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places in which the original word might have been so rendered. Sometimes, indeed, it means garments in general, and in the plural especially, signifies clothes. Now, though the difference of a name employed in the version of the Old Testament may be thought too slight a circumstance for founding an argument upon, in regard to the manner of translating the New, I cannot help thinking that, even if the words mantle and cloak were equally proper, we ought not, by an unnecessary change, without any reason, to give ground to imagine, that there had been, in this article, any alteration in the Jewish customs.
Secondly, I am the more averse to introduce, in the New Testament, a change of the name that had been used in the Old, as it is evident that, in Judea, they placed some share of religion in retaining their ancient garb. They did not think themselves at liberty to depart from the customs of their ancestors in this point. As their law had regulated some particulars in relation to their habit, they looked upon the form as intended for distinguishing them from the heathen, and consequently as sacred "': the knots of strings which they were appointed to put upon the four corners or wings, as they called them, did not suit any other form of outer garment, than that to which they had been always accustomed.
Thirdly, the word mantle comes nearer a just representation of the loose vesture worn by the He
29. Numb, xv, 38, 39. Deut. xxii. 12.
brews, than cloak, or any other term, which refers us to something particular in the make. Whereas their 'luativ was an oblong piece of cloth, square at the corners, in shape resembling more the plaid of a Scotch Highlander, than either the Greek pallium or the Roman toga. This mantle, it would appear, on ordinary occasions, they threw loosely about them; and, when employed in any sort of work in which it might encumber them, laid aside altogether. To this, doubtless, our Lord refers, in that expression ?, Let not him who shall be in the field, return home to fetch his mantle. When setting out on a journey, or entering on any business, compatible with the use of this garment, they tucked it up with a girdle, that it might not incommode them. Hence, the similitude of having their loins girt, to express alertness, and habitual preparation for the discharge of duty. I know not why those who have been se inclinable, in some other articles, to give a modern cast to the manners of those ancients, have not mo. dernized them in this also, and transformed girding their loins, a very antique phrase, into buttoning their waistcoats. This freedom would not be so great, as the reduction of their money and measures above considered. It would not even be greater than giv. ing them candles for lamps, and making them sit at their meals, instead of reclining on couches. In regard to this last mode, I propose to consider it iminediately.
$ 3. Of all their customs they were not so tenacious, as of what regarded the form of their clothes. In things which were not conceived to be connected with religion, and about which neither the law, nor tradition, had made any regulation, they did not hesitate to conform themselves to the manners of those under whose power they had fallen. A remarkable instance of this appears, in their adopting the mode of the Greeks and Romans, in lying on couches at their meals. In the Old Testament times, the prac. tice of sitting on such occasions, appears to have been universal. It is justly remarked by Philo 21, that Joseph “made his brethren sit down according to
ages ; for men were not then accustomed to * lie on beds at entertainments.” The words, in the Septuagint”, are exadioav evavtiov avto: in the English translation, They sat before him ; both literally from the Hebrew. In like manner 23, exaliav de payelv aptov, they sat down to eat bread; and 2, εκαθισεν ο λαος φαγειν και πιειν, the people sat down to eat and drink. Solomon says 25, When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, Εαν καθισης δειπνειν επι τραπεζης δυνασε. But
But it were endless to enumerate all the examples. Suffice it to observe, that this is as uniformly employed to express the posture at table in the Old Testament, as avaxaiw, or some synony
21 “Εξης δε προσαξαντος κατα τας ηλικιας καθιζεσθαι, μηπω των ανθρωπων εν ταις συμποτικαις συνεστιαις κατακλισει χρωμενων. Lib. de Josepho. 22 Gen. xliii. 33.
23 Gen. xxxvii. 25.6 24 Exod. xxxii. 6.
25 Prov. xxii. 1.
mous term, is employed, for the same purpose, in the New. The Hebrew word is equally unequivocal with the Greek. It is always jashab, to sit, ne. ver 200 shachab, or any other word that imports lying down.
Some, indeed, have contended, that this manner of eating was practised among the Jews before the captivity; and in support of this opinion, have pro. duced the passage in Samuel 26, where Saul is spoken of as eating on the bed. But the
on the bed. But the passage, when examined, makes clearly against the opinion for which it has been quoted. The historian's expression is, sat upon the bed. Nor is this, as in the New Testament, the style merely of modern translators; it is that of the original, as well as of all the ancient translations. The Septuagint says ExaS10€, the Vulgate sedit. Houbigant is the only translator I know (who, misled, I suppose, by the ordinary style of Latin authors,) has said decubuit. The Hebrew word is jashab, which never signifies to lie. Now, whether a man on a bed takes his repast sitting, after the European manner, with his feet on the floor, or after the Turkish, with his legs across under him, his posture differs totally from that of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who lay at their length.
The words of the Prophet Amos 27 have also been thought to favour the same opinion: Wo to them that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and
1 Sam. xxviii. 23,
27 Amos, vi. 4, &c.
the calves out of the stall, that chant to the sound of the viol, &c. Here the Prophet upbraids the people with their sloth and luxury, specifying a few instances in their manner of living. But nothing is said that implies any other connection among these instances, than that of their being the effects of the same cause, voluptuousness. We have no more reason to connect their eating the lambs and the calves with their lying stretched on beds of ivory, than we have to connect with this posture, their chanting to the sound of the viol, and anointing themselves with ointments.
But in the Apocryphal writings, which are posterior in composition to those of the Old Testament, and probably posterior to the Macedonian conquests, though prior to the books of the New, we have the first indications of this change of posture. It is said of Judith " in the common version, that her maid laid soft skins on the ground for her over against Holofernes, that she might sit and eat upon them, EuS TO εσθιειν κατακλινομενην επ' αυτων, literally, that she might eat lying upon them. Again, in Tobit”, AVENE da T8 payelv, not I sat, but I lay down to eat. Other examples might be given which render it probable that this fashion was first introduced into Judæa by the Greeks, before the Jews became acquainted with the Romans. A sure evidence this, that the Jews were not so obstinately tenacious of every national custom, as some have represented them. It is very remarkable
2 Judith, xii. 15.
29 Tobit, ii. 1.