Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

noon, and when the sun was going down. This was an to his urgent demand for a supply of water for himself operation of much labour, and occupied a considerable and camels, which it must have cost her so many space of time. Some of these wells are furnished with | laborious descents to provide for her own numerous troughs and flights of steps down to the water, and charge, she responded with a courteous readiness which other contrivances to facilitate the labour of watering conveys the most favourable impression of her chathe cattle. (In modern times, Mr. Park found a troughracter and manners. Such interviews are neither rare near the well from which the Moors watered their cattle nor unexpected; for, as the native shepherdesses are in the sandy deserts of Sahara.) It is evident the well always certain to be found watering their cattle at midto which Rebecca went to draw water, near the city of day and at sunset, the wells naturally became conteNahor, had some contrivance of this kind, for it is nient halting-places to which travellers direct their steps written, “ Rebecca hasted and emptied her pitcher into at those periods of the day, as well to supply themselves the trough, and ran again unto the well to draw water, with the refreshing beverage, as to gain all requisite and drew for all his camels.” (Gen. 24. 20.) A trough information about the place and people. An applicawas also placed by the Arabian well from which the tion for a draught of water is the usual commencement daughters of Jethro watered his flocks, (Exod. 4. 16,) of a conversation, and scenes like this incident in and, if we may judge from circumstances, was a usual Rebecca's-bistory are still so frequently to be met with contrivance in every part of the East. “Without such as to afford the clearest proof that the pastoral manners contrivances,” says Paxton, “it would be impossible in of Eastern shepherdesses retain the same beautiful and many places to water the cattle at all, for, as in those warm-hearted. simplicity by which they were distinarid climes there is seldom such abundance of water as guished in the days of Abraham. The two following we can easily procure in the flowing river or the pond, anecdotes are given in illustration of this:—“We met and the scanty store of the precious fluid that is col on this road," says Niebuhr (the road from Orfa to Bir), lected in the well or the tank is rapidly diminished by “ with several wells, at which we stopped while the the influence of the heat, as well as by daily consump young women of the neighbouring villages, or of the tion, necessity requires that it be drawn out of the deep | tribes of the Curds and Turcomans who were wandering and narrow reservoir and poured into a basin or trough, in these parts, came to water their flocks. They were where it may be within reach of the youngest of the | not veiled, like those in the towns. As soon as me flock. The depth to which, from the causes now accosted them and alighted from our horses, they mentioned, the water is often reduced, has given rise brought us water to drink, and likewise watered our to the natural expedient, in order to facilitate the task horses. Similar civilities had indeed been shown to of the women, of furnishing many of the wells in the me in other parts, but here it appeared particularly East with a flight of steps, by which a descent is remarkable, because Rebecca, who was certainly brought effected to the water's edge,-a peculiarity of structure up in this neighbourhood, showed herself equally which will serve to explain that part of the sacred obliging to strangers. Perhaps I have even drank at narrative describing the movements of Rebecca where the same well from which she drew water." it is said, 'She came down unto the well and filled the | “About five in the evening, the latter end of Decempitcher, and came up.' That pitcher was probably a ber," says Mr. Rae Wilson,“ upon entering the town large two-handled earthen jar, like what is still uni- of Nazareth, we saw two women filling their pitchers versally used in Palestine; and the reader cannot fail to | with water at the fountain, and about twelve others notice that she carried it not suspended in her hand, waiting for the same purpose, whom we desired to pour but aloft on her shoulder, a mode of carrying burdens some water into a trough which stood hard by, that our which is to this day the favourite practice of the horses might drink. We had scarcely made the request women; and travellers have often expressed their admi before they instantly complied, and filled the trough, ration of the dexterity with which the Arab maidens | and the others waited with the greatest patience. Upon trip along with their beautiful long-necked vases nicely returning thanks, one of them with very great modesty balanced without assistance on their heads, or sup replied, “We consider kindness and hospitality to ported, as many of them do, by the left hand on the strangers as an essential part of our daty.'”. shoulder."

In repairing then at the time of drawing water to The following anecdote, though not belonging to the well at the gate of Nahor, which he knew was at no Palestine or any of the scenes of sacred history, may ) great distance from the residence of Bethuel, in throwbe subjoined, as affording a pleasing illustration of man- ing himself upon the civilities of the young shepherdess ners exactly similar to patriarchal:—“Greatly resem for a draught of water, and on that simple act of bling the pasioral manners of the Mesopotamian damsels | hospitality founding his claim to her attention and in the patriarchal days, the young women of Guzerat daily interest in the inquiries he made about the neighdraw water from the public wells, and sometimes carry | bouring sheik, Eliezer acted on a thorough knowledge two or three earthen jars placed over each other upon of the habits of the country. No other mode of inquiry the head, which requiring perfect steadiness, gives them he might have adopted could, in a thinly-peopled and an erect and stately air. An English lady in India, pastoral region like that through which he was travelling, whose great delight was to illustrate the sacred volume have procured him so direct and accurate intelligence of by comparison with the modern manners and customs the names and condition of the principal inhabitants, or of the Hindoos, reading the interesting interview | have led so speedily to the accomplishment of the between Abraham's servant and Rebecca, at the gate important errand for which he had been despatched of Nahor, to an intelligent native, when she came to to the Mesopotamian branch of his master's famiy, that passage where the virgin went down to the well as by making for the well, and mingling is simple with her pitcher upon her shoulder, her attentive friend dialogue with the parties of native shepherdesses 20 exclaimed, 'Madam, that woman was of high caste !' | frequented it as their usual watering-place. One Founs This he implied from the circumstance of carrying the maiden only appeared there, a circumstance which reda pitcher upon her shoulder, and not on her head. Some ders it probable that her father, Bethuel, was the greu of the highest Brahmins do the same."

pastoral chief of the neighbourhood who possessed the On reascending from the well, Rebecca discovered no exclusive right to the well. In many other places, surprise to find a stranger standing at its entrance; and where the population is more numerous, or the water

[blocks in formation]

scarce, a number of shepherds and shepherdesses collect | dinary weight for a pair of bracelets. But they are from different quarters, with their respective flocks, to worn as heavy, or indeed much heavier in the East, the same fountain, and while among shepherds of resembling, as Chardin remarks, rather manacles than peaceable manners, who are on habits of amicable inter- bracelets. They are sometimes flat in shape, but more course, those meetings are hailed with joy, as the most usually round or semi-circular, taking a cubical form at pleasant in their solitary day, are the time for retailing the section where they open to admit the hand. They gossip, the signals for the outbreak of all sorts of merri have no fastenings, but open and compress by their own ment, and are often enlivened with the song and the elasticity alone; they are, in fact, enormous rings, which dance, with others who are of a contentious disposition, are often seen not less than an inch in diameter; but or where there is any jealousy or animosity among the their weight, although great, is not commensurate to rival tribes, they become scenes of bitter strife and their size, as they are usually hollow. The weight rude competition, in which unmanly advantage is which a woman carries on her arms, however, is not to always taken of their gentler companions of the other be estimated by that of a single pair of bracelets; for sex,

no woman who can possibly get more is contented with Della Vallé, and many other travellers who passed one pair. It is not unusual to see five or six bracelet's through the dreariest parts of the desert, tell us that | on the same arm, covering it from the wrist nearly to they always forgot their toil and privations when they the elbow. These, and their other ornaments, form the reached the wells, and mingled in the company of the sole wealth of the bulk of the women, and they are lively shepherdesses who repaired thither with their anxious, on all occasions, to accumulate, and loath to flocks, and that the little kind offices which they ren | part from them; hence on a comparatively poor woman, dered in helping these nymphs of the mountains to living and dressing meanly, it is not uncommon to see a water them were more than repaid by the pleasures of considerable quantity of precious metal in the ornaments their society and generous hospitality, which were offered of her head-dress, arms, and ankles; whatever other in return with the liveliest gratitude; for, in the present ornaments she possesses are not treasured up to be proday, as of old, the female keepers of the flock are often duced on grand occasions, but are worn daily as parts of subjected to the rudest treatment from their male.com her ordinary costume. Thus she puts all her bracelets panions, who, pressing forward, exclude them from the on her arms at once, all her anklets on her legs, and all benefit of the well; so that the bold and generous her earrings in her ears. The use of ornaments on all stranger who happens to be resting there, and chooses to occasions seems to explain why Eliezer placed the nosetake the part of the fair daughters of the desert, renders ring at once on the nose of Rebecca, and the bracelets them an important service, which they never fail to on her arms, instead of giving them to her as things to acknowledge by offering to the traveller all the atten be treasured up. “In the neighbourhood of Bethlehem," tions in their power. It was by his courteous civility | says Wilde, “we saw a band of young girls going to a in hastening to remove the ponderous stone that covered well, with their pitchers on their shoulders, who appeared the well of Haran,—the reader of the Bible will remem among the most beautiful of their sex we met in the ber,--that Jacob introduced himself to the notice, and East. They had slight and elegant figures, a native grace won the heart of his fair Mesopotamian cousin; and it of mien and air, added to which the tasteful drapery of was by the seasonable interposition of Moses, as cham- their light simple attire, the dark tresses that fell in wild pion of the seven daughters of Jethro, who would luxuriance over their necks and shoulders, braided with otherwise have suffered in his presence, as they usually small gold coins, while a zone of the same brilliant matedid, from the rude violence of their male companions, rial adorned their high expanded foreheads; the music that the illustrious fugitive ingratiated himself into the of their silver anklets, their long pendent earrings, and esteem of the simple-hearted Arabian shepherdesses, the bracelets that covered their arms in great numbets, and received a pressing welcome into the tent of the cast an inexpressible charm round those lovely Arab sheik their father.

maidens." Both Jacob and Moses being poor and ill-equipped The scarcity of water, and the great labour and fugitives had it not in their power to bestow any other expense of digging away so much earth in order to reach mark of their regard than the simple though important it, render a well extremely valuable. As the water is -service of their hands. But in the more ancient story often sold at a very high price, a number of good wells of Rebecca, we find Abraham's confidential slave and yield a large revenue to the proprietor. Pitts was messenger lavishing on her, as she stood at the well, a obliged to purchase water at sixpence a gallon; a fact profusion of costly trinkets. Nor, however strange it which illustrates the force of the offer made by Moses to may seem to us, the idea of decorating a young female, Edom, “ If I and my cattle drink of thy water, then will who was occupied in the humble task of carrying I pay for it.” (Numb. 21. 19.) pitchers of water to provide for the flocks she had' It is properly mentioned as a very aggravating circharge of, with ornaments of gold and silver, is this cumstance in the overthrow of Jerusalem, that the ruthdescription at least in variance with the habits of the less conqueror forced the Jews to purchase with money time and place.

the water of their own wells, and the wood of their own Even in the present day the Arab and Syrian shep trees: “ We have drunken our water for money; our herdesses often appear at the well under a load of orna wood is sold unto us.” (Lam. 5. 4.) Even a cup of mental finery; nor can this appear wonderful, the Ori cold water cannot always be obtained in Syria without ental female having universally a strong passion for paying a certain price. It is partly on this account Our gaudiness of dress, and covering the face and arms with Lord promises that“ whosoever shall give to drink unto a variety of rings and trinkets; it is natural that the one of those little ones a cup of cold water, in the name young women of the pastoral countries, with whom the of a disciple, should in no wise lose his reward.” (Matt. wells are the only places of public resort where they | 10. 42.) ever mingle with the world, should be eager to deck There are many wells and cisterns in Judea, the first themselves with all the valuables they can command. of which are supplied with water by springs, the latter -We are told that Eliezer gave Rebecca “two bracelets by rain. The Eastern wells have often no implements for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold,” that is, for drawing water except what persons bring with them, about four ounces and a half, which seems an extraor- so that travellers in those dry.countries are often oliged

[blocks in formation]

to carry lines and buckets on their journeys, and great ) cumstance, which must have been familiar to the inha. leather bottles to refill from time to time. A traveller bitants of those countries, is mentioned by Deborah in from Egypt to Jerusalem says he did not forget “ leather her triumphal song: “They that are delivered from the buckets to draw water with.” And another speaks of noise of archers in the place of drawing water, there the well at Bethlehem as “ a good rich cistern, deep and shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the Lord." wide,” for which reason the people who go to get water (Judges 5. 11.) A perfect comment on these words is are provided with small leather buckets and a line; furnished by an historian of the Crusades, who complains these are also carried by the merchants, who go through that, during the siege of Jerusalem by the Christian great deserts into far countries. “Coming to a well,” armies, numbers of their men were daily cut off, and writes Mr. Hartley, “ without possessing the means of their cattle driven away by the Saracens, who lay in obtaining water, we were forcibly reminded of Our Lord's ambush for this purpose near all the fountains and situation near Sychar, when the woman of Samaria said, watering-places. “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is The passages in Scripture describing the sufferings deep.' She asked in astonishment, 'From whence then caused by want of water in the desert, are very numer. hast thou that living water.' Seeing that the well was ous. (Isai. 29. 8; Deut. 8. 15; Jerem. 2. 6, &c. &c.) deep, and Our Lord unprovided with the means of pro Psalm 107.5, says, “ They wandered in the wilderness curing any, she could not comprehend how she should in a solitary way, they found no city to dwell in. have asked of him, and received living water;' she Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them." Baumunderstood not that he spake of the spirit which they garten gives us a vivid description of his own and comthat believed on him should receive.”

panions' suffering in the desert from want of food and The well at which Our Saviour held conversation with water. He writes, “ Travelling all that day and night, the woman of Samaria is not mentioned elsewhere. We without eating, resting, or sleeping, we could not avoid may suppose that it took its name from the fact or falling off our camels, while we were half-sleeping, notion that it was dug by Jacob, or that his family drank half-waking. A thousand strange dreams and fancies of its water, while journeying in this part of the coun- came into our heads whilst hungry and thirsty me sat try. The circumstances recorded in John 4. 5-26, as nodding on our camels. We thought we saw somebody having occurred at this well, have greatly enhanced the reaching us food and water, and putting out our hands interest of the spot to Christians, and it has hence been to take it, and stretching after it when it seemed to draw a favourite resort of pilgrims in all subsequent ages. back, we tumbled off our camels, and, by a severe fall, The Empress Helena built a church over it, but this has found it a dream and illusion.” A. long been destroyed by time and the Turks, so that the foundations only are now discoverable. The well stands about a mile from the present town; but this distance

WEN, an unhealthy excrescence, generally cause affords no objection, as the town seems to have extended

by scrofulous disease. Any animal having a wen was farther in this direction in former times; besides which

| strictly prohibited from being presented as a sacrifice to it often occurred that wells were at some distance from

the Almighty: “ Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having the town to which they belonged. This was the case in

a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these the present instance, as the disciples had gone into the

unto the Lord, nor make any offering by fire of them city" to buy food.” The well stands at the commence

upon the altar unto the Lord.” (Levit. 22. 22.) A. ment of a round vale, which is thought to have been the “ parcel of ground” bought by Jacob for “ a hundred WHALE, in than, and in thannin; Gr. Kntos, pieces of silver.” The mouth of the well itself has over cetos, occurs in our translation. (Gen. 1. 21; Job 7. 12; it an arched or vaulted building, and the only passage and Ezek. 32. 2.) It is the largest of all the inhabitdown to it is by means of a small hole in the roof, ants of the water. Profane authors have given extrascarcely large enough for a moderate-sized person to vagant accounts of the size of this creature: some say work his way through.

that whales have been seen of six hundred feet long and “ Landing,” says Buckingham, “ on a heap of dirt and three hundred and fifty feet thick; others write that rubbish, we saw a large, flat, oblong stone, which lay there have been seen some of eight hundred feet long. almost on its edge across the mouth of the well, and left | Modern writers say that, in America, some whales med barely space enough to see that there was an opening sure ninety or a hundred feet from head to tail; and it below. We could not ascertain its diameter, but by the is admitted that the whales in the north seas are yet time of a stone's descent it was evident that it was of larger than those that are found upon the coast of considerable depth, as well as that it was perfectly dry Guinea, or in the Mediterranean. at this season, the fall of the stones giving forth a dull The whale brings forth her young ones alive, as other and dead sound.” Maundrell says that its depth is perfect animals, but produces one or two at most, and thirty-five feet, and that when he was there it contained nourishes it at the breast with great care. Whales hare five feet of water. With respect to the identity of this generally no teeth, but only beards or whiskers on the well as the one at which Our Lord conversed with the throat, of about a span in breadth, and fifteen feet long, woman of Samaria, Dr. Adam Clarke thinks that the which ends in fringes, like hog's bristles at the end, spot is so distinctly marked by the evangelist, and so which, at top, are set in the palate, and ranged in order. little liable to uncertainty from the circumstance of the These beards serve to extend or contract the cheeks of well itself, and the features of the country, that even if this creature. Whales are maintained by a water, er no tradition existed for its identity, the site could hardly froth, which they suck from the sea, and by some little have been mistaken.

fishes, as the sea-flea, the sea-spider, anchovies, sedIt was near the fountains and wells that the robber weed, &e. Yet some of them have teeth, and in the commonly took his station, and, in time of war, the | stomachs have been found thirty or forty cod fish. The enemy placed their ambush, because the flocks and whale always keeps its young one under its fins, ane herds, in which the wealth of the country chiefly con never leaves it until it is weaned. It has no udder, but sisted, were twice every day collected to those places, has nipples and teats, which contain milk in such abur and might be seized with less danger when the shep-dance, that sometimes there have been drawn from it herds were busily engaged in drawing water. This cir- the quantity of two hogsheads.

or a moderate-sized the roof, ants betek. 32. 2.) It is thico, (Gen. 1. 21; Job 7.19

[blocks in formation]

It is well ascertained that the writers of the Bible they doubtless carried bread-corn; seating themselves must have been ignorant of this animal; it is never seen first in the most favourable climates. A few months near Jerusalem or Egypt, and they could have no bis- sufficed the yet virgin earth to produce the crops; and tory of Greenland or Spitzbergen. The Rev. James even the tribes who followed a pastoral life, and removed · Hurdis, in a dissertation written expressly for the pur- from time to 'time, for the convenience of their flocks pose, has endeavoured to prove that the crocodile, and and herds, rested while they sowed their grain and not the whale, is spoken of in Genesis 1. 21. We quote | gathered in their sheaves. Indeed, many of the wanderhis concluding argument. “There yet remains an argu- ing tribes of the desert both in Asia and Africa still ment which proves that the crocodile, and not the whale, | continue this practice. is to be understoed in Genesis 1. 21. At whatever time | The most ancient sacred and profane books describe Moses wrote the Book of Genesis, whether before or Egypt as a country abounding in wheat. Owing to the after the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, to assure them that the Lord their God was the creator of crocodile, has a manifest propriety which is not to be found in the present translation. For he might naturally suppose, should they incline to idolatry, one of the first objects of their adoration would be the crocodile which they had seen worshipped in Egypt.” Dr. Geddes thinks that the circumstance of its being an Egyptian divinity might induce the historian to particularise it, as being but a mere creature like the rest.

The word in Job. 7. 12 must also mean the crocodile. It describes some terrible animal, which, but for the watchful care of Divine Providence, would be very destructive. Our translators render it dragon in Isaiah 27. I, where the prophet gives this name to the king of Egypt: “He shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.” The sea there is the river Nile, and the dragon the crocodile. (Compare Ezekiel 32. 2.)

On this passage Bochart remarks the in tannin, is not a whale, as people imagine, for a whale has neither feet nor scales, nor is it to be found in the rivers of Egypt, nor does it ascend therefrom upon the land; nor

Wheat. is it taken in the meshes of a net; all of these properties are ascribed by Ezekiel to the 'n tannin of Egypt. annual inundation of the Nile, it was less subject to variWhence it is plain that it is not a whale that is here ations in produce than the neighbouring countries, where spoken of, but a crocodile.

the harvests often failed from continued drought. . : Merrick supposes David in Psalm 74. 13 to speak of It is generally admitted that to Egypt or some of her the tunnie, a kind of whale, with which he was probably colonies, Greece, and probably both Sicily and Italy, owe acquainted: and Bochart thinks it has its Greek name their bread-corn. The Israelites while wandering in the thunnos from the Hebrew thunot. The last-mentioned desert were not without wheat. Though suffering from fish is undoubtedly that spoken of in Psalm 104. 6. occasional scarcity, yet when the tabernacle was erected,

The word " whale" occurs in the translations of Eccle- and the ark of the covenant framed, fine wheaten flour siasticus 43. 25; and in the Song of the Three Chil was produced in abundance for the sacred services; the dren, 5. 57, in both which the Greek word is used. offering of righteous Abel, the first-fruits of the earth (See JONAT.) A.

being thus continued for a memorial. In the 2d chapter

of Leviticus, directions are given for oblations, which in WHEAT, 70n chetch, Oitos, silos, the principal our translations are called “meat-offerings,” but as meat and most valuable kind of grain for the service of man. means flesh, and all kinds of offerings there specified Nothing certain about the original country of the wheat were made of wheat, it would have been better to have is known: Sicily, Siberia, and Persia, have been, in their rendered it wheaten-offerings. Calmet has observed that turn, pointed out as claimants, but without any unequi there were five kinds of these: simple flour, oven cakes, vocal evidence. If we were to suggest Egypt as the cakes of the fire-plate, cakes of the frying-pan, and birth-place of the wheat we should not, perhaps, be far green ears of corn. from the truth. Whcat would seem to have been native Besides those passages in Scripture where the specific to the western and central parts of Asia, whence it was word wheat is used, Celsius would fain consider all those early spread over the greater part of the old world, where corn is named as implying wheat, and also those by the migratory habits of the patriarchs of mankind, in which parched or dried corn is found. The long and is first mentioned in Scripture in the account of and learned dissertation in the Hierobotanicon on the Jacob's sojourn with his father-in-law, Laban. (Gen. | general word corn goes to prove from ancient writers, 30. 14.) The country of Laban, Padan Aram, was the sacred and profane, that it always meant bread-corn, northern portion of Mesopotamia; one of those elevated that is, wheat. We must remember that the Jews used plains to the southward of Caucasus, whence the Tigris a great deal of barley bread. We find, for instance, and Euphrates take their sources, where cities were that barley bread was presented to David for his own already built, nations had become stationary, and the use and that of his army, and who can forget the barley plains were covered with cultivated grain. To this day loaves of the New Testament? Bread was also made of it is in those lands that bread-corn is found wild, though rye and of spelt or zea, especially in Egypt, as we may the cities are decayed, and only serve as strong places infer from Scripture, and as Herodotus positively asserts. for the fierce tribes who have long spoiled the land. Therefore, perhaps, the general name corn is the best

Whithersoever the first who departed from the ori- | possible translation of the passages in question. With ginal hive of man, to form fixed settlements, wandered, regard to the parched corn, if the traditional use of any

the migral over thentral parts.com to have haps, be the cakes were five kihen offeringuld have been there spe meat

[blocks in formation]

species of grain goes for anything, there are few modes | ing for the summer fruits and the harvest,” (Isai. 16. 89) of eating the first ears more common in the East, even filled the air with sounds of rejoicing. Å Hindos now, than roasting or parching it before the fire. An our time lays apart the few first grains of his scanty expression in Proverbs informs us that wheat was some meal for his gods; and the Greeks of Homer offered times mixed with inferior grain. “Though thou bullock without the salted barley. Wheat, and the shouldst bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a bread made from it, accompanied by salt, were, by the pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him," express commands of the Mosaic law, offered before the (Prov. 27. 22,) a comparison taken no doubt from the Lord by the Hebrews in grateful acknowledgment for common custom. We know from Pliny that both the their first of temporal blessings. Nor did even the Greeks and Italians of his day mixed many varieties of heathen neglect a like expression of gratitude. Whether grain with their wheat, some with the idea of increasing the religion were founded on the mystic dreams of its wholesomeness, and others for the sake of the flavour. Bhood or Brahma, the allegories of Egypt, or the poetry From Scripture we may infer that barley formed the of Greece, corn was indispensable in all sacrifices to chief bread of the labourers, mixed probably with rye their gods, or to the spirits of their ancestors. A. and spelt.

Among the many temporal blessings promised to the Israelites in the land of promise was, that they should WHEEL, WHEELS. It would appear that the have “ a land of wheat and barley, a land wherein thou Egyptians, at least in the earlier ages, were ignorant of shalt eat bread without scarceness.” (Deut. 8. 8,9.) That the use of iron, for all the implements not formed of this was the case there is ample evidence in Scripture. gold and silver are painted green, and must manifestly Densely populated as the country ultimately became, and have been made of brass. We need not remind our various as were its productions, it not only furnished classical readers, that all the weapons mentioned by corn enough for its own inhabitants, but had a surplus, | Homer are said to have been formed of this metal. which they disposed of to the Phænicians of Tyre and Casting must have been carried to a high degree of Sidon, who themselves paid too much attention to com- perfection, for most, if not all the frames of the warmerce and arts to take much interest in agriculture. It chariots are brazen, a circumstance proved not only by is to be regretted that we do not know whether the corn their green colour, but by the lightness and neatness of was supplied to them merely for their own use, or for their wheels, and their beautiful ornaments, too elaborate exportation also. The latter, which is very probable, to have been carved. We find that the wheels under would still more show the great productiveness of the the brazen laver in Solomon's temple were cast; they country in grain. (See Ezek. 27. 7, and Acts 12. 20.) are thus described by the sacred historian: “And the

Even at present much corn is annually exported from work of the wheels was like the work of a chariotJaffa to Constantinople. The large surplus produce is wheel; their axletrees, and their nayes, and their felloes, indicated by many other circumstances, among which we and their spokes, were all molten.” (1 Kings 7. 33.) may mention Solomon's contract with the king of Tyre Swords, quivers, knives, axes, and adzes, were all formed for the building of the Temple, by which the Hebrew from the same material. As there were no mines in king was to pay the Phænician annually twenty thou- Egypt, it seems probable that the great quantity of sand measures of wheat for food to his household, metal required in the arts was obtained from the (Kings 5. 11,) with the like quantity, besides an equal interior of Africa. Copper in hardness, bears the same number of measures of barley, to the Tyrian hewers that proportion to iron of about eight to nine, and was cut wood in Lebanon.

therefore not very inferior to it before the art of forming Returns of sixty and a hundred fold to the cultivator the latter into steel was discovered. The monuseem, in the Scriptures, to be mentioned as not un- | ments clearly show us, that iron, although known, 123 usual, (see Gen. 26. 12; Matt. 13. 8;) and even now, very little used in the flourishing days of the Pharaoks; wherever wheat is sown, if rain does not fail, it richly and this circumstance tends strongly to demonstrate the repays the cultivator, growing to the height of a man. antiquity of the Pentateuch, and, consequently, its But the thinness of the population, the disturbed state authenticity as a contemporary document, when we of the country, and the oppression to which the cultiva find, that invariably the metals described as employed tor is exposed from the Turk on the one hand, and the for use or ornament, are those only which appear on the Arab on the other, all concur to prevent the remaining ancient monuments of Egypt. capabilities of this naturally rich soil from being fairly Thus Bezaleel is said to have been instructed, " to tested in this or any other branch of agriculture. The devise cunning works, to work in gold, in silver, and in wheat usually grown in Palestine was precisely that we | brass." (Exod. 31. 4.) It may be necessary to add, see covering our own corn lands for the most part, but that in Hebrew, the same word signifies both brass and it would seem that in the southern part of Jewry, as in copper. Our translators invariably use the former eran Egypt, the Triticum composilum, or many-headed wheat, when the native copper is intended. From the brief was and is still cultivated. (See engraving “ Wheat of mention of the mode in which metals were obtained in Heshbon,” article AGRICULTURE.)

the Book of Job, it seems probable, that the art of The laws of Moses directed very liberal treatment of smelting iron ore was unknown, and that this metal was the poor at the seasons of harvest and ingathering. I only used when found in a nearly pure state, which it The corners of the fields were not to be reaped, the occasionally is; the smelting of copper ore is express owner was not to glean his own field, and a sheaf acci mentioned by the patriarch, and, also, the refining dentally left in the field was not to be fetched away, but gold and silver. “Surely there is a vein for the silver, left for the poor. There are equally liberal regulations

here are equally liberal regulations and a place for gold, where they fine it. Iron is taktu respecting vine-yards and olive-yards. (See the laws in out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone. Leviticus 19. 9,10, and Deuteronomy 24. 19,21.) The (Job 28. 1,2.) The account given of the structure a harvest was always a season of rejoicing and gratitude. the tabernacle proves that metallurgy must have been In our Protestant country the harvest home has been well understood in the days of Moses, and from Ire quite a secular feast. The first handful reaped was description of the golden calf, we may infer that is called the maiden, this was saved and carried in triumph casting of idols and statues was no uncommon practa with the last wain-load to the barns, while the “ shout The prophet Ezekiel's vision of the wheels demanas

harrest 19 19. 9, 10rds and

« FöregåendeFortsätt »