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“ was brought in, being served up in large 66 wooden bowls between two men ; and “ truly, to my apprehension, load enough “ for them. Of these great platters there “ were about 50 or 60 in number, perhaps “ more, with a great many little ones, I
mean, such as one man was able to bring “ in, strewed here and there among them, " and placed for a border or garnish round
about the table. In the middle of all was
one of a larger size than all the rest, in “ which were the camel's bones, and a thin “ broth in which they were boiled: the other
greater ones seemed all filled with one and “ the fame sort of provision, a kind of plum“ broth made of rice, and the fleshy part of “ the camel, with currants and spices, being “ of a somewhat darker colour than what « is made in our country. The lesser were, “ for the most part, charged with rice, “ dressed after several modes, some of them “ having leben (a thick four milk) poured “ upon them.”
The prophet has himself, in another part of this facred book, given, in general, an explanation of this parable: the caldron or pot means Jerusalem, as to it's buildings; the Flesh cooked in the pot the inhabitans of that city, that were to be slain and consumed in it. Ch. xi. 3, 7.
If now we turn to the translation of this 24th chapter, in the Septuagint, we shall find this destruction expressed in terms that
may remind us of that Arab feast I have been mentioning. According to that version, the parable speaks of a pot or caldron fet upon it's furnace ; water poured into it ; the halves of animals that were fine put in, each confifting of ihe leg and shoulder not however whole, but the flesh removed from the bones ; that fire was to be put under when the bones were placed beneath the flesh; the bones to be boiled and jtewed in the midst of the pot : then, after fome account of the meaning of this parable, and the cause of God's anger, the allusion is taken up again, when God threatens to beap on wood, and to kindle the fire, so as to consume the flesh, and diminish the quantity of the broth; after which the emptied caldron was to be laid on the coals, and it's impurities to be removed by the violence of fire.
This is the substance of their account of this parable, and we may see in it the taking off the flesh, as that of the camels from their bones in the Arab feast ; the boiling it down to a pulpy substance, and a great diminution of the liquid ; and the supposition that the bones themselves afforded something delicious,
Thus far these ancient Ægyptian interpreters go in their account, quite agreeing with the modern history of an Arab royal feast, and, without doubt, with the managements of their own times. Only it may be the Arabs stewed their bones by thenjelves; anciently, it seems, they did it in the same pot with the flesh.
if now we turn to the original Hebrew, It is visible that the second clause of the fifth verse must be wrong translated : it could never signify burning the bones under the pot, if for no other reason, yet for this, that in the close of the 4th verse, and in the end of the 5th, it is supposed they were to seethe them in it. The heaping them up, which is the marginal translation, appears to be the true meaning. And, as to what follows, it should seem we are to understand the word as fignifying the lower part of the pot'-heap up the bones in the lower part of the pot, and make it boil well.
The roth verse mentions the consuming, or dissolving the flesh, the spicing or seasoning it, and the burning the bones, or rather leaving them dry. This brings to mind the spices and the currants of the great camel feast, and the emptying of the caldron of it's contents so entirely as to leave nothing but bones in it.
The whole parable expresses the great Naughter of the Jews in the destruction of Jerusalem ; not only those of lower rank, but those of the greatest ; for I do not take it, that the choice of the flock is to be understood exclusively of others, but as comprehending many, very many of them ; that the people of Babylon would take as great pleasure in destroying the Jewish people, as men would do in partaking of a delicious royal repast; and that after the city was emptied, it would
+ Vid. Job 28. 5,
be given up to purging flames, as a filthy pot,' made disagreeable by scum and other impurities, might be cleansed by being heated in the fire to an high degree's
How the Ægyptian translators of the Septuagint version came to leave out the fpicing, or Jeasoning of this soup, for the word, I presume, is not limited to spices properly speaks ing, but comprehends every thing that seasons, or heightens the taste; and how they came to divide what of the flock was stewed just into halves, which the word they have made use of properly signifies, whereas the present
Arabs”, when they would make potage even of a chicken, divide it into four parts, and a fowl into six or eight, I do not know, since the Hebrew copies only suppose the animals put into the caldron to be cut in pieces in general; but must leave it to my Reader to guess.
On the other hand, we are told by the fame writer, that in their grand repasts, they stew, not unfrequently, a whole lamb or kid. The parable however of Ezekiel supposes them divided into parts, whether halved or into single joints the original doth not determine, though the version of the Septuagint doth, after which both suppose the feh was taken from the bones.
· See Numb. 31. 22, 23. de la Roque, ch. 14, p. 199.
? Voy. dans la Pal. par
3' P. 198.
The longest time allowed, in Lev. vii', for the eating the flesh of any of the Mosaic sacrifices, was the day after that in which they were killed, the eating it on the third day is declared to be an abomination ; this precept may be thought to have been unnecessary in so warm a climate, where we may suppose by the third day it might be ready to putrify, and there could be no great occasion to forbid the Jews to eat decayed meat. But we are to remember the drying meat is often practised in those hot countries; is sometimes practised as to flesh killed with a religious intention : and, on account of this management, the keeping the flesh of their lacrifices to the third day might be forbidden.
Every Mohammedan, that goes in pilgrimage to Mecca, is obliged, on a certain day, and at a certain place near there, to sacrifice a sheep”. He may, if he pleafes, facrifice more, but he is under an obligation to kill one. Some of the flesh of these sheep they give to their friends ; come to the ragged poor who come out of Mecca, and the adjacent country; and the rest they eat theinselves. But they are not limited to any time
i Ver. 15–8. ? Pitts, p. 140. belot, p. 62, art. Adhha.