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By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent,
Your other task, ye menial fribe, forbear;
See also 1 Sam. xxv. 41.
No. 612.---xix. 1, 2. And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servants house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye
shall rise up early, and go on your ways.] The Eastern people have always distinguished themselves by their great hospitality. Of very many instances the following is a truly characteristic one. “We were not above a musket-shot from Anna, when we met with a comely old man, who came up to me, and taking my horse by the bridle, ‘Friend,' said he, come and wash thy feet, and eat bread at my house. Thou art a stranger; and since I have met thee upon the road, never refuse me the favour which I desire of thee.' We could not choose but go along with him to his house, where he feasted us in the best manner he could, giving us, over and above, barley for our horses; and for us he killed a lamb and some hens." Tavernier's Travels, p. 111. See also Gen. xviii. 6. Judges xvii.
Rom. xii. 13. 1 Tim. iii. 2. 1 Pet. iv. 9. See more in Nos. 15. 50. 513.
No. 613.-xix. 24. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire.] The curious Wormius tells of the raining of brimstone,
May 16, 1646. “Here, at Copenhagen, when the whole town was overflowed by a great fall of rain, so that the streets became impassable, the air was infected with a sulphureous smell ; and when the waters were a little subsided, one might have collected in some places a sulphureous powder, of which I have preserved a part, and which in colour, smell, and every other quality, appeared to be real sulphur.”
Mus, Worm. I. i. c. 11. sec, I.
No. 614.--xix. 26. A pillar of salt.] Or, as some understand it, an everlasting monument, whence, perhaps, the Jews have given her the name of Adith (Pirke Elieser, cap. 25.) because she remained a perpetual testimony of God's just displeasure. For she standing still too long, some of that dreadful shower of brimstone and fire overtook her, and falling upon her, wrapped her body in a sheet of nitro-sulphureous matter, which congealed into a crust as hard as stone, and made her appear like a pillar of salt, her body being, as it were, candied in it. Kimchi calls it a heap of salt; which the Hebrews say continued for many ages. Their conjecture is not improbable, who think the fable of Niobe was derived hence: who, the poets feign, was turned into a stone upon her excessive grief for the death of her children,
PATRICK, in loc.
No. 615.-xx. 12. And yet indeed she is my sister; she is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother: and she became my wife.] This peculiar mode of contracting marriage, appears in after ages to have become a common practice. It prevailed at Athens. It was lawful there to marry a sister by the father's side, but it was not permitted to marry a sister by the same mother. MONTESQUIEU (Spirit of Laws, vol. i. p. 54.) says, that this custom was originally owing to repub
lics, whose spirit would not permit that two portions of land, and consequently two inheritances, should devolve on the same person. A man that married his sister only by his father's side, could inherit but one estate, that of his father: but by marrying his sister by the same mother, it might happen that this sister's father, having no male issue, might leave her his estate, and consequently the brother that married her might be possessed of two.
No. 616.—xxi. 10. Wherefore she said unto Abraham, cast out this bond-woman and her son; for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son.] The following extract will exhibit to the reader a striking similarity of practice with that to which the above cited passage alludes: and that amongst a race of people very remote both as to local situation and time. “ The Alguoquins make a great distinction between the wife to whom they give the appellation of the entrance of the hut, and those whoin they term of the middle of the hut; these last are the servants of the other, and their children are considered as bastards, and of an inferior rank, to those which are born of the first and legitimate wife. Among the Caribbs also one wife possesses rank and distinction above the rest."
Babie's Travels among Savage Nations, in
Universal Magazine for Feb. 1802, p. 84.
No. 617.-xxii. 9. And bound Isaac his son.] Both his hands and his feet, as it is explained in Pirke Elieser, cap. 31. When the Gentiles offered human sacrifices, they tied both their hands behind their backs. Ovid. 1. 3. De Pont. Eleg. ii.
PATRICK, in loc.
No 618.-xxiii. 11. In the presence of the sons of my people. ] Contracts, or grants, were usually made before all the people, or their representatives, till writings were invented.
PATRICK, in loc.
No. 619.--xxii. 16. And Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver.] Ancient nations have discovered a singular coincidence in the management of their money. The Jews appear to have used silver in lumps, perhaps of various dimensions and weights; and certainly, on some occasions at least, impressed with a particular stamp. The Chinese also do the same. For “there is no silver coin in China, notwithstanding payments are made with that metal, in masses of about ten ounces, having the form of the crucibles they were refined in, with the stamp of a single character upon them, denoting their weight.” Macartney, p. 290. vol, ii. p. 266.8vo, edit.
No. 620.---xxiv. 11. At the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water.] Homer mentions the same custom of women's being employed in drawing water among the Phæacians and Læstrygonians. (Od. vii. 20. et x. 105.) · Dr. Shaw, speaking of the occupation of the Moorish women in Barbary, says, “ to finish the day, at the time of the evening, * even at the time that the women go out to draw water, they are still to fit themselves with a pitcher or goatskin, and tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water.” Travels, p. 421.
No.621.--xxiv. 15. Rebekah cameout—with her pitcher upon her shoulder.] The same custom prevailed in ancient Greece. Homer represents Minerva meeting Ulysses as the sun was going down, under the form of a Phæacian virgin carrying a pitcher of water, that being the time when the maidens went out to draw water.
When near the fam'd Phæacian walls he drew,
Odyss. b. vii. 25. Pope.
See also Odyss. lib. x. 105.
A similar custom prevailed also in Armenia, as may be seen in Xenophon's Anabasis, b. iv.
No. 622.-xxiv. 20. And she hasted, and emptied her pitcher into the trough.] In some places where there are wells, there are no conveniences to draw water with, But in other places the wells are furnished with troughs, and suitable contrivances for watering cattle. The M. S. Chardin tells us, that "there are wells in Persia and Arabia, in the driest places, and above all in the Indies, with troughs and basons of stone by the side of them.”
HARMER, vol. i. p. 431.
No. 623.-xxiv. 22. And it came to pass as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ear-ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight, of gold.] The weight of the ornaments put upon Rebekah appears extraordinary. But Chardin assures us, that even heavier were worn by the women of the East when he was there. He
that the women wear rings and bracelets of as great weight as this, through all Asia, and even heavier. They are rather manacles than bracelets. There are some as large as the finger. The women wear several of them, one above the other, in such a manner as sometimes to have the arm covered with them from the wrist to the elbow. Poor people wear as many of glass or horn. They hardly ever take them off. They are their riches,
HARMER, vol. ii. p. 500.
No. 624.-xxiv. 53. Jewels of gold and raiment.] Among the several female ornaments, which Abraham sent by his servant, whom he employed to search out a wife for his son Isaac, were jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, exclusive of raiment, which probably was very