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§ 110. Method of cARRYING goods by LAND. 121
§ 110. Method of cARRYING goods by LANd.
Chariots were anciently in use among the inhabitants of the East. The merchants, notwithstanding, transported their goods upon camels; animals, which are patient of thirst, and are easily supported in the deserts. For the common purpose of security against depredations, the oriental merchants travelled in company, as is common in the East at the present day. A large travelling company of this kind was called a caravan or carvan, nons, Hrons. A smaller one was called kafile or kafle, Hors, Greek ovvodia. Job 6: 18–20. Gen. 37:25. Is. 21:13. Jer. 9:2. Judg. 5; 6. Luke 2:44. The furniture carried by the individuals of a caravan consisted of a mattress, a coverlet, a carpet for sitting upon, a round piece of leather, which answered the purpose of a table, a few pots and kettles of copper covered with tin, also a tin-plated cup, which was suspended before the breast under the outer garment, and was used for drinking, 1 Sam. 26: 11, 12, 16; leathern bags for holding water, tents, lights, and provisions in quality and abundance, as each one could afford. Ezek. 12:3. Every caravan had a leader to conduct it through the desert, who was acquainted with the direction of its rout, and with the cisterns and fountains. These he was able to ascertain, sometimes from heaps of stones, sometimes by the character of the soil, and when other helps failed him, by the stars, Num, 10:29–32. Jer. 31:21. Is. 21: 14. When all things are in readiness, the individuals, who compose the caravan, assemble at a distance from the city. The commander of the caravan, who is a different person from the conductor or leader, and is chosen from the wealthiest of its members, appoints the day of their departure. A similar arrangement was adopted among the Jews, whenever they travelled in large numbers to the city of Jerusalem. The caravans start very early, sometimes before day. They endeavour to find a stopping place or station to remain at during the night, which shall afford them a supply of water, Job 6: 15–20. They arrive at their stopping place before the close of the day, and while it is yet light, prepare every thing, that is necessary for the recommencement of their journey. In order to prevent any one from wandering away from the caravan and getting lost during the night, lamps or torches are elevated upon poles and carried before it. The pillar of 122 § 111. commerce of the HEBREws.
fire answered this purpose for the Israelites, when wandering in the wilderness. Sometimes the caravans lodge in cities; but when they do not, they pitch their tents so as to form an encampment, and during the night keep watch alternately for the sake of security. In the cities there are public inns, called khanes and caravansaries, in which the caravans are lodged without expense. They are large, square buildings, in the centre of which is an area or open court. Caravansaries are denominated in the Greek of the New Testament navòoysiov, xaráAvous, and xarálvua, Luke 2: 7. 10: 34. The first mention of one in the Old Testament is in Jer. 41: 17, Brož nana. It was situated near the city of Bethlehem.
§ 111. CoMMERce of the Hebrews.
Moses enacted no laws in favour of commerce, although there is no question, that he saw the situation of Palestine to be very favourable for it. The reason of this was, that the Hebrews who were designedly set apart to preserve the true religion, could not mingle with foreign idolatrous nations without injury. He, therefore, merely inculcated good faith and honesty in buying and selling, Lev. 19:36, 37. Deut. 25: 13–16; and left all the other interests of commerce to a future age. By the establishment, however, of the three great festivals, he gave occasion for some mercantile intercourse. At these festivals all the adult males of the nation were yearly assembled at one place. The consequence was, that those, who had any thing to sell, brought it ; while those, who wished to buy articles, came with the expectation of having an opportunity. As Moses, though he did not encourage, did not interdict foreign commerce; Solomon, at a later period, not only carried on a traffic in horses, as already stated, but sent ships from the port of Eziongeber through the Red Sea to Ophir, (probably the coast of Africa,) and also had commercial intercourse even with Spain, 1 K.9:26. 2 Chron. 9:21. This traffic, although a source of emolument, appears to have been neglected after the death of Solomon. The attempt made by Jehoshaphat to restore it, was frustrated by his ships being dashed upon the rocks and destroyed, 1 K. 22:48, 49. 2 Chron. 20:36. Joppa, though not a very convenient one, was properly the port of Jerusalem; and some of the large ves§ 113. MEASUREs or LENGTH. 123
sels, which went to Spain, sailed from it, Jonah 1:3. In the age of Ezekiel, the commerce of Jerusalem was so great, that it gave occasion of envy even to the Tyrians themselves, Ezek. 26: 2. After the captivity, a great number of Jews became merchants and travelled for the purpose of traffic into all countries. About the year 150 B.C., prince Simon rendered the port at Joppa more convenient, than it had hitherto been. In the time of Pompey the Great, there were so many Jews abroad on the ocean, even in the character of pirates, that king Antigonus was accused before him of having sent them out on purpose. A new port was built by Herod at Cesarea.
§ 112. Weights AND MEAsures.
Commerce could not be carried on without coin, nor without a system of weights and measures. Weights and measures were regulated at a very early period in Asia. Regulations in regard to them as far as concerned the Hebrews were made by Moses, and measures and weights to serve as models, both for form and contents, were deposited in the tabernacle. All the duties in regard to this subject devolved, among the Jews as well as among the Egyptians, upon the priests. After the time of Solomon the models for weights, &c. were deposited in the temple; consequently, when the temple was destroyed, they perished with it. The Hebrews, while in captivity, used, as might be expected, the weights and measures of their masters. The prophet Ezekiel is a proof of this, who speaks of cubits and weights, evidently the same with those in use after the captivity. The weights and measures of the Jews, therefore, are to be distinguished into those before, and those after the captivity. Whenever they are mentioned by the Alexandrine translators, or by Josephus, they belong to the latter period. The amount and extent of weights and measures before the captivity cannot be accurately determined.
§ 113. Measures of LENGTH.
Almost all nations have taken their measures of length from the parts of the human body, and what their extent was among the Jews before the captivity can be learnt only by a reference to those parts. 124 § 113. MEASUREs of LENGTH.
I. sess, a finger or digit. Its length was about the breadth of a finger. [According to the tables, appended to the third volume of Horne's Introduction to the Scriptures, which are taken chiefly from Dr Arbuthnot, the Jewish digit is 0.912th of an English inch.] II. Het), neto, a palm or four digits, otherwise called a handbreadth, 1 K. 7:26, comp. 2 Chron. 4: 5. Jer. 52:21. III, no!, a span, viz. from the end of the thumb to the end of the little finger, or three palms, Exod. 28: 16. 39: 9. 1 Sam. 17:4. IV. HoN, a cubit. It extended from the elbow to the wrist, Ezek. 41: 8, or four palms, about the sixth part of the height of the human body, Deut. 3: 11. 1 Sam. 17:4. Ezekiel, chap. 40: 5. 43: 13, mentions a cubit of five palms, i. e. the extent from the elbow to the knuckles. This appears to have been the Babylonian or new cubit, of which mention is made in 2 Chron. 3: 3. comp. Herodot. I. 178, and Solinus 56. 2. V. Troi, a measure which was probably the length of a man's arm, Judg. 8:16. e VI. Hip, a measuring reed of six cubits, or the length of the human body. Ezekiel, chap. 40: 5, mentions a Babylonian reed of a little more than six cubits in length. VII. Ngo, a Chaldaic word, Greek ordóvov, a stadium or furlong. It was a Greek measure adopted by the Jews, and was one hundred and twenty-five geometrical paces in extent, or the six hundredth part of a degree, making one hundred and forty-five English paces, four feet, and six tenths, John 6: 19. 11: 18. Rev. 14:20. 21: 16. The Egyptian furlong was sixty seven fathoms and two feet. VIII. "Ojog ow88&rov, a sabbath day's journey, viz. seven hundred and twenty-nine English paces and three feet, Acts 1: 12. This measure is a sort of Jewish invention founded on Exod. 16:29. IX. Miltov, a Roman mile, being eight furlongs, or a thousand geometrical paces, Matt. 5:41. x. Yosn nonz, a little way, Gen. 35. 16. 2 K. 5:19; according to the Septuagint a horse's race, in 16690,0s, i.e. as the Arabians inform us, a parasang, by which word the phrase is translated in the Peshito. It was about four English miles. XI. Bi-H Tho, a day's journey. It is sometimes greater and § 114. Hollow MEASUREs. 125
sometimes less, varying from twenty to thirty miles, see Herodot. W. 53.
§ 114. Hollow MEASURes.
I. yop, a handful, a measure not accurately defined, Lev. 2: 2. 5: 12.
II. -o, an omer, used, as appears from Exod. 16:16, 18, 22, 32, 33, 36, in the measurement of dry articles. It contained the portion, which was assigned to each individual for his daily food. It corresponded to the goveš, the choenix of the Greeks, and held five pints and one tenth English corn measure; [see Horne's Introd. to the Scriptures, Vol. III. App. no. II.]
III. He's, Hes, an ephah, the Egyptian oiqi, a measure for dry articles. It contained, as we learn from Exod. 16:36, ten omers. The genuineness of that passage is, indeed, somewhat doubtful, but at any rate it is very ancient, since it is found in all the ancient versions, even the Samaritan itself. It held three pecks and three pints. The bath, a measure for liquids, was of the same size. Josephus, however, Antiq. VIII. 2. § 9, makes a bath equal to seventy-two Šćgrat, an Attic measure holding a pint. If this be true, it was the same in capacity with the usrom rijs, a firkin, which was an Attic measure, commonly represented equal to seventy-two Šćorat, or nine English gallons, John 2: 6. IV. Hst, a seah. It appears to be merely the Hebrew name of that measure, which was called, by a word of Egyptian origin, ephah, comp. Gen. 18; 6. with Judg.6:19. 2 K.7:16, 18. and 1 Sam. 25:18. It is thought by some to be the third part of an ephah. This measure occurs in the New Testament, under the word gårov, derived from the Hebrew bonse. Josephus, Antiq. IX. 2. remarks in regard to this measure, that it contained udduov xat hutov stakuzów an Italian bushel and a half, i. e. a peck and a half English.
W. -on, a homer, used both for liquids and dry articles; also called hio, a kor. It held ten ephahs; consequently the lethek, Trio, which was half its size, held five ephahs.
VI. sp., a kab. It appears to have been used for dry articles merely, 2 K. 6: 25. From the passage in Kings, it is clear, that it was a measure of small dimensions.