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down the Nile to Memphis. It was in consequence of robbery does not elsewhere occur in the list, so avopathe festivities in honour of Apis that the anger of Cam- Odlotals seems as put for robbery of the worst sort. byses was so much excited against the people of Memphis. Let, then, the slave-traders (Christians, alas!) of our Supposing that they intended to signify their satisfaction times tremble; for all who in any way participate in that at the defeat of his army in the Ethiopian war, he sent for abominable traffic are avopa odlotat, since they thereby the priests and asked them the reason of their rejoicings. uphold a system which perpetually engenders manThey replied, that it was the celebration of the manifesta- stealing." See SLAVERY. tion of the god Apis, who had been a long time without appearing amongst them. Cambyses, little pleased with this reply, ordered the pretended deity to be brought
MENAHEM, Ona Sept. Mavanu, the sixteenth before him; when, drawing his sword, he plunged it
king of Israel, murdered the usurper Shallum, and in his into the animal's body; and having killed it, he ordered
turn usurped the throne. He was a wicked and cruel the priests to be beaten, and all those who were found
prince, and followed the impious example of Jeroboam I. celebrating the festival to be put to death.”
He died after a reign of about ten years. (2Kings 15. 14,22.)
is a Chaldee word signifying מנא or מנה ,MENE
MEN-STEALERS. The word avopatoduotai, in to number, occurring in the handwriting on the wall I Timothy 1. 10, is rendered in our version “men- which announced the impending fate of the impious stealers," the term here referring to those who decoyed Belshazzar and his kingdom. “And this is the writing away or kidnapped free persons and sold them for slaves. that was written, Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.” (Dan. This was a practice lamentably common in ancient | 5. 25,26.) Dr. Hales gives us the following view of the times, although strictly prohibited by the laws of the inscription and interpretation:more civilized nations; indeed, the state of things in this
THE INSCRIPTION. respect closely resembled that at the present day, when
Mene, Mene, Tekel, Peres, Upharsin. the slave-trade still exists in all its horrors, in spite of all
Number, Number, Weight, Division, and Division. the efforts that have been so laudably and so perseveringly made to effect its utter extinction.
MENE_“God hath numbered thy reign." The seizing or stealing of a free-born Israelite, either
1 MexE_" hath finished it.” The repetition emphatically to treat him as a slave or sell him as a slave to others,
signifying that the decree was certain, and should shortly come was by the law of Moses punished with death, (Exod. to pass. (See Gen. 41. 32.) 21. 16: Deut. 24. 7.) which the Jewish writers inform! TEKEL_“ Thou art weighed in the balance and found us was inflicted by strangling. The practice was like
wanting.” (See Job 31, 6; Rev. 6. 5.)
PERES—" Thy kingdom is divided.” wise forbidden among the Greeks, and was condemned
(UPHARSIN)—“And given to the Mede and the Persian." by the Flavian law among the Romans.
(Darius and Cyrus.) Bishop Horsley, in one of his speeches in the House | See BELSHIAZZAR. of Lords, observes, “ The New Testament contains an express reprobation of the slave-trade by name, as sinful MENI, '93 is the name of an idol mentioned in in a very high degree. St. Paul having spoken of per- the original of Isaiah 65. 11. In our version the text sons that were lawless and disobedient, ungodly and reads, “But ye are they that forsake the Lord, that forget sinners, unholy and profane, proceeds to specify and my holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, distinguish the several characters and descriptions of men and that furnish the drink offerings unto that number.” to whom he applies these very general epithets; and they The margin gives for “ troop," Gad, and for “number," are these, Murderers of fathers, murderers of mothers, Meni. Professor Jahn says, “ Perhaps ya Gad is the man-slayers, men-stealers.' .... This text condemns and goddess of fortune, Sept. TuXn, for the word in the prohibits the slave-trade in one at least of its most pro- | Syriac dialect means fortune, and 'JMeni is fate, from ductive modes. But I go further; I maintain that this wa manah, to number, to define, or perhaps the idol text, rightly interpreted, condemns and prohibits the known under the Arabic word Manah, which was forslave-trade generally in all its modes; it ranks the slave merly worshipped by the tribes Hudeil and Choraa, trade in the descending scale of crime, next after parri- between Mecca and Medina, before the time of Mocide and homicide. The original word, which the hammed." English Bible gives men-stealers, is avopamodiotal. The prophet Isaiah reproaches the idolatrous Jews Our translators have taken the word in its restricted with setting up a table to Gad, and with making libasense which it bears in the Attic law; in which the tions to Meni; and Jerome, in his remarks on the passage olan avopamodio pov was a criminal prosecution for the here quoted, observes that it was the custom as late as his specific crime of kidnapping, the penalty of which was | time, in all cities, especially in Egypt, to set tables before death. But the phraseology of the Holy Scriptures, the gods, and furnish them with various luxurious articles especially in the preceptive part, is a popular phraseology, of food, and with goblets containing a mixture of new and avopamodiorns, in its popular sense, is a person wine, on the last day of the month and of the year, and who deals in men,' literally, a slave-trader. That is, that the people drew omens from them in respect to the the English word literally and exactly corresponding to fruitfulness of the year; but in honour of what god these the Greek.” ...." The Greek word is so explained by things were done he does not state. the learned grammarian Eustathius, and by other gram Numerous examples of this practice occur on the marians of the first authority. Although the Athenians | monuments of Egypt; and we may quote Sir John scrupled not to possess themselves of slaves, yet the trade Gardner Wilkinson's account of them, as the best illusin slaves among them was infamous.”
tration of the idolatrous practices charged upon the Dr. Bloomfield says, “By avdparodiotais, the best apostate Israelites: he informs us, these offerings “are commentators are agreed is meant those who kidnapped not only introduced upon the altars themselves, but are and sold into slavery free persons. Now this was | enumerated in lists or catalogues, sculptured in the regarded by the law as felony of the deepest dye, and temples and tombs, some of which specify the day and was always punished with death. And as all the crimes month on which they were dedicated to the deity. In here mentioned are of the most heinous kind, and as offering incense, the king held in one hand the censer,
and with the other threw balls or pastiles of incense into / MERAB, the eldest daughter of Saul, (1 Sam. 14. the flame. Then, addressing the god before whose statue | 49,) was promised to David in marriage, in reward for he stood.with a suitable prayer, to invoke his aid and his victory over Goliath; but was given to Adriel, son favour, he begged him to accept the incense he presented; of Barzillai the Meholathite. (1 Sam. 18. 17,19.) in return for which the deity granted him “a long, pure, and happy life,' with other favours accorded by the gods to men. On some occasions, two censers of incense were L MERCIIANT. As commerce in the East has ever offered, and several oxen, birds, and other consecrated been conducted as at present by large caravans, which gifts, were placed on the altar. And that it was custom- purchase the productions of one country and proceed ary to present several of the same kind is shown by the with them to distant parts for sale, it is not surprising ordinary formula of the presentation, which says, “I give that the Hebrew word 50 sochir, which our transyou a thousand (that is, many) cakes, a thousand vases lators have rendered “ merchant,” (Gen. 23. 16; 37. 28.) of wine, a thousand head of oxen, a thousand geese, a should mean properly a travelling merchant. The thousand vestments, a thousand censers of incense, a Scriptures do not afford us any example of trade more thousand libations, a thousand boxes of ointment. The | ancient than those caravans of the Ishmaelites and cakes were of various kinds. Many were round, oval, Midianites to whom Joseph was sold by his brethren. or triangular, and others had the edges folded over, like These men were on their return from Gilead, with their the fateerah of the present day. They also assumed the camels laden with spices, and other rich articles of mershape of leaves, or the form of an animal, a crocodile's chandise, which they were carrying into Egypt; where head, or some capricious figure; and it was frequently doubtless they produced a great return from the quancustomary to sprinkle (particularly round and oval cakes) |tities consumed in that country for embalming the bodies with seeds. White and red wines, those of the Upper of the dead. From the circumstance of their purchasing and Lower country, grape-juice, or wine of the vine- Joseph, it seenis that their traffic was not confined to yard, (one of the most delicious beverages of a hot cli- the commodities furnished by Gilead. Dr. Vincent mate, and one which is commonly used in Spain and remarks, “ Here upon opening the oldest history in the other countries at the present day,) were the most noted world, we find the Ishmaelites from Gilead conducting denominations introduced into the lists of offerings on a caravan loaded with the spices of India, the balsam the monuments. Beer and milk were also admitted and myrrh of Hadramaut; and in the regular course of amongst them; and oils of various kinds, for which their traffic proceeding to Egypt for a market. The Egypt was famous, were presented as welcome offerings | date of this transaction is more than seventeen centuries at the shrines of the gods.
before the Christian æra, and notwithstanding its anti“Of fruits, the sycamore, fig, and grapes were the quity, it has all the genuine features of a caravan most esteemed for the service of the altar. They were crossing the desert at the present hour.” presented on baskets or trays, frequently covered with Under the head COMMERCE we have already briefly leaves to keep them fresh, and sometimes the former pointed out the chief features of the commerce of the were represented placed in such a manner, on an open ancient world, to which we may here add a few further basket, as to resemble the hieroglyphic signifying wife.' particulars respecting Egypt and its mercantile trans
“Ointment was presented in different ways, according actions. to the ceremony in which it was offered. It was placed Dr. Vincent terms the Egyptians, the Chinese of antibefore the deity in vases of alabaster or other materials quity, and the term seems well applied. In the abore as a gift, which he was represented to receive with the text, (Gen. 37. 25,) we see a caravan of foreigners propromise of a suitable return to the donor, the name of ceeding to Egypt, their camels laden with articles of the god to whom it was vowed being engraved upon the luxury; whence it may be inferred that Egypt had then vases that contained it. Sometimes the king or priest become, what it is always recorded to have been, the took out a certain portion to anoint the statue of the centre of an extensive land commerce: the great empodeity, which was done with the little finger of the right rium to which the merchants brought gold, ivory, and hand. Ointment often formed part of a large donation, slaves from Ethiopia, incense from Arabia, spices from and always entered into the list of those things which | India, and wine from Phænicia and Greece; for which constituted the complete set of offerings; and the various Egypt gave in exchange its corn, its manufactures of kinds of sweet-scented ointments used by the Egyptians fine linen, its vestments, and its carpets. In subsequent were liberally offered at the shrines of the gods.”
periods, the merchants of the West, of Greece and of Rome, resorted to Egypt for its own products, and for
the goods brought thither by the Oriental merchants. MEPHIBOSHETH, nu? Da (1 Chron. 9. 40,) But none of this appears to have been done by the was a son of Jonathan, whose proper name was hy. 70 Egyptians themselves. “ They waited,” says Goguet, Meribbaal. Mephibosheth was very young when his after Strabo, “till other nations brought them the things father was killed in the battle of Gilboa, (2Sam. 4. 4,) they stood in need of, and they did this with the more and his nurse was in such consternation at the news tranquillity, as the great fertility of their country in that she let the child fall, who from this accident was those times left them few things to desire. It is not at lame all his life. When David found himself in peace- | all surprising that a people of such principles did not able possession of the kingdom, he sought for all that apply themselves to navigation until very late." remained of the house of Saul, that he might show them | We learn incidentally from the prophet Nahum that kindness in consideration of the friendship between him | the sea was usually regarded rather as a defence to and Jonathan; and Mephibosheth was put in possession | Egypt, than as a means of communication with foreign of all the property of his family, and entertained in nations. In his denunciation against Nineveh, he asks, David's house the remainder of his life. (2Sam. 9. 9-13.) “Art thou better than populous No, that was situate By the treachery of his steward Ziba he was afterwards | among the rivers, that had the waters round about it, deprived of his estates, (2Sam. 16. 1-4,) but he cleared whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was from the himself from the charge of disloyalty, and remained, sea? Ethiopia and Egypt were her strength, and it was most probably, the king's guest as before. (2Sam. 19. infinite; Put and Lubim were thy helpers. Yet she 24-39.)
carried away, she went into captivity: her young chi
7, he sougimself in pe was / thosequillity, as need of;
dren also were dashed in pieces at the top of all the have as much reason to blame the indifference of streets; and they cast lots for her honourable men, and strangers who visited the country, as the exclusiveness all her great men were bound in chains.” (Nahum 3. of the Egyptians. The Greeks, however, confessed the 8-10.) The commerce of Egypt appears to have been early advancement of the Egyptians in agriculture as chiefly conducted by foreigners: the trade with Central well as mechanical pursuits; and Diodorus is evidently Asia, and perhaps with India, was carried on by the of opinion that, with colonisation, the knowledge of Ishmaelites, and other wandering tribes of the Arabian husbandry and various institutions were carried from peninsula; and the navigation of the Red Sea seems to Egypt into Greece.” Sir John Gardner Wilkinson elsehave attracted little attention before the age of Ptolemy, where notices the Chinese vases recently discovered in for the Egyptians appear to have abandoned it to what- | Egypt; but we agree with most of those who have ever people cared to exercise it. They allowed the Phæ- investigated the subject, that they were probably imnicians, the Edomites, the Jews, the Syrians, successively ported by Arab merchants in the age of the Caliphs. to have fleets there, and maritime stations on its shores. With one more notice, which affords a lively illustration In the reign of Amasis, the sacred Nile was first opened of a passage of Scripture, (James 4.13,) this article may to the foreign merchants, and Naucratis, a city of Lower close. Egypt, on the Canopic arm of the Nile, near the site | Roberts informs us, “The merchants of the East have afterwards occupied by Alexandria, was assigned to such ever been famous for their trading peregrinations; and Greek traders as chose to settle in Egypt. The com often are we reminded of the company of Ishmaelites mercial states of Greece were likewise permitted to (who) came from Gilead, with their camels bearing found temples or sanctuaries in certain places for the spicery, and balm, and myrrh, going to carry it down to accommodation of their travelling merchants, and which Egypt. See the young adventurer; he has received a might also serve as marts for the merchandise which certain sum from his father, and goes to another town, tbey should send into Egypt.
where he has relations or friends, and he cautiously It does not appear that the Egyptians themselves were commences his business; he never loses sight of frua people given to maritime commerce. The Greek gality; and should he, in the course of a few years, have rulers of Egypt changed the entire system of Egyptian gained a competency, he returns to his native place, trade, and the new capital, Alexandria, became the first there to husband out his days. But should he not mart of the world, while the ancient inland capital, prosper, he goes to another town, for his affairs are so which had risen under an earlier system, sunk into insig arranged in reference to rents and other matters, he nificance; but it was the Greeks of Egypt and not the finds no difficulty in removing. But another trader will Egyptians who did this. “They became," says Dr. Vin not thus settle; he carries in two or three bags various cent," the carriers of the Mediterranean, as well as the spices (which are needed by every family,) and gums and agents, factors, and importers of Oriental produce; and drugs, or cloth and silk, and muslins, or jewels, or preso wise was the new policy and so deep had it taken cious stones, and, after a year or so, he returns with the root, that the Romans, upon the subjection of Egypt, proceeds of his journey.” This sort of wandering life found it more expedient to leave Alexandria in posses must have been customary in the time of the Apostles, sion of its privileges, than to alter the course of trade, as in the above-mentioned passage we read, “Go to or occupy it themselves."
now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into The geographical situation of Egypt, centrally placed as such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, it were between the Eastern and the Western world, and and get gain.” the navigability of the Nile for so large an extent of its course, gave advantages to the country in making it the seat of commerce rarely equalled. All the various com MERCURY, 'Epuns, in heathen mythology, the modities the Egyptians required were not imported or / son of Jupiter and Maia, was the fabled patron of elofetched by them—they were brought to them; and in quence, on which account the people of Lystra suplike manner the corn, for which such goods were ex- | posed St. Paul to be Mercury in disguise. (Acts 14. 12.) changed, was sent for by those nations who had equi- Mercury was usually represented as an active young Talents to render. Thus ancient Egypt must have been man. The people, therefore, being determined to conan immense market: so essentially was it the granary of sider that Paul and Barnabas were gods, it was natural the old world, that the inhabitants were not compelled enough that they should regard Paul, he being the to send their produce to foreign markets, but quietly younger and more eloquent of the two, as Mercury. waited till necessity drove purchasers to fetch it.
According to Cicero, the Greeks reckoned in their Sir John Gardner Wilkinson observes, “In the mythology five Mercuries: “One the son of Heaven and infancy of her existence as a nation, Egypt was con- the Day. Another of Valens and Phoronis, the same who tented with the pursuits of agriculture; but in process is beneath the earth and called Trophonius. A third, of time, the advancement of civilisation and refinement | the son of the third Jupiter and Maia. A fourth, the son led to numerous inventions, and to improvements in the of the Nile, whom the Egyptians consider it unlawful ordinary necessaries of life; and she became, at length, to name. A fifth worshipped by the Pheneatæ, who is the first of nations in manufactures, and famed amongst said to have slain Argus, and on that account to have foreigners for the excellence of her fine linen, her cotton fled to Egypt, and to have given laws and letters to the and woollen stuffs, cabinet-work, porcelain, glass, and Egyptians. He was styled by them Thoyth, and bore numerous branches of industry. That Egypt should be the same name as the first month of their year.” “Of more known abroad for her manufactures than for her the two last," Sir John Gardner Wilkinson obseryes, agricultural skill might be reasonably expected, in con “ the former was probably Anubis, whom, in his mystesequence of the exportation of those commodities in rious office connected with Osiris and the final judgwhich she excelled, and the ignorance of foreigners ment of the dead, it may have been unlawful to menrespecting the internal condition of a country from tion; and the latter, the ibis-headed deity Thoth, in his which they were excluded by the jealousy of the natives; character of the dispenser of intellectual gifts to man though judging from the scanty information imparted to and the god of letters. According to the fabulous us by the Greeks, who, in later times, had opportunities account of the Egyptian Mercury, Diodorus Siculus of examining the valley of the Nile, it appears that we says, 'he was reported to have invented letters, regu
the us in piated, at believers what the res us
lated the languages, given names to many things, and prism, overturned and lying on its side. Large traces, taught men the proper mode of approaching the Deity which seem hollowed by the flowing of the water, form with prayers and sacrifice. He instructed them in a kind of perpendicular canals, whilst five holes, placed the system of the stars, and the harmony and nature in a horizontal direction one above the other, mark the of voices. He was the inventor of the palæstra miraculous mouths by which God responded to his and of the lyre, to which he gave three strings, in people. The rock of Horeb, for that was the name accordance with the three seasons of the Egyptian year; given to it by Jehovah, appears to have been detached the treble to correspond to summer, the bass to winter by some volcanic shock from the base which it occupied, the tenor to spring. He was the patron of elocution and it would doubtless have fallen to the bottom of the whence called Hermes, the interpreter, by the Greeks. valley, if the platform on which it reposes had not In the sacred rites of Osiris he was represented as the arrested its course. As it is completely isolated, it is scribe of the Deity, and his counsellor; and it was to | easy to make its circuit, for it is only attached to the him that the Egyptians supposed mankind indebted for ground by its base. Within a few paces of the rock a the olive, and not to Minerva, as is the opinion of the chapel has been built, and a garden planted, to which Greeks. He was distinct from the Mercury who they bring the superfluous earth from the garden of the ushered the souls of the dead into the region of Hades, convent. At a certain season of the year, a monk and and also from Hermes Trismegistus."
some domestics come hither to enjoy the pleasures of
country life. The chapel is poor, and drought bas cleft MERCY-SEAT, 0730 kapporeth; Sept. idaorn
its walls; the interior partitions are covered with small plav eriOnua. (Exod. 25. 17.) This was the lid, or
modern Greek paintings; a few more ancient go back to cover of the ark of the covenant, of the same breadth
the beginning of the sixteenth century; all have a great and length as the ark itself, and made of the purest
character of simplicity, and present to our view that gold. Over it, at the two extremities, were two cheru
beauteous type which the painters and mosaists of bim, with their faces turned towards each other, and
Byzantium have given to the face of Christ." Mr. inclined a little to the mercy-seat.
Carne says, the rock of Meribah “still bears striking St. Paul, by applying the term inaotnplov to Christ,
evidence of the miracle about it, and is quite isolated in (Rom. 3. 25,) as one who makes propitiation, assures us
the midst of a narrow valley, which is here about two He is the true mercy-seat, the reality of what the kap
hundred yards broad. There are four or five fissures, poreth represented to the ancient believers; by Him our
one above the other, on the face of the rock, each of sins, are covered or expiated, and through Him God
them about a foot and a half long, and a few inches communes with us in mercy. The mercy-seat also
deep. What is remarkable, they run along the breadth represents our approach to God through Christ; by
of the rock, and are not rent downwards; they are more whom we come to the “throne of grace,” which desig
than a foot asunder, and there is a channel worn between nation is only a varying of the term “ mercy-seat." See
them by the gushing of the water. The Arabs still ARK OF THE COVENANT; TABERNACLE.
reverence the rock, and stuff shrubs into the holes, that when any of their camels are sick, they may eat of them
and recover." See HOREB; SINAI. : MERIBAH, 17. 'n was the name given to a spring in the desert of Sin, where the Israelites contended against God. In this place the people, forgetful, in the MERODACH, 7779 was the name of an idol of agonies of thirst, of the mercies of God which they had the Babylonians. (Jerem. 50. 2.) The prophet, speakexperienced, began to murmur so loudly against Moses | ing of the ruin of Babylon, says, “ Babylon is taken, and Aaron, that, unless immediate relief were afforded, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces: her it appeared probable they would be stoned by the idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces." now fierce multitude. Moses cried to God, who told It is likewise compounded with other words to forn him to take the elders of the people with him as wit- proper names, as Evil Merodach, Merodach Baladan. nesses, and smite with his rod a rock in Horeb, from See BALADAN. which streams of water should then miraculously flow to give drink to the people. From the discontent and MEROM, Dino Me-Merom, was a place where murmuring of the people, the place was called DO Joshua defeated Jabin and his allies, and “left none of
'70 Massah and Meribah; Sept. IIeipaouos kai them remaining." (Josh. ll. 5,7,8.) The waters of doudoprous, that is, “temptation and contention.” Meroni are generally supposed to be the lake, afterwards (Exod. 17. 7.) Here also the Amalekites, a wild called EauoxWVLTIS, Samochonitis, which lies between marauding tribe, surrounded them; or, according to the head of the river Jordan and the sea of Tiberias Josephus, a confederacy of all the sheikhs of the desert According to Josephus, it is thirty furlongs broad, and made a determined effort to exterminate them, as in- sixty furlongs in length, and its marshes extend to the vaders of their territory; so that their courage and for- | place called Daphne, where the Jordan issues from 1: titude, as well as their faith and patience, were put to Reland conjectures that, for Daphne, in this passage of the test. “But," the sacred historian informs us, Josephus, we ought to read Dan, as there is no men; 66 Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the tion of any place called Daphne in this vicinity, and edge of the sword .... And Moses built an altar, and Daphne near Antioch was far distant from the waters of called the name of it Jehovah nissi," that is, the Lord Merom. The lake, which is now called Bahr-el-Houle; my banner. (Exod. 17. 8,13,16.)
is situated in the midst of a wide and solitary plain, and Tradition points out the scene of the miracle. M. along the brink, and in the shallow parts, is coverty Dumas, in his Travels in Egypt and Sinai, informs us, with reeds and rushes. The waters are muddy, ale « At the foot of Sinai, in the valley which separates it reputed unwholesome. The lake, however, comams from the mountain of St. Catherine, we found the rock fish. The shores of the lake are uninhabited, except from which Moses made the water flow. The rock | two or three villages on its eastern border. which Moses struck with his rod, and from the sides of Some commentators think that the“ waters of Merom which the miraculous waters flowed, is a granite block, cannot mean the lake Houle, but perhaps the river about twelve feet high, in the form of a pentagonal Kishon in the plain of Esdraelon; because the la
being some fifteen or twenty leagues within the territory 1 gives of the countries of Tubal and Meshech, when he of the confederates, it was more likely they would meet says, ch. 27. 13, “ They traded the persons of men, and Joshua on their frontiers, than allow him to enter so far vessels of brass," agrees most exactly with the statements into their country before giving him battle; there are | of the classical writers respecting the country of Cappasome circumstances which seem to favour this conclu- docia, a part of the region occupied by them, the traffic sion, but we are inclined to believe that the other opinion in slaves having been extensively carried on there, and is the most correct.
the region abounding with brass (copper) of the best
quality. These families penetrating into Scythia, peoMEROZ, 1172 was a city in the northern part of
pled the district north; hence the prophet Ezekiel con
nects them with Magog. Palestine, whose inhabitants refusing to come to the assistance of their brethren when they fought with Sisera, were put under an anathema. (Judges 5. 23.)
MESOPOTAMIA, 01773 078 Aram Naharaim; Eusebius and Jerome say it is the same as Merrus, twelve miles from the city of Sebaste (Samaria), near
| Sept. MEOOTOTajia, Syria of the two rivers, (Judges Dothaim; but modern travellers have discovered a village
3. 8,) was the land or country between the Tigris and called Mezra, which they consider to represent the
Euphrates. (Gen. 24. 10.) In Scripture this country ancient Meroz, at the distance of twenty-two miles north
is often called Aram and Aramea, as Aram also sig
nifies Syria, the whole region being so called because it of Samaria.
was first peopled by Aram, the fifth son of Shem. It MESHA, KUD was a frontier place of Arabia, was sometimes called Padan-Aram, (Gen. 28. 2) or inhabited by the posterity of Joktan, (Gen. 10. 30,) | Sedan-Aram, the fields of Aram, to distinguish it from whose real locality has been much disputed. On the the barren or uncultivated mountains of the same counsupposition that the eastern boundary is intended, it is try; and in after-times Mesopotamia Syriæ, because most properly compared with the Mesene of the ancients, it was inhabited by the Aramæans, or Syrians. This now Maishan and Moshan, two cities in the country of country is celebrated in Scripture, under the name of Bassora, whence the Syrians call the country along the the Land of Shinar, (Gen. 11. 2.) as the first dwelling Tigris and Euphrates below Seleucia, on the Persian of men after the deluge; and it gave birth to Phaleg, gulf, Maishon. Some suppose it was Musa, a port on Heber, Terah, Abraham, Nahor, Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, the Red Sea, and others the celebrated Mecca, to which Leah, and the sons of Jacob, as well as to Balaam, the such multitudes of Mohammedans used annually to go son of Beor. on pilgrimage, and which was anciently called Mesha. According to Ptolemy, Mesopotamia had on the north Any satisfactory determination seems hopeless.
a part of Armenia, on the west the Euphrates on the MESHACH, Tun (Dan. 1. 7,) was the name
side of Syria, on the east the Tigris on the borders of given to Mishael, one of the three Hebrew youths, by
Assyria, and on the south the Euphrates, which joined the prince of the eunuchs, at Babylon. The circum
the Tigris. Babylon was in the ancient Mesopotamia, stance may be explained with reference to the general
till, by vast labour and industry, the two rivers, Tigris custom, in ancient times, of changing the native names
and Euphrates, were reunited in one channel. This of foreign slaves. It is uncertain whether the Chaldæans
country was fertile in vines, and afforded abundance of had any particular ideas concerning the names they gave
good wine. Great numbers of Jews remained here after to their slaves and captives; but we know that the
Cyrus gave them liberty to return to their own country, Athenians were very careful that their slaves should not
and some Jews or proselytes from Mesopotamia were at bear names accounted dignified or respectable. They
Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2. 9.) Mesocommonly gave them short names, rarely of more than two
potamia was a satrapy under the Grecian kings of Syria. syllables, probably that they might be the more easily
Mr. Buckingham, in his Travels in Mesopotamia, and quickly pronounced when called by their masters;
affords many particulars of the modern state of this and hence, when a slave became free, he changed
country, and Mr. Ainsworth, in his recent Researches in his name again, taking care that his new name should
Babylonia, &c., gives the general physical features of be a long one. We find that Daniel continued to call
Taurus, and of the plains of Mesopotamia and Syria, himself by his native name; and it is most probable that
together with their geological formations. A modern the Hebrew captives did not among themselves acknow
traveller informs us, “On the fifth or sixth day after ledge those names which their masters imposed.
leaving Aleppo, we arrived at the city of Diarbeker, the capital of the province of that name; having passed
over an extent of country of between three and four MESHECH, WO Sept. Mooox; Vulg. Mosoch, hundred miles, most of it blessed with the greatest ferti(Gen. 10.2,) was the sixth son of Japheth, and is gene- lity, and abounding with as rich pastures as I ever rally mentioned in conjunction with his brother Tubal; beheld, covered with numerous herds and flocks. The both were settled in the north-eastern portion of Asia | air was charmingly temperate in the day-time, but, to Minor, from the shores of the Euxine along to the south of my feeling, extremely cold at night. Yet, notwithstandCaucasus, where in after-times existed a trace of the name ing the extreme fertility of this country, the bad admiof Meshech, in the Moshian mountains, between Iberia, nistration of the government, combined with the indoArmenia, and Colchis. Here dwelt the Iberi, Tibareni, lence of the inhabitants, leaves it unpeopled and unculand Moschi. There appears also to have been in the same tivated, Diarbeker Proper, called also Mesopotamia, vicinity a river and country termed Rosh, and a people from its lying between two famous rivers, and by Moses called Rhossi. The passage in Ezekiel 38. 2, which is ren called Padan-Aram, that is, the Fruitful Syria, abounds dered in our version, “the chief prince of Meshech and with corn, wine, oil, fruits, and all the necessaries of life. Tubal," is in the Septuagint, “the prince of Rosh, It is supposed to have been the seat of the earthly ParaMeshech and Tubal.” These Rhossi and Moschi, who dise; and all geographers agree that here the descendwere neighbours in Asia, and are mentioned together by ants of Noah settled immediately after the Flood. To Herodotus, are believed to have dispersed their colonies be treading that ground which Abraham trod, where jointly over the vast plains to the north, now forming Nahor, the father of Rebekah, lived, where holy Job the empire of Russia. The description which Ezekiel breathed the pure air of piety and simplicity, and where