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called shabal, in Syriac, shabla, in the New Testament, | Florus, whose exactions drove the Jews into rebellion, sabbaton, and sabbala. The Jews accordingly in desig- | according to Josephus." (Antiq. xx. 10. 1.) nating the successive days of the week, were accustomed The greatest difference among chronologers in the to say, the first day of the sabbath, that is, of the week; calculation of these years does not exceed nine or ten. the second day of the sabbath, that is, Sunday, Monday, Petavius, who has treated of this matter, in his twelfth &c. (Mark 16. 29; Luke 24. 1; John 20. 1,19.) In book De Doctrina Temporum, reconciles all these addition to the week of days, the Jews had three other differences, by showing that the words of the prophecy seasons denominated weeks. (Levit. 25. 1-17; Deut. 16. of Daniel, “ from the going forth of the commandment to 9. 10.) ]. The day of weeks. It was a period of seven restore and to build Jerusalem," ought to be understood weeks, or forty-nine days, which was succeeded on the of the complete execution of the order to rebuild fiftieth day by the feast of Pentecost. (Deut. 16. 9,10.) Jerusalem, which was not performed but by Nehemiah. 2. The week of years. This was a period of seven years, He shows also, that the twentieth year of Artaxerxes, during the last of which the land remained untilled, and mentioned in Nehemiah 2, 1, ought to be explained, not the people enjoyed a sabbath or season of rest. 3. The of the twentieth year of the reign of Artaxerxes alone, week of seven sabbatical years. It was a period of but of his twentieth year beginning from the time that forty-nine years, and was succeeded by the year of his father associated him with himself in the kingdom, jubilee. (Levit. 25. 1-22; 26. 34.)
ten years before his death. These ten years being Of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9. 24, it is agreed deducted from the number of years that elapsed from the that these are weeks of years, and not of days. They decree of Artaxerxes in favour of Nehemiah, to the consist of seven lunar or Hebrew years; by which death of Jesus Christ, deliver the chronologers out of reckoning the seventy. weeks made up four hundred and their perplexities, and dispel the difficulties which arose ninety years. This way of reckoning years by days is from the ten supernumerary years given by their calculanot unusual in the sacred writings. (Levit. 25. 8; Ezek. tion of the four hundred and ninety years contained in 4. 45; Rev. 12. 6.) There are many different hypotheses the seventy weeks of Daniel concerning the beginning and end of Daniel's seventy The modern Jews are not agreed among themselves, weeks even among Christian writers, who believe this fearing to be convinced from this prophecy that the prophecy marks out the time of the birth and death of Messiah is already come, and that their expectation of Our Saviour Jesus Christ. Some begin them from the him is in vain. Some pronounce a curse against them first year of Darius the Mede, which is the epocha of that compute the time, saying, it is in vain to expect the Daniel's prophecy, and make them to determine at the Messiah, who hath been come a long while ago: others profanation of the Temple, which happened under the say he is not yet come, but that he would have come persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes. Others begin long since if the sins of the Jews had not prevented him. them from the first year of Cyrus at Babylon, and place Others again place the beginning of the seventy weeks the end of them at the destruction of the Temple by the at the destruction of the first Temple by Nebuchadnezzar, Romans. Others fix the beginning at the first year of and the end at the destruction of the second Temple by Darius the Mede, in which this revelation was made to Titus. Between these two events they reckon but two Daniel, and fix the end at the birth of Christ. Julius hundred and ninety years, which is a proof of their great Africanus places the first year of the seventy weeks at ignorance in matters of chronology. But, however Jews the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes Longimanus, who of the present day may regard this prophecy, there is no gave a commission or decree to Nehemiah, to rebuild doubt that anciently they believed it to predict the the walls of Jerusalem. From thence to the last week, appearance of the Messiah, and at the very time when in which the Messiah was put to death, are reckoned he did appear though they knew him not. So clear seventy weeks, or four hundred and ninety lunar years. indeed is its specification of the time of the Messiah's This entire period of seventy weeks of years is in the appearance, that, says Gill, (quoting T. Bab. Bava, ensuing verses (Dan. 9. 25-27,) historically divided into Buthra, fol. 15. 1,) “One of the Rabbins who lived sixty-two, seven, and one weeks, and the one week sub- about fifty years before the coming of Christ, asserted, divided into half a week. The following observations that the coming of the Messiah, as signified by Daniel, on these divisions are from Hales, who, however, acknow- could not be deferred longer than those fifty years." In ledges his obligations for the adjustment of the chronology fact, all the history of the Jews about that time evinces of the seventy weeks to Hans Wood, Esq., published by the prevalence of this belief among them. him (1787) in an anonymous commentary on the But the Messiah they expected was one who should Revelations. “After the sixty-two weeks, but not appear as a conquering king, establish the Jewish immediately, the Messiah was cut off; for the sixty-two monarchy all over the world, and deliver them from the weeks expired A. D. 14; and the one week, or passion dominion of the Romans. It was this belief which week, in the midst of which Our Lord was crucified, inspired them with courage in their contest with the A. D. 31, began with his public ministry, A. D. 28; Romans, and enabled them to prolong the defence of and ended with the martyrdom of Stephen, A. D. 34. Jerusalem. They lived in daily, even hourly expectation The passion week began, therefore, two weeks (fourteen of the appearance of the Messiah, whom they fully years,) after the sixty-two weeks, or at the end of sixty- believed would change all their sorrow to joy, and four weeks; and there were five weeks, or thirty-five years, defeats to victories. That this was the case is testified after the passion week to the destruction of Jerusalem. by Josephus, (7. 12.) who states, “That which chiefly So that the seventy weeks must be chronologically excited them to the war was an obscure oracle found in divided into sixty-four, one, and five weeks: for the one the holy writings, that about that time, one coming out of week of the prophecy is evidently not the last of the that land should rule over the entire world, which they Jewish war, and cannot therefore follow in the order of interpreted of one of their own nation, and many of their time, the sixty-two and seven weeks. The commence- wise men were deceived therein. But this oracle signi. ment of the war, which ended with the ruin of the fied the empire of Vespasian.” This was a very courtly city and Temple, seems to be fixed at the expiration and convenient explanation for the Jewish priest to find. of the 62+7=69 weeks, or 483 years, and accordingly Suetonius and Tacitus also state that there was in the the Jewish war commenced in the last, or seventieth world, at this time, a general fame that one coming out week, A. D. 65, during the administration of Gessius of Judea should rule over the whole world. This belief
could only have come from the Jews, who had it from 33. 19; Josh. 24. 32; Job 42. 11.) In the time of Daniel; and the succession of Vespasian, the general | Moses, the weight most in use was the Spu shekel, its commanding against the Jews, to the Roman empire, half, ypa bekung, and its twentieth part, and gera. An suggested that application of it to him, which even
on of it to him, which even hundred shekels made a nuo maneh, (2Chron. 9. 16. Josephus sanctions, though his sincerity in making it compare 1 Kings 10. 17;) and thirty minæ, or two thoumay very well be questioned. A.
sand shekels, made a talent, 72 kikar. (Exod. 38. 25,26.)
The Greek talent varied in different countries; the WEEKS, FEAST OF, MIV77 207 chag chash
Athenian was estimated at six thousand drachms. buholh. This was one of the three great annual festi
The Jewish Rabbins, in their statements in regard vals of the Jews, and thus called on account of its being
to weights, estimate them, like the modern Persians, seven weeks, or, according to the Hebrew phrase, a week
according to the number of grains of barley to which of weeks, from the first day of the Passover festival. It
they are equivalent. That is to say, they make a grain is also called the Feast of Pentecost. See PENTECOST.
of barley the smallest weight. This is the method of This is the “Feast of Pentecost” of the New Testa
the Rabbins. The ancient Hebrews undoubtedly, as ment, which is celebrated by Christians in memory of
well as certain nations of profane antiquity, selected a the miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit at that
seed of pulse (siliqua) as the representative of the season upon the apostles and first disciples of Christ.
smallest weight with which they were acquainted. The (Acts 2. 1-13.) The Rabbins call this feast “the day of
Hebrew name for this weight is 1772 gerah. Fannius, the giving of the Law,” and believe, as do the modern
a contemporary with Augustus, says that six such seeds Jews, that it was intended, at least in part, to celebrate
made a scruple, and three scruples a drachm. Hence a that event, which they are perhaps correct in supposing
drachm contained eighteen siliqua, or Hebrew gerahs, to have taken place on the fiftieth day from the de
which Eisenschmid, in his treatise on Weights and parture from Egypt and the first Passover. The feast
Measures, (p. 23,) finds equal to eighty-seven or eight seems, in some places, to be mentioned as if only the
Parisian grains. Consequently, twenty of them, which festival of a day; it, however, lasted a week, but the first
are equivalent to a shekel, would be equal to ninety-six day only was distinguished by peculiar solemnities. A.
or seven Parisian grains, or about ten pennyweights English valuation.
Besides the common legal, or sacred shekel, there was WEEPING. The ancient Hebrews wept and
another in the time of the kings called the “ king's made their trouble to appear openly, in mourning and
shekel.” The hair of Absalom was weighed with this affliction; they were not of opinion that courage and
sort of shekel, and amounted to two hundred of them. greatness of soul consisted in secming to be insensible in
The heaviest head of hair that has been found in Engadversity, or in restraining their tears. It was even
land weighed five ounces. Absalom's, as we may well looked upon as a great disrespect for any one not to be
suppose, could not have weighed more than ten. This bewailed at his funeral. Job says of the wicked man,
supposition would lead us to the conclusion that the “ His widow shall not weep.” (Job 27. 15.) And the
royal did not amount to more than a fourth, perhaps not Psalmist, speaking of the death of IIophni and Phinehas,
to more than a fifth or a sixth part of the legal shekel. says, " Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows
Gold was dealt out by the weights wbich have been made no lamentation.” (Psalm 73. 64.) God forbids
mentioned, but its value, for instance, the value of a Ezekiel to weep or to express any sorrow for the death
gerah, or shekel, of gold, cannot be accurately estimated, of his wife, to show that the Jews should be reduced to
because we do not know precisely what its worth was so great calamities that they should not have the liberty
when compared with that of silver. The shekel used in even to mourn or bewail themselves. (Ezek. 24. 16.)
weighing gold was the royal one. The difficulty of (See Mourning; Tears.) A.
ascertaining the true worth of any quantity of gold
mentioned in the Scriptures is increased by the circumWEIGHTS; WEIGHING. In Oriental countries, stance that the gold itself possessed different degrees of as far back as the time of Abraham, the value of goods | purity; in some instances it was adulterated, and was estimated at a certain quantity of silver, the purity | other instances more fine than usual. (See Jahn's Bibof which was taken into account by the merchant. lical Archæology.) During the captivity of the Jews, (Gen. 23. 16.) But there is no trace of stamped silver and after their return from it, they made use of the or coin previous to the captivity. Nor indeed was it at / weights and coins of other nations. (See art. COIN.) that early period divided into pieces of a certain size. It must be remembered that silver and gold ancienty, It was commonly weighed out in balances, though its were more scarce than at present, and consequently of weight was sometimes ascertained by means of an / greater value. Its value in the fourth century before instrument of weighing answering to our steel-yards. Christ was to its value in England in the year 1780, as, Merchants were accordingly in the habit of carrying ten to one. So that four hundred and forty grains og about with them balances or weights in a sort of pouch / silver would purchase as much at the last-mentioned or bag. The weights were stones, hence they are called period, as four thousand four hundred would at the first. D'IX 72 X eben abanim, words which commonly mean The following are the Jewish weights reduced to trop, stones. (Levit. 19. 36; Deut. 25. 13-18; Prov. 2. 1; and are taken from Horne's Introduction to the Scripe 16. 11; Micah 6. 11.) Persons who were disposed to tures, who informs us that he has chiefly extracted them be fraudulent sometimes carried two sets of weights, a from Dr. Arbuthnot's Tables of Ancient Coins, Wergnis, heavier and a lighter set, using sometimes one and some and Measures. times the other, as best suited their interest. Gold, even
lbs. oz. dwts g.
The gerah, the 20th part of a shekel 0 0 0 12 as late as the time of David, was not used as a standard
The bekah, half a shekel . . 0 0 5 of value, but was considered merely as a very precious
The shekel . . . . . article of commerce, and was weighed like other articles.
600 The oldest weight that is mentioned is denominated in The talent, 50 manehs, 3000 shekels 125 000 Hebrew 70'up keshilah. The same word is applied | The weight of the sanctuary, or weight of the Temple, also to a piece of silver or gold, but the amount or quan- (Exod. 30. 13,24; Levit. 5. 5; Numb. 3. 50; 7., tity designated by it is, in both cases, unknown. (Gen. 18. 16,) was probably the standard weight, preserved
The maneh, 60 shielende'
some apartment of the Temple; and not a different | chaser's favour. But when anything is to be sold, the weight from the common shekel. (1 Chron. 23. 29.) practised dealer seldom fails to have a weight that is Neither Josephus, nor Philo, nor Jerome, nor any heavier in the same proportion, and which reverses the ancient author, speaks of a distinction between the case. Mohammed was aware of the temptations to disweights of the Temple, and those in common use. honesty which such facilities offered, wlien he declared.
Besides the custom of preserving the standards of that an honest dealer would take rank with martyrs in weights and measures in temples is not peculiar to the a future life. The ancient Egyptians, according to
Diodorus, cut off the hands of a person who used false weights; and the laws of Mohammedan countries, also, have been very severe upon this crime. Joliffe gives us an account of an act of summary justice for this offence; he says, “A police-officer observing one morning a female, not a native, carrying a large piece of cheese, inquired where she had purchased it; being ignorant of the vender's name, she conducted him to his shop, and the magistrate suspecting the quantity to be deficient in weight, placed it in the scales, and found his suspicion verified; whereupon he straightway ordered his attendants to cut from the most fleshy part of the delinquent's person what would be equivalent to the just measure; the order was instantly executed, and the sufferer bled to death."
In the article BALANCE there is a wood-cut, copied Egyptian Weights.
from Egyptian sculpture, to which we refer our readers; Hebrews. The Egyptians, as Clemens Alexandrinus it shows the ancient form of the scales used by that informs us, had an officer in the college of priests, whose people, and is interesting, if only as exhibiting, from its business it was to examine all sorts of measures, and to general resemblance to those now in use, the general take care of the originals; the Romans had the same identity of meaus in countries far remote in place and custom, (Fannius de Amphoria,) and the Emperor Jus- time, when the same end is to be attained. These tinian decreed that standards of weights and measures instruments are exhibited, with varieties of form, as should be kept in Christian churches.
with us, according to the sort of goods to be weighed The custom of weighing by stones, which was early in in them. The scale-board, for instance, is sometimes úse among the Hebrews, has been also the same in most flat, and sometimes suspended from the beam by chains. countries, and we ourselves still preserve a trace of it in There is no reason to suppose that the weighing instruthe weight to which the name of a stone” is still given. ments among the Jews were very different. They may Stones are still used in western Asia, although not exclu even have had a balance like our steelyard in principle; sively; and as no two such weights are of similar appear for this instrument is known to be of high antiquity, ance, and as all stones are not equally ponderous, even and is still used in the East. A few have been found when of the same apparent size, the eye of the customer in the ruins of Pompeii. has no standard of estimate by which it might detect 1 A “ weight of glory," of which St. Paul speaks the dishonesty of a trader who uses different weights for (2Cor. 4. 17), is opposed to the lightness of the evils of different occasions and customers. The Jewish doctors life. The troubles we endure are really of no more assert that in order to prevent this fraud, their wise men weight than a feather, or of no weight at all, if comdecreed that no weights, balances, or measures, should pared to the weight or intenseness of that glory which be made of such as iron, lead, tin, which are liable to shall be hereafter a compensation for them. In addition rust, to bend, or be easily impaired, but of marble, to this, it is probable the Apostle had in view the double stone, or glass, which were less liable to be abused. But meaning of the Hebrew word chabod, which signifies that these precautions are ineffectual we learn from vari- not only weight but glory. Glory, that is, splendour, is ous travellers: Roberts says, “ As in former times, so in this world the lightest thing in nature; but in the now, much of the business in the East is transacted by other world it may be real, at once substantial and travelling merchants. Hence all kinds of spices and radiant. Indeed all translators confess their inability other articles are taken from one village to another by to find terms in our language adequately to express the the Moors, who are in those regions what the Jews are force of this remarkable passage. The Greek language in the West. The pedlar comes to your door and voci- only affords materials for so powerful an expression. ferates the names of his wares; and so soon as he catches “It is,” says Blackwell, “infinitely emphatical, and your eye, begins to exhibit his very cheap and valuable cannot be expressed by any translation. It signifies articles. Have you agreed as to the price, he then pro that all hyperboles fall short of describing that weighty duces the bag of divers weights,'(Deut. 25. 15,) and eternal glory, so solid and lasting, that you may pass after fumbling some time in it, he draws forth the from one hyperbole to another, and yet, when you have weight by which he has to sell, but should he have gained the last, are infinitely below it.” A. to purchase anything he will select a heavier weight. The man who is not cheated by this trader and his WELLS, are receptacles for water from which "bag of divers weights' must be blessed with more there is no stream issuing. They belong to those keenness than most of his fellows." Indeed, using false persons who found or dug them first. Sometimes they weights is very common in the East, in proportion to are owned by a number of shepherds in common, who its facility and to the difficulty of detection. It is a come to them on appointed days with their flocks, in common circumstance for articles bought in the bazaars, order previously settled upon, descend a number of steps, and afterwards weighed at home by true standards, to which lead to the surface of the water, receive the water exhibit a deficiency of fully one-third, and often more, into small buckets, and pour it into troughs for the flock. although in the act of purchasing, the seller has affected The waters of wells and fountains are called living to be liberal, and to turn the scale deeply in the pur- waters, and are very much esteemed. Hence they are
made a symbol of prosperity, aud God Himself is | result, took the start of them, and by forced marches compared to a fountain of living waters.
encamped at one of the principal wells on their way · Water was very scanty in the deserts, and very while the other at some distance from it he rendered necessary to large flocks, it was therefore highly valued useless by emptying into it several camel loads of salt and frugally imparted..
he had brought for the purpose. The men of Bagdad Indeed we find that in the patriarchal ages, the halted at this well, and their bitter disappointment may discovery of water was reckoned of sufficient importance be more easily imagined than described, when they to be the subject of a formal report to the master of the discovered the water to be as salt as that of the sea. flock, who distinguished the spot by an appropriate The same cruel expedient was adopted by the Wahabee name. A remarkable instance of this kind is recorded Arabs in their late war with Mehemet Ali. All the by Moses, (Gen. 26. 17-22;) “ And Isaac departed thence wells in the route of the Egyptian soldiers they polluted and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt them with dead carcases, and thus rendered them useless. there. And Isaac digged again the wells of water, It has been stated that during the late war in China, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his the Chinese poisoned their wells in order to destroy our father, for the Philistines had stopped them after the troops if they attempted to advance. But though wells death of Abraham; and he called their names after the are sometimes destroyed, it is an expedient only made names by which his father had called them. And Isaac's use of in great emergencies, and the Arabs in particular, servants digged in the valley and found there a well of know too well the value and importance of wells ever springing water. And the herdsmen of Gerar did strive | wantonly to do them harm. They think it a great with Isaac's herdsman, saying, The water is ours, and he merit in the sight of God to dig a well, and culpable in called the name of the well Esek; because they strove an equal degree to destroy one. The wells in the with him. And he digged another well, and strove for deserts are in general the exclusive property either of a that also, and he called the name of it Titnah. And he whole tribe, or of individuals whose ancestors dug them. removed from thence and digged another well, and for that The possession of a well is never alienated; perhaps, they strove not; and he called the name of it Reho- because the Arabs are firmly persuaded that the owner both, and he said, For now the Lord hath made room for of a well is sure to prosper in all his undertakings, since us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.” The cause of the blessings of all who drink his water fall upon him. these differences seem to have been that a question arose The stopping of Abraham's wells by the Philistines, the whether wells dug by Abraham's and Isaac's people re-opening of them by Isaac, and the restoration of their within the territories of Gerar, belonged to the people | former names; the commemorative names given to the who digged them, or to those who enjoyed the territorial new wells, and the strifes about them between those who right. The real motive of the opposition of the people had sunk them and the people of the land, are all cirof Gerar, and their stopping up the wells made by cumstances highly characteristic of those countries in Abraham, seems to have been to discourage the visits of which the want of rivers and brooks during summer such powerful persons to the territories, for otherwise, / render the tribes dependent upon the wells for the the wells would have been suffered to remain on account existence of the flocks and herds which form their of their utility to the nation. Stopping up the wells is wealth. It would seem that the Philistines did not still an act of hostility in the East. Mr. Roberts says, again stop the wells while Isaac was in their country. that it is so in India, where one enemy who hates | It is probable that the wells successively sunk by Isaac another, will sometimes send his slaves in the night to did not furnish water sufficient for both his own herds fill up the well of the latter, or else to pollute it by and those of Gerar, and thus the question became one of throwing in the carcases of unclean animals. The exclusive right. Such questions often lead to bitter and Bedouin tribes in the country traversed by the great bloody quarrels in the East; and it was, probably, to pilgrim-caravan which goes annually from Damascus to avoid the last result of an appeal to arms, that Isaac Mecca, receive presents of money and vestments to withdrew out of the more settled country towards the prevent them from injuring the wells on the line of Desert, where he might enjoy the use of his wells in march, and which are essential to the very existence of peace. In 1814, Capt. Lightfoot saw a band of shepherds the multitudes who then traverse this desert region. armed with muskets, in the act of watering their cattle
D'Herbelot records an incident exactly in point, which at a well near Nazareth. They were frequently opposed seems to be quite common among the Arabs. Gianabi, in their approaches to the water by a neighbouring and a famous rebel in the tenth century, gathered a number | unfriendly tribe. “Strife," says Dr. Richardson, “between of people together, seized on Bassorah and Caufa; and | the different villagers and the different herdsmen here, afterwards insulted the reigning caliph by presenting exists still as it did in the days of Abraham and Lot; himselt before Bagdad, his capital, after which he retired | the country has often changed masters; but the habits by little and little, filling up all the pits with sand which of the natives both in this and other respects have been had been dug on the road to Mecca for the benefit of nearly stationary.” the pilgrims. Burckhardt also informs us, that while Having stated the importance of water to the shepSoleyman Pacha held the government of Bagdad, an herd, we may now subjoin its value to the agriculturist, expedition was formed against Derayeh, in the country as exemplified in Persia. Malcolm states that in that of the Wahabees. The invading army consisted of four country the government duty on agricultural produce 18 or five thousand Turks, and double that number of always regulated according to the advantages or dis Arab auxiliaries. Their march was parallel with the advantages of the soil with respect to water. Those Persian Gulf, through a country abounding at every lands that depend solely on the rain are almost never encampment with abundance of excellent wells. Instead cultivated; those that are watered from wells, or reser. of directing their route at once towards the intended voirs, pay five per cent. on the produce; those that get place of attack, though it was only five or six days' a supply of water from aqueducts pay fifteen per cent.; journey, they laid siege to the fortress of El Hassa, | and those that have the advantage of a flowing stream, where the resistance being stronger than was anticipated, pay twenty per cent. These rates are after deducting and the garrison being reinforced by a powerful Wahabee the seed, and allowing ten per cent. for the reapers and force under Saoud, the Turks raised the siege and threshers. meditated a retreat. Saoud, however, expecting such a | Chardin informs us that in Arabia and other places,
Orientals drawing Water from a Well. it is usual to close and cover up the wells, lest the discontinued, and the employment sunk into contempt. sand which is put into motion by the winds there, When nations originally pastoral settled in towns, and like the water of a pond, should fill them up and adopted the refinements of life, the care of the sheep quite choke them. This precaution is also necessary ceased to be a principal consideration, and gradually to prevent the water being dried up by evapora- devolved upon servants or slaves. The respectability tion. In this manner the well was covered from of the employment in these patriarchal ages is not which the flocks of Laban were commonly watered, evinced by our finding the daughter of so considerable (Gen. 29. 2-10,) and the shepherds, careful not to leave a person as Laban engaged in tending the flocks, for, in them open at any time, patiently waited till all the the East, all drudgery devolves upon the females; but focks were together, before they removed the covering, by our finding the sons of such persons similarly and then, having drawn a sufficient quantity of water, engaged in pastoral duties, which in Homer also they replaced the stone immediately. The extreme appears to have been considered a fitting employment scarcity of water in these arid regions entirely justifies for the sons of kings and powerful chiefs. We are not such rigid care in its management, and accounts for aware that at present, in the East, the actual care of a the fierce contentions which so frequently took place flock or herd is considered a dignified employment. between different shepherds respecting the possession Forbes, in his Oriental Memoirs, mentions that in the of wells. Indeed, in many cases, even after the ques- Brahmin villages of the Concan, women of the first distion of right of possession was decided, shepherds were tinction draw the water from wells and tend the cattle often detected fraudulently watering their flocks and in pasture, like Rebecca and Rachel. But, in this herds from their neighbour's well. To prevent this, instance, it cannot be because such employments have the cover was secured with a lock, which practice con- any dignity in them, but that the women are obliged to tinued in use so late as the days of Chardin, who perform every servile office. So, among the Bedouin frequently saw such precautions used in different parts Arabs and other nomade nations, the immediate care of of Asia. He tells us, that when even the wells or the focks devolves either upon the women or the cisterns were not locked up, some person was so far the servants, but most generally the latter, as the women proprietor, that “no one dared open them, except in his have enough to occupy them in their multifarious presence.” This was probably why the shepherds of domestic duties. However, among some tribes, it is Padanaram declined the invitation of Jacob to water the the exclusive business of the young unmarried women flocks before they were all assembled; either they had to drive the cattle to pasture. “Among the Sinai not the key of the lock which secured the stone, or, if Arabs,” says Burckhardt, “a boy would feel himself they had, they durst not open it, except in the presence insulted were any one to say to him, Go and drive of Rachel, to whose father the well belonged. It is your father's sheep to pasture. These words, in his not to be supposed that the shepherds waited because opinion, would signify, You are no better than a their united strength was requisite to roll away the girl.'" These young women set out before sunrise, stone, when Jacob was able singly to do so.
three or four together, carrying some water and victuals Jacob, therefore, is not to be supposed to have broken with them; and they do not return until late in the the standing rule, or to have done anything out of the evening. Throughout the day they continue exposed ordinary course, for the Oriental shepherds are not at to the sun, watching the sheep with great care, for they all persons likely to submit to the interference or dicta- are sure of being severely beaten by their father, should tion of a stranger. He, however, rendered a kind any be lost. These poor girls are in general civil to service to Rachel, as the business of watering cattle at persons who pass by, and ready enough to share with a well is very tiresome and laborious. The pastoral them their food and milk. They are fully able to poetry of classical antiquity, which has been imitated protect their flocks against any ordinary depredation or more or less in all nations, has rendered us familiar danger, for their way of life makes them as hardy and with the idea of females of birth and attraction acting | vigorous as men. as shepherdesses long after the practice itself had been Twice in the day the flocks were led to the wells-at