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abroad out of the house; Poneither shall ye 49 One law shall be to him that is homebreak a bone thereof.
born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth 47 All the congregation of Israel shall among you. ?' keep it.
50 Thus did all the children of Israel; as 48 And when a stranger shall sojourn the LORD commanded Moses and Aaron, so with thee, and will keep the passover to the did they. LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and 51 And it came to pass the selfsame day, then let him come near and keep it; and he that the LORD did bring the children of shall be as one that is born in the land: for Israel out of the land of Egypt by their no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof. armies.
20 Num. 9. 12. John 19.36.
21 Heb, do it.
Verse 8. “ Bitter herbs” (097979 merorim).—The word literally means “ bitters;" and as the expression is so general, our translation is right in not professing to define the particular species. According to the Mishna and Maimonides there were five sorts of bitter herbs, any one or all of which might be eaten. If we restrict the word to one species, the lettuce (Lactuca sativa) has the best claim to notice. It is extremely bitter until it has undergone the process of blanching; and is expressly indicated by those versions which do not adhere to the general expression of the original and of our own version. Forskal says that the Jews in Egypt eat lettuce with the paschal lamb. We incline to think that different bitter herbs are intended, of species which cannot now be distinguished ; if, indeed, it was not intended to leave the choice free among any salads characterized by their bitterness, and fitted to symbolize the bitter bondage in Egypt.
9. “ Eat not of it raw.”—This injunction is understood, like some others, to be intended to create a marked distinction between this observance and those connected with idolatrous worship. The ancient heathens in their idolatrous feasts and sacrifices, particularly those of the Grecian Bacchus-which feasts had their original in Egypt, Bacchus himself being merely an adaptation of the Egyptian Osiris-tore the victims in pieces, and ate the raw and palpitating limbs. Thus the injunction may have had a specific allusion. But we should also view it in connexion with the strong interdiction, equally in the patriarchal times, under the law, and in the New Testament, of raw or bloody animal food. The frequency of the injunction would sufficiently indicate, that the forbidden practice was not uncommon, however strange and revolting it may seem to us. That savages do this every one knows; but it may not be so well known, that the practice still exists in or near the countries which formed the scene of the Bible history. Burckhardt says:-“ Throughout the desert, when a sheep or goat is killed, the persons present often eat the liver and kidney raw, adding to it a little salt. Some Arabs of Yemen are said to eat raw, not only those parts, but likewise whole slices of flesh ; thus resembling the Abyssinians and the Druses of Lebanon, who frequently indulge in raw meat, the latter to my certain knowledge.”
11. “ With your loins girded.”—That is, as persons prepared for a journey. The inhabitants of the East usually wear long and loose dresses, which, however convenient in postures of ease and repose, would form a serious obstruction in walking or in any laborious exertion, were not some expedients resorted to, such as those which we find noticed in Scripture. Thus the Persians and Turks when journeying on horseback tuck their skirts into a large pair of trousers, as the poorer sort also do when travelling on foot. But the usages of the Arabs, who do not generally use trousers, is more analogous to the practice described in the Bible by“ girding up the loins.” It consists in drawing up the skirts of the vest and fastening them to the girdle, so as to leave the leg and knee unembarrassed when in motion. An Arab's dress consists generally of a coarse shirt and a woollen mantle. The shirt, which is very wide and loose, is compressed about the waist by a strong girdle generally of leather, the cloak being worn loose on ordinary occasions. But in journeying or other exertion, the cloak also is usually confined by a girdle to which the skirts are drawn up and fastened. When manual exertion is required, the long hanging sleeves of the shirt are also disposed of by the ends of both being tied together and thrown over the neck, the sleeves themselves being at the same time tucked high up the arm. A short passage from ' Antar,' describing Jeerah's preparation for attacking a lion, will be found to illustrate this and several other passages of Scripture: “ He threw away his armour and corslet, till he remained in his plain clothes with short sleeves: he tucked these up to his shoulder, and twisting his skirts round his girdle, he unsheathed his broad sword, and brandished it in his hand, and stalked away towards the lion."-Vol. iv. 240.
“ Shoes on your feet.”--(See the note on chap. iii. 5.). This was another circumstance of preparation for a journey. At the present time Orientals do not, under ordinary circumstances, eat with their shoes or sandals on their feet; nor indeed do they wear them indoors at all. This arises not only from the ceremonial politeness connected with the act of sitting unshod ; but from the fear of soiling the fine carpets with which their rooms are covered. Besides, as they sit on the ground cross-legged, or on their heels, shoes or sandals on their feet would be inconvenient. To eat therefore with sandalled or shod feet is as decided a mark of preparation for a journey as could well be indicated. But perhaps a still better illustration is derived from the fact, that the ancient Egyptians, like the modern Arabs, did not ordinarily wear either shoes or sandals. In their sculptures and paintings very few figures occur with sandalled feet ; and as we may presume, that in the course of 215 years the Israelites had adopted this and other customs of the Egyptians, we may understand that (except by the priests) sandals were only used during journeys, which would render their eating the passover with sandalled feet, a still stronger mark of preparation than even the previous alternative.
15. “ Put away leaven out of your houses.”—This was probably to commemorate the fact that the Israelites left Egypt in such haste that they had no opportunity to leaven their dough (verse 39), and were consequently obliged, in the first instance, to eat unleavened cakes (see Deut. xvi. 3). The present injunction is even now attended to by modern Jews with the most scrupulous precision. The master of the family searches every corner of the house with a candle, lest any crumb of leavened bread should remain, and whatever is found is committed to the fire ; and after all, apprehending that some may still remain, he prays to God that, if any leaven be still in his house, it may become like the dust of the ground. Extraordinary precautions are also used in preparing the unleavened bread, lest there should be anything like leaven mixed with it, or any kind of fermentation should take place in it. (See Jennings Jewish Antiquities. These particulars will be found to give more than common point to the text of 1 Cor. v. 7, 8. The exclusion of leaven for
seven or eight days might, as Harmer observes, be attended with some inconvenience in Great Britain, but none at all in Palestine. The usual leaven in the East is dough kept till it becomes sour, and which is kept froin one day to another for the purpose of preserving leaven in readiness. Thus, if there should be no leaven in all the country for any length of tiine, as much as might be required could easily be produced in twenty-four hours. Sour dough, however, is not exclusively used for leaven in the East, the lees of wine being in some parts employed as yeast.
22. “ Hyssop” (210X esoh).—The hyssop of the Sacred Scriptures has opened a wide field for conjecture, but in no instance has any plant been suggested that at the same time had a sufficient length of stem
to answer the purpose of a wand or pole, and such detergent or cleansing properties, as to render it a fit emblem for purification. Our wood-cut rerepresents ashrub remarkable in both these respects, which is the Phytolacca decandra. We do not indeed assert that this was the individual species in question, but we have no doubt in our own minds that the hyssop belonged to this genus. The length and straightness of the stem form a characteristic of the several kinds of Phytolacca with which we are acquainted, affording an obvious reason why the Roman soldier placed a sponge filled with vinegar upon hyssop, in order to raise it to the lips of the Saviour (John xix. 29). The Phytolaccu decandra, and other species of the genus, contain an enormous quantity of potash, so that a hundred pounds of its ashes afford forty-two pounds of pure caustic alkali; hence we obtain a striking illustration of that expression used in Psalm li., “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean,"—if we suppose that a shrub of this kind was meant. The only doubt that hangs about the supposition is the North American origin of the Phytolacca decandra ; but others are found in the old continent, near Aleppo, and in Abyssinia, which may, though not hitherto submitted to a chemical analysis, bave answered the same purpose equally well. While travelling in Mexico we met with an old man who told us that a kind of Phytolacca, which was growing near a cottage, was formerly used by the Indian females instead of soap, such was the detergent nature of the foliage. This unexpected piece of information led us to think that the hyssop of Scripture must have been allied to this American plant, or Congoran, in structure as well as in property. The Phytolacca belongs to the family Chenopodea, of which the barilla plant forms a part, but it is unlike the rest of its congeners in the exceeding beauty of its flowers, and the berries by which they are succeeded. These flowers are generally of a fresh and lively, pink,
Hyssop (Phytolacca decandra). disposed in elegant racemes or clusters; the berries are compounded of a circle of carpella or minute fruits, closely joined together, and afford a blooming dye. The leaves are generally smooth, and neatly shaped; and the stem is long, smooth, and wand-like. In short, there is a peculiar grace in every part of the plant, which, in the case of decandra, renders it a great favourite in the garden. There exists a great similarity between the several species of the Phytolacca, so that an acquaintance with one species suggests a correct idea of the whole; for this reason the reader is presented with a figure of decandra as an average specimen. Two or three species are found in Oahu, Sandwich Íslands, which have the stem of an extraordinary length, and which, from its weakness, lies extended upon the vegetation around ; and here and there supports a cluster of lovely flowers, to beautify the wild waste amidst the mountains.
34. “ Kneading troughs.”—Some other term ought perhaps to be employed to preclude the apparent difficulty which results from the natural habit of identifying oriental utensils with our own, when the same name is given to both. To understand the passage, we should perhaps refer to the existing usages among the Arabs who encamp in, or traverse, the very desert through which the sons of Israel are now about to pass ; and then we shall find that the only utensils of analogous use, whether for kneading or for carrying dough, are such as the Israelites would naturally take with them, and which they could conveniently take as a personal burden. The“ kneading troughs” of the Arabs are properly described by Shaw, as small wooden bowls, which not only serve for kneading their bread, but for serving up meat and other uses for which a dish is required. The Arabs have few domestic utensils, and make one serve many purposes, and this is one of the most generally useful which they possess. However, as the Israelites are represented as carrying dough in their vessels, this directs our attention to another Arabian utensil, which has equal, if not stronger, claims to be identified with that to which the text refers. The Arabs use, on their journeys, for a table-cloth, or rather table, a circular piece of leather, the margin of which is furnished with rings, by a string or chain run through which t can, when necessary, be drawn up into a bag. This bag they sometimes carry full of bread, and when their meal is over, tie it up again with what is left. Dr. Boothroyd prefers this last utensil, and reads the text thus :—“The people of Israel then took their dough before it was leavened, in their dough-bags, wrapped up in their clothes, upon their shoulders.” But he has here been misled by an inference of Harmer, which he seems to state as part of Pococke's text, but where it is not to be found. Neither Pococke nor Niebuhr say anything about a dough ;” nor are the utensils "dough-bags." The Arabs do not carry dough at all; but if, when their dough happened to be kneaded, they were suddenly obliged to decamp, they would naturally carry it away either in the kneading-bowl or in the leathern bag in which they usually carry their bread. The text, as we understand it, merely indicates an expedient to which their haste obliged them to resort, and not that the utensil in question was now applied to its customary use. 37.“ Succoth.”—This word signifies“ tents," or “ booths ;” and probably nothing more is intended by it than a spot where caravans were accustomed to encamp; or which obtained its name from their encampment there on the present occasion. It will be observed that the Israelites took their departure from “ Rameses ; but whether the name denotes in this instance the land of Goshen, which is also called the land of Rameses, or a town in that land, or elsewhere, is by no means clear. Neither can the position of Succoth be fixed with exactness. However, as the intention of Moses was undoubtedly to proceed not immediately towards Palestine, but into the desert of Sinai, his course was probably nearly that which is now taken by the pilgrim caravans from Cairo to Mecca, which is not due east, but first by north-east and then by east, in order to round the “ Arabian mountain ” of Herodotus, which shuts in the valley of the Nile on the east, and which sinks into the plain in the north, at a line nearly parallel with the point of the Delta. On this route, at the distance of about twelve miles N.N.E. from the present Cairo, occurs a place which is very convenient for an encampment, and where the great pilgrim caravan from Cairo to Mecca awaits the arrival of the western pilgrims previous to its final departure, and where it breaks up on its return. This is, with good probability, thought to be the Succoth of the text. At this place there is a rather large lake, called Birket-el-Hadj (Pilgrims' Pool), which receives its waters from the Nile; and near which there are several small villages; and some that are larger, with country-houses and date-plantations belonging to the principal inhabitants of Cairo. Niebuhr went to inspect the encampment at this place in May, 1762, two days before the caravan departed, and took the plan from which the one we offer is copied. Niebuhr remarks on its disorderly arrangement; but this is usual at a mere rendezvous, and will perhaps all the better enable the reader to obtain an idea of the early encampments of the Israelites before that regular order was established which we find detailed in Numb. ii. Niebuhr says that every one encamped just as he saw proper.. Something like an orderly arrangement only appeared in that part of the camp occupied by the Emir Harlj, or chief of the caravan, who had several tents for himself and his people. The following will explain the details, as indicated by letters in the cut. a the tents of the emir-the small one among which is destined to contain the mahmal, or silken pavilion, containing the Koran and presents for the Kaaba at Mecca: 6 the lodge which the emir occupies during the day, there were three small cannon before it, and four more at c: dd the tents of the sutlers: e a small village: fff country-houses. The straight lines throughout represent the cords stretched out and fastened to pins driven into the ground, to which the horses and camels are tied in all oriental encampments.
PLAN OF THE DISPOSITION OF THE Mecca CARAVAN AT Pilgrims' Pool.. From NIEBUHR.
There are some writers who place Rameses not at all near the Nile, but in the east of the desert of Suez, about thirty miles due north of the gulf of that name ; giving, consequently, a southerly direction to the whole march from thence to the Red Sea. A corresponding position is of course given to Succoth. However, we are unable to understand how the distance of this Rameses, of about eighty miles from the Nile, is compatible with the fact of its being the first point from which the Israelites started on quitting the neighbourhood of that river. Perhaps this has arisen from the desire to shorten the distance between Succoth and Etham ; for if the former was near the Nile, and the latter near the Red Sea, the distance is a good three days' journey. But we do not see the
necessity, as some do, for inferring—because it is said “they took their journey from Succoth and encamped in Etham” (xiii. 20),—that they performed in one day the distance between the two places. Indeed, there is good indirect evidence that ihe distance was really three days' journey, and that three days were taken to perform it; and we the rather wonder that this fact has escaped the
notice of those who have written on the subject, because it helps to illustrate the extraordinary move which was made from Etham. (See the note on chap. xiv. 2.)
BIRKET EL Hads, or Polgrims' Puol (Succoth ?). “ About sir hundred thousand.”—We learn, from Numbers, chap. i., that the statement of males, exclusive of women and chiidren, applies to males above twenty years of age. Now Mr. Rickman, in the Introduction to the Population Returns,' shows that the number of males above twenty years of age is, as nearly as possible, one half that of the total number of males ; the whole male population of Israel would then, on this principle, amount to 1,200,000; and if we add an equal number for females, the entire male and female population of the Hebrew nation, at the time of the exodus, will not be less than 2,400,000. The only reduction of which this number seems susceptible results from the conclusion that mankind were at that period longer lived than at present; which enables us to conjecture that the males above twenty considerably exceeded those under that age. But if we make a large allowance on this account, it can searcely be supposed that the total number fall much short of two millions, exclusive of the “mixed multitude that went up with them. This is certainly a most extraordinary increase, and can only be accounted for by a reference to the purposes of God, who designed that, while in Egypt, the Hebrews should grow into a nation. Dr. Boothroyd and others think there must be an error in the numbers. It might be so understood if it were an unconnected text; but the reading here is supported by a whole series of distinct enumerations in Numbers, chap. i. ; the sum of which, exclusive of the tribe of Levi, amounts to 603,550. This was at the commencement of the second year from the exodus, and exhibits a detailed coincidence which precludes the idea of a corruption, whether accidental or wilful, in the present text, unless we also are prepared to admit the corruption of a whole series of numbers in the census of Numb. i., and also in that of Numb. xxxvi.
40. “ For hundred and thirty years.”—This is not correct ; for their actual stay did not exceed 215 years. This must therefore include the whole period from the time that Abraham entered the land of Canaan to the time of the exodus of his descendants from Egypt. There is, in fact, an omission in the text, which
the Samaritan and Septuagint supply, and by which our version ought to be corrected. It would then read thus :—"The sojourning of the children of Israel, and of their fathers which they sojourned in the land of Canaan, and in the land of Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years."
2 'Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, 1 The firstborn are sanctified to God. 3 The me
whatsoever openeth the womb among the morial of the passover is commanded. u The children of Israel, both of man and of beast : firstlings of beasts are set apart. 17 The Israelites it is mine. go out of Egypt, and carry Joseph's bones with 3 | And Moses said unto the people, them. 20 They come to Etham. 21, God guideth Remember this day, in which ye came out them by a pillar of a cloud, and a pillar of fire.
from Egypt, out of the house of ’ bondage ; And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, for by strength of hand the LORD brought
Chap. 22. 29, and 34. 19. Levit. 27. 26. Numb. 3. 13, and 8. 16. Luke 2. 23.
? Heb, servants.
you out from this place: there shall no 14 And it shall be when thy son asketh leavened bread be eaten.
thee in time to come, saying, What is 4 This day came ye out in the month this ? that thou shalt say unto him, By Abib.
strength of hand the LORD brought us out 5 And it shall be when the LORD shall from Egypt, from the house of bondage: bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, 15 And it came to pass, when Pharaoh and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the would hardly let us go, that the Lord slew Hivites, and the Jebusites, which he sware all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both unto thy fathers to give thee, a land flowing the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of with milk and honey, that thou shalt keep beast: therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all this service in this month.
that openeth the matrix, being males; but 6 Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened all the firstborn of my children I redeem. bread, and in the seventh day shall be a 16 And it shall be for a token upon thine feast to the Lord.
hand, and for frontlets between thine eyes : 7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten seven for by strength of hand the Lord brought days; and there shall no leavened bread be us forth out of Egypt. seen with thee, neither shall there be leaven 17 | And it came to pass, when Pharaoh seen with thee in all thy quarters.
had let the people go, that God led them 8 9 And thou shalt shew thy son in that not through the way of the land of the Phiday, saying, This is done because of that listines, although that was near; for God which the Lord did unto me when I came said, Lest peradventure the people repent forth out of Egypt.
when they see war, and they return to 9 And it shall be for a sign unto thee Egypt: upon thine hand, and for a memorial be- 18 But God led the people about, through tween thine eyes, that the Lord's law may the way of the wilderness of the Red sea : be in thy mouth: for with a strong hand and the children of Israel went up "harhath the Lord brought thee out of Egypt. nessed out of the land of Egypt.
10 Thou shalt therefore keep this ordi- 19 And Moses took the bones of Joseph nance in his season from year to year. with him: for he had straitly sworn the
11 | And it shall be when the Lord shall children of Israel, saying, "God will surely bring thee into the land of the Canaanites, visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones as he sware unto thee and to thy fathers, away hence with you. and shall give it thee,
20 | And Othey took their journey from 12 * That thou shalt .set apart unto the Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the Lord all that openeth the matrix, and every edge of the wilderness. firstling that cometh of a beast which thou 21 And 10the LORD went before them by hast; the males shall be the Lord's.
day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the 13 And every firstling of an ass thou way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give shalt redeem with a "lamb; and if thou wilt them light; to go by day and night : neck: and all the firstborn of man among cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, thy children shalt thou redeem.
from before the people. Chap.22.29, and 34. 19. Ezek. 44. 30.
7 Or, by five in a ran.
not redeem it, then thou shalt break "his 12 ile took not away the pillar of the
4 Heb. cause to pass orer. 3 Or, kid. 6 Heb, to mortore.
Gen. 50, 25. Josh. 24. 32.
17. “God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near," &c.—Palestine being the point to which this journey ultimately tended, we see at the outset a departure from the regular track; the reason for this proceeding is here assigned. On leaving Egypt, the obvious alternatives were, after crossing the isthmus of Suez, either to take a course north-east to Palestine, or south-east into the desert. Each course had its peculiar difficulties; and Mr. Faber, in his · Horæ Mosaicæ,' ably contends that, in this and other instances, the course actually taken by Moses sufficiently manifests that he was no self-appointed lawgiver, but, as he himself declares, was acting under divine direction and control. He was at the head of 600,000 men, besides women and children. But this immense host was merely an undisciplined crowd, dispirited by bondage, and utterly unfit for war; while the southern and nearest portion of the country to which their expedition tended was already occupied by the Philistines, a distinguished military people, allied to those very Pali, or shepherds, who had so long oppressed them in Egypt. Neither they nor the other tribes that occupied the country could be expected to resign their domains without a struggle, and an immediate war must therefore have been the result of a direct march upon the promised land. But bad as alternative was, the other could scarcely, in mere human prudence, have been deemed preferable. Moses, who had so long fed the flocks of Jethro in the desert, must have been well aware that it afforded no resources for the subsistence even for a few weeks of the vast host he was leading thither. His alternatives seem therefore to be, on the one hand, war without any reasonable prospect of success ; and on the other, starvation in the desert. We, upon the whole, quite agree with Mr. Faber in thinking that, bad as the prospect was, “ a politician would have preferred fighting to starving: