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CHAPTER XLI. VERSE 5, &c.
CHAPTER XLIII. VERSE 11.
Take of the best fruits of the land, balm, honey,
spices, myrrh, nuts, and almonds. The first dream of Pharaoh is, that of seven ears of
The best of the land; Hebrew, “the praise of the corn growing from one stem; according to the na
land :" this phrase is very expressive. For balm, ture of certain of the Egyptian wheats. [Vide Frage spices, and myrrh, vide chap. xxxvii. 25. MENT, No. 147, and plate.] Now, observe the cor
Honey was formerly the only sweetener in use, like respondence, 1st, of the number of the mouths of the
our sugar; its value consequently was then more than Nile, seven, to the number of ears of corn, seven,
it is now: it was also a delicacy. Vide Cant. v. 11. also, 2dly, of the figure of these seven ears, spread. When Hecamedes treated Nestor and Patroclus, he ing from one stem, as the Nile divides into seven
offered them, jeni xawpov, yellow honey, fresh honey, branches, from one stream: compare the course of Iliad x. v. 630. Suetonius, in his Life of Nero, cap. the Nile in a map of Egypt, to the figure of the Egyp- 27. reports, “that he would be entertained in the tian wheat on our plate. This infers, 1st, that the
houses of his best friends; and that at one of these Nile had, or was reputed to have, seven mouths for
repasts, the cost of pastry prepared with honey was discharge of its waters, even so early as the days of
a hundred and twenty thousand crowns;" for so BuJoseph. 2dly, That maps might be then known in
deus has translated the passage. Judea was famous Egypt, though it has been supposed the earliest we
for honey, and for excellent honey : it was sent to read of is in the days of Moses and Joshua : so far I Tyre, Ezek. xxvii. 17. think is clear. But I would query further, whether BATHENIM, D'13, is variously rendered by transthe Egyptians in their symbols might not denote the
lators. The Lxx render turpentine. Onkelos, the ploughing season by a bullock? the labour of plough- Syriac, and the Arabic, not understanding it, have ing being always performed by bullocks. If so, the left it untranslated.
left it untranslated. Some think it means peaches, coming of these bullocks out of the river, whose
others nuts. Two towns seem to have been named overflow caused the fertility of Egypt, would signify from this fruit, Josh. xiii. 26 ; xix. 25. It is not easy so many ploughing seasons, influenced by so many
to ascertain this fruit. There is a species of terebingood, or so many bad, overflowings of the river.
thus which bears a kind of small nut, which some The east wind, O'P Kadim, is usually mentioned prefer to the pistachio: and some think it superior to in Scripture as a burning, scorching, sultry wind,
the almond, Theophrast. iv. Hist. 5. The name of Exod. xiv. 21 ; xvji. 10; xix. 12; Hosea xiii. 15.
this kind of terebinthus is in Arabic beten, which has perhaps however this wind might partake of a south- considerable resemblance to the Hebrew word. ern direction, and it is probably the campsin of the The bethen of this passage is, probably, the pistaEgyptians, to which the sirocco wind of the modern
chio nut, so called from its belly like form, as the word Italians is allied. Alpinus thus describes it, Medic. signifies. Bochart was of this opinion, and so was Ægypt. lib. i. cap. 7. “The winds of east and south Dr. Shaw, Travels, p. 145. note, 4to edition. And, are named campsin, passing over sandy deserts ex
the whole, this seems the best supported. tremely heated, they blow in Egypt, where they cause such an insupportable heat, and bring with
CHAPTER XLIX. VERSE 3. them such a quantity of dust and burning sand, that it might be thought they were thick clouds, and ac REUBEN, unstable as water, rather unconfinable, tual flames. This dust and sand brought by the licentious, not to be restrained by mounds and banks, wind, united with that which rises from Egypt itself, but overflowing all restrictions'; “impetuous as a being agitated in the air, injures and lacerates what it deluge, or a cataract." happens to meet with, no less by its impulse, than by its beat; but especially it is very dangerous to the eyes, on which it produces soreness and inflammation, Simeon and Levi are brethren, associates, fellows; These winds blow by intervals, and without regular- in their self-will they digged down a wall. Many ity; sometimes during three days, sometimes five, read, they slew a bullock; i.e. a prince, meaning the sometimes seven or nine days. I have remarked that prince of Shechem, chap. xxxiv. 26. Whether this while they blow, pestilential and frenetic fevers town was walled, and if it was, by what occasion the reign, and carry off the patients, not in a few days, sons of Jacob were impelled to overthrow that wall but a few hours. I have also remarked many op- does not appear; but that they slew the prince is thalmies, and inflammations of the eyes. The per- recorded: and this sense of the place depends on the sons attacked with these maladies become debilitated, pronunciation of the word w Shor, or Shur, which and are tormented with inextinguishable thirst; but may as well be pronounced to this sense as to the look on food with dislike, and even a kind of horror.” other.
VERSES 11, 12.
mentioned, no doubt imports a superior kind of vine, Judah is a lion's whelp, as a lion, as an old lion,
which is named sorek in the original. I suspect that &c.
this kind of vine is less named from the place of its Lion. This, animal is well known among us. We
We growth, though such is the prevailing idea, and seems shall observe the progress of the patriarch's compar
to be countenanced by Isai. v. 11; Jer. ij. 21. than ison of his son to this species of creature. Judah is,
as a distinct kind. Rabbi Isaac Ben Geuth thinks 1st, a lion's whelp or cub: the word 1 GUR, is so
these grapes were of a kind which has no seeds, and used, Deut. xxxiii . 22; Jer. li, 38; Ezek. xix. 2;
etymology favours the idea; for in Arabic the word Nahum ii. 13. This word also signifies the cub or
signifies, among other things, to emasculate, to dewhelp of other kinds of animals, as bears, dogs, and prive: as if these grapes were deprived of their seeds. even seals, Lam. iv. 3. From devouring the prey,
These fruits, however, have generally a transparent my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he
membraneous seed, though some are said to have accouched like, '7 ARI, or ARIAH, a lion, about to
tually none at all, whereby, while they are chewed, spring upon his prey, and tear it to pieces : no longer
no seed is discoverable to the taste or tongue: yet it a whelp, but able to provide for himself by his activ
is apparent when the grape is cut with a knife, and ity: and like, xaxS LABIA, a lioness ; not an old
seed is sought for, Niebuhr, French edit. p. 130. lion, which gives an idea of decrepitude, but a lioness,
Whether this is the kind meant by the patriarch we having whelps; then most fierce and most active:
cannot affirm. Nevertheless, as we partly suspect it, whe shall then break into her den? who shall rouse
it may not be amiss to add the following information her then? Here are two actions of these creatures :
from Le Bruyn, vol. i. p. 226. . the ariah leaps on his prey; but the labiah defends
“In Persia they have ten or twelve sorts of grapes, her
which in general they call angoer, though each sort young
The lioness also is more fierce than the
. lion; and especially when her young are in danger.
has a name peculiar to itself. They have three or Elian, Hist. lib. xii. cap. 39. calls the lion a very
four sorts that are blue, some of them round, others strong, and even invincible animal: he also reports, long, and all very large. They have also two or that Semiramis, after having killed a panther, a lion,
three sorts that are white, and some of them VERY or other wild beast, was not greatly elated; but when
SWEET, AND WITHOUT STONEs. They have another she had killed a lioness she was very proud of her
sort, whose bunches are a promiscuous mixture of prowess; and she had reason; for among both birds large and small grapes, different from all I had ever and beasts of prey, the female is uniforınly stronger
seen elsewhere. They dry them every year, and than the male.
making them a kind of comfit, they put them into Binding his foal to the vine; i.e. the foal of his earthen pots, and send them to Batavia, and elseass; and his ass's colt, rather, his she-ass, to the
where. In this manner it is they do it: they pick choice vine. Our translation loses the grace of this
and cull the grapes very nicely, and cover them passage, by rendering “foal” and “ coll,” which are
over with dry rose-leaves in a stone jug, which they the same in import: whereas the first word properly
then stop up so close, that no air can have admission; signifies a lively young ass, the second a strong she
in this state they leave them for some days, after ass : and, moreover, of the race of those atonoth,
which they break the neck of the vessel and take out which we distinguished on chap. xii. 16. This greatly
the rose-leaves, and separate all the grapes, which raises the climax of the poetry.
they put into another vessel; and being thoroughly I cannot refuse to insert the Jewish explanation of dry, they send them into foreign parts. The rosethis simile : they say, the foal of the ass signifies the
leaves are only intended to give a pleasant flavour to young persons of this tribe; the she-ass, the aged; the grapes; but care must be taken that none of them ihe vine, the law; the choice vine, the synagogue ;
remain with the grapes, for fear they should cause a the vestments washed in wine, the princes of the
At the same time they send to the Indies altribes who wore garments of purple and scarlet; the
monds and pistachios ; from whence, in exchange, eyes red with wine, the mountains which yielded they receive sweetmeats and other dainties.” plentiful vintages; the teeth whiter than milk, the I would also remark on this extract, that we find plains, &c. white with harvests, or with flocks and
dried fruits, or fruits prepared with art and attention, herds, which yielded milk! That Jews should adopt
are sent to foreign parts, even almonds and pistachio such sentiments as they supposed might dignify their nuts, as well as grapes; may this assist our notions of nation, and its tribes, can occasion so kind of wonder; have observed consisted of fruits
, some of which we
the present sent by Jacob to Joseph? which we but, their conduct should sometimes serve as warnings to Christian commentators.
have thought were almonds and pistachio nuts. The second part of this description of Judah, besides rising above the former in the species of ass
VERSE 17. which the patriarch mentions, and which we may ob Dan shall be a serpent, und Nachash, in the way. serve has usually a distinguished place whenever an adder, ja'ov shephiphun, in the path. ... Per
haps it may lead to a determination of these serpents, ture of the serpents in the East : Hasselquist mento notice where they are found : the nachush is in tions an asp which he saw in Cyprus, of which it is the way; any way; the high road: a road as well in said, 1st, that its venom causes an universal gangrene, an open country, as in a fertile land; a going. The which destroys a man in a few hours. 2dly, That shephiphon is in the pathway, a track, perhaps ; [a the better to catch its prey, it assumes the colour of foot path, or bridle way, may explain iny notion.] the earth whereon it happens to be. The same auThe ixx rather countenance this idea, by rendering thor mentions another species of horned serpent in watching, and the Samaritan lying in ambush ; but Egypt. this I presume is common to several kinds of ser I shall translate from the count De la Cepede's pents.
Natural History of Serpents, a paragraph in his acThe species of this serpent has been variously con count of the cerastes, p. 78, 79. This serpent is jectured: Onkelos says, an asp; the Jerusalem about two feet in length. “ The cerastes supports Paraphrase, and the Syriac, say a basilisk: some hunger and thirst during a much longer time than other say a cerastes, others an adder. The Arabic version serpents; but is so greedy, that he throws himself renders sippkon and sapphon, which imports a ser with vehemence on the smaller kinds of birds and pent marked black and white, whence it is conjectur- other animals which are his prey; and as, according ed to be the hæmorrhoüs, or hæmorrhoides, men to Belon, his skin is capable of distention, till bis size tioned by Aetius, tom. iv. 6, 3, 36. by Avicenna, is increased to double, it is not surprising that he tom. ii. i38. as spotted black and white. Solinus should swallow so considerable a quantity of food, at says, that he sucks the blood when he bites, even one time, that his digestion becoming extremely diffatally. Bochart, Hier. p. ii. lib. iii. cap. 12. ap. ficult, he falls into a kind of torpitude, and deep sleep, proves of the Vulgate rendering cerastes; which during which he is easily killed.” I suspect that this . kind of serpent certainly hides itself in the sand, or describes the character of the tribe of Dan exactly : in some hole of a road, according to Nicander, Ther.. as I gather from the later incidents of its history.] 262. The bite of this serpent is mortal, says Elian, lib. xvi. cap. 28. And it is very difficult to avoid its
VERSE 21. ambush; because, being the same colour as the sand,
Naphtali. Vide the plate and its explanation. it may be trod upon unawares, Diod. lib. iii. cap. 128.
VERSES 22 to 26. Bochart, however, thinks the hæmorrhoüs may be Joseph. For the simile of the bow, &c. vide included in the term sephiphon ; for both serpents FRAGMENT, No. 221. are the colour of sand; both have horns, and they are about the same length. They are also remarkable,
VERSE 27. in that they do not go straight forward, but waving BENJAMIN shall raven as a wolf: in the morning from side to side, because their spinal column is rath- he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide er cartilage than bone, from which particularity they the spoil. are flexible, and, as it were, apparently weakly, or The Hebrew name for a wolf, 2x} ZA AB, is, perhaps, lax; from whence some have derived their name derived from seheb, which signifies golden, or yellow: from shaphah, lameness.
which is the colour of some kinds of wolves. “These serpents have always been regarded as The wolf is a very voracious animal. Horace and very cunning, as well in evading their enemies, as in Ovid call him, rapax, raptor. Oppian calls him seizing their prey: they have even been named “the ap Tantup, plunderer; and Philostratus in Apollonius, insidious ;” and it is pretended that they hide them- lib. ii. cap. 7. always watching his prey. selves in highways, and particularly in the ruts, [or Evening wolves are mentioned, Jer. v. 6; Hab. i. ratber holes in them, in order to attack travellers 8; Zeph. ii. 3. perhaps, beginning in the evening, unawares."
chasing and feeding till morning. This is agreeable to what Nicander says, Ther, It must be owned the order of the words rather 262.
imports that he shall chase and prey in the morning, Εν δαμαθοισιν
and again at night, for the wolf does not prey in the H και αματροχιησι παρα Τιβον.
day time: but at night he “sallies forth over the
country, keeps peering round the villages, carries off Under the sand,
such animals as are not under protection, attacks the Or in some rut along the public road.
sheep folds, scratches up and undermines the threshThe same poet also says, of those bitten by them, olds of the doors where they are housed, enters furi
ous, and destroys all, before he fixes on and carries off A piercing pain spreads upward to the groin, And the knees seizes.
his prey! when these sallies fail he returns to the
forests, pursues the smaller animals, goes regularly After all, we wish for better information on the pa to work, follows by the scent, opens to the view,
still keeps following, hopeless himself of overtaking It is likely, that besides those wolves which seek the prey, but expecting that some other wolf will for prey singly, some may hunt two or more togethcome to his assistance, and is then content to share er, and some may hunt in troops. Benjamin's partithe spoil with his associate :" so says Buffon. The tion of his prey leads to such kinds, if such be the present order of the words in our text has been sus. character of Eastern wolves. The tribe of Benjamin pected by others. Mr.Green was for transposing was certainly warlike; and I presume they were the two periods; and the Syriac translator was led cunning also : the sacred history proves it in a variety to nearly the same order.
THE BURNING BUSH.
CHAPTER III. VERSE 2.
fering, his feelings must have thoroughly convinced him that the effect was no deception; it could be
neither a juggling trick nor a mistake. This bush is called in the Hebrew, senah : and
ON THE MIRACLES PERFORMED IN EGYPT. the number of these bushes in this place, seems to have given name to the mountain Sinai.
It has long been a famous question, whether the Whether it means any particular kind of thorny Egyptian magicians imitated the miracles performed bush, for such is the import of the word, or a bush by Aaron, so far as they did imitate them, by means in general, seems to be uncertain.
of jaggling tricks, or of diabolical assistance? Juggling As to the nature of the fire which burned in this tricks may be taken, in this instance, for a kind of bush, much might be said ; possibly, it was the She- natural magic; that is to say, the effect of a superior kinah, or usual token of the Divine presence; and if knowledge of nature, and natural powers, united I so, it may lead us to think, whether the Shekinah suppose with great dexterity of management in ihe were not of a very mild and gentle, though luminous performance of them. To acquire some grounds for appearance. How far any natural meteors, or those deciding this question, let us inquire, in the first now produced by electricity, may resemble that place, what was the nature of these miracles. mark of the Divine presence, we cannot presume to
MIRACLES REFERRING TO THE WATER. say:
1. The rod of Aaron turned into a tannin. (N.B. CHAPTER IV. VERSES 3, 4.
This is different from the rod of Moses, chap.iv. 3. And Moses cast his rod on the ground, and it moreover, the rod of Moses was turned into a
nabecame a serpent.
chash.] This was imitated by the Egyptians, whose This serpent, which the rod of Moses became, is rods becaine taninin, “ lengthened fresh water repcalled in the original, nachash : but in chap. vii
. 9. tiles.” Now, unless we knew precisely the species it is said, the rod, which some have understood to be of this reptile, we are unable to determine whether it that of Moses, was changed into a tannin. This seems might be scarce or plentiful in Egypt; if plentiful, to militate against our idea, that tannin signified, not then we may suppose, for the present, that this was a serpent, but amphibia.
a substitution rather than a metamorphosis, on the We ought, however, to observe, that in chap. vii. part of these magicians. 9, 10. it is the rod of Aaron, not of Moses, which is 2. The conversion of the waters into blood. There mentioned; but were it even the same rod as here, is nothing, I apprehend, contrary to possibility, in unless it could be proved that this rod was more ea- supposing, that the Egyptians might so change the sily convertible into one creature than into another, colour and appearance of water by mixtures, as to the argument would be inconclusive. It is probable, deceive the eyes of spectators, or might even substithat the miracle consisted in enduing with life a dry tute a red liquor which might pass for blood: not to stick from a tree: yet that on the mountain it was not insist that they might procure and produce the very turned into an animal proper to the waters, but into a blood of animals. serpent proper to a mountain; as Aaron's rod was 3. Multiplication of frogs. These animals, no not turned into a mountain serpent, but into a crea doubt, came up from the waters, where they were ture which the Egyptians were well acquainted with, bred, and where they had hitherto remained latent : &c. i.e. a water animal.
this miracle the Egyptians imitated. As to the change of the hand of Moses from a The sacred story relates, that the frogs and the healthy into a leprous and diseased state, I shall blood, came from the water, the fresh water of the only observe on it, that being his own personal suf- Nile, may we not add, that the tanin also, into which
THE PLAGUE OF FROGS.
the rods of Aaron, &c. were changed, had relation to while the remainder was further distant in their can. this element ? if so, then these three miracles refer tonments, with their flocks, and herds, &c. to the water, and to such productions of the Nile as the Egyptians were well acquainted with, and per
CHAPTER VII. VERSES 9, 12. fectly informed; these miracles they imitated; but those referring to the air they could not imitate.
Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and be.
fore his servants, and it became a serpent. MIRACLES REFERRING TO TIIE AIP.
We are told that the rod of Aaron was changed 4. The next in order is, that of converting the dust into a tanin, which we take to be a water animal, of the earth into GnAts, or lice; if they were gnats, not a serpent ; we may find this word again in our prothen the seat of this miracle was the air, wherein gress, and shall note its application. these animals flew about, and visited both man and
Aaron's rods swallowed up their rods. It may, beast ; indeed, if they were lice, it is scarcely credi perhaps, be doubted whether the word rendered ble that they crawled toward their subject, they must swallowed up, should not be rendered, overwhelmed : have made more rapid approaches.
that is to say, it vanquished, overpowered, destroyed, 5. The swarm of flies: the dog-fly, or simb, this its opponents; but as to the action of swallowing also referred to the air.
them, that is not of necessity implied in the original 6. The mortality among the beasts; this was,
term used. Vide FRAGMENT, No. 145. probably, analogous to what we read, of distempers
CHAPTER VIII. VERSE 2. among the horned cattle in Europe ; therefore, by the same analogy, its seat was in the air.
7. The bile on man and beast; probably of the same nature ; so far as to be communicated by the The Hebrew word rendered frogs, has been so unatmosphere.
derstood by all interpreters. It should be observed, 8. Huil, lightning, &c. evidently meteors, whose that frogs are not born in their frog state, but are first seat is in the atmosphere.
tudpoles ; and after a time become frogs, by a grad9. Locusts: referred to the air on the principles ual and orderly change. The production of a number above mentioned in reference to the gnats and the of perfect frogs, was therefore a very remarkable insimb.
stance of a power overruling the ordinary course of na10. Darkness. This also was seated in the air. ture. Nevertheless, this miracle might consist in, 1st, a
Now, since those miracles, whose effects required sudden maturity imparted to an inmense number of a change in the nature, temperature, &c. of the at- tadpoles so that they became frogs, without waiting rosphere, or of which the atmosphere was the vehi- for the proper and natural time of their birth into that cle of conveyance, could not be imitated by the state ; or, 2dly, in giving an impulse to an immense Egyptians, while they could imitate those derived number of these creatures, and raising in them a defrom the water, I think it proves that sleight of hand sire to quit the moist, cool, flowing waters of their had a much greater share than diabolical agency in nativity, for the dry land, the plains, the city, &c. their performances: since the devil is described as which could not but be, by their heat and aridity, “ prince of the powers of the air,” and since no rea- very contrary to the natural residence of those unson can be given for his impotence in effects depend- welcome visitors. ing on the atmosphere, or any of its properties. There is, however, an objection against this swarm
Did all these miracles occur in rapid succession ? of animals being truly frogs; because they came into Some have thought they did; and that a month or the houses, into the chambers, into the ovens, into the to was enough for the whole. I rather think they kneading troughs. This strange representation of the might be somewhat more distant in succession, and matter is certainly more conspicuous in our version than perhaps we might suppose them to be distributed in the original: frogs in ovens! [Hebrew, tanur;] in thronghout a year, or thereabout, without offence. kneading troughs! (Hebrew, mesharut.] But what
We have elsewhere given our reasons for suppos were these tanuri, and these mesharuti, really? The ing that the Egypt of these passages was a city, not answer to this question would remove a confusion a country; the capital of the kingdom. This accounts from a passage in. Levit. ii. 4. where we read " if for the ready visits of Moses to Pharaoh, and the thou bring a MEAT-offering, which seems to imply ready communication of this prince's orders to the flesh meat, it shall be cakes of fine flour, or wafers chiefs of Israel. Had they been many miles asunder, baken in an oven.” Flour, then, is tbis meat-offering. this intercourse could not have taken place, as we are The words imply simply “the baking of the tanur ;" told it did, in the course of a few hours, and some or tanur baken: so that whether the wafers were baken, times in the same day, or in the same night.
as they might be, on the inside, or the outside, of this I presume, too, we are to consider a part of the tanur, is not determined by the phrase used. Also, population of Israel, as dwelling in the royal city, whether this tanur was the portable oven, resembling a TOL. IV.