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cannot assent to this. Our impression is, that the laver, whatever were its shape, stood upon another basin, more wide and shallow, as a cup on a saucer; and that the latter received, from cocks or spouts in the upper basin, the water which was allowed to escape when the priests washed themselves with the water which fell from the upper basin. If by the under basin we understand the "foot" of the text, the sense is clear. The text does not say that the priests were to wash themselves in the basin, but at it. In it they could not well wash their hands and feet if the laver was of any height. The Rabbins say the laver had several cocks, or "nipples," as they call them, from which the water was let out as wanted. There were several such spouts, but the number is differently stated. How the priests washed their hands and feet at the laver seems uncertain. That they did not wash in either the laver or its base seems clear, because then the water in which they washed would have been rendered impure by those who washed before or with them; and as we know that Orientals do not like to wash in a basin, after our manner, in which the water with which we commence washing is clearer than that with which we finish, but at a falling stream, where each successive affusion is of clean water, we incline to think that the priests either washed themselves with the stream as it fell from the spouts into the base, or else received in proper vessels so much water as they needed for the occasion. The Orientals, in their washings, make use of a vessel with a long spout, and wash at the stream which issues from thence, the waste water being received in a basin which is placed underneath. This seems to us to illustrate the idea of the laver with its base, as well as the ablutions of the priests. The laver had thus its upper basin, from which the stream fell, and the under basin for receiving the waste water; or it is quite compatible with the same idea and practice to suppose that, to prevent too great an expenditure of water, they received a quantity in separate vessels, using it as described, and the base receiving the water which in washing fell from their hands and feet. This explanation, although it seems to us probable, is, necessarily, little more than conjectural. Our cut exhibits another view more in conformity with the usual interpretations.
The Jewish commentators say that any kind of water might be used for the laver; but that the water was to be changed every day. They also state that ablution before entering the tabernacle was in no case dispensed with. A man might be perfectly clean, might be quite free from any ceremonial impurity, and might even have washed his hands and feet before he left home, but still he could by no means enter the tabernacle without previous ablution at
23. "Myrrh.”—(See Gen. xliii. 11.)
"Cinnamon" (kinman).—The bark of the Laurus cinnamomum is well known among the articles of spicery. This species of laurel, or sweet bay, is a native of various parts of India, but especially of Ceylon, the ancient Taprobane. The leaves when young are red at the top. The fruit is about the size of a damson, and when ripe is of a black colour. The shrub varies from two to ten feet in height, and is spread into numerous branches. The bark, after being peeled off, requires no preparation save a short exposure to the sun to dry it.
The word "cinnamon" in this place is of great interest and importance. It forms a most remarkable illustration of the great value which a single word sometimes bears as a clue in guiding our conclusions to results which otherwise might not be obtained, or not obtained with so much certainty and precision. Cinnamon, as we have just seen, is a native of Ceylon and India; and the knowledge of this cannot fail to suggest the question, how this product of the far East found its way, thus early, to the neighbourhood of the Mediterranean. This and the other aromatics are here mentioned as precious and appropriate to religious uses, and yet the manner in which they are spoken of implies that they were neither very rare nor difficult to obtain. We are therefore perfectly warranted to assume, as a principle, that there existed a commercial intercourse with Ceylon or continental India, even at this early period. Then, by the agency of what people was this intercourse carried on? After reading the note on Egyptian trade (Gen. xxxvii.), no one will suppose it was by the means of the Egyptians, who in other respects were favourably situated for being the agents of that intercourse. Nor is the probability greater that this trade was conducted by the Persians, of whose condition at this period we know nothing certain, except that they were never a commercial people, and that they abhorred the sea quite as much as did the Egyptians. The same remark, being applicable to the Indians themselves, precludes the supposition that they exported their own commodities to the shores of the Persian or Arabian gulfs. If therefore it were only from the want of any other imaginable agency, we should have some right to think that the Arabians have a probable claim to the honour of having opened the commerce with India. But we are not left to bare conjectures on the subject: we have a mass of very interesting evidence of various kinds to show that it was to the Arabians that, through a long series of ages, Western Asia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome, were intermediately indebted for the spices and other products of India, which were in ancient times as much sought after as at present, although the source whence they were derived was scarcely known. Cinnamon in particular was much valued, and was the first spice sought after or procured in all Oriental voyages, whether ancient or modern. The Romans seemed to have obtained it in large quantities, and to have held it in the highest esteem; and being known in times so very early as those to which the statement in our text refers, we may conclude that the Egyptians, who were great consumers of aromatics, required also a large supply. It is therefore useful to know from what source the ancients professed to have derived this product. All the statements which they have left on the subject declare that cinnamon, with other aromatics furnished by the Arabians, were indeed thought to be Arabian products. That they thought the commercial cinnamon the produce of Arabia is a circumstance which does not at all weaken, but rather strengthens, the conclusions we have already stated, as it shows the certainty that the Arabians were the agents of the supply, and that the parties who received it having no knowledge, or only the faintest notions, of India, confounded its products, as supplied by the Arabians, with the indigenous products of Arabia, which were also objects of commerce. That they did this, we know from the fact of their attributing to that country products which, still more certainly than cinnamon, are not and never were produced there; but which the Arabians must have brought westward from India and conveyed to the various and successive entrepôts of Oriental commerce. The value of the text before us consists not in proving that the early trade with India was in the hands of the Arabians, which no one disputes, but that it was so in periods long anterior to any of which profane history makes mention. The earliest notices of the trade, direct or indirect, describe it as being conducted by the Arabians; and finding here that one of the products of that trade was extant in the west at the early period before us, we have a right to infer that the commerce existed even then. It would even be no improbable supposition that the products of India might be found among the spices which the Arabians, to whom Joseph was sold by his brethren, were conveying to Egypt. That instance at least proves that a spice trade was even then in the hands of the Arabians; and although it must be allowed that Arabia itself produced aromatics which were desirable objects of trade, it has always seemed to us doubtful whether they ever would have become such but in connexion with the profitable traffic in Indian spices, the value of which perhaps first induced the Arabians to attend to the culture of their own aromatics, which they were enabled to dispose of advantageously through the agencies by which they sent the products of India to the west. We apprehend, that although we are now able to identify as Oriental products many articles which Arabia itself was formerly celebrated for
producing, we still allow the exclusive reference of the ancients to Arabia as the spice-growing country, to have more than due weight on our minds in estimating the separate value of properly Arabian products. We withdraw, one after another, the more important of the products which anciently gave fame to Arabia, and which were the great objects of its trade; and do not then sufficiently advert to the greatly diminished importance of the native Arabian trade after such deductions. We might use this as an argument to show that if the Arabians had, at a very early period, a valuable trade in spices, they must at the same time have had a commercial intercourse with India.
The Arabians by whom this trade was carried on were certainly not the Bedouin Arabs, whose habits are wholly averse to commerce, but those of more settled character inhabiting the coast: perhaps we should say, in the early periods, the aboriginal Arabs of Kahtan as distinguished from the sons of Ishmael. The mode of their intercourse with India must have been either by land caravans through Persia and Karamania, or by water, across the Indian Ocean-which method was prior to the other we do not know, or whether both methods did not co-exist. The Arabian caravan in Genesis would seem to indicate a land-journey from Persia, for if the goods came by sea from India, they would no doubt have been taken to Egypt by the way of the Red Sea, and Gilead and Dothan were so much out of their way in a land-journey to Egypt if they had come from Arabia, that we seem obliged to consider them as coming from the east. It is however certain that the Arabians had an early traffic by sea. Dr. Vincent observes-"That the Arabians were the first navigators of the Indian Ocean, and the first carriers of Indian produce, is evident from all history, as far as history goes back; and antecedent to history, from analogy, from necessity, and from local situation."- "The Arabians have a sea-coast round three sides of their vast peninsula; they had no prejudice against navigation, either from habits or religion. There is no history which treats of them, which does not notice them as pirates or merchants by sea, as robbers or traders by land. We can scarcely touch upon them accidentally in an author, without finding that they were the carriers of the Indian Ocean. Sabea, Hadramaut, and Oman were the residence of navigators in all ages, from the time that history begins to speak of them; and there is reason to imagine that they were equally so, before the historians acquired a knowledge of them, as they have since continued down to the present age." There are indeed facts in the early inferential history of the intercourse with India, which render it certain that the Arabians had crossed the Gulf of Persia, and, doubtless with the aid of the monsoons, reached the coasts of India, long before these regions were known even by name to the nations of the west. The advantageous monopoly of the trade with India was enjoyed much longer by the Arabs than it has been by any other nation, and to this source we may no doubt chiefly attribute the glowing descriptions which the ancient writers give of the wealth and prosperity of Arabia Felix, The ancient capitals of Egypt, first Thebes and then Memphis, owed much of their wealth and splendour to the part which the Egyptians had in the benefits of this commerce. They received there the products of India and Arabia, and, conveying them down the Nile, consigned them to the Phoenicians, Greeks, and others, whose vessels crowded the harbours. The Egyptians themselves exported nothing. The Greeks, who obtained the dominion of that country, were more sensible of the importance of maritime commerce. They founded Alexandria, and made it, what it long continued, the great emporium of oriental trade. They engrossed the lucrative business of supplying Europe with its products, more directly than this had been done by the native Egyptians. They were even sensible of the importance of the direct trade with India, and made some attempts to supersede the Arabians therein, or at least to take a share in the advantages. But in this they failed, and ultimately found that to them it would be more profitable to purchase the much desired products in the Arabian ports, than to fetch them on their own account. Things remained much the same while the Romans were lords of Egypt and Western Asia; and in after-times the Arabians still continued to take the lead in the trade with India, and probably, from their peculiar advantages, would have done so to this day, had not the discovery of the passage to India by the Cape of Good Hope broken up the old channels of trading intercourse, and effected a great change in the whole commercial system of the world.-In the later books of the Old Testament there will be found frequent references to the articles of Arabian traffic, all of which the present note will in some degree contribute to illustrate. (See Vincent's Commerce and Navigation of the Ancients; Robertson's 'Disquisition concerning India; Heeren's Commerce, &c. of India, and of Egypt;' Reynier's 'Egypte ;' Marshall on Cinnamon as an Article of Commerce,' in Annals of Philosophy,' vol. x., &c.)
"Calamus."-Literally, sweet cane or reed. It has been customary for a long time to consider the Acorus calamus as the sweet reed of Scripture, inasmuch as its root has an aromatic smell. But the short description of Dioscorides, who professes to have written the greater part of his work i aroas, as an eye-witness, does not agree with the Acorus calumus. We rather apprehend that it was a species of Cyperus, since the account of the last mentioned writer seems to suggest the inference, and we know that several members of that genus have odoriferous roots, and are used as perfumes by the natives of the regions in which they grow. The people of India scent their hair with the roots of the Cyperus perferus; and the Sandwich islanders employ another to impart a sweet smell to their garments, but it is so powerful as to be insupportable to those who are not accustomed to it.
24. "Cassia" (kidda, Heb.-which is otherwise written kitzia, whence came the Greek xaria, and the Latin cassia). The Laurus cassia is a shrub which so nearly resembles the Laurus cinnamomum that some have regarded it merely as a variety. The bark resembles in property the cinnamon, except in the presence of a mucilage, which does not exist in the latter.
25. "Apothecary."-More properly "perfumer." The holy oils and ointments were probably prepared by some one of the priests who had properly qualified himself. Mr. Roberts informs us that, in the Hindoo temples, there is a man whose chief business it is to distil sweet waters from flowers, and to extract oil from wood, flowers, and other substances. That our version has rendered the word by "apothecary" would sufficiently indicate that the business of a perfumer was not distinguished from that of an apothecary in the time of the translators. This we know from other Thus Shakspeare, who lived not long before,
"An ounce of civet, good apothecary,
"An holy anointing oil."--A remark on the practice of consecration by anointing will be found in a note to Levit. viii. At present we only direct attention to the fact that the prohibitions in verse 32,-"Upon man's flesh shall it not be poured, neither shall ye make any other like it,"-clearly enough intimates that the Israelites were even thus early in the habit of applying fragrant oils to their persons. As we learn, from Levit. viii., that this holy oil was poured upon Aaron's head, we may correspondingly infer that the Israelites were in the habit of employing oils for the same purpose. Indeed, we read continually of oils and ointments being used among the Hebrews for anointing their hair, heads, and beards. At their festivals they sometimes anointed the whole body, but often only the head and the feet. Dead bodies were also anointed, to retard corruption and prevent offensive smells. For such purposes perfumed oils or ointments were employed. We nowhere read of odoriferous waters, which are now so generally used in the East; but
it is not improbable that they were in use, at least in times subsequent to those before us, and may perhaps be considered as comprehended under the general name of " perfumes." The Jews certainly perfumed their clothes, and for this purpose oils and ointments would have been less convenient than fragrant waters. There is no difficulty in conceiving that they might have the art of making fragrant waters by decoction or infusion; but if the art of distillation were, as is generally supposed, unknown to the nations of antiquity, they could not have had those distilled waters which are now so conspicuous in the perfumery of the East. These, however, have not exploded such oils and oint-⚫ ments as the Hebrews appear to have used. With this they rub their heads and beards, while the distilled waters are more generally employed for sprinkling the clothes or beard. The common oils are made by steeping the petals of the flower in some inodorous oil; the art of extracting the essential oil of the flower (as in making attar of roses) is not much practised, and does not appear to have been known to the Hebrews. This is designed as a general remark: the particular applications of perfumes will be noticed as they occur. With regard to the sacred oil in the text, the Rabbins say that no more of it was ever made than the quantity which was prepared under the immediate direction of Moses, as in the text. Being used with economy, they say that it served to anoint every successive high-priest till the time of the captivity, when it was all spent. Hence the pontiffs, from Aaron to the captivity, are called "highpriests anointed;" whereas those subsequent, being installed by investiture in the sacred robes, were described as initiated in their habits." This account does not seem very probable. Moses only interdicts the preparation of this oil for private use; and from the precise manner in which the ingredients are specified, it seems to have been his intention that the original supply should, from time to time, be renewed. The fathers of the Christian church believe that the high-priests continued to be anointed until the coming of the great Anointed One-the Christ.
34. "Stacte" (nataph)-finest kind of myrrh: for which see Gen. xliii.
"Onycha" (shecheleth, Heb.)-The only hint about the onycha that we can find is in the Arabic version, where we meet with ladana, suggesting that gum-ladanum was the drug in question. It is the produce of the Cistus ladaniferus, being a secretion from the leaves, which is swept off by the beard of the browzing goats, from whence it is collected. The shrub is a native of the Levant, the isles of the Mediterranean, and Arabia.
"Galbanum" (chelbena, Heb.)-Galbanum is a gum-resin, which comes to us from Turkey, in softish, pliant, and pale-coloured masses. It is the produce of a species of bubon, though not perhaps of the B. galbanum. The bubon belongs to the umbelliferous family of plants, of which the hemlock and parsley may serve as examples.
"Frankincense" (lebonah, Heb.)-The frankincense is produced by the Boswellia serrata, a very fine tree belonging to the family of the turpentine bearing trees. It is a native of India. The frankincense, or olibanum, is a gum-resin of a brownish colour; which, when laid upon burning coals or a hot iron, sends forth a very fragrant vapour. Frankincense also grows in Arabia, but it is of a description incomparably inferior to that of India.
1 Bezaleel and Aholiab are called and made meet for the work of the tabernacle. 12 The observation of the sabbath is again commanded. 18 Moses receiveth the two tables.
AND the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 See, I have called by name Bezaleel the 'son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah :
3 And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship,
4 To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass,
5 And in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.
6 And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wise hearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee;
7 The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle,
8 And the table and his furniture, and the pure candlestick with all his furniture, and the altar of incense,
garments of his sons, to minister in the priest's office,
11 And the anointing oil, and sweet incense for the holy place: according to all that I have commanded thee shall they do. 12 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
9 And the altar of burnt offering with all his furniture, and the laver and his foot,
14 Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
15 Six days may work be done: but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, 'holy to the LORD whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations for a perpetual covenant.
17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for 'in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.
18¶ And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, 'two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
10 And the cloths of service, and the holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the
11 Chron. 2. 20. 2 Heb. vessels. Chap. 20. 8. Deut. 5. 12. Ezek. 20. 12.
Verse 4. "Gold, silver, and brass."-Here and elsewhere we find mentioned together the metals which were procured the earliest, and first applied to purposes of use and ornament. No other metals were employed in the construction of the tabernacle, nor are any others mentioned but in such slight allusions as to show that they were indeed known, but not in common use. The Hebrew has the same word for both copper and brass, but our translation always renders it by "brass," even when the context shows that the simple metal (copper) is intended-as in "Out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass"-that is, copper, brass being a compound, factitious preparation. It is not always easy to distinguish where the word in the original denotes brass, or where copper. Perhaps we should always understand the latter in the more early passages where it occurs; and in later times we may assume that brass is intended where something refined and ornamental is implied in the text. The three metals, gold, silver, and copper, were naturally the first which men appropriated to their service; and the Scripture exhibits them as in use, and even abundant, in Egypt and Palestine a few ages after the flood. We know not precisely when these metals first became known; but at the time now immediately under our notice, the art of metallurgy had certainly attained considerable perfection; various personal ornaments, various utensils-and even images-of gold and silver, have already been often mentioned in the sacred text. It seems to our minds that a large mass of evidence in favour of the verity of the Pentateuch remains yet untouched-the evidence resulting from the perfect conformity of all its allusions to the state of the arts and the materials on which the arts operate, as well as the agreement of its statements concerning the condition of men, with the natural progress of men and of the arts they cultivate, and with the condition of things at the most early times of which profane history exhibits any knowledge. Even the silence of the Pentateuch, as to particulars which a writer later than Moses could scarcely have failed to notice, is not the least valuable of the internal evidences which the book bears of its own antiquity and truth.
In the present instance, all history and all experience corroborate the statements of Moses with regard to the early and prior use of gold, silver, and copper. These are the metals which are the most easily found, which are found in the purest state, and which are the most easily wrought when they are found. Iron must have been longer in becoming known, and it appears to have been little used for a long time after it became known. Goguet, whose continual references to Scripture render his statements of peculiar value for purposes of illustration, has a long and interesting
chapter on the discovery and working of metals; and little remains for us to do than to condense and analyse so much of his information as may tend to elucidate the notices of gold, silver and brass, which occur here and throughout the Scriptures.
Many incidents may be imagined, which, without search or thought, would place metals in the hands of the early races of men. The devastations occasioned by rains and inundations probably first led to the discovery of metals. After violent rains, metals are still, in some countries, found in almost every brook, and in the sands and valleys over which torrents have passed: and the supplies from this source must have been far more plentiful in early times than at present, when the superficial parts of the earth have almost everywhere been ransacked for the precious substances. The ancient writers frequently speak of rivers famous for the gold, silver, and copper, which they rolled down in their waters. These metals are also found in other situations, in grains or lumps; and in whichever of these forms exhibited, the metal would have been generally so pure and unmixed as to need none of those elaborate processes of smelting and refining, which ores taken from the mine generally require. The early stock of metal which we find existing in the hands of men might therefore have been obtained with comparatively small labour or difficulty. However, it appears that men did, at a very early period, acquire the art of extracting metal from the mine, and of refining the ore. These processes are mentioned distinctly in the very ancient book of Job. (See the notes on Job, ch. xxviii.) The metals must have been known for some time before the art was discovered of forging them into shapes proper for their designed uses. Goguet thinks that people had not at first any other way of shaping metals than by casting them in moulds. Strabo mentions a nation that made use of cast copper, not knowing how to forge it; and there are barbarous nations no less ignorant at this day. It would soon be observed, however, that all metals, except lead and tin, became flexible and soft when in the fire; and this would readily suggest the idea of working them, when in a state of heat, into the various forms they were desired to bear. This art must have been very ancient: knives, swords, and shears occur to our notice in the history of the patriarchs; and, from the ornaments of silver and gold which are mentioned in the same history, it is evident that men had then learnt how to execute, in gold and silver, works of considerable delicacy and exactness. The great degree of perfection which the arts of working in metal had reached is still more strongly evinced in the account of the works for the tabernacle. The skill which must have been necessary to execute the works described here very clearly intimates that the discovery of the art could not have been very recently made. Goguet omits to observe that the fact of the precious metals having, as early as the times of the patriarchs, become the sign of property (Gen. xiii. 2), the medium of traffic, and objects of valuable ornament, would alone demonstrate the antiquity of their use. For there can be no question that much time was taken before an estimate of their relative value of the metals could be formed, and that the most precious were at first applied to common and mean uses. There was an Egyptian tradition that the art of working gold and copper being discovered in the Thebais, arms were first made to exterminate the beasts of prey, and then tools to cultivate the ground. These were the most obvious purposes to which metals would be applied, whatever metals were first discovered; and accordingly we find instances, in modern as well as ancient times, of gold and silver being applied to the commonest uses of daily life, where the inferior metals were not known.
2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me.
3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron.
4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
1 Acts 7. 40. 21 Kings 12. 28, Psal. 106. 19.
5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.
6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
7¶And the LORD said unto Moses, 'Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:
8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
9 And the LORD said unto Moses, 'I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:
10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
11 And Moses besought 'the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath
31 Cor. 10. 7. 4 Deut. 9. 12. 5 Chap. 33. 3. Deut. 9. 13. 6 Psal. 106. 23. 7 Heb. the face of the LORD.