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of the second Solomon, and at the same time marked out the year of it's construction'.
This account, which is short in this writer, and which I have still more abridged, furnishes us with materials for several remarks.
It shows us, in the first place, how natural it is to the Eastern people, to use the words house and tent as equivalent terms : this tent it seeins, was called the House of Gold. This interchange of the two words frequently appears in the Old Testament. Thus the goodly raiment of Efau, which was left in the custody of Rebekah, is said to be with her in the house, Gen. xxvii. 15; which it is certain were kept in a tent. On the other hand, when Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite, wanted to cause the people to abandon David, he blew a trumpet, crying, “ To your tents, O Israel,” 2 Sam. XX. I; though Israel did not dwell in moveable habi. tations at that time, but in cities.
In the next place, this tent was called the House of Gold, not that it was wholly made of gold, but because it was ornamented with it. This teaches us how we are to understand the houses of ivory, and the golden city, of which we read in the Scriptures. The houses of ivory 2 appear to mean houses richly adorned with that precious
• Tome 1. p. 203.
substance ; substance ; and the golden city' means the city remarkable for it's being richly gilded in many parts of it, or at least in some remarkable places ?.
In the third place we may observe, that this tent is called Thrones : “ the Throne of the second Solomon.” This shows that the word throne sometimes signifies not the royal seat, strictly speaking, but the place in which that feat is set. It is used in the same enlarged fense in the Scriptures.
It is even probably used here, in the fourth place, to signify any royal abode, even those where no seat of state ever appeared. For nothing leads us to imagine the Persian throne, strictly speaking, was ever brought into this majestic tent. So when the men of Gibeon and of Mizpeh are said to have
Mentioned Ir. 14. 4.
* We may be satisfied, I believe, that it doth not . fignify, according to the marginal translation, exa&tress of gold, for however truly it might have been so described, the Chaldees themselves would hardly have given it such an appellation, and the word is acknowledged to be Chaldaic ; but they might glory in it on account of it's being highly ornamented with gold, in some of it's more remarkable parts. One or more of it's domes and towers might be richly gilded, like the dome and two towers of the mosque built over the supposed tomb of Ali, of which Niebuhr has given us an account in the second of his three tomes of Travels, p. 223; or it might have one or more spires, like that over the tomb of Fatima, at Com, a city of Persia, which Chardin tells us consists of several balls of different magnitudes, and if of solid gold, as the inhabitants affirm, must be worth millions. Tome 1. p. 204.
3 P. 203. VOL. III.
repaired unto the throne of the governor on this side the river, Neh. iii. 7, nothing more may be meant than that they repaired to overagainst the palace of this great man.
Niebuhr has made a similar remark to the first of these, in the first tome of his Voyages', where he tells us, a young peasant invited him to go with him to his house, to drink some fresh water, which had been taken from the spring that very day ; and he did it with so much cordiality, that Niebuhr says he should not have refused him, if it had not been then late. Cheime is properly the name of a tent among the Arabs, but he remarked that the Arabs of this country' named their tents beit, that is to say their houses.
The word Pavilion may, it is very likely, excite the notion of something superior to a common tent, so our translators use that term to express the superb tent of a king of Babylon, Jer. xliii. io. “ He (Nebuchadnezzar) “ Thall spread his royal pavilion over them.” A mere English reader then will be surprized, perhaps, when he is told that the word translated pavilions, i Kings xx. 12, 16, fignifies nothing more than booths; and more still, if he is told that the sacred histo
rian might, possibly, precisely design to be so understood, when describing the places in which kings were drinking.
That the word signifies those flight temporary defences from the heat, which are formed by the setting up the boughs of trees, is visible by what is said, Jonah iv. 5, and Neh. viii. 16; and we know that the common people of the East frequently fit under them ; but it may be thought incredible that princes should make use of such as the term, precisely taken, seems to imply. “ And it came to pass, when Ben“ hadad heard this message (as he was drink“ ing, he and the kings, in the pavilions,)” 1 Kings xx. 12. “ But Benhadad was drink“ ing himself drunk in the pavilions, he “ and the kings, the thirty and two kings " that helped him,” v. 16.
In the margin our translators have put the word tents: but that there is nothing incredible in the account, if we should understand the prophetic historian as meaning booths, properly speaking, will appear, if we consider the great fimplicity of ancient times, and the great delight the people of the East take in verdure, and in eating and drinking under the shade of trees ; especially after reading the following paragraph of Dr. Chandler's Travels in the Lesler Alia.
“ While we were employed on the thea “ atre of Miletus, the Aga of Suki, fon. E 2
« in-law by marriage to Elez-Oglu', crossed “ the plain towards us, attended by a con« siderable train of domestics and officers, “ their vests and turbans of various and “ lively colours, mounted on long-tailed “ horles, with Jhowy trappings, and glitter“ ing furniture. He returned, after hawk“ ing, to Miletus; and we went to visit him, “ with a present of coffee and sugar; but “ were told that two favourite birds had
flown away, and that he was vexed and “ tired. A couch was prepared for him be“ neath a flsed, made against a cottage, and “ covered with green boughs, to keep off the “ fun. He entered, as we were standing by, “ and fell down on it to sleep, without “ taking any notice of us ?.” A very mean place, an European would think, to be prepared for the reception of an Aga that made so respectable a figure, and in a town, which, though ruinated, still had several cottages, inhabited by Turkish fàinilies ?.
It doth not appear incredible then, that Benhadad, and the thirty-two petty kings that attended him, might actually be drinking wine beneath such green sheds as a Turkish Aga, of considerable distinction, chose to sleep under, rather than in an adjoining cottage or rather than under a tent, which he other
"A Turkish officer of great power and extensive command in that country, dignified with the title of Mululém, p. 106. 2D. 149. 3 P. 148.