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of some; bodies of kindred others; and the city in general Josephus, in solemn mournful processions about Jerusalem, making use of songs of lamentation, and sometimes the additional sound of musical instruments of the melancholy kind, such as were wont to be used in the houses of those that had just expired ; of which kind of music we read, Matthew ix. 23, where the same word occurs which appears in Josephus, but is there translated minstrel: When Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels (avantas) and the people making a noise, he said unto them, Give place, for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth.
Whether the word minstrels, which our translators have made use of here, is proper or not, I will not take upon me to determine, but would leave that to the gentlemen of the Antiquarian Society. The minstrels of former times are often described as playing upon harps : while the original word used here certainly signifies people that played on the pipe, and is accordingly translated pipers, Rev. xviii. 22, the only place besides in which the original word occurs in the New Testament.
If our old minstrels were never employed in the funeral solemnities of the times in which they lived, but only on joyous occasions, the impropriety is more striking still.
But be it as it may, to keep to the point I have at present in view, as mournful music
When I say mournful music, I would not be under
was made use of at Jerusalem, when they mourned the slaughter at Jotapata, as these Egyptian Arabs did that of Mohammed of Ghinnah; so I think it most natural to suppose, stood to suppose, the sound of the ancient pipe was essentially, or at all times, melancholy. Pipes certainly were made use of on joyous occasions, as well as these that were melancholy, as is evident from the use of the kindred verb, Matt. xi. 17, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced : we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented: Where we see the contrary uses to which the pipes of antiquity were put: We piped to you such airs as were played to those that dance, but ye would not dance: we have then tried you with those tunes that are used in times of lamentation, but you would not then act the part of mourners. The words of St. Paul, in 1 Cor. xiv. 7, will appear with the greatest energy, if we consider them as signifying, that for want of a due distinc. tion of sounds, those by whom a procession according to the usages of the East should pass, might be at a loss to know whether they should join them with expressions of gratulation, or in words of lamentation. Irwin has given an instance of such a joining in the latter case, p. 245, where speaking of the singing in a funeral procession, that went by his house, he says, “ There was an Arabian mer. chant on a visit to us, when the funeral went by; and though in company with strangers, he was not ashamed to run to the window, and to join audibly in the devotions of the train.” If a pipe was designed to regulate the expres. sions that were to be made use of, if it gives an uncertain sound, and sometimes seemed to announce a triumph or a wedding, and sometimes a procession on account of the dead, how should a by-stander know how to behave him. self? “ Even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall a man know what is piped or harped ?” how shall a man know what the music is designed to produce; con. gratulation, or condolence? This is a much stronger sense, than the supposing, if the sounds were irregular, the Apostle meant, it was impossible to tell what dance was intended. In truth, such an explanation would not well agree with the extemporaneousness of Eastern dances, for the hearer of the music might in that case know what was to be done, and all that would follow from it would be, that if the music was irregular, so would the dance be.
they lamented them in public processions, as these Arabs did : for how else could it have been known, if it had been only a general noise of weeping and groaning that had been heard in Jerusalem, on this occasion, who they were that they mourned for-that some mourned relations, others friends, but all Josephus ? It is surely most likely, that the mourners went about the streets, Eccl. xii. 5, declaring by their vehement exclamations whom they lamented. Sometimes only the females of one house forming a mournful procession: sometimes a combination of those of several, united together by relationship; and sometimes a troop of the principal ladies of Jerusalem, from all quarters, and unconnected by blood, or alliance, went about the city, lamenting with bitterness the death of Josephus, the Jotapatene leader. Ofwhich various processions many, it should scem, were ennobled or rendered more solemn, by melancholy music.-If we are disposed to quit Josephus, and turn to the sacred writings, I would ask, whicther it is not natural to suppose, that it was after this manner that the Israelites, lamented the death of Moses? He was absent from them, when he died ; neither did they carry him to the grave, Deut. xxxiv. 1, 5, 6. But they wept for him in the plains of Moab, with some expressions of sorrow, which after thirty days ceased, ver, 8. These were neither the lamentations wont to be made immediately upon the departure of the dead, in the house in which the corpse lay;
nor the mourning of a funeral convoy carrying the body to the grave ; nor the after-bemoanings over the sepulchre of the dead : but it seems to mean processional solemnities of mourning through the camp of Israel, if we are to explain matters by the Arab usages of modern Egypt or the customs of the Jews in the time of Josephus.
It is however to be remarked, that the customs of the Egyptian Arabs and of the Jews differed in one point, that is, the time of mouraing: the first, according to Irwin, mourning only seven days, but the Jews of the time of Josephus thirty, which also obtained in the days of Moses.
The mourning for Aaron, who died not in the camp of Israel, but in mount Hor, Num. xx. 23—29, might be of the same nature.
It is to be remembered that both Moses and Aaron were Egyptians by birth, and Israel were just come out of Egypt; it is not at all unnatural then to look for a resemblance in their forms of mourning.
This passage tno of Josephus may, probably, illustrate Zechariah xii. 11-11: In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadad-Rimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourir, every family apart, the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart, &c. All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart,
Without attending to several questions that might be proposed here, it may be remarked, from Josephus, that in very severe and bitter public mourning, there were only general processions of lamentation, but' families apart by themselves mourned ; not only their private losses, but bewailed what was of a public nature too, and by these more unusual particular lamentations, when the subject was of a public nature, they testified the vehemence of their
In general processions of mourning decency might engage people very universally to attend; but when particular families formed extraordinary processions by themselves, such processions expressed vehement emotions of grief, which could not be relieved by general mournings, without special, separate, and distinct testimonies of grief.
This observation accounts for families mourning apart: whether the men's mourning distinct from the women's is designed to be marked out by the Prophet here; and if it be, whether it is intended to express, with augmentation, the bitterness of the mourning, must depend on the construction of the particle i vau and : Every family apart, and their wives apart.” That particle is hardly to be understood, one would think, to be simply copulative, if we consider, that the women alone, of the family of that Egyptian Arab that Irwin speaks of, went about Ghinnah, in mournful processions, the men not appearing in those several modern se