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avers that only two are to be met with in all the Old | Arriving at Persepolis, Mr. Morier observes, “Here is Testament.
a station of rahdars, or toll-gatherers, appointed to levy a Of all the various readings the most important are toll upon kafilahs or caravans of merchants; and who in those that occur in the Hebrew and Samaritan Penta- / general exercise their office with so much brutality and teuchs, upon which point Dr. Kennicott makes the fol. extortion, as to be execrated by all travellers. The lowing excellent observations: “ One ancient copy has collections of the toll are farmed, consequently extortion been received from the Jews, and we are truly thankful ensues; and, as most of the rahdars receive no other for it; another ancient copy is offered by the Samari- emolument than what they can exact over and above tans; let us thankfully accept that likewise. Both have the prescribed dues from the traveller, their insolence is been often transcribed; both, therefore, may contain accounted for, and a cause sufficiently powerful is given errors. They differ in many instances, therefore the for their insolence on the one hand, and the detestation errors must be many. Let the two parties be heard in which they are held on the other. Baf-gah, means without prejudice; let their evidences be weighed with the place of tribute: it may also be rendered the receipt impartiality; and let the genuine words of Moses be of custom; and perhaps it was from a place like this ascertained by their joint assistance. Let the variations that Our Saviour called Matthew to follow him." of all the manuscripts, on each side, be carefully col- At Smyrna the mirijee sits in the house allotted to lected; and then critically examined by the context and him, as Matthew sat at the receipt of custom (or in the the ancient versions. If the Samaritan copy should be custom-house of Capernaum): and receives the money found, in some places, to correct the Hebrew, yet will which is due from various persons and commodities the Hebrew copy, in other places, correct the Samaritan. entering the city. “The exactions and rude behaviour Each copy, therefore, is invaluable; each copy, there of these men,” says Mr. Hartley, “are just in character fore, demands our pious veneration and attentive study, with the conduct of the publicans mentioned in the The Pentateuch will never be understood perfectly till New Testament. When men are guilty of such conduct we admit the authority of both.”
as this, no wonder that they were detested in ancient times, as were the publicans; and in modern times, as
are the mirijees.” REAPING. See AGRICULTURE; HARVEST; HusBANDRY.
RECHAB, 229 (Jerem. 35. 8,) the progenitor REBEKAH, pa the wife of Isaac, and daughter of the Rechabites, a wandering tribe of Kenites, on of Bethuel, was the mother of Esau and Jacob. Her whom Jonadab, the son of Rechab, had imposed the vow history is given at some length in the 22nd and three not to settle in any place, nor to drink wine, but to lead succeeding chapters of the Book of Genesis.
for ever a nomadic life. (2Kings 10. 15,23; Jerem. “Rebekah's covering herself with a veil, when Isaac 35. 1, &c.; 1 Chron. 2. 55.) See RECIABITES. came to meet her, which is mentioned in Genesis 24. 65, is to be considered rather as a part of the ceremonial belonging to the presenting a bride to her intended hus
RECHABITES, D'I27 a nomadic tribe, probably band, than an effect either of female delicacy or desire
Kenites, who pressed by the arms of Nebuchadnezzar to appear in the most attractive form. The Eastern
forsook their deserts and took refuge in Jerusalem, in brides are wont to be veiled in a particular manner,
the days of Ahab. (Jerem. ch. 35.) On their arrival at when presented to the bridegroom. Those that give us
Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah was divinely sent to an account of their customs, at such times, take notice
them to offer them wine to drink, for a trial of their of their being veiled all over. Dr. Russell gives us this
obedience. But they said, “ We will drink no wine: circumstance in his account of a Maronite wedding,
for Jonadab, the son of Rechab our father, commanded which he says may serve as a specimen of all the rest,
us, saying: Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye, nor there being nothing materially different in the cere
your sons for ever.” (Jerem. 35. 6.) Then the Lord monies of the different sects.” Harmer.
commanded the prophet to upbraid the Jews for their
disobedience; comparing their ungrateful conduct with REBEL, TO, is to cast off lawful authority, or the unshaken obedience of the Rechabites; denouncing make war against a superior. (Numb. 16. 1,2; 2Sam. his anger on the one, and declaring his solemn blessing 15, 20.) Men rebel against God when they contemn on the other. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God of his authority and do what he forbids. (Numb. 14. 9.) | Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring upon They rebel against his Spirit, when they resist his Judah, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, all motions and slight reproofs. (Isai. 63. 10.) They rebel the evil that I have pronounced against them; because against his word, when they refuse to believe his pro I have spoken unto them, but they have not heard; and mises, receive his offers, or obey his laws. (Psalm I have called unto them, but they have not answered. 107. 11.)
And Jeremiah said unto the house of the Rechabites,
Thus saith the Lord God of Hosts, the God of Israel; RECEIPT OF CUSTOM. It was from this occu Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Jonadab pation that Our Lord saw fit to choose one of his Apo | your father, and kept all his precepts, and done accordstles, (Matt. 9.9,) a man whose office was held in peculiar ing unto all that he hath commanded you: therefore detestation by his countrymen. (See PUBLICAN.) Mat- thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel; Jonathew was a tax-gatherer, or as we should say, a custom- dab, the son of Rechab, shall not want a man to stand house officer. The publicans had houses or booths before me for ever.” built for them at the foot of bridges, at the mouth of The Rechabites are by many writers considered as a rivers, and by the sea shore, where they took toll of class of holy persons, who, like the Nazarites, separated passengers that went to and fro. Hence we read of the themselves from the rest of the Jews, in order that they tickets or seals of the publicans, which, when a man had might lead a more pious life. But this is evidently a paid toll on one side of a river, were given him by the mistake; for they were not Israelites or Jews, but publican to show to him that sat on the other side, that Kenites or Midianites, who used to live in tents, and it might appear he had paid. On these were written traverse the country in quest of pasture for their cattle, two great letters, larger than those in common use. as the Nabathæan Arabs anciently did, and as the
modern Arabians and Tartars still do. Their manner. Another writer states, “The Beni-Rechab, sons of of living was not the result of a religious institute, but a Rechab, still exist, a distinct and equally distinguishable mere civil ordinance, grounded upon a national custom. people. They boast of their descent from Rechab, proThey derived their institutions from Jonadab, the son of fess pure Judaism, and they all know Hebrew. Yet Rechab, a man of eminent zeal for the pure worship of they live in the neighbourhood of Mecca, the chief seat God against idolatry, who assisted King Jehu in destroy- of Mohammedanism, and their number is stated to be ing the house of Ahab and the worshippers of Baal. | 60,000.” (2Kings 10. 15,16,23.) It was he who gave the rule The notice in Niebuhr having attracted the attention of life to his children and their posterity, which is of Joseph Wolff, the well-known Jewish missionary, he recorded by the Prophet Jeremiah (35. 5-7,) and which was led to make inquiries on the subject at Jerusalem. consisted of these three articles: (1,) that they should On asking a well-informed Jew, Rabbi Mose Secot, whe drink no wine; (2) that they should neither possess ther he knew anything of the Jews near Medina, the nor occupy any houses, fields, or vineyards; and (3) Rabbi said, “ Yes, they were the Beni-Kheiber.” Dethat they should dwell in tents. In these regulations he lighted at this information, Wolff further asked whether appears to have had no religious, but merely a pru- | they ever came to Jerusalem. The Rabbi replied, “ No; dential view, as appears from the reason assigned for but they came there in the time of Jeremiah the prothem, viz.: that they should live many days in the land phet.” On being asked how he knew this, he referred where they were strangers.
to the 35th chapter of Jeremiah, the eleven first rerse It appears from the concurrent testimony of succes of which they read together. Mr. Wolff then proceeds, sive travellers, that the Rechabites still exist; a striking “You see by this that Rabbi Mose Secot is quite certain example of the completion of promised blessings to a that the Beni-Kheiber are the descendants of the Rethousand generations, on those who love the Lord and chabites. To this present moment they drink no wine; keep his commandments. They were first discovered and have neither vineyard nor field, nor seed, but dwell by Benjamin of Tudela, a learned Jew, who travelled | like Arabs in tents, and are wandering nomades. They through Arabia about the year 1161: he says that they believe and observe the law of Moses by tradition, for were very numerous, and possessed a large tract of they are not in possession of the written law." He country in the northern mountains of Al-Yemen, sur- | further ascertained that the Rabbi considered the name rounded by a desert; they lived independent under a Kheiber to be the same as that of Heber, denoting prince of their own; and were oppressed by no foreign their descent from that Kenite. Afterwards the Rabbi power, but held in great terror by the neighbouring showed him a passage in the Talmud which describes Arabs. They were first brought into notice in modern the Beni-Kheiber as descended from Jethro, their remote times by Mr. Samuel Brett, who wrote a narrative of ancestor., the proceedings of the great council of the Jews in Hungary, A.D. 1650. He says of the sect of the Rechabites, “that they observe their old rules and customs,
RECORDER, 7310 mazkir. (2Sam. 8. 16.) In and neither sow nor plant, nor build houses; but live in
the margin of our larger English Bibles, this officer in tents, and often remove from one place to another with
the Jewish court is termed a remembrancer, or writer of their whole property and families.”
chronicles. Niebuhr, who visited Arabia in 1761, makes mention
The office was of no mean estimation in the Eastern of a body of Jews in the mountains north-east of Me- | world, where it was customary for kings to keep daily dina; who he says are most remarkable, though but
registers of all the transactions of their reigns. That its little known. They are called the “Beni-Kheiber,” or holder might discharge this trust with effect, it was sons of Heber, who was a Kenite, one of the descend necessary that he should be acquainted with the true ants of Jethro, and live under independent sheikhs of springs and secrets of action, and consequently be high their own, being divided into three tribes; they have in the confidence of the sovereign. Accordingly, but little intercourse with the Jews dispersed over Asia, Jehoshaphat, the son of Ahilud, who was David's reand are greatly feared by the surrounding Arabs. They corder or historiographer, (2Sam. 8. 16,) and appears have subsisted in the same district for more than to have been also retained by Solomon, is mentioned as twelve centuries, and valiantly opposed Mohammed and one of his princes. (2Kings 4. 3.) Joah, the sono the first Caliphs. Niebuhr thought them to be the | Asaph, was recorder of the pious King Hezekiai same people mentioned by Benjamin of Tudela. The | (2Kings 18.18-37; Isai. 36.3.) In Esther 6. 1, and 10... Beni-Kheiber still inhabit the same territory; and it is mention is made of the “records of the chronicles affirmed that the Jews of Jerusalem and those of written by an officer of this nature. Yemen, as well as the Mohammedans, believe them to be the descendants of those Rechabites who went to Jerusalem in the time of Jeremiah: they assert them RECORDS, 199797 700 sepher dachraraya. selves to be so, and dwell in three numerous tribes in (Ezra 4. 15.) This phrase means the book of records, the neighbourhood of Mecca and Medina ; still living in or the chronicles of the Persian empire compiled by Le tents as their father commanded them. They continue recorder. true to the worship of the God of Israel; and refer for In the account of the symbolical purchase of a ne their existence and prosperity, to the blessing of the Anathoth by the Prophet Jeremiah, we have a ci Lord of Hosts, pronounced upon their forefathers by the stance stated regarding the preservation of the re Prophet Jeremiah.
ears hard to be This blessing continues to follow the transaction, which at first sight appears baru. the filial obedience of the Rechabites, who still keep the accounted for, but when investigated proves to precepts of their father; and the faithful performance of tical with the custom of the East at the preses
th' that which ī the first commandment with promise,” (Eph. 6. 2,) has “I took the evidence of the purchase, both tha been rewarded in the preservation of the posterity of was sealed according to the law and custom,
stom, and that Jonadab, the son of Rechab: it is more than four and
OI Rechab: it is more than four and which was open ..... and put them 14 de twenty centuries since it was pronounced, and his men vessel.” (Jerem. 32. 11,14.) still stand before the Lord, although in the very heart of The insecurity of property has in all ages . a country of unbelievers.
| the Orientals to resort to various methods of conceale
in an earthen
ment, and it is, from the present custom, probable, that I selves to the same diversions, and endeavoured to disthe vessel containing the documents was to be buried in tinguish themselves in the same exercises. The prothe earth. “The open or unsealed writing,” says an Aigate high-priest Jason, in the reign of Antiochus eminent commentator, “ was either a copy of the sealed | Epiphanes, first introduced public games at Jerusalem, deed, or else a certificate of the witnesses, in whose pre where he erected a gymnasium, a “place for exercise, sence the deed of purchase was signed and sealed.” | and for the training up of youth in the fashions of the (Lowth.) But it still recurs, of what use was a copy that heathen.” (2Macc. 4. 9.) “The avowed purpose of was to be buried in the same earthen vessel, and run these athletic exercises was, the strengthening of the exactly the same risks with the original ? If by a certi body; but the real design went to the gradual exchange ficate is meant a deed of the witnesses, by which they of Judaism for heathenism, the games themselves being attested the contract of Jeremiah and Hananeel, and closely connected with idolatry; for they were generally the original deed of purchase had no witnesses at all, celebrated in honour of some pagan god. The innothen it is natural to ask, why were they made separate vations of Jason were therefore extremely odious to the writings? and much more, why was one sealed, and not more pious part of the nation, and even his own adhethe other?
rents did not fully enter into all his views;" yet the Sir J. Chardin's account of modern arrangements, games proved a source of attraction and demoralization which he thinks illustrates this ancient story, is, “ that to many. Even the very priests, neglecting the duties of after a contract is made, it is kept by the party himself, their sacred office, hastened to be partakers of these not the notary; and they cause a copy to be made, unlawful sports, and were ambitious of obtaining the signed by the notary alone, which is shown upon proper prizes awarded to the victors. The restoration of occasions, and never exhibit the other.” According to Divine worship, and of the observance of the Mosaic this account, the two books were the same, the one laws and institutions under the Maccabean princes, put sealed up with solemnity, and not to be used on common an end to the spectacles. They were, however, revived occasions; that which was open, the same writing, to be by Herod, who, in order to ingratiate himself with the perused at pleasure, and made use of upon all occasions. Emperor Augustus, (B.C. 7,) built a theatre at JeruThe sealed one answered to a record with us, the other salem, and also a capacious amphitheatre, without the a writing for common use.
city, in the plain; and who also erected similar edifices at Cæsarea, and appointed games to be solemnized every
fifth year, with great splendour, and amid a vast conRECREATIONS. The various events incident to course of spectators, who were invited by proclamation domestic life afforded the Jews occasions for festivity from the neighbouring countries. Josephus's narrative and recreation. Thus, Abraham made a great feast on of these circumstances is not sufficiently, minute to the day Isaac was weaned. (Gen. 2). 8.) Weddings enable us to determine with accuracy all the exhibitions were always seasons of rejoicing: so also were the which took place on these occasions; but we may seasons of sheep-shearing, (1Sam. 25. 36, and 2Sam. collect, that they included wrestling, chariot-racing, 13. 23,) and harvest home. To which may be added music, and combats of wild beasts, which either fought the birth-days of sovereigns. (Gen. 40. 28; Mark 6. 21.) with one another, or with men who were under sentence Of most of these festivities music and dancing were the of death. Horne. accompaniments.
Some of the Scriptural allusions to games and recreaMilitary sports and exercises appear to have been tions we have already noticed. (See GAMES; Prize, &c.) common in the earlier periods of the Jewish history. We may here mention two others. From the amusement By these the Jewish youth were taught the use of the of children sitting in the market-place, and imitating bow, (1 Sam. 20. 30-35,) or the hurling of stones from a the usages common at wedding feasts and at funerals, sling with an unerring aim. (Judges 20. 16; 1Chron. Our Lord takes occasion to compare the Pharisees to 12. 2.) Jerome informs us, that in his days (the fourth the sullen children who will be pleased with nothing century) it was a common exercise throughout Judæa which their companions can do, whether they play at for the young men who were ambitious to give proof of weddings or funerals; since they could not be prevailed their strength, to lift up round stones of enormous upon to attend either to the severe precepts and life of weight, some as high as their knees, others to their John the Baptist, or to the milder precepts and habits waist, shoulders, or head, while others placed them at of Christ. (Matt. 11. 16,17.) The infamous practice of the top of their heads, with their hands erect and joined gamesters who play with loaded dice has furnished together. He further states, that he saw at Athens an St. Paul with a strong metaphor, in which he cautions extremely heavy brazen sphere or globe, which he the Christians at Ephesus against the cheating sleight of vainly endeavoured to lift; and that on inquiring into men, (Ephes. 4. 14,) whether unbelieving Jews, heathen its use, he was informed that no one was permitted to philosophers, or false teachers in the Church itself, who contend in the games until, by his lifting of this weight, corrupted the doctrines of the Gospel for worldly purit was ascertained who could match with him. From poses, while they assumed the appearance of great disinthis exercise, Jerome elucidates a difficult passage in terestedness and piety. Zechariah 12. 3, in which the prophet compares Jerusalem to a stone of great weight, which being too heavy
RED HEIFER. See HEIFER. for those who attempted to lift it, falls back upon them, and crushes them to pieces.
Among the great changes which were effected in the RED SEA. This vast gulf of the Indian Ocean manners and customs of the Jews, subsequently to the bears in the Scriptures the name of 910 0 Yum Suph, time of Alexander the Great, may be reckoned the (Psalm 106. 7,) or the Sea of Rushes, probably from the introduction of gymnastic sports and games, in imita | part of it best known to the inspired writers being much tion of those celebrated by the Greeks; who it is well incumbered with sea-weed, or with coral, which might known were passionately fond of those exercises. These be mistaken for such. In the Apocryphal Books it has amusements they carried, with their victorious arms, the name of Epv@pa Oalaooa, (1 Macc. 4. 9,) from into the various countries of the East; the inhabitants which is derived the Latin Rubrum Mare of the Vulof which, in imitation of their masters, addicted them | gate and of classical writers; and of this last our Eng
lish term Red Sea is a mere translation, as Erythrus is | Niebuhr; but higher up and opposite Tell Kolzum itie of the IIebrew Edom, the name of one of the most broader, and has several low islands or sand-banke celebrated countries on its shores. See EDOM.
which are mostly covered at high water. It is here and The Red Sea, called also the Arabian Gulf, is a branch around the northern part of this arm that there are prin of the Indian Ocean, which commencing at the Straits of dent traces of a gradual filling up of this part of the Bab-el-Mandeb, runs in a north-westerly course for more Red Sea. I am not aware of any circumstances which than fourteen hundred miles, between Ethiopia and go to show that the level of the sea itself has been Egypt on the west, and Arabia on the east. Its width changed; but the change, if any, has been brought about greatly varies in different places, but is, on an average, solely by the drifting-in of sand from the northern part one hundred and fifty miles; it is also of vast depth, but of the great desert plain, which here extends to the its shores are fringed with reefs of coral, and from the eastern mountains. This plain is ten miles or more great prevalence of strong winds, its navigation is wide. Burckhardt crossed it in 1812 in six hours from exceedingly difficult and dangerous. At its northern the wells of Mab'ûk at the foot of the mountains to the part it divides into two branches, which running north- mounds of the canal, and says it was full of moving east and north-west, inclose the peninsula of Sinai, the sands which covered the plain as far as he could discern, scene of so many memorable transactions. Of these and, in some places, had collected into hills thirty or branches, the eastern, now called the Gulf of Akabah, forty feet in height.' Such it was as we also saw it on is one hundred miles long by fifteen broad; it is the our left in passing around the head of the bay; and the Gulf of Elath of antiquity, where was the station of the sand driven by the strong north-east wind, which often fleets of Solomon. (See ELATH.) The western arm, the prevails, is continually carried towards and into the water, Heroopolitic Gulf, now termed the Gulf of Suez, is one and the process of filling up is still going on. There hundred and eighty miles in length and twenty in can be little room for doubt that the islands above Suez breadth ; it was the scene of the destruction of Pha- were formed in this manner, since, in former days, vesraoh's host, (see Red SEA, PASSAGE OF,) and therefore sels probably lay at Kolzum, which they now cannot requires a somewhat extended notice, which may be best reach. Around the head of the inlet there are also given in the words of our most recent authority, Pro- obvious indications that the water extended much furfessor Robinson :
ther north, and probably spread itself out over a wide “The Gulf of Suez, as seen from the adjacent hills, tract towards the north-east. The ground bears every presents the appearance of a long strip of water, setting mark of being still occasionally overflowed; and our far up, like a large river through a desert valley of Arabs said it was often covered by the sea, especially in twenty or thirty miles in width; the shores skirted some winter, when the south winds prevail. The soil of this times by arid plains, and sometimes interrupted by part is a fine sand, like that of the adjacent desert, only naked mountains and promontories on either side. The rendered more solid by the action of the waves. In whole configuration reminded me strongly of the valley some parts it was covered with a saline crust, and occaof the Nile on a larger scale; except that there the sionally exhibited strips white with shells. Whether noble river bears fertility on its bosom, and scatters it the shoals south of Suez were formed in the same manabroad in lavish profusion; while here desolation reigns ner it is more difficult to decide; though they would throughout. The gulf becomes narrower towards Suez, seem now to have a firmer consistence. and terminates in a line of coast extending from the “We were told that the tide rises at Suez, and upon town westward nearly to Jebel ’Atâkab, a distance of these shoals, about seven English feet. According to the six or eight miles. Further south, this mountain runs | French measurements, the average rise of the tides in quite down to the sea, forming the promontory called | their time was five and a-half Paris feet, though it Ras 'Atâkah; beyond which opens the broad mouth or sometimes exceeded six feet. Niebuhr found it to be plain of Wady Tawârik; and then follows Jebel Deraj only three feet and a half. It must obviously rary or Kulâlah, and the long chain of African mountains. much with the direction of the wind; since a strong On the east side of the gulf, the parallel ridge of moun- | wind from the northern quarter would have the effect to tains, called Er-Râhah, is here twelve or fifteen miles drive the tide out, and prevent its return; while a south distant from the coast. Around the head of the gulf | wind would produce the contrary results. Opposite extensive shoals stretch out southwards far into the sea, | Suez there is a ferry; and higher up at Tell Kolzum, a and are left bare at low water; except a narrow wind- | ford, which is sometimes used at low water, leading over ing channel like a small river, by which light vessels | two of the sandy islands. Niebuhr's guide passed this come quite up to the town. We saw these shoals twice ford on foot, and the water came scarcely up to their while the tide was out. They extend a mile and a half | knees. An island just below the ford is called Jezirat or two miles below Suez; are quite level and hard, el-Yehûdîyeh, «Jews Island. There is also another thinly covered with sea-weed; and are composed appa- | ford south of Suez, near the edge of the shoals, where rently of sand, mingled perhaps with coral. We saw long narrow sand-bank extends out from the eastern persons walking upon them quite near the southern | shore. Here at low tides the Arabs sometimes Wade extremity. Larger vessels and the steamers lie off in across the channel; the water being then about hve lett the road below these shoals, more than two miles dis- | deep, or, as they said, coming up to the chin. tant from the town.
The Red Sea is early mentioned in the Scriptures, and “ The desert plain behind Suez, extending west as far | its shores have a strong interest for the Biblical si as to 'Atâkah, and north to 'Ajrûd, is composed, for the l A modern traveller says, “ After a tedious passage on most part, of hard gravel ; and is apparently of no recent | India, we entered the Straits of Jubal Lat the formation, but as old as the adjacent hills and moun- | the Gulf of Suez]; and few countries present them tains. Just at Suez a narrow arm runs up northwards the imagination of the traveller undercircumstance
de interest as those for a considerable distance from the north-east corner of the calculated to awaken a deep and lasting interest is! gulf: in the state in which we saw it, the water extended | around us. From the earliest dawn of history, the sun up about two miles; but the depression or bed of it con shores of the Red Sea have figured as the scene or
ove umited to tinues beyond the mounds of the ancient canal, and as / which both religious and civil records have was far as the eye can reach. Opposite Suez this arm is | render memorable. Here Moses and the pa. about eleven hundred and fifty yards wide, according to l tended their flocks, and put in motion those spring
RED SEARED SEA, PASSAGE OF TIIE.
civilisation which from that period have never ceased to of their imagined victims, and in their blindness and urge forward the human race in the career of improve- fury, followed them into the miraculous path. But now ment. On the one hand, the valley of the wanderings their appointed hour was come. In the words of the commenced near the site of Memphis, and opening upon sacred text, “ It came to pass that in the morning watch the Red Sea, conducts the fancy along the track pursued the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through by the Hebrews during their flight out of Egypt. On the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host the other hand are Mount Sinai, bearing still upon its of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot-wheels, that face the impress of miraculous events; and beyond it they drave them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, that strange, stormy, and gloomy looking sea, once fre- | 'Let us flee from the face of Israel, for the Lord fighteth quented by Phænician merchants' ships, by the fleets of for them against the Egyptians. Then the Lord said Solomon and Pharaoh, and those barks of later times unto Moses, 'Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that which bore the incense, the gold, the gems, and spices the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon of the East, to be consumed or lavishly squandered their chariots and upon their horsemen.'” upon favourites at the courts of Macedonia or Rome. Niebuhr, the Danish traveller, thinks the place of the
“But the countries lying along this offshoot of the passage was near Suez. At this point the water is about Indian Ocean have another kind of interest, peculiar two miles across, and Niebuhr himself forded it. But perhaps to themselves. On the Arabian side we find he says that the sea must have been deeper in old time, society much what it was four thousand years ago; for and extended further towards the north. Burckhardt amidst the children of Ishmael it has undergone but agrees with Niebuhr; others place its site about thirty trifling modifications. Their tents are neither better miles lower down. Still, wherever the passage was nor worse than they were when they purchased Joseph effected, the Mosaic account cannot, by any fair interof his brethren on their way to Egypt; the sheiks pos | pretation, be explained without miraculous agency. sess no other power or influence than they possessed | Moses, an eye-witness, expressly declares that the agency then; the relations of the sexes have suffered little or was direct, immediate, and foretold of God; and how no changes; they eat, drink, clothe themselves, educate can there be any room for explaining this away without their children, make war and peace, just as they did in at once denying the veracity of the sacred historian the days of the Exodus.
himself ? * But on the opposite shores all has been change, fluc Bruce, the traveller, has well observed that the doubts tuation, and decay. While the Bedouins have wandered of its having been done by miracle do not merit any with their camels and their flocks, unaspiring, unim particular attention to solve them. “This passage," proving, they have looked across the gulf, and beheld says he, “is told us by Scripture to be a miraculous the Egyptian overthrown by the Persian, the Persian by one; and if so, we have nothing to do with natural the Greek, the Greek by the Roman, and the Roman in causes. If we do not believe Moses, we need not behis turn by a daring band from their own burning lieve the transaction at all, seeing that it is from his deserts. They have seen empires grow up like Jonah's authority we derive it. If we believe in God that He gourd. War has swept away some; the vanities and made the sea, we must believe He could • divide' it, luxuries of peace have undermined and brought others when He sees proper reason; and of that He must be to the ground; and every spot along these shores is the only judge. celebrated.”
“It is no greater miracle to divide the Red Sea than to
divide the river Jordan. If the Etesian wind, blowing RED SEA, PASSAGE OF THE. The main fea- | from the north-west in summer, could keep up the sea tures of this wondrous transaction having been already as a wall on the right, or to the south, of fifty feet high; noticed in the article Exodus, we shall here chiefly con | still the difficulty would remain of building the wall on fine ourselves to an examination of the locality of the the left hand, or to the north. Besides, water standing event, which, after much discussion, seems now to be in that position for a day must have lost the nature of really ascertained.
fluid. Whence came that cohesion of particles which The Israelites, thrust out from Egypt, would natu- | hindered that wall to escape at the sides? This is as rally have pursued the most direct way to Canaan, and great a miracle as that of Moses. If the Etesian winds left the Red Sea to the south ward; but, Divinely had done this once, they must have repeated it many a directed, they encamped upon its shores at Pihahiroth, time before and since from the same causes. in a situation where all escape from the pursuit of Pha “Were all these difficulties surmounted, what could raoh seemed hopeless. They murmured, and reproached we do with the pillar of fire?' The answer is, we Moses with bringing them out to perish in the wilder should not believe it. Why, then, believe the passage ness; but he answered them, “Fear ye not; stand still, at all? We have no authority for the one, but what is and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show for the other: it is altogether contrary to the ordinary to you to-day; for the Egyptians whom ye have seen nature of things; and if not a miracle, it must be a to-day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The fable." Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” There are on the spot traditions of this memorable
Upon this, that mysterious pillar-of cloud by day, event still existing. The wells or fountains in the and of fire by night, which had hitherto appeared in neighbourhood are still called by the names of Moses advance of the Israelites, shifted its position to their | and Pharaoh. “Whenever," says Niebuhr, “you ask rear, and stood up between them and the pursuing an Arab where the Egyptians were drowned, he points Egyptians. Then Moses, by Divine command, stretched | to the part of the shore where you are standing. In out his hand over the arm of the sea which ran before one bay they pretend to hear, in the roaring of the the camp, and immediately a strong east wind began to waters, the wailings of the ghosts of Pharaoh's army;" blow, the waters were driven back, and a dry passage and Diodorus Siculus, who lived about the commenceappeared throughout, to the other side of the gulf. ment of the Christian era, relates a tradition derived by Along this awful pass the Hebrews marched during the the Ichthyophagi (the ancient inhabitants of this coast) night, and by the morning light were all safely arrived from their forefathers, that once an extraordinary reflux on the opposite coast.
took place, the channel of the gulf became dry, the green The Egyptians had witnessed this wonderful escape bottom appearing, and the whole body of water rolling