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spirit.] These pretenders to call up the spirits of the dead were not unfrequent amongst the heathens. We have an instance mentioned by Herodotus (1. v. c. 29.) of Melissa the wife of Periander, who was thus raised up, and who discovered the deposit, that Periander was solicitous to know where it had been concealed.
Medea in Ovid boasts,
Quorum ope, quum volui, jubeoque tremiscere montes,
Metam. l. vii, 199. 205.
See also Homer, Odyss. xi. Virgil, Æn. vi. and Tiz bullus, l. i. el. 2.
No. 844.—xxxi. 10. And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth.] The custom of dedicating to the gods the spoils of a conquered enemy, and placing them in their temples as trophies of victory, is very ancient. Tryphiodorus intimates this, when he says, that some of the Trojans were for consecrating the horse.
Eager they urge within some hallow'd shrine,
Homer represents Hector promising that, if he should conquer Ajax in single combat, he would dedicate his spoils to Apollo.
And if Apollo, in whose aid I trust,
Other instances occur in Virgil, Æn, vii. 183. Persius, Satyr vi. 45. Şee also 1 Sam. xxi. 9.
Those who had escaped shipwreck, or any dangerous fit of sickness,' usually hung up in the temple of Isis tablets, on which was described the manner of their deliverance or cure.
Nunc, dea, nunc succurre mihi; nam posse mederi
Tibullus, l. i. el. 3.
That you can ev'ry mortal ill remove,
See also Horace, b. i. Od. v. 13.
No. 845.-2 SAMUEL i. 12.
And they mourned and wept, and fasted until even, for
Saul, and for Jonathan his son. HISTORY has recorded similar instances of conduct in persons remarkable for their military greatness. When the mangled body of Darius was brought to Alexander, and he had taken a view of it, his historians remark that he openly expressed his sorrow for his misfortunes, and shed tears over a prince, that died in a manner so unworthy his former rank and dignity. (Plutarch, Vit. Alex. p. 690.) In like manner when Cæsar saw the head of his son-in-law Pompey, after it had been separated from his body, forgetting that he had been his enemy, he put on the countenance of a father-in-law, and paid the tribute of tears due to Pompey and his own daughter. (Valer. Max. l. v. c. 10.) Augustus also when he heard of the death of Antony, retreated into the innermost part of his tent, and wept over the man that had been his relation, fellow-consul, and companion in many public affairs. (Liv. Hist. 1. 25. c. 24. $ 15.) See other cases cited in CHANDLER's History of David, vol. i. p. 278, note.
No. 846.—j. 16. Thy blood be upon thy head.] The malediction expressed in these words occurs in the same sense in other passages of scripture, particularly Josh. ii. 19. and i Kings ii. 37. It appears to have been customary so to speak both with the Jews and Greeks, as repeated instances of it are found in the best writers of the last mentioned people. Homer has this expression :
which you shall wipe upon your own head, or, as Euska_ thius explains it, a crime which you shall make to cleave to your own head. A similar expression occurs in Sophocles :
-καπι λαθροισιν καρα
Κηλιδας εξεμαξεν. . Erom whence it appears, that the blood which was found upon the sword was wiped upon the head of the slain; an intimation that his own blood was fallen upon the head of the deceased, and that the living were free from it. It was usual with the Romans to wash their hands in token of innocence and purity from blood. Thus the Roman governor washed his hands, and said respecting Christ, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. Matt. xxvii. 24.
No. 847.-i. 17. And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son.] Threnetic strains on the untimely decease of royal and eminent personages were of high antiquity amongst the Asiatics. Instances of this kind frequently occur in the sacred writings. See 1 Kings xiii. 30. Jer. ix. 17. Amos v. 1, 2, 16. They are also to be met with in profane authors: as in EURIPIDES; Iphigenia in Taur. ver. 177. Orestes, ver. 1402.
No. 848.-iii. 31. The bier.] The word here translated the bier is in the original the bed : on these persons of quality used to be carried forth to their graves, as common people were upon a bier. Kings were sometimes carried out upon beds very richly adorned ; as Josephus tells us that Herod was; he says the bed was all gilded, set with precious stones, and that it had a purple cover curiously wrought.
PATRICK, in loc.
No. 849.-.. 34. Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters.] The feet as well as the hands of criminals were usually secured, when they were brought out to be punished. Thus when Irwin was in Upper Egypt, where he was ill used by some Arabs, one of whom was afterwards punished for it, he tells us (Trav. p. 271, note.) “ the prisoner is placed upright on the ground, with his hands and feet bound together, while the executioner stands before him, and with a short stick strikes him with a smart motion on the outside of his knees. The pain which arises from these strokes is exquisitely severe, and which no constitution can support for any continuance."
HARMER, vol. iv. p. 205.
No. 850.-- . 35. And when all the people came to cause David to eat meat, while it was yet day-] This was the usual practice of the Hebrews, whose friends commonly visited them after the funeral was over, to comfort the surviving relations, and send in provisions to make a feast. It was supposed that they were so sorrowful as not to be able to think of their necessary food. Jer. xvi. 5, 7, 8. Ezek. xxiv. 17. See also Oriental Customs, No. 283.
PATRICK, in loc.
No. 851.-V.6–8. Wherefore they said, the blind and the lame shall not come into the house.] Mr. Gregory (Works, p. 29.) observes, that it was customary in almost every nation, at the founding of a city, to lay up an image magically consecrated, (or talisman), in some retired part of it, on which the security of the place was to depend. The knowledge of this practice he supposes will clearly illustrate the passage now referred to.
Several Jewish writers agree that the blind and lame were images, and that these epithets were bestowed on