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those of others, and that these people who fast much, I mean the Armenians and the Greeks, are notwithstanding very beautiful, sparkling with health, with a clear and lively countenance." HARMER, vol. i. p. 357.
No. 1127.-ii. 5. Your houses shall be made a dunghill.] This was a common practice among the Romans. When any person was found plotting against the government, or guilty of treason, they were not only capitally punished, but their houses were pulled down, or the names of them changed. Thus the house of Caius Cassius was pulled down for his affectation of government, and for treason; and that of M. Manlius Capitolinus, who was suspected of seizing the government, after he was thrown down from the rock, was made a mint of. That of Spurius Melius, for the same crime, after he had suffered, was by reproach called Æquimelium. Other instances are mentioned in Aler. ab Aler. Genial. Dier. I. iii. c. 23. See 2 Kings. X. 27.
No. 1128.-ii. 48. Then the king made Daniel a great man.] For various purposes and services the eastern princes honoured and dignified men of wisdom and particular abilities: but they sometimes carried their attachment to a very singular excess; even imprison. ing them if they suspected them of an intention to retire. If they happened to escape, an embassy with presents and apologies sometimes followed the man of learning; and a peremptory demand was often made, where gentler methods had not the desired effect: a demand, however, seldom complied with, if the power of the sovereign with whom they had taken refuge bore any proportion to that of his competitor. See RICHARDson's Dissert, on the Eastern Nations, p. 30.
No. 1129.-V. 2.
Belshazzar, while he tasted the
wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels, which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem.] Mr. Harmer (vol. i. p. 385.) conjectures that a false devotion, excited by wine, might be the cause of Belshazzar's conduct; and, as an illustration of this remark, informs us, from Sir J. Chardin, that it is the custom of the greatest part of the eastern Christians, and above all of the Iberians and the people of Cholcis, when they are drunk, to lift up their eyes to heaven, beat themselves on the breast, to sigh and sob; remorse for their sins awaking, and their fear of future punishment operating afresh.
No. 1130.--v. 12. Dissolving of doubts.] Literally from the Hebrew, untying of knots. In the copy of a patent given to Sir John Chardin by the king of Persia, we find it is addressed “To the lords of lords, who have the presence of a lion, the aspect of Deston, the princes who have the stature of Tahem-ten-ten, who seem to be in the time of Ardevon, the regents who carry the majesty of Ferribours, the conquerors of kingdoms, superintendents that unloose all manner of knots, and who are under the ascendant of Mercury, &c."
No. 1131.-vi. 8. The law of the Medes and Persians which altereth not.] Chardin says that in Persia, when the king has condemned a person, it is no longer lawful to mention his name, or to intercede in his favour. Though the king were drunk or beside himself, yet the decree must be executed; otherwise he would contradict himself, and the law admits of no contradiction.
No. 1132.--vi. 10. He went into his house, and, his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem.] It was enjoined upon the Jews, that if any of them. were led away captive, they should pray to God toward
the city which he had chosen, and the house which Solomon had built, 1 Kings viii, 48. The conduct of Daniel in the instance now referred to was in obedience to that command.
We find that a similar custom of expressing an affection for any highly esteemed place by turning their faces towards it prevails at this present time among the people in Africa. Thus Park informs us: “ when we departed,” says this traveller,
this traveller, “ from Kamalia (near the Niger,) a town in Manding, we were followed for about half a mile by most of the inhabitants of the town, some of them crying, and others shaking hands with their relations, who were now about to leave them: and when we had gained a piece of rising ground, from which we had a view of Kamalia, all the people belonging to the çoffle (a number of slaves who were going down to the coast) were ordered to sit down in another place with their faces towards Kamalia, when a schoolmaster that accompanied them pronounced a long and solemn prayer."
No. 1133.--vi. 11. Making supplication.] There were various ways of making supplication peculiar to different nations. Themistocles, when pursued by the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, and forced to cast himself on the protection of Admetus king of the Molossians, held the young prince (who was then a child) in his arms, and in that posture prostrated himself before the king's household gods; this being the most sacred manner of supplication amongst that people. (Plutarch in Themist.)
The Grecians used to supplicate with green boughs in their hands, and crowns upon their heads, chiefly of olive or laurel; whence Statius says,
Mite nemus circa-
No. 1134.viii. 5. And the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.] It is very well known that in former times Macedon, and the adjacent countries, particularly Thrace, abounded with goats; in so much that they were made symbols, and are to be found on many of the coins that were struck by different towns in those parts of Greece. But not only many of the individual towns in Macedon and Thrace employed this type, but the kingdom itself of Macedon, which is the oldest in Europe of which we have any regular and connected history, was represented also by a goat with this particularity, that it had but one horn. The custom of representing the type and power of a country under the form of a horned animal is not peculiar to Macedon. Persia was represented by a ram. Ammianus Marcellinus (lib. xix. cap. 1.) acquaints us, that the king of Persia, when at the head of his army, wore a ram's head made of gold and set with precious stones, instead of a diadem. The relation of these emblems to Macedon and Persia is strongly confirmed by the vision of Daniel recorded in this chapter, and which from these accounts receives no inconsiderable share of illustration. An ancient bronze figure of a goat with one horn, dug up in Asia Minor, was lately inspected by the society of Antiquaries in London. The original use of it probably was to be affixed to the top of a military standard, in the same manner as the Roman eagle. This supposition is somewhat supported by what is related of Caranus, that he ordered goats to be carried before the standards of his
army. (Justin lib. vii. cap. 1.) See ARCHÆOLOGIA, or Miscellaneous Tracts relating to Antiquity, vol. xiv.
No. 1135.-xi. 45. He shall plant the tabernacles of his palace,] or pavilion, that is, the tents for his princes and generals. The word used has the signification of
covering and clothing. Hence some translate it the tents of his curtain; tents covered with curtains or veils, such as the tents of kings, generals, and principal officers were distinguished by. FULLER (Miscell. Sacr. I. v. c. 18. So also Lydius de re militari, I. iv. c. 2. p. 155.) conjectures, that it may refer to an ancient custom of the Roman emperors, who used before a battle to have a scarlet coat spread over their tents, or hung upon a spear, to give notice of it. And so this furious enemy of the church of God is represented as setting up his ensign, preparing for battle, and threatening with utter desolation.