« AnteriorContinuar »
40 § 41. villages, Towns, cities.
Job 18: 5, 6. 21:17. Prov. 13:9. 20:20. 24:20, 31: 18. We may infer from the golden lamp of the Tabernacle, that those of the opulent were rich and splendid. Flambeaus, E-Tek, were of two kinds. The one were pieces of old linen twisted firmly together and dipped in oil or bitumen, which were sometimes wholly consumed by the flame, Judg. 15:4. The others were small bars of iron or brass, inserted into a stick, to which pieces of linen dipped in oil were fastened. But, lest the oil should flow down upon the hand of him, who carried them, a small vessel of brass or iron surrounded the bottom of the stick, Matt. 25: 3.
§ 41. Villages, Towns, Cities.
A number of tents or cottages, collected together, were called villages, Bonez, -ez, noto, also towns and cities onx, no, -ox, H.-E. When a number of families saw that their situation was not secure, they began to fortify themselves. Cain set the example ; who surrounded with a ditch, or a sort of hedge a few cottages situated perhaps on a hill, and raised a sort of scaffolding within, in order to aid him in reaching his enemies with stones. However this may be, undoubtedly something of this kind was the origin of fortified cities. In process of time the hedge was converted into a wall, the ditch became both wider and deeper, and the scaffold increased into a tower. Great advancement was made in the art of fortification even in the time of Moses, Numb. 13: 25–33. But still greater at a subsequent age. It seems that the cities in Palestine in the time of Joshua were large, since 12,000 men were slain in the city of Ai, which is said to have been a small city. The Hebrews in the time of David, who were exceedingly increased in point of numbers, must have had large cities. Jerusalem in particular could not have been otherwise than extensive, since such myriads of people assembled there on festival days. For, though many dwelt in tents and many met with a hospitable reception in the neighbouring villages, yet vast multitudes were received into the city. The extent of the cities of Galilee in the time of Christ is made known to us by Josephus, J. War, B. III. 3, 2; and at that period, as we may gather from the number of the Paschal lambs, slain at one time, 3,000,000 people were wont to assemble at Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover. It is clear from this, that the site of Jerusalem, which at this time § 41. villages, Towns, cities. 47
occupied an extent of 33 stadia, was crowded with houses, and those of many stories. It is worthy of remark, that towns are called nin's and Box, and fortified cities, Bonz, in the Talmud, answering to the distinctions in the New Test of tdists and zwuondisis. The streets, p-pop, Pau, yan, noxon, in the cities of Asia are merely from three to six feet broad. The object of this is, that the shades which they cast, may counteract in some degree the heat of the sun. That many of them formerly were much larger, is evident from the fact, that chariots were driven through them, which is not done at the present day. Josephus also makes a division, both of streets and gates, into larger and smaller. The larger streets are distinguished by a separate name, ann and nano. A paved street is a rare sight in the East, at the present day; although formerly, at least in the time of Herod, they were by no means uncommon. The market places were near the gates of the city, sometimes within, sometimes without, where the different kinds of goods were exposed to sale, sometimes under the open sky, sometimes in tents, 2 Chron. 18; 9. 32: 6. Neh. 8: 1, 3. 2. Kgs. 7: 18. Job 29:7. This was the case at a very early period; but Josephus teaches us, that later down, in the time of Christ, they were similar to those, which at the present day are common in the East, being large streets, covered with an arch, through which the light was admitted by the means of orifices. These large streets or Bazars, as they are termed, which are furnished with gates, and shut up during the night, are occupied on both sides with the storehouses of merchants. In the large cities there are many broad streets of this kind, and commonly a separate one for each different species of merchandize; in these streets also are the shops of artificers. The houses in oriental cities are rarely contiguous to each other, and for the most part have large gardens attached to them. If, therefore, Nineveh and Babylon are said to have occupied an almost incredible space, we must not suppose, that it was occupied throughout by contiguous houses. Indeed it is the testimony of ancient historians, that nearly a third part of Babylon was taken up with fields and gardens. Aqueducts are very ancient in oriental cities, Josephus, Antiq. B. IX. 14. § 2. We find mention made of aqueducts at Jerusalem, 2 Chron. 32: 30. 2 Kgs. 20:20. Isa. 7: 3, especially of one called r:***n mena near, the aqueduct of the upper pool or ditch, which
48 § 42. of THE NoMADEs.
implies, that there was another one more known, probably the one, whose distinguished ruins are seen to this day from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. The one first mentioned, some of the ruins of which still remain, conveyed the waters from the river Gihon into Jerusalem. These, as well as all the other aqueducts of Asia, were erected above the surface of the earth and were carried through vallies, over arches and columns. From this circumstance it appears, that the ancients did not know, that water enclosed in this manner will of itself gain the elevation from which it falls. Aqueducts were not unfrequent, but cisterns were found every where.
Note. The people of the East metaphorically ascribe the character of females to cities. They represent them, as the mothers of the inhabitants; they speak of them, as wives of the kings; when they revolt against their sovereign, they are adulterous, &c. 2 Sam. 20:19. 2 Kgs. 19:21. Ps. 137:8. Is. 23:12, 47:1–8. 54:3. 62:4. 66:9. Jer. 3: 8–14. 20:5–8. 13:26, 31:4. Lam. 1:1–8, 17. Nahum 3: 5, 6. Ezek. 16:14, 23:29.
§ 42. Of the NoMADEs.
The Nomades are a very ancient people, Gen. 3: 18, 21. 4: 2, 19, 20. 11:2. They are numerous even at this day, and occupy large tracts of land. Nor is it wonderful; for their mode of life has many things to recommend it, especially freedom, and facilities for the acquisition of riches. These shepherds of the desert wander about without any fixed habitation. They despise and neglect all other business, but that of tending their flocks. Still they are not mean and uncultivated, but are polite, powerful, and magnanimous. Such were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity also, till they conquered the land of Canaan. They possess vast flocks and a great number of servants. The masters always go armed, and spend their time in hunting, in the oversight of their affairs, in wars and predatory excursions. Part of the servants are armed, in order to keep from the flocks robbers and wild beasts. Part have only a staff into, opp, and a pouch, which were anciently the whole property of travellers, and § 43. PASTUREs. 49
those who were not rich, except that instead of a pouch they carried a somewhat larger sack, Jiřps, 2 Kgs. 4:42. 1 Sam. 17: 40–43. Ps. 23: 4. Mic. 7: 14. Matt. 10: 10. Luke 9: 3. 10: 4.
Note. If in the Bible kings are called shepherds, we are not to conclude, that the title is degrading to them ; on the contrary it is sublime and honourable. For the same reason, that it was applied to earthly monarchs, it was applied to God, who was the king of the Hebrews, and as the shepherd is to his flock, so was He the guide and protector to his children Israel, see Ps. 23: 1–4. Isa. 40: 11. 63; 11. Jer. 10: 21. 23: 1. 31: 10. 50: 6. 51:23. Mic. 5: 5. Nahum 3: 18. Ezek. 34:2–28. 37: 24. Zech. 11:15. In the Old Testament this tropical expression, viz. a shepherd, constantly indicates kings, but in the New Testament the teachers of the Jews, those, who presided in the synagogues, were denominated shepherds. The notions of the Jews in this instance seems to have coincided with those of the Stoicks, who would have it, that wise men alone, those qualified to be teachers, were true kings. The appellation of shepherds, however, used by the former, is the more modest of the two, though the same in significancy. The use of the word to denote religious teachers was received and transmitted in the Christian church, and to this day we speak of the pastors or shepherds of a religious society, Ephes. 4: 11. Matt. 9: 36. John 10: 12–14. Heb. 13:20. 1 Pet. 2: 25. 5: 4.
§ 43. Pastures.
The pastures of the Nonades were the deserts or wildernesses, which have already been mentioned, n\N, H., näxan, yon, no so, Job 5, 10. Mark 1:45. These vast tracts of land could not be monopolized by any individual, but were open to all the shepherds alike, unless some one had by some means acquired in them a peculiar right. Such an unappropriated pasture was the part of Canaan, where Abraham dwelt, and where Isaac and Jacob succeeded him. The Israelites from Egypt appear also to have gone there with their flocks, till they were debarred by the increased number of the Canaanites. The pastures, which were the property of separate nations, came in the progress of 30 § 44. EMigrations of the NoMADEs.
time occasionally into contention. This was the case in regard to Canaan, which the Hebrews were eventually under the necessity of reoccupying by arms. After the occupation of Palestine, there lay open to the Hebrews not only the vast desert of Judah, but many other deserts or uncultivated places of this kind. This accounts for what we may gather from Scripture, that the Hebrews were among the richest of the Nomades, or people, who kept flocks in the wilderness, 2 Sam. 17:27, et seq. 19: 32. 1 Sam. xxv. 1 Chron. 27: 29–31. comp. Isa. 65: 10. Jer. 50: 19.
§ 44. EMIGRAtions of The NoMADEs.
These shepherds occupy almost the same positions in the deserts every year, nixon. In the summer they go to the north, or on to the mountains, in the winter to the south, or the vallies. When about to emigrate, they pluck up their tents, pile them upon the beasts of burden, and go with them to the place, destined for their subsequent erection. The flocks live both night and day under the open sky. Hence their wool, being unexposed to the exhalations of sheepcotes, but always being in the open air, is finer than usual. The flocks become acquainted with the path, which they yearly travel, and afford but little trouble to those, who conduct them. Still they are guarded by hired servants, and by the sons and daughters of their owners, even by the daughters of the Emirs or chiefs, who to this day perform for strangers those friendly offices, which are mentioned, Gen. 24; 17–20. comp. Gen. 29. 9. Exod. 2: 16. The servants are subject to the steward, who is himself a dependent, though he has the title of n: IPY, the senior of the house. He numbers the sheep at evening, perhaps also in the morning, Gen. 24; 2. Jer. 33: 13. If animals or their young are lost, the steward is obligated to make compensation. Some limitations, however, are assigned, Gen. 31:38. Exodus 22: 12. comp. Amos 3: 12. The hired servants sometimes received a portion of the young of the flock, as their reward, Gen. xxx. The servants, who, as well as the cattle, are sometimes comprehended under the word, H:Po, inhabited tents in the winter, but often dwelt in tabernacles in the summer. The masters on the contrary dwelt in tents the whole year, except when occasionally they retreated into the neighbouring cities, Gen. 19:1. 26: 1. 12:10,