Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

ditch, served for a foundation to the wall of the city, it is very easy to conceive how such foundations, being built in a marshy soil, and continually exposed to the undermining power of the water in the ditch, and pressed by such a prodigious weight, might give way and fal].

PARKHURST, Heb. Lex. p. 48.

No. 1109.-li. 41. How is Sheshach taken!] It is conceived that Babylon is called Sheshach from one of her idols, and that the term is used by way of opprobrium. The idol Shach was worshipped there, and had a festival kept for five days together. It is said that during this festival Cyrus took Babylon. Athenaus speaks of this feast, (Deipnosophista, lib. xiy. cap. 17.) saying, Berosus in the first book of the Babylonish History relates, that on the sixteenth of the calends of September the feast Saicea was celebrated at Babylon for five days; during which time it was customary for masters to obey their servants; one of them, being master of the house, was clothed in a royal garment, and called Zoganez. See some curious particulars about Sheshach in Assembly's Annotations on Jer. xxv. 26.

No. 1110.- LAMENTATIONS ii. 1.

And remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger.

The footstool was not only a great convenience as an appendage to the throne, but was a peculiar mark of regal honour : on this account the earth is called the footstool of the throne of God. In this manner it is mentioned by Homer:.

A splendid footstool, and a throne, that shine
With gold unfading, Somnus, shall be thine.

Il. xiv. 273. Pope.

No. 1111.--v. 10. Our skin was black like an oven.] Portable ovens were frequently used in the East, and were part of the furniture of eastern travellers. These ovens appear to have been formed of different materials, according to the rank of the several owners. Those that are alluded to by the prophet Jeremiah, when describing the distresses of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine, seem to be of an inferior kind, and belonged most probably to the ordinary class of travellers. Nevertheless there were others of a far superior nature, even of very valuable metals. Thus we are informed from an Arabian tale, translated in 1786 from an unpublished MS. that part of the food of the caliph Vathek on his travels was delicate cakes, which had been baked in silver ovens. St. Jerome describes an eastern oven as a round vessel of brass, blackened on the outside by the surrounding fire which heats it within,

No. 1112.-EZEKIEL ix. 2.

And one man among them was clothed with linen, with

a writer's ink-horn by his side.

D'Arvieux informs us, that “the Arabs of the desert, when they want a favour of their emir, get his secretary to write an order agreeable to their desire, as if the favour were granted; this they carry to the prince, who, after having read it, sets bis seal to it with ink, if he grant it; if not, he returns the petitioner his paper torn, and dismisses him. These papers are without date, and have only the emir's flourish or cypher at the bottom, signifying the poor, the abject Mahomet, son of Turabeye.” (Voy. dans la Pal. p. 61, 154.) Pococke says (Trav. vol. i. p. 186, note,) that “they make the impression of their name with their seal, generally of cornelian, which they wear on their finger, and which is blacked when they have occasion to seal with it.” The custom of placing the inkhorn by the side, Olearius says, continues in the East to this day.

HARMER, vol. ii. p. 458.

No. 1113.-xii. 3. Prepare thee stuff for removing, and remove by day in their sight.] This is as they do in the caravans, they carry out their baggage in the day-time, and the caravan loads in the evening ; for in the morning it is too hot to set out on a journey for that day, and they cannot well see in the night. However, this depends on the length of their journeys; for when they are too short to take up a whole night, they load in the night, in order to arrive at their journey's end early in the morning; it being a greater inconvenience

to arrive at an unknown place in the night, than to set out on a journey then." Chardin MS.

HARMER, vol. i. p. 432.

No. 1114.--xii. 8. And in the morning came the word of the Lord unto me.] The ancients thought that those visions were truly prophetic, which appeared in the morning. Certiora et colatiora de animá somniari affirmant sub extremis noctibus. Tertullian.

Ovid thus expresses himself in his epistle of Hero to Leander:

Sub auroram, jam dormitante lucerna,
Somnia quo cerni tempore vera solent.
Mr. Pope begins his intellectual vision of the Temple of
Fame at the same time;

What time the morn mysterious visions brings,
While purer slumbers spread their golden wings.

No. 1115.-xiii. 10. One built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar.] In Persia, where it has been conjectured that the prophet Ezekiel now was, (see Fragments, No. 106.) the mortar is made “ of plaster, earth, and chopped straw, all well wrought and incorporated together: but this is not the material with which they cast or set, that is, coat over, their walls. They cast their walls pretty often also, with a mixture made of plaster and earth, which they call zerdghil, (i. e. yellow earth; though in reality it be not yellow, but rather of a musk or cinnamon colour.) They get it on the river side, and work it in a great earthen vessel; but they put so little earth in proportion to water, that it remains liquid like muddy water, or at most like strained juice; and it is altogether of the colour of that earth. They make use of it to work the plaster in another earthen vessel, where they

mingle this water with plaster in such a quantity, that it retains the colour of the earth. With this mixture they cast their walls, which at first look all grayish; but, according as they dry, they grow so white, that when they are fully dry, they look almost as if they were plastered over with pure plaster. This mixture is used not only for saving plaster, but also because it holds better than plaster alone, and looks as well."

THEVENOT's Travels, part ii. p. 86.

No. 1116.-xvi. 13, 19. And thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them,--thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour.]. The burning of perfumes is now practised in the East in times of feasting and joy; and there is reason to believe that the same usage obtained anciently in those countries. Niebuhr (Voy. en Arabie, vol. i. p. 307.) mentions a Mohammedan festival, “ after which every one returned home, feasted, chewed kaad, burnt fragrant substances in his house, stretched himself at length on his sofa, 'and lighted his kiddre, or long pipe, with the greatest satisfaction."

HARMER, vol. iii, p. 191.

No. 1117.--xvii. 13. The mighty of the land.] The seventy, ASHOUTES. Vulg. Arietes, rams. Thus Homer, speaking of Ulysses marshalling the Greeks : Αυτος δε, κλιλος ως, επιπωλειται ειχας ανδρων &.

Il. iii. 196.

Nor yet appear

his care and conduct small;
From rank to rank he moves, and orders all.
The stately ram thus measures o'er the ground,
And, master of the Rocks, surveys them round.

Pope,

Aristotle (H. A. vi. 19.) says, that in every flock they prepare a leader of the males, which, when the shepherd calls him by name, goes before them.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »