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birth of a son; has he given his daughter in marriage; has he gained a situation under government; has he returned from a voyage or a journey, or finished a successful speculation ;- then his friends and neighbours send messengers to congratulate him—to express the joy they feel in his prosperity ; “so much so, that, had it come to themselves, their pleasure could not have been greater.”
XXII. 19. — “ Bring the ark of the covenant - and
the holy vessels of God.” In all heathen temples, there are numerous vessels of brass, silver, and gold, which are especially holy. Those, however, of the highest castes, may be allowed to touch, and even borrow them for certain purposes. Thus, a native gentleman who is going to give a feast, borrows the large caldron for the purpose of boiling the rice; should his daughter be about to be married, he has the loan of the silver salvers, plates, and even jewels; which, however, must all be purified by incense and other ceremonies when returned to the temple.
6. The ark” finds a striking illustration in the keadagam of the Hindoos, -a model of which may be seen in the house of the Royal Asiatic Society.* In it are placed the idols, and other sacred symbols, which are carried on men's shoulders.
XXVI. 13, 14, 15, 16. — “ And they cast lots, as well
the small, as the great, according to the house of their fathers, for every gate. And the lot eastward fell to Shelemiah. Then for Zechariah his son, a wise counsellor, they cast lots; and his lot came out northward. To Obed-edom, southward; and to his sons, the house of Asuppim. To Shuppim and Hosah, the lot came forth westward. (See on
Proverbs xviii. 18.) Thus the gates were assigned to the different officers by lot.
* 14. Grafton-street, Bond-street.
On the death of a parent, the whole of his fields and
gardens are often divided amongst his children, and great disputes generally arise as to whom shall be given this or that part of the property. One says, “I will have the field to the East:” “ No,” says another, “ I will have that:” and it is not till they have quarrelled and exhausted their store of ingenuity and abuse, that they will consent to settle the matter by lot. The plan they take is as follows; they draw on the ground the cardinal points thus : they then write the names of the parties on separate leaves, and mix them altogether : a little child is then called, and told to take one leaf and place it on any point of the compass he pleases ; this being done, the leaf is opened, and to the person whose name is found therein will be given the field or garden which is in that direction.
I think it, therefore, probable, that the lots eastward, westward, northward, and southward, which fell to Shelemiah, Zechariah, Obed-edom, and Shuppim, were drawn something
in the same way.
XXIX. 24.- 66 Submitted themselves unto Solomon
the king.” The Hebrew has, for submitted, “Gave
the hand under.” To give “ the hand under,” is a beautiful Orientalism to denote submission. See the man who wishes to submit to a superior; he stands at a short distance, then stooping, he keeps moving his hands to the ground, and says, “ I submit, my lord.” “ You recollect having heard that Kandan and Chinnan had a serious quarrel ?” — “ Yes, I heard it.” — “ Well, they have settled the matter now, for Chinnan went to him last evening, and gave his hand under."” “The Mo
* Leaves of the Palmirah or Cocoa-tree.
deliar is no longer angry with me, because I have put down my hand to the ground.”
“ That rebellious son has, for many years, refused to acknowledge his father's authority, but he has at last put his hand under," i.e. he has submitted to him, has become obedient.
CHAP. XIV. verse 5. “ He took away out of all the
cities of Judah, the high places, and the images." The Hebrew has “sun images." Chap. xxxiv. 4. “ They brake down the altars of Baalim, in his presence, and the images.” The Hebrew has, again,
sun images.” Isa. xxvii. 9. Images shall not stand up.” Heb. “sun images.” Ezek. vi. 4. “ Your images shall be broken." Heb. “ sun
images." We see these “sun images” were connected with the altars and worship of Baal. xxxiv. 4. This is an addition to the Peor, and the Lingam gives another confirmation of the identity of Baal and Siva. The “sun images” are principally, if not EXCLUSIVELY, kept in the temple of Siva. They are made of black granite, in the shape and about the size of a man.
There are, however, many of them with only a head, having a halo or coruscations to represent the orb of day. Thus, in the houses of rich natives may be seen, near a niche, on one side, the representation of the sun; and, on the other, a figure of the crescent moon.
The temple images are placed on the East side, and offerings are sometimes presented to them before they are taken to the Lingam. (See on Baal and Siva, Deut. iv. 16. and Amos v. 26.)
XVI. 14.-“ And they buried him in his own sepulchres
which he had made for himself in the city of David, and laid him in the bed, which was filled with sweet odours, and divers kinds of spices, prepared by the apothecaries' art: and they made a very great burning for him.
XXI. 19. “ He died of sore diseases. And his peo
ple made no burning for him like the burning of his fathers." Jer. xxxiv. 5. “But thou shalt die in peace and with the burnings of thy fathers, the former kings which were before thee, so shall they burn odours for thee; and they will lament thee, saying, Ah lord !” Jer.ix. 17. “Call for the mourning women.” 18.“ Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with water." Chap. xxii. 18. “ They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah! my brother; or, Ah! sister, they shall not lament for him saying, Ah ! Lord, Ah! his glory.”
(Gen. 1. 10. 2 Chron. xxxv. 25. Psalm lxxviii. 64.) The whole of the above passages refer to the funeral rites observed on the demise of those alluded to. Dr. A. Clarke says, “ All these rites are of Asiatic extraction. Virgil borrows almost every circumstance from Homer, and we well know that Homer ever describes Asiatic manners.”
The Hindoos burn nearly all the bodies of their “illustrious dead,” and it is considered disgraceful not to attend to the ceremony: thus it is said of Jehoram, because of his wickedness, “ his people made no burning for him.”
Some suppose the bodies of those alluded to, as quoted in the verses above, were not burned, but that aromatics were consumed in honour of them. I, however, believe with Dr. Clarke, that the bodies were actually burned on the funeral pile *, and that Asa's bed, and the sweet odours and the spices, were exactly the same as are used in the East at this day. Besides, burning for the dead does not in my recollection find a single parallel in the customs of any nation, ancient or modern.
The corpse after death is washed with water, mixed with
The men of Jabesh Gilead “ took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-Shan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.” (1 Sam. xxxi. 12.)