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as is carried at the head of our troops, then, as the Hebrew participle is the pahul, which has a passive, and not an active sense, it must signify one before whom a standard is borne ; not the person who lifts up and displays it, but him in whose honour the standard is displayed. It was not a mark of superior dignity in the east to display the standard, but it was a mark of dignity and honour to have the standard carried before one; and the same idea seems to be entertained in other parts of the world. The passage then is rightly translated thus ; My beloved is white and ruddy, and honourable, as one before whom, or around whom, ten thousand standards are borne...
The compliment is returned by her Lord in these words : “ Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners ;" and again, "Whọ is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, terrible as an army with banners *?” Mr Harmer imagines that these texts refer to a marriage procession, surrounded with flambeaux: But what is terrible in a company of women, even although “ dressed in rich attire, surrounded with nuptial flambeaux," blazing ever so fiercely? Besides, his view sinks the last member of the comparison, and indeed, seems to throw over it an air of ridicule ; Who is this that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and dazzling, like a bride lighted home with flambeaux ? The common translation certainly sustains much better the dignity of the last clause, while it gives the genuine meaning of (ox) aim, which in every passage of Scripture where it occurs, signifies either terrible, or the tumult and confusion of mind which terror produces.
The form of the Hebrew camp varied according to circumstances. In the wilderness, it was of a quadrangular form, surrounded, say the Jewish writers, with an enclosure of the height of ten handsbreadth, to prevent the soldiers from deserting their colours. It was not a regular square, for the court of
* Song vi, 4, 10.
the tabernacle was in the midst of the camp, and the sides of that being unequal, those towards the east and west, of no more than fifty cubits length, but those towards the north and south, of an hundred cubits length, made the encampment about it also unequal. The distance of the camp from the tabernacle is reckoned to have been about two thousand cubits. This camp, the Jews say, made a square of twelve miles in compass about the tabernacle. Within this was another, called the camp of the Levites, whose duty it was to guard the tabernacle on all sides, that no profane foot might enter its hallowed courts.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
Tue encampments of Israel in Canaan seem to have been open and unguarded on all sides. When David reconnoitred the camp of Saul, the king “lay in the trench, and all the people pitched round about him *.” The Hebrew term magal never signifies a ditch and rampart, as our translators seem to have understood it, but a chariot or waggon way, a high way, or the rut of a wheel in the ground. Nor is it to be understood of a ring of carriages, as the marginal reading seems to suppose, and as Buxtorf interprets the word; for it is not probable that Saul would encumber his army with baggage in so rapid a pursuit, nor that so mountainous a country was practicable for waggons. It seems then simply to mean, the circle these troops formed, in the midst of which, as being the place of honour, Saul reposed.
An Arab camp is always circular, when the dispositions of the ground will permit, the chieftain being in the middle, and
* 1 Sam. xxvi, 5. Il. b. 7. 1. 436.
the troops at a respectful distance around him. Their lances are fixed near them in the ground, all the day long, ready for action. This was precisely the form and arrangement of Saul's camp, as described by the sacred historian.
The most usual time of going forth to war, was at the return of spring; the hardships of a winter campaign were then unknown. In the beginning of spring, says Josephus, David sent forth his commander-in-chief Joab, to make war with the Ammonites. In another part of his works, he says, that as soon as spring was begun, Adad levied and led forth his army against the Hebrews. Antiochus also prepared to invade Judea at the first appearance of spring; and Vespasian, earnest to put an end to the war in Judea, marched with his whole army to Antipatris, at the commencement of the same season. The sacred historian seems to suppose, that there was one particular time of the year to which the operations of war were commonly limited : “And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants and all Israel, and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah *." The kings and armies of the east, says Chardin, do not march but when there
grass, and when they can encamp, which time is April. But in modern times, this rule is disregarded, and the history of the crusades records expeditions and battles in every month of
Before the idolatrous nations of Syria and Palestine undertook a warlike expedition, or entered into battle, they endeavoured to bring down a curse upon their enemies, which should inevitably secure their overthrow. Influenced by an opinion, which long prevailed in those parts of the world, that some men had a power, by the help of their gods, to devote not only particular persons, but whole armies to destruction, Balak sent for Balaam to curse Israel, before he would venture to attack their camp; “Come now, therefore, and curse me this people,
* 2 Sam. xi, 1.
for they are too mighty for me; peradventure, I shall prevail, that we may smite them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I wot, that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed *." This was done sometimes by words of imprecation, of which there was a set form among some people, which Eschines calls the determinate curse. Besides this, they sometimes offered sacrifices, and used certain rites and ceremonies with solemn charms. We discover evident traces of this custom in the conduct of Balaam, who built seven altars, and offered on every altar a bullock and a ram, in the vain hope of procuring an alteration in the purpose of the Most High ; and when his hopes were disappointed in one place, he removed to another, renewing his sacrifices and incantations, supposing he might find some position where God might be more favourable to his wishes. It appears also from the history of the transaction, that Balaam did not rely for success merely on the number and quality of his oblations, but in his eagerness to merit the splendid rewards of Balak, had recourse to the arts of divination, for at the second failure he complains; “Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel." And after the third attempt, it is said, “When Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he went not as at other times to seek for enchantments, but he set his face towards the wilderness."
Some of the solemn charms used by the heathen on such occasions, are mentioned in the life of Crassus from the
pen of Plutarch. The historian states that Atticus, a tribune of the people, made a fire at the gate, out of which the general was to march against the Parthians, into which he threw certain things to make a fume, and offered sacrifice to the most angry gods, with horrid imprecations. These, he says, according to ancient traditions, had such a power, that no man who was loaded with them could avoid being undone. Under the influence probably of the same opinion, the renowned
# Numb. xxii. 6.
champion of the Philistines, sure of the favour and protection of his deities, and, consequently, persuaded that his enemies must necessarily be the objects of their displeasure and vengeance, cursed David by his gods, devoting him to utter de struction: And so the Romans used to do, in these words, Dii Deæque perdant.
These preparatory measures taken, the hostile army began its march, and entering the enemy's country, laid it waste with fire and sword. For this purpose, the horsemen spread them selves on every side, dividing themselves into small parties in their dreadful progress, till, if not checked by the timely resistance of the inhabitants, scarcely a single dwelling escaped their indiscriminate ravage. To such a scene of pillage and desolation the prophet Habakkuk evidently refers: “ Their horsemen shall spread themselves; and their horsemen shall come from far *." The Baron du Tott, in his entertaining work, has given us an account of the manner in which an army of modern Tartars conducted themselves, which serves greatly to illustrate this passage : “These particulars," says the Baron, «informed the cham or prince, and the generals, what their real position was ; and it was decided that a third of the army, composed of volunteers, and commanded by a sultan and several mirzas, should pass the river at midnight, divide into several columns, subdivide successively, and thus overspread New Servia, burn the villages, corn, and fodder, and carry off the inhabitants of the country. The rest of the army, in order to follow the plan concerted, marched till they came to the beaten track in the snow made by the detachment. This we followed, till we arrived at the place where it divides into seven branches, to the left of which we constantly kept, observing never to mingle or confuse ourselveß with any of the subdivisions which we successively found; and some of which were only small paths, traced by one or two horsemen. Flocks were found frozen to death on the plain, and twenty columns of smoke,
* Habak, i. 3.