Imágenes de páginas

196 $181. treatMENT of the Jews to staANGERs.

cinity of mount Lebanon, especially where he does not wish to assert any thing in express terms. This explains the answer of the Saviour to the high priest Caiaphas in Matt. 26:64. when he was asked, whether he was the Christ the Son of God, and replied on sitaç, thou hast said. To spit in company in a room, which was covered with a carpet, was an indication of great rusticity of manners; but in case there was no carpet, it was not accounted a fault in a person, provided he spit in the corner of the room. The expressions, therefore, in Deuteronomy, 25: 7–9. viz. Tito "pool and she shall spit in his face, are to be understood literally, the more so on this account, because in other places, where spitting, buffeting, &c. are mentioned, they occur under circumstances, where there existed a great excitement of feeling, and because there are not wanting instances of even greater rudeness and violence, than that of spitting in one's face, Matt. 26:67. Mark 14: 65. comp. 1 K. 22: 24. Is. 57:4, Ezek. 2: 6. 25: 6. 2 Sam. 16: 6, 7. The orientals, as is very well known, are fond of taking a nap at noon, to which they are strongly invited by the oppressive heat of their climate, 2 Sam. 4: 5. 11:2. Matt. 13:25. The phrase, to cover one's feet, is used in certain instances to express the custom of retiring to rest or sleeping at this time, Judg. 8:24. 1 Sam. 24:4.

§ 181. TREATMENT of the Jews To STRANGERs.

Moses inculcated and enforced, by numerous and by powerful considerations, as well as by various examples of benevolent hospitality, mentioned in the book of Genesis, the exhibition of kindness and humanity to strangers. There were two classes of persons, who in reference to this subject, were denominated strangers, D"-la. One class were those, who, whether Hebrews or foreigners, were destitute of a home, in Hebrew Bonn. The others were persons, who, though not natives, had a home in Palestine; the latter were to strangers or foreigners in the strict sense of the word. Both of these classes, according to the civil code of Moses, were to be treated with kindness, and were to enjoy the same rights with other citizens, Lev. 19:33, 34. 24; 16, 22. Num. 9: 14. 15: 14. Deut. 10: 18. 23: 8. 24: 17. 27: 19.

In the earlier periods of the Hebrew state, persons, who were § 182. The poor AND BEGGARs. 197

natives of another country, but who had come, either from choice or necessity, to take up their residence among the Hebrews, appear to have been placed in favourable circumstances. At a later period, viz. in the reigns of David and Solomon, they were compelled to labour on the religious edifices which were erected by those princes; as we may learn from such passages as these, “And Solomon numbered all the strangers that were in the land of Israel, after the numbering wherewith David his father had numbered them; and they were found an hundred and fifty thousand and three thousand and six hundred; and he set threescore and ten thousand of them to be bearers of burdens,” etc. see 1 Chron. 22: 2. 2 Chron. 2: 1, 16, 17. The exaction of such laborious services from foreigners was probably limited to those, who had been taken prisoners in war; and who, according to the rights of war as they were understood at that period, could be justly employed in any offices, however low and however laborious, which the conquerer thought proper to impose. In the time of Christ, the degenerate Jews did not find it convenient to render to the strangers from a foreign country those deeds of kindness and humanity, which were not only their due, but which were demanded in their behalf by the laws of Moses. They were in the habit of understanding by the word x-, neighbour, their friends merely, and accordingly restricted the exercise of their benevolence by the same narrow limits, that bounded in this case their interpretation; contrary as both were to the spirit of those passages, which have been adduced above, Lev. 19. 18.

§ 182. The Poor AND BEGGARs.

Moses, as may be learnt by consulting the references in the preceding section, made abundant provision for the poor, but it does not appear, that he says any thing in respect to beggars. We find the first express mention of mendicants in the Psalms, see Ps. 109; 10. In the parts of the Hebrew Scriptures, which were written subsequently, the mention of them is quite frequent. In the time of Christ, mendicants were found sitting in the streets, at the doors of the rich, at the gates of the temple, and likewise, as we have reason to believe, at the entrance of synagogues, Mark 10: 46. Luke 16:20. Act 3:2. Sometimes food and some198 § 183. LEviticAL DEFILEMENTs.

times money was presented to them, Matt. 26:9. Luke 16:21. We
have no reason to suppose, that there existed in the time of Christ
that class of persons called vagrant beggars, who present their sup-
plications for alms from door to door, and who are found at the
present day in the East, although less frequently than in the coun-
tries of Europe. That the custom of seeking alms by sounding a
trumpet or horn, which prevails among a class of Mohammedan
monastics, called KALENdAR or KARENDAL, prevailed also in the
time of Christ, may be inferred from Matt. 6: 2; where the verb
oaktričw possesses the shade of signification, that would be at-
tached to a corresponding word in the Hiphil form of the Hebrew,
and is to be rendered transitively, as is the case with many other
verbs in the New Testament, 1 Cor. 1: 20. 3: 6. 15: I. etc.
There is one thing characteristic of those orientals, who are re-
duced to the disagreeable necessity of following the vocation of
mendicants, which is worthy of being mentioned; they do not ap-
peal to the pity or to the alms-giving spirit, but to the justice of
their benefactors, Job 22:7. 31: 16. Prov. 3: 27, 28. 21:21. Ps.
24: 5. Eccles. 4: 1. 14: 13, 14. Matt. 6: 1. Koran 17:28. 30: 37.
70: 24. Buxtorf. Lexic. Chal. Talmud. Rabb. p. 1821.

§ 183. Levitical DefileMENTs.

The DEFILEMENTs, which kept a person back not only from sacred scenes and duties, but from all intercourse with other persons, were recognized, and had an existence among the Hebrews before, as well as after the time of Moses. They had an existence in truth, at that very early period, not only among the Hebrews, but also among many other nations. If a man were defiled or rendered unclean by disease, it so happened, because the disease was considered contagious. If he were defiled from any other cause, that cause, whatever it might be, was something, which was associated with ideas of impurity, with dislike, or abhorrence in the minds of the people. Moses defined more accurately, than had previously been done, those things to which it was the custom to attach the opprobrium of communicating uncleanness; and in order to increase and perpetuate the separation which existed between the Hebrews and the Gentile nations, and to render the former less liable to seduction to idolatry, he

-----—ma § 183. Levitical perileMents. 199

appointed and regulated the ceremonies, by which unclean persons might be purified, and restored back again to the privileges of the tabernacle and to the intercourse of friends. If a person, who was defiled or unclean, touched another, he rendered the other person as unclean as himself, and both were excluded from the tabernacle and temple, Lev. 13: 3. Those persons, who, according to the Levitical law, were unclean were, I. Persons who were afflicted with the leprosy. They were not permitted to dwell within the limits of either cities or villages. They were clad in a rent and miserable garment, and were compelled to cry out to every one, whom they met, “Unclean, unclean" Lev. 13:45. Num. 5: 2. et seq. II. The Gonorrhea or seed-flur, whether BENIGNA or virulenTA, was a source of uncleanness to any person, who was the subject of it, Lev. 15: 3. III. Whoever had an EMissio seMINIs, even in legitimate intercourse, was to be unclean till the evening, Lev. 15: 16–22. IV. Women after the birth of a son were unclean for seven, and after the birth of a daughter, for fourteen days. And in case the infant was a manchild, they were debarred during the thirty three following days from the tabernacle and temple, and from the sacrifices; in case the child was a female, they were thus debarred during the sixty six following days, Lev. 12: 1–6. 15: 16–28. W. Women, during the period of the menses, and when labouring under the disease denominated an issue of blood, were unclean, Lev. 15: 19—21. Matt. 9:20. VI. He, who had touched the corpse of a man, or the carcase of an animal, a sepulchre, or the bones of a dead person ; likewise he, who had been in the tent, or in the room, or house of the dying or the dead, were both of them unclean for seven days. Priests were rendered unclean by merely wearing the badges of mourning; and for that reason they never assumed them, except in case of the death of parents, children, brothers, or unmarried sisters residing in their father's house. For the same reason, viz. the circumstance of their communicating uncleanness, the habiliments of mourning were altogether interdicted to the high priest, Lev. 5; 2. 11:8–11, 24–31, 21:1–5, 10, 11. Num. 19.




§ 184. Of Diseases GENERALLY.

IN the primitive ages of the world, diseases, in consequence of the great simplicity in the mode of living, were but few in number. At a subsequent period the number was increased, by the accession of diseases, that had been previously unknown. Epidemics also, diseases somewhat peculiar in their character and still more fearful in their consequences, soon made their appearance, some infesting one period of life, and some another, some limiting their ravages to one country, and some to another. The propriety of this statement in regard to the original extent and subsequent increase of diseases in general, and to epidemics, will recommend itself to every mind, that makes even but small pretensions to attainments in knowledge.

Prosper Alpinus, in his Book de Medicina Aegyptiaca, Lib. I. c. 13. p. 13. mentions the diseases, which are prevalent in Egypt, and in other countries in the same climate. They are ophthalmies, leprosies, inflammations of the brain, pains in the joints, the hernia, the stone in the reins and bladder, the phthisic, hectic, pestilential, and tertian fevers, weakness of the stomach, obstructions in the liver, and the spleen. Of these diseases, ophthalmies, pestilential fevers, and inflammations of the brain are epidemics; the others are of a different character.

Every region, and every age of the world, has been in the habit of attributing certain diseases to certain causes, and of assigning names to those diseases, derived from the supposed origin or cause, whether it were a real or only an imaginary one. The names thus given have been in many instances retained both by the vulgar and by men of medical science, after different causes had been developed and assigned to the diseases in question. In respect to this subject, we know, that there are certain words of very ancient standing, which are used to express diseases of some kind or .

« AnteriorContinuar »