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sistible' force, which collected from every quarter, the in numerable flocks of these birds that darken the air of the surrounding regions at certain seasons of the year, and swept them into the desert, to supply the wants of Israel.
The Jewish lawgiver only mentions in general terms, that a wind went forth from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea; but the holy Psalmist is more particular, stating in these words, the points from which it came : “ He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven ; and by his power he brought in the south wind.” On this passage it has been asked, How can these winds blow together, and at the same time bring up the quails from the sea into the desert ? The Seventy interpreters, and the Vulgate, found it so difficult to give a satisfactory answer to these queries, that they were induced to render the first clause, “ He removed the east wind from the heaven;" as if the removal of one wind was necessarily succeeded by another. But this version cannot be admitted, because the Psalmist clearly intends to represent the east and the south winds, as the joint instruments of divine goodness, which by their united force, collected and brought up the quails from the sea. If the Psalmist had meant to express the removing of the east wind, he must have used the phrase (onwn yn) from the heaven ; but instead of this, he uses the words (opwa) in or into the heavens, which conveys an idea quite the reverse. Our version, therefore, gives the true sense of the sacred text: He caused an east wind to blow in the heaven ; that is, he introduced it for the very purpose of bringing the quails into the camp. Nor can the sacred writer be justly charged with inconsistency, in combining the force of the east and the south wind, on
Psa. lxxviii, 26.
that memorable occasion ; for, it is evident from the clas sic authors, that they are not contrary, but may conspire to produce the same effect. Thus:
“ Una Eurusque Notusque ruunt, creberque procellis
Africas, et vastos volvunt ad littora fluctus.” Æn. lib. i, l. 35. In the lines of Homer, the same winds contend with each other to shake the trees of the mountain forest, and shiver to pieces their long extended boughs :
Ως δ' Eυρος σε Νοσος σ' αριδαινετον αλληλούϊν
Oupsos sv Brodos Babeny Tshapes Sopesu ünny. II. lib. xvi, 1. 765. To this may be added, that in the whole of this Psalm, as often in the other poetical books of the Hebrews, the two hemistichs are almost parallel, and mutually explain each other. From whence it follows, that (VD) yasah in this text, has nearly the same meaning as its parallel verb (ana) vainhag, which signifies to introduce. This is accordingly the sense which all interpreters, ancient and modern, have adopted, except the Septuagint and the Vulgate. From this statement it appears, that the royal Psalmist in this passage means to exeite, not to remove the east wind; to introduce, not to expel it from the heavens. But to understand the matter clearly, let it be remembered, that the people of Israel were at that time in the wilderness of Paran; at the distance of three days journey from Sinai, directly north from the extremity of the Arabian gulf; and by consequence, from Theman, the country from whence the south winds blows, whose name it commonly bears, in the Hebrew text, which brought the quails into the camp of Israel. The same region is named (Oop) kadim, that is, the east; because it lay toward the south-east; and was denominated sometimes by the one name, and sometimes by the other. Although the cardinal winds are reckoned four in number, which are again subdivided into many more ; yet the ancient philosophers, and particularly Aristotle and Theophrastus, distributed them into two, the north and the south.9 The westerly winds they included in the north, because they are colder; and the easterly winds in the south, because they are attended by a greater degree of heat. But, since the east wind was anciently comprehended in the south, the east and the south may be used in this text as synonimous; and by consequence, the east is the same, or nearly the same, as the south wind, Nor is it in this text alone, that the sacred writers ascribe to the east, what might seem to be the proper effects of the south wind; the same thing may be observed in every part of Scripture. It burns up the fruits of the earth;-it blasts the vines, and other fruit bearing trees ;-it drove back the Red sea, and opened a passage to the people of God ;-it dries up the fountains of water ;--and by its irresistible violence, it dashes the ships of Tarshish in pieces ; and in fine, scatters destruction among the dwellings of wicked men, and sweeps them from the face of the earth, into the silent mansions of the grave." The prophet Isaiah, on this account calls it & rough wind ;s and Jonah feelingly describes the vehemence with which it beat upon his head till he fainted, and wished in himself to die, The Greek interpreters uniformly render it the south wind; and Theodoret regards these two winds as nearly the same, Although, therefore, the phrase (@ pn7 7797) ruah hakadim, pro
9 Meteorol. lib. ii, cap. 6. . Gen, xli, 6. Ezek. xvii, 10, and xix, 12. Exod. xiv, 21. Hos, xiii, 15. Psa. xlviii, 8. Job xxvii, 21. Jer. xviii, 17. .* Isa. xxyii, 8. .
Jon. xiv, 8. .. "Quoted by Bochart. Hieroz. lib. i, cap. 15, p. 103.
perly and precisely speaking, denotes the east wind ; yety because the east and the south winds resemble each other in many particulars, the Hebrews, in the opinion of Bo. chart and other learned writers, appear to have used these names promiscuously ; which is the reason that (esp) kadim is in every part of the Greek version, and particularly in the text under review, rendered the south wind. Thus the same wind seems to have been intended by both these terms, the south or African wind, which from the interior of Egypt, wafted the quails into the desert, and scattered them round the tents of Israel.
. This difficulty admits of other solutions equally natural and easy. The inspired writer may be understood to mean the south-east wind, which might bring the quails as well from the east as from the south ; or, that both the east and the south winds were employed on that occasion, the first to scatter about the tents of Israel, the congregated flocks, which the last had swept into the desert; or, in order to secure a complete supply for so great a multitude, to gather at the same time from the east and the south, the widely dispersed troops of these birds, which, in distant regions of the sky, were pursuing their annual journey from their winter quarters, to the more temperate latitudes.
i is good It is indeed objected by some writers, that the west. wind, rather than the east, ought to blow, in order to produce the effect recorded by Moses ; and that, according to Pliny and Aristotle, the quails do not trust themselves to the sky when the humid and boisterous south wind blows; and for this reason, the winds blowing from the north and west, are distinguished by the nanie of ornia thian, because they are favourable to the migratory tribes."
Aristotel. Hist. lib. vii, cap. 12. Plin. Hist. Natur. lib. x, c. 23.
But no miracle is involved in this circumstance; for these ancient authors only mean, that the quails pursue their journey with greater difficulty, and are more easily taken when the south wind blows; while, according to the obser. vation of others, these birds of passage were brought back in the spring, by the south winds, which are the most proper for conducting them from the banks of the Nile and the shores of the Red sea, into the wilderness of Paran. 1
The quails were scattered around the camp of Israel, in the most astonishing numbers: “He rained flesh also upon them as dust, and feathered fowls like as the sand of the sea."" The holy Psalmist had used the metaphorical word to rain, in relation to the manna, in a preceding verse, both to intimate its descent from heaven, and its prodigious abundance. And because a single metaphor is not sufficient to give us a just idea of the sudden and extraordinary supplies which descended on the tents of Israel, they are compared to the dust of the field, and to the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered. To suggest at once the countless myriads of these birds, and the ease with which they are caught, it is added : " He let it fall in the midst of their camp round about their ha. bitations." The account of Moses is still more striking. “ And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth." Hence, these birds covered the whole camp and the sura rounding waste, to the distance of a day's journey on every side. The only ambiguity lies in the phrase, “ a day's
to me!!!11196.: 91.!* Psa. Ixxviii, 27. 1 ! ! willst!