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words? Two reasons are given why these brazen kettles are said to be always sounding: one is, that many of them were so curiously arranged round the temple, that by striking one of them the sound was communicated to all the rest: the other, and the most probable of the two, is, that there were two brazen pillars before the temple of Delos, on one of which was placed a kettle, and on the other a boy holding in his hand a whip with lashes of brass, which being by the violence of the wind struck against the kettle, caused a continual sound. These pillars seem to have a reference to 1 Kings vii. 21.
No. 1344.--xiv. 8. Who shall prepare himself to the battle.] The allusion is to the custom of many nations, who, when about to engage in war, made use of musical instruments, particularly the trumpet, to gather the soldiers to gether, prepare them for the battle, give them notice of it, and animate them to it. (Alex. ab Aler. Genial. Dier. 1. iv. c. 2.) The sound of the trumpet was the alarm of war. Jer. iv. 5. There may also be a reference to the two silver trumpets, which the Lord ordered to be made of one piece for the Jews, for the journeying of the camps, and for war. Numbers x. 1. 2.
Gill, in loc.
No. 1345.--xiv. 16. Say Amen at thy giving of thanks?] It was usual to say Amen at blessing, or giving of thanks, privately at meals by those who were present. Concerning this practice the Jews have many rules. The apostle here speaks of blessing in public, on which occasion all the people, as with one voice, said Amen. The rule then was, that “the congregation may not answer Amen until the blessing is finished out of the mouth of the priests; and the priests may not
begin the other blessing until the Amen is finished out of the mouth of the congregation. To answer Amen to what was said in a language not understood was not allowed. The primitive Christians used at the close of the Lord's supper to say Amen. This custom might probably have obtained in the Corinthian church.
Gill, in loc.
No. 1346.--xiv. 26. When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm.] This Mr. Harmer (vol. i. p. 436.) says is to be understood of extemporary devotional songs. Such were by no means contrary to the turn of mind of these people. The songs of the Israelitish women when they came to meet Saul after the slaughter of the Philistines by David, seem to have been of this kind. A guard of Arab horsemen escorted the gentlemen that visited Palmyra in 1751; and when the business of the day was over, coffee and a pipe of tobacco were their highest luxury: and when they indulged in this, sitting in a circle, one of the company entertained the rest with a song or a story, the subject love or war, and the composition sometimes extemporary.
No. 1347.--xiv. 27. Let one interpret.] This practice seems to have been borrowed from the Jews, who had such an officer in the synagogue. Maimonides says, that from the time of Ezra it had been customary that one should interpret to the people what was read out of the law; one verse only was read at a time, and there was silence till it was interpreted. Interpreters were not allowed to give their own sense of the words, but were obliged to go according to the Targum of Onkelos, which they say was the same as was delivered on Mount Sinai. They never put any man into this office till he was fifty years of age.
No. 1348.-xv. 32. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus.] There were two sorts of usages among the Romans in their theatres. Sometimes they cast men naked to the wild beasts to be devoured by them. This was the punishment of wicked servants and vile persons.
Sometimes they put men armed into the theatre to fight with beasts; and if they could conquer them and save themselves, they had their liberty; but if not, they fell a prey to the beasts. It is this last custom to which the apostle refers.
No. 1349.--xvi. 22. Maranatha.] This is a Syriac expression, which St. Paul makes use of when writing a Greek epistle; it seems to be some form of speech frequently made use of among the people of those times: perhaps these were the very words the Jews in ancient times had frequently inscribed on the covers of their sacred writings. The oriental books and letters were usually wrapped in elegant coverings, which had some words on them indicative of the contents of the books. Chardin, speaking of a letter which was enclosed in a bag says, “ upon the middle of one of the sides of the bag were written these two Persian words, Hamel Fasel, which signify excellent or precious writing.”
HARMER, vol. iv. p. 10.
No. 1350.--2 CORINTHIANS vi. 1.
By the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on
It has been conjectured that the meaning of the apostle in these words is, that the spiritual warrior should be like the ap Qidelos, or those who could use with equal alertness and vigor the left hand and the right: prepared to resist on each side the wiles of the devil. They who could use both hands were on this account esteemed to be the greatest heroes. Such was Asteropæus in Homer, Such some suppose were the left-handed men mentioned Judges xx. 16. BULKLEY's Notes on the Bible.
No. 1351.-vi. 7. On the right hand and on the left.] The left side, according to the superstition of the Grecians, was accounted unlucky and of evil omen; and it was a part of the same superstition to call such things by more auspicious names. Thus according to Eustathius, they called the left αριστερος, from αριστος, the best. The omens that appeared to the east were accounted fortunate, because the great principle of all light and heat, motion and life, diffuses his first influences from that part of the world. On the contrary the western omens were unlucky, because the sun declines in that quarter. The augurs when they made observations kept their faces towards the north, and then the east was upon their right hand, and the west upon their left. Thus Homer brings in Hector telling Polydamas, that he regarded not the birds. Il. xii. 239.
Ye vagrants of the sky! your wings extend
РОРЕ. . See Potter's Arch. Græc. vol. i. b, 2. cap. 15.
No. 1352.-viii. 19. Who was also chosen by the churches.] This choice was by the suffrage of the churches, performed by holding up hands. It was derived from an ancient custom of the Athenians in the choice of their magistrates. The candidates being proposed to the people, they shewed their choice by holding up their hands. He who had the most was declared duly elected. Thus there was a brother appointed by the suffrage of the churches to travel along with Paul, and convey their alms to the poor saints in Judæa. See also Acts xiv. 23.
No. 1353.-GALATIANS iii. 28.
There is neither male nor female.
AMONG the heathens females were not admitted to some of their sacred rites and ceremonies. As to the Jews, the males only were concerned in many things both of a civil and sacred nature. No female might be heir to an inheritance with a male: they had no share in the civil government, or in the priesthood; males were to appear three times a year before the Lord; but, according to their oral law, women and servants were exempted. The male Jews valued themselves very much because they were Israelites and not Gentiles, freemen and not servants; men and not women. Against these things the apostle makes his assertion in this passage.
GILL, in loc.
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