fitted for the residence of men, whose trade, like the patriarchs of old, was in castle." Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. p. 374.
The two Galilees have always been able to make a strong resistance on all occasions of war: for the Galileans are inured to war from their infancy, and have always been very numerous. Their soil is universally rich, and fruitful, and full of plantations of all sorts of trees; so that its fertility invites the most slothful to take pains in its cultivation. Accordingly the whole of it is cultivated by its inhabitants, and no part of it lies idle. Although the greater part of Peræa, he continues, is desert and rough, and much less disposed for the production of the milder sorts of fruits, yet in other parts it has a moist soil, and produces all kinds of fruits. Its plains are planted with trees of all sorts; the olive tree, the vine, and the palm trees are principally cultivated there. It is also sufficiently watered with torrents, that issue from the mountains, and with springs which never fail to run, even when the torrents fail them, as they do in the dog-days. Samaria is entirely of the same nature with Judæa. Both countries are composed of hills and valleys; they are moist enough for agriculture, and are very fertile. They have abundance of trees, and are full of autumnal fruit, both of that which grows wild, and also of that which is the effect of cultivation. They are not naturally watered by many rivers, but derive their chief moisture from rain water, of which they have no want. The waters of such rivers as they have, are exceed
On the population of the Holy Land, see Michaelis's Commentaries on
Hist. Nat. lib. xiii. c. 6
ingly sweet; and in consequence of the excellence of their | for the wickedness of them that dwell therein. (Psal. cvii. 34.) grass, the cattle reared in these countries yield more milk" But it has been through the instrumentality of this very than do those of other places. wickedness, the increasing wickedness of the inhabitants, that the awful change has been effected. Were good government, good faith, and good manners to flourish in this land for half a century, it would literally become again a land flowing with milk and honey: the proper fruits of the mountains, honey and wax, would be collected by the industrious bee from myriads of fragrant plants: the plains, the valleys, and the upland slopes, would yield corn for man, and pasturage for innumerable flocks and herds. Such a stupendous and delightful change might well gladden not only every child of Israel, but the heart of every Christian." IV. Yet lovely as Palestine confessedly was, its beauty and the comforts it afforded were not unalloyed: among the CALAMITIES of various kinds, which at different times visited the inhabitants, the pestilence, earthquakes, whirlwinds, the devastations of locusts, famines, and the pestilential Simoom, demand to be distinctly noticed.
On the division of the land of Canaan, we are informed (Josh. xv. 20-62.) that not fewer than one hundred and twelve walled cities fell to the lot of the tribe of Judah. Many centuries afterwards, Josephus states that the regions of Samaria and Judæa were very full of people, which he notices as the greatest sign of their excellency; that in the two Galilees the villages were extremely numerous and thickly inhabited; and that there also were great numbers of the larger cities, the smallest of which contained a population of fifteen thousand souls. From the two small provinces of Upper and Lower Galilee alone, Josephus collected an army of more than one hundred thousand men. These statements abundantly confirm the narratives of the sacred historian relative to the fertility and vast population of the Holy Land. Compare Num. xi. 21. Judg. xx. 17. 1 Sam. xv. 4. 1 Chron. xxvii. 4-15. 2 Sam. xxiv. 9. and 2 Chron. xvii. 14—19. | Nor are the testimonies less satisfactory, which have been given by Maundrell, Shaw, Hasselquist, and other modern travellers, who have visited this country, and especially by Dr. Clarke, who thus describes its appearance between Napolose or Sichem and Jerusalem:-"The road," says he, "was mountainous, rocky, and full of loose stones; yet the cultivation was every where marvellous: it afforded one of the most striking pictures of human industry which it is possible to behold. The limestone rocks and valleys of Judæa were entirely covered with plantations of figs, vines, and olive trees; not a single spot seemed to be neglected. The hills, from their bases to their upmost summits, were entirely covered with gardens: all of these were free from weeds, and in the highest state of agricultural perfection. Even the sides of the most barren mountains had been rendered fertile by being divided into terraces, like steps rising one above another, whereon soil had been accumulated with astonishing labour. Under a wise and beneficial government, the produce of the Holy Land would exceed all calculation. Its perennial harvest; the salubrity of its air; its limpid springs; its rivers, lakes, and matchless plains; its hills and vales: all these, added to the serenity of its climate, prove this land to be deed a field which the Lord hath blessed (Gen. xxvii. 27.): God hath given it of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine."7
1. Palestine is now, as it anciently was, often afflicted with the PLAGUE; which makes its entrance from Egypt and the neighbouring countries. This tremendous scourge is frequently mentioned in the Sacred Writings. From the insidious manner in which it is first introduced into a country, it is, perhaps, termed the pestilence that walketh in darkness. (Psal. xci. 6.)
2. This region, being mountainous and near the sea, is often shaken by EARTHQUAKES,10 from which, however, Jerusalem seems to have suffered little if at all. (Psal. xlvi. 25.) Sometimes these earthquakes were accompanied by land-slips, in which pieces of ground, lying on a declivity, are removed from their place. To these (which occasionally happen in the present day, and which are not uncommon in Barbary)12 the Psalmist alludes when he speaks of the mountains being carried into the midst of the sea (Psal. xlvi. 2.), of their skipping like rams, and the little hills like young sheep (Ps. cxiv. 4. 6.); and also the prophet Isaiah (xxiv. 20.) when he says that the earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage. These terrible concussions have supplied the sacred prophets and poets with in-numerous figures, by which they have represented the concussions and subversions of states and empires. See particularly Isa. xxix. 6. liv, 10. Jer. iv. 24. Hag. ii. 6, 7. 22.
Such being the state of the Holy Land, at least of that part of it which is properly cultivated, we can readily account for the vast population it anciently supported: and although this country, generally speaking, by no means corresponds with the statements we have of its former exuberant fertility and population, yet this is no contradiction to the narrative of the sacred writers. The devastations of the Holy Land by the Assyrians, Chaldees, Syrians, Romans, Saracens, the European crusaders, and Turks,-together with the oppressions of the inhabitants by the Turks in our own time (who not only do not encourage agricultural industry, but also extort to the uttermost from the husbandmen),8-to which are to be added the depredations of robbers, and the predatory incursions of the Arabs, all concur satisfactorily to account for the present state of this country; and, so far is it from contradicting the assertions of the Sacred Writings, that it confirms their authority; for, in the event of the Israelites proving unfaithful to their covenant engagements with Jehovah, all these judgments were predicted and denounced against them (Lev. xxvi. 32. Deut. xxix. 22. et seq.); and the exact accomplishment of these prophecies affords a permanent comment on the declaration of the royal Psalmist, that a righteous God turneth a fruitful land into barrenness,
Josephus de Bell. Jud. lib. iii. c. 3. §§ 2, 3, 4. 2 Ibid. lib. iii. c. 3. §4. Ibid. lib. ii. c. 20. § 6.
3 Ibid. lib. iii. c. 3. §2
The most important facts relative to the fertility of Palestine, recorded by Maundrell and Dr. Shaw, are collected by Dr. Macknight in discourses ví. and vii. prefixed to the first volume of his Harmony, and the testimonies of Hasselquist and others are collected by Mr. Harmer. (Observations, vol.
pp. 243-250.) Their accounts are corroborated by Mr. Buckingham, in his Travels among the Arab Tribes, p. 141.
Travels, vol. iv. pp. 283-285.
"In the north of Palestine," says a recent traveller, "there are many beautiful and fertile spots, but not so in Judæa. The breath of Jehovah's wrath seems in a peculiar manner to have blasted and withered the territory of the daughter of Zion. What a change has been wrought in the land, once flowing with milk and honey!"-See the Journal of the Rev. J. Connor (who was in Palestine in the spring of the year 1820), in the Appendix to the Rev. Mr. Jowett's Christian Researches in the Mediterranean, p. 441. (London, 1822. 8vo.)
Volney has given some painfully interesting details on the oppression of the agricultural inhabitants of Palestine, by their barbarous masters, the Turks. Travels in Egypt, &c. vol. ii. pp. 341-347
Matt. xxiv. 7.
3. TORNADOES OF WHIRLWINDS, followed by thunder, lightning, and rains, were also very frequent during the winter and cold seasons. Whirlwinds often preceded rain. In the figurative language of the Scriptures, these are termed the commandment and the word of God (Psal. cxlvii. 15, 18.);13 and, as they are sometimes fatal to travellers who are overwhelmed in the deserts, the rapidity of their advance is elegantly employed by Solomon to show the certainty as well as the suddenness of that destruction which will befall the impenitently wicked. (Prov. i. 27.) They are alluded to by Isaiah, as occurring in the deserts which border on the south of Judæa (Isa. xxi. 1.); and they appear to blow from various points of the compass. The prophet Ezekiel speaks of one that came from the north (Ezek. i. 4.); but more frequently it blows from the south (Job xxxvii. 9.), in which case it is generally attended with the most fatal consequences to the hapless traveller. Mr. Morier, describing the whirlwinds of Persia, says, that they swept along the country in different directions, in a manner truly terrific. "They carried away in their vortex sand, branches, and the stubble of the fields, and really appeared to make a communication between the earth and the clouds. The correctness of the imagery used by the prophet Isaiah, when he alludes to this phenomenon, is very striking. The whirlwind shall take them away as stubble. (Isa. xl. 24.) Chased as the choff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. (Isa. xvii. 13.) In the Psalms (lxxxiii. 13.) we read, Make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind. This is happily illustrated by the rotatory action of the whirlwind, which
• Jowett's Christian Researches in Syria, p. 309.
10 The coast in general, and indeed the whole of Asia Minor, is still subject to earthquakes. In 1759 there happened one, which caused the greatest ravages, destroying upwards of 20,000 persons in the valley of Balbec. For three months the shocks of it terrified the inhabitants of Lebanon so much, that they abandoned their houses and dwelt under tents. (Volney's Tra vels, vol. i. p. 283.) In the autumn of 1822 another tremendous earthquake, or rather a succession of earthquakes, desolated this region. 11 See a description of one in the same work, vol. i. p. 278. 19 Shaw's Travels in Barbary, &c. vol. i. pp. 277, 278.
13 The Arabs, to this day, call them good news or messengers: and in the Koran they are termed the sent of God, c. 77. p. 477. of Sale's translation,
frequently impels a bit of stubble over a waste, just like a wheel set in a rapid motion."! From these phenomena, the sacred writers have borrowed many very expressive figures and allusions. Compare Psal. xviii. 8-15. xxix. 1-10. lv. 8. lxxxiii. 15. Isa. v. 30. viii. 7, 8. xi. 15. xxviii. 2. xxix. 6. Jer. xxiii. 19. Matt. vii. 25.
dreary plain on the coast of the East (or Dead) Sea, and others into the utmost (or Mediterranean) Sea. (Joel ii. 20.) These predatory locusts are larger than those which sometimes visit the southern parts of Europe, being five or six inches long, and as thick as a man's finger. From their heads being shaped like that of a horse, the prophet Joel says, that they have the appearance of horses; and on account of their celerity they are compared to horsemen on full gallop (ii. 4.), and also to horses prepared for battle. (Rev. ix. 7.) The locust has a large open mouth; and in its two jaws it has four incisive teeth, which traverse each other like scissors, and from their mechanism are calculated to grasp and cut every thing of which they lay hold. These teeth are so sharp and strong, that the prophet, by a bold figure, terms them the teeth of a great lion. (Joel i. 6.) In order to mark the certainty, variety, and extent of the depredations of the locusts, not fewer than eight or nine different appellations, expressive of their nature, are given to them in the Sacred Writings.
What tornadoes are on land water-spouts are at sea, the vacuum being filled with a column of water, instead of earth, sand, &c.-To this phenomenon the Psalmist refers. (xlii. 7.) 4. Frequently the country was laid waste by vast bodies of migrating LOCUSTS, whose depredations are one of the most terrible scourges with which mankind can be afflicted. By the prophet Joel (ii. 11.) they are termed the army of the Lord, from the military order which they appear to observe: disbanding themselves and encamping in the evening, and in the morning resuming their flight in the direction of the wind, unless they meet with food. (Nah. iii. 17. Prov. xxx. 27.) They fly in countless hosts (Jer. xlvi. 23. Judg. vi. 5.), só as to obscure the sun, and bring a temporary darkness upon 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. (Joel 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 THEE. (Jer. li. 14.) Should the inhabitants dig pits and 1 Morier's Second Journey, p. 202. Mr. Bruce, in his Travels to discover 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 partly are extremely numerous, they climb over every thing in their demolished a hut, the materials of which were dispersed all over the plain, leaving the other half standing. Mr. B. and his attendants were literally Wway, entering the inmost recesses of the houses, adhering to plastered with mud; if dust and Sand had 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 suffo: Pliny relates that, in some parts of Ethiopia, the inhabitants cated (Travels, vol. vi. p. 346.);-a disaster which the late enterprising tra veller Mr. Park with difficulty escaped, when crossing the great desert of lived upon nothing but locusts salted, and dried in the smoke; Sahara in his way to explore the sources of the Niger. Destitute of provi and that the Parthians also accounted them a pleasant article sions and water, his throat pained with thirst, and his strength nearly ex: of food. The modern Arabs catch great quantities of locusts, hausted, he heard a wind sounding from the east, and instinctively opened 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 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 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 the wind, and so great the velocity with which it flew, that he was compelled other culinary process, devour almost every part except the wings. They are also said to be sometimes pickled in s Volney's Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. i. p. 286. Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. p. 319. Shaw's Travels, vol. i. pp. 340-343. Morier's Second Journey, p. 100. Sir Wm. Ouseley's Travels in Persia from 1810 to 1812, vol. i. pp. 195-200. (4to. London, 1819.) Mr. Dodwell has given an interesting account of the ravages of the locusts in Greece; where, however, they are smaller than those of the Levant. See his Classical and Topographical Tour, vol. i. pp. 214, 215.
to turn his face to west to suffocation, and continued motionless till it had passed. Park's Travels, p. 178.
The Rev. Mr. Hartley, an English clergyman, who visited Thyatira in June, 1826, thus describes the ravages of these destructive insects:-"I am perfectly astonished at their multitudes. They are, indeed, as a strong people, set in battle array: they run like mighty men; they climb the walls like men of war. I actually saw them run to and fro in the city of Thyatira; they ran upon the wall; they climbed up upon the houses; they entered into the windows like a thief. (Joel ii. 5. 7.9.) This is, however, by no means one of the most formidable armies of locusts which are known in these countries." Missionary Register, July, 1827, p. 328.
3 Light's Travels, p. 56. Belzoni's Narrative, p. 197.
Pliny, Hist. Nat. lib. vi. c. 30. and lib. x. c. 28.
At Busheher [or Bushire] in Persia, Mr. Price saw "many Arab women Baron De Tott's Memoirs, extracted in Harmer'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. fol
vinegar. The focusts which formed part of John the Baptist's food (Mark i. 6.) were these insects, and not the fruit of the locust tree.1
12. 16. vi. 12. vii. 15.
breadth, and twelve feet above the surface of the earth, travellers in the desert, when they perceive its approach, 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. When travellers are exposed to a second or third attack of this terrible blast it produces a desperate kind of indifference for life, and an almost total prostration of strength. Camels and other animals instinctively perceive its approach, and bury their mouths and nostrils in the ground. The effects of this blast on the bodies of those whom it destroys are peculiar. At first view, its victims appear to be asleep: but if an arm or leg be smartly shaken or lifted up, it separates from the body, which soon after becomes black. In Persia, in the district of Dashtistan a sam or simoom blew during the summer months, which so totally burnt up all the corn (then near its maturity), that no animal would eat a blade of it, or touch any of its grain. The image of corn blasted before it be grown up, used by the sacred historian in 2 Kings xix. 26., was most probably taken from this or some similar cause. The Psalmist evidently alludes (Psal. ciii. 15, 16.) to the desolating influence of the simoom.
6. But the greatest of all the calamities that ever visited this highly favoured country is the pestilential blast, by the Arabs termed the SAM wind, by the Persians, SAMOUN, by the Turks, SIMOOM or SAMIEL, and by the prophet Jeremiah, a dry wind of the high places in the wilderness. (Jer. iv. 11.) It blows in Persia, Arabia, and the deserts of Arabia, during the months of June, July, and August; in Nubia during March and April, and also in September, October, and November. It rarely lasts more than seven or eight minutes, but so poisonous are its effects, that it instantly suffocates those who are unfortunate enough to inhale it, particularly if it overtake them when standing upright. Thevenot mentions such a wind, which in 1658 suffocated twenty thousand men in one night; and another, which in 1655 suffocated four thousand persons. As the principal stream of this pestilential blast always moves in a line, about twenty yards in
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.
I. 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. Or the forms of government which obtained among mankind from the earliest ages to the time of Moses, we have but little information communicated in the Scriptures. The simplicity of manners which then prevailed would render any complicated form of government unnecessary; and accordingly we find that the PATRIARCHS, that is, the Heads or Founders of Families, exercised the chief power and command over their families, children, and domestics, without being responsible to any superior authority. Such was the government of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So long as they resided in the land of Canaan, they were subject to no foreign power, but tended their flocks and herds wherever they chose to go (Gen. xiii. 6-12.), and vindicated their wrongs by arms whensoever they had sustained any injury. (Gen. xiv.) They treated with the petty kings who reigned in different parts of Palestine as their equals in dignity, and concluded treaties with them in their own right. (Gen. xiv. 13. 18-24. xxi. 22-32. xxvi. 16. 27-33. xxxi. 44-54.)
The patriarchal power was a sovereign dominion: so that parents may be considered as the first kings, and children the first subjects. They had the power of disinheriting their children (Gen. xlix. 3, 4. 1 Chron. v. 1.), and also of punishing them with death (Gen. xxxviii. 24.), or of dismissing them from home without assigning any reason.
1 Sir Win. Ouseley's Travels, vol. i. p. 197 Dodwell's Tour, vol. i. p. 215. Dr. Della Cella's Travels from Barbary to the Western Frontier of Egypt, p. 78. Jackson's Account of the Empire of Marocco, pp. 51-54.
(Gen. xxi. 14.) Further, the patriarchs could pronounce a solemn blessing or curse upon their children, which at that time was regarded as a high privilege and of great consequence. Thus Noah cursed his son Canaan (Gen. ix. 25.); Isaac blessed Jacob (Gen. xxvii. 28, 29. 33.); and Jacob blessed his sons. (Gen. xlix.) On the decease of the father, the eldest son, by a natural right of succession, inherited the paternal power and dominion, which in those days was one of the rights of primogeniture. To this right the sacerdotal dignity, in the first ages, seems to have been annexed; so that the heads of families not only possessed a secular power, but also officiated as priests in the families to which they belonged. (Gen. viii. 20. xii. 7, 8. xxxv. 1—3.)
Although the sons of Jacob exercised, each, the supreme power in his own family, during their father's life (Gen. xxxviii. 24.), yet the latter appears to have retained some authority over them. (Gen. xlii. 1—4. 37, 38. xliii. 1—13. 1. 15-17.) Afterwards, however, as the posterity of Jacob increased, in Egypt, it became necessary to have magistrates or governors, invested with more extensive authority; these are termed Elders (Exod. iii. 16.), being probably chosen on account of their age and wisdom. The Shoterim or "officers of the children of Israel” (Exod. v. 14, 15. 19.) have been
Bruce's Travels, vol. vi. pp. 462, 463. 484. Harmer's Observations, vol. i. pp. 94-96. Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Georgia, Persia, &c. vol. ii. p. 230. 3 Morier's Second Journey, p. 43.
conjectured to be a kind of magistrates elected by them; but, from the context of the sacred historian, they rather appear to have been appointed by the Egyptians, and placed over the Israelites in order to oversee their labour.1
became motives to continuance in the true religion, instead of encouragements to idolatry.2
In the theccracy of the Hebrews, the laws were given to 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 above all people; for all the earth is mine, and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation. (Exod. xix. 3, 4, 5, 6.) We learn what this covenant was in a further account of it. Ye stand this day all of you before the Lord your God, your captains of your tribes, your elders and your officers, and all the men of Israel; that you should enter into covenant with the Lord thy God, and into his oath which the Lord thy God maketh with thee this day; that he may establish thee to-day for a people unto himself, and that he may be unto thee a God, as he hath said unto thee, and as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and to Jacob: for ye know, adds Moses, how we have dwelt in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the nations which ye passed by; and ye have seen their abominations and their idols, wood and stone, silver and gold, which were among them, lest there should be among you, man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away this day from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of these nations. (Deut. xxix. 10-18.)
A subordinate design of this constitution of the Hebrew government was, the prevention of intercourse between the Israelites and foreign nations. The prevalence of the most abominable idolatry among those nations, and the facility with which the Israelites had, on more than one occasion, adopted their idolatrous rites, during their sojourning in the wilderness, rendered this seclusion necessary, in order to secure the fundamental principle of the Mosaic law above mentioned: and many of the peculiar laws will, on this principle, be found both wisely and admirably adapted to secure this design.4
The form of the Hebrew republic was unquestionably democratical; its head admitted of change as to the name and nature of his office, and at certain times it could even subsist without a general head. When Moses promulgated his laws, he convened the whole congregation of Israel, to whom he is repeatedly said to have spoken; but as he could not possibly be heard by six hundred thousand men, we must conclude 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 any p (KERUAY HO DH), 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 w which they bound their allegiance to Jehovah, their God and (NESIAY EDH KERUAY 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 tribes 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 security of their liberty, peace, and prosperity, against all attempts of their idolatrous neighbours; but if they should break their allegiance to Jehovah, or forsake the covenant of Jehovah, by going and serving other gods, and worshipping them, then they should forfeit these blessings of God's protection, and the anger of Jehovah should be kindled against the land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in the book of Deuteronomy. (xxix. 25-27.) The substance, then, of this solemn transaction between God and the Israelites (which may be called the original contract of the Hebrew government) was this:-If the Hebrews would voluntarily consent to receive Jehovah as their Lord and King, to keep his covenant and laws, to honour and worship him as the one true God, in opposition to all idolatry; then, though God as sovereign of the world rules over all the nations of the earth, and all nations are under the general care of his providence, he would govern the Hebrew nation by peculiar laws of his particular appointment, and bless it with a more immediate and particular protection; he would secure to them the invaluable privileges of the true religion, together with liberty, peace, and prosperity, as a favoured people above all other nations. This constitution, it will be ob-man (Civil Government of the served, is enforced chiefly by temporal sanctions, and with singular wisdom; for temporal blessings and evils were at that time the common and prevailing incitements to idolatry: but by thus taking them into the Hebrew constitution, as rewards to obedience and punishments for discbedience, they
1. HEADS OR PRINCES OF TRIBES AND FAMILIES.-All the various branches of Abraham's descendants, like the ancient Germans or the Scottish clans, kept together in a body according to their tribes and families; each tribe forming a lesser commonwealth, with its own peculiar interests, and all of them at last uniting into one great republic. The same arrangement, it is well known, obtained among the Israelites, who appear to have been divided into twelve great tribes, previously to their departure from Egypt. By Moses, however, they were subdivided into certain greater families, which are called nan (M/SHPUCHOTH) or families, by way of distinction, and a T (BŪTEY ABOTH) or houses of fathers (Num. i. 2. Josh. vii. 11.); each of whom, again, had their heads, which are sometimes called heads of houses of fathers, and sometimes simply heads. These are likewise the same persons who in Josh. xxiii. 2. and xxiv. 1. are called Elders. (Compare also Deut. xix. 12. and xxi. 1-9.) It does not
2 Lowman on the Civil Government of the Hebrews, pp. 8-10. See also masterly observations on the introduction of temporal sanctions into the Dr. Graves's Lectures on the Pentateuch, vol. ii. pp. 141-185. for some Mosaic law. Michaelis's Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. i pp. 190-196. Hebrews, pp. 17-31.) has illustrated the wis Ibid. vol. i. pp. 202-225. Bruning's Antiq. Heb. pp. 91-93. Mr. Lowdor of this second design of the Jewish theocracy by several pertinent examples. s Commentaries on the Laws of Moses, vol. i. p. 231.
* In this manner were the Ishmaelites governed by twelve princes according to the number of Ishmael's sons (Gen. xxv. 16.); and the Bedouins their descendants have always preserved some traces of this patriarchal governand under the name of Emir, one is prince among people, who are all his kindred within a certain degree of affinity. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. i. p. 232.