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Several eminent characters of antiquity were natives of MOAB, MOABITES. axin Moab, is the name of Lesbos, which is now called Metelen, from a corruption a country on the east side of the Dead Sea, up to the of the name of its former capital.
river Arnon, which formed the boundary between this It does not appear that any Christian church was land and that of the Amorites. (Numb. 21. 26; Judges established here in the apostolical times; but in the 11. 18.) The capital city was situated on the river fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries there were Arnon, and was called Ar, or Rabbath-Moab, that is, the bishops of Mitylene present at various councils.
capital of Moab, or Kir-heres, a city with brick walls. MIZAR, yra 70 (Psalm 42. 6,) is the name of
The country was originally possessed by a race of giants,
called Emim, (Deut. 2. 11,12,) whom the Moabites cona small hill, probably a peak of Mount Lebanon, not far
quered; but afterwards the Amorites took a part from from Hermon; some writers suppose it to refer to the
the Moabites. Moses conquered that part which belower mount, Hermon, in opposition to the higher mount,
longed to the Amorites, and gave it to the tribe of Sion. It appears from the context that David here
Reuben. Balak, the son of Zippor, was king of Moab experienced some peculiar manifestations of the Divine
at the time of the Exodus. He in vain hired Balaam goodness.
to curse the Hebrews, who were encamped on his MIZPEH, 739 This word signifies a high borders. (Numb. 22. 24.) God ordained that the Moabplace, affording an extensive prospect; a beacon, or ites should not enter into the congregation of his watch-tower. (2Chron. 20. 24; Isai. 21. 8.) The name people, even to the tenth generation, (Deut. 23. 3.) was borne by several places in Palestine, most probably because they had the inhumanity to refuse the Israelites from being situated on elevated grounds or hills; of a passage through their country, and would not supply which the following were the principal:
them with bread and water in their necessity. The I. A city in the plains of the tribe of Judah, to the Moabites were spared by Moses, (Deut. 2. 9,) but there south of Jerusalem, whence it was distant about eigh- | was always a strong antipathy between the Moabites teen or twenty miles, and to the north of Hebron. and Israelites, which occasioned many wars between (Josh. 15. 38.)
them. Under Egion they reduced the Hebrews under II. A place in Gilead, beyond the Jordan. (Judges their yoke, and greatly oppressed them for eighteen 10. 17; 11. 34.) In Judges 11. 29, it is called Mizpeh years; but Ehud killed their king, and his army slew of Gilead, to distinguish it from other towns or places ten thousand of the most valiant Moabites, and restored of the same name.
the Hebrews to their liberty. (Judges 3. 12, et seq.) III, A city in the tribe of Benjamin, where in the Hanun, king of the Ammonites, having insulted early ages of the Hebrew commonwealth was frequently David's ambassadors, David made war against hin held a convocation of the people; here Samuel dwelt, and subdued Moab and Ammon; under which subjection and here Saul was anointed king. (Judges 21. l; 1Sam. they continued till the separation of the ten tribes. 7. 5-7; 10, 1,17.) Asa strengthened it for a frontier | After the division of the Hebrew kingdom, the Moabites fortification against the kingdom of Israel. (1 Kings fell to the share of the ten tribes; but upon the death of 15. 22; 2Chron. 16. 6.) In later times, the governor | Ahab they began to revolt. (2Kings 3. 4,5.) Mesha, Gedaliah had his residence here. (Jerem. 40. 6, comp. | king of Moab, refused the tribute of a hundred thousand with Nehem. 3. 7,19.)
lambs and as many rams, which till then had been conIV. A valley in the region of Mount Libanus, which tomarily paid, either yearly or at the beginning of every was inhabited by the Hivites, also bore the name of reign; which of these two, is not clearly expressed in Mizpeh, (Josh. 11. 3,8.)
Scripture. The reign of Ahaziah was too short to make war with them; but Jehoram, son of Ahab, and brother
to Ahaziah, having ascended the throne, thought of MIZRAIM, O'na (Gen. 10. 6,) was a son of
reducing them to obedience. He invited Jehoshaphat, Ham, whose descendants are supposed to have peopled
king of Judah, who with the king of Edom, then his Egypt, which country derived its Hebrew name from
vassal, entered Moab, where they were in danger of him. Josephus considers the name to be of Coptic
perishing with thirst, but were miraculously relieved. origin; but Gesenius says that nothing resembling it is
(2Kings 3. 16, et seq.) It is not easy to discover what found in the present fragments of the Coptic language,
were the circumstances of the Moabites from this time; in which this country bears the name of Xnut.
but Isaiah, at the beginning of the reign of King HezeThe word in the Hebrew and Syriac is in the dual
kiah, threatens them with a calamity, which was to form, and might refer to the division of the country by
happen three years after his prediction, and which prothe Nile, or to Upper and Lower Egypt. The Arabs
bably referred to the war that Shalmaneser, king of retain it in the singular, Misr, and to this day the coun
Assyria, made with the ten tribes, and the other people try is generally known in the East as the “Land of
beyond Jordan. The prophet Amos (1. 13, et seq.) also Misr.” Dr. Prideaux makes the following remarks on
foretold great miseries to them, which probably they the preservation of primitive names by the Arabs.
| suffered under Uzziah and Jotham, kings of Judah; of “ These people being the oldest nation in the world, and
under Shalmaneser, (2Chron. 26, 7,8; 27.5,) or, lasty who have never been, by any conquest, dispossessed, or
during the wars of Nebuchadnezzar, five years after the driven out of their country, but have always remained destruction of Jerusalem. It is supnosed this prince carthere in a continued descent from the first planters until
ried them captive beyond the Euphrates as the prophe
ried them antive hevond this day; and being also as little given to alterations in
| had threatened, (Jerem. 9. 26; 12, 14,15; 25. 11,4 their manners and usages as in their country; have still
as in their country; have still | 48. 38-40,) and that Cyrus sent them home again, as is retained the names of places which were first attached to
did the rest of the captives. After their return from cap them; and on these aboriginal people acquiring the
| tivity, they multiplied and fortified themselves as the de empire of the East, they restored the original names to
original names to did, and other neighbouring people, still in subject
did and other pechbouring many cities after they had been lost for ages under the
the kings of Persia; they were afterwards congue arbitrary changes of successive conquerors.” Hence the
Alexander the Great, and owed obedience to the importance of existing Arabic names in attempts to fix
Syria and Egypt successively, and finally to the the sites of ancient places. See EGYPT.
There is a probability also that, in the later i
t, in the later times of
and afterwards Herod the Great, but they have now for situated in the midst of a fine plain, are of considerable many ages ceased to exist as a distinct people.
extent, but present nothing of interest. The neighThe prophecies concerning Moab are numerous and bouring hot wells, and the similarity of the name, remarkable: “There are,” says Keith, “ abundant pre identify the ruins of Myoun with Meon, or Beth Meon dictions which refer so clearly to its modern state, that of Scripture. Of this ancient city, as well as of Araayr there is scarcely a single feature peculiar to the land of (Aroer), nothing is now remarkable but what is common Moab, as it now exists, which was not marked by the to them with all the cities of Moab—their entire desoprophets in their delineation of the low condition to lation. The extent of the ruins of Rabba (Rabbath which, from the height of its wickedness and haughtiness, Moab), formerly the residence of the kings of Moab, it was finally to be brought down. The whole country sufficiently proves its ancient importance, though no abounds with ruins; and Burckhardt, who encountered other object can be particularized among the ruins so many difficulties in so desolate and dangerous a land, except the remains of a palace or temple, some of the thus records the brief history of a few of them; 'The walls of which are still standing; a gate belonging to ruins of Eleale, Heshbon, Medaba, Meon, Dibon, Aroer, another building; and an insulated altar. There are still subsist to illustrate the history of the Beni Israel:' many remains of private buildings, but none entire. and it might with equal truth have been added, that they There being no springs on the spot, the town had two still subsist to confirm the inspiration of the Jewish birkets, the largest of which is cut entirely out of the Scriptures, or to prove that the seers of Israel were the rocky ground, together with many cisterns." prophets of God; for the desolation of each of these The strong contrast between the ancient and the actual very cities was the theme of a prediction. Everything state of Moab is exemplified in the condition of the worthy of observation respecting them has been detailed, inhabitants as well as of the land; and the coincidence not only in Burckhardt's Travels in Syria, but also by between the prediction and the fact, is as striking in the Seetzen, and more recently by Captains Irby and Man one case as in the other: “Therefore, behold, the days gles, who, along with Mr. Banks and Mr. Legh, visited come, saith the Lord, that I will send unto him wanthis deserted district.
derers, that shall cause him to wander, and shall empty "Mount Nebo was completely barren when Burck- his vessels and break their bottles." (Jerem. 48. 12.) hardt passed over it, and the site of the ancient city had The Bedouin (wandering) Arabs, are now the chief Dot been ascertained: Nebo is spoiled. None of the and almost the only inhabitants of a country once ancient cities of Moab now remain as tenanted by men. studded with cities. They prevent any from forming a Kerek, which neither bears any resemblance in name to fixed settlement who are inclined to attempt it; for any of the cities of Moab, which are mentioned as exist although the fruitfulness of the soil would abundantly ing in the time of the Israelites, nor possesses any monu repay the labour of settlers, and render migration wholly ments which denote a very remote antiquity, is the only unnecessary, even if the population were increased more nominal town in the whole country, and in the words of than tenfold, yet the Bedouins forcibly deprive them Seetzen who visited it, “in its present ruined state it of the means of subsistence, compel them to search for can only be called a hamlet; and the houses have only it elsewhere, and in the words of the prediction, literally one floor.'
“cause them to wander.” “ It may be remarked gene“The most fertile and populous province in Europe, rally of the Bedouins," says Burckhardt, in describing (especially any situated in the interior of a country like their extortions, “that wherever they are the masters Doab,) is not covered so thickly with towns as Moab is of the cultivators, the latter are soon reduced to beggary plentiful in ruins, deserted and desolate though it now by their unceasing demands." be. Burckhardt enumerates about fifty ruined sites “) ye that dwell in Moab, leave the cities and dwell within its boundaries, many of them extensive. In in the rock, and be like the dove that maketh her general they are a broken down and undistinguishable nest in the sides of the hole's mouth.” (Jerem. 48. 28.) mass of ruins; and many of them have not been closely “ Whether flocks lie down in the city without any to inspected. But in some instances, there are the remains make them afraid, or whether men are to be found of temples, sepulchral monuments, the ruins of edifices, dwelling in the rocks, and are ‘like the dove that maketh constructed of very large stones, tracks of hanging gar her nest in the sides of the hole's mouth,' the wonderful dens; entire columns lying on the ground, three feet in transition in either case, and the close accordance, in diameter, and fragments of smaller columns; and many both, of the fact to the prediction, assuredly mark it in cisterns cut out of the rock. But not one of the ancient characters that may be visible to the purblind mind, as cities of Moab exists as tenanted by man.
the word of that God before whom the darkness of futu“Among the ruins of El Aal (Eleale) are a number rity is as light, and without whom a sparrow cannot fall of large cisterns, fragments of buildings, and foundations unto the ground.” of houses. At Heshban (Heshbon) are the ruins of a Mr. Robinson, who visited this district since Burcklarge ancient town, together with the remains of a hardt, gives us some interesting particulars of the ruined temple and some edifices. A few broken shafts of cities of Moab. At Ammon, the ancient capital of the columns are still standing; and there are a number of Ammonites, he says, “Our attention was first attracted deep wells cut in the rock. The ruins of Medaba are to a large theatre excavated in the side of the eastern about two miles in circumference. There are many hill, and opening towards the river. The diameter is remains of the walls of private houses constructed with one hundred and twenty-eight feet, exclusive of the blocks of silex, but not a single edifice is standing. depth of the theatre itself, (eighty-eight feet each way,) The chief object of interest is an immense tank or cistern making it the largest theatre known in Syria. There of hewn stones, 'which as there is no stream at Medaba,' | are forty-two rows of seats, of stone, fourteen inches Burckhardt remarks, "might still be of use to the high, and twenty broad, divided into three portions by Bedouins, were the surrounding ground cleared of the two open galleries. The first division nearest the stage rubbish to allow the water to flow into it; but such an has twelve steps with five cunei, the second fifteen steps undertaking is far beyond the views of the wandering with five. There are subterraneous passages in the Arabs.' There is also the foundation of a temple built wings, opening into these galleries of communication. with large stones, and apparently of great antiquity, At the top in the centre of the broad pathway, is a deep with two columns near it. The ruins of Diban (Dibon), square recess with niches
square recess with niches on each side. Before the
theatre and between it and the stream, are the remains | ward are other mountains, as high or higher than these: of a beautiful colonnade. Eight columns, fifteen feet high, and still more distant from the river, the whole making are standing, with Corinthian capitals and entablature the plain appear as the arena of an amphitheatre, and entire. There are the shafts of eight other columns. particularly well suited for the assembling and numberThere might have been fifty altogether when entire. ing of a large body of people. Accordingly in it took Above the theatre, and south-east of it, are some further place that enumeration of the Israelites from which the remains, which, owing to the impatience of our guides, Book of Numbers derives its name. (Numb. ch. 26.) we were unable to examine with the leisure they required; it is difficult to say of what they originally MOLADAH, 1775ip was a city in the south of the formed a part. Below the great theatre, but more to tribe of Judah, (Josh. 15. 26,) but it was given up to the south, is another smaller one, perhaps for musical the tribe of Simeon. (Josh. 19. 2; 1Chron. 4. 28.) It representations. The exterior form of the building is was repeopled on the return from the captivity. (Nehem. square, though that of the area within, where are the 11. 26.) seats, rising from bottom to top, is semi-circular, and enclosed by a high wall. It was formerly covered in, MOLE. In our version of Leviticus 11.30, in the but the roof has fallen, and chokes up the interior, so as enumeration of unclean animals, the word noun to render it difficult to determine what might have been | tinshemeth, has been translated “mole;" but Bochart its original destination.
has shown that it signifies the cameleon, and he conjee“Returning to nearly opposite the great theatre, to tures with great reason, that the word 7777 hholed, transthe west side of the river, we come to the remains of a lated “weasel,” in the preceding verse, is the correct temple, the interior wall of which alone remains, having word for the mole. The Arabic name is khuld, the an entablature of several niches adorned with sculptures. similarity of which with the Hebrew name hholed, is Before the building stand the shafts of several columns, | strongly in favour of his supposition. three feet in diameter. Its date appears to be anterior Moles are met with in Palestine in the common fields to that of the other buildings of Ammon, and its style and gardens, and are commonly destroyed on account of of architecture much superior. Whilst endeavouring to the damage they commit. Their extreme abundance on decipher an inscription almost effaced, Hatib, who had the plain of the coast is remarked by Hasselquist, who been watching me for some time, approached, and seizing declares that he “had never seen any ground so cast up my arm with one hand, and raising the other up to by moles as in the plains between Rama and Jaffs. heaven, indicating that there was no other witness but There was scarcely a yard's distance between each mole God and ourselves, begged me to tell if I had found a hill." treasure, and if so, it would be a solemn secret between The mole, of which there are seven species, (Talpa us. Of course he was not satisfied with the answer I Europæa, &c.,) is a small quadruped of the insectivorous gave him, and he evinced his displeasure and impatience order; it is generally between five and six inches long, in a variety of ways, and finally, by giving the signal to | and is covered with glossy black hair. It is admirably depart. Burckhardt says, 'It is a general opinion | formed for its habits of underground life. The breadth, amongst the people, that inscriptions indicate hidden strength, and shortness of the fore-feet, which are treasure, and that by reading or copying them, a know inclined sideways, answer the use as well as form of ledge is obtained where the treasure lies.'”
hands; to scoop out the earth, to form its habitation, of At Madeba Mr. Robinson describes a “large cistern, to pursue its prey. Had they been longer, the falling one hundred and thirty yards, by one hundred and fif- in of the earth would have prevented the quick repetiteen deep, surrounded by a thick wall, well built. The tion of its strokes in working, or have impeded its ruins here are about half an hour in circumference, course; the oblique position of the fore-feet has also this chiefly found on the crest of a round hill, and in the advantage, that it Alings all the loose soil behind the plain below extending westward. Not a single edifice is | animal. left standing, though there are some fragments of a : The form of the body is not less admirably contrived temple on the west side, built of large blocks of stone, | for its way of life; the fore part of it is thick and very apparently of high antiquity.” At Hesban, he says, | muscular, giving great strength to the action of the fore“ The ruins of a considerable town still exist, covering feet; enabling it to dig its way with amazing force and the sides of an insulated hill, but scarcely a single edifice rapidity, either to pursue its prey or elude the search of is left entire. The view from the summit is very exten the most active enemy. The form of its hind parts, sive, embracing the ruins of a vast number of cities, | which are small and taper, enables it to pass with great standing at short intervals from one another."
facility through the earth that the fore-feet bad fung
behind; for had each part of the body been of equal MOAB, PLAINS OF. In the narrative of the thickness, its flight would have been impeded, and its journeyings of the Israelites, we read that from Dibon security precarious. The smallness of the eyes (which Gad they removed to Almon Diblathaim, and next gave occasion to the ancients to deny it the sense o pitched in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo: “And | sight) is to this animal a peculiar happiness: a sma. they departed from the mountains of Abarim, and pitched degree of vision is sufficient for an animal ever destinu in the plains of Moab, by Jordan, near Jericho.” (Numb.) to live underground; had these organs been larger, le 33. 48.)
would have been perpetually liable to injuries by, On approaching the Asphaltic Lake, the distance earth falling into them; but nature, to prevent between the two chains of mountains by which Palestine | inconvenience, has not only made them very small is traversed is greatly increased, leaving between them also covered them very closely with fur. Anato and the river, on the east, the plains of Moab, and on mention, besides these, a third very wonderful co the west the large plain of Jericho. This plain is very | ance for their security; and inform us, that each extensive, probably eighteen miles in extreme length, by furnished with a certain muscle, by which the a breadth of seven or eight miles. It is bounded exter has power of withdrawing them, or exerting nally by mountains, which form a kind of bow, bending according to its exigencies. The mole is amply westward in their course from north to south; of this pensed for the dimness of its sight by the great per bow the Jordan is as the chord. Beyond the river east- tion of two other senses, those of hearing and su
the first gives it notice of the most distant approach of cration to the service of an idol; and some believe that danger; the other, which is equally exquisite, directs it, they made them pass through two fires opposite to each in the midst of darkness, to its food; the nose, also, other, for the same purpose; these may have been among being very long and slender, is well formed for thrusting their idolatrous practices, but the word rayhe-eber, into small holes, in search of the worms and insects that “ to cause to pass through," and the phrase UNI TAYT inhabit them. These gifts may therefore with reason be he-eber baish, “to cause to pass through the fire," are said to compensate the defect of sight.
used in respect to human sacrifices, in Deuteronomy The mole breeds in the spring, and brings forth four 12. 31; 18. 10; 2Kings 16. 3; 21. 6; 2Chron. 28. 3,33; or five young at a time; it makes its nest of moss, and they are synonymous with 770 saraph, “to burn," and that under the largest hillock, a little below the surface na: zabach, “to immolate,” with which they are interof the ground. The mole is observed to be most active, | changed, as may be noticed by an examination of the and to cast up most earth, immediately before rain, and original text of Psalm 106. 38; Jeremiah 7. 31; 19. 5; in the winter before a thaw, because at these times the Ezekiel 16. 20,21. worms and insects begin to be in motion, and approach Mr. Christmas, in his Universal Mythology, gives us the surface. On the contrary, in very dry weather, this the following statement respecting this deity:—“Moloch animal seldom or never forms any hillock, as it pene was, as is well known, worshipped under the form of a trates deep after its prey, which at such seasons retires calf or an ox, and represented the sun, the king of far into the ground. The underground passages formed | heaven; Moloch signifying a king. Under which name by the burrows of the moles, are generally connected with the Canaanites, in very early times, adored this lumia sort of chamber, in which the nest is made, and the nary, and suffered their children, as soon as they were young deposited. The moles often traverse these pas | born, to be exposed to the scorching heat of his fiery sages to and from their nests; and which probably act rays. They looked on this custom as a purification, as traps, where worms, beetles, and grubs, which consti which was not only holy, but also healthy. But as supertate their chief food, are often caught by them. In stition, when it once gets the upper hand, knows no gardens and corn-fields, moles often do much damage by bounds, so the priests of Moloch were ever adding new loosening the earth at the roots. In meadows they also ceremonies to these. They kindled two fires before the do some injury, but there they assist also in draining image of this god, through which they caused the chilthe land. The quantity of grubs, beetles, and worms dren to pass. Nor did they stop here; it followed by which they consume is very great and very beneficial. degrees that children, especially when there happened to They have been accused of eating the seed and roots of be many in a family, were sacrificed to the great tutelary plants; but it is very uncertain whether they feed on god Moloch, and actually burnt in honour of him. either.
And that these unfortunate and miserable burnt offerings There is a passage in the prophet Isaiah, (2. 20,) | might not move the bystanders to pity by their dreadful which has caused considerable discussion; it reads thus: cries, the inhuman priests made use at their hellish cere“ In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and monies of trumpets and drums, and other deafening his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself noises, so that the despairing shrieks and piteous moans to worship, to the moles and to the bats.". (See Bat.) of the wretched children could not be heard. From this The Hebrew word for “moles," as our version gives it, noise and clamour, the valley in which these inhuman is ning 20 hhaphar-phiroth, which Gesenius says, cruelties were perpetrated was called The Vale of “according to Jerome may be understood indifferently Tophet,' which is as much as to say, 'The Vale of the of mice or moles, from 7an hhaphar, to dig. The con sound of drums and cymbals. This idol was provided text almost requires an animal which might be parallel with seven recesses or cupboards in the image itself, with bat, but the interpretations of the ancients are very to receive the various offerings of his worshippers. In discordant.” The Septuagint renders it matalos, vani. the first was placed the meal, in the second the doves, ties. By some it is rendered “pits or holes;" but it is in the third a sheep, in the fourth a ram, in the fifth a more generally understood of animals which dig pits, calf, in the sixth an ox, and in the seventh a child, particularly “moles," rats, mice. If some specific ani which, according to most writers, was burnt therein. mal is intended, perhaps the mole, rat, or spalax of the It has been conjectured, and with the greatest probabiGreeks, which is found in Palestine and Syria, may be lity, that Moloch and Saturn were the same deity. admitted as offering a probable alternative. These ani Saturn, whose worship was most renowned among the mals are of the rat kind, in the order of the Rodentia, or Carthaginians, a people of Phænician descent, was gnawers; and are remarkable for their blindness, since represented by a metallic idol, whose hands were the eye is not visible till the skin is stripped off. The stretched out together, with a downward inclination; so blind rat, or mole-rat, is larger than the common rat, that, when the customary offering of a child was placed and has a fine hair of an ash colour.
in the arms, it fell into a pan or brazier of glowing charcoal, which stood at the feet of this cruel idol, and was
quickly consumed. There is nothing more certain or MOLOCH, 753 Morox, or Molech, or D o more famous in all antiquity, than the human sacrifices Milcom, or o Melchom, a god of the Ammonites, offered to Saturn, not only in Carthage, but in many to whom human victims were offered. (1 Kings 11.7.) other places.” Moses in several places forbids the Israelites, under the In the corrupt periods of the Jewish kingdom, this penalty of death, to dedicate their children to Moloch, idol was erected in the valley south of Jerusalem, called by making them pass through the fire in honour of that the valley of Hinnom, and in part of the valley called god. (Levit. 18. 21; 20. 2, et seq.) It is unquestion- | Tophet, non so named from the drums 90 Toph, D'IN able that the heathen actually burnt their children in tophim, which were beaten to prevent the groans and honour of this deity, but from the terms of this prohibi cries of the children sacrificed from being heard. (Isai. tion, some writers have supposed that the Hebrews did 30. 33; Jerem. 7. 31,32; 19. 6-14.) According to the not go to such a frightful length of cruelty: some are of Rabbins, the image was made of brass, sitting on a opinion that they contented themselves with making | throne of the same metal, adorned with a royal crown, their children leap over a sacred fire to Moloch, this having the head of a calf, and his arms extended to being a ceremony used among the heathens of conse- receive the hapless children offered to him.
Michaëlis remarks, in his Commentaries on the Laws | ‘he made to pass through,' by the mere transposition of of Moses, “ All idolatrous ceremonies, and even some the second radical into the place of the first. The folwhich, though innocent in themselves, might excite sus- lowing passages, however, are decisive of the reality of picions of idolatry, were prohibited. Of these, human sacrificing their children: sacrifices are so conspicuous, as really the most abomi | “(1.) Ezekiel 16. 21, (where we find the first-mennable of all the crimes to which superstition is capable of tioned expression,) “Thou hast slain my sons, and given hurrying its votaries, in defiance of the strongest feelings them, to cause them pass through to them.' Here it is of humanity, that I must expatiate a little upon them. evident that to pass through, or to cause to pass through, For this species of cruelty is so unnatural, that to many the fire, can be nothing else than burning, because the readers of the laws of Moses, it has appeared incredible. | sons were previously slain. Against no other sort of idolatry are the Mosaic prohibi 1 “(2.) The passages where the word 971 saraph, tions so rigorous, as against this; and yet we find that it 'to burn,' is used; and where no suspicion of any various continued among the Israelites to a very late period; for reading can take place. (Deut. 12. 31; Jerem. 7. 31; even the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, who survived | 19. 5.) the ruin of the state, and wrote in the beginning of the | “ (3.) Psalm 106.37,38, “Their sons and daughters they Babylonish captivity, take notice of it, and describe it | sacrificed unto devils. They shed the innocent blood of not as an antiquated or obsolete abomination, but as their children, and offered it to the gods of Canaan, and what was actually in use but a little before, and even the land was profaned with blood.' during their own times. For a father to see his children “The punishment of those who offered human sacrisuffering is in the highest degree painful; but that he fices was stoning; and that, as I think, so summarily, should ever throw them to the flames, appears so utterly that the bystanders, when any one was caught in such improbable, that we can hardly resist the temptation of an act, had a right to stone him to death on the spot, declaring any narrative of such inhuman cruelty an without any judicial inquiry whatever. Whatever absolute falsehood. But it is nevertheless an undoubted | Israelite,' says Moses, in Leviticus 20. 2, or stranger fact, that the imitation of the neighbouring nations, of dwelling among you, gives one of his children to Moloch, which Moses expresses such anxious apprehensions in shall die; his neighbours shall stone him to death.” his laws, bad, in spite of all the punishments denounced These are not the terms in which Moses usually speaks against it, kept up the abominable custom of offering of the punishment of stoning judicially inflicted; but children in sacrifice; and hence we see how necessary it ‘all the people shall stone him; the hands of the witwas to enact the most rigorous laws against the idolatry nesses shall be the first upon him.' Besides what follows which required sacrifices of such a nature. To many a little after, in verses 4 and 5, does not appear to me as both Jewish and Christian expositors, it has appeared so indicative of anything like a matter of judicial procedure: incredible that the Israelites should have sacrificed their 'If the neighbours shut their eyes, and will not see him own children, that wherever, in the laws or in the his- giving his children to Moloch, nor put him to death, tory they find the expression, 'making their sons pass God himself will be the avenger of his crime.' I am through the fire to Moloch,' (for it was chiefly to that therefore of opinion, that in regard to this most extragod that human sacrifices were offered,) they are fain to ordinary and most unnatural crime, which, however, explain it on the more humane principle of their merely could not be perpetrated in perfect secrecy, Moses meant dedicating their sons to Moloch, and in token thereof to give an extraordinary injunction, and to let it be 'making them pass between two sacrifice fires.' In understood, that whenever a parent was about to sacriconfirmation of this idea, the Vulgate version of Deute fice his child, the first person who observed him was to ronomy 18. 10 may be adduced: Qui lustret filium suum hasten to its help, and the people around were instantly aut filiam, ducens per ignem. In this way, the incre- to meet, and to stone the unnatural monster to death. dible barbarity of human sacrifices would appear to have | In fact, no crime so justly authorizes extra-judicial venno foundation in truth; and I very readily admit, that geance, as this horrible cruelty perpetrated on a helpless of some other passages, such as Leviticus 18. 21; 2Kings child, in the discovery of which we are always sure to 21. 6; 33. 10; Jeremiah 32, 35, an explanation on the have either the lifeless victim as a proof, or else the same principle may be given with some show of truth. | | living testimony of a witness who is beyond all suspiMore especially with regard to the first of these passages, cion; and where the mania of human sacrifices prevailed I may remark, as Le Clerc has done before me, that we to such a pitch as among the Canaanites, and got so find a variety of lection which makes a material altera completely the better of all the feelings of nature, it was tion of the sense, for instead of 7'dyn he-cbar, 'to cause necessary to counteract its effects by a measure equally to pass through,' the Samaritan text and the Septuagint extraordinary and summary.' read T'IY ha-abid, 'to cause to serve,' or to dedicate to the service of. In my German version I have, on account of this uncertainty, here made use of the general MOLTEN SEA, pya yam mutsak. (1Kings term weiham, 'to dedicate,' as the Vulgate had already | 7. 23.) Having under the word LAVER already described set me the example, in rendering the clause, De semine the “molten sea” of the Temple of Solomon, we need luo non dabis, ut consecretur idolo Moloch. I was the here merely observe, that some of the Jewish writers less inclined to employ the term “burn' here, because | say that it was supplied with water by a pipe from the no mention is made of fire, transire facere. At the same well Etam, while others assert that the Gibeonites pertime I really believe, from the strain of other passages formed the duty of keeping it full. According to these to be mentioned immediately, that burning is here meant. authorities it was kept continually flowing, there being With regard, in like manner, to 2Chronicles 28. 3, where spouts which discharged from the basin as much water it is expressly said, that Ahaz had, in imitation of the as it received from the well Etam. Most, if not all, the abominable practice of the nations whom Jehovah drove Jewish ablutions were performed in running water, and out before the Israelites, burnt his sons with fire, the hence they suppose that the priests performed their weighty objection may be made, that there is a various ablutions at these flowing streams, and they state that reading, and that, instead of wy" vaibor, ‘he burnt,') in complete ablutions of the whole person the priests got almost all the ancient versions, such as the Septuagint, into the basin, and that it was in order to prevent their Syriac, Chaldee, and Vulgate, had read yay vaiober, being drowned, that it was never allowed to contain